April Artist Spotlight – Jamie Parker

The fine arts faculty here at Green River College chose Jamie Parker, 34, to be the April artist spotlight. 

Parker was born and raised in Kennewick, Wash. and has been attending GRC since last spring. She is a stay-at-home mom with two sons ages 6 and 9. Currently she is earning her Associates in Fine Arts and is hoping to transfer to a four-year university to earn her Bachelors in Fine Arts. 

As far as outside hobbies go, art is her real hobby and besides that Parker and her husband are season ticket holders for University of Washington football. They enjoy going to the games together. 

She is a painter now, however it wasn’t always like this. For most of her childhood and forward she believed that art wasn’t in her tool box. 

Parker said, “In [the] third grade I burst into tears during a craft project” she continued, ” I couldn’t get everything folded the correct way and that was the day I decided that I had no artistic ability”. 

She stated that it wasn’t till five years ago when she started watercolor painting and lettering. She never expected she would end up at GRC. After her first drawing class she remembers thinking “[w]ow, I can actually draw!” said Parker.  

Her favorite artist, Edward Munch, had said once “my will exceeds my talent”.  With her dedication and hard work she was able to get to a level of artistic ability that she wasn’t able to do at a young age. 

“I really think that anyone can draw/paint, it just takes more work for some of us” said Parker. 

Parker has taken quite a few art classes, however, she saw the most improvement in her skills while taking Intermediate Drawing. She said that she had enjoyed taking classes under Matt Johnson. Johnson gave her helpful advice on how to improve her paintings. 

Sarah Dillon Gilmartin was Parker’s first art teacher at GRC and she was able to learn quite a lot while in her classes and took a liking to Gilmartin’s color theory class. 

 J.M.W. Turner, Parker’s other favorite artist, she had said that his “use of color is breathtaking”. 

A good amount of her current works have been influenced by her own struggles with mental illness. With her bipolar disorder she is currently working on a sequence of paintings that explore the many emotions that Parker associate’s with her own mental illness.

This current quarter Parker is taking a 3-D design class which she had said is way far out of her comfort zone. However, she is looking forward to trying something new and working with welding sculptures. 

Even though she is older than half of her classmates she feels as though she is more dedicated than when she was 18-19 years old and she enjoys being the “older” student. 


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