Artist Highlight: Mason Parker, watercolorist

Mason Parker grew up in Western Massachusetts, near the Connecticut River and its tributaries, railroad bridges, red-bricked factories, and abundant varieties of trees. In college he found his favorite art medium to be drawing scenes in pen and ink and coloring them in with watercolors. When he arrived in the Willamette Valley in 2007 it seemed similar to Massachusetts in many respects. 

Cathedral Park painting by Mason Parker
Cathedral Park painting by Mason Parker

“Nearly all paintings I do onsite. I like being there long enough to take in the people I meet, the weather, overall feel of the scenery…Businesses of all kinds crowd together and automobiles with drivers in different clothing and moods. I see intersections as a cross section of pedestrians, plants and small animals simultaneously going about their business.”

St. Johns house and water towers
St. Johns house with water towers

“Though I prefer my depictions to be as accurate as possible, toning down or eliminating obstructions, or even turning the scene back in time to how I first remembered it, is a minor compromise to reveal its beauty. My goal is to keep it professional enough to be easily recognizable by local residents, but fun enough to look like it was done by a thinking, feeling human. Even when there is an obvious main subject, like a waterfall or specific building structure, I find it important to give the surroundings equal attention.”

You can see Parker’s artwork on display at Moonshine Barber Shop in St. Johns at 8738 N. Lombard St. Most have North Portland subjects.

Alberta Rose Theater
Alberta Rose Theater

Want the best art deal? All of Mason Parker’s Portland scenes are now available in one 90 page record album sized coffee table book. Volume 1 – “Streets and Neighborhoods of Portland.” It comes with a free digital version of of Volume 2 – “Small Towns and Rapid Rivers.”

Some originals are still available, but all the images on Parker’s website are available as 17”x11” art prints, themed postcard sets, and greeting cards. 

See, or contact 971-703-8221 or for more info.