Parker showed above normal talent in art as a child, which was not surprising since both parents had artistic abilities. However, as a six-footer in eighth grade, his future seemed to be in basketball. High school was followed by four years of apprenticeship in commercial art.
Then came the University with Parker as an architectural student. It didn't work, and he returned to commercial art where he learned to use gouache. Finally came another stint at school and a degree in education. For a time he worked in track and field administration. Appropriate for the 1966 Canadian Decathlon Champion.
There followed a spell of carpentry, the flu, enforced rest and painting as therapy. Enthusiasm! More paintings. Then a serious resolve to be a professional fine artist. His mother helped support a two year self-training period. Sales grew. Collectors began to buy. Parker now hikes, photographs and paints in a studio not far removed from his subjects.