Anytime you look at the ocean, rest assured that the ocean is in fact looking back at you. Such is the case with the body of artwork first envisioned in the mind of Joanne Parent, and realized on canvas. Joanne’s fine art beckons you to contemplate the endless possibilities of nature, a true story of wind and paint. Art, like nature, is a subjective medium. Nobody can deny the ethereal experience of a low winter sunset, or the colors that accompany the fragile introduction of storm clouds meeting the sun on canvas.
Joanne Parent was born in Omaha, Nebraska on November 23, 1968, at the Offutt Air Force Base – the daughter of Neal and Linda Parent. When she was eight, Parent’s family moved to historic Belfast, Maine, located at the mouth of the Passagassawakeag River estuary on Penobscot Bay.
At a young age, Parent began to draw pencil portraits under the guidance of her father who taught her the delicate balance between lightness and darkness – skills that would prove invaluable later in life as a Maine fine artist. Growing up in Mid Coast Maine, Joanne was surrounded by forest and coastal inlets which provided an endless stream of inspiration that she would bring to reality on canvas in the future. She graduated from Belfast Area High School, a year early, being one of two winners in the State of Maine Art Competition. She was offered a scholarship to the Maine College of Art, but decided instead to travel around the world.
Like many coastal Mainers, Parent had a calling for the sea. In 1990, she set sail for nearly ten years. Whilst traveling around the world, she worked in a number of different positions, such as a deckhand and chef. She became an accomplished sailor and acquired her Captain’s license. Along the way, Joanne became an avid scuba diver and surfer, living in a number of magical places, such as Majorca in the Mediterranean Sea, French Polynesia in the South Pacific, et al. Encircled by beauty, Parent continued to perfect her art – replacing the pencil for a paintbrush. She returned to Mid Coast Maine in 2000 and attended the Maine College of Art.
In 2002, Joanne and her father opened the Parent Gallery on the corner of Main and High St in Belfast, which showcases her fine art and Neal’s black and white photographs. She converted an old barn into an art studio where she creates both sea and landscape masterpieces which are shown in a number of distinguished galleries along the east coast. Joanne pays her talent forward, hosting art workshops where she teaches others how to refine their skills with oil paint and pastels.
While Joanne Parent’s primary focus is her artwork, she never hesitates to set sail off Mid Coast Maine. She spends much of her summer on the Atlantic Ocean, a body of water that is as much a part of her as it is her art.