Ed Parker is an artist of sunny optimism.

For more than 30 years, he has worked as a painter and illustrator. A master of Americana (his art borrows richly from folklore and history), Ed makes images both nostalgic and playful.

Ed has spent summers in the Boothbay Region with his family since 1967. As an artist, he is represented by several galleries, including Boothbay Harbor’s Gleason Fine Art, where he is scheduled to have an exhibition this August.

“I hope that we’ll be able to go ahead with it in one form or another,” he says.

Despite uncertainty around his own upcoming show, Ed holds more concern for his fellow artists than he does for himself. “My artist friends have had exhibitions cancelled, galleries have closed, and workshops have been postponed. They all are in a very difficult situation.”

Which is where an upbeat attitude helps.

“I was recently asked by a good friend if I had a painting depicting courage,” he says. “So I posted Round Our Skiff on Facebook in March.” A work from 2016 and based on a Scottish prayer (which frames the image), Ed acknowledges “it is more about faith and hope than courage.”

Waves crash against the lighthouse isle; white caps peak across the open water; wind fills the sails of the flat-bottomed boat. Yet you would not sense the hinted-at peril of the moment by looking at those in the boat: mother and child in calm delight, dog and cat briskly alert, the helmsman at smiling ease, confident in his own competence—up for the moment in every way. 

Ed’s art, shiningly bright with positivity, is a bolster to our spirits, for riding together our COVID-19 storm, we may take courage from our own fortitude, steady as the helmsman’s hand.

Learn more about Ed Parker and see his work at his website.