House Portraits by Jean Parry

by Kathleen Huebener in Quote for the Day


A dear fellow Creative Artist, Jean Parry, 90 years old, passed away June 29, 2011.

Known as the “House Portrait Painter”, Jean specialized in painting and drawing houses and buildings on commission since 1984. She loved to travel and inspired many by her memorable scenes she painted in watercolors from her travels around the world. Jean had incredible high-tech knowledge, as she was one of the very first Creative Artists to have her own website, and was on the cutting edge.

Her website is still active, but I do not know how much longer it will be.

My favorite Jean Parry statement taken off her website:

“Although her low prices may indicate otherwise, this is no high-volume, starving-artist, assembly line. Jean takes pride in every portrait, using her artistic eye to present the building in a unique, aesthetically pleasing manner. “

A little bit of Jean Parry’s art history:

After taking art classes at Coe College and the University of Iowa (Master’s degree), Jean Parry attended many watercolor workshops, including those given by Irving Shapiro, Barbara Nechis, Nita Engle, Frank Iaccarino, Wendell Mohr, and Carl Johnson. Working in both watercolor and pen/ink, Jean painted and drew houses and buildings on commission; many contacts from around the country were via the internet.

Jean Parry was honored by being listed in “Who’s Who of American Women.” She was a member of Cedar Rapids Creative Artists, Iowa Artists, and a signature member of Iowa Watercolor Society. Many of her artworks were accepted into the Iowa Watercolor Society Art Shows and were exhibited in the elite IWS Traveling Shows. Jean also volunteered as a docent at the Cedar Rapids Museum of Art and was especially proud of the fact that the museum has the largest Grant Wood collection. She arranged many tours for the museum and encouraged other artists to become docents also.

Through the years, I have kept Jean Parry’s brochure in an art folder. It has the list of answers to the question, “When to order a House Portrait.” Jean knew how to give a gentle nudge (or a direct shove) in the right direction to make a sale. In fact, this list could pertain to any artwork. The heading could be:

“When to buy an artwork”

         Wedding gift

         Employees to a boss

         Retirement Gift

         For someone who has “everything”

         Anniversary gift to parents from their children

         Parents to give their children

         “Welcome to the neighborhood” gift

         Farewell Gift

         New Home gift


In the words of Jean Parry:

“These portraits make great gifts, prized by the recipients for the rest of their lives. Christmas, birthdays, anniversaries, thank-you’s, housewarming (and house-leaving), real estate, promotion, or just treat yourself and your family! Order your future heirloom, NOW! Gift certificates available. “

Future heirlooms…perfect!  Thanks, Jean.