Ralph Parker received his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the University of Houston in 1972, and worked for many years as a draftsman in the oil industry, a freelance architectural illustrator, and a technical illustrator in the automotive armor industry. He and is wife Nell also operated an art gallery for a short time in Ruidoso, New Mexico. His small book, Becoming a Painter in Only 45 Years, chronicles the ups and downs of an on again-off again art career.
In 2007, Parker shifted his focus from just drawing and turned to brushes and paint. Choosing gouache as his medium, he spent the next seven years teaching himself to paint with online guidance and mentoring from other artists. Today, in addition to his gouache landscape paintings, he also produces storybook art in pen & ink and watercolor, and pursues sketching in ink & watercolor.