Mike Parsons

Mike Parsons 003 - Photo (640x480)

MICHAEL (MIKE) PARSONS (1941 – 2017) – Born in Bukfastleigh, Devon, England in 1941, Michael Parsons came to South Africa with his parents and older sister in 1949. His father was a geological draughtsman employed by Anglo American in Welkom. They later moved to Zambia.

Mike Parsons came back to SA in 1965 to join a flying school in Johannesburg. He later qualified as a commercial pilot and flew a crop duster for 35 years. Crop spraying is seasonal work and he had 4 months every year with not a lot to do. Mike had an interest and talent for drawing from a young age, so decided to try and teach himself to paint a picture in the off season. He was a self-taught artist apart from a year painting with Adriaan Boshoff in the 1980’s.

Mike admired painters like Adriaan Boshoff, Ken Howard, Bernard Dunstan and John Singer Sargent. He followed the work of living artists (as opposed to past masters) because they have taken it so much further.


Never a hobbyist … the beautiful, never ending battle for a better picture was his only goal. He tried to capture light, mood and atmosphere in a painting that more often than not would depict people and figures. Drawing was important to him with whatever was in his hand – brush, palette knife, ball point pen, charcoal or pencil. Drawing and tone (or value) are what offers impact to a painting and that’s how he started each new project.

Articles on his methods and techniques have appeared twice in the SA Artist magazine. Mike passed away during January 2017.

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