Brittany Parker can do it all.
During the day, she’s the program and development manager at the Good Health Clinic in Tavernier. On days off and weekends, many know her as “Captain Britt,” and she can be found on or under the water. And every other Thursday, she teaches sold-out paint-and-sip art classes at Baker’s Cay resort in Key Largo.
“I’ve been painting since I don’t even know what age,” Parker told the Keys Weekly. “My mom would put us in art classes growing up, and I’d do any art thrown at me. It wasn’t until a few years ago that I started putting myself out there in the art community with my stuff.”
“Go With The Ocean Flow” is Parker’s artistic motto and style. She draws inspiration from everywhere, but usually the ocean.
“I like things to be fluid with nature,” she said. “My painting style is also flowy and fluid. The more flowy my body is in creating a painting, the more I love it. When you paint, you create something on the canvas, yes, but you also create something internally.”
Parker is a big believer in the power of art and the ocean to inspire and heal. Most of her art is based on ocean animals, based on pictures she’s taken herself while diving or snorkeling or images she’s found of amazing marine critters around the world.
“Everything captivates me about the ocean,” the avid waterwoman said. “It’s a whole different planet under the water, and the creatures under there are fascinating. When I’m out diving or snorkeling, there are definitely creatures I see and think, ‘I definitely need to paint that, it’s so weird!’ It makes it so fun to paint.”
At her signature paint-and-sip classes, she teaches this relaxed, easy-going way of creating beautiful art. Among sodas, beer and wine, her students learn step-by-step how she creates her marine masterpieces.
“I like to think my teaching style is fun, bubbly and loud,” the artist said. “I like to throw in some humor to keep people laughing and engaged. Sometimes I make up my own terminology to make it easier for people doing the class to have fun with it. Like last night, it was ‘Boop this way, and bob that way.’”
Parker has been teaching the live painting classes since the end of 2019, and they’ve recently all been sold out. Without fail, someone in the classes will greet Parker with the disclaimer that they’re not an artist and not to expect anything from them. She assures them, “You took the first step. You’re here,” and emphasizes that it’s all about no stress and having fun.
“My goal is for everyone to laugh at the end of the night and feel comfortable. I want them to feel like they can create and have a great time,” she said.
Parker is perhaps best known for her octopus, jellyfish and ‘trippy’ lionfish paintings. Her custom-painted carvings and scenic art can also be seen at Island Grill and Grati Cafe, respectively. And, once the Morada Way Art Walk begins again, you can find her there, with her latest pieces.
“My art can also be on a tent,” she laughed. “On the website Society6, they take my art and put it onto pillows, tapestries, blankets and a lot of other stuff. I make $3 for a pillow that someone pays $20 for, but I don’t even care. The fact that my art is on a sofa in someone’s house is crazy to me!”
As for what’s next, Parker is considering expanding the paint-and-sip or doing live painting. Either way, you can be sure she’ll be out on the water, capturing the beauty she sees, and teaching others how to go with the ocean flow and create beautiful art.Check out more of her art and events at: https://www.facebook.com/gowiththeoceanflow/