Jay Parnell

Jay has been drawing and painting all of his life. He first began to take both seriously in the mid- 1990’s when he worked as an illustrator and photographer. His illustration work has been published in Indianapolis Monthly, Forbes, Detour, and the Chronicle Review. His illustrations were also published in the Society of Illustrators’ publication Illustrators (41 and 42). Since working as an illustrator, Jay has also found success as a fine art painter based in Indianapolis, Indiana. His paintings can be found in the homes of several private collectors.

What characterizes the work of Parnell is his lush palette, which is filled with earth tones and a brooding spirit of melancholy. Often the characters in a Parnell painting represent a segment of the vibrant inner life of African Americans, whom exude emotions that are immediately identifiable in the poems of James Baldwin, the prose of Toni Morrison, and the hip hop swagger of Saul Williams. Parnell’s work goes beyond the flat caricature of modern media projections and stereotypes of blacks to portray a sublime existence.

Jay and wife his wife Kendra, reside in Indianapolis, with their three children, Brooklyn, Miles, and Electra

38th St. Sketch – Out Late

21_38th Street Sketch_Out Late


38th St. Sketch – Red Light (SOLD)

21_38th Street Sketh_Red Light

Boy With Laurels



Done Chasing You (SOLD)



Farewell Song Study (SOLD)


Freckles and Tattoo Fears (SOLD)


New Suit, Same Problems

21_New Suit Same Problems


Next Stop, Up Downtown (SOLD)

21_Next Stop Up Downtown


Now, You’re One of Us



One Another

21_One Another


Restless Sleeper

21_Restless Sleeper


Ruined (SOLD)



Slumber (SOLD)


So What (SOLD)

21_So What

Stand (SOLD)


The Humbling (SOLD)

21_The humbling