Tributes paid to artist who became known for his paintings and ad maps

Gordon Parkinson

Suffolk artist Gordon Parkinson. Picture: KARL PARKINSON - Credit: KARL PARKINSON

Tributes have been paid to an artist who was well known not just for his paintings of landscapes and portraits, but also his ad maps that became a popular advertising tool. 

Suffolk artist and graphic designer Gordon Parkinson was known for his high-quality paintings, including of boats at Walberswick and scenes of Brugge, which he donated to the Press Ball. 

However, he also had a career in advertising, designing the Ipswich ad maps which became a popular advertising tool for businesses, pubs and venues, including the Suffolk Show maps. 

They also appeared in the Ipswich Evening Star. 

He died on January 27 aged 69. 

His son Karl said: “He had a good sense of humour. He was very caring and always up for a good laugh. He made friends with everyone.” 

Mr Parkinson, who lived in Avondale Road, Ipswich, was born in the town and studied art at the then Northgate Grammar School.

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He then worked for agriculture machinery maker Ransomes as an illustrator of mechanical parts and exhibition designer. 

He later moved to the US where he joined a Florida-based advertising agency, winning an award for best campaign design at a local awards ceremony. 

Upon his return to Ipswich, he continued in advertising, building a small company based in Sproughton before moving to Claydon. 

His first love, though, was painting and he eventually gave up his day job, which he joked used to get in the way, to focus on painting and illustrating. 

His artwork was shown at various galleries and exhibitions throughout East Anglia and he started a gallery of his own in Long Melford, while creating Christmas cards and developing his own children’s stories. 

His son added: “Gordon had a flare for dreaming up ridiculous, mostly unworkable, but spectacular inventions on paper. One of his ideas was sent anonymously in to the BBC Radio 4 comedy programme GENIUS and he was selected to present his idea on the show. 

“He didn’t win but he didn’t mind as he said he had a great time meeting and exchanging ideas with the rest of the participants.” 

He also specialised in greetings cards and sign writing. 

The father-of-two lived with his partner Alison and had two sons, Karl and Ben, along with grandchildren Harry and Toby. 

His funeral will be held on February 23 at Ipswich Crematorium in Cemetery Lane at 10.45am.