She was born in Derby line, Vermont. She showed an early interest for drawing. She later attended the School of Practical Arts in Boston, won a scholarship to the Museum of Fine Arts in Rio de Janeiro, followed by a year of study at Baylor College in Waco, Texas. She then finished her formal training at Los Angeles State College.
Believing that an artist should see the world before they can become a great artist, she indulged her longings and visited every state of the Union, then Canada. In Mexico City she studied art for three months with Diego Rivera's wife. She received a scholarship to the Rio de Janeiro Museum and was off to South America. On her way to Rio, the ship she was on had to drop the passengers in Natal, Brazil due to a revelution. They had to use the ship for Army personnel. She then rented a house in Natal, Brazil, studied Portuguese and wrote and illustrated a book. It was entitled "Jaguar By The Tale!" and was published in Rio. Here she painted pictures of the natives, the fruit markets and huts, all of which she sold. To pay for the travel, she became a Foreign Correspondent for movie magazines published and distributed in South America. She has interviews and photos of herself with most of the major stars including Clark Gable whom she dated.
Parkhurst gave up writing and turned seriously to painting because of her love for this medium. The temperament she inherited from her French mother and Scotch-Irish father could best be expressed by oils and brush. This internationally acclaimed woman artist is no mild illustrator, nor is she a dabbler in prosiac landscapes. Instead she specializes in two genres into which women painters have rarely ventured, seascapes and nudes, and certainly not with the force, action and vibrancy she brings to her work.
Her love of the ocean also includes her own sailboats and cruisers in which she has enjoyed exploring the Pacific and Mexican waters. Her other love is her thoroughbred horses, which she has bred and raced since 1976 with many winners.
Parkhurst paints seascapes, life-like studies of the bubbling foam-flinging seas of the world, which thunder of the shores in their wild rush for the beach. She captures the moonlit seas as well as the summer surf.
Two of her seascapes were chosen with twenty-four other artist's paintings to tour Europe for the Cultural Exchange. The show was at all major museums including the Louvre and Prado. The two paintings are now in the permanent collection of the Stockholm Museum. Her paintings are in seven museums worldwide and she is listed in Who's Who in the World, Who's Who in International Art, Community Leaders, Noteworthy Americans and American Artists of Renown.