B.A. of Fine Arts COFA ( 1990) B.A. of Dramatic Art in Design NIDA (1994) Dip Ed. UWS (2001)
Penelope has an extensive background and training across a wide range of the arts. She has worked as a freelance costumes and stage designer in the early stages of her career after finishing her degree at NIDA in her 20s through to model-making and illustration work. Her teaching career in Visual Arts has spanned a 20 year period and she has more recently been able to devote more and more time to her very first love-painting.
Penelope's paintings are characterized by a layered and textural approach to natural forms and silhouettes that often merge the delineation between land,sea and sky. In this sense her works reflects a mood, feeling or memory about the landscape rather than a representation of a particular place. The absence of any figurative forms in her landscapes is deliberate, preferring to reference natural forms that would have existed before our human impact and presence. This approach to the landscape could also be described as Romantic and as such her works take on an almost dreamlike or surreal presence.
Penelope draws inspiration from her experiences and memory of the changing colours and textures of the landscape and has always had a strong connection to the works of 19th Century metaphysical poet Keats whose poetry expresses the notion of being able to transcend our negative experiences of the world by contemplating on a thing of beauty. This is what motivates me as an artist to hopefully produce works that connect with the audience.
For me the landscape is-
'A thing of beauty' and 'is a joy forever:
it will never pass into nothingness: but still will keep
A bower quiet for us, and a sleep
Full of sweet dreams, and health and quiet breathing'. John Keats, Endymion, 1818
Penelope's layering of mixed media with the predominant use of acrylic, inks and a soldering iron on timber board allows her to both discover, manipulate and finally control her painting surface to arrive at the desired evocation of aspects of the landscape. Her formal training as both and as a designer has informed her practice today as a painter. Having always been inspired and moved by the vastness and beauty of the landscape with its ever changing textures she continues to reference both these elements in her work today.