Now based in West Wales, UK, Penny began life drawing at school aged 14 and went on to study drawing at Camberwell College of Arts in London. She has won several awards and exhibited and sold her work nationally and in the United States. In 2014 she founded the national life drawing agency Hens with Pens.
Penny has entered into a lifelong exploration of life drawing because the human form is the most challenging of anything for us to depict, while the most rewarding in terms of expression. She is an advocate of drawing from life as it promotes observation, focus and mental calm.
In the main, Penny’s work deals with nostalgia, memory, and emotion, explored through the medium of the human form, and accompanying symbolic objects such as skulls, masks, flowers and childrens’ toys. Having survived child abuse and subsequently battled mental and physical health problems as an adult, the artist sees her work as an important conduit for the processing of emotion. It is her hope that her work can inspire others to find meaning and narrative even when events and emotions are challenging.
Though Penny’s work has mostly depicted the human form, since moving to Wales it has begun to take reference from the natural world, especially the seasonal fluctuations of plants, water, and the planets. Having grown up on a dairy farm in rural Somerset, the artist has a profound need to live in a wild place, yet does not have an idealised conception of rural life. Again, nostalgia and emotion play into her interest in the landscape; ultimately what attracts her is the sense of groundedness, closeness to nature and a feeling of being at home.