Artists Statement

My journey as an artist began with watercolor. I am inspired by the beauty of nature and the play of light and shadow. In watercolor, more than any other medium, the dark shadows against the reserved white of the paper is what brings the painting to life.

My growth as a watercolorist began in 1998 with a workshop given by Anne Brooke of Jacksonville and has taken me from Medford to the Oregon coast and back as recently as 2014. For me, producing art is a discipline which I take very seriously. Unlike some artists whose passion is the process and who find creating art exhilarating, my experience is that every painting is hard work, thrilling and exciting but with the anticipation of scaling Mt. Everest. I joke that with every painting I open a vein. It is the yin and yang of the artist at work. It is not to say that I would rather be doing something else, only that I am committed and driven in a way that confounds me and those who know me. I am dedicated to becoming the best possible artist I can be in the time left to me on this earth. I suppose I could be accused as being a little compulsive about painting but I feel I have a God given gift with an obligation to fulfill, and it’s a huge responsibility.

Artists Biography

I began painting in oils last year and became obsessed with learning the techniques of the old masters. I am inspired by the paintings of the Barbizon School painters of mid-19th century France and I am moved to tears by the paintings of Jean-François Millet, Théodore Rousseau, and Charles-François Daubigny. It is the amazing work of these great masters that inspires me.

Changing mediums has been a challenging transition and I’m grateful to everyone who has encouraged me. Although I am very much a fledgling oil painter my enthusiasm for the medium and early success is thrilling.

I was born and raised in upstate New York. While I had my eye on art school, my practical and foresighted parents had business school in mind for me. I worked in corporate America as an Administrative Assistant for many years. Marriage landed me in Dallas, TX, where I worked, first for the CFO of Neiman Marcus at their flagship store in downtown Dallas, and ultimately for Lawrence Marcus.

As is true for so many aspiring artists, life gets in the way of our dreams and so it wasn’t until my family was grown that I had time to dedicate to my love of art.

I took my first watercolor workshop from the esteemed watercolor artist, Polly Hammett, in Houston. Although I loved her work and admired what other watercolors artists were doing, my paintings were boring and amateurish looking. As a beginner, I was using student grade materials which left me discouraged and frustrated. I upgraded my paper, brushes and paint and continued with my watercolor studies, determined to master what seemed to me an elusive medium.

We moved to Medford in 1997 and I was so intoxicated with the beauty of the Pacific Northwest I became more determined to conquer watercolor. Workshops from Anne Brooke, Dodie Hamilton, and Judy Morris began the development of my ever-evolving watercolor style.

In 2000 my husband was hired by the Mill Casino, in Coos Bay, OR, to install their computer systems, so we moved to North Bend. I continued painting and joined the Bay Area Artists Association. My paintings were hanging in the Second Street Gallery in Bandon and the Cottonwood Studios Gallery in Coos Bay. I had entered competitions and was winning ribbons, so in 2001 I felt competent to apply for membership, and was accepted into the Watercolor Society of Oregon.

In 2007 I attended a 10-day “Intensive Studies Seminar” in Taos, NM, where I studied with some of America’s most respected artists, including Skip Lawrence, Fran Larsen, Katherine Liu, Alex Powers, and Christopher Schink. This life-altering experience took my work to the next level.

Then, as unlikely as it seems, in 2016 I began painting in oils. I became obsessed with learning the techniques of the old masters. I am inspired by the paintings of the Barbizon School painters of mid-19th century France. Although I am very much a fledgling oil painter my enthusiasm for the medium and early success is thrilling.

I now paint exclusively in oils and feel that the training and experience I gained as a watercolorist definitely contributes to the artist I have become.

As a member of Art DuJour Gallery in Medford, I served as Co-Director, responsible for recruiting artists for the gallery Salon. Currently, I am a member of Watercolor Society of Oregon, an Associate member of both the American Watercolor and National Watercolor Societies and the Rogue Gallery and Art Center of Medford.

 

"Egret's of North Bend" oil by Penny Simmons
“Egret’s of North Bend”
oil

 

"Flight of the Egret" oil by Penny Simmons
“Flight of the Egret”
oil

 

"Golden Pond" oil by Penny Simmons
“Golden Pond”
oil

 

"Sundown" oil by Penny Simmons
“Sundown”
oil

 

"The Flock" oil by Penny Simmons
“The Flock”
oil

 

"Twilight" oil by Penny Simmons
“Twilight”
oil

 

 

 

Cropping and color are close approximations of actual artwork.
Prices do not include shipping and handling charges.
Artwork can be received at the gallery or shipped to your location.

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