Hi, I’m Penny. Welcome to my world. I’m honored that you are here to learn about the journey that transformed my work. When you look at my paintings, I want you to feel connected to the most colorful, the most courageous part of you. I hope that my work or my Celebration Portrait experience brings immeasurable joy to your living space. But my ultimate dream is that my art gives you a vivid realization of your unique beauty and an unchartered sense of freedom.
My family tells me that before I even learned to write my name, I was in love with the paintbrush. So in many ways, my work was inevitable. The early part of my career made perfect sense at the time. I earned a degree in art and graphic design, married my high school sweetheart, landed a great job in advertising, and had two beautiful babies. It was as if I had created the life that I had painted in my mind since I was a young girl. And then, in an instant, that picturesque existence was ripped away. I had been betrayed and fooled. I felt unequipped to heal, seeing that everything I trusted was a fabrication. I was alone, with two small babies who needed me. Mentally, emotionally, and financially, I was broken. I thought, “Penniless. In every sense, I’m Penny-less.” I was cracked to my core.
I couldn’t afford therapy; but I knew if I didn’t paint, I might not survive. So I healed through art. I went to a healing studio and learned to “paint my guts out.” As I began, my work was angry; my internal conflicts of fear defeating trust and failure smothering hope came crashing onto the canvas. I felt the promise of love mock me as rage flowed through my brush strokes. And still, I kept painting and painting. While I created art with the colors of a fiery spirit, feelings of destruction were slowly cascading out of me.
Today I know that to be broken was the birth of a personal revolution. It was through the cracks in my soul that I could finally let new light in. My spirit was nurtured and renewed. This new light let me see that freedom and joy were mine to grasp. This newly-born sense of power and hope took hold and my work began to transform.
As I felt my new spirit rising, my art took on a new tone. It became a celebration of survival. Suddenly, my art laughed at rules and embraced a bold courage. Where it was once restrained by insecurities, it became free, weightless, and audacious. It was no longer conflicted; it was delicate, yet strong and harmonious.
It wasn’t until many years later that I discovered love again. In just one season, I fell in love…… twice. I met the man who would become the husband I dreamed of, and I saw my first encaustic painting. I knew it would be a part of me forever. As I fell deeper in love with Mark, I was also falling deeper in love with my work.
When I surrender to my paintbrush, all of my senses are afire and I become lost in an intoxicating state of flow. The sizzling colors on my griddle electrify me. I am consumed with the aroma of melting beeswax as I find myself dancing between panels with my paintbrush. As I fire up my blow torch, I invite this familiar surge of fearlessness in and a circling flow of unbridled energy takes over.
After many hours, I prepare to leave my studio for the night. As I take one final deep breath, I gaze at my work, and I think of you. I give my energy to you in hopes that it will inspire a celebration of your journey, your undeniable beauty, and the courage to live by the definition of what freedom means to you.