Today's featured Artist is Penny, she creates modern original paintings on canvas as well as prints and other crafts. Keep reading to learn more about her and her gorgeous artwork!
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and what you create?
Hi, I'm Penny. I'm an artist living in Clearwater Florida. My husband and I have two young adult kids in college, and a houseful of pets. I paint with acrylics on canvases, wood crafts, recycled wood dishes, and pendants in a variety of subjects, including impressionistic landscapes, portraits, pets, and seasonal themes.
Were you always interested in painting? What sparked your interest?
I have always, always loved art. I grew up making clay animals, coloring, decorating cakes, and watercolor painting with my older sisters. In high school art class I had my first experience with acrylic paints, painting a realistic rabbit, and I was enthralled by the possibilities! Studying art history in college was another big influence on my love of painting. I earned degrees in Fine Art and in English, and discovered a passion for the lives and work of great artists. While working office jobs and raising my kids, I did decorative art for local shops and worked with my sister in her faux finish and mural business. Finally returning to painting on canvas, I began painting my first portraits and landscapes fourteen years ago and slowly built a body of work. Now that I'm home full time I'm loving the freedom to devote to art!
What inspired you to start your Etsy shop? Do you sell anywhere else?
I began online by joining FineArtAmerica.com, a print-on-demand site for art where artists have their own galleries, and customers can choose custom prints, mats and frames. I learned about etsy from another artist on FAA who mentioned her shop there in a forum discussion. I loved etsy and signed up for a shop in January of 2010, but I didn't have time to set up my shop as I had intended due to the demands of my day job. I made my etsy shop a priority in 2012 and began listing in June. I've learned a lot and continue to work on improving and expanding my shop. I love it!
Where do you find inspiration for your paintings
I find inspiration for my landscapes in nature, from photos I have taken on trips and on visits to local parks. I love to paint the natural beauty of central Florida waterways, along with lovely scenes from travel around the country. I also feel inspired by visiting museums and looking through books on great artists. When I see the work of great artists I feel compelled to keep improving and growing as an artist. For paintings on pendants and wood crafts, I enjoy a change of pace from serious fine art and find decorative inspiration in seasons, pets, holidays, flowers, and graphic design.
Can you describe your creative process?
I have a collection of photos that I sort through and narrow down to a few when I'm thinking of painting a landscape. I look for ways to capture light on water, bright day against deep shadow, subtle expressions. I often combine these elements from several photos to compose the painting, and then lay down an underpainting in tonal values. I then work on the sky and most distant views, forward to the closest points.
What is your favorite subject to paint?
Landscapes are my favorite subject at this time. There is something so magnificent and peaceful about being in nature. Capturing some sense of that beauty on canvas is very satisfying. I also love painting portraits and other subjects too; variety is good and keeps my interest fresh and eager.
What is one fun fact about you that not many people know?
I have a thing for bling! I make ballroom dresses and costumes for my daughter, who performs in shows and competes with her partner in local, state and national competitions. I've made a few dozen in the last six years, covered in hundreds of Swarovski rhinestones!
What do you like to do in your spare time?
I try to exercise during breaks, bouncing on my mini trampoline or taking the dogs for walks. I love to read, though I often listen to books on CD while I paint these days! I love home decor shows on tv and am always thinking about what I'd like to do next in my house. And I love to go to my daughter's dance lessons, shows, and competitions...she's a fantastic dancer!
Anything else you'd like to share?
I'm excited to be working on ideas for a new etsy shop, with paintings and accessories for children's rooms. It's in the planning stages and I hope to open by the summer!
Visit on Etsy: http://www.etsy.com/shop/PennyBirchWilliams
I have a blog at PennysArtAdventures.com
and a Facebook page at www.facebook.com/pages/Pennys-Art-Adventures/122592793850
and custom prints are available at fineartamerica.com/profiles/penny-birchwilliams.html