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Penny Otwell: Ala Prima Technique

PENNY SOL PennyPenny Otwell
Sierra Art Trails 2015 Catalog #95

Penny Otwell will host four other artists at her Mariposa Studio close to the Historic District downtown. Close to shops and restaurants, you can visit her working studio and see a painting demo each day at 1 p.m. during “the trail.”

Otwell will have large to small paintings available for purchase, ink drawings on paper, photographic print reproductions, and more at a 20% discount during Sierra Art Trails. Landscapes, abstracts, and figures will be on view this year. The artist maintains a garden around the studio with a pleasant view.

The artist says:

PENNY OTWELL SOL Cliff SeriesWith an ala prima approach to painting my work is a direct response to my feeling about the natural world.  Over 50 years of painting and drawing outdoors has led my work to where it is today.  Exploring the design in nature, I possess a natural curiosity of “what if?” I am quite keen on landscape and always wanting to be outdoors — this results in a strength that I express boldly with the application of texture and color in paint.

I am a prolific artist and I often draw in ink and pencil in addition to en plein air oil painting.  I design studio works from drawings I’ve made in the field. Spontaneous movement and brushwork or palette knife work are some of the techniques that allow me to speak a personal language in paint.

PENNY SOL Rabbit BrushThe possibilities are endless but it is my task to discover a road map through each painting.  I allow the painting to guide me, one step at a time, and am good at not thinking too much while actually painting.

When I stop, I take a cold, hard look at the work done.  Moving through each piece like this allows for both failure and insight and helps me grow as a painter. I teeter on a balance beam between expressiveness, boldness, accuracy, detail and feeling.

When I play it too safe, I find a work boring.  I must totally engage in the act of painting to make each piece come alive.

PENNY OTWELL SOL Mt  LaurelI am always pushing towards the truth of what I see and what I feel and I have learned to trust in this process. I look forward to inviting the public into my art-making place. Hopefully you can come by during Sierra Art Trails on the first weekend of October!

Images and biography submitted by the artist.

Sierra Art Trails Open Studio Tour is Friday, Saturday and Sunday, October 2, 3 and 4, 2015.

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