Artist Ed Penniman

An example of fine art by Ed Penniman

Photo of Ed Penniman


Ed Penniman’s paintings of California scenery go quite a bit deeper than simply showing us how he sees the world around him. Indeed, part of their depth is related to Ed’s familiarity with the coastal landscape of Santa Cruz where he was born, made his first paintings at the age of twelve and continues to live, but familiarity alone can’t account for the dreamlike vibrancy and spirituality that radiates from Penniman’s landscapes. They are—in many important respects—inner vignettes that transmit the deep appreciation for life of a man who has been to the brink of death and made a comeback. Penniman is an artist living out his second life: a life infused with humility, awe and gratitude.
Always inclined towards art, Penniman’s first life was centered on a career in design. After graduating from the Chouinard Art School with a degree in Fine Arts, Penniman—a hot young talent— had a job in advertising waiting for him. After a detour into his family’s escrow business, he climbed the career ladder nimbly, winning awards as a graphic designer and proving himself adept—even exceptional—in generating the kinds of images and forms that present corporations and their products convincingly and seductively. Penniman was clearly, in the material sense of the word, a success, although his record as a family man was noticeably flawed.
Then, at age 42, Penniman experienced a traumatic illness that would prove to be transformative: he was struck by Guillain-Barré Syndrome (GBS), an inflammatory nerve disorder that brought convulsions followed by paralysis.
Finding himself shockingly reduced in his physical capabilities, angry at the situation and uncertain about to what extent he might eventually recover, Penniman was turned inside himself to face a wall of angst and fear, with transformation and re-invention as his only options. “I had come to a crossroads in my life – [...]

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