or

Artist Penny Otwell


An example of fine art by Penny Otwell

Photo of Penny Otwell




Biography


 
The rhythm and design of the natural world is what motivates me to paint Yosemite, where I have lived since 1964.  I started filling sketchbooks with drawings while on backcountry hikes and eventually started painting in oils to portray the wonder I felt about the Sierra Nevada.  I am grateful for the countless mountain experiences through backpacking, hiking, skiing, snowshoeing and even working a whole summer at Vogelsang High Sierra Camp seven miles from any roads!  This mountain life has a profound emphasis on my paintings and I've learned about geology and botany along the way.  Living in Yosemite Valley for many years and being part of the Yosemite Community has brought wonderful like-minded friendships and a long-time feeling of home.  
 
I am a self-taught painter who has adopted a fresh ala prima style both painting en plein air and in my Mariposa studio.  I continue to draw outdoors, sometimes doing very large finished ink pieces.  Working outdoors with paint I often use oil painting knives to give texture and volume to the works.  Most importantly, I paint what I feel about a place, not just what I see.
 
All work begins outside, then some are completed in the studio.  But many times works are completely finished in the field.  Imagination and exploration flourish in the studio in a quiet contemplative way.  I'm always asking "what if?"  I interpret nature's rhythm and design with composition, color, and texture and am currently exploring abstraction to reveal the deep essence of Yosemite.   
 
I have become a keen visual observer over the years and this has served me well.   I love being outdoors and being a plein air painter has given me a really great ride!  Thank you for looking at my work.
 
Penny Otwell
Mariposa, California
January 2021
 
PENNY OTWELL - VITAE
 
Audio Interview:  2018 - Yosemite Can [...]

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