Lina: What and who inspires your paintings?
Penelope: My work is inspired by my own emotional complexity and that of women, in general. That complexity exists in men also. I just happen to primarily paint women because I am a woman and so that feels more natural for me. It’s really about the human spirit. Growing up in Louisiana in a conservative culture and moving to the Northeast in 1991 inspires a lot of themes in my work also. Also, my mother was an interior designer with quite a personality. Both aspects of her life inspire my work both emotionally and visually. Because I’ve spent so much time writing and love stories, it seems natural that my art should include elements of story and character.
Lina: Who are your main artistic influences?[caption id="attachment_1399" align="alignright" width="237"] The World is Full of Magic[/caption]
Penelope: As far as the greats, I have been influenced by Frida Kahlo and Van Gogh in terms of their emotion and honesty. I’ve also been influenced by Dorothea Tanning, Kandinsky and Picasso. Past and current artists who push the envelope in unique, honest ways inspire me. I’m not impressed or inspired by artists who go for the shock factor, thinking that is honesty. That’s unoriginal to me; if that’s all they have to give, I find that sad. I’m attuned to learning from others but staying true to myself. Sometimes that takes courage because you look around and realize that what you’re doing or who you are may not fit the mold, may seem boring, or less chic than someone else’s work, but you keep going knowing that perhaps no one will care or notice the value that you may have to offer.
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