Many artists strive to capture the beauty of the world around them, but my intent is to do more than that.  My work is an invitation to slow down, look around, and appreciate the beauty that surrounds us daily in our busy and cluttered lives.


My artistic process is somewhat like a complicated crossword puzzle.  I start out covering the canvas with black paint.  This part of the process can be very visceral.  I use a variety of tools as well as my hands to do this.  After I am satisfied with the texture, I begin to sketch roughly with white pencil.  Paint starts going on from dark to light.  I can’t rush this, can’t anticipate the light.  My paintings take many, many layers of color with the lightest being last.


In most cases, the concept for my painting begins with a one-line story.  After enjoying a cup of tea at my daughter's house, I was inspired to paint a piece that I titled “The Turquoise Pillow: At Shangri LaLa we take our tea with nettles from the garden.”  And after finding beauty in an unlikely place, a bathroom, I created a piece I titled “The Blue Room: At Shangri LaLa we always take our probiotics.”  People seem to really relate to the little stories in my titles.  The titles invite them to interact and create their own stories, comparing them to their lives.


Beginning with a story and often a touch a humor, I take ordinary and sometimes mundane subject matter and create vibrant and powerful compositions that demonstrate the beauty in our day to day lives.  We all work to hard and struggle to find the time to enjoy and appreciate the beauty around us.  I want my work to remind people that there is more to life.

Penny Forrest