Louise Penny


Louise Penny


Hi Louise. Thank you so much for all your wonderful submissions to the Artspace Gallery, and for taking the time to talk about you and your work.

Q – What is your background?

A – My background is varied, I have explored many art forms including Ceramics and glass, I have worked with many age groups and taught art at an FE college for 12 years, which I went into because I wanted to help young people have the confidence in their own abilities and explore art with enjoyment.

Q – How did you get into art?

A – I have always loved creating my own art, but when I left school at 16 for Art College, it was like a door had opened for me. I had the opportunity to create endlessly and learn about varied art mediums.

‘Birch Inspired By Birch Bark’ by Louise Penny (Mixed media – texture paste, acrylic paint, copper flakes on wood panels)

Q – Where do you live and does living there influence your creative process or provide inspiration in another way?

A – I live in Lydney in the Forest of Dean and love being able to walk in our wonderful Forest, and explore which helps my mind wander from everyday chores that seem endless at times. I also find that visiting the coast brings me energy that I need to move forward and gather my thoughts. Music and nature I feel brings a lot to my well-being and inspires my art.

Q – What is your chosen subject and why?

A – I don’t have a certain subject that I stick with in my art, I feel my work and ideas evolve with the current issues and surroundings that are progressing or just what I feel like. At the moment I am working on art that expresses how I feel my senses have been awoken during Covid, noticing my environment much more.

‘Metabolic specialist nurse Jane Roberts and Dr Simon Jones, Consultant in Paediatric inherited Metabolic diseases. Both from The Willink Biochemical Genetics Unit in The Royal Manchester Children’s hospital’ by Louise Penny (Acrylic)

Q – What medium and materials do you work with? How did you decide on this medium?

A – The mediums I choose to create with change depending on what I feel is the most suitable. However I generally create with a range of mix media materials. I normally create using acrylic paint or charcoal and chalks, but also explore texture paste, wall filler, wire, glass, saw dust and found objects.

Q – Where do you get your inspiration from?

A – I find my inspiration comes from within, how I feel about something, how I want to express my emotions or feelings on a subject, so this will vary. I also find the human body very inspirational and the movement and character that can be explored.

‘Birch Inspired By Birch Bark’ by Louise Penny (Mixed media – texture paste, acrylic paint, copper flakes on wood panels)

Q – How would you describe your style? How has your style evolved over time, and what has influenced its development?

A – Not having a ceramic studio, I decided, after taking the plunge to create my own work again, to use a range of materials that I feel I can use to express. I prefer to work loosely and expressive using mainly acrylic paint and charcoal and chalks. I feel I have become more confident with my own style.

Q – What is your creative process?

A – I tend to write ideas down or sometimes sketch things out but most of the time I gather materials and dive straight into what I want to create, which evolves as I progress.

‘Nicky Marsh Respiratory ward manager at The Royal Gwent Hospital’ by Louise Penny (Acrylic)

Q – What’s your studio like?

A – I am looking for a studio at the moment.

Q Are there fellow artists who inspire you, who either work with the same media as you, or in other fields?

A – I love artists that explore the body, society and materials such as Jenny Saville, Francis Bacon, Lucian Freud and Grayson Perry. Local artists and friends also inspire me with their ideas as we chat about their work.

‘Birch Inspired By Birch Bark’ by Louise Penny (Mixed media – texture paste, acrylic paint, copper flakes on wood panels)

Q – How do you know when a piece is finished and when it’s the right time to stop?

A – If I’m doing a portrait I find this a difficult decision, but when I feel I have explored the person to the extent I am happy with I suppose. If it’s more of an abstract painting and creation, it pretty much is a feeling I get of accomplishment.

Q – Is there an artwork you are most proud of? Why?

A – I think there are two pieces I feel the most proud of, that still stand out. The first is the first piece I created when getting back into my art, which is called “beauty without deceit” This is a self-portrait expressing my feelings of how we, our bodies are beautiful as they are, without modifying it and my worries over my daughter in an age where young women often judge the way they look and the expense people go to. The second is a portrait I did of a friend using pallet wood to create the portrait with acrylic paint and wall filler, which creates an awesome texture.

‘Beauty Without Deceit’ by Louise Penny
‘Untitled’ by Louise Penny


Q – Are there any other art forms that you would like to try?

A – Yes I often ponder over going back to using clay and trying wood carving, but essentially I know I am progressing with different materials and my latest work is using board to paint with acrylic and using wire and resin. 

Q – What are you working on at the moment?

A – I am working on two ideas at the moment, the first is how my senses have magnified under lockdown, my creative ideas started flowing more quickly and my eyes have opened. I discovered photos taken of the back of my eyes at the opticians, I am using a range of media to create pieces taken from this. The second is a project which started in Covid lockdown too called #GoViralToStopTheVirus which a friend has been involved in. We have started collaborating on pieces of film and for me an art outcome inspired by his music. Both ideas and art are still in progress and I am really enjoying them.