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Sophie Penstone


I have been living in the beautiful South West, in Cornwall, UK for 15 years now. Wow! Where did the time go? I moved down here from leafy Sussex with my husband so we could surround ourselves with nature, the sea and the absolutely stunning scenery in this magical county. I am inspired by the light, colours and textures of the coast and countryside of Cornwall.

We have both always been creative people. I basically always knew I wanted to try and make a living from my artwork, and two years ago I made the crazy/brave/selfish decision to finally give up the day job and paint every single day. I feel so lucky to be able to do this and count my blessings every day. I am inspired by so many things but one look at my work and you will see that colour plays a large part. As do trees. I LOVE TREES! There is something about the architecture of the branches and the patterns they create as they intertwine, the shadows they cast on a road, path and wall. I feel most at home wandering aimlessly through the dappled light in woodland. I find them spiritual places to be, so peaceful and full of life but they also connect me to the past and times gone by. I am also drawn to painting structural, architectural plants when they are in bloom but probably more so when they are covered in interesting seed pods or when their flowering life is finished and they begin their journey of dying down and decay. Currently I am focused on painting in watercolour objects in a state of decay, peeling paint on weathered wood or the colours found in a rusty, tarnished object. Not only do I see the beauty in the process of decay and love the colour contrasts and texture, but I am also fascinated by the history and story of these objects, and how they connect us all to Cornwall’s historic industrial past whether it is mining, fishing or farming

I have been painting in watercolour for over 20 years and am largely self-taught and love learning from them every day. I enjoy how unpredictable they can be and use their spontaneous nature to, hopefully, create loose and colourful pieces. Colour plays a huge part in my work. I use a limited palette, no more than six colours, trying out different colour combinations to achieve the right mood or atmosphere, dropping unexpected colour into a painting and lifting off colour with the aim to draw the viewer into the painting and keep their attention as they discover something new every time they look. About 8 years ago I discovered acrylic inks and realised that I could paint in a similar way with them on canvas, thus I was no longer limited by size of paper. I throw, flick, splatter and scrape the ink onto the canvas in an endeavour to maintain spontaneity and looseness in my work. Working this way in inks has helped my watercolours loosen up too and my style is developing with the help of both mediums.

I am slowly gaining international recognition following the selection of one of my paintings ‘The Abandoned Cottage’, by the England section of The International Watercolour Society. This will be exhibited in Fabriano, Italy in April 2016 alongside some of the world’s best practising watercolour artists. It is a huge honour and privilege to be chosen. I have also contributed to an online article for The Artist and Leisure Painter magazine on step by step in watercolour. This Year, I have begun demonstrating for Art Clubs and Societies including Porthleven Art Club and Coverack Art Club in Cornwall. In May, I will also be taking part in Cornwall’s Open Studios for the 3rd year in a row.

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#paintings #landscapes #landscapepaintings #unitedkingdom #seascapes #earth

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