Kalmiopsis forest that she used in her
enlarged compositions. The colors
were unique to her style of painting.
She took her inspiration and painted
her reaction, partly for self-care. This
show went up at the Rogue Valley
In early 2020, she had plans made
to go to Ireland, until Covid hit, and
Ireland was sending Americans back
home. This is what started her thought
process about land use and forests.
The year after 9/11, She moved to
Washington state, then to Santa
Cruz and volunteered at the art
museum. She found a job in Omaha,
in insurance for 10 years. That was
enough to motivate her to build her
own artist website, remembering
her determination to be one of the
professional artist 2%.
When she moved to southern Oregon
she was married with two girls. She
still has the two girls. She found a real
community among the arts, and found
love at the family’s kung fu lessons.
Kristen has been the Administrative.
Assistant at the Grants Pass Museum
of Art for six years. And, she has
an online job working for Alyson
Stanfield, of Art Biz Success, since
2018. Her work is as an artist mentor.
She helps artists learn how to get
representation in galleries; to apply
business techniques for sales; how to
teach art; write PR; resumes; coaching.
Sometimes she travels for meetings.
She was a former student of Stanfield.
Kristen loves to teach painting, giving
lessons on an online platform. During
the school shut-down, she had
the girls, 6 and 11, at home, getting
schooled online. Live Zoom in the living
room! A bit crazy.
She looks forward in time to giving
workshops while traveling. She wants
to show her girls the world. She will
continue with online workshops and
making art. She wants more time for
art, kids and teaching, feeling that
doing artist mentoring shows a good
role model for the girls. One of her
daughters shows signs of becoming an
artist: always drawing.
It was easy to see that Kristen has
energy for all of it. She was busy
painting throughout this interview.
Asked the titles of her burned forest
paintings, she said she names them
after the forest’s place name, “It’s good
for internet sales.” If someone googles
the place name, her painting pops
up. Some of these places are special
to people, some were married there.
It brings people together. It’s a New
World of inter-connectivity.
See Kristen’s listing on page 25.
“The Monkeys Wait Patiently to Play
Again.” The title of one of Penny’s
paintings says a lot about her
philosophy of art. The image is of a
woman meditating in lotus position.
Around her sit four gray monkeys
with thoughtful expressions before
playfully colored trees. One reason
she paints is to learn more about
her subject matter. Thinking while
painting, she considers, “monkey
mind.” She researches the symbolism
and more ideas emerge. She meets
challenges in techniques. And then
there are “animals as guides.” Who are
these monkeys? She has a favorite.
Her paintings are planned out. She
makes a lot of photo references to get
human figures with correct anatomy.
She keeps a delicate balance between
looseness in stylizing, and essential
control; between transparency, detail,
opacity for definition, precision. Rather
than creating likenesses, Penny
intentionally stylizes the figures. She
has worked in watercolor and oils but
now primarily works in acrylics.
In her current series, most recently
shown at the Rogue Valley Manor,
she starts with black gesso and
paints a colorful floral background
merging with small color fields. Then
begins the careful application of the
partially transparent figures, usually in
purposeful poses. Allowing the floral
background to show through in the
photos this page: Michael Lynn Adams
Ashland Gallery Guide 29