Yosemite is steeped in tradition, mythology, ceremony and adventure. This is the soul and spirit of the park – the water sings it, the granite walls echo it, and the animals steward it. And behind the semblance of rigid sentinels, it is in habitual flux, walking the trail between repose and renewal. Each and every visitor encounters this spirit – confirmed by the stories we share back home, and by any wish we may have to return. However, to interpret such a delicate subject can sometimes prove more challenging.
Artist Penny Otwell has been both a participant and witness of Yosemite, the product of a long-term and candid relationship with the Sierra, and evidenced by her inclusion in the recent book, Art of the National Parks, published through The University of New Mexico Press. Her approach seems to find solace in the familiar Change that the park embodies. New materials and ways of seeing a subject are very much in play during studio and en plein air sessions, where forces of nature exact their influence on the paint. In the end, Penny’s canvases and watercolors don’t merely quote the spirit of Yosemite, but are in constant dialogue with it, as her roaring rivers, cavorting cliffs, rising moons, sensuous seasons and sincere wildlife reveal an intimate world that only a kindred spirit could communicate.
Selections from Penny’s new work have recently been added to The Ansel Adams Gallery website. Some pieces are also currently on display in our Yosemite gallery. I invite you to please view the site, or come visit us in the park to see this passionate work in person.
The Ansel Adams Gallery