Penny McGrath is an imaginative painter who is driven by an incredible passion for self-expression through art.
Penny McGrath is an imaginative painter who is driven by an incredible passion for self-expression through art. She has developed a unique style that begins with her gestural approach to the canvas. The technique provides the movement that keeps a painting unified. Also, color and pattern have become mainstays of her style. Though she finds pattern both difficult and time-consuming to develop, it serves her paintings well.
Exploring color has been one of the highlights of being an artist, for she really has a love affair with color. A recent Rose Series gave her opportunities to explore the reflective possibilities of the color white–experiments she must have enjoyed as she continues them in a landscape series featuring snow and ice.
Penny was born in Charlotte, MI and though interested in art as a child she didn’t explore her own possibilities as an artist until the youngest of her three sons started kindergarten in 1972. She has been painting ever since.
Long-time self-taught, Penny’s formal education in art didn’t begin until 1981 when she enrolled at George Mason University to learn more about her chosen avocation. One class led to another until she completed her Fine Arts Degree in 1985. Immediately following, she began teaching art for Fairfax County’s Adult Education Program. She continued teaching for 23 years until her retirement in 2009 when she decided to devote herself entirely to her own art. Upon retirement, Penny was honored by her students, led by Allan Cook, who authored and published a book entitled “Painting with Penny”. The book shows syllabi of several courses, photos of works of art that Penny coached them through, and their recollections of the many classes they took from her.
She continues to paint and hang solo shows every two years at Green Spring Gardens, a historic site in Alexandria, VA. In addition, she has participated in Art Prize, the prestigious show in Grand Rapids, Michigan for the past three years.
In 2015, “Landscape Featuring Queen Anne’s Lace”, in Portfolio 5 was selected for exposition in the DeVos Place Convention Center in Art Prize 7. “Come Play HIde and Seek With Me” in Portfolio 8 was selected for exhibition at the Harris Building at Art Prize 8, and “Fields of Queen Anne’s Lace at Sunrise and Sunset”, Portfolio 9, were shown at the Harris Building at Art Prize 9.
Her works have also been shown in solo shows at George Mason University in Fairfax, VA and the Loft Gallery in Occoquan, VA. In addition, she has participated in group shows for 23 years in the Fairfax County Government Center with her students.
Graduate Level Painting Classes, George Mason University, Fairfax, Virginia.
Bachelor of Arts degree (Fine Arts major; studio art emphasis). George Mason University, Fairfax, Virginia.
Bachelor of Arts degree, Secondary School Education (Science and English majors), Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, Michigan.