Penny Arntz

Striving to make no distinction between my life and my love of making art,  I spent my earlier years creating and exhibiting 3 dimensional  woven fiber sculptures fabricated on 54 inch looms.  My mother was an artist and art teacher filling our home with delicious art supplies -  brushes, oil, watercolor and tempera paints, papers and easels.  Photography, paintings, pottery and large scale ceramic sculpture surround my family today in our Santa Barbara home and garden.  

The body of work presented here, though rigorously abstract in part, reflect a dedication to the essence and atmosphere of wilderness. Natural environments,  juxtaposed with and in contrast to man made constructed space is a matter of intense interest to me. Abstract merging with hard edge is a theme in much of this recent acrylic work on flat as well as shaped birch panels.

In retirement now from a career teaching my husband Michael, retired UCSB Studio Art Professor Emeriti, and I have been able to spend time back packing, and canoeing in the natural spaces of Hawaii, Canada, Tahiti, France, Greece and Italy.  Yellowstone remains my favorite in spite of the grizzly bears.  Maybe this passion has evolved from my great uncle Zenas Leonard who in 1825 left Pennsylvania to be come a fur trapper, spending two winters at the wild gathering near Jackson Hole called the ‘Rendez Vous’.  Then, when recruited to join Captain Joseph Walker, he rode and sometimes walked in tattered moccasins to Monterey. The popular film ‘Revenant’ has nothing on Zenas or Zenas’s book:  The Adventures of a Mountain Man, University of Nebraska Press.    


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