Artist: Penny Benjamin Peterson
Edition:Artist Hand Signed and Numbered Limited Edition to 50
Medium: Embellished Giclee on Canvas
About the Artist: Penny Benjamin Peterson was born in States Center, Iowa, but grew up in Phoenix, Arizona. The warm Arizona sun coaxed her family out West when she was five. She has wonderful memories of living on the farm. Her childhood life was simple, and life on the farm seemed magical to her.
It took her a few years for the memories of green and snow to fade but she grew to become a true desert rat. Says the artist, “When the desert is in full bloom it is awesome. A lush desert sounds like an oxymoron but it does make quite a transformation. These prickly, sometimes dry-looking strange plants suddenly come alive with color.” While it is still in the “slumber state,” as Peterson likes to call it, “the desert is still beautiful with its subtle changes in terrain and the way the sunlight and evening sunset changes the colors of the mountains and the cacti.” One needs to be quiet and pay attention to really appreciate the desert. “I am influenced by these observations and my paintings reflect this with their bold splashes of color mixed with the serene, calming, spiritual effects of introspection.”
Peterson resumed her art education in her twenties. Previously, she had always focused on drawings and this taught her to work with paint. She then learned as much as she could about art, becoming active in local art organizations and taking classes. In 1988 her older sister passed away, causing dramatic changes to occur in her art. She met a wonderful teacher, Eleanor Harris, who became her mentor and taught her about collage and non-objective shapes. Harris was the first to guide her transition to non-objective painting. “It is very cathartic for me to paint non-objectively,” says Peterson.
Peterson feels that sharing her art is an important part of being an artist. She does this with special interest projects such as organizing an art auction to benefit the Arizona Easter Seals and taking a group of artists to the Easter Seal Camp to teach painting to handicapped children and adults. She is also a fervent supporter of Free Arts for Abused Children and the American Diabetes Association. Penny also has been a tutor artist for the Diabetes Auction for the last two years.
Corporate and private collectors throughout the United States and Canada own Peterson’s paintings, including the Circus Circus Enterprises, First Interstate Bank, National Car Rental and Magellan Resources.