Penny Duncklee

I enjoy figuring things out.   Always, I have liked drawing and painting pictures.  Sitting on our sofa one day when I was ten years old, I looked out the window at the trees in the back yard and discovered that I could look between them and see shapes.  Now I know to call them “negative” shapes. Back then I thought it was fun to realize that I could draw the spaces between things and the ”things” would appear.

Real learning began after my graduation from Duke University. I began to question:  “I wonder what would happen if...?”  Or, “I need to make our Christmas and birthday presents.  What would be fun to learn about this time?”  I know how to sew mens’, womens’, and childrens’ clothes, embroider, knit, cross-stitch, make copper enamaled jewelry, and do macramé.  I have been a potter creating and selling custom designed, high-fired, wheelthrown stoneware, using glazes I made myself. I fired the pots in a gas kiln that I built. I made pinch pots using clay that an Indian potter gave me, and fired them the way the Indians do so they came out black. For sixty-nine years, I have had cameras and for seventeen of them, a darkroom.  I still do photography but now use my computer to print the images. The dulcimer I bought and learned to play hangs on the wall waiting patiently to pose for a painting.

This philosophy came to fruition a few years ago when I got my painting "Yes, It's Me!" accepted into a show at the Preston Contemporary Gallery in Mesilla.  I was playing with acrylic paint and kept fiddling to see what would happen. The image is near the bottom on the View Gallery page of this site. It is very different from the rest of my paintingsl

Color and the way light plays with it makes me stop and look. I paint what I see; I paint what I feel; I let the painting speak for itself. The amazing versatility of watercolor with all its challenges intrigues me. I try to depict the beautiful moments that occur all around us.

I learned to love the subtle colors and shapes of the ever changing earth growing up on the coast of Massachusetts. Living in Colorado, I became a mountain guide pointing out beautiful flowers and rugged cliffs of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. I enjoyed the moments of beauty that were everywhere. Now in Las Cruces, I have become entranced with the amazing light of New Mexico's deserts and mountains, where tree branches turn orange just before sunset and the clouds glow red over the desert.

Not limiting myself to landscapes just in New Mexico, I paint special moments wherever I travel. Still life, flowers, people, animals? Yes. Soon there may be some new work done with either watercolor markers or colored pencils that I can do on my lap. Of course, I always have my tiny watercolor set and Micron 005 ink pen with me.

My work is a collection of vistas and niches of beauty as I explore my way through life. There is much beauty if we will stop to look. It is those moments I like to share.

I am working to further my ability to enhance the wonderful luminosity of watercolor by working in this medium in a traditional way, but not super realistic. I want the life to show.



Penny Duncklee