Joe Penn


My Inspiration

I believe that art is all about passion and that is one of the main things that I try to get across to the students in my class. There are the technical aspects of making a picture, such as tonal values, composition and perspective, but most importantly you have to be able to put feeling into what you are putting on paper or canvas. That’s where the PASSION comes in. My passion is drawing, something I do everyday and stress the importance of to my students.

I have always been a drawer and my career in art started during my years in the Navy. The officers suffered the brunt of my cartooning which was a great way to get back at the “brass” when necessary, using humour. These cartoons were eventually published in book form by the US Navy to which my ship was attached during the Vietnam War. I eventually went on to do a commercial arts course, by correspondence through the then East Sydney Tech (now the National Art School), which was financed by the Navy. It was here that I met the greatest inspiration of all, Lloyd Rees.

Since 1982 I have been painting full time. For 13 years I painted and travelled the highways and byways of Australia in my mobile art gallery and studio. This was in the form of a 32foot caravan pulled by my trusty Toyota truck.

I have had numerous solo exhibitions, as well as being exhibited in Cromwell’s Art Prize and the Archibald Salon de Refuses. I was also awarded the Landscape Prize in the North Sydney Art Prize twice. In 2004 I became a fellow of the Royal Art Society and in 2007 I was made an honorary Life Member of the Society.

About Joe Penn

Joe is a sought after tutor, judge and demonstrator. For over 30 years he has been painting full time, working in a variety of mediums. His training as a commercial artist and his career running a mobile art gallery, provides him with a wealth of knowledge to pass onto his students. Although he is well known for his Impressionistic oils of landscapes, portraits and figures, Joe is also passionate about helping his students develop the ability to draw. Joe was on the teaching staff at the Royal Art Society of N.S.W. for 10 years and tutors at the Mitchell College School of Arts at Bathurst.