Ed Penniman’s paintings of California scenery go quite a bit deeper than simply showing us how he sees the world around him. Indeed, part of their depth is related to Ed’s familiarity with the coastal landscape of Santa Cruz where he was born, made his first paintings at the age of twelve and continues to live.
A painter, writer and curator, Penniman has gone through a range of developments in his art that began with the idea of becoming a “really good landscape painter in the California Impressionist style.” He has moved from watercolors into oils that have allowed him a range of experimentation—with his palette and with his brushwork—that has left him more free than ever to make “the joy of accidents” part of his artistic method.
Looking over Penniman’s works is likely to delight the eyes, but not because of the skill or training that are admittedly there, underlying their essence. The vitality of the work is hard won, the result of a deep psychic wakeup call that came into Ed Penniman’s first life when the neither expected or wanted it.