Sick Lit Magazine: What inspires you as an artist?
Toby Penney: This is always a funny question to me. I never really feel inspired. I am more compelled to create than anything else. Inspiration implies an outside force making a decision to gift me a creative moment. It also dismisses hard work in the name of an emotive response. Of course emotion is evident in the images I create but truly impressive images are developed over time through persistence & hard work.
SLM: Tell me a bit about your creative process.
TP: My methodology is consistent with each medium I choose. I hate to waste time so I work on several pieces at a time. Usually there are 3-4 larger paintings in the works along with about as many 3d pieces and reclaimed fabric collages that I am actively pursuing. As one piece is curing, I move on to the next. This way I always have something fresh to respond to. This process is the same with photography. I am always collecting images, documenting my daily life. I use these images to build history & texture with multiple exposures techniques. My goal is often to convey the excitement of that fresh feeling at the same time making the history of the work available with the layers that I build.
SLM: What music are you currently listening to?
TP: This is a funny list. I homeschool my five year old and she often has a say in what we play so it is a pretty big range that includes Patsy Cline, Tchaikovsky, The Band Perry, Sting, Billy Joel, Lindsey Sterling…You get the picture. But, The Police & Johnny Cash are usually on my play list.
SLM: If you could categorize these pieces in a few words, what would they be?
TP: I’ve always thought of my work a collection of moments, a visual documentation of my response to environment.
SLM: What are you working on right now?
TP: Currently I am developing a series of photographs & painting to be shown in Atlanta Georgia in the fall of next year. At the same time I am also working on obtaining funding for a body of work that I would like to develop while living in China, hopefully next year as well.
***Toby Penney is a southern artist working in paint, photography, printmaking & multiple sculpture media. She creates work accepting, even glorifying simple objects & fleeting moments.
Penney holds a sculpture degree from Middle Tennessee State University. From 2005 until 2010 she held a Vitreography internship with Master Printmaker Judith O’Rourke at Harvey K. Littleton Studio.
Find Penney’s paintings in private & corporate collections and museums. Her images have been or are slated to be featured in Professional Artist Magazine, Numinous Magazine, Feroce Magazine, Hellbent Magazine as well as Polonium II, a book by David Downs. Usually you can find her sharing her studio with her enchanting 5 year old daughter. Find out more about Toby on social media via @TobyPenney or by contacting one of her representatives at Moberg Gallery in Des Moines, Iowa or Bill Lowe Gallery in Atlanta, Georgia. Find her on Twitter at: https://twitter.com/TobyPenney ***