Portraits of Island Life by Penny Prior
Penny Prior is an artist based on Galiano Island, off the coast of British Columbia. Working in an expressive, simplified style the artist creates portraits of island life, including landscapes, soft abstractions and portraits of the local wildlife.
I love the shockingly bright colours that Penny selects for many of her works. These bright colours combined with the folk-art influenced style of the figures creates a look that seems to express the artist’s wonder at her surroundings. I find the artist’s Driven to Abstraction gallery particularly interesting – here, Prior showcases works that, while still including figures, offer a view of the island scenery through a distorted, impressionist lens of bright colours and undulating lines.
The artist’s landscapes, in particular her trees, seem influenced by well-known Canadian artists like Tom Thomson and Ted Harrison. The deep greens and browns that she uses for these forms are well-integrated with the bright background hues, while the forms themselves are simple but twist expressively across the canvas.