Penelope has had an extensive and varied career in the arts spanning a period of some 20 years. She completed a degree in Fine Arts in Sydney at COFA at a young age which was followed shortly by a degree in Stage and Costume design which she completed at the highly prestigious acting school, NIDA. She worked for several years through to her thirties in Sydney as a designer, concept illustrator and model maker before finally completing a Diploma of Teaching in Visual Arts which has allowed her to finance her foray into her own art practice.
Today Penelope works from her studio in rural Grose Vale NSW, where she lives with her furniture designer/maker husband Darren Oates and at the moment, one dog.
Penelope’s technical approach to her practice is highly layered with its mix of coloured inks, acrylic paint and a trusty soldering iron which allows her to lightly etch into both timber panels and canvasses resulting in a distinctive, tapestry-like patina of overlapping lines. This introduction of a soldering iron into her artmaking practice has allowed her to introduce more of a drawing element back into her work and she sees herself as more of a ‘mark-maker’ than a painter.