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Sandra Penney

Sandra Penney (S.E. Penney) is a Pacific Northwest paint and printmaking artist. She teaches printmaking at Kirkland Arts Center in Kirkland, WA. Sandra graduated with honors from the University of Washington, Bothell, with an Interdisciplinary Degree in Art, Culture, and Literature.


“Printmaking is like solving a challenging puzzle: it requires me to focus and be present in a moment where every decision counts. It’s also all about transparency, not a lot can be concealed because that final image reveals every choice made along the way. There are so many components–carving, drawing, inking and printing–each with their own specialized techniques to master. Process driven and creatively rewarding, I fell in love with printmaking the first time I tried it.


I’m very inspired by Surrealism and use some of those techniques in my printmaking. This helps open my process to mythos, memory and emotion – the three elements that drive so much of my artmaking. There is a fluidity to the Surrealist process and a welcoming of chance and revelation. Reduction printmaking can feel perfect, controlled and still, but I find that the combination of classic reduction alongside surrealist techniques gives me great creative freedom.”


Poetic conversation with Dancing with the Angles or Between the Planes: “In this monotype print series, it is that space “between the planes” that I wanted to explore, a spotlit moment of wondering, trust-filled connection suspended within a world of choices and experiences yet to come.


I was particularly drawn to the word, “tender-footed” because it evokes the sense of innocence on the edge of peril and wonder. It’s that sense of being green to all experiences when you don’t know if you’re making the right choices, but you also don’t know enough to be afraid of what the consequences might be. The phrase “irresistible as gravity” also resonated, it suggests to me how you can’t escape the pull of your actions. “A struggle to shine” is another chord striker; I appreciate how true this is for everybody—the desire to be good at something and to be recognized is such a motivator. I also had a wild envisioning of the first phrase, “As we build this house of light” of a house made of neon tubes, and this juxtaposition with all the concrete functions of home: as a shelter from the elements, as a place of privacy, and a place that hold you and your loved ones. All light can do is illuminate.”


Contact Sandra at: Instagram @s.e.penney

Artist Website:

Sandra Penney.jpg
Sandra Penney
Sandra Penney
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