About Penny Otto
Auckland contemporary artist Penelope Otto was privileged to have had tutors such as Rudolf Gopaz, Russell Clark and Bill Sutton when she trained at Ilam School of Fine Arts in New Zealand. Since then, she has travelled many times throughout Europe developing her interest in Expressionism.
Penny has exhibited her exciting oil and acrylic artworks and paintings in Switzerland and throughout New Zealand.
“I think it is no surprise that artists view study and travel as openings into new artwork, “ says Penny.
She has also taught art at A.S.A., AUT and Selwyn College Community Education in New Zealand.
In the past, Penny found students wanted to be taught landscape painting skills, so she embraced pastel in a way she would not have otherwise. Together they discovered chalky pastels had an immediacy and delicacy perfect for outdoor light. More recently collage has captured her artist’s imagination for its infinite possibilities.
Coming from a rural township in North Canterbury, Auckland East Arts Life Member Penny understands the value of community. In 2002 she was given a Good Citizen Award by the Eastern Bays Community Board Perhaps this is why this figures are so often in her contemporary work.
Penny muses, “When an artwork is made, exhibitions, teaching and illustrating are channels to connect it back to the outside world.”
Penny is well known for her colourful, well-crafted expressionistic drawings and abstract painting, and her artworks play in a space of disparity between natural and man-made environments. Penny always works with notions of liberty and constraint, and the underlying message is the need to tune in with the delicate balance that nature holds and to honour Papatūānuku (the land).