Penny McElhaneyCharcoal Drawings and Muilti Media
Penny McElhaney has known God since as long as she can remember. Born in Phoenix, Arizona into a non-Christian unchurched family, she still felt His presence and love. As a child, Penny discovered a Bible in her home, but no one had ever opened it in her presence, and she was afraid to open it in case it was a bad book. While attending school, she would often stay after class to paint her art. One day, while walking home alone, a passing car scared her when someone threw something at her. It was a small pamphlet about Jesus and Salvation. Taking it home, she read it and discovered what she had been searching for and accepted Christ as her Savior. This changed her life and her art.
Penny now lives in the beautiful Verde Valley. She has a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree as well as post graduate work from Arizona State University. She has continued her education at the Scottsdale Artist’s School in Arizona, Andreeva Portrait Academy in New Mexico, and in France and England. With an emphasis on old and modern master techniques and expression, she has continued her education through self-study in drawing, anatomy, and painting. She has also studied with a number of master artists.
In the spirit of the old masters and inspired by God, Penny renders figures, portraits, and still life in traditional realism. Her work is based on a synthesis of observation. “I want my work to communicate and to touch the viewer. My first love is drawing and exploring its many facets of expression. I have always been fascinated with the human form, people’s faces, and body language. Objects, places, and people that speak of the patina of time inspire me. Everything tells a story, whether it be an expression of my personal life or a social commentary.”
Penny McElhaney draws in various media and paints in watercolor and oils. Having exhibited in regional, state, and national art exhibits, she has received numerous awards. She is as passionate about teaching as she is about creating art. She has been an instructor at Grand Canyon University and Yavapai College in Arizona. In 2010, she opened the McElhaney Studio Atelier, a Classical Fine art School offering traditional instruction in drawing. The studio focuses on the principles applicable to the realist endeavor of Portrait, Figure, and Still Life.
Adonai Christian Fine Art Gallery is pleased to display three of Penny McElhaney’s original charcoal drawings.