Blue Ridge Parkway 75th Anniversary Commemorative Series, Grandfather Mountain Overlook. A colored pencil drawing by Teresa Pennington.

Blue Ridge Parkway 75th Anniversary Commemorative Series, Grandfather Mountain Overlook. A colored pencil drawing by Teresa Pennington.

Fine Artist

Interviewed by Dennis Ray

Teresa Pennington has been commissioned by the Biltmore Estate and has completed four series of drawings capturing the grandeur of the house and gardens.

The newest Biltmore rendering is entitled “Golden Evening” and depicts the house with a large lighted Christmas tree on the front lawn. Other scenes she has captured include Grandfather Mountain, Cold Mountain, and Linville Falls, one of the most photographed features on the Blue Ridge Parkway. She records the large and small, with a tender regard for the details of chickadees and hummingbirds, as well as botanicals and wildlife.

Rapid River Magazine: At what age did you know you wanted to be an artist, and have you ever considered or pursued any other career?

Teresa Pennington: I was 23 and pregnant with my son. I had a rough pregnancy and had to quit my job. I was home and bored and I started drawing. I began with watercolor and used that medium for two years. Then a friend of mine gave me a set of colored pencils and I fell in love and haven’t done anything else since. That was 30 years ago.

RRM: You are a self-taught artist. Do you feel this has allowed you to gain a better understanding of who you are as an artist in terms of expression and growth than had you gone the traditional art-school route?

TP: I would never discourage anyone seeking a degree in fine art, however, not having training allowed me to develop my own personal style. I doubt that I would be doing colored pencil now if I had formal training.

RRM: What does your daily work schedule look like?

TP: Well, I do a lot of shows on weekends so I travel a lot. If I am not on the road I am in my gallery Monday, Tuesday, Friday and Saturday. I usually stay in my studio at home and draw on Wednesday and Thursday. Those are my favorite days. My studio is a half circle room that is all windows and looks out over a creek. It is good for my soul.

TPennington Art Gallery
15 N. Main Street, Waynesville, NC 28786
(828) 452-9284, www.tpennington.com