Penny Tristram, Artist

Penny Tristram is an embroidery artist whose mood is lifted by bright, saturated colours. Her mission is to create objects and images which share this sense of joy, beauty and euphoria with fellow humans.

After growing up in rural Somerset, United Kingdom, Penny moved to London in 2003 to complete her BA in Drawing at Camberwell, University of the Arts London. This was a time when conceptual and installation art was foremost in the collective consciousness, as a result of the recent success of the Young British Artist movement. Art schools, at least in the UK, were training their students primarily in this genre, with a focus on concepts and ideas over practical realisation. As a result, although she graduated, Penny was disillusioned after art school, feeling creatively blocked and lacking confidence in her practical skills and abilities.

In 2012, as a consequence of  treating herself to a studio space at the bohemian and nurturing Hamilton House in Bristol, UK, Penny began painting again, focusing on nostalgic childhood toys, and won three awards in 2013, including second place in the International Art Kudos exhibition for her painting “Pikachu.”

In 2014 she co-founded the hen party (bachelorette) life drawing agency Hens with Pens, which has grown into a national business, and has so far hosted many thousands of drawing parties across the UK. In 2019 Penny stepped down as managing director (CEO) in order to pursue her MA in Illustration with Falmouth University and focus more deeply on the process and quality of her own artmaking. She now works from a beautiful studio space in her 19th century slate cottage in West Wales, with a view of the Snowdonia mountains as a companion.

Wales, United Kingdom | | @pennytristram