“I live in one of the most beautiful places in Canada, Vancouver Island,” says Shelley Penner.
Penner is an artist living in Port Alberni, transplanted from the prairies decades ago. She calls her island paradise. “It has crystal-clear rivers and lakes, rugged mountains, long sandy beaches and rocky shores, wilderness just minutes from any urban center.”
Penner, née Morton, was born in Melfort, Sakatchewan in 1952 and spent her young life on military bases across Canada and two years in Germany.
His interest in artistic creation includes painting, photography, creative writing, singing, reading and music. She also enjoys nature walks and volleyball.
“My main medium is now acrylic on stone slabs. I search for the landscape in the natural colors of stone and I paint birds or animals in this landscape, ”she says. His works of art have traveled to Scotland, Germany, Holland, Australia and Japan. “I also work on canvases and try to have a gallery show every five years or so.”
On the writing side, she adds: “My head has always been full of stories. She started writing them years ago for her enjoyment and peace of mind, because “the characters live in my head and keep me awake at night until I write them down on paper.”
Penner has published four books, including three novels and a book with images of his best paintings. “It’s very satisfying to see my published stories lined up on my shelf.”
Photography is another interest in her artistic life as she enjoys taking pictures of birds; she says she has learned a lot about them over the years.
Before the coronavirus pandemic, Penner began volunteering for Shaw Cable by making slideshows. Three episodes aired before the pandemic ended the program. The exhibition of his photographs can still be viewed weekly on Channel 4 under the title “Birds of Vancouver Island”, hosted by Penner.
She hopes to pick up with at least four more episodes once things get back to normal.
Although she does not normally present her work in competitions, in 1988 she did and won a Merit Award in the Regional Pacific Fine Art Exhibition for her watercolor “River Drifting”.
“In a very real way, creation is my religion, my way of connecting with the Divine. When I am working on an art project, I can feel an energy flowing through me, as if I am just a conduit for let a higher power express its nature, ”she said.
“It gives me a sense of self-reliance and spiritual energy. I’m a detail painter, so I tend to work on a small part of the canvas at a time. When I’m done and visualize the entire image, I’m often amazed at the end results, like seeing something created by someone else. I feel mentally exhausted, but full.
Port Alberni Seniors