Caldwell Snyder is pleased to announce Canadian artist Ross Penhall’s exhibition of recent paintings in our Montecito gallery. Penhall paints vibrant landscapes, amplifying and contrasting the environment that he observes while traveling and in his daily life. This exhibiton of recent paintings is inspired by California and Vancouver.

Ross was born on June 16, 1959 in West Vancouver, British Columbia. His parents provided incredible support to their budding young artist who displayed an early affinity for drawing and designing. Ross attended the studio art program at Capilano College and studied print making with internationally renowned print maker Wayne Eastcott. Ross continued his education in extra-sessional studies at the Emily Carr College of Art, and when not at the firehall, by tirelessly reading and working in his studio.

Nature as shaped and redefined by human hands is the focus of Ross Penhall’s captivating yet enigmatic paintings. His work depicts enchanting, manicured, urban landscapes – groomed lawns, shaped shrubbery, pruned trees – all arranged in eye- pleasing symmetry that speaks of a serene, orderly world.

Drawing upon the influences of such notable painters as Thomas Hart Benton, Georgia O’Keefe, Grant Wood and Emily Carr, Penhall has taken his own turn enhancing the enhancements. He flattens, stylizes and simplifies forms, embellishes colors and exaggerates contrasts. The result is a make-believe, somewhat unreal landscape that although compelling, serves as a gentle reminder that nature is never static, and man’s imprint is transitory unless vigilantly maintained.

Penhall credits the work of artists A. J. Casson and the Group of Seven, Edward Hopper, Grant Wood and Wayne Thiebaud for inspiring his quest to explore the architectural space and light of the landscape. Additionally, the rhythmic shapes and colours in the work of Georgia O’Keefe have also been a strong influence. Nevertheless, the greatest influence on Penhall’s life and art has been living in the high-contrast hillsides of Vancouver’s North Shore.

Ross Penhall is a disciplined and prolific artist who has exhibited annually since 1995. His work can be found in numerous private, corporate and public collections in the United States and in Canada. Ross is the father of two adult children, Sam and Sophie, who have been a source of support and inspiration to his art career. Ross currently paints from his studio in Vancouver and lives with his wife, Caron, and his dog, Howie, in Horseshoe Bay, BC.