Penny Warden began to paint at a very early age and indeed was highly commended for her work by the Royal Drawing Society when only 12 years old.
Despite the protests of her art teachers she did not continue in her art studies after leaving school but pursued various careers in the city of London and finally in teaching after graduating in 1984 with a degree in Theology from Westminster College, Oxford.
However, Penny continued to paint, even when heading a Religious Studies Department and raising two children. Finally after beginning a degree in Fine Art in the late 1990’s she became a full time artist in 2001.
In 2004 as a “rising artist” Penny was chosen to exhibit her work in St Paul’s Cathedral alongside Tracy Emin, Bill Viola, Craigie Aitchison, Maggie Hambling and other prominent British artists, in an innovative and exciting national exhibition called ‘Presence’. Her series of 6ft figurative oil paintings the “Phoenix Paintings” have been seen by thousands of people whilst on a five year solo tour of ten other English Cathedrals.
In March 2005 Penny launched “a major project of national significance” in Blackburn Cathedral, Lancashire, England. This consists of the permanent display of fifteen 6ft paintings and is “probably the most adventurous of its kind in any English cathedral.” With accolades from Desmond Tutu – “wonderfully creative” – and viewed by the US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice on her visit to the cathedral in 2006, this “extraordinary exhibition will be seen by generations to come.”
In 2007 Penny was introduced to Prince Philip after donating a large painting to one of his charities and in 2010 Penny was commissioned by Trinity Hospice Blackpool for another major project consisting of eight 6ft paintings for their chapel.
Penny has been interviewed several times on BBC radio and filmed for a worldwide satellite television broadcast; she has featured in a number of national magazines and publications; she has had her work used by Cambridge University; she has exhibited and spoken about her work at Oxford University; she has been a speaker at numerous conferences; she has been part of several consultation groups at Windsor Castle on ‘Human Creativity in the Arts’ and is currently a Trustee of The Christian Arts Trust.
Her commissioned work can be seen on the BBC website.