For this installment of Artist Spotlight we asked Kendra Runnels about her journey to becoming a full time artist. Kendra is a warm and compassionate soul that happens to be an amazingly talented artist. We're so happy that she's part of our Penny Lane Family!
When I began with Penny Lane in 2011, I was still figuring out life as a full time artist. I always liked design, art and anything creative but didn’t realize my love of painting and creating until I was in my mid 20s and already working as a graphic designer.
I loved art in high school and my art teacher was so encouraging. She always made sure that we knew there were practical artistic jobs that we could pursue. She was ultimately the one whose voice I heard in my head when I decided to go to Savannah College of Art & Design in 2001. There, I focused on graphic design and drawing; I never thought to take a ‘painting’ class.
A few years after graduating college, in 2007, a friend of mine bought me 3 canvases, some paints and said, “I just thought you might like these to just ‘be creative’”. (How sweet!) And sure enough those 3 paintings ended up in a gallery where they sold and I realized that I could actually make some money at something that I thought was so fun! I never dreamed of becoming a painter ‘one day’; I just sort of stumbled upon it and I’ve been so thankful for the gift it has been.
A few years later at an art fair in Florida, a friend of the owners of Penny Lane Publishing discovered me and introduced us. (Penny Lane Publishing happens to be 30 minutes from where I grew up in Ohio!) Small world!
Much of my inspiration stems from my faith. The bible has lots of verses about finding hope in God and that is the underlying message of much of my work. The pops of color in my umbrella paintings especially represent hope and most of my other subjects have underlying meanings that stem from my faith or a bible verse as well.
I have recently begun incorporating collaged pages from old books in my work. This has allowed me to actually include the word of God in my paintings, which is so helpful when explaining the meaning and my inspiration.
You can view all of Kendra's available artwork here and stay connected with her via social media.
If you're a Penny Lane artist and want to be featured in an Artist Spotlight email Kathy Benton to share your story!