Monday, July 15, 2013



I'm very excited to feature an artist I met many years ago traveling through New Mexico.  Pennee Weitz is a painter and fabric designer who bagan her career painting designs on white cotton handkerchiefs.  She studied at the Art Institute of Chicago and Parsons School of Design. She honed her skills by experimenting with various fabrics and paints and was soon making large wall hangings.  After years of appealing to textule manufacturers to mass produce her work, she struck gold and became the lead designer for a top textile producing company.  She now designs exclusively for the wholesale trade. 

I recently had the pleasure of interrogating Pennee, an interview I'm sure you will enjoy.

Parker:    So Pennee, we'll start off with an easy question.  Who do you admire most?

Pennee:   That's an easy question?  I'd have to say there's no one person I admire.  I think that anyone who relentlessly chases a dream to fulfullment is an admirable person.

Parker:     What's at the top of your bucket list?

Pennee:    I'd love to cover the world with beautiful fabric....seriously.

Parker:     Name your favorite food.

Pennee:     That's not to designing I'm a serious foodie....I mean, look at these hips...LOL.  I would have to say today it would be spinach pizza.

Parker:      What is your favorite smell/aroma?

Pennee:     I love how little puppies smell when you cuddle with that too wierd?

Parker:      Not weird at all.  Tell us about "Mack".

Pennee:'re killing me.  Ok, well, "Mack" is the dog hood ornament from an old Mack truck that my father had when I was a kid.  The truck sat rusting for years and me and a neigbor boy figured out how to take the dog off.   I had it mounted on a piece of wood and have kept it as a good luck omen all these years.

Parker:      Do you have a favorite color?

Pennee:      Turquoise....but as an artist I love all colors.

Parker:        What excites you?

Pennee:       Well, I've had the good fortune to see my designs go through the actual manufacturing process...and to be at the end of the line and watching the fabric being rolled into bolts gives me chills.  I still can't believe I do this for a living.

Parker:       What turns you off?

Pennee:       Negativity, people's inhumanity to each other, traffic jams, bad shoes.(laughing).

Parker:        Tell me something you've done in the past that you'd like to do again.

Pennee:        Sky dive!!

Parker:        Do you ever experience artist block?  And if so, what do you do about it?

Pennee:        Rarely do I have that problem, but sometimes a design just doesn't look quite right and I'll rework it and rework it till I get frustrated and walk away.  Usually a long bike ride listening to tunes clears it up.

Parker:       What makes you laugh?

Pennee:      You do....(laughing)  I can find humor in almost anything, but I'd say that transvestite comedian, Eddie Izzard just throws me on the floor.

Parker:        What do you do to relax?

Pennee:       I work.

Parker:        Who influenced the way you design?

Pennee:       I LOVE the artist Henri Matisse....his vivid color choices excite me.  Umm, Andy Warhol because of his philosophy on art and tons of lesser known artists and designers.

Parker:        What place would you most like to visit?

Pennee:        South Africa....there's so much color and form in the cultures of the region.

Parker:         Name and author of the last book you read for fun.

Pennee:        "The Confession"  by James McGreevey

Parker:         What is your philosophy, what words do you live by?

Pennee:         Oh, Mother Theresa once said..."Spread love everywhere you go.  Let no one ever come to you without leaving happier".

Parker:         Is there anything you'd like to add to this interview?

Pennee:         Just thank you for thinking of me, it's been  great fun.  I love what you and Carol are doing with the blog....keep it going.

Parker:        Well, thanks for those kind words Pennee, we really enjoy what we do here.  And thank you so much for consenting to my interrogation.  We are so very honored to feature you here.  You're a delight and please, keep us informed of any new designs that you can share with us.

Image above designed by Pennee Weitz, handpainted on slubbed cotton fabric.

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