Watercolor show focuses on rural kitchen scenes, cacti

Penny Thomas Simpson’s search for a nostalgic look at the essence of farming and ranching brought her to the kitchen table.

The Las Cruces artist’s new show at the New Mexico Farm & Ranch Heritage Museum features 33 watercolor paintings and opens with an artist’s reception from 2:30-4:30 p.m. on Dec. 16. Admission to the reception is free and refreshments are included.
“Around the Farm and Ranch: Watercolors by Penny Thomas Simpson” will be in the Museum’s Arts Corridor through March 31, 2019.

“Finding images that center on farming and ranching was a welcome challenge,” she said. “Often, the New Mexico landscape is the first idea that comes to mind.”

But Simpson’s search for agriculture in its purest form took her to “Grandma’s table, where the kitchen was the heart of the home, and fueling farm and ranch hands was a never-ending job.”

Her realistic work captures pieces of time with dramatic lighting. Many of the paintings in this exhibit show fruits, vegetables and cooking utensils in the kitchen.

Also part of the show are colorful images of cacti.
“Luckily, cacti are everywhere,” she said. “Their blooms shine for everyone’s enjoyment.”

Penny Simpson has been a New Mexico artist since 1977. She studied graphic design at Prairie State College in Illinois but her real interest was illustration. Painting realistic fruit and flowers with dramatic lighting has become a passion. She has been honored with numerous awards both in state and nationally and is a signature member of the New Mexico Watercolor Society and the Western Federation of Watercolor Societies.

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