Edwin Penny was born in Bristol in 1930. He studied at Bath College of Art and the Royal West of England Academy. Upon leaving art school, Edwin gained an apprenticeship as a lithographic artist with a local printing company. The engraving procedure gave Edwin an early appreciation of precision detail that would aid his later works as a professional artist.
Edwin was later enrolled to National Service between 1951-1953, he served with the Royal Tank Regiment, based in Hong Kong. He greatly admired Chinese watercolour paintings and his posting proved to be one of the foundations of his career. Whilst serving in Hong Kong, Edwin won a government art competition and was awarded a six-month tuition art course under a Chinese art master. As a result, Edwin’s work was forever influenced with Oriental elements, blending Eastern and Western ideas within his compositional studies. One particular technique developed from his Chinese schooling was to use a simple background wash to highlight the main subject of the work.
Edwin held numerous solo exhibitions in Bristol, London and New York, Frost & Reed Galleries represented Edwin Penny throughout his successful career. To this day, Edwins’ ornithology works are highly collectable and held in private collections around the world.