Article on artist Penny Richardson originally written for the Rutland Messenger.
POTTERY AND FASHION lost to Pet Portrait Paintings…
Young Penny Whadcoat showed great talent as a Pet Portrait artist from an early age. The question was which of her talents would she eventually follow as a career path because she was equally skilled as a Pet Portrait Painter, potter and as a dressmaker and designer?
“When I was young I hoped to be a dress designer.” Penny said.
“But I was not able to enroll on the degree course I wanted. The pottery course was also full so I finished up on the art course and have been making a living ever since.”
Penny Whadcoat married John in 1989 and became Penny Richardson,
one of the leading artists in Leicestershire & Lincolnshire in the East Midlands, and United Kingdom, who is best known for her Pet Portrait Paintings.
She has been married to her husband, John Richardson, for twenty six years and the couple have five children.
They both met when they enrolled onto the same life saving course at Oakham School swimming pool, in 1988.
They now work together in a family business from their home in Exton. Penny takes care of the painting and the sales, while John does Picture Framing & Photography, builds and manages the websites, printing, publishing and marketing.
Penny Whadcoat came from a very well known farming family and grew up at Northfield Farm near Cold Overton, Leicestershire. During Pennys’ youth the farm was mixed arable and sheep, later the farm also included poultry.
Penny inherited her talent for art from her mother and mothers’ parents and grandparents, but Pennys’ mother died when she was 13 years old, from multiple sclerosis.
Penny was a pupil at the Morcott Hall School for Girls, where she came under the guidance of a well known Rutland artist and art teacher John Walton — who had formally been a master at Oakham School.
Under his guidance she developed her skills and talent. After leaving Morcott Hall School, she attended Rutland College and then enrolled in a foundation course at Loughborough Art College. At that time, she wanted to be a fashion designer and was already a talented dressmaker.
She said: “I had already designed a jacket with removable zip up sleeves but couldn’t get on the fashion designer course.“
“A year later a jacket with removable zip up sleeves was on sale in the shops and I always believe someone else had stolen my idea.”
Penny today uses her sewing knowledge in the form of making costumes for school plays, and fancy dress situations that occasionally arise. She says, “I made my own wedding dress and would make wedding dresses for my two daughters if they asked me to one day”.
Penny’s love for pottery has been put aside, as she concentrated on her paintings of animals. She paints her Pet Portraits from photographs. Penny paints dogs, cats, horses and portraits of children and people. Penny and John have three sons and two daughters, Joseph the eldest, Judith, Ilana, Elijah and Jacob.
Penny’s love of art has definitely passed on to her children.
Today Penny gets orders for her paintings from all over the UK and has increasing interest in her work from USA and Canada.