Self Portrait

Painting of items of significance to Penny

Oil on canvas, 16” x 20”

I wanted to paint a still life and sought out objects that reflected my personality. Of course, the majority of the objects came from my full-time profession of being a city manager. Most of my cities came from a rich history of the Wild West. Consequently, I acquired objects from that era over the years.

The hand-tooled leather briefcase came from the old Mother Lode Country while on a business trip. The boots were mandatory wear for public events in Tucson, Arizona. The cowboy hat came from a conference venue on our way home to remember the character of the community. The rose reminded me to stop and enjoy life. Apparently, I didn’t listen to the rose, as I wore out the straps and handles on my heavy-duty briefcase, carrying it back and forth to work for over ten years.

The sparkly window drape was inspired from my last business trip to Dallas, Texas. Everything about that city reminded me of being all-American with so much pride demonstrated by the investment the city made in its downtown and outlying areas. The city worked relentlessly to reinvigorate the river and reclaim wasteland for conservation areas and bring life to dilapidated neighborhoods.

About the City of Tucson, Arizona: The City of Tucson, a 227 square-mile city with a population over 520,000, is located in the Sonoran Desert of Southern Arizona. The city is rich in cultural diversity with a heritage dating back 12,000 years. The saguaro cactus is a highlight of the Sonoran Desert. The beauty of the desert is captivating and will hold your heart forever—just like the people.

©Penelope Culbreth-Graft, June 2013

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