Derek Penix: A Vision of His Own


“Abundance”, 30×36, Oil, Winner of the Third Place Award in the 2019 NOAPS Spring Online International Exhibition, Private Collection.

Nature gives us unlimited sources of inspiration, and often with such a profusion of subject matter, that it can be a difficult task to make sense of it all, much less paint it.  Here the artist has taken the copious leaves and fruit, and made an energetic and fresh rendering, giving the viewer a sense of movement and light.  The fruit is ripe, waving in the sunlit breeze, with the leaves whispering to us that the season is about to conclude.  All the elements work together; the composition, color, values and brushwork to make sense of the chaotic beauty of nature.

NOAPS Penix-Into the Blue 36x36  “Into the Blue”, 36×36, Oil, Private Collection

Growing up among artists, Derek Penix only discovered his own talent and passion for painting shortly after high school. Once he began, his skill was quickly recognized; his paintings began to sell, and he was committed to his art.

NOAPS Penix Manhattan II 36x40 oil Derek Penix  “Manhattan II”, 36×40, Oil, Private Collection

Penix is largely a self-taught artist, though he has taken workshops with Quang Ho and C.W. Mundy, the latter being his most recent and helpful mentor and friend.  His work is impressionistic, being inspired by artists such as Sargent, Richard Diebenkorn and Dekooning.

NOAPS Penex Koi Large  “Koi”, Oil, Private Collection

Derek paints strictly in oil, and tends to work in series.  “Abundance”, pictured above, is one of 12 paintings in a series featuring peach trees.  He is not committed to one genre, though, and finds his inspiration in many places, including his travel while teaching workshops.

His palette consists of a range of brands including titanium white, cadmium yellow light, cadmium yellow medium, cadmium yellow deep, cadmium orange, cadmium red light, permanent rose, cerulean blue, cobalt blue, ultramarine blue, viridian green, yellow ochre and Vandyke brown.  Working from photos, Penix prefers studio work.

Penix is currently working on a large commission of 10 paintings, and has come to realize that inspiration, that fickle mistress, is not something to wait for, but to seek.  And that one of the best things for an artist is to have something waiting in the wings…for Derek it is his next series: abstract paintings, where he will explore the play of color.

NOAPS Penix Renewal 36x33 small  “Renewal”, 36×33, Oil, Private Collection.

Derek Penix teaches workshops around the country; to visit his website and learn more about the workshops, go to  His work is represented by Claggett Rey Gallery, Vail, CO; Gallery 1261, Denver, CO; and Elizabeth Pollie Fine Art, Harbor Springs, MI.

Written by Patricia Tribastone, NOAPS Blog Director

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