Artists, Featured Posts, Artist Spotlight

Spotlight: Clayton Pennell

Artist Spotlight: Clayton Pennell

SEWE curates a collection of fine art from the nation’s most talented wildlife painters and sculptors. The Artist Spotlight campaign highlights an individual SEWE artist to allow our audience to learn more about the individual and the inspiration behind his or her work. Clayton Pennell has continued to provide exceptional, one-of-a-kind pieces for the SEWE online gallery and we are proud to showcase his talents again at SEWE 2022. He continues to embody the spirit of SEWE through his conservation efforts and acclaimed wildlife art. We know you will enjoy learning more about Clayton, and hope you will take the time to meet him while in Charleston next February.


Clayton Pennell is a naturalist, conservationist, and contemporary wildlife artist. His high-impact art portrays animals in a new light, focusing on form, design, and color in what many in the art world consider a form of abstract realism and natural pop art. He developed this distinctive style during his time as a hunting and fly-fishing guide, where he was able to hone into the detailed design and tones of wildlife. His work inspires the imagination, as his vibrant art invites the viewer to use their memories from the field to construct an interpretation of the animal that is as unique as the painting itself. Clayton’s work has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for conservation and his work has sold to art collectors across the globe. As a true believer in conservation, he has dedicated a portion of all profits of his art sales to go towards conservation efforts. Clayton’s studio resides in the Blue Ridge mountains of western North Carolina where he lives and paints with his wife, two children and dogs. Learn more about Pennell.

“My paintings demand the attention of both the eye and the mind, leaving the viewer filled with the simple complexity found in nature. I draw from all corners of the art world and nature to create a pioneering and universal style of art that stretches the limits of what wildlife art can be.” – Clayton Pennell

Bob Timberlake on Clayton Pennell

“Charles L. Dodgson once wrote back in 1862: “the only thing worth doing is what we do for others.” Clayton Pennell is on a life’s mission to do just that with his incredible artistic talent, to bring as much joy and beauty to others as possible — while using his god given talent to support and help fund many worthwhile conservation projects which make our lives and the world a better place. He has this wonderous insight and unique talent for focusing our attention on the incredible beauty of nature, its colors, and designs. I believe Clayton is one of those very few artists who sees and senses so very deeply what most don’t. He bares his very soul through his art and makes a simple feather more than a feather.” -Bob Timberlake

Abundance captures the enormity and complexity of a giant flock of waterfowl with simplicity and grace. The work envelops the viewer with the sheer multitude of pintails flying in all directions but is anchored by detailed pintails in the foreground, which seem to float on top of the canvas creating a truly three-dimensional experience for the viewer. With ‘Abundance’ Clayton has created a one-of-a-kind dioramic painting that comes alive while keeping the eye moving, granting new details to emerge with each viewing.”

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