A Golden Nugget – Penney the Clown

It was an afternoon that I spent running errands with my 8 year old. Little did I expect to find gold. At the Briar Patch we saw a cute face painter working in the outdoor seating area.

In costume, Penney the Clown, breezily transforms a little boy into a lion, while chatting casually with his folks.  Once he is done, he proudly prances around the patio roaring while his brother gets a matching treatment; mom is painted with eye accents that color coordinate with both of her boys. What a fun picture they make together!

Wow…she’s very good!  And fast, I think.  As my son awaits his turn in Penney’s chair, I scan through face painting images on one of my Pintrest Boards.

I am a fan of body painters. This art form, when done well, is spectacular, delicate…and fleeting. I am thrilled to watch this woman work. Her talent is right up there with some of the best that I have seen.


Penney (or Alison Kenyon as her day-to-day self) begins to change my son from a boy into a goblin. We visit as she sponges and paints. I tell her that I admire the face painting on the technical support team at SmugMug – they appear as comic book characters on their website – she pauses briefly to respond, “Oh I did those!”

I feel as if I have discovered, yet another, gold nugget in my own back yard. This woman is an accomplished fine art body painter. She won the International Face and Body Art competition in San Francisco in 2004. Her work regularly takes her to corporate and theatrical events in the Bay Area.

She is a star – yet she hangs out in front of the Briar Patch – and this award winning artist cheerfully transforms our children into anything that they can imagine.

Next time I plan a party or event, you can bet she’ll be on the top of my list. Nevada County is such a great place to live!

big A face- web

Frequently asked questions about body painting on Alison’s Body Masterpiece website.

With such a dramatic goblin face, we had to got out and celebrate with a root beer float.


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