My work is a tribute to improvisational quilting, a tradition I deeply admire. Like a memory quilt, with its unpredictable stacking of shapes and colors, my pieces reflect on places I explored as a child, and the people and adventures that populate my past. I approach painting intuitively and am entirely process-driven. Obsessed with layering, I start with opaque layers of acrylic paint and follow with translucent washes. I pull combs through wet paint to strengthen depth and texture, building line and movement. Warm and cool colors live in harmony in my work and are inspired by years of travel and living in places from the arid, craggy Sonoran Desert down to crisp, cool New Zealand. These color memories are a central part of my work and the optimistic energy it conveys. I work in multiple series, exploring color and the vibrations and relationships each hue creates next to one another. For example, the Color Rhythm series seeks connection and interaction with various shapes and colors. My latest series, Color Cups, brings color and design together as a reminder of abundance and health. I like to think of my work as color celebrations; a stacking of playful color conversations joyfully stitching my life experiences together.
Poppy Dodge is an abstract painter living and working in Petaluma, California. Poppy is a self-proclaimed Color Maximalist who delights in creating harmony and balance using all the colors. Her work explores her obsession with stacking color and shapes and is influenced by modern quilting and abstract collage. Poppy graduated with her BFA from California State University East Bay with an emphasis in painting and drawing in 2003. Upon graduation, she moved to Los Angeles where she began her career in art education and studio art. In 2013, Poppy and her family seized an opportunity to move to Wellington, New Zealand. Inspired by living on the sea, Poppy’s work shifted from playful narratives to brightly colored abstracts. After five years abroad, Poppy and her family relocated back to Northern California in 2018. Poppy was the featured cover artist for UPPERCASE magazine (quilt-inspired theme) in Fall 2021 and was also listed in the LA Times Holiday Gift Guide in November 2021. Poppy can be found making art in her home studio, teaching 4th and 5th grade art at local Sonoma museums, and gathering inspiration on daily walks and hikes in beautiful Sonoma County.
What inspired you to create the work you showcased in the 'Chroma' exhibition?
My work is inspired by improvisational quilting, abstract collage, and my drive to explore color. This particular piece combines my love of geometric shapes found in quilting, like half-circles, triangles, and chunky squares, all mixed together in a dynamic pattern play. I strive to create visual interest with playful color combinations that keep your eyes moving all around the painting — wanting to come back for more.
Can you share some insights into your creative process? Where do you draw inspiration from when it comes to your color choices?
I am entirely process-driven. I rarely have an idea or an image that I want to convey when I start painting. I begin with very bright, fluorescent colors as a base and then, piece by piece, begin layering colorful shapes until I have a composition I am happy with. My color choices are consistently deeply saturated, bright colors like oranges, yellows, pinks, and blues. I truly believe these colors are a part of my DNA. These colors make me feel energized, awake, creative, and hopeful.
How did your medium of choice enhance your ability to convey the color in your artwork?
I currently use acrylic paint and love the versatility of textures, consistencies, and of course, the colors you can achieve with them. I rarely use colors "straight from the tube" and mix all my favorite colors — dusty pinks, earthy greens, deep purples, and rusty reds.
What do you want viewers and collectors to know when interacting with your art?
I am a nomad! I have had the opportunity to live across the world, and my work reflects that unique experience. Warm and cool colors live in harmony in my work and are inspired by years of travel and living in places from the arid, craggy Sonoran Desert, the breezy and temperate Mediterranean, and down to crisp, cool New Zealand. These color memories are a central part of my work and the optimistic energy it conveys. I like to think of my work as color celebrations; a stacking of playful color conversations joyfully stitching my life experiences together.
What are you currently working on and looking forward to this season?
I am currently working on a series exploring color through vessels and cups. I am experimenting with different-sized line work within abstracted curved shapes. The colors are extra hot — lots of fluorescent red and pink. I don't usually explore such representational objects, so it's different and challenging in all the good ways.