MY ARTWORK

Poppy Gall artwork

Weekend Inspiration

So many activities happening around these parts this weekend. I’m planning on visiting a few artist’s studios as part of the Vermont Craft Councils Foliage Open Studio Weekend. There’s a map on their website that locates participating artists and craftspeople. Pick an artist you’d like to meet or the area you’re in, and drop by. Or just follow the yellow Open Studio signs. You’d be surprised at how much artistic talent is nestled in Vermont’s hills!

And then there’s the 23rd Annual Vermont Sheep and Wool Festival being held Saturday and Sunday at the Tunbridge Fairgrounds. There will be shearing and border collie herding exhibitions, knitting and felting workshops, spinning contests and plenty of cozy sheepy products for sale.

And don’t forget to check out the variety of artwork on the block at  Highwater heARTS on-line auction that is raising flood relief money for the Vermont Foodbank. The bidding ends Saturday at noon.

This is one of my original and signed monoprints that I donated for the cause, called “Rebirth”.

Rebirth

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Even when I’m working with paper and paint textiles seem to be on my mind. This little group of monoprints was created by using paper strips woven together.

The top two prints are impressions of weaving and were made by inking and weaving paper strips together and placing them on the plate to print.

For the next two, I cut up old prints that I wasn’t satisfied with into strips and woven them together. You can see that I’d experimented with printing knit fabric in these two. I like the combination of knit and woven in the same piece.

The mouthwatering sherbert-y shades of mango, raspberry, citrus, watermellon and banana give them a cheerful and summery feel.

PoppyGall Burrs

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©Poppy Gall 2011

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©Poppy Gall 2011

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©Poppy Gall 2011

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Spiral Banner

I was leafing through an old portfolio the other day and came across photos of a site specific art installation that I made a number of winters ago. Inspired by Buddhist prayer flags I’d seen in Nepal, I wanted to create something that transferred some of their colorful and spiritual motion.

I stitched a 45” x 90” saffron colored satin banner (reminiscent of the color of Tibetan monk’s robes) with an exuberant magenta spiral which I hung in a tree at a local cross-country ski center. I chose a spot where four trails intersect and skiers stop to catch their breath, chat or decide which trail to take. It’s a nice place of convergence.

I’ve always been fascinated by the visible patterns made by wind and water and am particularly drawn to whirlpools and spirals. Typically a vortex pulls into itself toward the center. However I draw my spirals from the center outward in an open gesture. By adding “droplets” being flung from the spiral I indicated motion, energy and freedom.

My banner caught wind and sunlight all winter long and warmed up the surrounding blue-grey environment. Part of the art experience I envisioned was having skiers unexpectedly discover and ponder it deep in the woods.

SpiralBanner2©Poppy Gall 2011

SpiralBanner©Poppy Gall 2011

To see more of my artwork click here.

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This holiday season I’m getting back to a tradition that I’ve let slide the past few years. If you are one of my tele skiing girlfriends and are reading this – beware! Go no further! If you do, you’ve been forewarned!

I revived my old coffee liqueur recipe and have just finished bottling my own special brand of “Telelua” – a concoction of espresso, vanilla bean, maple syrup and vodka. It’s lovely drizzled over vanilla ice cream. A little nip in cocoa while skiing is nice too!

Part of its deliciousness is attributed to the label. It’s from a linoleum block print that I made years ago for greeting cards, and the same one I used before my Telelua custom lapsed.

If after reading this, you bump into one of my girlfriends on the hill before Christmas, please don’t tell her about the Telelua!

©PoppyGall_Telelua

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I just spent the day playing in a print studio making a glorious mess! Sweaters have been on my mind lately and somehow (surprise, surprise!) they worked their way into my printmaking. Collaging has also been on my mind and my sweater prints seemed like a fun place experiment mixing the two. I rather like the outcome and think they’d make nice greeting cards.

Recently I’ve been thinking it would be fun to start selling blank notecards of my work; start a little business on the side to fund my ski habit. I realize there are billions of cards on the market so I wonder if I’m being realistic? So I’m putting it out there – if these print/collages were cards, would they sell? Why or why not? Any words of wisdom would be greatly appreciated! Thank you so much!

©PoppyGall_GreenSweater

Green Button Sweater

©PoppyGall_OrangeSweater

Snowflake Sweater

©PoppyGall_MArbleSweater

Renaissance Sweater

My folk art prints might also make nice cards…

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‘Lacey The Cow’ is one of the reasons I’ve been lax in blogging lately. Thanks to those who’ve emailed me asking where I’ve been. This life-size fiberglass bovine, came into my life a couple of weeks ago as a blank canvas needing paint. She is part of the herd from The Cows Come Home to Burlington, Vermont community art project. 35 cows were distributed to area artists to decorate. The finished cows will be displayed from May through September along Church St. and other Burlington locations. Individual cows will be auctioned off at the end of the summer to help raise money for The Vermont Campaign to End Childhood Hunger.

2 CowsLacey came to me courtesy of Spruce Mortgage, one of the many cow sponsors. Concepts for designs came to me easily. With the encouragement of my ‘Poppy Gall Design’ facebook “fans”, and Tracy Dunphy who I enlisted to help me paint her, I went with my most complicated and favorite idea – a lace covered cow.

As a textile designer, I wanted to “upholster” her in an unexpected fabric design. I’ve had lace on my mind lately as those of you who’ve been reading my blog know. I’ve blogged about Cal Lane’s metal lace and Demakersvan’s lace fences. I’ve also been seeing a lot of lace motifs and textiles in the market while trend shopping this spring.

It occurred to me that lace on a cow is as incongruous as “a fish on a bicycle”. Lace is dainty or sexy – and face it, a cow just isn’t.

49HolsteinCowWanting to play off the black and white Holsteins that dot the Vermont landscape, I gave her a clean graphic look by substituting the Holsteins black blotches with lace motifs. This turned out to be a good idea, as painting the detailed lace was very time consuming; if she were covered entirely with lace – my first concept idea – I’d be cross-eyed and still seeing black and white! I finished her beautifcation program with a shiny red hooficure!

cowinprogress

I’m looking forward to seeing all the girls together in Burlington this week. Seeing them all together will be worth a trip from anywhere! To see photos of some of the other moovelous hand painted cows click here.

LaceyTheCow-©Poppy Gall 2010

Lacey The Cow

P.S. I have a new facebook page. “Like” it to see what sorts of projects I’m working on and to be an interactive part of my design studio. If you spot Lacey The Cow in Burlington, take a photo of the two (or more) of you and post it on my facebook page!

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Snow in the forecast again? We’ve had such lovely warm weather the last few days and hundreds of daffodils in our field are profusely blooming. On hearing this news I headed into the woods behind the house to gather fiddlehead ferns (Matteuccia struthiopteris) for supper before they were snowed under.
The picking season for fiddleheads is short. It doesn’t take long for the tightly wound stems to unfurl with a little coaxing from the warming earth. You’ve got to harvest them while they’re still curled up.
I like to heat a little olive oil in a pan with salt and pepper and sauté the fiddleheads lightly so their delectable earthy flavor remains intact. For last night’s dinner we complimented the fiddleheads with a piece of wild salmon and a glass of white wine; a perfect simple meal.
Foraging for fiddleheads is a nice way to see what else is going on in the woods this time of year – blooming trillium, trout lilies and spring beauties, burgeoning skunk cabbage, the beaver family’s logging activities and turkey tracks.
Many of my monoprints include vegetation picked up on my walks in the woods and fields around my house. I couldn’t resist incorporating fiddleheads into these 5” x 6” prints. To see more monoprints click here.
Wild edibles, fiddlehead ferns, ostrich ferns, Matteuccia struthiopteris, how to cook fiddlehead ferns, Poppy Gall art,
http://www.mobot.org/gardeninghelp/plantfinder/Plant.asp?Code=E180

Snow in the forecast again? We’ve had such lovely warm weather the last few days and hundreds of daffodils in our field are profusely blooming. With this prediction I headed into the woods behind our house to gather fiddlehead ferns (Matteuccia struthiopteris) for supper before they could be snowed under.

copyrightPoppyGall3

The picking season for fiddleheads is short. It doesn’t take long for the tightly wound stems to unfurl with a little coaxing from the warming earth. You have to harvest them while they’re still curled up, otherwise they tickle your tongue.

I like to heat a little olive oil in a pan with salt and pepper and sauté the fiddleheads lightly so their delectable earthy flavor remains intact. Wild salmon and a glass of white wine complimented the fiddleheads for last night’s dinner; a perfect simple meal.

Foraging for fiddleheads is a nice way to see what is going on in the woods this time of year – blooming trillium, trout lilies and spring beauties, burgeoning skunk cabbage, the beaver family’s logging activities and turkey tracks.

Many of my monoprints incorporate vegetation that I’ve gathered while walking in the woods and fields around my house. I couldn’t resist using fiddleheads in this series of 5” x 6” prints. To see more monoprints click here.

copyrightPoppyGall2

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copyrightPoppyGall

P.S. I have a new facebook page. Become a fan and be an interactive part of my design studio.
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Ti’amo!

Ti’amo – “I love you” in Italian!  I’ve been busy making monoprint valentines for my favorite Italian. One of the things I love about making monotype prints is that no print is the same as the next and that you can pull a series of related prints with distinctly different feels. For this series I used a jacquard knit fabric, paper snowflakes, ink and oil paint. They are 5″ x 7″.

Ti'amo

Ti'amo

Ti'amo

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It is days like this – white-blue-grey landscape, thermometer dipping below zero F, and windy – that I am grateful I remembered to start forced bulbs on the solstice! Finally, they have burst splendid color and fragrance all through my house. These blooms, such a joy and savior, help and help me through until gardening season in Vermont – so far away – begins! I hope you enjoy my photos.

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Body of Work

I’ve just returned from the Outdoor Retailer Show in Salt Lake City. I was approached by many people asking if I would post photos of the mannequin I created for the Isis booth for the summer 2008 show.

The waif-like body shape and androgynous features of the female mannequin inspired this piece. By applying familiar and famous images of nude women spanning hundreds of years of art history to the mannequin, I created a playful statement that celebrates a multitude of body shapes. Inspired by the “real” women rendered by Picasso, Gauguin, Matisse, Botticelli and others, I ignored the inhibitions of the fashion industry by acknowledging the fuller female body. Flowers and mountains – often considered feminine – are intertwined between the nudes. This is my first 3-dimensional collage. I am currently working on a series of art mannequins.

©Poppy Gall 2010 BodyOfWork

©Poppy Gall 2010

©Poppy Gall 2010

©Poppy Gall 2010

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©Poppy Gall 2010

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Wearable Art – Romanian Shepherd’s Coat
My inspiration for this knit piece came from the traditional long woolen coats worn by shepherds in Romania. I saw many of these in museums while traveling there.
The below-knee length coats are woven from homespun wool, usually the charcoal natural color of the sheep’s fleece. The body is relatively plain.
The yoke is the astounding part of the garment. It is elaborately embroidered with fanciful and colorful motifs; birds, flowers and fruits, and hangs part way down the back. The shepherd was able to pull it up over his head to keep him warm or roll it up and use it as a pillow while sleeping in the high pastures.
Insert front pic here
I chose to knit the yoke (rather than weave it) and I intentionally did not add the body, as I wanted to highlight just the yoke. I suppose I could add to it one day…
Insert back pic here
The motifs I embroidered are ones that I saw on textiles all over the country. I used the same color palette using yarns that I dyed myself. To see more of my work visit my website www.PoppyGall.com.
Insert close up here

My inspiration for this knit piece came from the traditional long woolen coats worn by shepherds in Romania. I saw many of these in museums while traveling there.

The below-knee length coats are woven from homespun wool, usually the charcoal natural color of the sheep’s fleece. The body is relatively plain.

The yoke is the astounding part of the garment. It is elaborately embroidered with fanciful and colorful motifs; birds, flowers and fruits, and hangs part way down the back. The shepherd was able to pull it up over his head to keep him warm or roll it up and use it as a pillow while sleeping on the ground in the high pastures.

I chose to knit the yoke (rather than weave it) and I intentionally did not add the body, as I wanted to highlight just the yoke. (I suppose I could add to it one day.) The motifs I embroidered are ones that I saw on textiles all over the country. I used a traditional color palette using yarns that I dyed myself.

©Poppy Gall 2010

©Poppy Gall 2010

©Poppy Gall 2010

©Poppy Gall 2010

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Folk Art Inspiration – Monoprints
Warm, cheery colors and nature inspired folk art themes are close to my heart. For centuries the European peasant class created richly decorated everyday practical objects; textiles and apparel, cooking utensils and tools, furniture and ceramics. Using beautiful things enhanced the hard work of living close to the land.
Ceramic stove tiles from Eastern Europe influenced the choice of subjects in my monoprints shown below. I diverged from traditional folk art color schemes that are produced by natural dyes and pigments, to more modern color combinations. While it could take months or years to produce a single folk art object in the old days, I’ve worked a little more quickly, pulling prints every fifteen minutes or so.
insert Blue Vase here
insert Deer here
insert Yellow Vase here
insert blue 2 vase here
Warm, cheery colors and nature inspired folk art themes are close to my heart. For centuries the European peasant class created richly decorated everyday practical objects; textiles and apparel, cooking utensils and tools, furniture and ceramics.
Using beautiful things enhanced the hard work of living close to the land.
Ceramic stove tiles from Eastern Europe influenced the choice of subjects in my monoprints shown below. I diverged from traditional folk art color schemes that are produced by using natural dyes and pigments, to more modern color combinations. While it could take months or years to produce a single folk art object in the old days, I’ve worked a little more quickly, pulling prints every fifteen minutes or so.
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Whew! Here in Vermont we’ve made it through “Deer Season”, a month of staying out of the woods while hunters stalk deer with bow and arrow, rifle and musket and share their bounty at game suppers.

Naturally I’ve been thinking about deer a lot lately with all this activity. I decided to celebrate the deer that dodged the bullet, so to speak, by drawing one for my e-holiday card. Happy holidays to all and thanks for checking in on my blog!

xxx

5x7Deer

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