Poppy Dodge is obsessed with painting.

“I am. I can’t stop myself,” she said recently, as the Petaluma-based artist set out to release a new series of abstract paintings suggested by the ecstatic colors of the beach blankets. Although deeply inspired by the richness of the fabric – from the joint quilts of quilts and spools of dyed yarns to the chunky blankets evoking family vacations and rainy days by the fireplace – Dodge primarily expresses its love of fabric through acrylic paint.

Layers and coats of paint.

“People keep telling me: ‘Come on, you have to put them on real textiles’, and that is on my to-do list, ”Dodge said, the faint glimmer of real promise hanging from his words. “Because I like the feel of the fabric. When I lived in New Zealand with my husband and children, surrounded by sheep and wool, I started to weave. On a loom. And it was like painting with wool, and I got completely obsessed.

She painted by day and wove by night. In New Zealand, it seemed like the right thing to do.

“But then, when we moved to Petaluma three years ago, I started focusing only on painting,” Dodge said, noting that the tangential exploration of weaving had a permanent impact on his approach to his painting. art. “I’m still the weavers and quilters on Instagram, especially the improvised quilters,” she continued. “They put together random pieces, inventing the most perfectly imperfect patterns. But I like The painting, so I finally thought it would be fun to try and paint the way quilters or weavers weave.

Artists and other creatives often wait for those long-awaited “ah ha” moments to happen. For Dodge, it was that moment.

“It was so exciting,” she said. “I created two different series of paintings, all inspired by the improvised quilt. For the series I’m about to release, I decided to keep learning and really polish that up. I made painted quilts, and now I’m doing the family beach blanket.

The idea of ​​the beach blanket was a direct response to COVID-19 and the forced retirement that ended so many people’s summer travel plans.

“We were there, summer canceled, nothing happened,” Dodge said. “We were all at home with our doors and windows closed to keep out smoke from the fires, I have two boys, a husband and a black lab, and everyone was bouncing off the walls.

To deal with it, she started painting summaries inspired by the tone and color of different nostalgic moments in her life. With paintings meant to capture the energy of tidal pools and beach grass, lollipops and candy necklaces, sailboats and ocean rocks, she created a pair of works inspired by an old blanket. family beach which she still fondly remembers.

“Who knows where it is now, but I can look at old family photos, and a lot of them have this blanket,” she says. “So I did those two, and this year, when deciding what to do for my next series, I just knew I had to keep exploring that. What the blankets symbolize for me are things like recreation, group togetherness, better days, but also a feeling of warmth and even protection.

One of the ways Dodge approaches their art, when it comes to selling their artwork, is by delaying the release of a new series until they have plenty of paintings ready to sell, which Usually makes them available to newsletter subscribers and former customers. The 2021 Beach Blanket Series will officially launch on Friday, May 28. Given the restrictions of the current pandemic, the “opening” will take place through its website, PoppyDodge.com.

“I love these new paintings so much,” she says. “I am really very excited to share them.”

It would be easy to assume that Dodge has been an artist her entire life, but there has been a long time in which pursuing an artistic career was the farthest thing on her mind. She studied psychology and sociology in Tacoma, Washington, in hopes of entering some sort of mental health field.

“I love stories, I love people and I love helping them,” she said.

But a creative seed had been planted in her childhood, having grown up under the influence of a professional artist.

“My mom was an artist, so I guess art has always been a dominant part of my life,” says Dodge, who grew up in Cincinnati before her family moved to Phoenix, Arizona when she was 7. . studio and a painting studio in our house, and I was still drawing and making stuff. My earliest memories, literally, are being on the floor of my mom’s studio, working on old pieces she didn’t care about anymore. It was just a very creative house. “

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