This month, we spoke with Paige Poppe. She's sure to spark joy and wonder in your everyday life. Paige’s bright creations are sure to give your spirit a lift this summer!
Here she is in her own words:
How did you get started creating your pieces?My mom bought me a little travel watercolor set at Arizona Art Supply when I was 12 years old. I remember enjoying how well watercolor could capture the vibrancy and motion of nature. I still have that travel kit and use it today!
Over the years I practiced with other mediums, and even created custom skateboard paintings for a time, but reconnected with watercolor while I was in Architecture school. For the 4th year of my degree I studied in Copenhagen, Denmark. My friend asked me to take a watercolor class with her and my love of watercolor instantly came back.
I found myself spending my free time biking around the city, where I would pull off into parks and paint the buildings that inspired me. This class had an architectural focus so I learned how to paint a more precise style of watercolor, but I took another watercolor class during my final Thesis year of school that focused more on color, movement, and composition.
Now I can see how these contrasting styles are both present in my work, which captures the joy and vibrance of nature. I credit my teachers for encouraging creativity and practice, Søren Amsnæs in Copenhagen and Tom di Santo at Cal Poly.
What’s the favorite part of your work/what you make?
When working with watercolor, I find that my work varies from more loose to very detailed. My style depends on the mood I'm in, what I think the art is asking to become, or what a Client has requested.
Over the years I have found myself becoming a more patient Artist, which has allowed me to add more detail into my work. I never expected to be able to spend weeks on one piece, but I have found my most highly detailed paintings to be some of my favorites! Especially when it comes to painting a landscape full of flora & fauna, it's very rewarding to paint in all of the life that makes nature so full of vibrance and movement.
How do you express your creativity through your work?
Color is what I implement most often to add creativity to my work! My art is a vibrant take on nature, and I love infusing my paintings with rainbows and neons, bold and unexpected colors. Color is where I find my imagination runs wild.
My first ever watercolor collection I created in March 2015 is called "Technicolor Botanical" which is bursting with cacti in a rainbow of hues. This theme has continued through my work over the years from hot pink mushrooms to technicolor butterflies.
What brings you joy?
Sunshine! Spending time with friends & family. Painting, sketching, and designing products. Making murals! Biking, swimming in lakes. Trying new sports. Giant salads! Trying new recipes, baking, the farmers market. Shopping at local boutiques. Experimenting with photography & videography. Cats & dogs. Browsing a vintage shop. Joy can be found everywhere!
What challenge(s) have you overcome?
Essentially everything I've done as an Artist from the creative work to the business has been a new experience for me, as I'm self-taught in both areas. But once I've done something for the first time it's no longer new, which gives me confidence to move forward and continue pursuing anything I haven't tried before.
For example, painting large scale murals felt overwhelming at first, and is now one of the things I enjoy creating most. One of my most recent murals was 24' long by 10' tall! It was a physical challenge, but so rewarding once finished.
Anything exciting in the works/coming up for you?
Summer gives me time to plan out my upcoming collections through the remainder of the year! Soon I'll be hosting my Summer Studio Sale online, followed by a release of new greeting cards, a special collection of pieces in vintage frames, and a mini Scottsdale collection celebrating my hometown!
Once we're closer to the holidays I'll release my annual wall calendar (this will be my 6th year creating a calendar!) and my hand painted ceramic ornaments too. I'll have many of these pieces available at Junk in the Trunk at Westworld of Scottsdale September 16th-18th, which will be my first event to kick off the fall season.
What do you hope people get from viewing and surrounding themselves with your art?
I hope that my art is uplifting & brings viewers joy. This was one of the early goals of my desert paintings. Once my eyes were opened to the beauty of the desert, I enjoyed sharing that perspective with natives & visitors alike so they could appreciate it as well.
Besides paintings, what other items are you creating in your studios?Beyond original artworks, I use my paintings to create a wide variety of designs! I have a product line of 400+ products including enamel pins, jewelry, stickers, notepads, greeting cards, patches, mugs, and more!
My designs are available at local boutiques in the Valley including MADE Art Boutique. The product design process is one of my favorite avenues as an Artist because holding the finished product in my hand that I envisioned is very satisfying.
I think because I started selling my art while still in college, I began creating products because I wanted to offer art at an accessible price point to my peers. Every item in my product collection is $50 or under, which I think is a great way to start an art collection. Original paintings are very special, but it’s so fun to enjoy art until you’re ready to invest in originals.