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poppy james

Poppy’s atmospheric images are simplified and distilled to embody an essential sense of place. They vary from being dreamy and contemplative to dark and moody. Poppy works within that ancient and broad tradition of looking at a landscape, drawing, making colour notes and combines this with digital photography. The image is then made later in her studio. Compositions which have a strong abstract quality are chosen to for the possibility of dividing the picture plane horizontally into unequal bands of paint intersected by occasional verticals. Most compositions involve water and are often executed on a coloured ground. Poppy prepares her supports herself usually preferring the irregular surface of muslin or some ‘found’ and quirky support to the perfect canvas.

She uses the traditional media of oil, acrylic and particularly egg tempera. The purity of egg tempera is attractive and the possibility of building up layers quickly, as well as the fact that the paint can be opaque or deliciously ephemeral. For the tempera she uses traditional gesso panels but her work is unlike most tempera painters because she exploits the flowing nature of this watery medium. She is fascinated and excited by the support surface which she finds almost as inspiring as the subject matter. She is at her best experimenting with the possibilities of traditional media and playing with paint on sometimes unusual surfaces, in unusual ways and often with unusual results.

Cape BurnhamCape Burnham - Egg Tempera

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