Introducing Artist No. 44 – Poppy Dully

Poppy Dully is a painter, printmaker, and book artist. She has a degree in design and cultural anthropology from UC Berkeley, a Masters in Public Health from UC Los Angeles, and for over 20 years she worked in fundraising and non profit management. “Since 2002, I have devoted myself to my art. I started with pastels on paper. With the guidance of talented mentors, I developed my drawing, painting and print making skills. I paint principally with oils on canvas or wood panels. I recently acquired a 24″x 36″ Ettan etching press for my studio. Book arts evolved out of my interest in printmaking and my love of books.”

“I just completed a major commission for Oregon Health Authority, Center for Health Statistics aka Vital Records, at the Oregon State Office Building in Portland. The CHS representative found me through Portland Open Studios in January. I replied to an inquiry, met with the project manager and staff and worked closely with them for the next five months on creating four works of art for the public lobby of their offices. The work includes three monotypes, a triptych called Life Cycles: Early Years, Middle Years, and Later Years and a 3’x5’ acrylic painting titled Passages of Time. All the work is installed in the 2nd floor lobby and available for public viewing.”

As a printmaker, Poppy’s work begins with research to find books that she is interested in reading and that lend themselves to visual interpretations. “I research the books, related films, information on the author, and film history. I am particularly attracted to older films and those with dramatic cinematography. I print on the pages of the selected book, using monotypes that are created with oil based ink on Plexiglas panels. These monotypes can be printed up to two times, first the original run and the second, the ghost, so the edition (if there is one) is unique and one of a kind. The pages are then adhered to an accordion paper panel which can be pulled out to view the story through the printed page and the related imagery. The printed pages are attached to the original book covers.

the crucial job of artists is to find a way to release materials into the animated middle ground between subjects, and so initiate the difficult but joyful process of human connection.” poet Ann Lauterbach

For the Portland Open Studios fall tour, Poppy will set up a work table in the center of her studio for use by her visitors. “I provide instructions on simple books to construct and lots of materials to make these books unique and personalized. The guests can take their books home – all ages enjoy this participatory activity.”

Introducing Artist No. 62 – Shannon Buck

Shannon Buck is a printer and artist. Her great grandfather was a professional illustrator and designed puppet sets in Europe, and her Grandmother was a skilled Draftsperson. She says she “was raised by bookworms. I learned letterpress printing from old-school Printers.

“I can recall in elementary school just wanting to color all day, and I loved observing other kids drawings and taking note of their styles and what worked and what didn’t. As a teenager I felt unsatisfied with my role in art-making and instead devoured books and discovered poetry and short stories, and that is what has formed my work to this day: unresolved narratives. While growing up in the South, I worked with the city to find venues for small art shows in vacant buildings.”

I asked about her process: “I am always drawing and observing. I trace over my drawings with a soft pencil and then transfer them onto linoleum, which creates a reverse of the image. This is necessary for printing. I often draw things upside down in my sketchbook; it keeps me from getting lost in the details. (I set letterpress type, which is done upside down, so my brain is already wired this way.) I print my smaller works on a tabletop letterpress. If I end up using a hand-pulled print digitally for a surface pattern or print, I source my colors from vintage textiles and photographs.”

She is currently working on a series of linocuts entitled ‘Intersections’.  “I am depicting Portland street intersections carved into linoleum that are printed on rice paper. Using relief printing as a medium means I’m always conscious of lights and darks, negative space and contrast, and I have to improvise to create grey areas. This balancing act formed my basis for the work as I witness the changes within the Portland urban landscape and how the intersections between race, social status, and the old and the new converge.”

Another series of linocuts that I am currently working on focuses on women who have inspired and challenged me. I started this series during the 2016 election. I donate 15% of each sale of the prints to Portland’s YWCA Domestic Violence Services.

Art is a language. We all start out speaking the language as children and then are subjected to various influencers that steer us in a direction that causes us to judge the process of art-making; what was originally inherent in our freedom to play. This is perhaps why our culture specifically seems to have a complex about art as a profession. Part of the role of being an artist is to continue the conversation of what it is to be human; peeling back those layers we conditioned ourselves to ignore.

Wait till you see what she has in store for visitors!  “I am excited to offer Portland Open Studios visitors an opportunity to pull their very own letterpress souvenir of the event. I will have one of my tabletop presses inked up and ready for printing, and I will give short tutorials on how the letterpress operates. Visitors can also peruse my collection of letterpress type and cuts, as well as my personal work of hand carved linoleum cuts.”

photo credit Jeff Rutherford