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Artist Statement

The creative process for me started at an early age.  Initially it was the shapes, colors, lines and even the sounds experienced throughout my life that impacted my art .  As a child visiting my grandparents farm, it was there I came in contact with the varying colors, shapes and textures found in the fields.  Also I would follow the lines made by those blacktop roads which sliced through the different landscapes .  These visuals started to help shape my imagination.  Sounds were also an important aspect in my early years.  The subtle, but complex sounds of nature, to the intense sounds of an urban environment, and eventually the sounds of music.  The varying rhythms and intensities of music became a huge part of my life, and now my art.  The culminations of all these different aspects have inspired me to find my own way to communicate to others my view of life.

I started with black and white photography to interpret what I saw in this dynamic world.  I created intriguing compositions out of common everyday scenes and objects.  The images were then altered in the darkroom by abstracting and simplifying parts of the composition.  It was the manipulation of the work that really intrigued me.  I could take a medium and transform it into my own creation.  It was the beginning of my transition to painting.

Around this period I discovered the work of Willem de Kooning, Richard Diebenkorn, Clifford Still and other abstract painters of the mid 20th Century.  I was also becoming aware of, and eventually immersed in ,  the improvised playing of modern jazz musicians such as John Coltrane, Miles Davis, Thelonious Monk and others.  The impact of all of these artists had a complex influence on me by introducing me to a new way of communicating.  They inspired me to move into painting with freer, gestural compositions.  With paint, and the making of spontaneous, honest marks, I was able to find a truer voice.

The move into painting brought a new expressiveness through color and texture.  With a brush stroke or a knife line I can convey a feeling that draws a viewer into my paintings, creating a unique connection with them. I am also creating specific spaces of calm,  places to rest for the viewer in contrast to the tension, or action in the rest of the composition.  It is with the layers of paint , applied over the history of the composition, that I want the viewer to be intrigued and curious by, and to desire to discover more for themselves and move further into the piece.

As you look through my work I hope that a short glimpse into my background gives it a new perspective.  I hope the viewer can discover, or rediscover, a connection with my work.


"With a brush stroke, or a knife line of color I can convey a feeling that draws a viewer into my paintings, creating a unique connection with them."  
—Joseph Poppy


Northrup King Building

View work by appointment or stop by an NKB event.

Northrup King Building

1500 Jackson Street
NE Minneapolis, MN 55413


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