2017-09-01 / Arts & Entertainment

Popo Flanigan is where she’s supposed to be

Artist Spotlight
By Kathy O’Flinn

“Beach Entrance Central Avenue” 36”x24” acrylic 
Popo Flanigan “Beach Entrance Central Avenue” 36”x24” acrylic Popo Flanigan Popo Flanigan always wanted to be a painter. While she didn’t have the opportunity to go to art school — her father thought secretarial school was more practical — she eventually developed her art talents through years of study on her own, a workshop here, a class there.

“I studied in Italy, in France, and by now I’ve taken every art class you can think of, in 2D anyway,” she said.

In her mid life she built a business in Flourtown, Pa. designing and selling jewelry, then eventually moved to Old Naples where she has her own studio, shaded by a magnificent mango tree, and an art-filled home gallery that she calls “Smileville.” “People tell me that my paintings make them smile,” she said.

Speaking of her life now as a painter, she said, “You always end up where you are supposed to be.” And she captures on canvas her Naples environment, whether it’s the views out her window, which often include her clothesline, or one of the many Naples beach entrances. Whimsical fish paintings and commissioned dog portraits also fill the walls of her home. Pointing to a beige colored shaggy dog portrait she said, “He looks like someone I dated.”

Popo Flanigan occasionally paints outdoors in her signature paint-splattered whites. Contributed Popo Flanigan occasionally paints outdoors in her signature paint-splattered whites. Contributed Flanigan’s work is often described as impressionistic. “They say they see Van Gogh or Matisse. It’s certainly not realism,” she said. With lots of pattern and bright colors her many still life paintings suggest a moment in time that tempts viewers to imagine their own stories for her paintings.

After drawing her design on the canvas in phthalo blue, she double-loads or triple-loads her filbert brush from a palette of seven acrylic colors: acra magenta, cadmium red, phthalo blue, ultramarine blue, hansa yellow, cadmium medium yellow, and titanium white. Sometimes she’ll mix them on the palette. Sometimes she’ll mix them on the canvas. “I prefer the six colors and white so when you travel all you need are seven tubes of paint,” she said.

Flanigan continues taking workshops. “It’s just great energy to be working with other artists and I always learn something,” she said.

During the summer she teaches in Brigantine, N. J., and this past summer her work was featured at Blufish, an Avalon, N. J., gallery. In season, she will occasionally exhibit at Artcrafters in Cambier Park but for those who wish to see more of her work, she has an open door policy: “If they see my open screen door on my studio in the backyard, come in, say hi, watch me paint and I’ll show you the gallery.”

Visit popoflanigan.com or email her at popogirls@me.com for her studio address.

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