PAINTER. AMSTERDAM. NETHERLANDS.
My name is Anne Mei Poppe, age 32, born and raised in Amsterdam. My paintings mirror the way the lives of loved ones are connected. In some way art is always a self-portrait of the artist. I think you can say that I myself am in a phase of life where love is central, newly married with two young children. I like vintage, the smell of coffee in the morning and my big and loud family.
I have been drawing and painting since a very young age. I think it’s fair to say it has always been my biggest hobby. And art has always been a part of my life. My mother studied art history and used to take me to every museum when I was young. She could stare at a single painting for hours (at least in my mind), while I was drawing the art works of the great masters. When I was 8 years old I drew a bunch of visitors in MoMA without clothes, probably influenced by the more revealing paintings haha. Two years ago we moved into our new home and I wanted to create a painting for our empty walls, which I couldn’t find somewhere else. I started painting, obsessively. Then I decided to do my first exhibition and I sold everything. It all took off quickly from there.
I regularly look at my painting from a distance while painting. If a work is nearly finished, I often hang the work in our bedroom, so I know exactly how to finish it the next day. Trying to feel free (as a kid would be) and not being afraid to make ‘mistakes’ works very liberating and leads to the best and most surprising results.
I often start with just an empty canvas. I stare at it for a while and visualize the image I have in my mind on the empty canvas. I know which feeling I want to portray and the image gradually emerges while painting. I work intuitively and never use a sketch as a blueprint for a painting. When I start painting, I become rather obsessed. I lose track of time and all I want is to finish it.
The feeling of creating a work from scratch that touches and surprises you is very addictive. My first memories are filled with paint and pencils. Since I was very little I have learned to observe people and their emotions. They intrigue me. Painting is a way to let go of everything and express all emotions I feel at that very moment.
I’m greatly inspired by my own relationships, but inspiration comes to me in many ways. The colors of David Hockney and Paul Gauguin and the drawings of Henri Matisse and Andy Warhol inspire me, and many other contemporary artists.
I have a studio at home with high ceilings and old yellow glass, which gives a romantic, funky light. For now I love having a studio at home, so I can paint whenever I feel like it and when I am inspired.