I am more at home in the woods than in a crowd; I hold the area in western Massachusetts close to my heart. I live in Shelburne Falls, Massachusetts, along the Deerfield River. Local woodlands, the river, and my own backyard where I grow native plants provide me with much of my subject matter . As I love to experiment with media, I incorporate a variety of non- traditional techniques along with the traditional in order to achieve the effect I want. The majority of my pieces depict a collaged foreground of realistic wildflowers or birds against an impressionistic background. Sometimes I slip into abstraction or whimsy, or straight landscape.
Polly French has been following her muse for forty five years, ever since she left her profession as an occupational therapist to be an artist in the mid 1960’s. She has “chosen to focus on creation” as a way of life ever since.
Creation for Polly began with silkscreen and block printing in the 1960’s evolving into large,abstract collages which reflected the expansive socio-economic mood of the 1980’s.
She moved to Shelburne Falls from an urban environment in 1986, around the same time that the Salmon Falls Artisanís Showroom opened, as has continued to be a featured artist in their gallery, exhibiting works that range from whimsical caricature to serene images of nature.
Throughout her career, French has created complexly layered, emotionally evocative imagery using a combination of mediums: fabric, manipulated photographs, watercolor and acrylic on varying textured surfaces.
In creating works for her upcoming show, Polly has used computer manipulation of imagery and patterned fabric, acrylic on canvas and paper.
“The muse will do what it pleases” Polly says, “(It) has come up with crazy things for this show.”
“Art is my life”, Polly says: “The pieces are my children;I never owned them. I am the caretaker, but then I have to let them go.The muse is a gift that comes to me, goes through me, and gets translated, manifested, and then has to go forth.”
I market both original paintings and prints which I make digitally of my work. I believe everyone who wants to be surrounded by artwork should be able to afford it, and I have made it a mission to keep my prices affordable.