Polly French has been following her muse for fifty some 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.Throughout her recent career, French has created complexly layered, emotionally evocative imagery using a combination of mediums and techniques: traditional painting, stamping, stenciling, finger painting, pencil and ink drawing, collaging with fabric and digitally manipulated photographs, watercolor, acrylic, all on varying textured surfaces.
“I am more at home in the woods than in a crowd”, Polly says, “and hold the area in western Massachusetts along the Deerfield River close to my heart. 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, birds or birches against an impressionistic background. Sometimes I slip into abstraction or whimsy, or straight landscape.
“Art is my life”, Polly continues, “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 and manifested.”
Belinda Lyons Zucker
"Jane" one of the fiber figures by Belinda Lyons Zucker
BELINDA LYONS ZUCKER
FLY AWAY HOME: An Exhibit Of Dolls And Figures From Black Folklore
Two squares from the "Ladies Moral Compass Quilt" sewn in 2017 by community members in and around Charlemont, MA