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One to Watch: Nathan Popp

Nathan Popp

Nathan Popp in his studio as photographed by Elizabeth Dreher

Radford University Department of Art graduate student Nathan Popp is featured as one of Watercolor Artist Magazine’s “Ones to Watch.” Popp and nine other watercolor artists are featured in this article.

The magazine is a staple in the watercolor industry and art professor Z.L. Feng has frequented these pages. It produces an article like this every year. Editors ask professors such as Feng and others in the field to recommend up and coming artists who use watercolor in a unique or creative way. This year Feng recommended that Popp enter his art and name for the article.

Nathan Popp is working on a Master of Fine Art with a concentration in watercolor. In 2008 he received a Bachelors of Fine Art with a concentration in watercolor at the University of North Texas in Denton.

Popp uses unique techniques to create surreal landscapes from abstract forms of watercolor paint. In the article he explains that he uses a wet-on-wet technique then adds dry materials such as salts and synthetic urea (chemical fertilizer). When the urea is added to wet paint on yupo paper it creates unique crystals when dried. He uses these abstract shapes and textures as inspiration to paint his landscapes.

Popp says that, “The duality of nature and the cycle of life are important to my body of work. Nature can be beautiful and awe-inspiring but can also be destructive and violent.” He also incorporates symbols of life, growth and death depending on the tone of the artwork.

Professors such as Feng from Radford University and Rob Erdle and Millie Giles from University of North Texas have been mentors for Popp.

Feng discusses Popp’s work saying that, “I enjoy Nathan’s surreal landscapes where trees and roots become the subject”.

The article that Popp is featured in is the December issue of the magazine and is available for purchase this month.

If you would like to see Popp’s work, please visit nathanpopp.com. To learn more about Radford University’s art program, visit www.radford.edu/mfa.

Nov 25, 2013
Elizabeth Dreher

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