Judith Jopp

My beginnings

Art making is a visceral and tactile experience that feels elemental and essential to me.

I have a vivid childhood memory of creeping into my father’s studio and inhaling the chalky smell of wet clay and heady tang of oil paint. The unheated room was always cool, filled with the musty smell and murky light of the basement. Risking the sticky web of spiders, I reached for the flood lamp, and with the sharp click of the switch, a burst of light illuminated the cramped corner where my father set up shop. I loved the underwater feeling of the damp air and muted sounds of the outside world.

In middle school, the art room became my haven. Stepping across the threshold brought me into a space where all was right in my world, despite anything that happened outside of it.

Making art still brings me to that inner world of calm, curiosity and creativity.

Textiles and Fiber arts

I fell in love with textiles during a college weaving class. I was equally mesmerized by the physical nature of the work as I was with the visual aspects of watching patterns and colors emerge from the loom.

Years later I was drawn to quilting, which began my fascination with cutting things up and arranging them into something else entirely.

At the same time I was learning to quilt, I was introduced to wool felting through the Waldorf school my children attended in their elementary years. This, in turn, led me to explore surface design techniques with Twin Cities fiber artist Deborah Foutch and therapeutic charcoal studies with artist Donna Webb. Aside from technique, they taught me how to play again – how to delight in exploration of texture and color, to embrace failure as an experiment to learn from, and to try any medium that inspired me. The seedbed of my adult art practice grew from the teachings and encouragement of these two amazing women.

What I do

My art practice includes different mediums – primarily pastel, charcoal, mixed media and wool felting. I often draw inspiration from nature, though it is never my intent to mimic nature or to capture it realistically. My art is my half of the dialog, my internal response to the world around me. It is a distillation of the complexity of life into simple shapes, a single scene, a fleeting impression.

I aim to bring my inner world out through the tactile experiences of my hands. Art making is as much a physical, sensual experience for me as it is about expressing a creative vision.


Judith Jopp
Studio A, Homewood Studios
2400 Plymouth Avenue
Minneapolis, MN 55411

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