Pepponi the artist behind the lively paintings; an Interview with the artist

Who are you?

My nickname and my shop name is  PEPPONI

Birgit Kalkofen Masai Mara

 Tell us about your personal life.

I was born in Germany.

Since then I have travelled around the world a lot. I’ve lived and worked – tourism industry for thirty three years – in Europe, the United States, Asia and Africa, eleven of those years in Kenya. The last twenty years I have been living in Palma de Mallorca/Spain.

I’m single and own 2 wonderful dogs. One is called Pepe and  was still a puppy when a friend found him abandoned in the woods he is the best funny little man I’ve ever had. The other one is Biene, I rescued her from a local animal shelter, where she was about to be put down. We sometimes call her Naomi Campbell, because of her missing tail, when she gets excited she wags it in a way that makes her look like a model walking down the catwalk.

For more information about me and my life you can visit my personal website www.pepponi.de.

 Your shop is?

My shop is PEPPONI art.

What is your Etsy Shop about?

Original, unique paintings, collage with acrylics, gouache, watercolour, ink, mixed media on wood, canvas, paper.

Why did you decide to start Pepponi?

I started to paint as a child, ever since painting has been my favourite hobby. Even during my time in Kenya I was painting although conditions were very difficult fighting against all odds such as not being able to find the right materials, humidity.

Ten years ago, during a long period of severe health problems painting proved to be my way of finding some kind of balance and meditation. During the passage of years my colourful paintings have found some friends, admirers that became customers.

In January 2008 I found out about Etsy and opened my shop. Due to my health problems it is wonderful to work from my home and be able to sell to people all over the world. Some friends even request my custom art made for special occasions, such as special birthday gifts or other special occasions.

Through my Etsy shop I got in contact with www.new-art-review.com. They published some of my paintings in two of their art books, such as “Equus” and “Margin Call – Outsider Art” (available in bookshops and Amazon).

Meanwhile I had a few exhibitions at Clinica Picasso in Palma, one is ongoing at the moment and some of my paintings are available at “Casa Creativa” in Llucmayor/Mallorca (www.casacreativamallorca.com)

 How do you make your products?

After having tried out a lot of materials I have a certain preference in painting with acrylic colors on wood. I love playing with light, the portrayal of perspectives and mostly the strong expression of colors that is my trademark. Yet I often use different styles and techniques because I love experimenting. While I’m painting my two dogs keep me company laying on the sofas next to me keeping me company.

What inspires you?

Practically anything inspires me – other peoples art, landscapes, the seasons, reading, textiles, exhibitions, colours, nature, light, the beachside, the waterfront, sunset, sunrise, my garden, wild life, wild trees, flowers, animals, pictures, anything and everything around me. I can still recall the colours and smells of my time in Africa.

Who is your favorite artist?

I love the work of many different artists. I don’t really have any specific one from whom I draw inspiration. I like to visit art galleries and exhibitions look through art books and catalogues to get inspiration among other things.

What do you love?

I love straight people, my family, my dogs, good company and friends. Nature, plants that grow in my garden and the ones I plant and grow. My house, wildlife, flowers, travelling to different countries and seeing different cultures, taking photos, reading, listening to music, Going to the movies, all animals, owls especially, cooking – baking, spicy food, dreaming and getting lost. At the moment I’m not a morning person!

Not a morning person

 While you are creating, you love to listen to?

Different kinds of music like Lounge music, pop, rock and classical music.

 A funny fact about you is?

My friends say that I have a lot of humor more I can’t say.

Watching my dogs or other animals makes me laugh out loud. I’m not afraid of animals but I respect them a lot. I’m very sensitive and emphatic. I like to protect children, animals and nature, so sometimes I feel like Don Quixote, always fighting with my strengths and my weaknesses. Whenever I see or read something sad even watching a kids movie like “Heidi” or “All dogs go to Heaven”, I end up crying.

I hate bullfights ?and others and I support many organisations who fight against cruelty to animals.

 Where do you live?

In Spain and more particularly on a beautiful, well known island Palma de Mallorca. I live in one of its most beautiful areas, a suburb near the main city of Palma. From my house I can see the waterfront with its wonderful beachside. I get to look at the changing colours of the sea and I love to watch the coming and going of the cruise ships. In the summer months the island is crowded with tourists, but our area has only three tiny hotels, so here we only see them walking along the promenade on their way to Palma City. When I moved here, I was one of the first foreigners in this area, in the mean time things have changed and now we have a few more “giri” foreigners living here. During wintertime, it can get very stormy with lots of high waves, this is the time I enjoy most to walk with my dogs in the salty sea breeze.

You could live on this food for the rest of your life:

I love cooking and baking! I love fruits, salads, vegetables, sweets, ice cream, pastry and spicy food. My favourite food of all is Thai food!! Even though I am German my cooking is more international.

Favorite book you’ve read recently. Title Author publisher and why you like it. I love to read, mostly crime novels, travel books, biographies and cooking books. I have so many books around my house that I decided to gift to myself an e-book reader that I actually find very handy!

Favorite Film you’ve seen recently

“Out of Africa” is one of my favorites, reminding me my time in Kenya.

Also, “Pretty Woman” is a must. “Saving Grace” is the funniest, “Best exotic Marigold Hotel” made me dream and “The Untouchables” was very touching.

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