Interview with the Artist: PEPPI ELONA
“If I wasn’t making art, I’d be in the insane asylum – really. It is more than a desire, it is a physical need.”
Peppi Elona is a Sarasota treasure, a true artist, and yes, she’s definitely a character.
Peppi’s work defies classification, because as she puts it, “I’d be bored to tears doing any one thing.” Drawings, paintings, printmaking, collage work, even a newfound fascination with plastic are all within Peppi’s repertoire. Decades into her career as a prolific artist, a chance encounter with B2End co-owners Alan Gravley and Stan Writesel led to the eventual inclusion of several “Peppi Originals” lining the walls of the B2End showroom.
It was at a social gathering where she met B2End’s Alan and Stan, who knew nothing of Peppi’s work.
“I met them through mutual friends,” said Peppi, “I simply liked them and their style, and we became pals. It wasn’t until I visited Alan and Stan’s showroom space that I spoke up about my work. Next thing you know, Alan was digging around in my garage, choosing some of my pieces – it was truly an honor.”
Peppi speaks fondly of B2End work as highly authentic design. “I think what I like best about their work, is that Alan has a particularly unique perspective, and he has the confidence to present that perspective. He is bold, and smart about his design choices, and I think, though I have never asked him directly, that he honors his own aesthetic values and lets the B2End showroom feature work and design that he truly personally enjoys. There is no pandering to the public, the work they present in the showroom is the work they love – and that is really very valuable to the design community.”
Old Work Finds New Life in the B2End Showroom
“This is one of those pieces that I made decades ago,” said Peppi, “It started out as a monoprint that I didn’t find very successful, and I did what many artists do, I cut it up and made it into a piece that worked.”
“It was really fascinating to watch Alan’s artistic eye sort through my work, and choose pieces he found visually interesting. I always enjoy going to the showroom and seeing how he has incorporated my work with his vision for a room.”
Peppi’s Signature Mark
“It’s kind of my signature mark,” said Peppi, speaking of the repetitive mark seen in the large oil painting above, “it looks sort of like a comma, but bigger. It’s just fun.”
“I just start with a large canvas and I choose a color; I make my mark, it’s my hallmark, over and over again on the canvas. I distribute it around the canvas, just those marks, and then I take another color, and another, but as I add colors and begin to fill it up, I haven’t necessarily made the right decisions all along, so I have to make sure they pile up in an aesthetically pleasing way.”
“As I’ve gotten older, my work has definitely become more…well, let’s just say more ‘out there’! It’s great fun,” said Peppi. Her latest work incorporates plastic, and household objects, like buttons and collar stays. True to her painting work, even her more adventurous pieces have an aesthetic that is both interesting and pleasing to the eye.
See several of Peppi’s large scale paintings at: