Jenny Pope - July Featured Artist

Jenny Pope

Ithaca, NY

Last time you ate a pancake?
I had a waffle last week.

Favorite day of the week?

Favorite website besides your own?


Give us a brief description of you and your artwork.

I enjoy the company of animals in life and in artwork. Invasive, endangered, and mythic animals uncurl from my imagination in the form of woodcut prints. I am constantly dumbfounded about how animals and the environment are treated but my hope is that education and understanding leads to respecting and attaching importance to our own backyards and beyond. ‘Global Warming Band-aids’ are all about how we are trying to drastically change the environment with geo-engineering projects spanning from dumping iron into the ocean to shooting mirrors into space. ‘Invasive Animals’ are almost all labeled as such because humans transported the beasts all around the world. ‘Bird Migration Myths’ are about the Victorian era naturalist's thoughts about where birds “went” in the wintertime.

I make artwork because I believe that my job is to bring a voice to our drastically changed landscape that has been deprived, depleted, and altered.

You're a woodcut or xylography artist. Can you briefly explain the process and what drew you to it?

I mostly make color-reduction woodcuts which means I take one block of one, carve away the white (color of the paper), roll up the first color and print an edition. Then I carve away the first color, roll up the second color and print it exactly on top of the first color. It is a pretty labor intensive process. I was originally drawn to woodcuts because the designs that were in my head look like woodcuts so when I found the process, it just clicked. I don't know if I could paint something to look like my prints.

There seems to be a resurgence in 'old world' print techniques with letterpress leading the charge. Where do you see woodcut artists fitting into this resurgence?

Woodcut artists could be hired to make awesome dingbat designs. Any excuse to use that word :)

What's your goal as an artist?

I feel pretty lucky that I can make my work full-time and make the work I want to make. I hope someday to do less art/street festivals and figure out a way to sell my work other than pounding the pavement. I am currently in contact with a few people to buy art for zoos, aquariums and gift shops, it would a be a dream to have my work in conservation oriented organizations.

Why do you chose to show your artwork on Plywerk?

I love Plywerk! You guys have such a wonderful product and are truly a joy to work with. All the quirky tag lines in emails make me giggle. And, I must admit, I hate framing so to be able to pop something directly on the wall is super appealing.

Where do you draw inspiration from?

I am a science junkie or you could call me a nerd. I read a lot, living in Ithaca NY is super helpful because wonderful people are always passing through and my partner works at Cornell so I have access to the most remote scientific journals. I can read about algae that grow on the scales of sardines, if I choose.

Is your artwork commissioned, freelance, a bit of both?

Hmm...I usually save 1 spot a year for a commissioned piece and the other pieces I make are all my own doing. Though so many interesting people have been knocking on my email door and asking about commissions, next year I may do a few more. A person who studies amazonian armored catfish wondered if I would like to make him a piece and I am working on 2 gigantic woodcuts all about the amazing biodiversity of the barrier islands of Georgia.

How do you like your eggs prepared?

With a pile of kale on top.

Favorite type of melon?


Favorite living artist?

Walton Ford

Does thinking of Plywerk give you love butterflies in your stomach?


Would you describe kohlrabi as more of a turnip or radish?

I think it is more of a turnip but even better looking.

More about Jenny

Jenny Pope is an artist is known for her large, color-reduction woodcut prints, often featuring compelling combinations of species with odd or interesting elements from their natural histories. Her interests include endangered species, invasive species, and the bizarre mythologies that have been created to help explain the amazing things that birds do. She hopes her work provides an interesting avenue for people to contemplate our environment. She travels a lot, maybe even to your neck of the woods. The next time she comes to Portland we'll definitely nerd out and listen to hours of Radio Lab while discussing what it takes to make a perfect scone.

Win a Jenny Pope print on Plywerk

Post a comment below and you will automatically be entered in a drawing to win an 11x14 Jenny Pope print reproduction mounted on 3/4" bamboo Plywerk!!! We'll select a winner at random at the end of the month so make sure you come back to the blog in early August to see if you won and to check out the new featured artist! We'll ship it anywhere in the continental US for free. If you win and need it shipped internationally, you're on the hook for shipping costs. Sorry to be so mean.

35 thoughts on “Jenny Pope - July Featured Artist”

  • MaryBeth Farrell

    I adore your creations Jenny and my love for plywerk is unmatched
    Heading to your shop now!

  • Holly Hardin

    excited about this artist and this mounting style! yay for sunday morning procrastination discoveries.... so much more enjoyable than writing a thesis.

  • Sonja LeBorgnw

    love the combination of unexpected colour and nature - blue and orange bear - fantastic

  • Mary MacGregor

    What a Sunday treat to discover both a compelling new company and artist. I was referred to Plywerk from this month's Sunset magazine and can't wait to place my first order. I've already recommended the website to several friends, two of them photographers.

    Since I'm a longtime blogger, I checked out yours and happily discovered Jenny Pope's artwork. I've always had a predilection for engravings so her work resonates. (My favorite Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights editions from the '40s feature Fritz Eichenberg's wood engravings.) I am already smitten with her bear and cat pieces and will be contacting her directly for prices.

    You've designed an intuitive company site. Well done.

  • Kristin

    I love the woodcut technique you use, beautiful work!

  • Robin Schwartz
    Robin Schwartz July 2, 2012 at 1:15 am

    Jenny is in my office right now with some plywerk prints. They're awesome. . The sides, where you see the bamboo, are beautiful.

  • Sally Grucan

    I own Jenny's "A Starling Guide to Night" which I love but was naturally quite pricey. I'm glad to see some of her works in a smaller format that does not require framing.

  • Andrea Fox

    I think Jenny is an amazingly fun, talented and thoughtful artist! The stories that go along with her pieces are quite telling... she's an artistic advocate for the unusual relationships that occur in our natural world. YAY JPOP!

  • Lynn Yenkey

    What I love best about Jenny's work is its humor--something nature issues can really use! We love seeing her prints in our home every day, and our baby loves looking at the bears. I hope these lovely Plywerk editions will find lots more homes for her wonderful work. Best of luck, Jenny and Plywerk!

  • Robin Botie

    Jenny Pope's images look like what's going on in my head. I love the bears and the cats especially. And that poodle. Colors and critters and textures riddling the board. Yow!

  • C Skema

    I love the aesthetic of Jenny Pope's work and the subject matter is always intriguing. I own one of Jenny's prints and one plywerk reproduction on bamboo and they both hold a special place in our house and hearts. The bamboo patterning along the sides of the reproduction is gorgeous!

  • Fronny Plume

    It's the composition of these works that gets me every time. Jenny Pope manages to pack so much into every scene. There's so much movement and detail, and you can look for a long time, thinking about each creature, each element. I really love these pieces. We have the owl print on bamboo (our most recent acquisition), which is just wonderful.

  • Laura Castell
    Laura Castell July 2, 2012 at 7:48 am

    Beautiful work and it looks stunning the way it is mounted. Great inspiration for my own art!

  • Candee Laine Ellsworth
    Candee Laine Ellsworth July 2, 2012 at 12:24 pm

    Jenny Pope is amazing! I am a conservation biologist, and I love her work. I tell everyone I know about it. She is tackling some of the most unique issues in the global biodiversity crisis, and giving these issues a "voice" that the ordinary "non-science" person can make a connection to. Her work is just as important as a biologist out working in the field. And she captures these issues in a fun, attractive, easy to understand way. Her work is captivating!

  • Frances Parry
    Frances Parry July 2, 2012 at 12:43 pm

    I continue to really admire your work for so many reasons...
    I love the woodcut style, your wonderful rich and depth filled colorways and I fully support your environmental mission through art!
    Here's a place you may want to check out some day in your travels:
    American Prairie Preserve up in northeastern Montana. They are recreating the true, original prairie ecosystem: bison, grasses, fox, pronghorned antelope and more, exciting!
    The success of the project is environmentally heartening!

  • John Sterling

    Jenny's work is fantastic.

  • Elizabeth Sterling

    Jenny's work is so inspiring, and I love learning the stories behind each piece. Her choosing to print on plywerk lead me to your site months ago. Jenny's work on your product seems like a great combination.

    • Garrett

      Elizabeth is the winner of a Jenny Pope print mounted on Plywerk! Please email us at to claim your prize. Include your shipping and a picture of you jumping out of your socks when you found out you won!

  • Erin

    I can't pick a favorite! Baltimore print, owls, or that corn tractor.....they are all great. Can't wait to see your work again at the Central PA Festival of the Arts!

  • Sherry Sisson
    Sherry Sisson July 2, 2012 at 11:32 pm

    I love Jenny's works. So vibrant. And mounted on plywerk. What could be better!

  • Christina

    I first discovered Jenny at a Christmas market in D.C. Her work is clever and beautiful. Thanks for covering her!

  • Allison Modica
    Allison Modica July 3, 2012 at 4:16 am

    I discovered Jenny Pope about 4 years ago at the Rittenhouse Square arts festival in Philadelphia, PA. Her work knocked my socks off! As I walked around the square looking at impressionist attempts and lots of paintings of fruit, I felt like I was an outsider. And then.... to my surprise.... I found a booth filled with the most creative, awe-inspiring art. Pictures of animals and nature that thrilled my senses. I purchased the Right Whale and made a promise that I would one day buy one of Jenny's large pieces. I'm still saving ;) Jenny has a great gift and her artwork will one day be featured in zoos and aquariums around the world! Go Jenny Pope!!!

  • Zona

    I have seen Jenny's work that she has been making since her undergraduate studies and I must say that the evolution of her prints is great, she has such a unique style and whimsy about her prints that when a viewers sees her images they know it is her work. I love what you are doing Jenny!!! Keep on making those ecological prints for the world to see and hopefully they will then see themselves within the world having more of a harmonious relationship with nature.

  • liz delatore

    Jenny, Your work is so beautiful and so powerful. It rings so true. I know that your work will end up where it needs to be.

  • Kathy Fisher

    Beautiful work Jenny. Love your colors and texture. Inspiring to see people doing what they love. Thank you for showcasing her. Now I gotta go check out the work of Walton Ford. Cheers!

  • Julie Upmeyer
    Julie Upmeyer July 4, 2012 at 9:24 pm

    Great interview Jenny! Love the 'very real' stores behind each of your works. I've told the rubber ducky spill to many friends. Looking forward to seeing your lion fish :)

  • Jenny Pope

    Awe! I am blushing! (Red heads do that)...Everybody is too darn sweet! I have the best clients around if anybody ever asks.

  • Kristen Inglis
    Kristen Inglis July 5, 2012 at 3:20 am

    Jenny Pope's art has rare and wonderful feature of being both visually captivating and ethically substantive. Together her technical ability, intelligence and creativity produce art that both aesthetically POPS and intellectually instructs. The only thing cooler than Jenny's art is Jenny herself. Thanks, Ms. Pope, for making art that is as important as it is gorgeous (I can't wait to have my deer in Pittsburgh!)

  • Terry Bisson

    Thanks for this gallery and article; a beautiful combination
    of the science of biology and the art of the imagination.

    Hoping to run into you again at an art fair, bye, Terry

  • Jennifer Pennington

    Your art is Fabulous! I love the colors, wood cut process, and your way with a line. My favorites are the squidies with the anatomically-heart-shaped worlds in the backgrounds, the bears, the owls, and the above water birds and below water fish. Fantastic!

  • Karin Grow

    Wow, I am in love with all of these images! Your work is truely amazing and inspiring. If you're ever show in San Diego, let me know. I'd love to see it in person. Karin

  • jenjen_safari

    i wanna eat her work up. love!

  • Jen Meyer

    love this art! we share a similar love and respect for animals. I hope we can make a difference in the current world view towards animals. Like why do we eat cows and love cats?? Carnism. What is carnism you ask? It's the invisible belief system, or ideology, that conditions people to eat certain animals. fascinating stuff.

  • Karen Getz

    Amazing art! Plywerk, thanks for introducing us to such a gifted talent. I want to buy one of her pieces!

  • Tracy Hennessy
    Tracy Hennessy July 19, 2012 at 3:07 am

    As an artist, I was studying the Plywerk process as an option to use in my own art mounting...but, now that I saw the blog for jenny Pope, I am totally convinced! and am looking forward to a near future relationship with Plywerk.

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