Brushing off the Dust

May 28, 2016

Last week I finished a full size painting- something I have not accomplished in over two years. I have started paintings. I have been working tirelessly in sketchbooks. I have been reading about art. I have been viewing art. But this is the first thing I sat down and finished. It is intended to be 1 of 4 paintings in a series of Night Paintings.

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Untitled (Night Painting #1), Megan Call

 

Art fuels me, but for some time I had lost sight of what my passion is. I recently visited the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and it put the kindling on the fire. I then did an art night with a friend where we both worked on pieces, and it was inspiring.

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Danae, Egon Schiele

But what does an artist do when there is no inspiration? Chuck Close is one of the many artists who has commented on inspiration, “Inspiration is highly overrated. If you sit around and wait for the clouds to part, it’s not liable to ever happen. More often than not, work is salvation”. I had professors in college who told me 85% of life is showing up. That has been what I have been challenging myself to- showing up, even if I don’t feel like doing it. I have been finding a rhythm to suppress that spoiled child who says, “But I don’t want to!” I have found peace in doing the work, even when it is ugly, even if it feels unfinished.

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Self Portrait, Chuck Close

It is the doing that makes us artists. It isn’t about the finished or completed or show worthy pieces. It is about the work we do behind the scenes. The tears and sweat and splashing of paint and water are the things that make the difference- it is in the showing up. It is the act of getting the palette out, picking the colors and sloshing them around, even to make something you end up hating. That is where the ideas are found. That is where all the masterpieces began- mixing the wrong color, having the wrong proportion, tearing up the work and doing it all again the next day.

I am thankful for all the artists that showed up and continue to show up. After all, this world would be quite dim without art.

-Look. Listen. Respond.

Megan

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Spring Flowers Bring

April 3, 2016

Well, it’s the time of year when I get this thing rolling again. Only this year I am finally going to start including some of my own work and its progression. In the past I have avoided doing this for various reasons, but now I not only need motivation for writing but also for creating finished pieces.

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Frida Kahlo

Lately I have been delving into reading about some of my favorite female artists- Louise Bourgeois, Frida Kahlo, and Paula Rego. I have been reflecting on the path I want my own work to take. These women let their work consume them. It was not just something they did, it was a lifestyle. I am working on making my art a lifestyle again.

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Louise Bourgeois

 

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Paula Rego

I have been traveling a lot over the past year and half, so the number of larger pieces I have been able to complete has suffered. Mostly I have been working in sketchbooks, using watercolors and colored pencils. Now it is time to take all the experiences and experiments and turn them into something beautiful (or at least completed).

Today has been a big preparation day- putting a base coat of paint down on canvases and paper, selecting images and drawings to combine with memory, and avoiding distractions.

canvas prep

My goals for this year are to implement more collage and mixed media work into my process and to rely more on my inner voice and intuition (as opposed to just relying on the education I’ve had).

I would love to hear about your favorite mixed media artists and about your personal process. I can’t wait to share more of my work and love of art.

Look. Listen. Respond.

-Megan