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.

Frida-Kahlo-painting-in-bed

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.

louise_bourgeois-1990

Louise Bourgeois

 

Paula-Rego-001

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

Frida

March 1, 2015

I’ve been drafting this post since last year because I’ve had trouble finding the right words to say. Frida Kahlo is a painter who is very dear to my heart. With the end of winter in sight and the hope of spring, my heart needs some comfort to get through the last bit of this cold.

I know Frida is talked about often. She is one of the few female artists you actually learn about in art history. Her work inspires me because it makes you feel something. She painted to tell stories. She painted to illustrate human experiences- pain, lust, loss, love, beauty.

Her work has been an inspiration to me for over ten years. As artists most of us can only hope to create pieces that make people feel something the way her work does, to make them see the way she did, and to simply produce this amount of work in a lifetime. Because many her paintings are so well known, I have selected a small number of Frida images that I respond to.

My Dress Hangs There, Frida Kahlo

My Dress Hangs There, Frida Kahlo

Frida painting her cast

Frida painting her cast

The Wounded Deer, Frida Kahlo

The Wounded Deer, Frida Kahlo

Frida with The Two Fridas

Frida with The Two Fridas

What the Water Gave Me, Frida Kahlo

What the Water Gave Me, Frida Kahlo

Moses, Frida Kahlo

Moses, Frida Kahlo

Frida painting a portrait of her father

Frida painting a portrait of her father

I have talked to plenty of people who do not care for or understand the works of Frida. I don’t believe her paintings are meant to be understood simply by use of the viewers eye. Her paintings are meant to be felt. They are dreamscapes, a glimpse into something beyond the physical world. She spent much of her life in physical pain, so it makes sense that she would portray a different kind of world in her paintings. She put on canvas a rawness that has the ability to comfort, to shock, and to raise awareness of the human existence.

Look. Listen. Respond.

-Megan

Seductive Selfie

February 27, 2014

With the rise of social media the “selfie” is an ever popular way to show yourself to the world. Cameras on our phones make it possible to share images of ourselves at any moment, in the light that we choose or simply have available, naked or clothed, with an option of camera style. The opportunity for selfies is endless. Self portraits are fascinating to me because we decide how we want the world to see us. We are saying, “Here, this is what I really look like”. Even with all the available technology, people are still painting or sculpting portraits of themselves. They are still using film or wet plate processes with the help of timers or remote shutter releases to capture an image of themselves. Are we all narcissists because we love to share our faces with the world? Maybe we are simply trying to preserve something of ourselves or find a way to let it go.

Ellen Day Hale, Self Portrait, 1885

Ellen Day Hale, Self Portrait, 1885

Munch, Self Portrait with Skeleton Arm, 1895

Munch, Self Portrait with Skeleton Arm, 1895

Patricia Schappler, Self Portrait

Patricia Schappler, Self Portrait

Andre Derain, Self Portrait with a Cap, 1905

Andre Derain, Self Portrait with a Cap, 1905

Lucian Freud, Self Portrait: Reflection, 1996

Lucian Freud, Self Portrait: Reflection, 1996

Some artists are almost solely known because of the numerous self portraits they produced. What if Frida Kahlo had a smart phone? How many more images of her would exist? Would Rembrandt’s eyes appear as glassy as the sea? Would Matisse use Instagram to make everything the color it should be?

The Wounded Deer, Frida Kahlo

The Wounded Deer, Frida Kahlo

Frida Kahlo Self Portrait 1922

Frida Kahlo, Self Portrait, 1922

Van Gogh, Self-Portrait with a Straw Hat, 1887

Van Gogh, Self-Portrait with a Straw Hat, 1887

van Gogh, Self Portrait with Grey Felt Hat, 1886-87

van Gogh, Self Portrait with Grey Felt Hat, 1886-87

van Gogh, Self Portrait, 1887

van Gogh, Self Portrait, 1887

Rembrandt, Self Portrait, 1661

Rembrandt, Self Portrait, 1661

Degas, Self Portrait

Degas, Self Portrait

Maybe we think we are making ourselves everlasting by leaving images of ourselves behind. Maybe we are being bold by allowing ourselves to be vulnerable. We are happy to say, “This is me”. We use self portraits to show the world how we want to be seen in that moment. Whether it is vanity, sheer pleasure, or simply impulse that drives the creation of the “self image”, they are an enjoyable part of history.

Look. Listen. Respond.

-Megan

Portrait Scavenger Hunt

December 28, 2013

The human figure is such a powerful vessel. It is the “stuff” that contains our beings. There have been several occasions that I have sat down to share a collection of portraits, but I stop myself. Which ones do I show? How many do I share? Everything I chose seems inadequate; even a few examples may be overwhelming. In the spirit of the new year being upon us, I decided to begin sifting through the Google Art Project to find some new works I had never seen before. I had my own little portrait scavenger hunt and have picked some of my favorites.

This first one is my favorite of the grouping. The girl is so cool, so innocent, except for that red flower protruding from her mouth. This painting captures her youthful beauty, but it also tells us there is something more there. Some hardship, some knowledge beyond her years.

Adolfo Guiard, The Little Village Girl with Red Carnation 1903

Adolfo Guiard, The Little Village Girl with Red Carnation 1903

Some artists may labor to hide the true character of the model, but the inside always finds a way of showing itself.

Klimt, Blind Man 1896

Klimt, Blind Man 1896

Agda Holst, Self-Portrait 1925

Agda Holst, Self-Portrait 1925

Sometimes what we don’t see tells us the most,

Toulouse-Latrec, The Model Resting 1889

Toulouse-Latrec, The Model Resting 1889

or maybe we are only shown a particular side of someone.

Guillermo Kahlo, Self-portrait

Guillermo Kahlo, Self-portrait

Maybe it is pain or vulnerability or joy despite these things.

Nickolas Muray, Frida Kahlo Lying Down 1946

Nickolas Muray, Frida Kahlo Lying Down 1946

Alexej Jawlensky, Portrait of a Girl 1909

Alexej Jawlensky, Portrait of a Girl 1909

Portraits have the ability to shape our view of the subject. They may persuade us to love or dislike the person we see reflected on the canvas. They connect us to the existence of others; we see parts of ourselves drawn in someone else’s face. What a pleasure to share such beauty with all people, past and present.

Look. Listen. Respond.

-Megan