Stroll in the Park

Stroll in the Park by collage artist Megan Coyle
“Stroll in the Park” Collage on paper. 24″x18″
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I’m excited to say that I’ve finished my series of collages for my show in May. I have yet to post all of them, thus I’ll go ahead and do that within the next couple of weeks. The past few days I’ve spent a lot of time editing this series as well as touching up frames. Now I just need to do a couple more figurative pieces for my show in July, and then I can take a breather on all these people collages. As much as I like collaging people, I’m getting a bit burnt out from the subject matter. Thus I’m moving on to animals next.

Anyway, I’m off to do some late night sketching. I had an interesting day – spent a good chunk of time trying to get my internet working again (it was down practically the entire day). I always forget how much I rely on the internet until it’s not working like it should. But isn’t that the truth with so many things?

Bosty’s Cook Out

Bosty the Boston Terrier's cook out by collage artist Megan Coyle

We’ve had such nice weather these days that Bosty decided to hold his very own cook out. While grilling the meat, he had a tendency of nibbling the food every time it was flipped.

Bosty the Boston Terrier Making Salad by collage artist Megan Coyle

To be a little healthy, he made a salad.

Bosty the Boston Terrier Making Potato Salad by Megan Coyle

And how about some potato salad? Don’t mind if I do!

Bosty the Boston Terrier and Deviled Eggs by collage artist Megan Coyle

And deviled eggs…wait a minute, wasn’t there a full plate of deviled eggs just a second ago? Bosty seems to enjoy feeding himself before he feeds his guests.

Bosty the Boston Terrier and Lemon Meringue Pie by collage artist  Megan Coyle

The meal was finished off with a lemon meringue pie – care for another slice?

Landscape Collages from NYC

A few weeks ago I received an email from a high school teacher, Monica, from New York City. She told me that her class had just finished a landscape collage unit and that they had focused on Romare Bearden and my work for their artist focus. Her class analyzed my landscape collages to figure out how I created the work so they could learn from it. They also worked on their own collages inspired from their studies.

Below I’ve included images that Monica so kindly sent to me. I always enjoy hearing from teachers who’ve shared my work with their students. It’s great knowing that your work can inspire others.

Coyle inspired collage
Each collage is about 3″x3″

Bar and Bakery

Bar and Bakery by collage artist Megan Coyle
“Bar and Bakery.” Collage on paper. 18″x24″
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I think I’ll revisit this collage in a few days to sharpen up a few details. For the most part it’s complete. I’m actually just about finished with this series for the show in May, and I’m beginning to go back through my work to clean things up.

Then it looks like I’ll just have to work on a couple more figurative pieces for my show in July, and then I can finally change gears by working on animal collages. I’d also like to get started on making a weekly mini collage to add to my Etsy shop again, and possibly introduce another art project to my blog.

Q & A: What do you listen to while you work on artwork?

It’s usually nice to have something playing in the background when you’re in the studio. I like to I listen to radio shows and music. Podcasts are an amazing thing – they really do help the time pass. The following are my top podcasts to listen to while I work:

  1. This American Life – I really enjoy the way this show focuses on a theme and tells stories related to that theme. The old English major within me really gets a kick out of this.
  2. The Classic Tales Podcast – again, I like to read but lately all my artwork and marketing work has really made it difficult to pick up a book. With this podcast, I can enjoy familiar stories or hear classic tales that I’ve never heard before.
  3. Fresh Air – I’m a sucker for Terry Gross’s interviews with directors, musicians, and actors. It’s also a good way to hear interesting stories about current events.
  4. 60 Minutes – just good journalism.
  5. Escape from Illustration Island – when I first discovered this podcast, I downloaded all of the episodes and gradually worked my way through them. Needless to say, listening to Thomas James interview illustrators and talk about illustration is part of the reason I decided to look into going back to school for illustration. You can find some really helpful and inspiring tips here if you’re a fellow artist.
  6. Art Marketing Action Podcast – these are typically really short podcasts, only a couple of minutes, and from time to time I get a few good ideas of directions to move in with my art marketing.

Other times I listen to music. Recently I’ve had a tendency of falling back on the following albums/musicians:

  1. 500 Days of Summer Soundtrack – this is my latest obsession. For some reason I absolutely love this album and just about every song on it. “You Make my Dreams” by Hall & Oates is of course a favorite.
  2. M. Ward
  3. The Beatles
  4. Ray LaMontagne
  5. Bob Dylan

When I get tired of listening to interviews and music, I’ll usually change things up by watching a movie. I’ve started taking advantage of Netflix’s Watch Instantly feature. I’ll listen to/watch movies on my computer as I sprawl out on the floor with all of my magazines. Lately I’ve watched a lot of comedies and flicks from the 80’s.

What do you like listening to while you work?

Bosty Tours Washington, D.C.

Bosty and the Washington Monument by collage artist Megan Coyle

Bosty felt like being a tourist for the day so he stopped by the Washington Monument for a touristy snapshot.

Bosty and Popcorn by collage artist Megan Coyle

Then he wanted to hang out by a popcorn vendor. He was hoping someone would spill their food so he could gobble up a quick snack.

Bosty and the Lincoln Memorial by collage artist Megan Coyle

Then he moseyed on over to the Lincoln Memorial.

Bosty and the Lincoln Memorial by collage artist Megan Coyle

After begging in front of the statue of Lincoln, Bosty realized Lincoln wasn’t a live person and he wasn’t hiding any snacks in his hands.

Bosty and the Jefferson Memorial by collage artist Megan Coyle

So he popped on over to the Jefferson Memorial.

Bosty and the Washington Capitol by collage artist Megan Coyle

And decided to get in the way when I tried to take a picture of the Capitol.

So all in all, it was a productive doggy day.

Orange Stand

Orange Stand by collage artist Megan Coyle
“Orange Stand.” Collage on paper. 18″x24″
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I had a lot of fun working on the wall in the background – I got to get a little carried away with texture. Perhaps I should experiment more with a lot of texture for an entire collage as opposed to just a section of it.

In other news, an article I wrote about my collage work was recently published on Bourgeon Online, “Megan Coyle on her Collage Portraiture.” Bourgeon Online is an online publication that focuses on the arts in the Washington, D.C. area. Another local publication, Local Kicks, also published an article regarding my upcoming solo exhibition in May, “Going Green with Art: Meg Coyle Makes Art from Recycled Magazines.”

Hope everyone has a fantastic weekend – I’m looking forward to enjoying the cool spring weather.

Q & A: What do you use to photograph your artwork?

I’ve gotten this question a few times over the past few months, so I thought I’d go ahead and share it with you.

I prefer taking pictures of my artwork myself. That way, if I notice something’s amiss when I zoom in to study a high resolution image of my work, I can easily retake the pictures in the comfort of my apartment. I have to admit though—I slack a little bit when it comes to taking my progress pictures (sometimes I just don’t set up the lighting).

So what do I use?

I used to use a Canon PowerShot SD600 and I’d go outside on an overcast day to take pictures of my work. You’re probably already predicting where things went wrong with this method. Since I was relying on the great outdoors, the lighting was inconsistent and unreliable. I had to wait for good weather before I could go outside for the photo shoot—that means waiting for the rain and snow to go away. And the PowerShot camera is just a simple point and shoot camera so the quality of the images isn’t that great. I noticed that a lot of my artwork often looked washed out and sometimes blurry—something that I only noticed once I lugged all my artwork back inside and uploaded the images to my computer.

Now I use a good old Nikon D3000 and I love it. The image resolution is much better and I have more control over the settings.

I also use a light kit that I got from B&H. It’s a Lowel Ego Digital Imaging Fluorescent light kit that came with stands and tilt brackets. With the light kit, I can control the lighting. And best of all, I don’t have to rely on the weather outside to take pictures of my work.

Hide and Seek on the Subway

Hide and Seek on the Subway by collage artist Megan Coyle
“Hide and Seek on the Subway.”
Collage on paper. 18″x24″
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Another piece inspired by one of my trips to NYC. Whenever I’m on the subway and there are several platforms, it seems like strangers are off playing hide and seek when you can only see part of them from behind those large beams.

Things have been pretty busy over here – I’m still working away on artwork for my show next month. Gallery meetings, press releases, etc. It’ll be nice when everything has been taken care of and I’ve met all my deadlines. Aside from my exhibition work, I’ve also gotten started with researching MFA programs and trying to figure out which schools to apply to.

This weekend we had gorgeous weather in the area. I had a chance to walk around D.C. and take pictures of the sights. I have a feeling Bosty will have some future pictures to star in. Anyway, I’m off to do a little more artwork for the day.

The Bikers

The Bikers by collage artist Megan Coyle
“The Bikers.” Collage on paper. 18″x24″
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I finished this piece a few weeks ago but just got around to taking pictures and uploading them to my computer. I’m done with it at the moment – but I’d like to go back in and rework a few areas so it will be ready for the show next month. It was inspired by a trip to New York, when I spent the day at Coney Island.

The weather has been like summer here – I’m not sure what happened to spring. Is it just me, or does spring only last for a couple of days now? Anyway, I prefer the warm weather, but I’m awaiting our building to turn on the air conditioning with baited breath.

And I’m beginning to toy with a few ideas of things to do on my blog. Below you can see the result of one of my projects – Bosty the Boston Terrier. I’m going to post photographs from time to time with Bosty walking in on them.

Lastly, I was really excited because I found out today that I was selected to become a visiting artist at the Torpedo Factory in Old Town, Alexandria. The Torpedo Factory is an art center filled with open artist studios and galleries. As a visiting artist, I’ll share a studio with one of the resident artists for a couple of months – June and July. I’m looking forward to it all – man oh man, will I be busy this summer.

That’s all for now – I hope everyone has a happy Friday and a fantastic weekend!