Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Toucan Samantha

"Toucan Samantha"
Collage on paper

There's already a Toucan Sam, so why not introduce people to his female counterpart, Toucan Samantha? I had fun working on this one - especially with the fragments of images I used for the background.

Anyway, where have I been? It's been a while since my last post! Well, the past few days I've been spending a lot of time moving out of my apartment. I'm going to move to a new place fairly soon, and the move has really consumed the majority of my free time. I've still put in a few hours here and there in the studio, and I have a few pieces I've completed there that I need to take home to photograph.

I'm also beginning to prep for the opening reception of my solo show "Stories in Paper," which opens next week, July 8th. I'm looking forward to seeing how it all turns out.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Stories in Paper Exhibition

Stories in Paper by collage artist Megan Coyle
Stories in Paper by collage artist Megan Coyle

If you click on one of the images above, you can view a larger image of the front and back of the postcard for my upcoming solo exhibition. Before you know it, July 8th will be here. I've got quite a bit of exhibition prep work to do, but I'm excited that the artwork is completed, framed, and ready for the opening reception.

Below is the press release that the Art League Gallery sent out about my exhibit:

At a glance, Megan Coyle’s images deceptively appear to be slightly abstracted paintings. But upon closer inspection, the viewer can see the surface of the “painting” dissolves into bits of paper. Her images are not paintings, but collages carefully crafted from small pieces of magazine photos. Stories in Paper, Coyle’s solo exhibit at The Art League Gallery, explores images and scenes of day-to-day life using an unconventional medium and method to create sophisticated images.

Coyle reconstructs the picture surface by breaking down the human form into different planes – the body, face, and the folds in the clothing. She builds up the surface and texture by layering different shapes of paper, or peels away pieces to let previous layers shine through. “Utilizing this method allows me to create artwork that captures the essence of a painting, but broadens my palette to include textures, pattern, and fragments of photographs from magazines.”

“My process is pretty straight forward. First I sketch out the composition while using multiple photographs as references. I pour through piles of magazines and tear out pages that have the colors and patterns that I have in mind. I cut out shapes of color and affix them where I want them. I block in the color bit by bit, eventually layering shapes, and finally creating a finished piece. Lastly, I paint a matte varnish on top of the collage as a UV protectant.”

Coyle graduated in 2008 from Elon University in North Carolina with a BA in painting and creative writing. Her work has been exhibited throughout the region in venues including the Smithsonian Ripley Center, Fisher Gallery, Nicholas Colasanto Center, and The Art League Gallery. She was recently accepted into the Visiting Artist program at the Torpedo Factory Art Center for the summer of 2010.

In The Art League Gallery:

Stories in Paper: July 8 – August 2, 2010
Opening Reception and Artist Talk: Thursday, July 8, 6:30 – 8:30 pm
Artist Talk: Blogging for Artists with Megan Coyle: Thursday, July 15, 7:00 – 8:00 pm

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Progress Picture #1: Toucan

Toucan by collage artist Megan Coyle

Here's one of the first collages I worked on while being a visiting artist at the art center. It's one of the few that I've completed there where I took a picture of sketch before collaging down the paper. I don't really bring my camera to the studio, thus I end up completing my work before bringing it home to take pictures.

I have to say that at the moment I'm incredibly content. I really enjoy what I'm doing, and I'm constantly trying to push forward with my work. Even though I'm currently working every day of the week (and will do the same for July), I like what I'm doing so it's not really "work." I love how art gets me really excited and energizes me.

Since I went to a liberal arts school and not just an art school, the art community there wasn't the same as an art school. Although I missed out on that artistic community at school, I have discovered the community in the D.C. area. I've met so many kind and generous people these past couple of years since I graduated from undergraduate school. The encouragement and enthusiasm I'm getting from others, makes my work and effort with establishing myself as an artist easier to do. And I must admit, it sure isn't easy to get started as an emerging artist. I've been working incredibly hard, but I am determined to get my work out there and share it with as many people as I can.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Flamingo Dancers

"Flamingo Dancers"
Collage on paper

I was going to stick with the title "Flamingos" but then I thought I should start changing these titles up a bit. Flamingos always remind me of ballerinas for some reason. I think it's their pink feathers and how they perch on one leg like the flamingo in the center.

Anyway, things are still pretty busy. I just finished putting together a bunch of handmade magnets to sell at the studio (they've been pretty popular - especially with tourists). And I'm continuing to work on a series of animal collages. I recently took pictures of several finished collages, which I'll later post. In July I'm planning on working on landscape pieces for another upcoming exhibition. And hopefully, sometime soon, I can begin work on a short animation. I have so many ideas at the moment, and there are so many possibilities of projects I can work on - sometimes it's hard to acknowledge the fact I'm not wonder woman and can't do everything all at once.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Progress Picture #2: Flamingos

Flamingos by collage artist Megan Coyle

Here you can see how I started blocking out the colors for the "Flamingos" collage.

Things have been going pretty well at the studio. I like being able to interact with the public on an almost daily basis - it's a nice change of pace from what I'm accustomed to (listening to radio shows while collaging by myself in my apartment). Although at the same time, I couldn't imagine having to run an open studio year round. There's quite a lot of responsibility involved, and quite a bit of work. I find that I like using the internet as a means to reach an audience and customers.

Today I was especially amused by a comment that one of the visitors made. He talked to me for a little bit, left the studio, then returned and asked me if I grew up on a farm.


"Oh - I was wondering because you do a lot of animals."

I was a bit puzzled and glanced over at the wall where my art is being exhibited. I saw a toucan, giraffe, and iguana. Where was he coming from? Then of course I remembered the print of the purple cow collage I've done that was perched at the top of an easel. Funny how we can hone in on one detail and ignore everything else.

Anyway, I hope all the fathers out there are having a grand Father's Day!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Progress Picture #1: Flamingos

Flamingos by collage artist Megan Coyle

I've been working on a lot of bird collages lately. There's just something about them - I think I'm drawn to the colors. Here's the beginning works of a flamingo collage. We shall see how it turns out...

I hope everyone's week is going well - happy Friday! I've been working up a storm and won't really have much of a break until August. I suppose that's just what happens when you keep piling more things on your plate.

Here's what I have on my to do list (more big picture items):
  1. Create about a dozen animal collages for the show in August
  2. Finish preparing for solo show opening in July (artist talk, etc.)
  3. Work on my lecture on blogging for artists that I'll give in mid July
  4. Finish getting frames for the August show
  5. Create seven landscape/cityscape collages for my solo show in September
  6. Move out of my current apartment by the end of June and find a new place to move into
Yes indeed, I'm a busy bee.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Bosty goes to Paris

Bosty goes to Paris by collage artist Megan Coyle

If you're wondering what Bosty has been up to, he's been busy traveling around Paris. He went ahead and bought himself a beret so he could pose in front of the Eiffel Tower like all the other American tourists.

Bosty goes to Paris by collage artist Megan Coyle

Then he made his way over to the Musee D'Orsay - an art museum that used to be a railway station. Bosty liked chasing after some of the art museum visitors - it was his version of "performance art."

Bosty goes to Paris by collage artist Megan Coyle

Since you're in the mood for museums, why not head over to the Louvre? Don't mind if I do!

Bosty goes to Paris by collage artist Megan Coyle

The day was pretty cloudy but still beautiful. Bosty had a lot of fun wandering the pretty Paris streets.

Bosty goes to Paris by collage artist Megan Coyle

Posing in front of Notre Dame

Bosty goes to Paris by collage artist Megan Coyle

And Sacre Coeur - which looked just like a large palace that Bosty wouldn't mind living in.

Bosty goes to Paris by collage artist Megan Coyle

He ended the day stopping by the Moulin Rouge - but only for a photo op. He wasn't too interested in anything other than the movie reference.

Bosty goes to Paris by collage artist Megan Coyle

Another day he decided to climb up the stairs of the Eiffel Tower for the view.

Bosty goes to Paris by collage artist Megan Coyle

And finally, he made it to the top to take a look at the city below. "I think I could sit here all day."

Bosty goes to Paris by collage artist Megan Coyle

And he did - before climbing back down to watch the Eiffel Tower light up from afar. Good night, Paris!

Monday, June 14, 2010


Goat by collage artist Megan Coyle

Collage on paper

This weekend was a lot of fun at the studio. I've gotten quite a bit of work done thus far - and I have yet to take those finished collages home to photograph and post. My goal is to complete about a dozen animal collages before moving on to creating about eight landscape pieces for my NIH solo show in September.

Tomorrow I'm uninstalling the Fisher Gallery exhibition. It had a good run - and I can't believe it's already over! A lot of planning and work went into that show, and I'm proud that I was able to pull it off. Next up: my solo show at the Art League Gallery. I still have quite a bit of planning to do for that exhibition although it won't be as intensive as the Fisher show.

Anyway, I hope everyone's week has gotten off to a good start!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Polar Bear

Polar Bear by collage artist Megan Coyle

"Polar Bear"
Collage on paper

I've been working away on several more animal collages at the studio. I'll bring them back home one of these days so I can take pictures and post them.

Yesterday was my first Saturday working at the studio. It was pretty exciting how busy the art center was and I received a lot of business from the visitors. During the week, things are much slower in comparison with the weekend. I'm also in the process of ordering more magnets - I'll have to work away with making a lot more of them for the upcoming week.

In other news, last night Scene Gallery had an opening for the "Local Scene" exhibit. It was a pleasant gathering and the art looked great in the space.

Anyway, I hope everyone is having a great weekend! I think I'll go ahead and take care of a few errands before heading off to the studio.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Progress Picture #1: Polar Bear

Polar Bear by collage artist Megan Coyle

Here's the sketch for my next piece, with a little bit of paper already put down. The beginnings of a new collage.

I'm about to head off to the studio again - I'm working there every weekend until the Visiting Artist Program ends. It seems as though every time I go back there, I think of new ways to make the studio more presentable. Yesterday I set up easels in the back of the room so that visitors could see a couple of my framed pieces when they stare straight in from the hallway. It's been interesting - a lot of trial and error to try and test out what will work with the public. Anyway, I'm going to head off for some collage making. I hope everyone is having a wonderful Saturday.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Studio Update

Megan Coyle collage artist's studio

Since posting my last pictures of the studio where I'm currently working for June and July, I've moved a few things around to help with presentation. Before, the pedestals were pushed up against the wall. When I did this, I had trouble getting visitors to notice my work. By pulling out the pedestals, and forcing visitors to walk around them, my work became much more noticeable. I also had the problem of visitors thinking my work was painting, thus not really paying close attention to it. In the image above you can see that I cut out paper letters and taped them to the wall - the set on the side includes my logo as well as the words "Collage Artist."

Megan Coyle collage artist's studio

I also cut out letters to make up "painting with paper."

Megan Coyle collage artist's studio

Here's a view that shows a little of the other side of the studio. I'm competing for attention with these sculpture pieces.

Megan Coyle collage artist's studio

Here are my marketing materials - postcards, business cards, and brochures - you can see them right when you walk in the door. That book I have propped up on a mini easel is the book I put together with Blurb. I think Blurb is pretty useful - I was really satisfied with the quality.

Megan Coyle collage artist's studio

And now I have note cards for sale along with my handmade magnets.

Well anyway, I'm off to take care of a few errands before heading off to the studio for just about the entire day.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Dinner for Two

Dinner for Two by collage artist Megan Coyle

"Dinner for Two"
Collage on paper

And it's done! I thought about adding more to the background, but when it came down to it, I decided that a simpler background could draw more attention to the couple.

In other news, I'm feeling a great deal better. Slept for a good chunk of time yesterday, and I suppose my body has a tendency of feeling weary and sick as a way to tell me to slow down and take better care of myself.

These next few days are going to be busy ones. I'm pleased to say that all my figurative pieces are complete for my exhibitions scheduled for this year. Next on my list is to finish about ten or more animal collages for a show in August and about eight landscape/cityscape pieces for a show in September. To add to the workload, I also need to get started on planning out my next artist talk for my solo show in July as well as a lecture on blogging for artists that I'll be giving in mid July.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Progress Picture #2: Dinner for Two

Dinner for Two by collage artist Megan Coyle

And this piece is on its way.

I hope everyone's having a great week - mine has been off to a rocky start. I've been feeling pretty under the weather and I've been trying my best to rest up so I can feel better. I've got so much on my plate at the moment that I can't really afford to get sick.

Anyway, I probably won't make it over to the studio until later today. Need to rest up and try to take care of a few things before working on some art.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Character Study

This is a collaboration I worked on with my brother. I did the concept drawing, he took the sketch and modeled/uv unwrapped it, I collaged the uv flats, and he put it together for the final look. I think the next step is that we'll start working on a background for this little guy.

Birdy by collage artist Megan Coyle

Here's the concept sketch I did

Birdy model by Brendan Coyle

And my brother's interpretation of the sketch with a 3d model. Next I collaged the uv flats which he took and was able to use to put together the clip that you saw at the top.

Once I get a spare moment, I'd like to work on my own 2d animation piece. Also, that children's book has been in my backlog of things "to do" for quite a while now. Hopefully I can get started on that as well in the near future.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

"Local Scene" Exhibit at Scene Gallery

Washington Monument by collage artist Megan Coyle
Above is one of the flyers Scene Gallery is using to promote their "Local Scene" exhibit that opens tomorrow. You'll notice that it features my scape collage, "The Washington Monument," and if you click on the flyer image, you can see a larger version of it.

I was invited by Scene Gallery to participate in this group exhibition which features the work of local artists. The exhibit is showcasing artwork depicting sights of the Washington, D.C. area. Aside from my "Washington Monument" collage, the show also features my "Lincoln Memorial," "Masonic Temple," and "Torpedo Factory."

I'm excited to participate in this show. Scene Gallery is a fairly new gallery - it opened not even a year ago at National Harbor in Maryland. The opening is on Saturday, June 12th from 6 - 9p.m. I'm looking forward to spending the day in the studio at the Torpedo Factory before heading on over to National Harbor for the reception.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Progress Picture #1: Dinner for Two

Dinner for Two by collage artist Megan Coyle

Here's a look at my work in progress for the last piece made for my July show. I'm seeing a bit of a pattern with a few of my figurative pieces - at lot of the people are eating or drinking in restaurants and diners. I suppose I can get really inspired by food.

In other news, well, it's not really news any more, but I'm getting busier and busier with each passing day. I'm taking up more web work in the near future, but I've also started to receive several invitations for showing my work at different venues. I'll post more details once the exhibits become a sure thing. Goes to show that perseverance can pay off - if you keep at something long enough, everything will start to fall into place. I'm really excited about the next couple of months and I can't wait to see what the rest of the year may bring.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

King of the Jungle

King of the Jungle by collage artist Megan Coyle

"King of the Jungle"
Collage on paper

Here's the completed version of "King of the Jungle." I'm realizing that as opportunities present themselves, I'm working away trying to make sure I can meet all the deadlines. Looks like I might have a couple more exhibitions to start preparing for. Goodness, apparently I don't have enough on my plate already.

I'm really enjoying my time as a Visiting Artist and I've only just begun. I enjoy interacting with the public and seeing which pieces visitors respond to more. When I'm busy working away in my apartment, I don't have a live audience and I rely entirely on what I think of a piece. It's nice getting a feel for what others think.

Every time Ben has walked into my studio, he's given me more great ideas on what I can do to make it more intriguing for visitors to come inside. I'm in the middle of working on a few adjustments for my set-up. Soon I plan to take a few pictures of the new layout so I can post them for you all to see.

I hope you're having a great week - time sure does fly when you're busy and having fun!