Saturday, July 31, 2010

The Animal Kingdom Exhibition

The Animal Kingdom by collage artist Megan Coyle
The Animal Kingdom by collage artist Megan Coyle
Here's the postcard I designed for my upcoming exhibition at the Goodwin House Gallery in Alexandria, Virginia. The show will feature quite a few of my animal collages - older ones as well as several that were completed while I was working as a visiting artist at the local art center.

I'm installing the exhibition tomorrow - these next couple of days will include quite a bit of lugging frames and art around. On Monday I'm uninstalling the "Stories in Paper" exhibit and today I uninstalled my visiting artist studio. Whew, it's going to be quite a busy weekend.

Anyway, I'm excited about getting all my animal collages on the walls of the Goodwin House. It will be my first solo exhibition featuring only animal collages. Most of the pieces were inspired by my visits to the National Zoo and the Natural History Museum in Washington, DC. And this Wednesday I'll give an artist talk for the show - the next couple of days I'll need to work on putting together my presentation.

Hope everyone is having a wonderful weekend!

Friday, July 30, 2010

Studio Move-out

Megan Coyle Collage Artist Studio

Tomorrow I'm moving out of the Torpedo Factory studio that I've been working in for the past couple of months. It's been quite an experience - and it's amazing how much the look of the studio has changed over time. You can take a look at my pictures from when I first moved in to get an idea of what changes I made over time.

Megan Coyle Collage Artist Studio

I'll get to work for a couple of hours before I start packing things up. I've already made some space in my apartment to serve as my home "studio." And although I have a nook set aside for myself, I think that in the next couple of months I'll want to focus more on making animations. We shall see...

Megan Coyle Collage Artist Studio

Above is a shot of my wall and pedestals complete with lettering that I taped to the wall. I noticed that a lot of visitors previously thought all my pieces were paintings and would just walk on by. The lettering really helped me out - it would catch their eye, drawn them in, and make them realize that it was made of paper.

Megan Coyle Collage Artist Studio

A few weeks ago I moved in a small desk that you can see towards the back there - I turned it into my work desk so visitors would have a better view of me collaging when they walked in.

Megan Coyle Collage Artist Studio

Some of the magnet packs I made - I sold quite a few of these at the studio. They were pretty popular - and seemed to work well with all the tourists that come in and out of the art center.

Megan Coyle Collage Artist Studio

And here's an image of my guest book, magnets, note cards, and digital picture frame that showed a slide show of my other work that wasn't hanging in the gallery.

Anyway, although I'm moving out and one more thing will be behind me, I'm really looking forward to what's coming up these next couple of months.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010


Collage artist Megan Coyle

People are often curious about how I construct my collages, so I thought I'd share a few photos of the materials I use. Several of these pictures were included in my PowerPoint for the "Stories in Paper" artist talk.

Collage artist Megan Coyle

For all my "work in progress" I use scissors, magazine pages, and Elmer's acid-free glue sticks. Some people ask if I ever use X-Acto knives and I don't - I've found that good old scissors work fine for me. I think X-Acto knives would be something I'd use if I wanted to be very precise with the shapes I cut out. Since my goal is to make each collage reminiscent of a painting, there isn't a need to be so precise with the shapes of my magazine cut-outs. It works better if my shapes are eye-balled and looser.

I use acid-free glue sticks as I work because of how flexible they are. The glue isn't permanent, thus I can easily lift up collage pieces and move them around. I can peel back magazine strips in certain areas to let previous layers shine through. Once I'm finished with a piece, I go back in and varnish the entire work to seal it all together and to help protect the paper.

Collage artist Megan Coyle

Usually I'll work with a couple piles of magazines surrounding me. That way my materials are at my fingertips - I can easily grab a magazine and start paging through it if I'm searching for a specific color or have an idea of a texture I'd like.

Collage artist Megan Coyle

Sometimes I'll tear out magazine pages based on their color and texture and file them away in folders. That way, if I'm working on a collage and I'm in need of a specific color, I don't have to hunt around for long - I can simply pull out the folder filled with magazine pages of that color.

Collage artist Megan Coyle

Here's a picture of me working with a glue stick and scissors as I cut out magazine strips for a landscape piece. This picture was taken by a writer from the Gazette Packet who wrote an article about the visiting artist program that I've been a part of.

Collage artist Megan Coyle

And here's an older picture of myself sitting on the floor working away on a collage I completed in 2008. Sometimes the floor is just the best workspace - you can really spread out with all your piles of paper.

So that's everything for now. I'll revisit my process another time to focus on another aspect of it.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Mr. Kangaroo

Mr. Kangaroo by collage artist Megan Coyle

"Mr. Kangaroo"
Collage on paper
12"x16" image size

This piece was inspired by a trip that I took the Smithsonian's Natural History Museum. A lot of my animal collages are inspired by trips to the Natural History Museum when I swing by their animal exhibits - or the National Zoo. I'm really having quite a bit of fun making animal collages - after making so many figurative pieces earlier this year, it's definitely a nice change of pace.

I'm beginning a lot of exhibition prep work for the animal exhibition that goes up this coming Sunday, August 1st. My "to do" list includes framing all the artwork, preparing an artist talk, and getting together all my postcards, business cards, etc. to set out during the show. We shall see how it goes...

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Stories in Paper Video

So my brother has done it again - for the opening for "Stories in Paper" he took a bus down from NYC just to spend a couple of hours at my reception before heading back up. He took a lot of video at the event and then edited it all. So if you missed the opening, or simply live too far away to come see the show, here you can get a taste of what it's like being in the gallery space:

Thursday, July 22, 2010


Pelicans by collage artist Megan Coyle

Collage on paper
12"x16" image size

Inspired by a walk through the National Zoo - these two pelicans were swimming about in the seal exhibit. Again you can see I'm drawn to the blues in water. There's just something that's really fun about working with reflections in water.

In other news, I was pretty excited today to receive my contract for my solo show at Krempp Gallery in May 2011. It's in Jasper, Indiana, although I'm planning to take a road trip when the time comes to deliver about twenty to thirty collages for the show. One of my goals this year was to get an exhibit in a gallery from a state that I'm not affiliated with at all and I'm pleased that my work will be off to the Midwest before long.

Anyway, I'm off to work on getting things a little more organized around my room. I'll be busy with quite a bit planning these next couple of weeks.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Blue Rhino

Blue Rhino by collage artist Megan Coyle

"Blue Rhino"
Collage on paper

This piece was inspired by one of my visits to the Natural History Museum. I decided to make him a blue rhino because I've found that blue is just one of my favorite colors to use in collages. There are also so many different shades and textures of blue that you can find when flipping through magazines. I suppose I'm just drawn to the variety.

So things are still a little bit busy. I'm currently working away on a few landscape and cityscape pieces for an upcoming show. And goodness - time is just flying by. I can't believe it's mid-July - before long I'll be packing up the studio and leaving the art center. It's been a great two months. I've learned quite a bit from it all. And so we move on...

My crazy week of artist talks and lectures is over with. You can check out the Art League Gallery's blog post on my blog lecture from the other day. A few down, and many more to go. With each presentation, I learn quite a bit from what is working and what needs improvement. For the upcoming animal solo show, I'm doing another artist talk. Since I'll be talking about my source of inspiration for animal collages, it will be a little different than my recent talks.

Anyway, it's getting a tad bit late, so I should go off to bed soon. I hope everyone had a happy Monday!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Orange Monkey

Orange Monkey by collage artist Megan Coyle

"Orange Monkey"
Collage on paper

This little guy was hanging out at the zoo and I just had to do a collage of him. I immediately loved his inquisitive little face. I had some fun with the texture in this piece.

Anyway, things are still pretty busy. I've decided to do another artist talk for my upcoming animal exhibition in August. So...more things to plan for. I really am loving what I'm doing though - which explains why I keep trying to take advantage of every opportunity that walks on by.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Tree Frog

Tree Frog by collage artist Megan Coyle

"Tree Frog"
Collage on paper

Another piece I completed while being a Visiting Artist at the local art center. It's another piece inspired by one of my trips to the National Zoo. I've completed quite a few animal collages there last month and now I'm off doing a few landscape/cityscape pieces.

I've enjoyed my time in the open studio, and at the end of this month that position will be over with. Time really does fly! I've met quite a few wonderful as well as interesting people during my time there. I've also realized that I don't think having an open studio year-round is quite the right thing for me - I prefer having the flexibility to dabble in a variety of things as a means to get my work "out there." So this Visiting Artist position has been just the right thing for me - it's given me a taste of what it's like working in a studio that's open to the public - and also setting up shop there.

Anyway, it's getting late, and I should start planning out one of the talks I'm giving this week. I hope everyone had a happy Monday!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Stories in Paper Opening Reception

I had a blast at my opening reception for "Stories in Paper" on July 8th. Here are some photos that my dad took during the opening:

Collage Artist Megan Coyle

Here you can see my name on the wall along with the title of the show. I made sixteen collages for the exhibit but we could only fit fourteen in this space.

Collage Artist Megan Coyle

Here I am talking to a few of the visitors.

Collage Artist Megan Coyle

People mingling in the gallery before my artist talk.

Collage Artist Megan Coyle

An HDR shot of my brother filming the gallery - he came all the way from NYC just for the opening. What a surprise!

Collage Artist Megan Coyle

Beginning my talk - the gallery set up a projector for me so I could show slides as I discussed my work. It was especially helpful since I could show photographs of each step for my work in progress.

Collage Artist Megan Coyle

The crowd standing near one of the solo gallery entrances - you can see a bit of the work from the all-media membership show for the Art League.

Collage Artist Megan Coyle

And an action shot of my talk.

I can't believe the reception is already over. The show was scheduled for 2010 back in 2008, so I had a couple of years waiting for this exhibit.

In other news, it's been a few days since my last blog post - I've been quite busy preparing for the next couple events I have planned in my agenda. This week I'm giving a little talk and demonstration to a collage group that's stopping by my studio, and on Thursday I'm giving a lecture on blogging.

Hope everyone had a wonderful weekend!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Cuddling Turtles

Cuddling Turtles by collage artist Megan Coyle

"Cuddling Turtles"
Collage on paper

Another collage completed during my Visiting Artist time at the Torpedo Factory. Time is flying by - before long July will be over!

My solo show was installed this morning. I created sixteen pieces for the show, but we were only able to fit fourteen on the wall. Tomorrow's the big day for the opening reception - I just need to take care of a little prep work tonight to get ready tomorrow. It's crazy to think that I knew I had a solo show at the Art League Gallery back in 2008. All last year I worked on the body of work for the exhibit. And now, it's finally up and ready to be viewed! Exciting!!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010


Gorilla by collage artist Megan Coyle
Order a print

Collage on paper

Here's the finished piece - and now the next several collages I post won't include any progress pictures (like I mentioned before). Perhaps I should start taking my camera with me to the studio...

Things have been going pretty well lately. Getting ready to install my solo show "Stories in Paper" tomorrow and then I'll work on prepping for my artist talk, etc. on Thursday. Then the following week I'm doing a demonstration/talk for a collage group and giving a lecture on blogging. So lots to do - all very exciting, yet it will still be nice once everything is done.

Work in the studio has been interesting. I really enjoy a lot of the visitors that pop in and have met quite a few lovely people. From emerging artists to art enthusiasts, I've thoroughly enjoyed the conversation I've had with others. However, you still get an oddball in the studio every once in a while - I suppose that's the charm of having the art center studios open to the public.

The other day, I was working away on my latest scapes collage for an upcoming show at NIH. An older woman came in and gradually made her way over to where I was working. She hovered for a while, watching me work. Then she piped in, "You must have done real good in kindergarten."

I glanced up at her, kind of shocked and mumbled something like, "Yeah, sure." After the English major within me cringed from her grammar, I was a little surprised by her comment. I do look pretty young but sorry lady, my kindergarten days are long, long gone. I initially felt insulted by this. Once I got over that initial response, I thought her comment was pretty hilarious. I suppose some people consider cutting and pasting paper to be pretty elementary. All I can do is smile and laugh about that. There's so much more to collage than just that.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Progress Picture #1: Gorilla

Gorilla by collage artist Megan Coyle

This is the last collage made in my studio where I have a "before" sketch of the piece. The next few collages I'll post from my Visiting Artist work won't have any progress photos since I didn't bring my camera along to the studio. This sketch gives you an idea of the composition I did for the gorilla collage - I'll post the completed collage next.

Things are still a bit busy for me, although within the next couple of weeks things should calm down a bit. On Wednesday I'm installing my solo exhibition "Stories in Paper." I'm excited to see the work on the gallery's walls - that's always the best part. Anyway, I can't believe it's already July - June just flew by!

And I hope everyone had a Happy Fourth of July!