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3 Blood Street
Pepperell, MA 01463
United States

Megan Carty is a Boston area contemporary painter who makes uplifting abstract floral paintings for people who have a flair for bold boho statements and tailored style. Through her bubbly personality, her use of bright colors, and her positive healing message she's here to deliver joy for your well-dressed walls!

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Journal

Filtering by Category: Artist's Life

Art Depicting My Mind with Depression and Anxiety

Megan Carty

abstract_painting_by_megan_carty

My latest work is abstract but has a message. I’m exploring what it feels like inside my brain while living and coping with depression and anxiety. How it isn’t always just black and bleak. It is complicated and full of color, confusion, decay, growth, and beauty. There is optimism, light, and energy. There is fear, desperation and stress. There is dismay, chatter, loneliness and overwhelm and it all exists together in a sort of murky soup. (for lack of a better word). 

I create a tangle of color, shape and line to convey this confusion of life and decay to the viewer in a relatable way. Surprisingly, the end result is something I hope to be pretty and interesting to look at. To be relatable and delightful despite having a morbid undercurrent. Like it has a hidden secret there in plain view…a secret shared between artist and viewer. What we see on the surface isn’t always the end of the story; it’s just the very beginning. 

abstract floral painting by megan carty

Fear and Making Abstract Art

Megan Carty

abstract_landscape_painting_megan_carty

Making abstract work used to be very intimidating. Back when it mattered to me that people thought I had “good art skills” I wanted them to think “Wow, THAT looks just like a tree!” (you know what I mean) I didn’t want anyone to say things like “My 2 year old could make that!” or “UGH, THAT’S not art!!!” It’s not easy to share and show the deepest thoughts and feelings I have when I am painting a sunny beach scene. I appreciate and am proud of the landscapes I’ve made and often-times I have the urge to make them just for the sheer pleasure of it. There is a place for that! Connecting to others using emotional concepts has required a vulnerability and bravery to make work that isn’t so recognizable right away. It has taken a real sense of personal mission and self belief to make this new work…I’ve had to overcome a lot of stomach aches and headaches! I doubt I will ever get used to the feeling of sticking my neck out on a chopping block that is each new piece. But the sense of personal fulfillment keeps me coming back again and I have to suppose I’m on the right track.

Bad Art School Experience

Megan Carty

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Back in art school I once had a professor physically tear up a project of mine into little pieces in front of the whole class. It was a humiliating experience that I let thread itself into the fabric of my being. I felt like I wasn’t worthy of expressing MY ideas. That what I had to say wasn’t important. I felt singled out under a spotlight with a big sign that said LOSER and IMPOSTER. 22 years and a lot of growth after that toxic experience I’ve come to realize that we don’t have to hold on to the things that have happened to us. The energy during that critique was HIS energy, NOT MINE. I don’t have to hang onto the experience like some sort of trophy out to poison me. I gave that energy back. The same is true for all the negative and traumatic happenings in my life…they happened and I learned valuable things from them. And they are safely in the past. Inner peace comes from living in the NOW and embracing who we are HERE in this second. I can choose to LET GO the happenings that aren’t currently serving me and it has made all the difference in my mindset, beliefs, and overall well-being. I urge you to think about the things from your past you might be clinging to with resentment and anger and consider severing ties with that poison that holds you back from being who you are meant to be.

Abstract Floral Paintings

Megan Carty

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Now that my solo show of New England coastal paintings is hanging up, I've found my cravings to paint abstracts again have taken over. I'm not finished with landscapes forever; I just like to explore the other side of my creativity. I get such satisfaction from painting scenery I love and recognize; and then I get such a free feeling from painting in an imaginative way that speaks to my soul. 

 

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I have a love for sassy color, line, and shape...and opposites. Dark vs. Light. Massive vs. Delicate. Clutter vs. Open Space. Harmony vs. Dissonance ...making work that evokes botanicals (plants and flowers) really fits the bill. I get to use ALL the bright colors, delicate lines, biomorphic shapes...it's beyond fun. And working abstractly allows me the freedom to make my own choices...to let the painting create itself from my inner muse. It's always a surprise what appears before me on the blank panel! My goal is to make paintings that are statement pieces: sophisticated, unique, tailored, crisp, and PRETTY. (Yes! I said the "P" word!)

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Coastal Conversations Art Show by Megan Carty

Megan Carty

megan carty art, coastal New England paintings

My "Coastal Conversations" art show opening was a true excitement and I'm so thrilled my work is hanging in such a beautiful space! It was amazing to see my landscape paintings hanging all together; you can really see my artistic painting style throughout the work. I am all finished with my landscape cravings for now and plan to revisit them in the future after I explore my abstract cravings for a while!

Visit  1200 Centre St. Boston (Roslindale), MA...The Hebrew Rehabilitation Center. Follow the signs to park by the visitors' entrance and the gallery is just inside and down the hall to the left. 

It will hang until August 3rd 2018; check it out while you can! Art is available for purchase in my art shop.

megan carty art show

New England Contemporary Abstract Landscape Paintings by Megan Carty

Megan Carty

New England landscape painting by artist Megan Carty

Hot diggity-dog! Spring begins soon here in the States! (Of course, it stays snowy in MY neck of the woods until almost the end of April!) I don’t know about you, but I like spring because I start to “awaken” with energy as I leave hibernation mode and start ramping up activities to reach my goals. Are you revving your engine and ramping up too?

The idea of spring has triggered new growth for ME. As you can see (especially if you follow me on Instagram!) my landscape painting style is continuously evolving into my own…more toward abstraction…little by little. 

TICKLING YOUR BRAIN? WHAT’S THE DEAL?

Paintings are more interesting to look at and are more dynamic when you AREN’T given all the information.

*gasp!* 

This “tickles your brain” and allows your mind to fill in the blanks from your own experiences so you can make the piece your own. 

In that way your own memories and emotions allow you become an active participant in the art! 

Cool, right?

I’m not as interested in capturing the New England landscape exactly as I see it (we have cameras to do that!) and would rather challenge myself to capture the gesture, energy and mood of a place in as simple a way as possible (using color, shape, line and value).

You would be surprised how DIFFICULT this is! I’m trained to SEE with great detail and notice every little color shift as I try to record it. Now, I’m trying to turn OFF that fussy tendency and simplify, simplify, simplify. It takes me out of my comfort zone but makes the art more exciting and electric.

I’m trying to SUGGEST details rather than show them. It can be hard to let go, loosen up and trust. Kinda like the advice given to writers: keep it simple and say it in as few words as possible!

New work is flowing along and I plan on releasing all new paintings (both small and large in size) soon. Sign up for my email newsletter "Collector's Circle" to get news and find out about exact release dates in advance.  I’m so excited about these…I can say they are nostalgic, gritty, honest, and show the more fickle side of the New England land. They are close to my heart and I believe they will resonate in meaningful ways for others. 

I’m excited to share this evolution with you! As always, thank you so much for coming along on this journey with me. Please do reach out and comment if you have any questions about my process or the art. I’ll be happy to answer! 

New England Contemporary Abstract Landscape Painting by Megan Carty, grass painting
New England Contemporary Abstract Landscape Painting by Megan Carty, Casco Bay, Yarmouth, Maine

How it feels when you want to end your life

Megan Carty

depression and suicide awareness

Hi friends!

Today I'm taking a break from painting in recognition of suicide prevention week. As you may already know from my "about" page, I've suffered from depression for 23 years so far and have been suicidal a fraction of that time; mainly in the last few years. This is a big "why" as to what my painting practice means to my self-support/healing and to my collectors.

I've been thinking a lot lately about my friends who have lost loved ones close to them to suicide and my heart aches for them. I see a lot out in the media for suicide awareness that discusses how we need to "know how to look for the signs" and how we need to be there for our loved ones and tell them we love them. And I agree. But I feel called and compelled to weigh in and say that people suffering from suicidal thoughts need to feel EMPOWERED to seek help for themselves. They need to feel like it is ok to tell close loved ones about their feelings and needs, and that they can go get help from a doctor or psychiatrist. People need to recognize the warning signs within THEMSELVES that something is wrong and that the disease of depression has taken root (and can worsen if untreated!) A knight in shining armor will not come save you from a "suicidal cliff"; you have to fight the dragon yourself and you CAN. You do NOT have to suffer in silence and fear burdening someone else with your "issues." You are sick!!! It is an illness that can have severe consequences and outcomes! You cannot sit around and wait for someone to recognize something might be off with you or read your mind.  In short, people are happy to help. Especially when they love you. But you have to TELL them about it!

In this video, I discuss very candidly what it feels like when you are in a suicidal mindset so it may shed some light as to a reason WHY. I can only speak for myself, but I wanted to share in case it helps someone else.

I also see a lot of loved ones left behind who blame themselves or feel regretful that they weren't "more helpful" to their friend in some way...that perhaps that person might still be here if they had "done more." I can't imagine the pain of that burden!!!!! And I'm here to say that, in my experience, that is not the case. When I felt like ending my life, it was coming from a place of love and sacrifice (as you will hear me discuss in the video). People say "how can you be so selfish to kill yourself and leave your family behind!?" and I get it. I discuss this in detail in the video and hope it brings a new light and lifts a bit of burden from your heart.

Thinking of you all and wishing you love and light!!!! Let's end this stigma!!!!!

New abstract nautical paintings on the way!

Megan Carty

sea glass beach, great diamond island, maine
searching for sea glass on Great Diamond Island, Maine
seaweed, maine coast
hunting for sea glass in Diamond Cove, Maine
todder digging at Diamond Cove, Maine

We just spent a week at Great Diamond Island in Casco Bay off the coast of Portland, Maine. It was a truly magical time to watch the kids explore and discover in nature! I will share about our trip over the next few posts but had to share these few images with you! I went with the intention to gather inspiration for my next abstract coastal paintings...they are going to feature colors and line from the crisp Maine coastline.

I found inspiration imagery in droves! Just smelling the fresh sea air was enough to send me to glory; but the sights and sounds (oh, those lapping ocean waves!) were just as wonderful. I'm so excited to get started on this collection and bring it to life for my fellow sea-lovers to enjoy. These are going to be sleek, classy, serene and unique. Unlike anything else out there.

Above are a few pictures from the day we collected glass from Sea Glass Beach in Diamond Cove. The kids couldn't get enough and we went back several times... I fell in love with the views from the beach and the beautiful deep shades of green in the sea water. The seaweed was a bright yellow ochre and there was sea grass in bright greens...all mixed with shells, rocks, and glass. It was hard to leave this spot but we have a lot of colorful souvenirs to remind us of our visit!

Capturing the mood and feeling through paintings will be a fun challenge. Let it begin!

How suffering from depression affects my art practice

Megan Carty

depression and art by Megan Carty

Suffering from clinical depression/bipolar disorder means long stretches of normalcy interrupted by stretches of flare ups where I'm overwhelmed, hopeless, empty, exhausted, physically sore, manically angry, confused and frustrated. I'm running through days in quicksand. I talk a lot about this in my Instagram Stories but wanted to share here and help chip away at the stigma of this illness. If you battle this disease, I feel you. I've been through 23 years of this and I know this will blow by. I don't know when, but it will.

I'm maintaining my medication regime and doing all the things I can to heal this episode. This informs my life, my relationships and my artwork...the bubbly person that is my soul wants to stay in joy and show it to the world. My art allows me to do this...it still comes out even on my darkest days. It is always there reminding me that I'm ok and I just have to share my light. Some days it is all I have to give.

Side note: because of this flare up I've had to stop #the100dayproject because I need to focus on healing and stability. But I'm still cheering on those who are participating! I gave it my best!!!

If you suffer from depression or other long-term illness: You are not alone and you can feel free to comment below. I'm listening!

Reflecting on the past year

Megan Carty

artist megan carty

Happy Holidays my friends!!! Whew, did this year go fast or what? Whenever December rolls around, I like to reflect back on what happened that was good or what needs improvement as I figure out what my priorities and wishes are for 2017. This past year my biggest goal was to zero in on what I most love to paint and I’ve happily accomplished that! I’ve also built and tweaked my website and shop and have really put focused attention on how I can help my collectors and potential collectors. I’ve seen a lot of growth this year; so THANK YOU for that! For 2017 I plan to focus on translating my new abstract landscapes on paper into larger works on canvas and panel... lots of variety in sizes and price points. I also plan to increase my commission slots as I work to get more healing art into the hands that need it! With the turmoil going on in our social climate these days it is more important than ever to surround ourselves with beauty and positivity.

Have you determined what your plans are for the coming year? Feel free to share them with me in the comments!

Here are some of my priorities for 2017: 

  1. Become a more engaged mother for my children when I am not working
  2. Focus a bit more on making our home a cozy sanctuary for my family
  3. Lose 20lbs and get fit while gaining lots of energy
  4. Get more of my soothing abstract landscape paintings out into the world!

What was successful about 2016? Feel free so share your wins with me in the comments!

For me it was:

  1. Being chosen by Improper Bostonian Magazine as “Best of Boston: Wedding Keepsake” for my custom wedding bouquet paintings
  2. Getting featured on the Glitter Guide giving advice to work-at-home parents (as well as a studio tour!)
  3. Having a write-up about me and my work in our local newspaper The Nashoba Valley Times
  4. Having a feature in the December issue of artMAINE Magazine
  5. Getting to create several paintings-turned-prints exclusively for Maine Cottage Catalog.
  6. Selling my work at various boutiques; especially the online shop Loom & Kiln
  7. Figuring out my favorite painting style and subject-matter…knowing what makes me most happy to make.
  8. Getting to create custom commissions for so many special people…making work that is meaningful and special for someone else is a real honor!

I encourage you to reflect back on your wins of the year and celebrate them. It’s all about the journey and we need to enjoy all the little things along the way! That’s what life is all about! Thank you so much for sharing in my journey this year...I have felt so much support and encouragement from this community and I wish you the happiest holiday and New Year! Enjoy, be well, and stay positive!

5 Tips for Balancing Motherhood and Your Business

Megan Carty

balancing motherhood and business

I'm so proud and excited to tell you I've written an article on balancing work and motherhood for Glitter Guide! It's a topic close to my heart and it's something I juggle every single day. Wanting to be the best mother I can be can sometimes clash with my desires to be a highly productive artist. Each day the balance and focus changes with my goals and it's simply not easy! But I've learned a lot in the past almost eight years of parenting and I'm sharing my discoveries with you!

The article also features an exclusive look at my new studio space! Woot Woot!

Check it out my tips for balancing work and motherhood here!

Painting through Intuition

Megan Carty

abstract watercolor landscape painting by Megan Carty

I'm digging the direction my work has been going lately...abstract but looks like a landscape...I try to convey a sense of time and mood through my use of color. They are like vignettes or memories of a space in time. When I sit down to paint I am usually in a peaceful state where I just finished meditating and I continue that peaceful energy into my painting practice. I look at my colors and then start with whatever I'm most drawn to. I don't plan ahead usually; although sometimes I will see a color palette I love in an inspirational image and I will aim to use those colors. I like to just let intuition take control and see how the piece unfolds on its own. Sometimes working this way makes me nervous, but it's my way of practicing faith...faith in my intuition and in my vision.

Bookkeeping stress

Megan Carty

Sometimes I feel overwhelmed by the tiniest tasks. Like the stack of bills waiting to be paid and dealt with. UGH. I also owe sales tax to the state and have to tackle all my business tax stuff. But I've got so many questions, which leads to stress and worry. "Just call an accountant and get some help!" I tell myself. sigh. I guess it's just the point of it. I have to pay MORE money to sort something I wish I could just figure out for myself for FREE. These  types of things send me into a tailspin into moodiness and panic. I real trigger for my depression. What can I do? Well, I suppose I can try to research my questions on my own and see if that makes me feel better. And I can have my husband help my daughter with her big school project because I can't help her AND do my research. Every day as a business owner and a parent means making choices between one thing or another and it never ends. Bottom line: I refuse to let my bookkeeping concerns keep me from creating my work and following my dreams. I'm going to break down that wall and get good at this stuff, darnit! Positive mindset, positive mindset, positive mindset.

Experimenting with Acrylic Inks

Megan Carty

abstract watercolor painting by Megan Carty

The other day I bought some acrylic inks to experiment with and I'd say I'm in love with them. It's the joy, permanence and vibrancy of acrylic paint, but the flow of a watercolor. They take some getting used to so far, but I think they are satisfying my artist spirit perfectly. Monday (today) is the day I get a lot done since the kids are in school or with a babysitter until 3:00. So, I have a few hours where I can focus on creating and doing business stuff. I got to sit and paint...just BE so I could work out some ideas that have been collecting moss in my brain. This painting is one of those. I even found time to list several new pieces in the shop and boy, does it feel good to add fresh work! I feel like I can breathe again now that I've cleared out the cobwebs inside myself.

The Strength to be an Artist

Megan Carty

Abstract Watercolor Painting by Megan Carty, healing energy painting

I heard a phrase today for the first time: "It's not the size of the dog in the fight, it's the size of the fight in the dog." It's just so true isn't it? At least we like to hope so if we're the small but scrappy sort. Building a business as an artist requires fight. I lot of fight. You need to know who you are and what matters to you. You need to be unapologetic about what you bring forth into creation. And then you need to bravely put it all out there...share your vulnerabilities and let others in. And you do this over and over and over again all to hope that someone will "get" you. Then you know that you have a voice and maybe someone relates to that voice. We are all just reaching out to each other to prove we are here and that we matter.

Painting Mount Desert Island MY way

Megan Carty

Mt. Desert Island painting

Since I've decided to make work intuitively, I've found that color from my mood influences my work. Kind of like when we wake up feeling like crap and put on our easiest "go-to" outfit...comfy...tried-and-true. I have my "go-to" blues and greens which never fail to soothe me and put me in a sort of relaxed trance. Like being at the lake on a summer evening. On days when I'm buzzing with energy and high vibes I like to mix in some brighter hues like pinks or oranges or rusts. Today I made this piece (pictured) and found if I pulled the paint up a little it looked like trees on a hillside near a pond or coastline. It's so interesting that one little flick of paint can turn a blob of paint into representation of a memory. My first vacation with my now husband was to Bar Harbor, Maine where we enjoyed the fall foliage and went on hikes along the various trails. It was pure magic. Enough so that we ended up getting married there two years later. Maybe you have a memory of being amongst nature that was healing and special experience for you? I know that I need to incorporate more hikes into our lives...my kids need to be making these same fond memories out in the fresh clean air.

Creating art that sells vs. creating art from your soul

Megan Carty

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Lately I've been living in my head so much that I feel like I'm going to explode. So, I've decided to try and do a small daily journal to get out my thoughts and inspirations. Will it make me feel better? Who the hell knows? I'm just gonna do it!I've been struggling with my style and making art that makes me "blissful." Is that the goal of creating? Do I create so that I can be in a state of bliss? How selfish. But, it's also so necessary. I suffer from severe depression and making art is a wonderful meditative process that calms me and soothes me. I get so sick when I'm not creating. I started trying to sell my work a few years back and I've been bouncing around experimenting with different subject matter as I explore what makes me feel most whole and relaxed. You know what got in the way? Worrying about "what would sell." Always wondering what other people wanted to purchase and bring into their homes. It's a lot of pressure! I got away from the point...to create something that makes ME happy. To make something that comes from my SOUL. I've started painting whatever comes to me at the time...bright fusions of color and light. I'm not out to make anything representational...I'm simply playing with paint and color and composition to make something that is pleasing to look at. Sometimes I get insecure and think I have to prove myself by painting things that look realistic. But I've been there and done that. It leaves me feeling stressed out, tired, and empty. But painting abstracts in an intuitive way GIVES me energy. It fills me with joy and purpose. I can't explain why, but I'm just going with it.

On Putting Yourself Out There as an Artist

Megan Carty

I’ve never thought of myself as brave until recently when I decided to create abstract paintings that are made intuitively…raw paintings that are made with bright colors and shapes that call to me as I create them. Unplanned. Chaotic. I used to hide behind creating representational work that showed off my skills but didn’t show off my heart or soul. I say “hide behind” because it’s easy to do the things people expect you to, right? Doing work that may not be as popular/easy to understand with the majority of people; or maybe isn’t as “marketable” is risky. You set yourself up for criticism you might not have gotten from a well-executed painting of a more typical landscape.  

It’s more painful when your personal work is criticized; but it’s SO much sweeter when it’s complimented! Deciding to make what you want to make is like stepping off a cliff without knowing what is below. Will people like it? Am I proud of it? Can I make more of it? Will it sell? Fear has always kept me from venturing into this unknown abyss…until I decided life is too short to play it safe all the time. We each have something unique and special to offer; it’s our duty to “put it out there” and share it with the world. If we censor who we are, we are doing a disservice to ourselves and to our greater purpose. I’m excited to be “putting myself out there” and that you are here to share the experience with me. Is there something you’ve been hiding behind? Is there something about yourself you’d like to share with the world but you have been holding back? Feel free to divulge your dreams and secret wishes in the comments below!

How to find joy in the work we do

Megan Carty

megan carty art studio

Getting back into the groove of painting regularly has been a true source of peace for me. It's funny how something that is called "work" is really so restorative. I'm working on this floral commission in my new studio space and I am just delighting in all the natural light! I loved my old space, but the lack of light was frustrating at best. Working on a painting for someone else can seem daunting, but I've found it can be an enjoyable process when I concentrate on the lifetime of visual joy I am serving to others. I feel like I'm using the gifts God has given me for a greater purpose and there is so much personal joy in that. How lucky am I??? When we frame our work around helping and serving others, we find the joy in the process. Cool, right? Today, there is no room to paint as I must serve my children and family....laundry, cleaning, bills, and errands await! Not so fun, but I can delight in serving others and find the joy. Again, I am so lucky!

Megan Carty on Facebook Live...Studio Update!

Megan Carty

Hey Guys! You HAVE to follow me on my Facebook Page! I'm going to start doing LIVE video broadcasts over there so you can see what I'm up to in real time! I'll be bringing you the "behind the scenes" look as I make my paintings, show you my space, give you tips and tricks about art, and Q/As. I hope you enjoy watching them and getting to know me! Join me over there and subscribe so you can be notified when I go LIVE!