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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: Inspiration

Uplifting Quote: Deep Breathing for Relaxation

Megan Carty

uplifting_quote_in_with_love_out_with_hate

One technique I use when I am super-frustrated or annoyed about something is to push my breath out as hard as possible for as long as I can (like blowing out a candle…but on steroids). Then, I take a breath in VERY slowly and count to 7 while I think “In with love.” Next, I breathe OUT slowly with another count to 7 or more until ALLLLLL the air is gone and then some. With that, I think “Out with hate” (I will say it a few times as I breathe out.) I do this over and over until I feel so calm and relaxed. It sounds cheesy, but it actually works and I do it all the time. It’s also the method I use when I’m having trouble falling asleep. The slow breathing really forces my heart to steady and keeps my brain from racing. It forces your physical body to slow down and the next thing you know, you are waking up from a sound sleep!

Anyway, don’t let negative energy get stuck inside! Send it out frequently so it doesn’t build up and cause dis-ease (and disease!).

Uplifting Quote: Creating Your Own Opportunities

Megan Carty

Be sure to click and save the image if you’d like to share it on Instagram or Facebook!

Be sure to click and save the image if you’d like to share it on Instagram or Facebook!

As an artist, it is easy to assume that one day the “right” person will find our work and then share it with the world and suddenly we will be famous and successful. It’s a dream, right?

It’s also not reality. Artists who are successful figure out who they want to reach with their art and then they GO FIND THEM. They reach out via email, direct message, comment, or tweet. They find where the right opportunities are and then go after them. There’s no magic in it. Just hard work and effort and bravery.

Artists build door after door as they build their careers and it takes commitment and drive and the awareness of who their work IS for and who it ISN’T. With this knowledge, we get out into the world and build relationships…a network of people we can help and who may be able to help us one day. It takes time.

You can still paint all day long and keep it a secret. Then, it is a wonderful hobby. But the professional artist who wants to make a career in selling paintings will get out there and create their opportunities.

How to Reach Your Goals and Increase Your Productivity!

Megan Carty

how to reach your goals and increase your productivity using a time timer

Hi friends!

For YEARS I have had so many different goals and resolutions…de-clutter the house, start a regular exercise routine, regularly update my business book keeping…I never seem to stick with a schedule and I recently gave it some real thought. Why do I find it so challenging to do these things?

The answer came to me when I thought about my feelings and I realize that I dread these tasks because they seem overwhelming. Insurmountable. Too time-consuming. Too much work. BLAAAHHHHH. The results from these limiting beliefs was NO ACTION. No productivity. No changes.

Well, what could I do to make the tasks less overwhelming? Less time-consuming? Today do-able?

I decided to get a timer and it was a game-changer! Now, I didn’t get just ANY timer (I have my phone for that!). I got a TIME TIMER! THIS timer shows you how much time is passing in a visual way. For example, when I turn the dial to 10 minutes, the section of 10 minutes is colored RED. As the time counts down, the red also disappears with it. It’s simple yet powerful. (You can see the timer in the image with this blog post as an example)

When I want to declutter a room, I start with ONE drawer and set the timer to 20 minutes. I then go ahead and do what I can within that 20 minute window. Once the time is up, I can stop! This allows me to feel like I’m moving toward my goals without all the feelings of overwhelm and struggle. If I have not completed the drawer and I have more time, then perhaps I set the timer for 10 more minutes and finish up. OR, I simply leave it to the next day. Over the following days, weeks, and months I move through the room drawer-by-drawer and cabinet-by-cabinet using the timer to help me stay on task. It’s much easier to reach our goals when we have a flexible deadline.

With exercise, I am a beginner and have quit trying several times. Usually it’s because I do too much too fast and it becomes very punishing, painful, and a horrible experience. Now, I’m setting my timer to 10 minutes and doing high-intensity circuit training in that window. I figure that 40 minutes seems like torture, but I can handle 10 minutes of anything! AND starting out with small goals allows me to build up my strength over time as I am actually able to show up a little bit each day. 10 minutes is better than ZERO minutes (which is what I was doing before!). Before too long, I will build up to 15 minute windows and then 20 minute windows and so-forth.

Another great use is with helping the kids be productive in chores or with food. My kids struggle to eat their meals in a timely manner. They would sit for 3 hours if I let them (and still never eat much food!). Cue the timer! I simply set the timer for 30 minutes and set it nearby where they can watch it. There is NO annoying or stressful ticking noise to add stress. It simply shows the allotment of time available in an easy way. The kids can now see and control their use of their time because the timer makes it clear how much of it is left. The result? Food is eaten and there is more time for homework, fun activities, chores, and other tasks for the evening.

It’s ok to have lots of goals, but we need to have a way to make them attainable. We need to set ourselves up for realistic success. Breaking my goals down into small chunks and using the timer to keep me on task has been a huge help for my productivity. No more feelings of dread or overwhelm and I feel like I can attain ANYTHING (as long as I give myself enough TIME to make it happen in a real way!).

Snag your own Time Timer here!

Here is a video where I discuss how the Time-Timer increases my productivity to achieve my goals:

Preppy and Bright Abstract Art-The Sketch

Megan Carty

Study by Megan Carty, Copyright 2019 by the artist. It is illegal to take and use this image.

Study by Megan Carty, Copyright 2019 by the artist. It is illegal to take and use this image.

My newest abstract art collection I’m working on all started with this little study in my sketchbook. I’m in looooooove with the bright pops of color and the simplicity of the composition. I purposely restrained my use of colors so that the piece would make more of a statement in a room. The colors have enough breathing room to really sing, stand out, and be bold. I’m doing a TON of new work like this...both on paper and on canvas. AND I’ve got LARGE pieces coming…perfect for a mantle or over a couch or in a dining room. BOOM!!!

Pinterest to Palette: Color Inspiration

Megan Carty

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Images I discover on Pinterest often inspire the color combinations I choose for my work; I wanted to share what this looks like to give you a peek into my process. Follow me on Pinterest here.

The top original image was pinned to Pinterest by Victoria Smith of the blog sfgirlbybay...
visit her original blog post or visit her Pinterest boards

The original image is from the Denmark based House-Doctor.

The bright lemon yellow color of that little box there halted me in my scroll and all the different shades of green around it got my wheels turning! I am producing several abstract paintings with these different variations and I’m doubtful I’ll be tired of it anytime soon!

Uplifting Quote: When Bad Things Happen FOR us

Megan Carty

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In January, I like to reflect on the past year and think about what I’ve learned (both positive and negative) and how I can take that with me.

When bad things happen, they happen FOR us (not TO us). Hard things are painful because they force us to stretch and expand and thus move us toward the next great thing.

We are always expanding and changing (and not just from the holiday treats!) It’s part of our purpose here. We can’t live in the past. Once we have stretched and learned, it’s over and gone forever. We get to choose how we feel as we move ahead.

It doesn’t always seem that way, does it? We hang on to our burdens like a badge of honor when they don’t serve us in a positive way.

I give myself permission to let go of old burdens and keep my eyes forward. Always searching for gratitude and ways to make things great right NOW.

I hope you will too!

Artist's Edit: Style this Abstract Floral Painting!

Megan Carty

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I realized recently that sharing my artwork with you is great, but showing HOW it can work in your space is even better! Each month I will post as part of a new series I’ve created called “Artist’s Edit” where I take one of my paintings and style it for an imaginary space using furniture and accessories I think would go well with it. If you like it, I hope you’ll consider pinning it to your Pinterest boards!

First up: this featured art piece is one of my favorite modern abstract floral paintings called “I Forgot to Weed” and it comes FRAMED in an awesome golden floater frame. I think it’s the perfect complement to a den or office; much (but not ALL) of the furniture and accessories I suggest here are by Article.

Follow me on Pinterest HERE.

Art Depicting My Mind with Depression and Anxiety

Megan Carty

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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

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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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

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
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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!

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.

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.

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.

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!

Welcome Spring!

Megan Carty

Ranunculus by Megan Carty Art, www.megancartyart.com

Yesterday was the first full day of spring! Of course, it snowed several inches here and school was cancelled. Which worked out great because everyone has that nasty stomach bug that's going around and I've been tending to sickly bodies. I picked up some flowers from Trader Joe's the other day and they are helping make all the difference today!

Style My Painting-Comfy Colorful Family Room design

Megan Carty

I finished this huge 48x48 inch painting (and it's for sale in the shop!)...I decided to style a fictional family room around the painting just to show what it might look like over a couch...what a fun little project this was to make! I definitely can see myself doing more of these in the future. Although I'm not an interior decorator, it can be fun to see what my paintings can look like out in the world!

How to deal with creative burnout

Megan Carty

Hi friends!

Dave Conrey with The Fresh Rag Show podcast interviewed me a few weeks ago...we discussed my battles with creative burnout and what I did to fight it and win! This particular interview is the last in a trilogy where he discusses burnout with 3 different artists...one is going through it now, one has gone through it and switched gears, and then one (me) has gone through it and came back with a new strategy. All are great listens and I think will help anyone going through a "what the hell am I doing right now?" issue.  Listen to my interview which aired today HERE.

Don't wait too long because Dave will eventually take down old episodes and you will only have access as a Patreon subscriber (so, either listen now or sign on through Patreon to listen to ALL of Fresh Rag's awesome and informative episodes).

I'd like to add this tidbit that I didn't discuss in my interview. I discussed finding my purpose (to bring happiness to others in my own way using paint and happy colors.) But I didn't talk about how I came to that. I've battled depression most of my life and it's an up-and-down journey. I know that surrounding myself with things I love and appreciate helps me feel a sense of joy when things are hard. As an artist, I can help uplift others through positive work I create. It's not a lot, but it's something I CAN do. If I can soothe someone or help make a space bright; then I feel like it's a win. I'm using my skills and talents to help others. I've been on the dark side and visit it often enough. So, I see it as an honor to hold someone else's hand when they need it too.

I just wanted to say that. :)

My NEW website launch!

Megan Carty

Hi friends! I'm SO EXCITED about my new website here I built with Squarespace! I'm offering all kinds of new artwork for sale and an entirely new site design! I've spent the entire month of October working on it and am so thrilled to show it to you. I took all the photos of my work myself and my friend Kris Vogelsang of Cricket Acres Studio helped me with styling them. She was a huge help. My talented photographer sister-in-law Denise Carty took the photos and portraits with ME in them. I'm thrilled with her great work! She really worked with me to get exactly the kind of shots I was envisioning. We got a lot done in ONE day! And finally, my friend Emily Benson of Style by Emily came over and helped me find my signature "look" just by shopping in my very own closet! In two hours' time she helped me find several new outfits that I NEVER would have thought to put together on my own. She helped show me that I need to stay away from pale and soft neutral colors (they wash me out) and stick with vibrant jewel tones. She even looked at my accessories and made recommendations as to what I needed to get (certain shoes and necklaces in my case) to round things out. Each outfit made me feel so stylish, professional, and fancy. Yet, at the same time, I feel like ME. Just a "blingy" better version. Now, when I put in a little extra effort to add fun accessories with my bright colored outfits people really notice what I'm wearing and compliment me.  What's super-great about Emily is she's so friendly, open, and honest. I felt like we'd known each other forever by the time she'd left! She even held my baby and got him to sleep while I tried things on! Talk about super-woman! She even works remotely via Skype. I highly recommend her if you are looking for style guidance. She was able to come in, assess what I was all about and zero in on a look for me so quickly it was like magic. I feel like a glam new person thanks to her! (a large feat for a Mom of 3 littles!)

Here's the first few outfits Emily had me try during our session...

Here's the first few outfits Emily had me try during our session...

Here are the rest of the looks Emily found in my closet during our session. I ended up buying some shoes and statement necklaces later at her recommendations. Boom!

Here are the rest of the looks Emily found in my closet during our session. I ended up buying some shoes and statement necklaces later at her recommendations. Boom!

I really hope you like my new website as much as I do! It is my passion to bring others happiness in some way and this place has become my online happy spot...I hope you feel a bit of that joy when you are here visiting. I'd love to hear about what kinds of things bring you joy? Leave your comment and maybe we can share some ideas on how we keep a positive feeling going!