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.
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.
I just completed my newest abstract floral painting and titled it "Here, Not Here." I consider this a self-portrait of my brain/personality coping with depression and anxiety. It's not all blackness and despair! I am so blessed and have so much to be grateful for and fulfilled by. And there are days where I feel so dry, sad, unmotivated, desperate and invisible...these feelings co-exist with feelings of joy, love, pride, and gratitude. Some days are better than others and some are absolutely terrible and scary. It's always different. The bottom line is, for me, these thoughts and feelings are always there TOGETHER as a Yin and Yang in my own mind. Harmony and dissonence. Dark and light. You can't have one without the other.
It is 30x48", acrylic, pencil and charcoal on gallery-wrapped canvas. It's gloss-varnished for protection and has hanging-hardware installed. I highly recommend a gold floater frame for this...it would be amazing!
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.
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!)
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.
Guys! I’m beyond thrilled and excited that my very FIRST solo show is happening soon in Boston! This is a big deal!!!!!! (Happy dance and jig!)
The show is titled “Coastal Conversations” and here’s the info! I hope to see you and meet you there!!!
You are invited!
the opening reception for:
a solo exhibition featuring the New England seascape paintings of contemporary artist
Sunday, June 10, 2018
Claire and Grover B. Daniels Art Gallery
(located just inside the Hebrew Rehabilitation Center)
1200 Centre St, Boston, MA 02131
wine and hors d’hoeuvres (and fun) served!
COASTAL CONVERSATIONS is about the interactions we have with the New England shore. Its colors and moods are never the same twice as WE are never the same person twice. We bring our unique thoughts, dreams, wishes, emotions and burdens with us that impact how we EXPERIENCE the conversation with our surroundings. We take away what we need…impressions of color, light, and details that delight or inspire. It is always evolving; leaving fragments of its beauty in our memories. As a steadfast loving relationship, these conversations are comforting and call us back again and again as we search for the meaning and peace we need in that moment of time. It never fails to provide for all.
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.
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!
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!
My longtime dream has come true! I year ago Anthropologie (my favorite store!) reached out to me to create a beautiful modern and cheerful abstract floral painting for them to use as a huge 3.5 x 7.25 foot paper tapestry! After a long wait, they are now available online to order! This was a wonderful and exciting experience and a huge honor for me. I so hope they do well!!!! I envision putting one in my daughter's room. Click the link to see the Zing and Swing tapestry art by Megan Carty.
Today’s fun little video shows the unboxing of my new handmade watercolors and travel palette I ordered from Case for Making, a small business based out of San Francisco. I also gave the luscious colors a quick try and am overjoyed at their quality!
Thanks for watching!
Visit: http://www.caseformaking.com to see beautiful watercolors and painting accessories
Visit: http://www.megancartyart.com to learn about me and view my work
Travel Watercolor case with canteen: https://www.caseformaking.com/cfm-watercolors-1/canteenpalette
Mixed Media Sketchbook: http://amzn.to/2GpsEVV
*We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. Thank you!
I simply used my iPad Pro and my iPhone 6 and edited it all on my iPad Pro using LumaFusion.
Contact me: megan(at)megancartyart.com
My cousin, artist Jane Damiani (@jdwatercolor) took a beautiful photo of the dunes at Block Island (Rhode Island) and I just had to paint it. I had this 4-foot square floral painting I had done that I just didn’t love so I decided to paint over it with this scene. This high speed video condenses many hours down to around 2 minutes to show you the process. This time, I explored the use of palette knives as my method for applying most of the acrylic paint. I used brushes here and there, but really enjoyed the marks of the knives. I wanted a very loose, energetic and abstract feel and that’s just what I got! I fell in love with this way of painting and plan to do a whole lot more in many sizes. This particular piece is going to be placed for sale on my website next week if you are interested in bringing the beach into your home! The best part of creating this was how fun it was. I went with the flow and found myself relaxed and in a real state of joy. That’s always my goal, but doesn’t always happen if I’m honest. Thanks for watching!!!! #art #timelapse #artdemo #painting #paintingvideo
I was honored to be interviewed by Youngman Brown for his popular podcast on living a creative life Your Creative Push. I talk about how I got through a life of fear-based decisions and now set goals based on the life I WANT. Listen to Megan Carty's interview on Your Creative Push here!
You can also subscribe to his podcast via I-Tunes...it's a must-listen for any makers, writers, musicians or actors! (or anyone who likes creative stuff in general!)
I recently had the honor of creating a custom commissioned painting for a lovely woman who wanted my art above her fireplace. Here's a video of the process from start to finish! Enjoy!
This latest painting features a little waterfall that is across the street from me. As I sat to meditate on what this painting should communicate the words “everything is going to be ok” came to my mind. I also knew the mood needed to be joyful and uplifting while being soothing and full of hope. I brought those energies into the painting panel (as you will see in the video here and there) and worked with these intentions through the entire process. My hope is that the person who needs these energies will connect with this piece and find ongoing healing.
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!!!!!
Hey! Good news!!!! I'm excited to have had 2 art prints included for sale at Anthropologie via Artfully Walls! I'm so honored to be able to get my work out to more people and hope it brings you joy and style for your wall! This is a real dream come true for sure. This first print is available NOW, the last photo was available last season but can still be found on Artfully Walls. Click here for that one: (floral abstract art print)
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!
"God doesn't call people to be parents because they are able."--Paul David Tripp
Ok, here are my first 3 finished original embroidery hoop paintings! I styled them for a mid-century nursery style but they can go anywhere, anyhow. I love that you can take an original floral painting and frame it using an embroidery hoop to finish it off...so unique and special! I have them for sale in the FLORAL PAINTINGS section of my site; thanks for looking!
Because I love all things with a whimsical vintage flair, I thought I'd create some paintings on loose canvas and secure them into embroidery hoops as frames for display. Aren't they fun? The hoops add to the vintage charm and give it a unique finished touch. I'm thrilled with how it is coming out! I've got several more in the works... This particular piece isn't finished yet...there's still some last details to include before I glue the canvas to the inside of the hoop. What do you think? These will be available for purchase soon in the FLORAL PAINTINGS section of my shop. Ok, I'm off to go do some more!
I love unique nursery art, so I decided to show what my new floral paintings look like as nursery art prints/kids room art prints. These work great in vintage-inspired decor schemes and add a lot of color and zing!
I made them so they come in many sizes from small to large to suit your space needs. They come printed on flat canvas (so they look like the real thing!) and they come to you rolled in a cardboard tube (they don't come framed so you can pick your own AND it saves money in shipping.) The cost of shipping is built into the price. You can check out all the prints I offer here.