It is time to get creative again with the best of modern visual arts this fall. To take a break from the musical scene for a bit, the world of painting has been thriving of late with so many different themes sweeping the space. One of the many artists who are constantly creating with much success in this realm is none other than Megan Elizabeth. Her work, which spans across a vast collection of warmly colorful ocean landscape waves is not only captivating to the abstract style, but her use of such elegant colors unleashes a peacefully optimistic feeling all the while. To learn more about Megan’s ambitious foray into the world of fine arts, she took some time to share her adventures to date.
As always, the origin story of it all seems to be the best place to start. Megan gave a glimpse her initial journey into the art world. “I have no memory of doing anything but coloring … at four years old, my grandmother gave me stacks of paper and just let me create. I grew up in house were everyone was creative and my mom was a driving force in it all. It was easy to enjoy doing something with my hands. Once I grew up, I went to college, but always wondered what it would been like to go to an art school. However, I got to travel instead and it ended up being a win-win situation. Personally, art was never an option and never imagined to do this for a living. Once the step was taken, it seemed to slowly fall into place.”
However, it was not a quick adjustment for Megan. “I had to kind of fight long for this passion. I was a high school teacher for nine years prior to this. I loved teaching and loved teaching that age group. At the time, teaching felt like the right thing to do, but there was always a nagging voice in the back of my head asking if I wanted to try to be an artist. Unofficially, it began five years ago. Then eventually [it grew to include] an Etsy shop. My schedule for my art was one hour per week max, I was barely able to manage it with life getting in the way. Then I couldn’t stop. When teaching, [it was easy to] turn it off when I got home. Although, if it was art, I couldn’t turn it off. Watching a documentary or reading a book about an artist and suddenly had me inspired. Relaxing meant researching art for fun. It is an unhealthy and healthy obsession at the same time. I am constantly doodling, it’s just happening. I guess it has just always been there and I can’t fight it. Even when I tried to turn it off, I felt lost.” Luckily, that passion remained solid and her work thrived.
Megan is her own artist through and through. She is inspired the same way as many are, but goes about her craft in her personal stride. “I definitely receive most of my inspiration from traveling and taking the time on the beach just to be alone. In a way, my artistic side of me is an introvert while the rest of me is an extrovert. I am outgoing, silly and always willing to share. Understandably, that it is not the norm for artists to be that way. I really can’t relate to many artists.” Of course, that stigma is there with many fine artists who are seen in a more introverted light in some cases. Thankfully, Megan is the perfect break-out example of an artist who paves her path however she chooses. “People assume a certain artistic identity. I am an overly energetic woman and was not really feeling any shame in loving the beach. Some of the most famous artists love the basic things. Some love the female form, like every dude in history. While some use art to find one’s self, which is just as helpful. Despite my style, I end up being attracted to more strong, dark and mysterious artists.”
The way she works holds true to her style as well. “It is an out of body experience that I cannot control. It is both amazing and terrifying at the same time. When I have to paint, I have to get into the mode. It is almost meditative. I try stuff all the time. Sometimes I will find an old painting that I couldn’t finish. I put it aside and look back it later. This is a whole ‘nother chapter of the book I am not writing. Sometimes I either love my work at the moment, but later hate it, or hate it initially, then I love it later. It drives me bonkers, literally. It would help knowing when you are done, but I am so bad it. I want to create like kids paint. They just paint and are not worrying about the money or anything else.” All artists have to keep that open innocence alive somehow.
Her style is highly dependent on bright colors and fantastic use of light. “I love light in certain places. In Spain, where I studied abroad in college and completed my masters, I was drawn to the beaches and big cities that are whitewashed. Somehow the sun hits it in such as way that is vibrant. It is yellower in the Caribbean and I like that white light instead. That, and the motion of the water is beautiful. It is all calming and bright. I really want to go to Morocco, I know in advance they have the light I need. I heard also that the water in Scandinavia is amazing with the way light hits it there.”
“Coastal and Atlantic”
As it is with all great artists in every medium, whether it is music, fine arts, theater or beyond, each have an eclectic taste and an awareness that progresses their art form further. “Anthony Bourdain is a great example. He loves food and travel, but does not like one thing. He does not stick with one type of food or place. When I go to a museum, I can’t focus. I can’t handle the creativity overdrive.” Like many in her place, artists today have no choice but to view the myriad of forms available to the naked eye. It is a wildly entertaining time for art and Megan seems to be on the forefront of it all. “I think you can evolve as a person and an artist, who knows what’s next?”
On that note, Megan gave a hint of some ideas she has for her next creative exploration. “I have been thinking about playing around with collage. The way I paint is much like a collage. There is so much texture and I would love to break that down in collage around on my work. I love abstract and acrylic paint, it works with my personality. I want to work quickly and get it done, while being able to fix mistakes easily. I am not sure if I am the right person for oil. I just can’t watch paint dry. Would love to try collaborating with other artists and would be down for everything. There is no shame in trying. I would love to do paper with paint and oil pastels would be cool to use on the go. It would be a nice portable option.”
Another project she has in mind seems like both an ambitious and intriguing endeavor. “I love languages. It is fascinating to see the characters in other languages. I live in Brooklyn in an Arab neighborhood. The Arabic language is so beautiful. From that, I am influenced in the shapes in other alphabets. As a kid, I was obsessed with with Egypt, I would make my own hieroglyphics. There is something about the symbols, movements and lines. You have got to love the weird shapes. I would love to try and incorporate such symbols in my work someday.”
All in all, Megan is set in her ways and it doesn’t look like she will be slowing down anytime soon. “I don’t ever think it will wear off. I am eternally grateful, excited and passionate about it all. I wake up passionate and understand that many would kill for this chance get to follow their dreams while many get clouded with everything else. If you love what you are doing that should be what you doing.”
Keep an eye out for this woman as she continues to wow the art space and work her magic. Take a gander at more of Megan’s amazing work at the below links:
Also, Megan also takes part in a great event bringing fellow creatives to meet one another at Tuesdays Together NYC. Go have some fun and meet some impressive people!