Bosty Enjoys the Great Outdoors

Bosty enjoys the great outdoors by Megan Coyle

This past weekend, Bosty decided to explore the outdoors by heading off to Charlotte, North Carolina. He was anxious to escape the city and get more in touch with nature – so he started off his trip with some kayaking.

Bosty enjoys the great outdoors by Megan Coyle

When he was tired of kayaking on his own, he decided to watch others paddle in the water, enjoying the sunny weather and blue skies.

Bosty enjoys the great outdoors by Megan Coyle

Later he strolled around the park and noticed that a sign said that dogs weren’t allowed in the area – oops!

Bosty enjoys the great outdoors by Megan Coyle

So he wandered away from the signage and into the woods to get some exercise hiking. He loved running around all the trees and kicking up some dust in the trails.

Bosty enjoys the great outdoors by Megan Coyle

After a long day of hiking around, he took an afternoon break by the water to enjoy the cool breeze and gaze at the beautiful river.

Bosty enjoys the great outdoors by Megan Coyle

Before long he felt restless again, so he went off to do some outdoor climbing. Unfortunately his paws made it a little difficult to climb, and he couldn’t make it to the top…

Bosty enjoys the great outdoors by Megan Coyle

Later he went for a stroll and admired the landscape in another local park. “It’s beginning to look a lot like spring!” he thought.

Bosty enjoys the great outdoors by Megan Coyle

By the end of the day, he was completely exhausted, so he took a nap with a couple new friends he made, the French Bulldogs Maddie and Brady.

Why I am an Artist

Colorful Collages by Megan Coyle

“Why are you an artist?”

I get asked this question a lot, and every time I hear it, I’m always surprised it was ever asked in the first place.

“I’m an artist because I don’t have a choice.”

I guess it’s hard for non-artists to understand what I mean, and to understand what fuels me to live the creative life. I’m an artist because I need to be one – I have this inherent drive to make things. It pulses through my veins, and makes me fiercely resistant to the thought of ever giving up the artist title.

When you’ve been making art every week of your life for years, the process of art making gets ingrained in your mind. What may have started as a hobby, or something that was “just for fun,” blossoms into something you can’t live without. It becomes a habit through repetition, and when you finally go without it for a few days, you feel like something is missing from your life – the pangs of art withdrawal. It’s moments like those when I realize I can’t live without being an artist in one form or another. Being an artist is what gives me purpose in life.

Art has also been one of the few constants in my life. Even when times have been tough, like grieving the loss of a loved one or coping with the pain of a broken heart, art has been around for me. During those times, art has not only been a creative outlet, but also a form of therapy that helps me through the days when it’s difficult to stay afloat. I guess you could say that when life gets messy, making artwork is one of the few things that makes sense amid the chaos.

Squirrel by collage artist Megan Coyle
“Squirrel!” Collage on paper. 5″x7″
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When I was growing up, art had a major role in my life, which is why it makes complete sense that it still does. As a kid, I took art classes at local galleries and whenever it was possible at school. I remember back in high school, it didn’t matter how stressed out I was from my other classes, because I could always count on feeling a great sense of relief when I went to art class. I could momentarily forget all my other worries as I focused on drawing or painting.

Although I went to college for creative writing, I quickly realized that visual art needed to have an active role in my life every year, so I picked up a second major in painting. It was at that time that I realized something – that no matter what criticism I received for my visual art, I was always able to bounce back. Rejection is a pretty tough thing to overcome when it comes to an artist’s work, simply because we are putting ourselves out there when we share our art. And even during the worst critiques, when I felt incredibly sad and didn’t know if I should continue making artwork at all, I’d find myself painting in my room late at night and realize it was meant to be.

National-Museum-of-the-American-Indian
“National Museum of the American Indian.” Collage on paper. 12″x16″
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As an artist, you would think rejection is something I get used to since it happens often enough in an artist’s career. Although for whatever reason, whenever a gallery has rejected my work, I still find myself wondering if there is any point in continuing to make art. I’m glad that I’ve never given up entirely because of the opinion of a handful of people. No matter what, I’m still drawn to creating something, let it be a collage, drawing, or painting.

So whenever I’m asked why I’m an artist, all I can think is it’s not something I choose to do – it’s something I have to do. I’m an artist because making artwork is what drives me through each day.

Throwback Artwork: Still Life Painting from College

Reflective oil painting by Megan Coyle

I studied painting in college, and this is a piece that I made that was part of an oil painting series that depicted reflective surfaces. I remember really enjoying the process when I was working on this particular painting, it sort of fell together, while my other reflective paintings were more of a struggle.

I feel like still life was something I always dreaded in school. The compositions in real life that we worked from seemed boring to me – not as exciting as figurative work. The struggle was finding inspiration in old objects that were fished out of the teacher’s closet and strewn about in such a way to create interest for the entire class. Nowadays when I tackle still life, I like to work from reference photos of interesting food and drinks that I’ve seen (or eaten) on various trips.

The Serious Grin of the Eagle

The Serious Grin of the Eagle by collage artist Megan Coyle
“The Serious Grin of the Eagle” Collage on paper. 5″x7″
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After relaunching my portfolio site, I’ve finally had some time to make some new artwork. This is the first eagle portrait I’ve ever done, and it was interesting tackling an animal portrait after spending so many weeks immersed in coding websites and not making artwork.

The original is available for sale in my online store.

Swing by the New Online Store

Smiling Birdy by collage artist Megan Coyle
Smiling Birdy by collage artist Megan Coyle
“Smiling Birdy” Collage on paper. 5″x7″
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You may have noticed that over the past few weeks my website has gone through quite a few changes. I redesigned the overall look and feel, and then started adding a few improvements here and there. One of the big improvements of the new site is the new online store experience. Previously I used Etsy to sell my smaller, original collages. Now you can purchase collages of all sizes directly from my site.

If you swing by the online store, the top section has several icons that link to different products that you can buy directly from me – original art, prints, custom art services, handmade magnets, and also a section that will include artwork that’s on sale.

Throwback Artwork: Self Portrait Drawing from High School

Megan Coyle self portrait she made in high school

This is a graphite self portrait drawing that I did back in high school – I think I was around 16 at the time that I made this. I remember that I had a mentor at a local gallery back then, an artist who gave me feedback on a few of my works of art. This portrait was made during the mentorship program, and the last piece I created during the program was this self portrait painting.

In general, I think that self portraits are really difficult to do. It’s really tough to portray yourself, especially since we have so many assumptions about how we look based on the everyday routine of looking in the mirror. It’s difficult to take a step back and peer at yourself like an outsider in order to create a portrait. As a result, I feel like most of my self portraits don’t entirely capture the way I look, however I do like to refer to them as portraits that are version of myself.

Animal Collages from Lake Charles, Louisiana

Coyle-inspired student artwork from Louisiana
Collage by Simon R

Marcie, a teacher from Barbe High in Lake Charles, Louisiana, recently contacted me about her class that completed a collage project. She sent along these impressive images of the student artwork, which were completed by high school Art 1 students in grades 9 – 12.

Coyle-inspired student artwork from Louisiana
Collage by Grace M

The class looked at my animal collage art and also saw my time lapse videos of how I piece together my collages. Then they used magazines to create a paper collage wheel – which helped the students look at magazine pages for specific colors instead of fragments of photographs.

Coyle-inspired student artwork from Louisiana
Collage by Emily M

Next the students selected an animal to focus on for their project. They researched the animal and created posters that included facts on the animals as well as a drawing of the animal in color.

Coyle-inspired student artwork from Louisiana
Collage by Eilidh H

A local interior designer donated old wallpaper books to the class, and Marcie also added scrapbook paper to the materials the students worked with.

Coyle-inspired student artwork from Louisiana
Collage by Davien H

Students sketched their animals on black poster board with white charcoal. They used liquid glue to complete the background first so that their animals would sit on top of the background paper.

Coyle-inspired student artwork from Louisiana
Collage by Daphne V

It was exciting to see each colorful and expressive work of art that was created by this class. I think the class could easily put together illustrations for their own children’s book.

Coyle-inspired student artwork from Louisiana
Collage by Daniel K

It really is wonderful seeing the work of budding artists. My favorite part of being an artist is seeing how I can inspire or teach other artists. And it was truly wonderful to see the work that the students in Marcie’s class came up with. Hopefully this project will inspire the class to make even more collages in the future.

Coyle-inspired student artwork from Louisiana
Collage by Chloe P
Coyle-inspired student artwork from Louisiana
Collage by Cate O
Coyle-inspired student artwork from Louisiana
Collage by Brant C
Coyle-inspired student artwork from Louisiana
Collage by Ashley G
Coyle-inspired student artwork from Louisiana
Collage by Andie B
Coyle-inspired student artwork from Louisiana
Collage by Alex K
Coyle-inspired student artwork from Louisiana
Collage by Hannah G
Coyle-inspired student artwork from Louisiana
Collage by John R
Coyle-inspired student artwork from Louisiana
Collage by Katie M
Coyle-inspired student artwork from Louisiana
Collage by Mackenzie S
Coyle-inspired student artwork from Louisiana
Collage by Mason S
Coyle-inspired student artwork from Louisiana
Collage by Sofie B
Coyle-inspired student artwork from Louisiana
Collage by Gabby L

Throwback Artwork: Writer’s Block Collage from High School

Writer's Block by collage artist Megan Coyle

This is a mixed media collage that I made back in high school – can you tell that I may have been inspired by Picasso at the time? Growing up, I was an aspiring writer. I was constantly scribbling poetry and stories in spiral notebooks, so it was only fitting that I made a work of art inspired by my life as a writer. This piece is made of magazine clippings, oil pastel, pen, and includes an actual broken pencil and balled up piece of paper adhered to the surface.

The Magic of Memories

The Magic of Memories by collage artist Megan Coyle
“The Magic of Memories” Collage on paper. 9″x12″
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This is a commission that I completed for an author who lives in California. She wrote a story about a collage artist in the DC area, and she thought it was only fitting to hire me to make a collage inspired by a description from the book. This piece was inspired by a passage that described a work of art created by the fictional artist – a box of memories with light swirling from it. I definitely had a lot of fun creating this piece, especially since it was a little different from what I normally make.