The Contemporary Unicorn

The Contemporary Unicorn by collage artist Megan Coyle
“The Contemporary Unicorn” Collage on paper. 5″x7″
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I’ve always thought rhinos were fascinating animals. They look like aliens in many ways, and for that reason, I thought I’d focus on their peculiar appearance when naming this piece. And sometimes you just want to have fun when titling your work!

I also wanted to play around with layers, so this collage has more obvious layers than my usual work. Typically my collages are pretty flat, while this one is raised in different sections. I think I’ll try to focus more on layers and texture for my next few pieces.

Mixed Media Duck Painting from College

Duck mixed media painting by Megan Coyle

This is one of the paintings I completed during my freshman year of college. I decided to make a slightly abstract piece, and started off with an acrylic painting, then drew on top of it with oil pastel. I was always drawn to using oil pastels back then. I think there’s just something about the way drawn markings look that I always enjoyed incorporating them into my artwork.

Hippo’s Day Out Available at Pawcasso Charity Art Auction

Hippo's Day Out by collage artist Megan Coyle
“Hippo’s Day Out.” Collage on paper. 18″x24″
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Saturday, November 4, 2017 6pm – 10pm
National Airport, Historic Terminal A

I’m excited to announce that I’ve donated my “Hippo’s Day Out” collage to an upcoming charity art auction called PawCasso. The event is taking place on November 4th, and raises money for Homeward Trails Animal Rescue. You can find out more about what’s up for auction, as well as get tickets to the event, by visiting their website.

Color Pencil Self Portrait from College

I was looking through a few old sketches I made back in college, and came across this self portrait. It made me realize that over the past few years, I’ve had a tendency to focus a little too much on collage. I think I’d really enjoy revisiting some of these other mediums that I used to work in. Perhaps I should start a new color pencil sketch series? We shall see…if anything, it’s been great getting inspired by artwork from my past. I’m looking forward to changing things up again in the future.

Bosty goes to Mexico City

Bosty goes to Mexico City

Bosty wanted to travel to another country, so he hopped on a plane to Mexico City. He started off his trip wandering around the streets, swinging by places like the Placio de Bellas Artes to check out the latest art exhibits.

Bosty goes to Mexico City

Afterwards he did some exploring and snapped pictures of interesting buildings. He especially liked the House of Tiles (Casa de los Azulejos) with the intricate pattern of tiles on the building’s exterior.

Bosty goes to Mexico City

He had so much fun learning about a new city and hearing everyone around him speaking Spanish. It was wonderful being in a place that was so different when compared to his home in the U.S.

Bosty goes to Mexico City

The Centro Histórico was a great place to take in the sights. Bosty liked how this one building was decorated and ready for celebrating.

Bosty goes to Mexico City

He liked how colorful the streets were, with some buildings that were painted bright colors.

Bosty goes to Mexico City

And he was amazed by how many beautiful public areas were in the city, some filled with unusual and unique sculptures.

Bosty goes to Mexico City

The next day he went on a day trip to Teotihuacan to visit the pyramids. He was pretty proud of himself for hiking up and down the Pyramid of the Sun.

Bosty goes to Mexico City

The best part of climbing up the pyramids was seeing the beautiful view of the area. Bosty had never seen anything quite like it before. I think he might even be inspired to check out the pyramids of Giza in the future…

Bosty goes to Mexico City

The following day, Bosty continued to sight-see as much as he could. He even got to see the pole flyers and their Dance of the Flyers (Danza de los Voladores), which was an exciting experience for a tourist.

Bosty goes to Mexico City

He ended his trip by swinging by a couple of museums. One of his favorites was Museo Soumaya, which had an incredible art collection. Bosty couldn’t believe how many works of art they had – he could have easily gotten lost in the museum for hours, just admiring all that artwork.

Bosty goes to Mexico City

Next he strolled around the Museo Jumex to see a couple of their modern art exhibits. He liked how the building sort of looked like a factory drawing.

Overall, Bosty was pleased with his excursion and really enjoyed getting to know a new place.

Hat Oil Painting from College

Hat Oil Painting by collage artist Megan Coyle

I made this textured oil painting back when I was a junior in college. This was part of my studio work as a painting major, and I was trying to tackle a still life and make it interesting for myself. I remember I used to try to avoid making still life works of art because I didn’t think they were very exciting. These days I’m more interested in tackling still life when it involves food of some sort.

I used my palette knife for the vast majority of this painting. You can see a lot of texture in the background, and I actually layered quite a few layers of paint for sections of the hat as well.

Photo Collage from College

This photo collage was one of my art projects back when I was in college. We had to pick a shape and then take pictures of objects that contained that shape. It was an interesting exercise that got you thinking more about the shapes that make up objects around us.

I decided to pick triangles and after I took a series of pictures, I cropped them, printed them out in our computer lab, and rearranged the photos on a square piece of paper.

Overall, I enjoyed finding shapes in unexpected places. And I also liked the process of arranging the cropped images – finding a good balance of color and the variation of the similar shapes.

The Colorful Parrot

The Colorful Parrot by collage artist Megan Coyle
“The Colorful Parrot” Collage on paper. 5″x7″
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Lately I’ve been using more solid colors in my collages, so this time around, I wanted to mix in more textures. You can see that I’ve still used bits and pieces of solid colors, however the background consists of fragments of images of the outdoors, while the blue feathers and beak have a little more texture or patterns when compared to other areas of the collage. For the blue, I stumbled upon a blue tile-like pattern, and figured I’d see how it would look when I incorporated it into the piece. Sometimes I never know how a specific texture or pattern will work out until I layer it down on my artwork. I can always peel back layers if they don’t work out, so the process is always somewhat of a journey.

This piece was inspired by one of the many visits I’ve made to a zoo. Zoos are the easiest way for me to see exotic animals in-person, where I can take lots of pictures to later use as references for my artwork.

Collages Inspired by the National Zoo

I’ve found a lot of inspiration from the National Zoo in Washington, D.C. Over the years, I’ve visited the zoo numerous times, and have taken lots of pictures of the animals in their different exhibits. I thought I’d share some images of the work I’ve made that was specifically inspired by some of the animals found at the National Zoo.

Red Ruffed Lemur by collage artist Megan Coyle
“Red Ruffed Lemur.” Collage on paper. 18″x24″
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I’m fascinated by lemurs, and think that the red ruffed lemur is a beautiful creature with colorful fur and bright eyes. When I was walking by the exhibit where this particular lemur lives, I just had to take a few pictures which later inspired this piece.

Fine Dining for Pandas by collage artist Megan Coyle
“Fine Dining for Pandas.” Collage on paper. 18″x24″
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Pandas are a lot of fun to collage. This collage was inspired by feeding time for the pandas, where one of the pandas was so engrossed with eating bamboo.

Tree Baby (Firefox) by collage artist Megan Coyle
“Tree Baby (Firefox).” Collage on paper. 16″x12″
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This collage was inspired by a day when one of the red pandas was pretty active, climbing around his or her home.

Cuddling Meerkats by collage artist Megan Coyle
“Cuddling Meerkats.” Collage on paper. 18″x24″
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Meerkats are one of my favorite animals. During one of my zoo visits, several of the meerkats were clumped together and looked like they were all cuddling with each other. I just had to take several pictures of them and use those images as references for this collage.

What Are You Looking At - orangutan - by collage artist Megan Coyle
“What Are You Looking At?” (Orangutan).
Collage on paper. 16″x12″
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It’s eerie how much orangutans look like people to me. They’re so expressive, and it seems like half the time I see them at the zoo, it’s difficult to tell who is really watching who.

Turtle that thinks she's a Giraffe by collage artist Megan Coyle
“Turtle that thinks she’s a Giraffe.” Collage on paper. 18″x24″
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During another zoo visit, I noticed a turtle that had an unusually long neck, and it reminded me of giraffes. From the turtle’s unusual appearance, I was inspired to make a piece modeled after that species.

Flamingo by collage artist Megan Coyle
“Flamingo” Collage on paper. 7″x5″
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I love how colorful flamingos are, and I always enjoy taking pictures of them to use as references for future works of art. I suppose I’m really drawn to their vivid pink feathers.

The Otter Sisters by collage artist Megan Coyle
“The Otter Sisters.” Collage on paper. 18″x24″
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I think otters are adorable and I always get excited when I see them at the zoo.

Animals are definitely one of my favorite subjects to collage. I love how they come in so many shapes, sizes, and colors. And I really appreciate that Washington, D.C. has a zoo that is so easily accessible to the public. Being able to visit the zoo frequently, makes it a lot easier for me to tackle my animal compositions.

Collages Inspired by the D.C. Landscape

I grew up in Northern Virginia, so I’ve become pretty familiar with the Washington, D.C. area over the years. And as I’ve grown to love different buildings and places, I’ve also found a lot of inspiration from my surroundings.

The Torpedo Factory by collage artist Megan Coyle
“The Torpedo Factory.” Collage on paper. 12″x9″
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The Torpedo Factory is an art center in Old Town, Alexandria. As a kid, I used to take a number of art classes there. In high school, I was mentored by a painter that had a studio there. And after college, I became a visiting artist for a couple of months over the summer. So over the years, the Torpedo Factory has had a big role in my development as an artist – it’s no wonder that I was inspired to make a collage of it.

Downtown Shopping by collage artist Megan Coyle
“Downtown Shopping.” Collage on paper. 12″x16″
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“Downtown Shopping” was inspired by the townhouses in Old Town, Alexandria. Growing up, I used to wander around Old Town, and I became really familiar with the bright and colorful townhouses that line the streets.

Paddle Boating by collage artist Megan Coyle
“Paddle Boating.” Collage on paper. 12″x16″
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Whenever I walk by the Tidal Basin, the paddle boaters remind me of the days when I was a kid and went on field trips around the city, or visited museums with my family.

The US Capitol by Night by collage artist Megan Coyle
“The U.S. Capitol by Night.” Collage on paper. 12″x16″
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“The U.S. Capitol by Night” was inspired by one of the iconic buildings in the D.C. area. It reminds me of the times I’ve lived in the city, or walked along the National Mall.

Air Force Memorial by collage artist Megan Coyle
“Air Force Memorial.” Collage on paper. 12″x16″
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The “Air Force Memorial” is a collage of one of my favorite memorials in the city. I love how the Air Force Memorial is abstract and sculptural. The fact that it doesn’t look like so many of the other more traditional memorials or sculptures, is what really draws me to it. I’ve made a couple of pieces inspired by this distinct landmark.

The Botanic Garden by collage artist Megan Coyle
“The Botanic Garden.” Collage on paper. 12″x16″
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The colorful glass sculptures outside the Botanic Garden have always caught my eye when walking past that building over the years. I like how they give the landscape a pop of color in an otherwise gray environment.

Air and Space Museum by collage artist Megan Coyle
“Air and Space Museum.” Collage on paper. 12″x16″
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I spent a lot of time at the Air and Space Museum back when I was in elementary school. I actually spent a summer going to space camp there, and always had somewhat of a fascination with space. It seemed only fitting to make a collage inspired by a place where I went on many school field trips and summertime outings.

National Gallery by collage artist Megan Coyle
“National Gallery.” Collage on paper. 12″x16″
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One of my favorite memories of art when I was a kid, was when I got to see a Vincent van Gogh exhibit at the National Gallery. I’ve been inspired by van Gogh’s work ever since I was in the second grade and did a school project on him. Over the years, I’ve continued to stop by this gallery to admire their permanent collection or check out the latest exhibit. I’m pretty grateful that I live in an area where museums like the National Gallery are free to the public. It makes it a lot easier to frequent the museum, and to continue to gather inspiration from artists throughout history.

National-Museum-of-the-American-Indian
“National Museum of the American Indian.” Collage on paper. 12″x16″
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When it comes the Washington, D.C. architecture, the National Museum of the American Indian is by far my favorite building. I love how different it is when compared to the more traditional buildings in the surrounding area.

The Washington Monument at Sunset by collage artist Megan Coyle
“The Washington Monument at Sunset.” Collage on paper. 12″x16″
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Over the years, I’ve made a number of collages of the Washington Monument. And I’ve also taken numerous photos of it whenever I’ve strolled by.

The landscape of the Washington, D.C. area reminds me of a number of experiences I’ve had while living here. With my collages, I enjoy focusing on these familiar places, and showing a them in a different way – in paper form.