Later Alligator

Later Alligator collage by Megan Coyle
Later Alligator collage by Megan Coyle
“Later Alligator,” Collage on paper, 5″x7″
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It’s a new year, and I’ve decided to do my best to maintain more of a balance in my life. This time last year, I had already completed several new works of art, and then felt somewhat burnt out the rest of the year. So this year, I’m going to aim to complete about one new work of art every month so I can ensure that I’m pacing myself. And this is the collage I tackled for this month.

I’ve only ever created one other alligator collage, and it was a commission that was completed years ago. It’s fun to see how my style has changed over the years, while certain elements have remained the same. The challenge with this new alligator collage, was working on the scaly texture, as well as the teeth since this piece was one of my smaller sizes. Overall, I was pleased with the finished product and enjoyed tackling a new challenge.

The Colorful Conure

The Colorful Conure is a collage made entirely from magazine cutouts by Megan Coyle
The Colorful Conure by Megan Coyle
“The Colorful Conure,” Collage on paper, 7″x5″
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I had a lot of fun working on this commission the other day – it was my first time working on a custom bird pet portrait. Generally I get requests for dog portraits, and every once in a while, a cat portrait, but I hadn’t worked on a pet conure portrait before. The client supplied several reference photos and let me know which photo should be the main reference. This portrait was made as a Christmas gift for the daughter of my client, who actually studied my art in school.

The detailing for this piece was pretty intricate since I had to cut some extremely small pieces of paper. Nevertheless, I thoroughly enjoyed working on incorporating a lot of fragments of texture as well as solid color into this piece. I live streamed most of my process, and it was fun chatting with my followers as I worked on the details.

The Happy Panda

“The Happy Panda.” Collage on paper. 5″x7″
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It’s been a while since I’ve worked on a panda portrait, so I decided to tackle this collage while running my live streaming sessions. With this particular piece, I wanted to play around with using warm and cool colors for the shadows. I think generally I would have approached this collage by using different shades of gray for the shadowing, so it was fun to change things up a bit with this one.

Since this piece is only 5″x7″, it was especially challenging when it came to working on the detailing of the panda’s face. The eyes, nose, and mouth, all required cutting out very tiny magazine cutouts. Overall, this collage was a bit of a challenge to work on, most likely because the sketch was a little rough and thus I didn’t plan out the overall composition very well. However, eventually I got to a place where I could call the collage finished. It’s nice to work on a composition where it is a bit of a struggle, since it helps me appreciate it more when a collage flows together easily.

Alamance Winter

Alamance Winter by collage artist Megan Coyle
Alamance Winter by collage artist Megan Coyle
“Alamance Winter.” Collage on paper. 9″x12″
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The other month my alma mater, Elon University, reached out to me about making a custom work of art that they could feature on their holiday cards as well as print in their calendars for donors. They sent me a reference photograph that I used to create an original collage made entirely from magazine cutouts. In addition to creating a composition similar to the reference photo, they also requested that the sky be a starry one.

It had been a while since I’d tackled a cityscape collage, and working on the intricate details of the building, which required cutting and pasting very small pieces of paper, was a challenging project. I enjoyed working on the intricacies involved with the snow-covered tree branches, as well as finding fragments of paper that could make up the starry sky.

Overall, I was pleased with the collage and very happy to hear that the university’s president really liked the artwork. It was a lot of fun working on a custom work of art for the school where I went for undergrad.

Eye of the Tiger

Eye of the Tiger by Megan Coyle
Eye of the Tiger by Megan Coyle
“Eye of the Tiger.” Collage on paper. 5″x7″
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It’s been a while since I’ve made something new – life has been pretty busy these days. A couple of months ago I moved to Manhattan, and moving can be a bit hectic. Aside from that, I’ve been getting organized with my life and exploring other ways to be creative. I’ve been making these collages for years, and although I enjoy the visual art process, sometimes it’s helpful to take breaks from my art so I can revisit the medium again later with a renewed appreciation for it.

So after a couple months away from art-making, I decided to get back into the groove of things by working on this tiger portrait. I had a lot of fun working on this, and I just about live streamed the entire process. Lately that’s been my go-to when I comes to making art. It’s fun chatting to viewers as I’m working on a work in progress.

Don’t Lose Your Head

Don't Lose Your Head by collage artist Megan Coyle
Don't Lose Your Head by collage artist Megan Coyle
“Don’t Lose Your Head.” Collage on paper. 7″x5″
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And I’m back at it with my anatomy series. This was yet another challenging yet interesting piece to work on. Again, I live streamed my process from beginning to end, and I really enjoyed focusing on using a more colorful background. This was my first time working on a skull made entirely from magazine cutouts, and a lot of the detailing (as well as the outline of the skull) proved to be a bit of a challenge. I like to work with scissors, and often times when I’m cutting extremely small and thin pieces of paper, it can be a little difficult to cut and adhere the pieces to the support – usually because they can easily stick to your fingers.

Our House in the Middle of Our Street

Our House in the Middle of Our Street collage by Megan Coyle
Our House in the Middle of Our Street collage by Megan Coyle
“Our House in the Middle of Our Street,” Collage on paper, 5″x7″

The other day I completed a new custom art order. It has been a while since I’ve done a landscape/cityscape collage, and this piece surprised me by coming together pretty easily. Perhaps I need to start exploring landscapes more?

These days it really does feel like there’s never enough time in the day to complete all the things I want to do. But no matter what, I’m extremely grateful that I get to practice my craft every week 🙂 Stay tuned…more art and more variety of art will be posted in the future.

Lizzo

Lizzo by collage artist Megan Coyle
“Lizzo.” Collage on paper. 7″x5″
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I’ve taken a bit of a break from collage-making, but now I’m back at it. At the beginning of the year, I completed nearly twenty collages within a short period of time. I was live streaming my process almost every night, and I burned myself out a bit. After taking some time off to focus on my creative writing and other creative endeavors, I’ve been well-rested and ready to return to collage.

This is a portrait that I initially started at the beginning of the year, but finally tackled completing it just the other day. Portraiture is a tricky subject to work with. It’s often difficult to get the likeness down of the figure, especially if it’s a well-known or famous figure. I used to only enjoy making portraits, but years ago I made too many portraits within a short period of time, and since then, I’ve distanced myself from portraiture. Although lately, I’ve been itching to challenge myself again. So here’s yet another portrait that I was able to complete recently. I definitely feel rusty, but it felt good to stretch those artistic muscles that have been out of shape for a while.

It’s in Your DNA

It's in Your DNA by collage artist Megan Coyle
It's in Your DNA by collage artist Megan Coyle
“It’s in Your DNA.” Collage on paper. 5″x7″
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This was another challenging piece that’s part of my new anatomy series. Again, I’m not quite used to working on more abstract pieces. The challenge has made my process more interesting. I really enjoyed using more fragments of photographs for the background for this one. I also worked on adding touches of texture within the foreground.

I think I’m getting close to the end of this series for the meantime. I may tackle one more related collage, but otherwise, I think I’ll start working on portraits soon. Again, this was a piece where I live streamed my process. I’ve really enjoyed chatting with followers as I’ve worked on my artwork. Previously, making artwork was such a solitary process for me, and as someone who really enjoys the company of others, live streaming has made me more motivated to work on artwork since it no longer feels like something that’s solitary, but more of a group activity.

It’s in Your Blood

It's in Your Blood is a collage by Megan Coyle
It's in Your Blood is a collage by Megan Coyle
“It’s in Your Blood.” Collage on paper. 5″x7″
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This piece was a challenge since I’m not really used to working on abstract and geometric pieces. It’s interesting how abstract red blood cells look, and I initially tried to incorporate some texture but realized that it was taking away from what red blood cells are known for – having a smooth surface. This was another collage I worked on while live streaming my process, and I’ve really enjoyed the small community I’ve found on TikTok.

Overall, I really like how this new anatomy series has energized me. I’m getting more excited about my art and my process by working on these pieces. I think previously I wasn’t challenging myself enough or really focusing my craft on any one subject. I had a tendency of tackling a subject here and there. I think I need to work on more of these cohesive bodies of work in the future.