Oil Pastel Self Portrait Drawing from College

I made this oil pastel self portrait drawing during my sophomore year of college. At that time, I was taking quite a few studio art classes. It’s also around the time I decided that I was going to pick up art as a double major, instead of just minoring in it.

I really enjoyed working on the face and eyes for this piece, although the hand was a bit of a struggle. I thought it was fitting to share a piece from my past, to illustrate how much your work can change and develop over time. Your work won’t always be “perfect” or turn out the way you’d like it to, but each new work of art you make will help you grow a little more as an artist.

Still Life Charcoal Drawing from College

I made this charcoal drawing during my sophomore year of college. At the time, I was taking quite a few studio art classes, and often stayed at the studio pretty late working on artwork. Still life has always been a subject matter I’ve struggled with, simply because I haven’t found it to be all that exciting (I was more interested in figurative artwork or animal portraits). I thought this particular still life was a little unusual since it involved an animal skull, instead of the usual bowl of fruit or empty kitchenware. I also enjoyed working with charcoal since it can get pretty messy, which keeps things interesting.

Heels Collage

Heels by collage artist Megan Coyle

Although I started making collages back when I was in high school, I didn’t start getting serious about the medium until I was in college. “Heels” is a collage that I made in my free time outside of the painting classes I had to take as a painting major.

For this piece, I played around with using different patterns and textures, while still using some solid bits of color for the floor and wall in the background. Working on collages like this one is exactly what kept me interested in pursuing collage as a medium for my artwork.

Wine Glasses

Wine Glasses by Megan Coyle

I made this mixed media piece back when I was in college. The assignment was to pick an object, and then repeat it multiple times while treating each version of the image in a different way. Since I was studying painting at the time, whenever I had assignments in my other studio art classes, I turned them into opportunities to work with collage. Here I used magazine cutouts, as well as fabric, thread, acrylic paint, color pencil, graphite, and oil pastel. I also remember having a lot of fun trying to come up with different ways of tackling the same subject. This might actually be a good exercise for me to explore sometime this year, just to kickstart and inspire my art-making process.

Brokenhearted on the Floor

This is a mixed media painting that I made back when I was home for the summer during college. I used magazine cutouts, acrylic paint, a broken CD, thread, and felt. I made this during a time when I was going through a phase where I’d stitch cloth or other canvas onto paintings, sort of creating a collaged painting in a way. This painting has always been a favorite of mine, and to this day it hangs on a wall in my home.

Self Portrait – Pondering Walk

Here’s a self portrait mixed media painting that I did during my freshman year of college. If you look closely, you can see that I incorporated magazine cutouts in the hoodie. I also layered paper and painted over it to add texture to the street, buildings, and background. I used a lot of thick paint, and added even more texture with my palette knife.

This was made during a time when I was trying to find ways to incorporate collage into my paintings. At my college, I had to pick a specific concentration in art, and since collage wasn’t an option, I went for the next best thing – painting.

Reflective Still Life Study 1

This was the first painting that I did in a series of still life paintings back in college. I call them the “Reflective Still Life Studies,” since I played around with painting glass and the reflection of objects in mirrors.  Since this was the first painting in the series, you can see that the strokes seem a little forced and uncertain. I was just getting the hang of mixing colors and painting still life, so it wasn’t until I got to the second painting in the series when the compositions flowed together a little better.

Color Pencil Figurative Study

Back in college I kept a few sketchbooks where I’d work on studies of various subjects. This color pencil drawing is from one of those sketchbooks, when I was studying different expressions for my upcoming series of collage portraits for my senior thesis. I was also playing around with different color schemes, which is why this is done with cool colors.

Still Life Oil Painting

Still Life Oil Painting by Megan Coyle

This still life oil painting is a piece that I made back in college during my freshman year. I made this back when I was studying painting in school, although I still worked on collages in my free time. I remember that this was made during a time when I was still learning the ins and outs of mixing and blending paint colors, so it isn’t as expressive as some of my other paintings.

In the Garden

“In the Garden” is a collage that I made back when I was in high school. It was made when I first started experimenting with collage. I had deemed the collage “finished,” and set it aside for some time. Then a couple of years later, when I was in college, I came across the collage and decided it wasn’t finished yet. So I proceeded to add in some more detailing with shadows and highlights, and then felt like it was closer to being “done.”

This might sound odd, but I never really feel like a work of art that I’m working on is ever finished. I simply give up on it after a certain amount of time. This is the only collage I’ve ever revisited after some time, however, I’m thinking it might be a good idea to start getting into the habit of reworking my older artwork.