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.

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.

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.

Bell Pepper Oil Painting Series from College

Bell Pepper Oil Painting by Megan Coyle

Before I started focusing extensively on making collage art, I was a painter. I studied painting back in college, and during my freshman year, I had an assignment to create a still life series that used a different technique for each painting. I decided to make a series of bell peppers, and my first painting (pictured above), was meant to mimic the style of Vincent van Gogh.

Bell Pepper Oil Painting by Megan Coyle

My next painting focused on only using the complimentary colors orange and blue.

Bell Pepper Oil Painting by Megan Coyle

The next piece in the series used arbitrary color. Blue is actually one of my favorite colors, so it was only fitting that I used blue for this particular piece.

Bell Pepper Oil Painting by Megan Coyle

And lastly, I made a painting using more natural colors. I decided to make the piece look flatter so I could simplify the overall composition even more.

Acrylic Self Portrait Painting from High School

Before I was immersed in studying painting in college, I made quite a few acrylic paintings in high school. This piece was part of a series I made where I played around with using color to convey different moods. As you can see here, I used cool colors to convey a somber tone. I also painted the background a dark color that I lightened up a bit by painting a thin layer of white paint over it.

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.