Lab Puppy

Lab Puppy is a collage by Megan Coyle
“Lab Puppy” Collage on paper. 5″x7″
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I’m continuing to work on my dog series. This time, I thought I’d incorporate a lot more texture with the dog’s face. Usually I use more solid colors for the dog portraits, while saving all the texture for the background. It was fun changing things up for this piece.

Feeling Husky

Feeling Husky is a collage by Megan Coyle
“Feeling Husky” Collage on paper. 5″x7″
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I’ve decided to revisit dog portraits, to tackle a series of different dog breeds. Over the years I’ve had a tendency of tackling the same sort of dog portraits, and I’d like to study a few different types this time around.

I enjoyed collaging this Husky collage. It was my first time collaging a Husky, and I enjoyed working with the shadows for the dog’s eyes and incorporating bits of texture.

You Can Have Your Cake

You Can Have Your Cake by collage artist Megan Coyle
“You Can Have Your Cake” Collage on paper. 5″x7″
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The other day, I worked on filming another time lapse video of my collage-making process. Usually when I’ve completed a time lapse video, the collage is also finished. This was one of the few instances where I felt a need to revisit the piece and rework it a little bit. I especially wanted to reshape the plate and the shadows that were cast on and by the plate.

You can take a look at the video here:

As an artist, I often feel like my process can be disconnected from the finished works of art. Viewers don’t necessarily realize that there’s quite a bit of piecing together involved. Thus, I’d like to create more of these videos as a way to bring viewers into my studio, and give them a better glimpse of the work that goes into each collage.

Summertime Popsicle

Summertime Popsicle by collage artist Megan Coyle
“Summertime Popsicle” Collage on paper. 7″x5″
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A collage of what’s popping when it’s summer. It’s another addition to my dessert series, and even though it’s not summertime any more, I figured I’d make something inspired by the last days of summer that weren’t so long ago.

I also decided to make something a little more abstract, which was a bit of a challenge for me. I have a tendency of getting really focused on the details of my compositions, which makes it hard to take a step back and simplify my artwork. I think I’ll try to tackle more abstract pieces in the future. Sometimes I like to experiment with different subjects and materials, just to see what happens.

You’re Sweet as Pie

You're Sweet as Pie is a collage by collage artist Megan Coyle
“You’re Sweet as Pie” Collage on paper. 5″x7″
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Some desserts are a little more intimidating to collage than others. I decided to tackle a pie, and was afraid that it might end up looking like a nondescript blob. I’m happy that this one turned out better than I expected.

This is part of my dessert still life series, where I’m tacking subjects that I used to avoid as an artist. I used to think that still life art was boring to make, and this exercise of completing a series, has made me really enjoy the art of still life – specifically, the art of food art.

Have a Bite? Donut Mind if I do!

“Have a Bite? Donut Mind if I do!” Collage on paper. 5″x7″
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There’s just something sweet about making artwork that has sprinkles. I had fun coming up with the title for this piece, as well as cutting out all those tiny pieces for the sprinkles. You can see that the pieces of paper for the donut, as well as the plate, involved a lot of tiny pieces that were layered in such a way that the fragments of paper were almost blended together.

The background consists of one texture I found in the background of a magazine ad. I also layered a little bit of solid color on top of the background, to help with shadowing. Overall, I had some fun depicting a donut that had a bite taken out of it.

Rural Fields

Rural Fields by collage artist Megan Coyle
“Rural Fields” Collage on paper. 5″x7″
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Landscapes are one of the subjects I seldom tackle. I suppose I’m more drawn to animals than I am to different environments. However, tonight I decided to sit down and complete a landscape piece from start to finish.

My landscapes have a tendency of looking more abstract, since I’m focusing more on abstract shapes of color and texture. I also wanted to limit my time on this collage so I wouldn’t overwork different areas of the surface.

I filmed a time lapse of this piece that you can view below:

The Serious Cheetah

The Serious Cheetah is a collage by collage artist Megan Coyle
“The Serious Cheetah” Collage on paper. 5″x7″
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I’ve taken a short break from my dessert-inspired collages to return to one of my favorite subjects, animals. This time I thought I’d tackle something I’ve never collaged before, a cheetah. I enjoyed working on the patterned background, as well as cutting out all the intricate shapes for the cheetah’s spots and whiskers.

After completing this piece, I realized that there’s a pattern with the color palettes I use. A lot of my animal pieces use oranges and greens. I suppose I’m drawn to the color green when it comes to the background for my compositions. And I’m looking forward to experimenting with something a little new for my next pieces.

Collages Inspired by my Family

Bill by collage artist Megan Coyle

Back when I was a senior in college, I created my first cohesive body of collage work where I made collages entirely from magazine strips. My senior thesis exhibition included a series of portraits, with several inspired by my family. At that time, I wasn’t interested in making portraits of famous or well-known figures, but figures that were well-known to me.

The image above is a collage, “Bill,” that was inspired by my father. I had taken a series of photographs of him and ended up working from a few reference images in order to complete his portrait. I wanted to make a portrait of my father because I’ve really appreciated how he’s influenced my interest in art. When I was a kid, I remember that he used to paint landscapes and still life scenes when we went on vacation. And over the years, he’s been an avid photographer.

Jean by collage artist Megan Coyle
“Jean.” Collage on paper. 18″x24″
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“Jean” is a portrait of my mother that was also part of my senior thesis exhibit. I remember that my mother’s portrait was a bit of a challenge because of all the details involved with the background – the windows, the bookshelf, the faint hint of color variation for the blinds, and of course, the detail of her shirt. Over the years, she’s worn many hats, one of which I’d like to think of as her counselor hat, being helpful in giving me advice in life. She seems a bit serious in this portrait, almost as though she’s about to impart some advice.

Bren by collage artist Megan Coyle
“Bren.” Collage on paper. 18″x24″
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“Bren” is a portrait of my brother. I’m realizing that he’s appeared in several of my figurative collages over the years. What can I say? My brother has always had a tendency of being great at making expressive faces. He is also pretty artistic, and growing up, I was inspired by the artwork he made. He studied animation back in college, and currently works as an animator/3d artist.

Ali by collage artist Megan Coyle
“Ali.” Collage on paper. 18″x24″
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“Ali” is a portrait of my cousin, who I like to say seems more like a sister to me than a cousin, simply because we spent so much time together when we were growing up. Like my brother, I feel like she can be pretty expressive, and she’s appeared in a couple of my portraits.

Scott by collage artist Megan Coyle
“Scott.” Collage on paper. 18″x24″
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“Scott” is a portrait of my cousin who passed away back when I was in high school. When I was in college, I really wanted to create a work of art in memory of him. I remember that I struggled with this portrait, since I really wanted to make sure I could capture his likeness. This portrait was also part of my senior thesis exhibition.

Boy with Dog by collage artist Megan Coyle
“Boy with Dog.” Collage on paper. 24″x18″
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After college, I started exploring different ways of tackling portraiture. “Boy with Dog” was one of my first pieces that looked at portraiture involving a person and a pet. This piece was also inspired by one of my younger cousins, Drew.

Sightseers by collage artist Megan Coyle
“Sightseers.” Collage on paper. 24″x18″
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Later, I started creating images where figures were interacting more with their surroundings. “Sightseers” is a piece that was inspired by my mother and brother when we were on the rooftop of a building in New York City, admiring the view.

The Hikers by collage artist Megan Coyle
“The Hikers.” Collage on paper. 24″x18″
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For several years, my family went to West Virginia for Thanksgiving. We’d rent a cabin, and it usually snowed at some point during our stay. “The Hikers” is inspired by the walks I’d occasionally take with my family in the snow. For this piece, I explored using more abstract shapes, as well as fragments from photographs of nature.

Snorkeling by collage artist Megan Coyle
“Snorkeling.” Collage on paper. 24″x18″
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Growing up, my family spent a few summers in Maine. Sometimes my brother and I would go snorkeling in the ocean, and since the water was always so cold, we’d wear wetsuits. “Snorkeling” was inspired by those summers spent snorkeling and exploring tide pools.

I have my family to thank for inspiring a lot of my earlier portraiture work. I actually haven’t explored figurative collages in a while, and I suppose you could say I’m well overdue for that. Perhaps I should turn to my family and friends again, and see how they can help inspire future works of art.

Cupcake Time

Cupcake Time by collage artist Megan Coyle
“Cupcake Time” Collage on paper. 5″x7″
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I’m having a sweet time making all these dessert collages. With this piece, I enjoyed incorporating more texture for the background, cupcake base, and the cherry on top. However, this collage was more of a struggle for me – I felt like I was overworking the surface for the frosting.

If you take a look at the collage in-person, you’ll notice that some parts are built up more with quite a few layers of paper. Whenever there’s more paper layered in a particular area for me, it means that I was struggling with getting a certain section looking the way I wanted it to. Although, that’s making me think that it could be interesting to build up different areas on purpose to see what happens.