Bosty goes to Chincoteague, VA

Bosty visits Chincoteague by Megan Coyle

Bosty wanted to get away for the weekend, but didn’t feel like traveling too far away from DC, so he decided to visit Chincoteague in Virginia. Chincoteague Island is in Virginia’s Eastern Shore, and is known for its beaches and wild ponies.

Bosty visits Chincoteague by Megan Coyle

Aside from bird watching by the shore, Bosty also did some strolling along the beach.

Bosty visits Chincoteague by Megan Coyle

And when he grew tired of the sandy beaches, he decided to watch the kayakers before doing some kayaking of his own.

Bosty visits Chincoteague by Megan Coyle

He was only able to see some of the wild ponies from a great distance away, so for all his touristy pictures, he had to pose alongside a horse at one of the local farms.

Bosty visits Chincoteague by Megan Coyle

During Bosty’s last night in Chincoteague, it got really foggy outside. He thought it looked almost like an enchanted storybook when he wandered around the town.

My Piece of the Pie (Lemon Meringue)

My Piece of the Pie - Lemon Meringue by collage artist Megan Coyle
“My Slice of the Pie (Lemon Meringue)” Collage on paper. 5″x7″
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Lemon meringue pie is my favorite type of pie, so I just had to make a collage of it. Getting the texture for the top of the pie was the most challenging part of this piece. I had a lot of fun using different yellows for the filling, and of course creating some abstract shadows on the plate.

I’m really enjoying tackling different desserts for my new still life series. I suppose previously when I tried to approach still life, I often got bored since I kept tackling floral arrangements. When you try to approach different subjects, it can really change things up, and make something that you typical found too ordinary, much more exciting. I’m planning to create a few more pieces for this series before I tackle another type of food for my still life work.

Conversational Pieces – Abstract Painting from College

Conversational Pieces by artist Megan Coyle

Back when I was in college, I worked on collages made from magazine strips in my free time. I was studying painting at the time, but I still tried to make time for collage. I also often tried to work in collage with my paintings, and this piece is an excellent example of just that.

To make this piece, I used two different canvases. One of them was stretched, while the other wasn’t. I created two paintings on both canvases, and then cut up the canvas that wasn’t stretched and stitched the pieces of the painting onto the stretched canvas. Thus I created a collage of two paintings. The piece was made with acrylic paint, some magazine strips that were adhered to the canvas, and thread.

No Spectators: The Art of Burning Man at the Renwick Gallery

The Art of Burning Man at Renwick Gallery

Last weekend I stopped by the Renwick’s No Spectators: The Art of Burning Man. Since the exhibit opened earlier in the month, it wasn’t that crowded which was nice. Overall, I thought the exhibition was beautiful, filled with magnificent and large installations. Pictured above is Marco Cochrane’s Truth is Beauty, a beautiful, large sculpture.

The Art of Burning Man at Renwick Gallery

Duane Flatmo’s Tin Pan Dragon was pretty fascinating. The artist used odds and ends to fashion together a dragon. From the picture above, you can make out a muffin tin used to construct part of the dragon’s face.

The Art of Burning Man at Renwick Gallery

I was a little in awe when I saw David Best’s Temple. The intricate patterns of the wood that lined the walls and ceiling, were beautiful.

The Art of Burning Man at Renwick Gallery

Here you can get a sense of the layout of the room.

The Art of Burning Man at Renwick Gallery

Along the walls were bits of rectangular shaped pieces of wood that visitors wrote on and left wedged into the installation. I especially liked the message, “Soak in every single moment,” that a visitor had left behind.

The Art of Burning Man at Renwick Gallery

One room contained large constructions of different shapes with intricate patterns cut out of them, with light shining through. Yelena Filipchuk and Serge Beaulieu’s work was definitely one of my favorites of the show.

The Art of Burning Man at Renwick Gallery

I liked how the lights cast shadows that extended the patterns of the different objects.

The Art of Burning Man at Renwick Gallery

A couple of them used regular light, while the largest shape had a light that changed color every few seconds.

The Art of Burning Man at Renwick Gallery

Above is an image of the object with the changing light.

The Art of Burning Man at Renwick Gallery

Another one of my favorites were the FoldHaus Art Collective’s Shrumen Lumen, which consisted of large mushroom-shaped sculptures with lights that changed colors after every few minutes.

The Art of Burning Man at Renwick Gallery

Above is a close-up of the mushroom sculptures.

The Art of Burning Man at Renwick Gallery

I thought Christopher Schardt’s Nova was a fun interactive piece. Visitors would lie on the ground, looking upward of the shifting, changing screen affixed to the ceiling.

The Art of Burning Man at Renwick Gallery

My favorite interactive piece was a chalkboard room by Candy Chang, Before I Die. Visitors wrote on the walls different thoughts about what they wanted to do before they died.

No Spectators: The Art of Burning Man was a beautiful exhibit. Yet again, I enjoyed the installations that sprawled across the galleries of the Renwick.

Bosty visits the Cherry Blossoms in DC

Bosty visits the cherry blossoms in DC by Megan Coyle

Earlier this month, Bosty had a chance to check out the cherry blossoms in Washington, DC during their peak bloom.

Bosty visits the cherry blossoms in DC by Megan Coyle

It was a dreary and cold day, but Bosty still had fun checking out the views of the Jefferson Memorial by the Tidal Basin.

Bosty visits the cherry blossoms in DC by Megan Coyle

He liked taking a few pictures in different angles before exploring other areas where the cherry blossoms were blooming.

Bosty visits the cherry blossoms in DC by Megan Coyle

He especially liked the trees by the Washington Monument, and how a few of them had kites caught in their branches from the Blossom Kite Festival.

Bosty visits the cherry blossoms in DC by Megan Coyle

Although it had been a chilly day, he thoroughly enjoyed getting to see those beautiful flowers while they were still in bloom.

Bosty goes to Tampa, FL

Bosty goes to Tampa by Megan Coyle

Bosty wanted to take a break from the grind of city life, and spend some time lounging by the beach. So we jetted off to Tampa, Florida to do just that.

Bosty goes to Tampa by Megan Coyle

He had a lot of fun walking down the beach, searching for seashells and hoping to find shark teeth that had been washed ashore.

Bosty goes to Tampa by Megan Coyle

He was fascinated with the palm trees in the area since they are so different than any of the trees back home.

Bosty goes to Tampa by Megan Coyle

Bosty loved how beautiful the sky and water looked during different times of day, like early in the morning, and when the sun would set at the end of the day.

Bosty goes to Tampa by Megan Coyle

And after a relaxing trip of sunbathing and splashing in the ocean’s waves, Bosty wanted to end the trip by admiring one last vacation sunset.

How to Give an Artist Talk

Megan Coyle giving an artist talk

It’s important for artists to know how to talk about their artwork so they can promote it to the public. Giving talks helps others understand your process, technique, and the underlying meaning behind your work. If you have to give an artist talk, but are a little stuck on how to get started, here are some ideas to help you out:

1. Brainstorm

Take some time to brainstorm possible topics to cover. What sets your work apart from other artists? How does your artwork fit in with what’s currently available on the market? What projects are you most proud of? Or what projects or series are you hoping to complete in the future?

2. Write a rough draft of your talk

I generally like to create an outline first of what I want to talk about, and then I expand on the details later. I like to use the following format:

  • Brief overview of my background and studies
  • How I got started with being an artist
  • Who are my influences
  • A walkthrough of my process and technique
  • More details on the subject matter I cover
  • A look at the meaning behind some of my work
  • My plans for future projects or series to work on
  • Closing remarks

3. Expand on the topics in your rough draft

Think about the narrative you can write for each topic. What stories can you tell? Sharing anecdotes can help make your talk more engaging for listeners.

4. Rehearse your talk

I usually like to over-rehearse my talks, just to know for sure that I know everything I want to say by heart, and so I won’t stumble over my words. I’d recommend practicing in front of a mirror, as well as practicing while staring across the room, so you can have a couple of different ways of experiencing the artist talk delivery process.

5. Brainstorm other topics when talking to individuals after the talk

Think about talking points about your work that you don’t cover in your talk, that you can use when chatting with people in the crowd.

 

So there you have it – a few ideas to help get you started. And feel free to let me know if you have any questions. I’m always looking to improve on the resources I’m writing.

Bosty goes to Harry Potter World

Bosty goes to Harry Potter World by Megan Coyle

Bosty is actually a pretty big fan of the Harry Potter books by J.K. Rowling, so the other day he went on a weekend trip to Harry Potter World in Orlando, Florida. He loved visiting their recreation of Hogsmeade.

Bosty goes to Harry Potter World by Megan Coyle

And had to stop by Honeydukes to get some chocolate frogs.

Bosty goes to Harry Potter World by Megan Coyle

Next, he wanted to go to Hogwarts to wait in line for one of the Harry Potter themed rides.

Bosty goes to Harry Potter World by Megan Coyle

Afterwards, we headed to the Hogsmeade train station to catch the Hogwarts Express to the other end of the theme park.

Bosty goes to Harry Potter World by Megan Coyle

He really enjoyed all the recreated storefronts like Screed and Sons.

Bosty goes to Harry Potter World by Megan Coyle

And what do you know? They even had the Knight Bus that visitors could pose in front of!

Bosty goes to Harry Potter World by Megan Coyle

Before ending the day of wandering all around the park and waiting in line for different rides, Bosty wanted to take a look at their recreation of Diagon Alley.

Bosty goes to Harry Potter World by Megan Coyle

One of his favorite parts of Diagon Alley, was getting to see the dragon that actually breathed fire every few minutes.

It was definitely a fun day, filled with strolling by beautiful recreations of settings from the books, popping into magical shops, and getting a quick thrill from theme park rides.

Art Collecting 101

Polar Bear by collage artist Megan Coyle

Art collecting can seem pretty intimidating if you’ve never purchased an original work of art before. But art collecting isn’t just for millionaires or the elite. Anyone can collect original art, and it is possible to buy affordable art. It’s just a matter of doing your research and figuring out what you like.

1. Educate before buying

Before you start going to places with the mindset of buying art, you should learn more about your options. Doing research before you go to a gallery setting or approach an artist, will make you have a clear idea of what you want to buy. I don’t know about you, but I definitely like feeling prepared before I discuss large purchases with a seller. I like knowing what questions to ask so I don’t get caught off guard.

2. Buy what you like

Don’t feel the need to buy an artist’s work because someone else you know likes them. You should only buy work that you genuinely like. When it comes to buying anything, you should purchase things that make you happy and that you enjoy. Don’t just buy a work of art because the artist is an up and comer and you only want the investment. You should also like the artwork.

3. Study artists

Sometimes it’s a struggle to figure out what you really like, which can make the art buying process difficult. One way to figure out what kind of art you like is to study artists. You can do this by going to museums and galleries to get a sense of what different styles of art are out there. Take note of the techniques you’re drawn to as well as the medium and color palettes that catch your eye. Then start keeping an eye out for artwork that fits those characteristics when you start to frequent places that sell original art. Study local and international artists, and search for artists who make the type of art that “calls” to you.

4. Create a budget

Art doesn’t have to cost thousands of dollars. You can easily find work that costs hundreds or even less than one-hundred dollars. Figure out the price range you’re comfortable with, and limit your search to that range.

5. Buy over time

It’s better to buy art over time instead of all at once. That way you can take your time with finding artwork that not only appeals to you, but also fits your budget. If you find one work of art that you really enjoy, but it’s not quite what you want, you can also approach the artist to see if he or she makes custom art. Custom art can take a little while to get created, but if you have a sense for what you’re looking for, it’s an excellent way to grow your collection.

6. Buy from galleries, auctions, and artists

When you know what kind of art you want, and have researched what’s selling on the market, you can start your collection by buying from galleries, auctions, or directly from artists. Galleries can be a great way to learn about new artists, where you can later look the artists up online to see what other work they’ve made. Auctions can be a great way to purchase artwork at lower prices, or if it’s a charity auction, you can also donate to a good cause while acquiring excellent artwork at the same time.

7. There isn’t good art, just art that you like

I feel a need to reiterate this – that you should only buy artwork you like. Don’t listen to what others try to tell you about what’s good or bad art. Listen to your heart, and listen to what you tell yourself about what’s good art to you. Art is very subjective, and there’s no such thing as universally “good” art – there’s just art that you like.

8. Don’t rush it

Don’t let galleries, artists, or consultants make you feel rushed when you’re buying art. You should take your time and make sure you’re looking at art that you truly want before making a large purchase.

Art-buying can seem like a stressful process, but it doesn’t have to be that way. If you do your research, and search for artwork that fits the style you like within the budget you set, art-buying should be a breeze.

Do Ho Suh’s Almost Home at the Smithsonian American Art Museum

Do Ho Suh

Yesterday I stopped by the Smithsonian American Art Museum to see Do Ho Suh’s Almost Home exhibit. The immersive installation features hand-sewn recreations of homes where Suh has lived around the world.

Do Ho Suh

It was amazing getting to see his attention to detail up-close and in-person. I was especially impressed with the doorknobs and piping that ran throughout the installation.

Do Ho Suh

We waited in line briefly before we could walk through the installation of bright colors. The transparent fabric made the whole art piece have a dreamlike, hazy quality.

Do Ho Suh

Around the installation were several smaller pieces and studies by Suh. I was fascinated by the colors he used, and again, those details! One of my favorites was the fire extinguisher that he recreated with fabric.

Do Ho Suh

Above you can see his fabric microwave creation.

Do Ho Suh

A couple of these radiators were also inside the installation.

Do Ho Suh

And one of the more unusual pieces was a recreation of a circuit breaker. I suppose it just seemed unusual since even though it is a detail that every home has, it’s something you don’t really expect to see represented in art.

It was definitely a fun visit taking a look at Do Ho Suh’s work. As an artist, it’s important to see what others are creating out there. That way you can get a new perspective on other artwork that’s being made, and get your own inspiration for new work.