A Piece of Cake

A Piece of Cake by collage artist Megan Coyle
“A Piece of Cake” Collage on paper. 5″x7″
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I had a lot of fun working on this collage, and I’ve been getting a lot of joy from working on my latest series of minimalist desserts. I think I was previously focusing too much on animal portraits, and having more change in my routine helps get the creativity flowing. I’m planning to make a few more pieces for this series before changing gears again. It’s been fun trying to find new ways to sharpen my collage-making skills.

This piece of cake was pieced together rather smoothly. I think the most difficult part was trying to get the coloring for the background to work the way I wanted it to. Initially it was a more vibrant pink, although I wanted to find colors that were more subdued so that the cake itself would stand out more. You can also see that I focused more on finding solid colors from the magazine strips I layered, with only a few bits of texture.

You’re Pretty Sweet

You're Pretty Sweet ice cream cone by collage artist Megan Coyle
“You’re Pretty Sweet” Collage on paper. 7″x5″
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If you’ve followed my blog, you’ve probably noticed that the vast majority of my work focuses on wildlife. I’ve always had an affinity to animals, and I suppose that’s why time and time again, I’ve been drawn to making animal collages. However, lately I’ve wanted to change things up a bit. So right now I’m tackling a series of minimalist still life work, that explores various desserts.

At some point I’ll want to explore other aspects of still life compositions, but for now, I’m going to keep it sweet with my focus on sweets.

Donut Worry

Donut Worry by collage artist Megan Coyle
“Donut Worry” Collage on paper. 5″x7″
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Over the past few months, I’ve made animal collage after animal collage. Animals have always been a favorite subject of mine, but I’m realizing that I need to change things up a bit more, and focus on other subjects that I’m not as comfortable with.

Still life has always been a subject that I haven’t enjoyed tackling all that much, and I’ve had a tendency of avoiding it or not trying to see how I can make it more interesting. As an artist, if I truly want to grow and develop my skills in new ways, it’s best to get out of my comfort zone so I can see what happens.

This piece is the start of a series of food collages. First, I’m focusing on desserts where I plan to use more of a minimalist composition. And of course, I had to include a pun in the title for this piece. After all, donut worry, be happy ūüôā

Flower Color Pencil Drawing from College

Color Pencil Flower Drawing from College

Back in college, I kept a sketchbook for one of my painting classes. My professor was adamant that we worked in our sketchbooks on a weekly basis (at least). As a result, I sometimes added quick doodles when I wanted to get these sketches “out of the way.” Sometimes I surprised myself with how my quick drawings turned out. Perhaps I should take up sketching again? I think it’s a pretty great way to brainstorm creative ideas.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Reflective Still Life Study 2

Reflective oil painting by Megan Coyle

I studied painting in college, and this is a piece that I made that was part of an oil painting series that depicted reflective surfaces. I remember really enjoying the process when I was working on this particular painting, it sort of fell together, while my other reflective paintings were more of a struggle.

I feel like still life was something I always dreaded in school. The compositions in real life that we worked from seemed boring to me – not as exciting as figurative work. The struggle was finding inspiration in old objects that were fished out of the teacher’s closet and strewn about in such a way to create interest for the¬†entire class. Nowadays when I tackle still life, I like to work from reference photos of interesting food and drinks that I’ve seen (or eaten) on various trips.