I Dream on Sunsets with my Head in the Clouds

“I Dream on Sunsets with my Head in the Clouds” is a collage that I completed back in high school. This was back during my phase where I’d draw on top of my collages with oil pastel – which you can see a little bit of here.

This piece is a little more abstract than the other collages I was making at that time. And yet again I find myself getting inspired to make new work as I sift through pieces I’ve made in the past.

M. Ward

M. Ward by collage artist Megan Coyle
“M. Ward.” Collage on paper. 5″x7″
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It’s been a while since I’ve completed a collage during this hiatus of mine, but here we go – the first collage in a while. And this is also my first attempt at tackling a portrait of M. Ward. I’m thinking that I’d like to work on a series of public figures to help me sharpen my portrait collage-making skills. It has been a while since I’ve done a series of figures, and I’ve been a bit rusty after all these animal and landscape collages.

Anyway, I’m off to sketch out a few more portraits for future collages.

It’s Over There

It's Over There by collage artist Megan Coyle
“It’s Over There.” Collage on paper. 5″x7″
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Here’s a piece I made a couple months ago. It was for a fellow artist and Elon alum. I realized I hadn’t posted this one yet – so here it is!

At the moment I’m taking a break with making new collages, but once I get back to work I’ll make sure I post any new pieces.

Arrested Development

Arrested Development the Bluth Bunch by Megan CoyleI like to think of the Bluth family as a dysfunctional version of the Brady Bunch.

Arrested Development was a TV show that aired from 2003 until 2006, and it follows the story of a dysfunctional family. The show is going to be back for another season, and the above collage is my submission for the Arrested Development and Netflix contest.

The Concept
I wanted to make a collage portrait of one of the Bluths but couldn’t decide which one. So I thought it would be better to make a collage that included all the main characters. I wanted to find a creative way to incorporate all the portraits, to tie them all together. I thought about how many main characters there are. Then I thought, “there’s a bunch of them, sort of like the Brady Bunch.” When I remembered Tobias’ character Mrs. Featherbottom, I realized Arrested Developement had their own bizarro Alice. So I had to go ahead with the idea…

The Bluth portraits would be reminiscent of the Brady Bunch opening credits that include blue squares with video portraits of each family member. My collage would mimic the Bradys so the Bluths would look like portraits of a Brady Bunch gone wrong – the complete opposite of the memorable wholesome family from the 70s.
Placement of Characters
Since the Bluths consist of four kids and two grandkids, with only three women, the arrangement would be slightly different than the Bradys. Mrs. Featherbottom would obviously go in Alice’s position in the center. Lucille would go above Mrs. Featherbottom while George Senior would go below. The first row would be arranged just like the Brady’s by including the mother and the oldest son and daughter. To the left of Lucille would be Lindsay and to her right would be Michael. Maeby would go below Lindsay to follow the Brady’s model of having all women in the first column, and also since she’s Lindsay and Tobias’ (aka Mrs. Featherbottom) daughter, she would be closer to their portraits. Plus her facial expression works well next to Tobias. George Michael would be below his father Michael, but above his uncle Gob. This is so George Michael would be near his father and in the all-male Brady column. He’s above Gob since he definitely the more mature of the two. Since there aren’t as many women as there are men, in Cindy’s space is Buster’s portrait. I thought this was very fitting since Cindy had a lisp and Buster has a very distinct voice.

The Process
I cut out nine 5″x5″ squares of watercolor paper. Each square was used as the support for each collage portrait, where I used my “painting with paper” technique. With separate squares the composition can now always be rearranged for fun:

Arrested Development the Bluth Bunch by Megan Coyle
Arrested Development the Bluth Bunch by Megan Coyle

The portraits can also come apart and be viewed as separate works of art or put together to form one large work of art.

This idea came to me a few days ago so I only had this past weekend to complete the piece. It usually takes me about a day to complete my smallest portrait size. I don’t know how I managed to finish this before the deadline…

Grandfather and Grandson

Grandfather and Grandson by collage artist Megan Coyle
“Grandfather and Grandson.” Collage on paper. 9″x12″
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Here’s one of the holiday commissions I completed a couple months ago. My client wanted me to make a collage of her friend with his grandson. Since this piece wasn’t the smallest size I work in, it wasn’t as difficult to collage two figures on the 9″x12″ area. However, since 9″x12″ is still somewhat small, it was a bit of a challenge to get the likeness down properly for the grandson. I did have a bit of fun collaging all those colorful badges on the grandfather’s jacket.

I have a few more collages that I completed this year that I’ll post in the next couple of weeks. Anyway, I hope everyone is having a great December!

Illustration on Conan O’Brien’s Website

Conan O'Brien by collage artist Megan Coyle
“Conan.” Collage on mat board. 7″x5″
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Today the Team Coco crew let me know that my artwork is now on Conan O’Brien’s website. I put together this mini collage the other day as part of my effort to start up a series of famous faces. I’d like to sharpen my illustration skills with capturing the likeness of well-known figures.

And I thought I’d share my favorite Conan quote with you:”Nobody in life gets exactly what they thought they were going to get. But if you work really hard and you’re kind, amazing things will happen.”
— Conan O’Brien.Anyway, I’m off to start the weekend. Looks like I’ll have a chance to put in a few hours of studio work too.

Conan O'Brien by collage artist Megan Coyle

Ryan and His Sweetheart

Ryan and His Sweetheart
“Ryan and His Sweetheart” Collage on mat board. 5″x7″

I like the story behind this collage: Recently the guy who owns the domain megancoyle.com contacted me. I wanted that domain when I first put my website together, but had to settle with megancoyle.com since another Megan Coyle had a site up and running on megancoyle.com. So the owner contacted me, telling me that his client, another Megan, no longer used her website. Thus the web address wasn’t being used and was pointing to an error page, although the owner was still paying money for the domain. So he offered to do a trade – he’d transfer the domain to my account if I made a collage for him.

Above is the collage that I made for him. The challenge with this piece was that it was one of my smaller sized collages, and I wasn’t doing a portrait of one, but two people. I had to cut the magazine strips pretty small, but I’m pleased that it came together in the end.

Nancy Pelosi

Nancy Pelosi by collage artist Megan Coyle
“Nancy Pelosi” Collage on mat board. 7″x5″
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And here’s the finished piece – as you can see it’s much different than the first progress picture. When my client reviewed progress images of this one, she decided she wanted Nancy wearing a dark jacket instead of blue. She also made a few suggestions here and there. Her feedback was pretty helpful with shaping this into a Nancy portrait that looks more like Nancy.

I’m kind of excited about the idea of making a series of political leader collages, especially since I live in the DC area. We shall see how that goes when I get to it…

And now I’m off to work on my children’s book illustrations as well as another portrait for a client. It’s snowing like crazy outside – good weather for staying in and making artwork!


Claire by collage artist Megan Coyle
Collage on paper. 12″x9″

“Claire” is a commissioned portrait that I recently completed and shipped over to a woman in Texas. I have a couple of other commissions at the moment that are going to be given as Christmas gifts by my clients. Thus I’ll refrain from posting images of these projects until the holiday season has passed.

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving weekend. Mine was filled with family get-togethers and lots and lots of food. I didn’t bother with shopping on Black Friday – I think I’ll finish my shopping online so I can avoid the crowds. Anyway, I’m off to try and finish another commission – I’ve decided I won’t work too much on my personal projects until these commission are complete, however I’m anxious to get back to my children’s book illustrations.

Have a great end of November!

Karim’s Father

Karim's Father by collage artist Megan Coyle
“Karim’s Father.” Collage on paper. 12″x16″

And here’s the finished piece. You’ll notice that it looks much different than the last progress picture. My client supplied me with a low res photograph taken with a cell phone camera. After a bit of dialogue back and forth between us, the portrait began to change bit by bit as I merged elements from other photographs that the client sent. Eventually, this was the result.

Anyway, I’m off to continue working on another commission – when it rains, it does indeed pour. And sometimes I wish I could clone myself so I could work on all the projects that are on my “to do” list.