Friday, April 18, 2008

The Glowing Horse

Art is so strange when you really think about it. As you know, I will always question my reasons for being an artist. I will always wonder if I am an artist for the right reasons. I will always question the work I create. I will always approach my work with trepidation and wonder. I will always feel some guilt and sadness for not choosing an easier more stable path, and at the same time I will feel guilt and sadness for choosing such an easy path. I will always wonder what people are talking about, when after I tell them I am an artist, they say "that must be so much fun." I will always hope I stay relatively healthy since I don't have health insurance. I will sometimes feel like a child because of the typical adult trappings I lack. I will always feel a little sad when I get compliments that I can't live up to, but mostly I will feel flattered. I will then wonder if I suffer from false modesty.

When I was a child in elementary school, I loved "show and tell." I couldn't wait for it to be my turn, so I could sing "I'm in the mood for love" that I had just learned from watching an episode of the Little Rascals. I couldn't wait to tell stories about the raccoons that would creep in my window at night and curl up on my bed to sleep. I even fantasized about show and tell. I had very long hair when I was young, and I dreamt that I would arrive at school wearing a hat and my teacher would call me to the front of the room for that days sharing, and I would simply remove my hat and all my long hair would be gone! That never happened.

I sung "Fame... I wanna live forever" at the top of my lungs in the 5th grade talent show- and I meant every word. So, this sharing, showing and telling has always been a part of my life, and I have always wanted to be a little famous, and I have always wanted to live forever... So, that is why I am here. I don't have a choice.

I wanted to be a dancer, then a singer, then an actress, and now an artist (I was always an artist) but that has been the progression. Some days I wanted to be a comedian or a DJ. I think being an artist is the safest choice, and it seems to fit my personality the best.

This choice makes even more sense to me now. I feel a type of connection to all the other artists in the world, more of a connection to their sensibilities than to anything else. I love the books they read, the music they listen to, their ideas about the world, and the way they maneuver through it. They are all searching, connecting, being too honest and vulnerable. Some of them steal ideas and images from each other, personalities even. It is fascinating to watch. I am glad to be a part of this. Very human and real. There are a lot of lovely people out there, these artists. I am struck by the fact that they are all hustlers. They are working so hard. We are all working so hard, for each others affection, attention, money, praise, and hopefully sometimes for ourselves.

This week, as I was busy working in my studio, I had a sudden urge to paint something different, rather than my usual shapes and colors. One of the images from my 1999 book series came to mind, The Glowing Horse. Suddenly, I wished I could cover the two large canvases before me with blue - the perfect blue of my dreams. I wished I could draw the outline of the horse of my past in white chalk. Why did the glowing horse decide to show up then, and what was he trying to tell me?

I just kept working on the usual and I smiled at the thought.
I am so glad to be a part of this.

Now, for two exciting announcements: First, this post marks the one year anniversary of the Studio Blog! Thanks so much for reading and cheering me on! Second, It is time for the paper painting/print give away! This month I will be giving away a 8x10 glossy print of The Glowing Horse to one lucky reader that leaves a comment on today's blog. I will mail to anywhere in the world. I will randomly draw a number to correspond with the comments in the order they are received. Leave your comment between now and Tuesday at midnight. I'll post the winners name in my blog next Friday; please be sure to check back, so that I can contact you. I really appreciate everyone who reads and comments on my studio blog. Thanks again for your support and encouragement. It means the world to me. GOOD LUCK!


  1. first. kudos for the gear-switch. tis good for your soul. i beseech thee: cast aside les ovide shapes for a week or two. give yourself solid flushing--see what comes out.

    one lucky reader


  2. Funny old life isn't it. I could identify with that feeling of questioning about where you are in your life all the time. Thats me too. I am a singer and musician and those parts of me call very loudly for my attention, but I am definitely the happiest as an artist - I am stable, content, peaceful, analytical and philisophical. What makes us good artists is being open to the thought processes, but remembering who we are essentially, and who it is that we want to share with the world.
    The horse is significant by the way - he signifies endurance, speed, sociability, matriarchal power, strength, loyalty, power, energy, freedom of spirit.
    Good luck with completing your exhibition work - it'll be interesting to see if we'll witness a switch of expression after that...
    Your friend across the pond, Debs :)

  3. ooh, I'm so excited that you're giving away a print of the horse pic! when I saw it on the comment you left on my myspace, I fell in love with it.

    nice blog, by the way. you did a great job of summing up the ambivalences of being a human of the artistic persuasion... but it sure is a lovely way to live life, eh?

  4. Ya know... that image rather reminds me of a cave painting. Perhaps a series of similar is in order?

    Primitive Mental Etchings

    The Bog (Wo)Man Commeth (wait - did those peaty bastards have caves to scribble in?)

    Oh well, I'm at last awake, and it's just shy of 1000hrs. I've had me bowl of, I'll be in great shape if I can manage to find my Adderall, brush my teeth, fit car key to lock, and roll down to CG for some mud.

    It is, uh, Friday... ain't it?


  5. By thee wayside... Ile be at the pub later today--say, 3pm or so, perhaps before, perhaps slightly after. Should come get your face portraited in that delicious light.

    Dede - if you're reading this. Sit for me again, eh?

    (Suddenly, while typing, I'm channel A. Baldwin in Glengarry Glenross: Are you interested? I know you are!)

    Boots. Yes...


  6. I think you just described me as a youth. That was weird and magical.

    I often get this feeling of senseless randomness in my paintings. I have found that I can't hone in on "Anything" in my work. I adore the work of Robert Hardgrave. I look at his work from 1996 and his work from 2008 and I see him, his style, and his essence in ALL of it. It all stands as a complete body of work. It is not stagnant either. I see growth and change in it. He is always tying new things. But his essence is always there.

    I've stopped posting my paintings because they seem random and unglued. As a whole they make no sense. So I have only been posting photos lately. My heart just wants to paint. And paint with purpose. But I just can't find it in me right now.

    So it's good to hear of someone wanting to explore a bit of change. Change it up! me I need something stable in here. Now if I could just find that consistency?

  7. I know where you live. Your dog likes me. I can break into houses with a credit card. I have a sharp knife. I bet I can find that journal and cut the cover off.

    The horse thing, I know the post isn't about it, but it is weird b/c I was thinking about Deborah Butterfield the other day. I'm hoping that Crystal Bridges is buying her work b/c I want to be with those sculptures in outdoor and indoor settings. I think I could go be with the horses and they could help me with those questions about life and creating art and the purpose for it all.

  8. Wow- I go away for a hike in the woods, and you all have a party over here! I am smack dab in the middle of creating for an exhibition so there really will be no change in gears any time soon. Things evolve subtly these days, and with care. The glowing horse is from 1999 and rides close behind me at all times.

    Try it Dede- you'd be happier with the print anyway.... : )

    Thanks everybody-keep the comments coming!

  9. <3 Glowing Horse. What talent. It reminds me of curacao margaritas!

  10. Another great blog Megan. Thanks for the insight.

  11. great blog your honesty is always nice

    keep singing

    i have been thinking about my childhood lately and it was a real circus da dut dut da dut da dut

  12. ps dig the glowing horse the horse has no ears ?

  13. Awesome post, Megan. The series of musings at the beginning are right on the mark for me.


  14. I like your horse painting. I like the backround of your painting. I enjoy reading your blogs every Friday. You are a great artist. You are a great rolemodel for all artist out there.

  15. Dude! A raccoon came in your window and slept on your bed at night? That is too cool!

    And it's fun to see you trying out new things, though I've wondered if you were secretly trying new stuff and just not telling anyone about it :)

    I love that you are following your dreams. And that you share your journey with us here. Yay!

  16. It's true, I am a bonafied hustler of the artsy variety. I was gonna spell hustler "hustla" but, I'm pretty sure I already spelled bonafied wrong...twice now. Let's face it, Art's just way more fun when you pretend your just pulling the wool over peoples eyes. Here's to the hustle!

  17. When I opened this up, avoiding my big paper, and saw the horse I thought, "I've seen him before." Have I? Speaking of show and tell was he one of the peices you brought to show and tell us about when I was in the 6th grade? (The most influential show and tell of my life.)

    I agree with UnoWho, have some fun with some less obviously ovide shapes, they don't have to be huge. Uno U Wantu.

  18. I need that horse print please. Nice post, and what a sweet comment from Maxine. You rock.

  19. Awesome post!

    Love 'The Glowing Horse' - it is like a cave painting as shutter to think remarked above.

    Always enjoy reading your blogs, Megan. Thank you.

  20. Hey Everybody- thank you so much for the kind comments! I am glad you all like the old glowing horse. Right now the folks above have a 1 in 16 chance of winning the print(when I toss out my comments and some duplicates.)
    Don't be shy, comment if you feel inspired, you have until midnight Tuesday to enter to win! I love this blog, and I am so happy you all enjoy it too. Best wishes friends...
    PS. Feel free to suggest a topic you might enjoy reading about here as well. I aim to please ;)

  21. beautiful blue!
    love it

  22. Your print is beautiful! I'd love to have it.

  23. Would love to hear about the challenge of being a full-time artist...its what I'm aiming for, and I find it quite scary!!

  24. well ,meg i don t like to talk because ,i don t have words to say !!!!but after reading your texte in your blog , one sentence of a famous philosophe comes on my mind ,then i decided that it will be my message to you :"l individu,dans son angoisse non pas d ertre coupable mais de passer pour l etre, devient coupable" sorry i can t say it in english.

  25. I've just discovered your blog and your work. Both are beautiful and honest...I'll be back to visit often...

  26. i have to second Christine. thank you for this wonderful blog, it is just what i needed at this moment.

    cheers to the audacity of being an artist, and to all of the insecurities that follow that. if it weren't for the yin and yang of making art, would we still do it?

    oh man, and i'm even making it in time [barely] for the random drawing?!

  27. Comments are now closed for the glowing horse give away. The folks above have 1/22 chance of winning the print! Good luck everyone and thanks again for the kind and insightful comments.

    Feel free to keep posting comments on this post. Comment on the third Friday of every month for your chance to win. Winners announced on the 4th Friday.THANK YOU to my new and regular readers alike. You make this happen and you make me smile!

  28. I know I'm too late for your contest, but I must leave a comment anyway. I saw the comment you left on schaeffer's page and had to come check both this blog and your art website. I love what you're doing with colors and spaces and intend to keep an eye on what you do in the future. You rock, sister.

  29. Love the blue,love the horse - love you!

  30. The image is beautiful, so is the post, so candid.

  31. I just love the glowing horse. I think it is a great painting.