Updated: Jan 12, 2019
People of CLT, meet Megan Welsh! Her art is captivating with its clean, crisp, and off-center style. Check her story out below and visit her on Instagram to see more of her work. In the meantime, we are feeling inspired and are off to create as well. Thank you, Megan, for sharing your story!
Do you have a profound memory of being drawn towards art?
I have a vivid memory of looking at a painting of a barn while sitting on my grandmother’s sofa, sitting so close that my nose almost touched it. My eyes traced the lines to figure out how the artist created it.
What was the story behind the painting?
The artist was my mother! And the painting is now in my home.
How did you begin your own art story?
I always loved creating and dove into anything hands on with abandon. Sadly, at my school, we couldn’t enroll in art class until 8th grade. When I began high school, I took as many art classes as they would allow me, also spending as much free time in the art room as possible. I remember painting a floral painting, blending and layering in such a zone that the world around me disappeared. Painting came easily to me. My teacher then introduced us to gouache painting. I was drawn to all the techniques with curiosity and excitement.
Did your art teacher inspire the teacher within you?
Yes, I loved my art teacher! Her encouraging, kind heart inspired me to become an art teacher.
Where did you continue your studies?
While attending Calvin college (where I earned a bachelor’s degree in art and education), I took art history, theory, painting, and pottery courses. I spent endless hours in the art studio, learning how to organize the elements and principles of art while exploring different compositions. Through hours of practice, I learned how to catch light and how to bring more meaning to my paintings.
Acrylic or oil?
Acrylic—I love to layer paints. Even though acrylic dries very quickly, I sometimes use a blowdryer to work even faster. Right now oils don’t work for me… maybe one day.
We saw that your art was featured on Houzz! Was it a surprise?
It was such a surprise—one that I had nothing to do with! Art House Charlotte had taken some of my work as a guest artist. Jenna, of Delphinium Designs, chose one of my paintings for one of her design projects that Houzz featured. I thought my painting would be one little click, but the article mentioned my name and info. It really reminded me of how important it is for artists to support one another, to be a part of each other’s story. Everything that I’ve accomplished has been because someone else encouraged and supported me. We all need each other!
As an art teacher, who are you inspiring to create?
I have taught K-12, but currently I am teaching high school art part-time at Grace Academy. Although I loved my years of teaching younger kids and leading art camps, I really enjoy teaching older students who can appreciate the history and theory behind art.
Your green thumb is showing up in your paintings. We love it! Tell us the story!
Honestly, I can’t keep plants alive, but I knew I could keep a succulent alive through a paint brush, so there it began. And I wanted something to paint that was neat and different, but beautiful. I brought my love of off-center composition, white space, contrast, and crisp lines into my work. Painting objects from nature brings my heart such joy; I also love painting landscapes and flowers.
Speaking professionally, positive feedback from my students makes me proud. I find fulfilment in knowing that I have encouraged them in some way. For me, it's about what I can bring to others—that's when I know I am doing what I am meant to do. The Houzz recognition was pretty cool too!
Where can People of CLT find your art?
Pure Barre South, Brakeman's Coffee in Matthews, Bobbin’s Designs and Gallery Room Charlotte (both located in Cotswold Marketplace), and Art House Charlotte. Or contact me! My 2019 goal is to get an Etsy shop or website, so be on the lookout for that as well!
Favorite place to buy art supplies?
Cheap Joe’s and Michaels!
Favorite place to create?
My home studio.
Favorite place to work out?
Iron Tribe in Cotswold!
Favorite coffee shop?
Hands down, Brakeman's!
Favorite quick bite?
A chocolate protein smoothie from Clean Juice!
Favorite place to soak up inspiration?
Anywhere in nature, like the mountains, lakes, and ocean.
Story also featured in The Biscuit: Issue 2: Second Batch by Charlotte is Creative! Grab yourselves a biscuit!
Photo credits: Miranda Reger, The House That Mercy Built, IG @thehousethatmercybuilt
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