Daily Daydream

Art by Megan in NYC! #artbymeganinnyc

We just moved up to NYC this spring and I made it a priority to meet new people and enter the art scene immediately, even if it took lots of work and schmoozing!  So far, life in the big city is going well!  Merge arts nyc

My first BIG New York event was last Thursday 6/11 at M1-5 Lounge in Manhattan.  Merge Arts is a group dedicated to bringing artists of all kinds together to celebrate, network and collaborate.  I made some new "art friends", networked with really interesting people and even planned a couple of new projects!  

      Brooklyn Artistry at SIP Bar: (@sipbrooklyn)Currently 2 of my works on paper are on view as part of the "Selfie" exhibit in Brooklyn at SIP bar in Clinton Hill, Brooklyn.  

 Coming up this summer: 

Air gallery  @airgallery 

In July, my small acrylic 4"x4" work called "Multi-dimensional Layers" will be part of Dumbo's AIR gallery's 15th "Wish you were here" post card show.  

Smith&Jones 

 In August, my work entitled "Richie" will be part of a charity event in Brooklyn at Smith & Jones Gallery.   Proceeds will benefit one of my favorite charities - Heifer International!     

To stay up to date, be sure to follow @artbymegan on Instagram!   

A Central Park Photo shoot!

Today I am sharing some fun photos of a recent Mother's Day Artist's photo shoot with photographer Hannah Lane Giddings.  We had such a fun time working together on a very (!!) glamorous-feeling shoot in Central Park just as spring had sprung in the city!

All photos are courtesy of Hannah Lane Photography.  Thanks again, Hannah!

Check out her work here.

HERE. A Pop-Up Shop (Annapolis, MD)

This Friday is opening night at HERE. A Pop-Up Shop in Annapolis, Maryland.  The women who run this awesome pop-up are amazing and have really helped me become a more serious and dedicated (albeit crazy busy!) artist.  I will always be thankful for their kind words, support and inspiration of local talent. This POP-UP is themed LIVE.LOVE.(shop)LOCAL.  I will be painting LIVE during the week of the shop, so hope to see some of you there!

Come on over on Friday night, 7-9pm at 40 West Street in Annapolis for opening night.  Or come see us any night next week for fun local art, crafts, and vendors.

Here. A Pop Up Shop

14 in 2014 Book Club: "Where'd you go Bernadette" *(January 2014)

The 14 in 2014 online book club has returned in 2014!  Our first pick is "Where'd You Go Bernadette" by Maria Semple.  I loved this book, immediately upon beginning.  Turns out that the author worked in writing sitcoms in her past and this book reads just like that; fast-paced, hilarious, touching and addictive!  And the hilarious, snarky email banter between characters Soon-Lin and Audrey had me in stitches.  (note: this book club is so effective, because of the awesome ladies in it!  I have been trying to do this kind of thing for years and never actually did it.  Read more about that here. I never read any of those books listed...so sad!)  Join us on Facebook! 14 in 2014 book club

Read more here about what the NYtimes had to say about this awesome book pick for our club.

"The tightly constructed “Where’d You Go, Bernadette” is written in many formats — e-mails, letters, F.B.I. documents, correspondence with a psychiatrist and even an emergency-room bill for a run-in between Bernadette and Audrey. Yet these pieces are strung together so wittily that Ms. Semple’s storytelling is always front and center, in sharp focus. You could stop and pay attention to how apt each new format is, how rarely she repeats herself and how imaginatively she unveils every bit of information. But you would have to stop laughing first." (NYtimes) 

Also, how adorable is Bee, the main character?  She is one of my favorite leading ladies for her curiosity, uniqueness and ability to stand apart from her granola-eating, Seattle, prep-school buddies. Bee's parents Bernadette and Elgin are so wonderfully flawed and real that a real parent like myself cannot help but love them.  And the end of the novel, well...gasp!  I loved that too!

What did you guys think?  Join us for February's book "Wild" by Cheryl Strayed.  

Last year's 13 in 2013 book club included the following:

"The Light Between Oceans"Mindy Kaling's hilarious memoir, Gone Girl, Flight Behavior, Sweet Tooth, The Normal Bar, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society, And the Mountains Echoed.

More book reviews here (ideas for book club!):

"Sightseeing"

"American Dervish"

 

 

Thoughts on 2014...

I am reforming the way that I look at New Years Resolutions this year and making a list of achievable goals instead.  After all, no one really wants to start something so radical in the new year, only to be disappointed.  Here are my 6 achievable goals for 2014. Resolutions and Goals for 2014

Here's my list, based on this image from Pinterest... 

A bad habit I'm going to break... I am going to spin this and start a new habit, journaling in my new "line a day" journal that I got for Christmas.  So I guess that the habit I am breaking is forgetting things.  It's kind of a problem.  I blame it on having a good imagination and too many hobbies, but it would be nice to remember some things from time to time. :)

A new skill I'd like to learn... Letterpress & Encaustic painting

A person I hope to be more like... I am still pondering this one, it's a tricky one!

A good deed I'm going to do... I am going to try and do a selfless act or random act of kindness once a week for the year of 2014.  I won't be sharing them with anyone, just trying to change the way I see the world through small deeds.

A place I'd like to visit... I am dying to return to Spain, but would love to visit any new place as I am a total "wanderluster".  Also, I would love to see Nashville, Phoenix or Savannah.

A book I'd like to read... This one is EASY, because we have a super awesome ART by MEGAN book club that anyone can join!  It's based right here on the blog and on facebook, be sure to check it out for the 14 in 2014 edition.

Here are some of our book reviews from 2013 (we read 13 books in 2013!):

"The Light Between Oceans" (July 2013) 

"Sweet Tooth" (February 2013) 

Mindy Kaling's hilarious memior (September 2013)

"The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society" (January 2013)

What are your goals for 2014?  

September's Book Club Book: "Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?" By Mindy Kaling

Is-everyone-hanging-out-with-me.jpg Guest post written by Kate.

"I thoroughly enjoyed Mindy Kaling's first book, Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? As I read the book, I heard her voice in my head for each and every word. All last year Hulu kept recommending her show to me, and I kept thinking, "I know I am going to love but I really just don't have the time now Hulu!" When all season finales were over for the year in May, I gave in and watched the entire Mindy Project in two days. Similarly, I devoured the book in 72 hours or less. Mindy has a knack for writing, and like her role model Tina Fey, is hilarious and wise at the same time. The book actually reminded me of Tina's Bossypants a lot. It is always interesting to learn how people go from awkward teenagers to Hollywood actors and writers. It is also so refreshing to hear someone talk about mistakes and immature office shenanigans without sugar coating it. Everyone makes mistakes, maybe not everyone has a chance to storm out of a writers meeting and throw a hissy fit, but not everyone gets to work with Steve Carrell either. My only complaint was this- it was too short! I can't wait to read more of her writing in the future."

Stay tuned by more guest posts by Kate, she's pretty darn great! ;)

A double perspective on the world...

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This past weekend, we were able to celebrate the wedding of my "cousin" with family on my husband's Cuban side. The entire event was amazing; we were able to spend such good, quality time with people who we don't always get to see as often as we'd like. Everything was so much fun...babies everywhere, kids giggling, teenagers sneaking little sips of champagne during toasts, older people dancing salsa like they were still teenagers themselves...it was perfect! As I stood and talked to one of the women at the rehearsal dinner, I realized something that I have always heard about being bilingual...I have "double perspective".

I was chatting away with Cuban ladies about diapers and infants and toddlers and what I did for a living without even thinking that I was standing there (a foot taller than nearly everyone in the room and MUCH blonder) speaking Spanish. Only 15 years ago, I hadn't spoken a word of Spanish and I had not traveled out of the US yet...but here I was, yammering (and gossiping) away with the best of the "cubanas"!

Being bilingual, they say, is like living a double life. Not the kind where you feel sneaky or uncomfortable, the kind of life where things feel exponentially "doubled". Thanks, to my Cuban "familia" for including a giant gringa!

Now, I remember why I teach Spanish to those stubborn teenagers! :).

Happy Tuesday. M

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Painting for a cause...

One of the perfect combinations in life for me is being able to share my talents for a good cause. This past weekend, I was able to do just that. We spent the afternoon at a silent auction / happy hour with a childhood friend of mine who recently lost her mother to Ovarian Cancer. My friend, Ashley, planned a beautiful event as a tribute to her mother, who I remember being a smiling, happy, kind and life of the party-kind-of-lady. It was perfect and beautiful.

I donated a painting of mine to the cause and entered it into my first silent auction as an artist. To be honest, I was a little nervous at first when it didn't get any bids at all...yikes! But a little time passed, several bidders placed their bids and I was able to raise $100 as our donation to Ovarian Cancer Research.

As a person who struggles with selling my paintings still as a "new" artist, this event was beautiful to me. I feel as though I was able to share a very personal part of myself with a family who suffered a terrible loss and with a community of supporters who are fighting for a great cause. Also, if I can only teach a couple of good lessons to my daughter, sharing a talent for the greater good would be one of these lessons!

Thanks to Ashley and your family for including us in your celebration of life and love.

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May's Book Club Book: "The Normal Bar"

I'll be the first to admit, that I was very skeptical when Jessie picked this month's book.  I fear the self-help section of the library and often get giggly and immature about relationship books in general.  However, "The Normal Bar" surprised me with its practical advice, interesting statistics and constructive, interesting ideas for increasing "normal" in relationships. What I found most interesting is that the advice that was intended for couples can be used in all relationships, including those at work.  In my high school Spanish classroom, I deal with a variety of personalities with an even more vast variety of backgrounds.  At times this can be frustrating but with new, refreshed eyes, one can see that all that needs to be done is to "establish a new normal" as this book suggests.  With a standard of behavior, people (students) can learn how to accept their surroundings and work to achieve the standard set by that adult.  It's all so intriguing!

What did you think, "book clubbers"?

thenormalbar

Also, I loved the Book Club questions provided by the Normal Bar site and thought that I would share the answers to some of my favorite questions with you to get the discussion rolling.

Do you believe in love at first sight?

Not really.  I think that there are "crushes" at first sight, but my definition of love depends very heavily on a long-friendship followed by more love. :)

Do you believe friends make good life partners and lovers?

ABSOLUTELY!  I love my best friend.

Do you think sharing the same religious and/or political views really make or break a relationship?

I do not think that this is as important as similar life-perspectives.  When people are of different religious backgrounds, they may still share the same perspective on issues that they consider important.  Also, spiritual feelings can be very different between people of the same religion *I have seen this a lot among Catholics!.  Political views are a little trickier in my opinion because people LOVE to talk about politics at dinner, parties, happy hours, etc.  Sometimes its fun to debate, but both parties have to be interested in the debate (and debate fairly!) or it can kill a relationship, in my opinion.

Does money buy relationship happiness?

Nope.  I sure hope not!

Do you believe it is OK to keep financial information from your partner?

I do not.  But, I am not sure that this is part of establishing the "normal bar" in each person's relationship.

What is the most fulfilling aspect of your relationship?

Prepare yourself for sappiness...

I love having a smiling person come home each day and seeing the reaction on my two year olds face.

I love having someone who consistently supports, believes in me, encourages me and challenges me.

The (other) most fulfilling thing is having a best friend who I also have a crush on, still...after a long, long time!

Book Club: "Gone Girl"

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn "Gone Girl" rocked my scaredy-cat socks off! Almost every single "twenty-something" that I have asked has said something along the lines of "I couldn't put it down" or "wow, it was addictive" in regards to this dysfunctional marriage murder thriller. Read more here about what the New York Times has to say about it.

What do you think, fellow "book clubbers"? And anyone else who has read it?!

Here's my take: I liked the action and the twisted relationship and plot surprises. However, I was not able to leave a lot of the description in the book. I've always had a wild imagination and some of the gory details made me literally shiver for days. (I'm a weenie.)

I have one more complaint... I'd say that this book has "DaVinci Code" syndrome. What I mean by that is that it seemed to be written as an intended future screenplay and not as a good old fashioned honest book. While many books do end up as films, I don't necessarily think that they have to be written as such. Otherwise, it was a great thriller! (It will make a great movie someday!!)

Book Club: "Flight Behavior"

Flight Behavior by Barbara KingsolverI'm going to have to admit to you Book Club ladies, that I cannot, for the life of me, get through Flight Behavior! I think the details about the butterflies are super interesting but I am getting lost in all of the description. I will keep trying, promise! I tried to read "Poisonwood Bible" last summer and had the same experience. I remember liking the characters and the idea of the book, but struggling with all of the details. Barbara Kingsolver, help me out!

What do you ladies think!?

Here's the NY Times review, if you'd like to take a look.

Off to read more...

 

Painting in Memory

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Recently I was commissioned by a family member to paint a sunset in honor of a lost loved one. I was nervous about this painting because I became a little too obsessed with making it look "perfect". However, something magical happened while I worked on the sunset-inspired abstraction and it turned out ok! I feel so honored to be part of making a tangible memory for someone struggling such a sad loss. After working on bringing the sunset photo alive, I feel inspired and thankful.

Have a great weekend everyone! M

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