Daily Daydream

New @ Art by Megan!

My Etsy Shop is expanding this year to include some exciting new things and I wanted to share! First, I have been working on paintings with poems and lyrics done in India ink. I use India ink in all my other paintings to draw on top of the paintings, so I figured using it to write words could be a fun new twist. I started with "Yo soy un hombre sincero" by Jose Martí, and will be whipping up some others soon. Custom works available! I imagine that these would make great gifts for a wedding (lyrics of the couple's first dance) or a birthday (someone's favorite song) or even Valentines day (a favorite love poem).

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Next, I am adding a section of hand painted greeting cards on watercolor paper. They are cute and fun and are an inexpensive way to buy original art.

20130109-081814.jpg Coming soon....prints (read: affordable art!) of some of my favorite paintings!

Stay tuned and thanks for yor support! Now...buy some art. :)

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Handling criticism as an artist...

The awkward part about selling artwork is that it is literally like selling a page out of your personal diary. Recently, I was reminded how sensitive it is for an artist to give up a painting (that truly means so much to them) to an absolute stranger. I remember my first official show in my senior year of college at Wolfarth Gallery in Brookland NE, DC like it was yesterday. Many people came out to see the group show and talked about how much they liked, loved, hated or disliked each piece of work hanging. (Luckily, as I was 20 and the low man on the totem pole at the gallery, my work was placed in a doorway with less viewers...haha!). But, what really struck me that night was how vulnerable I felt just standing there listening to criticism (albeit positive or negative) about something so personal.

I have a couple of paintings that I won't sell. Ever! And the reason for this is that as I sell some that mean a lot and some others based solely on commission for someone who asks for a custom work, my "old standbys" stay with me and define me as an artist.

The first represents the beginning of my style and represents the first painting class that rocked my little world in college. It's called a "system painting" and our task from my amazing professor was to invent our own style of painting, not imitated from another. Hours and hours were spent working in the painting studio on this guy, but this was truly a defining moment in my early career.

The second represents my personality best - warm, friendly, bright and a little crazy! It was a painting that frustrated me so much that it, at one point, sat in my parents back yard through a rainstorm, was walked on by the neighbor's cat, and was nearly ruined until I decided to try a little harder and make it beautiful. And now I will love it forever.

The rest, I love too. But you can buy them, I guess. Just be gentle with them, I put my heart and soul into them.

The softer side of "ms. P"...

20120904-184629.jpg I reminded my students of the quote above today and they seemed to enjoy it so I decided to share it with you. There is such truth in these words.

Related side-note: Also, how funny are teenagers? Just in general, they are ridiculously awesome and equally ridiculous. Today a kid said to me in class, "you've got a baby...are you old enough for a baby?" (note: the art of the backhanded compliment is alive and well in our youth.) Thanks guys. But then, seconds later I heard a girl mutter to a friend, "I like her better now."

Was it the baby that won her over? Perhaps. Most likely. Maybe me just acknowledging being a human? Probably not. One may never know. Ah, the mystery of adolescence. Each year I take two steps closer to figuring it out and three steps back. :)

Back-to-school, baby!

Life design 101... (aka "jumping ship"!)

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20120817-194250.jpgThis week has been my first at a new teaching job. It's been a true breath of fresh air and an inspiration in every sense of the word. Side note: need some inspiration? Check out children inspire design and the shine project.

Ok, back to my story... I had been VERY nervous about basically "jumping ship" with a major life decision this past spring when I, indeed, jumped ship. Change scares the bejesus out of me sometimes and I felt like I had finally lost it this July when it hit me that I was leaving a job I love, with coworkers I adore, and students who made me realize that I had indeed chosen a vocation (ps- its genetic! My grandma and aunts are teachers, thanks a lot, guys!) and not just a job.

But, there's this little face I needed to see more of...so, I did it. Love will make you do the darnedest things! I switched a hellish commute for a short one so that I could snuggle a bit more and spend non-commuting time with my favorite pigtail-wearing giggle-monster. I traded the Babysitter literally sent down from heaven (contact me if you need someone near DC because this woman is truly amazing...) for a (gasp!) stranger. It was one of the hardest decisions I've had to make, but...it's feeling good.

So, I leave you with this little story and no results. But maybe someone else out there who's about to splash into the water after jumping will feel a bit of solidarity.

Enjoy!

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Posters all courtesy of Pinterest. Look me up...I'm Megan Elizabeth!

Must read book: "Antes de ser libres" ("Before We Were Free")

I just finished one of the best books I have read in a long while. I cried. It was so darn good.The best part is that I get to teach it this school year!

Julia Alvarez is an amazing author and I could devour anything she writes. Her stories come alive so much that you become convinced that you are a part of the families in her tales.

Before We Were Free

In "Before We Were Free", Alvarez tells the tale of a young girl during the dictatorship in the Dominican Republic in the 1960s. The story is told from Anita's 12-year-old perspective and is absolutely enchanting. I felt like I was 12 again with a crush on a boy, worrying about what to say in school and dealing with my family. She weaves into Anita's story the history of a dictatorship, where Trujillo stayed in power for 31 years and left an indelible mark on the Dominican people. This book is fantastic and I 100% recommend it to "Spanish junkies" or "bookworms" alike.

Enjoy! M

Wedding Invites {Graphic Design}

I recently worked with Stephanie and Andy on creating a unique wedding invitation for their fall wedding. They are both huge baseball fans and decided to get married at the Baseball Hall of Fame in NY. In order to tie their theme into the location, we worked on a formal looking but baseball-ticket-inspired invite. What do you think?

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My favorite part is the barcode at the bottom which has their initials and the wedding date as the "code". The witty bride came up with that one!

2 DIY projects we're going to try this week + 1 that worked!

Project #1: "repurposed chalkboard for kitchen"20120724-092953.jpg

Today I finished a successful DIY that I wanted to share. I took an old frame from Ikea that I have had since college (yay repurposed old stuff!) and took out the poster. Then, I cleaned the plexiglass off and painted it with a roller and 3 coats of chalkboard paint. After it dried for several hours, I placed the plexiglass and cheap cardboard that the frame came with back into the frame and snapped it all together. It looks great and will soon be hanging in our kitchen!

Future projects...

1. How fun are these rope necklaces from honestly wtf blog ? Stay tuned. Gotta get to the hardware store.

2. Also, if I order enough things online....I will have enough cardboard and then.....I can make little cardboard houses / forts with the little lady! She loves hiding and playing peek-a-boo, so this is right up our alley.

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Wanderlust Friday {El Camino de Santiago}...

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Last night we watched the film made by Martin Sheen and Emilio Esteves about El Camino de Santiago. "The Walk" was a great scenic film chronicling the story of a man who becomes a pilgrim in the Camino de Santiago to honor his son, an adventurer who died suddenly. Now, all me and my hubby can think of is how to do El Camino at some point in our lives. It looks like such a beautiful way to reflect and relax in nature. Read more about the UNESCO sight, it's truly incredible!

Have you ever done it? I would love to hear all about the adventure! Happy Friday. M

"It's the end of the world as we know it..."

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It's that time of year again! The final countdown! Pardon my overuse of the exclamation mark! REM's song frantically plays in my head as I frenetically run around in circles... Really though, this full-time teacher-mama can hardly stand herself. Why, you may ask, am I so excited!? Tomorrow is that blissful day known to teachers as "the end".

While I will miss the kids that I teach and their fabulous and hilarious antics...(for example, the obsession with drawing me on the board each day to document my outfit and hairstyle choice in 3rd period Spanish...)

...I am ready to take it SLOW. I yearn to do NADA. All that needs to happen is a little walk each day, an occasional splash in the pool and a snuggle with my girl whenever I want to.

Summer, I love you.

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"Blogjacked": Mother's Day 2012

Artbymegan.com has been "Blogjacked" by Megan's husband and daughter to tell the world that she is an amazing Mother/Wife! So let me explain the significance of this "Blogjack" besides the obvious (Tell everyone on the World Wide Web that Megan is the best). I don't Facebook, Tweet, or blog. So I don't get that daily (sometimes hourly) chance to update everyone on all my thoughts and activities. Which means I can't update my status or hash tag (spelling/correct usage?) about how my wife is a Supermom/wife on a daily/hourly basis!

SO...this one time on this very SPECIAL DAY (Megan's first Mother's Day as a Mom) I will share with you all one of my thoughts and offer my wife the largest public display of affection imaginable...

Megan I LOVE you! You're a great mom/wife!

"Enough with the mushy stuff Dad, my turn! Mom this is baby, Thanks for being the best Mom. I appreciate all your hard work!" (Not bad for someone who is almost 1 year old. She got it from her Momma.)

So if this insight has not been clear my friend buddy the elf said it best when he said, "I'm in love, I'm in love and I don't care who knows it!"

Megan you are the best! Keep up the good work.

Love,

Your handsome husband and beautiful daughter

As for the rest of you get out of my head but keep on reading artbymegan.com because wouldn't you know Megan is an amazing blogger and artist too!

I'd also like to thank my friend the webmaster for allowing this intrusion and his assistance.

Artbymegan @ artomatic!

These boring and mundane photos are the "before" photos showing the set-up of Artomatic. They are clues into what will become an art takeover in an old federal building in Arlington, VA for the 2012 artomatic. Art by Megan. 1st floor near the cafe. Be there!

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2012 Artomatic is held at 1851 S. Bell Street, Arlington, VA:

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My exhibit!! (anything but boring...I got pretty pumped about the opportunity to splatter paint walls! It's literally my childhood fantasy come true.):

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Polaroid business cards:

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Come check out Art by Megan @ Artomatic:

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"The new immigrants"

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Photographer and artist Jill Enfield's newest project entitled "The New Immigrants" profiles recent immigrants to the U.S. and captures their real, raw stories. Read more about her project at takegreatpictres.com. Her process for photography would make any art geek freak out (Katie, I'm talking to you). Check out how she takes photos with the same technique from the 1800s involving a "portable darkroom" and photos printed onto glass.

Cool! Here is her process.

Artomatic 2012 in Crystal City!

This May 18th, Artomatic comes to Crystal City, to take over an old Federal Building that will be knocked down.  Before the demolition begins, Artomatic and hundreds of DC area artists take over and transform the space (for about 2 months) into an awesome center for the arts .  For more information on dates, directions and details, visit their website!  Meet the Artist night is June 2, see you there!?

I found out about this awesome art event from a friend, read about it and signed up right away...no questions asked.  After attending their orientation seminar on Saturday, I am super pumped to share my artwork (check me out on the 1st floor by the cafe!) and to meet other artists and hear all about their adventures and work.