Life isn’t easy and reality can be harsh…I want art to be an escape. I create my work without heavy commentary or affectation. My multi-media works include a mixture of materials that have a feminine feel through the use of fishnet and other girlish details, contrasting with more rough textures, like burlap, leather, snakeskin, and metal. I am inspired by the way textiles and other unconventional materials can come together harmoniously. My collages are created on canvases that have been cut, torn, and distressed. They started out as a collection of personalities; the most interesting part of creating them has always been, for me to see which collage appeals to who. Recently I have expanded on this idea to start incorporating text in order to reach a specific market and begin to sell my work, something that has always been a dream of mine. Still, my goal has always the same: by arranging various media and manipulating the canvas I hope to create a moment of beauty for my audience, a personal experience that needs no definition and requires no analysis. Life is complicated enough…art doesn’t always have to be.
My Artistic Journey
I really don't remember a time when art didn't fascinate me. I grew up watching both of my grandfathers create amazing things, one with stained glass, the other with paint on canvas or a pen on a napkin. I explored my own talents for 2 years at Ramapo College of NJ and soon realized I was looking for a more competitive artistic environment. I found that at Mason Gross School of the Arts in New Brunswick NJ, where I was accepted as a transfer student my junior year. Soon after, I began experimenting with found materials, one of my favorites being snakeskin. At my graduating thesis show I featured my Brancusi-esque snakeskin sculpture and clay slabs, both covered with skin from my brother's boa constrictor. The combination of natural materials combined in such a unnatural way created an aesthetic harmony that inspired me. I truly feel that this unconventional combination of materials was the beginning of my exploration into collage. Drawing was alway my own first love though, and I continue to work in pencil to render my favorite subjects; people! The photo-realism portraiture of Chuck Close has always been awe-inspiring. In my earliest art experiences I naively thought that art was only of value when it was "well done" and in order for that to happen, a drawing had to look as much like the subject as possible. Of course this belief is common and immature still, I find myself trying to hone my own drawing skills in the same fashion. The challenge of trying to reproduce a photo by hand with pencil is endlessly interesting to me and where it lacks in creativity it helps improve my skills while I find various other outlets for my creative energy.
Another recent endeavor has been belly cast painting. This began when a good friend asked if I would help her decorate her belly cast for her son with an under water theme. The process was fun and new to me, and it was extremely rewarding to know that I was being trusted with such an important keepsake. I found ways to incorportate multiple mediums, including sand and tissue paper on top of acrylic paint. Knowing the market for this unique craft and the unfortunate reality that most expectant mothers lack time (and sometimes the vision, skills or just the supplies, but mostly the time) to actually sit and finish the cast themselves, I've begun to incorporate this service in my budding business plans. Check out more of my work on my Facebook page Megan Hawthorne Collage and Portraits and on Etsy at The Patchwork Paisley on Etsy