Megan Williamson featured on Design*Sponge
As the foremost blog in all things design, art and living, Grace Bonney has built an online community of all things beautiful. Megan Williamson was a featured artist in their February 28th posting. See more here.
Megan Williamson will be exhibiting urban landscape and patterned still life paintings from June 2-30, 2015 at Chin-Azzaro, with an opening reception on Friday, June 5th from 6-8 pm.
Chin-Azzaro is located at 9 S. Washington Street in Ypsilanti, MI
Megan Williamson will be exhibiting with fellow contemporary landscape artists at the Pennsylvania College of Art & Design in Lancaster from March 6-April 17, 2015 with an opening on Friday, March 6th from 5-9 pm.
Seven on Site: Contemporary Landscape Paintings by Martha Armstrong, Sasha Chermayeff, Jane Culp, Judy Koon, Ro Lohin, Lynette Lombard and Megan Williamson, a group of seven contemporary landscape American painters from across the country. Click here to learn more.
Pennsylvania College of Art & Design 204 N Prince Street, Lancaster, PA 17603
Cover image: Megan Williamson, Salt Pile, 2014, oil on canvas, 13 x 20 inches (detail)
Megan Williamson will be exhibiting a work at Sideshow Gallery in Williamsburg, on display from January 10 to March 15, 2015. The opening reception is Saturday, January 10th from 6-9 p.m.
SOLO EXHIBITION AT CLIFF DWELLERS, WEDNESDAY, APRIL 30TH 2014
"American still life and landscape painter Megan Williamson will mount her twentieth career solo exhibition at Cliff Dwellers at 200 S. Michigan Avenue through April 30th, 2014. The private club functions as a non-profit organization in support of the fine arts and the performing arts. The reception is on Wednesday, April 30th from 5:30-7:30 p.m.
The show includes fifteen landscape oil paintings of Chicago locales painted in the tradition of en plein aire, a practice which is not commonplace in urban settings, particularly surrounding the nooks Williamson frequents. Lines of manmade versus nature intersect as physical paint on the canvas leaving the viewer with impressions of converging themes. Williamson's work reflects a heavy sensibility in Fauve, abstraction and expressionist forms, training she credits her professor Nick Carone with." -- Yen Azzaro
THE ARTS PALETTE STUDIO VISIT
Some of Megan's piece can be seen at White Color Productions, an arts club comprised of venerable Chicago artists.
"The Arts Palette (TAP)/White Color Productions is a member-based group that supports artists involved in the visual, literary and performing arts through quality programming including studio experiences, projects, and productions. TAP is an intercessor who strengthens strategic partnerships and provides unique settings to expose works of art and reveal personal processes. Our mission is to connect artists to patrons and collectors, while cultivating auspicious encounters and creating long lasting, beneficial relationships between artists and members." -- Tiphanie Spencer
TENSES OF LANDSCAPE, 2012
Describe your sense of connectedness to the landscape.I paint where I am. Mostly I am in Chicago, so I paint here. I am a landscape painter and always looking for new places to work. In the city I am drawn to sites where nature and infrastructure bump up against each other in curious and (what I see as) paintable ways.Over my ten years of landscape painting in Chicago I have developed a very particular way of seeing it. I know about the undersides of bridges, where to look for pocket parks and how to work alongside expressway off-ramps. I have found a jewel of a green space surrounded by skyscrapers and where an old quarry has been turned into a park. I have developed a fondness for brick smokestacks, cell phone towers and chimneys because of their compositional potential. I recognize the kinds of trees that thrive here - some by their common name (gingko, oak, linden) - others by the names I have given them (wallpaper, garbage, lollipop). Through trial and error I have learned how to address the urban obstacles of parking, access and safety. I also have learned what to do if a flock of Canadian geese get aggressive (bark at them). By working right in them, I have felt quite connected to landscapes of Chicago.Once I paint a place I never forget it. Seeing it again is always paired with the memory of the painting I did there. The site has become a private landmark for me. Not only have I spent a considerable amount of time in it, and because of the nature of the places I choose, it is unlikely that anyone else has painted the view. In this way, in a city of millions I can lay claim to some amazing real estate. So to answer to your question: yes, as a painter I have found that connecting to a landscape is important to me.
COLLABORATING WITH NATURE, RYERSON WOODS, JULY 2005
The nature that inspires me is the nature that has been altered by the human hand. How things grow as a result of either our attention or indifference is something that appears in my work in a variety of ways. The flowers in a still life may come from a hothouse or an overgrown city lot. A landscape can be found in a beautiful private garden or in two trees struggling to grow under an expressway. As an artist, I find the intersection of the inevitable drive of nature to grow, and the effects of man on it, to be a fascinating and an artistically compelling subject. It provides a stage for many stories to be told â€“ hopefully several in the same painting. While I look to the visual world for my inspiration, I also employ many constructs of painting (color theory, composition, etc) to translate what I see in nature into a work of art. In the end I hope to produce artwork that both transcends and is true to the view that inspired it.
The landscape paintings in this show were all painted in Chicago, most of them in private gardens. Like most landscape painters, I was an artist who had always left the metropolis to paint from nature. I packed my easel, my bags and often my family to leave the city (or country) for weeks or months at a time. We left the noise, rhythms, asphalt and lights behind. I was influenced in the countryside by what I saw and by the slower pace. In hindsight, my landscapes had begun to move toward the edge of towns and the intersection of where nature meets the man-made. But it was a still a surprise to me when after twenty years, I was suddenly able to paint landscapes in the city. There was literally a day when I looked at a view in a local park and thought, "I should paint that", and did. So in a way, these city garden paintings are a kind of "found" landscape for me. They were always there, of course, but I had never seen them as a painter. It felt like a gift, having these urban landscapes revealed to me. The city was still all around me while I painted, but at a new distance. I was leaving it behind in a different way.The gardeners who let me in to work were, in a way, my collaborators. The Eden each gardener created influenced my paintings beyond just the plants or the neighborhood. I felt fortunate in being given access to them. Their gardens are personal spaces - intimate landscapes not only because of their scale, but also in the way they are used. They are private reprieves from the urban-ness all around us. In painting them I feel as though I know those places, and those people, in a unique way.This body of work is on the more figurative end of my painting range. I have long followed the fine line between figuration and abstraction. I often get so lost in the space between objects or a particular light that I lose track of concrete representation of the objects or views. But in this series, a more figurative approach made sense. It wasn't an intellectual choice, but was arrived at through the act of painting, of committing to canvas something of my experience of these particular gardens. Since my access to many of these gardens was limited, and often the first time I saw them was when I arrived to paint them, they are painted very directly. The gate opened, I saw what was hidden behind it and I began to work. I feel the paintings contain some of the surprise and joy of first discovery. I hope you the viewer will give the paintings the time they need to reveal that to you.
FALLEN FABRIC, 2003
The subject of Fallen Fabric has engaged me for more than two years. It began (as most of my series do) with a chance moment. I was setting up a large still life when I looked aside and saw two discarded objects sitting off by themselves. The scarf and piece of moss that I had rejected for my still life were entwined and made a strange and beautiful shape. I stopped what I had been doing and my new series began.I have found beauty in each piece of fabric or clothing I have painted. The act of recording something as simple and everyday as cloth on the ground has called upon all of my resources as an artist - there is rhythm, color, negative and positive spaces, directional movements, light, weight, history and always the picture plane to attend to. These objects, which have found their form through chance and gravity, have been open to both abstraction and metaphor. Whereas one might echo a body another might have a feeling of weightlessness. One canvas might communicate the ease with which it was painted and another show the whole battle that gave rise to the final image.
I have stayed with this series because it has continued to unfold before me. I've been chasing down answers with a brush in hand. One of the biggest surprises has been how drawing and painting have begun to inhabit the same surface. For many years I have worked with the idea that drawing and painting are two separate activities, that they each make a different kind of space. Line has appeared in these paintings with an urgency that I couldn't avoid (though I tried to in the beginning). Whether it is a painting seen through a drawing, a line woven through an image, a painting left with nothing but a colored drawing or masses of color eliminating all line, I have had to try to let these two different ways of recording an image work together.
Another new challenge this series has presented me with has been the single object in the rectangle. In the past I have enjoyed the cacophony of many objects crowded together in my still lives. But this series has often been about the central image and the relationship to its environment, itself, its parts and to the proportion of the canvas. While my paintings are still involved with complexity, I think gravity has a new kind of hold on my work. This is a mystery that is still unfolding.I encourage you to give the work in this show some of your time, let these mysteries unfold or elude you. This work took time to make, I assume it will take time to be seen, and hopefully it will reward you as only painting can.