My youngest daughter loves all things art. If I turn my back for too long she will scam my paintbrushes, pencils, markers, and paper, anything she can get her little fingers on. One day I was really busy with commissions and packaging, I left my paints out on the table to be put away later. She decided to help herself and took a little piece of canvas I had laying there and made a painting. A six-year-old painting can be quite a mess as I am sure you can imagine. She had paint on the floor, the table, the tea towel from the kitchen (in her misguided attempt to clean it all up) the paintbrushes tossed aside, paint tubes knocked over and dripping. So basically a complete disaster. When I came across this I just about lost my mind, as I went to call her down from her room to ask her what she was thinking getting into my stuff, (there have been enough warnings over the years) I saw a white envelope sitting on my desk. Inside the envelope I found this painting.
Today’s featured artists name is Meghan Deinhard, she’s a quirky and fun loving photographer and artist who sees beauty everywhere and believes “life is a joyous adventure”. With that kind of mindset who can help but be inspired by Meghan and her amazing artwork.
Here is her interview.
How long have you been an artist?
I’ve been a fine artist for about 20 years, I got my BFA degree in 1995, but I consider I did “art” before that. I was an actress and costume designer in my teens, 20’s and 30’s.
Where do you find your inspiration?
I get my inspiration from the world around me. Everyday moments. I am a very visual person and when something strikes me as interesting or humorous or marvelously beautiful I take a photo (or zillions) of it. That’s one part of the inspiration. The other comes from inside me when I am creating on the computer or in a studio. I play… with ideas, color, texture, light, shadow, positive and negative space… whatever seems visually exciting to me in that moment.
What are you working on right now?
I’ve been going in an abstract direction lately. I take one of my photographs and goof around with it in Photoshop Elements. I am no pro at PSE, but learn something new every time I do a project. It’s a blast! I find a photo that wasn’t very successful on its own and see if I can transform it into something filled with color and texture. Often you can’t even see the original image when I’m finished. It’s like an adventure of discovery. The other thing I’m excited about is my new blog… it’s not just about art, but about finding happy moments.
What obstacles have you faced in your career as an artist and how did you overcome them?
I didn’t believe in myself or my artistic abilities enough to try to make and sell my art, or earlier in my life become a professional actress. I think artists are very vulnerable and I had a lot of knocks when I was young. It has taken me years to trust that I am a pretty great person and it doesn’t really matter if others don’t like my art, because I do! It makes me happy to make it and happy to look at it. As for how I overcame this? Lots of self help books and meds… just kidding, sort of. I do take meds for bipolar disorder, and I’ve done a lot of inner work. But I think what it boils down to is trusting that life is good, and we are born to thrive and express our own unique energies.
What is your favorite subject matter?
My first thought is nature. Mother Nature is the ultimate artist and an endless source of inspiration. But, I think what really informs my art is the interaction of me with my daily environment. In 2011 I carried a camera with me everywhere I went. Each day I took at least one photo and posted the best reflection of that day on Facebook with a unique and descriptive caption. I now have a fascinating visual autobiography of my year. What I learned is that life itself, inner and outer, is art; and hidden within every moment is a miracle… you just have to pay attention and look for it. Then as artists we make those moments visual… or as writers, verbal… I guarantee you there were only a fraction of images I posted that year that are “saleable”, but the true artwork was the story the year of images and captions told. People watched me go through the death of a cat, finding a new kitten, online dating, finding the love of my life and getting engaged to be married.
Besides your art what else are you passionate about?
Riding on the back of a motorcycle with my new husband! And enjoying his ranch in McCall, ID where we go during the summer (we were married in a magical glen on the property last July).
Do you have any tips or insights you would pass on to an emerging artist?
Don’t compare your work to anyone else’s! I never thought I could be an artist because I can’t draw well. Pfft… silly me. Here I am now with a degree in ceramics and a burgeoning portfolio of photographs and abstract digital images. Just keep doing art and try not to judge it. It’s one thing to toss out something that doesn’t work, but constantly criticizing your work is a shame. Beauty is truly in the eye of the beholder… and if nothing else, if it makes YOU happy, you’ve added joy to the world.
Oh and if you are a digital or photographic artist…. back up often on an external hard drive! 😉
Art Gallery: http://firebonnet.artistwebsites.com/index.html
All of my other social media connections can be made from either of these places.
One day my husband brought home a big dog, without my permission. I saw him driving up the road towards our house, arm hanging out the window, cigar in his mouth and a big black dog in the passenger seat. Secretly I sometimes think he looks more like a redneck but that’s beside the point (and please don’t tell him I said that). I watch him pull into the driveway, with this dog and his cigar and felt one of those rare moments of hate that are inevitable in any relationship. There he was, completely white dust covered from one of his renovating jobs, cigar ashes flying as he strained to cart this dog out of the van. He looked at me; big smile covering his face then shrugged his shoulders and brought the dog in the house. I took a moment, a moment to unclench my fists and breath, just breath. Now don’t get me wrong, I love dogs, although I do admit to a slight fear of the larger ones. Again, I repeat, I do love dogs, however, we have six kids between us, two at that time that were little enough to be home during the day, with me and now, this big dog.
The dog was a female black lab mix with a little crazy stirred in. First thing the dog did to initiate herself into our family was to chew on the legs of my antique dining set. A dining set that has been around for approximately 130 years but is falling apart under the “care” of my rough family. It managed a 130-year life until it fatefully became part of our furniture collection. So the dog, whom we named Dolly, chewed my chairs and one leg of the table; happily I might add, like they were dipped in bacon grease. This all happened fast, she dove straight for the table and started chewing before anyone could stop her. Could have been comical if not for my total distress at watching my table getting ruined. As the kids and my husband chased her around trying to stop the destruction she would move to another chair, go in for a quick bite and slip away before any hands could reach her.
She was a friendly dog, very hyperactive though which did amount to a lot of interesting scenarios. Luckily a few of our kids were old enough to take her on lots of walks. For the older girls it was more of a tug of war then a walk but still, they got the job done.
For our youngest son though, who was only three at the time, this dog, Dolly, was both a friend and an enemy. They quickly developed a very complicated love, hate relationship; you see we were not used to a big dog in the house. So when we laid out lunch for our little guy, on the coffee table with his little plastic chair pulled up, well little did we know this was the perfect height for a dog thief. Every time our son looked away, Dolly, who would act seemingly uninterested while the food was being served, would then scoot over and devour the meal in mere seconds. Around the third time this happened, our son got up, walked over to the dog that was lying on the floor pretending not to notice him and then leaned forward to lift up her ear and whisper, “Dolly, I hate you”.
He had seemed to forgive her though, when later he brought the dog over to show us his art experiment. He had gotten into my art paints and brushes and had decorated the dog in multiple colors. What I found most amusing was the patience of this dog, our Dolly, to have sat through a painting session that was long enough for our son to change colors and cover multiple areas of her body. But he sure was proud and Dolly seemed happy enough, probably hoping in return he would just share his lunch with her.
I long ago decided my only defence in this family is to just paint!