Megan Perkins is a Spokane area artist that has a really wonderful eye for catching the feeling of our city. She is a fellow member of Pottery Place Plus, an artist cooperative gallery now in in its fortieth year. Megan has made a name for herself with a series she calls "Artist's Eye on Spokane". For the past four years or so, she felt the urge to explore Spokane in depth, to celebrate its traditions and landmarks. She spent fifty-two weeks making paintings and sketches, a new topic each week. This work has been very well received and now she would like to publish the images in a book entitled what else but "Artist Eye on Spokane". Please visit her Kickstarter campaign to get the details and help get it off the ground!
Megan with sketchbook in hand
1. Have you always been an artist?
"I have always been an artist. I drew all the time as a kid and was obsessed with paper and pens and coloring. I have memories of being 6 or 7 years old, staying up late drawing pictures based on my Lion King coloring books. I kept sketchbooks and drew all through high school and college along with taking classes in drawing, printmaking, and painting. I studied abroad in Florence, Italy during my college years, spending hours in museums all over Europe with my face inches from the works of the Old Masters."
|You can see the influence of the Old Masters in this lovely landscape
2. Why did you pick the media you work in now? How do you describe your work?
"I work in watercolor because it is portable, easy to clean, dries quickly, and doesn't involve a ton of chemicals or special equipment. I started out using watercolor casually in high school, but it became an essential part of my art practice when I went to college. I used watercolors regularly in my sketchbook both to capture my everyday life and during my traveling adventures in my year abroad. I would describe my work as colorful and whimsical. I frequently use black pens with my watercolor work to make the lines pop and add detail. This is in part, born of my years sketching and drawing from life-I need to get the subject down fast in case I have to leave before I can get paint on the drawing. Pen also doesn't smudge the way pencil does in a sketchbook that gets shoved in and out of bags on a trip."
|The Garland Theater, Spokane Washington
|The Monroe Street Bridge, Spokane Washington.
3. What inspires you?
"My daily life and travels inspire me. I draw when I go on family trips, to the the theater, to friend's houses, pretty much everywhere. I am interested in recording how I spend my life, deriving beauty and enjoyment from the process. Other times, I am struck by an interesting architectural feature, the clouds, amazing light, colors, etc. and I make a work driven by those elements rather than by my desire to fill my time, record my adventures, or hone my skills. Either way, I get to draw and paint and I'm happy."
|Drawing from life
4. Tell us about your process. Do you have a favorite tool or piece of equipment?
"I usually start with a pencil or pen drawing and then add watercolors on top. My favorite pen is the Pentel Pocket brush because it has an amazingly flexible brush tip and waterproof black ink. I do a lot of sketching while out of the studio so I also love my Escoda travel brush. I have a ten year old Winsor Newton watercolor travel kit that I treasure because of all the wonderful places I've gone with it. I also don't clean it very often so it is usually a mess."
|The daily paper-The Spokesman-Review is housed in this building.
5. Why do you like the co-op environment at Pottery Place Plus? What do you get out of it besides sales?
" My favorite thing about the co-op is the people. It is so great to get to talk shop with other artistic people who have had their own creative businesses for much longer than me. I can pick their brains and we can share the trials and tribulations of being entrepreneurs together."
Remember to check out the details for her book and Kickstarter Campaign
Visit her website www.meganperkinsart.com
*images are used with the permission of Megan Perkins, she reserves all rights.