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Artist Megan Greene

Updated: Jul 12, 2021

I construct my drawings with layers of colored pencil, in a process that is both slow and improvisational. My formal language includes rays, waves, hairs, and orbs, as well as abstracted landforms and flora. Such parts combine to form an indeterminate land-space, a scene of otherworldly phenomena.

Tell us a little bit about yourself and your background in the arts.

I grew up in Buffalo, NY, moved around a bunch, and now live in Oak Park, IL, on the border of Chicago. My husband, a designer, and I both have studios at home. And then our twin eight-year-old girls use the rest of the house as their studio, so there’s that. Four people and their half-made stuff. (It’s everywhere.)

As for my arts background—I am one of those people who has been making art since I was a kid. My formal arts education seems like a lifetime ago—(BFA-Notre Dame , MFA-Rutgers). I remember making a lot of bad work but also establishing good studio habits. I’m a work horse and an introvert by nature. Also, I’m lucky to only teach part-time. So, in short, I’m happy and fortunate to be in my studio most days.

What kind of work are you currently making?

I’m a drawer. Over the last 2-3 years I have been making these pretty labor-intensive, layered colored pencil drawings. My process is a kind of slow improvisation, entirely additive (no erasing) with pretty minimal planning. I have a language of forms I tend to return to, rays, waves, orbs, etc. as well as abstracted landforms and flora. I rip and cut the edge of the paper as I go. To my mind, the irregular edge is something of a counterpoint to the fairly precise rendering and a reminder of the surface as paper.

What is a day like in the studio for you?

If my morning is going well, I’m getting started around 9:30am with coffee, and a lineup of podcasts (mostly non-fiction stuff, The Daily, Hidden Brain etc). It depends on whether I am teaching on a given day, but in general, I like to get in 4-5 hours on average. I am kind of distractable—answer an email, change the laundry etc.—during the course of my studio time. But that works well enough for me (probably because I’m not a painter.)

What are you looking at right now and/or reading?

Most of my reading time, beyond news, is put towards literary fiction. I just finished Priestdaddy and have these two awaiting me: I Am I Am: Seventeen Brushes with Death by Maggie O’Farrell and Autobiography of a Face.

Also, I have a zoom studio visit coming up with a great artist and friend from grad school, Aaron Williams, @aaronswilliams9.

Where can we find more of your work?


Also at Regards, the gallery I am represented by here in Chicago:


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