PEOPLE OF CHARLOTTE: Green Paint Makes Green Thumbs
People of CLT, meet art teacher and painter, Megan Welsh. She may not be able to keep plants alive, but she does capture them on a canvas. And, she inspires children just as she was inspired as a child. Let’s learn more.
PEOPLE OF CHARLOTTE: Where can People of CLT find your art?
Pure Barre South, Brakeman’s Coffee in Matthews, Bobbin’s Designs and Gallery Room Charlotte (both located in Cotswold Marketplace) and Art House Charlotte. Or contact me. My 2019 goal is to get an Etsy shop or website, so be on the lookout for that as well!
PEOPLE OF CHARLOTTE: Do you have a profound memory of being drawn towards art?
MEGAN: I have a vivid memory of looking at a painting of a barn while sitting on my grandmother’s sofa, sitting so close that my nose almost touched it. My eyes traced the lines to figure out how the artist created it.
The artist was my mother! And, the painting is now in my home.
I always loved creating and dove into anything hands-on with abandon. Sadly, at my school, we couldn’t enroll in art class until eighth grade. When I began high school, I took as many art classes as they would allow me, also spending as much free time in the art room as possible. I remember painting a floral painting, blending and layering in such a zone that the world around me disappeared. Painting came easily to me. My teacher then introduced us to gouache painting. I was drawn to all the techniques with curiosity and excitement.
PEOPLE OF CHARLOTTE: Did your art teacher inspire the teacher within you?
MEGAN: Yes, I loved my art teacher! Her encouraging, kind heart inspired me to become an art teacher.
PEOPLE OF CHARLOTTE: Where did you continue your studies?
MEGAN: While attending Calvin college (where I earned a bachelor’s degree in art and education), I took art history, theory, painting, and pottery courses.
I spent endless hours in the art studio, learning how to organize the elements and principles of art while exploring different compositions. Through hours of practice, I learned how to catch light and how to bring more meaning to my paintings.
I love to layer paints. Even though acrylic dries very quickly, I sometimes use a blowdryer to work even faster. Right now oils don’t work for me. Maybe one day.
PEOPLE OF CHARLOTTE: We saw that your art was featured on Houzz! Was it a surprise?
MEGAN: It was such a surprise—one that I had nothing to do with! Art House Charlotte had taken some of my work as a guest artist. Jenna, of Delphinium Designs, chose one of my paintings for one of her design projects that Houzz featured. I thought my painting would be one little click, but the article mentioned my name and info. It really reminded me of how important it is for artists to support one another, to be a part of each other’s story. Everything that I’ve accomplished has been because someone else encouraged and supported me. We all need each other.
PEOPLE OF CHARLOTTE: As an art teacher, who are you inspiring to create?
MEGAN: I have taught K-12, but currently I am teaching high school art part-time at Grace Academy. Although I loved my years of teaching younger kids and leading art camps, I really enjoy teaching older students who can appreciate the history and theory behind art.
PEOPLE OF CHARLOTTE: Your green thumb is showing up in your paintings. We love it! Tell us the story!
MEGAN: Honestly, I can’t keep plants alive, but I knew I could keep a succulent alive through a paint brush, so there it began. And, I wanted something to paint that was neat and different, but beautiful. I brought my love of off-center composition, white space, contrast and crisp lines into my work. Painting objects from nature brings my heart such joy. I also love painting landscapes and flowers.
PEOPLE OF CHARLOTTE: Proudest accomplishment?
MEGAN: Speaking professionally, positive feedback from my students makes me proud. I find fulfillment in knowing that I have encouraged them in some way. For me, it’s about what I can bring to others—that’s when I know I am doing what I am meant to do. The Houzz recognition was pretty cool too!
Favorite place to buy art supplies?
Cheap Joe’s and Michaels
Favorite place to create?
My home studio
Favorite place to work out?
Iron Tribe in Cotswold
Favorite coffee shop?
Hands down, Brakeman’s
Favorite quick bite?
A chocolate protein smoothie from Clean Juice
Favorite place to soak up inspiration?
Anywhere in nature, like the mountains, lakes and ocean
Photo credits Miranda Reger, The House That Mercy Built
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