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Embracing the Happy Accidents While Making Art by Megan Posas

Updated: Aug 8, 2021

My name is Megan; many people call me by my last name, Posas, or my nickname, Maymay. I moved to San Francisco from the midwest after graduating from art school. I wanted to be in a culturally diverse and creatively rich urban atmosphere. Moving to San Francisco is what helped initiate my career as an artist and has given me tons of opportunities to show my work in some fantastic places! I've worked a day job as a nanny for eight years. That has influenced my work by allowing me to experience the city/world every day and provide me with the financial means and flexibility to go on some amazing travel adventures.

What is your main inspiration while creating art?

I have always been inspired by my surroundings, given the life stage that I'm in. For example, when I first moved to SF, my work was heavily inspired by the vibrant urban landscape of the city. I made playful cityscapes for the first few years that I lived in San Francisco. Then my focus shifted from the city to the nearby ocean and how being in or near the water helps our mental health. Fast forward to the beginning of the pandemic, I was doing work about the feeling of uncertainty and wandering, based on my own experience of being lost in the Gobi Desert on a recent travel excursion. My most recent work involves a perspective shift & dependence on technology that I think we all experienced during COVID, using drone and satellite imagery to see the "bigger picture" of landscape painting. I was lucky enough to go live in Kaua'i for three months of quarantine, so many of the aerial landscapes (or Aerialscapes, as I call them) relate to my ocean experience there.

How are your roots reflected in your work?

My painting style and color sensibility have been shaped by the instructors I had at Indiana University. Mainly by Tim Kennedy because he gave us tons of painting homework, and that's when I really learned how to paint. Other than that, growing up in the midwest has formed me to value people, relationships, and experiences over accomplishments. The culture in the Bay Area places a lot of value and identity in what tech company you're working for and how much money you're making, and that's just something I've noticed is different from my core beliefs. It affects how I interact with other artists and people in the art world.

Which artist inspires you

I love the paintings of Wayne Thiebaud and Richard Diebenkorn, probably because they have both painted Bay Area landscapes, and I admire both artists' approach to color. I also like to look at abstract expressionist work and am a nerd for classical art history!

How are your style and process changing over time?

I can tell that my style is verging more toward the abstract expressionist side of painting these days. My work used to edge more toward photorealism, and now I am trying to work looser and faster. Most paintings I do now in one sitting rather than spending weeks developing one piece. I am learning that working faster forces me to trust my intuition and prevents me from overworking a painting. I am excited about my newer work because it feels more full of energy and movement. Instead of making everything look perfectly like the subject matter, I embrace all of the little "happy accidents" that happen along the way, resulting in more interesting color interactions and textures on the canvas.

If you can describe your art in one word, what would it be?

Can I get two words? Playfully vibrant.

What is your advice to other artists who are just starting?

I realize that this may feel hard to accomplish to some, but moving to a place where I knew there was plenty of opportunity and inspiration was vital to my development as an artist. So if you are dreaming of moving to a specific city or visiting a particular place, take the plunge and figure out a way to do it! It's taking those risks that push us to grow and evolve as artists and just as human beings in general.

Where can people find your work?

Now that COVID is starting to be less of a thing, I'm hoping to do some gallery shows in the near future. But for now, my work is primarily online; you can view it on my website or my Instagram @studio_posas. By signing up for my newsletter or following me on social media, you can stay updated on exhibitions and open studios coming up. Right now, I'm having a big spring studio sale so definitely take a look at that on my website!


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