A funny thing happened (as all good stories start) when I went out to buy coffee from a shop at the end of my street. I was in line behind two people who were buying coffee. I settled in for a long wait while they answered a long list of questions to prepare their perfect brew. “Yes or no” to regular, decaf, size, kind of milk, whipped or not, toppings, temperature, and on it goes. You know the routine.
I gave myself up to daydreaming, and noticed that I was standing before a box of small artworks, along with a donation box. The style was unmistakably outsider. I took some time to shuffle though the collection of 8 x 12s and was quite impressed with what I saw.
My questions went something like this… and Megan’s answers:
Q: Are you an artist?
A: No. It’s just something I’ve always done.
Q: Have you ever studied art?
Q: Have you ever tried to sell your
A: No. I just had so much stuff at home
that I thought I might try to sell some prints.
Q: What materials do you use?
A: I like to use crayon pencils and felt
markers. (Sound familiar?)
Q: Have you ever heard of outsider
Q: Well, you are one.
Here’s what caught my attention with Megan’s artwork. At first sight, it looked like Scottie Wilson’s work – swirly, organic doodles that fill the entire canvas. (See 3 earlier blog postings.) The more you look, the more you see. Beautiful balance of colours. Fine details. Cross-hatching. Playful images. Hidden figures.
I found Megan’s site: http://meganpodwin.wordpress.com/about/
and was pleased to read her own artist’s statement. Here are some statements she makes, which I know will sound familiar to you:
– Drawing was a huge part of my identity growing up.
– I draw every day, I draw while music is on. I draw while I’m talking to people … I draw when I’m happy, I draw when I’m sad. I draw after a long day at work, I draw on my day off. Just like when I was a kid, I don’t think too hard about why I feel so driven to do it. I just let it happen.
– If I make something now, I’d prefer to give it away if someone likes it. And when I make a drawing for a person that doesn’t know they’re getting one – I couldn’t care if they never hung it up and it lived out its life in a closet or in the garbage. It’s just art. It’s just a bunch of pen on some paper that felt satisfying for my hand and eyes to make.
This last image:
Q: Scottie or Megan?
I know that Megan would enjoy sitting down for a tete-a-tete with Scottie Wilson if he were alive. Although I don’t think either of them would want to talk about their artwork, I suspect they would recognize a kindred spirit. I wonder what they would talk about? Maybe nothing at all.