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Megan Kissinger

AFC Conservation Artist of the Month for July, 2017

Acrylic painter Megan Kissinger loves to portray the rare, almost magical moments when wild things exist in a state of balance and perfection. Her compositions reveal her fascination with light and line and are complemented by combinations of radiant colors in the sweeping settings in many of her paintings. I can get lost in late afternoon and twilight shadows sweeping and arching lines and in scenes like dappled light in oak hammocks and pine scrub.  Megan s paintings attempt to portray not realism, but a sort of super-realism where everything is a little brighter, more in balance closer to perfection.

Like so many members of Artists For Conservation, Megan identifies one of the key functions of nature art is to raise awareness, to inspire, and to motivate viewers to appreciate and act to protect the natural world. She is currently working with the Creative Action Network and Yankee Candle to raise funds for the National Parks Conservation Association in the wake of recent, devastating legislation affecting America's National Parks. She is also a contributing artist in the "Silent Skies" project, an international collaborative super-mural mosaic featuring all 678 endangered species of birds of the world. The installation forms the artistic centrepiece of the 27th International Ornithological Congress in Vancouver in 2018. Closer to home, her art is helping raise funds for injured bird rehabilitation at both the Calusa Nature Center in Fort Myers and for Care and Rehabilitation of Wildlife (CROW) on Sanibel Island.

 In her own words:  My work in the Everglades and along the Gulf Coast of Florida is prompting me to take the time to go back and fact-check a lot of things that I had assumed were current. I'm realizing that when it comes to the environment, things are changing at such a fast pace that just listening to the television news only gives you a thin slice of what's happening. Habitats are under constant assault from development, invasive species, agriculture run-off, improper hydrologic design, micro-plastics--the list goes on. We may be the first generation to have to admit that we broke the system and that it may never work correctly again. And if everything in nature is connected as my art tries to maintain, what does that say about my future or, my children's future?"

I hope we don't fail in our attempts to restore and preserve what's left of the ecosystems of Everglades and the Gulf of Mexico. There's only one place like them on Earth. If we break the system, all the money and science in the world won't bring it back.  In south Florida, You won't find any grand mountain vistas, or charismatic herds of elk. But you will find a tiny sort of grandeur: Go off the path, see the Orb Weaver Spider catch breakfast in her web. Dig up a handful of muck from the ground or sand on the beach and see a hundred creatures in the tiny real estate of your palm. Canoe into a cypress head and hear the pops and echoes of a million insects, fish and birds going about their daily work of finding and being food. When I paint, I try to convey that feeling of Life and the paradox that it is, at once, large and small, fertile and barren, safe and dangerous."

The Artist's Technique:

In her acrylic paintings Megan works traditionally with canvas and begins every new piece with charcoal sketching and under-paint in a wash of complimentary color before beginning the final painting. She applies the paint in many thin layers, sometimes hundreds, using both glazes and scrubbed-in paint to get the feeling of light and shadow.

A native Floridian, Megan Kissinger resides in Fort Myers, Florida. She is represented by Tower Gallery on Sanibel Island, Florida, WildChild Gallery on Matlacha Island, Florida, the Creative Action Network in San Francisco, California, and, of course, Artists For Conservation in Vancouver, BC.

View Megan's artwork.

Previous Conservation Artists of the Month

(October, 2017)
(September, 2017)
(August, 2017)
(July, 2017)
(June, 2017)
(May, 2017)
(April, 2017)
(March, 2017)
(February, 2017)
(January, 2017)
(December, 2016)
(November, 2016)
(October, 2016)
(September, 2016)
(August, 2016)
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