In this series, the artists working at Creative Gateways give us behind-the-scenes insight into their current works in progress, inspiration, and creative challenges. Today, we look at Meg’s watercolor painting, “In My Habitat…”
A Life of Change
Watercolorist Meg Munro has had a long career that has been punctuated by important shifts and turning points. Her return to Creative Gateways marked one of those epochal shifts, as she recently explained for her artist spotlight. But although she has started a new professional period, her artistic and personal growth continues and is constantly reflected in her work. One of her latest pieces, “In My Habitat,” is a perfect example of this.
“I dreamed I was a butterfly, flitting around in the sky; then I awoke. Now I wonder: Am I a man who dreamt of being a butterfly, or am I a butterfly dreaming that I am a man?” – Zhuangzi
“This painting is a throwback to the butterfly series I did between 2003-2006,” Meg explains. “I would never have guessed that I would re-visit this theme. Actually, maybe it’s more accurate to say that I never thought that the butterflies would visit me again.”
The past frequently recurs for Meg, however, in one form or another. Pieces like “St. Francis in San Sebastian” are part of a long and ongoing “Mexico Memories” series that plays on themes of memory and nostalgia. Meg’s surprise at her visit from the butterflies shows her humble relationship with both the past and the world around her.
Like with most of her work, Meg used a photo reference for “In My Habitat.” “I was drawn to the reference photo for a few reasons. I loved the intricate patterns of weeds, the lights playing against the darks, and the two vibrant Flander’s Poppies. When I looked at it though, it felt like there was a missing element. All three stems were all pointing to a perfect place for something – and it just seemed right to have that something be a butterfly.”
Nearly every element in Meg’s work has both a literal and figurative meaning, however, and the butterfly is no exception. “The butterflies are such a beautiful symbol for transition,” she tells us. “The idea of emerging from a cocoon to become a different form has definitely attracted my attention lately. It feels appropriate for this time in my life.” Other aspects of the piece also have important meaning for Meg. “The close-up, complex patterns of nature represent those times in life when it feels right to go deep inside – deep inside the painting, deep inside yourself. I was completely ‘In My Habitat’ as I painted this, at many levels: in my art studio, at peace with Sedona, and painting details in nature. I’m very pleased with the result.”
The Work Remains
You can see more of Meg’s work, as well as the work of all our resident artists, by visiting Creative Gateways Open Studios & Gallery, open 7 days a week, 10am-5pm!