Color Study and What Inspires Me


This color study, inspired by last week’s trip to Mexico, is me falling in love with neon magentas, pinks, and blues. The lights, crocheted palm trees, and local art were so vibrant and alive, I wanted to capture that feeling.


I’m also tackling some marketing homework… some thoughts about what inspires my art…

My first memory of wanting to create art? I can’t remember that far back! But I do remember the first moment I realized I was good at it – Art class, 7th grade, learning to cross-hatch. It came easily, and I loved how such a simple technique could bring an object to life on paper. There was magic there, and I fell in love.

What would you be doing if you weren’t making art? I started a clothing company right out of collage, and that’s my bread-and-butter. However, clothing design is tedious and my passion is art, so I went to grad school to get my MFA, graduating in 2007. Since then, I transitioned to art full-time.

What made you choose the mediums you’re exploring now? It was a looong process. For years after grad school, I did a series called Illuminated Portraiture, using graphite and paint marker. I grew tired of working on paper and felt limited by the graphite.

I moved on to work on small pieces for 100 days, then 60 days of wax pastel drawing experiments to loosen up my style. From there, I spent 4 months exploring abstraction with acrylic. Then – FULL CIRCLE!

I returned to my initial vision of Illuminated Portraiture, changing a few key elements. Instead of paper, I build my own paper-mounted wood illustration boards. I switched out graphite for paint. And instead of only abstract outlines with pen, I started layering with abstraction, then negative space, then more line work, using paint. The look was a lot more rich and complex. I finally found my style, and my new series.

What do you want for yourself as an artist? I want my days to be my own – painting, listening to meditations, and creating a body of work that inspires people. I want to be financially successful, reach a significant number of viewers, and to be part of a thoughtful artistic community.

What do you want for your collectors? I want my collectors to adore my work, to proudly hang it in their homes, to enjoy sharing the story behind each piece with friends, and to enjoy them for generations to come. I want their experience of each piece to inspire awareness, joy, and a greater understanding of our true essence.

What is your biggest obstacle in making art? The need to reach more people who really connect with my art – thousands more people! The whole point is to inspire viewers, so I get frustrated when I only have a few hundred followers. I’m seeing my numbers grow everyday, which makes me happy, but I’m impatient, and can’t wait until a massive number of people can enjoy my work! And with that comes an increase of sales, collectors, and sustainability – also crucial to being a professional artist.


2016 | 9 x 12” | mixed media on archival canvas | prints and original here

Thanks for taking a peek into my process!

♥ ~ Meghan Oona

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