Adding Biophelia inspired art to office design ensures a soothing work environment.

Autumn, River Road (2018). Mixed Media painting. Collection: Topsfield Town Hall. Each panel 54 x 26 inches.

Adding nature based art to public spaces such as office lobbies, libraries, hospital waiting areas, and town halls affords a sense of calm and serenity to the built environment. For this example, Autumn, River Road, a large scale painting I created for the Topsfield Town Hall, I placed the painting at the top of the stairs. When visitors to the space walk up the stairs, they feel as though they are walking onto one of the favorite roads in the town, River Road. The idea of extending a 2D space-a flat wall-into a 3D space is a technique first used by the ancient Roman wall painters. Here are in-situ examples of this concept.

Through the seasons (2012). Four panels of a nature pond scene as it appears during different times of the year.
Transitions (2014). Three panels featuring birch trees as they appear in early spring, early autumn, and late November.

Want to add biophelia inspired art to your next project? Contact me for a complimentary proposal.

The benefits of adding nature-based artwork to the office environment.

Biophilia (love of nature) is the idea of interacting with nature no matter the actual environment-including an office interior. For artists and designers, this can be incorporating works of art that focus on nature into the work environment. One of my favorite natural subjects to focus on in my own artwork are birch trees. The morning light streaming through the skin like bark of the birch tree in this example allows for an inspiring welcome to those entering the work space.

For the state of New Hampshire, I was commissioned to create six paintings of the state tree, the white birch, as it transitions through the times of day and seasons of the year. This installation reflects the people who use the building to acquire their earned licenses as they too are transitioning through stages of their own lives.

Transitions (2014). Six 90 x 40 inch paintings of the state tree, the white birch. Commissioned by the State of New Hampshire and the New Hampshire Council on the Arts
Birch tree, in-situ. Available on my giclee page.
Office interior lobby . Blank wall for copy space, lots of light, sunlight scene. Black leather sofa. gray floor tiles. daylight scene. designer copy space background

The story behind the Walker Hancock sculptures at Trinity Church, Topsfield. Presented by Meg Black, PhD

A PDF of the slides from this lecture are available via the download button.

Print of Gethsemane Garden available in print gallery.

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2021 art history lecture series

The story behind The Agony in the Garden of Gethsemane sculptures at Trinity Church, Topsfield. Thursday, February 4, 7:00-8:00PM. Free registration.

Photo: Kindra Clineff

Like many residents of Topsfield I have long admired of the Walker Hancock sculptures, The Agony in the Garden of Gethsemane located at the entrance to Trinity Church. Until I began researching their history, I did not know the story behind them. What I uncovered is a remarkable story of their creation and the three men whose dedication to art, religious tolerance, and civil rights made them possible.
During this lecture, I will share this story of the patron, William Appleton Coolidge; the sculptor, Walker Hancock, and the Episcopal Seminarian and martyr of the Civil Rights Movement, Jonathon Daniels, to whom the sculptures are dedicated. Registration is limited to 100 people, so register soon.
Register for the lecture on the library website.

Highlights from the Topsfield Library Art Collection. Thursday, February 11, 7:00-8:00PM

Some of the examples from the library collection.

The Topsfield Town Library is home to an impressive collection of art from traditional oil paintings to contemporary sculpture. In this one hour lecture, we will learn about just a few of the highlights from this distinguished collection. Register for this free lecture on the library website.

Meg Black is the featured artist in Helen Hiebert’s The Sunday Paper

Helen Hiebert is recognized as an expert in the papermaking community-from her knowledge of properties of various pulps to sewing and binding techniques for handmade paper books, Helen is a vital presence in educating papermakers around the world. Given her recognized expertise, I was honored that she asked me to be featured in her blog.

Helen shared my recent commission, Seafoam, which I created for a corporate space in 2018, as the featured image for the blog-good choice, Helen, its one of my all time favorites.

Seafoam, 2018. Corporate commission. Photo: David Margolis

Here is the text from Helen’s blog:

Meg Black is an artist who has earned an MFA and Ph.D. in art history. The subject of her work-both as a researcher and a visual artist-is the study of nature and its impact on our sensory experiences. Black creates her work with pulp – largely cotton and well beaten abaca – for two reasons: (1) this material has not been widely used as a painting media, thus she is constantly discovering its potential and is challenged by its capacities which allow her to be a pioneer in this process; and (2) the texture of this media provides an almost three-dimensional quality to the finished surface, thus mimicking nature in all its splendor. Black’s unique process and careful attention to craftsmanship provide a seductive, textured surface that lends itself to the natural subject matter of her work. In 2014, Black was the recipient of a 1% for art grant awarded to her for her installation of six large pulp paintings featuring the white birch, the state tree of New Hampshire. Other examples of her pulp paintings are in hospitals, corporate offices, private collections, and town halls and libraries throughout the United States.

Thank you Helen for featureing my work on your blog. I have been following Helen’s blog for years-so happy to have my own feature and am enjoying my 15 minutes of fame with Helen’s readers.

Meg Black featured on Helen Hiebert Paper Talk podcast

Meg Black

Using overeaten abaca and a spoon to paint a garden in bloom.

My day in Monet’s Garden, Giverny, France.

Claude Monet is famous for painting many subjects: water lilies, cathedral facades, footbridges, and of course, his garden’s at Giverny, France, where he moved to in 1883. Monet did not like organized gardens common in other parts of France such as the Gardens at Versaillies. In Giverny, he arranged flowers according to their colors and left them to grow naturally, more in keeping with the picturesque gardens of England or the Zen Gardens of Japan.
I visited Monet’s gardens with my mother a few years ago-the ultimate mother/daughter field trip, where I walked the path of the great impressionist artist and took inspiration from his famous gardens.
My painting, Monet’s Garden, Giverny was inspired by this famous garden. The trellis and sweeping vines, rows of pink, orange, and peach blooms, topped with a kaleidoscope of greens, captures the essence of this very special place in France, and in the hearts of art lovers everywhere.

The painting in situ. To order the painting, to order a print of the painting.

If you are working from home, why not purchase art in your home office design?

According to the researchers at Stanford University (so you know they must be right) the work from home economy is here to stay. Given these statistics, why not include the purchase of art in your home office design (ok, dining room table, spare bedroom, former man cave)?
I’ve included several samples of available art to imagine just how jazzed your space can look. I have more on my original works gallery, and print gallery.


There is a two week free trial period to test out a piece in your space-sort of like what those fancy rug companies do-so there is no up front cost to consider. Payment plans are available for larger pieces. Send me an email if you’d like to try out one of the works featured, and as always, take care and be well.


Thank you for your support.
Meg

https://megblack.com/galleries/rocks-and-water-as-portrait-of-lifes-journey/
Hever Castle Courtyard, Sussex, England. Framed. 48 x 39 inches.
June Morning Light, in-situ
Distant Travels, Cape Cod National Seashore

Follow me as I paint the sea: an explanation of the medium I use.

The painting as of August, 7, 2020.

At first glance, my paintings appear to be oil on canvas or similar. It is upon closer inspection that viewers observe the textured surface of the work. In fact, the most common comment I receive is “I love the texture of your work-it is so engaging. It’s like I’m actually there. Just what is the medium?” The medium I use is abaca, an extremely strong fiber from the inner bark of the banana tree and is used for marine cordage and sails for sailing vessels.

In the 16th century, Venetian artists-Venice at the time was a powerful seafaring nation state-began using the canvases of sailing vessels as surfaces to apply their paints. These canvases were made from durable fibers such as linen, flax and abaca.  It is for this reason that these now famous works have survived to us through the ages. 

Using these same fibers, I have embellished on this idea and created an actual painting method that is just as durable and permanent, and pigmented with light-fast colors to match the rich hues of nature.

My process provides a textured, almost three-dimensional quality to the painting’s surface, thus mimicking nature in all its splendor . . . from its rocky crevices along the ocean shoreline, subtle shadows in a garden path, the fullness and detail of a treed landscape, and the smooth surface of a still lake.  

Natural fibers, beaten into thick coats of pigmented pulp, provides the perfect media with which to create these modern interpretations of representational art.  

painting detail showing texture.