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.

Small Works Gallery Fundraiser raises 340.00 for the Boston Food Bank.

I can’t thank everyone enough for your generous support of my small works gallery fundraiser. Together, we raised 340.00 for the Boston Food Bank. 
If you would still like to contribute to the food bank and save 20%, the promotional code Boston Food Bank is active on the small works gallery until December 31. 50% of sales will go to support the food bank. Free shipping on all purchases.
Thank you again for your supporting Meg Black Studios, and in turn, the Greater Boston Food Bank. 
May you enjoy your holiday season in peace and serenity.
And as always, thank you for your support. 
Meg

Stormy Seas, 8 x 6, 45.00.
August Fire, 8 x 6, 45.00.
Sea stripes, 8 x 6 inches, 45.00.

Making progress on a large scale garden painting.

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

Join me, Thursday, August 20, IG Live, 4:00 PM, EST. How to add “water” to a pulp painting.

https://www.instagram.com/megblackstudios/

I will demonstrate my pulp painting technique for adding water imagery to the painting. I’ll discuss the materials and process I use to make the water shimmer and flow. These are some of my most coveted trade secrets so you won’t want to miss it! Post your questions in the question box and I’ll happily answer them. See you at 4:00 EST. Videos are available on IG TV after each session.

Join me for IG Live, Thursday, July 30: mounting the background armature.

https://www.instagram.com/megblackstudios/

Join me for IG Live, 4:00 EST

https://www.instagram.com/megblackstudios/

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.