By M Sebastian Araujo
One of the best things about what I do is exploring the new…sometimes I am truly amazed by what and who I find.
Megan Hinton was one such find. The use of color and line and form to create a new approach to the landscape is Something which she seems to do effortlessly and with a vision of what is and what she sees…
What in the World around you affects what you do?
There are three essential aspects that affect my painting:
First is the enjoyment and interest I find in looking, whether it is observing a landscape, group of figures, or something structural. As you can see in my work I am more drawn to natural beauty, a reason why I live in Wellfleet, but all the world’s visual components from human to nature made interest me. My most valued sense is site.
Second I am interested in the physicality of making. I like to use my hands and have always considered myself to be a maker. When I paint I don’t use an easel but rather hang my work on the wall and engage with my surface in a physical way that encompasses my whole body. I love to dance and sometimes feel like the movements of my arms and stance of my body while painting are very much like the subtle movements a modern dancer may make. I believe this physicality is responsible for a feeling of movement and a nod to the importance of process in my work.
Third is looking at art. When I was a child I started looking at work in museums. In art school I had a teacher who told me to look at as much art as I could in museums and galleries, but mostly museums. He encouraged me to spend as much time looking as making. This looking is a big part of my work. I encourage my students to look at art to become better painters and drawers. I am interested how my work fits into the context and history of painting. It is a long history going back to cave painting by “primitive” people. When looking at art I am interested in seeing how artists borrow from each other while maintaining an individual style and voice.
How do you feel that technology has changed the art world?
Simply in the way that people view art. Now we can see anything on the web and the work in this technological format will be perceived differently from the live act of viewing in a museum, gallery, or even in a high quality printed catalog. On the web scale is different, color is not accurate, and the two dimensionality of the computer interface changes our perception. The advantage is that we can easily access information about art and artists. I do believe that viewing work live is so important to relating to a piece and it is also how the artist intends for her viewer to respond. Another way that technology has changed the art world is that now artists, galleries, and curators must manage their own websites and technology. In some cases, especially for artists, this can be a distraction from actual making. We now live in a world now where there are very few lulls in communication. There’s a type of pressure to always be available and respond. We do not have to submit to this pressure. Artists must step away from technology sometimes and even for longer periods to gain access to concentrated work time. For in this time without distraction it is where ideas and making can be realized.
Was there a “Shinning Lightbulb” moment in your life when you knew you were or had to be an Artist?
I knew I wanted to be a painter when I was a nineteen-year-old art student. My friend was taking a painting class and I had only yet been in foundation drawing and design class. She invited me into the studio where she was working on an oil painting. I immediately picked up one of her brushes, dipped it in the oil paint, and made a mark on the canvas infront of me. It was that moment of connection to the medium that I knew I wanted to be a painter. Again it goes back to the physicality and that connection I had to the feeling of the brush stroke and the physical act of mark making with paint. Then I noticed the color of oil and realized I could work with such richness and possibility.
In terms of identity I knew that by being an artist I could live a soulful life, meet other creative types, and live unconventionally. I have never really lived marginally, but alternative ways of thinking and seeing interest me deeply. I knew this was a reason “I had to be an Artist.”
What makes people respond to Art?
I have always thought about this question and there are many reasons like sensibility for particular subjects and the elements of art, like how one is drawn to particular colors or textures. More deeply I believe art changes the way people see and think. It can emote something politically challenging, funny, devastating, or even just aesthetically pleasing. I am concerned in my painting with challenging the way people see. I convey a sense of in-betweens, something abstract and both representational, something painterly and graphic, something dimensional that at the same time reiterates the flatness of field painting. Painting can do just this, something that reality cannot. Creative types make Art, but people respond to art creatively based on its potential to challenge conventional notions of seeing/being.
What is it about Provincetown that makes Artists and other Creative people live here or keep coming back again and again?
By living in Wellfleet and working as a teacher at the Provincetown Art Association and Museum I am connected to a rich community of working and historical artists. I came here because I was drawn to the coast and didn’t want to live in a city anymore. I like other artists here, enjoy the quiet and wild beauty of this place. I knew by leaving the city the resources available to me, as an artist, would change. This area’s art colony has deep connections to painting in the mid 20th Century New York School and 19th Century American Impressionism (Hans Hoffman and Charles Hawthorne respectively). A more recent example of signature contemporary work is that of the found object sculpture that’s an extension of the structural aspect of our landscape, the work of Paul Bowen and Mike Wright for example. On the Outer Cape we have earth art, performance, installation, media-based, sculpture and handfuls of very talented contemporary painters. These artists, and their galleries that represent their work, define the area as a sophisticated art colony. So there is a cosmopolitan and refined aspect to this community. This level of sophistication draws artists here. My concern though is that not many young talented and skilled artists are coming to the Outer Cape anymore. We must ask ourselves how artists will actually come back again and again to continue this legacy.
Megan Hinton is an Artist who lives on Cape Cod and her work reflects a love of the place and the space that she calls home.
How great it must be to have the freedom of Creativity and the Joy to create such masterful works…For more information about
Her Art and Events Just Click Here: