Megan Weston is a Barwon Heads artist and a name we have been hearing a lot lately, thanks to her works being featured recently on The Block: Fans v Faves.
Renowned for her large-scale aerial abstract works in ink, resin and acrylic, Megan has wowed both the judges and viewers with two stunning pieces this series; ‘Port Melbourne’ and ‘Manhattan’ both featured in Brad and Dale’s loft apartment. In cool tones of blue and teal, the ‘Manhattan’, is one of the most striking and beautiful pieces to appear so far on any series of The Block and is the perfect choice for the ‘New York loft-style’ apartments located in Albert Park.
Fascinated by her beautiful works and techniques, I emailed Megan and asked if she would be interested in doing an interview with me for The Home Journal. What followed was a 50-minute phone call that felt like a conversation between two friends who hadn’t caught up in while… but we had never even met! After our lengthy conversation on renovating, barking dogs and the realisation that both our partners names are Dan; I couldn’t wait to find out more, including where she draws her inspiration, how she handled the pressure of The Block and of course where she gets her coffee.
Can you share a bit about your background and what inspired you to become an artist?
My aunty, who was an artist, loved drawing and painting and I always had a great appreciation for her work while I was growing up as a young girl. She would design birthday cards for my sisters and I, which we were always eager to receive every year as they would be fantastic cartoon drawings of our family. My mother-in-law, who is also an artist, was the one that inspired and encouraged me to start creating my own work as she did a lot of her own paintings and drawings. This led to me develop and evolve over the years; I have experimented with all sorts of different mediums and this is where I have ended up! I still currently take private tuition I think it’s important to change and evolve ones style.
Congratulations on your involvement with The Block, how was that experience?
I have loved every moment of being involved with The Block and I am truly thankful for such appreciation of my work by both Dale and Brad and for all the fantastic feedback I have received from the judges and viewers.
What was your work on The Block (both the first bedroom and the Kitchen) inspired by?
I am very privileged to have been involved in The Block and still can’t believe my work has been so popular. The paintings were inspired by aerial landscapes. The boys were very clear about their style and colour choice’s and wanted to portray originality as well as a more contemporary style. This also worked in together with my desire of producing fresh, bold combinations of colour, without being offensive, which we believed appeal to a broad range of potential buyers of The Block apartments.
I saw you only had a few days to commission the large-scale piece in Brad and Dale’s kitchen, what was that pressure like?
OMG! It was actually fun, but I had no room for error. I love high intense pressure; I work really well and become solely focused on the job at hand and put in 100% until I am happy with the result I have achieved, this may include staying up all hours, and sometime all night, which I did!
Do you find you work best under that kind of pressure?
90% of all my work is done under pressure. I find that my best work is produced under these circumstances – call me crazy but I love it!
Who has been your most exciting client so far?
That would have be Jennifer Hawkins, such a privilege and very honoured to be asked by Darren Palmer to create two pieces of my work for her gorgeous home.
I read that your work is inspired mostly by aerial photography. What do you consider your most beautiful piece to date?
That is a really hard question to answer as I have so many favourites for so many different reasons, however my biggest standout piece to date would have to be ‘The World’ which I created from aerial photography, a massive painting but a huge accomplishment! My art has changed pretty significantly since that piece but have many different favourites depending on my styling interests at that particular time. I love to change it up all the time.
What gets your creative juices flowing?
Seeing things in everyday life that inspire me, maybe seeing something on TV or down the street, magazines, books or anywhere really, mostly colours inspire my thought process and then it kind of evolves from there.
Are you ever able to switch your creative side off?
Not often, but maybe over busy times of the year when I don’t have much time on my hands to think creatively. But it very rarely happens that I ‘switch off’ as such. I find if I’m not working, I’ll then decide to rearrange the whole house or dabble in a bit of sculpture.
Your work reminds me slightly of Dale Frank, has his work been an influence?
Unfortunately no he hasn’t, I try to be 100% original as I find more satisfaction in creating unique work. That is not to say I do not know who Dale Frank is, he is a wonderful artist and his works are incredible.
What is your abstraction based upon?
Mostly aerial photography, I love to fly with my friend and get inspiration from there.
How do you deal with the inherent beauty of the material and its application, do you ever really have control over it? Does that matter?
I have no control over it, to a certain degree. I zone out and I tend to work methodically at times keeping in mind it’s a process and that I’m unable to manipulate what I see beforehand. I don’t think it matters I love all the mediums I work with.
What artists are you inspired by?
At the moment Rothko, Bill Henson and David Bromley this changes though I tend to go through phases.
What role do you feel art plays in the home?
Art creates a feeling or mood within a home, blank walls are a crime!! Art shall prevail!
What do you feel is the most important thing to consider when selecting art for the home?
Colours and what inspires an individual, especially when it comes to their furniture and how they like to decorate – make sure it will all come together in unison to create an inspirational room.
Has the art industry changed your practice?
Yes it has, unfortunately there are a lot of copycats out in the industry that are always trying to recreate your work so I have had to look into a lot of the legalities of the industry and Copyright Law to avoid this from happening, unfortunately some people find the need to copy, it is illegal.
Do you visit galleries when you travel? If so, do you have a favourite?
No unfortunately I don’t have a lot of time for travelling but when I do, I will most likely visit some galleries along the way. I do love Boom Gallery in West Geelong. I find Kate and Ren always pleasant to deal with and up for a chat.
How else does art play a role in your life?
It is in my everyday life, I love art and have no idea what I would do with myself it I didn’t have it… It’s such a massive role.
And most importantly, how can we get our hands on your works?
Fenton & Fenton High St Prahran, Curious Grace in Yarraville and S&R Torquay and Highton. I am also currently selling some pieces through The Block Shop too. I can also arrange my works to be sent interstate and overseas.
And getting to you know you a little better…
What did you want to be growing up?
A dancer, I loved Michael Jackson and always wanted to dance like him, I did dislocate my knee on one occasion, maybe moonwalk wasn’t my style…
What is the last thing you purchased for your home?
My taxidermy black cockatoo ‘Trevor’ I couldn’t resist him, I saw him at Fenton & Fenton and had to have him. I’ve also just bought some ‘AJMAC cubes’ for the studio from Fenton & Fenton as well.
What is your ‘go-to’ colour palette at the moment?
I’m currently having an obsession with mint and copper.
What is the one item you want but you don’t have right now?
A Range Rover! (Me too Megan hahaha – Dani)
What is your favourite possession?
My family and Husband Dan, Sunny 7, Iluka nearly 4 and Johnny the family dog.
What is the best advice you have been given?
Don’t talk to strangers.
What item could you never live without?
What is your favourite café/restaurant?
I love the coffee and the ever so naughty Danishes at Starfish Bakery in Barwon Heads, as well as The Beach House in Barwon Heads too.
What single item in your house could you never change?
My burnished concrete floors. They are so easy to keep clean and a cheaper option than polished concrete.
What is your favourite magazine?
Inside Out and Vogue Living.
To quote Megan…
‘While my art presents our earth as fragile and damaged by our selfish behaviour it also demonstrates that it’s beauty still survives.’