Abstract artist Gwen Meharg paints from the heart, expressing thoughts, emotions and hope through her artwork. More of her paintings can be seen by visiting her website.
Greetings from Fort Worth, Texas. Yes, I am a horse riding artist. Everybody in Texas rides horses. Nah, that is not true, but that is what we told the neighborhood kids during summers in Maine when we were visiting grandparents. Between Wild West movies and the Dallas television show, we got away with a lot of tall tales.
I traded both art and horses for computers and statistics at Baylor University followed by a stint as a software engineer at General Dynamics where I snuck in several unsigned art projects for my VP. (They involved cartoons teasing the West Coast VP!)
When kids came along (six of them, all girls except for the four in the middle) I stayed home to be Momma and to paint. I studied art harder and more diligently than I ever did computers or statistics. Long hours in front of the easel aged me prematurely. Knees ached, stairs were brutal and my feet hurt. I bought cowboy boots. One thing led to another and I found myself riding again just before my fiftieth birthday.
Blue Skies, my paint horse, changed my life and my art. The dots connected, my artistic vision refocused, and I regained my health. My Revelation Series expresses the reconnecting of heart, mind, and body quite explicitly with stark reds, whites, and blacks.
Blue Skies and I ride the trails around Benbrook Lake and the Texas countryside and changing seasons are directly reflected in the art. What does a cool breeze look like? Or the heat from the sun? What color is the sound of prairie grass swishing or leaves crunching beneath hooves? Breath, mine and Blue’s? What does that look like? I paint what lingers in my heart.
Life is never all sunshine and roses, art and trail rides. Life can be cruel. Suffering of family, friends, sickness, death, and heartbreak find their way into the paintings. The series Delicate Morning deals with the loss of my sister’s first born daughter in a car crash. It offers hope of a way forward. A new normal.
Looking back over the body of work I see hope as the common thread. I begin many works with chaos and painting chaos is so much fun. I paint until the artwork has resolved from chaos into beauty.
I paint hope. Hope that regardless of life’s circumstances, there is a greater picture. All our moments, woven together, create something beautiful. I do not stop painting until the painting is beautiful, keeping in mind that pretty and beautiful are not the same. Beautiful is not afraid of scars. Beautiful is worth fighting for.
The layer work in the paintings suspends moments in time. Each layer influences but does not determine the next. It reflects the way life works. A sum of all that has gone before. Influenced but not defined by any single circumstance. I paint a place where stories can be remembered. A place where stories can be shared. I paint hope.