Enjoy this stunning portfolio by featured artist Megan Strassler, and visit her website to see more of her art.
Nature and drawing have always been two of my greatest passions, so I have combined those passions by painting animals as a career. I work in oil, pastel, and charcoal, and with every subject I paint, I strive to capture their personality and every unique detail to bring them to life in a work of art.
I grew up drawing horses, so when I first decided to pursue a career as an artist, I imagined I would focus on painting these magnificent animals, specifically Thoroughbred racehorses. However, as I got commissions to paint other animals and people, I quickly realized that I gained a new appreciation for every new animal or person I did. So while horses are still among my favorite subjects, I love painting pets, people, and wildlife too.
Most recently, I was introduced to the world of waterfowl when I learned about the Federal Duck Stamp Contest, the most prestigious wildlife art competition in the country. I had never paid much attention to ducks before, but entering the contest has opened up a new world to me, and I have enjoyed learning about the different kinds of waterfowl.
Another thing that is close to my heart is doing portraits for people who have lost a loved one or a pet. I have received several commissions for portraits like this, and it is always an honor to provide them with a special portrait that they can cherish and remember their loved one by. Photography is another interest of mine, so that allows me to take my own reference material. Much of my artwork is inspired by the horses and animals I photograph on my family’s vacations.
Our trips allow me to observe these animals in their natural habitat too. Whether I’m studying the wild ponies on Assateague Island or viewing large numbers of waterfowl in Florida, it is a valuable opportunity to get to know these creatures. After every trip, I inevitably come away with hundreds of photos and new ideas for future artwork!
I am truly inspired by the beauty I see in nature, and my goal is to showcase that beauty in artwork so that others can enjoy and appreciate it too. Just as I had overlooked ducks before, it means so much if someone views my art and appreciates something they had never noticed before.
I love capturing as much detail as I possibly can, whether it is fur, feathers, or markings. All of creation is so amazing and intricately designed, so I don’t want to leave any of those details out. I enjoy trying to make something look so real and true to life that the viewer feels like they could reach out and stroke the soft fur or run their fingers through the coarse mane.
There are many things I hope to achieve during my art career. One of my specific goals is to win the Federal Duck Stamp Contest one day. I am also always looking for ways to get my artwork and prints seen by more people, as well as the opportunity to do more commissioned work.
I would love to be able to travel to new places too in order to photograph animals and discover inspiration for more paintings. I am very thankful to be able to pursue this career, and I hope my art is enjoyed by others for years to come.