Meet ceramic artist, Megan Sarraf. Years ago, through scheduling mishaps, she ended up in a ceramics class. After getting her hands dirty on the wheel, Megan was hooked. Following an internship at Saratoga Clay Arts Center in New York, Megan sold all of her belongings, got in the car, and made her way to the Pacific Northwest.
“My only thoughts were; If I land somewhere between San Francisco and the Canadian border I would be alright. AND… If I run out of money before I find a place to live, I can just go back. Right?… It became the most romantic cross country adventure. I camped across the States for 4 weeks. Traveling the eastern coast south to South Carolina, with stops along the way. Then west to Arkansas, Texas, New Mexico. The scenic route north to Colorado, then Utah, Arizona and over to LA. I drove up the PCH for a ways, finally making it to Seattle. I had never been here before but as soon as I saw the skyline I just knew. Three days later, I had a job and a room in a house. And of course called my mom to let her know I was going to stay and in fact was not living out of my car anymore. Now I’ve been here a month-ish shy of 2 years. This past year has been the most exciting. I will be finally finishing my AA and applying to BFA programs. I was welcomed as a resident artist at Blue Cone Studios for 6 months and am now a resident artist at the Pugmill Society on the Equinox Studio’s campus. Also doing this crazy life thing while lucky and in love with my partner who is so crazy supportive it blows my mind some days.” -Megan of @meganashleyart
“Practice and practice and patience and practice and trying to keep one foot grounded in reality. Also, play. Play all the time. Not everything has to be a finished product. Most things won’t be.” -Sarraf
“I hope the feeling of joy that I have when I’m making the work translates into as much love and enjoyment for the person that ends up using the piece.” -Sarraf
“I’m really into bowls lately. I’ve been making some prototypes for large nesting mixing bowls. Quite the challenge but has definitely rewarded me with some interesting forms that I plan on continuing to pursue and refine.” -Sarraf of @meganashleyart
Perhaps one of the most intriguing and mesmerizing qualities of an artists’ spirit is the ability to see the world in a completely different light. Through their eyes, everything is art—be it the right light bouncing of a brick or trash squished into a storm drain. Take a look at how the talented Ellen Rutt sees everything around her through the lens of her instagram account.
Based out of the ever offbeat Detroit, the murals and graffiti splashed around this colorful city filled her with a love for art that fully encompasses the viewer. Ellen works on a large scale quite often. Take a look at a few of her past projects here.
I got to watch as Ellen sprayed a few finishing touches onto this bewitching mural. Active lines dance around the surface with colors abuzz, inspired by a clipping from Life magazine published in the 1940’s. This piece sits in the middle of the Eastern Market District, accompanied by many other murals and giants works.
Tips for Mural Painting from Ellen Rutt:
- Give yourself at least twice as much time to paint it as you think.
2. It might look dorky but always have a headlamp, a work belt, and a respirator. If you’re really in the zone and it gets dark, a headlamp allows you to keep working, the work belt keeps you from constantly going up and down ladders unnecessarily, and the respirator is just good to have whenever you use aerosols.
3. Ask people to help you. It’s super fun to work with other people and it’s way easier to carry ladders and big buckets of paint with more than one person.
4. Sketch it out ahead of time. If you plan ahead in the beginning, it will get easier to improvise later on.
5. Get comfortable with the idea of peeing outside. It’s actually super fun.
6. Also BRING RAGS!!!!! LOTS OF RAGS. If you are clumsy like me, you will inevitably spill paint, or step in it, or just somehow get it on your face.
A word of advice from Ellen to other young women hoping to get out there and leave mark on their community:
“Just go out and do it! Start small, maybe paint a wooden fence, or see if a neighbor will let you paint their garage door. Once you get one project under your belt, it’s much easier to approach people and propose something larger. Plus, you will learn soooo much after the first time.”
Ellen is wearing Carhartt Women’s Milam Shirt, Weathered Wildwood Jacket, Slim Double Front, & Watch Hat.
First of all, Happy St. Patrick’s Day! I’ve been feeling nostalgic over my trip to Ireland
a few months ago. This seemed like the perfect occasion to turn some of my travel photos into art.
I would never call myself a painter. Sure I took classes all the way up through college, but it’s only ever been a hobby. If you’re like me, maybe some of my painting hacks can help you out.
- My first step is to find a few photographs that I love.
- Make sure to have more than one painting going at a time. This will keep you from over working a piece.
- Use pastels or light pencils to sketch a rough layout while looking to the photo as a guide.
- Lightly paint a base layer of very watered down paint. Keep an eye out for the light sources and shadows.
- Take it slow. Do a little work and then wait half an hour to come back to each painting. This will help you see your work in a new light.
- If you’re not sure how you feel about the work you’ve done, take a photo of it. Seeing how things look through a lens can sometimes bring a new inspiration.
- Once you feel like you’ve finished, pick your favorites and frame them. A good frame goes a long way.
Good luck and happy painting!
Flipping through the pages of a book about color as a child, little Molly was fascinated by the magic of making your own colors. You add a bit of this hue to that hue, and you’ve created one all your own. For that precise reason, Molly has formed a passion for painting over any other medium. As the color wheel spins, so does the inspiration.
Now she finds painting to be therapeutic, to sit in the studio and work from sunrise to sunset as if no time has passed. Molly draws from real life. The natural world with its ever morphing organic shapes and perfectly placed patterns and colors bring her a vision and mood to aspire towards. With every new season, a new palate. With every new hour, a new shade.
Molly has a bit of advice for beginning painters out there:
“Don’t be afraid to copy. I can’t tell you how many things I’ve taught myself or learned just by trying to emulate someone else’s work. I think the biggest hurdle for a lot of people have is that they don’t feel “creative enough.” Or they stare at a blank page, not knowing where to start. Pull up a piece of your favorite art or something that caught you eye on the internet, and make your own version. When you’re done, you’ll realize you have your own style and your own perspective. Also, don’t worry if your expectations are not matching what you’re making. I’ve learned that’s a good thing! It keeps you working toward.”
The piece Molly painted in the photos below is truly inspired by nature, as you can see. Sure she may have had to trudge through the snow with painting supplies in tow, but what better way to find your peace and translate an authentic winter scene? This piece is available for sale on Molly’s Etsy page. Take a look for yourself here.
Molly is wearing: The Amoret Jacket, Series 1889 Slim Double Front, & Watch Hat.