I am a 22-year-old student, waitress, and freelance photographer. To many, that is the extent to which they know me. Oh…wait…nope…they also know that my Orange Tabby cat, Pumpkin, is the best part of my life (and my boyfriend’s as well). William and I have photos of her all over our room, not to mention the various knickknacks like cat shaped jewelry holders. We love her like any parent loves their children. Hell, we treat her like our own child, giving her the most love and attention that we can. It’s hard not to when she is sleeping on your chest every night, purring their little hearts out, giving their vulnerability to you on a silver platter. My boyfriend and I have been wanting to get a proper portrait of her, to show our love for our crooked-ear princess. This is where I connected with Megs on Instagram, seeing her many beautiful, detailed pet portraits. Each brush stroke mattered; had a purpose. It was immediate; I wanted one of Pumpkin.
Pumpkin, much like every mammal, has very specific traits about her: birth marks, freckles on her eyes, freckles on her nose, freckles on her gums; wherever there isn’t fur there are freckles upon freckles. These are not easy the capture in a photograph let alone a painting. I also couldn’t live without the picture showcasing her crooked ear. I showed Meg the photo I was hoping she could recreate. I did not expect she would take the time to achieve every detail, nor did I ask her to get every single, tedious detail. Ah, but she blew through my expectations like the Kool-Aid man through walls.
I see Pumpkin through the canvas of my lens. Megan, otherwise known as Megs, shows Pumpkin via a literal canvas; she illuminates the glow from within, projecting beauty that even the most fervent lover of cats couldn’t see. The glare of the eye, the look of innocence, lost among adults yet prevalent among these cuties. All they know is that they want to play, they want to eat, and they love their pawrents. Megan, through a few strokes of a brush achieved this feat.
This is Pumpkin as I view her, as my boyfriend views her, and as Megs views her. She was able to bottle the essence of my emotions, and let it splat all over the canvas; Pumpkin the canvas, Nickelodeon Slime the paint, waterfalling off a celebrity during Figure it Out, and Megan the host. Megan is indeed talented, able to add elements of intangible beauty that you can see in your head, yet unable to articulate what process or technique was used. Megan is the musician, able to play the Steinway by ear as opposed to adhering to the sheet pages.
Inspired by her father, Megs has been painting and drawing for as long as she can remember. It’s ingrained within her; a first language of sorts. Her dedication towards her craft has given her a uniquely talented style that evokes every emotion on the scale, from sadness, to bliss, to excitement. Megan’s work is truly remarkable, and while I knew the picture would look good in person, it is once you get the work, once it’s in your hands, that you are able to understand and appreciate the intricacies. I wanted Megan and the work she produces to get out and noticed. It is too breathtaking to be behind closed doors. Focusing on painting commissioned pieces; that is not all Megan does. This is not only a talent, this is her craft. She has a gift that I have rarely experienced, and to be able to own one of her paintings is a joy.
It’s not just luxurious orange princesses that she paints either, no, in addition to animals, Megan is able to paint live events, while capturing the vibe and essence of the scene without the audio sensatory, or the other senses. She can make you smell the air of a lazy river or feel the breeze of a vast ocean. Best of all, Megan has chosen to give back, offering a glimpse into her craft, by teaching art classes here in the Upstate. Meanwhile, for people like my boyfriend, William, who wish they could draw a stick figure of a cat, yet are limited by shaky hands, Megan is able to recognize what it is, that idea, that emotion, you have floating in your head. Whatever the occasion, be it anniversaries, Mother’s Day, or anything in between, Megan knows what you are wanting out of a picture, and she will hook you up. Forget Flavor Town, Megan must be a Fieri because her paintings take you to Pleasantville, bringing with it a soothing, almost blissful feeling when looking at them. If you are in the Upstate, and you have graduation, birthdays, anniversaries, I suggest you take a look at her work. If you think it looks good on a phone screen, then be prepared to be blown away by it on an actual canvas. She crushed it. There is not one thing that I would change about my beautiful painting of Pumpkin. William and I will cherish it forever.