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Megan KissingerMegan Kissinger   BFA, AFC Megan Kissinger
Acrylic Painting
Artist Megan Kissinger has always been close to nature. Perhaps it is her background in scientific illustration that helps her to present the beauty and the connectedness that she sees in every aspect of the natural universe, but it is her passion that drives her attempt to “make viewers aware of how everything in the world is connected in some way.”

In order to show the structures and designs in nature, Kissinger loves to portray the almost magical times and places where wild things normally aren’t accessible. To bridge the distance that wild things have learned to maintain for their safety. That detailed precision is complemented by combinations of radiant colors in the sweeping settings in many of her paintings. Her compelling compositions do in fact reveal her fascination with light and line. “I can get lost,” the fine artist admits, “in late afternoon and twilight shadows—sweeping and arching lines— and in scenes like the dappled light of oak hammocks and pine scrub.”

Kissinger grew up on Perdido Bay near Pensacola, Florida but has lived in the Everglades for 25 years. “I really love the sense of place we have here on the southwest coast. Especially if you visit some of the inland small towns like LaBelle and Alva that are east of Ft. Myers on the Caloosahatchee River. The people there go back a few generations and they can tell you things about the history and the environment you would never know if you didn't have those conversations.” She often paints scenes along the Caloosahatchee River near the Town of Alva because it’s overlooks a couple of oxbow islands.

“I’ve always loved these river islands because they are so much a part of Old Florida—they let you still see how the river looked when it was allowed to make its own decisions on where it wanted to go. The sabal palms and oak trees create such a wonderful contrast with each other. As an artist, painting that combination, you can't beat the shadow play that can happen at any time of the day. And the habitat on the oxbow islands seems to stay more stable without all the invasive non-native plants so they are also great places for rookeries and wildlife.”

Her kinship with the river is the same with the entire ecosystem, and collectors of her paintings appreciate that her artist eyes see things differently than most. “The Everglades aren't grand and sweeping unless you take the time to get off the path. I used to laugh at the overlooks the Park Service built that take the tourists high above the sawgrass prairies. That's a five minute vista at best. Go off the path, see the Orb Weaver Spider catch breakfast in her web. Dig up a handful of muck from the ground and see a hundred creatures in the tiny real estate of your palm. Canoe into a cypress head and hear the pops and echos of a million insects, fish and birds going about their daily work of finding—and being food. When I paint, I try to convey that feeling of Life and the paradox that it is, at once, large and small, fertile and barren, safe and dangerous When I paint, I'm constantly trying to point out the ‘world in the grain of sand’ that William Blake celebrated.”

The artist on her technique:
"I am an acrylic painter. I work traditionally with canvas and begin every new piece with charcoal sketching and I under-paint in a wash of complimentary color before beginning the final painting. I like to put the paint on in many thin layers, sometimes hundreds, using both glazes and scrubbed in paint to get the feeling of light and shadow. While I sketch and take photographs of my subject matter, I prefer to paint in my studio so that the light is consistent and I can take lots of time to really think about the piece. At times, I paint on other surfaces such as recycled aluminum sheets and wood when I find them. These different surfaces require new approaches and that helps to keep me from getting too complacent about the creative process."

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Support for Conservation:
“My work in the Everglades is prompting me to take the time to go back and fact-check a lot of things that I have assumed to be current. I'm realizing that when it comes to the environment, things are changing at such a fast pace that just listening to the television news only gives you a thin slice of what's happening to it. Habitats are under constant assault from development, invasive species, agriculture run-off, improper hydrologic design--the list goes on. We may be the first generation to have to admit that we broke the system and that it may never work correctly again. And if everything in nature is connected as my art tries to maintain, what does that say about my future—or, my children's future?" I hope in fifty or one hundred years that what's left of my art isn't an artifact of something long gone. The Calusa civilization flourished along the banks of the Caloosahatchee River--their namesake river. The only thing we have left of them is a few small works of art found in archaeological digs. You'll never meet a Calusa Indian today because they are all gone. We didn't care enough to do something when they started to disappear because of habitat loss and invasive species...namely us. I hope we don't fail in our attempts to restore and preserve what's left of the Everglades. There's only one place like this on Earth. If we break it, all the money and science in the world won't bring it back.”

  • Art of the National Parks: Historic Connections, Contemporary Interpretations (2013)
    More about Art of the National Parks: Historic Connections, Contemporary Interpretations
    Featured Artist in all editions. Additionally, Megan Kissinger provided the dust jacket artwork for the Everglades National Park edition. - With more than 450 artworks in 430 pages, this glorious, large format book is a must for anyone who has hiked the trails, watched a sunset, marveled at buffalo herds, or yearned to experience America's mythic and transformative vistas.

    Published by , co-authored by Susan Hallsten McGarry,
    well-known author; Jean Stern, curator and art-historian; and Terry Lawson Dunn, biologist and educator, the book is an indispensable compendium of artists who are at the forefront of 21st century American landscape and wildlife art.
    Author: Susan Hallsten McGarry, Jean Stern, and Terry Lawson Dunn
    Published by: Fresco Fine Art Publications


Direct Correspondence to:Megan Kissinger
Megan Kissinger
c/o Megan Kissinger
5825 Briarcliff Road
Fort Myers, FL
USA 33912
Tel: 239 410 0066
  Artists for Conservation Group
Email: megan@megankissinger.com
Megan Kissinger Megan Kissinger

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This site is part of the Artists for Conservation (AFC) Web site. (Wildlife Art - Nature Art - Conservation) Artists for Conservation is an international, non-profit organization dedicated to nature art, wildlife art and conservation. On this site you will find world-class nature art and wildlife art by today's leading nature artists & wildlife artists. The AFC site is the Web's premier location for nature art, wildlife artists All content appearing in pages featuring Megan Kissinger is the sole responsibility of Megan Kissinger. The opinions expressed on these artists' pages are those of Megan Kissinger and do not necessarily reflect those of the Artists for Conservation Foundationi (AFC).