If you’re craving art that makes you hungry, don’t miss Summer Still Lifes, an art show by Orem-based artist Megan Trueblood featuring still life oil paintings of objects and food based around the theme of summer. The show will be on display in the Library Hall Gallery from June 10 to August 27 and will be open for viewing during Library Hall programs. Trueblood’s paintings are quiet meditations on the substance and spirit of everyday objects. She captures inspiration through her observations of the world around her as she juggles being a mom and a painter.

Orem Library Interview with Megan Trueblood

When did you decide to become an artist? What struggles did you encounter along the way? 

As a child, I was always making art. I had supportive, creative parents who encouraged me to take art classes in and outside of school from elementary through high school. When I found out it was something I could pursue at university level, it was a no-brainer. That being said, being an artist doesn’t come without its challenges. An art degree and art career looks very different for each individual. So much of what you put in is personal and is an emotional investment that won’t resonate with everyone. It comes with a lot of trial and error, risk-taking and rejection. Sometimes it’s difficult to push through the hard stuff, but ultimately, the joy of creating and the connections I have made with others have made everything worth it and I am so happy to be able to do what I love.

Tell us about a piece that is especially important to you. 

I can’t put my finger on one piece that stands out, but I’d say the ones that feel most important to me are those that I create based on a specific connection to someone in my life who means a lot or a concept that is meaningful to me. I painted a piece that explored the divine feminine and that was a really special experience to explore that relationship and develop the concepts that ultimately shaped the piece. I have also done works that represent close family members that mean a lot to me.

Which artists are you inspired by?

I could write so many names here, but I’ll just say a few. I love the work of Wayne Theibaud, John Singer Sargent, and Winslow Homer. There are so many living artists whose work I follow and admire. Some whom I have studied with and some who have become dear friends, as well as people whom I observe from afar. I’m grateful for the inspiration that each of them have given me.

Tell us a little bit about your process for creating a work of art.

Most of my subject matter is very familiar. I spend my days at home with my family and I find inspiration in everyday scenes and objects. I don’t have to look far to find things that I want to paint. I photograph subject matter in natural light during the day and once my kids are in bed at night, I paint. I like to listen to an audiobook and paint until I can’t stay awake any longer.

What questions do you hope people ask themselves as they look at your art?

I hope when people see my art that it brings back memories for them or that they connect with something because it is familiar and personal to them. There is so much beauty in the everyday and I want to highlight that in my work and hopefully help people to recognize that beauty in their own lives as well.

What’s your advice for how to interact with and appreciate art?

I would just say look for it everywhere you go! Most of what we are surrounded by has been created, so I see art in so many places. I would also say go to art shows, concerts, plays, and movies. Read books, go on a hike, and do things that inspire you. Finding beauty through all these things brings such an appreciation for art and life and will leave you inspired to create yourself, whatever that may look like to you.

What advice do you have for people who are just getting started as artists?

Just keep at it. The thing that made the biggest difference for me in my career was to be consistent. Do one creative thing a day. When my second baby was born, I really didn’t feel like I had time to create, so I paired down my goals. I made a new, simpler goal to create something every day, just for 20 to 30 minutes. I did that for 100 days straight and developing that routine got me to a place where practice was no longer overwhelming. Of course, there are times when I am creating a lot less and times when I am more consistent, but developing that practice showed me that I can do it. It does take sacrifice and for me it has always meant that I need to decide what I will give up to make time for my work. We can’t juggle everything, so we have to decide which balls we can let drop. 

Join us for an art reception for Summer Still Lifes featuring light refreshments, an I-Spy scavenger hunt, and the chance to create your own still life picture on Friday, June 17, at 7 PM in the Library Hall’s dōTERRA South Lobby.