Meg Biram at the Renwick Gallery in Washington DC

The last in my life-defining moment miniseries with St. John is all about art.

I have a very open-ended definition of the word art and when discussing subjects like this I like to refer to the actual definition first.

According to Merriam-Webster, art is defined as something that is created with imagination and skill and that is beautiful or that expresses important ideas or feelings; skill acquired by experience, study, or observation; the quality or state of being artful; the conscious use of skill and creative imagination especially in the production of aesthetic objects.

So, going along with the definition, I think art can be a lot of things. I think chefs are artists. Chefs create their art with food, dancers use their bodies, the artist in the image above used index cards to build sculptures, I use paint. Continue reading…


tube sculpture kelly wearstler

Recently someone was in my studio and they asked me what the meaning was behind my painting that was hanging on the wall. I told them that there was no meaning. It’s abstract expressionism. My paintings are more about the color palettes I choose, and the actual act painting is all how I feel in the moment and sometimes the paint has it’s own mind.

In the current style of work I’m creating I don’t start each painting with much of a plan besides the color palette and size of the canvas. Sometimes I’ll start with a base color out of the predetermined color palette, but that’s about it.

When I discuss things like this I like to look up the actual definition of the term.

According to Merriam-Webster the definitions offered for “art” are:

+ something that is created with imagination and skill and that is beautiful or that expresses important ideas or feelings

+ works created by artists: paintings, sculptures, etc., that are created to be beautiful or to express important ideas or feelings

+ the methods and skills used for painting, sculpting, drawing, etc.

I actually disagree with Merriam-Webster. I don’t think a piece of art has to be “beautiful” or express something “important.”

According to Google “art” means:

+ the expression or application of human creative skill and imagination, typically in a visual form such as painting or sculpture, producing works to be appreciated primarily for their beauty or emotional power

+ the various branches of creative activity, such as painting, music, literature, and dance

It might drive people nuts that my work doesn’t necessarily have a meaning, but I don’t care. Art is subjective. If you want it to mean something it can to you

If you just like it because you like it and you can’t explain why, fine. You might like a piece of artwork because of the colors, or the technique, or the texture, or because it reminds you of something.

Maybe there is a meaning, maybe there isn’t, maybe you just want to give it one for yourself. An artist can create art with a meaning, but it might make you feel something completely different — and the artist can’t control your reaction to their work. To me, that is such an interesting part of art. Why some people attracted to certain things and others dislike it? How our reactions to the same thing can be so different.

For example, the tube sculpture above by Kelly Wearstler, the only description given on her site is that it was born out of Kelly’s love of free form and asymmetrical patterns. I don’t need more of an explanation. I love it. I like the imperfectness and non symmetry of it. I like the color and that it’s simple.

Now, if there is a meaning to a piece of art, I do like to know what it is. But I also like to know a lot about the artist, their career, their circumstances, and why they made certain choices. What was art to them? What was their creation process? I’m interested in all of those details beyond just the meaning of one piece. Is the piece a part of a bigger series? What’s the point of the series? Is there a point to the series? Does there have to be?

Now I want you to weigh in — where do you stand on the meaning of art?

What does art mean to you?


meg biram x virginia of denada 600

I love a good artist collaboration, especially one that’s really out there. After watching this HP x360 Behind the Scenes video it made me want to collaborate with another artist by doing something completely outside the box.

What struck me most about the video was how the all of the artists stayed true to their own art, and then it was layered on top of each other to create one thing. I wanted to #bendtherules in a similar way of layering in my collaboration with another artist.

My mind immediately went to putting together two completely different mediums in two different industries. This is where Virginia of DeNada came in. Virginia is a fellow creative entrepreneur in DC — she owns an accessories line specializing in handmade knits.

Putting an abstract painter (me) and a knitwear designer (Virginia) together to create a piece of artwork — that’s definitely bending the rules. How would one of my paintings and one of her knit pieces come together to create one cohesive piece of art!?!

I contacted Virginia to see if she’d be up for the unique collaboration and she was beyond excited. My concept was for both of us to do our works of art separately and bring them together to create the piece. We would plan for them to compliment each other but the works would obviously be two separate pieces layered together, similar to the HP x360 Behind the Scenes video (make sure you check the video out here!), but also completely different.

Be sure to watch our video (below) to see how it all came together!

For some behind the scenes images, continue reading! Continue reading…