“A Day In The Life” With Visual Artist Megan McCabe

Come knocking and Megan will greet you at her doorstep, lean herself up against the doorframe and tell you she’s surprised you’re here to visit. Beside her, a sign that reads “We’re all in this together” over a large red heart hangs in the window. She made it with her boys early on in the lockdown. It stays as a reminder that we’re not out of the woods, yet.

You’ll stay longer than you expected. Her warmth and genuine curiosity will keep you drawn into the conversation as it dances between life with kids, work, the weather and back to life with kids. She spends her days with her boys letting them run in the woods and building huge race car tracks in their living room. Over the Christmas holidays, they built and painted a gingerbread house out of cardboard boxes that would stand up well in a Bay holiday window display. She takes no credit and can be self-deprecating to a fault, but her creativity is everywhere.

Megan and I are cousins. We grew up together at family gatherings and summer camp. She was always a quiet kid, a little more comfortable out of the spotlight than in it. But from a young age, her art was celebrated. Homemade cards, sketches hung on our Grandparents’ living room walls–Megan was the “artist of the family”. She shied away from the attention, but never stopped creating.

As an artist today, Megan’s work reflects so much of who she is. Her paintings feature enigmatic, often faceless figures that are both mysterious and familiar at the same time. By the calculated omissions of certain details, Megan challenges the audience to create their own narrative, to see themselves and their experiences in these figures and scenes.

Megan sneaks in time to work on her art these days, stealing away time to work in her makeshift studio in her home. It’s a temporary change from the studio life – motherhood means finding a way to balance her art work with her heart’s work. She takes it day by day, reflecting on her art in the small moments that she finds between car races with the boys. With brush in hand, her works continue to explore themes of womanhood, solitude, and connection.

Megan can usually be found wearing sweats these days, hair swept up in a messy bun and a mug of lukewarm coffee close at hand and, often, paint on the tips of her fingers. For Megan, art, like mothering, is never done.

-Emma Gunn (cousin)

Prepping a canvas in my old studio on Wallace Avenue.
One of my painting tables. Photo by Ben Benvie ( https://www.benbenvie.com )
I am surrounded by the best family. This picture is of my amazing nieces and my son at Sparrow Lake. A place that helped shape who I am today.
This was taken in 2018. I was pregnant with my second. I was very sick throughout both my pregnancies from the beginning to the very end. I remember this day well, every brush stroke felt impossible and I eventually stopped counting the times I was sick. It taught me a lot about how important my health and physical strength is in my practice. Being in the studio throughout both my pregnancies was very challenging, on many different levels, and not a conversation you hear much about in the art community.
My four year old painting in my studio.
Travel has always played a big part in my life.
My two little ones keep me busy every day. The hardest job but one that has taught me the most.
At the easel. Photo by Ben Benvie https://www.benbenvie.com


Which ‘hood are you in?


What do you do?

I am a figurative oil painter. I discuss underlying themes of relationships, co-existence and isolation in my practice. I’m interested in how figures, often in solitude, inhabit and exist in the spaces around them.

What are you currently working on?

I’m embracing this transitional time in my life and my practice. The themes in my work seem even more relevant today then before motherhood and the pandemic. I’m excited to see the work that comes from this year.

Where can we find your work?

You can find my recent work on Instagram @meganmccabeart and also my website http://www.meganmccabe.com.