Always an artist at heart, Megan Hurdle has been dazzling the local art scene with her work in recent years, and we are super excited about the big show she has coming up later this month. We recently met up with her over coffee at her in-home studio as she put the finishing touches on some stand-out pieces for the show. Known as “Mrs. Megan’s Art Room,” she graciously opens this space to her children and their creative friends who love to leave their mark! We had the best time laughing and learning how this warm, bubbly and talented mother of three manages to do it all with style, and are happy to introduce Megan to you today.
Were you formally trained or is your artistic talent something that runs in the family?
It absolutely runs in the family. My mom, Ruth Morris, is an amazing artist, as well as my grandmother and aunts. I really can’t remember a time when I didn’t have a studio to “play” in. When I was little, I would stay the weekends with my grandmother. She would let me paint until 3 or 4 in the morning. As a kid, I thought it was the best.
What inspires you?
Family. Both the one I was given and the one I have made. Friends, nature, relationships and life experiences.
How do you approach a blank canvas?
I pretty much know what I want my final result to be. That being said, I still experiment a lot and toss/erase until I get what I want.
You have a show coming up on September 28th at the Leadership Memphis Gallery (located on South Main). Can you tell our readers the theme for this show and what media you have used for the pieces that will be featured there?
I have been working on paintings that feel rather feminine, with lots of dresses and costumes. I love using a variety of different pigments, such as gauche, acrylics, oil pastels and chalks. Each piece will be on 300 pound cold press paper. I love working with this paper because it is so thick and durable.
Describe your artistic aesthetic:
I would say there is a process I go through with each painting. I have an idea in my head of an object or one thing I want to portray, and from there it’s layers of paint and textures. Imagination is key when seeing a simple object in a new light.
Do your children share your artistic talent?
I have 3 children. The oldest, Cannon, is definitely just like my husband. He is logical, extremely academic, type A and a perfectionist. My middle son, Hays, is a free spirit. He loves art, music and is super intuitive. He is taking drum lessons right now. Villa, the youngest, is extremely artistic. She shocks me with some of the things she comes up with.
What are your guilty pleasures?
Bourbon and fried rice!
Favorite meal in Memphis?
The KeeMao from Bhan Thai
What are your hobbies?
Tennis, yoga, swimming and poker.
Do you have any secret talents?
I can tread water for hours.
What one word best describes you?
Do you have a favorite quote?
“This is where we separate the cut wood from the brush,” and “If you knew it was a snake when you picked it up, don’t bitch when it bites you.” Both are from my Dad.
Fall wardrobe must-have(s):
I will probably live in my sweat pants and t- shirts, as always, but my wish list includes a Stella McCartney Falabella tote and Rag & Bone Harper Moto booties.
Favorite vacation spot(s):
Heber Springs, the beach, anywhere with water.
Would you share with us your ideal dinner party playlist:
I actually love making play lists!
Starting with cocktails and apps: Adele (of course), Otis Redding, Brett Dennon, Citizen Cope, some Florence and the Machine and Lady Antebellum.
For dinner: The Cure, U2 “Miss Sarajevo” with Andrea Bocelli or anything from Rattle and Hum, Eddie Vedder, more Adele, Kings of Leon, Damien Rice and Flaming Lips, Oh, and “A Real Hero” by College would be in there somewhere, too.
Dessert/ post dinner: Cake, Heart’s “Magic Man,” Beastie Boys, Rhianna and Santigold.
I could go on and on and on…
What are three things you can’t live without (excluding friends, family and God):
Music, Asian food and my Keurig coffee maker.
What books can currently be found on your bedside table or on your e-reader?
My Stroke of Insight by Jill Bolte Taylor and The Moon and Sixpence by W. Somerset Maugham.
What would you say is your biggest challenge?
My biggest challenge is probably every other woman’s challenge, and that is time management. I love life and hate to say “no.” I want it all. I want to live for myself but also give enough of myself to my family. I think we all get overwhelmed every once in a while.
Where do you like to take out of town visitors?
Downtown Memphis has become so impressive. We are so lucky to live in a city with so much history and personality. I would take them to the Arcade for breakfast followed by the National Civil Rights Museum and the Stax Museum. We would have Gus’s fried chicken and then hit Beale Street for the best blues music in the nation.
Memphis event(s) you’re most looking forward to this fall?
I love Memphis in the fall. The Levitt Shell has an outdoor concert series Thursdays – Sundays. I will be there a lot with my picnic basket. I’m also looking forward to the Cooper Young Festival.
Thanks, Megan! For inquiries about Megan’s art, reach her by email at this address: [email protected].
Photographs of Megan and all of StyleBlueprint’s FACES of Memphis are by the very talented Christen Jones Morrison: www.christenjones.com.