Meet the Artist: Megan Dardis

Dardis Kill The Lights
Artist Megan Dardis channels emotions into vivid bursts of color and movement, capturing the fluidity of existence itself.

By Kelli Comer

In the colorful tapestry of local artist Megan Dardis’s life, art has always been the vibrant thread that weaves her experiences together. Her canvases become portals into the depths of her innermost self.

“I have always been inspired by the world around me, from the cycles in nature of destruction and rebirth to the ever-changing world of pop culture and design, or how a splash of an odd color or pattern can vibrate against its surroundings and completely transform something and make it interesting,” Megan explains. “Inspiration comes from so many places but the driving force behind my work is a need to paint. For me, painting is a conduit to express the inexpressible thoughts and feelings that we don’t have language for, and through brushstroke, gesture, color and texture, I can create my own visual language to express my most inner self.”

Art has always been a passion of Megan’s, since she was a child sitting on her grandfather’s knee and painting. After some traumatic losses she endured in her twenties, she really dove into the art form. After a career in sonography, Megan went back to school and earned her BFA from The Cleveland Institute of Art. She is now a full-time artist and mother, working out of her studio in Tremont.

“It became a physical release for the emotions I couldn’t get out,” Megan says. “My paintings depict abstract explosive events and waves of movement and motion, where I combine geometric and linear elements with painterly brushstrokes and swaths of poured paint.”

In Megan’s paintings, her emotions are transformed into pigment and gesture, capturing the in-between transient states of being.

“My work is ultimately about my personal emotional expression, but I find when people are drawn to it, they pull out their own inner struggles or joys and create their own emotional connections to it,” Megan notes.

Megan’s work is very process-dependent. She relies on a feeling, color or sound rather than an image. Her painting process is very haphazard and intuitive, based on a kind of “call and response” with the paint. She creates a mark or pours paint, then watches to see what the paint does and decides on the next mark.

Megan Dardis

“I usually start with a base layer of poured acrylic paint and then paint more layers in acrylic and oil,” she explains. “I often include different materials such as painted paper, confetti or Black Magnum (a coal byproduct) to create texture. Layers of paint are built up, covered up, poured over and scraped off, breaking down and regenerating at the same time. This personal process of painting takes shape as unknowable landscapes marked with the residue of experience and emotion.”

To reach Megan, email For more information, visit Follow Megan on Facebook and Instagram @MeganDardisArt.

Categories: Arts & Entertainment