Carrie Megan ~ Skyscapes

In Carrie Megans upcoming exhibition Skyscapesat the Jessie Edwards Gallery on Block Island, we are treated to 12 oil on canvas paintings showcasing her portrayal of big skies, low horizons and calming views. Her use of fresh palette shades and warm, muted tones adds to the ephemeral feel of her works, which range in size from 6 x 6” up to the largest work at 30 x 30”. 

Skyscapes is an apt word to describe Megans work. She portrays space and place in a familiar yet somewhat unfamiliar way. We are drawn into her scenes as our senses are soothed and we wonder if we can rest, for just a little while, in the restorative space before us. In these low horizon and big sky paintings she uses minimal landscape markers, and these are only just to hint at what may be there. She doesn’t tend to use brushes in her finished works and instead relies on her palette knives and wedges to move paint around the canvas creating broad strokes of color and texture. We really are invited to focus on the space above us: the sky in all its beauty and changeability. 

These works, all but one painted in 2023, feel like warm summer skies full of possibility and wonder. We yearn to be out wandering under those skies along the hills and paths painted in muted detail below what is above. This feeling of offering a sanctuary to visit from inside four walls became particularly important during Covid, when so many of us were cooped up inside. Megan’s goal when painting is to break down the elements to the bare bones. She uses abstraction to distill the scene so our focus is on the feeling of the sky.

Her works may start off from reference photos she has taken from around coastal New England but they grow, layer by layer, from her imagination. She uses minimal structure and tends to focus on the feeling she wants to portray. She has in mind to create a serene place for someone to linger, a sense of peace and wellbeing, a safe place to pause. 

In Teal Sky, 24 x 24” oil and cold wax on canvas, Megan has used many layers to build up the clouds, offering texture and transparency, while muting the sky and offering a sense of depth to the greens in the painting. We are in the foreground, almost in shade, being drawn towards the horizon via the light green field. It feels safe to venture forth, to see what lies, unseen, ahead. 

Steamy Skies is a 12 x 12” oil on canvas painting where the use of linseed oil as an additive offers a loose and subtle tonal quality to the work. The finished result of this a la prima – completed in one sitting – painting is a beautifully muted sky over a sandy horizon, with a hint of coastal vegetation to give an added depth of field. 

Peach Glo, a 24 x 24” oil and linseed on canvas painting, has layer upon layer of paint enabling the feel of the deep glow of the clouds. The sandy path in the foreground draws the viewer’s eye from the right, to the left, and then back again to the right and up over the dune to see what may be beyond. There is much for the eye to behold in this work as the contrasting values softly vie for attention.

Coral Coast, a 12 x 24” oil and linseed on canvas painting, was an evolution of sorts. It started out as a different type of work but over time Megan worked in more and more layers to push back much of the coral tones to offer the viewer a more tempered sense of the place. The depth and soft texture of the clouds and sky have us wanting to take a long walk along the place where the sky meets sand. 

This exhibition opens both online and in the Gallery on August 18th. Visit us at or in person on the second floor of the iconic Post Office Building overlooking Old Harbor. We are open everyday from 10am – 4pm except Tuesdays. Come visit and find a place to pause and rest among the Skyscapes.