Friday, June 10, 2016

Looking for the light

detail from the new series
I finished the commission as planned and posted it to the States this past Monday. I was delighted with how well it turned out and almost hated to see it go. 

Sometimes working with prompts from a patron can be nerve wracking but sometimes if the prompts are interesting and just loose enough, it can really inspire. Luckily that is what happened with this piece.

Because of this, I knew I wanted to expand on what I started and create a series of new small works loosely based on one of the techniques I used in the commission. It was exciting to keep experimenting and to maintain an attitude of play this week in the studio.

Happily, this exploratory and playful attitude spilled over into all areas of my life. This is Scotland and the sun is never to be taken for granted. This week, there were sunny hours spent at the Leith Jazz Festival, The Royal Botanic Gardens and Lauriston Castle. There were also bike rides to Granton Harbour and anywhere else beautiful and calm the cycle paths would take me.

Nature is a refuge just as are newly discovered pubs and beer gardens and it is important for me and my art to live well and discover it all. Everything inspires everything else. I am trying to embrace the joy in this life without doubt, judgment and second guesses. So much of what we have been taught about artists is dark, brooding and very painful and while I can relate, it doesn't keep me from looking for the light and celebrating each moment of beauty that I see.

Until next week, you know what to do...

Friday, June 3, 2016

Faith, Optimism, Alchemy


Last week I wrote about the wonderful opening of the ReUnion exhibition at the Union Gallery. If you missed it, you can read about it here. This week I spent some time in the studio cleaning up and reorganizing after moving the six paintings out of my space for the show.

It is so important for me to just spend time in my studio, touching my paintings, moving around my materials and cleaning things up to prepare to start again. Continually starting again, that is what being an artist is all about. Never stopping for too long. Slowing down sometimes but never stopping. I haven't been quite as prolific with my small works lately as I have been busy working on a special commission headed stateside next week.

I had some studio visitors the other day and I was talking about how perhaps being an artist has a lot to do with faith. Faith that your work is good, faith that someone will see it and want it, faith that you are not crazy, faith to continue on a path that seems mostly foolish and ill conceived. I am not a religious person but I am optimistic. Can optimism be the same thing as faith? Nearly. I think art has given me both of these qualities.

Faith:
complete trust or confidence in someone or something.


Optimism:
hopefulness and confidence about the future or the success of something.


Whether I have faith or optimism; art is alchemy and that I know for sure. 

Alchemy:
a seemingly magical process of transformation, creation, or combination.


So here I am again, getting ready to return to the cycle of active creation. Returning to more small works and to more large works and a continuation on a theme. The commission had some specific requested elements and has inspired some new ideas for the next things to come. Once my patrons have their commission, I will dedicate a blog post to it, the symbolism and materials.

Alchemy was certainly involved.

Until next week, I hope your studios and hearts are humming.

Friday, May 27, 2016

ReUnion


I just love a good exhibition! Especially the first one in a new space that has been completely redone with loving care and blood, sweat, and tears. That is exactly what the patrons and artists were treated to on Friday night at Union gallery at its new and spectacular location at 4 Drumsheugh place in Edinburgh.



From the large display window in front, to the newly sanded wood floors, high ceilings and carefully selected paint job, the gallery is glorious. The new Union Gallery seems to go on and on. Towards the back a huge window brings natural light into the space while creating a second defined viewing area.


There is also a large lower gallery downstairs, with a painted floor, bright white walls and plenty more exhibition space. It feels like an area of the gallery that might just be up for a bit of anything.



Wonderful sculptures, ceramics, mixed media pieces as well as representational and abstract paintings fill the space that gallerist and painter Alison Auldjo has so carefully curated.

I am beyond pleased that six of my paintings are beautifully presented in the downstairs gallery. Four works from my A Delicate Balance series hang to left of the space while two of my latest pieces from A shift in the weather hang to the right, near the foot of the stairs. I am honored to have my work in such a beautiful space and alongside such a varied group of talented artists.


Seeing my work in this new space felt like an important moment in my evolution as an artist and in my evolution of living in Edinburgh. In my mind this moment is made all the more important because these are not small works, not works on paper, not works created on a kitchen worktop during a visit, not a one off project with a deadline or works in a holiday show.

These paintings on canvas and this moment at Union Gallery, represent the continuation of doing what I do best and fully living this life as an artist.


These are large works that were created over the past year and four months in my studio at the Out of The Blue Drill Hall around the corner from our flat. These paintings also represent my time spent learning how to live here while I continue to grow and maintain my practice as an artist.

I participated in my first group exhibition in 1995 when I was twenty-three and living in Eugene, Oregon. It's been twenty-one years since and I am so grateful that I am still making my art and people are still taking a chance on it. Thank you.


If you are in Edinburgh do not miss ReUnion. The exhibition will be up through the 31st of July 2016. Union Gallery is located at 4 Drumsheugh Place.

Photo credit on all but two photos: Stewart Bremner

Friday, May 20, 2016

Exhibition News!

Well this week has seen me unwell and sidelined with a course of antibiotics and off to bed but good things have been happening regardless!

Union Gallery once located on Broughton street has a wonderful new home at number 4 Drumsheugh Place in the West End of Edinburgh and gallerist Alison Auldjo has selected six of my recent works to be in her new, bigger and even more beautiful space!

If you are in the area I hope you will join us next Friday May 27th from 6-8pm for the preview of the inaugural group exhibition, Reunion. 

I am very excited for Alison and for this next chapter of Union Gallery. The space is amazing and I am honored to have my work included.

Until next week, keep fighting and be ready to answer the call.

Friday, May 13, 2016

A shift in the weather

It's been a good week! I worked on my special commission and am feeling satisfied as it nears completion. I shipped an order of 4 prints off from my Etsy shop to a new patron in Edinburgh.

This week my twitter account and work was shared as part of a WOW 24/7 feature11 things to do in Portobello (That's aren't bathing on the beach). #3 on the list mentioned checking out the art at The Tide Gallery and Coffee Shop and just happened to use my tweet from February with images of my work in the gallery.

In other very exciting news, I was interviewed for Edinburgh based, Portfolio Oomph for their meet the artist/teacher feature! I really like what they do to help students get into art school. It's a wonderful site, so please check them out and follow them on social media. You can read my interview here. It's not often I am asked to write my own epitaph... 

Stewart graciously photographed my latest paintings for me this week so I could share them with you all here on my blog and social media. I am very happy to present the beginning of my latest series, A shift in the weather.  

Turning inward
30x30" 
Acrylic, charcoal on canvas 
© 2016 Megan Chapman

Fleeting
30x30" 
Acrylic, charcoal on canvas 
© 2016 Megan Chapman

A shift in the weather
30x30" 
Acrylic, charcoal on canvas 
© 2016 Megan Chapman

I can still see you there
36x24"
Acrylic, charcoal on canvas
© 2016 Megan Chapman


Hiding in plain sight
16x20"
Acrylic, charcoal on canvas 
© 2016 Megan Chapman

My heart divided
16x20"
Acrylic, charcoal on canvas 
© 2016 Megan Chapman

Darkness comes in stages
12x48"
Acrylic, charcoal on canvas
© 2016 Megan Chapman


Conversations, dreams and the truth
59x39"
Acrylic, charcoal on canvas 
© 2016 Megan Chapman

Wishing to remember 
39x59"
Acrylic, charcoal on canvas 
© 2016 Megan Chapman
Thanks for joining me again this week. Until next time, keep fighting...the world needs you and your art!

Friday, May 6, 2016

Let's Rock!

Commission palette
This week I focused my energies on a special commission I have been researching and working on for a while now. It's always fun when a patron gives me a few ideas and loose guidance of what they want in a commission but also loads of room to play and explore within the subject.

Because of this I am working on a mixed media painting and using materials I have never worked with before. It has been a fun challenge and I am really looking forward to seeing where it all goes as it progresses. I am honored to have been trusted to create this special piece. I will be finishing the work in the coming weeks. I have told my patrons that I will not share the work in progress until after they have received it and are pleased. It makes it a little hard to do social media or share too much on my blog at the moment but I am documenting it as I go and all will be revealed sooner than later. I do love a good secret!

On this note, I do take commissions and if you are ever looking for an original abstract piece of mine in a different size or for a special occasion or perhaps based on an older style of my work or perhaps a style you can only hint at for the future, please let me know. I love to work with my patrons as long as I have room to create something true to myself and my work, as well as meeting your needs in the process. If this sounds like something you might be interested in, please contact me though my contact form on my website www.meganchapman.com.

In other art related news I went to see Seattle band, Tacocat, play on Tuesday night. The live music really invigorated me and fanned the flames to see even more live bands in Edinburgh. As someone who has seen live music regularly since I was 14 (and then not as regularly for a while now) it really reminded me of everything I love about seeing a gig. The energy was contagious and life affirming and because of this I have tickets for another Seattle band, Chastity Belt, later in the month. It's all about filling the well, not only with books, films and art, but with some good old live music and a bit of pogo dancing certainly doesn't hurt. You really can dance for inspiration!

Until next week, dance, dance, dance, to the radio... and make your art!

Friday, April 29, 2016

Winter comes around again


Painting in progress from the studio
This week in the studio I worked on a 30x30" canvas that was perfectly fine but wasn't fine enough. I completely took it apart to rebuild it. I am pleased that I did.

The yellow and white series (for lack of a better name currently) is in full force. I am looking forward to getting them all properly documented and then trying to find the right exhibition space for these new works as well as adding a few more to the mix. Besides painting in the studio this week, I also packed and shipped another small work to a new patron in Glasgow. I am always grateful for new and repeat patrons and Glasgow has been especially kind to me this year. Thank you!

Two sides of the same story
A series coming together
I also had a lovely studio visit this week. Last week I wrote about my visit to the country to visit friend and fellow artist Louise Blamire. This week Lou came to the city and we had a great chat, laughing and looking at art. There was even talk about a future collaboration. It is always good to have other artists in the studio to look at things and bring their insights and energy into the working space. Thanks, Lou!

The weather has gone wintry again but not in that nice introspective drink too much tea and get things done kind of way but in more of the "I'm not going out in that" kind of thing. Therefore, I haven't had my best art week but it certainly wasn't my worst. I baked a pie (definitely an art form) listened to new music, watched films and watched exciting art being created on the street by Stewart Bremner. Nothing to complain about there.

Next week, I hope to have two new 16x20" canvases to share with you and perhaps some better photos of the series. You know what to do until then.... Keep fighting!