Friday, November 20, 2020

Breadcrumb path to the soul

You wouldn't just let it burn
Mixed media on canvas, 71x87cm. 
Framed in white (with the painting continuing on to the frame)
2019 Megan Chapman

I sit here at my blog writing desk (this is a new thing - I now have a blog writing desk and swivel chair for my art business purposes). I have no idea what to write about but I am here on a Friday attempting to get back into this blog writing groove. Grey sky above, a cup of tea, and the cat next to me, as I look out the window. 

I am waiting for some art supplies to be delivered, nothing major just some paper and some spray fixative so I can tackle the mound of finished work that needs fixing due to my using Conte crayon pastels. The paper will hopefully be used for some new small works that I will mount - think Christmas presents. How can it already be the 20th of November!?! 

I have put on some concentration music on my headphones, I look to the sky and zone out thinking about a potential new accidental portrait I could paint. Remember those? Then my mind turns to wonder if we are all trapped 16-year-olds in ageing bodies or if that is just me. I am thinking about art related to that, but just for a split second - nothing serious. 

I have some small canvas-covered boards I could be working on - another Christmas sized item for your enjoyment and purchase. Fine art for Christmas. Thinking about all the marketing aspects -  fine artists and makers scrambling for sales, attention, new ways of being in this Instagram society. I don't think I imagined this when I graduated from art school over 21 years ago now. I was 4 years "behind" my peers after a stint of doing nothing much at all. I remember feeling so old and so young at 27 when I completed my BFA. And at 48 I still feel so old and so young, I imagine that is how it will always be. 

I take more photographs than paint these days (that's really been the case for a long time), for a split second I remember thinking about switching my major to photography from painting. That would not have made sense and I am glad I didn't and I think the two work well hand in hand. Photography helps me see, and you have to be able to see to paint. I am not talking about with functioning eyes but more with another sense. Photography allows me to see things I am too close to and feeds the information to me in another way that I can more easily digest. Listening to music, writing, and photography are my breadcrumb path to the paintings. I can't have one without the other.

Abstract paintings are the breadcrumb path to my soul and the unseen world outside and they connect me to you if they work right or if you are in the right place to see and receive them. I have cleaned my tiny workspace, I am almost ready to begin again. 

The sky is completely white and featureless, all the angles of the neighbouring houses punch into the air. The negative space loudly proclaims I am here. 

I love sitting in front of windows looking out.


Friday, November 13, 2020

One day I will dive deeper


It's Friday and here I am. I caught up the past two weeks here on my blog and updated some supporters only images and words over on my Ko-Fi page. I sold some art this week, packed, and happily posted it. I will be doing just a bit more of that tomorrow as one piece needs a special box. I am thankful for my patron's support now more than ever. 

Oh, but the big news from America is that Biden and Harris won the election!!! The results were finally called on Saturday with more votes being counted still to this day. I am relieved and exhausted. I think most of us needed that win more than we realised. 

I looked back on my work over the last several years and more of the work than you might imagine is about number 45 and living under his reign. Art always tells the truth, it's veiled and strange but often more honest and more immediate in exposing my feelings and the feelings of the world than I can comfortably be. One day on here I will dive deeper and we can discuss how his presidency filtered into the work I made. 

In other news, I continue my walking and watch the seasons change. There is a vegan pot pie in the oven for dinner and I am looking forward to catching up with a show I have been enjoying. Everything is slowing down a bit again with the darkness. It was just about to be spring and here we are again. Covid has changed a lot (understatement of the year). I feel I have lost some habits and anchors but I have gained some new ones along with some new dreams, hopefully to be realised soon. I am out of practice in writing and talking about my work just now. That is why this blog and my Tuesday Videos are so important and that is why if I lose step with the routine it is harder to get it back. The rules are different just now, our expectations for ourselves and each other need to be different too. It's still good to remember what is important and what I want to continue to do or return to doing.

I hope soon to be writing deeply about my work but right now I can just show up and say thank you. 

Until next week, take good care. 

Friday, November 6, 2020

Welcome the new


The maps have changed
mixed media on 200gsm acid-free paper
42x59.4cm/16.5x23.4"
©2020 Megan Chapman
£300

A couple of art things happened this week, I think (remember what I said about time in last week's post).

I was delighted that one of my latest paintings, 'The maps have changed' was used in the SCAN (Scottish Contemporary Art Network) member mailout. I am a proud member of SCAN. Find out more about the organisation and consider joining. We are stronger together! https://sca-net.org/about/. It is always rewarding to be able to have my work shared within a community of my peers across Scotland. 

In other news, I tried something a bit different and with some trepidation. I have been wanting to create some "Artist 101" style guides for artists just starting out for a long time now. Perhaps for the artists that may not have any other means of moral support or encouragement or those that won't have the opportunity to go to art school or are returning to art from a break. Sometimes we all need some friendly and helpful advice especially when it comes to calling ourselves, artists. So, I created a colourful and fun 8-page pdf to help us gather up the evidence, gently step into our truth, and believe in ourselves and our art! It's a short, sweet, and kind guide to thinking a little differently about putting ourselves out there. I am offering it in my ko-fi shop starting at £3. I hope to make other guides in the series soon. It's a bit of an experiment just now. Thanks to those that have purchased and those that previewed my wee guide so far. Suitable for most ages and experience levels. You can find it here, https://ko-fi.com/s/706ceb33e5.


Of course, this is election WEEK and I have been glued to CNN feeling cautiously optimistic... 

The world needs you and your art, your thoughts, your passion, your heart. 
Thank you.

Friday, October 30, 2020

Time works differently now



Strong medicine (keep it close)
mixed media on 200gsm acid-free paper
42x59.4cm/16.5x23.4"
©2020 Megan Chapman
Sold

After completing the thirteen new works in my latest series, I am delighted to share that one of them sold straight away to a patron in my hometown of Fayetteville, Arkansas. My hometown has stuck by me through thick and thin and near and far. I am grateful to have this base of support. Some of you might not have realised that Arkansas has a cultured coterie of abstract art buyers but it does and lovely warm people to boot! Consider yourself in the know, darling. 

In other news after that body of work was created - the lull came back, the dreaded ebb. Perhaps it's more of an overwhelm as I have so many paper pieces I need to varnish/fix and space is at a premium as I am still not working in my studio. 

I wonder when I ever will work regularly in my studio again. I wonder if I even need a studio. Is it sustainable in this new reality? I wonder how we are all going to survive. You know the big questions, as the title states time works differently now and our brains are all heavy with thought. 

I have been walking this month for Samaritans, doing a 50-mile charity challenge, but I will end up surpassing the challenge total. I have enjoyed getting outside in the available light as the weather gets more grey and dark by the minute. I look for the bright colours in the trees and the sun when I can find it. Some believe the walks influenced the 13 paintings. I have been told they feel hopeful and energetic. I am not sure what is pushing these works. I need to think about that. In art school, they said, "we don't care what you do and make as long as you can talk about it, as long as there is a reason." I need to get quiet and start thinking about my reasons again. The meaning, what am I trying to say, explore, express besides my intense love of colour, line, and pure abstraction? 

Perhaps we will figure this all out this winter. Stay tuned...

I know I have fallen behind/stopped making my Tuesday Studio Video Visits. I think because they would've all be filmed in my living room now and not my studio. There could be other reasons too. Perhaps we will figure this out this winter as well and start them up again. 

I'm thankful for all the patrons that have supported me during the pandemic when so much is so hard for so many. I won't forget it. I am going to be adding more exclusive content to my ko-fi page, a friendly way to support artists. Right now if you support my work for £3 or more you get a downloadable wallpaper and a patrons-only gallery with some downloadable images and well as behind the scenes looks and access to forgotten interviews. Consider supporting me over there, I promise to make that the place to be along with my social media sites. Thank you.

https://ko-fi.com/meganchapman

Thanks for your patience, please take good care of yourself. 

Friday, October 23, 2020

The story continues...

If you stopped by here last week you will recall that I shared the first eight paintings of a new series. This week, I am sharing five more new works in that same series. I am especially excited by these works, my palms were actually sweating as I was organising the photos of the painting. I might have even hollered! This is a rare and special feeling and I aim to hold on to it for a while. Without further ado here are the newest paintings from my latest series, "This is how we tell the story..."

Could I tell you anything more
mixed media on 200gsm acid-free paper
42x59.4cm/16.5x23.4"
©2020 Megan Chapman
£300

Under the surface
mixed media on 200gsm acid-free paper
42x59.4cm/16.5x23.4"
©2020 Megan Chapman
£300


Strong medicine (keep it close)
mixed media on 200gsm acid-free paper
42x59.4cm/16.5x23.4"
©2020 Megan Chapman
Sold


The maps have changed
mixed media on 200gsm acid-free paper
42x59.4cm/16.5x23.4"
©2020 Megan Chapman
£300


False dynasties
mixed media on 200gsm acid-free paper
42x59.4cm/16.5x23.4"
©2020 Megan Chapman
£300

Friday, October 16, 2020

This is how we tell the story

Accidents happen.

Paint to paper, charcoal to hand, the lines are drawn.
We are on standby, so we wait and see.
The magic happens when you are not looking.
Their shapes now rearranged.
This is how we tell the story...

Yesterday's parties
mixed media on 200gsm acid-free paper
42x59.4cm/16.5x23.4"
©2020 Megan Chapman
£300

To be left untethered
mixed media on 200gsm acid-free paper
42x59.4cm/16.5x23.4"
©2020 Megan Chapman
£300

This is how we tell the story
mixed media on 200gsm acid-free paper
42x59.4cm/16.5x23.4"
©2020 Megan Chapman
£300

Resilience factory
mixed media on 200gsm acid-free paper
42x59.4cm/16.5x23.4"
©2020 Megan Chapman
£300

Dancing in the old house
mixed media on 200gsm acid-free paper
42x59.4cm/16.5x23.4"
©2020 Megan Chapman
£300

Where we left off
mixed media on 200gsm acid-free paper
42x59.4cm/16.5x23.4"
©2020 Megan Chapman
£300

We took a wrong turn
mixed media on 200gsm acid-free paper
42x59.4cm/16.5x23.4"
©2020 Megan Chapman
£300

States of being
mixed media on 200gsm acid-free paper
42x59.4cm/16.5x23.4"
©2020 Megan Chapman
£300

Friday, October 9, 2020

Exercises to remember



I got out nine sheets of A2 sized paper this week and just used gesture, colour, and shape to put the ground down on what will become a new series of works on paper. I worked this way on three A3 sheets of paper as well. 

Just a bit of movement to remember again and hopefully jumpstart myself in action. Hope you are staying well. Thanks for dropping by.