Friday, June 22, 2018

The privilege of being a painter

Pinterest is my safe place when the news of the world gets too much, I go and hide out there and look at art.

A cascade of beauty and hope washes over me. Old, new, and so many unknown works, flood the electronic pages. I get a rush as I discover a new work or artist, but it doesn't stop there, they are connected by an algorithm designed to lead me to more. It feels like online gambling but with a much bigger payoff.

I click on a favourite Motherwell which in turn leads me to a colourful Kline that I have never seen which then takes me to an unknown Diebenkorn. As I work the site, it keeps peeling back yet another layer of these painter kings.

A coveted image of an anonymous yellow ochre and black midcentury abstract in situ finally gets named and then I am off down a rabbit hole to discover all I can about Conrad Marca-Relli.

I double back and look at the work of Hartigan, I read her words and thoughts, Mitchell and Frankenthaler too. These gutsy, tough women who just wanted to paint and be seen.

I receive an electric charge as I look at these collections, feeling fevered and excited. I look for secret messages, connections, and validation. I am comforted by the others that share this work and sweet affliction. I have never found being an artist easy or even smart. I have never completely trusted this calling, yet I have sacrificed so much for the privilege of being a painter.

Friday, June 15, 2018

An exchange of space and energy

Open studios went very well. It was a lovely event that reminded me of everything I love about being an artist and being part of a community. Besides painting, it's the conversations and communication that I really enjoy. It is always a thrill to witness folks take the time to breathe and let go as they view the work. A wonderful exchange of space, energy, art, and thought happens in these moments. I can sense it when it happens and it fills me with joy. I feel seen and understood, this is a rare gift. I am not being the cool or aloof artist, I am open to questions and the sharing of my process with fellow artists, patrons, and the non-buyer alike.

Here's my Tuesday Studio Video Visit, in my rather tidy studio, chatting about open studios and what comes next.

I was delighted that there were several sales during the day. Two pieces from my new series sold as well as several other earlier paper series pieces. Thank you again to everyone who came out and enjoyed my studio, spoke with me, and supported my work.

To continue on in the open studio spirit, I have created a site for my small works on canvas from my recent "Echoes and Memory" series. These small works range in price from £175-250 and will be available for the next 12

As the small works site went live this morning, I was delighted with a sale right from the start. I am grateful for this support and appreciation of my work.

Until next week, sing your song, make your mark, and know that there are a few people out there that do speak your language. Find those people and celebrate. We need you here with us. 

Friday, June 8, 2018

All Things Open Studios!

Poster Design by Stewart Bremner

This week it is all about Open Studios!

A HUGE Saturday coming up at the Drill Hall with Out of the Blue Open Studios, Bruncheon! feat. the Sound of Muesli with Toby Mottershead, Lewis Gibson (of The Midas Touch) & Ruth Marie Cumming, Architecture Fringe's Crumble Magazine Project plus a chance to see the #Exposed18 Edinburgh College and Out of the Blueprint exhibitions.

11am - 5pm (live music from 11.30am-2.30pm) and it's free entry all day! 36 Dalmeny Street Leith, Edinburgh, EH6 8RG. Visit The Out of the Blue Drill Hall website for all the details.

I will be in my studio G23, on the ground floor. As you come in, turn right once you are through the entryway and before you get to the cafe, keep turning right passed the notice board, there will be signage. My studio will be the first door on your left and it will be open. You will be given a programme at the entrance with a map indicating all the open studios participating. I hope to see you there!

This Tuesday, I was calmly getting ready as you can see in my video visit.

As today is Friday, I am not quite as calm but I am focused and getting things done for tomorrow. As luck would have it Interpol dropped a new single yesterday so this will help push me the rest of the way (if you have been reading this blog since 2007 you know I am a bit of a fan...)

I have updated my website with my latest large works from my Echoes and Memory series so please go have a look. I also have new beautiful postcards to hand out at open studios!

And last but not least, you can read more about my work and my process regarding my latest works in this recent article. Megan Chapman: A Strange Alchemy. An earlier version of this article appeared in Painters Tubes magazine. Click on the images to read.

And that's all I have for you this week. Music is everything, I love painting, and I am grateful for you and everyone else who brings beauty and thought to this world.

Friday, June 1, 2018

Music, Studio Visits, and Preparation.

I will let my Tuesday Studio Video Visit (that I recorded this week on a Thursday) tell you what has been going on this week in the studio (click the bottom right corner to turn on the volume on the videos).

Part 1.

Part 2.

This morning, I had a studio visit with Union Gallery owner Alison Auldjo to talk about the upcoming July show. I always enjoy studio visits! Alison has picked out three new pieces from my current series and I am going to be completing a fourth that is currently in progress for the exhibition. I am very pleased with her choices and I can't wait to see them all together on the gallery wall. I am glad to know where I stand in regards to preparing for the exhibition.

Next week I must turn all my attention towards preparing for open studios. I am enjoying the warmer weather, the sun and getting out in it as much as I can. I am working with that elusive life-work balance, that for me is a bit more challenging in the summer months as the weather improves and there are things to do and people to see.

That's all I have for you. Until next week, keep showing up for yourself and your art. The world needs you.

Friday, May 25, 2018

Field trip, Studio makeover, and exciting news!

This week started with an adventure to Dunfermline to see Robert The Bruce, King of Scotland's grave. Genealogy is a hobby of mine and finding him in the family tree was a fun discovery. More than anything though it was just great fun to cut out on a Monday, get on a train and go see new things. Dunfermline is a beautiful place in the spring and the birdsong, ruins, and trees caught my fancy. The air smelled more like home. I put it all in my internal bank to draw from on another day.

On Tuesday, I recorded the video visit that you can see here if you missed it.

As you can see, I was spending the week getting my studio organised and fitting in my new canvas storage and chair that was found in the street! I seem to always find everything I need on the street... The video cuts off (of course) but rest assured I was wishing you well and hoping you were inspired and encouraging you to take some time off and to not be so hard on yourself and to "do no harm but take no shit."

By Wednesday evening I had my studio pretty well sorted out and I must say I love the way it feels right now. It almost feels new again. I have been enjoying the space and have been painting the sides of small works to get them ready for the upcoming Open Studios Event.

Yesterday, I shared some exciting news on my Facebook pages and I will share it with you right now...
My armor, my solace, my connection
© 2017 Megan Chapman 
signed limited edition print
paper size A3 42x29.7cm/11.7x16.5"
© 2017 Megan Chapman 
signed limited edition print
paper size A3 42x29.7cm/11.7x16.5"
Paths, ravines, timeless tales
© 2017 Megan Chapman 
signed limited edition print
Paper size 29.7x29.7 cm/11.7x11.7"
HBO bought three of my limited edition prints (see above) from The Distillation Process to use in their series True Detective!

I am beyond thrilled and so happy that they saw them while part of the current exhibition, "From the Ashes" at Fenix Fayetteville in my hometown.

You can see the whole series here:

If you are local to the Northwest Arkansas area, please go check out the exhibition before it comes down in June. "From the Ashes" is the inaugural exhibition in Fenix Fayetteville's beautiful new space on the square. There is so much wonderful work to see, enjoy and purchase! Don't miss it!

I appreciate everyone's support and enthusiasm in the sharing of my good news. We'll all have to watch season 3 of True Detective when it comes out!

As I was walking home from the studio the other day, I thought to myself that having the space to create really is the ultimate reward. May you have a room of your own and all the materials you need. 

Friday, May 18, 2018

Cardboard meditations and open studios

This week in the studio I played a bit. I enjoyed the freedom of a meditation in motion in the form of working on "throw away" materials such as cardboard from the studio recycling bin. A simple way to loosen up after working on my larger canvases as well as my smaller series. I enjoyed the freedom to just move along with the paint with no destination and no finished product in mind. You can learn and see more of this on my Tuesday Studio Video Visit, in case you missed it on my Facebook art page here it is again.

You can see the studio snaps of the results of this process.

In other news, we are still gearing up for our Open Studios event at the Out of the Blue Drill Hall. Stewart Bremner of IndyPrints has designed a wonderful poster for our event. We have an exciting and varied lineup of artists and other exciting groups opening their doors on the 9th of June, so please make plans to attend.

If you are on facebook, please say you will attend by marking it so on our event page. We really would love to see you there!

Every day we paint is a victory. Every day we care for ourselves, each other, and the world is an even bigger one. The world needs you. Thank you.

Friday, May 11, 2018

We are more alike than we are different

The latest pieces from the series
"Communication techniques of the easily silenced"
This week in the studio layers of paint and paper continued to be added to my latest canvases from my "Communication techniques of the easily silenced" series of small works. I also finished another wee square work on canvas (20x20cm/8x8") and worked on two large 80x80cm canvases, getting one of them close to completion.

Small work
I also filmed my Tuesday Studio Video Visit, if you missed it on my Facebook art page, you can see it here. You will be able to see the small works being created and that my studio is getting a bit messy again (always a good sign).

Small work
I continued working on organising Open Studios this week as well. I think we have it mostly together now, just a few more nuts and bolts and finishing touches and then I can turn to getting my studio in order so that the public can enjoy it!

Large works in progress

Last week, I mentioned our culture jaunt to the modern for the fabulous Jenny Saville paintings in the NOW exhibition. This week in cultural outings, I had the pleasure of meeting visiting Australian artist, Jan Allsopp. Jan is visiting the UK on holiday and delightfully arranged to visit with me in my studio. I adored spending time with her in a local coffee shop as well as in my studio. I have admired Jan's work and ethos for a while now and to meet her in person was a treat. It is always good to talk with other artists that share the same painterly language and headspace. Visit Jan's website and learn more about her beautiful work.

This world is large and we are all so spread apart. The world is at the same time, small and filled with kindred spirits tucked in the corners and it is always a joy to meet one.

Until next week, know in your heart of hearts we are more alike than we are different and the world needs you and your art.