Friday, December 28, 2007

Something Electric...

The Holidays are almost over now. Family and friends are soon departing and getting back to the work a day world. The holidays come on so fast and strong and just as they start they are over again. I am left wondering if I saw everyone I needed to and if I had the quality conversations I had intended. Overall I think this holiday was a success. I hope yours was too.

I like the in between time, when Christmas fades but the New Year has not yet begun. There is a stillness that comes at this time. A hopeful break, where a myriad of intentions run through my mind for the new year. I am excited by the opportunity to begin again, try one more time, and devise a new plan of action.

I have been taking some time off from painting to rest, visit with friends and family, and regroup and hopefully come up with some new ideas about where my work will head in the coming months. In 2007 I had so many opportunities come up spontaneously that, I did not have this luxury of planning. I seemed more to be painting to fulfill commitments and paint for specific exhibits. I am excited that in this new year I can slow down a bit and think about the direction I want to go, this is both exciting and terrifying. I am one of those people that works well under deadlines and under pressure. The exciting thing is I will get to create my own pressure and new challenges and push myself to reach my own set of new goals. There is still new work to send to the galleries that already represent me, there are relationships in those galleries to strengthen, there are new galleries and publications to submit my work to, and hopefully new clients to thank. New exhibits to schedule, and new opportunities to weigh. There will be paper work to file, blogs to write, websites to update and even redesign, photos of my work to take. So in many ways I know what to expect, and I will keep on the path I have set, and simply kick it up a notch.

However, I feel ( and maybe just because of the time of year again) that there is something electric around me, that something big may happen in my artistic life 2008. I also feel more and more connected to a network of artists and art lovers all over the world, and I feel the support and encouragement of those people. This support is instrumental in helping me break through and be the painter and person that I want most to be.

So, I write this with great excitement and anticipation- with a whimsical hope for all of us. Let this be my year, and your year too. I am eager to return to the studio, where I will put on my headphones, go within and paint for us all.

Happy New Year! I wish you all the best in 2008...

I was recently interviewed by Tim Lane for his MySpace blog "Artist Interviewing Artist." If you haven't read it yet you might enjoy it.
Click here for the interview

See my painting "Two Lovelies" at Remy Fine Art
720 Garrison Ave. Ft. Smith, Arkansas
Open: T-F 12-5
and by appointment.

"Secrets Revealed" Works by Megan Chapman and Steve and P.J. Robowski
December 6-January 18th

Friday, December 21, 2007

Original art is like fresh basil.

Christmas came a bit early for me this year. I first saw the artist, Michele Maule's work in person at the DDP Gallery Small Works show and knew I liked her paintings. I wanted something a bit bigger, so in this case I needed to buy it from Etsy. I came across a painting called Detroit Water Tower, and I decided I had to have it, so I placed the order. The piece had the right mood for me, I just felt it. A short couple of days later, the painting arrived in the mail! I was so excited, there is something a bit scary yet thrilling about ordering art online. We all know that everyone's monitor is different and that photographs of art can be wildly different as well. However, when I pulled it out of the box it was perfect!! I propped it up in its temporary home, and kept stealing glances at it all day. I looked at it from far away and up close. I studied the piece and I thought about the process involved and about the artist who created it.

Later that night a friend called, and I had to tell her about the new piece of art I had received. I was so excited, buying art is such a thrill and I mentioned to her that I felt original art is like fresh basil. Fresh basil is so alive, the smell, the texture, it is like pure energy in your hand. Dried basil is so different, it works but the energy isn't the same, it smells different, you don't feel its wet freshness in your hand, it doesn't interact with you the way fresh basil does. Fresh Basil can be transporting. Original art has this same energetic presence, it enters into your environment and has the power to change it. Simply amazing.

I never used to buy art. I made art, so I hung my own paintings around the house. I wasn't making any money selling my art back then either, so I couldn't afford to. As my pieces began to sell, I decided that I too needed to walk the walk and start buying original art. It is one of the best things I have ever done. Speaking from experience I know how that artist feels when they sell a piece of their work. I also know that selling that piece can be the difference in sticking with it and packing it in. My collection is just getting started, most of it small works, and mostly from Arkansas artists. I have the under $200 collection so far, and I have found gems for $40.00 and even under. Remember, it is not what you pay, it is how it makes you feel.

Anyway, this is another challenge if you haven't already or if you haven't in a long time, consider buying yourself or someone a small original piece of art. You are worth it, they are worth it, and that artist's work is certainly worth it. Buying art is such a profound thing to do for yourself and your environment and for the artist you are now supporting and encouraging.

Don't miss the small works show at the DDP gallery in Fayetteville. My small collection has several pieces by some of the featured artists represented there. I have several pieces of Ginny Sims' stunning decal ceramic works, several of Mark Traughber's fabulous stenciled wood panels, and some of those cool Wrecords by Monkey bracelets. Sarah Nunn's purses are the only purses I will carry (don't miss Sarah's fresh modern felt wall art as well) and now I have a Michele Maule piece too! There are many other talented artists showing their work at the DDP gallery that might be just perfect for you!

Pictured above:

Small Works 2007 postcard image ( courtesy)

Artists listed from left to right, top to bottom: Helen Phillips, Susan Freda, Nicole Sharp, Toma Miller, Mark Traughber, Lucas Taylor, Wrecords by Monkey, Ginny Sims, Joseph Maggiore, Michele Maule, Sarah Nunn, Alexander Abajian
DDP Gallery
7 East Mountain St.
Fayetteville. AR
On Display December 05, 2007 - January 19, 2008

Friday, December 14, 2007

Bravery and the art of being an artist

2008 is quite close on the horizon now. How is the new year going to unfold artistically for you? Will you simply repeat 2007? Do you prefer to let the year unfold organically, or perhaps you have an over zealous plan that leaves you overwhelmed before the new year has even started? Today, I would simply like to encourage you to be brave in your artistic life in 2008. Before you leave here thinking I am about to dispense some self help nuggets... hear me out.

You are already brave by simply calling yourself an artist. Ask yourself how brave you are currently being in your artistic life? Is there room for improvement? Here are some ideas or questions to get you thinking of ways to be more brave and get your art career rolling in 2008.

First, are you taking any creative risks with your work or are you producing the same ol' thing again and again? Ask yourself if your work still strikes a chord within; if it does, keep doing what is working for you; if it doesn't, ask yourself what changes you could make that would get you excited again. Have you submitted any work to an art journal or magazine, or an online gallery such as Saatchi gallery online, popexperiment, myartspace, or juxtapoz magazine?

Have you done anything bold to promote your art on myspace, facebook, or joined an online art forum? Have you submitted your work to a jurried competition in your area?

Have you visited any new galleries to see if your style of work might fit in the mix, and then asked about the submission process?

When you find yourself in a creative rut, do you try something new, ask for help or trade critiques with another artist you know?

If you are art rich and cash poor, have you tried to trade your work for services or other art?
If your supplies are running low, have you tried budget supplies or asked to see if anyone has any extra materials that they are not using?

Have you approached an artist you admire for any help or mentoring? Have you started working on creating a free art portfolio or web presence? Have you started a blog about your art?

Many of the opportunities that have come up in my career were caused by spontaneous acts of bravery. When you get those wild outlandish, positive "what if" ideas in your head, go for it in 2008. Email that artist, call that gallery, make that trade, enter that show, comment on that blog you lurk on, take that class, quit your job (within reason- please have some plan), ask stupid questions to other professionals and just go for it.

Make 2008 the brave year, the year you really went for it. The year it all came together.
This is a challenge.... Leave me a comment about one thing you have been thinking of pursuing for your art career or artistic life that alluded you in 2007 that you are really going for this year.

We can do this!

Pictured Above:

What Went Before
Megan Chapman
Mixed Media on Canvas
available at the ddp gallery

Friday, December 7, 2007

Secrets Revealed

Last night, I walked into Remy Fine Art in the Town Club in Ft. Smith, and I was stunned. I enjoyed my exhibit as a viewer might for the first few moments. My work looked brand new to me, the colors on the canvases sparked off each other. A selection of rich oranges, deep blues and golds drew me in. Everything miraculously fit the space perfectly. When I paint and gather work together for an exhibit, I rarely know how the work will fit in the space. When I walk into a venue and see the work filling the space perfectly and all the pieces are playing off each other in a way that seems to make perfect sense; I know there is magic operating in the world, and I am lucky to be a part of it. That magic exists in the gallery owner's vision for my work as they hang it, the things that I can't see anymore, they discover. They let the work speak to them in words that I can no longer hear since I am too close to the work. It really is a thrill for an artist.

PJ and Steve Robowski's beautiful and unique stained glass pieces were a treat for me as well, and I am pleased we had the opportunity to exhibit together. A big thank you goes out to Jeanne Parham and her assistants at Remy Fine Art, you really know how to put together a great show. I completely enjoyed myself, and it was great to meet and speak with everyone there at the opening about my work.

For those of you who can't make it to the show, I would love to share my work with you here. If you see pieces you are interested in or would like more information about my work, please contact Jeanne Parham. Secrets Revealed, will be on display from December 6- January 18. Gallery hours are Tuesday-Friday 12-5 and by appointment. Remy Fine Art is located in the Town Club at 720 Garrison Ave. in Ft. Smith Arkansas.

* The slide show with this post is now out of date. Many of these works may still be available for purchase. Please check my website to find out their current location and my most up to date gallery affiliations.

Friday, November 30, 2007

My paintings at your finger tips.

December is drawing near, which gets me in the mood for a year end wrap up. I think about where I have been and what I have done and of course what I have not yet done as well. I like to tidy things up before I waltz into the new year.

This year has been fantastic for me artistically. Many opportunities presented themselves and I tried to grab a hold and participate with as much fervor as I could. I secured representation by several fantastic galleries this year, and sold quite a bit of work to wonderful clients all over the country. My work was chosen for publication by Studio Visit Magazine to appear in the premier issue coming out in February 2008. Four of my large works were purchased and permanently placed in the brand new and beautifully designed Shogun Sky bar in Fayetteville, Arkansas. I participated in five solo/featured shows this year, and participated in some great group shows as well. I also started writing this blog, which has given me a much needed and enjoyed outlet. There are still many other exciting opportunities that are wrapping up the end of my year.

I am grateful for all the support and wonderful conversations that I have had with people near and far about my art and art in general. The conversations, encouragement, questions, and ideas that we exchange mean so much to me. I am honored that I get to share my work with you all.

I am excited to be preparing for my last show of 2007, entitled "Secrets Revealed" which will be held at Remy Fine Art Gallery at the Town Club in Ft. Smith, Arkansas. I will be showing twenty nine paintings. I am pleased to be showing with PJ and Steve Robowski as well.

This will be my first exhibit in Ft. Smith and I look forward to talking with the folks there about my work. If you are in the area, I hope you can join us at the opening on Thursday, December 6th from 5:30-7:30pm at Remy Fine Arts in the Town Club at 720 Garrison Avenue. The exhibit is free and open to the public. Check back next week on my blog for images of that body of work.

Speaking of all the wonderful galleries that represent me and my paintings. I want to share those galleries and their current selections of my work with you. The slide show below features my work that is currently at the M2 Gallery in Little Rock, Arkansas. If you see a piece that you are interested in please contact Mac Murphy at the M2 Gallery. I am thrilled to be showing with the M2, and recently enjoyed participating in the Best of the Northwest show. I also enjoyed getting to know all the other talented artists that are represented there.

The slide show below showcases my work currently at the Blue Moon Gallery in Hot Springs, Arkansas. Contact Pat or Dishongh Scavo if you want to know more about my work shown there. This year I participated in the gallery's 10th anniversary celebration exhibit to mark the successful 10 year history of the Blue Moon Gallery. This December I will be down at Gallery Walk for "An Ornamental Affair" a CASA benefit. All the artists have created beautiful and unique ornaments to be auctioned off for a great cause. If you are in the area, come to the first Friday gallery walk and bid on an ornament. Gallery walk in Hot Springs is always a good time.

This next slide show is of my work currently represented by the DDP gallery in Fayetteville. This past summer, my work was shown alongside Helen's Phillips' brilliant ceramic work in our show entitled "Intuition." The show was a huge success, eleven of the twenty pieces that I showed sold. The DDP gallery also facilitated my work being placed in the Shogun Sky bar in Fayetteville. Very thrilling. The DDP gallery represents my work exclusively for all of Northwest Arkansas. Contact gallery owner Dede Peters for more information about my work.

Last, but certainly not least is my work currently represented by Gallery Fraga, in Bainbridge Island Washington. I was so excited when gallery owner Jeff Fraga contacted me after finding my paintings online and offered me an exhibit. My first featured exhibit with Gallery Fraga, "According to the Vapors," was held in March. I am pleased to have representation out in the Pacific Northwest after spending six years in Oregon while in school. I do love that part of the country. As part of the exhibit, I created a pod cast about my work and creative process, even talking about some of the specific pieces in the show, you can listen to it on their site as well. Contact Jeff Fraga at Gallery Fraga about the work you see below.

This past year, I also enjoyed exhibiting, "The Path that Light Takes," at the Mullin's Library at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville. It was a joy to hear from students and staff members that my work had a calming influence on them. It was a great feeling to see how my work can impact a public space by transforming it with color.

Another opportunity that presented itself this year was my exhibit, "Spellbound," at the Julie Wait Designs Gallery in Rogers, Arkansas. It was a wonderful opportunity to share my work with a whole new group of folks. It was great to meet the people there and talk about abstract art and design.

So, as you can see it has been an exceptional year, and if you are now reading this you are a part of it too. I thank you, and I hope you have enjoyed my work this past year, and I hope you will enjoy it for many years to come.

If you enjoy what you read and see in my studio blog, please pass it on to other people who might enjoy it too.

* The slide shows originally published with this post are now out of date. Many of these works may still be available for purchase. Please check my website to find out their current locations as well as, my most up to date gallery affiliations.

Friday, November 23, 2007

This Holiday Season - Buy Art!

The Holidays are in full swing now, as today is black Friday. Shoppers are programmed to run out to the mega stores and malls to catch the early morning shopping deals. They will buy all sorts of gadgets, clothes, and various oddities for those on their Christmas lists. There is a frenzy to find that perfect thing, that bargain, that object that shows how much the shopper thought of the person on their list. Shoppers will usually overspend, exhaust themselves, and may not even really enjoy the process that much or be satisfied with the item they end up with. There seems to be a disconnection that happens. It doesn't have to be this way.

Imagine a shopping season where you are able to buy distinctly one of a kind items for your loved ones. An item made by human hands. An item that is the actualization of hours of thought and planning, passion and style. An item that contains a bit of mystery and perhaps some magic. Imagine giving the gift of original art to your loved ones this Christmas. Initially, that idea might sound more expensive, scary, or time consuming. However, there are many easy options for buying affordable, original art these days.

First, shop locally. Avoid the malls and chain stores and go by your local galleries. Many galleries at this time of year are having holiday sales where they have asked their stable of artists to produce smaller, more affordable pieces of work to be on display at this time. Many galleries are more than willing to help you find something within your budget. It is important for you to feel good in the gallery; if you feel any unwelcoming or uppity vibes from a gallery owner or staff, you don't need to shop there. If you have ever felt that somewhere, I apologize for them and I hope it didn't turn you off from the experience of buying art. Please try again. Many galleries will spend considerable time with you and help you really find a great piece of art that meets all of your needs. They should treat you with the same respect whether you are buying a twenty dollar object or a two thousand dollar painting. As in other retail stores, galleries accept credit cards and may even allow you to make payments over time to make the purchase more comfortable.

After you have enjoyed your local or regional galleries, look for a holiday studio sale or a design fair in your area. These are usually warm and friendly events, with a group of artists getting together to have a sale for a weekend. You can find many affordable one of kind items at these sales, and usually meet the artists, all the while having some hot cider and a fresh baked cookie.
Design fairs are popular in larger cities, and the chic craft movement is in full swing around the country; you are guaranteed to find cool stencil art, jewelry, and other modern crafts that are sure to please someone on your Christmas list.

If you are a die hard Internet shopper, then a great site to buy all things handmade is Etsy. If you have not been to this site then you are in for a real treat. Paintings, prints, letterpress items, cards, toys, jewelry... if it is an art or a craft that is hand made, then it is on Etsy. The design sense of the folks that sell their work on Etsy is top notch. The prices are hard to beat as well.

Buying art can be a fun and exhilarating experience, and it is one of the most thoughtful gifts you can give. Sweaters may fall out of fashion, housewares fade or break over time, but art keeps giving. Every time, I walk into a room in my home that has original art, I immediately think of the artist. I think of the time they spent creating the piece. I think of their vision and talent. As time passes, I find more and more that I like about the piece. The work keeps revealing more secrets to the story behind it. When you buy art, you directly impact the artist's life as well. You are encouraging that artist. You are saying, "well done." You are saying, "keep going." You are saying "I see and value what you do."

To the person on your list, you are saying "you are so special and unique that only art would do." This holiday season, try buying original art and feel the difference.

"A Glimpse"
Mixed Media on Canvas
Megan Chapman

Friday, November 16, 2007

Beware : The Vanity Gallery

When I studied art at the University of Oregon, I learned so much that I am thankful for. Yet, the training I received on the business side of the art world was quite minimal as it is for many art students in school. However, I was taught one thing that really stood out, I was taught never to pay to show my art somewhere. I was taught to avoid "representation" by what is termed a "Vanity Gallery."

For those of you who don't know, as defined by Wikipedia, "a vanity gallery is an art gallery that charges artists fees in order to exhibit their work and makes most of its money from artists rather than from sales to the public." Most of the time these galleries charge these fees upfront and still collect a commission from the artist on pieces that sell as well. Vanity galleries are more common in large metropolitan areas of the country but they can spring up in smaller cities too. A vanity gallery may look just like a reputable gallery. The organizers of vanity galleries may reach out to fresh talent, artists new to the market, or those inexperienced and easily overwhelmed with the business end of things. Perhaps an artist has not been able to get another gallery to express interest in their work and the vanity gallery representative offers them hope for the first time.

It is a lonely world out there for artists, as they look for approval and a venue to show their work, they have heard the old adage " you have to spend money to make money" so forking over an entry fee, a hanging fee, and free labor not to mention the commission to the gallery in exchange for a show seems almost worth it, but it rarely is.

Before you freak out and cry foul. Yes, of course there are exceptions: paying a nominal fee to be juried into a show or a publication, or paying dues/fees and labor associated with being a member of a cooperative gallery, as well as paying a booth fee to participate in an art fair. To add to the confusion, many relationships with legitimate galleries have all sort of caveats. Some galleries may pay for post cards but not postage for your personal mailing list, some may have you pay to ship the work to them, but they will then pay to ship the work back to you. There is a 50/50 give and take that should be satisfactory to both parties involved in a relationship with a legitimate gallery.

The vanity gallery may have a complicated contract, and be elusive when you question it. Any gallery worth working with will go over the contract with you until you are both comfortable signing it. They will work with you and perhaps cross out things you are not comfortable with and you both will initial any changes. They will make sure you have a copy of the contract as well. They will make sure your work is properly insured and show you proof of their insurance if you request it. They will take proper care of your work while in their custody. When your work is displayed in a reputable gallery it will be well lit, and protected from direct sunlight. They will provide title cards by each piece of work or provide a price list for the work. A reputable gallery keeps regular business hours, and takes the time to talk with the artists to understand the work so that they can do their best to sell that work. Reputable gallery owners are invested in the artist as a person as well as in the artwork they represent.

Vanity galleries may boast fancy locations, expansive mailing lists, important clients, and far reaching publicity and seem to offer amazing benefits for a nominal fee. If you are entering into a relationship with a gallery and it seems too good to be true it probably is. Listen to your gut, ask questions, demand answers and if you don't get the answers that work for you- walk away. You must have faith in yourself, hold onto your personal power, and honor your artistic vision.

There are many opportunities out there to show your work, and as an artist just starting out it is tempting to say yes to the first one that comes your way and to keep questions to a minimum as to not offend those who have offered you this opportunity. Please find it in yourself to be strong and ask those questions. You will save yourself money and heartache in the process. If you have unwittingly participated in a vanity gallery, there is no shame on your part, just dust yourself off and get back in the game and chalk it up to a valuable learning experience.

Pictured above, Henry Turner's "Souvenir"
The DDP gallery
7 East Mountain St. Fayetteville.
Open: W-F 12-7 and Sat. 10-5
and by appointment.

October 10- November 24, 2007
(don't miss this show!!!)

Friday, November 9, 2007

Creating a Free Web Presence

Today, we are going back to the art career basics and building blocks. I want to talk about the importance of creating a web presence. Hopefully, many of you already have one. A web presence is crucial for exposure and networking for your art. This article is for those who think it costs a lot of money, time, or energy to maintain a website. I have some free and simple solutions to get you and your work online in no time.

First, of course is the very popular social networking site MySpace. I have to admit I wasn't much of a fan at first, I was under the impression that the sites were always ugly and glaring and that MySpace was primarily a place for teenagers. Well, I stand corrected. I have seen some beautiful MySpace sites run by emerging artists and professionals. You control your space, and can easily upload your art into a slide show or other format, choose some music and set the scene for showing off your art to the world. You even pick a URL that you can share with others and not just other myspacers. You can share your links to other sites/galleries you might be affiliated with to direct visitors to your "real" website or galleries if you have one. Before you know it you will be finding friends that you had forgotten about as well as letting everyone know you are an artist, and all for free.

Also, it is a great way to make the larger art community feel smaller and become friends with other artists you admire. If you are not already on MySpace check it out, I highly recommend it. Just watch your time on the site- it can become addicting! Now with this being said, I wouldn't only use MySpace to promote your work. Most of the time, MySpace pages tend to be a little more personal in nature, and might not be professional enough to submit to a potential gallery or client as your "website."

Here are some examples of some artists myspace pages that I like:

There is also Facebook which is becoming more popular, as the layout is clean and simple. You don't get you own URL though so only other Facebook friends in your network can see your work. Again, you can display all your links to various other websites where your work is hosted, which is nice. I enjoy the MySpace application more for promoting your art, as it seems a bit more dynamic. Yet, I do currently have both.

If you don't have a website for your art and only do one thing towards setting up a web presence, I highly recommend setting up an online portfolio on a site called carbonmade. This is a great application, and the closest thing I have seen to a FREE classy website. This site is very easy to use and update and allows you to create a beautiful and did I say a FREE web presence. With this site you get your own URL so this is something that can be professional enough to print up on some business cards when you are just starting out. It has little fluff or frills, but it looks sharp and does the trick. It doesn't take long to make a site that will fit your needs here. I also have a carbonmade site, where I keep a virtual studio sale for my older work that is in a different style and no longer represented by galleries.

Some carbonmade sites that I like are.

If you are really trying to make a go of it as an artist without a web presence in this day and age you are just shooting yourself in the foot. There are many opportunities to be had out there and the web really allows you to reach clients and galleries from all over the world. You do not need a web designer, or your own domain name to play in this game, nor do you need money. So, stop with these excuses. It is up to you to put yourself and your work out there. You can do this!

If you have created a great looking MySpace page that promotes your art or a carbonmade portfolio, or a portfolio on another free site that I need to know about, please post it in the comments section.

See " Desire Suspended" by Megan Chapman at the Blue Moon gallery
located at 718 Central Ave.
Hot Springs, Arkansas

Friday, November 2, 2007

Hot Springs Gallery Walk

Well, I am off to Hot Springs gallery walk.
I am looking forward to being with the wonderful folks at the Blue Moon gallery, talking to people about my art, and enjoying the sights and sounds of Hot Springs.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Unnamed and Mysterious

Yesterday was cold and foggy almost. It looked like it could rain at any moment. The leaves in my back yard have turned a bit golden, and they look heavy and ready to drop. I felt very inspired yet, I didn't exactly want to paint. I looked at other people's art, and felt in awe of all the unique and individual voices that are working out in the world, simply creating. The artists that capture the magic and mystery that is seldom seen. I was aching to do something, and then it hit me. Why must I always paint in order to create something, in order to feel productive?

I don't- and with that I got out my camera and melted into the hours that followed. I wasn't a painter with clients or obligations, or projects on the back burner.

I was simply being free to express something
unnamed and mysterious.

When was the last time you were just free and let yourself experiment with something other than your medium?

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Talking Heads This Must Be the Place (Naïve Melody) Live

Talking Heads under Jonathan Demme's direction in "Stop Making Sense" This is so wonderful. One of my favorites.

Friday, October 19, 2007

The Fall

The fall is here, and I love it. It is the perfect time to listen to music and feel the wind and dream about the past and the future. The fall makes things seem too important and deep. I easily get caught up in the romantic versions of my life. Everything feels better, maybe a bit more melancholy, but I am comfortable in this place.

A wistful passion sets in. I long for things I don't have, things I can't even put my finger on. It is a beautiful longing, that I enjoy. It is a type of hope, of leaves falling, poetry, love, and passion. Music in the air and in my mind. My music can't get loud enough for me now. The warm fading light in the tops of trees in the evening. I walk through my childhood streets with my headphones on loud, as the leaves blow across the street. Something growing within me, frustration and intensity. It is a good thing.

When I was a child, I really wanted to let people inside my brain for a while, and that feeling has returned. I really wish you could experience the fall with me. I am returning to myself somehow. I lost my way for a bit, and at least for now, I am walking back home into myself. I have my own priorities and agendas, and they might not make sense or be reasonable and I love that.

The studio is clean, new painting supplies are ordered, a new body of work is waiting to be released. I am ready.

Pictured above, Megan Chapman's "Restore my Grasp"
Mixed Media on Canvas
20x16" 2007
Coming soon to a gallery near you

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Art Road Trip!

I am back from an overnight visit to Kansas City and I am filled to the brim with great art, music, architecture, and a kind of lust that comes from visiting somewhere new and then returning home. Kansas City is only 3.5 hours away from Fayetteville, and I plan to visit much more often now that I have become acquainted.

This summer I have been to Dallas twice, St. Louis and now Kansas City. My inspiration for these travels was simply to see my favorite band, Interpol, as much as I could. I was richly rewarded each time, not only by Interpol but by making sure to check out the galleries, and museums in these areas as well.

When I first arrived in Kansas City, I went to the Nelson Atkins Museum of Art. The museum has free admission(donations are appreciated) and parking is only $5.00. I knew that I wouldn't be able to absorb the whole museum, so I hit the modern painters wing, and again I saw the usual suspects- funny how the summer of Interpol also turned into the summer of Rothko, Kline, Motherwell, and Diebenkorn. I am not complaining! I enjoyed some Warhol as well as other important painters. I then saw a Kiki Smith installation that was pretty dreamy entitled Constellation, and was made of cast glass animals and stars on the floor atop vibrant blue paper.

I stumbled into an amazing Photography exhibit, the museum's collection is spectacular. They have many of the heavy hitters of early 20th century American photography. Weston, Adams, Cunningham, Stieglitz, Steichen, Evans, Avedon, Lange, and more. They also have the more modern work of Arbus, Woodman, Probst, as well as others and currently a feature exhibit of Harry Callahan. It was stunning to see such a selection.

I thoroughly enjoyed the indoor Noguchi sculpture garden. I then ran back into the older part of the Museum with its impressive columns and marble to make sure to see the Caravaggio. Oh, that was amazing! I was walking to find it and then caught it out of the corner of my eye and was drawn to it like a magnet. Just magnificent. I will be back soon to take a more in depth tour of the museum, but for the amount of time I had, I saw a lot of jewels of the art world.

Interpol played at a wonderful old restored theatre called The Uptown. If you ever have a chance to see some music at this venue, I highly recommend it. It is an intimate venue of about 3,500 with theatre seating in the back and balcony, and then an open floor for the fans (like me that have to be near the stage). Needless to say the concert was great, I was in the second row and I am now ready to translate all the energy, poetry, and beauty that I find in Interpol's music into my next body of paintings. The Uptown is a beautiful theatre palace, restored with vivid colors, and to quote the Uptown's website it "resembles a venetian courtyard," there are sculptures up high along the balcony. It really has a unique and majestic feeling and is a work of art in itself.

The next day, I went to check out the Crossroads Arts district. I enjoyed walking along the streets and alley's of this vibrant and hopeful area. Tall old warehouses, and brick industrial buildings are being reclaimed as galleries, studios, cafes, and live/work spaces. Very inspiring, and the old brick architecture is lovely. Had a great decaf soy latte (yeah I am one of those people) at Coffee Girls, a charming place with art on the walls that played good music and had a nice laid back atmosphere. Then I wandered around, taking pictures of these colorful buildings, some forgotten and some being reborn. Walked over to HammerPress, and completely fell in love. The space was glorious, and the amazing designs were like a beacon. I dropped some cash in this design and letterpress studio, and it was money well spent. This is a destination spot, so don't miss it if you go to Kansas City. HammerPress has an easy friendly vibe and they let me take pictures of the place, I am telling you it is a slice of heaven. I then went to check out Blue Gallery, another lovely space, featuring some great art. Then I was off to some other galleries in the area. I went to the Leedy-Voulkos Art Center, and entered another great large light filled space, with great art of all styles and mediums. There were artists present having a business meeting and sharing tips with each other about taking care of the business side of the art world. I was especially impressed by the photogravure work of Deborah Riley. The art center also rents live/work studio spaces. Seemed like an energetic place. Last but not least, I headed to an impressive and expansive gallery, the Sherry Leedy Contemporary, they were exhibiting the impressive ceramic works of Jun Kaneko and I enjoyed the photography of Misha Gordin and saw several pieces of Michael Eastman's work through the modern glass doors of the gallery storage section that was off limits to the public.

I really enjoyed walking around the Crossroad's Art district, I would love to live in an area like that, modern and electric yet still charming and friendly all the while celebrating the past through rehabilitating the old structures and providing support and affordable options for the emerging artists in their city.

I returned to my car and headed to Kemper Contemporary Museum, again free admission(donations appreciated). I really enjoyed their collection. I was thrilled to be able to get up close and personal with Michael Eastman's work in the museum's collection since I had been tempted by it in the last gallery. I saw the Michael Vasquez: Authority Figures exhibit, and an exhibit entitled Backstage pass: Collecting art in Kansas City. These were important pieces of art that were borrowed from corporate and private collections in Kansas City. I really got the feeling that this city takes its art pretty seriously. This museum had an impressive collection of modern paintings, mixed media, and photography as well as what looked like a lovely restaurant to dine in.

The Kansas City Art Institute is right by the Kemper Contemporary (it is actually sandwhiched between the two museums) so I walked through the campus, talked to an art student, and looked in the painting building and studios just to get a quick feeling for the place.

That was it, my trip to Kansas City. I got there around 1:30 on Wednesday and left at 1:00 on Thursday and was back home in time to support my local art scene by attending the opening for Photographic at the DDP gallery. Photographic is a stellar show. Gallerist Dede Peters created an elegant exhibit that really celebrates the medium of photography and the impressive local talent we have right here. Don't miss this show, it will up until November 24.

Art is everywhere, in old buildings, fields of down-turned sunflowers along the highway, museums, galleries, chain link fences, falling down shacks, and of course in the music that loudly enters my soul. I can tell this is going to be a great fall.

Pictured above, Henry Turner's "Patiently She Waits"
The DDP gallery
7 East Mountain St. Fayetteville.
Open: W-F 12-7 and Sat. 10-5
and by appointment.

October 10- November 24, 2007

Friday, October 5, 2007

I can't stand the quiet!

A brilliant scene from my favorite director Hal Hartley.
Another form of inspiration.

15 Minutes

I had to skip the column last week as I was out of town in Dallas happily seeing Interpol on Thursday night, and then on Friday I had an art opening to attend in Little Rock. My work is currently being featured at the M2 gallery in Little Rock this month. The exhibit is entitled "Best of Northwest." It is a thrill to have my work featured along with several other talented Northwest Arkansas artists such as Nathan Beatty, Sean Fitzgibbon, Christina Mariotti, and L. Eric Smith. It was a wonderful reception and a good time was had by all.

My exhibit at the DDP gallery in Fayetteville has come to a close. Thank you for all of your support and encouragement, it really was a great show. I loved showing my work with Helen Phillips, and working with the DDP gallery owner, Dede Peters. I will look back on the exhibit fondly.

My exhibit entitled "Spellbound" at the Julie Wait Designs gallery is currently up in Rogers, Arkansas until October 19th. If you have not made it out to a third Friday art walk in historic downtown Rogers, I recommend it.There is music, food, and art, not to mention the beautiful old architecture of an historic downtown.

Today, I would like to get back on track with some hints, help, and advice to other artists out there, as this is the reason I started this studio blog in the first place. I want to talk about self sabotage, self censorship, and other negative garbage artists fall prey too.

Does this sound familiar?

I need to paint(or add your medium here), but something stops me from climbing the stairs to my humble studio oasis. I need to get my art finances organized, and inventory up to date, and thank you cards in the mail, but I am frozen in time. I need to write my blog, update my website, and do some research on some new galleries, but I am not quite getting to it. Something creeps in between me and my purpose and my passion.

Sometimes when we first find our passion nothing seems to get in our way, nothing can pull us from it, and we take this as a sign that we have found our true calling. Right now, I find I am dreaming again and all the time. I am dreaming about the future, and I ache for it to be my reality. Then I snap out of the dream to realize that I am not getting anything done in the here and now, and if I really ache for my dreams to be my reality, then I really need to get to work.

As a working artist, my schedule is fairly open and flexible. I know that I am a person who works best with some structure but at the same time it can't be too rigid or I will rebel and do nothing, and then fail at my over ordered schedule and feel miserable about it. So, I know it is always a careful balancing act. I am betting it is this way for some of you too.

When I find the dreaming is taking me into the clouds and the painting studio is not seeing enough of me, and sleep is such a good escape, it is time to make some small changes towards action. I am going to share a few of the action tricks that work for me. Some of these I have read, some of these friends have shared with me and others just came about organically. Perhaps, they will be helpful to you as well, when you are in need of a kind and reasonable form of action, to get you out of the clouds and back in the game.

First, a dear friend of mine told me the other day to just "shoot for good, not perfect" and I have been coming back to this again and again. How many times in the day are you shooting for perfect and feeling bad about yourself? You could have just shot for good, and felt okay and know that you are making some progress. I think a lot of creative types battle with this. We want to impress, we want to make something so amazing and original, we want to always show our newest and best work, we want to be at every art event we can as we build our reputation, and we may want to please others. If you don't suffer from any of this "pleasing or perfectionism" stuff, then I hope you will share your secrets with me. At the same time that these behaviors or beliefs can be stifle ones creative juices, they can also stoke them- so again the balancing act is necessary.

Another roadblock to your creativity might be time, or your lack of it. You might finally get to work and be creating, and that little voice might rise up within, and tell you to give up, that you really don't have enough time to really work on or explore anything of any real substance. The chores suddenly seem more important, the voice says you are being selfish for taking this time away from your family, spouse or dog to be in your own little world creating. Or maybe you think you need a whole large block of time before you to even attempt to work.

Well, I am here to tell you that amazing things can happen in 15 minutes. I use this method a lot. I will set my timer for 15 minutes and just start something I am putting off, and make it a game. You can use this to get all those chores done and then paint with a clear conscience, or you can use it to start some work in your studio. If you haven't been in your studio in awhile. Just go hang out in there for 15 minutes one day, then maybe the next time go clean it up for 15minutes, then the next day perhaps just a splash of paint on a canvas. By the end of the week you will have worked 1 hour and 45 minutes in quick and painless sessions, and since you know that you are now trying to be good and not perfect, you also know that you are now moving towards your goals. Creating something, is much better than nothing for the week.

From personal experience, starting something is the hardest part, once you do 15 minutes you most likely will continue the session if time allows. Also, about that "guilt voice" that says you are being indulgent or taking time away from the family, friends, or pets. I know that when I create I am a better person. I am a more free and content person, and feel so much better about myself and the world that my family will thank me for taking that indulgent time and I bet yours will too.

Okay, so you are now in the studio, the chores are done, you finally have the time, and then the self sabotaging voice comes on strong and says "what can you do that hasn't been done already, and since there is nothing new that you can do, what is the point in trying." Voices like, "this is too different from what my clients expect from me," or "this will never sell." Well, this can be a hard one. First, I will say, it happens to the best of us and you are not alone. Try not to be so hard on yourself. Remember the idea that you are special because you are an individual and no one else in the world is quite like you, so all the work you create is unique like you. There is a type of collective unconscious that the art community has, we do recycle and reform and reclaim ideas that have been used before, but we add and explore them further and make them our own eventually.

Only you can create your work, and that is pretty amazing, so tell that voice to pipe down unless you are totally ripping someone off... The voices that come about pleasing clients or creating something that won't sell must be silenced too. Clients expect and hope that the artists they admire will keep growing and exploring, they really don't want you to stay stuck in a people pleasing rut, so break out and have fun. Your clients will come along for the ride for the most part. Some art isn't meant to be sold, or even shown. Sometimes you just want to work, and play and grow, this time may then translate into the work that you will show and sell in the future. Keep this is mind.

Being a working artist is challenging enough, stop trying to make it harder for yourself. Dispense with the guilt, people pleasing, and self censorship, it will only drive you crazy and stop you from sharing the purpose and passion that I know is boiling up within you. I want to leave you with a few famous artist's quotes on the subject.

Diego Rivera, "I dream a lot. I do more painting when I'm not painting. It's in the subconscious." ( I was glad to come across this, and I have to agree with him- so perhaps I will take that nap after all...)

Andrew Wyeth, "Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep."

Scott Adams, "A lot of it's experimental, spontaneous. It's about knocking about in the studio and bumping into things."

See my painting "Something Once Before" at the M2 gallery
Pleasant Ridge Town Center
11525 Cantrell Road
Little Rock, Arkansas
Open: M-Th. 10-8pm and Sat. 10-9

"Best of Northwest" Works by Megan Chapman, Nathan Beatty, Sean Fitzgibbon, Christina Marioti, and L. Eric Smith on display through October at the M2 gallery.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Art Amiss VII Recap

A few brief notes before I delve into my review of Art Amiss VII:

First, I will be having a reception tonight, Friday, September 21st for my latest exhibit, "Spellbound" at the Julie Wait Designs Gallery in Rogers, Arkansas from 5-8pm as part of the Rogers Twilight Art walk. I am looking forward to being there and talking with folks about my work. This exhibit will include 17 recent works, many of which debuted at the Mullins Library at the University of Arkansas earlier this summer (so if you missed that show, please come to Julie Wait Designs) there will also be several new smaller works in the exhibit as well. "Spellbound" will be up until October 19th.

I am thrilled to be showing at the Julie Wait Designs Gallery, I had the pleasure of working with them last fall and was so excited when six of my paintings were chosen by them to be placed in the President and Vice President's offices of the Legacy National Bank headquarters in Springdale. Naturally, I was pleased when they asked me to show in their gallery. So, come on out to Rogers tonight!

Second, the exhibit "Intuition" with my paintings and Helen Phillips ceramics work will be coming to a close on September 29th. So if you haven't seen it yet, please try to stop by the DDP gallery soon, and of course spread the word. I am very pleased with the response my work has received, so far six pieces have sold, but there are still many lovely pieces that are deserving of a good home or business.

Alright, now back to Art Amiss VII, the event was held last night at the Dickson Street Theatre in Fayetteville.It is so impressive to think that seven of these events have now taken place over the years and they just get better and better. Art Amiss is an impassioned event that captures all mediums of visual art as well as fashion, jewelry, music, movies, and writing-it really is a multimedia extravaganza. The $5.00 cover charge was well worth it and included a free chapbook and CD sampler of some of Fayetteville's local bands.

The event seemed to flow well, and early in the night there was great music at an easy volume to allow the art to really be viewed and nicely accentuated by the music. The artists who were near their work were easily able to be heard while discussing their process. Later in the night the volume was cranked up a notch or two and it was a fun scene.

After I looked at everything on the main floor, I dashed upstairs where the bulk of the visual art was presented, and instantly fell in love with Ginny Sims pottery. Ginny was right there with her work, very approachable and easy to talk with. I really like the solid quality of her work, along with the poetic "decals" of black and white graphics and words fused into her pottery. It was this that really made her work speak to me. There were small houses that could sit on their own, or be placed to hang on the wall. Her chic collection consisted of espresso cups and saucers, plates, salad plates, large platters, and tumblers as well as other functional items, and of course the collection of houses. I really appreciated her ascetic, the Terra cotta clay was glazed in a milky white and then sometimes colored with faint greens, peaches, or a shot of gold to accent the stark black and white images and words. The President of Art Amiss, Robin Atkinson said Ginny's work should be called "Hottery" and I concur. I will look forward to seeing more of Ginny Sims work in the future.

Another stand out for me last night was Greg Moore. His large painting of Assata Shakur caught my eye, and commanded the attention of the room even when placed high over a stairwell. Smartly the artist placed a pamphlet that included a commentary by Mos Def about Assata Shakur, so that we could understand her and learn about her plight.

Greg Moore's war resister series is equally stirring, and I am impressed that he uses his talent to also express his political views, as well as to educate the viewer. His style of painting is bold and painterly with great use of color. For me, his paintings have a slight R. Crumb quality to them that I enjoy without the exaggeration or comic quality. I wish Greg Moore only the best, and look forward to seeing more of his work out in the public eye soon.

I really enjoyed the movies viewed at Art Amiss last night, as it was held outside in the parking lot next door, just that new element gave it an exciting feeling to me, there is nothing quite like sitting outside with the moon peeking through the trees above watching short Indie films. I loved it. There was a nice mix of mystery, ironic comedy, and nostalgia ( Sarah K. Moore's beautiful films always make me want to cry and go back in time- and that is a good thing).

There were many other wonderful artists presenting work last night, and unfortunately I can't mention them all. I was impressed with the overall quality and quantity of the work, and enjoyed the evening. It was full of energy and excitement. I think Art Amiss is an amazing event, and everyone that participated, should feel really proud. The fashion show was fun, the music was great, movies enjoyed and art was being sold- Congratulations to all involved. Thank you for the energy, spunk, and spark you consistently bring to Fayetteville's art scene.

See my painting "Lovely Upheaval" at the DDP gallery
7 East Mountain St. Fayetteville.
Open: W-F 12-7 and Sat. 10-5
and by appointment.

"Intuition" Works by Megan Chapman and Helen Phillips
August 15- September 29 2007

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Interpol - No I In Threesome

A simple dose of beauty and inspiration.

Now read the post below about creating a sense of community and identity for artists in our town and give me your two cents on how it can be done in the comments! Thanks.

Friday, September 14, 2007

All fired up...

Today, I was driving home and a more obscure Clash song, "Ivan meets GI Joe" from their album Sandinista came on the radio, and I was overjoyed. It isn't one of my favorite songs but it still got me excited and then I starting to wonder why I felt that way.

First, the song is catchy. Second, the Clash will always be towards the top of my list. Third, the song is not the usual fodder for the college radio station, as the track is from an album from 1980. The real reason behind my that listening to that song on the radio gives me a sense of identity and community.

Okay... so what am I talking about?

There are artists in my town and probably your town too who are searching for a sense of identity and community, and they are having a hard time finding it. I live in a nice town, with a University, an arts center, a few galleries, and occasionally, many art events. Culture is touted as a amenity here. We have the Arts festival, Art Market, Art Amiss, BFA & MFA students, professional artists, gallery owners, a few arts collectives, and art lovers all here in this nice little melting pot, but somehow we aren't always melting.

Over the years, there have been meetings of the minds, ideas for studio spaces, and valiant attempts at promoting the arts and culture in this town. Some of us get involved when we can, and some complain about what is not here and yet do nothing. Some of us do both. Then, some of us are on the fringe and don't know about the meetings, or the groups that are trying to do something. Some of us keep our mouths shut as not to offend.

Well, I say enough! There has got to be a grass roots way to get us out of our homes, studios, sometimes cliquish events, and get us together in the same room talking about what we really need and want for ourselves and each other as artists.

I am talking about getting together for fun and community. Of course, not all groups of people are going to get along. Unfortunately, some people are going to think someone doesn't belong in the mix. Labels will be thrown around- crafts, quilts, pottery, fine art, abstract, installation, amateur, - there will be no pleasing all for sure. We all have our styles and our personalities. I still think we need to know one another and be aware of each other's work and aspirations.

My ultimate desire, is that I can keep doing what I am doing, making, showing, selling, and talking about art. However, I want to do that with a vibrant community of artists, talking together, sharing our successes and failures, obstacles, and desires. I want to be a part of an inclusive and connected group of proactive artists.

Anyone want to get together and talk about making art? This means you!

See "Subterranean" at the DDP gallery
7 East Mountain St. Fayetteville.
Open: W-F 12-7 and Sat. 10-5
and by appointment.

"Intuition" Works by Megan Chapman and Helen Phillips
August 15- September 29 2007

Friday, September 7, 2007

Art Festival Roundup

The visual arts part of the festival has come and gone. Last weekend was a huge success for all involved. Congratulations to all the organizers, artists, gallery owners, sponsors, and volunteers.

I just wanted to do a quick weekend round up as I promised. Don't miss this weekend's Art festival offerings which will be geared towards theatre , dance, writing, and music.

First off, the Art Festival in the Town Center seems to get better and better. All the booths were good and filled with excited and knowledgeable artists ready to chat. Several of the booths stood out in my mind. I have to say again that Ben Strawn is my hero - basically selling out his booth, almost immediately. His work is fantastic, and his set up was lovely- I wish him nothing but more success and prosperity, his work is phenomenal.

Other booths that really caught my eye - Cindy Arsaga with her beautiful encaustic paintings - some pieces had such deep rich colors, her work gave me a sense that autumn is indeed coming. I am loving the colored circles that are now floating on the surface of her work, it is a pleasing design element. Speaking of encaustic work, James Kunzelmann's work was also great, and I overheard the artist telling people about the encaustic process as well, which is always helpful. People love information about the different art forms, and mediums. I am particularly fond of his gold fish paintings. I love how the fish fill the square in the middle of the piece and then are usually "framed" out by a lovely color. The texture is always nice in his pieces as well. Don House, is always a hometown favorite, the work he exhibited this year made with a 35mm range finder camera, and printed with the full frame negative seemed filled with a new energy and excitement. I really enjoyed his work. Don Nibert's pottery was glorious and the bases of found metal that he puts together are a beautiful way to present his work. Trent Tally's work is always incredible, and I hope he remains a staple of the festival. Haley Duke provided some freshness, funk, and kick to this year's festival. I think people really enjoyed her booth and the pure creative force she brings with her. Keith Miller was another kick to the festival with his large scale mysterious drawings, I am glad that he did well at the festival as well as winning an award for best 2 -D. I had to go back a couple of different times to the Art Festival to take it all in, and I think that is what is nice about offering the festival on two days, so you don't have to absorb it all in one day. I look forward to seeing next year's festival offerings...

The mill district offerings were a nice selection of whimsy, handmade goods, high art, and music and fun. It was getting hot by the time I made my way there, but I think the people who ventured out to see the artists were richly rewarded. Stand outs for me there were Doug Randall's beautiful paintings, and Tonya Tubbs magnet dolls. It was my first time to go into the Little Mountain Bindery/The New design studio and that was a treat- all the lovely papers on display and sale. I wish them all much success, as they do provide much needed supplies, and classes. Then it was on to the Art Experience where JoAnn Kaminsky's work was on display.
That was a nice respite, to sink down in a couch and just be calm and surrounded by all JoAnn's puppets, masks, and other art work. The Art Experience is a very comfortable place to be.
Then we moved on down the road to Hank Kaminsky's large studio, and talked with him about his new work, and his process. If you have never seen his studio or really talked with him about the process involved in his work, I highly recommend it. I appreciate his work in a whole new way now, and am amazed at his talent and dedication to his art.

I also enjoyed checking in with the DDP gallery, to see if the crowds were making their way to the gallery as well. We had some steady traffic on Saturday and not quite as much on Sunday, but we had many people to talk with about mine and Helen Phillips' work, so that was a thrill.
The exhibit will be up until Sept 29, so be sure not to miss it and tell your friends...

Saturday night was all about the third installment of Art Market. It was in the Parrish hall of the St. Paul's Church, the location was great, just a quick walk down the street from the DDP gallery/square and we were there. I wasn't sure how they would be able to turn the huge space into a gallery, but they did it. They had designed freestanding walls with lights on top that were beautifully constructed and added a nice architectural element to the space. All the artists had plenty of space to show their work, and no one got a bad spot, so that was impressive.
The selection of work was good, several works stood out to me, I loved Justin Bondi's aluminum sculpture, and they way it was presented was perfect. Matthew Lyman's alphabet series was a huge hit, with its smart design sense and color scheme. He paints the letters of the alphabet on the backs of old books and other common objects, with an illustration to go along with the letter.
Beth Post's paintings also stood out, as they were impeccably painted, with arms and legs of the subject hanging out of the frame while painted birds flew around causing distress for the subject.
Art Market seemed to be as successful as ever, I will be interested to see where the next show will be held and what talent will be called up for the next installment. It is a great idea, and I look forward to many more Art Market events.

So that does it. Again congratulations to everyone who participated, organized, volunteered, and sponsored these art events. It was a successful weekend. Here's to many more successful events, shows, galleries, and opportunities for artists. Imagine if we had events like this all the time...

See " Within Your Reach " pictured above, by Megan Chapman at the DDP gallery
located at 7 East Mountain St. Fayetteville.
Open: W-F 12-7 and Sat. 10-5 and by appointment,

"Intuition" Works by Megan Chapman and Helen Phillips
August 15- September 29 2007

Friday, August 31, 2007

Buy Local!

Thank you to everyone who came out last night to see my and Helen Phillips' opening at the DDP gallery. I was delighted with the turn out, and I was honored to be able to share my art and stories about my art with you all face to face. If you saw the show and you know someone who might also enjoy the work, please let your friends, family, and co-workers know about the exhibit and the DDP gallery in Fayetteville. It is such a wonderful space, and we are fortunate to have it in our community. This marks the DDP gallery's one year anniversary as well. Dede Peters is to be commended for taking such a personal risk; running an art gallery is no easy task. She sticks her neck out everyday due to her love and appreciation of art, so that we may all come together and enjoy it. Please support this gallery and Arkansas artists.

With the growth of our region and the influx of people coming from more cosmopolitan locations, it is important that they know that Arkansas' small cities have wonderful galleries; galleries filled with the same talent and passion as they would expect to find in bigger cities, and sometimes with works of art at a fraction of the cost. Just like we strive to buy local goods, to help our local economy and environment, we should also strive to support our local galleries and artists.

I will be around at most of the art festivities during the weekend and I hope to see you out too! I plan to do a weekend round up after all the events. Enjoy!

See " Distance Learning" pictured above, as well as other new works by Megan Chapman at the DDP gallery
located at 7 East Mountain St. Fayetteville.
Open: W-F 12-7 and Sat. 10-5 and by appointment,
with extended hours of 11-4 on Sunday during the festival weekend.

"Intuition" Works by Megan Chapman and Helen Phillips
August 15- September 29 2007

Friday, August 24, 2007

Art is everywhere and all at once.

Today's blog is going to be a run down of art events in Fayetteville that are going on now, and in the next week. I am excited about all the buzz surrounding the Fayetteville Arts Festival, the third installment of the much anticipated Art Market, and of course Intuition at the DDP gallery with new paintings by myself and ceramic works by Helen Phillips. I must also mention the stellar photography exhibit "Just the other side of nowhere..." by Henry Turner at Ozark Natural Foods.

Since this is my blog, I want to give you my take on what to watch for at these exhibits...

First off, Henry Turner's photography exhibit is about to come to a close, so hit it first if you haven't already, it is only up until the end of the month. His 12x12" composite photographs of old houses, buildings, fields, and flora are mounted on birch boxes. These photographs have an aching quality that I am drawn to. The photographs appear vintage or distressed yet the way they are presented on the birch boxes is modern and clean-I love the juxtaposition. Henry participated in the last Art Market event; it was his first showing of this series and they were an immediate hit. He sold 8 pieces that night, and was then asked to show his work in Ft. Smith and he sold many works during that show as well. These are truly lovely works of art, don't miss this exhibit! "Just the other side of nowhere..." will be up for the short remainder of August at Ozark Natural Foods.

Intuition: Paintings by Megan Chapman and Ceramic Works by Helen Phillips at the DDP Gallery, This exhibit consists of 20 new abstract paintings by myself and the beautifully mysterious ceramic work of Helen Phillips. The opening reception will be Thursday Aug 30th from 5-8 and both Helen and myself will be there. We look forward to meeting you and talking about our work. The DDP gallery will also have extended hours during the festival weekend. The DDP will be open as usual on Friday from 12-7pm ( so you might consider popping in before the open space art party that night) and Saturday the hours will be 10-5 and Sunday 11-4.

The Fayetteville Arts Festival is back again, conveniently located at The Town Center on the square - August 31-Sept 2, for the visual arts, music and writing part and then again the following weekend Sept 7-9 for all the other wonderful art forms. On Friday night the 31st at the Open Space Art party, you get to help support the festival by buying a $50 ticket, and a chance to meet the artists, getting first dibs on their art while you eat good food and listen to music and watch performances before the festival really kicks off on Saturday. Then the festival kicks into high gear on Saturday and Sunday. It looks like an impressive group of artists have been selected into this year's festival. I am especially looking forward to new works by Ben Strawn. The festival is sure to please, as there will be something at the festival for everyone.

Last but certainly not least, Art Market is being held on September 1, from 5-10pm at the Parish hall at St. Paul's Episcopal Church on Dickson and East Street. Jason Howell-Smith and Basil Seymour-Davies know how to put on a great exhibit. Art Market is a solid event and a sure thing. I love this concept, and I love the work that comes with this show. I participated in the first Art Market and it was one of the most exciting shows I have been a part of. I love the immediacy of it, the transformation of the space into an art gallery, and the crowds are phenomenal. The cross section of artists who participate in this event are top notch, exciting and hungry - exploring different mediums with passion and zeal. Art Market is a true asset to the community, and the artists it exhibits. Please support this event and the emerging and established talent that will be participating.

Creating art is as important for those who make it, as it is for those who view and enjoy it. Artists are a vital asset to any community. We are lucky to have this growing enthusiasm and support for the arts in our town, and to be able to showcase some of the talent that resides here. Prepare to be inspired and feel a palpable excitement as the art community comes alive.
See you there!

See " Swept in and Away" pictured above, as well as other new works by Megan Chapman at the DDP gallery
located at 7 East Mountain St. Fayetteville.
Open: W-F 12-7 and Sat. 10-5 and by appointment,
with extended hours during the festival weekend.

"Intuition" Works by Megan Chapman and Helen Phillips
August 15- September 29 2007

Join us for the opening :
Aug 30th 5-8pm