Friday, September 25, 2009

Pocketful of inspiration

Dear Readers,

It has been a while since I just posted some things that are inspiring me at the moment. So here goes.

Thank you for checking in here, discovering this place, linking to it, telling your friends, and most of all, for your comments. I really appreciate any time you decide to spend with me, my art and words. Have a wonderful weekend. See you next week with a real story.

xx- Megan

Oh and here is an impromptu video I made of my studio...Enjoy!

My paintings are for sale. My work ranges in price from $275 to $2,200 and small original works on paper in my etsy shop are available from $25-$40. I will be adding more works there soon. Also I am always looking for additional gallery representation and exhibition opportunities. Thank you.

Find my paintings at these galleries and websites:

Friday, September 18, 2009

In the minds of strangers

To Dream and Swim © 2009 Megan Chapman

Unnamed and waiting in the loading dock...
©2009 Megan Chapman

This week has gone by so amazingly fast; a blur of studio meetings at the Underground, a flurry of paintings being started and finished. Words, ideas, and art communicated over great distances. I started on Monday believing I was going to accomplish some serious art production and I am not sure what happened or what that even means. So many ideas, concepts and flashes cluttered my brain and I couldn't get to the place I needed, to accomplish what I wanted; at the same time, things were accomplished. I am talking around the edges of things.

I was hoping to have all my new summer works documented so I could show them all to you. I am a painter and this blog has turned into more of a photo blog of late, which was never my intention. Photography is such an immediate and easy share. There is such instant gratification in the process and the results. I love this, but I do fear that it is eclipsing my paintings currently.

Balance has always been a struggle for me and that is apparent in my creative life as well. I gave away this week in more ways than one; it turned into an offering of sorts.

Are you giving away your days and weeks? Your energy and time? Are you getting back what you put in? What am I talking about? Just the edges of things and the minds of strangers and the creative spark that has to be protected.

This week I had a thousand conversations and everyone seems to be on the verge of either epiphany or total collapse. I am exhausted yet entranced...

Friday, September 11, 2009

Only if you run...

Maggie's World © 2009 Megan Chapman

Oh what to discuss today...
This week in the life of an artist:

I participated in a couple of interviews this week regarding the Fayetteville Underground, where my studio is housed, as more and more people are becoming interested in what we are doing in the basement downtown. I also watched the galleries for a couple of hours this week and showed patrons around the facilities and my studio.

On Tuesday I lead an intuitive drawing workshop in an upper level Architecture course at the University. It was a 3 hour course, and I had never offered a workshop of that nature and was honored to be asked by my friend and fellow artist Laura Terry who is a professor of Architecture at the University of Arkansas. It was a very interesting experience, first going over some of my paintings via my website projected on a screen before the class. I also passed around some of my Etsy paintings, so they could see those small works in person and as they contain more drawing and marks they seemed more appropriate for the class. I lead them in a relaxation exercise and then we listened to music and got to it. Intuitively painting and drawing; we asked and answered questions all the while. I hope they enjoyed it as much as I did. It is interesting to think about the marks I make and the questions I ask myself while I work, but then to vocalize those to the students and get them to think intuitively while solving the problems that come up within their own work, was a unique experience. I left the class with a better understanding that art making is comprised of a backlog of skills learned, along with the intuition to know how to put those skills to use. I also learned that for many people intuition is this mysterious force that they have not yet tapped into. I can't imagine. I left feeling confident that I had stepped out of my comfort zone and did a good job. I have given two art talks this year, and I have really enjoyed each opportunity I have had to speak with people about art. I think speaking about art is becoming one of my favorite things.

Then on Wednesday, I went on a photo shoot with my friend and fellow underground artist Maggie Ivy. There is a wonderful piece of land nearby that I like to photograph and I had envisioned it as a great place to attempt to recreate Andrew Wyeth's famous painting "Christina's world". I knew that Maggie would be the perfect model, so off we went to the land in the morning, out in the rain and mud but we got the shot! I am so pleased with the results that you can see at the top of the post. I felt elated all day over that photograph. I wasn't sure if I could pull it off and then I did. I guess the same thing goes with the drawing class- perhaps that is why this week has been such a good one. Challenges arose that I managed to pull off, I exceeded my expectations; I managed to do that by not having any expectations in the first place. I wish all my weeks were like this.

What happened on Thursday? Nothing much to be honest, I talked about art and life with friends and it was a long and good day, still pleased with the happenings of early in the week. I kind of took a pass on the day. I listened to music, went for a walk, took a photo. I will admit I was a bit crippled as I knew yesterday's photo wasn't going to be as special, but it didn't need to be. Today, I will take another photograph and I have no idea what it will be. Oh yeah, painting and 100 flashes of memory; I will be returning to those soon as well.

All I know today:
I am happy to be an artist.
I am happy to listen to the music, read the books, enjoy the films and art that I do.
I am happy to enjoy photography on a daily basis.
I am happy when I take risks and I am rewarded.
I am happy and grateful to be part of a global arts community that feeds my soul.

What do you know today?

Friday, September 4, 2009

4 a.m. and I was there...

After last week's blog I was inspired to attempt to work in my studio, early in the morning just like the old days. I am very happy to report that I did and it was great! It was a cool, dark morning as I drove through the sleepy town streets and then entered the massive old bank building that houses my studio at the Fayetteville Underground. I thought I might get creeped out being in such a large space alone, but I really wasn't. I made some tea, turned up my music loud, shut the door and I was off. I was so happy, I was jumping up and down in victory, singing and having fun. I started two new paintings that I am pleased with and took pictures of my studio again (see slide show above). I don't know how many pictures I now have of my studio. I guess it is a sort of proof that it exists and of course a record for the future. Sometimes it feels like a set and I just go there to play artist, but then when I look around at all the paintings and look at my blocks project on the table and everything else I am working on that is art related, I know I am not playing anything. This is my life and I am fully engaged in being an artist. I have proof all around me and in photographs, for when I lose my way, and I will lose my way...

Did I ever get back to my studio at 3 or 4am the rest of the week? No, I did not. Did I work on the paintings I had started that wonderful morning? No, I did not. Did I get angry and down on myself? Yes, I did. But I am still celebrating the day I worked and the day I triumphed at 4a.m.

Everyday we paint is a victory. Everyday that we dream, think, read, and write about art creates the important background noise that make those victories possible and they count just the same.

Here is a sneak peak of one of the new works in progress.
Thanks for reading my blog, for commenting, for thinking and dreaming with me. Onwards and upwards...

PS. Last night was First Thursday art walk on the Fayetteville Square from 5-8pm. I just want to say it was another wonderful event; what my town has done in a few short months to create a cohesive and powerful art scene is nothing short of amazing and inspires me no end. I enjoyed talking with all the folks that came to the Underground as well as walked through my studio. Thank you to ddp gallery, The Fayetteville Underground, Mayor Lioneld Jordan and the city of Fayetteville for making this all come together. Thanks to all the wonderful patrons of the arts that come to enjoy, encourage, and support the artists working in the community. We are grateful.