Friday, January 21, 2011

Like vines in the night...

maps, works in progress © 2011 Megan Chapman

This has been another exciting week in the studio, the maps of the night are starting to solidify in concept and execution. I am compelled to keep working on them as they gain their own momentum and pull me along for the ride. There are now eight complete maps of the night. I am still hoping to have ten to twenty of them created by the First Thursday in February.

I am really enjoying the quality of the paper and the size as well. The paper is 24x 36" with approximately a 1.5" border on all sides of the image. The edges of the image are not kept pristine and one can see some of the process left behind in the inky stains and drips. I like this quality of the maps as well, a sense of immediacy in execution and in the need to get them in front of viewers. The surface of these paintings have a drawn feel and has been fully considered, yet there is still plenty of room for the viewer to wander throughout the map. The words and stories within the maps are personal to me, but also convey universal themes that many can relate to. There are brush strokes left plainly visible below the surface, which is something that rarely happens in my work. I love how these strokes create ridges within the piece where at times the charcoal is allowed to darkly gather or perhaps a flash of blue, a faint tinge of orange or a vibrant green is left to linger, taking the piece away from the stark black and white. These pieces are still linked within the larger white series but are the start of a new direction.

I love the tactility of the paper- it begs to be touched and I invite viewers to handle the maps, not only to touch them but to also hear them. The paper crackles and lowly rumbles as it is moved about and picked up and read. As I stated last week, these works will be extremely affordable at only $100 a painting, and due to the nature of these works they can be affordably and safely rolled and shipped in a tube all over the country and the world.

I will leave you with one of my favorite lines from my latest map and some more of the recent sounds inspiring this body of work.

"A strange language grows like vines in the night, and I think I would rather learn your words than any others..."

Until next week, keep fighting and be sure to come back for a preview of my completed maps.


  1. I look forward to seeing them! (lurk-lurk)

  2. It all sounds so very exciting! And I love that you would encourage people to handle these maps. We are brought up to treat artwork as something must never be touched. We lose the tactile dimension to art this way, sadly.

  3. This process appears to be electrifying - static on highly charged papers of creation....
    Looking forward to the next installment :)