Saturday, December 29, 2012

Year in review! (already!?!)

Last day in Edinburgh May 2012. Soon to return!!
Dear Readers,

This is that post that comes at the end of every year where I keep track of all the things worth remembering. This post is usually a monster and mostly meant for me so that I have a snap shot record of the year, before it slips into the next. As always if you read this you deserve a medal. There have been some very exciting developments with my project and I will mention them, but at the end of the recap.

Thankfully, I have already written a six month review in July so I won't need to repeat any of that, if you missed it, go here. This post will cover the second half of the year and include a summary...

Here goes nothing!

As you may recall in July of 2012 Stewart Bremner and my exhibition, A place called home opened at the Art Center of the Ozarks in Springdale, Arkansas. The exhibition was well received and I am pleased to say that only three of the fifteen paintings that Stewart and I created this summer remain available. Ten out of the fifteen works were sold to patrons and Stewart and I decided to allow ourselves the luxury of keeping two of our favorites for our own collections. This is something that I am beginning to do again, allowing myself to keep one or two pieces from important bodies of work, perhaps not forever but at least for now. I think there is a tendency for artists to be driven to sell off all our work but sometimes it feels equally successful to be able to keep a few as a record or simply because you need to hold onto them for a little longer and get to know them better.

Also in July, my work was picked up for representation by Boswell-Mourot Fine Art in Little Rock. They continue to represent my work at their beautiful gallery and I am looking forward to deepening my relationship with them in the coming year.

In July and August I had a solo exhibition of my paintings at the Fayetteville Public Library in the reading room on the second floor. The exhibition was entitled Hush and the work seemed to fit the setting perfectly. I enjoyed this two month engagement and the reception in the community room.

Stewart Bremner and I were interviewed for a feature in the Free Weekly about our exhibition, A place called home, around this time as well, however the article didn't get published until after our exhibition was down. It was a lovely piece of writing by Evan Barber. You can read it here if you missed it.

During this time I was also a member of a network of artists that met online weekly as an action team to encourage and promote our work and our goals. A network is a good thing. I hope to start that back up in the new year as I think it was beneficial for all. Think tank will rise again!

In August after seven months of being in each others constant company, Stewart Bremner returned to Scotland. Admittedly that threw me for a loop for a bit but then it was time to get back on track and I did so by getting back into my studio. It felt good to touch all of my things and take stock of my inventory. I ordered fifteen more panels from Perrodin Supply Co. and ordered some vintage maps of America and Scotland and found a wonderful World Atlas from 1947 for my upcoming series. I also started a new small series of nineteen works on 6x6" mdf panel, the absence of words. I listed these in my Etsy shop and posted them on facebook and I am pleased that only 7 of them remain.

I also worked on a project that went nowhere but served as a way to express somethings, however mostly it just gave me a bad back! It was a large work on paper called The trial years, scroll number one. It was fun to experiment and make art just for arts sake. Sometimes exploration is just as important as production. During this same period of time I was still adjusting to being back in my home studio and feeling a bit isolated from everything. Not exactly a happy time but with a little help from my friends I got through it. Also during this time my beloved cat Rufus died and watching that process and being with him during his final week and during his death was heartbreaking. I still miss him terribly and thinking about him still brings tears to my eyes. I love you Rufus.

After a short grieving period, I started brainstorming and creating my funding proposal for my project with United States Artists. Ghosts of the past exposed, a project designed to create connections in Scotland through a series of new works that combine genealogy, poetry and painting. This proposal took a lot of work and planning and with the help of Stewart and Jennifer and the artist's Think Tank, I got it done. During this time I also had an impromptu studio sale or YART sale. Linda Sheets also sold some books and totes at the sale as well. It was a just a way to connect with the community and do something fun with the potential to earn some money I desperately needed at the time. I am grateful to the patrons who attended the sale and purchased work on site and online. It was an emotional boost that was as needed as much as the money.

After this, I was inspired to put the maps and the panels I had purchased in August to good use in October. It was a relief to make art a priority once again in my life and create the space and rituals I needed to be a happier person in my life and art. This series of fifteen works, the lines that connect was the first large scale work (however still relatively small at 12x12") that I created this year. The premise of this series is a line in each painting will connect with another line in a different painting so that when they are separated in homes and collections they will still have that line reaching out and they will still connect over the distance. Always there and reaching out. I believe you can see why this idea would appeal to me.

At the end of the October my project Ghosts of the past exposed became live on the United States Artists Projects website. It was exciting, scary and nerve wracking all at once. My self critical voice ran amok at times. "Who does she think she is asking for money for an overseas art project" chimed in at regular intervals. It was an emotional time but I am proud of myself for stepping out once again of my comfort zone. This seemed to be a theme of the year.

Suddenly, I had another solo exhibition Silently and Still, through the month of November at St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Fayetteville, Arkansas. Again, I really enjoyed the opportunity to show my work in a public space. It was the year of public spaces, community colleges, libraries and churches. As always I just love the way art transforms the space and am always thankful for the opportunity to share my work.

During this time the presidential elections was heating up and I volunteered for the Obama campaign and tried to do what I could to help him get re-elected and I was very pleased with the results. I can't imagine my mood writing this blog tonight if the other one had won. 

My project got off to a good start thanks to my donors and was eligible for matching funds from an Artists2Artists fund. I was excited and spent a lot of time promoting my project. Thanks to all my patrons and supporters who patiently received my emails, updates, tweets and facebook posts about my project's progress.

My studio was featured in Hyperallergic's column, A view from the easel. From their site, "Hyperallergic is a forum for serious, playful and radical thinking about art in the world today. Founded in 2009, Hyperallergic is headquartered in Brooklyn, New York." I really like their site and I enjoy the a view from the easel column especially. This was a quiet thrill for me. Stewart's studio had been featured in a previous article.

On the local front, I was asked to participate in the Community Creative Center's Holiday Bazaar. I wrote in my blog that I would have all my small affordable original works on paper and panel as well as some of my limited edition prints for sale and perhaps some surprise new pieces; some surprise new pieces!?! Try sixty three new small works for the holiday sales! These works sold like hot cakes on facebook, etsy, as well as at the Holiday Bazaar. I am grateful that I was asked to participate in this event or I never would have made all of those works. I was so pleased that people responded to them so emphatically and grateful again for the money. The economy was hard on my larger painting sales, so the small paper works were my bread and butter money and sometimes the only money from art coming in for months.

At the same time things were heating up for East Prospect Exhibition II: Art for the holidays. Stewart and I were quite busy doing a lot of the behind the scenes work to make it all happen. It was a beautiful exhibition over two days. Cubemusic stole the show and much art was bought and taken home, with over 80% of the artists selling work. I plan to do these events quarterly as long as I am in town. Thanks to all the artists that participated and make East Prospect the unique exhibition it always is and to all the patrons who came out to buy art and experience it all with us.

This year, I was also thrilled to be asked to participate in the the snowflake salon : biennial winter invitational 2012 again. Two of my small works traveled to Philadelphia to be in this group show that just happened to include work by Stewart Bremner and Jennifer Libby Fay as well. I was very pleased when I read a tweet from the exhibition that my two pieces had sold on opening night! I sent them two more pieces to the exhibition the following week. I love participating in group shows with great artists from all over. I like getting to know their works that I would not have otherwise. There are 41 artists in the Snowflake Salon.

While all of this was going on, I also got a part time job in an office. It was a crazy time, going to training sessions in between installing east prospect, raising funds for my project and creating new small works for the holiday bazaar and shipping works to the east coast. Let's just say I have been hard at it for a long time now and that necessity is the mother of invention and that I love Earl Grey tea like never before. With all of this going on, I still haven't completed the 15 lines that connect pieces that are so close to being finished, but I am not worried. I know I will return to them early in the new year.

So that almost wraps it up... except for one of the most exciting bits of news, if you haven't already heard online somewhere else. MY PROJECT GOT FUNDED!!!! Yes, I just yelled that at you. With my goal revised and the extra time allowed, my project got funded yesterday morning! I am overwhelmed with gratitude for everyone who donated and shared my project. Thanks to your generosity 2013 looks like it will be another comfort zone expanding year full of art and travel and of course more hard work. Thank you all very much! If you haven't given yet but would still like to be part of this special project you can still give on their site until midnight December 31st. No amount is too small and all additional funding will help me broaden the scope of the project as I had to significantly reduce my budget in order to get it funded within the deadline. Again, I am so grateful and will most likely return to Scotland in mid march and stay through mid September if all goes according to plan. I will keep you posted every step of the way.

In 2012, I spent 4 months overseas and turned 40 in Scotland. I created 126 individual pieces of art, worked on 15 collaborative pieces of art with Stewart Bremner and have a series of 15 pieces in progress. That means I have had my hand in 156 new pieces of art this year. My work has been in 5 solo/featured exhibitions as well as in 6 group shows. One solo exhibition was international as was one of the group shows. My work was featured in several articles online and in print. I was asked by USA projects to create a funding proposal for a project that was successfully funded. I helped curate and install two successful group exhibitions. I dealt with a long distance relationship, losing a cherished pet, being completely broke and anxious and then rising to the challenge and getting a job.

This is life; messy, wonderful, full of art, passion, questions, unknowns and hardships. A life filled with moments of unparallelled brilliance that sadly I can't always feel until I have written it down to read. About myself I know this; I am not going to stop making art, sharing it with those I love or encouraging others to stay on the path. Everything else is unknown. Isn't that exciting?

Until next year, you know what to do...

Love,

Megan


Saturday, December 22, 2012

I am still here... (busy III)

with ice in our glasses mixed media on paper 5x7"
© 2012 Megan Chapman
Dear Readers,

I am so sorry I didn't check in here last week! I just got so busy adapting to the workaday office cubicle world that my art world slipped a bit and every time I remembered I needed to write, some other appointment would come up. After eleven years of mostly doing things on my own schedule and my studio blog, every Friday being a priority, things just went all topsy turvy! I am so glad to be back here, where I belong. You can count on me continuing to make this blog a priority as we go forward.

So let's see...

The first and most important update I want to tell you is that my project, The Ghosts of the past exposed has been granted an extension and a minimum goal revision!!! I now have 10 more days to reach my new goal of $6,800! The super exciting part is that my generous donors have already raised $6,208! I am feeling confident that we can reach the minimum goal by the deadline now! Anything raised over that minimum $6,800 will help me with some of the things I had to cut from the initial budget. If you have already given, I thank you for getting me to this exciting point. I am grateful for your belief in me and my work. Please consider sharing my project with your friends and other art lovers. To those who haven't given yet, please consider donating any amount. Little amounts add up if enough people give. All donations are tax-deductible. Learn more about my project here.

In other news, last Friday was the opening of the Snowflake Salon : biennial winter invitational. My work was included in this group exhibition along with 40 other artists from around the country and world. The exhibition took place in Philadelphia. This was my second time to participate but the first time that both my pieces sold on opening night! I learned about my sales in a tweet! I was so overjoyed! I just sent the gallery two replacement paintings as the exhibition is up until February 28th. If you are in the area, please pay them a visit! I was so glad to participate and really pleased that Stewart Bremner and Jennifer Libby Fay were also part of the exhibition. It is always great when we get to celebrate these accomplishments together!

I am trying to remember what else happened since I last wrote. The East Prospect Exhibition was a success and we had a brilliant turnout Thursday December 6th and the following Saturday December 8th. Cubemusic stole the show and created the perfect experience to compliment all the art on the walls upstairs. All the artists that participated are stars in my book and the patrons that supported us are too. I heard many lovely comments about all the work and the entire experience of viewing world class art in a house. I am glad that almost all of our artists sold work, made contacts and gained additional exposure. I will continue to host East Prospect Exhibitions as long as the public will come out and support them and as long as the artists I work with enjoy it and find it valuable. I love the transformation of living space into gallery space, the DIY aspect of it all and having the community be part of something unique. Stay tuned for the next exhibition...

After that flurry of small works for the holidays, I haven't been making much art. Truly it is the job, it always shifts my vision of the world greatly when I start working in some non art related way. Let's just say I am not much of a multi-tasker. As many of you know by now, I am very all or nothing and this applies to everything. So when I am art, I am all art and when I am work, I am all work. I wish it didn't have to be that way but it always has been in my experience. It's not forever and I will remember how to divide my attention a little better as I just get used to it all. 

I guess that is about it. I am just busy working at my part time job, getting ready to celebrate the holidays with my family, trying to successfully wrap up my project and getting excited as Stewart Bremner will soon be returning to the states for another visit!

I want to wish you all a very happy holiday and thank you for going along on the ride. Next week's post will be my year end review wrap up! How could it be that time already!?!

Until next week, you know what to do...

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Busy part II

my favorite journey
mixed media on paper 5x7"
© 2012 Megan Chapman
$30

I have been making up for lost time in the past month and a week. I painted 63 small works on paper, had a solo exhibition, participated in a two day craft show and organized and installed most of the east prospect exhibition which debuted last night. While all that has been going on I also did something else; something I had hoped I wouldn't have to do again. I decided to take a second job for the first time in eleven years.

I think it is important to make that distinction, I took a second job because I already have a full time career as a professional visual artist. So, now I have a part time second job to supplement my career because as everyone knows times are hard and I was tired of winging it in recent months. The anxiety of not being sure if I could pay my bills and a mounting credit card debt was beginning to take its toll on my mental health and that of course will negatively impact my work so I just went out and took care of it. I am slightly shocked that I made this choice but at the same time it was the obvious choice to make. So, I am working in an office cubicle M-F for 20 hours a week.

I make no promises that I will stay at this job for a terribly long time. I just know that for now I will give it my best shot and do the best job I can for as long as I can and for as long as it is needed to help see me through.

It is an interesting experience going back to that type of work after being out of an office environment for as long as I have. I am viewing it as sort of a performance piece. You know I am going to think of it creatively if I can. I am curious how my art will change, if my motivation will suffer, how soon the novelty will wear off but mostly I am just going along for the ride.

I just wanted to let you all know what was going on with me because dear readers you go along with me for the ride all the time and I am so glad that you do.

So this is me, stepping out so that I can keep fighting the only way I know how. Until next week, you know what to do!

Northwest Arkansas locals, if you are in town, I really hope you will come out tomorrow Saturday December 8th to the East Prospect Exhibition II : Art for the Holidays. 12 artists sharing their brilliant work just for you... Please come and say hello, you will not be disappointed. 11-4pm Learn more here and see more here.

And please don't forget about my project, the ghosts of the past exposed. December 22nd is the fundraising deadline and it is fast approaching. Please give what you can and spread the word. Thanks to all who have already generously given.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Busy!

 a large sound from a tiny place
mixed media on paper 6x6"
© 2012 Megan Chapman
$35

Dear Readers,

Last week, I mentioned that I had been busy making many small works for all the holiday shows and  that 11 pieces of the new small works had sold. I even decided to make another group of small works, this time 12, 6x6" squares. I enjoyed pushing the series and I am beyond thrilled to report that as of now 41 of my new small works have sold! I am very very happy and very thankful for this. The world has a strange way of working out sometimes.

There was Black Friday, Shop local Saturday, Cyber Monday and this Saturday and Sunday the NWACCC Holiday Bazaar and then next Thursday and Saturday are East Prospect Exhibition and I have been invited to participate in a the snowflake salon : biennial winter invitational 2012! Two of my small works are traveling to Philadelphia to be in this group show... busy busy busy!

My project is full steam ahead, never say never! There are only 22 days left to give. Learn more here and please donate if you can and help spread the word. No amount is too small and all donations are tax deductible. If I don't raise the whole amount all donations will be returned and it will be back to the drawing board for me... but it is not over yet!

There are probably some other things to report, but for now the best thing for me to do is rest up as I continue this flurry of activity and savor the sweetness of people appreciating, enjoying, and buying my work. After seventeen years of working as a professional artist I never thought it would be any different from exactly how it is. It is feast and famine, ebb and flow, the smartest thing and the most dumb all rolled up into one. I love it and I won't stop. Every opportunity is golden if you look at it in the right light.

Thanks for your support. Until next week, keep fighting!


Friday, November 23, 2012

My favorite journey


my favorite journey 
mixed media on paper 5x7"
© 2012 Megan Chapman $30
Dear Readers,

For those who celebrated the holiday, I hope you had a lovely Thanksgiving!  I spent the day with my parents and had a lovely meal. I am truly thankful for my life, my work, my friends and family and of course for those of you who tune in here and read about my art life. This blog has been showing up here most every Friday for over five years and we have gone through a lot together. Thank you for being a part of it all.

There is a lot to cover today, so let's get to it! Firstly, my fundraising campaign marches on! We are almost in the 4th week of the campaign and I have reached the 34% funding mark! I am grateful to all those who have given. I couldn't have gotten this far without you and your belief in me and I am grateful to the Artists2Artists matching fund as well. There are still matching funds available so please make your donation stretch by giving today. If I don't raise the funds by midnight December 22nd, I will receive nothing and your tax-deductible contributions will be returned. There are only 29 days left! Please know that no amount is too small to give and I would be happy to have you as a part of this experience. Please spread the word about my project as well, every little bit helps. I am grateful for your support. Thank you!

 In other news, I have been busy making small and miniature works for the upcoming holiday exhibitions and markets. This work continues to explore my love of vintage book paper, this time in the form of a World Atlas from 1947. There are twenty small 5x7" works are created on 140lb, 100% recycled, acid free rag. These simple works celebrate clean design, using a sewn stitch where I would normally use a pencil line and with only specific areas painted white to allow the beauty of the old print colors to shine through. I wanted these works to feel clean and fresh for winter with a dash of hope for the spring! These elegant works are 5x7" and should easily fit any off the shelf frame. These are original, one of a kind pieces of art and will be signed, titled and dated on the back. I have also created thirty-one new miniature works that are on 140lb, acid free Strathmore watercolor paper and are just 5x3.5"

These new small works seem to have struck a chord with patrons as I hoped they would! I have already sold 5 miniature works and six of the 5x7" sized ones simply by putting them on facebook! I will soon list them on Etsy and then take them to the Holiday Bazaar on December 1 and 2 and then they will be at East Prospect Exhibition as well. They are very affordable, at only $30 and $15. I believe in original art for all and it is through my small works that I am able to connect with so many patrons.

Northwest Arkansas locals, this will be the last week to catch my exhibition, Silently and Still at St. Pauls Episcopal Church as it comes down at the end of November. There are ten paintings on view there and they are for sale. Please contact me if you are interested in purchasing, payment plans are available!

For folks in and around Little Rock, Arkansas you can find my work at Boswell-Mourot Fine Art. Please pop by there and check them out!

I think that is about it, I am busy making art, trying to get funded, trying to stay afloat and fighting every day to live my dreams and not my fears. Thank you again for being part of the journey and going along with me on this path.

Love,
Megan

Friday, November 16, 2012

We are warriors...


Dear Readers,

Last week when I wrote, my project was 24% funded. Exciting developments in my fundraising campaign have happened since then. I am happy to report that I crossed over the 25% funding mark and my project was suddenly eligible for matching funds! The matching funds come from Artists2Artists, a nationwide match fund for artist projects in all disciplines. The Artists2Artists fund was created by artists, for artists. They have a 1-to-1 dollar match once a project is at least 25% funded and no more than 99% funded. They can give up 5% of the project goal. This is really helping move the project right along and gain momentum. I am now 32% funded! I want to thank everyone that got me to the 25% mark and enabled the matching funds to come into play. The last five donations have been doubled! I hope more people will take advantage of having their donations matched, it is a great way to make a huge impact even if you have little to give. I am appreciative of every dollar. I hope that folks who donate will take advantage of the perks that I am offering as well. I don't take your donations lightly and I do want to give you something in return. 

This week, I want to tell you a little about the history of my project and how it came to be. I had been aware of USA Projects for a while and a dear patron had mentioned them to me as well. I joined the site soon after that conversation, about a year ago. Late this summer, I logged back in and made some updates to my simple profile on the site and soon after I received an email asking me to submit a project! I remember being excited and scared. Creating a project seemed daunting and a big task that I wanted to get right. As I thought and thought about what I wanted to do, USA Projects kept following up and saying they were looking forward to working with me. Finally, with a lot of encouragement from my friends, I just decided to go for it!

From their website, "USA Projects is open to artists who have been recognized for the caliber and impact of their work by receiving an award, grant, fellowship or residency. Participating artists have been vetted by United States Artists and other esteemed organizations across the country." You can see why I would be excited to work with them! Once it was decided, I had paper work to fill out and a project to fine tune, a budget to create and perks and gifts to think about for my potential supporters. It was a long process. Then there was a phone interview and discussion of my ideas with Zack at USA projects. I remember feeling really positive after the phone call. I felt like he understood my scope and idea and what I wanted to accomplish. It felt so good to be supported in that way and walked through the process. Next up was creating my video to explain to potential donors what I was hoping to achieve. I was encouraged to keep it simple, short and to the point. It seemed like it would be easy enough to do as I am very passionate when I speak about art. It took me over a week just to create a 3 minute clip! I was so relieved when they thought it worked perfectly and complimented me on getting my project ready to go, and then bam! it went online and was out there for the world to see!

I love the new crowd-sourcing fundraising platforms and I have given to several artists, actors and musicians projects and it is great to feel part of something bigger than yourself and to know that you are helping an artist realize their dreams. Artists of all genres give so much to our communities, to the content of the Internet, to our lives and they work for free most of the time or close to it. I think it is so important to support these folks. I know I might be biased as I am one of those folks. 

I am so grateful for every dollar that has been donated to my campaign, because I know it is tight out there. I set a big goal and I know $13,750 is a lot of money. It takes money to create the art I want to create, to live and work, travel, research and have two exhibitions, one here and one abroad. I hope that everyone knows that I am very frugal and will spend every dollar wisely and try to get the most out of it and make sure that everyone is given their gifts on time and thanked appropriately. I know that I stand on the shoulders of giants and I have such a wonderful network of friends, family, fellow artists and supporters. I have mentioned it before but I do feel that I am part of a global network of artists and that we are all in this together. Thanks for every tweet, follow, facebook like and share. This is a grassroots effort. Only time will tell if I succeed in funding this project, 36 days to be exact...Please consider giving and joining me on this adventure! Thank you.

In other news, I have been making small works on paper for the two holiday exhibitions. Join me here on December 1&2 and then join me here on December 6&8. I really enjoyed created 20 new small works that combine my love of vintage paper, this time in the form of a 1947 world atlas, sewing (I used the stitch rather than pencil) and white paint! You know how I love the white paint...


Until next week, keep fighting. The world needs your art, your big ideas and mostly we need you to live your dreams.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

It's all happening now

Dear Readers...

There is a lot going on! Firstly, I am very happy to report that my USA Project met one of my funding goals for the week! I was hoping to reach the 20% funding mark for my project this week and instead I reached 24%! So, now I have a new goal and am hoping to reach 25% funding by the end of the weekend! I am thrilled and very honored that some very lovely folks are pledging their support for my work and the journey that hopefully lies ahead.

If you haven't already gotten on board with my project there is no time like the present! It will take a lot of support to get me back over to Scotland in 2013 to research and create this new body of work. I do believe where there is a will there is a way and even though it all seems daunting I have to try to live my dreams and not my fears. Thanks again to everyone who has helped me on this path so far. I can't wait to share the journey with you. You can learn more here.

In other news, my studio was featured in Hyperallergic's column, A view from the easel. "Hyperallergic is a forum for serious, playful and radical thinking about art in the world today. Founded in 2009, Hyperallergic is headquartered in Brooklyn, New York." I really like their site and I enjoy the a view from the easel column especially. I like seeing where artists from all over the world work. So I hope you will check it out, it is a thrill to be a small part of it!

On the local front, I was asked to participate in the Community Creative Center's Holiday Bazaar! I will have all my small affordable original works on paper and panel as well as some of my limited edition prints for sale and perhaps some surprise new pieces as well! I am really looking forward to be a part of it! So, if you are local please come and see me! Nothing quite like supporting local artists and giving the gift of art for the holidays.



Also local and coming up soon, we are busy planning the next East Prospect Exhibition. The first exhibition was held in June and the next one will be Thursday December 6th and Saturday December 8th. We will have many of your favorite artists from the last exhibition and some new brilliant faces and new work! Just mark your calendars now and trust that it will be a great show that you will not want to miss! More details and updates to the site and the artist line up soon!

My exhibition Silently and Still continues at St. Paul Episcopal Church in Fayetteville through November so please check it out if you haven't already.

Okay that about wraps it up. I have some ideas for some new small pieces for the upcoming holiday shows. I also want to get back to my studio and finish up the line and map series and of course keep promoting and raising funds for my project. Never a dull moment!

PS. How about that election! I couldn't have imagined a better result. Thanks to all that voted!

Until next week, keep fighting. I believe we can do more than we think we can and be stronger than we ever imagined, especially when we work together and ask for help. It is not easy and sometimes life seems ridiculously hard but at the same time there is no place I would rather be than caught up in the struggle and fighting alongside you.


Friday, November 2, 2012

It's Alive!

Hello Dear Readers,

I am just going to cut to the chase, if you don't already know, I have launched a large scale project for 2013 on USA Projects called "The ghosts of the past exposed." This project will create connections in Scotland through a series of new works that combine genealogy, poetry and painting. I am very excited about it. It is a daunting and thrilling task to create a project on such a large scale. The project quietly went live on the USA project's site last Friday and then I officially launched it a few days later. I am so thrilled that my project is already 13% funded in the first week of the campaign! I have fifty days left to raise the money I need to create this new body of paintings and live and work in Edinburgh, Scotland for six months. All donations are tax deductible, please click here to learn more. If you can support my project I would be grateful and no amount is too small! Please feel free to use the buttons on the USA Projects site under the video to share it on all your social networks. This is going to take an concerted grass roots effort to help me create this work in Scotland and I really need your help. There are many gifts that I would love to give you for your donation so don't forget to choose one!


 In other news, I have a solo exhibition, "Silently and Still" that is on display through the month of November at St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Fayetteville. Arkansas. I enjoy showing my works in public spaces as you just never know who may see it or be exposed to original art for the first time. As always, I am pleasantly surprised to see how art transforms the space and at the same time fits right in. I am very fortunate to be asked to share my work in such varied spaces.


 Silently and Still

And that my friends is all I have to share with you this week. Again, if you can support my new project and share it with your friends and family I would be grateful. If you are local, please check out my exhibition at the St. Pauls Episcopal Church. If you are in Little Rock please visit Boswell-Mourot to see and purchase my work. For those interested in my small works on wood and paper please visit my Etsy shop, where you will find some new lower prices!

Thank you all for your support and your belief in me, my work and my vision. I can't do this without you. Until next week, keep fighting!

And don't please forget to vote (early if you can), volunteer and donate! Election Day is Tuesday November 6th!


Saturday, October 27, 2012

All will be revealed...


Dear Readers,

Sorry this is such a late post! Friday night turns to Saturday morning so quickly. A lot has been going on and I can't wait to tell you all about it. I have been working in my studio and doing some other art related things. I am about to launch an exciting project very soon and I hope you will be a part of it! So keep watching this space and all will be revealed.

I hope all is well in your art worlds.

Thank you for your support! Talk soon!
Megan




Friday, October 19, 2012

The lines that connect us

 Works in progress in the studio

Today is day ten, but you wouldn't know any of that because I have been on a secret mission to break through my creative block and focus on my new series. This plan was hatched by my wise friend and fellow artist Jennifer Libby Fay.

Everyday for the last ten days I have set my alarm for 6:45 and been out of bed and in my studio and ready to work by 7:15. I have not turned on the computer or done anything that might distract me from my goal of spending a certain amount of time each day in my studio working. I couldn't talk about it online or post pictures of progress or even tell Stewart. This was to be my time for my own personal reward and satisfaction. I would text Jennifer at the end of the session and that would be it. I started fourteen new paintings in the last week!

These paintings fuse old maps (so far of Scotland, America and Arkansas) on to panel. So far the only elements in the paintings are pencil lines and white paint allowing only the color from the maps to the be the "color" of the paintings... This may change as these works are all in their infancy. I had 15 new panels waiting for me to use and I have now used 14. I had been collecting vintage maps and I have now used all of them and even had to go out earlier this week to get a world Atlas from 1947 so that I could keep working.

It has been interesting to see what happens when I roll out of bed and into the studio first thing with my crazy hair and sleep laden eyes. I work and I focus. I have always painted best in the morning. I have been listening to music on CD's because my iPod touch of course is connected to the WIFI and that is too much of a temptation, a distraction. So for ten days I remembered what it is like to have boundaries, goals, a plan and to simply show up. I have enjoyed working on these 14 problems paintings, letting the works take me along with them as I solve for the answer and I am not there yet!

I have been showing and selling my work for 17 years, so of course I know what I need and how to make the work happen deep down in my being. However, it is easy to get off track. It is easy to read the news and focus on more trivial things. It can be hard to make the work you are on the planet to make, sometimes it is even a burden. However, it is a bigger burden to myself and all those that love me when I am not working. I have to work.

When I work, everything else falls into place (well maybe not everything, life is messy and imperfect) but lots of things fall into place. Once this morning goal is accomplished I find it easier to work other routines into my life, the morning meal, the cleaning of the house, feeding my cat Evie, making a list for the day. There was more order and sequence and there was more fulfillment and consequence and so I floated on from one activity to the next and that made me feel a bit safer in my skin, to remember that I was dependable again and had a purpose.

I have worked on ninety-one paintings so far in 2012 while suffering with some of the worst artist's block and depression. I have to count these things up to remember that even when I don't feel like I am working hard enough or doing enough, I am. However, I must also remember that a studio routine is so important and crucial to my well being. I am grateful to be working.

There is a line in each painting that will connect with another line in a different painting so that when they are separated in homes and collections they will still have that line reaching out and they will still connect over the distance. Always there and reaching out.

Like all the lines that connect us.

Friday, October 12, 2012

For the people

 a place to write, a place to dream

Hello Dear Readers!

Another week has just flown by! I had my yART sale last Saturday and even with a scarce turnout I will call it another success for many reasons. I got to spend a relaxed day in my freshly clean house with my friends and fellow artists, Linda Sheets and Melissa Vest. We had the first fire of the season thanks to Linda and we listened to jazz and had apple cider and treats. I had all of my available work out around the house and there were works also available by Stewart Bremner. Linda brought some of her books and wooden "totes" that she has been making lately in between scratchboards. Some lovely people, including the Mayor came to say hello. Linda sold a book and a tote and I sold two pieces from Stewart Bremner's and my series "a place called home." I also sold one of my new small works on wood. Stewart and I couldn't be more pleased at the response our latest works have received. There are only four available out of the fifteen we painted this summer! Thanks everyone for your support!

What I loved about the yART sale was that my first patron of the day was a writer and a grad student in college and she put forty dollars down towards one of mine and Stewart's paintings and we are settling the rest in a payment plan. I felt like I had won the lottery with her forty dollars burning a hole in my pocket and I was also so pleased that she was giving herself the gift of original art. I know that for a student that ultimately $250 might be earmarked to spend on rent, food, books, travel, etc, but that she chose to commit to original art means the world to me and inspires me to want to paint more. I love all my patrons equally but it always means something a bit different to me when it is a younger patron or a student. It gives me such hope for the future and solidifies my belief that art is by the people and for the people. Art does not have to be an elitist event enjoyed by the few. My patrons come in every style and income level and I love them all. I am honored every single time someone makes that choice to buy my art, to live with what I made, to collect my work over several years and series and to note the progression and the trajectory of my life as an artist. These patrons not only support me financially and let me live this life, they encourage it. They understand my life and me and that is why I am always bonded with my collectors. I am so grateful for all the relationships that have developed over the years of my career as an artist. I am glad I had my yART sale so I could remember this, remember who I am, what I do and what I will do for the rest of my life no matter how tenuous the balance may become.

In other news, I have been getting things in order to launch a project (all will be revealed). I have also been getting my mind back into the state it needs to be in to make new work. I am writing, walking and listening to music in preparation. I have been in a bit of a blocked state and I let the well run a bit dry but I am steadily filling it again and soon the work will flow. Watch this space.

Until next week, keep fighting. The world needs your work!

Saturday, October 6, 2012

yART Sale! Tomorrow!


My life returned to normal a bit more this week. There was an exciting meeting about a funding proposal and a project that I hope to launch soon. I am in the preliminary stages so I don't want to say too much about it yet but I will keep you posted. Let's just say something exciting will be happening soon and I hope you will be a part of it.

There was an Artist Think Tank meeting this week as there is every Thursday. I meet with artists Jennifer Libby Fay, Linda Sheets, Stewart Bremner and occasionally Melissa Vest on google plus weekly to talk about our art careers and goals. We have been doing this a while now and I think it is has really helped us all move forward, take risks and explore our options in our individual and collective art worlds. I am really lucky to have such good friends and a strong support network of artists that help me stay focused and driven.

In other news, I decided to have a Yart Sale! It is exactly what it sounds like, an outdoor Art Sale! However, the Arkansas weather has changed abruptly as it does, so now it will be an indoor sale which is fine by me. The sale is tomorrow Saturday October 6th from 10-3. You can learn more about the sale here.

I just wanted to cull my studio in what will be my only sale of the Fall season. There are oldies but goodies from many series over the years as well as my latest small works on panel that I have made for my Etsy shop. Stewart Bremner's and my combined works will be available as well. There will be some special deals to be found and even perhaps some work by some guest artists. There will be apple cider and cookies and sweet art for sweet people. If you are in the Northwest Arkansas area I hope you will join me as we celebrate Autumn! Cash, check, and credit cards are accepted. Payment plans are also available. I really hope to see you there! Feel free to invite and bring your friends! The more the merrier. 

And with that, I think I better close as it is already getting late and I have so much to do to prepare for my one day only sale!

Thanks for stopping by and as always for your support. 

Love, 
Megan


Saturday, September 29, 2012

For Rufus

 Rufus being silly (how I want to remember him)
 
Hello Dear Readers,

I am sorry if you checked in here last week and you missed my blog. I didn't write. Last Friday, I found out the bad news that my beloved cat Rufus was terminally ill and would probably only live out the remainder of the week so I turned all my attention to him and took care of him until the end. My sweet, lovely Rufus died at 12:45 am on Tuesday morning, September 25th. I know I didn't mention Rufus on my studio blog but I want to mention him now.

Rufus was an extraordinary cat and a huge part of my life. I love and miss him very much.

It's fair to say I haven't been thinking too much about art lately. At the same time, art is about life; the good, the bad, the ugly, the sad and devastating.

I hope that next week I will have some happier news to report.

Love,

Megan




Friday, September 14, 2012

In this together...

 Detail: The Trial Years: Scroll Number One.

Dear Readers,

Thanks for joining me this week. I hope your own art world is treating you well.

This past week has been a bit unusual as I started a new side project that I wasn't really expecting to start quite yet. The piece is called The Trial Years: Scroll Number One. It is an 8x3ft work on paper. The goal was to create four of these scrolls, one for every decade I have been alive. There may only be one in the end, as working on this scale is quite physical. I don't have any studio walls that are that large so I am having to tape the paper on the floor of my studio and work on my hands and knees or straddle the three feet width of paper and bend from my hips and paint on the paper on the floor. Fun times as you might imagine. I decided to document this project solely on my facebook artist page. Have you liked my facebook art page? Well if not please consider doing so as I am going to try to use it more for the latest updates and photographs of what is going on in my studio.

So this week I have been prepping and adding layers to this behemoth/hellion/monster (these are just a few of the pet names, I have given this latest experiment). It has been exciting to have a bit more of a focus in the studio and to just be exploring and making art for arts sake. It seems a bit like a luxury to just be playing around in the studio and working on a perhaps unsaleable painting in this economy/these trying times/recession but for some reason it is what I must do right now.

Things are a bit of a shaky mess financially and I hate to say that as I don't want to focus on the negative when I am a positive spin type of person usually. This week, there was that moment where I saw a "we're hiring" sign outside of an office type building at a strip mall and I wondered "Should I pull in and apply?" I quickly came to my senses and drove on. I have a job, it just doesn't pay that well right now. By being an artist I assume certain risks and this just happens to be one of them. I still wouldn't quit this job or trade it in for another.

I have a bit of an all or nothing personality and that works pretty well with the feast or famine art world. I just keep riding the waves, making my art, focusing on what I can control and hoping for the best.

Thanks for checking in.

Love,
Megan

PS. Here are a few ways to help an artist even if you can't buy their work right now:

1. Share their work, website, etsy shop, facebook pages with your friends via social networks and your own personal blogs, email, and word of mouth.
2. Encourage them, let them know how much you like their work and what it means to you.
3. Keep your eye out for opportunities for your favorite artists and share them. (Grants, residencies and galleries that are looking for new work.)
4. Barter and trade with artists.
5. And never be afraid to ask the artist if they might consider payment plan options. Most artists are glad to work with you on this.
6. Refer your favorite artists to design firms, architects and encourage people you know in these professions to use original and local art when they can.
7. If you have a connection with a gallery or a potential venue share this with the artist.
8. Be an advocate for the artist. Sometimes you have connections that artists haven't even thought of and you can connect the dots and get that artist's work seen.
9. And if you are an artist yourself, don't hesitate to do these things for your fellow artist. There is enough to go around and the attitude of being all in this together feels good and is helpful to all.
10. Share supplies that you may have that are gathering dust and that might truly inspire someone else!

Thank you! We really are in this together!
Until next week, keep fighting! The world needs your art!


Friday, September 7, 2012

A simple story


What? Friday already? Hello dear readers, lovely to find you here as always! What happened this week you ask?

Well, I completed 18 new works and listed them all in my Etsy shop! Last Friday's post really helped me to solidify my goals with the new small works I was creating. I love it when I sit down here to write my blog and suddenly I have a much clearer idea of what I need to create and of what I want the work to convey. I have said it before but keeping this blog for the last five years has helped my art in ways too numerous to mention. I think next to actually making the art, sitting down to write about the process as well as the experience of being an artist is something I would recommend to all artists, no matter what stage in their careers.

Three of my new pieces have already found homes and I am grateful. Please visit my Esty shop and have a look at these latest works. "The absence of words." 

And with that, I will let the new paintings do the talking. Next week, there will be more works in progress, this time in the form of larger 12x12" paintings on panel mixed with maps, at least that is my goal. I must keep moving and let the momentum carry me and remind me of all I want to say and of my certain purpose.

Every day we paint is a victory and many days it is a hard won battle but we always get there in the end. Always.

love,
Megan

Friday, August 31, 2012

The absence of words



It's Friday again! The weeks just keep spinning past faster and faster. I can't believe it is almost September already! Today as I write the windows are open and it is a grey rainy day and the music of Joy Division fills the air around me. This is writing, making and thinking weather! My favorite!

Let's see what's happened this week. Well as you know, last week I cleaned my studio after Stewart and I worked in it this summer completing our "a place called home" series. This week, I spent time getting to know the space again and sorting through all my tools and paints, trying to enjoy the space. I also painted in the space, working on the eighteen 6x6" mdf boards on two or three occasions since the clean up. These small works consist of gesso, white acrylic, torn vintage paper, graphite, color pencil, walnut oil and charcoal powder. They are not unlike the 12x12" pieces from my "Sometimes I love you and other stories" series in their basic composition and palette but there is something missing. The typed words on the vintage paper are not there.

I wanted to get away from the words and back towards allowing only the paintings to convey the message and somehow the absence of words seems to do just that. You can feel an eerie silence in these works. You want them to say more but they don't. They aren't talking back this time, it is all up to the viewer to tell the story and squeeze the meaning out of the dusty charcoal, the white paint and the void left behind on the paper.

Where are my words? Well for one thing, I am a painter by trade and not a writer. I love words but I can't use them all the time. Also, this has been a lonely time for me as my community has gotten smaller and Stewart is no longer here and I am no longer there. There is a void, so it seems the work would reflect this and it does. The lines are still there as the basic connection is still there. Communication from these works continues through the texture in skips and sputters of paint rather than type.

I have a lot more work to do on these new small works before I put them in my etsy shop, hopefully in the next couple of weeks. After that, I will start on the fifteen 12x12" panels with the vintage maps as I explore another concept that has been rolling about in my mind. Where it will go...

Until next week, keep fighting!

Friday, August 24, 2012

To remember again...

Dear Readers,
This week I was challenged to get back up (for real) in my studio. This has been a struggle for me for a multitude of reasons that I don't really need to get into or rehash. I spent time cleaning it a bit this week and taking pictures of it to remind me how lucky I am to have a space to work in and to remind me of how many paintings I have created in this space. As I was struggling to write the words for this entry I had an idea! Five years ago I wrote a love letter to my attic studio and I thought it would be valuable for me to read it again so that I can remember how I used to feel about the space. So, this week I am re-posting that entry with new photographs of my studio. I am looking forward to making it just so and getting to work! See you next week! Until then enjoy going back in time with me.

July 6, 2007
I am busy in the studio preparing for my upcoming summer and fall exhibitions, and I thought that it might be a good time for a virtual studio visit. I always enjoy my studio when it is littered with new paintings in various states of completion. The smell of fresh paint, walnut oil, and charcoal permeates the room.It is full of new energy and potential. It is always an exciting time to be in this space.

My studio is in the attic, and runs the length of my house. It has a window on the east side and a window on the west. It has sloped walls, and hard wood floors. The stairs are steep and painted blue. My studio walls are pale blue and yellow and were painted with "oops" paint from Lowe's. I have a painting area in the east side of my studio that has two easels, and a paint table and my supply bin. I use two light stands with sunlight bulbs to illuminate my work area.

As I work, I prop up paintings in a corridor that is made up of a low shelf on one side of the room, and the stair railing on the other, this is where my paintings wait at attention, to see if they make the cut or need reworking. On the west side of my studio, I have an office area with a file cabinet, and flat file as well as other necessary tools for business. This is where I write thank you notes, keep track of inventory and plan for my future shows.

My studio is a simple space and I use every bit of it. It is free of clutter and contains art books, art magazines, inspirational pictures and quotes. I try to keep my "regular" life out of it as much as possible so that when I enter the space I can dive into the world of my art and get to work.

And for now this studio is just what I need, it is always patiently waiting and ready for me. I don't have to drive across town to get to it. I don't have to struggle to pay the rent on the space, or worry about loud studio mates, or if my music is bothering them. I can wear old funky clothes covered in paint and be completely free while working and I don't have to worry about anyone dropping in on me. There are many positives of having a home studio, and this is the nicest studio I have had since being in school.

Do I still dream of having a studio outside of my home? Oh yes! The "dream" studio, perhaps an old building, with large windows, exposed brick, and a nutty landlord that lets me pay in paintings and sweat equity. One day in the near future, I would love to be able to work outside my home, get up early, put on my work clothes, and head to the studio. I would love to have people stop by my space, look at my new work, and leave some feedback every now and then.

I have had studios in a tiny apartment basement, an abandoned floor of a rental house (I lived in the apartment above the abandoned part) tiny back porch rooms (it did have the only sink, I have ever had) and now in the attic of the house I grew up in.

My current studio is the room that my two older brothers slept in while growing up, and while it was their room, I once had a field day scribbling all over the walls (and their stuff) in orange marker as a young child. Perhaps this space has always inspired me...

Friday, August 17, 2012

As the weather cools (I come alive)

This week I had hoped to get back to my regular studio practice but this was not exactly the case, I got closer to it and that is what counts. I did work a little in my studio and I also amassed supplies so I could start working on the bigger series that keeps showing up in my mind. This is a slow rebuilding process but it is building nonetheless.

dark art in progress on mdf panel with a side of aubergines

I gessoed 20 6x6' MDF panels to begin a small series for my Esty shop. Once gessoed, I covered all or part of them with powdered graphite mixed with walnut oil. It felt good to just be making broad messy strokes of gesso over the wood squares and I liked covering over the white with the darkness. I am not sure what will become of these, if I will embed paper into these works or if color pencil will serve to brighten the darkness. They have landscape elements but truly I have worked on too few of them to figure out what they are yet. I am looking forward to resuming work on them and documenting and putting them in my shop.

vintage maps waiting to work

In the meantime, I received the vintage maps that I ordered for my next series of 12x12 panel paintings that I am gearing up to do. I also received the fifteen new panels from Perrodin Supply Co. I am so excited to be using their panels again! I also ordered some Gesso and other supplies I need for the project. So that is what this week has been about, getting all the materials together again, flirting with making and doing a lot of talking and thinking.

Also as a side project, I have been dreaming of doing a large paper piece that is affixed to the ceiling and is allowed to hang down and away from the wall draping down into a pool on the floor. I have been seeing this work ever since I went out to dinner one night with Stewart in Edinburgh. We were talking about our upcoming (at the time) series "A place called home" and I kept seeing this paper piece thinking it was for that show but it was actually meant for my show (a show I don't even have scheduled yet.) Yesterday, I mentioned on facebook that I was looking for large lengths of paper and today a large vintage roll of paper was delivered to my door by artist Linda Sheets! It is beautiful, yellowed, thick with the quality of maps. It is ideal. I can't wait to start working on it. I have been wanting to work on a large physical piece for quite a while, especially after making fairly small works for the last year or so. I am looking for a challenge and I need space for this work. I see paintings, drawings, maps, diagrams, an internal compass on paper. I have been thinking a lot about this idea of an internal map or gesture of the self. I have always been fascinated about what happens on the inside of people, what we hold on the inside of our skins. The thoughts, emotions, the beautiful and the ugly, deep inside - hiding. I am looking forward to seeing if I can turn this into something that isn't just juvenile, self absorbed or angst riddled... but I can't really allow myself to care too much about that. I am approaching this as a piece for me, art for art's sake, an experiment that may never see the light of day or could be a companion piece for the smaller works, not unlike a manual living was for the falling into sound works. I want to get excited about the work again and this project seems to fit the bill. We will see what happens. I don't even really have the appropriate space to work on this but I know I will make it work.

the knowledge seal,  a return to yoga

In other news, this week was spent in the company of good friends and fellow artists. It was spent walking and doing yoga and trying to take extra good care of myself. It is time to look inward and take care the way only I can, if I am to do the work I want to do. I am looking forward to exploring my new etsy series, my new 12x12 series and the paper piece of my visions with you all soon.

Thanks for checking in. I hope all is well in your art world.


Friday, August 10, 2012

Begin again...

The unknown variable
Mixed media on panel 12x12"
© 2012 Megan Chapman & Stewart Bremner


Well, let's see what happened this week. Mostly I tried to stay busy and I did a pretty good job of that for a while. I recovered my dining room chairs and I organized many drawers throughout the house...

The reception for my exhibition Hush happened last Saturday at the Fayetteville Public Library. There was a nice little group of people in attendance, I appreciate the folks who made it out. There has been a lot of art this summer, it seems to come in waves. Sometimes I fear my work has been overexposed in the region but when an opportunity comes my way, I generally say yes! Even while the reception was small in attendance it was large in sales, patrons and friends. I sold another collaborative piece and I sold two paper pieces that I created in Scotland, one framed and one unframed. I was quite pleased with these sales and I am thankful to the Fayetteville Public library for the opportunity to have an exhibition in the reading room. I just love how my work looks in the space, it really just fits right in. Hush will be up until September 4th. So if you are local to the area, I do hope you will get a chance to see my work.

After the reception, my friends came over and we had a little party. It was a fun time, I am so lucky to have such lovely, talented, and supportive people in my life.

The rest of the week just kind of happened, with more cleaning and organizing. I started putting my studio back in order after Stewart Bremner and my marathon painting session for "A place called home." It felt good to touch all of my things and take stock of my inventory. I also ordered fifteen more panels from Perrodin Supply Co. and ordered some vintage maps of America and Scotland for my upcoming series. I am excited to be thinking of my next series. I think I may also start another small works series for my Etsy shop soon as well. I will of course keep you posted. Later in the week I also sold one of my older paintings from my 2008 series "evidence of the disappearance" I now only have two of those older color series works left. It is hard to believe.

By next week, I hope to have everything in order and return to my regular studio practice so rather than me writing here so much about promotions and exhibitions, I hope to return to talking about the creative process and sharing works in progress and what is happening in the studio. This time last year I was working on feverishly finishing up Sometimes I love you and other stories for my exhibition in September. It is hard to believe that it has almost been a year. Time marches on, faster and faster. I am really looking forward to diving back in the world of making and doing.

Thanks for checking in with me this week and as always thank you for your support of me and my work. I can't do this without you.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Hush...

Well, here we are another Friday already! This has been a long and short week as many of you know Stewart Bremner left on Tuesday morning to go back to Scotland, but what you might not know is that it took him forty-five hours to get there! So even though I took him to the airport Tuesday he didn't get home until Thursday at 11am his time. I was vicariously nervous and stressed until he got to his destination which made time do strange things and here we are and it is Friday. But I still have some news...

If you are local to the Northwest Arkansas area on Saturday August 4th (tomorrow, as I write this) I hope you will join me in the Walker Community Room of the Fayetteville Public Library from 3-5 for the reception for my exhibition Hush. Not only will my work be on display upstairs in the Reading Room but just for the reception, I will also have the nine remaining works of Stewart Bremner and my latest series, A place called home. I will also have some of my remaining smalls works that I created in Scotland for sale only during the reception as well.
I have really enjoyed having my work in the library, the exhibition looks great and I can't wait for you all to see it with fresh eyes in a new space.  The exhibition will be up through September 4th.

In other news, plans are already underway for the next east prospect exhibition... oh yes, it is never too early to plan... Don't worry I will keep you updated.

Thanks for checking in and for reading. Sorry I don't have that much for you this week, hopefully by next week I will be finding my rhythm in this new reality and have lots to tell you.

Until next week, keep fighting. The world needs your art.


Friday, July 27, 2012

As July comes to a close...

Distance becomes us
Mixed media on panel 12x12"
© 2012 Megan Chapman & Stewart Bremner
As I write this there are only five days left in July and it is heavy on my mind that Stewart Bremner is returning to Scotland on the last day of the month. There are exciting things going on and there are some big things planned for the future but the fact that we are about to be separated after getting to spend seven months together takes the lead in my mind.

I wish I was going to Scotland too. Sometimes when I look at the photographs from my trip tears come to my eyes. I can't believe I was there for four months and that I got to see and absorb so much art, architecture and of course the atmosphere. It seems like a dream. It wasn't always easy or even always fun but I would like to do it again. I have to hope that I will.

The three months that Stewart has been here have been filled with art, whether creating our A place called home series or installing and promoting various exhibitions, we have been busy. Art consumes us and our time. It is wonderful to be able to create it together. We are lucky.

I tell myself this will be a time of even more concentrated work. I have projects planned that I hope to see to fruition. I have a new gallery relationship to nurture. I am also a member of a network of artists that will be meeting weekly as an action team to encourage and promote our work and our goals. I have a new body of work I would like to get started on. I have travel debts to pay off and need to focus on living within my means so that I can travel again. I also need to just focus on my health and well being. So far this year has been busy, wonderful and more than exhausting; it is time to refill the well and move forward.

Thanks for being a part of it all. Thanks for reading our blogs, tweets, and facebook posts. Thanks for coming to our exhibitions, for sharing our art and our story. We are grateful for all the support and love we have been given.

Now, until next time there are still five days left in July and the lovely Stewart Bremner is in the kitchen making our lunch and I can't wait to enjoy it with him and enjoy what the future holds as it comes one day at a time.

PS. If you are local to Northwest Arkansas please come to the reception for my exhibition Hush at the Fayetteville Public Library on Saturday August 4th from 3-5pm. Chances are I am going to need a hug.

Friday, July 20, 2012

We built a nest of letters...

A few works from Hush at The Fayetteville Public Library
What a week!

Monday started with an interesting and exciting business meeting and some great views. Tuesday, there was a much needed get together with theatre maven Erika Wilhite. Wednesday I enjoyed a day off and some giving of time in honor of Nelson Mandela and then yesterday there was another good meeting and the installation of my latest exhibition, Hush, at the Fayetteville Public Library. Today, Stewart Bremner and I are being interviewed for a feature in the Free Weekly about our current exhibition, A place called home, which continues through July 27th at the Arts Center of the Ozarks.

Never a dull moment in my art world and for that I am grateful.

Yesterday after Hush was installed on the walls of the library, I do what I always do, I take a minute to absorb the new exhibition space and the work I have done. I viewed the familiar paintings with new eyes as a viewer and not the artist. I read each painting with words and I studied the pure abstracts and I marvel yet again how a space changes with art, how the blank room I entered was not the same and how even the paintings change as they take on their new surroundings.

I have to say I think the library is a particularly perfect fit for this body of work. As always, there is that quiet moment when I just look and a calm comes over me. I relish that fleeting moment of complete satisfaction after watching the work slide into place to fit the space. There is a zen to putting up an exhibition, less is always more as space is required so the work can breathe and truly be seen. I felt so serene as I was doing my walk through. At one point a young woman, who I know from many openings, looked up from her computer, smiled and whispered across the room, "Megan, your work looks really great in here..." Thinking about it now brings tears to my eyes. Her face was so wide open and she wasn't saying anything more or less. I smiled and I floated out of the room, Yes, my work looks really great in here...

Here is my statement for Hush.

Megan Chapman’s exhibition, Hush, brings together three recent bodies of work into one. In it viewers will find works from the artist’s popular series, Falling into sound, Sometimes I love you
and other stories
and From across the ocean. All of these paintings are part of what the artist terms her White Series, that began in 2009 and continues today.

In Falling into sound, the artist began the transition into more minimalist work, using a near monochromatic palette. These paintings are quiet and meditative but also buzzing with layers
of subtle colors and texture. Two of these pieces are featured in this exhibition, Sometimes and Falling into sound.

Many of the paintings that make up both Sometimes I love you and other stories and From across the ocean, feature words written using an old manual typewriter and vintage paper. The words are
the artist’s own and reflect her thoughts while being in a new long distance relationship with Scottish artist, Stewart Bremner.

The small framed paper works, from the artist’s most recent series From across the ocean, document the artist’s first journey overseas, when she spent four months in Edinburgh, Scotland. The lines echo
the geology of the area, the sea and the atmosphere of the grey winter sky. Simple words and lines are used to stage these moments and hold them in a type of permanence.

Megan Chapman’s Hush brings all of these works together and into a new light. These works are not unlike chapters in a book, each a little different but very much connected in the telling of a story, not
only about the artist but also about the viewer.

Hush will be on display July 19th through September 4th in the Reading Room on the second floor of the Fayetteville Public Library. An artist's reception will be on August 4 from 3-5 in the Walker Community Room.