Friday, December 14, 2018

Beauty finds us

A fair wind and a long way to go, Mixed media on canvas
100x120cm, © 2018 Megan Chapman, Sold


Let's pretend you are reading this on a Friday and not when you are. I had a bit of excitement and somehow couldn't sit down to get to my blog, but here I am. Better late than never. 

Our Stories, Mixed media on canvas
100x70cm, © 2018 Megan Chapman, Commission, Sold
Let me explain : 

On Monday, December 3rd I was contacted by the wonderful interior designer and art consultant, Davina Stanley at Paper+White. We've been following each other's work for a while on Instagram and both appreciate each other's talents. She asked about the availability of two paintings she had pitched to a client. One of them was a large 100x120cm painting available from my studio, one was a limited edition print (if you haven't noticed I have backed off on doing prints - but if you are in the market, all my remaining limited edition prints (like the ones HBO bought for True Detective) are available at Fenix Fayetteville). Could I use the print as a study and make a larger version of the piece on canvas? I said yes. Could I also create another large piece similar to my latest series of works but with some blush pink in the mix? I said yes. Could I turn it around pretty quickly? I said yes! 

Beauty finds us, Mixed media on canvas
100x100cm, © 2018 Megan Chapman, Commission, Sold


By Monday afternoon I had booked this rather large commission and sale and ordered the two canvases I needed. The canvases would not arrive until Friday, December 7th. On that Friday afternoon, I would begin painting. I would drink cups and cups of tea and listen to my best working music and worry and reach out to friends and put in some intense hours in the studio for the next few days. I would learn about booking a courier to get the paintings from the studio in Edinburgh down to Cambridge. I would learn all sorts of things about myself, my strengths, my friends, my resilence, and my passion. I was honoured by the trust the designer had given me to complete this project and I was grateful for the work. 

I had less than a week to complete both the 100x70cm and 100x100cm painting. This is not how I normally work. However, I can say that these paintings are honest, good, and true. I am grateful for my years of experience that allowed me to get the job done and for the confidence required to believe that I could. I stressed, cried, and even felt fear over the work. I was continually humbled by the process and I kept going. The pieces were completed, varnished, documented, and packed up and ready to go by Thursday, December 13th at 9 am and by Friday night I had confirmation that the pieces had reached their destination at The Picture Framers by the deadline. Relief!

The whole project was a thrill! I enjoyed the challenge and the feeling of having worked hard to accomplish the task at hand. I can't wait to see them photographed in their new home, in their beautiful new interiors. I am trying to make sure I take a minute to celebrate this moment in my art history. Thanks for being part of it. 

Come Monday morning, I will be back to work in my studio and with a smile on my face. I say this to all the artists out there, often it seems like the good stuff shows up right about the time you feel like you don't understand anything anymore and you just want to quit. I've been there, so please don't quit. Keep showing up, keep saying "Yes, of course, I can do that" and start believing it!

Now, I think some rest is in order.
 
With love and gratitude for everyone on the path. We are in this together, keep fighting.

************
Do you enjoy my blog, my video visits, the paintings I share, or the other content that I provide for free across social media? Consider buying me a cup of coffee in support of my work. I am a member of Ko-fi.com, A friendly way for creators to get paid! Thank you!

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com 

Friday, December 7, 2018

A thousand decisions and conversations had with ourselves




Art has the power to rewire our brains. A thousand choices build up the layers of a painting, a thousand decisions and conversations had with ourselves and our materials.

In my normal day to day life, I sometimes obsess over making the wrong choice, ordering the wrong meal, buying the wrong sweater, saying the wrong thing, or choosing the wrong what, when, where, why, and how. I think I will be disappointed in my choice or someone will be disappointed in me for my choice.

However, somehow with my art, I don't worry as much. I know what I am choosing and why. The materials and I dance, we have this little back and forth, we compromise and the painting always sets us straight in the end. I love this. I love this knowing, this understanding, this trust and relationship I have with the process. I still have doubts and I still get it wrong but I mostly know the rules and the plan when it comes to painting. I know what I want and how to get it from my painting and that is a freedom rarely felt elsewhere or with much regularity in my life.

I have now danced across decades with these materials, paintings, and choices. My brain is better for it and my soul certainly is. My experience allows for all of this, the time spent with little paintings, big paintings, talking about paintings, writing about paintings, looking at paintings, as well as promoting mine and other's art. I keep showing up at this crazy calling that is at the heart of who I am. It's what I just seem to know, like a secret language built from years of exposure, training, learning, sharing, seeing, but mostly feeling and daring.

I wouldn't recommend this profession to many people because it is not stable or responsible and it requires help and support from multiple sources but damn, if you can stomach it, if you are lucky enough to find that support; patronage, family, friends, partners, and spouses that somewhat understand, then do it, and dive into the language, and never look back.

************
Do you enjoy my blog, my video visits, the paintings I share, or the other content that I provide for free across social media? Consider buying me a cup of coffee in support of my work. I am a member of Ko-fi.com, A friendly way for creators to get paid! Thank you!

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

Friday, November 30, 2018

Open Studios!


Tomorrow is the day! Open Studios! My studio G23 (along with many others) will be open from 11-5pm at the Out of the Blue Drill Hall located at 36 Dalmeny Street in Leith, Edinburgh.

The Arts Market will be on in the main hall with many brilliant makers selling their creations as well, so there will be plenty for folks to see, enjoy, and purchase.

As you know, I made some special small works for the event (five of which have already sold!). I will also have many other smaller paintings ranging in price from £20-55 and as well as several under £200. My larger gallery works will also be on display. There will be something for almost every taste (if you like abstract art) and budget. Just a reminder that I happily offer payment plans for my larger pieces. I will have my credit/debit card reader on hand as well to make your art buying experience more convenient (i.e. I won't have change).

More than anything, I am looking forward to having my studio open to the public. I love the energy of the event and meeting folks and discussing the work. I really hope to see you there.

All that I am
Mixed media on canvas
80x80cm
© 2018 Megan Chapman
Sold


Here's a replay of my Tuesday Studio Video Visit. My phone had a mind of its own and cut me off but you get the idea. I was overjoyed to share that a large and favourite painting of mine (see above) had sold.



I guess that about wraps it up for this week. If you are local to Edinburgh, I do hope you will make it by the Open Studios. You can also find my work in Portobello, Edinburgh at The Velvet Easel Gallery and back in my old stomping grounds of Fayetteville, Arkansas at The Fenix Gallery.

Thanks to all my patrons that have purchased and supported my work reccently and in years past. You keep me working by supporting my vision and that means the world to me. Thank you. Until next week, keep fighting! Keep supporting artists and keep supporting each other.

*************
Do you enjoy my blog, my video visits, the paintings I share, or the other content that I provide for free across social media? Consider buying me a cup of coffee in support of my work. I am a member of Ko-fi.com, A friendly way for creators to get paid! Thank you!

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

Friday, November 23, 2018

You said I made a bad decision: A new series of small works














See these new works (mixed media on linen panel 10x10cm, set into a 15x15cm tray frame) and much more at Open Studios, Saturday, December 1st from 11-5pm at The Out of the Blue Drill Hall 36 Dalmeny Street, Edinburgh. You'll find me in Studio G23. See you there. 

*******
Do you enjoy my blog, my video visits, the paintings I share, or the other content that I provide for free across social media? Consider buying me a cup of coffee in support of my work. I am a member of Ko-fi.com, A friendly way for creators to get paid! Thank you!

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com



Friday, November 16, 2018

Making sense of what you already understand

newsprint sketch detail

I worked pretty full on in the studio Monday through Wednesday and took Thursday and Friday off to keep up with BREXIT news and because I was worn out. I needed a break. In those three days at work, I put paint on the surface of eighteen substrates; a mixture of newsprint, canvas, and some miniature canvas boards. I made pretty good progress on two larger pieces as well.

You can watch my Tuesday Studio Video Visit recap here if you missed it earlier and see more of what I got up to.



Here are a couple of studio snaps of the larger paintings I worked on.




Most of the studio sale pieces that I shipped to America are starting to arrive at their destinations and that is always a relief. If you missed my online studio sale, you can find it here. I will be creating some new small works for online holiday sales and open studios.

Don't forget that you can find my work at The Velvet Easel Gallery in Portobello, Edinburgh. Until next week, keep showing up for yourself and your truth. Keep fighting and don't let the bastards keep you down.

Thank you.
**************
Do you enjoy my blog, my video visits, the paintings I share, or the other content that I provide for free across social media? Consider buying me a cup of coffee in support of my work. I am a member of Ko-fi.com, A friendly way for creators to get paid! Thank you!

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

Friday, November 9, 2018

Active exploration




This week I decided that I have found myself in a residency of sorts in my own studio. My studio G23 has currently become an incubator. I spend my time in my windowless room, pacing the floor, reading snippets out of art books and watching video clips and interviews from other artists.



I rummage through my supplies and order a few depleted items. I scrawl across brown paper sacks with charcoal and oil pastel, I collage mixed papers onto small canvases, I layer paint onto larger ones.



I draw across dictionary pages, more papers, and another accidental portrait emerges.



I am firmly in between series and returning to my art practice. I am showing up and putting in the time, my hand is in active exploration as it crashes through the different mediums. My experiments are peppered with research and the gentle quelling of the questioning voices in my head.

Right on.

**************
Do you enjoy my blog, my video visits, the paintings I share, or the other content that I provide for free across social media? Consider buying me a cup of coffee in support of my work. I am a member of Ko-fi.com, A friendly way for creators to get paid! Thank you!

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

Friday, November 2, 2018

The nights are fair drawing in

Far away
40x40x4cm
Mixed media on canvas
© 2017 Megan Chapman
£550
Available through The Velvet Easel


Autumn is here. The clocks went back last weekend and now it gets dark around 4:45. I am drinking big pots of tea and wearing jumpers. I managed to not only pack and ship more pieces that were sold during my studio sale online but I also worked on a few drawings and a painting!

Here's a recap in the form of the Tuesday Studio Video Visit.



Just reminder, tomorrow, Saturday the 3rd of November is the opening of the "5 Years" exhibition at the Velvet Easel Gallery in Portobello, Edinburgh. I am honoured to have four pieces as part of the latest mixed exhibition. Come on out and celebrate the past 5 years of the gallery! Here's what the gallery has to say about it all.

The Velvet Easel Gallery would like to extend a warm invitation to our new mixed exhibition, Five Years, which celebrates the gallery’s 5th birthday as well as introducing our exciting, newly refurbished gallery space!

The exhibition will feature a myriad of new and exciting artists as well as work by those already popular in the gallery. Drinks and birthday cake will be served throughout the opening day on Saturday 3rd November.

Five Years... will run from Saturday 3rd November to Sunday 3rd March 2019 and the gallery opening hours are:
Thursday - Saturday 10 - 5
Sunday 12 -5

298 Portobello High Street,
Edinburgh, EH15 2AS


It feels great to be getting back to my routine and art life after the stressors of moving. Thanks again to everyone who has supported me through their purchases this year. I can't do this without you.

Until next week, keep fighting and I will be back with more proper painting news and work in progress from the studio soon.

If you are in America, please VOTE! Take someone to the polls, ask your friends and family if they are voting and get on out there! If you are complacent someone who isn't will fill your shoes in the voting booth. Don't give up your power. Thank you.

**************
Do you enjoy my blog, my video visits, the paintings I share, or the other content that I provide for free across social media? Consider buying me a cup of coffee in support of my work. I am a member of Ko-fi.com, A friendly way for creators to get paid! Thank you!

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

Friday, October 26, 2018

Studio life, routine, sales!

Stolen moments
40x50x4cm
Mixed media on canvas
© 2017 Megan Chapman
£585
Available through The Velvet Easel Gallery


This week was fabulous. I worked in the studio from Monday through Friday. I also returned to my yoga and meditation routine. In short, I returned to my natural way of being.

I deep cleaned my studio, gave all my brushes a good wash and organized my storage and just reconnected with the space. It was so good to be there, to drink my tea there, to see the familiar faces and walk the streets of my old neighbourhood.

Time spent as someone else
40x50x4cm
Mixed media on canvas
© 2017 Megan Chapman
£585
Available through The Velvet Easel Gallery


After my deep clean, I decided to have an impromptu studio sale over on my Facebook Art Page. I am grateful to say that eighteen pieces have since sold from the sale. This will enable me to pay my studio rent for a little over 3 months and provide some peace as our budgets have been severely stretched as both the studio and the flat rent went up considerably.

The sale continues with new works (mostly smaller, older, and some stranger) added and there are some ridiculous deals to be had. In the end, it comes down to space and money and I need both. Thanks again for your support.

Precipice
50x40x4cm
Mixed media on canvas
© 2017 Megan Chapman 
£585
Available through The Velvet Easel Gallery

In other news, this past Saturday I delivered 4 pieces to be included in the "5 Years" exhibition at The Velvet Easel Gallery. These works are from a series painted in 2017 called "All the ways." You can see them here, peppered through this blog post. I have now been showing my work with The Velvet Easel for the past year and I am really delighted to participate in this show celebrating the gallery's success over the past 5 years of business. Join us on Nov. 3rd for the opening. It's an all-day drop-in affair so if you want to make sure to meet up with me there, send me a message or comment so that we can coordinate.

Far away
40x40x4cm
Mixed media on canvas
© 2017 Megan Chapman
£550
Available through The Velvet Easel

Don't miss it. 




























There are a few other art related things happening on the backburner and I will tell you about those soon.

Keep fighting because just when you are ready to quit, it might just get good again, so hang on. With gratitude until next week.

**************
Do you enjoy my blog, my video visits, the paintings I share, or the other content that I provide for free across social media? Consider buying me a cup of coffee in support of my work. I am a member of Ko-fi.com, A friendly way for creators to get paid! Thank you!

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com



Friday, October 19, 2018

Return to knowing

Finding centre
mixed media on paper
30x30cm/50x50cm framed
£325
Return to knowing
mixed media on paper
30x30cm/50x50cm framed
£325
The Dark Anchor
mixed media on paper
30x30cm/50x50cm framed
£325
The Wind is an Ocean
mixed media on paper
30x30cm/50x50cm framed
£325


New works on paper pair well with this
Listen. Feel. Absorb.

Until next week, you know what to do.

**************
Do you enjoy my blog, my video visits, the paintings I share, or the other content that I provide for free across social media? Consider buying me a cup of coffee in support of my work. I am a member of Ko-fi.com, A friendly way for creators to get paid! Thank you!

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com


Friday, October 12, 2018

Far from painting


Pardon the tardiness of this post, but as many of you know I have a lot going on. Moving house is not for the faint of heart. Moving into a wee place from 1840 is for hearty stock.

I am grateful for this moment of relative calm, sitting in "my chair" with my headphones on, listening to the perfect electronic drone. It feels so good to return to one anchor of my normal life. There are lists to tend to, more organising and relentless figuring out of the new space. Where do we put all the stuff, how does this box of wires work? When can I have a functioning shower? You know the usual... she's a good ship... but... she needs some care and vision... don't forget the vision part, Chapman (thankfully, that's where my creativity gets to come in).

So my mind has been far from painting, but I have this whole shack as my canvas once I get the basics organised and I will return to work and it will be interesting to see what happens when I do. Patience is essential now. And multiple trips across the road to the sea...

Until next week, keep fighting.


*************
Do you enjoy my blog, my video visits, the paintings I share, or the other content that I provide for free across social media? Consider buying me a cup of coffee in support of my work. I am a member of Ko-fi.com, A friendly way for creators to get paid! Thank you!

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

Friday, October 5, 2018

Temptress of the sea, you treat me right

Andrew Wyeth, "Airborne," 1996, Tempera on panel



What can I say, my mind is not exactly here. I am not that focused on art either (even though I did have four pieces documented, varnished, and I painted the sides of the canvases in order to ship them off tomorrow (more on that soon).

My studio is also still mostly tidy from last Sunday's Open Studio event (thanks to everyone who attended). I also installed another set of shelves in the studio (found on the street of course) for my canvas storage. So, I have been getting some things organised and moving ever forward.

I have been trouble sleeping, waking up at 3am most nights this past week, very excited about moving to our new place. We got the keys to our wee fisherman's cottage on Thursday.

I am not sure how we decided on this place, I think it was imminent homelessness nipping at our heels. We saw it all of ten minutes and it was in a bit of a state, nothing I would usually want to live in but at the same time it had "something" many places did not, a feeling that a potential metamorphosis could take place with a bit of care and vision. We saw it at 10:30 in the morning last Thursday and by 2:30 that day it was reserved for us. It's only 15 minutes away by bus to the part of town I know and love most, and we are technically still in Edinburgh, so I need not worry but trust in the only constant, change.

When we got the keys, I was very excited to walk through it again while the workers were giving it a fresh lick of white paint. I sat on the carpeted floors and looked out the windows. I stood on the concrete of the back patio and rejoiced that I had a place where my feet could touch the earth. I imagined all sorts of scenarios, pots of soup and cups of tea, and a meditation on the wee beach across the road. How will living in this new space and community affect my painting? Only time will tell. Perhaps, we all need to move every four years, to shake off the old ways and start again.

"We sail today 
Tears drown in the wake of delight 
There's nothing like this built today 
You'll never see a finer ship in your life 
Along the way 
The sea will crowd us with lovers at night 
There's nothing like this built today 
You'll never see a finer ship 
Or receive a better tip in your life..." 

I think we have found a fine ship...

*************
Do you enjoy my blog, my video visits, the paintings I share, or the other content that I provide for free across social media? Consider buying me a cup of coffee in support of my work. I am a member of Ko-fi.com, A friendly way for creators to get paid! Thank you!

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com