Friday, October 4, 2019

Let Go

Oops, I did it again, I am running a wee bit behind on my studio blog this week (and for those that notice, my Tuesday Studio Video Visits too). I am pretty much going to blame everything on the VISA process until I get it done (which I hope will be this week - send me love and strength, this process is pretty intense). As easy as it is to get overwhelmed with life, it is equally important for me to remember my art, the events and things I have coming up in the future, and what I offer to my community and my new country through my art. I have spent the morning catching up on my Facebook Art Page, posting recent sales and upcoming events and aim to do the same here. Thanks as always for your patience and continued support. 

Last weekend's Open Studio event was lovely and I enjoyed talking with all those that came by. I enjoy the young artists that are just starting out and wondering how they are going to figure this gig out. It's a wild ride for sure. I answered questions, try to point them towards resources and give them straight talk, as well as a little bit of hope. If I have ever talked to you at open studios and you were left wanting more help or guidance don't forget I do offer this service at a professional level and sometimes only one or two sessions can help you gain a lot of clarity. Visit my mentoring website for more information and if you are 25 or under I am happy to work with you for my concession rate. 

I would love to see you at the next Open Studio and Makers Marque event on Sunday 17th of November from 12-5pm. My doors will be open again!

Besides the fruitful conversations, I was delighted that this piece sold at open studios. 

In other news over the past week, I entered my book work for the John Byrne Award with my entry, "Have you accepted art into your life?" Their website is gorgeous and it felt good to share my books and ethos behind them on this platform. Click here to see my entry

In keeping with submitting my work, I took the same three pieces that got rejected from the RSA and submitted them to the upcoming Art in Granton exhibition and happily they got accepted! That's how we do it! Here's more about that. If you are local, please make plans to attend, the Madelvic house is a wonderful venue with a storied past. 

Let Go
Acrylic on canvas, £725
Megan Chapman 2019

The Distance
Acrylic on canvas, £725
Megan Chapman 2019

No longer a mystery
Acrylic on canvas, £1,450
Megan Chapman 2019
*Accepted on show space allowing
My statement regarding these works for the exhibition.

I live in Granton in the lower cottages across from Wardie Bay Beach. These paintings were all painted in a temporary studio space I was invited to use during the summer. A Duke of Buccleuch owned property from 1840 across from the harbour provided me a change of scenery from my usual studio in the heart of Leith.

The sturdy old walls of the stable influenced these dark works as much as the creak of the boats, the wind, rain, and waters of the bay across the road. These paintings speak of the atmosphere and memories of the past - abstracted but grounded in my surroundings, I breathe in the stories that have been lost and found.

Art in Granton - a curated exhibition on place.
Exhibition opening times:
Friday 25 October 5-8pm.
Saturday 26 October 11-6pm
Sunday 27 October 11-5pm.

Madelvic House
Granton Park Ave.

I think that's us mostly caught up. I hope to get into the studio and make some marks this week as well as film some videos. I haven't actively painted for a month now and I don't like how that feels but I also have to give myself a break with all that is going on and obviously, I am still doing art-related things. Again, I will say writing a blog and keeping track of the art things - the making, the selling, the submitting, the thinking about, the ups and downs, and the dreamings and inspirations always makes me feel better about things. This is one habit I would recommend to everyone. Thanks again for your patience and support of my work and for going on this ride with me. Until next week, keep fighting. We need you and your work. 

You can find my work at the following galleries.

Portobello, Edinburgh


Fayetteville, Arkansas, USA

And of course around the internet on all your favourite channels!

Walls too crowded, budget tight? You can still support my work. Click the link to buy me a coffee. Thanks!

Friday, September 27, 2019

No longer a mystery

Cartoon by the brilliant abstract artist Ad Reinhardt
This month... where to start and do I dare? The quick story is that I haven't made any art since the week before Art Walk Porty. I was worn out from getting ready for the brilliant two-day event and then, of course, I was worn out from all the excitement and talking about the project for two days straight. It was a good kind of tired, mixed with enthusiasm and hope for the future and my work. I wrote about my books, made videos about my books, and then I crashed. 

I also had to rather abruptly switch gears to focus on my next visa application and study for my "Life in the UK" test. After a bit of a snafu last Thursday attempting to take my test here in Edinburgh, I took my test and passed on Monday in Glasgow. Such a relief! So now I am going through the final steps to get my application sent off and to hope for the best in this important step towards citizenship. It is a fraught and detailed process and is all-consuming. Sometimes art can and must wait. I am almost ready to return to my studio and my work with several ideas brewing in the background. 

In other news, I entered the RSA Annual Exhibition. I have done so at least a few times in the five years I have lived here and not once have I had my work accepted. Entering these types of things (and being rejected) is par for the course in this world. And as we all know painting is dead (again), abstract painting is especially dead, and concepts are king or so I've heardNae bother, it's only money and time. I probably should have entered my books. 

We need to create a Salon des Refus├ęs! Perhaps just an online version first and then find a venue in the future. Automatic acceptance to all who are rejected from the RSA exhibition. Did you enter? Did you get in? Congratulations! Did you not? I am sorry but let's get together and show our work anyway! Online or in person, it deserves to be seen! Message me if you would like to have work as part of an online Salon. These are the two paintings I entered and had rejected. As Bill Murray says, "It just doesn't matter."

No longer a mystery
Acrylic on canvas,  £1,450
Megan Chapman 2019

The distance
Acrylic on canvas, £725
Megan Chapman 2019

In other, other news, My studio G23 will be open this Sunday the 29th of September from 12-5pm. Come see my books in person and a few of my new paintings at my studio at the Drill Hall. Besides the amazing Makers Marque on Sunday and Open Studios, there will be tours of the Drill Hall for Doors Open DayI am looking forward to seeing you there!

Makers Marque
Sunday 29th September
12pm - 5pm 
Entry: £2/£1 concession 

Makers Marque is more than just a market for local traders and designers. It is a chance for people to get involved, learn a new skill and see the processes that usually take place behind closed studio doors. The event is a mix of local craftspeople demonstrating their skills and selling their unique products, plus artist and makers workshops, demonstrations and repair stations.

Before, I let you go, just a reminder: You can find my work at the following galleries.

Portobello, Edinburgh


Fayetteville, Arkansas, USA

And of course around the internet on all your favourite channels!

And of course, at my studio G23, located at 36 Dalmeny Street Leith, Edinburgh EH6 8RG See you on Sunday from 12-5! 

Until next week, keep fighting! 

Walls too crowded, budget tight? You can still support my work. 



Friday, September 20, 2019

Strike! Our House is on Fire!

There will be no Friday Studio Blog this week as I will be striking and marching today in Edinburgh. #Fridaysforfuture #Climatestrike. Find a march or rally and join in!

I am proud of my union! The Scottish Artists Union members unanimously passed the following motion:

This Union notes that Greta Thunberg and leading youth strikers for climate action from across the world have called for all adults to join a global general strike on 20th September 2019.

This Union believes all artists should stand in solidarity with those already affected by climate change and with future generations and the young people who are walking out of our schools, striking and encouraging everyone to join them to ring the alarm for the climate emergency, because our governments have failed to take sufficient action to mitigate this unprecedented crisis.

This Union resolves to join the action and call on all fellow unions, organisations, and workers to join the strike to demand governments and corporations take immediate and decisive action to tackle the climate crisis.

Update: 4 MILLION people marched. Next time let's make it 8 Million! We must change the system of corporate greed and consumption. Take to the streets, vote with our money. Every day we make choices that have an impact, every day we can take action. Progress, not perfection- it's not always easy but it is possible.

Protect, Restore, Fund.

Until next week, keep fighting!

Friday, September 13, 2019

BOOKS: 1999/2019 Part 1.

BOOKS: Twenty Years Later 1999/2019 Part 1.

My book series began in my last year of art school at the University of Oregon as I was my persuing my BFA in Painting and it became my terminal project exhibition for my graduation with honours. I already knew at this point that I was an abstract painter and that I had some hard feelings towards the “art establishment.” While I respected my peers in the program, I didn’t want to create the same large scale glossy paintings that they were doing at the time. I wanted to create something more intimate, meaningful, and honest from my work. I wanted to use common materials and somehow make art more accessible. I wanted the viewer to have an experience with the work.

I created my abstractions in found hardback books that I gathered one by one out of the free bin of a local bookstore. I selected the discarded and withdrawn books and their beautifully yellowed pages as they were now somehow without value. I sometimes tore them apart to showcase their skeletons and hidden features while I painted with oil bar, drew with colour pencils and graphite, and commandeered their stories making them into something new. I assumed personalities and told other people’s stories, while creating small abstractions within the taped, stitched, and bound pages. These books were rough, raw, and dirty though the concept and belief behind them were fully considered. These were meant to be read and handled like any other book. The story received was meant for the viewer alone and could be closed up and left for another. Each person handling the books became part of the story and the story became part of the viewer as they walked away. They had just touched modern art. They had just had it in the palm of their hands.

For my terminal exhibition at the University’s Laverne Krause Gallery, I set up a sofa, a woven rug, a coffee table, end tables, and chairs. Turning the gallery into a familiar setting, a place that invited you to sit and relax without having to say it. My books littered the coffee table overlapping, some open, some closed. No instructions, simply relying on human nature, curiosity, and comfort to encourage the viewer to experience the art, to turn the pages and be.

I have always had a problem with the exclusivity of art and sadly the idea by many that art requires specialist skills, knowledge or education to understand and appreciate it fully. For many, there is an imaginary barrier between themselves and art, especially when it comes to abstraction. All art requires is time and the willingness to see but before that can happen, it must be accessible. The guard of the viewer must be lowered, the defenses calmed and soothed to foster understanding. If I can put art into a format that is more easily understood and accessible then I can change people’s experience of art. If I can take something that might be seen as scary or intimidating on a gallery wall and put it in the hands of the viewer, they are now dominating the art, the art is no longer dominating them.

photo by Mairi Brown taken at Art Walk Porty

Most viewers will understand books even at their most basic level they will understand picture books. If I put modern art in books that they can touch and feel, smell, read, feel the weight of the work in the books, then I can get them to slow down and have an experience. The average time people spend looking at paintings on a wall in a museum or gallery is 17-27 seconds. That is not an experience. We have been trained that art is not to be touched. It is revered, fragile, valuable, untouchable. We view it with our hands jammed in our pockets, behind our back, behind a rope, behind a taped line, we do not gesticulate towards or talk loudly about it. The art becomes void. The art becomes detached from reality and it’s humanness. Some humans will also detach from it or never even attempt it. I find this thought deeply wounding.

Join me here again next week on my Friday Studio Blog for Part II of the written discussion of my books. Until then you can hear me speak about by books on this week's video visit. Thanks again to everyone who came to see my books art Art Walk Porty last weekend. It was a joy to meet you and share my passion for this work.

Thank you.

Friday, September 6, 2019

Art Walk Porty is Here! Join us!

Hello Dear Reader, 

I'll be making finishing touches on my books in the studio today for Art Walk Porty's Artists' Bookmarket this weekend at the Dalriada on the Portobello Promenade. I'll be there on Saturday from 12-6 and Sunday from 12-5. So please do come by and say hello, it's very important for me that you see this work in person.

Several of my small, framed paintings will also be on show in the current group exhibition at the brilliant The Velvet Easel Gallery (venue number 27) on the Portobello High Street. Art Walk Porty is a fantastic art festival by the sea, featuring many wonderful artists and their work. It is a unique and groundbreaking multi-faceted art festival not to be missed.

Here is a preview of some of my latest book works. There are currently 43 works in this 20th Anniversary series of books.

I plan to write a more formal statement about these book works and how they came about later today but you can watch the latest Tuesday Studio Video Visit for some more clarity- the past two Tuesday Studio Video Visits shine a pretty good light on their origins.

If you are local to Edinburgh or plan to pass through this weekend, I do hope I will see you at the book market and enjoying all Art Walk Porty has to offer. Until next week, keep fighting! The world needs you and your vision. 

Friday, August 30, 2019

Books, books, books...

After a wonderful opening reception at Doyle Fine Art in Glasgow last Friday, I spent this past week working on my books. I was fretting about getting them framed and then I remembered that frames were not part of my original plan anyway. I want a table filled with yellowed paper, hard book backs, and spines unleashed. I want you to touch the art and "read" the books. I want you to feel them and pick up the stories that are meant for you. I want you to have an experience. 

As the promotion for the book market says,  “Megan paints and draws in the pages of old hardback books to tell stories collected on the wind and sea. These books are made to be handled and touched, read and collected, like any other.”

Consider yourself personally invited and make plans to attend: Art Walk Porty - The Artist's Book Market, at the Dalriada located right on the Portobello Promenade across from the sea in Edinburgh. Saturday the 7th 12-6pm and Sunday the 8th of September from 12-5pm.

In my Tuesday Video Visit this week, I talk in-depth about my thoughts behind the books and why I started them 20 years ago and why I continue with them today. While my face is not in the video this week, you get a good sense of what this project is all about. I hope you will give it a listen. 

Until next week, keep fighting!

Friday, August 23, 2019

Exhibitions, studio work, and more!

Monday came on strong with several smaller (but not small) works on canvas and a large painting was summoned up by the afternoon.

Just some of the smaller works on canvas from Monday. Here is the large piece that came later.

On Tuesday, I filmed the Tuesday Studio Video Visit and talked in-depth about my feelings regarding the large canvas. You can see it again here if you missed it.

In other news: a reminder that tonight from 6-9pm is the opening reception for John Doyle Art located at 23 Parnie Street in Glasgow. This brand new gallery aims to bring an eclectic collection of talent and skill together under one roof. I am delighted to be part of it. 

In two weeks, it will be Art Walk Porty - The Artist's Book Market, at the Dalriada located right on the Portobello Promenade across from the sea in Edinburgh. Saturday the 7th 12-6pm and Sunday the 8th of September from 12-5pm. I really need to properly turn my focus to this upcoming deadline and get my bookwork show ready and stop working on the rolled canvas works (note to self). 

Last but not least, a new patron just sent me this photo of two of my small works that have now be framed and lovingly placed in their new home. These two small works look dynamic together and I love how they’ve been framed. Word to the wise, these were picked for a song from my online studio sale

Until next week, may you be well, happy, and inspired. Remember that every day we paint is a victory. The world needs you and your art! Thank you.

Friday, August 16, 2019

Our Minimalist Secrets: Exhibition and Gallery News!

This week I turned my attention in the studio back to the book series. I am excited to be part of Art Walk Porty - The Artist's Book Market, next month at the Dalriada located right on the Portobello Promenade across from the sea in Edinburgh. Saturday the 7th and Sunday the 8th of September from 11am-4pm. Click the link to read more about the participants and mark your calendars and make plans to attend. I would love to see you there. Learn more here (it's a gorgeous website so do click on that link).

I love the freedom that working in the books allows. As this is not my primary format, I feel like I can do anything and take even more risks and chances. The yellowed and torn books and scrolls can become sculptural and raw to hold our minimalist secrets.

In other exciting exhibition news, I just sent two paintings to the inaugural exhibition at a new gallery in Glasgow! John Doyle Art located at 23 Parnie Street aims to bring a new and eclectic collection of formidable artists together under one roof. I am honoured to be part of the mix. There will be an opening reception next Friday, the 23rd of August from 6-9pm. 

These are the two paintings you can enjoy and purchase there.

A delicate balance
Acrylic, charcoal on canvas
© 2015 Megan Chapman
Currently available through Doyle Art in Glasgow.
Contact the gallery to purchase.

Remember this place
Acrylic, charcoal on canvas
© 2015 Megan Chapman
Currently available through Doyle Art in Glasgow.
Contact the gallery to purchase.

As some of you may recall these two pieces were published in a wonderful article by the arts editor of SOGO Magazine at the time, fellow artist and now friend, Brian McFie. You can read the article here if you missed it the first time around. Brian will also be showing his work with Doyle Art. Again, I am delighted to be showing in a gallery in Glasgow. This is another first for me!

Thanks to everyone who reads my blog, follows and supports my work on the various forms of social media, and has supported my work in all the various brick and mortar galleries along the way. Thank you! 

Friday, August 9, 2019

Living on the fault line

A new painting from this week

I can feel the sun as it shines on my legs, the doors are open onto the yard of the studio on this, the third week of my lucky artist's residency. It's been raining like cats and dogs and angry ones at that, with the weather being more like Arkansas than Scotland this past week.

I am listening to REM's album Murmer as this place reminds me of it and takes me back again to my youthful summers spent dreaming of somewhere else. I watch the swallows dart in and around as the buddleia sprouts from the corners of the slate roof. Faded blue and green painted arched wooden doors come into view as this morning's rain puddles reflect the light.

I sit and write and breathe and feel content even when the world is going to shit. This morning I cried and then meditated (some call it prayer) for the children in cages and now the new ones left without parents in Mississippi. I know my meditations can't help them and I cry over the trauma that they will be left with. I am half a world away, sitting in the sun thinking about institutional racism and I am thinking about painting. I can think about both and I can choose to think about one more than the other because of my white privilege. This troubles me but not like it troubles those without this skin.

In my privileged world, I am learning to be okay with being happy and sad, civil and angry, content and yet aware of the world and its injustice. I wade into these grey murky waters, this muddled way of being, the dark and light within and the imperfection and humanity of us all.

I walk each step learning that nothing has to be "good" or "perfect" and I keep painting.

Living on the fault line
If you missed Tuesday's Studio Video Visit, you can see it again here.
Until next week, keep fighting.

May all beings have happiness and the causes of happiness.
May all beings be free from suffering and the causes of suffering.
May all beings rejoice in the wellbeing of others
May all beings live in peace, free from greed and hatred.

Consider making a donation to the Mississippi Immigrants Rights Alliance. "MIRA envisions a Mississippi that supports, protects, and welcomes immigrants from across the globe working hand-in-hand to create a thriving community called home." If you donate directly to them they have access to the money quickly so they can help these families hit hardest by the latest ICE raids. Donate here.

Thank you. 

Friday, August 2, 2019

Something real and true, aged and worn

It is week two of my artist's residency. I am sitting outside the studio door listening to music and the sounds of the traffic on the road just outside the gate as I type this. This week went by so fast. I painted Monday, laying the grounds/underpaintings for two new 16x20"/41x51cm pieces. I hadn't painted on that sized canvas in a while and I really enjoyed it. On Tuesday, I finished those two pieces off and filmed my Tuesday Studio Video Visit. If you missed it, here it is again. I show you the progress of the space and the series of works.

I took a few phone shots of my work and space as well. Here are the two pieces I completed this week. I am especially pleased with the first piece. You can see the whole dark series as it is progressing here.

On Wednesday, I spent time in the studio, writing rather than painting, just getting some of my ideas clear. I enjoyed spending time in the space, getting used to the light, the birds, butterflies, and outside sounds. A change in scenery and routine are so beneficial. Yesterday, I stayed at home, waiting for deliveries. And today, I was back in the studio, with my massive roll of canvas that had arrived. Who knows what will happen with it. I need to set up a large smooth painting wall before I can really go big. I always paint on pre-stretched canvas as well, so this will present a fun challenge. I am just looking to experiment and explore and that is a relief. To simply work for the sake of it, to be excited and inspired is a gift, as is this space.

I took this photo of the canvas roll in my studio today - I love it. I love the feeling the photo evokes. The old walls, the sculptural roll of canvas, the possibilities. What a thrill.

I cut off a good-sized piece and stapled it to a low long part of the wall and started a large painting today. Another ground/underpainting. Something for me to react against in my next session. I will probably use some of this canvas for my scroll series as well, it's slightly odd canvas but like everything else, I like it's slightly strange qualities. It fits the space, the time and my attitude of exploration and openness.

There is something about this place tucked away behind the gate - the old stables are filled with nothing but possibility. I can make something here, something rough and dirty - something real and true, aged and worn. My heart is wrapped in the dust of the past. I imagined this type of place when I was a teenager while sitting and smoking under the old railroad bridge back home. With music in my ears, old beer cans at my feet, surrounded by graffiti, I watched for the slow-moving freight trains. It was poetic, nostalgic, and a dream of my own creation with every new song. I am grateful to be here again. 

Friday, July 26, 2019

It's the end of the world as we know it (and I feel fine)

What a difference a few days make... Thanks to everyone who read my studio blog (posted this Monday for last Friday). I really appreciate the comments and private messages - I still owe a couple of you replies. Thank you for reading and for your concern, suggestions, and support. You are beautiful people and artists that give and give and give. I see you.

So... I spent most of the day on Monday writing that blog and I felt much better afterward. Thanks to some of the feedback I received, I was planning to take it easy for a spell and spend some time on the wee beach across from the house after I filmed the Tuesday Studio Video Visit. I was getting ready to head out to my studio at the Drill Hall with every intention of filming from the 25th Anniversary exhibition there, but then something else happened. 

I was invited to pop by a fellow artist's studio and have a wee cuppa and a blether. I thought that sounded grand, so off I went, putting my plans for the day on the back burner. I had just purchased a lovely piece of work by this artist about 2 weeks prior. That is when we met for the first time and I was looking forward to saying hello and getting to know this artist better. As luck would have it, her studio was just down the road - a few minutes walk. I had passed the area many times before without notice due to a large gate, this time I entered through a wee door and into a fabulous old complex of stables built around the 1840s. It was a hot and sunny morning and all the doors were open to allow the old space some sun and air. I met my new friend and her beauty of a dog and was shown around the charming place before we stopped for our coffee chat. I exclaimed as we entered every room -excited and inspired at once. Ferns growing in a pocket of damp, the old cobbled floors, and ivy trailing through the ceiling in parts made the place feel like a country dream. The curved rock wall and solid old beauty just made my heart sing. As I think you know, I love the old crumbling things and have wanted for a long time to stage an exhibition in a space like this. Possibilities were screaming out from every corner with photos to be taken, art to be made, and secrets lost to history to be heard anew. But, I was just there for coffee and was happy that my new friend had such an inspiring place to make her art. 

We chatted in the sun and at some point, she asked if I would like to sketch in the courtyard. Very generous and kind, she had read my last blog. Perhaps a change of scenery would help. I already felt more inspired just by walking through the place. There was one room in particular that jumped out at me, and somehow I asked if I might be able to paint in there sometime. I was thinking for a day or two... she was keen on having me work there for longer than that. In fact, on the spot, she gave me a big broom, dustpan, coveralls, bin bags, and a bucket of soapy water. A plan was hatched! I spent the rest of the day there sweeping until I had blisters on my hands - propelled by her generosity, the wonder of the place, and a head full of possibility. As I was sweeping, I found the word "freedom" on the floor. 

I filmed my Tuesday Studio Video Visit from the space, red-faced and shocked with joy. 

On Wednesday morning, I was given my own key - putting it on my keyring felt important. I am thinking of this opportunity as an artist residency of sorts to help me gain a new perspective and to focus differently on my work. I have wanted to paint larger for quite a while and this space will allow me to explore the possibilities. I went to my studio at the out of the blue and packed up some essentials - paint, charcoal, paper, brushes, canvases, and called a pal to help me transport it. I also ordered a couple of large canvas/twill drop cloths to protect the old floor and a 5x33ft. roll of primed canvas! I spent the rest of Wednesday afternoon and Thursday morning sorting things out and by the end of Thursday I had a completed a painting from my new dark series and worked on several small book works. 

Newly completed painting

Today, I worked on another dark series piece. I, of course, love everything about this experience - how it came about, the generosity, vulnerability, and trust involved. I am thankful for this more than you can know and I am excited to see what comes from this time.

In March I wrote these words, "you'll find me standing against the decaying and water-damaged walls of abandoned houses listening." Well, that's where you'll find me...

With gratitude from my heart to yours, keep fighting and keep giving. Beauty is where you find it. Thank you.

Friday, July 19, 2019

I can see clearly (better late than never)

book work in progress

Pardon my tardiness, only my true readers will pay attention or notice that this is being written on a Monday and backdated for Friday. I just don't have much to say. I feel quite stagnate, hollow, and not very inspired at the moment. I have my work in two shows in Edinburgh right now and that's great. I also will have work in the Artists’ Book Market, to be held at the Dalriada on the 7th and 8th of September in Portobello, Edinburgh. 

However, that's not the same as being swept away into a new body of work and expressing myself. Right now, I am unable to express myself and that feels awful. It feels a bit like my mouth is sewn shut, my hands are empty of the knowledge required, and my mind is blank. I took a break from my daily yoga and meditation routine and I ate a bunch of junk food and watched too much tv. I thought I could get away with that (the old ways of coping) for a few weeks or a month, but I don't think I can, at least not right now. I also don't think I want to. My body is aflame and I feel stiff and weak. I have betrayed myself and of course, this affects my art and my mood. 

Betrayed is probably a strong word, but remember I am an artist and I like words and sometimes when you feel this stuck you need to be dramatic and express something, anything - no matter how poorly just to get moving again.

This year is flying by and I feel like it's getting away from me, maybe that's all part of the plan. I am not sure what I have created and if it has been "enough." This goes back to my counting up the evidence ethos (which I have slowly been trying to move away from) but this method of validation can still work if your brain works like mine. Perhaps, I will just do that here, gather the evidence and prove some things to myself in this public forum (shout out to the few of you publics that still read this). 

2019 Paintings: 

I painted the 10 Bikes for Refugee paintings on paper and they all sold, raising £550 for the charity and helping to put 10 bikes on the road for our New Scots. That is something to feel good about. Creative, productive, and helpful, I fulfilled my goal. I am grateful to the patrons who purchased those works, I hope you feel good about what you helped accomplish through your support of my art. 

I painted 6 other small works on canvas, 20x20cm and had them framed. They are all currently at the Velvet Easel Gallery in Portobello. 

I completed a large commission in February for Paper + White that consisted of 4 new paintings.  I recently was able to share and enjoy the photos of the completed project, a gorgeous Kensington flat in London. This was a big moment.

I started a new series of large works, "The Dark Series" (working title) currently consisting of 5 pieces with three more in progress. I was excited about this series and others seemed to be as well, I am not sure why I am not ready to go back into it yet. 

I started the scroll series and enjoyed documenting it on the stairs at the studio. 

I have worked on a number of small paper, canvas, and cardboard pieces and of course many studies. 

So I think I have created about 26 "proper" paintings on paper and canvas and have 3 in progress and many small works on the go still, as well as book works in various states of progress. 

Megan, is painting 26 proper paintings with 30 plus more in various states of progress enough for the first 7 months out of the year? Only I can answer that. Are you a machine? No. Do you want to live like a machine? No. Are you being hard on yourself? Yes. I appear to average about 8 paintings a month - some are scribbles, sketches, some will be painted over, some will morph, some are on top of older work I started last year, does this matter? No. Will you paint more paintings before January 2020? Of course.

2019 Exhibitions/Television/Open Studios/Online Studio Sales/Union Membership/Mentoring

I have had my work in 1 solo exhibition since the start of the year.
To Tell You Everything, The Out of the Blue Drill Hall, Alleyway Gallery, Edinburgh
I created an opportunity to show a small 6-piece body of work in an outdoor pop-up space. 

I have had my work in 4 group exhibitions since the start of the year.
The 25th Anniversary Exhibition, The Out of the Blue Drill Hall, Edinburgh
The Stars Go Waltzing, The Velvet Easel Gallery, Portobello, Edinburgh
Spring Exhibition, The Dancing Light Gallery, West Linton, Edinburgh
Off the Wall, The Velvet Easel Gallery, Portobello, Edinburgh 

My work made its international television debut on HBO's True Detective. This too was a big moment.

I submitted and had my work accepted in the previously mentioned and upcoming Artists’ Book Market. I celebrated and will continue to celebrate the 20th anniversary of my book series (I am gathering raw materials right now to continue the books).

I have opened my studio to the public 3 times so far this year, with the February and May, Makers Marque and then again in June during the Summer Arts Market.

I have stayed true to my ethos of "art for all" by continuing to create and sell value-priced small works and promoting them online through my online studio sale via social media. I also became quite transparent about the prices on my gallery sized works - by putting the prices on my website as well as creating a payment plan option for patrons. 

I am delighted to have just recently sold a good-sized painting to new patrons back in my home state of Arkansas. I also sold a small work through the Fenix Gallery back home in Arkansas at the start of the year. Two of my paintings have sold through The Velvet Easel Gallery this year and I have sold numerous paintings through my studio and of course through Paper+White commissions. Thank you to all my patrons who purchase my work- you keep me going!
I joined the Scottish Artists Union and attended two events so far this year, one to help shape the Fair Works Contract for artists (this was a paid group consultation of union members) and attended a presentation on basic income. 

I created a new art mentoring website and formally mentored two artists so far this year and perhaps some others on an informal basis. I can't help myself... 

2019 Art Documentaries/Exhibitions/Refilling the Well/Routine:

I have taken in a number of good and varied exhibitions in Edinburgh so far this year. I have also viewed a number of art documentaries that I found inspiring. All part of the process to refill the well, to keep learning, and exploring this wonderful world of art.

I have continued with my Friday Studio Blog (sometimes late) and my Tuesday Studio Video Visits, always with the hope to create a community around art, to share knowledge, skills, fears, doubts, successes, and inspiration. I appreciate all who read and view my offerings - you keep me accountable. 

So, is the year really getting away from me? Am I truly not painting enough? What more do I want? What more do I need? How do I want it to feel? What can I change? What can I accept? What can I let go of? What can I invite in? How can I make my studio space an inviting and exciting place to spend time even when I am stuck? 

Here's another thing through all of this. I have made time for family and friends, and my communities. I have made time for walks, flowers, photography, the beach, the patio, and the plants. I have done more yoga and meditation and ate healthy foods more often than I haven't. I have seen and experienced new things, discovered new books, films, music, and art. I have challenged myself and I have stretched outside my comfort zone. I have taken breaks but I haven't given up. And this is why sometimes, it's still good to gather the evidence. It's hard to see it all, it's hard to feel it all, it's hard to give credit where credit is due. It's much easier to betray (that word again) ourselves with our fears and dark thoughts. 

When I write and read all of this it sounds like I am doing pretty well professionally. I can understand being uncomfortable if I am not painting as much or in the way, I want to be, but I also understand I am basically doing just fine and the best I can. I will return to the dark series, I will make more book works for the market in September. Another commission will come along. I will feel inspired again. I will keep fighting. Thank you for reading and for fighting along with me. 

See my work in Edinburgh: 
Out of the Blue is 25 Exhibition, Thursday 18th - Thursday 25th July. The exhibition will be open daily from 10am -5pm. On through this Thursday."An exhibition of our studio artists’ work to celebrate 25 years of Studio provision in Edinburgh by Out of the Blue Arts and Education Trust.

Velvet Easel Gallery.
The Stars go Waltzing will run from Saturday 6th July to Sunday the 27th October and the gallery opening hours are: Thursday - Saturday 10 - 5, Sunday 12 -5

Visit my website to see my available large works.

Visit my art page on Facebook to see my small works

Like what I do and want to buy me a coffee? Thanks!

Friday, July 12, 2019

Whit's fur ye'll no go by ye

The sea whispers to me
Mixed media on canvas
2019 Megan Chapman
Available at the Velvet Easel Gallery

After a lovely opening of the "Stars go waltzing" exhibition at the Velvet Easel Gallery in Portobello last Saturday, this week got off to a rocky start. A large commission I was all set to begin working on fell through over the weekend. I took a few days off to process my disappointment, cleaned up my studio (filled with the studies I had done for the project), and tied up a few loose ends. As I managed to show up to work and slowly move forward, I bribed/rewarded myself with a film in the cinema, a charity shop dress, and a fair amount of junk food. I also relied on my close friends and family when I needed support and here I am. Almost a week has passed and I am okay. In fact, I am pretty good.

As the Scots say, "Whit's fur ye'll no go by ye." Sometimes, things have a funny way of working out for the best. So now my studio is tidy and ready for the next project, my belly is full, I saw the new Robert the Bruce film (I really enjoyed it- better than the Netflix one) and I am reminded how wonderful it is to have supportive people in my life. And then something else happened...

Fragile once more
Acrylic and Charcoal on Canvas
© 2015 Megan Chapman

A dear patron contacted me and purchased a couple of small works from my online studio sale and on the same day, a lovely patron from the states contacted me and purchased one of my larger paintings for their collection! Here I was fretting about the loss of income and in the same week, three sales! Three of those good, affirming, rich communication and connection type sales. Thank you, patrons, your support couldn't have come at a better time!

In other news, a reminder again about the 25-year Anniversary Exhibition at the Out of the Blue Drill Hall opening next Thursday.

Mark your diaries and get your free ticket (see link below- or don't bother with the tickets if that is freaking you out- just come!). I am delighted that I will be participating in the Out of the Blue is 25 Exhibition, Thursday 18th - Thursday 25th July. Join us for the exhibition launch: Thursday 18th July, 6pm - 9pm (book free tickets), The exhibition will be open daily from 10am-5pm (except Sunday). "An exhibition of our studio artists’ work to celebrate 25 years of Studio provision in Edinburgh by Out of the Blue Arts and Education Trust.

Out of the Blue is delighted to present an exhibition showcasing the rich array of practices taking place behind our studio doors. Bringing together painters, textile artists, jewellers, and everything in-between as a celebration of ingenuity, imagination, innovation, and craft."

That's all I have for you this week. Thank you for being here.