Friday, November 20, 2020

Breadcrumb path to the soul

You wouldn't just let it burn
Mixed media on canvas, 71x87cm. 
Framed in white (with the painting continuing on to the frame)
2019 Megan Chapman

I sit here at my blog writing desk (this is a new thing - I now have a blog writing desk and swivel chair for my art business purposes). I have no idea what to write about but I am here on a Friday attempting to get back into this blog writing groove. Grey sky above, a cup of tea, and the cat next to me, as I look out the window. 

I am waiting for some art supplies to be delivered, nothing major just some paper and some spray fixative so I can tackle the mound of finished work that needs fixing due to my using Conte crayon pastels. The paper will hopefully be used for some new small works that I will mount - think Christmas presents. How can it already be the 20th of November!?! 

I have put on some concentration music on my headphones, I look to the sky and zone out thinking about a potential new accidental portrait I could paint. Remember those? Then my mind turns to wonder if we are all trapped 16-year-olds in ageing bodies or if that is just me. I am thinking about art related to that, but just for a split second - nothing serious. 

I have some small canvas-covered boards I could be working on - another Christmas sized item for your enjoyment and purchase. Fine art for Christmas. Thinking about all the marketing aspects -  fine artists and makers scrambling for sales, attention, new ways of being in this Instagram society. I don't think I imagined this when I graduated from art school over 21 years ago now. I was 4 years "behind" my peers after a stint of doing nothing much at all. I remember feeling so old and so young at 27 when I completed my BFA. And at 48 I still feel so old and so young, I imagine that is how it will always be. 

I take more photographs than paint these days (that's really been the case for a long time), for a split second I remember thinking about switching my major to photography from painting. That would not have made sense and I am glad I didn't and I think the two work well hand in hand. Photography helps me see, and you have to be able to see to paint. I am not talking about with functioning eyes but more with another sense. Photography allows me to see things I am too close to and feeds the information to me in another way that I can more easily digest. Listening to music, writing, and photography are my breadcrumb path to the paintings. I can't have one without the other.

Abstract paintings are the breadcrumb path to my soul and the unseen world outside and they connect me to you if they work right or if you are in the right place to see and receive them. I have cleaned my tiny workspace, I am almost ready to begin again. 

The sky is completely white and featureless, all the angles of the neighbouring houses punch into the air. The negative space loudly proclaims I am here. 

I love sitting in front of windows looking out.


Friday, November 13, 2020

One day I will dive deeper


It's Friday and here I am. I caught up the past two weeks here on my blog and updated some supporters only images and words over on my Ko-Fi page. I sold some art this week, packed, and happily posted it. I will be doing just a bit more of that tomorrow as one piece needs a special box. I am thankful for my patron's support now more than ever. 

Oh, but the big news from America is that Biden and Harris won the election!!! The results were finally called on Saturday with more votes being counted still to this day. I am relieved and exhausted. I think most of us needed that win more than we realised. 

I looked back on my work over the last several years and more of the work than you might imagine is about number 45 and living under his reign. Art always tells the truth, it's veiled and strange but often more honest and more immediate in exposing my feelings and the feelings of the world than I can comfortably be. One day on here I will dive deeper and we can discuss how his presidency filtered into the work I made. 

In other news, I continue my walking and watch the seasons change. There is a vegan pot pie in the oven for dinner and I am looking forward to catching up with a show I have been enjoying. Everything is slowing down a bit again with the darkness. It was just about to be spring and here we are again. Covid has changed a lot (understatement of the year). I feel I have lost some habits and anchors but I have gained some new ones along with some new dreams, hopefully to be realised soon. I am out of practice in writing and talking about my work just now. That is why this blog and my Tuesday Videos are so important and that is why if I lose step with the routine it is harder to get it back. The rules are different just now, our expectations for ourselves and each other need to be different too. It's still good to remember what is important and what I want to continue to do or return to doing.

I hope soon to be writing deeply about my work but right now I can just show up and say thank you. 

Until next week, take good care. 

Friday, November 6, 2020

Welcome the new


The maps have changed
mixed media on 200gsm acid-free paper
42x59.4cm/16.5x23.4"
©2020 Megan Chapman
£300

A couple of art things happened this week, I think (remember what I said about time in last week's post).

I was delighted that one of my latest paintings, 'The maps have changed' was used in the SCAN (Scottish Contemporary Art Network) member mailout. I am a proud member of SCAN. Find out more about the organisation and consider joining. We are stronger together! https://sca-net.org/about/. It is always rewarding to be able to have my work shared within a community of my peers across Scotland. 

In other news, I tried something a bit different and with some trepidation. I have been wanting to create some "Artist 101" style guides for artists just starting out for a long time now. Perhaps for the artists that may not have any other means of moral support or encouragement or those that won't have the opportunity to go to art school or are returning to art from a break. Sometimes we all need some friendly and helpful advice especially when it comes to calling ourselves, artists. So, I created a colourful and fun 8-page pdf to help us gather up the evidence, gently step into our truth, and believe in ourselves and our art! It's a short, sweet, and kind guide to thinking a little differently about putting ourselves out there. I am offering it in my ko-fi shop starting at £3. I hope to make other guides in the series soon. It's a bit of an experiment just now. Thanks to those that have purchased and those that previewed my wee guide so far. Suitable for most ages and experience levels. You can find it here, https://ko-fi.com/s/706ceb33e5.


Of course, this is election WEEK and I have been glued to CNN feeling cautiously optimistic... 

The world needs you and your art, your thoughts, your passion, your heart. 
Thank you.

Friday, October 30, 2020

Time works differently now



Strong medicine (keep it close)
mixed media on 200gsm acid-free paper
42x59.4cm/16.5x23.4"
©2020 Megan Chapman
Sold

After completing the thirteen new works in my latest series, I am delighted to share that one of them sold straight away to a patron in my hometown of Fayetteville, Arkansas. My hometown has stuck by me through thick and thin and near and far. I am grateful to have this base of support. Some of you might not have realised that Arkansas has a cultured coterie of abstract art buyers but it does and lovely warm people to boot! Consider yourself in the know, darling. 

In other news after that body of work was created - the lull came back, the dreaded ebb. Perhaps it's more of an overwhelm as I have so many paper pieces I need to varnish/fix and space is at a premium as I am still not working in my studio. 

I wonder when I ever will work regularly in my studio again. I wonder if I even need a studio. Is it sustainable in this new reality? I wonder how we are all going to survive. You know the big questions, as the title states time works differently now and our brains are all heavy with thought. 

I have been walking this month for Samaritans, doing a 50-mile charity challenge, but I will end up surpassing the challenge total. I have enjoyed getting outside in the available light as the weather gets more grey and dark by the minute. I look for the bright colours in the trees and the sun when I can find it. Some believe the walks influenced the 13 paintings. I have been told they feel hopeful and energetic. I am not sure what is pushing these works. I need to think about that. In art school, they said, "we don't care what you do and make as long as you can talk about it, as long as there is a reason." I need to get quiet and start thinking about my reasons again. The meaning, what am I trying to say, explore, express besides my intense love of colour, line, and pure abstraction? 

Perhaps we will figure this all out this winter. Stay tuned...

I know I have fallen behind/stopped making my Tuesday Studio Video Visits. I think because they would've all be filmed in my living room now and not my studio. There could be other reasons too. Perhaps we will figure this out this winter as well and start them up again. 

I'm thankful for all the patrons that have supported me during the pandemic when so much is so hard for so many. I won't forget it. I am going to be adding more exclusive content to my ko-fi page, a friendly way to support artists. Right now if you support my work for £3 or more you get a downloadable wallpaper and a patrons-only gallery with some downloadable images and well as behind the scenes looks and access to forgotten interviews. Consider supporting me over there, I promise to make that the place to be along with my social media sites. Thank you.

https://ko-fi.com/meganchapman

Thanks for your patience, please take good care of yourself. 

Friday, October 23, 2020

The story continues...

If you stopped by here last week you will recall that I shared the first eight paintings of a new series. This week, I am sharing five more new works in that same series. I am especially excited by these works, my palms were actually sweating as I was organising the photos of the painting. I might have even hollered! This is a rare and special feeling and I aim to hold on to it for a while. Without further ado here are the newest paintings from my latest series, "This is how we tell the story..."

Could I tell you anything more
mixed media on 200gsm acid-free paper
42x59.4cm/16.5x23.4"
©2020 Megan Chapman
£300

Under the surface
mixed media on 200gsm acid-free paper
42x59.4cm/16.5x23.4"
©2020 Megan Chapman
£300


Strong medicine (keep it close)
mixed media on 200gsm acid-free paper
42x59.4cm/16.5x23.4"
©2020 Megan Chapman
Sold


The maps have changed
mixed media on 200gsm acid-free paper
42x59.4cm/16.5x23.4"
©2020 Megan Chapman
£300


False dynasties
mixed media on 200gsm acid-free paper
42x59.4cm/16.5x23.4"
©2020 Megan Chapman
£300

Friday, October 16, 2020

This is how we tell the story

Accidents happen.

Paint to paper, charcoal to hand, the lines are drawn.
We are on standby, so we wait and see.
The magic happens when you are not looking.
Their shapes now rearranged.
This is how we tell the story...

Yesterday's parties
mixed media on 200gsm acid-free paper
42x59.4cm/16.5x23.4"
©2020 Megan Chapman
£300

To be left untethered
mixed media on 200gsm acid-free paper
42x59.4cm/16.5x23.4"
©2020 Megan Chapman
£300

This is how we tell the story
mixed media on 200gsm acid-free paper
42x59.4cm/16.5x23.4"
©2020 Megan Chapman
£300

Resilience factory
mixed media on 200gsm acid-free paper
42x59.4cm/16.5x23.4"
©2020 Megan Chapman
£300

Dancing in the old house
mixed media on 200gsm acid-free paper
42x59.4cm/16.5x23.4"
©2020 Megan Chapman
£300

Where we left off
mixed media on 200gsm acid-free paper
42x59.4cm/16.5x23.4"
©2020 Megan Chapman
£300

We took a wrong turn
mixed media on 200gsm acid-free paper
42x59.4cm/16.5x23.4"
©2020 Megan Chapman
£300

States of being
mixed media on 200gsm acid-free paper
42x59.4cm/16.5x23.4"
©2020 Megan Chapman
£300

Friday, October 9, 2020

Exercises to remember



I got out nine sheets of A2 sized paper this week and just used gesture, colour, and shape to put the ground down on what will become a new series of works on paper. I worked this way on three A3 sheets of paper as well. 

Just a bit of movement to remember again and hopefully jumpstart myself in action. Hope you are staying well. Thanks for dropping by.

Friday, October 2, 2020

New works on paper and gratitude


This week I shared these framing mockups for a potential commission across my social media platforms. These works are on paper and were all created in 2020 at home during the lockdown. I like the vibrancy of the palette and the techniques I used to create these pieces. Even though we are heading into Autumn and Winter, I’d like to carry this energy with me in my heart. These are on archival A2 sized paper and are £300 each including shipping (unframed). Signed, titled, and dated on the back.

I am always available for commissions and will happily work to spec and with your colours and budget as long as I can mostly do my thing. Message me with interest: megancha at gmail dot com.

Thanks for reading my most recent blog about finances, it seemed to resonate with many artists as we juggle trying to keep our studios and maintaining our livelihood in this world that seems at times to barely understand us, what we do, or how we work (that's always been the case but add COVID to it for another layer of crazymaking). I am grateful for all the support I receive and I am buoyed by the generosity of so many. I am shown repeatedly the kindness of strangers; in fact,  just this morning I received a large donation to my ko-fi page. It made my day and filled me with hope! Thank you, new patron. 

Thanks again to all my ko-fi supporters, patrons, and galleries who have stuck by me and my work, now more than ever. I hope you are staying safe and well and that you enjoy these latest paintings.

Take good care and keep fighting,

Love and light,

Megan

Purchase your prints and small originals here

help support my work one cup of coffee at a time
https://ko-fi.com/meganchapman

Thank you.

Friday, September 25, 2020

Money Talk: Studio Update


As many of you know, I have not been using my studio space since the second week of March. However, I have paid my studio rent in full for March, April, May, and June. Thankfully the Drill Hall management offered studio holders 1/2 off our studio rent for July, August, and September which I made use of. My studio rent at the drill hall is £203.69/month (and includes wifi). As of now, in October I will be paying the full amount of rent again. 

To enable me to pay the rent as I have during this time, I applied for and received £600 from the Bridging Bursary Fund offered through Creative Scotland (almost enough to cover 3 months of studio rent). I also applied to and was accepted for a commission to create a short studio video visit to represent and promote the Drill Hall along with my friend and fellow drill hall resident Mairi Brown for the Leith Late Virtual Studio and Mural Tours. This wonderful opportunity thankfully paid £200 - again, almost enough money for another month of studio rent. I have engaged in my own personal fundraising, raising another two months of studio rent on my Ko-fi site, a place where patrons can support artists. I am so thankful for all of this support and am delighted to have worked on something with Leith Late as I have wanted to for years now. 

I applied for and received both self-employment grants from the UK government and will apply for a third much lesser grant when it becomes available. During this time, I have been actively promoting the galleries that represent me, while also selling my art directly to my patrons online to sustain myself. During these strange days, I have been focussed on promoting more affordable originals as well as prints as I know most folks are being as frugal as possible just now. I participated briefly in the artist support pledge on Instagram as well. I scoured the internet for other funding sources and grants, applying for two grants that I sadly wasn't chosen for, and I also applied for an art tutor position that I also didn't get. So as you can see, I am taking action steps to stay afloat during this time as are many others. It's obviously quite competitive out there just now. 

I currently live about an hour's walk away from the studio or a 20-minute bus ride and the distance does, of course, hamper my ability to access my studio even when the building itself is now relatively safe with the new COVID measures in place. I have been in my studio once in July, once in August, and twice very briefly in September - as you can imagine paying for the studio and the wifi, while not using it, will eventually become unsustainable. I want to keep supporting the Drill Hall. I don't want to give up my studio and I also don't want to go into deferred debt (ie: a rent holiday which is another option the management has offered). I wrote the drill hall hoping that perhaps the half rent scheme could be extended or some other measures put into place while I and many others continue to work mostly from home solely as self-employed artists.

I appreciate that we are all struggling and I hope the Drill Hall has been the recipient of various government grants and other means of support as it is an asset to the community and one that I am proud to be a part of, long may it last.

I have been thinking about the future and other ways I can adapt even more with the ever-changing situation. After a productive spate of painting and drawing over 45 pieces from home since late March I haven't painted as regularly. The two main reasons for this are; firstly, the novelty of making smaller more controlled works in the corner of my living room is wearing off and secondly, with a good selection of paintings at a variety of prices, small works, and now prints, I need to sell some more work before I invest more money into making new work. This second reason and feeling will change because ultimately I make work to express myself and not only to make money. I have done well with this time and have expressed a lot and luckily sold a lot as well - which I am immensely grateful for. So more likely this is the classic ebb of the work and not me just digging in my heels. Regardless, I really do need to think of the viability of the studio in the future. 

Thank you to everyone who has bought a painting, small work, or print online, gotten in touch about a commission, or donated a cup of coffee, or sustained me through regular subscription donations. Thank you to the two patrons that bought refugee pieces during this time so I could donate money to a great cause and get two more bikes on the road. Thank you to a dear friend and patron who bought my ailing cat some prescription food and another dear friend and patron that helped to keep me in materials and regular donations during this time. Thank you to Jennifer and Tamsin my two monthly subscribers on Ko-fi. Those regular monthly amounts are extremely helpful! Thank you. 

All of you are keeping me afloat as well as the drill hall studio rent paid. And I know many of you are struggling too. 

I am thankful for you. I know I have been behind a bit in the blog lately and certainly in the Tuesday Studio Video Visits, but I plan to get back in the swing of things, so keep tuning in and watch this space! 

Anyway, again - I would rather write about the colour alizarin crimson or the tooth of the paper or canvas but sometimes, we just have to get real and talk about money...

Until next time, keep fighting! The world needs you and your art, your care, and the light you bring. 

get your prints and small originals here
help support my work one cup of coffee at a time

Friday, September 18, 2020

Tell me how you really feel...


Collect



Tell me how you really feel... *NEW*

These giclée prints are on heavyweight archival matte paper (220gsm/81lb) and will be signed on the front in pencil. The paper is A4 sized/21x29.7cm/8.3x11.7"

£25 (includes p&p in the U.K.)
Additional £5 for shipping to everywhere else.

Printed to order in Scotland by another woman-owned small art business, you can feel extra good about your purchase as you support not one but two artists.

While I am known for my abstract paintings, for the past three years I have explored another series, my "Accidental Portraits." These paintings have proven quite popular with collectors and now I am excited to be able to offer a selection of them as prints.

These statement pieces capture the collective feeling with a minimal palette and a strong line as we wade through the strange days of 2020 and beyond.

 What viewers are saying about the debut of my new print series, “Tell me how you really feel...”

“These are edgy cool and graphically stark, you do it so fucking well.”

“I like the mood, angles, and the honest and brutal mark making, they are severe in their grace!”

As always, I am continually looking for more affordable ways for you to be able to live with my art and for ways that you can help support the work I do. Thank you. Click the collect button under each piece to purchase or visit my shop. 

https://ko-fi.com/meganchapman/shop

Friday, September 11, 2020

Needs must

I have been focusing on selling my older small works, studio sale works, works on paper, and my book works. Working on the promotional aspects of my art world than the making and doing. Honestly, I would rather be painting but I have to stand squarely in the reality that I need to sell the works I have already made so that I can survive and continue to work in the future.

The bottom line is I want to be able to continue being a painter and in order to do that, I have to sell some work. I am still paying rent on a studio that I have only been to about 4 or 5 times since the pandemic hit Scotland in March. I am not even sure if in the future I will be able to maintain or support a studio. Like many people, the virus is making me rethink a lot of things and to consider different approaches to living and working. 

The one thing that hasn't changed is that I have a strong belief in the power of art and I want more people to have access to my work. That is why I always have more affordable pieces along with the more expensive gallery pieces. 

I am grateful to all my patrons and supporters past and present that have continued to support my work, especially during these strange days.

Here are some of my remaining affordable original works for sale. Follow me across my social media channels to always stay up to date with sales and my available smaller works. I only post my larger canvas series on my formal website. 

Little anchors #2
15.2x15.2cm/6x6”
Mixed media on card
Framed in black, no glass
Signed and dated on the back
© 2019 Megan Chapman
£45 (free shipping in the UK)
to purchase email: megancha at gmail dot com 

An image of the same piece to show you the frame. 

Dark Sketches Transition # 2
Original, signed on the back
Mixed media on acid-free 300 gsm/140lb Watercolour paper
Mounted and ready to pop in a frame
10x8”/25x20cm.
£25 (free UK shipping)
to purchase email: megancha at gmail dot com


Isolated Moment #10
Original work on paper! 
Mounted and ready to pop in an 8x8"/ 20.x20cm frame
£20 (free UK shipping)
to purchase email: megancha at gmail dot com

Friday, September 4, 2020

Refresher: How to find my work.


Just a quick update to say that besides my three accidental portrait prints now available in my ko-fi shop, I have added more of my works on paper that I created during the lockdown time, as well as adding the remaining charity canvas panel pieces to benefit Bicycles for Refugees and our new Scots. In this shop, I have work from £45-£270. You can see these available works here.
I have updated my other shop that has my larger bodies of work from 2015-2017. These are all larger canvas pieces, varnished and ready to hang. In this shop, I have work from £440 - £1,080. Currently, I am offering these pieces at a 20% discount and free shipping as a thank you and to offer an incentive to keep supporting the arts. You can see those pieces here:
You can also visit my website for some of my more recent works. Prices are marked, so send me a message about anything you might be interested in. Payment plans are always available for my work (even some galleries offer them- so don't be shy). I love working with interior designers, so if you are one please get in touch!
And of course, you can find my work in the following wonderful brick and mortar galleries in England and Scotland and I know they will appreciate your business as they slowly begin to reopen and continue with online sales as well.
Thank you for supporting my work and the galleries that represent my work. We can't do this without you.
Be well.
With love and gratitude,
Megan
Consider supporting my ongoing work and content by leaving me a £3 tip. Thank you! https://ko-fi.com/meganchapman

Friday, August 28, 2020

Without people, you're nothing (and a cat helps too)

Theo

I am writing this on a Wednesday morning, but it will be backdated for last Friday for consistency's sake. Last week was an awful emotional rollercoaster and all my attention was turned towards my beloved cat Theo. For me, Theo is a constant state of love and joy and we got some bad news last week which included a 48-hour animal hospital stay. However, this Monday we had some much better news and I can breathe again. I am filled with a renewed belief in perseverance, science, amazing vet care as well as the power of love and dedication. Some real truths have been shown to me this week and I am thankful. 

Side note, if you are ever told your cat is in renal failure or what most folks now kindly call chronic kidney disease or suspect your cat is gravely sick, first, get the best care for your cat as soon as possible and then learn more about the illness and what can be done. This clearinghouse of information online was extremely helpful and gave me the hope I needed to not give up and to be a better caregiver and advocate for Theo. Click here to learn more about chronic kidney disease in cats and what can be done (but only in conjunction with vet care!).

The anchor holds

Mixed media on canvas
80x80x4cm 

© 2019 Megan Chapman


I carry the light

Mixed media on canvas
80x80x4cm
© 2019 Megan Chapman


Okay, on to a few bits of art news. This is the last week of the Paisley Art Institute’s 132nd Annual Online. I was thrilled to have the above two pieces accepted into this storied exhibition which was held online this year due to the COVID-19 Pandemic. If you have not yet done so, grab a cup of tea and browse the virtual gallery walls from the comfort of your own home. My work is on the first wall of the "headspace" room. Click here to go right there but do take some time to enjoy the other rooms of art. The exhibition ends on September 6th. 


In other art news, back in July, I was commissioned to film a studio tour for
Leith Late. That short video along with additional videos by many other talented artists and makers around Edinburgh has now been released in the form of a culture map that you can visit online. I encourage you to take some time to visit the map and learn more about the various studios and the artists that use them throughout the city as well as the virtual mural tour. I was so pleased to be selected to participate. 

You can enjoy and learn more about all the latest #Leith100 events - including the new online resource #LeithLateVirtualTours comprising of virtual Open Studios from around Edinburgh and Leith Mural Tours at https://www.leithlate.co.uk/virtualtours

LeithLate Virtual Tours : Megan Chapman from LeithLate on Vimeo.

That is all I have for you this week. Sending love and light out to everyone reading, I know we have all been going through a hell of a time collectively. I hope the arts bring you some comfort. Please keep fighting and know you are not alone. We need you and what you bring. Thank you.

Special thanks to my community that has really supported me during this time. To quote Joe Strummer as I have many times before, "Without people, you're nothing." I am so thankful for my people (and sweet Theo). x

Friday, August 21, 2020

Music is the key that unlocks the door


Dancing in the old house

Original mixed media painting 
200 gsm heavyweight acid-free cartridge paper
A2/16.5x23.4", 2020, Megan Chapman

This week I painted again. After last week's five-piece story, these two larger pieces came tumbling out. Sometimes, it has to do with time and then sometimes it has to do with music. And this week I found a piece of music that moved me. I think music is my most important art material. Without it, there is no work. This work was created while I was listening to the album Henosis by Joep Beving. I have his first albums that I have previously painted to but this one crossed my path this week. I am grateful it did. Music clears the clutter and lets me soar inwardly so I can find the marks and the places that need to be explored and expressed through my art. I use music like breadcrumbs towards a shamanic journey. It is the key that unlocks the door. I have more to say but I just can't seem to put it together just now. Perhaps the paintings can do the talking. 


This is where it starts
Original mixed media painting
200 gsm heavyweight acid-free cartridge paper
A2/16.5x23.4", 2020, Megan Chapman