Friday, September 11, 2009

Only if you run...

Maggie's World © 2009 Megan Chapman

Oh what to discuss today...
This week in the life of an artist:

I participated in a couple of interviews this week regarding the Fayetteville Underground, where my studio is housed, as more and more people are becoming interested in what we are doing in the basement downtown. I also watched the galleries for a couple of hours this week and showed patrons around the facilities and my studio.

On Tuesday I lead an intuitive drawing workshop in an upper level Architecture course at the University. It was a 3 hour course, and I had never offered a workshop of that nature and was honored to be asked by my friend and fellow artist Laura Terry who is a professor of Architecture at the University of Arkansas. It was a very interesting experience, first going over some of my paintings via my website projected on a screen before the class. I also passed around some of my Etsy paintings, so they could see those small works in person and as they contain more drawing and marks they seemed more appropriate for the class. I lead them in a relaxation exercise and then we listened to music and got to it. Intuitively painting and drawing; we asked and answered questions all the while. I hope they enjoyed it as much as I did. It is interesting to think about the marks I make and the questions I ask myself while I work, but then to vocalize those to the students and get them to think intuitively while solving the problems that come up within their own work, was a unique experience. I left the class with a better understanding that art making is comprised of a backlog of skills learned, along with the intuition to know how to put those skills to use. I also learned that for many people intuition is this mysterious force that they have not yet tapped into. I can't imagine. I left feeling confident that I had stepped out of my comfort zone and did a good job. I have given two art talks this year, and I have really enjoyed each opportunity I have had to speak with people about art. I think speaking about art is becoming one of my favorite things.

Then on Wednesday, I went on a photo shoot with my friend and fellow underground artist Maggie Ivy. There is a wonderful piece of land nearby that I like to photograph and I had envisioned it as a great place to attempt to recreate Andrew Wyeth's famous painting "Christina's world". I knew that Maggie would be the perfect model, so off we went to the land in the morning, out in the rain and mud but we got the shot! I am so pleased with the results that you can see at the top of the post. I felt elated all day over that photograph. I wasn't sure if I could pull it off and then I did. I guess the same thing goes with the drawing class- perhaps that is why this week has been such a good one. Challenges arose that I managed to pull off, I exceeded my expectations; I managed to do that by not having any expectations in the first place. I wish all my weeks were like this.

What happened on Thursday? Nothing much to be honest, I talked about art and life with friends and it was a long and good day, still pleased with the happenings of early in the week. I kind of took a pass on the day. I listened to music, went for a walk, took a photo. I will admit I was a bit crippled as I knew yesterday's photo wasn't going to be as special, but it didn't need to be. Today, I will take another photograph and I have no idea what it will be. Oh yeah, painting and 100 flashes of memory; I will be returning to those soon as well.

All I know today:
I am happy to be an artist.
I am happy to listen to the music, read the books, enjoy the films and art that I do.
I am happy to enjoy photography on a daily basis.
I am happy when I take risks and I am rewarded.
I am happy and grateful to be part of a global arts community that feeds my soul.

What do you know today?


  1. What a busy young Arteest you are :-)
    I know that happiness is relative to your situation and that changes, and I am happy that things change. Have a great weeked Ms Ghost.

  2. I'm glad to hear about your good week, cheers from my coffee mug. The class sounds like it was a great experience, I'm teaching a abstract painting class in Nov and I'm excited, nervous and grateful to be asked. I've been thinking it will be a blast to be able to talk about art with others and I'll learn so much. You sharing your experience is really inspiring.

    I have been in a rut of fear with my art lately that I do know, and risk is part of getting out of it. The quote yesterday from Van Gogh was one of a few things that I used to put in my brain and get on with it and act. More action today and letting go .....

    And the reminder that we have art, community, and friendship it certainly makes a difference in how we see things :)

  3. i love the profoundness of this, "art making is comprised of a backlog of skills learned, along with the intuition to know how to put those skills to use."

  4. Fabulous post Megan. Again you have bared yourself and expressed the very things we find hard to talk about...being an artist is a rollercoaster.
    Like you I had a very positive and reaffirming week with successes that have made me feel the thrill in my belly of knowing I'm on the right path. I too raise my glass to you - beer
    you'll happily know - and say thanks to the great intuitive force that keeps us walking this crazy path of being an artist.

    I LOVE this photo. Its up there with your best.

    Congrats with everything.
    Debs x

    PS Its true what they say about learning through teaching - I experience this too and find it endlessly rewarding.

  5. I like the photo as well. Did you know that the MOMA has 'Christina's World' in a hallway leading to the bathroom. shame.

  6. Wonderful photograph, excellent post. Would have loved to have been a fly on the wall in your class.


  7. Poor Dogen cannot compete with smiling Zen. The attention is always drawn to the aesthetic hooter. Let us agree that when it comes to eclectic range my musical tastes are far superior :-)

  8. What I know today is that this year has tanked along at a remarkable speed..
    so many things have happened..
    and so many good things; so much...
    I know your photography has reached an all new high & developed a cult following in the land of blip, and so deservedly..
    the photograph at the begining of this blip alone is the work of genius.
    Art can be limiting only if the artist lets it become so.. you push past all of this; explore new mediums and methods & make them your own.
    you also remind artists like me (full of piss and vinegar) that it can be enjoyed..
    there is music..
    there is film..
    there is so much to share..
    and you share so much.