Friday, December 31, 2010

Out of the darkness and into the fire...

Well here we are on the last day of 2010....
Standing on the precipice or maybe just another day about to roll into the next.

Thanks to everyone who read or even skimmed my post last week. I am so glad to be able to share my world with you. So for this week I was thinking I should write up a plan for the new year and post it here. This would serve as place for me to keep my goals at the ready. A list of resolutions for my art in 2011.

Then I decided only a fool would do that! Most importantly for 2011, I want to work. I want to be paid for my work. I want to be appreciated for my work. I want to expand and explore new directions in my work. I want to be inspired by my work. I want to learn things about myself and the world. I want to shine a light on some dark corner whether for myself or for others. I want to make the unseen real and concrete.

I just want to work. Whether that involves painting, photography or writing. Where ever the muse takes me, I want to be there. I want to give myself over to it fully and then I want to share it with all of you. That is my plan for 2011. Nicely vague, somewhat hopeful, and a bit inspired.

Oh and I should probably add some stuff about setting boundaries and taking supreme care of myself. Yes, that sounds good now.

See you next year.
You know what to do...

Friday, December 24, 2010

2010: My year in review

old roses and my painting when I close my eyes from the white series in my studio

Here we go, it is that time of year again where I cull my mind and past blog posts and remind myself what all happened in my art world over the past year. I think it is important to have a snap shot remembrance of what all was done before I trod of into the New Year. As I have said in the past I am always working and it is very easy to forget what all I have managed to do as I get caught up in the day to day.

I remember not having a plan for 2010. I started the year knowing I just wanted to focus on my work, whatever that meant.

In 2010, I curated and facilitated a number of exhibitions for the Fayetteville Underground. This was a challenging and exhilarating experience. The first of those exhibitions being Pedigree from Hot Springs, Arkansas. I loved that show so much. I remember spending a ton of time in the Revolver gallery the whole month of January just looking at Michael Shaeffer and Christopher Baber's work. I will always look back at that time fondly and with a sense of pride. I hope the artists will as well.

2010 also found me immersed in photography as well as painting, and I had the thrill of two of my photographs being used for the inside cover of Wade Ogle's CD,
Lovers and Fighters. I am also excited to have had my photography used for the cover of Melanie McDonald's upcoming novel, Eromenos to be released in March 2011.

I had four pieces in a small and miniature works show that was held over until the end of January 2010 at the Aaron gallery in Washington D.C. The show was reviewed in a D.C. art blog, and I was thrilled when my work was mentioned in the write up. I recall how pleased I was that my work was sought after by the gallery and it was my first showing in Washington D.C.

In January of 2010 the white series was born as well. This will possibly prove to be one of the most exciting developments of 2010.

There were several public speaking gigs in 2010 either about my art, the Fayetteville Underground, the shows I curated, or marketing art in general.
I gave a lecture to the Boston Mountain Potters Association, on ways to successfully market ones art. I also gave the talk Art Collecting 101: The Thrill of Original Art at the Revolver gallery. I also gave a 2 hour lecture/tour for students of The Osher Institute . The course was called Artful Spaces: A visit to the Fayetteville Underground. It was a large group of very receptive students, many of which just happened to be my teachers from elementary and junior high school. I remember feeling nervous about the role reversal and I remember how good I felt after I gave the tour. In July I gave an art talk about Institute du Loop's exhibition and in August I spoke about the photography of Christian Demare. In September I lead another lecture/tour for the students of the Osher Institute. In November I gave an informal lecture about my work to a group of university students studying with artist Cindy Wiseman. Speaking about art is something I really enjoy doing, and I hope I have many more opportunities to give these talks in the future.

I mailed off a small work on paper from my Etsy shop to Finland. I had never sent anything to Finland before, so that was a thrill.
Thanks to my etsy shop ArtMaven, my work has been collected in Canada, England, The Netherlands, Australia, France, and Scotland as well as all across the United States.
2010 also saw less Etsy work created and sold, simply due to the fact that I was so busy with the white series and all the other work I was doing.

By the end of January, I previewed the first three paintings in the new white series on my blog and the feedback there and on facebook was off the charts- I am so happy I took that perceived risk (there is a lesson in this somewhere). By the second week of February I debuted the first eight pages of the ten page
Manual for Living and started to solidify the concepts behind this book of stills. I remember being very inspired and working full tilt as I dove into the white series and didn't hold back. I completed The Manual by the third week of February and finish two more new white series paintings as well. This was a very exciting time for me as an artist.

Sometimes © 2010 Megan Chapman

By the end of February/beginning of March, I paint
Sometimes, which for me, is a break through painting in the series. I remember being concerned that I could have pushed it further, but I held back and I am so glad I did. Sometimes, still receives many comments when it is viewed. I will always remember jumping up in down in front of my easel as it was completed as well as the initial feedback this painting received from my studio mates near and far.

By the first week in March there were seven paintings in the new white series and I was still jelling the ideas behind the Manual for Living. Going to the studio everyday was a thrill and I hadn't felt that inspired since art school. During all this time, there was much Underground work being done, as well as showing and selling of my colored paintings. There were a few times while working on the white series that I got temporarily sidetracked or had to take a break to refuel before I could continue. Part of the refueling, was a trip to Picher, Oklahoma to take photographs of this lead poisoned ghost town. It was an experience I will never forget.

In April, the Fayetteville Underground celebrated their one year anniversary and it was great to be able to step back and see what we had all accomplished as a group. By the beginning of April, I had completed ten new white series pieces. The second week of April was spectacular. That week I sold nine of my paintings to a brand new collector. I was so happy to work with this young collector as she bravely selected painting after painting for her collection. I was giddy with excitement and still can't believe it unfolded the way it did. I have been to her house to see the collection and they all look so beautifully hung in her home. I am grateful to her for her support. Her patronage changed the course of my year drastically and for the better in all ways. I will never forget this or her.

Also in April three of my photographs were accepted into a juried exhibition entitled Crafting Place: Interpretations of Natural and Constructed Environments from the Kitchen to the Forest. The Juror was Kenneth Trapp former curator-in charge of the Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian American Art Museum. The exhibition was held in Bentonville, Arkansas at the Sugar gallery. The selected photographs were from the Picher, Oklahoma trip. I was very pleased to be able to share them. This marks one of the few times I had shown my photography in a gallery setting. All the while this is happening, I continue with the white series, steadily building the collection.

White Series debut, Back Vault Gallery, May 2010

In May, with encouragement, I decided to test out the waters with the New White series and I hang three pieces in the back Vault gallery at the underground. I was thrilled when two out of the three sold! At the same time the white series is featured in a couple of fellow artists' blogs and I keep selling my color series works as well. Several new paintings are born in the white series, the painting,
Somehow we find ourselves on the same continent is a standout for me from this time period and in fact ends up on another continent, in late 2010. I am spending long hours in the studio at this point, sometimes up to ten hours just painting, I am happy. More paintings are being created I am finding my stride again.

Suddenly we find ourselves on the same continent ©2010 Megan Chapman Sold

By June there are fifteen paintings in the new white series. By mid June I sell another three of the new white series, to a wonderful pair of patrons. I remember the experience of staring at the works with the patron in the gallery. We both just got absorbed into the work for a while, just standing there in silence. I loved that moment. I also loved the experience of going to their home to deliver the work and seeing how well it fit into their space. I love this part of the art world, these connections.

institute du loop: a place to drown from Megan Chapman on Vimeo.

After this experience, I slow down a bit in the studio again, thinking about the upcoming exhibitions I planned to curate in the summer at the Underground. In July, I curated The Institute du Loop's
A Place to Drown in the Hive Gallery. This was an enormous task. There were countless emails, chats, diagrams, photographs, writings, ideas, and questions sent back and forth from Taipei to Fayetteville and vice-versa in preparation for this exhibition. It was a very interesting experience to work with another artist in such a way. Clear evidence of how our world has changed, how much technology allows such amazing and inspiring things to happen. I received the exhibition via Fed Ex on two thumb drives with a Chinese stamp in order to sign the work. I also received the artist's composed soundtrack for the exhibition electronically as well. After a lot of hard work by myself and Henry Turner the exhibition was printed and installed and looked wonderful. We were all pleased, and the institute du loop seemed very thrilled. I will always be proud of the work we did together on this.

Even though I was exhausted and busy taking care of the institute du loop's exhibition, I am inspired and complete three more paintings in the new white series bringing the total to eighteen. By the middle of July I also return my focus to the
Manual for living, putting into words the concepts behind the works. This was a thrilling experience. Thanks to artists' Stewart Bremner, Jennifer Libby Fay and to my brother, writer Sean Chapman for helping me to edit the words for the statement for the Manual for Living.

a manual for living: a ten page guide from Megan Chapman on Vimeo.

Things Fall Away (as we go under) ©2010 Megan Chapman

At this time I was also able to regain focus and pour myself into a new large painting in the white series, Things fall away (as we go under). I can remember the soundtrack to this painting vividly and walking to my studio smiling. This was a happy time.

Christian Demare in the Hive Gallery August 2010

In August, I curated another exhibition at the Fayetteville Underground, this time the work was by French photographer, Christian Demare. The exhibition is titled
Ghosts in the Landscape #2 and contains forty-six images all in the square format. I have long be an admirer of Christian's dark and dreamy worlds and I am thrilled to be able to present his work to my local community. Again, I am thankful that the Internet makes this global arts community possible.

Upon Waking © 2010 Megan Chapman Sold

By mid August, I was the lucky recipient of two large 36x48" canvases from a lovely patron, and then later she brought me an even larger canvas! I found the size an inspiring challenge and produced one of my most favorite paintings called
Upon Waking, which got snapped up by a lovely patron in Washington D.C. before it ever left my studio. The other 36x48" painting I create gets traded for a masterpiece by artist Matthew Lyman. Thanks all around.

Delay Before Abandon © 2010 Megan Chapman & Steven Heaton

Also in August, I got word that a collaborative paper painting that my dear friend and fellow artist Steven Heaton and I have been working on,
"Delay before Abandon" is going to be in the Chaosmos 2010 exhibition as part of the Liverpool Independents Biennial, in Liverpool England. I have been friends with Steven for over four years now, and we were both very pleased to be in an exhibition together. I was very excited about this opportunity, as I have my work in many private international collections, but had never been a part of an exhibition overseas. This is a highlight of my career.

Thomas Petillo © 2010

Also in August a big sale comes through for me.
A two panel (diptych) 40x60" painting called Stamina and Refrain from the 2007 Evidence of the Disappearance series finds a good home. By late August another painting is created in the white series, as I prepare to host photographer and friend Thomas Petillo for his solo exhibition, North, West, East, South. September comes on strong, with some major life transitions. Thomas' brilliant exhibition debuted in the Hive and I was so happy that I got to spend some time with him while he was here for the opening of the exhibition, again I am so fortunate to be a part of this art community that stretches around the country and the world. I have the best friends.

This same month I was interviewed about my responsibilities at the Fayetteville Underground by Christopher Spencer at Ozarks Unbound and it is nice to be recognized for what all I am doing at the Underground. I also received the most lovely letter, left on my studio desk after that first Thursday from a high school student. I remember reading it and tears welled up in my eyes, I was so moved. During this time, I was also finding a bit of press online for the work in the Liverpool independents biennial. I was very excited by all of this.

I managed to break away for a day for a quick trip to Kansas City to the see The Pixies. It was an amazing show, and I come back inspired. Reminding myself again the importance of stopping every once and a while to experience art and different places, that these things are so important to my creative brain. I continually struggle with balance and music is often the answer. By the end of September, I work on one last painting before my exhibition. This begins the cycle I currently in, where I have not been painting.

In October, I kept working on the last painting, while Julie Wait Designs sold five paintings from my colored paintings to a new corporate client, a regional bank. One white series painting travels to Seattle to be a part of the Underground's group show, 13 Underground at the Shift gallery. I also start preparing for my exhibition Falling into Sound to be held in November. I update my website and have business cards and postcards created and devise a way to display the Manual for Living that makes the works on paper presentable but doesn't detract from the art. By mid October the final painting is complete, and I decide it is too different to include in the exhibition, and it is the painting I end up trading with artist, Matthew Lyman- which turned out to be a perfect solution.

Falling into Sound: Hive Gallery from Megan Chapman on Vimeo.

Falling into Sound debuted in November, and I was truly overwhelmed by the way the work looked together in the gallery. Tears came to my eyes often when I talked about the work to my studio mates and at times I still can't believe that I painted the work. It was such a unique experience and what I consider my finest work to date. I will always remember 2010 as the year of the white series and the manual for living. I learned a lot about myself, opened up and was richly rewarded for doing so. The emotional response I received from this body of work was unmatched and will always be treasured. By the exhibition date there were twenty one official white series paintings completed and eleven of those paintings are now sold.

Also in November, I was interviewed about the monthly offerings at the Fayetteville Underground on our National Public Radio station, KUAF. This is now scheduled to be a regular monthly segment. I really enjoy being able to give a voice to The Underground and spread the word about all the exciting exhibitions we have planned.

In November, I also start mentoring a young art student as he builds his portfolio, this is the same art student who so thoughtfully left me the note in my studio in September. We have only met a few times, but his work has already exploded and this has been a thrill for me to watch and I am happy to help.

As the year closes, two of the white series paintings are in Philadelphia in
the first annual Snow Flake Invitational exhibition at 110 Church gallery and at Art @t Bridge Club of Center City in Philadelphia. I am very pleased to have been asked to participate. Always a thrill to have my work reach a new audience.

I have also just been asked to do a large 5.5x 7ft commission, and I have a feeling this where my mind will be for the beginning of the new year. I really look forward to sinking my teeth into such a large painting. I also concluded the year with five more sales from my colored series from the Art for the Holidays exhibition at the Fayetteville Underground. I am extremely grateful for the patronage and support. One last, but not least highlight of my year was delivering a painting to a Doctor's office for their Christmas party. The Doctor's thoughtful staff had chipped in to get him a painting of mine and I was there to surprise and present the painting to him. I will never forget this moment- I had such a smile on my face, and I think he was very happy with his gift.

Besides all this, there were additional group exhibitions, meetings, special events, studio mates to enjoy, music to listen to, tons of art to see and new frontiers in living. I wrote several little short stories and took a photograph everyday. 2010 was an amazingly busy year, and I can look back with pride for what I accomplished in my art career, at the Fayetteville Underground, and in my life.

So, how was your year? Did you start a new body of work? Did you get into a show you weren't expecting to? Did you come up with a new concept that you are just beginning to explore and expand upon? I hope you had a great year!

I hope you know that you are a part of all of this, my friends, my family, my patrons, my underground family, and all the artists that I have had the pleasure of working with. None of this happens without you. You are central to my success as an artist. I do not create this work alone. I require support, validation, and understanding and you all do a wonderful job of giving it to me and this enables me to keep fighting and pushing forward to create new works. Thank you. I am inspired by so much in this world and I am so happy to share it with you. Thanks for a fantastic 2010! May 2011 be just as bright or even brighter for all of us.

And as always, keep fighting! The world needs your art!

My studio in a pristine state... goal: keep it messy in 2011

Friday, December 17, 2010

so far away yet so close...

blank but not for long... © 2010 Megan Chapman

Here we are again...because it is Friday!

I can't wait until things really get cooking again in the studio, it will make this blog writing so much easier and more fun. I am waiting to start a large commission, and as soon as I get the canvas my world will be taken up with the exciting challenge of painting a 5.5x 7 foot painting. I really can't wait to get started and work on such a grand scale. That process will be documented here to some degree. In another week or so I plan to look back and do a year end review of 2010. It has been an amazing year for me personally and professionally. I think perhaps one of my best. I look forward to examining it and sharing it with you all. I have a lot of things going on currently and as you know I am frustrated I am not painting regularly at this time, but I know this is just a phase and I will rise above it soon enough. Who knows what my art brain has in store for us all.

Now, just in case the locals of Northwest Arkansas don't know where to find my work (and the work of many talented others) for your holiday gift giving or just for yourself.... We now go to a public service announcement courtesy of KUAF our NPR station.

In Hot Springs, Arkansas you can find my paintings at the Blue Moon Gallery, and some of them are specially priced for the season as well. Click on the image below for more information.

You can also find two pieces of mine at the first annual Snow Flake Invitational exhibition at 110 Church gallery and at Art @t Bridge Club of Center City in Philadelphia. I am very pleased to have been asked to participate, and have two paintings from the white series currently on display, one at each gallery. This is a cash and carry show, and 100% of the sale price of the work goes to the artists. To learn more click on the image below.

I hope you enjoy browsing the links, and if you are in Northwest Arkansas, Hot Springs, or the Philadelphia area, please check out my work in person.

Next week, the year in review...

For your listening pleasure : Please check out this video directed by my friend and fellow artist Thomas Petillo. This is a song off Hammock's newest E.P. The Longest Year.

Hammock - Longest Year from Hammock Music on Vimeo.

Friday, December 10, 2010

I really wish...

I really wish I could tell you a story about art, maybe even some type of fiction. I would like you to feel what I feel when I paint. How it feels when the brush hits the canvas. How the music, the weather, my dreams, my stories all wrap upon themselves and slide into the lines. I would like to expand on all the words written on my studio wall and allow them tell the whole story.

There is a grey sky outside my window as I am caught in this vortex of thought and feeling, perhaps willing something to come forth. How I am trying to feel something and how I am trying to get you to feel something as the words, music and art all collapse on themselves. I am a blank slate, tabula rasa.

I am at the edge of something but don't worry I will take you along for the ride. Things are about to get interesting.

I can feel it under my skin...

Random thoughts: (if the above wasn't random enough)

The way Maya Deren talks about time and space in this video, is something I can very much relate to and her work has inspired me. I have never attempted to emulate her, but I think if I may be so bold sometimes my work (especially my photography) comes from the same place as she is describing, yet I would never describe it in her terms. The music in the video is beautiful as well.

Please support local artists this season, you can find my work at the following places.

Thank you &
Keep fighting...

Friday, December 3, 2010

December: Original art at your fingertips...

my studio will get back to this state... (next month)

Yesterday was first Thursday at the Fayetteville Underground, and it was another mad crush of art lovers. I am very pleased that three pieces of mine sold so far during our art for the holidays group exhibition. You can learn more about the exhibition by clicking on the image below. The show will be up all month and there are deals to be had!

Underground gallery hours are W-F 12-7 and Saturday 10-5. Some of my older works are marked down just for this month- so go grab them!

Tonight is first Friday Gallery walk in Hot Springs Arkansas from 5-9pm. You can find my paintings at the Blue Moon Gallery, and some of them are specially priced for the season as well. Click on the image below for more information.

Tonight from 5-8pm is also the first Friday Preview for the first annual Snow Flake Invitational exhibition at 110 Church gallery in Philadelphia. I am very pleased to have been asked to participate, and have two paintings from the white series currently on display. This is also a cash and carry show, and 100% of the sale price of the work goes to the artists. To learn more click on the image below.

I hope you enjoy browsing the links, and if you are in Northwest Arkansas, Hot Springs, or the Philadelphia area, please check out my work in person.

I am still not painting but I have been working with a high school student on building his art portfolio. So far we've only met twice, but it is very exciting to watch his work change and grow so quickly and dramatically. I really enjoy this process and am happy to give some of my time away in this manner. I've been reading some books, listening to tons of music of course, writing some and taking photographs. So, I am always doing something creative while waiting for the next series to evolve and come forward. It was last January when A Manual for Living exploded out of me and the new white series came soon after. So, I have a feeling I am on schedule.

Thank you always for dropping by and reading my blog and for supporting me in my work. I appreciate this more than you know.

As always, keep fighting!

Friday, November 26, 2010

The one where I realize how far I've come.

It's 2 am and after being awake for the last hour in the dark, I finally concede and get up. It is cold in the house, I wrap up in my favorite alizarin crimson Dr Who length scarf. I put the kettle on. There are so many words ricocheting in my head, I visualize them spilling out like marbles and rolling into the corners of the room.

Things are not perfect in my world and I don't want them to be. Things are pretty okay though. I hit repeat on this morning's song. I drink my hot tea, it burns the roof of my mouth. My mind turns to art. So many things have happened with my art that I never would have imagined, but at the same time I can't imagine them not happening either. I have been working on my art for so long now, showing it in galleries for the last fifteen years, since I was twenty three. It came about so organically when a friend saw my work on my apartment wall in Oregon. A painting of a shy demon with big eyes. I smile when thinking back to the painting that was my first entry in a long string of juried exhibitions. School came and went, I was in and out of my element, older than many of the students yet younger than some. I remember feeling so old at twenty seven when I graduated, as if I had missed the boat, but today at thirty eight I feel like I have just been born.

My work has changed and grown, always evolving over the years, not staying stuck in any one place for too long, yet always consistent within each series and new body. As I get older my work is becoming more personal and perhaps even more romantic as I settle into this role of story teller and artist and as I realize this is my true calling, and surely it is too late to turn back now.

When I doubt this, I remind myself that people from all over the world own my work, not just a few people but a lot of people. I remind myself that I have made and sold hundreds of paintings. Hundreds of incarnations out of thin air, hundreds of stories and secret wishes pulled out of the ether and realized in painting form.

My mind drifts as I look down at my glowing computer fingers. I hit repeat on the song once more and smile.

Thank you all so much for your comments last week. I really appreciated every one's suggestions, empathy, and insight. The winner of the paper painting is Lady Wrenna!! Congratulations! Please email me so I know where to send your painting.

Thanks again. Until next week... Keep fighting!

Friday, November 19, 2010

a series designed to break your heart.

This is typical but I feel like I have to warn you or give you a disclaimer. I love art, artists, talking about art, making art, selling art, etc etc.. If you know me at all, you know this is true.

But for this blog, I have to vent a bit. There are a several cool things going on in my art world right now, so I am not complaining and I know I am lucky etc etc..(see, more disclaimers) but right now I just have to express my complete and utter frustration in my lack at being able to paint. I mean, I really can not paint right now. It is like that part of my brain has slipped far away...

This is not the first time this has happened, more like the fifth or sixth... or perhaps this is the eighteenth time. I don't really know and it shouldn't come as a surprise or warrant a blog post but I feel if I don't write about the frustration of it all, I won't move past it. This is typical for me and for a lot of other artists. I just had a show. I worked almost all year on that show. That show is still on display and my studio is feeling a bit lonely- it misses the new white series, the hum of activity, the burst of inspiration and the direction that only a series can bring.

I spent some time looking at my paintings in the gallery the other day and I wanted to cry. I looked at them closely and I wondered if other people looked at them as closely and I wondered what the experience would be like for a stranger to look at them for the first time. Then I felt like I was a stranger. It just didn't feel possible that I could have painted those paintings. I could barely remember the sensation of the brush hitting the canvas, or the flicks of water that beaded up on the oiled surface. I couldn't remember the sound of that water running down the painting onto my paint encrusted easel and the onto the floor and then pooling below staining the concrete. I can tell the story but I can't remember the sensation. I remember jumping up and down in front of my easel. I remember screaming, singing, dancing, crying, writing the flurry of words that would burst into my head as I applied the paint. I would have to quickly scrawl them on my studio wall. Those words became titles and concepts and are woven throughout the white series and became A Manual for Living. I remember shaking and running down the hall to get my studio mate to see something new that I was unsure of. I remember taking snapshots and sharing them with my online studio mates across the ocean. I remember questioning and doubting, and then I remember things being revealed. Suddenly, the path clearly lit for a second and then pushing through to actualize the painting.

I want that all back. I want that back now, I want to get back there! When I stand in front of my easel now, there is nothing. There is no story, no longing, no expression, it feels like repetition, it feels like being born but all my dreams and talent are gone, it feels like a void, a deep absence.

I know I want it too much, and that I am holding on too tight, I can't go back. I know all this. I know this is just the customary post show blues. I know this is fear talking. On my studio wall, more scrawled words, "There is no room for fear in art"- those words emerged while working on one of the last massive pieces in the series.

The other day in an inspired flash, I had an idea for a new series of paintings, it would be called "a series designed to break your heart..."

I think I may have already painted it and I broke my own in the process...

Until next week keep fighting, and I will do the same.
This week.. leave a comment and be entered to win a 9x 12" paper painting. Yes, really. I will draw one random winner and announce the winner next week.

Friday, November 12, 2010

The week after...

Tie a Stone to my heart and watch it sink
mixed media on canvas
20x16" Sold

It has been about a week since Falling into Sound opened at the Hive Gallery at the Fayetteville Underground. It has been a quiet time, time for reflection on the work and the reactions the work has been getting. This past Saturday I gave an informal lecture to a group of university students studying with artist Cindy Wiseman. I really enjoyed the experience, they were a wonderful group of students. We talked for a long time in the hive gallery and then we moved on to my studio briefly. It was a great way to spend a couple of hours on a Saturday.

Viewers seem to have been touched by the work, especially a manual for living. The comment book has been a very interesting and sometimes deeply poignant read. People seem to be responding in a very personal way to Manual and several other the pieces in the exhibition. I am honored that my work seems to touch people. I hope more people will come down and experience the complete body of work as it is currently being shown at the Hive gallery. The exhibition will remain up through November 27. Gallery hours are 12-7 W-F and Sat 10-5. I would love to speak to more classes, groups, or interested individuals about my work. Please email if you would like to set up a time to meet and discuss the work in person at the gallery.

My studio is strangely empty, I started working on some small works on paper and I mailed two paintings off to their destinations this week. One headed to the Washington D.C. area and one to Edinburgh, Scotland. I can't wait for my dear patrons to receive their paintings! I sold an earlier work from a different series to another patron in Liverpool, England this week as well- a piece that was shown at the Aaron Gallery Small Works exhibition that was held last year in Washington D.C. I am looking forward to shipping that small work this week as well. So, this week was also about the tidying up of loose ends and working for the Underground. I also attended another local art event, Art Amiss and took some time to reconnect with some old friends. I was also contacted about possibly mentoring a high school student who is currently in an advanced placement art class. I think we will paint together soon. I am looking forward to the experience.

Today, I spent time in the studio knowing that I just wanted to read a book. Sometimes, I just want to spend time in and around my studio, but I know I don't really plan to work. So, I hung around, talked with my studio mates, read books and looked at a few art magazines. On my way home the sky was grey and the trees were on fire and really popped against the sky. I really enjoyed the colors and the cool air. It felt so good to see and really pay attention to the Autumn.

a taste of autumn
snap shot on the way home from the grocery store

Until next week. You know what to do... Keep Fighting!
Update: The painting featured above sold today!

Friday, November 5, 2010

The day after...

We will sink to the bottom of the ocean together
30x24" Mixed Media on Canvas

As most of you know, last night was the opening of Falling into Sound at the Fayetteville Underground in the Hive Gallery. It was an interesting day. I had mixed emotions as I was preparing to attend the opening. If I am honest a wave of sadness washed over me. So, I took a long walk around my favorite park and I lay in the sun supported by the warm grass. I just listened to the voices in my head, the worried self talk, doubt, pride, hope, all those different voices coming at me. Then I spent the rest of my day cleaning my house and listening to music, just going about my regular routine as if nothing in particular was happening later that day. Soon enough it was time to head to the show. I cued up a special Interpol song for the short drive to the studio and I was ready.

The crowds were great, and it was lovely to see so many friends and patrons out enjoying all the exhibitions at the Underground. The sadness I had felt earlier in the day seemed to wash away. I think the sadness was a mix of fear and just the release of giving up this body of work to the world. I have been enveloped by these pieces practically all year. There is a letting go, a realization that the work is now done and that there is nothing left to work on.

I wonder what my work will look like after this exhibition. I wonder how it will feel to paint again after the show. I know there will be a lull and then I will work again. Will it be a continuation? Perhaps, but I think I may ease back into it by painting some smaller quicker works to finally restock my etsy shop. That is my goal for the next month (it has been my goal for awhile now) to get my shop stocked and ready for Christmas, and then to prepare for some holiday small works shows as well.

Right now, I feel like I just need some time off to absorb what I have just accomplished. This was my eighteenth solo show in the fifteen years I have been showing my art. I am very proud of this body of work, this show, and how all the pieces fit together.

It was a wonderful opening night. I hope more people will come during the quieter gallery hours to absorb the works and join me in falling into sound...

Thank you for your friendship and support.

Falling into Sound: Hive Gallery from Megan Chapman on Vimeo.

Falling into Sound
Megan Chapman
Hive Gallery
Nov. 3-27th
Fayetteville Underground
1 East Center
Fayetteville Arkansas
Gallery Hours: W-F 12-7 and Sat 10-5

In other news: I was interviewed by my local National Public Radio station KUAF about the Underground and my exhibition along with another studio mate. Click on the link to listen.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Falling into Sound: Opens Next Week November 4th.

You can just watch the video or you can read below or both, or just look at the pictures. This week at the studio blog you have options....

Falling into Sound: The Vlog from Megan Chapman on Vimeo.

If you are a regular to this blog or a friend of mine, you probably know that I have an upcoming exhibition that opens next week. (especially if you just watched that video) But, just in case some of you don't know this, I think it bears repeating. My exhibition Falling into Sound will be held November 3-27 in the Hive Gallery at the Fayetteville Underground. The opening reception will be held First Thursday November 4th from 5-8pm. Regular gallery hours are W-F 12-7pm and Saturday 10-5pm.

For those of you who can make it, I look forward to sharing my latest works with you. These are all new works created in 2010. I will be showing eleven new works on canvas and the Manual for Living: A ten page guide, which are works on paper. Here is a recap of the remaining available works. Please contact me via email, if you are interesting in purchasing any of these works through the Fayetteville Underground.

We will sink to the bottom of the ocean together
30x24" $800
©2010 Megan Chapman

A Certain Trajectory
24x30" $800
© 2010 Megan Chapman

Everything feels prehistoric (when we crash down to earth)
30x24" $800
© 2010 Megan Chapman

Falling into Sound
40x30" $1,350
© 2010 Megan Chapman

Something Quiet
20x16" $425
© 2010 Megan Chapman

30x40" $1,350
© 2010 Megan Chapman

Dispensing old memory
16x20" Sold
© 2010 Megan Chapman

things fall away (as we go under)
30x40" $1,350
© 2010 Megan Chapman

when I close my eyes
16x20" $425
© 2010 Megan Chapman

tie a stone to my heart and watch it sink
20x16" Sold
© 2010 Megan Chapman

you will find me here (at the end of the line)
©2010 Megan Chapman
30x24" $800

And for those of you who would enjoy a review of the Manual for living: A ten page guide.

a manual for living: a ten page guide from Megan Chapman on Vimeo.

I am looking forward to the exhibition. For more information about my work you can also visit my website. I will keep you posted and let you know how the opening goes next week. Thanks for your continued support and interest in my work. I am grateful.

Friday, October 22, 2010

In other news...

my work installed, First National Bank, Berryville Arkansas
Images courtesy of Julie Wait Designs

This week, I want to share the snap shots of the 5 paintings that are now in the collection of The First National Bank of Berryville, Arkansas. I was thrilled when Julie Wait Designs contacted me again and wanted to use my work in one of their firm's design projects. Julie Wait Designs also used six of my paintings in the offices of Legacy National Bank in Springdale, Arkansas several years ago. I love it when local designers, use local art in local businesses. It is just a win-win all around. I am always grateful to have my work remembered for projects, and enjoy working with designers, and seeing how my art fits in corporate collections as well as in private ones.

In other news, I am making last minute preparations for my exhibition, Falling into Sound to be held in the Hive Gallery at the Fayetteville Underground. I am excited to show in the Fayetteville Underground, especially after curating several other exhibitions in the Hive gallery. I am interested to see how my own work will look and transform the space. My new business cards and post cards will arrive this week, and then there will be the framing of the Manual for Living to attend to and the printing up of my statement and all the other little bits that come together to create a show. My exhibition will consist of eleven paintings on canvas and the ten page manual. All the work will be for sale, and I really look forward to seeing this body of work all together as a cohesive whole and talking with people about the work.

Falling into Sound

Hive Gallery
Fayetteville Underground
November 3-27, 2010.
Opening Reception First Thursday November 4 from 5-8pm

a manual for living: a ten page guide from Megan Chapman on Vimeo.

I hope you have a great week. More about Falling into Sound next week!! As always, keep fighting...and if you are local, mark your calendar for November 4th from 5-8pm.

Friday, October 15, 2010

this island is on fire...

This is the painting that refused to be born until it just was.
And once it was, it was a new chapter, or perhaps a chapter all it's own.

In other news, this week was intense and busy and I am glad it is behind me.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Falling into Sound: November 2010

Click above to visit my newly updated website

Megan Chapman
Falling into Sound
Hive Gallery
Fayetteville Underground
November 3-27 2010
Opening Reception: First Thursday Nov 4th 5-8pm

Megan Chapman's exhibition Falling into Sound features all new work created during 2010. Falling into Sound will debut in the Hive Gallery at the Fayetteville Underground during the month of November. Megan Chapman is better known for her richly colored mixed media paintings on canvas and paper, while this work is more minimalist in nature, with a near monochromatic palette comprised of various tones of dark charcoal, translucent shades of blue, yellow, rust, and the occasional flash of green. As the title suggests, Chapman's works are greatly influenced by the music she listens to while painting. These paintings are quiet and meditative but also buzzing with layers of subtle colors and texture. Along with her works on canvas, Chapman will be showing the Manual for Living : A ten page guide. This "book" will never be bound but will be shown in sequential order, always to remain together. Each page its own chapter, the viewer will “read” this work starting with the wordless prologue, the eight pages in between with their text, and concluding with a wordless epilogue.This work explores themes of love and loss mixed into a poetry of longing.

Megan Chapman was born in Fayetteville, Arkansas. She received her B.F.A. in painting from the University of Oregon. Chapman has shown her paintings over the past fifteen years in galleries in Arkansas, Kentucky, Oklahoma, Oregon, Texas, Washington State and Washington D.C. Most recently a collaborative painting by Chapman was exhibited in the Liverpool Independents Biennial in Liverpool England. Chapman's work has appeared in various publications and is held in numerous private collections nationally as well as internationally.

For more information about her work please visit her website

We will sink to the bottom of the ocean together
30x24" Mixed Media on Canvas
© 2010 Megan Chapman

Friday, October 1, 2010

Putting out fires...

detail: work in progress
(subject to major changes)

And again my work suffers. It's been a while hasn't it? Not having anything new to show is making writing this blog uncomfortable, but this is how it rolls sometimes. I produce a lot of work in a years time, and sometimes there are lulls. Here we have a nicely documented lull. But, I am doing other things that are important for my art career in the meantime.

I am very excited to report I just sold 5 paintings to a new corporate client, a bank. So, this week I had to deliver the works to the interior designer who chose my work for her project. This is very exciting, and I am thrilled to be remembered when it comes to using my work. This interior designer had used my work in another bank several years ago. I did other odds and ends, not only for myself but for my fellow studio mates, and for the studios where I work. It was a lively week, and I did manage to paint, just not to a point where it is done. Today, may be the day. If I can really focus on the painting I might be able to make it come together, if not I may have to start a smaller painting, just so I can feel the satisfaction of something clicking and of completion. I also really need to restock my Etsy shop- perhaps I should move on to some small paper works. (I forgot about this trick to help me get past lulls, glad I just remembered!)

I can't believe it is already October! Sorry I just had to put that out there. In other news, I am of course enjoying the fall, the light, the cooler temperature, the strange nostalgic hope that it brings to me. I am enjoying my house more than I have in a while and re-grounding to my life. That sounds fluffy and strange, but I lost myself for a while in my art and escaping, and while my art might be taking a back seat in this moment, my mind and body are grateful to touch the earth. I am a bit of a workaholic, people pleaser, and (something else I can't remember) and I can be all these things to the detriment of my health and well being. So I am trying to back off a little bit or at least be more mindful.

Anyway, this post seems rather disjointed and probably too honest. I remember when this blog was all "rah rah rah you can do this and here's how," and now it has turned more inward to me and what I am doing, this may be why I have lost readers. I think we are all looking for someone to tell us what to do, how to do it, and also to give us praise for what we are doing. But, I've already done that here.

All I know is that making art is central to who I am, and I will continue to walk this path and I am grateful to all my patrons, teachers, mentors, muses, friends, and family who have supported me on this journey.

I predict a renaissance this Fall. I just have to be patient.

Note to self: Four weeks until my exhibition Falling into Sound to be held in the Hive Gallery, Fayetteville Underground.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Into the white...

Reflection in Studio Lights
(things to do while not painting)

I was all charged up and inspired as I wrote last week after getting out of town and seeing The Pixies. The Autumn also energizes me, I love the atmosphere of leaves blowing across the street, big moons, dark skies, and cooler temperatures. It hasn't quite reached that point here yet, still I know it is coming and that too is inspiring.

They say the road to hell is paved with good intentions. I didn't do as much painting as I hoped this week, but after what felt like a long streak of not painting, I did manage to work on another large 36x48" canvas. I have been working on this piece for the last 5 weeks albeit sporadically and without much direction. Yesterday, I was in the studio early and I was determined to whip the canvas into shape and into something. I had my music and my headphones on, and I tried purposely not to talk to my studio mates too much before I began working as I know that really throws me off my game and distracts me.

I closed the studio door behind me and turned up my music. I started painting, suddenly I felt that clear headed, focused feeling I hadn't felt in a while. I was thinking about my materials, how good they felt in my hands, and how connected I feel to my methods for using them. Things were clicking and I was relieved. I made some marks that I loved on the big painting, and I did my jump up and down dance and some tears managed to well up in my eyes. I thought again about the idea that any time I am not painting I am actually punishing myself (this is an idea I think I have mentioned here before). When I don't work, it feels like "rest" but it is really torture.

As I worked I also kept thinking "there is no room for fear in art" that saying just kept going around and around in my head, so much so that I finally wrote it on my studio wall, so I could let it go. I think that was part of the problem keeping me from really painting these past few weeks, besides the distractions in my life, there was a lot of fear. I had just painted two paintings that I was extremely happy with and that sold before they were even exhibited. It is hard to follow that up! I was holding back so as not to disappoint myself. So, I had to let go of that. Did I complete the painting I worked on yesterday? Oh no, not by a long shot, and I am not even happy with it in the least, but all these layers have to be built up first before the real painting can emerge. If I let this fear of disappointment or failure get in the way then this painting will never be born.

I focused and I painted, I cursed and I smiled, I jumped up and down again, I sang, I took breaks, I was frustrated beyond belief. I also remembered this is the dance of all my good paintings. These things take time, and I do believe it is on my side.

In other news, I started reading a book I like, I've been taking more walks, I have talked to some family and some friends, I have gone to sleep when I felt like it and have generally taken better care of myself than I have in a long while. I am still refueling, and perhaps by next week I will have something new to show you.

Did you know I am having a solo exhibition in November in The Hive Gallery at the Fayetteville Underground? Well, I am. So, soon this blog may turn into a chronicle of the process of getting prepared for that. First things first, I need a title for my show, a press release and to decide which image best represents the new white series. Then there will be the updating of my website, business cards and postcards to design and have made as well. Perhaps even a poster... So much to do!

Thanks for popping in, and as always keep fighting. I've said it before and I'll say it again, the world needs your art.

Detail of the tricky monster on my easel. Just a tiny section, and if you click on it will take you to some music music music! See you next week. Same Bat-channel!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

In a homemade boat...

The Pixies
Uptown Theatre, Kansas City
September 17 2010

The printing press is now fully operational. Perhaps even I am almost fully operational. I am running on fumes of the best kind, I am just back from The Pixies show in Kansas City.

Everyone who knows me or who reads my blog, knows how important music is for my art and life. It is the fuel for my fire, and it is my inspiration. Seeing live music is such a transcendent experience and it usually stays with me a while. I know this show is going to stay with me, and the crazy thing is, I almost didn't go...

There are many reasons I almost missed this show. I had been busy in the weeks/months leading up, finding myself exhausted and with an aching neck. I also reminded myself that I don't particularly like being packed like a sardine into a hotbox. So these issues/excuses were all telling me it would be so much easier to just stay at home and relax.

But, at the last minute I changed my mind and just went for it. I knew I would regret it if I didn't go and I reminded myself how powerful live music is, especially legendary music from a band like The Pixies, and I am so glad I went.

Everything from the venue, the visuals behind the band, the banter, the set list, and of course the delivery by the Pixies was spot on, I couldn't have asked for a better show to attend. This experience makes me feel alive, inspired, and hopeful for my future work.

This blog is supposed to be about visual art, and I am supposed to share my art with you regularly. As you may have noticed I haven't shared any new work with you in almost a month, because there hasn't been any to share. While this makes me frustrated and anxious, I now know why I haven't been working. The well was simply dry. I had nothing to draw from and I needed to fill it back up. This is not a failure on my part, this is just a fact. In order to produce, you have to put information in. This concert was the first step in refilling the well. There are also some books I want to read, some stories I want to write, some films I want to see, some friends and family I want to call, some walks I want to take, and some people in my life I want to say no to and some people I need to ask for help from. Hopefully there will also be more live music in the mix as well. These are all parts of the refilling process, these are all things that have been running dry in my life of late.

Currently the water is two feet high and rising....soon to be five.
The paintings will again pour out.

How high is the water where you are?

Friday, September 17, 2010


The printing press had issues this morning, but maintenance is looking at it and we should be back to full production shortly. Thanks for your patience.

In other words, I am out having a life experience. I hope to come back with renewed vigor and inspiration. Check back later this weekend. Tonight, I will be doing something like this...

Friday, September 10, 2010

Dreams and remembrances...

Delay Before Abandon
© Megan Chapman & Steven Heaton

This post is really for me. This is a page in my virtual scrap book, so I can keep this information all in one place when I am looking back and perhaps when I am looking forward and making new plans. Needless to say I am inspired and pleased with the attention Delay before Abandon has received so far, it is going to be much harder to cover up now...I am glad it is Steven's turn after the show is over!

I wish I could see it in person, but I know the work is in good hands, and I am grateful for this opportunity and for those who have gone to view the work and especially for those who have documented it so I can see it in it's new temporary home.

For those in and around the Liverpool area, please go check out the exhibition, and don't forget to search out Steven Heaton's work. I can't get enough of these resin pieces of his and if I had the opportunity to see them in person I surely would. I think these are some of his finest works to date and therefore I am going to post them again for your enjoyment...

What still remains
© Steven Heaton

A world without us
© Steven Heaton

Next week there will be a new painting here by me and that is a promise. As always keep fighting. The world needs your art.