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.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Ready to start...

© Thomas Petillo

I just want to remember some of the things that inspired me this week. Things that sent shivers down my spine, things that made me feel like anything was possible. I want to remember the little connections and the epic ones.

This week, I had the pleasure of hosting visiting artist and friend Thomas Petillo. He arrived on Tuesday and left this morning. He brought his beautiful photographs with him, and presented Fayetteville with his stunning exhibition, North, West, East, South in the Hive Gallery at the Fayetteville Underground. It was so lovely to have him around the Underground and introduce him to my studio mates, and show him around town. Having him here really helped me appreciate my town and what is happening at the underground even more. It is always nice to see your world through a different set of eyes. It was a joy to be able to introduce such a beautiful soul and talent to the folks of Fayetteville. If you are local or regional don't miss Thomas Petillo's exhibition, his work will be up through October 2nd. The Fayetteville Underground's galleries are open W-F 12-7 and Saturday 10-5.

Also to learn more about some of what I do at the Fayetteville Underground, please check out this recent interview. I was thrilled to be asked to participate in Christopher Spencer's Five Questions segment for Ozarks Unbound.

First Thursday was last night, and it was another wonderful event. I didn't spend the usual amount of time in my studio, as I wanted to be in the Hive gallery with Thomas for his show. At the end of the night I went back to my studio and found this note on my desk. I had a moment to myself, so I picked it up and read it. I must say this note moved me so deeply. It meant a lot to me that this high school art student would take the time to write. As I read, tears welled up in my eyes. This is something I will treasure always. I hope he doesn't mind that I documented this note and am sharing it. I also hope to meet this young artist one day, and even more that that, I hope to see his work on a gallery wall in the near future.

In other news, I am still so pleased that Delay before Abandon, the collaborative paper painting that Steven Heaton and I have been working on is going to be in the Chaosmos 2010 exhibition as part of the Liverpool Independents Biennial, which opens this month. Last month, I mentioned that besides our collaborative piece, Steven Heaton would have other works in the exhibition. Well, I just want to show you a couple of those pieces because I am also so inspired by them. I could get lost in all the layers of paint and decay, the hints of color and sparks of orange and rust all encapsulated in resin. I like everything about these rich and layered works. How I wish I could see them in person.

What still remains
© Steven Heaton

A world without us
© Steven Heaton

And lastly, this song and video sends shivers down my spine, and will serve as an anthem for the upcoming Fall. I look forward to returning to my studio on Monday to paint to this song on repeat. The world is full of magic, beautiful people and beautiful art. I am grateful for it and for you...

Are you ready to start?