Friday, December 30, 2016

2016 year end review

Happy New Year! If you are a regular reader, you may remember that I usually end the year with a lengthy post to remind myself of my accomplishments and experiences in art during the past year.

To start, the most important practice I have engaged in this past year has been to re-commit to writing this blog. I am very proud that I have returned to this ritual after unsuccessfully exploring other formats. This blog provides an important foundation for me and writing here each week (mostly) since 2007 has been one of the best gifts I have ever given to myself and my work. I appreciate those of you who have read and responded in some way to my words here. Thank you.

January: This month marked the start of my second year in studio G23 at the Out of the Blue Drill Hall on Dalmeny Street in Leith. I thank my lucky stars every day for this space. The studio space kept evolving as I became more familiar with it and more committed to working there. My studio practice started off strong at the beginning of 2016, spurred by December 2015 sales allowing for new supplies to be purchased.

February: I was offered a solo exhibition of recent works at The Tide Gallery and Coffee Shop in Portobello, Edinburgh. I remember feeling very pleased and happy that my large pieces were going to be on show across from the beach. It was a lovely venue and the eight pieces from my Delicate Balance series filled the space perfectly. The exhibition that was planned to be a two-week engagement, was held over for two more, making it a month long! 

In other exhibition news in February, Cupola Gallery in Sheffield decided to keep my paintings I had sent them the previous November for further exhibition. Stateside, my work was shown at The University of Tulsa at the Zarrow Center for Art & Education, alongside some of my esteemed, fellow Arkansan abstract painters in the exhibition, Abstract ARt.

March: I worked on a series of small paintings as well as a new large series of canvases. The small series, made up of twelve pieces became known as Deliciously lost againThe color yellow ochre was the driving force in the studio at this time. I started saving the blotter papers from my process and dreamed of ways to use them in future projects. I struggled with balance, ebb and flow as I worked on the larger pieces.

April: I finished a large 100x150cm painting and shipped several small paintings to the states. I happily communicated with a patron about an upcoming commission and continued to work on a new painting. I completed nine paintings in the large works series entitled, "A shift in the weather." I enjoyed an outing to East Lothian to visit fellow artist Louise Blamire, I left with my head filled with inspiration and hope.

May: I worked on the special Stateside commission and enjoyed using materials I had never used before. I always love a challenge. I was also interviewed for Edinburgh based, Portfolio Oomph for their meet the artist/teacher feature. I really appreciated this opportunity. It was during this month that I was invited to show four of my Delicate Balance and two of my Shift in the Weather paintings in the ReUnion exhibition at the newly relocated Union gallery in Edinburgh.

June: The ReUnion exhibition continued at Union Gallery and I continued working in the studio completing and shipping the commission piece to The States. We took a short trip to Paris to see my brother, his family and his band. To be in such a city of culture was breathtaking.

July: I started a new small series of paintings called "I love the broken things best" sadly this series didn't materialize in the way I hoped. I made two paintings in the series and then a new series arrived like a bolt of lightning. Magenta entered the scene. I am so excited about this series, I write a friend and even told my parents that "I love color so much it makes me want to grind my teeth to dust." The series came on strong but then stalled out just as quickly. I found this very frustrating. 

I turned my attention to having archival prints made. I was excited to offer this new range of my work as I am adamant that art should be for all people. I wanted my prints to be made here in Edinburgh and to support a local business in the process so that's why I chose a fellow artist and dear friend, Jenni Douglas' printing service. I spent a good amount of time ramping up my social media campaigns on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook in order to promote these new prints. 

August: I was informed that several pieces of my work were going to be kept on display at Union Gallery for the month of August, during the festival time for maximum exposure. I am delighted! In the meantime, I struggled with the current series "A change in the frequency." My collection of blotter papers grew as I worked. It was a reflective time spent engaged in the studio process and never-ending social media. 

September: During this month I returned to an abandoned small series and created one of my best paintings of the year. I completed five new small works and released more paintings as small prints. Patrons seemed to enjoy these additions as well and thanks to sales more materials were purchased. On September 25th, I marked my two year anniversary of living in Scotland.

October: I made another country jaunt to see Louise for inspiration and nature and then I was back to it with an addition of three more new small works. During this time, I decided that I have indeed finished the four large pieces in the "Frequency" series. 

In big news, I was interviewed by artist and art editor, Brian McFie for SOGO magazine. "SOGO magazine is a Scottish based quarterly lifestyle and arts publication, which promotes and provides a platform for Scottish creative industries and communities." It is a beautiful publication based in Glasgow and the Autumn 2016 issue included a beyond wonderful piece about my work. 

I continued to work on small pieces as I tried to contain my excitement about the article. I also added three more prints to my available collection. I deep cleaned my studio and created more storage, I was very pleased with this.

November: SOGO Magazine came out and I was ecstatic! Get yourself a copy of this gorgeous magazine. It is available all over Scotland and through their website. Here is an excerpt from this time: 

"This article means more to me than I can properly articulate but simply put, it is what I have been working for all these years and what I will continue to work for. To have my art seen, understood and appreciated in this way is a balm for my soul. To have my art written about in this manner in my adopted home of Scotland is just the right kind of fuel for my fire and inspires me to keep going and assures me that I am in the right place, doing the right work. This validation is beyond compare and I am grateful. Thank you to Brian McFie for taking the time to see and engage with my work in this way and for articulating his experience in print."

After this most wondrous event, Stewart and I took a three week holiday to see my parents and friends in Arkansas for the rest of the month. It was wonderful to bask in the sunshine, brightly colored leaves and the southern hospitality. It was important for me to remember where I am from and how this factors into my work and into my everything. You can take the woman out of Arkansas but you can't take the Arkansas out of the woman and why would anyone want to? It was a good holiday and I even sold two large paintings to collectors in Los Angeles and Atlanta from my archive. Thanks to everyone who made our time in Arkansas so beautiful and sweet. It did my soul good.

December: We arrived back from Arkansas via Brussels a few hours later than scheduled, jet lagged and without luggage on December 1. I participated in Open Studios at the Drill Hall on December 3rd. It was good to see friends and family in Edinburgh and sell some small originals and prints at the event. The rest of the month was taken up with holiday markets, holiday shopping and family and friends over the festive season and that brings us to today, my year end review. 

In closing here are some bullet points for easy digestion (mostly for myself). 

Maintained my weekly studio blog.
Solo exhibition at The Tide
Online interview in Portfolio Oomph.
Two group exhibition opportunities at Union gallery.
Continued relationship with Cupola Gallery in Sheffield.
Group exhibition at the University of Tulsa back in the states. 
Extraordinary feature article in SOGO magazine.

Twelve large works created (with three in progress).
One medium sized commission completed.
Twenty small works created (with many more in various states of progress).
Fifteen of my small works are now offered as signed limited edition prints.

Sold Twenty-five originals from various series, including small and large works on canvas and paper.
Sold thirty prints from my newest series.
Sold six prints from my older series.

Besides all of this, I am perhaps most happy about the relationships I have formed with other artists and patrons throughout the year. These relationships have sustained me and kept me inspired via social media and out in the world. Special shout out to my Glasgow area patrons and friends, you know who you are!

I traveled, I saw art, and I lived my life. I maintained my health, relationships, and remained as ever, an artist. As I write this blog, I have seen lapses, weaknesses, and plenty of things I could have done differently, but 2016 was 2016 and now it's time to move on. Thanks to everyone who supports my work and reads this blog. You and your encouragement are my currency of hope and you mean the world to me. 

Until next year, keep fighting! 2017 may require more fight than usual and will certainly require you and your art! I'll show up if you will.

Friday, December 23, 2016


I am not painting right now and it bothers me. I can't remember the last day I actually painted.

I remember varnishing paintings. I remember cleaning the studio and getting it all set up for open studios at the beginning of December but I can't remember getting lost in the brush strokes of a painting.

It's been a busy couple of months with the three week holiday in November in Arkansas, the open studio event at the start of December, and a studio sale in my Etsy shop. I have also packed and shipped a few orders (Thank you patrons!). I have done some social media promotion here and there. I have seen some exhibitions and art in these past weeks as well.

Of course there was also holiday decorating, baking and shopping and a holiday party to attend. There was also jet lag and getting used to the dark, rainy days. Let's not forget the election news (which is enough to make anyone with sense want to hide in a hole).

Perhaps the last six to eight weeks haven't been meant for painting. Maybe I am collecting feelings, ideas and inspirations. Maybe I am having a holiday from it all even though it feels weird and frightens me a little. I have been here before. In the new year the doors will open, the business of life will settle into a routine again and I will paint. There is no point in entertaining this creeping doubt, I have painted consistently for over twenty years, I am unlikely to ever stop.

I am curious how my trip back to Arkansas will enter into my painting and the grim Scottish winter, will it change the hot pinks that were happening earlier this year? I did dream of a colour palette that I quite liked, will I use it in future paintings?

This post is mostly for me so I can let go of these bothersome, "you aren't working hard enough - you fraud!" feelings (some of the most common feelings for working artists). I know this is an old useless script anyway but I am human and it comes up.

I have now made my confession in the glow of the Christmas tree, with the curtains drawn and the rain pelting the window and I know now in my heart that the ache in my fingertips will produce more art in the coming days. I can rest easy.

Until next week, keep fighting (but not yourself, fight the power, fight the man but never yourself- you probably do enough of that already!) and join me here next week for my annual year end review blog.

Take care one and all and happy holidays.
Love and light. - Megan

Friday, December 16, 2016

Joan Eardley: A Sense of Place

Image from National Galleries Website

Today we took in the Joan Eardley exhibition, A Sense of Place at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art. Admittedly my experience of Ms. Eardley's work was rather limited until fairly recently. The artist makes a distinct impact once paths cross as she did when I first came across her painting Catterline in Winter as part of the Modern Scottish Women: Painters and Sculptors exhibition earlier in the year.

It was a rare treat to see so many of Eardley's paintings together, as the beautifully curated exhibition, Sense of Place guided us from her paintings of Glasgow tenements and children, to the seaside cottages and landscape of Catterline. I felt I was having a conversation with the artist as we walked from room to room through her exhibition.

She is a master colourist and her marks are energetic and powerful. I could almost sense her delight when the colours popped and worked together or when an expert smudge made an expression come to life or a broad stroke created an angry sea. She had such a strong and capable handling of her medium.

There is a fevered passion, dedication and a strength to her work that has left me in awe. Her work made me want to be a better painter and to immerse myself deeper in the craft. I sensed that her paintings and her time spent working on them were her everything and that she was still there somewhere deep within these papers and canvases.

While the artist sadly passed away from breast cancer at the age of 42 in 1963, her paintings feel as alive and vital as if someone had painted them yesterday. Not dated or lost in time in anyway, these works are classic and contemporary at the same time. Transcendent.

It felt as if Eardley was sometimes chiding me as I looked at her work, asking me what the hell I was doing with my time. As I left the exhibition, I felt the need to paint furiously for every day she hasn't been on the planet.

Thank you, Ms. Eardley. Message received.

Joan Eardley | A Sense of Place
3rd December 2016 − 21st May 2017
Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art | £9 (£7)

Friday, December 9, 2016

Re-entry : Support & Sales

Last Saturday's Open Studios at the Out of the Blue Drill Hall was a lovely event. I had my studio open from 11-5 p.m. and enjoyed chatting with friends and family who stopped by as well as potential patrons and passerby.

It was a bit slower than last year. The word on the street is that folks are being a bit more careful with their money right now and aren't spending quite as much or are waiting until the last minute for special deals to take the sting out of holiday shopping. #Brexit

I understand this and I appreciate your support during times like these especially. I am grateful for everyone who stopped by my studio and purchased art or had a kind word. I also appreciate the folks that bought paintings from my Arkansas archive while I was in back home visiting. #Trump

For folks that couldn't make it to the open studios or are further afield and are looking for the most value for your art buying pound or dollar, I do have a Studio Sale section in my Etsy shop currently.

These are the last available works from this 2012 series.
£5. Available in my studio sale section.

I am offering a small selection of older limited edition prints and original small works on paper at bargain prices with free shipping in the U.K. and only £5 shipping to anywhere else in the world!

These are the last available works from this 2013 series.
 £10. Available in my studio sale section.

These are the last available works from this 2014 series.
£20. Available in my studio sale section.
I have also changed some of my prices on the original small paintings throughout my Etsy shop to reflect the current market as well. These prices will not be changing again so please have another look if it has been awhile! For example, the remaining small paintings from A Wintering Heart series are £35 and you will find that the remaining small paintings from the series, Deliciously Lost Again, Return to Now and Little Meteors are £74.50. My newest small works are still £85 and my latest signed limited edition prints are still just £15. So as you can see, I am trying to offer a range of prices so that my small Etsy works remain accessible for as many as possible.

Folks don't always realize how much their small purchases add up and make a huge difference in the life of an artist, but they really do. Even just a £5-£20 purchase keeps me working, encouraged and moving forward on the path. Thanks for considering my work either for your own collection or to give as a gift this season. To all my collectors past, present and hopefully future, you have made a difference to me and my work. Thank you!

I believe in art and artists. I believe in creativity. I believe in music. I believe in giving of ourselves and sharing the communal secrets through our work. I believe in supporting other artists on the path. I believe art is the answer to most troubles, so please if you are feeling dark, make or participate with art. Share your work and stories. Put more light into the world through your art or your enjoyment of art. We need it now more than ever. 

Thank you for being part of this experience with me.

Friday, December 2, 2016

Return to Edinburgh!

We're back in Edinburgh and it feels a bit surreal. The past few days have blended together and I am not quite sure where I am. I suppose that's jet lag for you. We were scheduled to arrive very early yesterday morning but our flight got rerouted through Brussels and we ended up arriving about 4 hours later and without our checked luggage. It arrived later today though so all is well in the end. Today is mostly about trying not to fall asleep in the morning and staying up late enough into the night to get our sleep patterns back to normal.

Today is also a very busy day of last minute preparation for open studios at the Out of the Blue Drill Hall on Dalmeny Street in Leith where I work. Tomorrow, Saturday December 3rd from 11-5 pm I will be in my studio G23 with the door wide open and a smile on my face in order to share my work and studio space with patrons and the simply curious. I enjoy talking about my art and practice to interested folks so I hope there will be a good turn out. I will have limited edition prints as well as some special sale items and many of my large scale paintings available.

If for any reason you can't attend the open studios please visit my Etsy shop where I have a studio sale section. You will find some oldies but goodies from several different series at reduced prices.

I must say I feel like I have been caught in a dream of sorts. I am sure I will have more to say next Friday so please tune in then!

Friday, November 25, 2016

The perfect day after

I couldn't possibly write another post about my hometown of Fayetteville, Arkansas. Or could I? It's the day after Thanksgiving and I'm awake in my parent's house in the country.

Today we will scan more old family photos for my winter genealogy project and eat Thanksgiving leftovers. The cornbread dressing will be even more flavorful and the pumpkin pie will taste even better under a new fresh mound of sweet whipped topping.

Falling into Sound 
Later we will go back into town and explore the bars of downtown and Dickson street with my brother Ben and stay up late in a borrowed house taking turns playing music and impressing each other with our good taste. It's the perfect day after. I will sell my brother an older painting and will be very happy that it will be staying in the family. I will ship it to Atlanta in the coming days.

I know the holiday is winding down and I can start to feel the toll of different time zones and mattresses but I am not ready to go back just yet. We have just over one more week left with the bright red leaves, open roads, nature sounds and family stories. I want to slow down time and breathe it all in.

All I know is that time travel is wonderful.

Friday, November 18, 2016

Foundations of work

I am sitting in a borrowed kitchen writing this blog once again from Fayetteville, Arkansas. This time I am not jet lagged. It is 1:30 in the afternoon on a glorious fall day. Chet Baker plays from my computer as I sit next to an open window and the sun casts shadows across the table. I can hear the wind in the tops of the trees. This is paradise. The temperature has dropped and more leaves have fallen, brisk, earthy, fresh and clean.

This is my hometown. I breathe it all in.

There is so much wrong with America but within my friends, family and community here, there is the best of America. There is culture, innovation, humor, intellect, creativity, empathy and sharing. The hospitality shown to us on this holiday has been nothing short of extraordinary.

The light dances across walls, the wooden floor creaks under foot and the stars shine bright in the country sky. The laughter is easy and the hushed whisper stories are contagious. The beans and cornbread my mom makes are still the best.

The birds are singing sweetly outside and I recognize their calls. They ground me here and now. In someone else's house, I am home.

Friday, November 11, 2016

Blue skies, trains whistles and open hearts

It's 3:30 in the morning. I am awake and writing this blog in Fayetteville, Arkansas, the place of my birth and my old stomping grounds. I have jet lag, so I thought I would use this wakefulness to write here before I try to get some more sleep. I used to always wake up in Fayetteville at 3 a.m. so this feels about right anyway.

I hear the old train in the distance and there is a chill in the air. The punchy autumn leaves are beautiful whether still in the trees or scattered on the lawns and sidewalks. The air is thinner here, smells of grass and is a bit sweet. The sky was the most amazing shade of blue yesterday.

The insects and birds sing their songs which are instantly relaxing, familiar and old fashioned. Even though my town has changed and grown it feels delightfully empty to me now. One can still walk down the middle of the streets and have all the personal space you want as walkers are few and far between. It looks like a movie set. An old friend now owns the perfect little music shop filled with beautiful instruments and another one owns a record store of dreams, seemingly from a time when record stores were the epicenter of everything. Old friends can still be met on the street for conversation, consolation, laughs and hugs. One can see and hear from everyone you are meant to without too much arrangement or formality. It's so easy and sweet, still.

At lunch, a waitress brings an extra fork when only one desert is ordered and says "That's for you darlin'- this stuff is good for the soul..." Hospitality is everywhere and people are effusive even in this dark time for America and the world. I realize that my open heart and my resilience were created here on the streets and wild spaces and with the people of this sweet town. I am grateful for this comfort and knowledge.

This blog is not about art but at the same time it is. The spirit of this town is in every piece I make.

Mural by Alexis Diaz

Friday, November 4, 2016

Sogo Magazine!

I needed to buy some varnish this past weekend so off we went to Greyfriar's art supply on Dundas street and there it was... Sogo Magazine!

I was so excited to see the magazine in a rack by the counter with Alasdair Gray's cover drawing. I grabbed a copy to purchase along with my varnish and then decided I better grab two. As soon as I hit the pavement outside the shop, I had a good flip through this beautiful and elegant publication. The reproductions were stunning and the paper was wonderful. Truly a top notch publication, well designed and filled with great art and artists and brilliantly written articles. 

I excitedly read bits of Brian McFie's article, The Beautiful Mind Laid Open, about my work outside on the street to Stewart as we walked on to a nearby pub to celebrate. Stewart took these mobile photos around the corner against a wall on Circus Lane to capture the moment. I was giddy.

I took to social media and shared a quote from the article soon after. I will share it again here along with a few others but truly I hope if you are in Scotland that you will find a copy of the magazine locally or go online and subscribe. It is obvious how hard everyone involved works on Sogo from how much energy, talent and passion is contained within the pages.

This article means more to me than I can properly articulate but simply put, it is what I have been working for all these years and what I will continue to work for. To have my art seen, understood and appreciated in this way is balm for my soul. To have my art written about in this manner in my adopted home of Scotland is just the right kind of fuel for my fire and inspires me to keep going and assures me that I am in the right place, doing the right work. This validation is beyond compare and I am grateful. Thank you to Brian McFie for taking the time to see and engage with my work in this way and for articulating his experience in print.

So here are a few select quotes from Brian McFie's piece that brought tears to my eyes and a smile to my face. 

"I ventured downstairs and was delighted when confronted by three works on canvas by Megan. Much bolder in real life and just as dynamic as I hoped they would be. The handling of the media employed had a thoroughly informed power behind it."

"The composition was dynamic, the approach searching, it's creator pushing limits and tussling with philosophical, poetic and metaphysical questions and ideas."

"This is difficult territory. One has to be brave to go there. To my mind the name Megan Chapman will eventually be held in as high esteem as Mitchell, Frankenthaler, and De Kooning. (Elaine that is, her work should be held in as high esteem as Willem's). These artists should in turn be revered as much as their male counterparts, Twombly, Motherwell, Rauschenberg and Pollock."

"It is clear to me that this artist, an American, far from home embarked on a journey, which is traveled to this day both inwardly and outwardly. The work speaks to the heart of the heart from the heart. It is a profoundly enriching body of work. As with earth, water and air. Essential."

I held my breath the first time I read a rough draft of this piece. My face turned red. I closed my eyes and blinked to make sure of what I was reading. My work had been seen and understood and the evidence of this was in print. I was understandably floored. 

I have given my life to this calling. It is a hard path at times and doesn't always make that much sense to some (including myself). Sometimes though, something like this article happens and then everything makes sense. I smile to myself and for a little while, I know exactly what I am doing and why. I breathe in this victory, put my headphones back on and get back to work.

" the heart, of the heart, from the heart."

Friday, October 28, 2016

Art mirrors life

The studio got to a tipping point this week. I was cultivating a nice nest of papers and canvases and just a bit of madness, Francis Bacon style. It felt good but at the same time if I want to have patrons visit the studio it was time to clean it up.

After a meditation, I envisioned a new way to use my studio space and went to work on making it a reality.

A wall of cupboard doors came off thanks to help from Stewart. Suddenly I could store all of my paints and materials where I could see them and easily access them. This storage space had been so under utilized and now it is teeming with use, purpose and my beautiful materials. This excites me to no end! Also, because my materials can now be seen I know exactly what I have and what I need as it runs out and as my materials are no longer covering my table, I have space to work there. This also presents me with a good space to package up prints and small paintings. It all just makes so much more sense. I am delighted! I moved my table across the room and now I have more space to stand back from my paintings as I am working. This is a much better arrangement!

We signed the lease on the studio in the second week of December 2014 (just three months after I arrived in Edinburgh from Fayetteville, Arkansas) and I have been working in Studio G23 at the Out of the Blue Drill Hall on Dalmeny Street in Leith since January 2015. It has taken a lot of time to get to know the space and be able to feel comfortable and loving towards it.

I barely speak to anyone there and don't know many of the artists that work in the building but the space has been a wonderful companion here as I create my work. I am glad to be seeing it for what it is and utilizing it's potential. After losing a studio space once that I dearly loved back home at the end of 2012, I have been hesitant to commit or believe this space is really mine or that it is really here for me. It's time to trust again. I finally think I am ready.

Art mirrors life. I finally think I am ready.

Friday, October 21, 2016

The lessons I hold dear

I am pleased to write that three new limited edition prints from my latest series of small works have been released into the world! I love the quality of these reproductions and I'm thrilled that two of them have already found homes! A small original painting and two other prints from my collection also sold this week. It fills me with joy knowing that people live with my art.

I think I have mentioned this before on my blog but I think it is worth mentioning again. Another thing I love about my limited edition prints is the fact that each time one is purchased two artists are being supported! My prints are made to order in Edinburgh by brilliant artist and designer Jenni Douglas at her studio. Your purchase helps support two women owned independent art businesses and allows us to keep doing what we are on the planet to do. Thank you.

Just a reminder that I have a coupon code sale going on right now until November 1st. over in my Etsy shop, Artmaven. Use coupon code INSTAPAL20 at checkout and save 20% on your order. As the days draw in and the politics is grim, don't let it get you down! Buy art and support artists! I think it is a revolutionary act to make things of beauty and to support the arts in these days. Be part of the solution. Thank you very much for your support.

When words escape me
Paper size: A5 (21cm x 14.8cm)/8.3 x 5.8 inches 
Limited Edition of 50

The lessons I hold dear
Paper size: A5 (21cm x 14.8cm)/8.3 x 5.8 inches

Limited Edition of 50

The ache at my fingertips
Paper size: A5 (21cm x 14.8cm)/8.3 x 5.8 inches

Limited Edition of 50

In other news, I still haven't got my hands on a copy of SOGO magazine to share the article about my work with you. So stay tuned and perhaps I will get a copy by next week! I am very excited to read the article and see my work in print within this beautiful Scottish publication. Until next week don't let the bastards get you down! Keep fighting!

Friday, October 14, 2016

The new language

After last Friday's blog I decided I had indeed finished the two large pieces in my latest series. As a result they were documented. So here is the series as it stands now with the completed paintings. There are many more in progress currently but it feels good to share the finished ones as I go.

A change in the frequency
Acrylic on canvas
2016 Megan Chapman
All the time it took to remember
Acrylic on canvas
2016 Megan Chapman
Out of my mouth come flowers, come barbs
Acrylic on canvas
2016 Megan Chapman
The new language
Acrylic on canvas
2016 Megan Chapman
In other very exciting news, I was interviewed by artist and art editor, Brian McFie for SOGO magazine. "SOGO magazine is a Scottish based quarterly lifestyle and arts publication, which promotes and provides a platform for Scottish creative industries and communities." It is a beautiful publication based in Glasgow and the Autumn 2016 issue including the piece about my work comes out this weekend. I can't wait to get my hands on a copy! I am honored to have been included. I will have more on this in next week's blog. Here's a wee sneak peek captured from SOGO's facebook page.

While attempting to contain my excitement about the SOGO article I have been working on new small paintings in the studio and walking in the cool autumn weather every chance I get. I am trying to savor the season before the skeleton trees arrive.

I think that's all I have for you this week. Thanks for being part of my art world, it makes the journey so much sweeter. Until next week you know what to do...

Friday, October 7, 2016

Believe me

The first four in the new bright series complete

After last weeks country jaunt, I got right back into the mix in the studio while the news of the world filtered in...

Paint it all pink I say! Pink is the new black, really! I see a red door and I want it painted pink...or yellow ochre or both! I read the news today, oh boy... cue the PINK!

Or if we want to be classy, paint it magenta! But for god's sake just paint it! Okay, back to the blog and my week. I have now had the three new small paintings properly documented and I am quite pleased with them (which you can see below). I also finished (I think) two larger paintings in my new bright series as well (which you can see above).

The lessons I hold dear
Acrylic on canvas
2016 Megan Chapman
The ache at my fingertips
Acrylic on canvas
2016 Megan Chapman
When words escape me
Acrylic on canvas
2016 Megan Chapman
In other news and in celebration of the fact that it's been just a little over two years since I chose to make Scotland my home, I wanted to acknowledge this milestone by having a 20% off sale in my Etsy shop, Artmaven. Just use coupon code INSTAPAL20 at checkout until November 1 to get your discount! New prints of the three small works pictured above will be added to the shop soon- the originals are available now!

Painting by Alice Neel 1965
And last but certainly not least, I took a little time to appreciate the culture around me and ventured out to see the Alice Neel exhibition at the Talbot-Rice Gallery. It was a wonderful exhibition and really made me appreciate the work and the woman in a new way. The documentary made by her grandson was playing as part of the exhibition and I found it mesmerizing. I could identify with so much of what Alice said.

I have been thinking of her often since seeing her work. I hope to watch the full documentary soon and perhaps buy a collection of her work in book form. I think it is so important to find the people who have blazed this trail ahead of us and find solace in their works and words.

We are not in this alone. People do think like you, some even see and act like you. Not like drones, not like copies but like true originals. True flesh and bone humans with the wild ideas. You will find your people eventually even if they are long gone when you do. It seems unfathomable at times. That is why we must keep fighting. I write this to myself and also to anyone who comes across this. I know how lonely it can feel, please hang on and fight with us. Someone one day will need to hear your words and see your work. They may not even be born yet. Believe me.

Friday, September 30, 2016

It's like learning a new language

This week was spent working at a fever pitch in the studio creating new small paintings and was punctuated by a quick jaunt to visit artist, Louise Blamire at her charming country estate for the best tea, a good blether and of course beauty at every turn.

So, let's jump in! I haven't documented my new works properly yet but I can share some studio snapshots of my three most recent small works on canvas. Follow me on instagram to stay in the know. These originals will be documented properly soon and put up for sale in my Etsy shop with limited edition prints soon to follow!

The studio continues to fill with coloured blotter papers created from the making of these works. Some of the papers are hung up to dry on one wall while others are taped to my supply closet door. It feels like I have the start of a new language on every surface. I like being surrounded by the remnants of the process. The studio has a energetic quality right now that it rarely sees but that I am happy to cultivate. Dirty brushes sit in the paint water, open paint pots cover every surface and of course the papers are everywhere. These papers with their markings are like breadcrumbs in a forest showing me the way back or the way to somewhere I have never been before.

It was fitting then that I found myself in an actual forest this morning, miles away from my studio in Leith. Louise Blamire and I walked along in an enchanted forest in East Lothian with the sun streaming in to highlight the forest floor carpeted with ferns and mosses. The tall canopy above us swayed in the wind as birdsong filled the air. We talked and listened and dreamt out loud. We talked about this artist life and the bigger picture and the circuitous route that we have taken and all the bloody questions we still have about it. We talked about what we wanted, needed, desired and deserved. Artists need to be artists around each other and the woods and later the sea provided our backdrop. I returned to the bustling city this afternoon exhausted but filled with beauty and understanding. It was wonderful.

Until next week keep fighting, keep learning and creating your new language. Rage about it in the forests, by the sea, in the barn, in the basement, in the city and in the country. Let your voice be heard and share it. We need you out here with us.

Friday, September 23, 2016

New supplies & inspiration

new bright series in progress
There was excitement this week as I received new supplies for my studio after the spate of previous sales. Thank you again to my patrons who have supported my work in recent months, you are helping me to create more art and encouraging me more than you know. Thanks to you, I have new tubes of paint, brushes and some new canvases! Once the parcel of new supplies arrived I spent some time cleaning up my studio and organizing things in the space. I took a good look at the "new bright series" (working title) to see where I am in the game. I made a vow to whip the unfinished pieces into shape before I started anything new...this did not happen. 

However, I did make some progress on several of the new bright paintings but I was just too tempted by the new supplies, so I started messing around with a new small (square!) canvas. I had a good time listening to old playlists from an rediscovered Ipod and dancing around the studio, generally making a mess of things. My hands were black by the end of the session with perhaps some magenta flecks. 

Today I happily gathered up a few more new tubes of paint, a few more new small canvases and replenished my tape stock. When wrapping up my paintings to send to their new homes, I like a bit of tape and if it's pretty tape that's even better!

In other news, I have also been enjoying connecting to a mostly new audience over on Instagram. It is so energizing when folks discover my work for the first time. It has been a nice shot in the arm and very inspiring. It's been great getting to know other artists and their work as well. I always appreciate the feeling of being part of a community. If you don't already follow me over on Instagram, please do. I post a new photo each day and share behind the scenes studio shots, in progress works and finished pieces. By the way you don't have to have an account to view my photos there.

Speaking of inspiration, today we took a wee field trip to Jupiter Artland and spent a good part of the day roaming through nature and happening upon world class art. There is not much better than walking through wild paths with the wind in the tree tops while exploring sculptures and other forms of art surrounded by farms and the wilds of West Lothian. 

Jupiter Artland is one of my favorite places in the whole world and it is hard not to be completely entranced by the experience. A true gem in these lands and not to be missed. I could dedicate a whole blog to the art and artists of Jupiter Artland and maybe one day I will but for now please visit their website to learn more.

And I think that is all I have for you today. Until next week, keep fighting, the world needs you and your art.

Friday, September 16, 2016

New paintings & prints!

I am pleased to write that last week's victory continued, seeing the completion of five new small paintings on canvas and the production of three new limited edition prints for my shop! All of this was happily followed by a spate of sales over the weekend! It was a delightful and much needed and appreciated result. Thank you to all of my lovely patrons that supported my work, you have encouraged me once again!

As many of you know, I believe that art is for all and not just the few. I have my larger paintings represented in lovely galleries, but I also offer a collection of affordable small original works and limited edition prints in my Etsy shop.This is a core value of my art practice, thank you for supporting me in this.

Without further ado, I would like to share the new works and latest prints with you and encourage you to visit my shop, Artmaven on Etsy if you haven't already.

Now, let's look at some art!

Where the dreams make sense
Acrylic & foil on canvas
© 2016 Megan Chapman

Faith, optimism, alchemy
Acrylic & foil on canvas
© 2016 Megan Chapman

An anchor, a beacon, something to pull me back
Acrylic & foil on canvas
© 2016 Megan Chapman 

Always wanting more
Acrylic & foil on canvas
© 2016 Megan Chapman 

As I looked forward
Acrylic & foil canvas
© 2016 Megan Chapman

Faith, optimism, alchemy
Paper size: A5 (21cm x 14.8cm) or 8.3 x 5.8 inches
Limited Edition of 50

As I looked forward
Paper size: A5 (21cm x 14.8cm) or 8.3 x 5.8 inches
Limited Edition of 50

Always wanting more
Paper size: A5 (21cm x 14.8cm) or 8.3 x 5.8 inches
Limited Edition of 50