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