Friday, December 29, 2017

Passing through in stillness

I am writing this studio blog on a Saturday morning since I am on holiday in Arkansas and the days have gotten away from me. I will backdate it for yesterday for consistency. I am sitting in the extraordinary Fayetteville Public library in the locally owned Arsaga's cafe located in the foyer.

I am listening to Brambles and their album Charcoal on my headphones. I have a soy chai latte by my side. I have just said goodbye to my brother Sean and his family after enjoying a lovely vegan breakfast scramble at a new place (new to me - there are so many places here in my old hometown that are new places to me). Stewart is upstairs in the library reading comics.

I am alone and everything is empty and quiet around me and there is a large Christmas tree made out of books surrounded by red poinsettias. I have sat at this table with my computer before when I lived here but I don't live here now. I am a visitor. I have dreamed of being a visitor from this seat when I lived here before. It is a grey overcast day, and the skeleton trees reach out into the mist and a lone pine stands tall and comes into view. A few people trickle into the library.

This is a studio art blog but I am not writing about art. This week, I am using my studio blog to find peace and a moment of reflection. This is not my standard place or view but I know it well. This library is my sanctuary and a place of pause and rest. I am exhausted and on the brink of tears but here in this library I feel space and hope. This has always been a safe space for me,  with all the amenities one could need. I am grateful.

I am grateful to be able to sit here alone, safe and warm surrounded by books, music, film, art. This beautiful space filled with dreams and aspirations, a place that offers more of a level playing field than we often find in American society. Libraries are key to a civilized society.

I return to myself. I sink into the orange chair, my fingers find the soft flat keys of my computer as the spices of my Chai feel peppery in my throat.

Just as I relax for a moment, I realize this is usually when I post my annual year-end wrap-up. As, a kindness to myself, I vow to write that post another day, perhaps next week. A friend and collector stop by my cafe table, radiant with her beautiful new baby, we share a moment of smiles and chat. This is a lovely town, it is a different town than I grew up in now, but still full of good hearts and sharp minds.

I think about other ways I can write about art or culture or this town, but again as a courtesy to myself, I am just going to write about this experience of sitting here as it unfolds.

The music ebbs and flows, the atmospheric dark string and piano arrangements punctuate the scene as more people enter the cafe and the town continues to wake up and make their Saturday plans. I am just passing through, in stillness.

******* art moment *******
If you missed it on my Facebook art page you can see my Tuesday Studio Video Visit again here. I visited the Chancellor Hotel and the Fenix exhibition here in Fayetteville which will be on display until January 9th.

Happy new year wishes for all. Thank you all for reading my blog, sharing and supporting my work. Until next week and next year, keep fighting! The world needs you and your work!

Friday, December 22, 2017

I am of the dirt, cedar, and pine.

Greetings from Arkansas! These next few blog posts might be a bit different from my usual Studio Blog. I hope you will enjoy them.

We arrived late Sunday night, all flights were smooth and on time. Like a vacation in the sky, I enjoyed the films on the first and longest flight, especially Brillo Box (3¢ OFF), the story of one family and their prized Andy Warhol Brillo Box. It's a story about the importance of growing up with art and how it moves through a family, their memories, and then into the greater art world.

On our first day here, we helped to take down Glow, Float, Drone, a sound and light exhibition by artist and dear friend, Craig Colorusso. It was so great to see his work again. It felt like the best way to signal that I was home. We really enjoyed swinging as the drone sounds played against the grey sky as we propelled ourselves higher. I was returned to childhood in an instant.

Later we came out to my parent's place in Winslow, Arkansas population 300. It's a beautiful rural spot on top of a hill that frequently wakes covered in fog. The skeleton trees of winter show that we are surrounded by various ridges and valleys. It feels good to have all this space and fresh air. There have been highway walks, rambles around the land and gathering of seed pods, lichen-covered sticks, ivy and tall grasses. Many photos have been taken.

The Tuesday Studio Video Visit was filmed at my parent's house this week. I did a partial tour of their art collection. They have art in every room of the house and always have as long as I can remember. The art has shaped and inspired my life. If you missed it on my Facebook art page you can see it again here.

And that's all I have for you this week. The tree is up and decorated with decades of family-made treasures, the rest of the family is headed our way soon and after a warm week, there is a dusting of snow on the ground. Time for a cup of tea and a wander.

I am of the dirt, cedar, and pine. I am of the wild wind of Arkansas.

Until next week, Happy holidays to you and yours. Keep fighting, making, doing, and seeing. The world needs you and your art.

Friday, December 15, 2017


This week was better than last and it was a relief. I was able to paint two pieces that I was pleased with and that seemed to connect with viewers.

This is always a good feeling. Suddenly I see possibility before me again and have a sense of freedom. The work I hold back is the work that is wanted. It is time for me release these things again. I know this release comes and goes in stages. These two pieces are the result of this shift.

Gestural and strong, guttural and decisive, that is what the future holds. It was good to come back from being so stuck and frustrated and have these be the last two paintings of the year. I talk about the shift in this week's Tuesday Studio Video Visit. If you missed it on Facebook, here it is again.

Don't forget it you are in and around Edinburgh, I currently have two paintings at The &Gallery at 17 Dundas Street. The group exhibition, Connection is on until December 23rd, so please don't miss it! I also have paintings at the Velvet Easel Gallery in Portobello until February 25th as part of the Winters Edge exhibition. Back stateside, I have pieces on show in the Fenix Group Exhibition at the Chancellor Hotel in Fayetteville, Arkansas until January 9th.

Speaking of Fayetteville, I will be heading back to my hometown this Sunday for several weeks to spend time with my family and friends for the holidays. I plan to keep up my Tuesday Studio Video Visits as well as my Studio blog with a hometown spin. I hope you will enjoy the change of scenery, I know I am looking forward to it!

Until next week, take care and keep fighting. The world needs you and your art. 

Friday, December 8, 2017

Coming down

The opening for Connection was last Saturday, December 2 from 2-4pm at the &Gallery at 17 Dundas Street. It is a lovely exhibition, filled with many heavy hitting pieces of abstraction. I was, of course, delighted to have my work included. The exhibition will remain up until December 23rd so if you are local to Edinburgh or passing through please check it out. If you are not local to the area and want to enjoy the works and artists included in the exhibition you can see it on the gallery's website.

This week in the studio was a washout and there was just no getting around that. It happens. My Tuesday Studio Video Visit alluded to my frustration. It was quite freeing to share how I was feeling and I heard from many artists currently feeling the same way. It always helps to hear that we are not alone and that we are often more similar than we are different. You can catch my video again here if you missed it on Facebook. Thanks to everyone that shared their own burnout and frustration stories with me. It all helps.

Until next week, keep fighting

Friday, December 1, 2017

Connection opens tomorrow!

Group Exhibition
2nd - 23rd December 2017
The exhibition features a selection of artists who have exhibited in the gallery since opening in March and will be a showcase of what’s to come.

Exhibitors include:

Andrew Mackenzie, Anke Roder, Anna Somerville, Deirdre Macleod, Elfyn Lewis, Ele Pack, Gillian A McFarland, Hanna ten Doornkaat, Jai Llewellyn, James Lumsden, Jan Axelsson, Jana Emburey, Jane Cairns, Jeffrey Cortland Jones, Joy Arden, Lisa Denyer, Liz Douglas, Mary Morrison, Megan Chapman, Michael Craik, Michelle Benoit, Patricia Cain, Phil Lavery, Rhona Fleming & Sam Lock.

Opening Saturday, December 2nd from 2-4pm
The &Gallery, 17 Dundas Street, Edinburgh

Gallery hours:
Tuesday - Friday: 10-5
Saturday: 10-4
(Photo and text courtesy of The &Gallery Facebook event page)

Only to hold you
Mixed media on canvas
©2017 Megan Chapman

To tell you everything
Mixed media on canvas
©2017 Megan Chapman

I am looking forward to tomorrow's opening of Connection and sharing my two pieces (above) in this exhibition. I hope that my friends and patrons in the area will plan to attend. The lineup is stellar and I am truly honoured to be included.

In other news, after a bit of resistance on my part, I returned to some quality painting this week. You can hear about my frustration in my most recent Tuesday Studio Video Visit if you missed it over on facebook.

Here is the painting so you can actually see it. It felt good to be working in this way again.

New work from the studio

That's all I have for your this week. Thank you to everyone who supports my work, my dreams, and throws a kindness my way. We are all in this together and I am lucky to have you. Until next week, you know what to do.

Friday, November 24, 2017

Indefinite ether

Today is what the man calls Black Friday and tomorrow will be Small Business Saturday and then Sunday is still just Sunday (some PR team hasn't figured out a good phrase for it yet) and then, of course, we'll have Cyber Monday.

I have used these terms in the past as I have eeked out a living by selling my wares online. However, I think those days are numbered. I tried not to use these words this year and instead have had a pretty gentle "Studio Sale" over in my shop the past few days. Six art patrons have got in on the action so far. Thanks, patrons! You always make me smile and do a little happy dance.

This will be my last big online sales hurrah for a good long while as I am pretty sure my Etsy shop, Artmaven will be going on hiatus by midnight on Monday (so you still have plenty of time to get your cyber on).

In my Tuesday Studio Visit Video, I went into depth concerning my Etsy shop, as it relates to being represented by more galleries here in Scotland and the conundrum it presents. Here's the video if you missed it.

So here we are. I would like to send my shop off into the indefinite ether with a bang. There are still many affordable pieces available. Snap one up for yourself or as a gift. As always I am thankful for all my patrons near and far -- past, present, and future.

Oh and as far as culture and the larger art world go, you might enjoy these videos (there are two so far) about women (or the lack thereof) in the art world. After watching, vow to become part of the solution.

Here's a cool fact. Every gallery (Union Gallery, The Velvet Easel, The&Gallery) that has shown or will show my work so far in Edinburgh is owned by a woman. Right on! I feel very fortunate!

Take care until next week and keep fighting.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Link salad and a STUDIO SALE!

Let's have a cultural catch-up: I am listening to Wire's Ex-Lion Tamer on my headphones as I type. I have been listening to their album Pink Flag along with Entertainment! by Gang of Four a lot lately for some reason. It's amazing that the music of my youth still sounds so fresh, so vital, and that it still has the ability to spur me along. To borrow from this energy is a wonderful thing. 

I have been reading Armistead Maupin's memoir, Logical Family. I am scared to dive into it completely because I want to make it last. We are watching the Tales of City series again for what seems like the billionth time. The characters are as familiar as dear friends and the program comforts me. 

In more serious cultural pursuits, we just watched the documentary, Joan Didion: The Center Will Not Holda profound and moving film by her nephew Griffin Dunne. Put it on your list.

I've also been of course painting and making "mistakes." You can hear more about that in my Tuesday Studio Visit Video. 

In other news, the Out of the Blue Drill Hall, where my studio is located, won't be holding open studios this holiday season. I love this event and the sales that result from it are of course very helpful to me. Rather than fret about it, I have decided to have my own digital open studio/sale for the next two weeks over on my Etsy shop, Artmaven.

It is quite probable that my wee shop will go on hiatus in December. I have scoured the studio shelves looking for bargains for you all. There are discounts already applied in many sections throughout my shop and lowered and free shipping on many items too. Please use this coupon code ART4ALL to get an additional 10% off everything in the shop, until December 1st. Thanks for supporting my work. Until next week, you know what to do. 

Friday, November 10, 2017


New exhibition news!

I am delighted that there has been a flurry of exhibition activity of late. Delighted is really too twee of a word for it. I have been ecstatic! The past three years here in Edinburgh have kicked my arse. Any of my closest friends would tell you this much. So, if you don't already, please consider yourself close. There is so much more to moving across the world and starting one's life over than I ever dreamed. I am glad I don't always have the best grasp of the seriousness of what I am trying to do in this world or I probably wouldn't do anything.

I woke up this morning thinking of my recent good fortune and how hard I have worked for this return to normalcy here in another country. The return of energy spent trading out and creating new paintings for multiple galleries is not something that just picked up where it left off in the states. This a bigger city than where I am from; this a cultural capital of Europe. I arrived pretty much unknown on these shores, but things seem to be looking up. I am grateful.

With that said, I am thrilled to be part of the upcoming December group exhibition, Connection at &Gallery on Dundas street in Edinburgh. I have long admired the aesthetic of &Gallery and their impressive stable of artists, to be included is an honour. Dundas street in the New Town is known for its high caliber galleries in Edinburgh. This is a big moment for me. If you are in the area, please make plans to attend the opening, Saturday, December 2nd from 2-4pm. These are the two paintings I will have in the exhibition.

Only to hold you
Mixed media on canvas
© 2017 Megan Chapman

To tell you everything
Mixed media on canvas
© 2017 Megan Chapman

Currently, my work is on exhibition through the 25th of November at Union Gallery in the West End and through February 25th at the Velvet Easel in Portobello. In hometown exhibition news, The Fenix Collective group show just opened last night in Fayetteville, Arkansas at The Chancellor Hotel and will be up until January 9th. I am so pleased to be able to grow these Scottish connections while I keep nurturing the ones back home as well. Thanks to everyone that takes a chance on my work and provides these wonderful opportunities.

If you missed it, here's a timely Tuesday Studio Video Visit. I talk about my perverse joy in finding hair and other gunk stuck to famous artists paintings while battling the same issues with my own work. Strangely, also this week, an article came out about a grasshopper found in a VanGogh. I've always said I'm a little bit psychic (and a little bit rock n roll).

Throw a website update into the mix, and that's all I have for you. Until next week, keep starting over, taking risks, and getting your arse kicked. Keep fighting and enjoy these beautiful moments. The world needs you, and your art.

Friday, November 3, 2017

I want to tell you everything

I think I spent most of this week recovering from the past two. Thanks to everyone who came out to the Welcome to the Jungle preview last Saturday evening at Union Gallery. It's a lovely show, for a great cause, and if you are local to the area I hope you will pay it a visit. The show remains up through the 25th November. You can see a gallery of photos from the preview over on facebook. Click here.

This week, I delighted to be able to share a digital copy of an article that came out about my work in Sogo Magazine about this time last year. The author Brian McFie and publisher Craig Wallace of the brilliant Glasgow arts publication graciously gave me permission to share it on social media and I was so glad to be able to share it with folks further afield who might not have access to the publication. I would, of course, encourage folks to subscribe if they are able. Print journals are a very important addition to the art world and they can't do it alone. If you missed it, you can find the article by clicking here.

Continuing on the theme of the article, I talked about it further on my Tuesday Studio Visit Video over on my Facebook art page as well as talking about the value of titles of art to engage views with a language they can understand and the importance of art being accessible for everyone. If you missed it the first time, you can see it again here.

This week, I also returned to the studio for a large spot of painting, laying the groundwork for this large piece. Here is the underpainting for a 120x100cm canvas. I am loving the size. I am just getting started so we will see where the piece is again by next week.

Just a quick reminder, pop by The Velvet Easel Gallery in Portobello for their latest mixed exhibition, Winters Edge. This exciting exhibition opens tomorrow, Saturday, November 4th and runs through 25th of February. 

There will be drinks and nibbles and artists popping in throughout Saturday from 10-5. I plan to stop by. I always find new art I love at the Velvet Easel and I am so pleased to have my work there. 

Winters Edge
4.11.17 - 25.2.18
The Velvet Easel Gallery
298 Portobello High Street
Portobello, Edinburgh EH15 2AS
Thursday - Saturday: 10.00 - 5.00pm
Sunday 12-5pm

Thanks for reading and clicking on links, looking at my paintings and for sharing this story with me. Until next week, keep fighting. The world needs you and your art.

Friday, October 27, 2017

The cards fall into place

The weather was gorgeous as I dropped off art to two galleries in different parts of Edinburgh. After each drop-off, I got to enjoy a beautiful scenic walk and soak in the sun and the autumnal beauty. That alone would make a brilliant week. The icing on the cake was scoring last minute tickets to a reading by one of my literary idols, Armistead Maupin. I must say I am delightfully gobsmacked.

Tuesday, I recorded my studio visit video on the importance of showing up, doing the work, and being ready for any opportunity. You can see it again here if you missed it on my Facebook art page.

On Wednesday I took two new small works over to Union gallery for the exhibition, Welcome to the Jungle. This exhibition is to raise awareness and funds to help protect orangutans. 10% of all sales will be donated to help these majestic creatures.

The exhibition will contain new work from artists Jenny Matthews, Barbara Franc, Susie Christie, Christine Clark, Imogen Alabaster, Megan Chapman, Ruth Addinall, Carl Newman, Carol Read and Richard Ballantyne.

Join us for the preview on Saturday the 28th

Welcome to the Jungle
28.10.17 - 25.11.17
Union Gallery
4 Drumsheugh Place, Edinburgh, EH3 7PT
Monday - Saturday: 10.30 - 5.30pm
Closed Sundays

Here are the two pieces I will have in the important and varied exhibition.

Deep Within
Mixed media on Canvas
2017 Megan Chapman
To Be Wild and Free
Mixed media on Canvas
2017 Megan Chapman

On Thursday, I took two new paintings over to The Velvet Easel Gallery in Portobello for their latest mixed exhibition, Winters Edge. This exciting exhibition opens on Saturday, November 4th and runs through 25th of February. After participating in the previous exhibition, I was delighted to be asked back.

Join us for the opening on Saturday, November 4th from 10-5. There will be drinks and nibbles and perhaps artists popping in throughout the day. I plan to be there for a bit for sure.

Winters Edge
4.11.17 - 25.2.18
The Velvet Easel Gallery
298 Portobello High Street
Portobello, Edinburgh EH15 2AS
Thursday - Saturday: 10.00 - 5.00pm
Sunday 12-5pm

Here are the two pieces I will have in the exhibition. 

My Heart Divided
Mixed media on Canvas
2016 Megan Chapman

Hiding In Plain Sight
Mixed media on Canvas
2016 Megan Chapman

In addition to these exhibitions, I will be participating in two other group shows coming up soon and I will tell you more about them as it gets closer to the time. This all feels very good, and just after three years of living here, it feels like the cards are finally starting to fall into place. Long may it continue.

Last, but certainly not least, this week I got to meet and hear my favorite author, Armistead Maupin in St. Andrews this afternoon on his tour for his memoir Logical Family

I sadly found out only Monday that he was on tour here in Scotland and also that the tickets in Edinburgh were completely sold out. Thanks to our friend James and his fast detective work, we found out that Mr. Maupin would also be speaking in St Andrews about 50 miles away and that there were still tickets. We jumped at the chance. After a scenic train and bus journey, we had a bit of time to enjoy the gorgeous sunfilled village and its ruins before the event. 

We got front row seats and I was completely spellbound for an hour as we listened to him read from his book and then expand on his own experiences and take questions from the audience. I laughed until I cried and was filled with pure electric joy. It was an honor to meet someone who I have read, quoted, and admired for over 20 years. His characters have comforted and inspired me and have become part of my logical family. Never in a million years did I think I would have this opportunity. I was so giddy, I forgot how to spell out my own name as he signed the book. I still can't quite believe my good fortune and I can't wait to read his memoir. 

Somedays the world seems like it has completely gone to hell, and somedays the world seems like a light-filled orb, with boundless energy, laughter, and goodness. This is the world I got to live in this week and I am grateful. 

Until next week, be ready for opportunities, be ready to make new plans, and to perhaps meet your dreams. You never know what's coming next.

Friday, October 20, 2017

Talk about the passion

This week flew by in a blink but even with the pace, I think it was a rather lovely time. Autumn is definitely upon us and I am feeling like making a nest and preparing for darker days.

We had a lovely friend arrive on Wednesday morning for an overnight stay. It was wonderful to see our city through her eyes, as we showed her as much as we could in a short time. I feel exhausted yet also refreshed.

In preparation for her visit we tore the flat apart and gave it a good cleaning. We also decided to rearrange our art collection, frame some pieces that had been in storage, and generally give the flat a new feeling and look. It's amazing what one will do when guests are coming. I am so happy we rose to the occasion! The space feels good.

I am very passionate about making art but I am also a passionate collector when I am able. My Tuesday Studio Video Visit was about the aspect of being an artist and supporting art as well. I talk about not letting the idea about what is "Art" inhibit your collecting as well as overcoming other fears or obstacles that might get in your way. If you missed it on my facebook art page you can see it here.

In other exciting news, I will be participating in several upcoming group exhibitions here in Edinburgh and back home in the states. I happily have a lot of work on my plate. I will, of course, tell you all about it when the time comes. Thank you for reading my blog, watching my videos, and supporting my work as an artist. Thank you to all the artists out there making such gorgeous and searching work.

Now, I think it's time for sleeping. Until next week, keep fighting, keep reaching out, and keep connecting. The world needs you.

Friday, October 13, 2017

Money, art, and more onion hospital days

It's grey and overcast and the cobbles are wet. I have a cup of coffee and I am listening to this beautiful album to conjure up a mood. My headphones are on and a pad of paper is next to me with a pen. On the paper are social media stats and in my mind are the beginnings of yet another idea to bring my art to more people and also bring some money into my bank. Of course, I didn't want to write the sentence including the words money or bank. Like many other artists, I wonder why can't it just be about the art? Naive, I know.

I am continually reminded of this quote and I wish I wasn't.

“When bankers get together they talk about art. When artists get together, they talk about money.” -Oscar Wilde

I try my damndest to just talk about art, pretend I don't need money, don't want things, don't worry about "security." However, I need, want, and worry like everyone else.

So we will see if the ideas come to fruition from the pad of paper sitting beside me and if I can find that balance of making art and making money.

In other news, this week's Tuesday Studio Video Visit seemed to have struck a chord with folks, as it received 1,800 views! I talked about intuition, imagination and the importance of play. If you missed it on my facebook art page you can see it again here. Thanks to everyone who viewed the video and commented on it on facebook, it feels good when we can connect this way.

You can see in the video that I worked on another canvas this week and made some "spirit bundles." I mostly took it easy as I nursed a trapezius injury which frustratingly kept me away from painting. I love getting to that point in my life where I can injure myself in my sleep.

So, that's all I have for you this week. I wish you more onion hospital days. Keep fighting. Keep playing.

Friday, October 6, 2017

Play it again!

New work from the studio this week
I started the week in the studio with one song on repeat at full blast on my headphones. I played this song for probably 3 hours or more. My hearing was impaired for the rest of the week but damn if I didn't get some painting done. I also made my Tuesday Studio Video Visit. If you missed it, click here. 

New work from the studio this week

What song did I listen to? This trance inducing number, "Circles" from 2010 by The Soft Moon. I have used this song and this band in this way before. I often go back to pieces of music that have worked in the past to get me to the place I need to be to paint the work I need to paint.

I repeat different songs for different things. Right now as I write, I am listening to Blur's Sing. I sometimes paint to this as well.

Do you do this too? How important is music to your painting practice or painting to your music practice? Do you use other forms of art to make your work whatever it may be? How about the repetitive aspect? I would love to hear about it if so.

If you listen to these two songs I think you will find similarities and perhaps see why they work for me. I like driving, repetitive sounds but with a good amount of noise, a touch of dreaminess and minimal words. I think this helps me focus on the essentials. Music is the ultimate alchemy and I remain under its spell.

New work from the studio this week

In other news, I am delighted that my painting, The New Language, sold from The Velvet Easel in Portobello yesterday! It will always make my day, perhaps even my week or month, when I sell a painting. I will always feel the thrill of it just like I did the very first time I made a sale years ago. I am grateful when someone sees my work and chooses it for their life. It means so much to me, spurs me on, and encourages me. I am headed into this weekend filled with gratitude. Thanks, patrons!

The New Language, Acrylic on canvas, 76x51x4cm/30x20x1.5" Sold 
Until next week, keep fighting. The world needs you, and your art.

Friday, September 29, 2017

Oldest Living Things

The sun is shining and the light has that lovely afternoon autumnal glow. The last gasp of summer warmth is soaked up walking to and from the studio and running errands.

New supplies arrived in the studio this week. It's always exciting to receive new paint, charcoal sticks, and my beloved charcoal powder. Two rather large canvases were in the mix of new materials as well. I am looking forward to diving into all of this. However, right now I need to focus on a couple of smaller works and finishing a commission. I find the change in seasons a bit distracting.

The three-year anniversary of my arrival in Edinburgh was on Tuesday so I took some time off to contemplate it all and enjoy myself.
You can see the Tuesday video visit here if you missed it.

I did manage some studio time and began working on one 40x40cm/16x16" canvas. It has a long way to go yet. Here it is surrounded by studio mess. I think the surroundings capture my mind right now. There are so many directions I want to take.

It was 6 days ago that Stewart put out our super wee EP, Dérive: Living Among Filaments. One of my favourite tracks is the last one, Oldest Living Things. I especially like the ending bit. Give it a listen if you like being cooed and hooted at in an alternative universe.

That's all I have for you this week. Thank you for being part of my story.

Friday, September 22, 2017

Oh find me sweet alchemy

The seasons are changing and my motivations and habits change as well. I am waking up earlier and going to sleep earlier and feeling that nostalgic closeness of Autumn.

This week I ordered some new materials and worked on two larger pieces (the paintings are pictured above). I also posted my Tuesday Studio Video Visit which proved to be a bit more popular than usual with folks. I appreciated the comments and feedback. It always feels better when we can see ourselves in each other and be more connected. I am glad I am not alone in my thoughts. If you missed the video on Tuesday on Facebook, here it is below.

Besides these things I made some fudge (because you know, Autumn) and worked on an ambient music project. Stewart Bremner and I are calling ourselves Dérive and we have made a wee 4 song EP called Living Among Filaments. It was good to collaborate and enjoy some creative time away from painting. You can hear it here. We hope you will enjoy it. Until next week, keep fighting.

Friday, September 15, 2017


I am cleaning up my thoughts and stories that surround my art, process, and why I make art in the first place. How did I get here?

I feel this is some dark and murky territory and I feel deeply challenged as I wade in. This is an emotional landscape. I feel a bit lost, floating around the edges of things unable to put words to where I am in my head regarding my art. I feel like I am hovering above the meaning of it all and my feet are nowhere near touching.

This is not a bad thing, it's just uncomfortable and that is a good thing. I am challenged and I don't have any answers. So with this knowledge, I move forward.

Ideas about value and worth swirl around my head, mirroring my self-esteem. I have underpriced my work. I have undervalued my work. I have undervalued myself, my time, and my skills. At the same time, I have shied away from the true risk in my work. I have only scratched the surface because of fear. I have been lazy and played it safe. I dance on the outside of my real work in order to keep the peace, in order to fulfill a void, in order to fulfill a need. Not always but often. There are bodies and pieces of my work that go deeper. I remember them as if they were a dream, and I am always trying to get back to that secret door.

I like dirty work, torn work, imperfect work, energetic work and dark work. I always have but I don't allow myself to make this work too often. I hold back, I censor, I repeat and stay safe.

Friday, September 8, 2017

The awkward beauty of what comes next

I've been in a mood, aka a dark place. It's only this morning after cutting my fringe/bangs, putting on too much lipstick for working at home & the studio and drinking two cups of mint green tea, meditating, taking a mint scented shower and taking an "art selfie" while listening to one of my favourite/favorite old Siouxie and the Banshee's albums on headphones at full blast that I thought perhaps I could write my blog and feel a little better.

Whew... so your perpetual art cheerleader has dark days and weeks too, but you knew that. Truly with the world on fire and drowning at the same time, threats of nuclear war, and with 45 at the helm in America and May here in the UK, it's no wonder. Who isn't bummed out right now?

Regardless, I got to the studio and I worked through it and each time I did, I felt better. I worked on two "accidental" portraits for a commission. I also worked on two large 80x80cm/31x31" canvases, and I sold two more brooches and added three new ones to my wearable art collection. I have listed them in my Etsy shop. I even tended to some gallery business and social media programming. I also tried out 2 new recipes (not art related I know, but cooking is just another way I express my creativity). I also showed up for my Tuesday Studio Video Visit Video, a bit late but I made it. If you missed it on Facebook, you can see it here.

See this is why I keep a blog, when I read all of that, I feel much better and I know I haven't completely given up. I may have cried while doing the above-listed things and spent too much time zoning out in front of my computer while feeling too incapacitated to reach out to friends and family but damn if I wasn't productive.

As I was writing this, I received notification that my very first Distillation Series print, "The awkward beauty of what comes next" (pictured below) has sold from my Etsy shop and will be headed to The States! That's wonderful news! I was so excited about that series and those prints and felt a bit bummed out that they fell flat after their launch. Everything works in its own time. Thanks as always, patrons!

My old go to phrase on this blog was often, "Everyday we paint is a victory" in recent times this has often been replaced with "Keep fighting" and to me they mean pretty much the same thing. Keep working, keep showing up, on the good days, the bad days, and every plain old day in between. Sometimes you will be okay and pleased and sometimes you won't and that's okay too.

We are all in this together. The world needs you, your art, and your vision. Let's keep fighting. To those in the path of Irma, please stay safe. x

Friday, September 1, 2017

The risk that brought me here

Pettiwick Bay, St. Abbs.

Adventures are good for the soul. For the past two weeks, our friend James has taken us in his car (we don't have one and I haven't gotten my UK license yet) to places I have never seen. Last week we went to the lovely village of Culross in Fife. This week, we walked high on cliffs above the North Sea at St. Abbs. 

I sat above the sea on the mossy ground and breathed in the air and listened to the wavelets on the shore below. I imagined all the people before me who had seen the view and all the people who would see it in the future. This place isn't going anywhere, but I am just passing through. I thought about the power of the land to soothe, inspire and intrigue.

After our Scottish seaside adventure, we crossed the border to England and wandered the town of Berwick upon Tweed. We walked around looking at their ramparts, bridges, and buildings. And then just like that (thanks to James' driving), we were home for dinner. 

I never thought I would see any of this. I certainly never thought I would live here and be able to walk these cliffs or get to know this land. It's a risk that brought me here and risks can feel scary and unsure. Just like making art. 

This week I have been working on a possible commission and I am a little out of my comfort zone but at the same time excited and challenged. Here's my Tuesday Studio Visit Video with more on that. 

I don't have any photos of the possible commission that I can share, as it is a possible gift. That is if I can materialize it to my satistfaction. It's all good and secretive on my end and may not even happen, but it's giving me plenty to think about and work on, and that is a gift to me. 

It's the first of September, there is rain on the cobbles and a coolness to the air. I think I am going to grab another cup of tea and head to the studio for another adventure in risk. 

Take care out there. Until next week, keep fighting.

Friday, August 25, 2017





Off the gallery wall and onto your jacket or cardigan. Hand painted wearable art badges & brooches! £15 and free shipping. Message or comment to reserve yours. I am offering them to my fb and blog reading friends this weekend before I list them on Etsy on Monday.

Beep Beep!