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.