Friday, May 25, 2018

Field trip, Studio makeover, and exciting news!

This week started with an adventure to Dunfermline to see Robert The Bruce, King of Scotland's grave. Genealogy is a hobby of mine and finding him in the family tree was a fun discovery. More than anything though it was just great fun to cut out on a Monday, get on a train and go see new things. Dunfermline is a beautiful place in the spring and the birdsong, ruins, and trees caught my fancy. The air smelled more like home. I put it all in my internal bank to draw from on another day.

On Tuesday, I recorded the video visit that you can see here if you missed it.

As you can see, I was spending the week getting my studio organised and fitting in my new canvas storage and chair that was found in the street! I seem to always find everything I need on the street... The video cuts off (of course) but rest assured I was wishing you well and hoping you were inspired and encouraging you to take some time off and to not be so hard on yourself and to "do no harm but take no shit."

By Wednesday evening I had my studio pretty well sorted out and I must say I love the way it feels right now. It almost feels new again. I have been enjoying the space and have been painting the sides of small works to get them ready for the upcoming Open Studios Event.

Yesterday, I shared some exciting news on my Facebook pages and I will share it with you right now...
My armor, my solace, my connection
© 2017 Megan Chapman 
signed limited edition print
paper size A3 42x29.7cm/11.7x16.5"
© 2017 Megan Chapman 
signed limited edition print
paper size A3 42x29.7cm/11.7x16.5"
Paths, ravines, timeless tales
© 2017 Megan Chapman 
signed limited edition print
Paper size 29.7x29.7 cm/11.7x11.7"
HBO bought three of my limited edition prints (see above) from The Distillation Process to use in their series True Detective!

I am beyond thrilled and so happy that they saw them while part of the current exhibition, "From the Ashes" at Fenix Fayetteville in my hometown.

You can see the whole series here:

If you are local to the Northwest Arkansas area, please go check out the exhibition before it comes down in June. "From the Ashes" is the inaugural exhibition in Fenix Fayetteville's beautiful new space on the square. There is so much wonderful work to see, enjoy and purchase! Don't miss it!

I appreciate everyone's support and enthusiasm in the sharing of my good news. We'll all have to watch season 3 of True Detective when it comes out!

As I was walking home from the studio the other day, I thought to myself that having the space to create really is the ultimate reward. May you have a room of your own and all the materials you need. 

Friday, May 18, 2018

Cardboard meditations and open studios

This week in the studio I played a bit. I enjoyed the freedom of a meditation in motion in the form of working on "throw away" materials such as cardboard from the studio recycling bin. A simple way to loosen up after working on my larger canvases as well as my smaller series. I enjoyed the freedom to just move along with the paint with no destination and no finished product in mind. You can learn and see more of this on my Tuesday Studio Video Visit, in case you missed it on my Facebook art page here it is again.

You can see the studio snaps of the results of this process.

In other news, we are still gearing up for our Open Studios event at the Out of the Blue Drill Hall. Stewart Bremner of IndyPrints has designed a wonderful poster for our event. We have an exciting and varied lineup of artists and other exciting groups opening their doors on the 9th of June, so please make plans to attend.

If you are on facebook, please say you will attend by marking it so on our event page. We really would love to see you there!

Every day we paint is a victory. Every day we care for ourselves, each other, and the world is an even bigger one. The world needs you. Thank you.

Friday, May 11, 2018

We are more alike than we are different

The latest pieces from the series
"Communication techniques of the easily silenced"
This week in the studio layers of paint and paper continued to be added to my latest canvases from my "Communication techniques of the easily silenced" series of small works. I also finished another wee square work on canvas (20x20cm/8x8") and worked on two large 80x80cm canvases, getting one of them close to completion.

Small work
I also filmed my Tuesday Studio Video Visit, if you missed it on my Facebook art page, you can see it here. You will be able to see the small works being created and that my studio is getting a bit messy again (always a good sign).

Small work
I continued working on organising Open Studios this week as well. I think we have it mostly together now, just a few more nuts and bolts and finishing touches and then I can turn to getting my studio in order so that the public can enjoy it!

Large works in progress

Last week, I mentioned our culture jaunt to the modern for the fabulous Jenny Saville paintings in the NOW exhibition. This week in cultural outings, I had the pleasure of meeting visiting Australian artist, Jan Allsopp. Jan is visiting the UK on holiday and delightfully arranged to visit with me in my studio. I adored spending time with her in a local coffee shop as well as in my studio. I have admired Jan's work and ethos for a while now and to meet her in person was a treat. It is always good to talk with other artists that share the same painterly language and headspace. Visit Jan's website and learn more about her beautiful work.

This world is large and we are all so spread apart. The world is at the same time, small and filled with kindred spirits tucked in the corners and it is always a joy to meet one.

Until next week, know in your heart of hearts we are more alike than we are different and the world needs you and your art.

Friday, May 4, 2018

Step out into the light

Small work from my latest series
This week I worked on more small works in the studio, my 'communication techniques of the easily silenced' series.These small works were born between bursts of organising and meeting with artists and administration of the Drill Hall as we ready ourselves for our Open Studio event to held 9th of June from 11-5pm at 36 Dalmeny Street at the Out of the Blue Drill Hall. Put it in your diaries if you are in the area, we would love to see you there!

A small collection of new works.
Back to the art, these small canvases are layered with paint, paper, and more paint. They are a bit dirty, with the colours muddied a bit, just how I like things. With these small works, I allowed myself the pleasure of creating pieces that look like they could have been found mouldering away on the floor of an abandoned house in the sultry south. I would love to stage them in such surroundings.

I have been thinking more about what I love about the south, the wildness of it, the heavy air and the electric charge that comes with the change in the weather. I would say that all of my work since I have returned to Scotland from visiting Arkansas in December and January has been an atmospheric homage to where I am from. 

It's been a curious and exciting week, lessons were learned. Intuition is always something that I have relied on in my life. However, sometimes I still forget to heed it. All will be revealed in time. Keep listening to your intuition.

Jenny Saville, Propped, 1992 
Oil on canvas, 213.5x183cm. 
In other news, I took in some much-needed culture and stood before the impressive Jenny Saville paintings at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art. They taught me a thing or two about space and commanding it while retaining our vulnerability and humanness. Saville's larger than life paintings of women are raw and unadulterated, personal, universal and moving. They were a treat for the senses, painterly visions of flesh and blood. I will be returning to spend time with these works again before they move on.

Francesca Woodman (1958-1981)
Self-deceit #6, Rome, 1978
As I rounded the corner from Saville's work and into the hall, I was delighted to discover five photos by Francesca Woodman  (one of my favourite photographers). These dark photos with their intimate scale and searching feminine voice were the perfect counterpoint. 

If you are in the area, I would not miss the exhibitions on now at the modern one and two.

Until next week, the world needs you and your art. We need to share ourselves and our visions so that others may see themselves and step out into the light.