Friday, June 29, 2018

Summer! Exhibitions, taking up space, and taking care

This week, I have decided to take up some space that I normally shy away from. As I write my blog, I am surrounded by plants on the balcony above my studio just off the common kitchen at the Out of the Blue Drill Hall in Leith. It is hot up here close to the Victorian glass ceiling.

I have my headphones on but even still I can hear the clinking of glasses and silverware from the cafe kitchen below. It smells like a chocolate cake is baking and reminds me of my mother. It feels good to be in the bright light and intense warmth up high and surrounded by other people's cast-off houseplants. You are here for art though, so let's talk about that.

A fair wind and a long way to go
Mixed media on canvas
© 2018 Megan Chapman

I follow the clouds
Mixed media on canvas
© 2018 Megan Chapman

I have just bubble-wrapped these two paintings for delivery to The Velvet Easel Gallery tomorrow morning. I am very pleased to have my work in the upcoming exhibition, "Defying Sameness." The exhibition opens on 7th of July (drinks and nibbles all day of the opening) and stays up through the 28th of October. The Velvet Easel is one of my favourite galleries in Edinburgh, so come out to Portobello to take in the art and the beach and make a day of it.

I have also been getting ready for the "Summer Garden Party" exhibition coming up at The Union Gallery I am thrilled to have four pieces in this upcoming show.

"The annual, mixed, summery exhibition of favourite gallery artists including Patsy McArthur, James Newton Adams, Megan Chapman, Colin Brown, Drummond Mayo and Sophie McKay Knight, all served up with a glass of PIMMS!" The exhibition runs 12th of July 2018 to the 4th of August.

Besides painting up a storm in the studio, I have been trying to savour summer a bit, yesterday I spent the day in a writer's garden in the hot sun. It was a divine way to spend a day.

The news of the world is horrid and there are many people in pain and despair. I can't turn my back on it but neither can I dwell on it for too long. At these times we must fight, stay informed, and work for change but we must also make our art and sun our souls.

Friday, June 22, 2018

The privilege of being a painter

Pinterest is my safe place when the news of the world gets too much, I go and hide out there and look at art.

A cascade of beauty and hope washes over me. Old, new, and so many unknown works, flood the electronic pages. I get a rush as I discover a new work or artist, but it doesn't stop there, they are connected by an algorithm designed to lead me to more. It feels like online gambling but with a much bigger payoff.

I click on a favourite Motherwell which in turn leads me to a colourful Kline that I have never seen which then takes me to an unknown Diebenkorn. As I work the site, it keeps peeling back yet another layer of these painter kings.

A coveted image of an anonymous yellow ochre and black midcentury abstract in situ finally gets named and then I am off down a rabbit hole to discover all I can about Conrad Marca-Relli.

I double back and look at the work of Hartigan, I read her words and thoughts, Mitchell and Frankenthaler too. These gutsy, tough women who just wanted to paint and be seen.

I receive an electric charge as I look at these collections, feeling fevered and excited. I look for secret messages, connections, and validation. I am comforted by the others that share this work and sweet affliction. I have never found being an artist easy or even smart. I have never completely trusted this calling, yet I have sacrificed so much for the privilege of being a painter.

Friday, June 15, 2018

An exchange of space and energy

Open studios went very well. It was a lovely event that reminded me of everything I love about being an artist and being part of a community. Besides painting, it's the conversations and communication that I really enjoy. It is always a thrill to witness folks take the time to breathe and let go as they view the work. A wonderful exchange of space, energy, art, and thought happens in these moments. I can sense it when it happens and it fills me with joy. I feel seen and understood, this is a rare gift. I am not being the cool or aloof artist, I am open to questions and the sharing of my process with fellow artists, patrons, and the non-buyer alike.

Here's my Tuesday Studio Video Visit, in my rather tidy studio, chatting about open studios and what comes next.

I was delighted that there were several sales during the day. Two pieces from my new series sold as well as several other earlier paper series pieces. Thank you again to everyone who came out and enjoyed my studio, spoke with me, and supported my work.

To continue on in the open studio spirit, I have created a site for my small works on canvas from my recent "Echoes and Memory" series. These small works range in price from £175-250 and will be available for the next 12

As the small works site went live this morning, I was delighted with a sale right from the start. I am grateful for this support and appreciation of my work.

Until next week, sing your song, make your mark, and know that there are a few people out there that do speak your language. Find those people and celebrate. We need you here with us. 

Friday, June 8, 2018

All Things Open Studios!

Poster Design by Stewart Bremner

This week it is all about Open Studios!

A HUGE Saturday coming up at the Drill Hall with Out of the Blue Open Studios, Bruncheon! feat. the Sound of Muesli with Toby Mottershead, Lewis Gibson (of The Midas Touch) & Ruth Marie Cumming, Architecture Fringe's Crumble Magazine Project plus a chance to see the #Exposed18 Edinburgh College and Out of the Blueprint exhibitions.

11am - 5pm (live music from 11.30am-2.30pm) and it's free entry all day! 36 Dalmeny Street Leith, Edinburgh, EH6 8RG. Visit The Out of the Blue Drill Hall website for all the details.

I will be in my studio G23, on the ground floor. As you come in, turn right once you are through the entryway and before you get to the cafe, keep turning right passed the notice board, there will be signage. My studio will be the first door on your left and it will be open. You will be given a programme at the entrance with a map indicating all the open studios participating. I hope to see you there!

This Tuesday, I was calmly getting ready as you can see in my video visit.

As today is Friday, I am not quite as calm but I am focused and getting things done for tomorrow. As luck would have it Interpol dropped a new single yesterday so this will help push me the rest of the way (if you have been reading this blog since 2007 you know I am a bit of a fan...)

I have updated my website with my latest large works from my Echoes and Memory series so please go have a look. I also have new beautiful postcards to hand out at open studios!

And last but not least, you can read more about my work and my process regarding my latest works in this recent article. Megan Chapman: A Strange Alchemy. An earlier version of this article appeared in Painters Tubes magazine. Click on the images to read.

And that's all I have for you this week. Music is everything, I love painting, and I am grateful for you and everyone else who brings beauty and thought to this world.

Friday, June 1, 2018

Music, Studio Visits, and Preparation.

I will let my Tuesday Studio Video Visit (that I recorded this week on a Thursday) tell you what has been going on this week in the studio (click the bottom right corner to turn on the volume on the videos).

Part 1.

Part 2.

This morning, I had a studio visit with Union Gallery owner Alison Auldjo to talk about the upcoming July show. I always enjoy studio visits! Alison has picked out three new pieces from my current series and I am going to be completing a fourth that is currently in progress for the exhibition. I am very pleased with her choices and I can't wait to see them all together on the gallery wall. I am glad to know where I stand in regards to preparing for the exhibition.

Next week I must turn all my attention towards preparing for open studios. I am enjoying the warmer weather, the sun and getting out in it as much as I can. I am working with that elusive life-work balance, that for me is a bit more challenging in the summer months as the weather improves and there are things to do and people to see.

That's all I have for you. Until next week, keep showing up for yourself and your art. The world needs you.