Friday, August 30, 2019

Books, books, books...

After a wonderful opening reception at Doyle Fine Art in Glasgow last Friday, I spent this past week working on my books. I was fretting about getting them framed and then I remembered that frames were not part of my original plan anyway. I want a table filled with yellowed paper, hard book backs, and spines unleashed. I want you to touch the art and "read" the books. I want you to feel them and pick up the stories that are meant for you. I want you to have an experience. 

As the promotion for the book market says,  “Megan paints and draws in the pages of old hardback books to tell stories collected on the wind and sea. These books are made to be handled and touched, read and collected, like any other.”

Consider yourself personally invited and make plans to attend: Art Walk Porty - The Artist's Book Market, at the Dalriada located right on the Portobello Promenade across from the sea in Edinburgh. Saturday the 7th 12-6pm and Sunday the 8th of September from 12-5pm.

In my Tuesday Video Visit this week, I talk in-depth about my thoughts behind the books and why I started them 20 years ago and why I continue with them today. While my face is not in the video this week, you get a good sense of what this project is all about. I hope you will give it a listen. 

Until next week, keep fighting!

Friday, August 23, 2019

Exhibitions, studio work, and more!

Monday came on strong with several smaller (but not small) works on canvas and a large painting was summoned up by the afternoon.

Just some of the smaller works on canvas from Monday. Here is the large piece that came later.

On Tuesday, I filmed the Tuesday Studio Video Visit and talked in-depth about my feelings regarding the large canvas. You can see it again here if you missed it.

In other news: a reminder that tonight from 6-9pm is the opening reception for John Doyle Art located at 23 Parnie Street in Glasgow. This brand new gallery aims to bring an eclectic collection of talent and skill together under one roof. I am delighted to be part of it. 

In two weeks, it will be Art Walk Porty - The Artist's Book Market, at the Dalriada located right on the Portobello Promenade across from the sea in Edinburgh. Saturday the 7th 12-6pm and Sunday the 8th of September from 12-5pm. I really need to properly turn my focus to this upcoming deadline and get my bookwork show ready and stop working on the rolled canvas works (note to self). 

Last but not least, a new patron just sent me this photo of two of my small works that have now be framed and lovingly placed in their new home. These two small works look dynamic together and I love how they’ve been framed. Word to the wise, these were picked for a song from my online studio sale

Until next week, may you be well, happy, and inspired. Remember that every day we paint is a victory. The world needs you and your art! Thank you.

Friday, August 16, 2019

Our Minimalist Secrets: Exhibition and Gallery News!

This week I turned my attention in the studio back to the book series. I am excited to be part of Art Walk Porty - The Artist's Book Market, next month at the Dalriada located right on the Portobello Promenade across from the sea in Edinburgh. Saturday the 7th and Sunday the 8th of September from 11am-4pm. Click the link to read more about the participants and mark your calendars and make plans to attend. I would love to see you there. Learn more here (it's a gorgeous website so do click on that link).

I love the freedom that working in the books allows. As this is not my primary format, I feel like I can do anything and take even more risks and chances. The yellowed and torn books and scrolls can become sculptural and raw to hold our minimalist secrets.

In other exciting exhibition news, I just sent two paintings to the inaugural exhibition at a new gallery in Glasgow! John Doyle Art located at 23 Parnie Street aims to bring a new and eclectic collection of formidable artists together under one roof. I am honoured to be part of the mix. There will be an opening reception next Friday, the 23rd of August from 6-9pm. 

These are the two paintings you can enjoy and purchase there.

A delicate balance
Acrylic, charcoal on canvas
© 2015 Megan Chapman
Currently available through Doyle Art in Glasgow.
Contact the gallery to purchase.

Remember this place
Acrylic, charcoal on canvas
© 2015 Megan Chapman
Currently available through Doyle Art in Glasgow.
Contact the gallery to purchase.

As some of you may recall these two pieces were published in a wonderful article by the arts editor of SOGO Magazine at the time, fellow artist and now friend, Brian McFie. You can read the article here if you missed it the first time around. Brian will also be showing his work with Doyle Art. Again, I am delighted to be showing in a gallery in Glasgow. This is another first for me!

Thanks to everyone who reads my blog, follows and supports my work on the various forms of social media, and has supported my work in all the various brick and mortar galleries along the way. Thank you! 

Friday, August 9, 2019

Living on the fault line

A new painting from this week

I can feel the sun as it shines on my legs, the doors are open onto the yard of the studio on this, the third week of my lucky artist's residency. It's been raining like cats and dogs and angry ones at that, with the weather being more like Arkansas than Scotland this past week.

I am listening to REM's album Murmer as this place reminds me of it and takes me back again to my youthful summers spent dreaming of somewhere else. I watch the swallows dart in and around as the buddleia sprouts from the corners of the slate roof. Faded blue and green painted arched wooden doors come into view as this morning's rain puddles reflect the light.

I sit and write and breathe and feel content even when the world is going to shit. This morning I cried and then meditated (some call it prayer) for the children in cages and now the new ones left without parents in Mississippi. I know my meditations can't help them and I cry over the trauma that they will be left with. I am half a world away, sitting in the sun thinking about institutional racism and I am thinking about painting. I can think about both and I can choose to think about one more than the other because of my white privilege. This troubles me but not like it troubles those without this skin.

In my privileged world, I am learning to be okay with being happy and sad, civil and angry, content and yet aware of the world and its injustice. I wade into these grey murky waters, this muddled way of being, the dark and light within and the imperfection and humanity of us all.

I walk each step learning that nothing has to be "good" or "perfect" and I keep painting.

Living on the fault line
If you missed Tuesday's Studio Video Visit, you can see it again here.
Until next week, keep fighting.

May all beings have happiness and the causes of happiness.
May all beings be free from suffering and the causes of suffering.
May all beings rejoice in the wellbeing of others
May all beings live in peace, free from greed and hatred.

Consider making a donation to the Mississippi Immigrants Rights Alliance. "MIRA envisions a Mississippi that supports, protects, and welcomes immigrants from across the globe working hand-in-hand to create a thriving community called home." If you donate directly to them they have access to the money quickly so they can help these families hit hardest by the latest ICE raids. Donate here.

Thank you. 

Friday, August 2, 2019

Something real and true, aged and worn

It is week two of my artist's residency. I am sitting outside the studio door listening to music and the sounds of the traffic on the road just outside the gate as I type this. This week went by so fast. I painted Monday, laying the grounds/underpaintings for two new 16x20"/41x51cm pieces. I hadn't painted on that sized canvas in a while and I really enjoyed it. On Tuesday, I finished those two pieces off and filmed my Tuesday Studio Video Visit. If you missed it, here it is again. I show you the progress of the space and the series of works.

I took a few phone shots of my work and space as well. Here are the two pieces I completed this week. I am especially pleased with the first piece. You can see the whole dark series as it is progressing here.

On Wednesday, I spent time in the studio, writing rather than painting, just getting some of my ideas clear. I enjoyed spending time in the space, getting used to the light, the birds, butterflies, and outside sounds. A change in scenery and routine are so beneficial. Yesterday, I stayed at home, waiting for deliveries. And today, I was back in the studio, with my massive roll of canvas that had arrived. Who knows what will happen with it. I need to set up a large smooth painting wall before I can really go big. I always paint on pre-stretched canvas as well, so this will present a fun challenge. I am just looking to experiment and explore and that is a relief. To simply work for the sake of it, to be excited and inspired is a gift, as is this space.

I took this photo of the canvas roll in my studio today - I love it. I love the feeling the photo evokes. The old walls, the sculptural roll of canvas, the possibilities. What a thrill.

I cut off a good-sized piece and stapled it to a low long part of the wall and started a large painting today. Another ground/underpainting. Something for me to react against in my next session. I will probably use some of this canvas for my scroll series as well, it's slightly odd canvas but like everything else, I like it's slightly strange qualities. It fits the space, the time and my attitude of exploration and openness.

There is something about this place tucked away behind the gate - the old stables are filled with nothing but possibility. I can make something here, something rough and dirty - something real and true, aged and worn. My heart is wrapped in the dust of the past. I imagined this type of place when I was a teenager while sitting and smoking under the old railroad bridge back home. With music in my ears, old beer cans at my feet, surrounded by graffiti, I watched for the slow-moving freight trains. It was poetic, nostalgic, and a dream of my own creation with every new song. I am grateful to be here again.