Friday, June 26, 2020

Out of sync

Darkness comes in stages 
12x48"/30.4x121.9cm mixed media on canvas
© 2016 Megan Chapman

I have a cup of tea, the window is open blowing the paper prayer flags in the wind. I am listening to the beautiful music of Ólafur Arnalds "Island songs" on my headphones and tears could easily come to my eyes, but just now I can blink them away. There is something in the air today, a cool melancholy.

There are so many things I would like to write but it is complicated as this is an art blog, it is complicated because my attention span seems rather limited and because I am not sure how to form my thoughts into words. I just know I need to write. There is so much for us all to process and everyone is experiencing some form or another of grief and it is not going away.

Racial hate and divide, xenophobic fears and hate, transphobic hate and murder, a global pandemic that isn't magicking itself away, the desperate loneliness of so many bursting to be touched and loved as they flock to the beaches and parks leaving their human mark, so much litter to say I WAS HERE. WE WERE HERE.

We are back in a celebration of trash and consumerism. We are back in a forgetful haze. We got too close, saw too many, hashtag black lives matter, can I have some of your crisps, the bin is full, just leave it.

I want to love you. I want to put my arms around you but we are out of sync. I always cheered for you, always believed the best, always hoped for the future but now I must believe what I see. I don't want to.

I am so damn tired and I am not even sure I have the right to be.

I will never understand why we can't love everything and everyone. I will never understand that there are actually greedy people, bad people, mean people, people who hate and kill, people who prey on the vulnerable, people who do not think about the animals, the earth, the air.

But then again I must understand humans and I know we are messy creatures. I have hurt and disappointed other humans. I have not done my best always. I do take responsibility, I do try to learn how to do better and I try again and that's all I can do. Sometimes it is not enough.

I'll keep loving you because shame never fixed a damn thing. Protests and boycotts do, voting on your ballot and with your money can, making the personal political can help, dedicating yourself to creating tiny changes in your community (it starts with you, then your household, then your friends, then your associations) and that can help a lot.

I developed this quality slowly over time where I come to the table with problems and then I think about all sides and then I shift my perspective and then I think of positives and ways to change, ways to help, and ways to make a difference. So I came here to write from deep sadness and some rage but by the end of it, I stop myself and hope rears it's head again. Hope doesn't stay down for long.

I wish this was true for us all but I know some brains don't work that way. Some have been hurt too deeply, bruised, abandoned, and let down too often.

Collective hurt hurts us all.

Deep in our veins, it flows through us and we change shape. We flow through our cities' arteries spreading, spreading, spreading.

Friday, June 19, 2020

Studio Visits, Exhibitions, Prints, and More!

I haven't drawn or painted since last week. I did walk to my studio on Tuesday and had an emotional re-entry and then gave it a deep clean and filmed my Tuesday Studio Video Visit. If you missed it you can see it again here.

After I recorded that video and moved some furniture around and regained my composure, I recorded a second video in my studio that you won't see for a while yet. Earlier this month, I applied for and was accepted to participate in a paid project with Leith Late, a virtual open studio a digital project, which will create a virtual map plotting studios in Leith. At each point on the map, there will be one video per selected artist showing their workspace within the studio along with a gallery of still images of their work. Leith Late is working to deliver the project with academic partners from The Science, Technology, and Innovation Studies at The University of Edinburgh. So as you can imagine I was very excited to be accepted into the project with a lot of other wonderful artists and makers from around Edinburgh. I can't wait to see what they do with all the videos and materials gathered from the various participants. I will keep you posted when the project officially launches! 

This week included more good news and opportunity: 
Two of my paintings have been accepted into the Paisley Art Institute 132nd Annual exhibition! This year due to Covid-19 the exhibition will be online, so now everyone can enjoy it! I am delighted to be part of it this year!

The Paisley Art Institute (PAI) has been at the forefront of promoting and supporting Scottish artists’ work since 1876.

The exhibition will be launched on 25th July 2020 on their website. 

These are the pieces that were accepted.

I Carry The Light
Mixed media on canvas
2019 Megan Chapman
The Anchor Holds
Mixed media on canvas
2019 Megan Chapman

In other news, I launched my prints this week in my new Ko-Fi shop! The only place you can purchase the new limited edition prints of my accidental portraits! I am delighted that six prints have sold so far! You might imagine which one is proving the most popular just now - shocking! 




Dear patrons and collectors of my work during the lockdown: Thank you all for your much-needed support and encouragement. Your want of and belief in my work really kept me going. I have started preparing your work for the post today and will let everyone know as soon as I have posted your work to you so that you will know when to expect it roughly. Please keep in mind the postal service is still running a bit slower than usual and it may take me a bit longer to get everything organised again, but today I shall start the process! Thanks so much for your patience and again for your support!

And that's all I have for you this week on this Juneteenth. I will leave you with the powerful voice of Mahalia Jackson. Here's a petition to sign to make Juneteenth a national holiday. Click the link to sign:

Friday, June 12, 2020

Auction, Art, Action

I am catching up after a bit of a pause and delay, so if you missed the past two blog posts they are here and here.

A good reason to post a blog this week is to promote an important auction I am participating in. The benefit auction has been organised by a friend and fellow artist from my school days back in Fayetteville, Arkansas, the brilliant jeweler Flannery Grace Good who is now based in Kansas City. The auction is supporting two charities, the ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union) and the NAACP Legal Defense Fund (
The premier civil rights law organization in America). The winning bidder will get to choose which charity they will donate to directly, with 100% of the funds going to the charity. 

For this event, I donated an artist's proof of my (soon to be released) limited edition giclee print of my Accidental Portrait #17 (Fuck) on heavyweight archival matte paper (220gsm/81lb) signed in pencil. A3 sized/11.7×16.5" The bidding started at $65. The auction started Thursday, June 11 at 8pm CST and ends Sunday, June 14 at 8pm CST. So there is still plenty of time to have a look at not only my work (which as of this writing is currently going for $150) but also all the other wonderful items offered by artists all around the world. 

The auction is happening over on Flannery's Instagram page with instructions on how to bid in her feed. Please go check it out and support these vital organisations. Well done to Flannery for organising this, no small task at all. I am honoured to be able to participate. Let's try to raise as much money as we can. Thank you. 

My offering. I am very pleased with the colour and quality of the reproduction.
Stay tuned for more information about my upcoming print release!

In other news, I have been doing a bit of drawing and a bit of research for a new body of work or at least some preliminary sketches towards something new... only time will tell if it fully materialises. 

In continuing actions, besides signing more petitions and having more conversations, reading, researching, and listening, I participated again in the UK wide call to action to protest wherever you were, doorstep, street, garden, or a socially distanced group protest to take the knee and or stand in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement. I took the knee and stood outside on the road with my hand-painted sign Wednesday night at 6pm and was approached by a bewildered and slightly confrontational "all lives matter" white man. We talked for a while and then he seemed to understand and peacefully walked away. I thanked him for coming to talk to me.

Go check out the auction. Next week, we will talk about the print release among other things. Keep fighting and talking. Thank you.

Friday, June 5, 2020

Action and Art

I am posting this two weeks later than the actual date, filling in gaps where I have been silent. I am doing this mostly so I can remember what was being created at this time. This blog often serves as a record for me in the future.

For the past two weeks, I have been quiet and listening, outraged and sad, and holding space in solidarity with black people around the world. It didn't feel like the right time to record a chirpy Tuesday Studio Video Visit, nor did it feel right to write another blog on Friday as if it was business as usual in the world. I haven't painted much since the last portrait (FUCK - that I shared on this blog last week and below) but I have been looking at a lot of art, reading, researching, donating, and being as politically active as possible and protesting from a safe distance and attending online rallies and discussions on racism offered through a black-led organisations.

Here are the organisations I have been able to aid in some small way so far thanks to my art patrons.
Showing up for Racial Justice
Organization for Black Struggle
Family of George Floyd
National Lawyers Guild Mass Defense Fund
The Bail Project
Stand up to Racism UK

Action for Breonna Taylor:
1) Email Mayor Greg Fischer to demand that the LMPD fire and revoke pensions of the officers who murdered Breonna; and arrest, charge, and convict them for this crime. Email:
2) Demand that special prosecutor Daniel Cameron comport with full transparency and accountability. Email:
Please join us in this fight by making your voice heard now. Further information is at

Defund the Police: 

UK Actions:
Action for UK Government Stop Arming US State Violence with Exports:
Justice for Sheku Bayoh:
10 petitions to sign today that support Black Lives Matter in the UK:
On Wednesday, June, 3rd at 6pm there was a UK wide call to action to protest wherever you were, doorstep, street, garden, or a socially distanced group protest to take the knee and or stand in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement. I took the knee and stood outside on the road with my hand-painted sign. 

We must show up where we are, it might feel performative at first, scary, or odd. I had to examine that within myself. I had to look back at my white life and privilege, acknowledge my mistakes and missteps, talk about racism and bias, and ask questions of my friends and family. Why is my Instagram feed so white, why are the cities I live in so white? Why is the art I see so white? What can I do about it? What do I need to learn? What do I need to change? This is on us as white people. I might get it wrong and when I do (not if) I will take responsibility and listen. I'd rather get it wrong and be corrected and learn than stand back in silence. We have to keep talking and taking action not just this week or the next, but for the rest of our lives.

Now to the art, I made around this time and the last studio video visit I recorded. 

Accidental portrait #15, mixed media
20x16" on heavyweight 250gsm paper.
It has a fine-grain linen-textured surface that has been double-primed and is acid-free.

Accidental portrait #16
mixed media 20x16" on heavyweight 250gsm paper.
It has a fine-grain linen-textured surface that has been double-primed and is acid-free.

Accidental portrait #17
mixed media 20x16" on heavyweight 250gsm paper.
It has a fine-grain linen-textured surface that has been double-primed and is acid-free.

Until next week, I hope you are staying safe and well. Thank you. Keep fighting!