Friday, December 2, 2022

I'm dreaming of an artful Christmas

Look at the gorgeous Christmas window at the fabulous Solo Gallery in Innerleithen, Scotland! This really made my week! The window is currently featuring 5 pieces of my work. I'm dreaming of an abstract Christmas...

Solo Gallery was a brand new gallery in the Scottish Borders and opened right before the pandemic struck. Kate, the wonderful gallerist, was excited (and still is) about what she could bring and create there and I was (and still am) so excited to be part of her plans and delighted that she had agreed to take my work. 

Needless to say, everything shut down for extended periods of time and some plans and hopes were dashed. Yet Kate kept on going bringing brilliant art to the borders and she kept showing my work. Happily, she sold a piece of my mine in October. We were both delighted! 

Kate has shown a quiet dedication, flexibility, and tenacity that I find really inspiring. This is no easy task and she could have shipped my work back to me at any time but here we are almost three years later and my work is in the window. Thank you, Kate!

Support Solo Gallery - pop by if you are in the Scottish borders or visit her website to buy fabulous works of art from wherever you may be. 

The window of the gallery looks festive and bright - such a lovely and friendly place to visit

Now let's talk about my wearable collection of eco-friendly t-shirts and totes! From today through Sunday at midnight enjoy free shipping/free post on all orders in the UK. So if you have had your eye on a shirt or tote or need the perfect gift this season, this is a great weekend to save a few pennies. Feel good about supporting my art and the planet at the same time. Shop here: 

And that brings us to my exhibition "Divinations, Declarations and Whispers." We are getting close to the final week of the exhibition so if you haven't spent some time yet in the online-only gallery or want to go back and spend some time with your favourites please plan to visit now. The show closes on the night of the 9th of December. Again it has been a real treat to share this body of work with you in this way and I have enjoyed hearing from folks near and far. Share the exhibition with a friend or post the link on social media, then meet up and have a coffee and chat about it. Building community around art is what it is all about for me and I want you to be part of it.

The Starling & Campbell Gallery awaits! 

As I mentioned in a previous post, my building will not be open for open studios this year. Please support my work while you are holiday shopping (or any time) by visiting my ko-fi shop which has a wide variety of mounted small original works as well as prints. I have recently restocked my shop (my prices there range from £20-325). I am always happy to answer more questions, take additional photos, or share videos with you to help with your purchase, and of course, my studio is open by appointment.

This has been a tough year and like so many, I keep going, I keep creating, and I keep sharing because this is what I was born to do. Thank you.

Like what I share? Leave a tip.

Friday, November 25, 2022

Shop Small Feel Good: Art is the Answer!

Here we are, it's Black Friday, and then Small Business Saturday, and then Cyber Monday - it's a weekend where you can choose to shop big... Or shop small and support your independent makers and artists. I hope you will choose to shop with me and my peers! My wee ko-fi shop is restocked and I have a deal for you!

Use THANKS20 or click the link below for 20% off everything. Prints, Originals, and even some professionally framed smaller Canvas Paintings! The discount is good until midnight on November 29th. So get shopping and know with each purchase you are making a real difference in my life. Feel free to share the code/link with your friends too. Take another look in my shop if you haven't in a while - there are over 60 pieces available and with the code/link the prices range from £16 - 260!

If eco-friendly and artful t-shirts and totes are more your style - I have you covered! They make great gifts too and teemill is a company with an ethos after my own heart. There are several styles and loads of sizes to choose from. Shop here:

My exhibition Divinations, Declarations and Whispers continues so please visit this online-only art experience if you haven't already. All the work is for sale and the majority of the portraits in the exhibition are priced at £270 (and that includes worldwide shipping!). If you have any questions regarding a purchase click the question icon next to the painting to send me an inquiry. If you know you want to buy just click the $ icon next to the piece.

Here is this week's video visit featuring some of the wonderful reviews folks have left me. Thank you all so much. I am delighted with the response and being able to present my work in a more accessible way. 

Last but not least, I do have a wide variety of paintings (small and large) that are available from my studio in Leith, Edinburgh. There will be no open studios this year in the building but my studio is always open by appointment and I am usually available to meet patrons there with just a bit of notice so if you find yourself in a last-minute worry for the perfect artful gift, just message me and I will meet you there.

Thank you all so much for your support - I honestly couldn't do this without you. 

Love what I do? Leave me a tip!

Friday, November 18, 2022

Wear your art on your sleeve! Exhibition T-shirts and Totes!

Setting the scene at my exhibition currently at Starling & Campbell

Last weekend's opening of Divinations, Declarations and Whispers was just incredible! Thank you to everyone who came along and who shared the exhibition across social media and beyond. It is a joy to present this body of work to you all in this manner and to connect with communities old and new, and patrons near and far. I am delighted to share that 1,214 visitors from over 10 countries have visited in the first week and two pieces have sold! Thank you all so much for your enthusiasm and support for this body of work and this exhibition. I can't tell you how happy it makes me! Special thanks to all the early collectors of my "accidental portraits" from 2017 until now while those works flew mostly under the radar. 

For those that might need a bit of tech support or personal guidance for navigating this online-only exhibition, I created the Tuesday Studio Video Visit just for you. Click HERE if you missed it.

The exhibition is on for a month, so if you haven't yet paid it a visit or if you want to spend some more time lingering in Starling & Campbell - please feel free to visit as often as you wish. Do your favourite pieces change from viewing to viewing? The gallery is open when you are. 

In other exciting exhibition-related news, I am pleased to now offer a selection of exhibition t-shirts and totes! These are available in a unisex standard fit size XS-XXXXL and in a fitted style in UK sizes 8-18 (please check the size chart if you are ordering from outside the UK). 

Click here to shop! These t-shirts and totes make great eco-friendly gifts for yourself or a loved one and are also a great way to support my work. Thank you. 

Exhibition selections!

And that's all I have for you this week. Thank you again to all my patrons near and far, I couldn't do this work without you. Until next week, enjoy Divinations, Declarations, and Whispers and stay warm and well. 

Friday, November 11, 2022

Divinations, Declarations, and Whispers OPENS TODAY!!

I am delighted to share news of my latest exhibition opening TODAY! Please join me for Divinations, Declarations, and Whispers. November 11- December 9, 2022. Featuring twenty-two portraits created this year in my studio at the Out of the Blue Drill Hall in Edinburgh, Scotland. This is my first exhibition of portraiture in my 27 years of dedication to abstract painting and I am thrilled to share these works with my collectors and patrons all over the world in this accessible, digital format. All works are for sale with free international and local shipping included in the price. Join me throughout the next four weeks as we get to know these faces in all their mystery and splendour, together at a distance. Get a drink and some nibbles and click here to attend! 


Wobbly cheeks, eyes impatient and smudged, mouths quick and dirty - that's how I work - I don't have time to waste. Spirits come forward. Rude and rushed - poor and floating - they become one. Are they kings, queens, or something in between? What are they thinking? Do they know something we don't? 

We all like a face - even one we don't know and one we don't understand. These faces are often not of any particular race or gender, and some hold a different standard of beauty with their smeared eyes and mouths. Some are wrapped up in emotion, power, or curiosity. 

These portraits express the past eight years of my life in Scotland. Sharing fragments of self, various characters, feelings, and my thoughts captured in an impulsive charcoal line. This exhibition culminates in a personal expressive rebellion and showcases the faces that jumped to the front of the queue.

Friday, November 4, 2022

Cup full of can

Big painting stored for now - makes the door to the sink area feel almost festive

Well hello there! It's the first Friday in November. Can you believe it? 

My studio schedule for the past couple of weeks since the big painting has been a wee bit spotty. My cat Theo has needed some veterinary attention and he comes first (he's mostly fine) but I have been wanting to spend time with him as we begin medication for his condition. Anyway, this isn't a cat blog so I will get back to the painting aspect of life... 

I haven't painted anything in the studio since last week's "removable face" and that's a-ok. I have been exploring some other creative outlets. I have made a hair fascinator, a crown out of vintage lace, some homemade clay dough, a miniature paper cup, and some wee things from commercial air-dry clay. I have been practising my ukulele too. All will be revealed or it won't - I'm just having some fun. I especially enjoyed the wee teacup. I think it is actually magical. It taught me a lot - but that's my business. 

My wee cup full of "can"

I recorded my Tuesday Studio Video Visit and showed how I decided to temporarily store my big painting (as pictured above). If you missed the video on the socials you can see it again here.

I put the finishing touches on this month's 13-song playlist for my ko-fi supporters. Anyone who has supported me in the last 30 days for as little as £3 gets access. I really appreciate my regular and one-off supporters. Not only do you help with studio expenses and art materials but also with my daily life. Thanks! TIP HERE

Don't forget I offer limited and open edition prints in my shop. SHOP PRINTS
Also eco-friendly t-shirts and totes. SHOP SHIRTS AND TOTES

What can I do for you? What can I offer you? What do you need to feel better? What can I create for you? I'd surely try to help if I only knew. 

Until next week, keep fighting - don't let the bastards get you down and if you are in America - VOTE like the underdogs of the world depend on it. 

La La love you.

Friday, October 28, 2022

Another one comes forth (removable face)

Another one comes forth (removable face)

People are very curious… lots of questions. "What does this mean, what do these portraits mean?" I don’t know for sure, but concerning the most recent crown portraits, perhaps it goes something like this... I’m originally from a democracy now living as a subject, under a new king with new prime ministers currently changing on a dime - with systems of power shifting- and I am in a country that wants to be independent. Also thrown in the mix are capitalism, wealth inequality, cost of living crisis, identity, daily life and worries reflected in news headlines. Just a hunch, but I think all of this factors into the work. 

The world is a mess and people need to make sense of it - I know I need to. Bright colours and faces seem to help. These portraits haven't just sprung up overnight (as social media algorithms may have you thinking). I have been working on these pieces since 2017. Recently, for the first time in over 20 years, I didn’t paint for a calendar year, and then when I started back, the faces jumped to the front of the queue and they are all I have painted so far in 2022 except for one abstract piece.

They are all self-portraits of sorts - fragments of self, various characters, feelings, and my thoughts captured in an impulsive charcoal line. These portraits are a more direct way to express the past 8 years of my life in the U.K.

Eventually, as I get to know the work better, I will know what’s truly going on. I need the work to be more easily felt or understood right now. The faces are fun for me to create and more obviously expressive and easier to swallow for some people. I can be free with them and show all elements of myself. Another factor in all of this is that I've been frustrated that at times it seems people here don’t always understand or appreciate abstract art (the work I have dedicated my adult life to). So here we are, portraits seem to fit the bill. I just have to show up and make what comes forth - and right now there are a lot of voices knocking at the door. 

It’s a personal expressive rebellion and one I am enjoying. I think that shows in the work. I’m an abstract painter who happens to be going through a portrait phase and maybe that's all there is to it.

Thanks to fellow artist and dear friend Steven Heaton for prompting this blog post with an impromptu interview of sorts. Follow him on Instagram: @steven_heaton

Until next week, keep fighting! If you missed my Tuesday Studio Video Visit: Find it here. 

Like my studio blog? Support it. Tip me on ko-fi. Thank you. Folks that tip me £3 get a curated YouTube playlist of my favourite studio music each month as a wee thank you. 

Friday, October 21, 2022

Divinations, declarations, and whispers

Divinations, declarations, and whispers
mixed media on unstretched canvas
Megan Chapman  

I spent the rest of last weekend making the seals for the bottom of the painting. Each one is hand stamped and painted. This week I went into the studio to apply them along the bottom of the piece. I also added any glue that was needed on the collage bits and did colour matching where the tape had been holding the canvas up against the painting wall. After that, I spray varnished the painting to protect and seal all the mixed media elements. You can watch the Tuesday Studio Video Visit below for a more in-depth discussion about this if you missed it on social media.


Today, I went back into the studio to check the varnish and give the piece a last once over to make sure the charcoal was properly sealed. I also wanted to go over it again with another coat of matte finish varnish. I recorded a couple of quick supplemental videos today that you can see here.


And here


After I decided that I was pleased with the varnish and that everything else was in order, I decided to take the painting for a walk through the studio and take a couple of photos of it temporarily installed to get a better sense of it out in the world along with a few detail shots below. 

Thank you again to everyone who has been so interested and enthusiastic about this latest painting. It has been fun sharing this piece and the experience of creating it with you. 

Friday, October 14, 2022

A declaration

The new piece

The new piece in my studio for scale
The Tuesday Studio Video Visit

Example of wax seals to finish off the bottom of the painting

Example of wax seals to finish off the bottom of the painting

Seals I made today that I will adhere to the bottom of the canvas

Are they kings, queens, or something in between? I am not yet sure and everyone seems to come up with their own take. Are they wearing one crown or two? What are they thinking? Are they nice, mean, or ambivalent? Are they related or in some other sort of union? What is this painting all about? Balances of power, mystery, a declaration, an experiment? Do they know something we don't? Do I know something you don't? Do I know anything much at all? 

All I know is that I saw the impressionist exhibition on Sunday and went to sleep knowing I would go into the studio on Monday morning to paint and then I went back on Tuesday and painted some more and it was fun and bewildering. Then before I knew it I had a whole Pinterest board on wax seals - which I have loved for a while but now it's serious. 

And now I have made a rusted metal box full of them. I researched, I experimented, and now I think I have a solution. It's all fun and exciting and still bewildering... and maybe being bewildered is the right place to be. I didn't relax on the sofa on a Friday night and watch some bullshit - I made these seals and got hyped up. I listened to music while I made these (pictured above) and thought - this is what it feels like to be alive.

Besides the impressionist exhibition on Sunday I saw the fabulous Richard E. Grant on Thursday. Being enveloped in culture and humanity helps with the feeling alive part too. 

Things have changed, I do declare. 

Thanks to everyone for their enthusiasm for this latest work. I really appreciate it and can't wait to see where this path is taking us. Until next week, keep fighting.

Friday, October 7, 2022

I still believe

Well, hello there!

I can't believe it's Friday already but here we are. I just made myself a cup of coffee (it's still a thrill to be back with my old friend). I have an inspirational song playing on repeat at full blast on my headphones and I am ready to sit down and let you know what the hell is going on. 

Check out Mx freaky up there with their oversized crown. After last week's larger canvas filled with multiple faces, I decided this week I wanted to continue to work on canvas rather than paper. Stretched canvas - this is significant (probably only to me). These faces are also significant and I have been pretending that they are not because I think I still don't know them too well and "this is not the work I usually produce." However, it is a series I have been working on since 2017 - in bits and pieces and fits and starts. So perhaps I know these faces better than I realise and perhaps you all know them better than you think as well. 

I am often perplexed by the reaction of folks to my "accidental portraits" (might be time to change the name of the series). However, in my own living room, I have more than 15 faces staring back at me (including animals and buddhas) in various mediums from own my art collection. We all like a face - even one we don't know and one we don't understand. What I understand about these faces, is that I have fun when I paint them. I like that they are often not any particular race or gender, and some of them might be considered disabled or hold a different standard of beauty with their smeared eyes and mouths. Some might be considered fully formed but wrapped up in emotion, trauma, power, or curiosity. It's not for me to figure out how they are understood or experienced. It is my job to show up so that they can show up.

As an abstract painter for what feels like forever I get a little surprised at the reaction to these beings that I have FUN painting. Yes, I do. Y'all are supposed to only like the hard shit- the stuff where I have toiled and suffered - the stuff I have sacrificed everything for. The stuff I am "good" at. Don't try to reason with me - I am trying to share the conversation as it stands in my head. I am working to see it differently now and I am getting there. You might like the more accessible stories in these faces - and I might like them too. There is nothing worse than speaking in a language that people can't understand or doing a song and dance that no one can hear or see  - and sometimes being an abstract painter in Scotland feels like that. So roll on faces... 

This portrait above (Woman of the storms) is very loosely inspired by one of my favourite paintings. Part of me doesn't want to show it to you as I don't want you to have an association, expectation, or judgment. However, I would rather share the beauty of the painting that I love with you than get caught up in any of that ego bullshit. So here you go, isn't she lovely? She reminds me of my mother for some reason. I think my mother must love this painting too. I think a print of this might have been collaged onto a piece of our furniture growing up. How could I have turned into anything other than an artist... 

Portrait of a Lady
Rogier van der Weyden 
oil, panel
34 x 25.5 cm

I enjoyed putting the pair of them together on the painting wall. I might have partially hidden behind the door of the sink room and looked at them through the gap in wonder. Tears may have come to my eyes. Happy Bob Ross tears. Another good week in the studio was brought to us by music, Oreos, coffee, and my stubborn dedication and curiosity. 

If you missed the Tuesday Studio Video Visit, you can see it here. The woman of the storms didn't exist yet so I speak of the crowned one.

In other news, the photo below
 is of my dear friend and fellow artist, John Simpkins (find him on Facebook at The art of John Simpkins). John creates sublime and wonderful works of art. Here he is pictured in front of one of his latest paintings at his studio in Oregon wearing one of my shirts! Take a minute to learn more about his fabulous work.

Buy yourself a "Polly" t-shirt like John or perhaps another design from my shop Thanks to everyone who has bought a t-shirt or a tote! Keep sending me your photos! 

And last but not least, in the excitement and sheer delight category - a painting of mine (see below, "On the wind") just SOLD from the fabulous Solo Gallery in Innerleithen in the gorgeous Scottish Borders! Kate, the gallerist, contacted me yesterday to share the good news! I am thrilled! I started showing my work at the Solo gallery the month before the pandemic so you can only imagine how that coloured the experience. I am so happy that this sweet abstract has found a good home with another fellow artist who also shows at Solo Gallery! Thanks again to Kate at the gallery and thanks to Eleanor for choosing my work for her collection! Check out Eleanor Cunningham's work and of course Solo Gallery.

On the wind
Mixed Media on Canvas, 20cm x 20cm framed,

That's all I have for you this week, thanks so much for your support and for reading my words and enjoying my art.

Special thanks go out to my Ko-fi crew for their financial support and emotional backing in the past 30 days. Thank you: Tamsin, Jennifer, Pat, Jen, John, Mas, Bekky. Join the club and support me here!

Also thanks to the artists and mentees who have trusted me with their art and process. Looking for a mentor? Sign up here!

Until next week, keep fighting and keep showing up!

Friday, September 30, 2022

And no one sees us

I went to the studio on Tuesday. I didn't paint but I went in and I looked around. I looked at angles, smudges, colours and lines. I got grounded and then I took care of an errand.

I went back to the studio on Thursday. It was looking iffy but I made it and I am so glad I did. I bought some Oreos and some cold brewed coffee (I'm back on a bit of coffee after 29 years of not). I also bought myself The Cure's Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me album from 1987 as an extra bit of encouragement (along with the coffee and Oreos- whatever it takes). That album was one of my favourites from that very year and it's just as good now. And then the above happened. I took the large abstract painting I had done on a gifted to me 100x80cm linen canvas (thanks patron!) and turned it on its side and then quickly drew these charcoal faces. Red cheeks, white cheeks, wobbly cheeks, eyes getting more impatient and smudged, mouths quick and dirty - that's how I work. I don't have time to waste - paint around the shapes - everything is abstract - see the old painting peeking through. Spirits come forward. These quickdraws are standing all around us. Not even considered. Rude and rushed - poor and floating - they become one. I don't understand much anymore I think. But I know I don't want to make them "better" just yet. People like them raw and bad. So maybe I should too. 

So, I left the spirits and entered into their world, where the yellow line took me by the hand. The more troubled, the better. Bread crumbs into the darkness that I follow alone. 

"Well we’re a mile under the ground
And I’m thinking that it’s Christmas
And I’m kissing you hard
Like I’ve got very important business
And no one knows
And no one sees us
Because they’re drinking their selves senseless
And I’m writhing
And I’m writhing
And I’m writhing in the snakepit..."

Have a blessed day y'all. (read it in an Arkansas accent - pretend you are shopping and they say this as you turn to leave the till)

Like what I share? Support it! Thanks!

Friday, September 23, 2022

Army of me


And here's the Tuesday Studio Video Visit if you missed it. 

So that's it. I worked my two scheduled days in the studio and I had fun and felt good about it. Thanks to everyone who has let me know they are enjoying this latest series of "accidental portraits." I don't think I am going to stop anytime soon.

Special thanks to my two new Kofi support warriors this week! 
Bekky and Mas you are making a difference in my art and life! Thank you!

Until next week, keep fighting.

Friday, September 16, 2022

Washing brushes, talking about paintings

Time has been a little strange this past week, to say the least.

I made it to the studio on Tuesday as planned and took a quick look at the large canvas I worked on the previous Thursday. I put it aside for now and decided to go through my paints (I had 10 tubes of the same colour on the go many times over and cluttering up my palette table). I also went through all my brushes and found a selection of them that needed some tender loving care after some neglect. 

I sort of hit the ground running when I returned to the studio and just threw myself into using the space and creating new pieces. A forceful re-entry but probably not a sustainable one. Besides dealing with the paints and brushes, I did start another small square canvas just laying in some washes. Nothing serious. I skipped the studio on Thursday due to some other things I needed to attend to more. This is the 4th consecutive week of working in my studio space since before the pandemic. While I am creating new patterns and schedules I want to be careful to not return to being the taskmaster I once was in creating work to prove to you that I do indeed "work." This is leftover programming that no longer serves me but is deeply worn into my brain. I have done a bit more walking in the past week as well - Autumn always seems to be the walking season as I prepare myself for the darker and shorter days. 

For my Tuesday Studio Video Visit this week, I decided I wanted to try something a bit different and talk to you about one of my favourite paintings from childhood. Paolo Uccello's "St. George and the dragon."  Of course, I only meant to talk for 5 minutes but it ended up being 15 as I couldn't contain my excitement. If I record more of these videos I will keep them shorter. If you missed it, here it is again. Please subscribe to my YouTube channel if you haven't already. Thanks! 

This week I also sent out an email to my subscriber's list as sometimes social media isn't the best way to get ahold of everyone as it becomes more of a pay-to-play scenario. If you are not on my mailing list please sign up. I never spam and usually only send out newsletters quarterly or when a special event is happening that you might want to know about. As always you are in control and can unsubscribe at any time. Click HERE to sign up if you haven't already. Thank you. 

There are several ways you can support my work: 
Buy my art online or through my studio - Message me about pieces on my website and across social media - I am working to find the best point of sale platform online just now.

And of course, please share my blogs, videos, paintings and social media posts. Leave a comment - it all helps and I appreciate you for putting in a good word for me and my work. 

Thanks to everyone who remains on this path with me, I couldn't do it without you and I wouldn't want to. I hope you are well, happy, and inspired. Until next week, keep fighting! 

A big thank you to my regular monthly Ko-fi Supporters! 
Jennifer, Tamsin, Jennifer, and Pat - you really make a difference!!