Friday, February 24, 2023

A dash of magic and spring vibes

Singing to the flowers at night
Mixed Media on Paper
50.8 x 40.64cm/20x16"
Megan Chapman

It's Friday already!? Yes, it is. 

My cat Theo isn't doing too well just now which is heavy on my mind and heart. Tonight I observe him and call the vet in the morning if need be and if I don't need to (fingers crossed) I have an appointment on Tuesday morning to learn how to start giving him subcutaneous fluids. Sigh. What a wee champion Theo continues to be. 

Let's see what else happened this week in art and life.

On Saturday, I focused on putting my most recent body of portraits all together in one place where patrons can enjoy and easily purchase them. These are the same pieces that made up my Divinations, Declarations, and Whispers exhibition that was held online in December. Now you can find them on my Artwork Archive site. I will be experimenting with having more of my work available in the near future on this platform. I really like the ease of use and point of sale and contact capabilities. If you missed the portraits on my social media accounts, you can check them out here:

On Saturday night I enjoyed the final 2-hour session of "Art, Work and Power," presented by the Scottish Artists Union. I get so much out of the union courses - always inspiring, empowering, and thought-provoking. I am looking forward to the next courses. 

On Monday, I updated my Instagram and Twitter handles to my actual name. So if you follow me on Instagram it is no longer at "ethermaven" but is now: Similarly, if you follow me on Twitter at "ethermaven" it is now I have also updated my profile pictures across the board to something a bit more up-to-date as well.
Seems a bit more professional to show up under my actual name and hopefully, it will be better for business as well. It's always a hassle to update those things as you don't realise how many times you share and promote those handles across social media, websites, and such. It felt good to finally take care of it.

On Tuesday, I visited the vet with Theo for blood tests and fluids, had my weekly chat with Jennifer, and then later I made the Tuesday Studio Video Visit. Another wee promo video. I am experimenting with slightly more professional videos and also just taking a wee break from talking on camera. Honestly, I need and want to focus on selling some of the work I have readily available before creating loads more just now for space and financial reasons. So if you missed it, here it is again. Fun fact - I created the discordant and "ethereal" sounds in the backing track as well (Nae worries - I will stick to my day job!) But, hey I am having a SALE in my shop on this specific body of work and if you use code "BUYART" at check out you get 10% off until midnight Sunday. These are mounted and ready to pop in any standard 8x10" frame.

Go here: and then click on the "mounted painting on canvas" tab to see the available sale works.

On Wednesday, I met up with my pals Aoife and Meg for lunch in a place in Leith I had never been - eating out in restaurants is still pretty new for me since the pandemic. I think I have sat down to eat in maybe 3 since it all kicked off and 2 times were in the last couple of weeks. It was great to spend time with my friends in a new place and enjoy the food, laughs, and atmosphere. Then I walked back down the walk into the belly of Leith for a wee wander around a favourite old cemetery I had forgotten about. I took a few snaps and enjoyed the area. It was a good day and again I felt gratitude for the community I am a part of and the friendships I have built here. It was a beautiful day with a dash of magic and spring vibes.

The Shore, Leith

Thursday sort of came and went, and here we are, Friday. I will watch and observe Theo tonight and hope for the best. Thanks for swinging by the Friday Studio Blog and checking out all my other stuff. I really appreciate your support and interest. I will produce new work again soon - Theo is a priority for me just now. Sending love and gratitude to all beings. Until next week, keep fighting.

Friday, February 17, 2023

Centre of it all

I can't quite believe it is already Friday. Thanks to everyone who read last week's studio blog and especially to those who clicked on all the artist links I shared. The joy of my week seemed to resonate and inspire others and that is always a delightful thing. 

This week was also a good one! On Saturday, I got word from Kate, the incredible gallerist at Solo Gallery in Innerleithen that a painting had sold! I was overjoyed at the news. Kate still has a selection of 5 of my paintings that are available to purchase. You can go see them in person at the gallery in the beautiful Scottish Borders or you can buy them online. Click HERE.

Where we say goodbye
mixed media on canvas

On Sunday, I visited my dear friend Karl Macrae - He’s Sew Happy at his stall at the Craft & Flea in the Assembly Rooms in the city centre. It was a lovely show for Karl in a beautiful venue. I also enjoyed seeing what all the other artists had on show and for sale. I treated myself to a wee vase by Claremont Ceramics and had a nice chat with Quay Tran about his collaborative pieces (like the one I bought) with a painter that goes by the last name of Champagne. 

This is what happens when someone supports my art. I am able to buy a ticket to go to an art event and then I am able to support another artist as well as support myself - the money stays in the community. Where does the money go when we support a big box store? 

Miniature Vase by Claremont & Champagne
pencil for scale

On Tuesday I had another lovely chat with my friend and fellow artist Jennifer Libby Fay and then later for the Tuesday Studio Video Visit, I made a little promo video for my work.

Also on Tuesday, I shared my February playlist with my ko-fi supporters from the past 30 days and created my wall of fame. I am so thankful to these folks who support me regularly. Consider joining them! 

Each month I make an unlisted playlist of 13 songs as a thank you
to anyone who supports me during the month.
I started making my supporter's playlists in October of 2021. Get yours today. 

These fine folks have either supported me regularly by making a one-off contribution or bought something from my shop during the month of January. Thank you!! 

On Wednesday, I enjoyed the third two-hour session of "Art, Work and Power," presented by the Scottish Artists Union. Another great course, leaving me with lots to think about and always more to learn. Again, I ask - have you joined your union? 

On Thursday, I went to go visit Karl - again!? He is visiting from the west just now so I am trying to make the most of his time here. It was great to talk about art and life over huge mugs of tea in Leith. Always does the soul good to talk it all out. Thursday night called for another thought-provoking union teaching, the fourth two-hour session of "Art, Work and Power," presented by the Scottish Artists Union. We have the final 2-hour session of the course on Saturday. It's been great to spend time learning and thinking again about the bigger picture with my peers in the union.

And here we are, It's Friday! The sun is out and I have daffodils blooming on my shelf. Spring is getting closer every day.

I want to say something about our first minister Nicola Sturgeon and her resignation this week. I cried. I just put my head down on a table and sobbed. Since I am originally from the states, Nicola has been my Madam President. I moved here six days after the referendum vote in September 2014. She became the first minister that November. She has been the leader I have followed and learned to trust and respect. When I was an immigrant without citizenship, she made me feel like I had a place here and that I could call Scotland home and mean it. I could even call myself a Scot. For the duration of the pandemic, I was grateful for her voice of reason and care. I looked to her for guidance, and if she told me to stay home, I did. She is barely 2 years older than me - the age of my peer group. This made her even more of a hero to me. I found her honest, relatable and sincere. She talked about menopause, called herself a feminist while speaking at the podium, and was assertive and sharp - she didn't suffer fools. She is an ally as she stands up for women and the marginalised. I have deep respect and admiration for Nicola Sturgeon and all she has achieved for Scotland. I will be sad to see her go. I am proud that I became a citizen and lived these last 8-plus years in a country guided under her leadership, and I am not even an SNP member. I can't wait to see what she does next and hope that Scotland can find a good enough leader to fill her shoes.

I took this photo of Nicola in 2019 at the Out of the Blue Drill Hall, where my studio is based. Here she is at the centre of it all, smiling. Thank you, Nicola. 

Until next week, take care and keep fighting. The world needs you, your voice, and your passion. Thank you. 

Friday, February 10, 2023

Searching for and finding radical comfort

I'll take you on by Megan Chapman 

What a week! How do I write down all I want to say? I am excited and inspired and need to make sense of things. I might have to write a list. It all started on Sunday...

Girl with the Blues by Julia Laing 
A piece of Julia's that I have in my collection

1. I met fellow artist Julia Laing on Sunday for a walk. We have followed each other on social media for a while and have supported each other's work. On Sunday we wandered around the Botanics and had a proper blether about art and life. It was so good to finally meet and share our concerns and experiences. It's always lovely to connect with a like-minded soul. 

Follow Julia: Instagram: 

Read Julia's Substack Blog:

Karl Macrae in front of his stitched self-portrait at his exhibition at Argonaut Books

2. After meeting up with Julia, I found myself back across town in Leith to see my good pal and fellow artist Karl Macrae's exhibition at the fabulous Argonaut Books on Leith Walk. His work will be up until 6pm on Tuesday 14th of February. If you are in Edinburgh on Sunday, Karl will also be at the Craft and Flea market in The Assembly Rooms on George Street from 10am to 4pm. Don't miss these shows - Karl continues to delight and inspire! 

Follow Karl on Facebook: and Instagram

Felicity's exhibition poster

3. At Karl's Show, I met up with a new friend and fellow artist, Felicity Inkpen. We sat to the side for a bit and had a good chat while Karl greeted his public. Felicity has a studio at the Out of the Blue Drill Hall and has an exhibition, "Hounds of Love," in collaboration with Sett Studios up right now, at the Leith Arches until February 28th. You can also see her work "Moongoats" at Harmonium. Felicity is full of spirit, and her tenacity is inspiring to witness - I enjoy her work too!

Follow Felicity on Instagram: 

and visit her website:

Aoife paints on old slates and also makes prints of her slate pieces. 

In true Leith fashion - I ran into my studio mate, good friend, and fellow artist Aoife O'Callaghan on Leith Walk on the same day. We got to have a quick chat on the street before seeing each other again later in the week. Aoife is building a solid body of work on old weathered roof tiles from a local church. It's exciting to watch these pieces develop. 

Monday was a bit of a recovery day after that art-packed and conversation-filled day. On Tuesday, I met up again with Aoife and our friend Meg (who also works at the Drill Hall) for lunch on Leith Walk. A lovely conversation was had about some art-related things but mostly just life. 

In a friend's garden #5
Jennifer Libby Fay

Later that day, I video-chatted with my dear friend, former studio mate, and fellow artist Jennifer Libby Fay. We have talked every Tuesday for years. We have been through a lot together in the "art world" and life. I am grateful for our shared history and for our present. 

After another art and chat-filled day, I managed to wrap up a funding application for the research and development of a new body of work. We will see what happens - I always think of those things as an exercise in learning to write in a new language. Nothing ventured, nothing gained etc. Good luck to all who applied for the VACMA. 

The Pineapple

Wednesday was an adventure day with my pal, James! We visited The Pineapple, Dunmore House, and Elphinstone tower! It was great to get out of Edinburgh and explore - this was the first time we had adventured since before the start of the pandemic. I loved exploring the ruins- it is always inspiring to roam where the spirits seem closer and ancient history is just a sliver away.

Later on Wednesday, I enjoyed the first two-hour session of "Art, Work and Power," presented by the Scottish Artists Union. It is always good to meet up with a group of peers from all over Scotland to dig into the subject of being a worker and an artist. These courses are always inspiring and help me feel less alone and more supported. 

Bare Branding

On Thursday, I popped by Bare Branding to collect a print order. I had a great conversation with one of the founders of the organisation that made me feel hopeful, connected and understood. Such a breath of fresh air. If you are an artist and you want or need prints of your work made, go to Bare Branding. They actually have your best interests at heart.

On Thursday night, I again attended  "Art, Work and Power" presented by the Scottish Artists Union. I look forward to next week's meetings. Join your union if you haven't. They also have your best interests at heart. 

Today, I signed the prints I collected on Thursday and got them all ready to go! Go where you might ask? 

Big News! Blunt Knife Co. now carries this series of my signed archival prints! £25 each. 

Blunt Knife Co. at 41 Thistle Street

I am excited to share that I now have a stockist in the city centre! You can find a selection of my prints in Edinburgh at Blunt Knife Co, located at 41 Thistle Street. It was a joy to go to the shop today and have another meaningful and open conversation. It's an inclusive space with a fantastic selection of art, zines, books, stickers, and more, including my collection of "Tell me how you really feel" prints! It is a thrill for me to work with people and places that share similar values and are working towards something better and brighter and breaking down the old ways.

It was great to talk to so many artists this week - to feel part of something bigger and to talk some shit about the system and the various dysfunctional hierarchies we are working under. The week's theme seemed to be - exploration, community, inclusivity, art, artists, a bit of rage, and working towards change. I say bring it on! I can't play the old games - I want to go where there is space for me and my ideas and where we can continue to make space for others. I am searching for and finding radical comfort.

I am an artist. I am a worker. I have ideas that aren't airy-fairy bullshit. I am not alone. I love all the radical minds that I crossed paths with this week. Thank you.

Thank you to all my Ko-fi supporters - I have your February Playlist ready - I will send it to you this weekend- in the past 30 days, these are my star supporters *Jennifer, Tamsin, Pat, Ever, Jen, Sheila, Clare, and Muriel*

Okay, that's all I have for you this week - go out and search for and find your radical comfort - why would we spin our wheels looking for anything else? 

Friday, February 3, 2023

Second Look: Revisit the portraits of 2022

I invite you to take a second look at Divinations, Declarations, and Whispers, a series of portraits I created at the end of last year. This work was part of my inaugural online portrait exhibition at Starling & Campbell from 11 November - 9 December 2022. 

This is an opportunity for those who missed the first look at these pieces or for those wanting another chance to spend more time with the work. I have set up a private room on my Artwork Archive site that will be open to all who have the link, allowing you time to view, enjoy, and easily purchase these unique portraits. I hope you will take the time to experience these pieces online from your home once again.

They are all there waiting for you to say hello. Maybe you will see yourself or someone you know, or you will sense a time, a feeling, or an inside joke. These characters are an army of me and perhaps of you too. This is where we find ourselves. 

These pieces range in price from £270 - £1,800 and include international shipping. In the private room, you can mark your favourite works, message me with questions, or buy them directly and securely through PayPal. I hope you enjoy seeing these folks again. 

Enjoy and purchase the portraits here:

Feel free to share the link.

In other news, if dynamic abstract prints are more your vibe - I have many affordable options in my online shop. You can listen to me tell you about them in the Tuesday Studio Video Visit. You can enjoy and purchase them in my online shop as well.

And last but not least: Feel good and look good! Get ready for the weekend with this deal - 
Free Post in the UK! My organic cotton t-shirts and totes are GM-free, not tested on animals, and made in a renewable energy-powered factory. Plus, they're printed in the UK with low-waste printing tech and audited for social and sustainability criteria. Shop now!

Until next week - keep fighting, the world needs you and the gifts you bring! Thank YOU.