Friday, April 28, 2023

My warrior, my champion is gone

I don't want to write this post, but I do want to honour my best boy, best friend, companion and love, champion, warrior, protector, familiar, dear heart - my sweet Theo. 

We worked so hard for as long as we could, but we had to say goodbye on Wednesday, April 26th 2023. 

My heart and house feel so empty. 

I will never forget you, Theo. Thank you for all the love, joy, and comfort you gave me and for everything you taught me. Thank you for being with me as I learned so much about my new country and myself. Every day I got to come home to you was a good day no matter what was going on in my life or in the world. 

Words will never express how much you meant to me or our bond. I would do it all over again and I wish I could. 

Hug your dear animal family, they aren't here long enough. 

Many thanks to Connor and Beatrice at Braid Vets and everyone else who crossed paths with Theo during his care there. I will always be grateful.

Friday, April 21, 2023

In this world

In this world
mixed media on canvas 30x26"
Megan Chapman 2006
private collection

Waking up to find the sunshine and my cat alive is a gift. The sunshine means he can sit in a pool of light and get warm - one of his favourite things that makes his fading life worth living.

The sun helps me with my anticipatory grief and the sadness of caring for my fading friend. If I were a witch as I surely would have been back in Scotland's dark days, Theo is my familiar. 

Since the last post, there was another vet visit. And this time opioids were prescribed and a 10-day course of antibiotics was administered in a single shot. So many times since then, I thought he was going but he thought differently. So here we are in the sunshine of today. 


I know today is all we have.

It's been intense, awful and sad but today the sun is out and we are here. 

In between the hypervigilance, tears, naps, and friends and family checking on me - I am starting to think about art again little by little - the future. 

I am thankful for the blue skies, flowers, and the spring birds darting back and forth, my brilliant cat Theo, and you.

Friday, April 14, 2023

Obstacle 2

Return to me 
mixed media on canvas 30x26"
Megan Chapman 2006
private collection

Hello, there studio blog readers, 

Thank you to everyone who read last week's post. I appreciate hearing from you across my social media channels. Always good to get feedback, hear if something resonates, or just to see a friendly hello, a name and a face. 

Today I am up at dawn monitoring the breathing of my cat, feeling how small he has become and how soft and delicate. I turn the light on in the darkness to see how his eyes look and I plot my next course of action. He needs to eat - today is the day I open the forbidden small tin of food - to mix some in with his prescription that he only licks these days. He needs subcutaneous fluids too. And after the sub-Qs, he will get a bit of an equally forbidden lick-e-lix treat. We have played by all the rules for so long, we have done our very best, and now we are tired - we need a few rewards. 

Before warming the fluids and brandishing the needle, I tidy up the kitchen and let him linger by his water bowl unsuspecting. As he sits "turkey style" staring into nothing and everything, I look out the window watching the world wake up. I put things in order, walking quietly for some reason and yet moving with decisive action. It reminds me of the past. 

It reminds me of hearing the calling at 3am and rolling out of bed to float up the stairs to my attic studio to put on my headphones and get lost in music and paint. Dancing upstairs with Alizarin Crimson, Orange Oxide, Gold, and Phalo Blue...  

"I'm gonna pull you in close

I'm gonna wrap you up tight

I'm gonna play with the braids that you came here with tonight..."

(I am back there now - dancing in the attic to Interpol - walking and working in dream time, painting for you and you and you and I am still in my 30s and it seems like all the doors are still open). 

And then the track changes and I am back sitting here at the table. My sick cat is resting, tears are close to my eyes and I am 51 living in Edinburgh, Scotland. I have closed a lot of the doors and I have had more than a few closed on me...

And I am sitting with all this space and I envision doing something out of the ordinary - you know like painting or drawing... How did this happen? 

Friday, April 7, 2023

Trying to make my way back

The puzzle says "seek magic every day." I do. 

Hello, lovely studio blog readers. 

I hope you are well. Today I am going to try to make my way back to you. If you have been following this blog for quite some time you will know that it is a fundamental element of my art practice and how I share information and my process with my patrons, fellow artists, and art lovers. I have a substantial gap in my posts currently. I don't like that so my one task today is to slowly fill in some of the gaps, starting with the most recent and working backwards. This break was necessary for a multitude of reasons but the longer the break, the harder it is to return. This has happened with my blog, my video visits, and all my regular postings on social media as well as the most important thing of all, creating the art. 

Not making art is a complex issue - if I don't make art, what do I have to say or share here on the studio blog, what do I have to make my Tuesday Studio Video Visits about? What do I have to share on my social media accounts? The answer is actually plenty. There are loads of paintings you probably haven't seen or you have forgotten about. I could write more in-depth about them or make more videos about those pieces and the process involved in making them. 

However, social media and internalised capitalism are a sick mix - we have this urgency to stay current, fresh, relevant, and to churn out shite just to have something to post and share. I don't know about you, but I didn't "get into" art to become a machine. Paintings take time, bodies of work and the exploration of themes take time to flesh out - not everything is made for the "wham, bam, click, heart, scroll" world of today. 

However, I also know that as someone who has called myself an artist for half of my life on this planet, I need to do the work. I have been compelled and called to do the work and then that calling went a bit quiet and now I am going to have to coax it back out onto the playing field. 

This is going to require faith, optimism, hard work, and time in the studio. It is going to require finding something inside myself that became fearful, sad, uneasy or more honestly, pissed off. I will need to work to steady all of this to create again. 

So, here I go - filling one gap, writing one post, and expressing a few thoughts. Finding my way back. 

I hope you are well, happy, and inspired and if not, tomorrow is another day. Keep fighting and thank you for being here.