Friday, November 24, 2023

Ask questions, raise hell, and look ugly doing it.

Well, last week's post went down a storm. Thank you to all who read it here on my blog and across my social media channels. It was good to hear from so many of you who felt the same way. It was illuminating in who and in how folks responded. And it made me realise a few things. 

The artists who are worried about adding to the glut, really don't need to be. Because you are not. It is just like us to think that we are though, but again - we are not. Do not make more space for the glut fillers by removing yourself and your skilled and thoughtful work.

Do not disappear. Plant your feet, broaden your shoulders and link up. Find each other, protect your art, and advocate for yourself and your true peers.  

T A K E. 

U P. 

S P A C E.

Be raw, unfinished, dirty, and sick. Ask questions, raise hell, and look ugly doing it. 

This isn't a vanity project, this is our fucking life. This is our art - an extension of ourselves. This isn't a choice. This is blood. 

We don't do it for the bots, or the bloated likes and follows, we have no choice. 
So let's not pretend that we could ever fit into an algorithm.

Show up like we did before the world's stage was in everyone's back pocket. 
Find your true kin and give them your time and attention. Find yourself.

Your work is too good to doubt or to hide. Show them how it is done - your way. 

See you there.

Friday, November 17, 2023

Make a new side

I have been awake for hours in the dark of the early morning. When the world is quiet, I get my best thinking done. My ribs are sore from coughing. Just as I had finally rebuilt my stamina and health from having covid in the late summer, I caught another virus last week. 

I have been working hard, and now I have a few days to rest and regroup. Perhaps even to think about my art. 

In a chat with one of my dear friends, who is also a painter, I wrote

"I am pretty down on art. Since the height of the pandemic, my thoughts on art haven't been the same. I really need to have a big think about this. This is a discussion that I really need to have and figure out.

I feel more removed from the making of my art, the importance of my art, the selling of my art, or even the sharing of my art than ever before. I think this is okay - I think this means there is a big restructuring going on.

You know that whole "not going back to normal" thing - well, I can't make art the way I did, or why I did. But I also can't figure out the new way either.

I do know how important art is for my health, well-being, and my sense of self.  And I do miss my regular studio practise. I am working on it... 
I have got to keep talking about this until I understand it and come out the other side or make a new side..."

I am not alone in these feelings. That is why I am sharing them here with you, dear reader. If you show up here and actually read my words or look at my work - clicking away from my social media to come to this old clunky blog that is now 16 years old, then you are a dear friend too, and you deserve to know my thoughts. I feel I can trust you with them. 

At this time of year, I should be painting small affordable works, getting more affordable prints made to sell, or promoting the fact that my studio is going to be open during the first two Sundays in December (it is - but more on that next time). 

The way artists work today is so different. It seems we are adrift in a sea of products and a tidal wave of fellow artists, and many of us are doing all the things that we didn't want to do when we started out. That is if we are still "lucky enough" to be doing this work at all. 

Lloyd Dobler springs to mind: “I don't want to sell anything, buy anything, or process anything as a career. I don't want to sell anything bought or processed, or buy anything sold or processed, or process anything sold, bought, or processed, or repair anything sold, bought, or processed.”

In these capitalist conditions, everything starts to look the same - homogenised. I don't want to add to this glut, yet I also feel disappointed when my work fails to find its audience. I am caught in a web of my own design (I didn't design it, but who wants to mention capitalism twice in one paragraph). So the complicated feelings and strain of creating new work continue and I feel like I am sitting at the dinner table being grilled by Diane's father, "So what are your plans for the future?" 

Perhaps I should have pursued kickboxing...

Friday, November 10, 2023

Safe as houses

Safe as houses
30x22"/ 76.2x55.8cm
Mixed media 
640gsm smooth fabriano artistico paper
Megan Chapman 2023

Hello, Dear Readers, Skimmers, Browsers, Lurkers and Clickers - 

This person (above) showed up on Monday. I was feeling the deep need to give some time and attention to something creative and expressive, so this is what came of that. I was surprised by the stir she caused over on my FB Art Page. I am always surprised by the portraits. Maybe we all are. Can you believe it was around this time last year that I had my exhibition, Declarations, Divinations, and Whispers

You can see all of those portraits again HERE.

And of course, my special sale continues to help out Bikes for Refugees. There are plenty of affordable original pieces of my art on offer with 40% being donated to help them rebuild after a recent break-in. Thanks to my patrons who have supported me, and Bikes for Refugees so far by shopping my sale. You can also donate to them directly and skip the art. 

I don't know about you, but I am feeling kind of worn out and blue as the nights are drawing in and news of the world is decidedly grim. I plan to make myself some hot chocolate, curl up under the duvet, and rest. Sending love and care out into the world. I hope you can come up with a soothing plan for yourself. 

Thank you for being here. The world needs you and the gifts you bring. Please believe that. 

Friday, November 3, 2023

Finding Centre

Finding centre
Mixed Media on Paper
30 x 30 cm

The Dark Anchor (number one)
Mixed Media on Paper
30 x 30 cm

The wind is an ocean
Mixed Media on Paper
30 x 30 cm

Hello Dear Readers, 

There are now 21 pieces available in my special sale for Bicycles for Refugees. I am so thankful that 5 small works have sold in the £40-55 price range.

With the five small sales, we have been able to donate £95 to Bikes for Refugees to help rebuild a little of what was lost in their recent burglary. Thank you to my lovely patrons in Scotland, England, and the United States for your support.  

There are 9 pieces still available in this most affordable price (£40-55) range. There are 6 pieces available in the £175-195 price range with instalment/payment plans available. And finally, there are 6 pieces available in the £250-295 price range, also with payment plans available. 

These are all original pieces of art, not prints. They are all signed, dated, and titled on the back. All but 3 (see above works on paper) pieces are either mounted/matted and ready to pop into a standard 8x10" frame or professionally framed and ready to hang on the wall. Free shipping in the UK. For any other destinations, the buyer pays for shipping through a separate invoice. 

I want you to live with original art. I always offer a good portion of my work at these more affordable prices so that more folks have the opportunity to enjoy my original work. I have done this for over the past two decades and I have often used my art to raise funds for things I believe in and support. 

I know it has been tough all over coming out of/living through this extended pandemic, wars, political and economic uncertainty and the cost of living crisis. I know people are making hard choices right now. When you choose to support the arts and organisations such as Bikes for Refugees during times like these it highlights your values, your resilience, and your empathy.

Thank you

If you have any questions about the sale or pieces in the sale or perhaps even pieces not in the sale - just hit the message button next to any of the pieces and you can contact me. If you click the purchase button - it just sends me a notification that you are interested in purchasing the piece so that I can then send you an invoice and I can answer any questions then as well. 

Buying art doesn't need to be scary or awkward, it can be warm, easy, and meaningful. I am here to help with this. Until next week, stay warm and cosy - coorie in.

Link to my Special Sale. 40% donated to Bikes for Refugees: 

Donate to Bikes for Refugees Directly: