Friday, June 23, 2017

I am the work

Last week, I said I was getting serious this week. I did not tell a lie. I was back in the studio inspired with purpose and somehow a new series emerged.



I think what really inspired me to get back to more serious and focused work was an essay I read as part of the Pollock module of the MOMA course. Harold Rosenberg's, "The American Action Painters" from Tradition of the New, originally in Art News in December of 1952 set me on fire! I read this article out loud to myself and was so excited by what I read, I was cheering and clapping! What a joy to discover a language that ignites, reinforces, as well as challenges, my own beliefs about modern abstract art. I ordered Rosenberg's essays the following day. It was wonderful to feel embraced by and connected to this period of art and time not only by the paintings but also by the critical thinking surrounding the work.



It reinforced again, that I know what I am doing (yes, after 20 plus years I still (at times) have my doubts) and that I am to remain on the path in order to simply further the "creation of private myths" and "...just to paint. The gesture on the canvas was a gesture of liberation, from Value—political, esthetic, moral." Doesn't that sound, great? Where do I sign up? Every day in my studio, that's where!



To paint is true liberation and that is why I have stuck with it. I feel my most free when I paint and I feel most like myself. Painting is the way I share my secrets and my truth, it's the way I see the world and it's where I create my own. The work is me and I am the work.

As I wrap up this post, I will leave you with this final Rosenberg quote. "The lone artist did not want the world to be different, he wanted his canvas to be a world. Liberation from the object meant liberation from the "nature", society and art already there. It was a movement to leave behind the self that wished to choose his future and to nullify its promissory notes to the past."


Friday, June 16, 2017

Soon to get serious (again)

Tidy Studio
I spent this week in the studio cleaning it up and organizing my materials. It always feels good to touch all my tools and get everything back in order before I begin a new project.

I also got caught up with last week's blog post and filmed my usual Tuesday Studio Video Visit for my facebook page. I dipped my toes in the Jackson Pollock module in the MOMA course.

Besides these art related things, I did manage to prepare and start working on an art book. Something I have not done since 1999. For those of you relatively new to my blog, here are a few images from my old books series from 1999.





I have always loved the texture of working on paper. The idea of working in a space that is to be closed up, contained and then opened to experience the art within appeals to me. I went into detail about this in my Tuesday art video, so check it out from the link above if you haven't already.

The book I started this week has a good sturdy front cover. The yellowy pages and small vintage type appealed to me and it seemed like the perfect choice for an art book. It's early days yet, so we will see how the piece (or pieces) progress within the book. Here are a couple of photos of the beginning of the process.



I have set Monday as the day where I will get serious again. I need to regroup over the weekend, order some larger canvas and start painting like there is no tomorrow. Thanks as always for checking in and being part of the process.

Until next week, just know that the world needs you and your art. Perhaps now, more than ever. Keep fighting.

Friday, June 9, 2017

Politics, paint, and hope.


I stayed up all night on Thursday watching the GE 2017 election results come in. I went to sleep at 6:30 Friday morning not sure what I had just witnessed and knew my day and possibly the days ahead would be a bit off kilter. Hence the delay in this blog post.

One thing I do know is that it is wonderful to see the youth being active, politically engaged, and voting. More of that, please! It's your world you are creating. Keep fighting for it!



Back to art, this week, armed with some new materials in the form of Pebeo brand acrylics I purchased on sale (they really are pretty nice) and some different mediums (inspired by the MOMA course), I set to work on 5 small works on canvas. Mostly just experimental and probably to be reworked again. I also started accidental portrait #7. She is staring at me from the wall as I type and though she has no eyes (yet), she has quite a gaze.

I got word while I was watching the GE2017 results that accidental portrait #6 was desired by the patrons who put me on the planet (my parents) so that will make the third portrait headed to the States. I am grateful for the support! Thank you!

I have been exploring other means for supporters of my work to become patrons but that is another conversation for another day. I will keep you posted. In other news, I am having a studio sale of some small original paintings in my Etsy shop.

That's all I have for you this week. Thanks for tuning in. Don't let the bastards get you down and keep fighting!

Friday, June 2, 2017

A place to belong

Accidental Portrait #6
This week I painted another accidental portrait and completed an abstract diptych that I am quite pleased with.

Diptych in the studio courtyard


I started week two of the MOMA course, with the focus being on the work of Barnett Newman. I thoroughly enjoyed being reminded of his work and his methodology. The course, in general, has reminded me how much I love learning about art and artists and how much more there is to learn and explore. It does take me back to my time at the University of Oregon and how the individual professor's interests and passions influenced what we were taught and who we studied. I still feel incredibly fortunate to have had that opportunity and to have studied with the particular professors that I did. For a split second today I even thought about pursuing a Masters but then I thought better of it.

Truthfully, I haven't been spending enough time in the studio, my energies have been a bit scattered but I plan to rectify that this month. I am grateful for having art in my life and having a place among all the painters before and after me. For me, art is a calling, an identity and a place to belong. I hope you have something like that in your life.

Until next week, you know what to do.

Friday, May 26, 2017

All the time it took to remember

All the time it took to remember
Acrylic on canvas
76x51x4cm/30x20x1.5"
2016 Megan Chapman
Sold
This week has been full of sun and warmth and delightfully so! I spent some time in the studio this week sketching out the start of a new accidental portrait as well as laying the grounds on a few canvases, big and small. I also rediscovered some small canvas works that I have now decided are done and will be documenting them soon.

I have started the MOMA course and completed week one just before I sat down to write this blog post. I like the course so far and have enjoyed the refresher on canvas and paint basics as well as some of the back story surrounding the New York School and the critics involved in helping make that time as it became known. The readings are quite thorough and took me back to my university days. Looking forward to starting week two and the Barnett Newman module. If you are taking the course, I hope you are enjoying it as well. I hope to discuss more of the course in my Tuesday Studio Visit Videos as well as on here, once it gets a bit deeper into the meat of the subject. Again for a free course, it seems to offer a lot of good information and is a real treasure for those on a budget that need some structure or inspiration.

In other news, I had another sale! This time from The Colour Purple exhibition at Union Gallery last month. I was delighted to learn this news! This weekend I plan to visit an art supply store and get some new materials, the MOMA course already has me thinking about new ideas for my studio practice. 

Besides the art world, I've been cleaning the park, the street, and practicing my ukulele everyday since I brought it home. I have also been meditating and practicing yoga as well. To balance all this out I also made my first ever pitcher of Sangria. Tasty. 

Again, few words for you this week, but I am glad I posted on time! Love and light to you and yours. Keep fighting.

Friday, May 19, 2017

The storm in my head and other people's art



This past week was all about migraines. Every day for six days. I decided it was a type of shamanic journey I just needed to take. So I listened to the storm in my brain until I came out the other side.

I remembered the value of yoga and meditation and returned to them again. I remembered the value of making space within. Thanks to a dear friend I was reminded to no longer water the rocks in my life. So I watered (and visited) a friend and sat in the glorious sun of her incredible garden. All of these things, plus an appointment with a doctor made me feel a whole lot better. Also, I now own a Ukulele and that has to be good!



This week, I also enjoyed seeing a friend, Ever Dundas realize a dream and speak about her debut novel, Goblin like an old pro in the beautiful setting of the grand old Edinburgh Central Library. These things were good for my soul. Celebrating other people's hard work, seeing their efforts pay off, to be a witness as they put their art into the world is a joy.

The storm in my head is now quiet and for the moment so is my studio, but I have a feeling the winds of change will be blowing in soon.

Thanks for checking in and being part of this experience. Until next week, keep fighting, the world needs you and your art.

Friday, May 12, 2017

Litter, Resistance, and more Accidental Portraits

I seem to be a person of few words right now. I love my blog and the practice of writing it, but I have been a bit sad lately as well as under the weather. I currently also have this obsession with the litter problem in my neighborhood and that is cutting into my art brain. I need to be mindful that my community litter picking doesn't become a form of studio resistance.

Speaking of resistance have you all read, The War of Art? I am sure I have mentioned it in the earlier days of my blog but I would highly recommend the book if you struggle with any forms of resistance. I need to read it again.

I did manage to paint two more accidental portraits so it can't be all that bad. If I am honest, after coming out of the gate so strong at the start of the year with 180 pieces of the distillation process, everything feels a bit of a let down. It's all temporary and I will return to my art heart and brain. I can balance my community involvement with my calling, I am sure of it.

I am still creating Tuesday Studio Visit Videos over on my facebook page, so go have a look if you have missed any. I am also looking forward to starting the MOMA course on Abstract Art.

All will be well. There has to be time to pause and reflect to keep the fire burning.

Here are the latest Accidental Portraits. 



Until next week, keep fighting!