Friday, September 23, 2016

New supplies & inspiration

new bright series in progress
There was excitement this week as I received new supplies for my studio after the spate of previous sales. Thank you again to my patrons who have supported my work in recent months, you are helping me to create more art and encouraging me more than you know. Thanks to you, I have new tubes of paint, brushes and some new canvases! Once the parcel of new supplies arrived I spent some time cleaning up my studio and organizing things in the space. I took a good look at the "new bright series" (working title) to see where I am in the game. I made a vow to whip the unfinished pieces into shape before I started anything new...this did not happen. 

However, I did make some progress on several of the new bright paintings but I was just too tempted by the new supplies, so I started messing around with a new small (square!) canvas. I had a good time listening to old playlists from an rediscovered Ipod and dancing around the studio, generally making a mess of things. My hands were black by the end of the session with perhaps some magenta flecks. 

Today I happily gathered up a few more new tubes of paint, a few more new small canvases and replenished my tape stock. When wrapping up my paintings to send to their new homes, I like a bit of tape and if it's pretty tape that's even better!

In other news, I have also been enjoying connecting to a mostly new audience over on Instagram. It is so energizing when folks discover my work for the first time. It has been a nice shot in the arm and very inspiring. It's been great getting to know other artists and their work as well. I always appreciate the feeling of being part of a community. If you don't already follow me over on Instagram, please do. I post a new photo each day and share behind the scenes studio shots, in progress works and finished pieces. By the way you don't have to have an account to view my photos there.

Speaking of inspiration, today we took a wee field trip to Jupiter Artland and spent a good part of the day roaming through nature and happening upon world class art. There is not much better than walking through wild paths with the wind in the tree tops while exploring sculptures and other forms of art surrounded by farms and the wilds of West Lothian. 

Jupiter Artland is one of my favorite places in the whole world and it is hard not to be completely entranced by the experience. A true gem in these lands and not to be missed. I could dedicate a whole blog to the art and artists of Jupiter Artland and maybe one day I will but for now please visit their website to learn more.

And I think that is all I have for you today. Until next week, keep fighting, the world needs you and your art.

Friday, September 16, 2016

New paintings & prints!

I am pleased to write that last week's victory continued, seeing the completion of five new small paintings on canvas and the production of three new limited edition prints for my shop! All of this was happily followed by a spate of sales over the weekend! It was a delightful and much needed and appreciated result. Thank you to all of my lovely patrons that supported my work, you have encouraged me once again!

As many of you know, I believe that art is for all and not just the few. I have my larger paintings represented in lovely galleries, but I also offer a collection of affordable small original works and limited edition prints in my Etsy shop.This is a core value of my art practice, thank you for supporting me in this.

Without further ado, I would like to share the new works and latest prints with you and encourage you to visit my shop, Artmaven on Etsy if you haven't already.

Now, let's look at some art!

Where the dreams make sense
Acrylic & foil on canvas
© 2016 Megan Chapman
6x8.5"/15x21cm
sold


Faith, optimism, alchemy
Acrylic & foil on canvas
6x8.5"/15x21cm
© 2016 Megan Chapman
Shop: http://etsy.me/2c1IJ8F

An anchor, a beacon, something to pull me back
Acrylic & foil on canvas
8.5x6"/21x15cm. 
© 2016 Megan Chapman 
Shop: http://etsy.me/2cNyRjN

Always wanting more
Acrylic & foil on canvas
8.5x6"/21x15cm. 
© 2016 Megan Chapman 
Shop: http://etsy.me/2cNxB0f

As I looked forward
Acrylic & foil canvas
6x8.5"/15x21cm
© 2016 Megan Chapman
sold



Faith, optimism, alchemy
Paper size: A5 (21cm x 14.8cm) or 8.3 x 5.8 inches
Limited Edition of 50
Shop: http://etsy.me/2cGC5Cn


As I looked forward
Paper size: A5 (21cm x 14.8cm) or 8.3 x 5.8 inches
Limited Edition of 50
Shop: http://etsy.me/2ccyFYJ

Always wanting more
Paper size: A5 (21cm x 14.8cm) or 8.3 x 5.8 inches
Limited Edition of 50
Shop: http://etsy.me/2cBQQZ2

Friday, September 9, 2016

To the great beyond


I need to complete a painting. I can feel the frustration coming to the surface of my skin. The ache at my fingertips that can only mean one thing, the work is not coming along the way I want it to. I am trying to be okay with it and focus on the other aspects of my art. 

The frustrated side of me rattles away, I just want to complete something and the other aspects can be damned! Screw all the affirmations and all the "business" lessons. Anything that takes me away from my purpose, anything that clouds the frequency can be damned too! But then I snap out of it. 

I go to the studio and tidy the paint covered papers from the floor (well, I push them to the side to make a nest of sorts and then step over them). I clear my tabletop and put a fresh sheet of paper down to create the appearance of a clean surface. I set all the studio lights to point at the table, to illuminate this stage I have set for myself. 

I pull out the small canvases that I started a few months back, was it really months? Perhaps weeks, let's hope it's just weeks. The layered magenta and yellow covered canvases are not that bad and are not even that far from completion. If I could just complete one thing... I need and want that momentum. I think to myself, what if I could finish them all off today? Wouldn't that be grand? I close my eyes and breathe deeply, attempt meditation over the pieces, trying my damnedest to focus. 

I set an intention for my art and life (basically at this point I seem to do anything but apply paint to the canvas). Moments later I find myself painting a sign to the great beyond in black paint. I tape it to the door and decide it is finally time to start work. And I did, I even finished something.

Everyday we paint is a victory. Even one stroke, even 5 minutes, even a whole day of painting pure shite. It might be frustrating and filled with weirdness and procrastination maneuvers but we are still victorious. Remember this. 

Yesterday, the victory was mine.

Friday, September 2, 2016

Something is coming

detail from large painting


There is a place deep within where the good stuff comes from. If I close my eyes and listen to just the right piece of music I can catch a glimpse of this place in my center. It's an open space. This space tells me something is coming. Something big and good. I just need to wait a little longer and keep working on my foundation in the meantime. 

I have been busy trying new things, dreaming up new strategies, listening to experts and taking notes. I have been slowly implementing changes here and there as I go. I am growing roots and reaching out to opportunity. I am grateful for these experts and people in the field that reach out and offer me understanding and inspiration.

I had a lovely studio visit this week from artist and designer, Jenni Douglas and her partner, playwright, Duncan Kidd. It was wonderful to have them in my space even just for a few minutes. To see it through their eyes was a gift.

The latest series is slowly but surely coming along, it's really playing hard to get so I know it will be worth all the hassle when it is finished. These paintings are some of my greatest teachers. 

Until next week, keep fighting and support the arts!

Friday, August 26, 2016

I walk the line


This past week I spent less time in the studio and more time generating content for the Internets. I am a little bothered by that fact but I also know that "generating content" is an important and necessary part of my life. The trick is finding the right balance. That's the whole trick to everything. I am still stumbling along doing what I can but mostly at this stage of the game, I am just mindful of it all.

Here's the rub. I like communicating about my work and I like making my work. These activities engage two different brains and processes of creativity. So if my content game is strong then my painting may at times suffer. But if my content game is weak and my painting is strong, then no one knows who I am or what my work is about or why they should care. So I have to do both. The Internets also like to change the rules all the time about what works and what doesn't in the content game and how far the information about your work can go. In other words the Internets like to limit your "reach" unless you want to pay for it to go further.

I am not telling you anything you don't already know, I am just explaining the conundrum. Most artists I know can't afford to buy materials, rent studios, have websites and Internet connections while also paying a premium for their content to get pushed the furthest on the superhighway. So we keep hustling, posting at the reported "best times" on instagram, twitter and facebook, all the while trying not to seem too "spammy." We also keep up with older modes of communication with our blogs, emails, mailing lists and sometimes even good old fashioned postcards and being seen at exhibitions. Of course we try to keep our finger on the pulse and continue to try new things too- podcasts, little videos, you name it and we'll try it.

And then there is the other part of the game. Watching our feeds, monitoring what works and what doesn't, engaging with folks while trying not to become obsessed with the outcomes of our reach. "They like me! They really like me!" Time to break out the spreadsheet. Naw!

What I know from all of this is that there must be a strong flame within and that art must give back to the artist something immeasurable. It's often not fame or riches or even above the poverty line but it is deep, deep within, like the will to survive. Art makers are warriors.

So what can artists do? Stick together, support one another and keep fighting! Be ready for opportunities. Say yes!

What can art lovers and patrons do? Buy our art. Share our art. Share our social media. Go to the galleries that show our work, let them know you came to them because you like our work. Leave a comment (comments and engagement get more attention and get our work seen by more people than just a like on facebook). Send us a message of encouragement. Leave a comment on our blog (no pressure). Keep fighting for the art and artists that make life beautiful and exciting.

Until next week, I will continue to walk the line for art. I hope you will join me in the process.

You can find my work here:
Facebook
Twitter
Instagram
Website
Etsy
Union Gallery
Cupola Gallery

Friday, August 19, 2016

As I looked forward


I used to shield myself from too many inspirations, too many colors and too many ideas. I liked to keep it simple. 

I used to be someone who could handle one major event in a day. I could go to the store or I could go see friends but to do both would be too much. 

When I learned to drive at the age of 31, I couldn't drive with the radio on or the windows open and I spent too much time looking in the rear view mirror worried about the people behind me. I was taking too much time to turn in my silent, enclosed car, I was sure of it.

Today I am surrounded by inspirations and my studio table is covered with paint of many different colors. Yellow, magenta, blue and orange and not just one shade of each but several.

In my studio I watch as a dull shade of grey changes to almost lavender against the background of my latest painting. I lose myself in this color magic. Perhaps nothing can be kept simple or dull for long. Change the background color and it too will sing and become something new. 

I haven't driven a car in almost two years but one of the last times I did, all my windows were open, the music was loud and my heart was light as I looked forward.

I do not make a living as an artist but I do make a life.

Friday, August 12, 2016

Again and again




To my painting that alludes me

I bury you under layers of fear. It is because of my doing that you are so far away (right now). It is because of my doing that I never give up. I bathe you in layers now hidden. And I live to uncover you again and again. I wash you clean and see the remnants of dreams. I cover you up to make me fight. I close my eyes, move the brush and together we dance lost in time. We are partners and you have taught me the most.

I have not made my paintings, they have made me.