Friday, November 17, 2017

Link salad and a STUDIO SALE!

Let's have a cultural catch-up: I am listening to Wire's Ex-Lion Tamer on my headphones as I type. I have been listening to their album Pink Flag along with Entertainment! by Gang of Four a lot lately for some reason. It's amazing that the music of my youth still sounds so fresh, so vital, and that it still has the ability to spur me along. To borrow from this energy is a wonderful thing. 

I have been reading Armistead Maupin's memoir, Logical Family. I am scared to dive into it completely because I want to make it last. We are watching the Tales of City series again for what seems like the billionth time. The characters are as familiar as dear friends and the program comforts me. 

In more serious cultural pursuits, we just watched the documentary, Joan Didion: The Center Will Not Holda profound and moving film by her nephew Griffin Dunne. Put it on your list.

I've also been of course painting and making "mistakes." You can hear more about that in my Tuesday Studio Visit Video. 

In other news, the Out of the Blue Drill Hall, where my studio is located, won't be holding open studios this holiday season. I love this event and the sales that result from it are of course very helpful to me. Rather than fret about it, I have decided to have my own digital open studio/sale for the next two weeks over on my Etsy shop, Artmaven.

It is quite probable that my wee shop will go on hiatus in December. I have scoured the studio shelves looking for bargains for you all. There are discounts already applied in many sections throughout my shop and lowered and free shipping on many items too. Please use this coupon code ART4ALL to get an additional 10% off everything in the shop, until December 1st. Thanks for supporting my work. Until next week, you know what to do. 

Friday, November 10, 2017


New exhibition news!

I am delighted that there has been a flurry of exhibition activity of late. Delighted is really too twee of a word for it. I have been ecstatic! The past three years here in Edinburgh have kicked my arse. Any of my closest friends would tell you this much. So, if you don't already, please consider yourself close. There is so much more to moving across the world and starting one's life over than I ever dreamed. I am glad I don't always have the best grasp of the seriousness of what I am trying to do in this world or I probably wouldn't do anything.

I woke up this morning thinking of my recent good fortune and how hard I have worked for this return to normalcy here in another country. The return of energy spent trading out and creating new paintings for multiple galleries is not something that just picked up where it left off in the states. This a bigger city than where I am from; this a cultural capital of Europe. I arrived pretty much unknown on these shores, but things seem to be looking up. I am grateful.

With that said, I am thrilled to be part of the upcoming December group exhibition, Connection at &Gallery on Dundas street in Edinburgh. I have long admired the aesthetic of &Gallery and their impressive stable of artists, to be included is an honour. Dundas street in the New Town is known for its high caliber galleries in Edinburgh. This is a big moment for me. If you are in the area, please make plans to attend the opening, Saturday, December 2nd from 2-4pm. These are the two paintings I will have in the exhibition.

Only to hold you
Mixed media on canvas
© 2017 Megan Chapman

To tell you everything
Mixed media on canvas
© 2017 Megan Chapman

Currently, my work is on exhibition through the 25th of November at Union Gallery in the West End and through February 25th at the Velvet Easel in Portobello. In hometown exhibition news, The Fenix Collective group show just opened last night in Fayetteville, Arkansas at The Chancellor Hotel and will be up until January 9th. I am so pleased to be able to grow these Scottish connections while I keep nurturing the ones back home as well. Thanks to everyone that takes a chance on my work and provides these wonderful opportunities.

If you missed it, here's a timely Tuesday Studio Video Visit. I talk about my perverse joy in finding hair and other gunk stuck to famous artists paintings while battling the same issues with my own work. Strangely, also this week, an article came out about a grasshopper found in a VanGogh. I've always said I'm a little bit psychic (and a little bit rock n roll).

Throw a website update into the mix, and that's all I have for you. Until next week, keep starting over, taking risks, and getting your arse kicked. Keep fighting and enjoy these beautiful moments. The world needs you, and your art.

Friday, November 3, 2017

I want to tell you everything

I think I spent most of this week recovering from the past two. Thanks to everyone who came out to the Welcome to the Jungle preview last Saturday evening at Union Gallery. It's a lovely show, for a great cause, and if you are local to the area I hope you will pay it a visit. The show remains up through the 25th November. You can see a gallery of photos from the preview over on facebook. Click here.

This week, I delighted to be able to share a digital copy of an article that came out about my work in Sogo Magazine about this time last year. The author Brian McFie and publisher Craig Wallace of the brilliant Glasgow arts publication graciously gave me permission to share it on social media and I was so glad to be able to share it with folks further afield who might not have access to the publication. I would, of course, encourage folks to subscribe if they are able. Print journals are a very important addition to the art world and they can't do it alone. If you missed it, you can find the article by clicking here.

Continuing on the theme of the article, I talked about it further on my Tuesday Studio Visit Video over on my Facebook art page as well as talking about the value of titles of art to engage views with a language they can understand and the importance of art being accessible for everyone. If you missed it the first time, you can see it again here.

This week, I also returned to the studio for a large spot of painting, laying the groundwork for this large piece. Here is the underpainting for a 120x100cm canvas. I am loving the size. I am just getting started so we will see where the piece is again by next week.

Just a quick reminder, pop by The Velvet Easel Gallery in Portobello for their latest mixed exhibition, Winters Edge. This exciting exhibition opens tomorrow, Saturday, November 4th and runs through 25th of February. 

There will be drinks and nibbles and artists popping in throughout Saturday from 10-5. I plan to stop by. I always find new art I love at the Velvet Easel and I am so pleased to have my work there. 

Winters Edge
4.11.17 - 25.2.18
The Velvet Easel Gallery
298 Portobello High Street
Portobello, Edinburgh EH15 2AS
Thursday - Saturday: 10.00 - 5.00pm
Sunday 12-5pm

Thanks for reading and clicking on links, looking at my paintings and for sharing this story with me. Until next week, keep fighting. The world needs you and your art.

Friday, October 27, 2017

The cards fall into place

The weather was gorgeous as I dropped off art to two galleries in different parts of Edinburgh. After each drop-off, I got to enjoy a beautiful scenic walk and soak in the sun and the autumnal beauty. That alone would make a brilliant week. The icing on the cake was scoring last minute tickets to a reading by one of my literary idols, Armistead Maupin. I must say I am delightfully gobsmacked.

Tuesday, I recorded my studio visit video on the importance of showing up, doing the work, and being ready for any opportunity. You can see it again here if you missed it on my Facebook art page.

On Wednesday I took two new small works over to Union gallery for the exhibition, Welcome to the Jungle. This exhibition is to raise awareness and funds to help protect orangutans. 10% of all sales will be donated to help these majestic creatures.

The exhibition will contain new work from artists Jenny Matthews, Barbara Franc, Susie Christie, Christine Clark, Imogen Alabaster, Megan Chapman, Ruth Addinall, Carl Newman, Carol Read and Richard Ballantyne.

Join us for the preview on Saturday the 28th

Welcome to the Jungle
28.10.17 - 25.11.17
Union Gallery
4 Drumsheugh Place, Edinburgh, EH3 7PT
Monday - Saturday: 10.30 - 5.30pm
Closed Sundays

Here are the two pieces I will have in the important and varied exhibition.

Deep Within
Mixed media on Canvas
2017 Megan Chapman
To Be Wild and Free
Mixed media on Canvas
2017 Megan Chapman

On Thursday, I took two new paintings over to The Velvet Easel Gallery in Portobello for their latest mixed exhibition, Winters Edge. This exciting exhibition opens on Saturday, November 4th and runs through 25th of February. After participating in the previous exhibition, I was delighted to be asked back.

Join us for the opening on Saturday, November 4th from 10-5. There will be drinks and nibbles and perhaps artists popping in throughout the day. I plan to be there for a bit for sure.

Winters Edge
4.11.17 - 25.2.18
The Velvet Easel Gallery
298 Portobello High Street
Portobello, Edinburgh EH15 2AS
Thursday - Saturday: 10.00 - 5.00pm
Sunday 12-5pm

Here are the two pieces I will have in the exhibition. 

My Heart Divided
Mixed media on Canvas
2016 Megan Chapman

Hiding In Plain Sight
Mixed media on Canvas
2016 Megan Chapman

In addition to these exhibitions, I will be participating in two other group shows coming up soon and I will tell you more about them as it gets closer to the time. This all feels very good, and just after three years of living here, it feels like the cards are finally starting to fall into place. Long may it continue.

Last, but certainly not least, this week I got to meet and hear my favorite author, Armistead Maupin in St. Andrews this afternoon on his tour for his memoir Logical Family

I sadly found out only Monday that he was on tour here in Scotland and also that the tickets in Edinburgh were completely sold out. Thanks to our friend James and his fast detective work, we found out that Mr. Maupin would also be speaking in St Andrews about 50 miles away and that there were still tickets. We jumped at the chance. After a scenic train and bus journey, we had a bit of time to enjoy the gorgeous sunfilled village and its ruins before the event. 

We got front row seats and I was completely spellbound for an hour as we listened to him read from his book and then expand on his own experiences and take questions from the audience. I laughed until I cried and was filled with pure electric joy. It was an honor to meet someone who I have read, quoted, and admired for over 20 years. His characters have comforted and inspired me and have become part of my logical family. Never in a million years did I think I would have this opportunity. I was so giddy, I forgot how to spell out my own name as he signed the book. I still can't quite believe my good fortune and I can't wait to read his memoir. 

Somedays the world seems like it has completely gone to hell, and somedays the world seems like a light-filled orb, with boundless energy, laughter, and goodness. This is the world I got to live in this week and I am grateful. 

Until next week, be ready for opportunities, be ready to make new plans, and to perhaps meet your dreams. You never know what's coming next.

Friday, October 20, 2017

Talk about the passion

This week flew by in a blink but even with the pace, I think it was a rather lovely time. Autumn is definitely upon us and I am feeling like making a nest and preparing for darker days.

We had a lovely friend arrive on Wednesday morning for an overnight stay. It was wonderful to see our city through her eyes, as we showed her as much as we could in a short time. I feel exhausted yet also refreshed.

In preparation for her visit we tore the flat apart and gave it a good cleaning. We also decided to rearrange our art collection, frame some pieces that had been in storage, and generally give the flat a new feeling and look. It's amazing what one will do when guests are coming. I am so happy we rose to the occasion! The space feels good.

I am very passionate about making art but I am also a passionate collector when I am able. My Tuesday Studio Video Visit was about the aspect of being an artist and supporting art as well. I talk about not letting the idea about what is "Art" inhibit your collecting as well as overcoming other fears or obstacles that might get in your way. If you missed it on my facebook art page you can see it here.

In other exciting news, I will be participating in several upcoming group exhibitions here in Edinburgh and back home in the states. I happily have a lot of work on my plate. I will, of course, tell you all about it when the time comes. Thank you for reading my blog, watching my videos, and supporting my work as an artist. Thank you to all the artists out there making such gorgeous and searching work.

Now, I think it's time for sleeping. Until next week, keep fighting, keep reaching out, and keep connecting. The world needs you.

Friday, October 13, 2017

Money, art, and more onion hospital days

It's grey and overcast and the cobbles are wet. I have a cup of coffee and I am listening to this beautiful album to conjure up a mood. My headphones are on and a pad of paper is next to me with a pen. On the paper are social media stats and in my mind are the beginnings of yet another idea to bring my art to more people and also bring some money into my bank. Of course, I didn't want to write the sentence including the words money or bank. Like many other artists, I wonder why can't it just be about the art? Naive, I know.

I am continually reminded of this quote and I wish I wasn't.

“When bankers get together they talk about art. When artists get together, they talk about money.” -Oscar Wilde

I try my damndest to just talk about art, pretend I don't need money, don't want things, don't worry about "security." However, I need, want, and worry like everyone else.

So we will see if the ideas come to fruition from the pad of paper sitting beside me and if I can find that balance of making art and making money.

In other news, this week's Tuesday Studio Video Visit seemed to have struck a chord with folks, as it received 1,800 views! I talked about intuition, imagination and the importance of play. If you missed it on my facebook art page you can see it again here. Thanks to everyone who viewed the video and commented on it on facebook, it feels good when we can connect this way.

You can see in the video that I worked on another canvas this week and made some "spirit bundles." I mostly took it easy as I nursed a trapezius injury which frustratingly kept me away from painting. I love getting to that point in my life where I can injure myself in my sleep.

So, that's all I have for you this week. I wish you more onion hospital days. Keep fighting. Keep playing.

Friday, October 6, 2017

Play it again!

New work from the studio this week
I started the week in the studio with one song on repeat at full blast on my headphones. I played this song for probably 3 hours or more. My hearing was impaired for the rest of the week but damn if I didn't get some painting done. I also made my Tuesday Studio Video Visit. If you missed it, click here. 

New work from the studio this week

What song did I listen to? This trance inducing number, "Circles" from 2010 by The Soft Moon. I have used this song and this band in this way before. I often go back to pieces of music that have worked in the past to get me to the place I need to be to paint the work I need to paint.

I repeat different songs for different things. Right now as I write, I am listening to Blur's Sing. I sometimes paint to this as well.

Do you do this too? How important is music to your painting practice or painting to your music practice? Do you use other forms of art to make your work whatever it may be? How about the repetitive aspect? I would love to hear about it if so.

If you listen to these two songs I think you will find similarities and perhaps see why they work for me. I like driving, repetitive sounds but with a good amount of noise, a touch of dreaminess and minimal words. I think this helps me focus on the essentials. Music is the ultimate alchemy and I remain under its spell.

New work from the studio this week

In other news, I am delighted that my painting, The New Language, sold from The Velvet Easel in Portobello yesterday! It will always make my day, perhaps even my week or month, when I sell a painting. I will always feel the thrill of it just like I did the very first time I made a sale years ago. I am grateful when someone sees my work and chooses it for their life. It means so much to me, spurs me on, and encourages me. I am headed into this weekend filled with gratitude. Thanks, patrons!

The New Language, Acrylic on canvas, 76x51x4cm/30x20x1.5" Sold 
Until next week, keep fighting. The world needs you, and your art.