Friday, April 13, 2018

Keep showing up


I haven't had as many words available for my blog lately. Perhaps it's because of my Tuesday Studio Video Visits. Or that I have been using my words in my recently revamped mentoring practice. Perhaps, it's because it's the middle of April and it's still winter here in Edinburgh. Either way, I keep showing up here each Friday and manage a few words and share a few photos and I am glad of that. It's an important part of my practice. I am sure there will be more thoughts and ruminations on art and the bigger picture again soon (like when the sun comes out).

This week I started a new 80x80cm canvas, I also bought a couple of new paint colours to excite and partially bribe myself to get in my studio after a less than inspiring weekend. That worked for Monday but by Tuesday I needed a field trip and went to the Royal Botanic Gardens to spend some time in nature and the Victorian Glass houses for the warmth and a change of scenery. It was a beautiful way to spend an afternoon and a complete feast for the senses. I even filmed a quick two-part video visit from the gardens. You can see part 1 here and part 2 here if you missed it on my Facebook art page.

Paradise at the Botanics
Wednesday, I took another day off from the studio to recover from my garden sensory overload but by Thursday I was ready to get serious again and mostly finished the large 80x80cm canvas (see at top of post) I had started previously as well as three 20x20cm/8x8" wee canvases. I have to say I was very pleased with how the wee ones turned out (pictured below).

Wee abstracts

I think that's all I have for you on what's been a slightly off week for me personally. However even on this off week, I still painted and spent time in my studio, I saw beautiful things and was inspired and I showed up as best as I could for myself. It's all part of the creative process, the great ebb, and flow. Thanks for being part of my art world. Until next week, we need you and your work! Keep showing up!

Friday, April 6, 2018

Back to the place I enjoy and remember

My latest work from the studio
After my cold last week, this week saw me mostly back to work in the studio. Monday through Wednesday I was in active painting mode (see painting above) complete with the Tuesday Studio Video Visit. I didn't sleep too well on Wednesday night so by Thursday I just spent some time looking at my current work in the studio and attended the initial planning meeting for our upcoming Open Studios at the Out of the Blue Drill Hall (locals mark your calendars: Open Studios will be Saturday, the 9th of June from 11-5pm, more on this as it gets closer). 

By Thursday night I could tell I was feeling run down again, with a bit of a cough and a sore throat. Because of this, I spent most of today in bed, until it was time for an energising online mentoring appointment with a new artist client.

In other exciting news, I was contacted for an upcoming interview in the blog of a national (UK) art supply retailer. I am honoured and delighted to have been asked and will let you know all about it soon!

So while I am frustrated to be seemingly under the weather again so soon, it was still a rather productive week. I am feeling good about things; productive, spirited and in the zone. I am getting back to a place in my art world that I enjoy and remember. I am grateful.

Thanks for being part of it all. Until next week, please remember that the world needs you and your art.

Friday, March 30, 2018

New work, exhibition news, and a sale!

I am writing you from my bed this week, no coffee shop experience here. This week I came down with a wee cold. I only made it to my studio on Monday. I worked on two paintings, quite energetically. It felt so good to work that I just went for it and I think I just did myself in. By the evening I knew I was heading down sore throat lane and would be soon spending quality time with our sweet cat, Theo and Netflix for the remainder of the week (there are worse things).

I even missed the Tuesday Studio Video Visit! Even with all this, I do have a fuzzy image of my latest painting to share and then later some good news! First the painting, this is just a snapshot from the studio (my old iPhone is showing it's age with the blurry camera- but you get a sense of it).

New work

This piece is a bit smaller than the others in the series. I was having a bit of trouble with the much larger 100x120cm canvas I was working on and needed to make something come together, and this 51x41cm did the trick.

In exciting news, I was just asked by the fabulous Union Gallery here in the west end of Edinburgh to paint 4 large-scale pieces for a group exhibition coming up this July! This thrills me to no end and I can't wait to get to painting these pieces. I will keep you posted as the work emerges and it gets closer to the show but if you are local/regional to Edinburgh pencil sometime in July to attend an opening.

In addition to that great news, today I was informed that one of my new large-scale works just sold from the current exhibition at The  Velvet Easel Gallery! I may have squealed a bit when I read the good news from the gallery owner. It is always such an electric charge to sell a painting, it feels like the best reward for years of hard work and I am overjoyed and very thankful! It's an honour for me when someone sees and responds to my vision for my art and chooses it for their own.

Acceptance 80x80cm mixed media on canvas sold


With this good news, as well as my art mentoring continuing to pick up steam, things feel very hopeful at this moment professionally. I am working hard and it's weeks like these when it all starts to feel like it's coming together. I am grateful.

Next week I look forward to catching up in the studio and having a nice long chat with you all on the Tuesday Studio Video Visit, along with a dash of mentoring with my fellow artists near and far.

I hope you are well, happy, and inspired. If you are not any of those things, I hope you know the world needs you and your art and the good things usually will come back around, so hang in there. Thank you all for being part of my art world.

Friday, March 23, 2018

Ride this wave with me: New paintings and mentoring


I am sitting in the coffee shop, listening to the Brambles (again). I have written several blogs from the coffee shop since my return after the winter holidays. The coffee shop is my generic paradise complete with sickly sweet soy chai, gluten-free biscuits, and free Wifi. It is a simple respite from the demands of the studio, the dishes at home, and the clamor and drink of a pub as well as a wee reward for working hard.

So, now that I have set the scene, let's dig in. It's been a busy week.

First of all, there have been paintings. I worked on a total of four paintings this week and I think I resolved two of them. Here are the studio snapshots of the two pieces.

A slightly smaller piece than what I've been working on in this series but still a good size. 60.9x91.4x4cm/24x36x1.5" Mixed media on canvas

A larger piece, 100x120cm mixed media on canvas

Besides working in the studio, finishing these two paintings and recording the Tuesday studio video visit, I also started mentoring two artists this week! If you recall, last Friday I mentioned I was going to reintroduce mentoring as part of my art practice. I really enjoy helping other artists work through their obstacles. I offer support and am an ally for artists so that they can push through barriers and refine their goals for their art. It was a joy and an honour to work in this way again and it left me feeling very excited and inspired.

So often artists just need a sounding board, someone outside of the situation to survey the scene and offer a little guidance. I get such a thrill when I can step into this role. The two artists I worked with this week, live and work outside of Edinburgh, in other parts of Scotland so we used the benefits of modern technology and worked together through Skype and Facetime. I am looking forward to working with both of them again soon.

Perhaps this is a service you might benefit from or perhaps you have more questions about how I could help you? Please email me at meganchapmanart@gmail.com My fee is £30/hour if we work together online and £35/hour if we work together in my studio and includes a pre-meeting email sharing of what's going on for you as well as a follow-up email summary of our session. Make sure to read last week's blog for a more detailed outline of what I offer and what people have said about working with me in the past. I look forward to hearing from you.

Until next week, the world needs you and your art!

Friday, March 16, 2018

I want to paint and I want to help

This week saw more painterly progress in the studio. I completed two more new pieces in the series.


Again I am flirting with harder shapes and angles combined with an ethereal atmosphere with an icy yet earthy palette. In these pieces, I enjoy playing with the consistency of the paint as well. As the series progresses, I continue to expand on the concept of "what is enough" to tell and teach me when to stop with these works. Less is more.

I feel good about my painting progress this week while also taking time away from the studio for some necessary art administrative work. I also managed my Tuesday Studio Video Visit. You can see it here if you missed it. I can't believe that my weekly studio video visit series will be a year old next month!



Here are the latest four painting in the series. Soon the work will be properly documented and titled.




In other exciting art news, I have decided that I want to return to mentoring artists who could benefit from an understanding ally in their creative practice.

I have worked in this capacity formally and informally with various artists over the years and have always enjoyed it. I recently mentored a fellow artist for several hours at the start of the year and realised once again how much I not only enjoy this work but how much I have missed it. I am an enthusiastic believer in art and artists and I want to help more artists feel supported and encouraged.

I now offer one to one mentoring/coaching services for artists who are at a crossroads with their work or for those who have been away from their art for a while and want to return to it. I want to gently mentor artists by working with them to examine their past work, creative habits, and blocks - working together to push through obstacles in a supportive, encouraging and yet challenging way.

I will work closely with the artist to create a customised plan to jump-start their art making through the use of various process exercises, guidance, and accountability. This can be done in person at my studio at the Out of the Blue Drill Hall in Leith, Edinburgh as well as online via Skype and through email. In accordance with the Scottish Artists Union 2018 rates of pay, my fee for this service is £30-35/hour (depending on if we work together in person or online only) payable through PayPal or bank transfer.

If you think this is something you might be interested in or have additional questions, please email meganchapmanart@gmail.com

*I will have a few reduced fee scholarship spots available to those artists in need (especially to those who identify as women, people of colour, single mothers, differently abled and LBGTQIA+ each quarter - you do not have to identify to me, just mention "underrepresented" in your email and I will see what I can do). Please don't hesitate to inquire about these slots.

Here are a few things that folks have said about working with me over the years.

"Megan Chapman is an inspiration with her passion and commitment to art in the community and this spreads worldwide through the power of the Internet. Early on in my career, I commissioned Megan to do a portfolio review which was absolutely brilliant and helped me a lot with my path forward."
Deborah E Burrow

"Ms. Chapman has reviewed some of my paintings and helped me fine tune my process, allowing me to take my work to the next level. In addition, she has offered a constant stream of encouragement for my installations. I will be forever grateful."
Craig Colorusso

"Megan Chapman exudes kindness, enthusiasm, and passion so that art can live, projects can exist and for all of this to be shared."
– Christian Demare

"Megan Chapman helped me progress experiments, to an international standard. When we first communicated, I painted in a dusty cold garage, yet through her guidance, I have progressed to a studio, and then to director of studios, and my work evolved with her input at every stage. I'm grateful for her experience, talent and willingness to share technique, style, and presentation."
– Steven Heaton

"Megan is the person you want in your corner when it comes to promoting your art. As a novice artist, her encouragement and belief in my work was the primary motivation for getting my art exhibited. No one works harder on your behalf."
– John Spurgeon

Well, that's all I have for you this week. Thanks for reading my blog. Until next week, keep making, doing, and seeing. The world needs you and your art.

Friday, March 9, 2018

The muses smiled (as did the fox)


The Muses smiled on me again on Monday. I was able to get the grounds going on four paintings. I painted over two older works that didn't make the cut previously and was relieved to make some good progress on my latest series. I always have to remind myself to let loose and to just create "backgrounds" so that I can react against them with purpose, once I remember this, things really get going in the studio.

painting sounds

I made a short video of the painting process as I love the sound of a brush against the canvas (that is when I can hear them- I usually have my music turned up way too loud on my headphones to shut out the world). I also wanted to capture the physicality of working. At times I can be pretty exhausted from painting, not just from the mental and emotional aspects of it but from the physical demands. I was so glad that I was able to begin the week with a strong start on these four pieces.

Tuesday happened to be my 46th birthday so I popped into the studio to record my Tuesday Studio Video Visit and then I went out to celebrate. It felt good to spend a little time in the studio on my birthday. Here's the video if you missed it on facebook.



After the birthday excitment, I took Wednesday off (I actually think this had more to do with my Monday session of painting) but it seems more fun to blame it on my birthday. However, I was back in the studio to work on Thursday and Friday, which leads us to these two works below.

I am playing with the cool pallette again, with the addition of an orange and a grey. I am also playing more with thick vs. thin paint, as well as harder angles against the etheral atmosphere. It's feeling good and I am glad to be getting back in the zone. I like how the warmer under paintings peek out from beneath the surface.

new work from the studio this week

new work from the studio this week
In other news, the sun came out today and it felt like a miracle. I forgot how good it feels. While out walking and enjoying the sun, I met a fox and he told me to tell you to pay attention to how unexpectedly beautiful the world can be. He then jumped up a wall, making easy work of it. You and I might have looked at that wall and thought we were trapped but he didn't even think of it as an obstacle. He asked me to have you think about that too.

Until next week, everyday we paint is a victory.

Friday, March 2, 2018

Spring Thy Name is Colour


"Spring, Thy Name is Colour" opens tomorrow with an all-day drop-in opening with sparkly and nibbles at the fabulous Velvet Easel Gallery in Portobello, Edinburgh. I am so pleased to be part of this, not to be missed, group exhibition. We have had the "Beast from the East" visiting us with lashes of snow since Tuesday, but the show must go on! I plan to drop by the gallery at some point tomorrow so if you are local, perhaps I will see you there! Here's a behind the scenes photo of the gallery owner Rosalind Walker hanging the work. You can see two of my three pieces in the show on the back wall behind her as well as many other exciting works!

Courtesy of The Velvet Easel Facebook Page

Other than this exhibition excitement, I went to the studio Monday through Wednesday and then took Thursday and Friday off due to the winter storm. I recorded my Tuesday video, worked on a couple of new 80x80cm pieces, and had two short meetings with a fellow artist on how to create and organize more opportunities for ourselves and our fellow studio mates, such as hosting more open studios, exhibitions, as well as increasing promotion of our events and workshops. Stay tuned for more about that in the coming days.

The snow was magical, beautiful, and it filled me with childlike excitement. While away from the studio, I enjoyed a few short cold and snowy walks, took photos, met a friend for lunch, took some time for myself, made some soup and let time slip away. It doesn't really feel like a Friday as I type this. The snow does that- makes the time shift and become much less rigid. I like that.

I like you too. Wherever you are I hope you are warm and well. If you are not inspired now, you will be again soon. You are important for the world and its character and you give us a lot when you share your work. Don't let the bastards get you down (and I know that's easier said than done). You will get down (I do too). Just know you are not alone and it will all come around again. Just wait it out, find your people, and take solace.

Until next week, keep fighting. The world needs you.