Friday, April 24, 2009

Spectacular Spectacular!

Oh where to start...
What a week and a half I've had. Twelve days away from all those social sites, has yielded some amazing benefits.

First of all I am pleased to let my readers in Austin, Texas know that you can now find some of my paintings in your neck of the woods. I just shipped 5 small 10x10" paintings to a lovely boutique called Wear Art Thou, and like all my 10x10" paintings these are affordably priced at $275. Please visit the shop or tell your friends in the Austin,Texas area to check it out. Their website (here) is very spare but it does have their hours and location. To see which pieces of mine they have currently just visit my website and click on work and then Wear Art Thou.

Second, I am beyond thrilled to say I have just moved into my new studio space outside my home!!! I just signed the lease on a studio in the Fayetteville Underground. I am in studio 19 and will be keeping regular hours there painting and helping to promote the space and my fellow artists with whom I share the basement of One East Square Plaza. I am very excited about this project. I have visited other cities that have these type collectives and affordable studios for artists and always lamented that my town didn't have one. It is just the thing Fayetteville needs, and I think the timing is perfect. I have been very busy this week painting my studio walls and moving my things into the space.

This is a dream come true for me, and the possibilities are endless. It is a very exciting time. I want to thank all my friends, family, teachers, and everyone who has said a kind word to an artist, everyone who encourages an artist to go for it, everyone who makes a dream like this possible. I have people all over the world that keep telling me to go for it, and that is why ten years out of art school I am still an artist and I keep moving forward. It is a bumpy, crazy, and questionable path, but as long as I have people that believe in me I will keep fighting to stay on course and creating art. If you are an artist, please keep at it. I know it can be hard, but the world needs you.

So today I dedicate this post to the forward thinkers, the artists of the world, the gallery owners, the patrons, the collectives, the coffee shops that hang local art, the building owners that give space at a reduced rate for artist's studios, and anyone who makes cool and creative things happen around the world. THANK YOU.

For more information about the Fayetteville Underground please visit

Find me in studio 19...

Friday, April 17, 2009

Six Different Ways...

If you are an artist, hobbyist or someone who promotes things, or you just like to be in the know or "tuned in" you probably belong to or use several different social networking sites. This past Monday I decided to take a break from all of these sites and just see what it felt like to only check one blog, my email, and keep posting my daily photos on blip. Even that is enough to keep one busy, my usual routine includes two blogs, myspace, facebook, twitter, along with blip and my email, not to mention the countless other blogs I read and comment on.

So are you connected? You are? But are you connected enough? How much is too much? What are we gaining from this and what are we losing?

While trying to avoid these sites, I tuned into Pandora Internet radio and started working on my neglected "to do" list. If you must know, I was listening to the New Order station I created-and The Cure's 6 Different Ways came on, and I started thinking of it as a metaphor for social networking...

6 Different Ways © The Cure

This is stranger than I thought
Six different ways inside my heart
And everyone I'll keep tonight
Six different ways go deep inside

I'll tell them anything at all
I know I'll give them more and more

I'll tell them anything at all
I know I'll give the world and more
They think I'm on my hands and head
This time they're much too slow

Six sides to every lie I say
It's that American voice again
It was never quite like this before
Not one of you is the same

This is stranger than I thought
Six different ways inside my heart
And everyone I'll keep tonight
Six different ways go deep inside

I know I am grasping, and I know I could just talk about my experiences with social networking sites and be done with it, but I wanted to shake it up a bit.

If you really allow yourself to think about it, these sites are strange! If I was not promoting my art, my name, or the galleries that represent my work, I am not sure why I would be on them. However, I make my living from these things and I have been conditioned by the media to believe these sites are valuable tools so I use them. I agree that there are many benefits to online social networking. I have made some amazing connections, friendships, received valuable feedback, inspiration, emotional support, not to mention renewing old friendships and making money all while using these sites. People from around the country and the world know of me and my work because of them. At the same time, to fully utilize these sites it seems one needs to invest a lot of time and energy in the process. You get back what you put in and nothing is free.

There are now six different ways to contact me, message me, get in my head and even inside my heart. We witnessed the whole giving to the sick friend fiasco a while back all via social networking sites.Yes, it mobilized people and was inspiring but it also crashed at my feet and caused me tremendous worry and time loss. I am also a person who keeps all the conversations with people known and unknown inside me. I take them seriously and put a lot of time into my relationships with people I care about. Sometimes, keeping up with everyone on these sites can be a bit overwhelming.

Maybe the more I think about it, the more sad it makes me feel. On the one hand I have knowledge of so many brilliant artists and art lovers all over the world thanks to myspace, twitter and facebook, but I also have the unfortunate knowledge of what they ate for dinner, who is having a breakdown, who is bored, and often who is lonely, all sent to me in little tweets, status bar updates, bulletins, and comments.

Back to the lyrics, I'll give them more and more and I do, there have been times when I want to bolster, support, encourage, inform these complete strangers so much that I spend more time with them than I do dealing with my own issues, my own family, my own real life that sits behind me waiting for attention. I won't say, I tell them anything at all or that there are 6 sides to every lie I say but I will say I do present my best light and a controlled view of my life. You are getting my best self minus the "I eat too much when stressed and I haven't done laundry in weeks" and "I am feeling guilty for not cleaning more often" because that is not what you come here for or who I want to present publicly. Before I wrote a blog I would read other people's posts and feel completely inadequate, these people read good books, traveled places, had lots of friends, were sharing photos of the elegant meals they prepared. I didn't live that way and felt bad that I didn't. Envious that I didn't live up and then I realized...this was their spin on their life, their best self; edited, made witty and clever. Smart and crisp: an adventure perfect for a blog post. You start to even view the world as a series of stories you can tell, are you living them in the moment? Who cares- this is going to make a great blog post, bulletin, or status bar message. Look at me! Look at me! Then the year passes and you realize you haven't felt it- you just reported it.

It can be a seductive and dangerous loop. We put something out into the world, we want a reaction. We wait for the reaction. The reaction comes, and then we do it again and again, and not only on one site but on many sites, all the while continuously checking for new and better reactions, for more feedback. It is a game of call and response, and we become slaves to the machine.

This marks day five in my vacation from the space, the face, and the tweets. I feel alive and content in this moment and I have just reported it to you so it must be real.

It was never quite like this before

Friday, April 10, 2009

To a place I have missed...

There is a sensation that jolts my brain and makes the gears up there turn quickly and my heart beat faster. It comes from a spark, an urgency, a need to express something unnamed. It is the thrill I felt when I told my stories with my books in 1999 or spent hours in the darkroom that one semester. I have alluded to this feeling and time in previous posts, always as a past memory. This week I have been fortunate to feel it again in the present.

For the last few days I have been telling a story in photographs on blipfoto and each day a new image is created on the spot and this thrills me to no end. This has been a multi-leveled experience for me as I merge pieces of my past, my childhood and family with ideas from painting, films and spontaneous play. All of this coming together to take me somewhere I have never been. It feels like a warm current pulsing through my skin when I even think about this. I have been completely outside of myself, creating a new world and characters. The usual sensibilities of my usual brain have been safely thrown out. In this story I can be anyone or anything, I can assume a character, a place, a time period or even an idea. The people that view the story are very much included in this process as they bring their own back story and spontaneous ideas into the mix.

I am not a photographer and that in itself is wonderful and freeing.
I am simply going on adventure to a place I have missed.

Today I want to take you there as well...

The Ocean's Story...

Here's where the story ends...

And this is where it starts...

It is quiet like a library
let's just hide behind the stacks for a while
and see what happens...

In between days...

Sh... no words are needed now..
We just wait.
We now have the key to the outside
but are we willing to use it?


We used the key
We went outside
We found a house
and here we are
listening to sounds...


We found a bed
We slept for days
We grabbed our things in a hurry
We forgot the key...
and the music keeps playing.

We should not have looked back...

We kept running all night.
and here we are again
but a page has been turned
the flowers have wilted
and what is there in the coarse salt of the ocean?

but a tiny key...

all images © megan chapman 2009
click on images to view them larger

Friday, April 3, 2009

A Promise...

Well, it is the first Friday of April, and I told you I would be back so here I am. It feels very much like the very first day I started my studio blog in April of 2007. It was sunny, I had my headphones on and I had no idea what I was going to write. I actually wrote it mid morning or mid day on Friday rather than Thursday night, and afterward I would feel such a sense of accomplishment I would reward myself by going out to celebrate.

So here we are. I had planned to do many things while I was "away" and I accomplished some of them, and it was surprising to me how little I thought about this blog or posting when it had become such a routine and ritual in my life. So, I think that means it was very important for me to take a break when I did.

I'll catch you up briefly...
My last show Selective Evidence at the ddp gallery in Fayetteville was a huge success. I sold 8 paintings in 2.5 weeks, and people seemed really interested in my process and work since my studio was set up in the gallery. I really enjoyed painting somewhere outside my home and getting instant feedback on my work. 2 pieces sold that were still wet! It was a thrill and encouraged and inspired me greatly. Thank you Fayetteville- you've been good to me.

In other news, I was just asked to come speak to a group of artists by a local art club this summer, so I will be giving a presentation on my work and process and will even get paid for my time! I am very excited about this upcoming opportunity.

I have also been enjoying exploring my hobby of photography on on Blip foto the goal is to take and post a photo each day on the day. I really like the simplicity of the site and the feedback I receive as well. If you enjoy photography, and want a simple goal of taking a photo a day, you might enjoy the site- I know I have. It is a great relief to have some form of creative expression even when I can't get into the studio and paint.

I still have not updated my small works in my Etsy shop- and that is a high priority. I will let you all know when there are new things to look at there.

So that is what I have been doing the last month, painting, seeing art and music, making photographs, day dreaming, selling art, and planning my next move in the game.

See you next Friday with something new to discuss.
I hope you all have been well with dreams.

PS. If you enjoy my photograph "A Promise" posted above, click on it (for full resolution)and then right click to download it and print it up- It is my gift to you. Enjoy!

A promise © 2009 Megan Chapman