Saturday, January 25, 2014

In between secrets

Whoa... this week flew by too fast for my liking or maybe the faster it goes the better. I felt busier than I actually like to be and then slower at the same time. Really, I feel like I was trapped in some sort of energy sucking vortex if I am honest. I wish I had been more productive in the now and less attentive to the yesterday's of living but sometimes it is just a back and forth game. After last week's exciting news and productivity, this week was a bit of a let down but I have been around this block enough to know that this is how the machine works.

There are contracts to sign and return, emails to return, things to frame or not and an exhibition to prepare for in terms of promotion and display but not in the creating of the work. There is anxiety around in the air but at the same time things are chugging along and it always works out in the end (this is what I tell myself).

I reconnected with several of my friends (all artists) this week, with dinner and drinks this past Saturday, an artist meeting on Tuesday paired with a little art making, a tea date on Wednesday paired with the monthly grocery shopping and then a lunch date on Thursday paired with a patron meeting at my home studio later in the day and then with an added flu shot even later. The week was punctuated with evening and afternoon Skype chats with Stewart and several others in between. A lot of talking happened this week and if you pair a lot of talking with grocery shopping and a flu shot, it is no wonder that personally I am feeling a bit tired. I am not complaining, just trying to make sense of where the week went.

As far as inspiration this week (besides my amazing friends) I received Armistead Maupin's last "tales of the city" book, it is a lovely book so far and I have been enjoying reading it to Stewart over Skype. I also received the latest Yeah Yeah Yeahs album of which I am sure I will be listening to when I create some future works. I also saw the film about the all girl band,  The Runaways, that I found great power and inspiration in as well.

I have some new art business ideas brewing that I will put out there very soon but not quite yet. I have some other things to take care of first. Tonight, I will look over my to do list one more time and get ready for another full tilt work week ahead, focusing not only on the business side of things but on the making of things. It is a cruel punishment towards myself when I am not making.

“Art attracts us only by what it reveals of our most secret self.” ~Jean-Luc Godard

I am feeling like it might be time to tell some more secrets...

Saturday, January 18, 2014

What a week!

Hello dear readers!

2014 is not fooling around! Last week, I told you that I had just received word that three of my paintings would be published in Yale's journal "letters." I have sent the image files and my bio to the editor and I will keep you posted when issue # 2 Spring 2014 comes out featuring my work. If you are interested in visiting their website and reading their latest issue please go here. 

As I mentioned recently, I created a special piece for the Royal Blind in Edinburgh, Scotland for their first ever Royal Blind Week. I am so relieved to report that I shipped the large painting to them on Tuesday and it had made it safely to Scotland by Thursday afternoon, always a relief to get things shipped out and to have them arrive safely. I was also happily featured on Royal Blind's website on Tuesday! To learn more about me, why I support the important work of Royal Blind and what my secret special power would be if I could have one, please read the feature article here. I am so pleased to be able to help such an important institution and have my work in the company of such top Scottish artists such as Peter Howson, Jolomo and Marion Drummond among others.

In other news, I am very pleased to be working with the Creative Action Network in partnership with Obama's Organizing For Action, United for Reform is crowdsourcing artwork for immigration reform, a cause near to my heart.  I believe it doesn't stop when your candidate wins the election or the calls have been made and the donations have been sent. There is always more to do and I am pleased I can use one of my recent Ghosts of the past paintings for this important cause. Click here to buy a museum quality poster print of my painting, "Remain a stranger" while supporting immigration reform as well as myself. It's a win-win for all involved.

I could say I have saved the best for last but I feel pretty equally pleased and excited about all the opportunities that have come to me in recent days. This week it was also confirmed that I had secured a venue for the American debut of my Ghosts of the Past Exposed series! I can't tell you how pleased I am to announce that I will be having an exhibition at the Anne Kittrell Gallery at the University of Arkansas. The exhibition will be on display February 17th - March 7th, Gallery hours are, Monday - Friday 10 am - 6 pm with a special opening reception Wednesday Feb. 19th 6-7:30 pm. The Anne Kittrell Art Gallery is located on the 4th Floor Student Union Bldg. at the Univeristy of Arkansas Campus in Fayetteville. If you are near Northwest Arkansas I hope you will be able to make it. I am so thrilled to finally be able to share this work that so many in the community helped me create! If you are on Facebook you can view the event page here. I hope to see as many of my friends, patrons and supporters of the project there as possible!

What a week! There are a few more irons in the fire but I think I will save those until next time. It feels good to be reconnecting with my work, getting it out there in the world to have it be seen, appreciated and used for good. I feel positive and driven when the wheels start turning again and all this action makes me want to paint more and dream even bigger.

Thanks for being part of my art world and sharing it all with me. I have such amazing support in my life and I am forever grateful. Thank you. Until next week, you know what to do...



Saturday, January 11, 2014

Making it happen...

A photo of the top of one of my blank books

Underneath the orange line in the photo above is a list of things I have done the past few days for my art career. They include among other things a long string of emails sent out to venues, publications, assorted online places, local haunts and to movers and shakers. Because as you see it says "making it happen in 2014" and "it" isn't going to happen unless I put in the work. So that is what I am doing and as soon as I started the process, "things" started happening...

I am so pleased to report that my painting, "Pocket full of live wires" from my 2010 series, Falling into Sound will be published alongside a poem written by New Hampshire's state poet laureate Alice B. Fogel entitled "Full of Life." Ms. Fogel's poem was written in response to my painting and will be published in the journal "LETTERS" produced by students from Yale University’s Institute of Sacred Music and Yale Divinity School. I am grateful to Alice B. Fogel for being inspired by my work so that we can share this publication together.

After receiving that great news, I was contacted again by the editor of the journal and asked if I would be interested in having two of my Ghosts of the past series of works published as well. Well, yes please! I would be delighted! 

This is another reminder of how much I love being part of an artistic community and of the collaborations that occur within. If poet Alice B. Fogel hadn't found my work and been inspired by it and then submitted her work to the journal, my work might never have been seen by them and published alongside hers nor would these other works be picked up for publication as well. The connections made through the art world are priceless and also help me feel part of something bigger than myself and that is always a good thing.

There are other irons in the fire right now as well (because of the list you can't see under that orange line) and I am looking forward to telling you all about them as soon as I know more.

What are you making happen in 2014? Are you going to live your dreams or your fears?

Choose dreams and join me for the ride. We can do anything we put our minds to. I am sure of it.

Until next week, keep fighting.



PS. If you see Stewart Bremner in Scotland give him a hug for me, he left yesterday to go back home and I miss him terribly.

Friday, January 3, 2014

and at once we could see...

Christmas has come and gone as has New Year's Day. Welcome to 2014!

What do you have in store for 2014? Do you make resolutions? A list of goals? Do you make new plans of action? Or do you just go with the flow?

I don't make resolutions as such but I do like the clean slate a new year provides. I find it hard not to get somewhat optimist about the future or changing a few little habits that are perhaps not serving me as well as they could. I like to think that anything is possible in the new year but if I am honest, I like to wake up believing something good is right around the corner everyday.

There is something a little bit different about this time of year, the cool crispness, the light and the snow. Things move a little slower and I feel a little more quiet within myself. I feel just a little more up to a challenge in the new year, a little more "what's next?"

This is the beginning of the 8th year of my studio blog and it was 19 years ago that I was in my first proper art exhibition in Eugene, Oregon which ultimately changed the course of my life. So what is next? More of course! More of the same with some tweaks and changes with added focus and drive. Is that possible? Yes, I am sure it is.

I will leave you with my first painting completed in 2014 and the words that go with it. Until next week, you know what to do...

At once we could see
mixed media on paper 30x22"
© 2014 Megan Chapman

I have just completed this painting for Royal Blind in Edinburgh, Scotland. This painting will be part of their first ever Royal Blind Week aiming to raise awareness and vital funds for the services they offer for the blind and partially sighted. The exhibition will be held at Gallery Seventeen in Edinburgh in late February and early March. A number of top Scottish artists such as Jolomo, Peter Howson and Marion Drummond among others will be participating in this exhibition as well. I am honored to have my work in such brilliant company and to be able help such an important institution.

In this mixed media painting on paper by American artist Megan Chapman, the silhouettes of several of the early students to benefit from the teachings of the Royal Blind float across the painted page and radiate out from a vintage map of Edinburgh and the Forth. Red lines connect the figures to each other and to the Royal Blind School which rises up behind them providing a sturdy foundation as the students open to the possibilities of the world. The painting reads, "we talked and told stories we would never forget and at once we could see."