Friday, February 26, 2016

Back in the land of the living

Today is the first day since last Wednesday I have been out of the flat. Today is also the first day since last Wednesday I worked in the studio. It was so good to paint again and to see what I had been working on before the flu decided to shut me down.

I didn't want to overdo it so I worked on these four small pieces from the new wall series today. Here are some phone snaps of what's happening.

I am not going to say too much about them now. I just am so happy that I was able to work today and that I have something to show for myself. I am feeling energized and ready to jump back in this weekend, so please join me again next Friday for even more art and better words.

Everyday we paint is a victory and I hope that today, victory is yours. Until next week, you know what to do...

Friday, February 19, 2016

And I had no time to waste

This week seemed to go by in a blink! I am writing from the sofa under a duvet as I am fighting off a cold. I really wanted to put more time in at the studio but alas I was sidelined. This was made even more frustrating by the fact that I am excited about a new project I've just started but I will get to that later.

small works in progress

This week I promoted my current exhibition, A Delicate Balance at The Tide Gallery and Coffee Shop on Twitter, Instagram and various pages on Facebook and will do so again here. If you are in the Edinburgh area please check out the show before it closes a week from today! It has felt so good to know that my paintings are out in the world being enjoyed.

A Delicate Balance
Paintings by Megan Chapman
February 12th-26th
The Tide Gallery and Coffee Shop
56 Kings Road, Edinburgh
Open hours: Monday-Sunday 9:30- 5:30

Also if you are in or near Sheffield, England I have five small works from my New Botanics series currently at Cupola Contemporary Art. These paintings were part of the Presents/Presence exhibition in December and January, however the gallery has kept them on for a while longer. 

178 Middlewood Road, Hillsborough
Sheffield S6 1TD
0114 285 2665

In stateside exhibition news there is still time to catch Abstract ARt, where you can see some of my work from the Reconstruction series showcased alongside some of my esteemed, fellow Arkansan abstract painters through February 28th in Tulsa. 

The University of Tulsa 
124 East M.B. Brady Street
Tulsa, Oklahoma 74103-2014 

Now back to studio news.

It was an interesting experience going back to work in the studio without those eight large paintings from A Delicate Balance on the walls. It made me take a good hard look at the rest of the work from that series and some of the other paintings that were knocking about in the studio. I was hit with the strong urge to paint over some of them.  This doesn't happen often. We are talking about finished paintings that have been on my website and on social media as done and available for sale. I consulted a couple of trusted souls in my art world about what I should do. They said "wait, order new canvases etc," so I waited...well, sort of.

two 16x20" with problems for me to solve later

There were two 16x20" paintings from an in between series that were interesting enough but had never really been finished. I just painted right over them on Monday. I mostly just covered up the old to give me a challenge for another day.

small works

I decided I wanted to work on a whole wall of small paintings and change up the palette a bit. This grouping was made up of canvases that I had already been working on for a couple of months, ones I had also once thought were done. Not so fast...

Small gesture works

I chose a sharp yellow rather than my usual ochre. Paint energetically dripped from one canvas to another across the grid. The charcoal forms were less defined, cracking and sputtering across the surface. These paintings were not just meditative asides or conversations about color. These paintings were created with broken bits of charcoal while I danced like Ian Curtis as he sang Interzone at full blast on my headphones. This work was raw, dirty and urgent and I needed it. This work was about taking bold action, allowing myself the freedom and finding the joy in the process.

After seeing a photo of these works in progress a friend wrote and asked if I had plugged myself into the mains...


works in progress

Friday, February 12, 2016

A Delicate Balance : Exhibition!

Last week a friend tagged me in a post on facebook. A gallery and coffee shop was reminding the facebook world that they have space for art exhibitions on a two week rotating schedule and to contact them.

I shared it to my own facebook wall so I wouldn't forget and thanked my friend for tagging me. On Monday I wrote The Tide Gallery and Coffee Shop a facebook message and not even all that well. I had made a mistake in my post to them but I acknowledged it and got on with living. They wrote me immediately saying they would get back to me. On Wednesday they wrote back asking for a meeting. On Thursday I met Stephen from The Tide Gallery and Coffee Shop and on Friday (today) I (with the gracious help of Stewart Bremner) was installing my exhibition "A Delicate Balance" on three walls of their lovely gallery and coffee shop.

I decided to show the "greatest hits" of the Delicate Balance series from 2015, eight large pieces in total. It filled the space well and the work balanced itself out with repetitions of color and form. My statement and bio was put on the wall along with updated postcards for folks to take away.

This all happened in an instance, in a blink of an eye and I was ready. The owner of The Tide seemed pleased when he came in just as we had finished installing the show. I was pleased too. It was great to see these works out of the studio and breathing fresh air into a different space and this time, with a sea view!

I am grateful for the opportunity to share my work. I am so happy to have these paintings in people's lives even for an instance while they have their coffee, study, meet with friends and look at the sea. I love knowing that these paintings are being seen and are near the ambling tide in Portobello.

After we installed the show, we walked out on the beach towards the sea picking up pieces of blue pottery; my mementos of this victory.

The worlds needs you and your art. Are you ready?

A Delicate Balance, paintings by Megan Chapman
On exhibition from February 12th-26th
The Tide Gallery and Coffee Shop
56 Kings Road, Edinburgh.
Open hours: Monday-Sunday 9:30- 5:30.

Friday, February 5, 2016

This is our conversation

Yellow ochre and charcoal dust seem to be permanently attached to my brush this week in the studio. The shapes are hanging around too, yet changing as I go. The charcoal lined oblong forms intersect and float above, below, and within the yellow of the canvas.

The 100x150cm canvas at rest

I start to wonder what this is all about as I go down the road before me. Does this painting even need to be about anything at all yet or can it simply be about the form, line, color and the work of my hand? There seems to be a vague idea hovering just out of reach, tempting me with its flashes.

detail from the 100x150cm canvas

If I try too hard to capture the idea, it will back away and the intuitive parts of my work seem to fade. I find myself at a productive yet slightly uncomfortable place in the studio just now. I know the drill, I just need to show up and paint. When I feel impatient or frustrated, I back away from the work for a good look and ask it questions. Sometimes, I turn my back on it entirely, spending the time in the studio cleaning and making space.

        detail from the 100x150cm canvas

When I return to the canvas, strings of words come again and there are some beautiful moments; little pieces of satisfaction scattered across the painting. I don't yet get to leave the studio with the joy of creating a whole entity. It knows how to keep me coming back for more.

detail from the 100x150cm canvas

This week, I let this be enough and it is. There have been moments of joy and wonder. There have been moments of understanding and stories whispered. The work knows I am not going anywhere. It knows I am stubborn too and that I am good at waiting. This is our conversation...