New problem

So this month I have encountered a new problem that I’ve never had before. And it’s not completely unwelcome.

Apparently, I’m in demand.

I’ve had a show booked at the Naess Gallery in Edmonton for some time now. It’s a group show, and we’re starting to finalize what pieces we are each bringing. Normally this wouldn’t be an issue. I generally have a lot of stock on hand. The show would be running through to the end of December.

Then a couple of weeks ago I was called up by my former employer, who also happens to run the local art club. “Could you contribute a couple of pieces to the group show we’ve had booked for ages at the Shell Theatre?” Sure! Why not?

Then I’m contacted by a local business owner with whom I had left a card. “Our current artist’s work is coming down this month. Want to hang yours up?” Um, yes? Sure? I think I have enough stock, hold on…

So I have said yes to all three shows, and the most difficult part will be deciding who gets what.

The Naess Gallery will receive a selection of small to medium-sized works on birch panel. That was an easy enough decision to make, as that is what I showed them when I applied for the show.

The local Second Cup will receive many of my mid-sized work on canvas. These will fit perfectly on the cafe walls.

Lastly, the Art Club gets two large paintings on canvas. Sorry, that’s all that was left. We hung them this morning, and they look good among the landscapes and the quilts and the pottery from local artists and artisans.

All in all, a problem I’m not used to having, but one I will welcome anytime.


Hey look! I finally posted the new works I created during the 2015 Whyte Avenue Art Walk!

"Start Again" by Meghan MacMillan. Acrylic on birch, 10 x 10", 2015
“Start Again” by Meghan MacMillan. Acrylic on birch, 10 x 10″, 2015

"Float Away" by Meghan MacMillan. Acrylic on birch, 10 x 10, 2015
“Float Away” by Meghan MacMillan. Acrylic on birch, 10 x 10″, 2015

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Thankful

I am thankful for many things in my life, and I will share them with you. But first let’s learn a little bit about me.

I live in Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta, where I was born and raised. I studied art at the University of Alberta, and married my husband in 2007 shortly after receiving my BFA. We have two children, a 4.5-year-old son and a 1.5-year-old daughter.

I don’t always feel like my son and daughter are my only children, however. I pour so much into every painting I create it almost feels as if they also become my art-children. When someone buys a painting they adopt it, like I’m sending the artwork to live in a different, but good home.

The oldest of these art-children were created in 2006 and 2007, during my last year of study at the University of Alberta. I had struggled throughout my studies to find my voice as an artist, and my fourth and final year is when everything finally came together for me.

That year I created a series of large colourful paintings using layers of transparent paint, a method of colour mixing I still use today. And until this past March, those same large paintings lived in my studio, taking up much needed space. I was unable to simply cast them aside, however. I love those paintings! They were so important in my development as an artist. I was too attached to them to just get rid of them. They needed a good home.

You may remember when I posted in March about my BFA collection getting one last hurrah. In short, the large colourful paintings were being hung in an office in downtown Edmonton for one last showing before they were to be dismantled and put into storage. Unfortunately, I simply could not have them in my studio any more, taking up room both physically and mentally.

Well, it turns out that the kind folks at Pekarsky & Co.  (where the paintings are hanging) LOVE the art. This past week we made things official and they are now the proud owners of the entire BFA collection, along with some of my watercolour paintings.

I can’t express enough how deeply honoured I am, that they would love my work so much to essentially buy it in bulk. I am always joyful when someone loves my work enough to adopt it. It’s a joy that’s only ever surpassed by my family and my Lord. I am also grateful I did not have to go through the painful process of dismantling the paintings.

Thanksgiving has come early for me this year. I am thankful for the talent I have been given, that I have the means to use it, and that others are eager to share in the joy it brings.

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Upcoming events

Just a quick note on where to find me next!

I’ll be setting up a booth THIS Saturday (September 12) at the Strathearn Art Walk. I have new cards in stock and new necklaces available. And, of course, I will have my original paintings with me, including a couple that I started at the Whyte Avenue Art Walk. Please come by and say “Hi”!

On September 26 I will be at the Shake At The Lake & Art Walk in the Greisbach neighbourhood. It promises to be a fun family event with music and games and inflatables. Hope to see you there!

Meghan MacMillan, Artist

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Kind of freaking out…

So I’ve got a rather large project percolating in my brain. It’s been percolating long enough that I actually put together a solid proposal and submitted it to the AGA for the 2017 Biennial of Contemporary Art.

And now I’m kind of freaking out.

sheldonfreakout

Now I’m not afraid of being rejected. As an artist I’ve felt plenty of that already. I’m freaking out because it’s such a big, personal project, nothing like I’ve ever done before. I’m scared I won’t be able to make it live up to the vision I’ve created in my mind.

It’s personal in the sense that I have never delved so deeply into my faith before as inspiration for my paintings. I’ve only ever skipped along the surface of it, not doing it any justice. This project feels bigger than myself, like I can only complete it through the grace of God.

That’s not a bad attitude to have, though. I’m only here by the grace of God. I paint with the talent He has given me, and only He has given me every blessing in my life. I want to give everything I have right back to God in praise to Him. I am His.

So I might be accepted. I might be rejected. In any case, I feel like this is a good path to start on. I will still have butterflies when I open any correspondence from the AGA until I know for sure, but I think I’ll still get started on this big project anyways. But not for me. For God.

 

"How Sweet (the Sound)" by Meghan MacMillan, acrylic on birch, 12x36", 2014-15
“How Sweet (the Sound)” by Meghan MacMillan, acrylic on birch, 12×36″, 2014-15
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2015 Whyte Avenue Art Walk Wrap-Up

So it’s been over a week since the end of the 2015 Whyte Avenue Art Walk, and I think I might finally have recovered from the whirlwind weekend.

Meghan MacMillan's 2015 Whyte Avenue Art Walk booth, day 2
My booth, on day 2 of the Whyte Avenue Art Walk

And what a great weekend it was! Despite the heat and the smoke there were lots of visitors. Thank you to everyone who stopped by and bought a necklace or some cards. A big thank you to those who stopped just to say how much they loved my work! It was so great to see so many of you, both old and new friends. I sold so many greeting cards I had to restock! Many of you asked who makes my cards/business cards/stickers. I get them all at Moo.com. If you want to learn more, please help out an artist and use my referral link: http://www.moo.com/share/9qcgjb

Speaking of business cards, I handed many of them out with the reminder that “Yes, I do commissions!” and I hope to hear from some of you soon. I am also excited about the potential opportunity to collaborate with a local clothing company, Hot Dame. Check out their website at www.shophotdame.ca.

I made wonderful progress on some paintings thanks to the heat drying my paint layers so quickly and I hope to have some new work on the website soon.

Meghan MacMillan at 2015 Whyte Avenue Art Walk Photograph by: John Lucas, Edmonton Journal
Photo credit: John Lucas, Edmonton Journal

It was so nice to see some Twitter friends in person. I know I’ll miss some if I try to name them all, so I apologize if I miss you (comment, and I’ll add you in!). I met Dave with Bleeding Heart Art Space (and his kids), Jay (check out the mural he’s painting!), Kevin (glad you had a great first Art Walk!), Marie (thanks for the photo!), and the genius behind the @OldStrathcona twitter feed (so sorry I can’t remember your name!). I was so busy I missed being able to visit other Twitter friends like Crystal and Cryssie and others.

Meghan MacMillan at the 2015 Whyte Avenue Art Walk https://twitter.com/MarieIwanow/status/620311964397408256
Photo credit: Marie Iwanow

Up next for me: Putting some finishing touches for some gallery proposals for the upcoming year(s), and getting ready for the next art walk event: The Strathearn Art Walk, September 12th. Hope to see you there!

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Getting ready…

…for the 2015 Whyte Avenue Art Walk! I can’t believe it’s just over a week away.

I’ve been scurrying to finish work in progress, and am happy to show you FOUR new paintings!

"How Sweet (the Sound)" by Meghan MacMillan, acrylic on birch, 12x36", 2014-15
“How Sweet (the Sound)”,  acrylic on birch, 12 x 36″, 2014-15   –   $525
"Revolutionaries Wait" by Meghan MacMillan, acrylic on birch, 12x36", 2014-15.
“Revolutionaries Wait”, acrylic on birch, 12 x 36″, 2014-15   –   $525
"Save It For Tomorrow" by Meghan MacMillan, acrylic painting on canvas, 20 x 60", 2014-15.
“Save It For Tomorrow”, acrylic on canvas, 20 x 60″, 2014-15   –   $880
"Fly Up To The Surface" by Meghan MacMillan, acrylic on canvas, 36x48", 2012-15.
“Fly Up To The Surface”, acrylic on canvas, 36 x 48″, 2012-15   –   $925

My Art Walk tent will be set up on 83rd ave, just south of McIntyre (Gazebo) Park, near the Old Strathcona Farmer’s Market. I hope to see lots of people there… Looks like it’ll be an event to remember!

Learn more about the 2015 Whyte Avenue Art Walk here: http://www.art-walk.ca.

I’ll also be setting up THIS SUNDAY at Savour Strathcona County in Sherwood Park. Learn more here: http://www.strathcona.ca/departments/economic-development-and-tourism/tourism/savour-strathcona-county/

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“Meditations” show and other things

I took a couple of hours out of my busy mom life at the start of May to hang up my paintings in Fort Saskatchewan City Hall. There is a small space just off the atrium just when you come in the main doors that is perfect for hanging up small works. The City is graciously letting me display my Meditations series there for the month of May! I hope you take the time to check it out.

 

While you’re there you should also pop by the public library and see the painting the library board commissioned me to do for them. It has a lovely home just above their decorative fireplace.

"Surrender Every Care" by Meghan MacMillan
“Surrender Every Care” installed in its new home

 

I’m also gearing up for the 2015 Whyte Avenue Art Walk, July 10-12! Registration is this Saturday, and for the first time I’m lining up to get my pick of spots. I’ll have lots of original paintings with me at the Art Walk, along with my art cards, and my new hand-painted pendants! This year I will also accept credit cards via Square, so no need to hit the bank for some cash before you come visit me. I’ll have more details coming soon.

As a dry run the weekend before Art Walk, I’ll have a booth at Savour Strathcona County. Paintings, jewelry, and art cards will also be there. Details also coming soon!

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One last hurrah.

I might be overly attached to my artwork.

Don’t get me wrong – I love selling paintings! But every time I do, a tiny piece of me is sad to see it go to its new home. I invest a lot of myself into each of my paintings; not just time or money, but emotions and experiences.

A couple of years ago I was brought to tears when I heard that one of my paintings, which had been sold for quite some time, had been destroyed in the floods that ravaged southern Alberta in 2013. So just getting rid of artwork that is old and unsold almost seems heartless to me.

My BFA portfolio has followed me around for almost 8 years and through two moves, and has now sat in my current basement studio for over 5 years. The paintings are massive, much larger than I paint now, and difficult to sell. But I could just not bring myself to get rid of them. They are GOOD paintings. They were foundational in bringing my practice to where it is today.

But it’s time.

On Sunday I delivered the paintings to an office in downtown Edmonton for one last exhibition, or one last hurrah. If, in six months, they have not sold, then they will be dismantled and the stretchers reused. The canvases themselves will be rolled and put into storage.

The paintings themselves take up too much physical space in my studio, and too much brainspace when I’m painting. I need to let go and move on, and try new things.

Speaking of selling paintings…

If you would like to see any of these paintings up close and in person, please let me know and I will put you in touch with the wonderful people at Pekarsky Stein, who have been so wonderful to work with, and I am so happy that they let me show my work in their offices!

Day Two
“Day Two”, 48 x 72″, acrylic on canvas, 2006. $800

 

 

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Coming soon, OR Doing anything and everything to stay creative.

So raising two kids is a bit more time consuming than I had anticipated.

PreschoolBoy is now going to preschool two afternoons a week. You’d think that’d give me more time to paint, but…

ToddlerGirl is on the move, and sleeping less during the day, AND she’s a climber. She’s going to be one of those kids that’ll keep me on my toes.

By the end of the day all I feel like doing is, well, nothing. So getting down to the studio has been a challenge.

But an artist without an outlet isn’t the best thing in the world, so I’m trying something new. Something I can do in front of the TV after the kids are in bed. Something I can still sell alongside my paintings during the coming festival season.

Presenting…

Handpainted, one-of-a-kind pendants!

Let me know what you think!

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