Shows

New show! “Resonance”


“Resonance” opens up in less than one week at Jake’s Gallery and framing! 

Please join me for an opening reception on October 21 from 7-9pm. 

This show will feature the works on paper that I finished on my retreat near Cochrane in June, and how those sketches fit in to the rest of my creative process. There will be new works never seen before, and older works very rarely seen before.

Hope to see you there!

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Catching Up

First, it was strep throat. In my throat to be specific. For the third time in a year.

Then, while in Jasper, my ToddlerGirl was sick enough to need antibiotics.

Then the Vomit Fairy paid a visit to our house. Piles of laundry and mass disinfection ensued.

Lately it feels like I just can’t catch up, and with more being added to my plate I don’t know if I will. Commissions, consultations, collaborations… It really is neverending in this business.

Part of me says it’s a good kind of busy. A productive busy, furthering my career and all that jazz. Another part of me doesn’t ever want to get out of bed in the morning and face the day with all its new challenges. I can’t even face my studio right now because it looks like it was also hit by the Vomit Fairy and puked up different art projects in every direction. I need some focus.

I think the Art and Faith retreat I signed up at the end of this month should do some good. I’m hoping it will allow me to slow down and regain some focus and direction. I constantly struggle to remind myself of why I am an artist. I have to remember that I create, because I am created.

Back to the drawing board, then. First up, as always, is cleaning the studio.

"What Can I Be" mixed media painting on birch by Meghan MacMillan, 3 x 18", 2016
“What Can I Be” mixed media on birch, 3 x 18″, 2016

 

Coming up:

June 23-July 5: The Works Artist Market with NOA (more info to come!)

June 24-26: Art and Faith Retreat (still room left! Sign up HERE)

July 8-10: Whyte Avenue Art Walk

Find Meghan MacMillan at the 2016 Whyte Avenue Art Walk!
My tent will be up on 83 avenue, just like last year!
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Changing Gears

The Fort Saskatchewan Families’ First Society recently moved into a new home, a newly-renovated former RCMP detachment. There was a lot of work to do to transform the building into a family-friendly space, and a lot of fundraising to make it happen. 

So, after Night of Artists last month I quickly change gears into “mural mode”.

As a tribute to the many (MANY!) donors, I volunteered my time to create a donor tree in the front lobby of their beautiful building. This mural was finally unveiled last week. 

 

...I still can't believe people let me paint on their walls
The completed donor wall at the Fort Saskatchewan Families First Society
 
It was a privilege to help out a group that does so much for our community and the families within it. It’s a community I am proud to call home. 

Now, it’s time to change gears again. My studio is still a disaster from “last-minute show-prep mode”. Time to clean up and get back down to work. I’ve got some fun new projects ahead. 

 

Silk painting supplies from the Paint Spot
Silk painting, anyone?
 
Coming up for me:

May: Family vacation in Jasper (bring my watercolours!)

June: Art and Faith retreat

July: Whyte Avenue Art Walk

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Night of Artists Wrap-up

Over 10 years ago, while I was still in art school, my (then future) mother-in-law gave me a magazine. It was locally published, with “NOA” emblazoned on the cover and the pages filled with artwork.

“My co-worker went to this artist showcase over the weekend. I think this is something you should do.”

I looked through the magazine and laughed. “I’m not this good. Maybe in a few years.”

 

Years passed. I finished school. I got married. I birthed two beautiful children. I kept painting. Life went on.

I looked up the Night of Artists online one day. I saw an email where you could send submissions. I thought, “Why not?” and sent along a submission. After all, I’ve learned that you never score a goal if you don’t at least shoot the puck.

Months pass and I get an email inviting me to join the group for the 19th annual Night of Artists showcase. I sincerely hope my eagerness didn’t come across, as I immediately replied “YES!”.

Meghan MacMillan at Night of Artists
I’ve never had a booth with lighting before…
Meghan MacMillan at Night of Artists
Much caffeine was consumed over the weekend.

I had a great time at my first NOA showcase. I met some very lovely fellow artists and had the opportunity to get to know them better in person, rather through social media. Was it a successful weekend? Not in the traditional sense. I did not sell any paintings, but the paintings I showed were very well received. I sold some cards and quite a few necklaces (my favourite moment was probably the flock of little girls waving their $20 bills at me, wanting to pick out necklaces). I was even asked if I could scale up my work (Big? Yes! Like, side of a building big? …Yes!). Lots of cards were given out. Generally I will gauge the success of a show over the next few months, to see how many people follow up.

So if you were there, please leave a comment! Shoot me an email! Just let me know you’re out there, I’d love to get to know you.

 

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Busybusybusybusybusybusy

With so much going on I don’t feel like I’ve had the time to update you all on what has been keeping me busy. Here goes, bullet-point style!

– January is always busy in the MacMillan house. Both spawn have birthdays this month, which means parties and hosting and epic cake making.

 

Minions Cake! BOOYAH!
A homemade Minions cake for an awesome 2-year-old
 
– I was also hired to do some mural work for a local preschool this month. A Fairytale Beginning Preschool is moving into their new home this weekend! The place looks great, but I may be a little biased.

 

Mural by Meghan MacMillan
Ever feel like you’re being watched?
 
– I’ve been steadily working on some new paintings, because I need to have some stock for Night Of Artists, March 4-6 at St. Albert’s Enjoy Centre. I’ll also be set up the night before for the St. Albert Mayor’s Celebration of the Arts Awards on March 3.

– I just finished a large painting that is to be scanned and turned into clothing! Very exciting! I will let you know more as I know more.

– I was approached by an Edmonton gallery owner to have a show sometime in the next months! Details to follow.

– Working on some different product for the upcoming festival season! Stay tuned…

– New large public commission in the works…?

As always, you can find out what I’m up to day-to-day by following me on Twitter and Instagram! You can also find me on Snapchat (meghan_art), but I haven’t quite got the hang of it yet… *shakes cane at all the young whipper-snappers*

 

***Post Edited on Feb 2, 2016*** I’m currently having image upload issues, so the photos from this post have been deleted. Sorry!

***Edited again*** Really hoping the photos work this time… Someone please tell me if they’re sideways for you…

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Not a blue Christmas. 

I’m in the middle of my annual Christmas season painting slump. I don’t like that this happens every year, but no matter how hard I try, I can’t seem to avoid it. 

There’s a multitude of reasons behind it, really. It’s colder, which makes my basement studio colder (brr!) and my paint dry slower. My studio is also a disaster (shocking, I know) because it’s the only place in the house I can hide presents from ALL of my family members. I also don’t miss painting as much, because I’m feeling creatively fulfilled by hand making presents. Being sick doesn’t help either. 

But with a single email I suddenly have greater motivation to paint more:  

Meghan MacMillan gets some good news 
As it turns out, I’m practically out of stock. 13 paintings sold, just like that. It’s pretty encouraging, to say the least, considering I hadn’t sold a single work from that series AT ALL before then. I had almost decided to give up  painting on birch. 

My studio is still a disaster. I’m still sick. But as soon as I get the chance I’ll be cleaning up, stocking up on birch panels, and stretching some canvas. 

It’s time to get down to work. 

 

You can still see these 13 SOLD paintings until January 3rd as part of Mighty Chroma! in the Naess Gallery at The Paint Spot in Edmonton

 

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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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