WOOT!

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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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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Whyte Avenue Art Walk 2014

Meghan MacMillan at ArtWalk 2014
Meghan’s ArtWalk 2014 booth, set up under Edmonton’s famous Southpark on Whyte sign.

What a weekend it has been.

On this lazy Monday afternoon I am recovering from a whirlwind 3 days of art – talking about it, looking at it, making it, and selling it. For the second time I participated in the Whyte Avenue Art Walk in Edmonton, and I have to say, it’s made me want to set up my booth in more places and at more events. Not necessarily because I sold a lot, but because of the connections I am making with interested viewers.

If this is your first time visiting my website, after picking up one of my (almost 200 given out!) business cards this weekend, you may be wondering where the images of the art you saw this weekend are. Honestly, the lead up to the ArtWalk was so busy I never got them uploaded to my website. That is my task for the next few days. In the meantime, take a look around at my other work in the gallery, and remember: I do commissions!

Edit: The Daffodil Gallery has selected my work to appear in the 2014 Off-Whyte Show. Hooray!

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Measuring success

This last Saturday I took down my show in the ALFA Gallery in Fort Saskatchewan.

I’ve been asked several times if the show was successful, and I sometimes don’t know how to answer that. How do I measure success? Sales? Attendance? Guest book signatures?

Most often I will measure the success of an art event by exposure, and in this case, my show was very successful, despite only selling two paintings.

My opening night was well attended, as it coincided with International Women’s Day events. The gallery was open during several well attended events in the Shell Theatre, including some professional series shows and the local music festival. I received media coverage from both the local radio station and the local newspaper. And I signed contracts for two commissions as a direct result of the show.

“Slow it Down” opens this week in the Gallery at Milner in Edmonton, and I couldn’t be more excited. Finally, my work will receive exposure in a much larger market that is more accepting of my style of work.

Already, my show is a success.

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Passion

I’m trying to figure out if my creative lows are caused by a lack of passion. I’d like to think that it’s not true. I feel passionate about many things, including my work.

But then I spend time with my friend E and I really have to wonder.

E is the epitome of passion. She’s passionate about her work. She’s passionate about her boyfriend. She’s passionate about her family. She’s passionate about the arts. This passion oozes into everything she does and every conversation she has.

And it’s incredibly infectious.

I spent a good amount of time with her this past Tuesday evening working on not-so-secret-project-that-I-will-reveal-later. A lot of that time was spent talking about my art. To say she likes my work would be an understatement. She loves the colours and textures I use, and was SO excited when I let another person touch a canvas. I offered to let her touch one, but she might have exploded with glee if she had taken me up on my offer. She asked insightful questions about the art and managed to bring me out of shell and speak about my work, which I never find is an easy thing to do. I was so at ease and excited that I managed to speak to complete strangers about my work, my techniques, and the materials I use. I wish it was always that easy.

Fluid Acrylics
A complete stranger was awed by this arsenal of Golden fluid acrylics.

Even though we wrapped up late at night, her enthusiasm had me up and excited into the next day.

What just happened? I was in the middle of a creative low and suddenly I want to work on all the paintings all at once? Is my own passion not enough? Apparently not.

I need to get out more and talk about art more. There’s an art community out there and I need to get more involved. Only by speaking about my work with others can I build and show my passion for it. By writing about it I can better develop the language I need to use.

Darn. It always comes back to that writing thing, doesn’t it?

 

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Not your typical blog post…

…Because this week hasn’t been a typical week. Don’t worry. I haven’t (completely) forgotten about this blog. I’ve been *gasp* working in the studio!

I’ve also been working on a new and exciting project, one of which I will share with you in a few weeks. It’s just THAT exciting. This particular project also shows me that networking and having connections really DOES pay off, and that I need to do more of it.

So, I’ll just leave you with some Retro Art….

Day Seven

Day Seven, Acrylic on Canvas, 26 x 48″, 2007

Inspired by: God resting on the seventh day, after six days of creation. Very suitable for a bedroom, where my customer hung it (sorry folks, this one is sold).

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You know you have artist’s block when you… (OR: Things I’ve done this week instead of painting)

  • Build a fort for your son in the living room while he’s napping.

    My husband says it’s cheating to tie the blanket to stuff. I say it’s toddler-proofing.
  • Pout over Treehouse’s new program schedule.
  • PLAY ENDLESS HOURS OF ADDICTION SOLITAIRE.
  • Call around to salons to book hair appointments for your Bride best friend and 3 bridesmaids.
  • Cuddle under a blanket with a cup of coffee to ward off the Fall-time coldness.
  • Shred years worth of old bills (Gee, I haven’t had a phone with Bell in forever…)
  • Oh yeah, I should get started on that guestbook…
  • Weed the garden.
  • Agonize over a blog post.
  • Two words: Sheep Parade.

In other words, it’s pretty easy to get off track.

I met up with my client (who has commissioned the painting I’m working on) while I was at the sheep parade with my family. While the painting doesn’t need to be finished until the end of October, she’s given me a little incentive to get it done even sooner.

At the end of this month is Alberta Arts and Culture Days, and she has suggested we have an “unveiling” of the painting at her office on 30th of September. She is a notable local public figure, and this would be a wonderful opportunity to showcase my work.

I’d better get crackin’.

 

***

Sorry, no Retro Art this week. Instead, I bring you some wonderfully exciting news!

While I was typing up this blog post, a lovely e-mail popped into my inbox. Timeraiser has decided to purchase Equinox for their 4th Edmonton Timeraiser, happening this October! It’s something like this that reminds me that good things can happen if I just put a little effort into it.

Equinox

Equinox, Acrylic on Canvas, 19 x 41″, 2011

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