The Path that Light Takes: Paintings by Megan Chapman
Megan Chapman's exhibit of paintings entitled "The Path that Light Takes" offers a lesson in psychology--the calming influence of visual art.
Chapman explains that she explores "different motifs that I find natural and comforting" in the mixed media paintings of oil, acrylic, graphite and charcoal. Chapman says, "This body of work is about my love of color, the subtle changes that occur when colors overlap, react, and create something new." The series of paintings are connected to one another by repeated themes: bands of color, outlines of an organic shape suggestive of a lotus flower or a water lily, clusters of ovals, and overlays of blended colors.
Chapman uses brush and overlay techniques to create pleasing textures that add dimension to the pieces so that they appear not as flat canvases, but as windows opening into deep and evocative spaces. Chapman notes that her composing process is largely directed by the attempt "to create an otherworldly atmosphere." She says subconscious decisions guide her choices while she is painting, when "I am functioning at my highest level, connected, and meditative." Chapman says while painting in this fashion she feels "truly free," and this freedom extends to the viewer. The tranquil canvases suggest archetypal sources of inspiration, like the sea or dreamscapes, which allows viewers to interpolate their own emotive response onto each piece, making the appreciation of these works unique to each viewer.
Chapman influences the viewer's perception by assigning intriguing titles to the paintings. She says that the process of choosing an appropriate title is also creative and introspective, like her painting, and that she chooses a title that "highlights an aspect or section of the painting that might otherwise go unnoticed by the viewer." Titles such as "A Distant Sweetness" and "Tiny Virtues" tantalize the viewer into contemplating the murky depths of their own experiences.
Chapman, a Fayetteville native, received her B.F.A. in painting from the University of Oregon and is currently represented by the DDP Gallery in Fayetteville, Blue Moon Gallery in Hot Springs, the M2 Gallery in Little Rock and the Gallery Fraga on Bainbridge Island, Washington. All paintings in the exhibit are available for sale by the artist. "The Path that Light Takes" will be on display in Mullins Library through the end of June. For more information, call 479-575-6702.
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