Thursday, March 4, 2010

An introduction: Delay Before Abandon

And so it begins...

Here is how the initial painting looked on Megan Chapman's studio floor with the envelope before it made it's journey in November 2009 across the ocean.

And here it is once artist Steven Heaton received it and documented it against his awesome studio wall

version 1 megan chapman november 2010

Delay Before Abandon

A transatlantic collaboration

This paper painting is only the beginning of a collaboration between American artist Megan Chapman and English artist Steven Heaton. The two artists have been friends for over two years and admire each others work greatly and wanted a way to work together even over such a great distance.

The collaboration began as Megan painted a work on paper and sent it to Steven knowing that her work would be added to or even covered over. Steven received the piece, documented Megan's original painting, and displayed it in his studio before he worked on the piece. When Megan receives her painting back in the mail, it will have been transformed by Steven. She will start the process again as she adds a new layer to the painting and mails it back. This single sheet of 140lb Arches watercolor paper will be sent across the ocean again and again, and as the painting morphs and changes the artists will document this process here on this blog, as they share the thrill and sometimes trepidation of this collaboration.

Steven makes it his own:

Then Megan receives Steven's version of the painting and documents it. She feels some major trepidation about painting over it because she likes it so much...

Version 2 Steven Heaton January 2010

But, she has to play by the rules so she begins the process... She starts with a change in orientation and covers it with white, scratches additional lines into the surface, uses some colored pencil.

Version 3 Megan Chapman March 2010

Now it's time for Megan to pack it up and mail it back across the ocean. The next time you see this piece it will be on Steven's wall and the process begins again.

Stay tuned...


  1. One thing that becomes apparent; I actually like my work here, I am pleased with the result.
    And, as you well know Megan, that is way out of character for me...
    I think that because I know it is temporary..
    and knowing that when painting it.. holds some
    release, a 'letting go' - this isn't the final painting, it has a broader purpose & meaning..
    I am glad that this to will vanish. there is so much more to come.

    I am very interested to see what other people think of this concept.

  2. I know what you mean, I am interested in seeing how this project influences our regular paintings as well. I think it is already impacting mine. Helping to keep things more fluid and moving, less precious.

    Each of these paintings exists on thier own but becomes something bigger. I hope some folks will start checking out the project. I can't wait to start covering over/working with your painting. This is my plan for next week.. Enough delay, time for the Abandon!!

  3. Absolutely Fantastic idea - LOVING IT!!!!
    I shall bookmark and follow with interest. With two of my favourite painters collaborating...I can't miss the next installment!!

  4. Thanks Debs.
    The painting is on the way back to Steven as I type. I can't wait to see what he does with it.
    Thanks for tuning in.