Ben  Nicholson – Winifred Nicholson – Christopher Wood – Alfred Wallis – William Staite Murray – “Art and Life 1920 – 1931 – 4th June – 21st September

As I have recently joined as a friend of Dulwich Picture Gallery I duly received my invitation to the Private View of “Art and Life 1920 – 1931″ and made my  first trip to Dulwich Picture Gallery on the 9th June.  It was a very nice visit, but as I don’t drink alcohol, I was disappointed with the soft drinks option being water, and that was that.  Need to email them and request Teetotallers are better catered for I think.  It was a day of sun, and green.

You were not allowed to take photographs of the paintings.  Oh, so sad.  No sense.  It would have been handy for reference.  But I will remember the colour, and the poetry, particularly of Winifred Nicholson’s paintings, which I liked the most.

I have long admired the paintings of both Ben and Winifred Nicholson, but also very much loved the paintings of William Nicholson… but his were not to be seen… I am certain they must have had an effect on Winifred, in particular.   I spent some time when at West Dean a few years ago enjoying “The Art of William Nicholson: British Painter and Printmaker – by Colin Campbell, Merlin James” which was published in 2004 by the Royal Academy of Arts.  I would buy this book but unfortunately it is rather costly at £85!

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Info on William Nicholson below, taken from the above website. He was born 1872 and died 1949.    Text credit included below.

  • British painter, printmaker, and designer. He briefly attended Herkomer’s school in Bushey, then studied at the Académie Julian, Paris. Early in his career he worked mainly as a printmaker and designer, notably on some brilliant poster designs in the 1890s, done in collaboration with his brother-in-law James Pryde under the name ‘J. & W. Beggarstaff’.

Text Source: The Oxford Dictionary of Art and Artists (Oxford University Press)

“Nicholson, Sir William” The Oxford Dictionary of Art and Artists. Ed Ian Chilvers. Oxford University Press 2009 Oxford Reference Online. Oxford University Press.

I’ve just been looking at an image of this painting, and it has left me quite speechless… It is the emotional dimension and poetry of the painting which I love…each mark is tender and full of freshness and life.  There is no need for moving images with paintings like this to see.  The movement happens internally, and the spirit stirs at the sight, not of the illusion, for the picture is simply a vehicle, but because of the expression, which not only depicts an external scene, but traces the heart movements of the painter at the same time.


paintings influencing jenny meehan, A Glade Near Midhurst  by William Nicholson(c) Elizabeth Banks; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation

A Glade Near Midhurst by William Nicholson(c) Elizabeth Banks; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation

I include this image with credit to The Public Catalogue Foundation.  A Glade Near Midhurst by William Nicholson is copyright Elizabeth Banks.

See my text on my usage of this image*

I just love it.  It makes me want to paint immediately!   I feel a bit lost right now with respect to my painting, but mostly because all the domestic things which need doing are running off with my time in their hands.  Once I am doing it, all will be well.  Painting doesn’t seem like a problem when I am doing it, only when I am not!  Maybe the best problem to have then, better than the other way around.

In the Dulwich Picture Gallery it was Winifred Nicholson’s paintings which caught my interest and provided the most enjoyment.

Winifred Nicholson, Summer1928. copyright The Trustees of Winifred Nicholson

Winifred Nicholson, Summer1928.
copyright The Trustees of Winifred Nicholson

Winifred Nicholson, Summer1928.
copyright The Trustees of Winifred Nicholson. See my copyright note*(tried to email, no success)

Winifred Nicholson  “Summer1928″  was just one of many examples with the surface of the canvas utilised in that wonderful way which brings a softness to the brightest colours.   It is the feeling, so direct, so personal, that comes across.  This is not painting for anyone else but herself.  This is the best way.

“Nicholson particularly enjoyed painting flowers and said: ‘I have tried to paint many things in many different ways, but my paintbrush always gives a tremor of pleasure when I let it paint a flower’.

However, Nicholson was not concerned with botanical accuracy, but rather wanted the plants and flowers to signify the time and place in which they were painted. This painting with its gestural and loose brush strokes illustrates her ability to communicate mood and atmosphere using few brush marks.

Nicholson believed that colour was the most important element of painting and in 1944 published the article, The Liberation of Colour, under the name Winifred Dacre.”

Text taken from


Gary Wragg Interview on Abstract Critical

Smashing Interview at Abstract Critical on Gary Wragg:

Gary Wragg talks to Matthew Collings… Very worth while combination!

Abstract Critical has some very interesting articles in it.  I shimmy along for a read from time to time.  Keeps the brain matter challenged.  I am not an academic by nature, but I have always enjoyed critical analysis.   Come to think of it, it was one of my strong subjects when studying Literature at Kingston University.

Weaving Painting and Poetry Together.

My poetry and painting have always related to each other in one way and another, but recently I painted a painting in response to a piece of my poetry, and I think this was a good thing to do.  Don’t know why I haven’t done it before.  Here is the poem, written on the 3rd April 2014, as a memorial to my mother who suffered with paranoid schizophrenia and manic depression for the majority of her life.  She did very well to bring up three children, but did have many nervous breakdowns along the way, and was on several types of medication for all of the time that I knew her.  I can recognise very well now how my own life was influenced by her condition, but also have a fuller appreciation of her achievements in doing as well as she did.  I only include a small excerpt from the poem, as I would like to enter it in a competition at some point, and I think that if published, even on the net, this may exclude it from entry in some cases..

Alabaster loving

I have hardened my heart.

Made a cave

within which I can hide away my flesh,  bruised  and dark.

Sobs in silence,  surrounded




You came later, bearing gifts  from afar…

Some nativity story  you said,  in recognition of me  being  the chosen one.   Redeemer,  and  Saviour of your soul.

My love,  holding the hope you hungered for…

But I could not carry it.

Each little spark of faith,  placed religiously in rapid motion,

layer upon layer, tear upon tear, and sorrow upon sorrow.


You looked to me,  and believed  your  self  would define  your better being

in a little child…

But I could not carry it.

“I wish you were like other mummys.”   I say.

And you are sadder still. “


It continues, but not all included here, only a taster! 

Jenny Meehan 3rd April 2014


And the painting “Alabaster Loving”…


painting the poetic, art poetry, expressionist, lyrical abstraction, romantic, Alabaster Loving - Abstract Painting by Jenny Meehan

Alabaster Loving – Abstract Painting by Jenny Meehan. Relates to the Poem “Alabaster Loving”.
Painting the Poetic is probably the whole point of things for me!


This painting “Alabaster Loving” seems to have picked up a strand from some earlier work in terms of style and approach.  It was rather liberating.  And Oil is such a wonderful paint to use.   So free.

Poetry and Painting Relationship




Alabaster Loving - Abstract Painting by Jenny Meehan

Expression of stamina within the experience of brokenness.


The drawing is titled ” Standing” . The drawing is an  visual exploration of a female figure.  I find the expressive power of economic mark making of great interest to me.   The way that broken marks  hold together conveying the figure expresses  my own personal feeling of standing upright in life,  by the grace of my Creator, and I hope that the image will also be an encouragement to other women who have for whatever reason undergone considerable suffering in their lives.  The figure has no feet, and the marks run over the edge of the bottom of the paper, which communicates a sense of the figure being held in place, rather than standing on firm ground.  The ground we stand on in life is often not very firm or solid at all, and it is the love and compassion we have access to which keeps us standing, even in the most difficult times.  (154 words)  (Drawing is 55cmx75cm framed.  Charcoal on paper.) 

Charcoal with it’s text below it…  I entered this for the Women’s Interfaith Network Competition a while ago.  To no avail.  But entering things can be helpful as this forces me to attempt to articulate my thoughts on the work, which I don’t always do… Well, never normally do, unless pressed to do so.  The work should always stand on it’s own two feet… Ha Ha…even if it hasn’t got any.

Signs of the Times”  Prints to Buy over the Internet

I now have available selected prints from the “Signs of the Times” series on my Photobox Gallery.  The Photobox Gallery is a handy facility for enabling people to buy my prints in a quick, easy and affordable way.  The prints I describe as “Poster Prints” because they are not signed and checked by me, but I am very confident about the quality.  They are in fact  A2 and A3 sized laser prints printed on Fuji Crystal Archive Paper.  Here is the link to my Photobox Gallery:

Here is the link to my Photobox Gallery: 

There are other options for different types of prints on the Photobox Gallery, but at the present time I am restricting the distribution of my work over the Photobox Gallery to just A2 and A2 laser prints.   However, if you do want something specific, just contact me with your requirements and I am completely free, (thanks to not limiting these images to “limited edition”) to arrange to have prints made to varying specifications and to be signed and numbered.

Some of the “Signs of the Times” are at Baker Tilly in Guildford at the moment.  That was a useful body of work for me…Going all geometric like that!  And advertising annoys me terribly.  How much better to have signage which simply says what it is… and doesn’t impose some sense of what you might be lacking, or creating some need or desire that you don’t feel yourself.  Advertising creates a market for what someone wants to sell even when the market doesn’t exist….I do wonder about this.  This strategy to make us buy.  This way of selling.  We are surrounded by it to such an extent that the confusion it causes can become difficult to discern.  But my signs are my times.  Simple.  Straightforward.  As they are.  We can be as we are.

Quick Dip print by Jenny Meehan

Quick Dip print by Jenny Meehan. One of the Signs of the Times series


So refreshing.

Lead, kindly Light, amid th’encircling gloom

I also include in this month’s Journal entry this hymn, which I discovered when doing the Labyrinth walk at St John’s Church, Waterloo, at the beginning of the year:

  1. 1. Lead, kindly Light, amid th’encircling gloom;
    Lead thou me on!
    The night is dark, and I am far from home;
    Lead thou me on!
    Keep thou my feet; I do not ask to see
    The distant scene–one step enough for me.
  2. 2. I was not ever thus, nor pray’d that thou
    Shouldst lead me on.
    I loved to choose and see my path; but now,
    Lead thou me on!
    I loved the garish day, and, spite of fears,
    Pride ruled my will. Remember not past years.
  3. 3. So long thy pow’r hath blest me, sure it still
    Will lead me on
    O’er moor and fen, o’er crag and torrent, till
    The night is gone.
    And with the morn those angel faces smile,
    Which I have loved long since, and lost awhile!
  4. Text: John Henry Newman, 1801-1890
    Music: John B. Dykes, 1823-1876

There is a huge conflict between knowing and unknowing.   I feel it a lot with my work especially, just wanting to know what is happening.  In reality, I haven’t a clue, though I speculate, right, think, and suggest.  This Journal is as stumbling as it will always be.  But I like writing.  It is some kind of reflection, at least.

I am trying to keep my Jenny Meehan WordPress Journal a little more brief than in the past, so that is it for now!


Jenny Meehan is a painter and designer based in East Surrey/South West London.
Her website is  ( replaces the older now deceased website

Jenny Meehan BA Hons (Lit.) PGCE also offers art tuition.  Please contact Jenny at or through the contact form at for further details.   Commissions for paintings are also undertaken at affordable prices.

 Jenny Meehan works mainly with either oils or acrylics  creating both abstract/non-objective paintings  and also semi-abstract work.  She also produces representational/figurative artwork,  mostly using digital photography/image manipulation software, painting and  drawing.  Both original fine paintings and other artwork forms (prices ranging from between £60 and £700) and affordable photo-mechanically produced prints are available to purchase.

Enquiries welcome.  I have more artwork than I can display on the internet, so let me know if you are looking for something specific in terms of style, function, or subject matter. 

Jenny Meehan exhibits around the United Kingdom and holds regular Open Studio/Studio Sale events.  To be placed on Jenny Meehan’s bi-annual  mailing list please email requesting to be kept up to date.

Also, you could follow the Jenny Meehan Contemporary Artist’s Journal at WordPress and keep informed that way. 

Note About Following Jenny Meehan Contemporary Artist’s Journal 

I would be very pleased if you would  choose to “follow” the Jenny Meehan Contemporary Artist’s Journal at WordPress and keep informed of what I am up to this way.   Just press  the “follow” button and pop in your email address.  You determine how often you get updates and you don’t need a WordPress account to follow Jenny Meehan Contemporary Artist’s Journal.  I don’t have a Facebook page as yet, and won’t be on Twitter.  So this is the best way to follow my art practice.  Though I ramble on, I try to organise things for easy skimming, so you can pick and choose according to your own interests quite easily!    

You tube video with examples of photography, drawing and painting

by Jenny Meehan

Website Link for jamartlondon: 

Digital photography can be viewed on

*Notice regarding my use of images on my Jenny Meehan Artist’s Journal blog:   I always try and contact the relevant artist if I include images of their work on my blog and make clear the source.  Where images are taken from other websites, I make it my practice to  cite the source and often include a link to the place where the image was found. If this is not possible I will include a fair use rationale.   When I include images I do so in the belief that this will not cause commercial harm to the copyright holder. I  believe that this is fair use  and does not infringe copyright.  Images are used in order for me to comment and reference them in relation to my own creative and artistic practice.  When I include extracts of text, I also do so with the understanding that again, this is permissible under the widely accepted fair usage terms with respect to copyright.


I am not sure if I have posted this up already.. Had a few problems once when writing a post, and got muddled with the different versions, so if this is a repeat, well.  Don’t worry, it’s me, not you, who has gone double!


Memo for June:  Baker Tilly in Guildford

Four of Jenny Meehan’s prints and four of her original paintings can be seen at Baker Tilly’s  offices in Guildford between July – September 2013. To make an appointment to view please contact Sue Dragon at Guildford Arts on
Email: or Phone: 01483 573 538

texture acrylic filler pigments, imaginative internal landscapes,memory based painting abstract expressionist, lyrical abstraction,romantict british art,romanticism expressionism 21st century,british uk female painter fine artist meehan,Cove - Jenny Meehan Acrylic Painting

Cove – Jenny Meehan Acrylic Painting
Very textural…which you cannot see too well here!


Above is “Cove”… I think childhood memory plays it’s part, once more, as it nearly always does!  I loved Combe Martin in North Devon, and there are wonderful rocks, crevices, caves, and other places of shelter.  The three little finger marks I placed near the end…I was thinking then of my  family members, both birth family and family now.  I think many people have treasured memories from their times by the sea…  I cannot imagine living somewhere without a coastline!    Cove is one of four paintings which will be on show at Baker Tilly in June

Artists Beware!  Amusement and Depression!

We simply don’t command what we are worth.  Well, maybe toned down a little into “It is easy to undervalue art working”.

This is the conclusion I have come to regarding art working in all its forms.

This article below, by Alistair Gentry is highly amusing, sobering, and maybe slightly depressing!

While amusingly extreme, it’s wise to take note of  what the situation often is…Not always, not necessarily so extreme, but  I have suspected much of this for a while.  I have very limited experience and Alistair Gentry has a lot.  So I do mark his words!

I think the “answer” is to simply make sure that what you do does work for you in the way you want it to.  Our reasons for doing things are many, and the bottom line is that the reason you ultimately choose to do something is because it means something to YOU.  How you go about getting it around, how you use  your skills, how you choose to invest your time and money…  Make your choices but whatever you do, don’t delude yourself that the substance of what you do is going to be realised in recognition, status,  or money.  It might be, but this is a side issue.   Put your heart into your art working and do it for the value it brings to your life and try to educate others as much as you can as to why art working is valuable, and exactly how it is.  Think  about it for a start… Why do you bother then?   How do you show this?  How do you talk about it?  What difference can it make to someone’s life?  Why does it matter?

“We simply don’t command what we are worth.”  Is me quoting myself!  I had better listen!

It is not rooted in a sense of self importance or inflated idea of the value of my own work, but more the conclusion I have come to through thinking about why art does matter in society and culture.   We have to have useful, transferable, competent skills and be willing to share them.  Useful, interesting, and thoughtfully reflective insights into the human condition which come from time invested into what is,  at it’s root, a contemplative practice.   And the value of the practice and it’s produce needs to be encouraged,  not exploited, by the way things work in the “art world”  (whatever that really is!).  I think it quite possibly nothing to do with art.  In my realistic moments I also conclude that business will always be business, and this is a ruthless and money minded matter.

I’ve resolved myself to continue to re-think and review what I do and why.  How I invest my time and money.  I’ve built up a bit of an exhibition history now, which can have it’s uses, but my heart is not in it.  As a trail or path in itself, it does not lead anywhere.  It is more what happens inside of us, and with our relationships and connections which matters, not some illusory idea of recognition or value based on ever shifting sand of whim, personal taste, or an idea or relative importance and value.   Only history holds the real answer to what ends up having stood the test of time, and even that is selective and not entirely reliable as a gauge of value, though it certainly indicates impact.  Many wonderful women have sadly been left out of the big art history trail!

On an optimistic note,  just to balance out the extreme despair that could easily assail one if only thinking down certain lines,   I have also  found that, as well as many rather dry experiences in my efforts to share my own work with others,  there are very many exciting, interesting and worthwhile artistic ventures happening.  People researching certain themes,  for example,  the wonderful “Speaking Out – Women Healing from the Trauma of Violence”  by Dr Nicole Fayard (University of Leicester 2014).  This project was a fantastic example of art working being explored in a very interesting and positive way, and for good end too,  raising awareness of trauma recovery and art,  bringing insight and information regarding social issues, sparking off discussion and establishing connections between people with common interests and passions.  Being part of that project has given me far more than I expected it to.  Not only has the process of working through some of my own tangled thoughts been  quite helpful,  but it has been inspiring and motivating to understand and recognise the value of art working in relation to trauma recovery, and this pushed me along a path I had started to walk on just that little bit further.


A Quote From “Going Slow” by Michael Sadgrove

“I am trying to learn, late in life, that the race is not always to the swift nor the battle to the strong.  Ours is an age where speed is everything.  Wherever you turn, in business, in industry, in education, even in the church, success is measured by this: that you fill your diary, work every hour God sends, work both smart and fast.  When I was in Sheffield and trying to raise funds for the Cathedral, I asked a wealthy businessman to help.  As he wrote out the cheque, he said to me: ‘Michael, it’s really important that the church models something different from the hectic pace at which we in the public and private sectors expect to see results.  The cathedral has been here for centuries. It has a perspective sub specie aeternitatis: it looks at things from the vantage point of eternity. It can help us take the long view, learn the meaning of patience.’  Perhaps this is what St Benedict meant by stability in his rule for monks: not running feverishly from place to place either physically or metaphorically, but being committed to the present where God has placed us, living according to that long view. “

The above extract is from “Going Slow” a sermon preached by Michael Sadgrove on 10th February 2013  for the whole sermon, which is a good read.

As someone who often, for some odd reason, sometimes makes life much harder than it needs to be by overreaching, in terms of giving myself unrealistic targets, the sermon “Going Slow” is a timely reminder that a hectic pace is not the way I want to live my life deep down, and not the way to position myself to my best advantage I don’t think either.   Thankfully I tend to recognise fairly quickly when I make my schedule unrealistic, and manage to adjust things accordingly by making a reassessment of priorities…it hasn’t got me into any trouble yet and I hope will not in the future, but it has caused me unnecessary stress at times.   I think that one of the reasons I find the contemplative way of life a great aspiration and the way forward for me is probably in that it counteracts my natural tendency to associate achievement and doing with being worthwhile as a person.  I continue to shake this delusion off, and it will be a long term task, I am certain!

Good Article on Oil Paints and Acrylic Paints

This article on Oil and Acrylic Paints is one of the most thorough I have come across, and I do just love my paint research.  I have such an interest in it, I know for sure I am obsessed with paint, because it defies all reason.  I could quite happily spend an hour a day reading about technical matters regarding the use and qualities of different paints.  Well, there have been some days when I have done this…  Finding an in depth article like this one from Golden Paints “Just Paint” publication does save a lot of time though, so I hope it is useful to you if your interests lie in that direction!   If not, there is no doubt something else that you would happily spend an hour reading about!


Clyde Hopkins’ Paintings Continued…

I used to love getting plasticine and putting all the colours together, then slicing through them.  Clyde Hopkins’ paintings make me think of this memory, and so comes another of those internal connections that draw us one way or another when we look at paintings which excite us more than some others. “About the Orinoco” 2013   Oil on linen 105 x 90 cm

Copyright Clyde Hopkins.  Permission to use has been granted by the artist.

Oh, this one, yes.  This may be my favourite.  ( I can see my plasticine cut well).  What is more, there is an egg which lies waiting underneath the ground.  I am slightly concerned at this point that my comments and response are rather simplistic.  However, who cares but me, and only for a moment. Plus, this is probably a good thing.  My logical and intellectual  brain, while useful, sometimes robs me of a lot of pleasure. I love allusions to growth and the organic, and find them here in this painting, with a sense of being below ground level, which is also something which has held an interest to me for many years.  It was the only part of geography I enjoyed…rock formations, glaciers, volcanoes, different types of layers on the earth’s surface.  All so much better than towns, houses and populations.

“The Orinoco is one of the longest rivers in South America at 2,140 km (1,330 mi). Its drainage basin, sometimes called the Orinoquia, covers 880,000 square kilometres (340,000 sq mi).”

There you are.  Your intellect is now satisfied a little.   There is certainly a feeling of drainage in the painting.  And of forest.  And of roots. It’s kind of odd, that part in the painting at the near top right, with it’s concentric circles rippling together, bringing it away from the flat surface into a space beyond the picture plane.  But it doesn’t disturb me, and I think there is a patch of what I will call  “mystic light” just where those light purple/lilac seed type patches are falling.    So there is movement, light, and what looks like  a fair amount of texture in the bottom right hand side of the painting (looking face on).  Those things build an area which has pulled away from  the flatness of the strata/cross section side, and so, all does look in accord.  It works.  The computer screen will be playing its part in distorting what the reality of the reflected light is,  and so I am feeling  deprived.  But something like that is happening.

It’s a joyous painting, and seeps a sense of experience, and experienced use of colour, which is delightful to me.  I like organic forms in paintings and while I can appreciate paintings of geometric composition, and can imagine the freedom to explore various colours and paint applications within them, my eyes need the relief of a bit of undulation!   I like paintings which are a pleasure to the eye…No shame in that.   But ones which also challenge and stimulate.  These paintings do all three, and, like all paintings, all kinds of other things which we have not a clue about, no doubt. I want to look at some more in future posts. On the “Will Do” list!


Signs of  The Times

I hold a preference for  strictly geometric designs just being printed and flat.  And no more.  I found this out through my own “Signs of the Times” series.  I was thinking about maybe  translating some of them into paint, but couldn’t really conjure up the will to tear them away from their printed expressions, which were far truer to my intentions at the outset.  Behind each one,  there stood the thought that I had started working on them because I was sick to the core of advertising… sick of seeing all around me images which had the sole intention of pointing out some need and proposing the answer to it, all for commercial and business gain.  And so I took the sign part seriously.  I wondered how the world would look with, instead of adverts for products and services everywhere, it had simple statements of being or small phrases which simply hit you with no ulterior motive.  Things like “Quick Dip”  and “Putting Your Point Across” just expressed with no more message than that.  No more meaning or intent than the fruit of me grappling with how best I could express inner movements of the mind and heart.  Simple symbolic communication, which one could respond to without pressure.  You could emotionally agree, or not.   Simple as that.  Inner experiencing.  No demands.  No pointing out of anything you may be lacking, may need, should have etc. etc.

So I like the simple and the straightforward, and I like geometric design and paint encountering it.  I like them apart and I like them together.  But in my own painting I want the challenge of the relationship between the geometric and the organic/lyrical.   There is something which is more “giving” about it.  My mind just doesn’t respond to straight lines that well, maybe.  It is interesting for me to take note of others work and I don’t have the time to put everything which strikes a chord in this Journal, but hopefully I will have some trace over time, of things which have helped me to discern my own creative path.  It is though recognising something you like in others work that you get some sense of what your inner interests might be.   I think it possible that seeing what you like around you, you see it with eyes fresher than you could have for your own work and that this can encourage you and validate the little stirrings which you are starting to feel inside yourself.  I still remember wandering round some art fair (I cannot remember which it was) and finding my eyes only resting on Ivon Hitchens’ and Alan Davie’s paintings…everything else just seems to sink into the abyss!  It was their painting alone which caught me completely…  Nothing else seemed significant. We search for significant form, and I don’t mean significant form in the Bell sense, but in the poetic.  Something which calls back to us, like an echo, of what resounds within.

Back to the “Signs of the Times”… Here is another one which will be on show at Baker Tilly this year… Title is “No Cares”

No Cares print from Signs of the Times series by Jenny Meehan

No Cares print from Signs of the Times series by Jenny Meehan


Chance Encounter on the South bank with Nigel Fountain interviewing for  “The Oldie”

As I make my way back from my psychotherapy session I often stop to sit by the Thames.  Anywhere by water is my favourite place in London.  I have rather “a thing” about water… and find myself drawn to it in both in the ways it is used symbolically,  and as a real substance.  I’ve always loved water…Been a bit of a “water baby”!    I had only been sitting down for a short while when a man approached me, explaining that he was from “The Oldie” Magazine, and asking “Would I be willing to be interviewed?”  Well, I had, as it happens, heard of  The Oldie Magazine, but only because a writer  who brought “London Downpour” from me last year happened to be attending one of their events in London, and I needed to drop the painting off there for collection.   This was just as well, as I don’t think I would have said  yes if I had  not recognised the name of the magazine.

Nigel Fountain…What a great name… For me to be interviewed by Nigel Fountain on the edge of the Thames, and to have the painting “London Downpour” connected in my mind with The Oldie Magazine, is something which makes my heart smile a little… I am a great believer in taking the time both to talk and to listen, and so this was handy for him, as I gave him a great deal of my time.  It was so nice to be interviewed by someone so good at doing it well, and I feel very grateful for the opportunity to share some of my life experiences with him.  I was very open about my life experiences, which I am not always… but I follow my instincts in matters such as these, and I feel in a place myself where the traumatic nature of quite a lot of my earlier life really does seem a very long way away.  Though I work through some of the issues in psychotherapy/psychoanalysis,  the fact that I have been able to work my way through them is starting to pay dividends in my ability to talk about them in a reflective and thought out way.  It helps me to appreciate other people too.

Surprisingly, I find,  engaging in psychotherapy  is not a selfish endeavour.  It is self focused,  but time invested in listening to one’s self is probably something we should all do a great deal more of.   Being able to see yourself compassionately yet also critically, in a constructive way,  can be also a way to allow more compassion into your heart when looking at other people’s life experiences.    Why do we shy away from others pain and suffering?  Why do we fear the vulnerability in each other, and make so many efforts to hide our common tears?  Maybe because we have not faced our own pains and sorrows?

I am writing this now very deliberately having not seen yet what Nigel Fountain has written!  This is important to me because as a writer myself, I am interested to see how what I write now relates to what he writes when I get hold of it  in just over a month (today as I write this   is 22nd March). It is rather risky to talk very freely to journalists.  Having had three other local paper journalists write articles on me over the last few years,   I am very aware indeed of how their individual perspectives colour their work.  You trust them to re form what you give them, and  you do not know if their own distortions, which are bound to be there, are going to give a likeness which you feel ok about.   But I was so impressed with his interview technique I am quite confident he will do an excellent job, and if I don’t like it, it is his work, not mine.

I also really like the whole idea of what he does…Going around and interviewing random people…listening to their stories and making a piece of writing out of them.   These chance encounters happen to us all the time in life.  Just investing that little bit more time to find out about someone and to somehow allow them to open up a little more than they might do in a rushed interaction.  Making time to make a connection with someone else, simply by showing an interest.    It is much easier to flick on your mobile phone or tablet and interact with that.  How many opportunities to communicate will our gadgets and technology close down for us, I wonder?

Note:  Since writing the above, the article has been published, and it is a most excellent piece of writing.  I am delighted, and it is by far the most accomplished piece of writing about me I have experienced so far.    I feel rather privileged to have met the man and been interviewed, and also to have his writing skill used in sketching an impression of my life with such a perceptive and acute penning!  My most favourite bit…Will need to do a painting in response to it, I think:

“I contemplate the north bank of the Thames and Jenny, scratching her chin, avoids looking born-again”  Quote from “Brief Encounters – Nigel Fountain looks at the lives of others” published in The Oldie magazine, June, 2014

I looked into “The Oldie” which has been described as the spiritual successor to Punch and was set up in 1992 by Richard Ingrams.  It’s aim was ” to “produce an antidote to youth culture but, more importantly, a magazine with emphasis on good writing, humour and quality illustration.”   I want to get hold of a copy now, this sounds very good!   This quote in particular about The Oldie is very enticing: “The most original magazine in the country…..their eclectic embrace of human variety is a monthly rebuke to the formulaic, celebrity led concept of features in our newspapers and magazines.”  The Independent.

St Julian of Norwich/The Comforter Painting

Researching Julian of Norwich a while back  led me to the final title of the painting below, which was first called “The Comforter” referencing Christ’s words regarding the Holy Spirit in the New Testament books of John: “Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.”  I then expanded the title to include the reference to St Julian of Norwich, because my research and thinking, along with the writing of the poem, made me feel that the two works, though in different mediums, were one.

Acrylic, various fillers, acrylic mediums and pigments, and glass beads , sacred art painting religious, spiritual visionary painting, christ centred poetic visual art, The Comforter/St Julian - Jenny Meehan

The Comforter/St Julian – Jenny Meehan
Acrylic, various fillers, acrylic mediums and pigments, and glass beads

Above “The Comforter/St Julian of Norwich”  Painting by Jenny Meehan  

I entered this in the Womens’ Interfaith Network exhibition submission process this year, but it did not get in,  so I am taking this opportunity to show it for now!   I would also like to include the poem I wrote in response to my studies of St Julian of Norwich and also another poem which I found later on by someone called Venetia Carse.

Firstly then, my poem on St Julian of Norwich, which is called “To Saint Julian”

To Saint Julian


I had not heard of you,

I had not seen you

Within your four walls

The small rectangle looks out


You look within

The walls of your cell rough marked and mottled

Play with the light which moving across the day

Casts itself into interplay with your mind and thinking

On the source of our reason to live

Our reason to live, even within the pain

The darkness we fear around us

Theblackness we all must face when

Forced into our own heart cell

The confines of our place.


It is not the now, the then, the will be

It is all three in one small speck

Which running down, splatters, splinters the hardness

Catastrophe brought us a gift in one falling

One who was God, and also was man

And woman? Is this so? If so,my heart cries childishly

For that warm embrace.

the hug, and the softness

The cover, white on your arm , ready to wrap round me.


I need the way forward.

In the indistinct marks of the wall which surrounds me

gentle ring, containing all which first took joy

Fear which raged spitting brimstones not from

another world, but from ours

iface the trauma

Know the grief, see the hurt, in the living of life

Is a heart of pain.

Being  wounded is not hard.

All enter into  our own cell.


How far I have fallen!

Yet, there is the always the holding.

You are holding,

You circle me.

Containment  of our being.

Able to be as  we are in you.

And not despised.

Light changes, it changes everything

Every image alters,

In the light.

I look back to you , St Julian, in the refuge you took

Because life is not easy.

“All is well”  your voice comes to me

Not as platitude, nor  peace,

Rather as hope, because His love is better than life

We look beyond, look through, and look within.

Our search is not in vain.

life hits hard each tender soul that struggles forward,

Clothed in the flesh that does not cover

Our multitude of sins.

see the blows of life on our bodies

But see too

God’s covering.

Within the blood of my new birth

“All IS well”



And the poem by Venetia Carse:


Let me live beyond the limits of my Self,

still in the ‘now’, yet on the edge of time;

eye looking inward, forward, down and through,

seeing always God’s radiance coloured

in the mist, rime, blackthorn, shine.


Let me live where Christ, my faith, begins,

where love, confronting fear,

holds candle to the dark;

rejection, rape – bitterness and pain

by this most holy Cross

so forgivingly redeemed.

Should we be asked to travel some dark road,

bruised, disillusioned, life meaningless,

it seems,

may openness to God’s all-giving

grace guide our blind eyes … through.



And shall we see once more

and sense the joy

in small and patient things;

soft mist, sun warmth

and blackthorn bud;

or glory in a cloud of swallows wings.

Then let us cease to strive

beyond ourselves and live,

content to be, aware

of God’s compassion … and His Love, which sets us free’

with prayer and reverence prepared

to care for Earth’s sad frailty.


Venetia Carse – A POEM inspired by Dame Julian of Norwich.   This was published in one of the Julian Magazines, but I cannot remember which one, so apologies for the vague source reference.  I normally ensure I give publication details, but this is the best I can do for this one, for now. 


Poetry and Painting

I will post up some of my recent work very soon.  I am enjoying writing some more poetry right now, and also experimenting with painting in response to the poetry.  This seems to be a fitting approach…I feel released from the need to define objects or have explicit pictorial content in the painting,  as can rest, relaxed and chilled, that I have said what I want to say (in language) in the poem.  I can then simply express in visual language the feeling with no obligation to define anything more than my instincts are leading me to.  This is great fun!    I still enjoy painting pictures, and I still enjoy drawing from life, and I still enjoy paintings which have a recognisable subject matter, but I do not feel bound by this.  What  I am doing with my painting is sticking to the heart of what I enjoy the most about it, which is creating significant emotional form, and experimenting with materials, techniques, colours and composition.    I don’t need to do any more than this in one painting.  Drawing IS fundamentally important.  I love it dearly.  Sometimes it meets the painting and sometimes it doesn’t.  I don’t have to prove a thing, just paint.   If someone sees my painting and thinks I cannot draw, so be it.  Not my problem!  (Gosh, I do angst over this matter, again and again!)

I think I probably just need to sit down, look at the strands in my work, identify them and develop them.  At present I have:

Spiritual, poetic, personal painting type work.  Experimenting with the relationships between image and word.  An interest in the spiritual direction and creativity interface, mental health and well being, and trauma recovery.  Using the psychoanalytic approach generally to increase self awareness in my own life and work, and the extremely delightful, wonderful liberating experience of living a life which is as Christ-centred as I can possible make it.

Drawings (mostly life drawing), which I would like to take into painting also.  Just started going along to the Dulwich Art Group about once a month. <a href=""></a>/ Very exciting to paint the figure from life.  Colour, if used will be expressionistic.  Black and white is more appealing initially, as it is the marks I am interested in right now.

Rambling, on this blog.  On and on and on and on.  As long as I can.  Free to do, because of the joy of skimming over the surface, which we are all very good at.  I write, I like to write.  Poet seems too grand a word, but I lean into that direction rather than other genres.  Writing this journal is an indulgence.

An interest in producing and developing/marketing a commercial strand, but one which I still feel has roots I can feel at least a little bit connected to.  This might happen later, as my time is tight with household and family matters.  I make little attempts here and there, but the reality is, other things are more important right now.

A photographic strand, which has completely become black and white, and small, rather than big, both in terms of print size and time spent on it.   I really need to put all my images from the past to good use… I have a lot of work I could use potentially.

And other things too…  I expect.



Excellent article by Mark Stone at Abstract Critical…

A possible response might be … Sort out why you are doing what you are doing for yourself.



Jenny Meehan is a painter and designer based in East Surrey/South West London. Her website is  ( replaces the older now deceased website

Jenny Meehan BA Hons (Lit.) PGCE also offers occasional  art tuition.  Please contact Jenny at or through the contact form at for further details.  

Jenny Meehan works mainly with either oils or acrylics  creating both abstract/non-objective paintings  and also semi-abstract work.  She also produces representational/figurative artwork,  mostly using digital photography/image manipulation software, painting and  drawing.  Both original fine paintings and other artwork forms (prices ranging from between £60 and £700) and affordable photo-mechanically produced prints are available to purchase. Enquiries welcome.  I have more artwork than I can display on the internet, so let me know if you are looking for something specific in terms of style, function, or subject matter. 

Jenny Meehan exhibits around the United Kingdom.  To be placed on Jenny Meehan’s bi-annual  mailing list please email requesting to be kept up to date. Also, you could follow the Jenny Meehan Contemporary Artist’s Journal at WordPress and keep informed that way.

You tube video with examples of photography, drawing and painting by Jenny Meehan

Website Link for jamartlondon:

Digital photography can be viewed on

Here is the link to my Photobox Gallery:


Walking a Labyrinth at St John’s Church, Waterloo

Walking a labyrinth is a spiritual exercise to quiet, center, and allow contemplation and prayer.  I tried this experience out recently at St John’s Church, Waterloo.   People get very different things from the experience, depending on exactly where they are (in a personal sense!) when they choose to walk it.  The location also, it follows has a big impact too!   I enjoyed it  and found it much better than I expected it would be, and I came away with  some of the strands of thought which I had already been playing with in my mind, rather focused and much clearer.  So I suppose I could say it “worked” for me.  I am not interested at all in anything to do with “sacred geometry” or anything like this, I see it as a tool. It is a helpful structure, a useful form and pattern to hold a walk within it, and a good tool to help contemplation take place.

I took lots of lovely ideas away. For example, it was a nice feeling being in the centre,  and even though I personally always set myself to the path and did not think of the centre as a destination at any point, I did realise after walking the labyrinth several times that I liked the middle simply because it was the most surrounded part…It had the most layers or boundaries around it, so maybe it was a sense of safety there in the centre which I was enjoying so much?   It wasn’t so much a place to stop for me, as I found myself stopping en-route anyway to enjoy the interesting  paintings and sculpture which happen to be in the interior of St John’s and provided some very good foci in themselves.  But, because there was a bit more space, it was logical to stop in the middle and this is what pretty much everyone seemed to do.

I tried walking the Labyrinth both slowly and at speed.   When you walk fast, people tend to step aside as you approach!    (Why was I surprised at this!)  This reminded me of the potential damage that is done by rushing, not in the sense of bumping into people (Which did not happen, I hasten to add, I was very careful!) but in terms of relationship…That in being very busy, maybe, and moving very fast, other people may pull away and draw away from us at times where we might have been able to experience a closeness, an opportunity to show grace,  or simply to just relate more intimately because of  people feeling less need to pull away from us in order to protect themselves from our busyness which, let’s face it, can be a very damaging thing if it communicates (which is often does) that that other person doesn’t matter, or that you are not available to them, should they need you.  It was a rather risky and adventurous experiment, and I was conscious that in doing it quite differently, I made myself conspicuous.  It would have been quite different walking it fast with a bunch of lively children!

However, even the decision to risk being seen to be noticeably “different”  was a helpful and meaningful one for me.  To step out, follow the courage of my own conviction, and not to be self-conscious to the extent that stops me exploring in life, is something I have been working on for some time.   It seems that pretty much all the time we quite easily find difference, in whatever shape or form, challenging.  Be it disagreement, sexuality, culture, or religious beliefs… And I decided that rather than being something to shy away from, maybe I would be better served by embracing  differences and disagreements a little more myself, and by recognising that they can be positive, if handled with grace?  Walking at a difference pace was a way and method for me to imprint this into my mind.  It is all right to stick out sometimes!  We don’t all merge together in a huge blob like jelly.

By risking walking differently,  (though it was a little mortifying for me at the time), I have gained in that I will be able to picture clearly (for I won’t forget!) that there is a vulnerability involved in difference, a risk, and that those who are markedly different, and stand out, maybe more obviously, as “different” deserve respect and even admiration maybe at times, and certainly not hostility, because of the difference.  For we are all very very different from eachother, even if we look to be pretty similar on the outside.   The acceptance and implicit respect  of other peoples  ways of walking, their paths and journeys, however different in character, foot size, types of socks or length of toe nails  (!!!!) , are essentially the same, in that we are humans on a journey (essentially the same journey, called “life”), and cannot see the whole.   My wild and fanciful imagination takes me, on thinking the matter over right now, to a delightful image with rather extreme variations, ie some people hopping, others rolling, some dancing….all very different but on the same labyrinth at the same time.  Well, the differences where there, but far more subtle on this occasion.  What fun you could have with a wild and wacky labyrinth walk!

I had many other reflections on my Labyrinth walk at St John’s, Waterloo.  I met some interesting and lovely people, and also found watching other people walking the labyrinth quite moving too…  I hope to do the walk again at some point in time.

Kingston Artists’ Open Studio – Leatherhead Exhibition in May 2014  “Sacred Spaces”

Time runs so fast!  Despite my intentions to hibernate for the whole year, I am, of course, unable to do that.  However, I am now getting at least two good length studio sessions in per week.  So the discipline is paying off.   As well as my own painting I do enjoy spending time with other creatives, and wanted to organise an exhibition at Leatherhead Theatre this year for some of my fellow artist members of Kingston Artists’ Open Studios, or KAOS, ( the abbreviation, which I prefer!).  Last year I organised and curated “Order and KAOS” which focused in on abstraction in painting but this year I am going for a theme… one which I would like to explore with my fellow artists a little and also, very importantly, give us an opportunity to explore, think, reflect and ruminate, meditate, contemplate (pick the word you prefer!) on our work and also maybe even add new dimensions to our understanding and thinking about what we are doing, through the insights of one another.   So part of the exhibition process this year will be a meeting of the artists who are contributing their work also being able to contribute themselves by meeting and discussing together.   Among other things, I am  wanting to explore the important “sacred space” that exploration of our creative  selves through our art working provides.  How this works for each of us, what helps it to work well, what hinders,  how it relates to our sense of well being.  All that kind of thing. I will post more later.  Here is the flyer for the “Sacred Spaces” Exhibition at Leatherhead.   I quite enjoy designing flyers.

jenny meehan KAOS flyer leatherhead sacred spaces art exhibition. The flyer designed by Jenny Meehan for the Kingston Artists' Open Studios Exhibition at Leatherhead Theatre 2014 Jenny Meehan curation project, exhibition curated by jenny meehan, community arts exhibition,

jenny meehan KAOS flyer leatherhead sacred spaces art exhibition.
The flyer designed by Jenny Meehan for the Kingston Artists’ Open Studios Exhibition at Leatherhead Theatre 2014

It is quite a way ahead, but time does whizz so.   I have selected the artworks and will hopefully be posting information on them and their creators as time goes by.  I am not organising a Private View for the exhibition, as in the past I have found that the travel distance from Kingston to Leatherhead has put people off.   However, the footfall at the theatre is normally very good at this time of year so I think the exhibition will get plenty of viewings!  Sorted out the blurb:

“Sacred Spaces” – Free Art Exhibition, Open to All.  Disabled Access.  Children Welcome. 

See this exciting and interesting collection of work by Kingston Artists’ Open Studio artists Chris Birch, Emily Limna,  Jenny Meehan,  Richard Tomlin,  Derek Turner,  Hilary Walker, and Jude Wild.

The exhibition is curated by Jenny Meehan on behalf of Kingston Artists’ Open Studios.  A varied mixture of  18 original paintings, monoprints and  photography by  seven  professional artists is sure to delight and interest you.  The title of the exhibition “Sacred Spaces” references the inner lives of the artists , the process of creating artworks,  and evidence  expressed  physically  in the artworks themselves.  In our creation we bring body and substance from our own inner contemplation, reflection and response to life and all we experience,  both internal and external.

Details are:

It runs from 2pm on Saturday 3rd May until Friday 30th May  during normal theatre opening hours which are normally 10am – 10pm. Sometimes the theatre closes at 4pm so best to check exact times with the theatre first. Phone:  01372 365141).

Leatherhead Theatre:  7 Church Street Leatherhead Surrey KT22 8DN.     The exhibition takes place on the ground floor main theatre foyer, and is accessible to all. Children are welcome.   There is a coffee shop too, so you can enjoy a drink while you look at the exhibition.

Contact Jenny Meehan at for more information. Or see and

Visiting Information:

The Leatherhead Theatre
7, Church Street
KT22 8DN

Tel: 01372 365141
Fax:     01372 365195

Accessible location – 5 mins from M25, Junction 9

5 minutes walk from Leatherhead British Rail Station.
Town centre location, close to local shops and restaurants.

Three car parks within a few minutes walk (free after 6pm)

Parking is free on Sundays at the Swan Centre

Access to the exhibition is from Tuesday to Saturday inclusive.  The theatre is not open to the general public on Sundays or Mondays.

Spring Harvest

Looking forward to some refreshment of the spiritual variety this year at Spring Harvest, and I will be hearing from Dr Paula Gooder and Nick Herbert (worship leader and songwriter, part of the Worship Central team)  on the four days we are set to be there.  Text from the Spring Harvest website:  “Dr Paula Gooder is a writer and lecturer in biblical studies. Her research areas are the writings of Paul the apostle (with a particular focus on 2 Corinthians). She is canon theologian of Birmingham and Guildford Cathedrals, vice president of the Bible Society and visiting lecturer at King’s College, London”    It’s about time I invested some time in studying the Bible, so I look forward to attending at least a couple of studies when we are there.  And the worship is always great.  The sea is great too.  I could look at that for ages, as long as it is not too cold, wet or windy.  I hope the weather is better then!

Braque’s Wonderful Work

I am spending as much time as possible right now looking at some examples of Georges Braque’s paintings, something which is inspiring and motivates me to painting very much indeed.  As I toy with including more objects in my work, he is a good painter to look at, as he grasps both abstraction and objects together in an interesting way.

I’m thinking of painting some of my own imaginary round table paintings… Kind of thinking along the line of a table being prepared in front of me, like the Psalm…

But with realised in wonderful paint, which does bring me joy!

Will post up when done.

Beautiful Stained Glass Windows at Winchelsea Church…

It is a while back, but finally got around to posting  these…

Stunned by the beauty.  Wonderful colours and design.  Will visit again.

winchelsea church st thomas the martyr stained glass windows

winchelsea church st thomas the martyr stained glass windows

winchelsea church st thomas the martyr stained glass windows

winchelsea church st thomas the martyr stained glass windows

Painting and Drawing Workshop – Fridays – Once a Month

I currently have a place free on the once a month Painting and Drawing Workshop I hold in my home studio space.  You would need to commit to coming along to the series of sessions each term (normally three per term), but if you would like to try out the session on a one-off basis, then this is normally possible and will enable you to work out if the group is something that you would like to join for a term.   Just contact me via my website contact form at and I can let you know more.  I also hold occasional one day or half day workshops from time to time.

Brief Introduction to the Painting and Drawing Workshop…

Takes place on a Friday, once a month.  Either am (9.30 to 12 noon) or  pm (12.45 to 3.15)

It is a small group (maximum four), which makes it more akin to individual tuition and give you a level of input much greater than most adult education art courses normally offer you.

Each session provides a focus activity and includes teaching points which will help support your own experimentation. I am a qualified teacher (Post Graduate Certificate in Education) and have been practising as an artist for ten years.

I  will provide a balance of input, based on  developing drawing and observation skills, as we respond to the external environment /objects which surround us,  along with learning to trust our own instincts and  grow in our individual way of seeing/interpreting/expressing  things.   So whatever your preferred approach in terms of level of abstraction/direct observation,  the sessions will  provide opportunity to develop both your painting and drawing skills.

Frequent feedback,  active engagement,  appropriate challenge for your level of ability, and the opportunity to work in a way which develops your own autonomy in the process, will enable you to achieve your own objectives throughout the sessions and ensure the experience adds tangible value to you as you make your own creative journey.

Contact me if interested, any questions welcome.

“Calm Moment” selected for the Artistsmeet Open 2014 at Artistsmeet, Rickmansworth.

The variations of “Calm Moment” are very popular, as not only has the light version “Calm Moment” been selected for the Artistsmeet Open at Artistsmeet in Rickmansworth, but the darker version which I submitted to the KAOS  (Kingston Artists’ Open Studios) Riverside Exhibition was also selected for that exhibition.    Here they are:

geometric abstract colour design art jenny meehan jamartlondon british contemporary femaile artist symbolist graphic colourist contemporary abstraction experimental jenny meehan art for sale to buy prints affordable

calm moment. A calm moment spent looking at a
piece of artwork is always a good investment!

And the darker version…

geometric abstract colour design art jenny meehan jamartlondon british contemporary femaile artist symbolist graphic colourist contemporary abstraction experimental jenny meehan art for sale to buy prints affordable, jenny meehan abstract art print

The night time version, maybe calm moment in the dark, partner of calm moment in the light!

Jenny Meehan is a painter and designer based in East Surrey/South West London.

Her website is  ( replaces the older now deceased website

Jenny Meehan BA Hons (Lit.) PGCE also offers art tuition.  Please contact Jenny at or through the contact form at for further details.   Commissions for paintings are also undertaken at affordable prices.

 Jenny Meehan works mainly with either oils or acrylics  creating both abstract/non-objective paintings  and also semi-abstract work.  She also produces representational/figurative artwork,  mostly using digital photography/image manipulation software, painting and  drawing.  Both original fine paintings and other artwork forms (prices ranging from between £60 and £700) and affordable photo-mechanically produced prints are available to purchase.

Enquiries welcome.  I have more artwork than I can display on the internet, so let me know if you are looking for something specific in terms of style, function, or subject matter. 

Jenny Meehan exhibits around the United Kingdom and holds regular Open Studio/Studio Sale events.  To be placed on Jenny Meehan’s mailing list please email requesting to be kept up to date.  Also, follow the Jenny Meehan Contemporary Artist’s Journal at WordPress and keep informed that way. 

You tube video with examples of photography, drawing and painting

by Jenny Meehan

Website Link for jamartlondon: 

Digital photography can be viewed on

“Angel Project” at Kingston Parish Church

Below the design I submitted to the “Angel Project” at Kingston Parish Church.  Not quite sure what’s happening with the “Angel Project”… The idea was for some designs to be selected and printed, then given to those who made donations for the renovations needed in the church…Still brewing, I think.   I enjoy a bit of work on the computer from time to time, and was pleased with the outcome of this.  Yet to find out if anything is going to happen with it, as it hasn’t been selected, and possible may not.

angel print for all saints church of england kingston upon thames angel campaign submission by jenny meehan
Angel print for All Saints church of england CofE Kingston parish church kingston upon thames angel campaign submission by jenny meehan

“All Glass”Painting Images

Well, the light at this time of year is just great for photographing texture… And so I did, results below.  As the painting is no longer in my possession, it is helpful to have the images in order to remember what I did.  I am not sure if I will do such a geometric abstract painting again, preferring the  mark making, gesture,  and lyricism explored in the recent past, but it was a good experiment and I took quite a lot away from the experience which I can utilize in other abstraction with acrylics for certain.

If you are interested in commissioning a painting, just contact me and we can discuss possibilities.   Pricing depends on the size of the painting, materials used, size of the work and the time involved in making it, but a rough guide is from around £200 to £400 for a 70 x 50 cm painting on canvas.   I also construct frames for my paintings if required, which add on around another £40 – £60, depending on the type of frame used.    Some collectors like to frame-work themselves, which I don’t mind at all…One collector purchased three pieces of work from me and got their local framer to sort out the framing, which was fine from my point of view as the work was on card and board and I don’t like messing around with glass in frames…It doesn’t agree with me at all!   But for the canvas, it works out more economical to buy the frame I provide with the work, plus I do put a fair amount of thought into the framing and how it relates to the painting, so it rather becomes part of the work in a way.

Collecting Art on a Modest Budget

This is an interesting read:

I am always encouraged when I find earnest and interested collectors with a passion and love for painting have found my work and of course it is especially lovely when they decide to purchase a piece!  What gives me a lot of happiness is when I know that someone has brought something because they respond to it in a way that brings them a lot of pleasure and reward… When it is part of a collection which expresses their own love and interest for visual art, and isn’t just a matter of accumulation, though it must be very enjoyable to develop a strand of interesting artworks, paintings or prints in that way.  To have an art collection in which different artists and paintings relate to each other in interesting ways would be a fascination in itself. I would collect myself, if I had more room and more disposable income!

There are some very sound and useful pointers for the person wishing to start a collection of art here on the  website:

Grayson Perry

I enjoyed all of the lectures

“A pilgrim on the road to meaning”   Grayson Perry’s definition of an artist…

Rather love that,   I have often felt that my own art working is indeed a way to make sense of the world/my life experiences.

A wonderful gift was given to me today!  (06/11/2013)

I now own a beautiful book “Fine Collection of Chinese Painting Masters”

I spent some time looking around the exhibition at the Royal College of Art…My original intention was to view the National Open Art Competition show also showing at the Royal College of Art, but thankfully there was more, and I found it.  Nothing really grabbed me at the National Open Art Competition show…This doesn’t mean there were not many things of interest, but nothing grabbed me emotionally at all, and I began to wonder if my emotions, like so many leaves right now, had fallen off their branches and were intent on rotting and rotting alone.     As I walked around the  “Ink China – Excellent Chinese Painting in UK Exhibition”  my only real sadness and disappointment was that all these painters were men…There were plenty of  masters, but not one mistress in sight!  Well, maybe “Paintress” would avoid confusion…And firmly place the exact role in focus without any confusion!

However,  I am sure things will change.  My own self is suffering right now from the way our own country seems intent on undermining any role in society that doesn’t involve financial gain and measurable results…

Some selected quotes from the text of my delightful gift:

“…ink culture is regardless of “subject and object” and requires us to make them blend.  By making a confession of heart and soul with ink, we set mind and emotion smooth and free, thus expressing the mood of the painting just as its creating purpose.  Although it is not good at getting itself directly involved in social change with grand narrative mode, it can still express true feeling for life and profound life values.  It “repairs ones inner heart and benefits the outside world” and “expresses individual ambition to vibrate his gentleness” (or “hers”…I must add here).”

“The biggest function of Chinese painting is to calm people down.  It is not a presenter of struggling but the singer of nature, it seeks to the quietest and the farthest to create the harmony between human and heaven…If this cultural realm of ink is well understood worldwide, there will be much less bloodshed and battle”

“This “Fine Collection of Chinese Painting Masters” is an artworks collection of the “Ink China” exhibition sponsored by Painting and Calligraphy Academy of Central Research Institute of Culture and History…These works are inherited yet not limited by the pattern; innovative yet abide by rules…this collection is regarded as a gift dedicated to the overseas Chinese and international friends.  These artworks convey the best wishes of the Chinese ink artists to the world…”  Wrote at Purple Cottage Scholar House, Beijiing, in the summer of 2013  by Cheng Dali

Well, thank you, thank  you and thank you again.  I will meditate in my room, as the curator advised.  And let me pray that those paintresses will be free to join the painting masters in the task so well suited to the gentle spirit which we desire to cultivate in the production of art.  And may the gentle nature which we see in living creation, though often faced with destruction, death and dying…Let it flourish.

I found this on the internet, and it was very interesting indeed.  It is quite hard to listen to, and needs some patience, but I found it well worth the effort.  I am quite interested in the combination of very great structure and also very great freedom of expression, (maybe order and chaos?!) and it must be surely a very significant and interesting time for artists trained with such structure and yet opened up to all that lies beyond the many years of tradition.  Indeed the interest lies not only in the subject matter (I have already expressed my orientation towards mountains/rocks and water!) but also in the potential of the extreme control of composition and mark-making combined with the free flowing and spontaneous….Maybe the rock of structure with the flow of the completely un knowable and uncontrollable…  Oh, I ramble on, but it is a pleasant journey.   Poetic form with emotion is a heart which beats very strongly, and for me, made my responses to the Chinese paintings I saw recently much more engaging and something which helps me to clarify certain strands in my own visual practice…Certain values and interests which have been sneaking up rather quietly but which hold some plentiful promises for future directions.

There is a lot about China and the way things are so controlled which deeply concern me and seem quite far away from the freedom which I value so much.  I have to add this.  Because though romantic, I am also quite a realistic type of person!

“Meeting Places ” at Southwark Cathedral

I felt so grateful for the opportunity to take part in this event, and have taken lots of ideas and thoughts away with me to grow and develop I hope.    I was particularly struck by this part of the closing worship:

Bishop Christopher:  Christ speaks:  “Arise, let us go from here, for you in me and I in you
together, we are one undivided person”
(from an ancient sermon for Holy Saturday

Each of us walks an unknown path to a land we do not know
Yet Christ walks with us.
Together we are undivided person.
Christ leads us along the way, and he is our way. 

So, I had to search it out and find this ancient sermon…anything ancient sound interesting to me!

And so reading in context;  essential and dimensional for thinking!

Yet another item for the notebook!

I am taking a little Christmas break from the blogging, as very much in need of more painting time, which of course gets harder as Christmas approaches and the extra tasks mount up!  I have made a Christmas Cake this year for the first time in ages, which I hope will taste wonderful.

Dare I say it… In the light of my absence…..Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year!!!!!

Jenny Meehan is a painter and designer based in East Surrey/South West London.
Her website is  ( replaces the older now deceased website

Jenny Meehan BA Hons (Lit.) PGCE also offers art tuition.  Please contact Jenny at or through the contact form at for further details.   Commissions for paintings are also undertaken at affordable prices.

 Jenny Meehan works mainly with either oils or acrylics  creating both abstract/non-objective paintings  and also semi-abstract work.  She also creates representational and figurative artwork,  mostly using digital photography/image manipulation software, painting and  drawing.

Jenny Meehan exhibits around the United Kingdom and holds regular Open Studio/Studio Sale events.  To be placed on Jenny Meehan’s mailing list please email requesting to be kept up to date.  Also, follow the Jenny Meehan Contemporary Artist’s Journal at WordPress and keep informed that way. 

I am pleased to find that my two paintings “Pink Girl” and “Bandage Box” were accepted by City Arts for the exhibition at the Institute of Mental Health at the University of Nottingham.   The theme for the exhibition this year was “Recovery” and I submitted the two paintings with attached poems, which I hope provide some insight into how I myself interpret the artworks.   I am realising that my ongoing commitment to psychoanalysis is bearing some fruit in terms of my own painting practice… What started as a necessary way of starting to dig my way out of a rather large pit, is now giving me some interesting ways of restructuring a firmer sense of self and also serving as a great way of paying attention to my own emotions in a more reflective and analytical way.  It is therefore also providing interesting insights, and even direction, in terms of my own artistic practice.  The relationship between the working through emotions and beliefs during therapy sessions and my Christian faith and creativity is also quite exciting.  I find I am more disposed towards contemplation;  an activity which does go very well with painting.

I am thrust more towards my own Creator in my need for solace, healing, and insight, but also rather pleased and thankful for the opportunity to have the space to examine myself and my experiences in great depth.   I am grateful for the Holy Spirit, who acts as a counsellor and comforter, and opens the way forward.  Why would we think we need to struggle through life helpless?  It’s easily done, I know this myself.   I think the combination of a psychoanalytical approach to self and identity, hand in hand with the beautiful experience of receiving love through the work of Christ, is quite a good combination for healing. We all have our personal journey of hardship and pain through our lives… We all need the resources in order to move forward and some of us are more able to access those resources than others, for a great variety of reasons.  So there really is no sense of needing to hide the times we seek psychological help…It is quite strange when you think about it, that there is no taboo around breaking a leg, but often a shroud of mystery around other damage that may be encountered throughout our lives.  It still feels a bit odd telling people about psychotherapy sometimes…But also true that my own understanding of its virtues as a practice have changed significantly, and it has become not just something done to sort out mental tangles or blocked up emotions, but something which is, for me anyway, a very beneficial type of work which relates well with my creative art working.

The Exhibition at the Institute of Mental Health at the University of Nottingham is something which has been going on for a few years now, and the blurb on the Institute of Mental Health give some background:

“Since 2009, City Arts has coordinated exhibitions at the Institute of Mental Health in Nottingham in partnership with University of Nottingham. These were; Identity, Visions, Voices, Interiors and Diversity.

This is a successful partnership and attracts national entries from artists all over the UK. These exhibitions provide a platform for artists to express themselves through the creation of visual arts and photography. The work shown regularly confronts preconceptions that may exist in society regarding mental health and often portrays poignant and thought-provoking imagery.”

There is an opening event, details of which are inserted below:

12.50 – 2PM

You are invited to the launch of Recovery, the 6th art exhibition in the Institute of Mental Health.

Venue: Institute of Mental Health.

The theme of the exhibition explores ideas around recovery from mental health problems. The concept of recovery is now widely used in mental health literature and practice. It may refer to both clinical and personal issues related to mental health.  However, the concept has been contested, and invites further questions: What does the term mean to people who use mental health services and to those who provide them?  Is it helpful?  Who is recovering?  Is it possible to recover and does everybody want to?  Is there another way to describe recovering?  The work in this exhibition responds to these questions.

The exhibition will run until May 2014.

By the time I post this up, the opening will have come and gone I expect.  Due to shortage of money and time, I won’t be able to make it to the opening which is a shame, but I am hoping that I will be sent some images of the exhibition, as I am very keen to see the other work displayed. 

 Jenny Meehan wellbeing and mental health,art and healing, art and recovery, painting and psychological wellbeing,painting and psychotherapy,painting and recovery ptsd,Bandage Box painting on show at Recovery University of Leicester Institute of Mental Health

Bandage Box painting on show at Recovery University of Leicester Institute of Mental Health

recovery psychotherapy,art psychotherapy,british female painter artist jenny meehan,Pink Girl painting in Recovery University of Leicester Instutute of Mental Health by Jenny Meeha

Pink Girl painting in Recovery University of Leicester Instutute of Mental Health by Jenny Meehan

I’m pleased with the way they look in the black frames.

Benedictine Spirituality

When talking recently with some other folk at an excellent study session by Chris Chapman at Trinity House, the group I was with recalled the TV programme series called “The Monastery which was shown a few years back.  A good few years back, I found out, and I enclose the link in the hope that I myself will revisit the matter and gradually work my way through the series, as I think I only saw one at the time.   I do use this blog as a form of reminder to myself, being a great believer in the value of remembering!  I’ve been interested in the idea of enclosure for a while, and greatly appreciated the opportunity to learn about Saint Benedict and a little more about Christian monasticism.  I’m not planning to lead my life in quite such a structured way, however, there were many helpful points which I have taken away to mull over, and I certainly would benefit from a developing some structured sessions for contemplation, and contemplation alone.  One precious jewel:
Words from a 12th century monk on the different ways we open ourselves to the word of God, seeking us:

Reading seeks, meditation finds,prayer asks, contemplation feels.
That is to say “Seek and you shall find: knock and the door will be opened for you.”
This means also, seek through reading, and you will find holy meditation in your thinking; and knock through praying, and the doors will be opened to you to enter through heavenly contemplation to feel what you desire.”

Art News Article on Studio Visits by Ann Landi

Having selected a few studios to visit this year as part of The Lambeth Open,  I’ve been thinking about what makes a good studio visit experience and what makes it less successful.   Not being able to find the place makes it very unsuccessful, and this did happen to me with one of the artists, which is a terrible shame because the work done on the publicity and provision of maps is most excellent and very well done indeed. Stunningly brilliant even.  These things take a hell of a lot of work. Timothy Sutton who organises the event is only to be admired in my opinion.    But one venue was a pub, which was not clear and made things confusing.  Also, it was only possible to visit during the pub opening hours, which also wasn’t made clear.   But this was a tiny dot on the map, as The Lambeth Open covers a large area, and on a more positive note,  I enjoyed the studios I did get to, and concluded that a friendly, open, helpful and hospitable artist, with plenty of work on show, was probably enough to tick all my boxes.    The Art News article on studio visits by Ann Landi, which I have provided the link to above, is more focused on, as it is billed: “Art-world insiders dispense advice on what you should say, how the artist ought to display the work, and which refreshments to serve, if any” and makes an interesting read for either artists putting on an Open Studio event and also those who enjoy visiting Open Studio events.

On that subject, I am holding my own Open Studio and Studio Sale on Saturday 9th November between 2pm and 6pm, so do email me at or use the contact form on my website and let me know if you plan to come for a visit yourself.   Also be aware that I am happy to arrange Studio visits from time to time, and if you would like to come along and see my work, then by all means let me know and I can schedule something in. 

David Park

Here is a quote which struck me on reading by the painter David Park, quoted in an article entitled “David Park California Dreaming” on Leftbankartblog.

He later reflected, “As you grow older, it dawns on you that you are yourself – that your job is not to force yourself into a style but to do what you want. I saw that if I would accept subjects, I could paint with more absorption, with a certain enthusiasm for the subject which would allow some of the aesthetic qualities such as color and composition to evolve more naturally.”

Mm, yes.  Enthusiasm for the subject..the known and recognisable subject, the subject formed and apparent in the early stages of the painting.  I have too many non-objective paintings on the go at the moment to force a sudden change, and that wouldn’t be the right thing to do at all, but reading these words by David Park is a good reminder that there may be interesting ground to be covered ahead, and that all I currently do could be an investment for something which may become more personally revealing.  On the other hand, many of my very non-objective paintings have evolved towards the subject matter…they have leant and pulled and naturally taken on a more definitive form.  I find “it dawns on you that you are yourself” may be something that happens during the process of the painting, even of the most abstract starts…

It is a very good read and an enlightening article written by Carl Belz,  Director Emeritus of the Rose Art Museum, Brandeis University.  The last two examples of David Park’s paintings, David Park, Rowboat, 1958, oil on canvas, 57 x 61 inches (Boston MFA). and David Park,  Four Men, 1958, oil on canvas, 57 x 92 inches (Whitney) I will be taking some considerable time to take in.

Brixton Drawing Project

More pictures for the Brixton Drawing Project can be seen here:


Jenny Meehan is a painter and designer based in East Surrey/South West London.
Her website is  ( replaces the older now deceased website

Jenny Meehan BA Hons (Lit.) PGCE also offers art tuition.  Please contact Jenny at or through the contact form at for further details.   Commissions for paintings are also undertaken at affordable prices.

 Jenny Meehan works mainly with either oils or acrylics  creating both abstract/non-objective paintings  and also semi-abstract work.  She also creates representational and figurative artwork,  mostly using digital photography/image manipulation software, painting and  drawing.

Jenny Meehan exhibits around the United Kingdom and holds regular Open Studio/Studio Sale events.  To be placed on Jenny Meehan’s mailing list please email requesting to be kept up to date.  Also, follow the Jenny Meehan Contemporary Artist’s Journal at WordPress and keep informed that way. 


Geometric Abstract Design Painting in Progress Images

Just working on a geometric abstract design painting for All Glass in Paisley.  Enjoying the experience of using past experiments with textures in a rather more structured way.  I have always delighted in John Tunnard’s paintings and it is certainly interesting working with such a sense of order with both colour, texture and space.  It doesn’t feel too restrictive, there are still plenty of decisions to be made along the way, even though not one gestural mark in sight…Well, a tiny little bit to add variation to some of the areas but nothing that stands out and shouts “Look at Me!”  One of the most interesting parts of this project is translating the design, which was organised using vector graphics, and letting it take a new form in the material of the painting.  There’s no point in trying to copy from one medium to another, as the materials dictate their own directions and there is a need to be flexible and open to change.   This makes what could seem a rather laborious and unrewarding task unexpectedly interesting.

Here are some images of the work in progress:

Geometric  Non Objective Abstract Painting in Progress by Jenny Meehan, john tunnard influenced abstract painting by female British contemporary 21st century female painter designer jenny meehan,english modern painting influence,romantic abstraction geometric acrylic,glass texture surface abstraction, experimental exploratory painter visual artist from britain,jamartlondon,blues purple white grey black coloured painting abstract,

Geometric Non Objective Abstract Painting in Progress by Jenny Meehan

Messy edges everywhere, but while I am still working out the various surfaces, adjusting colours and generally playing around, there is no point making everything tidy at this stage.    I think I will also move away from a totally clinical look even in the final stages, with variations and imperfections playing their own part, though the black and grey areas will be knife-edged, I think.  (The colours are now quite different!  I have done a fair bit since inserting these images in the blog, but will put some more up in the next entry!)

I’ve got an idea now of what I will do with the existing ideas for colour, and also where to take the different areas to in order to create some interesting relationships…  Not sure about the hessian, even when colour is changed, so that may be coming off…  Though very different, diametrically opposite even, from how I was starting my paintings last year, I am enjoying the change in approach, though I don’t see myself sticking to this completely  pre-defined starting point/structure, unless I was working very large, in which case it would be wise.   I  think the process of navigating a way forward probably does come from pushing ahead one way, then reacting in another direction, then melding, then continuing…testing…. Maybe with repetition, deviation and hesitation! And always with reflecting, meditating, responding, analysing and generally waiting for paint to dry.

I am currently beginning to find that the combination of continuing with the reflective and analytical practice of both personal psychotherapy tied in with my faith journey as a Christian is providing many wells of potential directions for my painting, poetry and other work with imagery.  As always, I seek focus through reflection, and seek insight and wisdom as to decisions connected to my paintings and other work.

The Archive of Failure…

How could I resist not getting involved in this interesting project?  !!!!

We all know what it means to fail…

Aaron Head has put together “The Archive of Failure” which I am sure will be amusing and interesting view.

I won’t post mine up right now, as I don’t want to spoil the impact of the publication, but I cannot wait to see the other images included in “The Archive of Failure”

Thinking about failure, I failed to get my submission of artwork into the Urban Dialogues Exhibition this year.  It’s always worth enquiring as to how many submissions were received and how many artworks were selected.  I did enquire and this was the result:  “This year we received 255 submission of artwork, of that yours was shortlisted to the final 30. In the end we had to settle on 20 artists to show.”     Ahhh, so close and yet so far.   Though it is disappointing not to be able to show something, and the application process and pulling the work together all takes time, I guess I can be pleased to have been among the final 30.  This is the value of asking, because it is too easy to get demoralised when you enter things and don’t get selected.   I really like the Urban Dialogues purpose/project and don’t think this failure will put me off making the effort to enter something next year.  I went along to the  women’s event at the Red Gallery this week and had a  good chance to see the exhibition then.  The best part of my visit was seeing “The Fury Project”.  The discussion was good, but too short, which is a shame because the panel were all very interesting women in their own right and it would have been good to hear more from both them and the other women there.  A “red herring” was thrown in at one point, and this unfortunately did the usual thing that red herrings do…plummet the direction of an interesting debate into the abyss…   It happens so easily and so quickly.  But there was a lot of very good reflection and opinion in the main. Details of the Panel:

Chaired by BBC Correspondent RAZIA IQBAL
LAURA BATES – Everyday Sexism Project
JULIE SADDIQI – Islamic Society of Britain
DR ALTHEA LEGAL-MILLER – King’s College London
Jacqueline Nicholls – Artist

Pallant House Gallery, Chichester

I am very fond of Pallant House Gallery in Chichester, and normally make a visit there when I am in that neck of the woods, which is usually when I am doing some course or other at West Dean College in Chichester.  Rather short of money for attending courses at the present time, and so I won’t be making a trip to Chichester or West Dean for some time…Maybe I will need to give this exhibition of Eric Ravilious  woodcuts, lithographs and blocks a miss, which is a great shame as I LOVE his work.  The blurb for the Ravilious Prints Exhibition taken from the Pallant House Gallery website  is quoted below:

“Our new autumn season kicks off this month with an eclectic array of openings and events, starting with an exhibition of the celebrated painter, designer, book illustrator and wood engraver, Eric Ravilious (1903 – 42). One of Britain’s most popular and versatile artists, Ravilious produced distinctive watercolours, lithographs, and graphics in the 1930s for companies such as London Transport and ceramics for Wedgwood which are hugely evocative of the era. The exhibition, runs from 8 October – 8 December 2013 in the De’Longhi Print Room and includes woodcuts, lithographs and blocks by the artist.”

Eric Ravilious produced a huge amount of high quality work over his busy life, and I get great pleasure from looking and reflecting on his amazing craftsmanship.

Grayson Perry Playing to the Gallery 2013 Democracy Has Bad Taste – The Reith Lectures

The best part of my day today  (16/10/2013) was listening to this!

Brixton Drawing Project

I love walking around London and spend a fair bit of time exploring, so you can imagine how pleased I was to stumble into Brixton East, 100 Barrington Road, Brixton, SW9 on Sunday to find a beautiful and interesting space, lots of paper, charcoal, pencils, etc, and people drawing, relaxing music, an amazing lavatorium (this is my playful name for a toilet, loo, restroom, etc), and a very nice cup of tea.  (Thank you so much for that! It inspired my artworking!)   I found out that the Brixton Drawing Project, (now in it’s third year, I think) is a week long event and started on the 1st of October, so I felt fortunate to have made it there by accident.   I also bumped into an old friend, unexpectedly, which was lovely and she kindly gave me a home made pastel.  This may not seem very exciting to many, but home-made art materials always go down very well with me; I love using them and I was most grateful for it.    It is wobbly and distorted and full of natural and individual charm…Just like the most interesting people in life!

The Brixton Drawing Project managed to get funded this time around through crowd funding, which is fantastic and meant that they did not need to charge people for taking part.  I feel strongly this is a very important kind of facility and activity to exist, as it connects people, all people…Not just those who might label themselves “artists”, but anyone who may like to play…Play with markmaking, responding, seeing.   Spend time observing, looking, interpreting.  Drawing is a natural and essential activity, I think, and it’s wonderful to have been able to share in the Brixton Drawing Project in a small way.  They held an exhibition of the work carried out on Sunday from 7pm  (mine included) and it was rich in variety, a real delight to see.  Though I didn’t attend from 7pm onwards, there was a lot of the drawing up ready for the exhibition on the walls when I came earlier on in the day, and so I got to see quite a bit of it.  Here are my image of the Brixton Drawing Project when I was there…

Brixton Drawing Project - Jenny Meehan at Brixton East.  My offering, in charcoal.  There is a small figure standing in the realm of a markmaking landscape.  jenny meehan markmaking drawing experimental exploratory,romantic landscape with moon

Brixton Drawing Project – Jenny Meehan at Brixton East. My offering, in charcoal. There is a small figure standing in the realm of a markmaking landscape!

jenny meehan brixton east,brixton drawing project, drawbrixton image

jenny meehan brixton east,brixton drawing project, drawbrixton image

jenny meehan brixton east,brixton drawing project, drawbrixton image

jenny meehan brixton east,brixton drawing project, drawbrixton image

jenny meehan brixton east,brixton drawing project, drawbrixton image

jenny meehan brixton east,brixton drawing project, drawbrixton image

Kingston Arts Salon

Quite a sociable time at the moment, and it was great to view the KAOS (Kingston Artist’s Open Studios) exhibition once more at the Cafe at Court Farm Garden Centre in Worcester Park during the Kingston Arts Salon Networking event.  I think it is very valuable and important for creative practitioners of all varieties, be they into music, writing,  visual arts, drama, dance, etc to mix, because we are engaged in the same wonderful creative adventure, in different forms…These forms can relate in so many interesting ways, and we can learn so much from eachother.

Urban Dialogues

Just working on something to submit to “Urban Dialogues” Open Call.  At a networking meeting organised by the various organisations involved with “Urban Dialogues” one person revealed that he had come along because he liked the sound of the title”Urban Dialogues”;  He thought it sounded cool, interesting and hip. (Wow, that word places me in the sixties, I think!)  I know what he meant.  Having spent a lot of time in the more urban surroundings of Central London over the last couple of years, the word “Urban” has taken on a new visual meaning for me, as my eyes have taken in the sights and sounds of the city, and pushed geometric forms deep into my subconscious.  I am working on something very rooted in this urban experience, and I have decided to connect my creative writing with my creative imagery for my submission, well, at least one of them anyway.  I’ll post that work up when it is done.

In the meantime, I am working in the house.  Yes, pure domestic bliss.  It’s interesting that my relationship with my kitchen has been totally transformed since deciding to think of it as firstly a studio and then a kitchen, rather than the other way around.  Yes, in many ways I can see the value of a cut off place in which to retreat into the realm of visual creation, into a writing space insulated from the outside world, from activity, from distraction.  But I cannot deny, despite my previous moaning and groaning  regarding lack of a studio, that, with the right mind set, the proximity of my studio space, indeed, it’s very complete merging into my domestic realm, is not a hindrance, but rather a help.  The only hindrance is that of the perception (not held by all, but held by some) that it is somehow “less” or means I am less serious about my work…  The reality is I do not possess the time or money for an alternative space right now.  And, what I have works.  Problems can be solved…I have set up a drying space for my oils in the outhouse and while size is restricted, right now I want to push my painting forward in such a way that it is better to work a little smaller than my ideal.  I have enough room in the kitchen to teach four people, which is my preferred number of people to work with anyway.  There is the bind of getting stuff out and then having to put it away of course, but I have a lot of things, and often forget where they are, so the putting away often means I will have a little look around the cupboards and this sometimes means I find things I didn’t know I have.  This is not a bad thing!

There is something very good about having an integrated approach to my work.  To understand that is is not disconnected from anything else I do, think or say in life.  The mixing of domestic activity with my painting has born it’s own unexpected fruit for me.  Because of the need to work in a piecemeal fashion, I have developed a very organic and process based way of working which while it is not my only approach, has opened the door to some very interesting passageways of thinking, and given my painting a kind of inner core that I don’t think I would have found any other way.  There is something about having a painting which evolves over a long period of time, and which experiences it’s own very slow genesis, which simply is not possible any other way.  In the kitchen studio, work hangs on the wall for many minutes, days, and hours of reflection, among the other activities of life, and it doesn’t suffer for this, rather, there is more time to mull over and ponder, to think without any need to act.  If suddenly something needs to be done, then there is always a handy plate or bowl to put the paint in, and make a swift move into the work, while still attending to the dinner or whatever else is happening.  This is not a bad thing; it is very good indeed.

One day, I do hope for defined studio space.  But, to not be possessive about my working space is my lot, and always I am most grateful  for the materials I have and the time I manage to spend with my work.  If it doesn’t carry an impression of serious endeavour with it, then I feel one should ask what it is about the domestic environment which makes it somehow “less”.  Could this be to do with some perceptions regarding the value of the home environment? (And possibly, also the value/influence of women who work in this defined space?)  I may be getting a bit overly analytical here, (and I am reacting to some negative comments I have encountered about my lack of studio and the impression it may give), but is it fair to equate a lack of studio with a lack of serious endeavour?  Surely this is more to do with a lack of money/physical space than anything else?  Thankfully, space dissolves as a problem in the actual painting process, as I can make it exactly what I want it to be!   I have more of a space problem with respect to my copious notebooks, sketchbooks, pieces of paper, reference materials, second-hand art books, found objects, snippets of every and any kind…

Joanne Greenbaum by Jeremy Sigler Interview – A Quote from Joanne Greenbaum

“The most conceptual, theoretical, strategic thinker is also going on intuition on a certain level. Just because my work is loose and hand-drawn, it doesn’t necessarily translate into being intuitive. There are a lot of ideas about painting here. I think there is not great language out there for the purely visual, and art historians and others try to describe something that is so inherently preverbal. So that’s where the word intuition comes in. I think it’s the wrong word for a type of thinking that can be very deep but ultimately unexplainable.”

This lovely, relaxed and very natural interview between Joanne Greenbaum and Jeremy Sigler can be found here:

There’s a lot of wisdom here I think.

Interview with Thomas Berding

As there is here…Thoman Berding has identified several aspects of the way I have conducted/now conduct  my own work which are helpful to me;

Christopher Lowrance: Tell us about one useful thing you learned for yourself…

“All artists who do anything really interesting teeter on the edge of not knowing. To be a studio artist is to embrace that condition or at least acknowledge that as a fundamental position. The studio is a grand experiment and rarely a place to confirm or depict what is already known-but rather it is a place to speculate and propagate new awareness, albeit from a base of knowledge, insight, or what we inherit. The most important thing is to collect and notate things of interest (work, experiences, images, and color etc..) and use this as a jumping off point. Then, one must understand how these things work their way through the filter that is painting.”

I also find Thomas Berding’s comments about therapy and painting interesting.  Having spent last year using some of my work (not all) to explore my psyche, maybe sometimes in quite a cathartic way,  I am currently experiencing a shift in approach which Thomas Berding does identify very well in this interview I think.  I think that both the approaches together are important, but in terms of pushing my painting forward, Thomas Berding has certainly clarified and helped me to see what has started to happen of late:

Thomas Berding:  “While art is my passion and profession, it is never therapy. It can be problem solving and of course, problem creating. These days the studio is filled with more looking and decisive action, rather than being an extroverted search with brush in hand, an approach that characterized much of my earlier working years.” (my emphasis)

And look at his paintings!  How exciting they are and how you can see the fruits of his decisive action.  I can appreciate their presence even on screen.  This is strong and inspiring painting for me to see right now.   See some of Thomas Berding’s paintings and read the interview, which is very inspiring indeed:

I am sure there is some other facility here on WordPress to rave about this, but I will stick with this method for now, until I know otherwise!

How interesting to read both of these interviews…Very different in style but working so well with their own approach.

The interview by Christopher Lowrance relates to the following exhibition at The Painting Centre

Feeling this post needs a picture

Ahh, it just doesn’t feel right, all this writing with no image.

"pillar and moon" paul nash painting imaginative interpretation,jenny meehan lyrical and geometric abstraction modern contemporary british female painter,process led painting uk,

I’ve got this painting up on the wall right now, and it’s nudging me gently into doing some more painting!

I WAS planning a group of paintings based on gardens…But have decided I have too many weeds in my actual garden and therefore need to spend a lot of time with that…So suddenly the thought of painting gardens has gone out the window, and instead I am working on imaginative landscapes again, devoid of boundary walls…I don’t know.

After a stunningly short entry when last posting, I think I might make more of an effort to keep my Journal entries a bit more polarised.  One subject per entry maybe?

We’ll see.

Here’s some information on my painting “The Upper Room” which is to be included in the “Not the Royal Academy” exhibition at Llewellyn Alexander (Fine Paintings) LTD.  (I just love to include the “fine paintings” part!   I know I could miss it out quite easily!)

“The Upper Room” is a painting in which I started with no idea of the direction it might take me in, instead responding to each mark and colour as the painting progressed in a process based approach. Using both my instincts and formal considerations, I ended up with this. Emotionally, it made me think of the New Testament account of Jesus taking the Last Supper with his disciples, I think because of the sense of presence and warmth it communicated to me emotionally, (The Holy Spirit, the comforter, “I will be with you”) even though it contains a large area of black. Also, because of the way it is held together with a building type structure; upper and a lower areas, and suggestions of both entrance and exit. Pentecost also happened in an “Upper Room” though not the same one, I don’t think.

Here’s more background regarding the “Not the Royal Academy” Exhibition at Llewellyn Alexander…

What happens to the pictures rejected by the Royal   Academy?


Every year over eight thousand paintings are submitted to the Summer Exhibition at the Royal Academy – the largest open art exhibition in the world.

Only around 800 actually make it on to the walls.

So what happens to all the artists that have been rejected?


As soon as the artists get their rejection slips from the Royal Academy many of them collect their pictures and set off across the river to the Llewellyn Alexander Gallery (opposite the Old Vic Theatre) at Waterloo. Artists are told immediately whether their painting has been accepted by the Gallery. Oils, watercolours, mixed media, pastels and drawings of all shapes and sizes pass through the doors of this lively Gallery on the South Bank. Every picture is for sale and the gallery is re-hung with new work at three-weekly intervals throughout the summer, making it a constantly changing show.



Inspired by the original “Salon Des Refusés” held in Paris in the 19th Century when artists such as Manet exhibited his rejected and infamous “Dejeuner Sur L’Herbe” and Whistler his rejected “Symphony in White – the White Girl”. For over twenty-three years

Llewellyn Alexander has given disappointed artists another chance.



Open from 10.00am until 7.30pm from Monday to Saturday


Some of the pictures can be seen, as they come in, on our website:

For any further information contact Diana Holdsworth on 020 7620 1322/4

Fax: 020 7928 9469   Email:


abstract acrylic painting christian art sacred symbolism jenny meehan

Reviewing my painting from last year, I think this is one of my best.  It’s the combination of the geometric and lyrical together which has worked.  Also a lot of experimentation over the year with varying intensities of pigment also was put to good use.  A lot of experiments with texture too.  After this painting, I went on to some with very little colour.  See below.

lyrical abstraction formalist painting female artist british uk contemporary collectable painting acrylic on canvas,female christian painter artist designer south west london based east surrey based painter fine art fine painter,british uk romantic expressionist symbolism,symbolist expressionism, psycho analytical approach to painting,abstract expressionist british,uk christian art,religious sacred art, inner landscape imaginative landscape painting process based,collectable modern art british; lyrical abstraction formalist painting female artist british uk contemporary collectable painting acrylic on canvas; female christian painter artist designer south west london based east surrey based painter fine art fine painter; british uk romantic expressionist symbolism; symbolist expressionism; abstract expressionist british; uk christian art; religious sacred art; inner landscape imaginative landscape painting process based; collectable modern art british;

Internal Landscape Painting Jenny Meehan


lyrical abstraction formalist painting female artist british uk contemporary collectable painting acrylic on canvas,female christian painter artist designer south west london based east surrey based painter fine art fine painter,british uk romantic expressionist symbolism,symbolist expressionism, psycho analytical approach to painting,abstract expressionist british,uk christian art,religious sacred art, inner landscape imaginative landscape painting process based,collectable modern art british; lyrical abstraction formalist painting female artist british uk contemporary collectable painting acrylic on canvas; female christian painter artist designer south west london based east surrey based painter fine art fine painter; british uk romantic expressionist symbolism; symbolist expressionism; abstract expressionist british; uk christian art; religious sacred art; inner landscape imaginative landscape painting process based; collectable modern art british;

Internal Landscape Painting Jenny Meehan


Yes, well, there’s still a lot that can be done even without the colour.

I do want to do some watercolours.  Seem to be pointing in that direction.  And make a return to oils.  I miss them!

To do ANY painting right now would be wonderful.  All this exhibition activity is OK, but I am going to have a break from it soon, so I can immerse myself in painting. Well, as much as is possible while running household, family, etc.   I have SO much in my mind to do.

Though still working with digital imagery, I am glad I have honed into painting, as this is the centre and far surpasses any other mode of communication for me, though it’s always good to have more than one thing in the way of skills.

Looking around The Bankside Gallery recently at all the wonderful prints on show, I found myself wondering if I wanted a clearer narrative element to my painting.  There is something about having a human figure in a work and some kind of drama which is lovely and delightful.  I’ve put into my work a more personal dimension recently with the photographic imagery created for the Embrace Arts Women Recovering from Trauma project, and I am wondering if this might be worth moving onto soon.   I think I will be working on imaginative paintings, whatever subjects/objects I start to explore, however, at the same time, I need to constantly attune my eye outwards, and drawing from observation  is the way to do this.


Just digitalized two recent paintings “Icy Landscape” and “Tower”.  After “Whatever the Weather”, and enjoying painting with a lesser number of colours, I’ve taken the plunge to paint with just one, and just two, very watered down acrylics, and what a pleasure that was.  Working on the bare canvas with various textures and fillers created an interesting ground for working on top with the dilute acrylics.  These two paintings are almost like notes….There are a few passages I will take special note of, and just having them up on the wall serves as a memory aid and reference point for elements which I may well use again.  Though I have got very much into experimenting with different hues over the year, and in particular, experimented with  varying pigment load in the paint, to work in this delicate way, both with boldness and yet also paying attention to the finer details, and to see depth created in a kind of watercolour way, is very exciting and definately a path to travel on in the future.   Maybe a little return to my work with oils during 2010?  Oh, oils would be a fine thing with more drying space.

Not great to view paintings like this on the net, because of their need for close observation under good light in order to appreciate the tactile qualities, however, must do.  The fragments shown might help.

Starting with the end of my title strand, rather than the beginning,  with notification that my old website is now no longer operating and instead of, I have a new site   I think the new website might risk sounding a little pretentious, but my reasoning is rather basic.  I liked the Jam part, because a while back someone nick named me “Jenny Jim Jams” which sounded rather nice and relaxed, and I liked it as a nick name.  Also my initials are JAM and I now sign my work this way.  There were already a couple of websites with jamart in the title, so, with the location included, seemed a sensible option.   So http://www.jamartlondon it is.   and the com is pretty meaningless, of course, but seems the preferred ending for a website if you can get it.

Though the weather is cold and uninviting,  I find this time of year very good for research and getting around London and the surrounding areas to see what other artists are doing.  The value of looking at other peoples work should never be underestimated.  Artists both past and present work in distinctive ways which only add to inspiration and clarification of where we ourselves are located.  What is more, it brings joy, to see creativity expressed in so many marvellous ways.

When visiting Wimbledon Art Studios I always pop in and see Andrew Fyvie’s      tactile and skilfully constructed sculptural pieces which sit so well next to the collages of Paul G Emmerson, ( no site,    and artistically strike the same kind of notes, rather like different musicians in an orchestra or something like that.  I like very much Paul Emmerson’s latest work: the longer format works very well, and the panels at the sides are in accord with the general “interiors” feeling…maybe in my mind suggesting movement through one space to another, (rather as moving from one room to another).   I think this may be the thought behind my feeling.   It was very pleasant to actually meet Andrew Fyvie, as I have not done that before, and learn more about how he constructs his work, and about some of the materials he uses.

While this causes a certain amount of conflict within me, (as I do like a bit of 3D form making myself), and now I have a list of a few materials I would like to try out,  it is worth suffering the tension of a pull to three dimensionality, because this is not a bad thing for a painter to feel.  I am aware, for example, that when I visit exhibitions with both paintings and sculpture in them, it is normally the sculpture which leaves the greatest and most profound impression on me.  I think this is because of the tension in space.  Hard to put into words, and I am most probably terrible at it, well, (at least compared to some other very accomplished writers) but I have been thinking about space experience when viewing paintings and space experience when viewing sculpture.  The fact that I have to walk around sculpture is dynamically engaging.  The physical space between elements/parts/features of a sculpture has a presence which is more intimate, more enquiring of me, in terms of emotional response.  It is more blatant. More intrusive. More confrontational.  On the other hand, the space experience in a painting is more of a suggestion.  It is generally more fickle.  There are more whispers?  Sometimes less reliability?  (Light will change the surface of a sculpture however, so alterations come in that way.)  Light on a painting also changes… something I have been experimenting very much with myself recently and most probably the reason for my focus on texture and the different ways I can make light bounce off the surface of the canvas.  This can alter the way space is perceived in a painting too. And this, even without or with very little colour, as I am now exploring, which I will post up soon no doubt.  But I think that because of all the angles that light approaches a sculpture, there is  a  more lasting  and immediate presence.   Plus the contrast between solidity and space.  It is greater.  (I stumble and trip with words, as I alway will do. I will continue to mull, pointlessly, over the matter! )

AM interested in this attraction I have right now.  I like paint too much to do without it.  However, at a recent visit to Poussin Gallery (Bermondsey Street, London SE1 3UW) to see “Douglas Abercrombie: New Paintings and Peter Hide: New Sculpture, it was Peter Hides emotive heavy but fluid steel constructions which caught me in themselves.  Not keen on the smaller pieces…the scale of the larger works fitted better with the work in my opinion, but the way he uses the steel , from the folded “soft” areas, and the harder more angular forms, to the little incisions and the “bites”…the “damaged” areas to the carefully attended to part: this all worked together in a perfect balance of, well, I guess I am back to the structure and flow idea.  I do like steel too, of course.  And having spent a good few pleasurable hours manipulating it myself, I understand (a little) and respect the skill involved in creating these sculptures. That oxidised surface too…like velvet.    See

Popped  in to see Paul Lemmon   and enjoyed seeing his recent work, which I like very much.  New subject matter…figures by water, sun splashed, and lots of diagonal brushstrokes, (as previously), but something is happening which I am excited to see…lots of the new studies have a greater presence due to less markmaking but strokes placed with the benefit of further years of painting experience, which comes across more strongly and I think even more effectively. Something is moving forward.  This is essential to any artist, progression.  I am very much looking forward to seeing what happens, and one of the reasons I make a point of visiting Wimbledon Art Studios regularly is that I find it very interesting and useful to see different artists work over a span of several years, as the interest lies not only in the products produced but viewing what is happening from a distance.  A distance that is only possible with the passage of time.

Took a look at the work of Vaughn Horsman    who has only been at Wimbledon Art Studios for a few months.  Got very excited about this work.  One, I love wood and this appears to be his main material and two I have for many months been thinking along the lines of what makes a beautiful work of art is a balance between structure (I guess I mean mathematics…in the sense of forms being geometrically based/constructed…((for me as a painter, then we would speak of the grid, I suppose) and illogical, random, flow…organic, free formed, with no underlying determinate.  So, of course, I loved these creations.  How exciting to see!  It is new to me, and encouraging because I really do feel that this is something significant…and to see digital technology in tandem with practical, manual skill has got to be good.  We live in a different age, the whole thing seemed to say to me.  (At the risk of sounding profound!)  I teased him about  the whole thing being  Geeky.  (But that is a positive, in my opinion, if you are creating things like this!) I trust that forgiveness is extended my way!

Spurred on by the wonders of technology, I have taken some time for some geometrical playing around myself, and have come to the unexpected place of rather enjoying flipping various shapes around in Photoshop.  This is, I think, of use to me…just the sheer speed is helpful and it is allowing me to experiment with what may well become some underlying structure/composition to use in later paintings.  I am undecided right now, but have recognised on reviewing my work over 2012 that I do like to have a strong sense of structure in my work, and the paintings I felt would take me forward into the following year are indeed the ones which had plenty to hang the fluid and well, more illusive, marks, gestures and accidents on.  (Nice title for a show that, “Marks, Gestures, and Accidents”…must make a note of that. ) Some of the playing has produced imagery which I will get printed onto paper, and then play about with it that way too, maybe with some cutting and some paper stencils, which I am most fond of.  Some of them I feel have reached their own ending, though it is too tempting with Photoshop to experiment…forever.   Paint is better though.   Here are some of my playful experiments:

It is such a delight to experiment so freely and fluently with composition, and I will continue to develop and play with some of the experiments over the Winter Months.  It is likely that after a few months of working with these I will select some and get them printed out for one of my exhibitions next year.  It’s only by doing that you learn, and being able to work with shapes, the symbolism possible through different combinations, and quickly altering basic colours (while no way as subtle as pigment, for a rough idea, the screen colours are fine)is just great for me right now.   I cannot afford to experiment in this way physically due to time and money/material restrictions, and using Photoshop at least provides some foundational sketches, some of which might well end up being used in paintings, and others which may well stand up on their own two feet as prints.

I’m FREEZING!  Keeping the house warm in one room is fine, but means that walking around the house becomes very daring, as I disturb the air, and wonder if I really can wear gloves indoors?  Why not?  No reason.  Just feels odd.  It is soooooooo tempting to turn up the heating, but just a small thought of rising electricity and gas bills quickly changes my mind. (Quick diversion in discourse!)



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