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: gabt@guildfordarts.com 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!

http://careersuicideblog.wordpress.com/2013/05/17/artist-opportunities-may-2013/

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 http://www.durhamcathedral.co.uk/worshipandmusic/sermon-archive/going-slow  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 http://www.goldenpaints.com/justpaint/jp12article1.php

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. http://www.the.oldie.magazine.co.uk/about_us/

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="http://www.dulwichartgroup.co.uk/">http://www.dulwichartgroup.co.uk</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…

http://abstractcritical.com/article/the-rise-and-rise-of-the-modernist-artist/#comment-457271

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 www.jamartlondon.com.  (www.jamartlondon.com replaces the older now deceased website http://www.jennymeehan.co.uk)

Jenny Meehan BA Hons (Lit.) PGCE also offers occasional  art tuition.  Please contact Jenny at j.meehan@tesco.net or through the contact form at www.jamartlondon.com 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 j.meehan@tesco.net 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 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TAXqzMIaF5k

Website Link for jamartlondon:  www.jamartlondon.com

Digital photography can be viewed on http://www.photographyblog.com/gallery/showgallery.php?cat=500&ppuser=5491

Here is the link to my Photobox Gallery: http://www.photoboxgallery.com/19507

 

From time to time, I wish I was a painter in America, as I think that abstraction is more quickly understood and more easily embraced there.   But I like it here in the UK!  It’s just a whim!

” It is actually impossible to argue with someone who refuses to experience the power of abstract art, because to feel it you have to let yourself go a bit. Perhaps the problem is one of trust. British sceptics cannot bring themselves to trust the mystery of aesthetic experience.”  A quote from  Jonathon Jones

For the whole article, see:  http://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/jonathanjonesblog/2011/jul/07/abstract-art-snobs-puritan

Mmmm.  I like reading things like this.  It helps! It helps with facing the look of confusion and disdain which sometimes (not always!) comes when someone is faced with a mass of colour, layers and light bouncing around, and looks for the sign post of the familiar, which cannot be found.  It is an understandable difficulty, because it does take a certain leap, a leaving behind of the world as we know it.  But it’s not really very far from us… our imaginations need to work internally and externally, and a painting may bring a beautiful arena for fun, fun, fun!   I guess a figure here and there might be helpful sometimes?… Suggesting that personal “way in”.. a kind of door.  A kind of, ” Look, stand, wait… You might be able to locate yourself in here somewhere!” I often think of painting more representationally…But when I look outside and see the extent of the creative achievements of our Creator… it seems wrong to present a shabby replica.  Light is light.  It won’t bounce off even the most radiant impressionist type painting in the same way it does in daily life.  It seems like a good challenge to show light in a painting in that way, but it is not the challenge that I want to rise to.  (Though I admire the work of all artists, whatever their interest).  If I want to capture light, then I use a camera.  Limited use for colour, but good for black and white and light!

Life drawing, however is a different matter.  I am keeping my eyes nice and sharp with regular life drawing… And the human figure is the centre of things, the easily identifiable seat of emotions..The reminder of our common humanity.  Below is a past study.  Not a finished art work, but an exercise, and still very abstracted!

Barry by Jenny Meehan, male figure life drawing charcoal, figuration drawing,representational drawing,semi abstract representational figure life drawing nude, jenny meehan jamartlondon.com

Barry by Jenny Meehan

 

Barry by Jenny Meehan, male figure life drawing charcoal, figuration drawing,representational drawing,semi abstract representational figure life drawing nude, jenny meehan jamartlondon.com

Figure on a Sheet – Jenny Meehan

These two above were done a while ago.  I have found a nice life drawing group in Dulwich, and plan to participate in that as much as possible.  I particularly want to get into painting the human figure, as observed directly from life.  I think this might be good.

Female Painters I like… I am tired of the way that female painters are not represented very well at all in the canon of art history, how it stands.  Yes, it has become much more of the “in thing” to dig up a woman here and there in galleries, but I feel sad when I think about all those wonderful painters and paintings that have been left to float away comparatively unnoticed, because they were not thought so important.  I expect there are many reasons for this, and I haven’t studied the matter in any depth at all.  So I may make a point of searching for paintings from women painters to look at on my blog.     Take heart from your sisters in the art… A female painter I did stumble across at Tate Britain recently was Winifred Knights, and what a joy that was.

“The Deluge”, which is found at Tate Britain.  The Deluge 1920 by Winifred Knights 1899-1947

The Deluge 1920 by Winifred Knights 1899-1947

The image is copyright to the Estate of Winifred Knights. (see link below) I will include several images of paintings by Winifred Knights over the course of this journal for a while, as I like to mull over painters I like, and having the images in my journal makes it easy for me to do so on my phone while I am on the go. For all the Winifred Knights images you see, the following applies:

Winifred Knights: with thanks to Sacha Llewellyn for allowing me to include this image and its accompanying text.  Readers may wish to consult the website http://www.winifredknights.com/

Winifred Knights “The Deluge” is not as fluid and lyrical as I like my own painting, but how marvellously constructed,  and it’s very emotive.  It’s a lesson in greys too!  I find this type of figurative modernism highly attractive, and the way it is rooted in the Italian traditon (specifically Trecento and Quattrocento) is clever and effective.

Another view and some text here, at Tate Britain: http://www.tate.org.uk/art/artworks/knights-the-deluge-t05532 Winifred Knights “The Deluge”

 

 

Deluge by Jenny Meehan. abstract painting process led

Deluge by Jenny Meehan

Well, as you know, my own painting painted a while back, I also called “Deluge” and though I was not thinking of the Biblical narrative in particular, certainly a large amount of overcoming water was the main thrust in my painting. There is a little bit of a house (or maybe ark!) type form, which I did develop with a sense of there being a secure, but also, vulnerable place.  (bottom centre)   Water is regularly occurring in a large number of my paintings.. it must be the psychotherapy or something!  A result of all this deep level thinking!  The feeling, the feeling of being overcome and  overwhelmed  is a common one.  Even more so, with the pace of life, as it is set in our culture right now.

Reflecting on the flood story in the Old Testament,  I have sometimes  told my children that the flood was possibly caused by the Creator’s tears… so overwhelmed by sorrow, that it was uncontrollable and the Creator could not hold the grief in any longer.  I like this imaginative and creative  way of  reading and understanding it, and have made it clear of the creative nature of my interpretation, of course!  I do believe the flood was a real historical and geographically rooted event, (though its exact extent I guess we will never know.  Seems sensible that it was partial). As a metaphor, it is very rich and significant.   For me, it is pointing to a compassionate and emotionally rich Creator.   One who understands, hates destruction,  and has a plan for salvation.  This, which I have taken from the BioLogos Foundation is a very helpful take:

“Lessons of the Flood

Regardless of the details surrounding the event, there are significant theological lessons to be learned from the Flood narrative.28 In the early church, Tertullian, Jerome, Ambrose, Cyril of Jerusalem, and Augustine understood the story of the flood to encourage moral conduct.29 For example, Noah can also be used as an example of Christian perseverance, since he had great faith to build the Ark that God commanded (see James 5:11).  Origen, Jerome, Augustine and others also employed other allegorical methods to illustrate Christian principles. 30  Being conversant with other flood stories from ancient Mesopotamia as well as the general theology of Genesis will also help us understand the point of this story.  The biblical flood is a response by God to the corruption of humanity, save Noah.  The flood waters are not a random punishment, however, but an undoing of creation –– a return to the state of chaos that existed before God gave order (this is described in Genesis 1).  The waters of chaos had been kept at bay by the firmament, the raqia, which is a solid dome above, and by the earth below.  That is how Earth became habitable.  When we read in Genesis 7:11 that the “fountains of the great deep burst open, and the floodgates of the sky were opened”, it means that God is letting the barriers give way so that the waters of chaos can crash back down upon the Earth, thus making it uninhabitable again.  In other words, God’s intention in this story is to bring Earth back to its state of chaos and start over again, with a new “Adam” (Noah).  We will read throughout scripture that God’s plan of “starting over” will culminate in Jesus, the “last Adam” (1 Corinthians 15:45).”

The above text has been taken from http://biologos.org/   It is  reprinted with permission of The BioLogos Foundation. All rights reserved.

The link to the section of the biologos website is under the “Common Questions” section, as follows:  http://biologos.org/questions/genesis-flood

The biologos.org website is worth taking a good look at.  I have found it very useful in my own thinking.

Art within the psychiatric healthcare setting 

http://www.wellcomecollection.org/explore/mind–body/topics/the-adamson-collection/beyond-art-therapy.aspx

This is a very interesting find on the internet regarding The Adamson Collection.  I have been researching recently about art making within psychiatric hospital/rehabilitation settings.  This research has ranged from Narrative Therapy, which looks also very interesting, to practical considerations regarding techniques and materials within a psychiatric hospital.    One of the things which strikes me in reading the article from the wellcomecollection.org website is the mention of ACTION.  What strikes me most from my own visit a while back to an art room in a psychiatric rehabilitation setting (part of a process of applying for a post as an Art Teacher) is that SPACE is paramount.  I was disappointed not to get the position, but on reflection, the space was very, very, small and questions would have needed to have been asked about the possibility of using additional areas in the hospital to do the art working in, which may or may not have been possible.    Bearing in mind the very physical nature of art making… and in this, I do not have in mind people sitting at little tables with their noses pressed against the paper, but rather, a person standing in front of an easel, pacing this way and that, standing back, walking away, and utilizing the physical space around them, in order to see properly, think clearly, and engage fully with their own art working,  it may be that in the designing of art rooms and art working areas in psychiatric hospitals not enough consideration is given to the necessity for ample space.   I have seem many times, in adult education settings which have nothing to do with mental health service users specific needs, many a person grow extremely irritated and agitated due to a lack of physical space, or their personal creative “area”  (something which seems to grow around a person when involved in anything creative, I find!) being impinged upon, or disrespected unwittingly by someone else.  In a psychiatric hospital or rehabilitation centre I would have thought lack of space could have potentially negative consequences in terms of aggressive behaviours.   If it does for people in a comparatively well state of mind and thinking,  it certainly must be when people are more vulnerable or have less behaviour regulating powers in their possession.

There is also the matter of the need for space to see properly if drawing from observation:  The need for ample distance and stepping back from one’s drawing.  With abstraction too,  it is needful to have a lot of room to stand back.  Part of the pleasure and therapeutic value of working physically with materials is that it is indeed and ACTION and PHYSICAL engagement with materials.  Perceptions of art working seem to be afflicted with an image of it being a sedentary and passive process which necessitates someone sitting down at a table.  I do not blame anyone for this, for there is no one to blame.  It is just another example of lack of depth in planning spaces for specific uses I should think.  But it did strike me, and has been an education in itself, for I had not thought about the matter before.  And, I am most aware, that I see things through my eyes as a professional artist as well as a teacher.  There are no doubt many situations where the objectives of art within a psychiatric setting are not that the service users have ample opportunity to actually learn and develop the skills and techniques used by artists on a regular basis, but maybe just an opportunity to explore some narrative through imagery, or art therapy in a mostly psychological understanding of the term, rather than the actual physical and material  practices in the wider sense.   I come with my own background and experiences, and my own assumptions of what an art therapy opportunity should ideally offer someone.  There are many different approaches!  I am not trained in art therapy, but in art and literature. I am most grateful for the experience of exploring the opportunity for working with art within a psychiatric setting.  There are many potentially exciting and positive possibilities I am sure, though I will have to put my vision for that aside for the time being it seems!  And the limited space was a very significant problem.  If successful, I am sure I would have found some creative solutions to it but  I feel that many positive outcomes and explorations would have been adversely affected by the small size of the art room.  It was little room at all.  Two people maximum, ideally.

If I had more time I would do some research into the matter, but will of course leave for now, as I have more pressing matters to attend to!!  The main thing for me, is that the whole experience was a very positive one, and I know will prove useful in some way.  I have thought through even further many interests and defined further what matters to me in life.  This is a great blessing. Another inspiring find from the Depression Alliance: http://www.depressionalliance.org/PDF/creativity-and-mental-health.pdf

“Sacred Spaces”  Art Exhibition at  Leatherhead Theatre during May 2014

The lighting had not been adjusted for the exhibition when these images of “Sacred Spaces” at Leatherhead Theatre were taken, but it gives you an idea of the exhibition.  I am most grateful to The Leatherhead Theatre for hosting this exhibition, which all the participating artists hope will bring a lot of interest and pleasure to all those who view it.  Take some time out and come and make a  visit..

Sacred Spaces Art Exhibition Surrey,art spirituality creativity faith contemplation, jenny meehan KAOS kingston artists open studios surrey,sacred art zone creative, jamartlondon.com jenny meehan curator,

Sacred Spaces Art Exhibition Surrey

Sacred Spaces Art Exhibition Surrey,art spirituality creativity faith contemplation, jenny meehan KAOS kingston artists open studios surrey,sacred art zone creative, jamartlondon.com jenny meehan curator,

Sacred Spaces Art Exhibition Surrey

Sacred Spaces Art Exhibition Surrey,art spirituality creativity faith contemplation, jenny meehan KAOS kingston artists open studios surrey,sacred art zone creative, jamartlondon.com jenny meehan curator,

Sacred Spaces Art Exhibition Surrey

Sacred Spaces Art Exhibition Surrey,art spirituality creativity faith contemplation, jenny meehan KAOS kingston artists open studios surrey,sacred art zone creative, jamartlondon.com jenny meehan curator,

Sacred Spaces Art Exhibition Surrey

Sacred Spaces Art Exhibition Surrey,art spirituality creativity faith contemplation, jenny meehan KAOS kingston artists open studios surrey,sacred art zone creative, jamartlondon.com jenny meehan curator,

Sacred Spaces Art Exhibition Surrey

Sacred Spaces Art Exhibition Surrey,art spirituality creativity faith contemplation, jenny meehan KAOS kingston artists open studios surrey,sacred art zone creative, jamartlondon.com jenny meehan curator,

Sacred Spaces Art Exhibition Surrey

Sacred Spaces Art Exhibition Surrey,art spirituality creativity faith contemplation, jenny meehan KAOS kingston artists open studios surrey,sacred art zone creative, jamartlondon.com jenny meehan curator,

Sacred Spaces Art Exhibition Surrey

Sacred Spaces Art Exhibition Surrey,art spirituality creativity faith contemplation, jenny meehan KAOS kingston artists open studios surrey,sacred art zone creative, jamartlondon.com jenny meehan curator,

Sacred Spaces Art Exhibition Surrey

Sacred Spaces Art Exhibition Surrey,art spirituality creativity faith contemplation, jenny meehan KAOS kingston artists open studios surrey,sacred art zone creative, jamartlondon.com jenny meehan curator,

Sacred Spaces Art Exhibition Surrey

 

Leatherhead Theatre – “Sacred Spaces” Exhibition – More Information on the Artists Taking Part

Chris Birch    Christian’s innovative mixed media work combines illustration with original photography and merges together images and textures by using digital technology with traditional drawing and painting techniques. With layered, blended, manipulated, scanned and re-scanned images, today’s technology provides a much more immediate and direct contact between the medium of photography and digital illustration, allowing for a more sensitive, imaginative and contemplative approach to the work. The images retain the crispness you would expect in quality photography, but the mixing of processes produces more than enhanced photographs. This fusion of traditional and digital skills creates captivating images that have a fresh life of their own. Chris Birch graduated in Three Dimensional Design from Kingston Faculty of Art and Design in the late 1970’s, winning a commendation for his work on tactile mapping for the blind.  Influenced by Caravaggio, Fuselli, Bernini, Canova and Cunningham, since moving to Fusion Arts Studios in 2006, his work, which is often based on gothic nightmares, intrigue and dark dreams, has involved mixing photography, illustration, and traditional techniques to produce visually inspiring prints and mixed media originals.

Pick Pocket  Chris Birch

Pick Pocket Chris Birch

Derek Turner “Approaching Stromboli on an Ultramarine Sea” depicts a remembered experience of visiting the island of Stromboli. As you approach the island the sea is ultramarine blue, due to the black volcanic ash on the seabed. Billowing plumes of smoke which have come from the volcano itself hang above the island. The majority of the houses were boarded up as many inhabitants had left to live elsewhere. This gave the island a rather surreal atmosphere. There was a restaurant on the beach for visitors to the island to have lunch. I studied graphics at Beckenham School of Art and worked at a number of London advertising agencies, as an Art Director. I also set up my own photographic studio and worked mainly in the advertising and editorial fields before taking up painting full time. I have exhibited extensively in both the UK and abroad since 1994 PUBLIC COLLECTIONS Hounslow and Spelthorne Trust Hillingdon Hospital West Middlesex Hospital PRIZE WINNER Xerox Painting Competition – 1st Prize EWACC – Contemporary Art online – 1st Prize

Derek Turner "Approaching Stromboli on an Ultramarine Sea"

Derek Turner “Approaching Stromboli on an Ultramarine Sea”

 

 

“Sacred Spaces” runs from 2pm on Saturday 3rd May until Friday 30th May  during normal theatre opening hours which are normally 10am – 4pm Tuesday – Saturdays, (sometimes until 10pm but check with theatre first , phone  01372 365141)

“Sacred Spaces”  is located in the ground floor foyer at Leatherhead Theatre 7 Church Street Leatherhead Surrey KT22 8DN.  Disabled access and toilet facilities.  Coffee shop open 10am – 2pm and at other times subject to the performance schedule.

Contact Jenny Meehan at j.meehan@tesco.net for more info! or see  www.jamartlondon.com and

www.kingstonartistsopenstudios.co.uk

Visiting Information:

 

The Leatherhead Theatre
7, Church Street
LEATHERHEAD
Surrey
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)
Disabled places right outside the theatre.

coast photograph image,jenny meehan photograph for church website st paul's hook surrey

The photograph (NOT from Portland!) above is one I prepared for the St Paul’s Church of England, Hook, Surrey website.    I don’t take so many photographs now as more focused on painting and drawing, but there is still a certain pleasure in “finding” pictures and they serve as a useful reference for myself in terms of tracking and recording my own visual interests.  It is also of course nice to share them and good if they serve some useful purpose for others, ie, being used on the church website!  With all the rocks to follow, I thought a bit of sand would be nice.

More Past Digital Photographs

portland stone portland bill portland sussex, jenny meehan digital photography image, black and white image portland bill, monochrome photograph of portland bill sussex uk,  portland bill portland bill portland sussex, jenny meehan digital photography image, black and white image portland bill, monochrome photograph of portland bill sussex uk,   portland bill portland bill portland sussex, jenny meehan digital photography image, black and white image portland bill, monochrome photograph of portland bill sussex uk,

portland bill portland sussex, jenny meehan digital photography image, black and white image portland bill, monochrome photograph of portland bill sussex uk,

Floating Stone – Portland Bill, Portland, Sussex – Jenny Meehan

portland bill portland sussex, jenny meehan digital photography image, black and white image portland bill, monochrome photograph of portland bill sussex uk,

Crevice – Portland Bill, Portland, Sussex – Jenny Meehan

Verne High Angle Battery on Portland

This year I am  looking forward to a return trip to Verne High Angle Battery…A historic monument which our children had immense fun exploring.  Standing at one opening and shouting and speaking in a haunting voice so that it runs along the passageways and comes out the other way is excellent fun and it is an interesting walk around that part of Portland.  The battery was built as part of Britain’s Coastal Defences in 1892 and is located in a disused Portland Stone quarry at the northern end of the island.  It is built of Portland stone, concrete and brick.

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!    

Exploring Stone Carving

Well, now I can no longer afford to grace the gardens of West Dean College,  I had been thinking for some time of how I can continue my training.   I think it very important to try different materials, whichever one you tend to prefer to use, and after using clay during an adult education class a couple of years ago, I realised that I do enjoy working very much in three dimensions, and, even as a painter, this is very important to develop.  To work with space and the tensions between parts possible with sculpture, and to work with light in a different way to that of colour, has worked its appeal into my mind quite well, and after toying with this and that, I decided to try out stone carving.   I found that Simon Keeley  http://www.simonkeeley.co.uk/ holds  stone carving classes, both in Surrey and also in the London area.  This year he will be running a  one week stone carving course in Umbria, in Italy.  It runs from 30th July for one week.   For details of this take a look at his teaching page and follow the link.  http://www.simonkeeley.co.uk/teaching.asp

Having made my fish in clay,  I now realise I have made quite a substantial commitment to stone carving, as I did not make things easy for myself by choosing a small block of stone to work on!  Thankfully, I do like working with the stone; in this instance, it is Portland Stone which is a limestone, so not very hard compared with some.    So, I have started, and will I finish?  I plan to!  Simon is a good teacher… This cannot be taken for granted with art classes, as there are many fine artists who are good at what they do, but not good at teaching it.   The group is fun and  I will post progress as it slowly happens up on this journal.    Simon does also teach at West Dean College,  and more information on his teaching can be located on his website http://www.simonkeeley.co.uk/

Portland Stone Surrounds Us

While when I think of Portland Stone I think of Portland,  I  realise that I am encountering Portland Stone all the time when I go into London.  When I took photographs of St Giles in the Fields last year,  I was curious as to why some of the stone work was black and other blocks white.  I asked The Reverend Alan Carr (Associate Rector The Parish Church of St Giles-in-the-Fields and Director of Ordinands, Two Cities Area) about this and he explained:

“Some years ago the stones on the north side of the church were cleaned, but not elsewhere. As a result the north side now has a slightly creamy colour, whereas the remainder of the church has retained the stark and original black and white colouring, much-loved by conservation architects. When left to itself Portland Stone will age and mature as we see on the south side, but when cleaned the colour composition is altered.  Individual stones which stand out brightly may have been cleaned separately, or be of a different density. The colouring of the north side of the church is also affected by the bright yellow colouring of Renzo Piano’s Central St Giles building opposite.’

After the Great Fire of London in 1666 Portland Stone was used to rebuild many buildings, some of which I often visit, for example, the British Museum and Somerset House.  The facade of Waterloo Station is also Portland Stone, and it was used by Sir Christopher Wren in St. Paul’s Cathedral too.  These are just a few of the buildings in London  built of Stone from Portland!

Baker Tilly Exhibition 

It is always nice to be invited to exhibit, and this has happened to me for the first time ever this year!  I will show four paintings  and four digital prints.  The paintings are from a flurry of painting activity over 2012 (I won’t say, a “series” of paintings, because it is more of an explosion of paintings!).  The digital prints are from a series, as I worked on them with a more predetermined aim right from the outset, and are examples of an intense period of experimenting over the Christmas period at the end of 2012/the Spring of 2013.  I called the series “Signs of the Times”.

Here is one of the prints:

Enclosed Garden (Hortus conclusus) Digital Print from Jenny Meehan's "Signs of the Times" print series.  See more at jamartlondon.com

Enclosed Garden (Hortus conclusus) Digital Print from Jenny Meehan’s “Signs of the Times” print series. See more at jamartlondon.com

The prints which will be on show at Baker Tilly are signed on reverse with both my signatures.  I have two signatures, one is a combination of my initials and the other my usual signature which I use in daily life.  I tend to sign paintings just with the combination of my initials and prints with both.  But it depends on the work.  I always use my initials signature, for all my work now.  I like the way it can be used on any material, for example, clay and even stone, quite easily.

I also 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…So, they are photographic quality…by this, I mean they are printed on archival quality photographic paper using a chemical process, rather than ink-jet prints.  Here is the link to my Photobox Gallery:

http://www.photoboxgallery.com/19507

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.

The “Signs of the Times” series is composed of completed works in their own right, but I also view several of them as foundational, and I will be drawing from them in the future, probably for the composition and colour combinations…Not to be directly transferred to another medium, but to inform and influence  other works. Maybe to become in quite a different form?  Who knows?  I am always tempted by three dimensions…

Leatherhead Theatre Exhibition 2014 

Wanting a chance to show you some of (Not all!  You will need to come along to the exhibition to see all the work on show!) the wonderful artwork which will be on display at Leatherhead Theatre this May.

If you are interested in this exhibition and are willing to help me promote it, then contact me at j.meehan@tesco.net, or through LinkedIn or through my website contact form at www.jamartlondon.com  and I will send you a high resolution image of the flyer below to print out. Just displaying it may mean that someone gets the opportunity to enjoy it.  Anyone with an interest in art and creativity, spirituality and contemplation would enjoy it very much indeed.

Sacred Spaces Flyer by Jenny Meehan which promotes the Sacred Spaces Visual Art Exhibition at Leatherhead Theatre in May 2014 organised on behalf of KAOS  (Kingston Artists' Open Studios)

Sacred Spaces Flyer by Jenny Meehan which promotes the Sacred Spaces Visual Art Exhibition at Leatherhead Theatre in May 2014 organised on behalf of KAOS (Kingston Artists’ Open Studios)

 Below is are some examples from some of the participating artists and I will post some more up on the next blog entry also.  I enclose the text which is written by the artists themselves about their work and has been combined into an Artists Information document which will be displayed with the work when the exhibition runs.

Richard Tomlin - Lula, sacred spaces exhibition leatherhead  surrey

Richard Tomlin – Lula

  Richard Tomlin

Lula – this charcoal study of Lula was produced one autumn Monday morning. Perhaps she is reflecting on the weekend just past, or her sister and family in far away Venezuela. There’s a sadness to her mood, a far away-ness that is made more poignant by her pale skin against her lustrous, long black hair.

The search for emotion – the reflection of the interior life – is the aspect of portraiture that I find so fascinating and equally illusive. To me she seems melancholy, but as so often with portraiture, the portrait says as much about the artist’s state of mind that is reflected in the image created.

Richard studied graphics at Portsmouth College of Art and practiced as a graphic designer in London. During 2013 he decided to refresh lost skills in drawing and painting. Inspired by the work of Lucian Freud, Andrew Wyeth and Alison Lambert, led him to focus on the human figure and portraiture. 

 Richard’s work is often the result of long periods of observation, the images gradually edging towards realisation. The discovery of charcoal has been a joy, black is one of the most important colours in his palette. His current work is focused on the search to express emotion through the image. 

Richard’s work can be found on his website: http://www.richardtomlin.co.uk

 

 

Still Waters 1- Jude Wild, sacred spaces exhibition leatherhead theatre

Still Waters 1- Jude Wild

Jude Wild

The two examples of my work on show are from a strand of my practice that is inspired by place. I don’t set out to record a specific scene, but to capture a memory, a feeling and a sense of place.  I aim to express my emotional response to this place.

The places that inspire me in this way most often include still, or slowly drifting water that gives scope for reflection.  Often they also include a symbolic feature such as a jetty or temple. Subconsciously I am seeking a place of contemplation or meditation – my inner sea of calm. I think that subsequently my work does very often have an ethereal and contemplative quality.

I originally trained at art school as a theatre designer and spent many years as a professional designer of both sets and costumes. An important aspect of this work was to produce a series of visuals to express the atmospheric lighting changes of the different scenes. Now that I paint fulltime, I find that it is the light and atmosphere that provides the starting point for my work. I use a limited colour scheme to intensify the image and bring a heightened sense of atmosphere.

Committee member and Art History lecture organiser for Richmond Art Society.

Training

Art & Design Foundation Course
Canterbury College of Art, Kent

Dip AD Stage Design
Birmingham College of Art

Short Course Drawing & Painting
Slade School of Fine Art, UCL

Post Graduate Certificate, History of Art & Architecture
Birkbeck, University of London

Part of the exhibition process will be a meeting between the artists through which we are able to discuss how our art working and creativity relates to spirituality and the idea of a “sacred space”.  Hence the exhibition title “Sacred Spaces”.  I will be posting more information about the artists taking part, including what they have to say about the work they are showing in the exhibition, over the next couple of months.  I also plan to use what we have discovered through our discussion and thinking in the formation of the text which will accompany the visual art.  I have found when organising exhibitions in the past, that the last couple of months need to be devoted to publicity as much as possible, but with most of the other admin tasks mostly done, I should have time to promote the exhibition as well as doing the rather more interesting and rewarding task of researching and writing, assimilating and reflecting on the whole process so far.

All this activity for this project has meant my own painting,  plus rather too many domestic tasks, have been left for a while.  Running the household, being a mother and seeking progression as an artist, plus organising an exhibition in between everything else, means I progress with my painting rather more slowly than might otherwise be the case.  But at least I have plenty of variety!  I also feel that it is important to recognise that all we do feeds into our work, and the life and vitality of what one does as a painter comes mainly from the richness of our life experiences.  We tend to put the different parts of our life into boxes, and rate some of more worth than others, but I think this is a mistake.  For example, if it has money attached then it is “worth” something.  If not, it tends to be overlooked.  Ask any parent and home-maker who works unpaid, or anyone involved in work with less tangible and measurable results than those determined by money, and I think, at this present time in our society, they  may be liable to finding their self-worth rather battered by our present government, who seem to equate working for cash and being conventionally “successful” in an economic sense as the only sign of value of anything.  (Moan over.  Shouldn’t really moan on my blog, but so hard to resist!)

Discovering Clyde Hopkins Painting

Looking on Abstract Critical, as I do from time to time when I feel like stretching a few of my brain cells, I came across some painting by painter Clyde-Hopkins.  Now his painting is very exciting to me, as it strikes internal chords, which I don’t need to define but just resonate with  some of the things in my current thinking…that kind of under the surface thinking which happens when I grapple with where I might experiment in my own painting.  This website has some examples:

http://www.soco.org.uk/index.php?q=gallery&g2_itemId=1716

Clyde kindly was happy for me to include images of his paintings in my blog, which is helpful, as much easier to comment on individual paintings that way!   I will, over the next few Jenny Meehan Journal posts, draw your attention to some which have caught the little fishes that swim through my mind the most.  I am only using digital images to base my comments on, so my response is limited significantly by the absence of the painting right before me.  I was planning to fit into this post, but I don’t want to do the paintings a disservice by trying to reflect on them in a rush.  Right now things are a bit too hectic for me to do them justice, so better not to write anything in haste.

As ALWAYS  my Jenny Meehan Journal is far too long!  However, I don’t write it just for you to read, (though it is nice to think it may be read, of course!).  I write it to attempt at some kind of narrative which traces and skims playfully along the course of my life.  I like the element of process  of writing a blog.  I chip away in little bits, (even though the end posts are long).  The little fragments come together and somehow my piecemeal life takes on at least a little order.  I worry I will look back in years and cringe.  But never mind. We are all entitled to change, and writing is only writing, after all.  It’s not written in stone!  Even if it was, it would wear down with time.

Jenny Meehan is a painter and designer based in East Surrey/South West London.
Her website is www.jamartlondon.com.  (www.jamartlondon.com replaces the older now deceased website http://www.jennymeehan.co.uk)

Jenny Meehan BA Hons (Lit.) PGCE also offers art tuition.  Please contact Jenny at j.meehan@tesco.net or through the contact form at www.jamartlondon.com 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 j.meehan@tesco.net requesting to be kept up to date.  Also, follow the Jenny Meehan Contemporary Artist’s Journal at WordPress and keep informed that 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.    

You tube video with examples of photography, drawing and painting

by Jenny Meehan http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TAXqzMIaF5k

Website Link for jamartlondon:  www.jamartlondon.com 

Digital photography can be viewed on http://www.photographyblog.com/gallery/showgallery.php?cat=500&ppuser=5491

I’ve popped subheadings in for easy skimming!

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London Downpour Painting – The Flooding Thames and Relentless Rain!     

London Downpour- Jenny Meehan painting abstraction at The Strand Gallery London as part of "Lines" visual art exhibition, jenny meehan jamartlondon london downpour process led painting british contemporary female abstract expressionistic painting, claude venard style work of london southbank tate modern river thames,contemporary emerging artist exhibition london.

London Downpour- Jenny Meehan painting abstraction at The Strand Gallery London as part of “Lines” visual art exhibition. Lyrical and geometric abstraction painting southbank london from the imagination! painted in a process-led, intuitive guided fashion, external impressions from regular trips to London appear to have seeped into my subconscious!

Gosh, that was a while ago!  I didn’t realise  that “London Downpour” was quite so relevant.

london downpour, excessive rain flooding london thames uk,painting thames southbank intuition imagination,jenny meehan jamartlondon process led painting,imaginative landscape cityscape riverscape, urban city river,

 “London Downpour” was purchased by a collector, and I think they too may possibly be enjoying the relevance of their painting!

Creativity In The Prison System

An interesting read regarding art and other forms of creativity in the prison system:

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/254450/Intermediate-outcomes-of-arts-projects.pdf

“The National Offender Management Service has published a review of the outcomes of arts projects with offenders. The review determines that while there is a lack of good-quality research evidence that explores the impact of arts projects with offenders, the best available evidence indicates that arts projects are effective at improving in-prison behaviour (such as compliance with rules and engagement with the regime) and individual psychological factors (such as depression and a sense of purpose). The review (or rapid evidence assessment) is the first stage in a wider project funded by the National Offender Management Service to develop a framework for outcome measurement which can be adopted by organisations that deliver arts projects to offenders. ”  (Quoted from the London Arts in Health Forum website)

It could quite possibly be that the most important things in life are the hardest to quantify, assess, and judge?  It’s heartening to see the outcomes of art projects with offenders being looked into, and a necessary part of any type of education is indeed to examine how the process has helped, or not.   The “best available evidence” though is enough,  and I find myself wishing that more time would be invested in delivering arts projects, rather than measuring the outcomes.

Wimbledon Art Studios

I try to visit Wimbledon Art Studios once a year and in November 2013 stopped off once more for a little keeping up to date… It has taken me rather a long time to posting this little part of my blog!

A re-visit to see Vaughn Horsman….

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x9HrxeUontI

I find what Vaughn does very inspiring…This is someone who really does push creative boundaries, and there is non of this “art bollocks” going on…So refreshing.  It’s very important for artists to embrace new technologies, materials, processes, etc. and amazing what can be achieved with the right technical knowledge and experience, plus creativity.   In the end, it’s all about pushing oneself and the boundaries which present themselves in various ways.   It’s great when people hand carve and cut wood, but it’s also great when people use machinery.  And using technology/machinery is no less virtuous…because the boundaries are always there, maybe in different places, but always there, waiting, suggesting, inviting you to just try something new, or a different approach.  The skill is in the continual process of assessment, adaptation, experimentation, problem solving, and analysing.  You may use many different tools and mediums as an art worker.  Some are old and some are new.  It’s amazing.

47 Nelson Square 

 

47 nelson square surviving houses,jenny meehan psychotherapy art post traumatic stress, painting modernist 21st century female british fine artist. house mind process led painting,guild of psychotherapists art,therapy painting,
Final version of Surviving Houses/47 Nelson Square
47 nelson square surviving houses painting jenny meehan, art therapy psychological trauma stress, psychotherapy guild london mental health creativitiy,jenny meehan female british contemporary fine artist,
47 nelson square/ Surviving Houses exhibition image hoxton arches as part of the Dugout Inclusive Women’s Festival

Rather oddly, I have just discovered that in a past blog entry (March 2013) about the Dugout Inclusive Women’s Art Festival and my painting “47 Nelson Square/Surviving Houses” I omitted to include an image of the painting!  So here is an image of  “47 Nelson Square/Surviving Houses”, and also below the questions which were posed by the curators of the exhibition regarding the painting.

Do you feel this painting is like a self-portrait?  

I see it as showing a journey inside of myself, so it is a sort of internal portrait.  Psychotherapy  feels like going on a journey through your own ways of thinking. Sometimes it’s hard to find your way, and work out a sense of direction.   I wanted  the painting  to show a mixture of outside and  inside views so that the person looking at it would  experience the same sense of difficulty and feeling as I have experienced in therapy.  Before deciding to start therapy I also had a dream that my own mind was a house, and that it was crumbling and breaking up because the foundations were all destroyed.  

Why did the building catch your attention? Why did you decide to learn its history? 

The building caught my interest because it is part of a small terrace of old buildings (built  1807 – 1814) in a square of blocks of flats which are all much newer.  I wanted to know why.  Because I go inside  47 Nelson Square often I know how wonky the floor inside is. So I knew something had happened!  Lambeth Bomb Damage maps which mapped all damage during WW2 in London show that  all other houses in the square sustained some damage,  ranging from “General Blast Damage – not structural” to “Seriously Damaged; doubtful if repairable”. Though 47 and it’s neighbours did  survive the bombing it was not unaffected by the impact.  Rather like me!  So I felt a link with it.  

This all seems rather a long time ago, but “47 Nelson Square” is currently hanging in my studio as I review it once more and see what I can draw out of the experience again.  Bomb damage is something which in my thinking speaks of traumatic events and their effect on the mind…on faith, on the ability to be in touch with ones emotions, on the ability to connect, in all kinds of ways.  While the realisation of devastation very hard to go through, it is part of our life…Looking back on some past painting, the painting “Christ”, which I have dug out and have hanging up on the wall once more,  I remember well the sense of realisation which hit me as I was painting the work.  A kind of touching of brokenness…

semi abstract expressionistic painting oil, british female contemporary artist jenny meehan jamartlondon.com, expressive painting process led from figure 2008 at west dean college during john t freeman's
expressive painting process led from figure 2008 at west dean college during john t freeman’s course

It is very useful, helpful, and important to look back periodically on one’s past work.  I cannot overstate the importance I feel that psychotherapy has had on my life and my artistic creative processes.   Initially I started therapy a couple of years ago in order to negotiate my way through a intensely difficult  period of depression, but now, out from the thick of it, I am finding this analytical approach and awareness very useful to me, and I have decided to continue in the practice of engaging in analysis.  Not only does it enhance my experience of life, but it also feeds into my artistic practices in a way which I find exciting and interesting.  It has been, and will continue to be, a good tool in the formation of my life and work.  I am grateful for the paths it has led me on, and see no conflict (though some do!) with my Christ-centred faith and psychotherapy. It is a complete blessing to me, which has deepened my internal wells, and enabled me to be much stronger as a person, and more responsive to the work of the Holy Spirit in my life and in the lives of others too.

Back to the theme of  bomb damage, I love the way that there is the shell of a bomb  which fell through the roof of St Edmund King and Martyr right in front of the altar of the church.  The bomb made a hole in the roof of the building, but the damage was then made into a square window.  The window is a little off centre!   St Edmund King and Martyr was damaged in both World Wars by German bombs but it is the incendiary device which landed on the church during the First World War, in 1917 which is encased in front of the altar.  (I think…if incorrect, let me know! )   The church has  only just been restored in the 1930’s, before being struck once again, this time in the Second World War during the London Blitz.  So it is unique in being the only one of the London Churches to have been damaged in both World Wars.

window in place of bomb damage st edmund the martyr and king lombard street london centre for spirituality, london centre for spirituality image roof ceiling,first world war bomb damage london churches, jenny meehan contemporary fine art
window in place of bomb damage st edmund the martyr and king lombard street london centre for spirituality

I am enjoying the fact I now have a phone with a camera!   Images are not so good in quality, but OK for little snaps useful for jogging memory!

Notepads and sketchbooks.

I keep many sketchbooks, but often they contain as many notes and as much writing as they do drawing.  I cannot seem to keep everything in once place…Just picking up random books here and there does make things interesting though and sometimes result in new ideas happening which otherwise I think would not.   I found this little cutting…I cannot remember where it is from, but I kept it aside  and stuck it in one of my sketchbooks…

“Estimates are that when we lived more natural lives – as indigenous people in other parts of the world still do – we would typically spend around three days of the week collecting food, firewood and so on, and the rest in community cooking or washing together, talking laughing, dancing, eating and telling stories, caring for children and the elderly.  In our pursuit of a better world we have sacrificed that dignity of life.”

We cannot turn the clock back can we, but all the same it is a good reminder regarding work/life balance, the importance of investing time and energy into relationships and making relating, communicating, and interacting a core part of life rather than something we do AFTER everything else if we have time left. I need to remember this!

Sea Wash Balls for Painting With!

At the end of last year while walking along the shore at Bognor Regis I found loads of Sea Wash Balls!   Just love the sound of that!  I thought at first that they were natural sponges, but they did look a bit different so I checked them out and discovered that indeed, they were not sponges but Sea Wash Balls.  One of the larger marine snails in British waters is the common whelk, Buccinum undatum, and what I had found was clusters of the egg capsules glued together to make Sea Wash Balls.  There were so many, I can only think that this was because of the very stormy weather the few days before.  Sea wash balls can be very big indeed, up to 50cm, but my largest was around eight cms long.  Sea wash balls get their names from their use by early mariners as a substitute for sponge.  I read that if you use them they make a nice lather, so I tried this out, but I think I will stick with my ordinary flannel!   I did use them with students in my acrylic ink painting session recently, and they made some lovely marks.  It was also great not to need to worry about expensive natural sponges being ruined because of the rapidly drying acrylic resin in the ink!

Jenny Meehan’s Favourite Paintings

Just love this…

The Round Table – Braque

The Round Table Braque

The Round Table Braque is one of my favourite paintings.

Oil, Sand and Charcoal on Canvas   dated 1929

Size  57 3/8 x 44 3/4 in.; 145.7325 x 113.665 cm.

Braque information

Text quoted from the Phillips Collection website:

CompositionallyThe Round Table is related to Braque’s large vertical still lifes from 1918 to 1919, when the common French pedestal table known as the guéridon first appeared in his paintings. With this work, Braque substantially expanded his color range, increased the scale of his canvases, experimented with textures and materials, and devised a more complex use of pictorial space. Pushing the table into the corner of the room, he creates an unusual perspective that presents multiple viewpoints at the same time. The result is a grand, luminous canvas in which oil has been mixed with sand over gesso to create a textured, fresco-like effect.

At the time of its purchase, The Round Table was the largest, most abstract painting in the museum’s collection. Phillips considered it to be “one of [Braque’s] greatest and most exciting works—a consummation of the artist’s best powers . . . all that was hoped for in the founding a school on Cézanne’s cubes and cones. . . . The rest is architecture. . . . It is functional and majestic in its forms and in its chromatic range it is exultant.” Soon after, Phillips began installing works by Braque in groups or units in the museum’s galleries.”

See http://www.phillipscollection.org for the source of the quoted text.

I took a photograph of the image from a book, but I cannot remember which one in order to credit this.  It might have been Braque – The Late Works?    However, as you can see I have found the painting to be part of the Phillips Collection and so will of course give the credit due for including it in my blog.   (As an aside, The Phillips Collection website also includes very useful and helpful information on images and “fair usage” which I will include here also, as it’s rather helpful to know).  Take a look at the excellent Phillips Collection website too.  You will find a better image of The Round Table than mine, and be able to take a clearer look as you can see it enlarged on screen!

FAIR USE IS PERMITTED (from the Phillips Collection website)
Fair use of copyrighted material includes the use of protected materials for non commercial educational purposes, such as teaching, scholarship, research, criticism, commentary, and news reporting. Unless otherwise noted, users who wish to download or print text, audio, video, image and other files from The Phillips Collection’s website for such uses are welcome to do so without The Phillips Collection’s express permission. Users must cite the author and source of this material as they would material from any printed work; the citation should include the URL http://www.phillipscollection.org.”

This is a nice little slide show of some more examples of Braque’s paintings…

http://www.bbc.co.uk/arts/yourpaintings/artists/georges-braque/paintings/slideshow#/13

Another little plug…

“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 j.meehan@tesco.net for more information. Or see  www.jamartlondon.com and

www.kingstonartistsopenstudios.co.uk

Visiting Information:

The Leatherhead Theatre
7, Church Street
LEATHERHEAD
Surrey
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.

Kingston Artists’ Open Studios Exhibition at the Riverside Gallery, Richmond Upon Thames

Also, The Kingston Artists’ Open Studios Exhibiton at the Riverside Gallery, Richmond Upon Thames.  This is being organised by a group of artists from Kingston Artist’s Open Studios and will be a treat to visit.  If you would like an invitation to the Private View then just contact me or anyone else taking part.

Art@Work Guildford Arts

http://www.guildfordarts.com/guildford-arts-exhibitions/art-at-work

Text below from the Guildford Arts website, with details of the art@work arrangement.

“Art@Work is a series of art exhibitions arranged within the offices of two major organisations based in Guildford. It is a programme that has been running successfully for over 10 years and provides a platform for painters, print makers, ceramicists and sculptors from the Guildford area, London and the South East. Participation is by invitation only.

The aims of the programme are:

  • enhance the quality of the working environment
  • encourage a broader awareness of the visual arts
  • promote the work of visual artists
  • generate funding for the arts

Exhibitions continue for a three month period and are viewed by staff, company clients, Guildford Arts members and, by arrangement, members of the public.

A private viewing is held for each exhibition attended by members of GA, their guests and guests of the exhibiting artists. Most exhibits are available for purchase. Some works may be on view to obtain commissions.

The host organisations provide the catalogues and food and drink for the private viewings. They also place details of the exhibitions on their company intranets so providing, potentially, international exposure of the exhibitions.

Four exhibitions a year are held in each of the offices of Clyde & Co, solicitors and Baker Tilly, accountants.”

I have been invited to exhibit some work this year for the Baker Tilly venue from 7 June – 20 September.  I will show some original paintings and some prints.  If you would like me to send you an invitation to the private view on Tuesday 29th July please contact me via my website.  One of the paintings I plan to show,  again, with a somewhat watery feel to it, is “Deluge” which was painted in 2012

Abstract Acrylic Painting/Markmaking with Colour. Instinctive intuitive process led painting, psychotherapy and art,psychotherapy and painting, British Contemporary female artist painter Jenny Meehan

Jenny Meehan is a painter and designer based in East Surrey/South West London.
Her website is www.jamartlondon.com.  (www.jamartlondon.com replaces the older now deceased website http://www.jennymeehan.co.uk)

Jenny Meehan BA Hons (Lit.) PGCE also offers art tuition.  Please contact Jenny at j.meehan@tesco.net or through the contact form at www.jamartlondon.com 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 j.meehan@tesco.net 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 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TAXqzMIaF5k

Website Link for jamartlondon:  www.jamartlondon.com 

Digital photography can be viewed on http://www.photographyblog.com/gallery/showgallery.php?cat=500&ppuser=5491

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 j.meehan@tesco.net for more information. Or see  www.jamartlondon.com and

www.kingstonartistsopenstudios.co.uk

Visiting Information:

The Leatherhead Theatre
7, Church Street
LEATHERHEAD
Surrey
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.

http://painters-table.com/blog/braque-phillips-collection#.Uu0vQvl_thY

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 http://www.jamartlondon.com 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 www.jamartlondon.com.  (www.jamartlondon.com replaces the older now deceased website http://www.jennymeehan.co.uk)

Jenny Meehan BA Hons (Lit.) PGCE also offers art tuition.  Please contact Jenny at j.meehan@tesco.net or through the contact form at www.jamartlondon.com 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 j.meehan@tesco.net 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 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TAXqzMIaF5k

Website Link for jamartlondon:  www.jamartlondon.com 

Digital photography can be viewed on http://www.photographyblog.com/gallery/showgallery.php?cat=500&ppuser=5491

Well, it’s good, but while I may have an exhibitionist kind of streak in me, I am finding myself wanting to have some quiet, reclusive time alone with just some paint.

Leatherhead Painting Exhibition “Order and KAOS” now finished. 

The Leatherhead exhibition is all taken down now…I love taking exhibitions down, it is so much quicker than setting them up!!!!  Here are some more images from the exhibition.

Nigel Prabhavalkar's paintings at Order and KAOS  painting exhibition

Nigel Prabhavalkar’s paintings at Order and KAOS painting exhibition

Derek Turner's(left) and Jenny Meehan's (right) paintings at Order and KAOS painting exhibition

Derek Turner’s(left) and Jenny Meehan’s (right) paintings at Order and KAOS painting exhibition

Jenny Meehan's painting (left) and Derek Turner's painting (right) at Order and KAOS exhibition

Jenny Meehan’s painting (left) and Derek Turner’s painting (right) at Order and KAOS exhibition

“Jenny Meehan Recent Paintings and Prints” Exhibition at the Cornerhouse Community Arts Centre, Surbiton

One down, then one up…Hanging the Cornerhouse Community Arts Centre exhibition went well, took an hour and a half.  The Surrey Comet did an article on it but I cannot find it on the net as yet.  Also published in the Kingston Guardian.  Had a lovely evening with the Deputy Mayor of the Royal Borough of Kingston Upon Thames  Councillor Alan Dean and the Deputy Mayoress Mrs Miriam Dean, along with many other folk.   A good turn out, and a delight to give an “Artist’s Talk”  (or rather, an attempt to convey in words what I am trying to do through my work!).  I got good feedback about the talk…quite enjoyed it.  I like talking, always have done.

 jamartlondon fine art prints emerging female british artist designer visual art exhibition event jenny meehan art prints exhibition cornerhouse with alan and miriam dean deputy mayor and mayoress of kingston upon thames

Jenny Meehan exhibition

 jamartlondon fine art prints emerging female british artist designer visual art exhibition event jenny meehan art prints exhibition cornerhouse with alan and miriam dean deputy mayor and mayoress of kingston upon thames

“Signs of the Times” hung at the Cornerhouse Community Arts Centre, Surbiton Surrey

 jamartlondon fine art prints emerging female british artist designer visual art exhibition event jenny meehan art prints exhibition cornerhouse with alan and miriam dean deputy mayor and mayoress of kingston upon thames

“Allotted” Exhibition at The Beetroot Tree Gallery, Draycott, Derbyshire

Coming up next in June is the “Allotted” exhibition at The Beetroot Tree Gallery, in Draycott, Derbyshire.  I want to try and get along to this, as I have three pieces of work in it, but not sure if time will allow.  Hopefully I can.  It looks like a good exhibition, very interesting.  Here is the press release:

PRESS RELEASE

 

Exhibition: Allotted

 

15 June to 27 July 2013

 

With a nod to the way we carve up our personal space in homes, allotments, office desks, ‘Allotted’ presents individual spaces in the gallery of artist’s worked form a broad range of media.

 

Centre stage in the gallery will be a new realisation of the ‘Gallery Garden’ from Bethany Walker (concrete and textiles) and Stevie Davies (kiln fused glass) previously seen at the National Centre of Craft & Design.

Surrounding displays come from: Andy Cairns, the alchemy of recycling; Claire Williams, twisted silver jewellery; Jenny Meehan, Digital Prints; Karoline Rerrie, illustrator and printmaker; Kate Robotham, painting conceptually driven by an interest in materiality; Katherine Jones (Printfest Printmaker of the Year 2013), the  metaphor of the glass house explored through printmaking; Katie Gayle, Silver, Gold and Platinum hand crafted jewellery: Marie Wright, mixed media observing the fragility and changing nature of the area of Morecambe Bay; Nita Nathwani; organic forms in paper clay; Presiana Shisheva (winner of The Glass Prize 2103, student category), juxtaposing natural and manmade  materials to consider our built and natural environments; and Sue Lancaster, domestic landscapes described in textile design.

 

 

For further information please contact

Paul Storer [Gallery Director]

Tel: 01332 873 929 Email: info@thebeetrootree.com

 

VENUE:                        The Beetroot Tree Gallery, Draycott, Derbyshire DE72 3PP

DATES:                        15 June 2013 – 27 July 2013

TIMES:                         Open Daily 10am-5pm, entry free

 

Llewellyn Alexander “Not The Royal Academy” Exhibition at Waterloo, London SE1

Popped into Llewellyn Alexander today to take a look at the work currently on show as part of the “Not the Royal Academy” Exhibition and spent a good hour looking at the work.  I’m rather interested in the framing considerations right now, as well as the work itself, of course.  It is amazing how much difference the framing makes though, and I took the opportunity to study and think about this aspect of presenting my work, and took away a few good ideas too.   My painting “The Upper Room” wasn’t currently on show, but I am hoping that I will re-meet it on one of my London trips, as I fancing taking an image of it hanging there if possible.

Llewellyn Alexander “Not The Royal Academy” Exhibition at Waterloo, London SE1

I recommend a visit to Llewellyn Alexander…it’s located at 124-126 The Cut, Waterloo, London SE1 8LN (opposite The Old Vic Theatre).  The exhibition changes on a three weekly basis,  so it’s going to be an exciting place discover paintings for some time as the exhibition runs until August 17th 2013.  I am learning with my own painting that the time my paintings are worth most to me is when I am in the process of painting them, and after that, though it is very easy to continue the attachment, this isn’t wise, well, maybe for a short time, as one mulls and reflects and thinks and wonders about them, also casting a critical eye, but not for too long.  Now with digital imagery, it is possible to use past work to inform the present work very easily, and there is no need to still have the painting with me, which is a wonderful thing.  So, while I am so pleased with what I achieved with “The Upper Room”, I am most keen for it to go to someone else who can enjoy it, and enjoy it’s full presence with their own eyes without having the trouble of painting it themselves!  It’s been giving a lot to me, and I can still draw from it; I will never loose what I have learnt, I will only sow it in another painting, and let that one go too. I have realised I don’t want to die in a pile of my own paintings. They serve me best in the process, after that, they will bless someone else.  This surely is the point?

abstract acrylic painting christian art sacred symbolism jenny meehan

lyrical abstract painting selected for “Not the Royal Academy” exhibition at Llewellyn Alexander Fine Paintings Waterloo this year 2013. For sale.

“Lines” at The Strand Gallery

http://thestrandgallery.wordpress.com/blog/

The private view for “Lines” at The Strand Gallery is tommorrow.  I cannot wait to see the work on show.  I didn’t realise that they got as many as 1ooo entries for it.  I really am one of the chosen few then.  The work and other artists showing look really interesting and I am very much looking forward to the evening. I’ll probably pop into the National Gallery just before, as it’s so near by.

And REST….

Next plan….Do nothing! (Well, maybe a bit of housework and some gardening! )

 

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 www.jennymeehan.co.uk is now no longer operating and instead of www.jennymeehan.co.uk, I have a new site www.jamartlondon.com.   I think the new website www.jamartlondon.com 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 www.jamartlondon.com, 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  www.andrewfyvie.co.uk      tactile and skilfully constructed sculptural pieces which sit so well next to the collages of Paul G Emmerson, ( no site,  paulgemmerson@tiscali.co.uk)    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   http://www.poussin-gallery.com/site.php?exhibition=44

Popped  in to see Paul Lemmon http://www.paullemmon.co.uk/   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     http://www.grasshopper3d.com/photo/photo/listForContributor?screenName=34slbq8vl7o4e    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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