As per normal,  lots of bits and pieces here, just skim down and read what catches your eye.  Always write more than I need to, as I enjoy writing.   This journal serves as a kind of notebook for me, written to share, but not just for reading.  So not finely honed as writing!

I enjoyed reading this article in the Guardian…

https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2016/jun/10/francoise-gilot-artist-love-picasso?CMP=share_btn_fb#_=_

Emma Brockes interviews Francoise Gilot (age 94)   about her unlikely match with Picasso, her own ambition – and why she’s buying back all her paintings.

There is also a book published about  Francoise Gilot, details here: 

The Woman Who Says No, Francoise Gilot on Her Life With and Without Picasso by Malte Herwig is published by Greystone.

Unable to walk very much at the moment due to osteoarthritis in my right knee.   It’s got worse in the last six months which is disappointing and I also have a “slight fixed flexion deformity”.  Which basically means that I walk slowly and cannot straighten my leg fully.  In 2010 I slipped on ice, and this current situation is related to the past injury. Oh dear.  However, though restricted at present, with Physio things should improve.  Doing lots of exercise and need to loose weight.   Good incentive, as knee replacement on the cards at some point.

Looking backwards…

Suburban Meditations / Painter’s Development

Another peep into some careful looking which is part of my development as an artist.  I changed the images to black and white so that I could focus on the composition and texture.  Colour in most cases, was not the main thing.  I do have some images which I kept the colour version for.

christian artist uk, british women artist, suburban meditations painters development series jenny meehan

suburban meditations painters development series jenny meehan

 

 hristian artist uk, british female artist, suburban meditations painters development series jenny meehan

suburban meditations painters development series jenny meehan

 

suburban meditations painters development series jenny meehan, christian artist uk, british female artist,

suburban meditations painters development series jenny meehan

british female uk artist, christian female artist, suburban meditations painters development series jenny meehan

suburban meditations painters development series jenny meehan

 

suburban meditations painters development series jenny meehan

suburban meditations painters development series jenny meehan

 

Water, wood and metal, always attract my attention!

Attention to texture and composition, now such an important part of my current work with painting, sprung from many hours of attentive looking, and continue to inform my experiments.

Interested in this:

The Ideographic Picture

The Ideographic Picture.
“In painting, the trend towards ideographic representation that was first acknowledged in Beaudoin’s Iconograph was furthered by an exhibition at the Betty Parsons Gallery in January 1947, helpfully named “The Ideographic Picture.” The show included work by nine artists, including Barnett Newman, Mark Rothko, Hans Hofmann, Ad Reinhardt, Theodoros Stamos, and Clyfford Still.  Barnett Newman helped to organize the exhibition and wrote the program notes, in which he quoted a definition of “ideographic” from the Century Dictionary; “Ideographic – Representing ideas directly and not through the medium of their names; applies specifically to that mode of writing which by means of symbols, figures, or hieroglyphics suggests the idea of an object without expressing its name.” Ideographic painting was intended to express truths incommunicable through conventional language. The ideographic image, Newman wrote, acted as a “vehicle for an abstract thought complex.” The ideographic painter used the “abstract shape” as a “plastic language” through which to arrive at “metaphysical understanding.”

Quote from “The Culture of Spontaneity; Improvisation and the Arts in Postwar America by Daniel Belgrad.

 

“The definition of ideographic is something that uses a symbol to describe it without a word or sound.”

“An ideogram or ideograph (from Greek ἰδέα idéa “idea” and γράφω gráphō “to write”) is a graphic symbol that represents an idea or concept, independent of any particular language, and specific words or phrases. Some ideograms are comprehensible only by familiarity with prior convention; others convey their meaning through pictorial resemblance to a physical object, and thus may also be referred to as pictograms.”

I looked into the above after reading the following:

http://hamptonsarthub.com/2016/05/04/art-review-will-barnet-paintings-offer-context-to-abex-and-some-questions/

ART REVIEW: Will Barnet Paintings offer Context to AbEx, and Some Questions
May 4, 2016 by Peter Malone Abstract Expressionism, Art Reviews, Mixed Medium, NEW YORK CITY, Painting, Reviews

Quote from the article:

“Will Barnet: 1950s Works on Paper” at Alexandre Gallery is the latest in a string of recent shows delving into less familiar and esoteric aspects of the New York art scene circa 1950. By filling the blank patches of the historical map that once appeared like an aura around the bigger names so often associated with the New York School, the fuller perspective of these shows helps to enrich a narrative that is too easily considered already complete.”

It is an excellent read, and I find the postcards fascinating.   I have a few ideographic experiments of my own hidden away.  They seem best hidden, for some reason.   I think this is maybe because they do feel like improperly formed words, maybe a bit like the experiments of a baby as they babble and accustom themselves to language and using sounds.  Experimental and exploratory sometimes needs to be completely protected and unexposed.  The value of hidden away work should never be underrated.  What artists show to the public is only one small dimension of their work.

 

Christians Practising Yoga

Wonderful quote below from the Christians Practising Yoga website: http://www.christianspracticingyoga.com/

“ARE YOU COOPERATING WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT?

As Christians, we believe only the Holy Spirit can move our hearts and make us free to love as we are called. Transformation, both inner and outer, is the work of God’s healing love and grace. All we can do is cooperate. Are you looking for a magic answer, a surefire path to transformation or simply a means to open yourself to Grace?

What needs to be understood is that it is incumbent on Christians engaging with practices like yoga or zen or tai chi to work with these disciplines in a way that is coherent with Christian faith and to apply to their practice a Christian understanding. One of the primary understandings that distinguishes the Christian approach to a spiritual practice or method is that whatever beneficial effects accrue are not due simply to the method or to my persevering effort. They are only means. Transformation, both inner and outer, is essentially a work of God’s healing, life-giving, restorative grace.”

Christians Practising Yoga is an excellent website, I am very pleased that I have found it.

 

Current Paintings and Process 

There are around 15 paintings I am currently working on in my usual piecemeal fashion.  They are in various states, some right near to their end, others just beginning.  As I am currently using acrylics then I have the advantage of quick drying paint to contend with.  Depending on how quick I want the paint to dry, I will choose different days in respect to the weather to work.  If I am mixing pigments with thick acrylic paint and fillers, then I cannot do this on a very hot day as the paint dries to quickly and I need time for mixing and experimenting with different colour variations and manipulating the paint.  So I choose a cooler day, or work at the cooler part of the day, or early  morning.   Conversely, if I want the paint I am using to dry very quick then I will choose a roasting hot day (not many of those!) and be out there in the direct sunlight, on the lawn with the paintings in progress. Often several layers of a painting can get done that way, on a hot day.  I don’t tend to work much wet in wet with acrylics.

It is paradoxical, I feel, that my paintings in acrylic take so long…….the paint is quick to dry but the process is lengthy as I build them up over a long period of time, often a year, sometimes more.  Occasionally a painting happens very quickly and just falls together in a week or so (or even a day!).  But normally I apply the paint sparingly. (in the sense of maybe just one or two colours at a time).   Then leave and wait.  Look and think.  And having put the painting to sleep, (in some dark corner of a room!)  I then take it out again. (This happens 10/ 20+ times)  This is good because I have fresh eyes.  Fresh eyes are very important with painting.  I need to be surprised by what I have done.  I need to forget it, and then have it placed in front of me as if I had never seen it before.  In that freshness and re-encounter, often the next step presents itself quite naturally. I have had not time to get anxious or worry about ruining it.  Because it is “old matter” and needs it’s next input of life so badly.  The risk of change is welcome.  Needed.  I am not so attached to the painting, as I would be if I had only just laid the paint down.  I can view it with more objectivity.  I can see it more as what it is, and the state it is in.  Normally it is easy to move forward with a painting by only proceeding with small steps in a piecemeal fashion.  If it is not, then I will put it away for longer, maybe even a year or two.  Sometimes a painting “goes down the pan”, but it also gets a resurrection!  In all of it, it is the time between the application of paint where the painting progresses, because I am responding to what is there in front of me.  I sometimes spend five or ten minutes just looking at a painting in progress.  Or hang it on the wall for a few days, to glance at.

For an oil painting,  where the paint is slow to dry, I work quite quickly.  The benefits of moving wet paint around bring a new level of flexibility.  The whole painting just swims around in complete fluidity.   I can remove as well as add paint.  And the colours can be mixed many more times.  Yet working quickly is helpful, and stops any sinking too deeply into colour mixing, which while wonderful, needs careful restraint.

Examples of Paintings in Progress will come soon, after a photo session! For now, some past work….

 

Past Paintings Selection

 

jenny meehan jamartlondon art work uk licensable images

jenny meehan jamartlondon art work uk licensable images

“Goethe’s Delight” above was painting with Keim Soldalit,  a modern silicate mineral paint.  The pigments used are all either metal oxide based or earth pigments. Earth pigments are naturally occurring minerals, principally iron oxides, that people have used in paints for thousands of years. These natural pigments are found in rocks and soils around the world,  and they are sometimes roasted in order to intensify their colour.  Earth pigments include ochers, sienna, and umbers.  Mineral pigments are pigments that are created by combining and heating naturally occurring elements. They include ultramarine and spinel pigments.  Nowadays ultramarine is made by heating soda, clay and sulphur.

The pigments used in the painting above were used in quite small amounts with a near white base paint. The surface is blissfully matt, which makes the painting look chalky but not dry.  Something I like a lot.  Unlike modern dye based colourants, which are very strong and easily overpowering if not used with care, these pigments are gentle to use and sing out in a clear but also subdued manner.  I kept the iron oxide red very intense by means of contrast.

Bit of history:

(quoted from http://www.scienceclarified.com/Di-El/Dyes-and-Pigments.html)

A revolution in colorant history occurred in 1856, when English chemist William Henry Perkin (1838–1907) discovered a way to manufacture a dye in the laboratory. That dye, mauve, was produced from materials found in common coal tar. Perkin’s discovery showed chemists that dyes and pigments could be produced synthetically (by humans in a lab). It was no longer necessary to search out natural products for use as colorants.

 

Read more: http://www.scienceclarified.com/Di-El/Dyes-and-Pigments.html#ixzz4CbER8SFh

 

 

jenny meehan jamartlondon art work uk licensable images

jenny meehan jamartlondon art work uk licensable images

 

“Gentle Leaves” above is a digital print, the result of many hours playing around with Photoshop!  Rather fond of the Fatsia, whose beautiful leaves never cease to delight.  I showed this digital image at the Cass Art KAOS Taster Exhibition this year.

 

jenny meehan jamartlondon art work uk licensable images

jenny meehan jamartlondon art work uk licensable images

Above is “Eternal”.  I have used tiny glass beads on the surface of the canvas in areas along with other relief which makes a good ground for resting paint on.  You cannot see from the image but I also use a variety of varnishes and different surface finishes to bring variation into the way that the light hits the surface of the painting.

 

jenny meehan jamartlondon art work uk licensable images

jenny meehan jamartlondon art work uk licensable images

“Cove” above.  Based on childhood memories of the seaside, rocks and water, and a suggestion of the sea.   The vibrant cobalt looks slightly over bright on screen, (often reds and blues are exaggerated in digital images) however it is pretty bright in the flesh also, as I mixed a high proportion of pure cobalt pigment into the acrylic medium.  It has some punch.

 

Yoga, once more…

Interesting Yoga Article

http://www.yogajournal.com/article/philosophy/yoga-s-greater-truth/

 

TO FOLLOW THIS ARTIST’S BLOG SIMPLY GO TO THE RIGHT HAND COLUMN, LOCATE THE  “FOLLOW” BOX AND POP IN YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS.  YOU WILL THEN RECEIVE MONTHLY UPDATES. 

Jenny Meehan is a painter, poet, and Christian contemplative  based in East Surrey/South West London.   Her interest in Christ-centred spirituality and creativity are the main focus of this artist’s journal, which rambles and meanders on, maybe acting as a personal (yet open to view)  note book as much as anything else.  If you read and enjoy it, this would be an added bonus! 

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 occasionally offers art tuition for individuals or in shared sessions.  Please contact Jenny at j.meehan@tesco.net or through the contact form at www.jamartlondon.com for further details as availability depends on other commitments.    

 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  and affordable photo-mechanically produced prints are available to purchase.  

Jenny Meehan exhibits around the United Kingdom.   To be placed on Jenny Meehan’s  bi-annual  mailing list please contact Jenny via her website contact page:  www.jamartlondon.com

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

Note About Following Jenny Meehan Contemporary Artist’s Journal 

TO FOLLOW THIS ARTIST’S BLOG SIMPLY GO TO THE RIGHT HAND COLUMN, LOCATE THE  “FOLLOW” BOX AND POP IN YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS.  YOU WILL THEN RECEIVE MONTHLY UPDATES. 

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

A selection of non objective paintings can be viewed on pinterest:   https://uk.pinterest.com/Jamartlondon/

COPYRIGHT INFORMATION

All content on this blog,  unless specified otherwise,  is © Jenny Meehan.  Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts of writing and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jenny Meehan with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.  Images may not be used without permission under any circumstances. 

Copyright and Licensing Digital Images Information – Jenny Meehan

www.jamartlondon.com

Copyright in all images by Jenny Meehan is held by the artist.
Permission must be sought in advance for the reproduction, copying or any other use of any images by Jenny Meehan. Individuals or businesses seeking licenses or permission to use, copy or reproduce any image by Jenny Meehan should, in the first instance, contact Jenny Meehan.

Copyright for all visual art by Jenny Meehan is managed by the Design and Artists Copyright Society (DACS) in the UK. If you wish to licence a work of art by Jenny Meehan, please contact Jenny Meehan in the first instance to clarify your requirements. There is a contact form on my website www.jamartlondon.com

Licensing an image is quick and easy for both parties and is organised through the Design and Artist Copyright Society. (Note, my images are not shown on the “Art image” selection on the Design and Artist Copyright “Art Image” page. This does NOT mean you cannot apply for a license to use an image of my work from DACS… They simply have a very limited sample selection of work in their “Artimage” page!)

 

Kingston Artists’ Open Studios

Here are some images from this year’s Kingston Artists’ Open Studios.

kingston artists open studios

kingston artists open studios – image of “Rush Hour” (below) and “No Cares” (above)

kingston artists open studios jenny meehan

kingston artists open studios jenny meehan  “laid to rest” and “clog dance/sacred dance” oil paintings by Jenny Meehan

Okingston artists open studios jenny meehan

kingston artists open studios jenny meehan showing various acrylic on linen paintings by Jenny Meehan

kingston artists open studios jenny meehan

kingston artists open studios jenny meehan  “bright and breezy” and “resurrection one” paintings plus the table with information and prints.

kingston artists open studios jenny meehan

kingston artists open studios jenny meehan – “bright and breezy” painting.  this was exhibited at the Dulwich Picture Gallery a couple of years ago but still lives with me at the moment!

kingston artists open studios jenny meehan

kingston artists open studios jenny meehan – “Resurrection One”

kingston artists open studios jenny meehan

kingston artists open studios jenny meehan view showing my work and some of Cressida Borrett’s ceramics.

 

Writing this after the first weekend and before the second.. So still time to come along and visit 13 venues in the Kingston Upon Thames area…

18/19th June. 11 – 5pm at Studio KAOS 3, 14 Liverpool Road Kingston KT2 7SZ to come and say hello to me,  and:

Caroline Calascione, find out more about her work here: http://www.carolinecalascione.co.uk/

Lizzie Brewer, find out more here: http://www.lizziebrewer.com/

Cressida Borrett, see some of her ceramics here: http://www.cressidaborrett.co.uk/

Plus more ceramics from Bali Edwards here: http://www.pots4u.com/

And also Anna Tikhomirova   http://www.artist-anna.com/

Martina van de Gey will also be here from Germany:  www.martinavandegey.de

and Seana Mallen:  www.smallen.moonfruit.com

There are 74 artists taking part showing their work in 13 venues, so plenty to see!  Take a look in the catalogue to plan your route!

It’s wonderful to have other creatives to talk with, bounce ideas about with, and generally spend time with.  We need each other to encourage and support each other.  One of the wonderful things about being part of KAOS I have found is that we a mutually supportive group, rather than competitive with each other, and this means a lot.  While taking part in the Kingston Artists’ Open Studios event does take a lot of effort, it is good to talk to each other and those who visit.

One lady profusely thanked us last weekend for all our time and effort and I was very much blessed by that, as she recognised that we are offering something which we don’t often get thanked for.  While we hope to sell some of our work (of course)  the time and effort of putting on an event like the Kingston Artists’ Open Studios doesn’t normally generate profit for the vast majority of us (even if you sell something, it doesn’t translate into profit!).  So we hope very much that people not only come themselves,  but spread the word, as the more people who know about Kingston Artists’ Open Studios and who come along to the Kingston Artists’ Open Studios weekends each year, the more our work is appreciated.  The process of showing artwork, introducing people to our work, and talking about what we do is a valuable contribution to society which is sometimes not appreciated.   Aside from the practical necessity of selling the work, which does exist,  (both from the point of recovering storage space in our already too “jam packed with artwork” homes and the need to reinvest in the development of our work/materials, etc) it is immensely motivating to see people discover art work which resonates for them in a powerful way.

Artists Need Collectors!  

I have put that in bold, because it is a reality.  We need people who discover that our art works resonate with them to a degree that they purchase them, and also, that they then invest themselves into keeping in track with what we are doing, and make a kind of mini internal commitment to “openness to buy” our work, not as a means of purchasing a commodity, but by way of a creative relationship which supports and encourages the artist, and also benefits the collector.  A ideal collector will buy something not just because they love the art work itself but because they are interested in the artist and recognise that the artist is involved in a creative process which they need support and encouragement in.  It is not simply a matter of buying objects for oneself.  When you buy a piece of art, you help the artist in the creation of their work and support them in their vocation.

While there are some artists whose art working is a business, (among other things) (they have my admiration, and I applaud them on all fronts!) , there are many whose art working will never be, nor does it aspire to be a business (I am one of those!)  What I do is a vocation only.  However, this does not remove the need for money to fund it.  Buying a certain piece of art may not be an investment of the financial type (however… you never know, when I am dead!!!  Ho Ho Ho!!! Give me 100 years…or 300) and there is a challenge in purchasing a piece of art for yourself,  I think. And the challenge is this:  If it speaks to you, do you consider that encounter worth investing in?  I feel personally that buying a piece of art and/or being a collector of art might very healthily be viewed as a type of self investment.  There is a mysterious type of poetic strengthening of life which happens in the face of a deep resonance between a work of art and the human being encountering it.  Sometimes,  just sometimes, this is worth investing in, if the work is such that it has a sustaining effect on you as a person, and that you sense this will be a long lasting affair.

Profit is not simply about money… Indeed, I find it is seldom about money at all.

Where collectors  (I term “collector” as anyone who has purchased one of my art works either to add to an ongoing collection, or who has purchased more than one of my art works) become patrons, is at the point where their relationship with your work of art becomes not something simply to do with them and an object they have paid for, but becomes a recognition that they are part of a creative process themselves.  In collecting a certain artists work they recognise that they have a supportive role.  Not one with  strings attached.  But one which recognises that in choosing to pay money for an artists work they are contributing in some way to the production of future work.  The buying of an art work is not just a matter of themselves,  but might be, if they choose to make it so, the beginning of an interesting and ongoing journey, in following an artist in the creative path they travel down, and periodically assisting in that path by buying that artists work not just once, but over a period of time.

This type of collector-patron, one who will invest in an artist and their work, and pick out specific artists which they develop an ongoing creative relationship with, is something I am mulling over right now, as I bounce around my thinking in this Journal.  I think this is because I have been thinking about the word commodity.

Simple Definition of commodity
: something that is bought and sold
: something or someone that is useful or valued….Merriam-Webster’s Learner’s Dictionary

It is the sick feeling I get each year before the Kingston Artists’ Open Studios event which has led me to start thinking this through.  My experience or rather fear, of my work being viewed as a commodity only... an object brought and sold, probably brings on the dire feeling.    An artists work is so much more.  The usefulness and value of a piece of art is not very measurable at all.  And the buying and selling bit has to happen, such is the world we live in.    But what is the exchange really meaning in all this?  Money is the medium of exchange, but what is the meaning of the exchange, what is it’s nature and what might be it’s potential?   The use and value of someone choosing to buy artwork which you as an artist have created  isn’t simply a material matter.  That someone decides to invest and that this is symbolised partly through the exchange of money is always a great thing.  Useful too, on a practical level. Essential. But the transaction can mean so much more to the artist.  We are separate from our work, and don’t need to hang on to it, control it, or refuse to let go, however, what it will be,  we always hope, will be so much more than something brought and sold.  We want it to have a life of its own. An existence which will live new lives in the people who relate to it.  We want that to be a good relationship.  We poured ourselves into it, and then let go completely.  Even if it ends up in a charity shop, we wish it well, and hope that no one sits on it.  Well, I speak for myself with my very big “We”.  But it writes better to say “We” and I know I am not alone.

And I guess it varies a lot with the type of work it is, and how much creative energy/significance/effort one has invested in it.  I am thinking of my paintings here, rather than anything else.  My paintings are the spear head of my creative energy and the tool with which I hammer on into reality, searching, but always in the dark! Wonderful abandonment, which strangely, I am found in!  (And probably pretty much any other paradox which could be applied, could be applied!  So words do fail..)

I do ramble on!

To finish on this one, I hope that those who I will call, for the reasons of my ramblings above, art “collector-patrons”; those who buy a few select pieces that mean the world to them, and who follow artists and take a genuine interest in them, recognise how important they are to the ongoing creation of art.  For example, those who have brought my work and continue to do so, encourage and inspire me, by their investment.  Which is not actually simply a matter of paying money for something, but rather the faith that what they have brought matters. That it matters to them, yes, this is clear and true, yet also, in that process, a recognition that it matters to me to the extent that I pour myself out for it.  They see my investment and choose to invest.  That’s a good thing.

I have just found this, which is kind of what I am getting at I think:

Terry Eagleton offers insight into the idea that art may transcend systemic titles of value such as money, by “…suspending itself between life and death. The work of art seems full of vital energy, but is no more than an inanimate object. The mystery of art is how black marks on a page, or pigments on a canvas, or the scraping of a bow on a catgut, can be so richly evocative of life”(Eagleton, 2010, p. 71).”

I have quoted this from: http://www.artandeducation.net/paper/art-as-an-autonomous-commodity-within-the-global-market/

(Art as an Autonomous Commodity within the Global Market
Dan Zimmerman)

Other interesting thoughts:

“It’s cold logic then to think of art as a commodity, but what you are really seeing is a whole generation of peers and people older and wealthier than you deciding whether art history is going to remember you or not,’ said Crow” ( Kelly Crow, The Wall Street Journal’s art market journalist)

quoted from: http://ginafairley.com/artshub/is-art-a-commodity/

Also interesting:

http://archive.boston.com/business/blogs/global-business-hub/2012/04/art_as_commodit.html

from which comes:  “Todd Levin, Director of Levin Art Group, told me, “Art fairs are not places where aesthetic or intellectual fields of value are created. Art fairs are competitive fields where the destruction of aesthetic and intellectual values takes place for the benefit of consumptive value.”

and:

Some artists prefer to see themselves as pilgrims rather than as stock commodities. Regarding the art market, Amy Ragus states: “If possible, make your money elsewhere, so your art isn’t compromised to forces that often seek to exploit and codify your message.”

(My thought,  not inevitable, and not terrible,  (one artist can have more than one single “art” and it doesn’t have to be kept in a protective environment)  however, worth being aware of what is happening and if it is exactly what you want.)

Kingston Artists Open Studios is still on this year:  

https://issuu.com/kingstonartistsopenstudios/docs/cataloguekaos2016 

Follow the link to view the 2016 Kingston Artists Open Studios catalogue

There are  many different KAOS (Kingston Artists’ Open Studios) artists showing this year.

Below an image of the Cass Art Kingston Artists Open Studios Taster Exhibition.

Lovely private view, very much enjoyed. Even with my stick.

Exhibition open to all so do come and see it.  Free. Cass Art, 103 Clarence Street, KT1 1 QY in “The Art Space” above the shop.  Just go in the shop and ask to be directed in the right direction!

 

cass art taster exhibition wall 2016 with gentle leaves Kingston Artists' Open Studios

cass art taster exhibition wall 2016 with gentle leaves Kingston Artists’ Open Studios

 

The quotes  below come from Living Within .  (Copyright Living Within).

http://www.livingwithin.com/20052016-kingston-artists.html

KINGSTON ARTISTS PREPARE FOR OPEN STUDIOS WEEKENDS IN JUNE
Friday 20 May 2016 – Kingston

“This year there will be over 70 painters, printmakers, photographers, sculptors, ceramicists, textile artists, glass artists, and many others, taking part. Open Studios is a growing national movement, with towns all over the UK taking part at different points in the year, and is an opportunity for the artists to share what they do with each other – and of course the general public. Often working alone in their studios for most of the year, it’s great to spend two relaxing weekends sharing ideas and meeting people. It is also an opportunity to show a wider range of work than they can in fairs and galleries, where space is limited.”

 

“2016 is the biggest event yet, with 13 different venues opening their doors, including a ‘taster exhibition’ throughout the week of June 11th, held in the upstairs art space at Cass Art, in Kingston town centre. Providing you live in the area, you will receive a flyer through your door, or alternatively you can pick up a catalogue at Kingston museum, the library, Cass Art, Pullingers or one of the many cafes around town. A trail map is included, or can be downloaded from http://www.kingstonartistsopenstudios.co.uk/show”

Not forgetting the Anagrams Kingston Museum Exhibition.. Wheatfield Way, KT1 2PS runs till 2nd July.

So much to see!

 

Yoga and the Devoted Christian

Sadly, for the last two weeks I have been unable to do my local Our Parks Yoga class, due to my right knee becoming very unstable, and difficulty walking/pain just meaning I need to give it a bit of a rest.  Still doing a bit of Yoga at home and planning a return soon, but waiting till I have seen a specialist as rather worried about what is happening with it  right now.

Despite my current limitations, I am LOVING Yoga, and find it quite a revelation!

Wishing I had discovered it earlier in life, however, there is a time for things, so it being now is just fine!

Reflecting back on how my faith and views have changed… I am now in the second half of life.

There would have been a time, twenty years ago, when I would have viewed the practice of Yoga with suspicion and a certain amount of what can only be called paranoia and fear.

Maybe a feeling of somehow betraying my religion.

However, what has changed?

I think my experience with psychotherapy has changed rather a lot for me.  Because the tendency of all people is to try and avoid that which makes us feel uncomfortable.  Natural.  Understandable.

But our fears are rooted deep within.  We attach them to things.  Fear is good when there is a good reason for it.

A “good reason” for fear with vary a lot, depending on one’s life experience.

Every person has their own sense of integrity, and for some Christians, to practice something like Yoga is something they cannot allow themselves to do.  Others won’t even think about philosophical or religious ideas or possible conflicts and will just worry about if they are “doing it properly”.

I feel that the practice of Yoga is pretty much like anything else, what it means, represents, and promotes varies hugely depending on who is teaching it, how they are teaching it, and what the intentions and objectives are behind it.  As is the case in the vast area of what might be termed Christianity, or in a more expressed in ritual/religious sense “the Christian Church” What is actually going on, being taught and expressed, and how this is being done, varies immensely.    There are all kinds of things going on!

“Nowhere’s Safe” comes to mind…. words I remember from a Graham Greene book I read. Cannot remember which one!

Might seem negative, but for me, not so.

There is a place of refuge in our Creator God.  Yes.  But it is easy to allocate “safe” and “unsafe” places in our life.  We are not always right.

If someone feels they are betraying themselves, their particular religious affiliation, or their innermost being, in some way by practising Yoga, then they should not do it.  It is as simple as that.  If it doesn’t feel “safe” somehow, then it doesn’t feel right.

However, if it seems in accordance with what God and the Holy Spirit are doing in their life, and indeed,  then it may be for them a gift, and a  wonderful thing, liberating, helpful, and definitely in the service of Christ and others.  In my humble opinion.

For me, it is a gift, and I am grateful to receive it.  I see my Yoga teacher’s work as an act of service, which I am grateful to receive.

I don’t feel any obligation to believe what I do not believe, or change what I believe, because of a variances and differences in philosophy  in the context of a Yoga Class, any more than I would in any other setting.  However, it is the case that I feel no imposition or pressure to do so, and this is probably something which varies a lot depending on the individual teacher of Yoga.  There are more religious and ritualistic ways of Yoga, I am sure.  It is doubtful that I would feel comfortable with that, just as someone who wasn’t a committed Christian believer and used to taking Communion at Church wouldn’t feel very right at all about taking Communion!

I am a big fan of Mindfulness as a practice, and I think that probably my appreciation of Yoga is the working together  of the mind and body in what I view as a prayerful discipline, and the whole matter of body awareness and opening myself up to God, (God awareness) which I really love a lot.  I do experience very good  sense of communion with God when doing Yoga, and invite the Holy Spirit into the whole of my being in a very intentional and focused way.

I can see that some folk would  worry about what they were opening themselves up to, if they felt that it was not actually in their own control and that their personal boundaries might somehow be infiltrated by “something else” spiritually without their awareness or consent.  Or if they felt pressured or imposed upon in some way.  But I think a good Yoga teacher is one, like any other kind of teacher, who doesn’t seek to impose anything, but instead, trusts, TRUSTS, in the Spirit of God.

I guess the problem for many devoted Christians with Yoga might be in a belief that there is more than one God and that actually the “God” or “Spirit” of Yoga is a different one to the one that they believe in.  My own belief is that there is only one God, but lots of different ways and approaches, or paths, which people negotiate their way along in their quest for spiritual truth and freedom.  I don’t believe God is an impersonal force,  and I hold passionately to the uniqueness of Christianity in relation to other religions.  Christ is God, and is Saviour.  The ultimate truth. The light of the world.  The point at which all points converge.  I don’t need to argue any kind of case about what I believe being better, or more right, or “the only way”.  Because quite clearly, it is not the only way to experiencing God’s truth, Spirit, and working in the world. God works in people who are not calling themselves Christians.  He worked in me, throughout my life, long before I committed myself to Christ, in many significant ways.

 The fact that I believe the SOURCE of all truth and revelation is indeed bedded in the work of the Lord Jesus Christ, is something I pray I hope to simply live out and testify to, in whatever ways I am given to. The way, it is a way of Love.  So I aim to love, as I am loved by my Creator.    I can express what about Christ, being a Christian, and knowing God through Christ, means, and how it matters, and have open eyes to the wonderful working of the Holy Spirit. In my own experience, I see the Holy Spirit manifest in my practice of Yoga.  It is as simple as that.

It’s not that I don’t believe that there are harmful spiritual influences in the world… because actually, I do believe they exist.   I don’t think a recognition of such is Medieval or delusional.  But I draw my attention to what is good, and orientate myself to  the workings on the Holy Spirit.  And God is using my practice of Yoga in a wonderful and exciting way. Which I am very grateful for.

Suspicions about yoga are shared by many Muslims, Christians and Jews around the world and relate to yoga’s history as an ancient spiritual practice with connections to Hinduism and Buddhism.  It is a spiritual exercise, to be sure, but what it means to someone is what it means to them.   All the things in our lives mean something different to what they mean to someone else, I think.   It is more OUR intention and purpose, which makes things what they are.

And as I mentioned earlier, the variety and differences, the various schools and approaches, the diversity of what Yoga “is” is rather hard to pop into one big lump.    Just because Yoga is ancient, and a bit mysterious, doesn’t make it evil.   You don’t have to agree with philosophies, theories and ideas about how and why it “works” or is beneficial to experience it as beneficial.  God does work in mysterious ways, as that familiar saying goes!  And, if Yoga is a “way” to God, then it doesn’t follow that this somehow supplants Christ, or that it is and “either” “or” situation.  Or that it is in itself some kind of salvation by works. (I am sure it might be practised in this way by some, but that doesn’t mean that it needs to be).  Deep down, we all struggle with the sense that we need to earn favour, approval and acceptance.  This is lived out in our lives in many different kinds of way.  Grace, pure grace, is always a challenge.

Even if yoga is, fundamentally, a religious activity, our yoga practice is OUR YOGA PRACTICE.  It does not belong to anyone else.  Therefore, if we are religious, then it will be, as we are.

No prizes for guessing what “Sun Salutation” is for me!!!!

Basically Yoga is a very broad term and this does cause difficulty.  There are lots of different forms of Yoga and some are more overtly religious than others.  For example, Hare Krishna monks, are adherents of bhaktiyoga, the yoga of devotion. But what most people in the West think of as yoga is properly known as hathayoga – a path towards enlightenment that focuses on building physical and mental strength.  The word “enlightenment” might cause some alarm to some Christians I guess. but what  “enlightenment” means  depends on tradition.  For some Hindus it may be a liberation from the cycle of reincarnation, but it doesn’t have to be.  For many yoga practitioners it is a point where you achieve stillness in your mind, or understand the true nature of the world and your place in it.  In this respect, it appears more to me to be a matter of  Mindfulness. With wonderful physical benefits!

I guess there will always be debate about whether Yoga is  compatible with Christianity, Islam and other religions.  The yogic asanas  might retain elements of their earlier spiritual meanings, however, as I move MY body and use MY mind, in prayer to MY GOD, then I think what is theoretically  “retained” becomes meaningless in my practice, because I do not hold onto it, nor have I even held it.  What Yoga embodies will surely stem from the soul of the person doing it, and no more or less?  It is an art, and like my painting, I use elements of what has gone before, but what I do is not what has gone before, it is what is now.

It is all about intention.

When I take communion, in my local Anglican Church, I take the wine, though I am teetotal.  I do this and it is deeply symbolic and special to me.  It defines the importance of the sacred for me.  I have rejected alcohol in my life, but I receive it in this context, and it deepens the symbolism for me actually, because it is about sufficiency in Christ for me.   Yet I could ,if I wished to, chose to receive wine in other ways, drinking at a party or something.  (Though it would not be a good idea for me!)   It is the intention which is different.  My fallen intention with alcohol was that it was, fundamentally there, as an instrument of destruction for me.  That is what it meant.  But in the rite of Communion, the intention is transformational.  Its meaning is blessedly transformed for me.  It is life, and life through the blood of Christ.

I mention this because taking that communion is not like drinking alcohol, even though it is drinking alcohol.  That is the best way I can think of describing it, and I also believe that kneeling, for example in an asana, is kneeling in whatever way the intention is focused.

Religion is not installed in a person through repetition of outward rituals or practices.  That is quite simply, rather empty. In my opinion.

Faith comes from the inside out, and from an inward working of God’s Grace.  As a sacrament is an outward sign of an inward grace, Yoga practice can be that too.  If you want it to be.

I won’t be chanting Hindu sutras, but I am happy to use “namaste” because I do acknowledge the meeting of God in each other.  I don’t understand God as just an impersonal force, but I do recognise very much, especially as an artist, the creative spirit at work in the world, as it says “In Him we live and move and have our being”.  There is something of the breath of God, which is very wonderfully engaged with by focus on the breath!

I view Yoga as a philosophy and approach, and one which can be very usefully engaged by Christians, without causing sudden destruction to their faith or adversely affecting them in any other way,  as indeed much can be gained from the many rich areas of life and experience, which happen to be new or different to us, in some way.

Quote from Rebecca Ffrench:

“People say that yoga is Hindu, but “Hinduism” is a problematic term, coined by outsiders for everything they saw going on in India.

Yoga stems from the Vedas – the Indian holy texts that were composed from around 1900BC. Besides yoga, three major religions came from those texts – Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism.

Around 200-400AD, a sage called Patanjali composed the Yoga Sutras. His “eight limbs” of yoga still inform practice today and discuss posture, breathing, meditation and correct living.

For many centuries yoga was all about meditation and austerity practices, such as standing on one leg for weeks or hanging upside-down from a tree. There were only 14 yoga asanas or postures.

The big explosion in hatha yoga didn’t come until the early 1900s in Mysore, India – now there are over 100 postures.”

Well, that’s enough of that for now.

Apart from… Yoga has helped me deal in all respects with my ongoing experience of osteoarthritis, and been a fantastic tool and resource in so many ways.  It seems  a shame to dismiss something  or even prohibit something which is so beneficial to so  many just because of irrational fears…

It is, I think, what comes OUT of us, which is normally the problem.  So much inner trash!

Discernment with respect to our own inner brokenness and our faulty strategies of dealing with it, is probably more useful than avoiding this or that, in case of “pollution”.  However, each should only do what they feel comfortable with, this is the main thing.

Art at the Bridge#7

This exhibition is still up.  Wonderful to see my work in such a prominent place.  Tower Bridge! I never would have thought!    So pleased to be part of it.  “Drawn Together”  my piece of work can be brought as a print on Redbubble.com .  Here is the link;

http://www.redbubble.com/people/jennyjimjams/works/20377969-drawn-together-building-bridges-the-female-perspective-design-by-jenny-meehan

Artist Notes for Drawn Together:

“Building Bridges, the Female Perspective”.
This artwork expresses some of my female emotional experience: the emotion of two parts of my sense of self being pulled together. A feeling of balance and unity, which holds, even when the two sides are different in some respects. The suspended purple and yellow contrasting colours create stasis and tension. Yet, there is also a mirroring of the same essential structure in my composition, drawn together in a pivotal centre, which may suggest movement. This piece also resonates in relation to the Tower Bridge; an engineering achievement involving among other things, precision, balance, and design. Creative energy, both within and without, in both engineering and art.

 

building bridges the female perspective art exhibition tower bridge engine rooms jenny meehan, all female art exhibition london, contemporary women artists british, jenny meehan jamartlondon, all woman art exhibition,

building bridges the female perspective art exhibition tower bridge engine rooms jenny meehan

My friend Denise and me had a great day out!  Loved the glass walkway and the Engine Rooms were amazing!

 

drawn together by jenny meehan, art at tower bridge, abstract art female artist, feminist artist, contemporary women artists, contemporary female artists, jamartlondon,building bridges the female perspective art exhibition tower bridge engine rooms jenny meehan

building bridges the female perspective art exhibition tower bridge engine rooms jenny meehan  Jenny’s work “Drawn Together”

 

Here is one of the reviews:

http://whatsgoodtodo.co.uk/art-at-the-bridge-7-review/

Art at the Bridge #7
Tower Bridge, London
http://www.towerbridge.org.uk

8 March to 31 July 2016

Reviewed by Amanda Hayes

“I was privileged to be invited to the press night of Art at the Bridge #7 – Building Bridges: The Female Perspective last night, held in the fantastic setting of the Victorian engine rooms at the iconic Tower Bridge site it was the perfect backdrop to display art works. The engine rooms are very much an industrial setting with uncluttered bare brick walls and this lets the art speak for itself showing off the different genres with clarity.

Tower Bridge work with a range of community partners such as Variety & Southwark Young Pilgrims and has partnered with the Southwark Arts forum since 2011 to provide an annual exhibition at the Engine Rooms. This year’s exhibition is entitled Building Bridges: the Female Perspective and showcases the very different art forms from a network of local artists, 15 of which have gone through a judging process to exhibit at this prestigious venue. The works are a selection of paintings, photographs, mixed media, drawings and lino cut prints each showing their unique view, either literally or metaphorically of what building bridges in a modern world means to them.

Whilst the moody photograph Momentary Flight by Ana Katrina Giles-Myers, and the lino cut Albatross from Charlotte Tymms portray bridges in a more literal sense Donna Leighton’s etching entitled The New Baby explores building bridges in a completely different way by portraying the bond between mother and baby. A particular favourite of mine was Bound to Remember by Victoria Coster, a collage on canvas layering paper that would typically be discarded such as receipts for food and travel from 2006-2011 bridging together the space between those times.

Running from International Women’s Day on 8 March until 31 July 2016, Building Bridges: The Female Perspective is a must see exhibition set in an atmospheric setting. Art being a truly personal taste I highly recommend you go along and find your own personal favourite.” 

Bits and Bobs

This is a nice little run down of exhibitions by British female artists happening in 2016:

http://www.culture24.org.uk/art/art548364-International-Womens-Day-2016-19-must-see-exhibitions-by-women-artists-this-year

More interesting reading from Gresham College:

http://www.gresham.ac.uk/lectures-and-events/contemporary-christian-art

 

That’s it for now….

TO FOLLOW THIS ARTIST’S BLOG SIMPLY GO TO THE RIGHT HAND COLUMN, LOCATE THE  “FOLLOW” BOX AND POP IN YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS.  YOU WILL THEN RECEIVE MONTHLY UPDATES. 

Jenny Meehan is a painter, poet, and Christian contemplative  based in East Surrey/South West London.   Her interest in Christ-centred spirituality and creativity are the main focus of this artist’s journal, which rambles and meanders on, maybe acting as a personal (yet open to view)  note book as much as anything else.  If you read and enjoy it, this would be an added bonus! 

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 occasionally offers art tuition for individuals or in shared sessions.  Please contact Jenny at j.meehan@tesco.net or through the contact form at www.jamartlondon.com for further details as availability depends on other commitments.    

 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  and affordable photo-mechanically produced prints are available to purchase.  

Jenny Meehan exhibits around the United Kingdom.   To be placed on Jenny Meehan’s  bi-annual  mailing list please contact Jenny via her website contact page:  www.jamartlondon.com

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

Note About Following Jenny Meehan Contemporary Artist’s Journal 

TO FOLLOW THIS ARTIST’S BLOG SIMPLY GO TO THE RIGHT HAND COLUMN, LOCATE THE  “FOLLOW” BOX AND POP IN YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS.  YOU WILL THEN RECEIVE MONTHLY UPDATES. 

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 

A selection of non objective paintings can be viewed on pinterest:   https://uk.pinterest.com/Jamartlondon/

 

The usual assortment of bits and bobs from me!  It’s a bit of a scrap book really!   This journal is an invaluable tool for me, in that it enables me to look back and see what is happening with more detail than would otherwise be possible.  It is also a way for those interested in my work to delve a little deeper and pick out what they are interested in, while discarding the rest.  The internet is a wonderful tool.  Sometimes I cannot find things myself that I am looking for, be they notes or images, and if I cannot find them at home either digitally or on paper, I can often find them by looking in this Journal!

In this vein, do take a look at my pinterest board.  I often post my work up on there as it is a quick and easy way for people to look at my artwork .   https://uk.pinterest.com/Jamartlondon/abstract-expressionist-paintings-jenny-meehan-jama/

The Art of Caring at the Rose Theatre

It was nice to go to the launch and be able to speak to people in person about my photographs on show.  I had three on display, of the late Reginald Driver.   Reginald Driver was a prisoner of war at the stalag at Teschen, Stalag VIIIB.  I just checked this out, as someone asked me.  I couldn’t remember which camp he was at, but  I had a photograph of a postcard which Reg had shown me, and it says Stalag VIIIB on it, dated 1945.  I remember he told me about the “Death March”, and mentioned Poland.  But I wasn’t sure so hunted through my archives to find it.

reg driver christmas card stalag at Teschen Stalag VIIIB

reg driver christmas card stalag at Teschen Stalag VIIIB

I was pleased that one of my photographs,  “Reg: Support System” has been selected as one of 20 to be part of a further exhibition at the Arts Project exhibition space in St Pancras Hospital from July – October 2016.

 

 

Reg Driver of Chessington Surrey, photo title Support System. photo copyright Jenny Meehan DACS

Reg Driver of Chessington Surrey, photo title Support System. photo copyright Jenny Meehan DACS

Description of the submission:  “The photographs show a neighbour (died 4th January, 2015) Reginald Driver, and were taken when Reg was 88/89. Reg’s experience of being a prisoner of war and fighting in the second world war included many very traumatic memories which stuck in his mind, and my own belief in the value of listening to people’s life stories as part of valuing them as a person and communicating love, motivates me to submit them to this exhibition.

The titles are as follows:
Reg: Incline Your Ear by Jenny Meehan
Reg: Support System of 2008 by Jenny Meehan
Reg: Sharing Memories by Jenny Meehan

Reg Driver Incline Your Ear photo copyright Jenny Meehan DACS

Reg Driver Incline Your Ear photo copyright Jenny Meehan DACS

reg driver for art of caring

Reg Driver “Sharing Memories”

There was lots of amazing work on show, but my favourite has got to be “Praying with Mrs. Cooper”.  You can see an image of this, and the source of the quoted text below by following the link.

This year’s crop include 3 artworks from The Rev. Robin Pfaff, he told us about his motivation to get involved, “As a hospital chaplain I often meet people at a time of intense change, but these encounters usually show me something of the indomitable human spirit. Healthcare professionals, however, who are regularly exposed to highly traumatic situations need to find their own way of coping and build up a resilience that is both sturdy as well as tender. Talking about what we do and see can be extremely difficult, as we all have a tendency to avoid emotional pain.”  (quote from http://caringandcare.blogspot.co.uk/ by Alban Low)

Rev. Robin Pfaff’s paintings are AMAZING, I love them so much, and I have only seen a few digital images and the print at the Art of Caring Exhibition.  They are the kind of representational painting I love, rich with emotional  depth, profound, touching, sensitive.  When I looked at the small print of “Praying with Mrs. Cooper” it was as if the whole painting had been totally immersed in experience, dipped in and pulled out, saturated with reality and also with compassion.  This is the kind of painting I could look at for hours. I just count myself blessed to be able to see it.  Goodness knows what it must be like “in the flesh”.

 

Biggs & Collings present Turn the Colour Down!
Frank Bowling | Marcus Harvey | Tess Jaray | Chantal Joffe | Mali Morris | Justin Partyka | Dan Perfect | Fiona Rae | Biggs & Collings

16th April – 7th May

Talk: Saturday May 7th 5.00-6.00

“Colour in art can be powerful by being subdued. Muted colour is often what you’re seeing in work by artists known as colourists.  Many people’s idea of colour in art is something bright, like children’s toys or Pop Art, and it’s not particularly part of what’s celebrated in contemporary art.  It’s unusual today to come across anything like the sophisticated colour arrangements of historic art, which must now include Modernism. There are new technologies and the new sensibilities they produce, but these developments mean that some old sensibilities may be lost. There’s no material need to find colour now. It’s found for you in the popular medium you’re using — your camera, for example, with its colourising menu. If it’s rare for artists now to come up with the kinds of colour subtleties in painting that existed in the past it’s at least partly because the ingredients are no longer there in the social imagination.

We’ve brought together these works as an indicator — to our mind, at any rate — of the present’s difference to the past, even the recent past. But also — because we feel they have a rare intensity — as an example of how the lost is never really lost. We think there are possibilities for surprise. A law or rule that’s gradually set in can be joyously broken. Abstraction or figuration is a red herring, the world is the issue, and art turned towards it and interested in interpreting it can easily be abstract in form.

How do the works in this show express the world around us? Chantal Joffe strips away at figuration — people she knows; her family — until she arrives at a rich faux-simplicity with powerful abstract values. In Mali Morris’s painting scrawled maroon surrounds a thick, palpable yellow.  These contrasting presences and the painterly drama of accident and control suggest reality apprehended through light. Tess Jaray’s distilled geometric work with its play of edges and planes, and its subtle surfaces where many layers of oil are freely brushed onto wood, is one of a recent series. Recurrent shapes and colours echo the polychrome patterned entrance to a mosque she saw in Aleppo, the city whose destruction we’ve all witnessed on the news.  Because of the way he’s captured available natural light: low, dim, Goyaesque, Justin Partyka’s photo of a scene on a Norfolk farm is epic and tragic. Fiona Rae summons up the look of early abstract painting a century ago with its characteristic voids and floating objects, and air of the inner world, the unseen. In her painting she refracts all that through the kind of forms anyone might generate today on a screen: a balance of transcendence with the close at hand. Marcus Harvey shows a seascape with an imposed presence that suggests natural patterns, an earthy ceramic object that confounds the photographic context spatially and at the same time eerily connects to it. Dan Perfect paints what seems to be a 1950s lyrical abstraction suggesting river, rocks and wind. This painting on paper is a study, a halfway stage before he processes that pure lyricism into something more multi-dimensional. With our works, we try to achieve a quality of shimmer and vibration like the multiplying patterns that exist in the surviving religious art of late antiquity, but which also suggests its illogical ravages of time and repair. Frank Bowling is the only artist in the show that makes colour synonymous with materiality, the stuff of the world, as if there’s colour substance somehow on the tips of his fingers that he’s agitating and manipulating. He makes a living surface with it, which is also a picture.”

Biggs & Collings 2016

 

Ahh, Drat.   I liked the writing above so much, that I thought I will certainly go to the talk and see the paintings.  It is always a relief to find interesting and engaging writing on painting.  However, after going to visit the Original Print Fair,  my heel, which has been giving me sharp pain for over a month,  and my knee, which has been playing me up for ages, decided to get worse, and even with a stick, I really could not walk any further.   I am very disappointed.  Hopefully soon to see a specialist about the knee!

The Print Fair was enjoyable.  My favourite stand was the August Laube stand.   I was kindly given the annual catalogue by Brigitta Laube, and I will be feasting my eyes on that for a long time.    I love the selection of prints, so rich and interesting.  It must be my German-Swiss heritage (mother) that pulls me this way.

The catalogue can be viewed here: http://www.augustlaube.ch/fileadmin/user_upload/catalogues/72.pdf

One delight, a German Single-Sheet Woodcut, from about 1420-1440 showed Saint Veronica holding the Sudarium and two Apostles St. Peter and St. Paul on either side.   The Sudarium… Here is some information quoted from Wikipedia:

The Veil of Veronica, or Sudarium (Latin for sweat-cloth), often called simply “The Veronica” and known in Italian as the Volto Santo or Holy Face (but not to be confused with the carved crucifix Volto Santo of Lucca), is a Christian relic of a piece of cloth which, according to tradition, bears the likeness of the face of Jesus not made by human hand (i.e. an Acheiropoieton). Various existing images have been claimed to be the “original” relic, or early copies of it.

The final form of the Western tradition recounts that Saint Veronica from Jerusalem encountered Jesus along the Via Dolorosa on the way to Calvary. When she paused to wipe the blood and sweat (Latin sudor) off his face with her veil, his image was imprinted on the cloth. The event is commemorated by the Sixth Station of the Cross. According to some versions, Veronica later traveled to Rome to present the cloth to the Roman Emperor Tiberius and the veil possesses miraculous properties, being able to quench thirst, cure blindness, and sometimes even raise the dead.

The story is not recorded in its present form until the Middle Ages. During the fourteenth century it became a central icon in the Western Church – in the words of art historian Neil Macgregor – “From [the 14th Century] on, wherever the Roman Church went, the Veronica would go with it.”[1] The act of Saint Veronica wiping the face of Jesus with her veil is celebrated in the sixth Station of the Cross in many Anglican, Catholic, Lutheran, Methodist and Western Orthodox churches.[2][3][4]

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Veil_of_Veronica

more info, follow the above link.

The worm holes in the print were wonderful!

I want to keep this reference, so include it here.

Keith Vaughan 1912 – 1977 Old Seaweed Hoist, Lithograph, Window Landscape, and The Walled Garden, stood out for me, stunning.  

https://aberystwythuniversitycollections.wordpress.com/2013/06/11/keith-vaughan-figure-and-ground/

http://www.invaluable.com/auction-lot/keith-vaughan-winter-landscape.-655-c-f25ffa4e33

http://www.originalprints.com/printview.php?dx=1&page=1&id=21761&sid=ff7adddc9f0ce40761b8a4c2ff26afe9

 

Art at the Bridge #7

Launching on International Women’s day,’Art at the Bridge #7′, showcases the talents of 15 local, female artists.

8 March – 31 July

Celebrate female artistic endeavour this spring with Tower Bridges new ‘Art at the Bridge’exhibition. Now in its seventh iteration, this long running exhibition in partnership with Southwark Arts Forum will display the works of 15 female artists as they explore the theme ofBuilding Bridges: The Female Perspective’.

The exhibition aims to reflect upon female perspectives in the community, providing a platform for artists to express their ideas through a variety of media including paintings, etchings, video, photography and drawing.

Each of the artists have drawn inspiration from their own experiences and these artworks offer a striking contrast to the huge and beautifully maintained steam engines that surround them.

Tower Bridge is committed to engaging with, and acknowledging, the talents of the local community. Through its regular exhibitions in partnership with Southwark Arts Forum, we are delighted to provide an opportunity for artists to gain exposure to an international audience of approximately 2,500 visitors daily.

Learn more about our community partners here.

Entry to ‘Art at the Bridge #7’ is included in the admission price.

Book your tickets online now to receive your discount!

 

Well, yes, another plug from me for the above exhibition.  I am mega pleased to be part of it.  I had such a lovely day visiting Tower Bridge too, a real highlight of the year.

 

Art and the Subconscious

I remember well the day I realised that the inner world was just as an important a subject of my artistic interests as my external surroundings.   Around 2009, when the children were younger, just before I started to really get on track with my work, I went on a short painting course, and while I had produced some nice paintings, one afternoon, in a slough of despond, I painted this:

© Jenny Meehan. All Rights Reserved, DACS spinning table painting jenny meehan

jenny meehan spinning table painting

© Jenny Meehan. All Rights Reserved, DACS

Based on the sight in front of me, I looked into the darkness of the bushes and into the shadows, and worked into the background experimentally.  I played with the relationship of stillness and motion, and also with perspective, and while giving a lot of attention to the little naturalistic apples in the centre of the table, I took great care to ensure that the fact they were rotten was accurately depicted!  I realised the desire to experiment was more important to me than painting pleasing pictures.  I felt that my artistic endeavours shouldn’t just be to render what is seen accurately.  When I look back on this strange little experiment, I am glad I went with the flow, though it felt hard at the time as I didn’t have any understanding of the direction I was heading in.  It’s quite a significant piece, on reflection, as it marks a turning point.

Nature and the natural world is wonderful….There’s no rejection of that, because everything in my mind got in there somehow.  But I have little desire to attempt to copy what I see.  I admire others who do it wonderfully, and I enjoy and take in all that is around me, but to paint it?  That I am able to, is not sufficient reason to do something.  I have several older paintings which show me that I am able to paint representationally.  Occasionally the urge strikes me, though this is more likely to happen with drawing.  But I have fallen into paint, as into the ocean!    I can imagine in the future I might do some imaginative representational pictures, based on memory.  But it is not possible for me to force myself in one direction or another.  And I think, with painting, one should walk in the dark, just seeing a fraction of the way ahead sometimes, and glimmers of possibility.  But no more than that.

 

Interesting thoughts from “Mothers at Home Matter” on Facebook this March…

“How do global decision-makers measure ‘equality’ and by what criteria?
Where does care work fit in?
As mothers, do we agree with their interpretation of what constitutes equality and ‘progress’ i.e prioritising more hours of paid work for all family members whilst downgrading the value of caregiving work?

It seems to us that what tends to get overlooked in fight for women’s freedom is for caregiving work to be treated as equally valuable work – 100 percent equal alongside other forms of ‘contribution’ in society.

Sadly, because of the way care is devalued and disrespected, it means that equality is measured by minimising the amount of caregiving time women engage in, whislt maximising time spent in other kinds of work! But that means women lose the freedom to nurture their own infants and care for their families, which in many ways is the antithesis of progress surely? Mother-child separation doesn’t sound progressive to us.

Also it’s time to debate how/why poverty in developed economies is rising (and the gap widening between well-off and least well-off) just as there are more adults (men and women) in the workplace than ever before. So it’s clear that more paid work doesn’t equal less poverty or income equality, in fact it seems to correlate with a period of rising poverty and more income inequality. Perhaps rising housing costs/rents has a lot to do with it – ordinary folk can’t catch up no matter how many hours they put in.”

Well said!

Spiritual Direction Ministry Information

I often look out for different definitions/descriptions of what the art of spiritual direction “is”.  So many people have not heard of it.  As I am currently training in this area, I pop an occasional thought up on this blog from time to time.  So here is another:

Quote below from the Guidelines of Good
Practice for offering the
Ministry of Spiritual
Direction  from the Diocese of Liverpool

 

“Spiritual direction is described as being a way of helping
people ‘to pay attention to and to share with another member
of the community experiences of God, and, in the process, to
learn how to discern what is authentically of God from what is
not. In this way they also learn how to talk about their
experiences of God with other members of the community.’1
Spiritual direction then, is seen as having a communal dimension
which enables the individual to look within to the movement of
God, to bring this through reflection, and maybe with cognitive
reasoning, into conversation with another, and then into forming
and informing their way of life. This way of life is both personal
and corporate.
Reflecting upon the presence of God means that the time of the
director with the directee becomes a ‘holy time’, as a ‘sacred
space’ is created between each, and each with God. The director
offers a total and unconditional listening, putting their own self
away for that time to focus upon the directee. The spiritual
director offers to the directee, ‘the gift of disinterested, loving
attention’.2
It is a vital support for all people, lay and licensed alike.”

 

I am personally mulling over the possibility that it may be helpful to view it as a modality of psychotherapy… there is a lot of overlap, in many ways, though the focus on relationship with God is more central/explicit.  And the desire is, for both people, an invitation to the Holy Spirit, to meeting, hearing, and receiving from our Creator God.  The emphasis on the Holy Spirit as the source of guidance is very specific to Christian Spiritual mentoring/guidance ministries.  It may provide new perspectives and bring release and growth, (I would hope so!) but theses things are blessed additions to the central work of making space for both ourselves and our maker.  And seeing what happens.  I like the description I quote above very much indeed, in particular”enables the individual to look within to the movement of God, to bring this through reflection, and maybe with cognitive reasoning, into conversation with another,”

And the movement of God which happens in all people, should we open ourselves up, believe, and receive.

 

Boat House acrylic painting in progress Jenny Meehan 2012

 

the boat house lino print, jenny meehan jamartlondon

boat house lino print jenny meehan © Jenny Meehan DACS All Rights Reserved

The Boat House – Lino print and The Boat House -Painting, are two examples of a strand in my work based on the motif of the symbol for rest used in musical notation, which I used in combination with the concept of a river journey. A rest is an interval of silence in a piece of music which is marked by a symbol indicating the length of the pause. The rectangle shape I adopted is the musical symbol for a half rest, or minim rest, which denotes a silence for the same duration as a minim note. Half rests are drawn as filled-in rectangles sitting on top of the middle line of the musical staff.
Removed from their musical context and placed in the visual landscape, where they relate to the deeply resonate symbol of a river, the motif provides a way of expressing the importance of retreat, rest, contemplation and prayer for the human being on life’s journey. Symbolically the river represents the flow of time, and the river, on its long journey, is symbolic of life in general and our lives in particular. There are periods when the river experiences turbulent, chaotic and disturbing times; there are periods when it experiences twists, turns and pauses; and then there are periods when the river flows peacefully, smoothly and calmly. A pause taken on the journey, a rest in a metaphorical boat house, is a vital part of it.
In my own artistic practice and life I have found that time taken to pause, to interrupt the often frantic pace of life which seems to be something that our particular culture encourages, has fed into my creativity and enriched it by increasing both the potency and depth of my work. Allowing me time to mull over what I produce…the pauses between painting and writing, thinking and doing, might seem like gaps in activity, but it is in these spaces and what I like to call “the in-between-doing places” where we have opportunity to draw meaning from both our being and our doing.

The “rest” in the painting looks a little like a sofa, which is good!

 

Nicked image…

If you see this on the internet on http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-j-0oyT3yeUA/UNC-e4mLUFI/AAAAAAAAATk/ij1eNODkPPk/s1600/sketch-book-sketch-leith-hill-jenny-meehan-drawing-web1.jpg

You will notice that it is MY drawing, and nothing to do with the young man who has posted it on his site.

Oh, so so sad.  To do that.  Much better for that person to learn to appreciate the value of their own work!  mshazis.blogspot.com is nothing to do with me or my work in any way.

Leith Hill Surrey Pencil Sketch Jenny Meehan Contemporary British Artist surrey artist artwork for sale to buy affordable english romantic artist modern, tree trunk bench resting place,

This pencil sketch is by Jenny Meehan.
Copyright jenny meehan.

 

http://www.methodist.org.uk/static/artcollection/image41.htm

Image of Christ walking on water by Maggi Hambling can be seen here

Good Friday (Walking on the water)
Maggi Hambling (b.1945)

Quote below from http://www.theartsdesk.com/visual-arts/theartsdesk-qa-artist-maggi-hamblingtheartsdesk Q&A: Artist Maggi Hambling
The flamboyant artist talks to theartsdesk about sex, death and the sea.
by Hilary WhitneySaturday, 01 May 2010

 

“When I paint the waves I want them to seem as if they are crashing in front of you, right now. That’s the magic of oil paint over any bloody photograph because a photograph is just a single moment, immediately consigned to history, whereas an oil painting is the result of many hours’ work, culminating in a single moment. If you look at a late Titian or a Rembrandt or a Van Gogh, it’s as if you’re there at the act of making the painting and that’s what’s so exciting about paint to me. It’s something photography can never touch, no matter how moving the subject.
Although they are ostensibly very different, I can see a lot of similarities in the sea paintings with your other work, such as Laughing Mouth and Good Friday 2004.
What? You see Jesus in the sea? But yes, I think a lot of things have come together in these paintings – they’re full of mouths and animals and all sorts of things that people tell me about which I haven’t noticed – and I did paint a Christ of the waves although I only do him on Good Friday. It’s a kind of bad habit which comes from childhood memories of Good Friday being such a miserable day. My mother was quite churchy and it was instilled in me that you couldn’t have any fun so I find it very difficult to think of anything else on Good Friday but Christ on the cross.
And of course, it is an extraordinary image combination of life and death at the same moment. I think great art inhabits the place that is both life and death and that’s rather the point of it.”

 

“I think great art inhabits the place that is both life and death and that’s rather the point of it.”

VERY interesting!

 

Tips for Commissions

Find out if the person has commissioned art before, and how it went.

If they are new to commissioning art, get a good idea of what they want and make sure that their expectations are realistic.

Find out what they want to see in their painting…aim for getting a general idea, an also find out what they definitely don’t want.

Check out who will be approving the art, is it just them or a larger group of people.  If it’s a large group then it’s going to be less likely you will please everyone!

Make sure you  write and sign a contract or agreement.  This should include a description of the art, physical characteristics such as size and medium, payment schedule, late payment fees, how many times you meet to see the work in progress during the course of the commission, completion time and final delivery.
Take a percentage of the full fee in advance, and explain it is non-refundable.   If the client backs out before the work is completed, they need to understand that you have still invested a lot of time and effort, plus materials into it and therefore the advance is non refundable.
Arrange viewings as the work progresses, three or four is plenty.  And encourage plenty of dialogue and keep conversation channels open.   Stick to what you agreed and if you want to move the painting in a different direction then check this out first

 

Oh America!

http://www.markelfinearts.com/blog/

I am glad I have found this.  I find it encouraging to see what is happening in America with abstraction and painting.  There is a lot going on here in Britain, of course.  But we do like a picture, and one we can get a grip on.  There seems to be more of a sense of abandon and acceptance of abstraction over there.  Well, thankfully because of the internet, the sea is not so wide!  This blog here makes a very interesting read. Kathryn Markel has conversations with the artists she works with, and I have enjoyed reading with a lot of pleasure!

 

Steve Chalke – Why I’ve Created a Church Charter…

I am pleased and so glad for the worthwhile work of Steve Chalke in this area, and I hope and pray for this man and his passion and love, which brings the heart of Christ into being in our world today.  What a relief to hear and what a balm for the wounded soul, wounded by prejudice, ignorance and fear.   Christ knows all about that.  He really does.

With time, I hope, love will reign supreme, on earth as well as in heaven.  But for now, we pray that eyes and ears be opened and that hearts be opened, to the Love of God, which has no bounds.

https://www.premierchristianity.com/Blog/Steve-Chalke-Why-I-ve-created-a-church-charter-for-gay-marriage

https://www.oasisuk.org/sites/default/files/A%20MATTER%20OF%20INTEGRITY%20Expanded%20version.pdf

 

http://www.acceptingevangelicals.org/

 

Zachary Keeting

http://www.conversationprojectnyc.com/blog/2016/5/21/zachary-keeting

I really like  and enjoyed reading this conversation very much!

 

Kingston Artists Open Studios

Well, yes, I have to plug this, as it is coming up soon!

I will have six paintings on show, plus images of others, as I cannot bring all my work to the KAOS 3 venue!  I will also have some greetings cards and smaller framed prints.   Here are three of the paintings I will show this year at the Kingston Artists Open Studios event.

 

copyright jenny meehan DACS clog dance, sacred dance, dance inspired painting,clog dancing, jenny meehan, jamartlondon, licensable painting, painting for sale, contemporary british abstract painting, lyrical abstraction,colourist expressionist abstract, modernist romantic, 21st century painters,

clog dance/sacred dance abstract paintings colour copyright jenny meehan DACS

 

copyright jenny meehan DACSBright and Breezy" Jenny Meehan Acrylic and Oil Painting, jenny meehan abstract colourist expressionistic, modernist lyrical abstraction,female british uk 21st century artist jenny meehan, contemporary painters in uk,

Bright and Breezy” Jenny Meehan Acrylic and Oil Painting
There’s a little memory from childhood of a tuft of a tree growing on the edge of a cliff

 

copyright jenny meehan DACSBuried Mother/Laid to Rest Oil Painting - Jenny Meehan

Buried Mother/Laid to Rest Oil Painting – Jenny Meehan

 

If you are interested in coming along, then take a look at the online catalogue:

 

Contact me via my website and let me know you are coming along, or just turn up!

TO FOLLOW THIS ARTIST’S BLOG SIMPLY GO TO THE RIGHT HAND COLUMN, LOCATE THE  “FOLLOW” BOX AND POP IN YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS.  YOU WILL THEN RECEIVE MONTHLY UPDATES. 

Jenny Meehan is a painter, poet, and Christian contemplative  based in East Surrey/South West London.   Her interest in Christ-centred spirituality and creativity are the main focus of this artist’s journal, which rambles and meanders on, maybe acting as a personal (yet open to view)  note book as much as anything else.  If you read and enjoy it, this would be an added bonus! 

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 occasionally offers art tuition for individuals or in shared sessions.  Please contact Jenny at j.meehan@tesco.net or through the contact form at www.jamartlondon.com for further details as availability depends on other commitments.    

 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  and affordable photo-mechanically produced prints are available to purchase.  

Jenny Meehan exhibits around the United Kingdom.   To be placed on Jenny Meehan’s  bi-annual  mailing list please contact Jenny via her website contact page:  www.jamartlondon.com

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

Note About Following Jenny Meehan Contemporary Artist’s Journal 

TO FOLLOW THIS ARTIST’S BLOG SIMPLY GO TO THE RIGHT HAND COLUMN, LOCATE THE  “FOLLOW” BOX AND POP IN YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS.  YOU WILL THEN RECEIVE MONTHLY UPDATES. 

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

A selection of non objective paintings can be viewed on pinterest:   https://uk.pinterest.com/Jamartlondon/

COPYRIGHT INFORMATION

All content on this blog,  unless specified otherwise,  is © Jenny Meehan.  Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts of writing and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jenny Meehan with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.  Images may not be used without permission under any circumstances. 

Copyright and Licensing Digital Images Information – Jenny Meehan

www.jamartlondon.com

Copyright in all images by Jenny Meehan is held by the artist.
Permission must be sought in advance for the reproduction, copying or any other use of any images by Jenny Meehan. Individuals or businesses seeking licenses or permission to use, copy or reproduce any image by Jenny Meehan should, in the first instance, contact Jenny Meehan.

Copyright for all visual art by Jenny Meehan is managed by the Design and Artists Copyright Society (DACS) in the UK. If you wish to licence a work of art by Jenny Meehan, please contact Jenny Meehan in the first instance to clarify your requirements. There is a contact form on my website www.jamartlondon.com

Licensing an image is quick and easy for both parties and is organised through the Design and Artist Copyright Society. (Note, my images are not shown on the “Art image” selection on the Design and Artist Copyright “Art Image” page. This does NOT mean you cannot apply for a license to use an image of my work from DACS… They simply have a very limited sample selection of work in their “Artimage” page!)

COPYRIGHT INFORMATION FOR OTHER IMAGES

Permission is always sought before use. When I include images,  I do so in the belief that this will not cause commercial harm to the copyright holder. I  believe that this is fair use  and does not infringe copyright.  Images are used in order for me to comment and reference them in relation to my own creative and artistic practice.  When I include extracts of text, I also do so with the understanding that again, this is permissible under the widely accepted fair usage terms with respect to copyright. 

Outline of my “Fair Use”  rationale, which is applicable to all images from other sources which I include on this blog:
There is no alternative, public domain or free-copyrighted replacement image available to my knowledge.
Its inclusion in my blog adds significantly to my narrative  because it shows the subject which I want to refer to and relate to my own artistic practice and is necessary in order for me to communicate accurately my observations/critical appraisal/appreciation/educate my readers, in understanding my perspectives on art and life.  Inclusion is for information, education and analysis only. The text discussing the significance of the included  art work is enhanced by inclusion of the image. The image is a low resolution copy of the original work of such low quality that it will not affect potential sales of the art work.

 

 

 

Welcome to the flowers, the buds and all that is growing!

At last, May  is here!

My studio tent is still standing.  Yet another storm, Storm Katie, which came in April or the end of March, I think, threatened to blow it over!    Since I put up the Studio Tent I am a lot more aware of storms, though we have had rather a lot of late! I see it is the eleventh storm to be named since last Autumn!

Storm Katie will batter Britain with 80mph winds as the tempest aims to put a miserable end to the bank holiday when it hits our shores tomorrow.
The Met Office has issued a national weather warning today as forecasters predict blustery conditions will fell trees and disrupt power lines.
The north of Scotland will be the first to bear the brunt of the storm as hurricane winds hit Orkney and Shetlands tonight, while 70mph gusts will later blow onto the south coast of England.
Katie is the eleventh storm to be named since last autumn and will arrive over Britain by Monday morning, after being blown across the Atlantic in just 30 hours by 200mph winds.”

A few things got blown off, but still intact and ready for more intensive painting sessions soon.   At the moment I am tidying, thinking and pottering around.  All part of the painting process!  Still looking back an reviewing.  Reading and thinking. Wondering. Waiting. Mulling.  All part of the painting process.   I am pushing forward with various pieces of work, but all in a very piecemeal way!

Interesting recent read:

http://hamptonsarthub.com/2016/04/19/talking-with-vincent-longo-discusses-pollock-neolithic-abstraction-and-working-from-the-center/

Talking With: Vincent Longo Discusses Pollock, Neolithic Abstraction, and Working from the Center
April 19, 2016 by Janet Goleas Abstract Expressionism, ARTIST PROFILES, Contemporary Abstraction, HAMPTONS, Hamptons & East End, Painting, TALKING WITH

Vincent Longo, quote on his process:

“VL: It’s all predicated on a statement that Picasso made many years ago. He said “I don’t seek, I find.” I start with one thing and it leads to another. That’s it. It keeps going until either I see something happening or not, and decide what to do. My overall intentions—what I hope the results turn out to be—is that whatever seems like a finished product, I want that to have a kind of particular action with the viewer that puts the viewer in affect. If I’m successful, the viewer is accepting automatically what is going on in the front, in terms of the meaning. That person has more chance of seeing what might be happening.”

Love that:  “I don’t seek, I find.”

Finding can be tricky…. You can have something staring you in the face and not recognise it.  Or Miss it.  Or find it and ignore it.  I was talking to someone recently about the importance of waiting and looking when painting, and of the value of the distance of time; it is good to leave long spaces of time as a painting develops, and helpful to go off and do something else, do nothing, or work on another painting.  Do a bit of gardening, or dancing, or whatever you want. But the temptation is to move forward before you have properly seen what is happening with the painting and what you have done.

Pretty much true in life, also!

Another quote:  (best to refer to the whole article and see the question, but snippets serve well in this blog)

VL : Overall. I don’t think the act of painting is changed in that sense at all. Ever.

Audience 1: I say in relation to the representational in painting. There the viewer can easily relate to what’s going on whereas in abstraction…

VL : When people say this to me I really would like them to look a lot longer at what they call “representational painting” and you’ll see a lot more than what it looks like. Painting is really about creating something that hasn’t existed before. That’s what we all strive to do and it’s not about copying nature really. If you look at Monet, he wasn’t copying nature. He was redoing it and he was celebrating it. There was a show at Gagosian few years ago of his late paintings. He left white around the canvas and that white in no way interrupted what happened inside. These are all about color. I think it’s fine to have certain preferences of subject and style and what have you, but you remind me of a woman that I encountered when I was still a kid at Cooper. I was looking at White on White by [Kazimir] Malevich at the Modern and she comes up next to me. She said, “You call that art?” or something like that. “Why are you looking at this?” I said. “If you really want to know what’s going on here, you have to take longer looks at Rembrandt.” It’s all a continuum.

“Painting is really about creating something that hasn’t existed before. That’s what we all strive to do and it’s not about copying nature really.”

Not the first person to say that painting isn’t about copying nature, of course.  However, it is amazing how, to the person who has not had reason to think through what painting is, how the “copying” and production of a good copy holds so strongly as a gauge of assessing the value of a painting.   Of how “good” or “bad” it is.  With the forthcoming Open Studios in June,  I find it helpful to bolster myself up in terms of reminding myself of what I am about, as a painter.   I know it, deep inside, and lots of people are content to look, see, perceive, and just be, in front of a painting without needing to control the process in some way.  However, for some people, an abstract painting can push them into a sense of insecurity and confusion, unease, and even indignation.  Or just walk quickly past, to avoid the encounter!  Well,  this is the way it is.  Will always be.  Others can go with it.

However, I do find while I love lots about the Open Studios, it can be a little stressful opening ones painting up to all and any comments!   One needs resilience as well as self-belief!

2016 Open Studio Event – As part of Kingston Artists’ Open Studios Jenny Meehan will be showing some of her latest work on the weekends of the 11/12th June and 18/19th June. 11 – 5pm at Studio KAOS 3, 14 Liverpool Road Kingston KT2 7SZ

 

If you are reading this and would like to come along, do contact me via the contact page on my website http://www.jamartlondon.com    Let me know you are coming, and I will look forward to meeting you!

 

The Art of Caring Exhibition

http://caringandcare.blogspot.co.uk/p/artists.html

I’m always very pleased when I can exhibit my work locally…For one thing, it is easier!  Luckily, living  where I do in the outskirts of London means there is lots happening and it’s not too far away.  Having things happening in Kingston is even better!  Myself and many others will have small postcard sized prints on show in the Upper Circle Gallery, The Rose Theatre, Kingston-upon-Thames, UK from the 12th to 24th May 2016. The private view is  on International Nurses Day, Thursday 12th May 2016.  Some of the work will also be selected for a show at the Arts Project exhibition space in St Pancras Hospital from July – October 2016.

My work shows one of my neighbours, Reg Driver, now no longer here on earth.  He was an amazing man, and I am grateful to have known him.

The exhibition will be open daily from  10am-6pm at
Rose Theatre,
24-26 High Street,
Kingston upon Thames,
Surrey KT1 1HL

 

Art at the Bridge #7  “Building Bridges, the Female Perspective”

drawn together by jenny meehan, art at tower bridge, abstract art female artist, feminist artist, contemporary women artists, contemporary female artists, jamartlondon,building bridges the female perspective art exhibition tower bridge engine rooms jenny meehan

building bridges the female perspective art exhibition tower bridge engine rooms jenny meehan

Above “Drawn Together” by Jenny Meehan.

So pleased to have one of my art works in the Building Bridges, The Female Perspective, this year.  It’s on now and runs for about five months.  http://www.southwarkartsforum.org/index.php?pagename=Art-at-the-bridge

I saw it with a friend recently and will post more up about that in my next post!

If you like “Drawn Together” you can get your own print of it quickly and easily by using the print on demand Redbubble.com website.  It is quick, easy and safe to buy via Redbubble and the quality is excellent!

http://www.redbubble.com/people/jennyjimjams/works/20377969-drawn-together-building-bridges-the-female-perspective-design-by-jenny-meehan

Last year there were over half a million visitors to the  exhibition, and so you can imagine I am exceptionally pleased about my work being on show at the Tower Bridge Victorian Engine Rooms.   Thanks indeed, to the Southwark Arts Forum (SAF) who work in partnership with Tower Bridge.

The exhibition opened on Tuesday 8th March 2016  and there is plenty of opportunity to see it at the Tower Bridge Victorian Engine Rooms.  It’s a very good show, with plenty of very interesting work based on the show’s theme “Building Bridges, The Female Perspective”. Art at the Bridge #7 is exclusively for women artists, as it was felt this would be a good way to profile the work of women artists in celebration of International Women’s Day.

Wonderful, an international audience of approximately 2, 000 visitors daily!

Bit more about the exhibition and the partnership between Southwark Arts Forum and Tower Bridge:

“Our aim in launching this exhibition is to provide a high profile platform for some of the brightest aspiring artists who live and work in our local area whilst offering an interesting new dimension to what we offer visitors to the Tower Bridge Exhibition. London is one of the art world’s most vibrant and culturally diverse hubs so to be able to give exposure to just some of these inspiring artists in such a spectacular setting as Tower Bridge is a privilege for us.” – David Wight, Tower Bridge Director

I’m so grateful for this opportunity, and SOOOO much wish that more of this kind of thing went on.  There are so many wonderfully talented artists who WANT to share their work.  However, we are often prevented from doing so by over high submission fees to enter work into competitions and exhibitions, which often, I feel, are money making opportunities  rather than good opportunities for artists.  There are many more organisations who could follow the example set here by Tower Bridge, and who could work in partnership with local arts organisations to help promote the work of local artists.  We are then all the richer for it; artists need opportunities to show their work to the public.  We want these opportunities not because they are money making for us… the reality is that once in a blue moon we might actually sell something.  But we do want these opportunities because we love what we do and we want to share it. However, we don’t want to end up exploited  and in a kind of “pay your way” system.  Unfortunately this is more often the case.

I am VERY encouraged to find a brilliant example of partnership which works so well for both parties.  It works for artists in a positive way and brings fresh new work to the public in an accessible way.  What is more, to enter was a very affordable amount, and you could enter more than one piece. |Hooray!  At last!    I also knew I would be contributing to a local arts organisation, and therefore knew that even if not selected, my money would be going to something which is in accordance with my values and that I am very pleased to support.

I normally look on submission fees as a way of giving to an organisation.  It’s the only way to think about it.  But sadly, the system is being misused in some cases. It is worth asking the question “Is this competition/open call a profit making venture which I as an artist am ending up funding?”  If it is clearly stated that it is not, in itself, profit making (ie all monies are absorbed in the costs), or it is for a charity, or a good cause you care about or something you actually want too support in some way, then it’s not bad at all.   Bear in mind too that profit will be made if your work is sold, because of the commission. That profit should be enough for whoever organises it, and is fair enough; this we are all used to.   But is profit being made from the submission fees?  That becomes questionable as an activity in my opinion.    And the amount, which is throwing money to the wind for an artist, needs to be as little as possible, in my opinion.   Do people seriously think that artists can easily afford to spend £15- £25 per artwork on entering a competition?….Bear in mind, this applies even if your work is not selected and never shown.

Many may be able to do this.  But how much this narrows the span of work which gets shown and exhibited….  I am sure it is a great narrowing.  Certainly, the whole matter is about taking a punt.  If there are prizes then this helps a lot.  Yet the most important objective is not a prize but to be able to show the work and have it seen.  Hopefully brought.  But the buying is not to be relied upon.  It’s certainly couldn’t be described as a source of income for most artists.  It’s not something one even HAS to do, however it’s nice to get one’s work about.   Just rather difficult financially to do this.  Oh dear!    I like to have my little moan, and will continue to moan about this matter without apology.  However, I am glad to temper my moan with such a positive and encouraging example of what is possible, as I have found with the Tower Bridge and Southwark Arts Forum partnership, and what should be possible much much more than it is at the present time.

 

Thinking about considerations when entering competitions, call outs, etc, this is a good read:

“Art Contests, Competitions, Offers & Shows
Where You Pay Money or Send Art:

Will They Be Good for Your Career?
Or Are They Dead Ends, Time Wastes or Scams?”   Read this by following the link!

http://www.artbusiness.com/osoqutscawas.html

 

This is also a good read…. Money is an important matter to artists, we don’t live off thin air, and even if we have other sources of income which help support us , this doesn’t mean we don’t need to work towards being treated more fairly…   http://marketproject.org.uk/tag/competitions/

 

 

Copyright considerations for poets wanting to use artist’s images on their blogs

Now and again I find that my art images have been used on people’s blogs without permission.  This mostly happens because of ignorance, and when the person is notified and asked to remove them,  the problem is sorted.  However, I wish I didn’t need to do this…Needs must!  I guess I am hoping that writing this will be my small contribution to increasing awareness and prove useful to people who are wondering what the score is.

As a poet AND a visual artist, I can see the attraction.  Wow, that lovely inspiring image, let’s write a poem about it and then post the image and the poem on a blog.  Look, if you do this, you are publishing the image, and normally, for publishing an artists image on the internet there is a fee made!  When people use an artist’s work, they are using an artists work, and artists are entitled to be paid for the usage.  That’s the way it is.

If I use images on my blog which are not mine, I always contact the artist (or whoever is  managing their copyright) and ask their permission, explaining what I am using it for and asking them exactly how they want to be credited.  I have never been refused, and I have never been asked to pay for that type of use,  the reason mainly being that the usage I tend to require is well accepted as being covered under the terms of “Fair Use”.  (I include images which related to some kind of commentary on them).   I know as an artist myself, that is it nice to know how my work is being shared, and it is often very encouraging.  If someone is commenting on it, I often gain some interesting insights myself!  Artists learn a lot from other peoples responses to their work!  We like to know how you respond to it, and if images are used under the “Fair Use” accepted terms, then it would be strange to ask for a fee. Though it is possible, and it is also possible that the artist may not wish you to use their image at all.

What is “Fair Use” though?  I am certain that some people who have used my images without permission, probably think that their use of the image is covered by “Fair Use”.  However, as an artist, I can tell you now that posting one of my images and then writing a poem about it, which links the image very intimately with your own artistic creation, is NOT fair use.  And neither is doing it the other way around. Writing your poem and then finding an image to illustrate it, is using the artwork as an illustration! (Something which enhances your work considerably, or at least would, if carefully chosen!).

I am a poet and an artist, and lots of visual artists are also poets and writers.  Our written work is intimately bound up with our visual artwork, and often a poem and image are used as one piece of artwork.  I have many paintings which I present with my own writing and poetry.  I often submit work to competitions and exhibitions which is both a poem and painting combined, and which are meant to be seen and displayed together.  And so I do not want other poets presenting my artwork with their poetry and publishing it on the internet, even if the image is credited.  A poem colours a painting and vice versa.  If you want to use images to illustrate your poetry, to add depth, volume and expression to your own, then you need to either produce the artwork yourself (cameras are good for this) or ensure that the art work you use is copyright free.

Just because something is on the internet, doesn’t mean it is there for the using. Artist’s rely on the licensing of their images as a source of income, and having it plastered around but not knowing how it is used has got the potential to quite possibly make it less desirable for use by someone who will actually pay for it.    Remember, an artist’s artwork is just as personal as the poem you have written, and you would expect your poetry to be treated with respect.  Make sure you treat visual artist’s work with the same respect.  Do as you would be done by.  Recognise their art has an evolving style and direction, and while there may be some images which they don’t mind you including on your blog (with PERMISSION!) because they don’t have a key note to play in one of the main thrusts of their body of work, or because the image isn’t a significant piece of their repertoire, there will definitely be other images which they would not be happy with your using. You need to contact any artist whose work you post on your blog, and quite simply, ask first.

An art image (Even without poem attached!) is a complete and whole work in itself.  Including it in a blog without permission is the same as if someone posted your poem on their blog.   It is not just a small extract or quotation.  It is a whole artistic work.  It would be like publishing a whole book on your blog. Would you do that?  Take a book and post that on your blog, without asking?   That single image, is a work  in its entirety.  Please, think it through.  I regularly check the internet and find time and time again my artwork used without my permission.  And while seeing it credited is some relief, it is still something which I follow up.  And if my artwork is linked with someone else’s creative writing in a way where it quite clearly links up with the poetry/meaning/themes, etc, then I do request that it is removed.  I recently found someone using an image I  had specifically created for Holocaust Memorial Day and which was linked with one of my poems… Indeed the artwork had been created in response to my poem, and is exhibited and shown in many contexts with the poem which is basically the other half of the art work.   You can imagine that I was not happy at all when I found another person was displaying it with their poem.  I was not flattered, impressed, or grateful for the illegal use of my work!  The image related to my own writing, and was intended for interpretation influenced by my own poetry alone.

I think the confusion or lack of clarity for some poets is maybe that they think  using an image with their poem is included under “Fair Use” whereas pretty much all artists wouldn’t agree!   I don’t consider a poem either commentary or criticism, and this is what I understand as “fair use”.  I found this which might enlighten a little, which I quote from Stanford University Libraries “What is Fair Use?”.  It’s talking about using written work, but I would like to draw your attention to what I have put in bold!

“Commentary and Criticism

If you are commenting upon or critiquing a copyrighted work — for instance, writing a book review — fair use principles allow you to reproduce some of the work to achieve your purposes. Some examples of commentary and criticism include:

  • quoting a few lines from a Bob Dylan song in a music review
  • summarizing and quoting from a medical article on prostate cancer in a news report
  • copying a few paragraphs from a news article for use by a teacher or student in a lesson, or
  • copying a portion of a Sports Illustrated magazine article for use in a related court case.

The underlying rationale of this rule is that the public reaps benefits from your review, which is enhanced by including some of the copyrighted material. Additional examples of commentary or criticism are provided in the examples of fair use cases.

– See more at: http://fairuse.stanford.edu/overview/fair-use/what-is-fair-use/#sthash.VSp004Hw.dpuf

I hope you can see where I am going with this.  None of the above says include the WHOLE work.  When I use an artist’s work on my blog I always ask permission, because I don’t see the artwork as a quotation.  I ask even when I am writing commentary on it because of this.  It is normally straightforward to find and contact the artist, and only a few times have I tried and been unable to.  Also, there are many sources of imagery which are copyright free, for various reasons, or which you are allowed to use for the purposes of commentary.

And the other side of the coin…Artists using poetry

The following is quoted from:  http://www.cmsimpact.org/fair-use/best-practices/code-best-practices-fair-use-poetry#four  (this was something which was compiled by several writers/poets getting together and working out what they felt was good practice)

“FOUR: Criticism, comment, illustration
Poetic quotations are frequently employed by writers and artists in other disciplines. Perhaps the most non-controversial example is that in which a scholar, critic, or reviewer quotes from a poem in order to make a point about the poet in question or about his or her work. Because poetry arises out of and speaks to the particular circumstances (social, cultural, economic) of its writing, members of the poetry community were also united in their opinion that scholars and creators in other fields should be entitled to use apt selections of poetry for purposes other than criticism. Thus, they were supportive of quotation both for textual “illustration” and in the practice of visual artists who take inspiration from poetic works.

PRINCIPLE: Under fair use, a critic discussing a published poem or body of poetry may quote freely as justified by the critical purpose; likewise, a commentator may quote to exemplify or illuminate a cultural/historical phenomenon, and a visual artist may incorporate relevant quotations into his or her work.

LIMITATIONS: This principle does not apply to reproductions in textbooks and anthologies where quotations appear without an independent critical apparatus.Quoted passages should be reproduced as accurately as possible to reflect, and not so minimally or selectively as to mislead about, creative choices embedded in the poem.Critics, commentators, and artists should provide conventional attribution for their chosen quotations.They should also have an articulable rationale for the relevance of their chosen quotations to their own work. Likewise, the extent of quotation should be appropriate to the purpose of the use.Uses that are solely “decorative” or “entertaining” should be avoided. Permissible quotations used for exemplary purposes generally should be briefer than those used for critical purposes. Visual artists generally should not incorporate entire poems in a merely decorative fashion without the copyright holder’s permission.”

“Visual artists generally should not incorporate entire poems in a merely decorative fashion without the copyright holder’s permission.” struck me for the obvious reason which I mentioned before about an art image being an entire work in itself.

There are several other interesting points, and it certainly helps to be able to look at things from both directions.  As a poet and visual artist, I can appreciate both perspectives.   “The Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Poetry” from which the above is quoted from is an excellent read and very helpful in considering the matter, I would recommend a reading of the whole code.  It helps poets understand when they and others have the right to excerpt, quote and use copyrighted material in poetry and it was created by poets discussing and considering the matter.

Hopefully my writing here will also give an visual artist’s perspective for consideration.  Remember, though the wonders of the internet are great for gaining inspiration, an artist’s image is their property, and you do need to ask! Many artist’s make some (or even a significant amount) of their income through selling digital images, licensing them, or selling prints of them.  We can do all kinds of things to make the unauthorized usage of them difficult and inconvenient, and many artists, like myself, are members of copyright societies  who assist us in ensuring that we are paid appropriately for the use of our work.  But if you are a blogger who likes using images then it is wisest of all to make sure you ask first, and don’t just assume that if you credit the artist you don’t need to ask.  Think, whole artwork = whole poem, or whole artwork = whole book, and then you might recognise that the author would expect to be asked!  It is your responsibility to ensure you don’t break the law.

If I find someone has included my artwork without authorisation on a blog, I ask them to remove it.  I have given permission to people when they are actually commenting on and responding to the image, as I count that as critical review/commentary,  (fair use without a doubt) but I still expect to be asked.  I sometimes contact other artists requesting to include images of their work on my blog, and often include the text I am posting with it, or provide a link to it, so they can see what I have written.  As said before, artists like to hear how people respond to their work, and I feel in particular that if it is another artist who wants to comment, respond and reflect, and wants to share their response because it relates to their own interests and artistic development, then this is very desirable. Writing from art critics is particularly interesting, and critical writing in response to particular artworks does need to show the artworks which are being referred to.  What I don’t endorse is other artists using my work as their own, and this has happened, though thankfully only once!

If you want to use an image and don’t have permission, then either ask, and use only with permission,  or provide a link to the original source of the image, but don’t actually post it in your blog.  It is not correct that artists like people to use their images because it helps them with exposure.  Artists who post a lot of images on the internet have plenty of exposure anyway, and don’t need people using their images in order to gain more.   What they need more is a respect and appreciation of the value of their work, and for their work to be treated with the value it deserves.  They also like, and need,  if possible to gain some financial rewards for their hard work, as we all do, and this comes through the licensing of their work.   It is also important to bear in mind that on occasions artists might choose to produce limited editions, or sell the copyright of a work,  and they need to know where their work has been used and how it has been used.   This means knowing when it has been posted and effectively published  by other people on the internet. If you put something on the net, you are publishing it.  You might not be making lots of money from selling prints of it, but it has still been published by you.  Published artwork is normally paid for, unless the artists has specified that they are happy to waive a fee.  I think a lot of web users just don’t realise that it is illegal or even bad manners to take images they find on the net and use them, and if  asked to take them down, they will quickly do that without any problems at all.

Well, that was thorough!

 

Anagrams Kingston Art 2016 Exhibition

Yes, well this is now upon us!   Here is a list of the participating artists!  It’s a super exhibition!  Free entry!  Don’t miss it!

Participating artists in Anagrams Exhibition 2016

Chris Birch
Lucy Birkbeck
Ruth Blackford
Lizzie Brewer
Adriana Brinsmead-Stockman
Caroline Calascione
Sarah E Choi
Leo Duff
Annamarie Dzendrowskyj
Martina van de Gey
Liz Harrington
Ewa Hawrylowicz
Martin Kerrison
Jenny Meehan
Loraine Monk
Ewa Morawski
Peg Morris
Paul Mowatt
Judith North
Laurence Ogden
Rachel Pearcey
Kate Proudman
Marianne Romeo
Paul Smith
Lindsay Terhorst North
Sue Tritton Brown

The Anagrams Exhibition can be seen at Kingston Museum from the end of April 2016.  Details here:

KINGSTON MUSEUM
29 APRIL – 2 JULY 2016
Wheatfield Way, KT1 2PS, Kingston upon Thames
Phone: 020 8547 5006
http://www.kingston.gov.uk/museum
Tuesday, Friday & Saturday 10am – 5pm
Thursday 10am – 7pm
Admission free

They have used, with my permission,  a section of one of my paintings (unerring want of running water 2)  in the publicity.  Sadly the contrast between the red around the title and the green/brown leanings of the painting has confused the printer and made the printed version of the poster far greener and browner in the depiction of the painting than is the case with the original…

anagrams kingston art 2016 exhibition kingston museum jenny meehan unerring want of running water image used on poster

anagrams kingston art 2016 exhibition kingston museum jenny meehan unerring want of running water image used on poster

 

However, of course, I am pleased that it has been used.

I much prefer it with the blue, however, as shown here:

http://www.kingstononline.co.uk/kingston-art-2016-anagrams-opens-friday-29-april-kingston-museum/

 

Anagrams Art at Kingston Museum

 

More info from Kingston Online:

29th April to 2nd July 2016

Opening on Friday 29 April at Kingston Museum, Anagrams is an exhibition which showcases the winning entries to a competition where artists from Kingston upon Thames’ local artists’ groups, ASC Kingston (Artists Studio Company Kingston), Hawks Road, Fusion Art and KAOS (Kingston Artists Open Studios), have entered new work under the theme Anagrams.

This is an exhibition of transformational art, where the art work and the artist’s explanations of how they have approached the theme give the viewer a fascinating insight into each artist’s way of seeing and working. Many different techniques are showcased from painting, drawing and photography to mosaic, installation and much more.

Two prizes, the Judge’s Choice and the Public Choice, will be awarded to the artwork which gains the most votes in respective category.

“I am intrigued to see the works that have been submitted and the ways in which each artist has chosen to respond to the theme of “Anagrams” in order to convey their intentions to the viewer. Given Kingston’s rich artistic heritage, I am hoping there will be some great surprises in store from local artists”.

David Falkner, Director Stanley Picker Gallery & Dorich House Museum, Kingston University
Organised in conjunction with artist’s group KAOS. Last day is Saturday 2 July.

 

Chessington/Hook Surrey Images of the White Hart Pub

Well, locals here in Chessington will remember this building.  It’s now been replaced by Firs Court which provides residential support for 23 adults with learning disabilities. Firs Court is purpose built and provides state of the art homes for adults with learning disabilities.  I watched the demolition of the White Hart with interest, and with my camera in hand.  I have to say that I don’t mind the absence of drunk people staggering off home past our house, broken bottles, sick, and even someone walking over the top of the car one night! It was a super building though, and sad to see it knocked down.

Here are some of the images I took.  I manipulated these a lot as I was playing around, not all have been meddled with so much!

white hart pub chessington surrey photo jenny meehan copyright DACS jamartlondon

white hart pub chessington surrey photo jenny meehan copyright DACS jamartlondon

white hart pub chessington surrey photo jenny meehan copyright DACS jamartlondon

white hart pub chessington surrey photo jenny meehan copyright DACS jamartlondon

white hart pub chessington surrey photo jenny meehan copyright DACS jamartlondon

white hart pub chessington surrey photo jenny meehan copyright DACS jamartlondon

white hart pub chessington surrey photo jenny meehan copyright DACS jamartlondon

white hart pub chessington surrey photo jenny meehan copyright DACS jamartlondon

white hart pub chessington surrey photo jenny meehan copyright DACS jamartlondon

white hart pub chessington surrey photo jenny meehan copyright DACS jamartlondon

white hart pub chessington surrey photo jenny meehan copyright DACS jamartlondon

white hart pub chessington surrey photo jenny meehan copyright DACS jamartlondon

white hart pub chessington surrey photo jenny meehan copyright DACS jamartlondon

white hart pub chessington surrey photo jenny meehan copyright DACS jamartlondon

 

If you like photography, I have many other images here: http://www.photographyblog.com/gallery/showgallery.php?ppuser=5491&username=jena

I intended to do some painting based on these images somehow, but never quite got round to it.  I have often used a demolished or falling down house as an image of the mind, after having a clear dream (a visionary one!) of my own mind falling down/crumbling,  due to insufficient foundations and weak structures in need of support.  It was this dream which was one of the things which made me realise I needed to seek psychological help in the form of psychotherapy…There was nothing I could do myself to look at those foundations as the task was simple too big for me to do alone.   Having a clear dream was helpful in accepting the reality of damage which was done in childhood and the formative years of my life.

Therapy isn’t for everyone, this is true, but for me it has been a life saver! I continue with it in the present time. It’s a good investment of time, for anyone wanting to live from the inside, outwards.   For an artist, psychotherapy is particularly valuable, in my opinion.   There needs to be a great deal of insight and awareness, exploration, and mind stretching!

Here are some other images which use the image of a house/dwelling.  They spatter my artwork over the years!

Painting experiment with acrylic,pigments,textures - Jenny Meehan

“Arise, Sleeper, Wake/Sack Of A Great House” Jenny Meehan 2010

This one is probably as close to the dream as I could get… in colours at least.  It has some kind of coffin opening.   I had also in mind the wonderful painting by Turner, which has made a great impression on me..

interior of a great house, the drawing room east cowes castle by turnerweb

interior of a great house, the drawing room east cowes castle by turner

The emotion in this painting always touches a chord with me. Such desolation, and yet, the light.  How fortunate I am to be able to see it in person, on my visits to Tate Britain!   Can you see the white figure in the doorway to the left?  That sunk in.  When painting “The Comforter/St Julian that figure reappeared, this time as black on white, but I am quite sure it is the same.  The same in which the sense of a soul maybe?  In my painting, it was the self, the lost self, in what it meant to me.   Is it possible to loose ones’ soul?  Maybe not, but it is possible to feel that it is lost.  Forsaken.

figure in comforter painting by jenny meehan influenced by turner interior at petworth

figure in comforter painting by jenny meehan

 

And the Comforter/St Julian painting…

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

 

I know my little figures are vague, and barely marks; I love the tension and the possibility that they are just marks, but could be figures.  I noticed another in a recent painting “View”..  It is the black mark under the blue mark in the top right, as you view it.  Unfortunately it doesn’t stand out in this image nearly as much as when seen in the flesh, the reason being that there is quite a pearlescent area beneath the blue, that doesn’t show up in this image at all. But when the light bounces off it, it brings you straight to this point of the painting, and this adds to the impression of there being a figure in silhouette.

british collectable abstract paintings view painting by jenny meehan copyright DACS

british collectable abstract paintings view painting by jenny meehan copyright DACS

 

I’ve meandered away from houses, in taking attention to these figures.  Back to houses…

scraper charcoal drawing from imagination jenny meehan DACS copyrighted

scraper charcoal drawing from imagination jenny meehan DACS copyrighted

There’s a house in the air in this image!

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

deluge painting jenny meehan copyright DACS all rights reserved

 

In the bottom left, as you view it,  a broken shelter emerged in this painting, well, this is how I perceived the form when I was painting it, and what it meant to me.

A later work… with shelter/house…

franciscan office quote, canticles, church of england canticle, Through your gentleness we find comfort in fear by Jenny Meehan

Through your gentleness we find comfort in fear by Jenny Meehan

There’s two in this one, one brighter with water spilling out of it, and one which is darker and floating off the corner of the painting to the top right, as you view it.

There’s more in the archives, but this does for now!

Other people, looking at my paintings, will not see what I see.  But it is the emotion and sensation which are most important.  Painting is to be felt.

 

 

Paul Nash

Oh, I do like his paintings and I keep coming back to them again and again.

See “Landscape at Iden” 1929 Paul Nash, (Tate)

http://www.tate.org.uk/art/artworks/nash-landscape-at-iden-n05047

I like paintings I can see for myself, “in the flesh” as I like to put it, and this one can easily be seen at Tate Britain, which is handy for me.  The display caption, quoted from the Tate website:

Display caption

This mysterious picture shows the view from Nash’s studio in Sussex. The dramatic perspective and strange juxtaposition of rustic objects creates a sense of the uncanny. It has been read as a statement of mourning. While the young fruit trees may suggest the defencelessness of youth, the altar-like pile of logs may be a symbol of fallen humanity; the fallen tree as a symbol for the dead was common in the art and literature of the war, not least in Nash’s own paintings.For many, an idea of the timeless and enduring English landscape seemed to displace the violent destruction of the war.
July 2007

And a quote below from; ” Paul Nash Landscape and the Life of Objects”  ( chapter 4 New Vision) by Andrew Causey

“In the course of 1929 Nash’s technique changed
from the relatively loose paint application of February,
in which brush marks betray the presence of the hand
and make the picture seem personal, to the drier
and more formalised facture of Month of March and
Landscape at Iden, which, despite the intimate meanings
they had for Nash, also convey a feeling of being
outside time. In Landscape at Iden this is related to
Nash’s new interest in perspective. Denis Cosgrove has
argued that ‘an important effect of linear perspective
is to arrest the flow of history at a specific moment,
freezing that moment as a universal reality’, adding,
‘Perspective, in structuring and directing universal reality
at a single spectator, acknowledges only one, external
subject for the object it represents … In an important
… sense the spectator owns the view because all of its

components are structured and directed towards his

eyes only.’19 Cosgrove’s sense of the twin properties
of perspective, on the one hand, as an arrest of time
and the creation of a universal reality out of a single
moment and, on the other hand, by its nature conveying
the ownership of a single individual, because what is
seen is the product one pair of eyes, is informative for
Nash in Landscape at Iden. The work is personal to
him – his garden view, his feeling for trees, his memories
of war – while at the same time the formality of its
paint surface and the absence of brush marks suggest,
to the contrary, the sense that this is an emblematic
painting, where the artist is tacking on to the idea that
it is a highly personal painting the notion that it is an
impersonal one also.
Nash’s switch to a technique which seems
impersonal because there is no flexibility in the brush
marks to leave evidence of the artist’s hand, or give
the sense that decision-making continues as the work
progresses, suggests that he had two ambitions. He
wanted to put himself outside the painting, to give it an
objectivity and timelessness, a memorialising character
that establishes it as a thing in itself detached from
the artist, while at the same time actually creating in
Landscape at Iden a painting in which a great weight of
personal emotion, unexpressed since the war, is opened
up. If Landscape at Iden is in any sense a war memorial,
it is plainly an unconventional one. War memorials
normally communicate directly with the public, while
Nash was no longer working, as he had been at the
time of The Menin Road (1918–19, plate 29), for a
broad audience. He was speaking an elite language.”

 

 

http://www.iwm.at/publications/5-junior-visiting-fellows-conferences/vol-xxi/ingvild-torsen/

Something I am reading and thinking about..

http://www.iwm.at/publications/5-junior-visiting-fellows-conferences/vol-xxi/ingvild-torsen/

 

 

Gosh,  that is a substantial contribution for May….

Accumulation of lots of time in front of a screen.

I need to go and touch a leaf, a stone, and the surface of a painting!

 

All content on this blog,  unless specified otherwise,  is © Jenny Meehan.  Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts of writing and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jenny Meehan with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.  Images may not be used without permission. 

Copyright and Licensing Digital Images Information – Jenny Meehan

www.jamartlondon.com

Copyright in all images by Jenny Meehan is held by the artist.
Permission must be sought in advance for the reproduction, copying or any other use of any images by Jenny Meehan. Individuals or businesses seeking licenses or permission to use, copy or reproduce any image by Jenny Meehan should, in the first instance, contact Jenny Meehan.
Any persons discovered to be reproducing, copying or using images by Jenny Meehan without prior consent, authorisation or permission will be put on notice that Jenny Meehan is the copyright owner and asked to immediately cease and desist the infringing activity. If a satisfactory response and / or compliance is not forthcoming promptly, the matter will be pursued. For clarification of the laws of copyright, please contact the Design and Artists Copyright Society (DACS). http://www.dacs.org.uk

Copyright for all visual art by Jenny Meehan is managed by the Design and Artists Copyright Society (DACS) in the UK. If you wish to licence a work of art by Jenny Meehan, please contact Jenny Meehan in the first instance to clarify your requirements. There is a contact form on my website www.jamartlondon.com

Licensing an image is quick and easy for both parties and is organised through the Design and Artist Copyright Society. (Note, my images are not shown on the “Art image” selection on the Design and Artist Copyright “Art Image” page. This does NOT mean you cannot apply for a license to use an image of my work from DACS… They simply have a very limited sample selection of work in their “Artimage” page!)

Art at the Bridge #7 Photographs and Visit

Had a great time at the Art at the Bridge # 7 – Building Bridges, The Female Perspective, in the Victorian Engine Rooms at Tower Bridge.  Thought I would get in there before it gets too busy over the holidays.  Very pleased to have my art work “Drawn Together” on show.  Here are some images!

building bridges the female perspective art exhibition tower bridge engine rooms jenny meehan, all female art exhibition london, contemporary women artists british, jenny meehan jamartlondon, all woman art exhibition,

building bridges the female perspective art exhibition tower bridge engine rooms jenny meehan

 

Here’s an image of part of the Building Bridges Exhibition…  What a lovely wall..!!  (As well as the art work, of course!)

drawn together by jenny meehan, art at tower bridge, abstract art female artist, feminist artist, contemporary women artists, contemporary female artists, jamartlondon,building bridges the female perspective art exhibition tower bridge engine rooms jenny meehan

building bridges the female perspective art exhibition tower bridge engine rooms jenny meehan

As well as being part of a very harmonious corner in terms of the hanging of the exhibition,  I had the good fortune to even catch a colour coordinated passer by!

building bridges the female perspective art exhibition tower bridge engine rooms jenny meehan

jenny meehan drawn together art tower bridge

It’s a great space, lovely and light and refreshing!

building bridges the female perspective art exhibition tower bridge engine rooms jenny meehan

glass walkway tower bridge experience as part of the building bridges the female perspective art exhibition tower bridge engine rooms jenny meehan

Even lighter on the walkway!  It can hold the weight of several elephants, I was assured!

building bridges the female perspective art exhibition tower bridge engine rooms jenny meehan

building bridges the female perspective art exhibition tower bridge engine rooms jenny meehan

 

building bridges the female perspective art exhibition tower bridge engine rooms jenny meehan

jenny meehan on her visit to building bridges the female perspective art exhibition tower bridge engine rooms jenny meehan

 

Massive “Thank You” to Southwark Arts Forum and Tower Bridge for this opportunity to show my work.  If you would like to support Southwark Arts Forum it is quick and easy to do over their website: http://www.southwarkartsforum.org/

Artists need the support of their local community in order to thrive, and organisations like the Southwark Arts Forum, Kingston Artists Open Studios, etc are always keen to look for ways they can partnership with organisations who can help them with the provision of exhibition space without charge.  It’s a challenge investing time into the arts, especially with the rising cost of  living, etc and partnerships like the Tower Bridge/Southwark Arts Forum one are beneficial to all concerned.  Artists are not exploited by being forced to pay ridiculous amounts of money to exhibit their work, and the organisations get a wonderfully high quality selection of art work free of charge.  It’s a win win situation!

Details of the Exhibition here, quoted  from the Tower Bridge website:

Launching on International Women’s day,’Art at the Bridge #7′, showcases the talents of 15 local, female artists.

8 March – 31 July
Celebrate female artistic endeavour this spring with Tower Bridges new ‘Art at the Bridge’exhibition. Now in its seventh iteration, this long running exhibition in partnership with Southwark Arts Forum will display the works of 15 female artists as they explore the theme of ‘Building Bridges: The Female Perspective’.

The exhibition aims to reflect upon female perspectives in the community, providing a platform for artists to express their ideas through a variety of media including paintings, etchings, video, photography and drawing.

Each of the artists have drawn inspiration from their own experiences and these artworks offer a striking contrast to the huge and beautifully maintained steam engines that surround them.

Tower Bridge is committed to engaging with, and acknowledging, the talents of the local community. Through its regular exhibitions in partnership with Southwark Arts Forum, we are delighted to provide an opportunity for artists to gain exposure to an international audience of approximately 2,500 visitors daily.

 

Entry to ‘Art at the Bridge #7’ is included in the admission price.

This successful partnership was set up in 2011 as part of Tower Bridge’s ongoing commitment to engage with and acknowledge the talents of the local community; and these regular exhibitions provide an opportunity for artists to gain exposure to our international audience of  2,500 daily visitors.Check out the Tower Bridge website for exhibition times.

For sales and artist enquiries contact: bridget@southwarkartsforum.org.

There are plenty of reviews and features on the exhibition on the internet… this one shows you some more of the art works on show.  I could not get to the private view as I was on a residential course, which was a great shame!

http://www.informationsociety.co.uk/all-female-exhibition-opens-in-tower-bridge/

 

Ps…  If you like my print “Drawn Together” you can purchase your own, quickly, easily and safely, on Redbubble.com.  Follow the link!

 

http://www.redbubble.com/people/jennyjimjams/works/20377969-drawn-together-building-bridges-the-female-perspective-design-by-jenny-meehan

 

British Female Contemporary Artists – Painter Rose Wylie

Very interesting read.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/art/11652527/Rose-Wylie-I-dont-like-arty.html

My particular favourite quotes:

“Two years ago, the art critic Brian Sewell dismissed one of her pictures as “a daub worthy of a child of four”, and the “worst” work in the Royal Academy’s annual Summer Exhibition.

Earlier this year, though, the RA elected Wylie a Senior Royal Academician.”

Something to remember next time someone slags off your painting!

” The extraordinary thing is that this hot streak for Wylie, who is now 80, has occurred in the twilight of her career, after years of relative obscurity.”

Well, that is rather a long time to wait, but at least she is still alive… You don’t have to die first!  

“For much of her adult life, she put her ambitions as a painter on hold while she brought up three children, two of whom now work in finance. “[Roy] was the dominant artist, certainly,” she says, “because I was the mother, wife, cook.” Once the children had grown up, though, she went back to art school, graduating from the Royal College of Art in 1981, and devoted herself to painting. Does she ever feel that concentrating on motherhood at the expense of painting was a sacrifice?

“That’s such a crappy question,” she shoots back. “People like to think that I was frustrated – that the male element was working and that I must have been jealous or angry.” That wasn’t the case? “No! I think children are important, relationships are important, life is important. Besides, I used to do stuff – like make their clothes. I used to make curtains, sofa covers. I made pâté.”

I Love this woman!  Creativity in whatever realm, is creativity.  The fact that it is not recognized by certain people, in certain circles, as important art, does not make it any less art, any less valuable, artistic, or worth of attention!  Plus, the domestic matters of life are important. 

“Painting is both horrifically demanding and exciting. When it’s going badly, it’s very depressing – it’s not fun. But then you get into it and you can’t stop. It’s compulsive. If it weren’t there, life would be very drab.””

 

The above is quoted from the very interesting article,” Rose Wylie: ‘I don’t like arty’
Alastair Sooke meets the 80-year-old whose childlike work is the toast of the art world” By Alastair Sooke 4:00PM BST 06 Jun 2015 in the Telegraph.  Read the whole article here: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/art/11652527/Rose-Wylie-I-dont-like-arty.html

 

Very interesting read here also:

 

http://theartnewspaper.com/features/my-father-and-music-how-mark-rothko-s-love-of-mozart-made-his-paintings-sing/

The link above is an extract from the book, information below:

” Mark Rothko (1903–1970), world-renowned icon of Abstract Expressionism, is rediscovered in this wholly original examination of his art and life written by his son. Synthesizing rigorous critique with personal anecdotes, Christopher, the younger of the artist’s two children, offers a unique perspective on this modern master.
 
Christopher Rothko draws on an intimate knowledge of the artworks to present eighteen essays that look closely at the paintings and explore the ways in which they foster a profound connection between viewer and artist through form, color, and scale. The prominent commissions for the Rothko Chapel in Houston and the Seagram Building murals in New York receive extended treatment, as do many of the lesser-known and underappreciated aspects of Rothko’s oeuvre, including reassessments of his late dark canvases and his formidable body of works on paper. The author also discusses the artist’s writings of the 1930s and 1940s, the significance of music to the artist, and our enduring struggles with visual abstraction in the contemporary era. Finally, Christopher Rothko writes movingly about his role as the artist’s son, his commonalities with his father, and the terms of the relationship they forged during the writer’s childhood.
 
Mark Rothko: From the Inside Out is a thoughtful reexamination of the legendary artist, serving as a passionate introduction for readers new to his work and offering a fresh perspective to those who know it well.”

 

Kingston Art 2016: Anagrams Opens Friday 29 April at Kingston Museum
29th April to 2nd July 2016
Opening on Friday 29 April at Kingston Museum, Anagrams is an exhibition which showcases the winning entries to a competition where artists from Kingston upon Thames’ local artists’ groups, ASC Kingston (Artists Studio Company Kingston), Hawks Road, Fusion Art and KAOS (Kingston Artists Open Studios), have entered new work under the theme Anagrams.

This is an exhibition of transformational art, where the art work and the artist’s explanations of how they have approached the theme give the viewer a fascinating insight into each artist’s way of seeing and working. Many different techniques are showcased from painting, drawing and photography to mosaic, installation and much more.

Two prizes, the Judge’s Choice and the Public Choice, will be awarded to the artwork which gains the most votes in respective category.

“I am intrigued to see the works that have been submitted and the ways in which each artist has chosen to respond to the theme of “Anagrams” in order to convey their intentions to the viewer. Given Kingston’s rich artistic heritage, I am hoping there will be some great surprises in store from local artists”.

David Falkner, Director Stanley Picker Gallery & Dorich House Museum, Kingston University
Organised in conjunction with artist’s group KAOS. Last day is Saturday 2 July.

Anagram definition: An anagram is a type of word play, the result of rearranging the letters of a word or phrase to produce a new word or phrase, using all the original letters exactly once; for example, the word anagram can be rearranged into nag-a-ram. Someone who creates anagrams may be called an “anagrammatist”. Any word or phrase that exactly reproduces the letters in another order is an anagram. However, the goal of serious or skilled anagrammatists is to produce anagrams that in some way reflect or comment on the subject.
Main image: Jenny Meehan

KINGSTON MUSEUM
29 April – 2 July 2016
Opening hours: Tuesday, Friday, Saturday 10am-5pm, Thursday 10am-7pm
Admission free

Kingston Museum
Wheatfield Way
Kingston upon Thames, KT1 2PS
020 8547 5006

 

Nice quote:

 

“Know Yourself – in talents and capacity, in judgement and inclination. You cannot master yourself unless you know yourself. There are mirrors for the face but none for the mind. Let careful thought about yourself serve as a substitute. Where the outer image is forgotten, keep the inner one to improve and perfect. Learn the force of your intellect and capacity for affairs, test the force of your courage in order to apply it, and keep your foundations secure and your head clear for everything.” quote from Baltasar Gracián (1601 -1658) from The Art of Worldly Wisdom

Creativity and Divergent Thinking…

If creativity is not equivalent to a high IQ, then how else might it be defined and measured? Several different approaches have been taken to address this question. One has been to develop tests specifically designed to measure creativity and to designate people who achieve high scores on these tests as creative. The basic assumption behind most such tests is that creativity can be defined as having a capacity for achieving a high level of divergent thinking. Divergent thinking is defined as the ability to come up with a large number of responses to an open-ended probe; it is contrasted with convergent thinking, which tends to apply a sequential series of steps to answer a question that has only one possible solution (Runco and Marz, 1992). An example of a probe used to assess divergent thinking is asking: How many uses can you think of for a brick? A series of similar questions can be asked and then used to create a score that is a continuous measurement of divergent thinking (Torrance, 1998). This approach is favoured by some psychologists as a way of achieving an objective measure of creativity.” 

Quoted from  A Journey into Chaos: Creativity and the Unconscious**
Nancy C. Andreasen, M.D., Ph.D.    © Mens Sana Monographs

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3115302/

 

I’m posting this up in addition to my usual once a month post, as it is Holy Week now and I want this up in time!  I am hoping that those in the area who are interested in creative communications and the Christian faith, and would like to invest some time into drawing closer to themselves and God over the Holy Week, will be encouraged to use St Paul’s Church in Hook during those times when it will be open for prayerful reflection, meditation and contemplation.  (or just one of those would suffice!!!!)

Between 7 and 8pm…  Monday to Thursday the church will be open.

On Good Friday the installation will be taken away, but in the evening there will be a performance of  Requiem by Gabriel Fauré which starts at 7pm.

 

Images from St Paul’s Church, Hook  “Holy Week” Installation

First of all there were lots of different areas in the church building used by many different people, and all wonderfully put together and conceived which will provide lots of opportunity for people to guide their prayer experiences…I am just focusing on my own contribution here as this is the focus of this blog, but I will be posting more images on Facebook which will show others work as well.

This is how I chose to use the Chancel area of St Paul’s Church, Hook.  It’s my own place of corporate worship, so it was very lovely to bring myself into the space and express thoughts and feelings in a visual way.

Love Bade Me Welcome inspired Altar Piece by Jenny Meehan Love Bade Me Welcome inspired Altar Piece by Jenny Meehan Holy Week art installation in St Paul's Church religious art Christian contemporary art in church buildings, jenny meehan christian contemplative artist painter poet, contemporary use of art in places of worship, art for worship prayer, religious symbolism in church, symbolic language of art in christianity,

Love Bade Me Welcome inspired Altar Piece by Jenny Meehan Holy Week art installation in St Paul’s Church

 

Love Bade Me Welcome inspired Altar Piece by Jenny Meehan Love Bade Me Welcome inspired Altar Piece by Jenny Meehan Holy Week art installation in St Paul's Church religious art Christian contemporary art in church buildings, jenny meehan christian contemplative artist painter poet, contemporary use of art in places of worship, art for worship prayer, religious symbolism in church, symbolic language of art in christianity,

Love Bade Me Welcome painting displayed as part of art installation at St Paul’s Church of England Church

 

Love Bade Me Welcome inspired Altar Piece by Jenny Meehan Love Bade Me Welcome inspired Altar Piece by Jenny Meehan Holy Week art installation in St Paul's Church religious art Christian contemporary art in church buildings, jenny meehan christian contemplative artist painter poet, contemporary use of art in places of worship, art for worship prayer, religious symbolism in church, symbolic language of art in christianity,

st pauls church holy week art installation jenny meehan

 

Love Bade Me Welcome inspired Altar Piece by Jenny Meehan Love Bade Me Welcome inspired Altar Piece by Jenny Meehan Holy Week art installation in St Paul's Church religious art Christian contemporary art in church buildings, jenny meehan christian contemplative artist painter poet, contemporary use of art in places of worship, art for worship prayer, religious symbolism in church, symbolic language of art in christianity,

st pauls church holy week art installation jenny meehan

(not very good quality pictures unfortunately… I really need a better camera!… Looks like I need to pop back and adjust the candles too! These were not part of the original idea, but as is often the case, when you are there you use what you can and how you can.)

 

Love Bade Me Welcome inspired Altar Piece by Jenny Meehan Love Bade Me Welcome inspired Altar Piece by Jenny Meehan Holy Week art installation in St Paul's Church religious art Christian contemporary art in church buildings, jenny meehan christian contemplative artist painter poet, contemporary use of art in places of worship, art for worship prayer, religious symbolism in church, symbolic language of art in christianity,

st pauls church holy week art installation jenny meehan

 

On the Altar –  I used a white paper table cloth, a sheet,  and a long piece of white canvas.  I dripped some paint, which I made using acrylic medium and a lot of red iron oxide pigment, along the canvas.  Initially this was in separate spots, but I decided to drip them into each other to create a line, not unbroken, but leading into itself in places.   This led from the centre outwards to a plate and knife and fork at each end.  In the middle I had a single red rose in a single stemmed glass vase.  The rose is open and the petals may start to fall at the end of the week.   I felt these symbols to be very common and not particularly innovative, however, they were there to help engage people with the poem by George Herbert, which I put on display near by.

George Herbert. 1593–1632

286. Love

LOVE bade me welcome; yet my soul drew back,
Guilty of dust and sin.
But quick-eyed Love, observing me grow slack
From my first entrance in,
Drew nearer to me, sweetly questioning
If I lack’d anything.

‘A guest,’ I answer’d, ‘worthy to be here:’
Love said, ‘You shall be he.’
‘I, the unkind, ungrateful? Ah, my dear,
I cannot look on Thee.’
Love took my hand and smiling did reply,
‘Who made the eyes but I?’

‘Truth, Lord; but I have marr’d them: let my shame
Go where it doth deserve.’
‘And know you not,’ says Love, ‘Who bore the blame?’
‘My dear, then I will serve.’
‘You must sit down,’ says Love, ‘and taste my meat.’
So I did sit and eat.

Two chairs on each side of the Altar.   Cushions on them, to be comfortable!   Maybe this could be identified as a “Table for Two” !!!!   Altar rail open, of course, as broken, it is the entrance into the area.

 

I put my painting “Love Bade Me Welcome” behind the altar.  Very pleased that the colours worked well.

love bade me welcome painting jenny meehan

love bade me welcome painting jenny meehan

 

 

The Pews

On just one side of the Pews I had a pot of Chrysanthemums; lovely daisy single petal types.  Then another pot from which all the flowers had been cut off.  Then a couple on stalks lying out of water, a couple more in some water, and a few flowers which had been taken apart.

Love Bade Me Welcome inspired Altar Piece by Jenny Meehan Love Bade Me Welcome inspired Altar Piece by Jenny Meehan Holy Week art installation in St Paul's Church religious art Christian contemporary art in church buildings, jenny meehan christian contemplative artist painter poet, contemporary use of art in places of worship, art for worship prayer, religious symbolism in church, symbolic language of art in christianity,

st pauls church holy week art installation jenny meehan

 

 

Love Bade Me Welcome inspired Altar Piece by Jenny Meehan Love Bade Me Welcome inspired Altar Piece by Jenny Meehan Holy Week art installation in St Paul's Church religious art Christian contemporary art in church buildings, jenny meehan christian contemplative artist painter poet, contemporary use of art in places of worship, art for worship prayer, religious symbolism in church, symbolic language of art in christianity,

Then I displayed the two poems I wrote when thinking through things. The first to go with the flower on it’s stalk, out of water, and the second for the flowers in the pot.

 

A Poem for Chrysanthemums in Holy Week 2016

Cut
from my roots
I lie and wait. Someone will pick me up
tear me apart.
But what difference will it make, to me?
A stranger from my source
with no future destiny.
Another Poem for Chrysanthemums in Holy Week 2016

Gathered together
Clamouring for space;
Dreaming of re-potting,
Positioning, in a different place.
Some golden, garden, Summer
may be our future lot;
Yet, in the present, happily,
nurtured in our pot.

You may come and take one,
and tear the life apart,
And what is done to one of us
will shake us from the heart
Yet this brings opportunity,
new hope and faith to know.
Because where one is broken
another two may grow.

 

(The ones in water are there simply so I can replenish when need be!)

The meditative activity, if anyone wanted to do it, was taken from Stephen Cottrell’s book “The Things He Carried – A Journey to the Cross: Meditations for Lent and Holy Week” This had several points and suggestions to it, which included a reading from Romans 5. 1-11, and a suggestion for breaking up a flower and after holding it for a while, then trying to reassemble it as best you could. Part of this was feeling “how hopeless it is”  (to try and reassemble it) and also watching “it fade”.

Other Areas

I had the Hymn “What a Friend we have in Jesus”  also displayed in another part of the chancel.   No surprise there…I have been thinking about this Hymn for around the last three years!!!!!!

What a Friend We Have in Jesus | Joseph M. Scriven
1. What a friend we have in Jesus,
All our sins and griefs to bear!
What a privilege to carry
Everything to God in prayer!
Oh, what peace we often forfeit,
Oh, what needless pain we bear,
All because we do not carry
Everything to God in prayer!
2. Have we trials and temptations?
Is there trouble anywhere?
We should never be discouraged—
Take it to the Lord in prayer.
Can we find a friend so faithful,
Who will all our sorrows share?
Jesus knows our every weakness;
Take it to the Lord in prayer.
3. Are we weak and heavy-laden,
Cumbered with a load of care?
Precious Savior, still our refuge—
Take it to the Lord in prayer.
Do thy friends despise, forsake thee?
Take it to the Lord in prayer!
In His arms He’ll take and shield thee,
Thou wilt find a solace there.
4. Blessed Savior, Thou hast promised
Thou wilt all our burdens bear;
May we ever, Lord, be bringing
All to Thee in earnest prayer.
Soon in glory bright, unclouded,
There will be no need for prayer—
Rapture, praise, and endless worship
Will be our sweet portion there.

 

Our vicar Luke kindly offered his Father, Iden Wickings’  sculpture for use as part of the installation.

Love Bade Me Welcome inspired Altar Piece by Jenny Meehan Love Bade Me Welcome inspired Altar Piece by Jenny Meehan Holy Week art installation in St Paul's Church religious art Christian contemporary art in church buildings, jenny meehan christian contemplative artist painter poet, contemporary use of art in places of worship, art for worship prayer, religious symbolism in church, symbolic language of art in christianity,

st pauls church holy week art installation jenny meehan

I responded to this sculpture like this:

“Holding On” A poem by Jenny Meehan in response to the sculpture ” ‘Raising the Totem’ by Iden Wickings

Holding on
Substance of my self
standing, but with force, drawing away.
Welded, in baptismal fires
ordained for me.
The effort of this slope of life
is too much…
The gravity and weight of it
beyond my ability to sustain.
Yet
you, Oh Christ…
Within and around me
hold on.
Holding on.

In a single step,
the weight of your love lifts me.
The strength of a hundred men
in just one,
says
“This will last forever”
then
“My work is done”.

 

And I used one of my paintings which I felt worked well with the sculpture visually.  It’s an untitled painting right now… but was painted alongside the Resurrection One and Resurrection Two paintings.  It’s still eluding me a little… I realise the logical and predictable thing is to call it “Resurrection Three” but I might settle for relating it to it’s use in this context, maybe “Resurrection Three/Holding On”

I enjoyed the process of putting it together, especially stretching my arms out when leaning over the altar to smooth out the table cloth.  This has got to be the most profound part for me.. to serve, to bow, to stretch my arms out, maybe there was there a small echo which resonated with my identification with what Christ has done for me.

It’s all part of the service…

Considerations

This strikes me.   I have read it many times before…

“If the Church gained more confidence in the figurative languages on which it is built, it would feel more able to befriend the artists, writers and poets of today with more open and trustful willingness.  Like birds hovering on the strong currents of the air we breathe, people of art and people of faith are keen to discern something of these currents which pull and shape our lives.  It is an exciting task and one that  might create many friendships and maybe even some agreement.   It does not surprise me, then, that it is our cathedrals that, by their beauty of stone, liturgy and music, are housing some of the most reflectice and lively partnerships between the contemporary arts and faith.  It is also our cathedrals for the same reasons, that are attracting many people’s interest in the possibilities of God.   Human beings need intimation as well as specification.” 

Mark Oakley in his book “The Collage of God”  2001.

 

 

The best thing about long titles for WordPress posts is that when you want to refer back to your content it is easy to find it on the internet, wherever you are.

Firstly, my inspiration of the week.

Wow, I have to share this!  What a find!

As a mother and a fine artist,  I have invested some time into grappling with what is happening at the moment in our society with respect to women, and I sometimes grapple, in thought, with how the powers/systems that be have an impact on  artists, but this lady says it all, in the wonderful article “.Liberating Motherhood and the Need for a Maternal Feminism”  Here are some extracts, but you can read the whole brilliant article here: http://discoversociety.org/2016/03/01/viewpoint-liberating-motherhood-and-the-need-for-a-maternal-feminism/

 Liberating Motherhood and the Need for a Maternal Feminism by Vanessa Olorenshaw

“Motherhood has been a minefield for feminism since the inception of the women’s movement. We have fought for reproductive freedom, we have pushed for economic equality, we have called for universal childcare and we have worked towards greater success in the ‘public sphere’.

However, we remain faced with one problem. There remain a sizeable proportion of mothers who actually want to care for their families. Not all mothers want to be liberated from mothering their children. Those who take time out of the workforce are penalised financially; and those who return to employment against their wishes face strain of a double shift.

We refuse to see that what mothers do in reproducing the human race and caring for vulnerable, dependent children is important and necessary work. Indeed, ‘dependence’ has become a dirty word, rather than acknowledged as an intrinsic part of the human condition (1). Having children is not a lifestyle choice akin to keeping lizards: it is socially imperative to produce and raise the next generation (2).

Women who are mothers are at higher risk of poverty. Mothers who care for their families may not have an income in their name: they remain – as highlighted by the women’s movement – at the financial mercy of a partner and thereby vulnerable. While the answer to this predicament has effectively been ‘get a job’, feminism has failed to answer what we are to do with about mothers if we are to ensure that they do not sacrifice economic autonomy or full citizenship when they care for their children. Childcare and ‘sharenting’ answers the question only for those families for whom that is preferred or suitable.”

Best to read the whole thing,  to understand properly in context, but shining out for me :

“Feminism has moved towards a capitalist equality which has no room for women’s liberation.”

“…feminism and politics has failed mothers who want to care for their children.”

“…. the State penalises care and marginalises carers. As though feminism had never happened.”

“….the necessary work of family remains one of the most neglected areas of feminism and politics.”

“Feminism fears that it would institutionalise or ghettoise women into domesticity; Capitalism refuses to see what women do in the home and in raising families as ‘work’.”

Regarding what happened with Family Allowance/Child Benefit in 2011;  ” It was a feminist failure that the assault on the payment was carried through.”

“feminism has to start to ask itself: are we ever going to find creative ways to protect, support and empower women beyond simply pushing for paid employment?”

“…..mainstream politics and feminism continues to apply the new gender contract: whereas once our place was mandated to be at home, it is now firmly in the workplace. There is no flexibility. No recognition of the diversity in mothers’ wishes, skills, inclinations or needs, or the validity of mothers taking a short or longer period of time out of continuous workplace participation in order to do the important work of care.”

In her book ” Liberating Motherhood – Birthing the Purplestockings Movement”  you can read much more… She writes about this;  “I argue for feminism to mobilise with mothers. When mothering is on our terms, it is a liberating motherhood. Yet, we need to liberate motherhood from patriarchal neoliberal capitalist constraints so that mothers can finally enjoy economic autonomy and self-determination.”

YES!

“Vanessa Olorenshaw is a mother of two young children. She is a friend of the organisation Mothers at Home Matter and was a founding member of the Women’s Equality Party UK. She is the author of The Politics of Mothering, a political pamphlet. Her book Liberating Motherhood – Birthing the Purplestockings Movement, will be published later in 2016 by WomancraftPublishing. She tweets on @VOlorenshaw and blogs here.”

 

Well Spring 2 in progress images

You might remember Well Spring…

And  so good to see it used on the cover of “Recovery Of Hope” !

http://www.brfonline.org.uk/9780857464170/

Here is the Well Spring  painting, (the first one), which I thought would be the only one.   However the image of water spurting upwards from the ground below seems to be a reoccurring one for me!

Well Spring…

jenny meehan well spring rethinkyourmind NHS mental health resource art book selected jenny meehan

 

And now some images from something I am working on…

 

well spring two in progress jenny meehan jamartlondon, water, spring, spirituality,spiritual life and energy,living waters, water symbolism in art, metaphysical painting, chrisian fine artist jenny meehan,

well spring two in progress jenny meehan jamartlondon

well spring two in progress jenny meehan jamartlondon, water, spring, spirituality,spiritual life and energy,living waters, water symbolism in art, metaphysical painting, chrisian fine artist jenny meehan,

detail well spring two, random way up

well spring two in progress jenny meehan jamartlondon, water, spring, spirituality,spiritual life and energy,living waters, water symbolism in art, metaphysical painting, chrisian fine artist jenny meehan,

well spring two painting section

well spring two in progress jenny meehan jamartlondon, water, spring, spirituality,spiritual life and energy,living waters, water symbolism in art, metaphysical painting, chrisian fine artist jenny meehan, textural painting surface,

it’s good to look at things several ways around!

well spring two in progress jenny meehan jamartlondon, water, spring, spirituality,spiritual life and energy,living waters, water symbolism in art, metaphysical painting, chrisian fine artist jenny meehan,

closer look

well spring two in progress jenny meehan jamartlondon, water, spring, spirituality,spiritual life and energy,living waters, water symbolism in art, metaphysical painting, chrisian fine artist jenny meehan,

this will help me remember what I did, even when painting sells!

well spring two in progress jenny meehan jamartlondon, water, spring, spirituality,spiritual life and energy,living waters, water symbolism in art, metaphysical painting, chrisian fine artist jenny meehan,

first experiment with using plaster saturated bandage in a painting.

well spring two in progress jenny meehan jamartlondon, water, spring, spirituality,spiritual life and energy,living waters, water symbolism in art, metaphysical painting, chrisian fine artist jenny meehan,

bit of textured wall paper here

 

Well Spring Two has a light, flying kind of feeling going on, rather than a resounding warm light, but I quite like it.  I have applied several materials to it, as you can see.  It’s not finished yet… I have put it to rest for a while, as it needed some space.  And so did I!

As usual, I have a lot of paintings in progress, and have put them to rest for the next few weeks, avoiding the temptation to start working away at them.   I have far too much sorting out of stuff, household tasks, and organisational things to be doing at the moment.  I used to see this as a curse sometimes, but I am learning it can be a blessing.  Forced separation from your work when you are an artist can give you much needed perspective.  The idea that one should be working away with the same intensity all of the time is very unnatural and probably not a very healthy thing to do.  I always find that plenty of other things, often creative, fall into place and come into being when I stop working (at least in theory!) So, even when taking a conscious break in a series of paintings, it never turns out to be a break, or in any way a ceasing of creative activity!

Thinking on family responsibilities and roles, this looks very good:

http://www.artquest.org.uk/articles/view/the_family_problem_or_how_the_art_world_should_work_for_artists_with_childr

Text from Boyle Family website (according to artquest, though I am not sure all of it is???)

“In searching for an image to illustrate this talk on artists and families – children, or other dependants – two problems seemed to crop up. There are very few artists known particularly for a commitment to family, few who foreground these responsibilities in their career; it can be very challenging for artists with families to continue to make art.

This talk considers families as a problem for the art world, not as a problem for artists. On a local, mundane level, the art world at best ignores and at worst actively discourages family life. The predominant social and professional network of the art world – the evening gallery opening – occurs at the time when young children are being put to bed, effectively barring artist-parents. If the first three years after graduation are vital when chasing an artists career, the first few years after the birth of a child are just as, if not more, difficult.

How much of this is a general issue in society and culture? With developments in paternal leave being rolled back under the current government (and anyway only open to employees, not the freelance workers who make up the majority of ‘new’ jobs in the creative industries), cuts to tax credits, rising in-work poverty, stagnating freelance incomes and a housing market that leaves behind a majority of citizens, what makes artists a special case in this? And how can we help change the art world to combat this inequality?

Many other artist opportunities – residencies, exhibitions and publications – require long periods either of physical absence from home or intense working periods, requiring a flexibility that can be hard to combine with the regular timetable and commitment that younger children need. Recent interviews with artists by Artquest have anecdotally found that some artists consider parenthood as incompatible with an artistic career – leaving a choice to either maintain a career or raise a family.

Other artists embrace family life as not only compatible with, but a celebrated part of, their practice. The Institute for the Art and Practice of Dissent at Home, begun in 2008 and speakers at our For the Love if It conference in 2013, is a family of activists who, ‘as a family, have decided to be naughty.’ Part of their monthly budget is given over to artist sleepover-residencies, with the whole family being involved in this artistic practice. Work and art become a way to live, and a way to rear children, rather than an add-on to be combatted or forced to work.

There are wider societal myths of what an artist is that need to be challenged as well. Typically considered to be male, single and white, representation and equality within the arts continues to be weak despite multiple high-profile publicly funded projects. We, as a society, seem to want our artists to still be a little mad and bad, uncomplicated and entertaining, in lieu of their work being of greater interest.

What policies and practices – formal and informal – can be put in place or become more normal to ensure wider representation of our whole society in the art world? Mary Cassatt (the artist responsible for the painting illustrating this talk) decided early on that being married, and the children and responsibilities this would bring, would be incompatible in the mid-nineteenth to the early-twentieth centuries for a woman artist. If she were still alive today, what differences would be see in how our society treats artist-parents – and what would be depressingly familiar?”

 

You can listen to it if you follow the link!

http://www.artquest.org.uk/articles/view/the_family_problem_or_how_the_art_world_should_work_for_artists_with_childr

The Studio Tent

Well, it’s still standing!

I am worried about my acrylic paint freezing in the Studio Tent, and have been out to put more insulation over them.  The whole process of putting the paints away at the end of last year has been helpful to me.  What was not so helpful, towards the end of last year,  was to find that the wind had dismantled the extension to the tent which I put up in the Summer.  It had crept underneath the tarpaulin and LIFTED OFF the two horizontal bars.. I am so surprised.. they were jammed in!   I was relieved to find that the framework was not damaged….When I went out and found the tent lopsided, my heart missed a beat for a moment.   The wind is so strong!  My husband was away, but fortunately I am quite strong and managed to re assemble it with a bit of effort.   I have now tied down the horizontals, all of them, on both the original and extension tent, with thick nylon tights.  Thick nylon tights are rather good for tying things.  Unwanted items from a teenage daughter do come in handy.  I kept them by feeling sure they would be put to good use, as I don’t like to waste things.  Thankfully they were!  And then we had Storm Imogen didn’t we, which  brought some very strong winds across southern parts as it moved eastwards over the UK on Monday 8 February.  I was ready for her!

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

deluge painting jenny meehan

This earlier painting of mine, Deluge, pretty much sums the experience up!   It was raining and windy, when the Studio Tent dismantled itself, with the help of the wind!!!   I still have “Deluge” and it’s still available to buy.  I feel my paintings are like children who need to leave home.  They are welcome to stay but there comes a point when I would like them to find themselves an owner who can give them an adult life, away from the womb of the artist who created them.  It’s nice to look back at this painting and still think, wow, yes, I got that, and it still looks living and alive, it’s still got it’s punch and it was successful.  There is nothing like the test of time.  I sell my paintings for around £250 – £400 each.  It varies according to size.  I only sell about two a year. It keeps me in art materials! Sometimes it helps pay for further training.  The paintings normally hang around for a while and then their owner finds them, and hopefully decides to buy them.  I’m not interested in generating business or profit.  I simply need to continue my work, and in order to do this I need to sell them from time to time.   Sometimes people are surprised at the price of a painting (either more or less than they expect!) but it’s a great investment of time and effort and skill for me, and also, (I think) a great investment for the person who ends up with one of my paintings. If you love something and it stays with you, it will refresh and inspire you day in and day out.  I hope that is why collectors buy my work.  This seems to be the case at the moment. I have a few collectors, and I have always been deeply encouraged by their response to my work.

 

Drawn Together

“Drawn Together”  by Jenny Meehan at Southwark Arts Forum & Tower Bridge “Art at the Bridge” #7  “Building Bridges, the Female Perspective” Art Exhibition

Southwark Arts Forum & Tower Bridge “Art at the Bridge” #7
“Building Bridges, the Female Perspective”
in celebration of International Womens’s Day

Very pleased that my work has been selected for this exhibition which starts on the 8th March 2016 and runs for five months!

“Building Bridges, the Female Perspective” 8th March – Aug 2016 organised by Southwark Arts Forum & Tower Bridge Art at the Bridge #7. Tower Bridge Victorian Engine Rooms, Tower Bridge Road London SE1 2UP.

For information on seeing the Building Bridges, the Female Perspective” Art Exhibition see the website:

http://www.towerbridge.org.uk/engine-rooms/

Information from the website above:

“Plan your visit to truly enjoy Tower Bridge Exhibition.

Discover the range of tours available, what’s on when you visit and the magic of a bridge lift when you step inside the most famous bridge in the world.

Summer Opening Hours: April – September 10:00 – 17:30 (last admission)
Winter Opening Hours: October – March 09:30 – 17:00 (last admission)
Tower Bridge Exhibition is closed 24 – 26 December and open from 10:00 on 1 January.

Visitors are advised to allow additional time for validating their online booking, security checks and lift access up to the Walkways. Entry into the Walkways cannot be guaranteed for a specific time at peak times or during bridge lifts.

Buy tickets online now and save!
Please note: due to essential maintenance work the North lift will be unavailable between 15th February – 21st March. Tower Bridge remains fully accessible during these works.”

You can purchase your tickets in advance via our secure online booking page or at the Tower Bridge Exhibition ticket office.

It’s not far from London Bridge tube and rail station.

The main entrance and ticket office for Tower Bridge Exhibition is located at the North West Tower of the Bridge. The entrance to the Victorian Engine Rooms is located on the south side of the Bridge at river level on Shad Thames. Follow the painted blue line on the ground to connect the two parts of the Exhibition.

Here’s some information about the work I have on show as part of the exhibition.  I cannot wait to see the whole exhibition soon!

Jenny Meehan – About this work:

“This artwork expresses some of my female emotional experience: the emotion of two
parts of my sense of self being pulled together. A feeling of balance and unity, which holds, even when the two sides are different in some respects. The suspended purple and yellow contrasting colours create stasis and tension. Yet, there is also a mirroring of the same essential structure in my composition, drawn together in a pivotal centre, which may suggest movement. This piece resonates in relation to the Tower Bridge; an engineering achievement involving among other things, precision, balance, and design. Creative energy, both within and without, in both engineering and art. ”

Southwark Arts Forum,Tower Bridge "Art at the Bridge" #7 “Building Bridges, the Female Perspective" in celebration of International Womens's Day,Drawn together by Jenny Meehan, Victorian Engine Rooms Tower Bridge Exhibition, jamartlondon, modern contemporary abstraction geometric art,

Drawn Together will be exhibited at the Tower Bridge Victorian Engine Rooms this year. © Jenny Meehan DACS All Rights Reserved

 

 

Drawn together being part of this exhibition is certainly one of the highlights of this year for me!

There is also, coming up the Anagrams Exhibition at Kingston Museum:

“Anagrams” at Kingston Museum, Kingston Art 2016: Wheatfield Way,Kingston upon Thames, KT1 2PS. 29 April 2016 to 2 July 2016

This is a free to see exhibition, with a variety of work from many local artists.  I am sure it will be a delight!

I also have some work (just postcard sized prints) in the Art of Caring Exhibition:

“The Art of Caring” Exhibition at The Upper Circle Gallery, The Rose Theatre, Kingston-upon-Thames, from the 12th to 24th May 2016.

 

There will be a taster exhibition for this years Kingston Artists Open Studios, not sure on the details of that as yet.

If you are interested in coming along to the Kingston Artists Open Studios, to see my work and the work of many other talented and lovely Kingston Artists, then contact me via my contact form on my website and I will put you on my mailing list.

http://www.jamartlondon.com/contact/4569980742

 

Formed by the Spirit

where earth and sky meet, jenny meehan abstract expressionist painting,collectable british contemporary women artist, christian spirituality art process led, abstract romantic landscape art, figure in landscape abstract expressionist, jamartlondon jenny meehan

where earth and sky meet painting – jenny meehan

Where Earth and Sky Meet © Jenny Meehan DACS

 

Genesis 2 verse 7  “then the LORD God formed man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and the man became a living being.”

Text below quoted from Formed by the Spirit

Formed by the Spirit
The Newsletter of the Southwark
Diocesan Spiritual Formation Group
Opportunities, events, resources and articles
on prayer and spirituality

Issue 27: February 2016  Written by Chris Chapman

“Here we have a beautiful and intimate image of our making. God bending down to take humble earth in his hands, working the clay until form began to emerge. And then cupping his hands and breathing on what he had created. And so humankind has its beginning. We are made, the story-teller suggests, of clay and breath. Even the Hebrew word ‘Adam’ has its roots in ‘Adamah’ – from the clay. We are earth, formed form the dust of the ground, and we are also air, spirit, breath since God has bent down to breathe his life into us. God took what was before him and desired that it be something more – full of being and beauty. He valued and used the simple, humble earth of the ground and he made it what it could never be but for his breath – a living, loving mirror of himself. “

As I was reading this, my painting “Where Earth and Sky Meet” came to mind, and I have been thinking about this recently and asking myself what the painting meant to me.  What a painting “means” is of course a changing and evolving matter, and depends on the individual person to a very large degree.  As a painter of paintings, I do find, as the painting is the produce of my own mind, heart and hands, that there is an intention in the painting which is, for me, at least, with my own technique and process, largely subconscious at the time of painting. I very rarely set out on my painting pilgrimages with a very focused idea of what I am doing. (Though it does sometimes happen).  And if it starts focused, then it soon gets lost and looses its way!  This is the way I like it and the way I love to paint.  It is not the conventional route to achievement, for sure.  But it is an opening and a breathing. And as the painting opens up, it does, at some point, begin to develop focus, and narrows down sometimes quite quickly, and sometimes very slowly, into a state of resolution where I sense there is some point of it!  Then after reflection and contemplation, which are also often part of the journey, I can feel a settling inside of myself, and know instinctively if I have achieved what I wanted, even though I didn’t quite understand with my head what that was.

Back to the quote!  When I read these words from “Formed by the Spirit”, it gave me a deepened perspective on  my relationship with “When Earth and Sky Meet”.  While my painting is showing an epic landscape image, rather more in the romantic tradition (romantic and abstract; that single figure surveying the greatness and awe of creation), it was always very embedded in the painting; this idea of earth and sky…hence the ease of title which came quickly. The painting process too, was a rapid one.  It wasn’t one of my more common slowly developing works!   Earth colours  and blue paint, with some purple, pushed across the surface with a squeegee and dragged with a brush;  the physical experimentation of ways of mixing the colours was an important objective, and landscape and sky were in mind  from the outset.  It was a rapid process, in this case, rather than a very slow evolution.    The figure just appeared, it was a joyful accident.  Though my  painting is not an intimate relationship reflection, however these words just sing; “We are earth, formed form the dust of the ground, and we are also air, spirit, breath since God has bent down to breathe his life into us. God took what was before him and desired that it be something more – full of being and beauty. He valued and used the simple, humble earth of the ground and he made it what it could never be but for his breath – a living, loving mirror of himself.

I feel glad to have found such apt words to relate to the painting, and words from another’s mouth are more fascinating than one’s own.

 

……………………………….

Pinterest – Jenny Meehan Jamartlondon

I’m planning to start some pinterest boards, as it is a handy way of organising my work in a way if people are interested in particular things.  So from time to time on this blog I will post a link to particular boards.  This time around it is Jenny Meehan jamartlondon Redbubble Products – i phone cases and skins
Jenny Meehan of jamartlondon.com Redbubble products available to buy over internet. i phone cases and skins

https://uk.pinterest.com/Jamartlondon/jenny-meehan-jamartlondon-redbubble-products-i-pho/

If the truth be known,  I have sold precisely three items on Redbubble in the last approximately seven years, and all of them under £10!  However, I live in hope.  I had hoped that a little money from sales might help me with the cost of materials,  but it simply hasn’t happened!  That said, it is  fun to apply designs and artwork to objects, and though I hardly sell any of it,  I cannot resist the allure of experimenting in this way.  It’ a bit of a kick to see your work on objects, even if those objects don’t actually exist in reality!  Redbubble is a print-on-demand site which is great for artists like me who like to offer their work in this way but no way have the financial resources to start printing out things themselves. Some fine artists don’t wish to have their work applied to products in this way, but my own view is that if an image is suitable for use in this way, making it available for use on products doesn’t compromise the integrity of it at all;  it simply provides another way of sharing your work with others.  As long as my work is not used illegally and my copyright infringed, then I am fine with it.  Think on how many Matisse products, or Picasso, or anything else, you might see in various shops.  Do they mind? !!!! Well, dead and buried, they don’t!  and would they?  Who knows.  No one really cares.

I also plan to put many of my painting-print experiments on my pinterest boards.  This way I can organise them easily and use them for reference if need be without needing to locate them on my computer.  Thinking about painting-print experiments, here are some of my latest “Light Play” is the series.  “Light Play” is based on my painting  “Piñata Colour Play”, which was previously (before further working on) “Yellow Path”.   I didn’t like Yellow Path after a while and changed it for the Kingston Anagrams Exhibition.  I then changed my mind about which way up I wanted it to be hung, and so re-named it.  I’m settled now!  Peace at last.  The painting prints which came from it are beautifully colourful.  I half had it in my mind that I would experiment with additional layering through digital means and felt it could be rewarding.  I have let my enjoyment of colour lead the way in this painting, and in the painting-prints which follow.  A colour hit at this time of year is always welcome!

Light Play Painting-Print, jenny meehan jamartlondon, multi coloured light, holy spirit life, christian art licensable, uk jenny meehan jamartlondon, breath of god, renewal christian,contemplative spirituality, Christian spirituality,

Light Play Painting-Multi Print 1

Light Play Painting-Print, jenny meehan jamartlondon, multi coloured light, holy spirit life, christian art licensable, uk jenny meehan jamartlondon, breath of god, renewal christian,contemplative spirituality, Christian spirituality,

Light Play Painting Print 2

 

Light Play Painting-Print, jenny meehan jamartlondon, multi coloured light, holy spirit life, christian art licensable, uk jenny meehan jamartlondon, breath of god, renewal christian,contemplative spirituality, Christian spirituality,

Light Play Painting Print 3 Multi

 

Light Play Painting-Print, jenny meehan jamartlondon, multi coloured light, holy spirit life, christian art licensable, uk jenny meehan jamartlondon, breath of god, renewal christian,contemplative spirituality, Christian spirituality,

Light Play Painting Print 4

 

Light Play Painting-Print, jenny meehan jamartlondon, multi coloured light, holy spirit life, christian art licensable, uk jenny meehan jamartlondon, breath of god, renewal christian,contemplative spirituality, Christian spirituality,

Light Play Painting Print 5

 

I have a few more of these.  The “Multi” ones are very busy, but I like to take things along as far as they will go, just to see what happens.  I like Painting Print 5 the best.  Working in this way has been a nice change from the building up of textures I have been tending towards of late with my paintings.  I felt that though I enjoyed collage, the use of textured papers was quite heavy and hard to embed into the painting.  By using digital image manipulation software I have been able to apply my torn pieces of paper (on the original painting, you see below) but in a much lighter way.  I like the translucency of the layers, which is best when viewed on a screen or projected but still has a fairly delicate touch even when in print.  On the original painting I used varnish (after the image below was taken) to bring more translucency to the pieces of paper, and that did bed them in a little more.

The original painting, which will be displayed (hopefully, while it is  shortlisted, the final work to be shown has not been decided as yet! )  the other way up from this image below, will be at the Anagrams Exhibition in Kingston Museum this year, and will be displayed with the initial title, which came about through the theme of anagrams as Artwork title: Ripping Papers and Paint/Paper Pinnata Drippings (took a bit of liberty with the spelling there!) 
Medium: Acrylic paint, torn paper
Year created: 2015
Dimensions : (including frame where applicable) 4500 mm x 6500 Price: £200 ( including 30% commission)

 

Ripping Papers and Paint/Paper Pinnata Drippings jenny meehan jamartlondon for anagrams exhibition kingston upon thames surrey

Ripping Papers and Paint/Paper Pinnata Drippings jenny meehan jamartlondon for anagrams exhibition kingston upon thames surrey

A bit of a bargain, actually.  And bear in mind I get less than £200, 30% less, to be exact.  On the other hand, I want my work to go to people who will love it and have room for it.  And I don’t have much room here.  Don’t want artwork cluttering up the place when it could live in a spacious new home and be much appreciated!

 

 

 

 

 

“It’s inherently human to want the objects in our lives to communicate feelings and ideas to us and about us. The constant searching for and assignment of meaning dwells in everyone, but the artist is the person who exercises this muscle regularly enough to control it. The person with   – a basic understanding of the mental, emotional, and sociological tools used for creative thought and communication – is able to find purpose and apply meaning to her world rather than having meaning handed down and purpose assigned to her. The painting student completes his senior thesis exhibit with a head full of many more lessons than just how to paint. He’s now equipped with an ability to see problems, connections, and solutions where others see only a blank surface. I assure you this ability is not limited to the canvas.” 

The above is quoted from: http://www.rocketcitymom.com/want-children-survive-future-send-art-school/  and is a small section of a very interesting article by  Dustin Timbrook.

(Dustin Timbrook is the Media Director of Lowe Mill ARTS & Entertainment, founder of the Huntsville Artist Engineer Network, and co-founder of STE(A)M Fest, an annual event that promotes creativity in the STEM subjects to thousands of Huntsville students.)

 

These Wintery months draw me more to writing than to painting.  This poem is not new, but I am taking time to read through some poetry from the past, as it will help me reconnect with the writer in me, who seems to have taken a holiday recently!

Poem – The Hen

The hen
>
> I feel the structure of her wings – an
> oily smell – an apparently disconnected neck.
>
> Alive? Yes… With red, floppy, external tongues…
> Clapping a throaty, inner, sound.
>
> She struggles to get out the clucks,
> out of my hands, and flaps air
> around us.
>
> The strained express; We try to fly,
> but gravity pushes us down.
>

Jenny Meehan copyright 2013

 

Suburban Meditations/Painter’s Development

Series of photographic imagery…A study of sorts, as I dwelt on what interested me!

 

suburban meditations painters development series jenny meehan

suburban meditations painters development series jenny meehan

 

suburban meditations painters development series jenny meehan

suburban meditations painters development series jenny meehan

 

suburban meditations painters development series jenny meehan

suburban meditations painters development series jenny meehan

 

suburban meditations painters development series jenny meehan

suburban meditations painters development series jenny meehan

 

suburban meditations painters development series jenny meehan

suburban meditations painters development series jenny meehan

 

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jenny meehanccol0020

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jenny meehanccol0018

 

 


jenny meehanccol0014

 

jenny meehanccol0012

 

jenny meehanccol0011 jenny meehanccol0010

 

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jenny meehanccol0006 jenny meehanccol0004

 

There are more of these coming, with some information too.  But that is enough for now.   I am currently thinking about starting another WordPress Blog which will just showcase my fine art photography.  Black and white photography is a strong strand of my art working and while I am throwing it among everything else at the moment, it may be tidier to make it it’s own space.  I will call the photography blog Jamartlondon Fine Art Photography I think.  I don’t have much photography on my jamartlondon.com website as I focus on the paintings.  For the meantime, I will throw them in the mix which is this blog!

Below, in the Deluge painting details, the searching over surfaces goes on!  Many of those observations I noted during wanderings seem to resurrect themselves in my paintings!   This wasn’t the result of conscious effort or will, just happens!

………………………………………………………………………………..

Deluge Painting Details…

As you may realise from past writings,  I photograph my paintings thoroughly when finished and like to record, and relish, the variations which come from the paintings, as they are all experimental and process led.   Here are some details from “Deluge”.

british modern abstraction lyric expressionpainting acrylic detail jenny meehan

british modern abstraction lyric expressionpainting acrylic detail jenny meehan

british modern abstraction lyric expressionpainting acrylic detail jenny meehan

british modern abstraction lyric expressionpainting acrylic detail jenny meehan

british modern abstraction lyric expressionpainting acrylic detail jenny meehan

british modern abstraction lyric expressionpainting acrylic detail jenny meehan

british modern abstraction lyric expressionpainting acrylic detail jenny meehan

british modern abstraction lyric expressionpainting acrylic detail jenny meehan

british modern abstraction lyric expressionpainting acrylic detail jenny meehan

british modern abstraction lyric expressionpainting acrylic detail jenny meehan

british modern abstraction lyric expressionpainting acrylic detail jenny meehan

british modern abstraction lyric expressionpainting acrylic detail jenny meehan

british modern abstraction lyric expressionpainting acrylic detail jenny meehan

british modern abstraction lyric expressionpainting acrylic detail jenny meehan

british modern abstraction lyric expressionpainting acrylic detail jenny meehan

british modern abstraction lyric expressionpainting acrylic detail jenny meehan

british modern abstraction lyric expressionpainting acrylic detail jenny meehan

british modern abstraction lyric expressionpainting acrylic detail jenny meehan

british modern abstraction lyric expressionpainting acrylic detail jenny meehan

british modern abstraction lyric expressionpainting acrylic detail jenny meehan

british modern abstraction lyric expressionpainting acrylic detail jenny meehan

british modern abstraction lyric expressionpainting acrylic detail jenny meehan

british modern abstraction lyric expressionpainting acrylic detail jenny meehan

british modern abstraction lyric expressionpainting acrylic detail jenny meehan

british modern abstraction lyric expressionpainting acrylic detail jenny meehan

british modern abstraction lyric expressionpainting acrylic detail jenny meehan

british modern abstraction lyric expressionpainting acrylic detail jenny meehan

british modern abstraction lyric expressionpainting acrylic detail jenny meehan

british modern abstraction lyric expressionpainting acrylic detail jenny meehan

british modern abstraction lyric expressionpainting acrylic detail jenny meehan

british modern abstraction lyric expressionpainting acrylic detail jenny meehan

british modern abstraction lyric expressionpainting acrylic detail jenny meehan

british modern abstraction lyric expressionpainting acrylic detail jenny meehan

british modern abstraction lyric expressionpainting acrylic detail jenny meehan

british modern abstraction lyric expressionpainting acrylic detail jenny meehan

british modern abstraction lyric expressionpainting acrylic detail jenny meehan

british modern abstraction lyric expressionpainting acrylic detail jenny meehan

british modern abstraction lyric expressionpainting acrylic detail jenny meehan

british modern abstraction lyric expressionpainting acrylic detail jenny meehan

british modern abstraction lyric expressionpainting acrylic detail jenny meehan

british modern abstraction lyric expressionpainting acrylic detail jenny meehan

british modern abstraction lyric expressionpainting acrylic detail jenny meehan

british modern abstraction lyric expressionpainting acrylic detail jenny meehan

british modern abstraction lyric expressionpainting acrylic detail jenny meehan

british modern abstraction lyric expressionpainting acrylic detail jenny meehan

british modern abstraction lyric expressionpainting acrylic detail jenny meehan

british modern abstraction lyric expressionpainting acrylic detail jenny meehan

british modern abstraction lyric expressionpainting acrylic detail jenny meehan

 

All that time invested in looking at surfaces, weathered and worn, neglected and un thought of, seems to have informed my immersion in the surfaces of my paintings… I get some delight from making the paintings hold beautiful passages, which maybe the patient observer will dwell upon, and maybe the imagination might make some ways of beholding them only known to the individual viewer, who holds their own story and journeys imaginatively in their own unique way?

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

deluge painting jenny meehan

Last image shows you the whole painting.  All my paintings are for sale and reasonably priced at between £250 and £350.  Contact me via my website contact form if you are interested in buying one!

http://www.jamartlondon.com

 

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………

Notation, Digital Image by Jenny Meehan

jenny meehan jamartlondon art work uk licensable images

jenny meehan jamartlondon art work uk licensable images

 

Notation is a digital image which I created from a photograph of the beautiful London Plane Tree outside my house.  When I started taking photographs a pretty similar thing happened to me as it did with painting… I got drawn into abstraction!   The wonders of digital imaging software are hard to resist.

 

jenny meehan jamartlondon art work uk licensable images

jenny meehan jamartlondon art work uk licensable images

 

This painting is one of my earlier works, and I called it “Land and Sea Scape” as I felt both wind blown sand and water when contemplating it after completion.  It was a wonderful experience to use the acrylic paint in such a free flowing way.  The painting is available to buy, so contact me via the contact form on my website http://www.jamartlondon.com if you  are interested.

 

jenny meehan jamartlondon art work uk licensable images

jenny meehan jamartlondon art work uk licensable images

 

The fascination with water and rock has been a long term one for me, and expressed in many different mediums.  I believe it is very important for artists to experiment with different materials as it helps you to keep inspired and also suggests new directions.  This hand built coil pot is very heavy, and I very much enjoyed working in this free flowing way.  The pot is called “Water Over the Rock”.   I think it probably came from a childhood memory of water flowing over the rocks at a pub in North Devon, plus memories of playing in rocky streams in North Devon, when on holiday.

 

jenny meehan jamartlondon art work uk licensable images

jenny meehan jamartlondon art work uk licensable images

 

This digital photograph is called “High Water, Thames” and was taken when at Marble Hill  Park in Twickenham as I took a short walk.

 

jenny meehan jamartlondon art work uk licensable images

jenny meehan jamartlondon art work uk licensable images

 

This experiment with geometric shapes is one of the “Signs of the Times” series.  Digitally printed and then laminated and mounted on foam board, the surface is very smooth but not glossy, which is perfect for the imagery.  Working with very smooth precise colour is a pleasure, and quite different to my lyrical and layered paintings.  I choose the medium I work with depending on my objectives, and in this case, to use vector graphics and digital printing served my purposes well.   The print is called “Garden Grow”.   The garden is a often visited subject for me.

“The many great gardens of the world, of literature and poetry, of painting and music, of religion and architecture, all make the point as clear as possible: The soul cannot thrive in the absence of a garden. If you don’t want paradise, you are not human; and if you are not human, you don’t have a soul.”
– Thomas Moore, The Re-Enchantment of Everyday Life, 1996, p. 101

 

“When a garden is used as a place to pause for thought, that is when a Zen garden comes to life. When you contemplate a garden like this it will form as lasting impression on your heart.”
– Muso Soseki in The Temple in the House by Anthony Lawlor

 

I’m a Friend of God

There’s a song which I have heard a few times and it keeps coming into my head.   It’s got me thinking and reflecting on the idea of friendship with God.   One line in it goes “I’m a friend of God” and that is sung several times over, if I remember rightly.  It’s a very “full on”  charismatic type of song, which I associate imaginatively with the  evangelical and charismatic departments of the Christian church!  However, I also have in mind, even more than that song, “What a Friend we have in Jesus”,  a hymn which I remember from my childhood experience of church, in this case, a small Baptist Church in Hampton Wick, led by a very inspirational lady, Sister Edna Black.   “What a Friend we have in Jesus” is bedded deeply in my soul, it seems, and it is one of those songs/hymns which has come back to meet me in later life, bringing with it a deeper appreciation of what those words actually mean to me personally.

The first verse of “What a Friend we have in Jesus” is as follows:

What a friend we have in Jesus,
All our sins and griefs to bear!
What a privilege to carry
Everything to God in prayer!
Oh, what peace we often forfeit,
Oh, what needless pain we bear,
All because we do not carry
Everything to God in prayer!

Words can flow easily from our lips, but to know something deep in the heart is something else, and as I look back, the idea of friendship with God is in reality quite a challenging one.  Particularly in the hardest times, and it is not coincidental I think, that when the Holy Spirit pressed this hymn into my experience the most, was at a time when I felt particularly abandoned.     “You have never been forsaken” was something I inserted into my own version of one of the verses, without, in the first instance, being conscious of the fact that it wasn’t  a real line in the song.  It is funny how we do know what we need to know, deep down!  It was, in the end, exactly what the song was saying to me.

Are we weak and heavy-laden,
Cumbered with a load of care?
Precious Savior, still our refuge— (this line became for me “You have never been forsaken”)
Take it to the Lord in prayer.
Do thy friends despise, forsake thee?
Take it to the Lord in prayer!
In His arms He’ll take and shield thee,
Thou wilt find a solace there.

I found some very insightful reading,  below, I quote a small section of it:

“An Idea Whose Time Has Come

This notion of friendship with God seems to have waxed and waned throughout history. It is possible that preachers and teachers of religion fear that embracing the idea of friendship with God may lead to effacing the mystery and awesomeness of God, and so they hesitate to talk about it. But I am convinced, as is Carmichael, that this is an idea whose time has come, and none too soon for the future of our world—as I hope will become clear as we proceed. For one thing, fear of God has closed off a closer relationship with God in many people I have met, and they seem drawn by the notion of friendship. For another, friendship with God leads to a wider and wider circle of friends as we realize that God’s desire for friendship includes all people.

As noted, much of our teaching about God has stressed fear of God. And why not? The psalmist writes: “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom” (Psalm 111:10). But the fear of the Lord extolled in the psalm is a far cry from the fear instilled by religious teaching, which leads people to keep their distance from God. The psalms surely were not written to keep people far from God, but just as bad news sells better than good in the media, so, too, hellfire and brimstone make for more compelling teaching and preaching. But God, I believe, is shortchanged by such teaching and preaching tactics, and so are we.”

This is quoted from: http://www.ignatianspirituality.com/ignatian-voices/21st-century-ignatian-voices/god-wants-our-friendship?utm_source=emagislist&utm_medium=email&utm_content=201601&utm_campaign=emagis

and was written by:  By William A. Barry, SJ
From A Friendship Like No Other: Experiencing God’s Amazing Embrace

To read the rest of it, please follow the link above.

He goes on to talk about fear as a motivating factor for religious practice, and observes that “If fear is the principal factor used to enforce a religious practice, the practice will end when the fear is removed”.

For fear, when used in relation to God, ie “fear of the Lord”

The “fear of the Lord” that is the beginning of wisdom is a healthy realization of God’s awesomeness. God is fascinating and awe-­inspiring, even terrifying, as the theologian Rudolf Otto put it. But suppose for a moment that God, who is Mystery itself—awesome, terrible, and unknowable—wants our friendship. Then the beginning of wisdom might be an acceptance of God’s offer, even though accepting it proves to be daunting, challenging, and even a bit frightening.”

My thoughts on friendship with God are that it is something which one can get a huge amount of solace from, solace, support, comfort and acceptance, and yet also a huge amount of challenge, for friendship requires vulnerability, honesty and openness.  Trusting God  is a step of faith, and needs the light of revelation and truth.  A understanding of our Creator’s true nature, which is that of Love, and love which surpasses all others.  And if we are people who find it hard to be trusting, as many of us do, because we are wounded, and know how often misplaced trust causes injury, then to be a Friend of God is a challenging invitation, which demands a lot of faith, and requires us to face some of our own fears about what might happen if we do trust God.

“Oh, what needless pain we bear,
All because we do not carry
Everything to God in prayer!”

My images of prayer, dating back from the time when I remember singing this song as a child, consist of images of rather elderly ladies who have nothing to do with me, praying nicely, as church going people do.   But the reality of prayer is more of a way of life than a short extract of words and intentions which take place in a church. Prayer is, I think, more a case of being a turning of oneself to one’s maker, of metanoia, (Metanoia, an Ancient Greek word (μετάνοια) meaning “changing one’s mind”), and the surrender, trust, and acceptance which come from allowing the Holy Spirit to bring God’s light, love and healing to work within us.  Prayer is many other things as well, of course. There are lots of different types of prayer, and also, different faith traditions use different terminologies and practices.  What is clear to me is that a trust in God does offer very real and powerful solace, and with it comes an increased sense of personal integrity, along with increased desire for growing in friendship with others and the capacity to enjoy honest, intimate and truthful relationships, founded on the example given in Christ.

 

Well Spring Painting Published in Cover Design by Alison Beek   

Ah, great, this painting “Well Spring” is being put to good use!  Designer Alison Beek has used it for a book cover

jenny meehan well spring rethinkyourmind NHS mental health resource art book selected jenny meehan

Well Spring painting by Jenny Meehan used on the cover of The Recovery of Hope a book  by Naomi Starkey

 

The Recovery of Hope: Bible Reflections for Sensing God’s Presence and Hearing God’s Call Paperback – 22 Jan 2016  by Naomi Starkey

A little bit about Naomi Starkey…

Naomi Starkey is a full-time ordained minister in the Church in Wales, living on the Llyn Peninsula in North Wales. From 1997 to 2015 she was a commissioning editor for BRF as well as editing New Daylight and Quiet Spaces over a number of years. She is the author of Good Enough Mother (BRF, 2009), Pilgrims to the Manger (BRF, 2010), The Recovery of Love (BRF, 2012) and The Recovery of Hope (2016).

 

http://www.brfonline.org.uk/9780857464170/

http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Recovery-Hope-Reflections-Presence/dp/0857464175

Text quoted from the page above:

We live in the hope of experiencing first-hand the all-sufficient grace, love and forgiveness which is God’s alone, a hope that we may know with our heads long before we feel it in our hearts. This book is centred on a hope that means encountering God not only as consoling presence in the darkness but as one who challenges us to respond to his call. That call may prove to be costly, but as we respond, we will find ourselves transformed as we discover and rediscover not only that we are known exactly as we are, but loved beyond understanding as God’s precious children. In a series of Bible reflections – and some poems – the theme of this hope is explored in different ways, from the yearning of the Psalmist to walking the gentle journey of the Good Shepherd’s leading.” 

Happy New Year 2016!

As usual, I have rambled on in my usual manner with an excess of both words and images!  Do skim over, just stopping as you require!  I use this blog as a personal journal/memo/notebook, publishing it on the net so that anyone interested in my work can find out more, but I do not finely hone it in the way that writers should…It is an unfolding and disorderly discourse, which tumbles off the computer keys and doesn’t get much editing!  I have to manage my time carefully, and though I love writing it, I cannot play about with it too much!  So off we go:

 

This looks good!

https://www.royalacademy.org.uk/exhibition/abstract-expressionism

How tempting!  The entrance fee often deters me from seeing the exhibitions I want to, but this is one I will visit for sure!  Too interesting not to!

Text from the website:

This ambitious and long overdue exhibition will bring together some of the finest works associated with the movement from around the world.

London has seen retrospectives of the most famous proponents of Abstract Expressionism over the decades, but this is the first time since 1959 that the movement as a whole will be represented in one landmark show. It is an opportunity for us to re-evaluate an artistic phenomenon, and make the case that far from being unified, Abstract Expressionism was in fact far more complex and ever-changing.

In addition to featuring work of the most celebrated artists associated with the movement: Kline, Pollock, Rothko, Newman, Still, de Kooning, Smith, Reinhardt and Gorky, we will also display work by lesser-known – but no less influential – artists to reveal the extraordinary breadth of a movement that gave New York City an artistic identity for the first time.

Cannot wait!  Will have to…

I also just found this, very pleased, as I remember seeing  Ffiona Lewis’ paintings a few years back when popping into the galleries on Cork Street.  Though I took some notes I couldn’t remember where I put them (no surprise there! ) and it was a happy moment to re locate her work!  I rate her painting very highly indeed, and it’s a lovely selection here at the Redfern Gallery.

http://www.redfern-gallery.com/ffiona-lewis_1039

The REDFERN GALLERY
20 Cork Street
London, W1S 3HL Telephone: +44 (0)207 734 1732
Fax: +44 (0)207 494 2908
Email: art@redfern-gallery.com Monday to Friday 11:00am to 5:30pm
Saturday 11:00am to 2:00pm
Closed on Bank Holidays

Oh, these dark days!

Christmas tree lights are still very welcome and much enjoyed!

I am looking through sketch books and note books.  I am not motivated to start any new work right now, but rather still looking backwards. Apart from the watercolours, which are being reviewed, and reflected on!

Some things I have found: An old poem, written at a time I was thinking about beech leaves and made a copper sculpture of one.

Beech Leaf

Pick me up from the pool…

Rescue me from

the depths and heights

of the skies.

Place me in your hand

and treasure me,

Then,

return me,

to my resting place.

 

 

Not one of my best, but interesting to me to review what my interests have been, and notice how consistent certain preoccupations are!

I was struck by the lovely beech leaves on the beech hedging which is near the King’s Centre, Coppard Gardens, Chessington.  Many years of walking that way when the children were younger meant I saw the young tender green shoots turn to soft and downy leaves, and then into their dry, crispy, light brown state;  still held onto the branches even though dead.  I also love leaves floating on water, for the water mirrors the sky, and you have the depths of the water, and the sky held together with an awareness of the boundary between the two marked by the floating object.  I had both in mind.

jenny meehan jamartlondon photography

jenny meehan jamartlondon photography

Here is an old image of the new leaves opening up.  Apologies, cannot find the colour version!

copperleaf sculpture jenny meehan

 

Above is the leaf form I created during a course at West Dean College, which a friend brought.  I haven’t continued with the metal working though I enjoyed it immensely.

New Year’s Resolutions?

I don’t do those… and I feel January is far too early to think about the year ahead…This is still Winter!  Wait until Spring, and then I will start to look forward.  I am still in the curling up on the sofa time!  I am sketching cats, for the forthcoming KAOS “Raining Cats and Dogs” Charity event later on in the year.  KAOS stands for “Kingston Artists’ Open Studios.  I have no idea what I will do for it, and I want to produce about ten pieces of work.  But there is plenty of time.

I have had a bit of a time mending my studio tent.  The winds have been strong, and several times have nearly pulled the tarpaulin completely off!  But hopefully I have worked out the best way to keep it on…It hasn’t taken off yet!

 

Holocaust Memorial Day is coming soon

Below is the link from last years Kingston Event, which included an art competition.  I was awarded third place in the adult category.  It’s nice to look back on.  If you look on the winners images, you can find mine.  The artwork is a poem and painting combined, and was submitted as one work.  As is with the case with a lot of my imagery, I often work a poem into a painting, or vice versa.

http://www.kingston.ac.uk/faith/events/holocaust-memorial-day/

 

Faith and Art: Spirituality and Creativity working together

Religion is a funny word.  It is hard to call myself a religious artist, because of the abstract nature of a lot of my work.  Spiritually orientated art might be a more accurate expression.

See this, which is quoted from: http://www.rowan.edu/open/philosop/clowney/Aesthetics/art_spirit.htm

“Spirituality and the Pioneers of Modern Art

The beginnings of modern art, especially abstract art, have strong spiritual roots. This fact is not always obvious from textbook discussions of the work, which are more likely to focus on the many formal innovations of twentieth century art.

While these formalistic accounts are valid so far as they go, they omit what may have been the most central motivation of the pioneers of modern art. Kandinsky, Mondrian, Arp, Duchamps, Malevich, Newman, Pollack, Rothko and most of the other giants of early and mid-twentieth century painting shared common spiritual roots. For many of these men and women, art was primarily about spirituality, and was perhaps the most appropriate vehicle for expressing and developing the spirituality that the new century called for. Kandinsky expresses this conviction in his 1912 publication “Concerning the Spiritual in Art”; Mondrian mentions it in many of his writings; and so do many other painters, poets, musicians and dancers. Here is Kandinsky, in a selection from his influential 1912 booklet Concerning the Spiritual in Art:

When religion, science and morality are shaken (the last by the strong hand of Nietzche) and when outer supports threaten to fall, man withdraws his gaze from externals and turns it inwards. Literature, music and art are the most sensitive spheres in which this spiritual revolution makes itself felt. They reflect the dark picture of the present time and show the importance of what was at first only a little point of light noticed by the few. Perhaps they even grow dark in their turn, but they turn away from the soulless life of the present toward those substances and ideas that give free scope to the non-material strivings of the soul. (Concerning the Spiritual in Art, p. 33)

Whether they saw their quest as primarily personal, or whether (like Kandinsky) they saw the artist as a kind of prophet in the vanguard of humankind’s spiritual development, many of the great artists of the twentieth century saw their art in spiritual terms. For many of them also, the spirituality expressed in their work derives from eastern sources. Hindu and Buddhist ideas and practices had a strong influence on these artists, in some cases directly, in many others through the influence of Helena Blavatsky, Rudolph Steiner, and the Theosophical Society. Mondrian was a member of this society, and Kandinsky writes approvingly of it. The goal of these and other artists was to develop an art which expressed a reality beyond the material, a consciousness like that of a meditative state in which ordinary reality is transcended. Knowing this purpose casts a different light on the blank or monochrome canvases, the empty spaces, and the simple geometrical or biomorphic shapes of many abstract works. They might best be seen as meditative aids meant to reveal the transcendent or provoke a transcending consciousness. (In fact some of them strongly resemble asian works produced for exactly that purpose.) The same is true for work like that of Jackson Pollack, strongly influenced by Native American spirituality, whose drip paintings are meditative healing exercises like those of Indian shamans and Navaho sand painters (see The Spiritual in Art: Abstract painting 1890 – 1985, pp. 281 – 293 for these connections).”

The above text is written by  Dr. David Clowney, Ph.d , (Rowan University web pages)

 

“They might best be seen as meditative aids meant to reveal the transcendent or provoke a transcending consciousness.”

I seem to have fallen into creating meditative aids myself!

Yet what I do is, and cannot cease to be, related to my particular faith and perspectives. Even if not explicit.  I thought about introducing a crucifix to a couple of my paintings last year as they progressed, but then found this too stark, too obvious,  and much better when fragmented and broken up.   I arrived at Resurrection One and Resurrection Two via a crucifix at some stage in the painting.  Then my concern with light and colour took over, became more essentially part of the paintings than the symbol of the cross could hold up to… there was a fight going on and as the emotion was breaking out far more as a thrust of new life, energy and power, I just went with that, hence the title.  I felt that as the paintings had both brokenness and beauty, this was just exactly what I wanted them to be.

resurrection two, lyrical abstract painting jenny meehan, religious spirituality christian painting, contemporary christian fine artist, christian painter, british women artists 21st century

british collectable abstract paintings

 

british collectable abstract paintings

british collectable abstract paintings

 

I view all that I do artistically as being part of my response to God’s redemptive work through Christ Jesus.  For me, the energy and will to create is a handy by product of the ongoing spiritual renewal that my experience of the Holy Spirit brings into my life.  I have also found my engagement with my own subconscious through regular psychoanalysis a vital part of the development of my artistic work, as it enables me to draw deeply from my emotions and thoughts, and  reflect contemplatively, thoughtfully and analytically, into the processes and various directions which I encounter, hopefully bringing some discernment and wisdom into the decision making processes, as well as relying on aesthetic judgement.   I spend a fair bit of time looking over what I have done, and it is from this that little stepping stones sometimes appear and lead me forwards.  Not straight away.  But it is always very important to look back.  We are living in the now, but also the past and future are with us.  We cannot see the future, but the past might help root us in the ground sufficiently to enable us to gain some insight.  Looking at past works of art, both mine, and that of other artists, is a vital part of any artist’s practice.

I found this recently: http://www.leftlion.co.uk/articles.cfm/title/canon-richard-davey/id/7613

I rather like this, text quoted from an interview with Canon Richard Davey:

“Yet even as he conducts a tour of his paintings, starting and ending in a living room – ‘the abstract room’ – he stresses that what he is not is an art collector per se. The reason, perhaps, is that he has acquired his paintings over the years out of love for them, and in some cases because they were gifts from the artists, rather than because he regarded them as investments. He estimates that only half of the paintings explicitly reflect a Christian message.

However, when asked to define what he means by ‘spiritual painting’, there is a long pause followed by a much longer attempt at an explanation that touches on art and science, the mystery of matter at the atomic level and what this suggests about the cosmic interconnectedness between humans, and between the human and the divine.

“These texts and these works of art will slowly dissolve, just as we are dissolving as we shed skin and so on. What I’m interested in are artists who have a sensation or an attunement to that sense. And I find it interesting and sad. I suppose that‘s why people ask me to write about it. The artists don’t have to be ‘religious’ artists but that doesn’t mean that their faith isn’t important.”  (my bold)

The above is quoted from an interview with Canon Richard Davey, from http://www.leftlion.co.uk/articles.cfm/title/canon-richard-davey/id/7613   I cannot locate the author from the page unfortunately.

Here, once again, endless images.. to help me remember the lovely journey of painting!  I may have posted these by mistake before, apologies for that, if so, I cannot keep track even of this more organised, yet piecemeal, stream of narrative!

As I often write, do skim over!  I tend to use this blog as a diary/notebook as much as anything else, so rambling and too many images of paintings in progress is the norm!

below, wellspring two in progress…

 

 

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

 

 

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

above, Pilgrimage, in progress.  I submitted the final work to the John Moores Painting prize,  I am not sure when I will hear about if it has passed the first stage of the selection process.  http://www.liverpoolmuseums.org.uk/walker/johnmoores/

Here is some information about the John Moores Painting Prize from the website:

Background
Who or what is John Moores?
John Moores (1896-1993) was the founder of Littlewoods, a Liverpool-based company. A man of fierce local pride and a keen amateur painter, he was concerned at London’s increasing domination of the national arts scene. He established the John Moores Painting Prize in 1957 as a competition open to anyone and sponsored the exhibition’s prizes. He received a Knighthood in 1980, becoming Sir John Moores.

Today, the John Moores Liverpool Exhibition Trust works in partnership with National Museums and Galleries on Merseyside (operating as National Museums Liverpool (NML)) to organise and present the John Moores Painting Prize at the Walker Art Gallery every two years.

What is the John Moores Painting Prize?
The prize is an open competition for artists working with paint, which, since 1957, has culminated in an exhibition at the Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool. The exhibition is open to all artists aged 18 years or over, living or professionally based in the UK. It showcases the best new painting produced in Britain today and attracts a broad spectrum of artists. Named after its founding sponsor, the first John Moores exhibition was a great success and led to it becoming a biennial event. By the early sixties, the exhibition was regarded as the UK’s leading showcase for avant-garde painting. Many of the prize-winning works were purchased by John Moores and presented to the Walker Art Gallery for its permanent collection.

Since John Moores 23 in 2004, the first prize is no longer such a purchase prize. Instead, the painting that wins the first prize may be purchased by the Walker, meaning that the artist receives not only their prize money but the value of the painting in addition.

The John Moores Painting Prize is selected by an invited jury which changes for every competition, and the whole selection process is anonymous – the jurors are not told who the paintings are by.

 

I have never entered it before, as due to finances I need to pick just a couple of competitions to enter each year, especially if you need to pay to submit the work, regardless of if it gets selected or not.  But the John Moores Painting Prize is one competition I have thought about entering several times, so this time around I finally paid my money and sent the image off.  I like the fact that the whole selection process is anonymous… there is some peace of mind in the fact that the work is judged purely as it comes to meet one in the face, rather than influenced by other factors.

More painting in progress images;

 

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

 

above, those images from “rock strike”  Not sure is this one is quite finished, so will hold off the final image for now.  I enjoyed experimenting with a bit of collage;  wall paper, mod-roc, scrim, and tiny glass beads mostly.  It all feels rather a mess, and that  I have let things fall apart.  However, I recognise this as an important part of creativity, and indeed, of life.   Things get messy. Who knows what will come of it?

 

 

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

 

this one above is still waiting, I am not sure how to go with it right now…

 

 

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

 

above, “view”… this stayed like this for a long time before proceeding!  Just contemplating it at the moment.

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

 

above, “into the ocean deep”  That one was in progress for at least six months.  I don’t rush these paintings along at all!

Sometimes I wonder, amused, at what has happened with my painting.  Reading things like this;

Jules Olitski (1922–2007) 

“Painting is made from the inside out. I think of painting as possessed by a structure—i.e., shape and size, support and edge—but a structure born of the flow of color feeling. Color in color is felt at any and every place of the pictorial organization; in its immediacy—its particularity. Color must be felt throughout.”—Jules Olitski

and realising a ridiculous (but lovely) love of paint which rules itself and pulls me along with it,  is not very unusual, but something which inspires thousands of painters across the ages, whatever their style.

 

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

above, “catastrope”…. still thinking about this one..

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

above, one of the “resurrection” series, the full image of which I showed you earlier.   These were a long haul, quite a struggle at times, only coming together right at the very end.

Pillar and Moon

http://www.tate.org.uk/art/artworks/nash-pillar-and-moon-n05392

Quote from the tate site:

Display caption

Paul Nash was deeply affected by his experiences as a soldier and an artist during the First World War. This picture was based around ‘the mystical association of two objects which inhabit different elements and have no apparent relation in life… The pale stone sphere on top of a ruined pillar faces its counterpart the moon, cold and pale and solid as stone.’Though not explicitly about mourning, the deep, unpopulated space and ghostly lighting gives the scene a melancholy air. Rather than depict a real landscape, Nash said that his intention had been ‘to call up memories and stir emotions in the spectator’.
July 2007

Follow the link to see the image.

My “Pillar and Moon” below.

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

 

Found this while doing some sorting, it’s 70cm by 50cm… has some lovely texture in it.  While in Paul Nash’s “Pillar and Moon”  I can share in the calling up memories and stirring emotions… very much an aim which has emerged in my painting, (though unexpectedly I have gone further into abstraction than I expected to),  in my “Pillar and Moon” the relationship between the two is less distant… “‘the mystical association of two objects which inhabit different elements and have no apparent relation in life… The pale stone sphere on top of a ruined pillar faces its counterpart the moon, cold and pale and solid as stone.’… He pulls them together in their almost parallel position at the top of his painting, so you know what he is doing there, but I have pulled mine into even closer relationship and because my painting is  more abstract, their material composition differences,  and the ground/sky relationship are lessened.  My moon is below the pillar even, and earthed with a brown which reaches towards the pillar, surrounded in blue, more resounding of sky than earth.

Pillar and Moon, by Jenny Meehan is available for purchase, please contact me for further details.

Use the contact form on my website:   www.jamartlondon.com

 

 

A Book of Silence….

I read this book several years ago, and it influenced me, so here is sharing a little more about it!

Quotes from http://www.saramaitland.com/Silence.html

” For about the last 10 years Sara Maitland has been trying to understand more about silence: what it might mean in 21st century; what effects it has on people; how it has been used and understood in the past; why we are so frightened of it; and why she has come to love it so much.
Her new book is an account of that adventure, a sort of mixture of personal journey and cultural history, both deeply personal and intellectually exciting. In the course of researching and writing the book Maitland spent silent time in silent places – on Skye in the Hebrides; in the Sinai Desert; in forests and mountains; in a flotation tank; in monasteries and libraries. She was trying to match her personal experiences to those of other people – from fairy stories to single-handed sailors, from hermits and romantic poets to prisoners and castaways, from reading and writing to mountaineering and polar exploration, from mythology to psychoanalysis.

“A serious, important and deeply engaging book, describing with equal honesty the risks and the resources of silence. In describing her own exploration of these, Sara Maitland prompts some very uncomfortable questions about the fear, the shallowness and the lack of attentive listening that so effectively keep us prisoners” Archbishop Rowan Williams

“Sara Maitland’s search for silence and solitude turns into an intriguing spiritual quest which takes the reader deep into her inner thoughts and fears. ‘A Book for Silence’ records a brave and adventurous psychological journey that will speak to all who have doubts about our increasingly over-materialistic society.” Stuart Sim, author of Manifesto for Silence

“I am grateful to Sara Maitland for this joyful book, filled with humour. It is a beautifully written, the fruit of prolonged experience of different sorts of silence, as well as wide reading and real scholarship. It uncovered within me a half-forgotten hunger for silence which surely most of feel in this noisy world.” Timothy Radcliffe, OP

Very struck by the quote below;  I think because I have found articulating my own experiences in life, through visual and written communication, very important and empowering.  I have seen silence as negative, and it has been, very often, very negative.  But I like the expression “presence of something which is not sound” and this struck me.  So, quoted from her book:

Perhaps it is a real, separate, actual thing an ontological category of its own: not a lack of language but other than, different from language; not an absence of sound but the presence of something which is not sound.

Nonetheless the idea that silence is an absence or lack is the commonly help position in contemporary life and especially – this is why it was painful – among the radical intellectual milieu in which I had for so long lived and flourished.

Toward the end of the 1990s my friend Janet Batsleer, with whom I was discussing all this at great length, sent me a (deliberately) provocative letter:

Silence is the place of death, of nothingness.  In fact there is no silence without speech.  There is no silence without the act of silencing, some one having been shut up, put bang to rights, gagged, told to hold their tongue, had their tongue cut out, had the cat get their tongue, lost their voice.  silence is oppression and speech, language, spoken or written, is freedom.”

and another quote from the letter she quotes..

That silence is a place of non-being, a place of control, from which all our yearning is to escape.  All the social movements of oppressed people in the second part of the twentieth century have claimed “coming to language” and “coming to voice” as necessary to their politics.. In the beginning was the Word.. Silence is oppression.  It is “the word” that is the beginning of freedom.  All silence is waiting to be broken”

…..

I like both silence and sound:  both are vital.  Reading this book certainly made me think about the pauses, rests, and other no-noise part of our existence!   However, when I took my retreat at the beginning of last year, I chose not to make it a silent one.  For me, this wouldn’t have sat well, I don’t feel.  Many people have tried it and like it, but speaking matters to me too much to forego it altogether!

I am an expressive person!  I am a communicator!  I simply enjoy being with people too much to deprive myself of communicating with them! And while I find attractive, the “the presence of something which is not sound.” and often enjoy silence (well, as near to it as possible, bearing in mind where I live),  I guess, as a painter, I am still listening and hearing, responding and communicating in the act of painting and the outworking of a painting comes to me very much as a kind of listening and a kind of speaking, even without words. There is a kind of presence which can be felt when looking at a painting, and a kind of listening, maybe a kind of echo or resonating type experience. Spiritual soundings, maybe?  Not audible, but through the eye comes some awareness?

Words, as ever, fail! But I think expression, sometimes termed “sound” can be silent, but also sounding.  Paintings can resonate with one’s spirit, and there is a silent sound which is heard, even if nothing enters the ears.  And it is not a matter of body and materiality being separate from the spiritual, psychological and emotional (soul) aspects of life and experience.   It is not a matter of silence or sound, or any kind of “either”  “or”  matter.    In fact, I feel as a painter, that  the physicality of the whole experience of creating a painting and enabling something to materialize is one of the most incarnational and wonderful things about it.  A unifying, incarnational and sacramental matter!  Outward signs of inner experiences and realisations of wonderful grace, maybe?  This is my take, anyway. When a painting goes well, and comes together, it is like a gift.  I just stand there feeling grateful, relieved, and slightly in  wonder.  Surprised, feeling tired from the work, but feeling that it’s not just my work, but a rather nice present from a Creator God who is far beyond anything I could ever imagine or create. Yet one who likes to share the joy of creation with me!  I moan sometimes about aspects of being an artist, but someone reminded me recently that it is a wonderful gift and worth being grateful about. And I do know what they mean. It’s not simply a matter of ability or skill (important though that is to develop)but it’s an experience of immersion in the creative, of being in the flow, of being opened up and thrown into the unknown, and loving it. That’s faith, isn’t it?

Watercolour Experiments 

Having made some watercolour paints last year, I have been keen to experiment with these.  I think I mentioned that in more detail in my last post.   I am jumping into the deep, and learning lots about this paint, and it helps me that I made the paints myself.  It is not hard, and I had the pigments.  It feels great to have been with the paints right from the beginning, and I can be generous in my experiments, as the water colour paints are more economical and far less expensive than if I had purchased them.  I have been blessed with a lot of pigment…pure and lovely, … so much to play with!   I am getting to know them well.  I am working with inorganic pigments which I obtained initially for use with silicate mineral paint (I was going to use with potassium silicate as the binder)  but which are now bound with some gum arabic solution I made up.  I have plenty more for use with other binders if I want to, but working on paper is interesting indeed, and though I cannot tell what the outcome will be, the process is very interesting!  I will post some up later on in the year, when I have worked sufficiently with them.  I showed you the two I entered for the Royal Watercolour Competition, but I have around twenty more I am working on.

Spiritual Direction/Guidance

I continue my mental touselling, (a word which does exist, even though the spell checker tells me that I have spelt it incorrectly!) over the term “spiritual director”.  As most of the population have never heard of a spiritual director, the term says all the wrong things and so I am continuing to experiment with ideas for how to better describe the role of a spiritual director in a short, quick and easily understandable way!   Here is something I rather like from the Mount Street Jesuit Centre website:

“Would you like the chance to meet an experienced prayer guide to share your thoughts and reflections about your own journey in life within a sacred and secure space where you will be listened to and accompanied on your path?

Typically, people meet with a spiritual director every 6-8 weeks for about an hour. There are no requirements other than an open heart. So, if attending any of our events leaves you wishing you had someone to talk things through with, this could be for you. There is a large local network of spiritual guides and we can put you in contact.”

That is pretty much the best and clearest description I have come across.  I like the expression “prayer guide” and the description of the space also.   I like the term “spiritual guide” too, which is much better than “director” as a word.   I often say to people who ask me what a “spiritual director is” is that it is a kind of mentoring, spiritual counselling, and listening type role, which aims to help people in their relationship with the divine and the spiritual dimension of their life experience/ God, in the way that they understand God,  and how this is working in their life.  I say that it is something open to all, whatever faith tradition, or none.  It seems to be, maybe not surprisingly, that most people who come to seek spiritual direction do have some background in one church or religious group setting or another, and have a faith tradition, however, this is not always the case.  What is beyond us is often an awful lot, (actually, always!) and I think  there are times in our lives when we want to ask ourselves what we believe, and why, and just make space to examine our consciousness and hopefully increase our awareness of where we are going, and why.   I come from a Christian perspective, and it obviously influences my approach and how I work as a spiritual director.  However, I am hoping that when I do complete my training with SPIDIR I won’t just be seeing people who happen to have similar affiliations to me.

In the SPIDIR course recently we had a brilliant session from Tim Stead on Mindfulness.  Tim is very thoroughly trained in Mindfulness and in delivering Mindfulness workshops and it certainly showed.   It was very helpful for me, as I had been seeking clarification on a few points.  It really was one of the best sessions so far.  Very inspiring.  Mindfulness, I think, is something ever more necessary in our current time, and essential to develop and cultivate.  Details of courses on Mindfulness run by Tim Stead can be found here:  http://www.hthq.org.uk/mindfulness.html

And also here:  http://bemindful.co.uk/learn-mindfulness/

 

New Redbubble art work…

I have just posted up some more artwork on Redbubble, do take a look!  My son likes Star Trek and I wanted to play around with ideas of speed and space.  I am pleased with the result, and he will get a T Shirt as one of his birthday presents!

 

http://www.redbubble.com/people/jennyjimjams/works/20306316-not-long-until-i-reach-warp-speed-star-trek-parody-logo-design-with-transparent-background?grid_pos=132&p=t-shirt

 

For general look at my Redbubble portfolio go here:

http://www.redbubble.com/people/jennyjimjams?ref=account-nav-dropdown

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All content on this blog,  unless specified otherwise,  is © Jenny Meehan.  Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts of writing and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jenny Meehan with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.  Images may not be used without permission. 

Copyright and Licensing Digital Images Information – Jenny Meehan

www.jamartlondon.com

Copyright in all images by Jenny Meehan is held by the artist.
Permission must be sought in advance for the reproduction, copying or any other use of any images by Jenny Meehan. Individuals or businesses seeking licenses or permission to use, copy or reproduce any image by Jenny Meehan should, in the first instance, contact Jenny Meehan.
Any persons discovered to be reproducing, copying or using images by Jenny Meehan without prior consent, authorisation or permission will be put on notice that Jenny Meehan is the copyright owner and asked to immediately cease and desist the infringing activity. If a satisfactory response and / or compliance is not forthcoming promptly, the matter will be pursued. For clarification of the laws of copyright, please contact the Design and Artists Copyright Society (DACS). http://www.dacs.org.uk

Copyright for all visual art by Jenny Meehan is managed by the Design and Artists Copyright Society (DACS) in the UK. If you wish to licence a work of art by Jenny Meehan, please contact Jenny Meehan in the first instance to clarify your requirements. There is a contact form on my website www.jamartlondon.com

Licensing an image is quick and easy for both parties and is organised through the Design and Artist Copyright Society. (Note, my images are not shown on the “Art image” selection on the Design and Artist Copyright “Art Image” page. This does NOT mean you cannot apply for a license to use an image of my work from DACS… They simply have a very limited sample selection of work in their “Artimage” page!)

 

 

Making my own watercolour paints

I wanted to experiment with watercolours, and I wanted good quality paint to experiment with, and to be able to do so without worry about cost.  So I have made my own watercolour paints!  Problem solved! Worrying about the cost of materials is very detrimental to creative exploration… an artist needs to be able to work without little thought of the economics involved.  But I am in somewhat in a huff  right now.  My huff is this:  That artists are often being treated as if they need no money, food, or shelter.  How?  In the form of opportunities where they spend huge amounts of time working only to then end up assigning their copyright to large corporations.  This does no service to the artistic profession at all, in my opinion.

I am thinking of a recent call out for “Surrey Hills CowParade” I came across.  I won’t go on about it now, (actually, I will!) but though it seems materials for painting the cow are paid for, the artist, (as far as I can see at the moment*), receives no payment for their time, and also signs their copyright over to the CowParade Holdings Corporation who can, if they choose to, make all sorts of products and merchandise without the artist getting a penny from this. (For those not familiar with copyright, that would also mean that the artist couldn’t do anything or make anything with their design on, ie they couldn’t print their own prints, license the use of their design for anything else, create a similar design, or basically make any money from its use at all!)

  • Ahh, just found this on the website, on the page for sponsors: “As a sponsor, what do I have to pay for? The full size resin cow is £3,500 plus VAT. In addition, the sponsor pays a fee to the artist (to be negotiated), plus the materials the artist will need to decorate the cow.

(However, I cannot find anything on  the artists’ information section and terms and conditions about any fee for payment for work, only a reference to materials being paid for?? I find the way it is phrased a bit ambiguous?   In the artist’s pack it says “Please note, the sponsors of each cow will be commissioning the recommended artists, based on the designs submitted and on the CowParade website. They will be covering the cost of suitable materials including a protective glaze and paying the artist directly. On the charities section is says  “If you’re a fundraiser looking for a unique way to raise money for your charity, CowParade is the perfect opportunity for you. You will need to find a sponsor to cover the cost of a cow (£3,500 + VAT) and the materials needed to decorate it. )

Maybe more clarification will come later.  It appears that artists are not paid for their work? Even if some kind of production fee is paid for the actual painting of the cow,  which I cannot see any indication of on the Surrey Hills CowParade website,  it is important to remember that the actual design and copyright are a potentially very valuable asset in themselves.

The whole CowParade™ venture is a worldwide one, and some big artist names are involved/have been involved.  I cannot help speculating that the terms and conditions for the larger names must be different from that of the general artist call out, but I don’t have any information about this.  Maybe they are different for invited, well known artists?  I cannot believe that the big names would assign their copyright for their CowParade Cow design to a large corporation.  (I cannot, so far, locate any of the cow figurines for Vivienne Westwood, for example, and when I enquired on the website, I was told that none were made.) If you have one, let me know!

Ah, but it is all for charity, so it is good, yes? In my opinion, NO.  And it isn’t all for charity either.  (CowParade Holdings is not a non-profit organisation itself,  as far as I can see from the research I have done.)   There’s nothing wrong with artists donating some of their time and energy to charity.  It is one thing donating  a single piece of work to charity. Or even a few.  Or even investing a few hours work into a charitable event. I am all for it.  I donate some of my work to charity every year, but it is quite different to this, where you  work for nothing/next to nothing (??as said earlier, unclear on this point!)   and then sign away your copyright!   It makes me angry.   The time involved in working on the design and the painting and varnishing of a cow with even a fairly simple design would take at least a month, probably more.    One of the websites for another country’s Cow Parade mentions that the artists are given a lump sum of money once the full size cow has been auctioned, so it might be that this element varies depending on the country?  Some of the Cow Parade™ websites for other countries say that the artist is paid a “production fee” and others an “honorarium”.

Clarity is a great thing, but I don’t have it at the moment!   Are artists paid for the  design work/painting work,  and the materials? And if so, when?  (Might they want to know what they are going to be paid BEFORE signing away their copyright?)  And if  artists do indeed need to negotiate a fee for their work with the sponsors, how keen are those sponsors going to be to pay the artist very much, I am wondering, bearing in mind that they have already paid over £3,000? If the sponsors want to keep the cow they commissioned the artist to paint, they still need to bid for it at auction.  They may feel they don’t wish to pay the artist for their work in painting the cow, as the cow is not strictly speaking theirs?  The artist’s work in designing and painting/varnishing a cow for CowParade is considerable. Is it then wise and/or fair, for them  to then sign away the financial benefit which they might have gained from their labours?  If it doesn’t work out and sponsor and artist cannot agree a fee, is it then possible than another artist could be brought in to paint the design on the cow?  I would have thought it was, bearing in mind that the copyright has been assigned quite early on in the process.  Artists are required to sign the copyright clause on their initial application, and it says (among other things)  “If your finished cow is approved for exhibition, CowParade Holdings Corporation will continue to own the entire right, title and interest in your design proposal, accompanying sketches and all derivative works, including the final work completed on the fiberglass cow.”  What would happen if your finished cow (what does that mean? It must be the design proposal, as the final work is mentioned also?) is approved, your copyright signed away, and it is then painted onto the cow by another artist?   I can also see nothing which guarantees that if your design is approved, you will definitely be the artist who is allowed to execute the actual painting work on the cow itself. Once you have signed away your copyright, any artist given permission by the copyright  holder can produce your design.   It might not happen, but technically, it could.  All questions worth checking out before you proceed.  Ensure that you have the clarity your require.  There are answers to these questions, so it is wise to make sure that you have them,  so that you can be 100% confident and happy about what you are doing, and have no reason for complaint or dissatisfaction.

Well, I will look into this Cow Parade™ project a bit more, and I hope my writing at least prompts some valid questions which any self respecting artist will wish to consider before investing themselves into this project.   My writing and perspectives here are simply my own opinion, and reflect a rather strong emotional response as well as my rather critical thinking mind!  But I do feel strongly, mostly because it says on the website; “Proceeds benefit non-profit organizations worldwide.”   However, it does not appear that the process benefits the artist, many of whom, like myself, work hard at what is our calling in life,  but are certainly  non-profit in our art-working activities.  Selling pieces of  art  we produce is normally a sporadic and irregular occurrence, happening when the wind chooses to blow in the right direction!  (well, I speak for myself!)) and any money gained is sown right back into our costs and sustaining our practice.  The majority of fine artists, a group I count myself in,  tend to depend on alternative sources of income in order to meet our daily needs.  I consider myself blessed and fortunate to be able to invest myself in what is my profession and vocation, regardless of the lack of money it generates.  I had to wait until the second half of my life to be able to do what I do, because of social and economic factors.  However, just because I am now more enabled to carry out my art working, this doesn’t mean I don’t feel passionately about the need for artists and their work to be treated as other types of work, ie plumbers, builders, etc!  Creatives of all kinds need to be valued, and their work valued, in the same way that other occupations are valued. And we also need to be tenacious in our requirements for precise information, which any artist working in a professional manner expects and requires, in order to make informed judgements and ensure they use their time wisely.

This is particularly important for fine artists who of course could choose to create art which is more commercial, and there is nothing wrong with that, (often we do both) but many of us have responsibilities and other tasks, ie parenting, caring responsibilities, etc which mean our time is fairly limited, and it is important for all artists, of whatever variety, to go in the creative directions that maintain our own integrity…Our own unique contribution to life, in it’s fullness.  It is this diversity, freedom of expression, experimentation, and basically the role of creativity in general, which are a vital element of our role in society and culture.  If the artistic profession, as it operates on the kind of level I am working at (ie, not  anywhere near profit making, but still needing funding to continue operating!) was better valued and respected, and there were sounder frameworks and systems within our society to ensure that artist’s work, (all kinds of artists, not just visual artists!) was treated as work, and treated accordingly, then how much better the creativity we all benefit from would be.  The cynical part of me tells me that artists will continue to allow themselves to be treated in ways which don’t value the importance of artistic creativity, invention, and let their work be undervalued in the process.  But you never know, it’s good to have hope!

Well, er, I have got that out of my system!  Oh, not quite!

I did find this also:

http://www.wendyrodrigue.com/2009/12/blue-dog-man-1996-1999.html

If it doesn’t show up (not sure why!) just copy and paste the text below you will be able to find it.  Alternatively, there is a good picture to be found here:  http://www.nola.com/living/index.ssf/2008/03/noma_tail_wagger.html  and that one shows the little cows, so it’s a better image of the work.  Very creative response!  And some of the little cows are still wandering around somewhere:

http://www.worthpoint.com/worthopedia/rodrigue-blue-dog-black-tie-dog-cows-on-parade

This quote is from the wendyrodrigue website, but read the whole thing!

“And the Chicago Cow Parade (1999), for which Neiman Marcus requested three Rodrigue cows to graze in their flower gardens on Michigan Avenue. The project unfortunately caused a copyright nightmare and lawsuit when the Cow Parade attorneys reproduced miniature versions of George’s cows for Hallmark stores across the country after he specifically denied them permission. Upon settling the dispute, we ended up with hundreds of these cows in our warehouse, and in typical Rodrigue-form, he turned them into an installation for the New Orleans Museum of Art exhibition in 2008 (pictured, one of the Chicago Cows in front of A Herd of Moos, a Wall of Blues, created from illegally reproduced mini-cows).”

Nice to hear of a creative response!  I suspect I may produce my own artistic response later on it the year!

 

And I also found this,  the link from the Hartford Courant:  (This is dated from 2007)

http://articles.courant.com/2007-09-02/news/0709020604_1_cow-parade-fiberglass-cow-local-artists

After reading this with respect to the Cow Parade™ business venture, I can only say, as you would imagine, that my anger was increased.  Reading things like this:  All extracts are taken from “There’s Moola In Them Thar Cows
September 02, 2007|By JANICE PODSADA; Courant Staff Writer The Hartford Courant ©

Janice writes:

“But whether the cow parade is in New York City, Moscow, Paris, Istanbul or Harrisburg, Pa., it originates in West Hartford, home to CowParade Holdings Corp.

Founded by Jerry Elbaum, 67, a West Hartford lawyer, the privately held company’s business consists of selling the licensing rights and providing expertise to people who want to hold an official cow parade in their city.

A cow parade is a deceptively simple event: A city contracts with CowParade Holdings and the company joins with a local partner who then solicits local sponsors and artists. A year later, the whimsical cows make their debut.

Since its launch in 1998, CowParade Holdings, a six-person firm, has become a multimillion-dollar business, company officials said. After almost a decade, “how we do business is pretty much a science. We don’t need a lot of people to operate,” Elbaum said. ”

and

“With a cow parade, everyone wins, said Ron Fox, the company’s vice president. The city gets a free art exhibit with local businesses picking up the tab; merchants benefit from increased tourism; and local artists take home a $1,000 honorarium for each cow they embellish. When the exhibit closes, the cows are auctioned off, and nonprofit organizations typically take home all or most of the proceeds. And CowParade Holdings makes a bundle.”

And more from the article:  “There’s Moola In Them Thar Cows
September 02, 2007|By JANICE PODSADA; Courant Staff Writer.  Here is another extract:

“The licensing part of our business is where we make money,” Fox said.

To participate in a cow parade, artists must agree to assign the copyright for their design to the company, which then owns the rights to the art.

CowParade also makes money by licensing the manufacture of a range of products, including a collection of 250 different 6-inch ceramic cows that retail for $20 to $35, official cow parade apparel, books and memorabilia, and in Europe, a line of kitchen and home decor products. The company is also planning to launch an e-commerce store that will sell its collection of larger, home decor cow figurines.”

 

and also this from the same piece:

 

`Artists clamor to participate in our exhibits because they get a tremendous amount of exposure,” he said.”

Well, I wish them every success,  and I am sure it will be a super event.  But do artists “clamor to participate?”  Well, some do, but I am not one of them.

I spoke to a friend recently who happened to have a cow figurine, and we were discussing if it did work on a promotional level.  She didn’t recall who the artist was that had designed her cow, and said that it had not made her want to look at the artist’s other work. (Which of course, could be very different in style and subject matter anyway)  The cow had been brought for her as a gift.  This made me also consider the fact that if an artist assigns their copyright to someone else, they have no say on if and how their name, website or anything about them is shown, or have no control on how much, how prominently, or how long their information is displayed with reference to/or on  the product.  Or what the artwork is used for, made into, and how long and by whom it is used.  Indeed, the artist has no say at all. This is quite different to the situation if you license your work for something as an artist, everything needs to be approved by you, and is set out clearly.   You maintain control.  I have never seen one of these Cow Parade™ figurines in person, and I have no idea of how they are packaged, presented and labelled; the artists names are displayed with the item, I am sure, however, how beneficial this is to an artists other types of work I am not convinced about. There are lots of cheaper and easier ways to get your name splattered about the place, and there is nothing like your own network and those you come into contact with personally. I suppose there is a certain amount of exposure during the event itself, yes, indeed there would be,  but would that bring any financial benefit to the artist?   There may be examples of this, if you know, please let me know so I can adjust my own perspective a little.

I don’t think taking part in the Cow Parade™ is the way I personally want to help Charities… There are other ways!

When you know that many of the organisations and charities involved are probably blissfully unaware of how important an artist’s copyright is in terms of enabling artists to function and thrive, and how this corporation is effectively benefiting their own business by insisting that artists who take part assign their copyright to them,  I can find no redeeming features, however hard I look, from an artistic community point of view.   As I  have said before,   the potential benefit that the artist would get from any promotion would be primarily related to their actual cow design, as this is what the public would see and this is what the public would want to buy something of. You do sometimes hear that if you work for free then the publicity somehow generates sales for the artist, but I think this is a fallacy. Donate work to charity, yes, the whole charity auction events are a wonderful thing for artists to be involved in,  I wish there were more, but please, artists, stop working for free.  We don’t have an artists union or anything like that, so it is up to us to carefully examine what we sign up for, and if this does us a service or not. It is true, no one forces artists to take part in something like this.  It is up to the individual artist to do what they want with their copyright, and there may be some who don’t mind assigning it to a large profit making organisation who will benefit from their hard work, but I am certainly NOT one of those.

I think that is is very important that people who get involved with the whole Cow Parade™ event are fully aware of what the reality of the situation is, from an artist’s perspective.  And so, here, I have shared mine.   I am sure for many it will make no difference at all as to what happens with the artist’s copyright, after all, no one is forcing the artists to sign their copyright away, and no one is forcing them to take part at all.  However, I personally cannot agree with this kind of activity, and, yes, you have guessed, I will not be taking part.  I want no part in something like that at all.  As artists, we must value our work and our contribution to society, and do what we can to ensure that those around us are educated as to the value of our work.   I can see nothing about Cow Parade™ that inspires me, or encourages me, or supports me, as an artist.  I also think that if charities and artists want to work together, there are better ways to do it than something like this.  Charities often organise their own art exhibitions and art events, and all those I have been involved with have been a delight to work with, given me opportunity to show and share my work, have not required to to sign away my copyright, and have had clear terms and conditions which restrict the use of my work in a way which protects me and respects me, my work, and my kind contribution.

There are some positive things about the Cow Parade™, of course… I am sure many charities  and businesses will benefit from it.  I hope those charities and businesses that get involved in it, also value the hard work, dedication, and artistic talent, skill, and creativity involved, without which, there would be no Cow Parade at all.  I think for local community groups who would like to design a cow and paint it, as a type of creative activity, and they don’t mind at all about copyright, (it may be that the terms and conditions are different in this case anyway?  I do not know about this aspect?)  it could be a super, fun, and very positive thing to do. I think for artists who do not care about retaining their copyright and don’t mind their work being used in this way, it could also be a very positive use of time, and it may well be something which serves their own purposes and situation in a way which they feel perfectly at peace about.  But it only inspires me to lament the whole affair.

There is some more information here also….

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CowParade

“The concept of “cow parade” has its origins in Zürich, Switzerland, in 1998[1] by artistic director Walter Knapp, it is based on an idea which was realised in the same city for the first time in 1986: Lions as the symbol of Zurich were painted and then on display throughout the city.

The Zürich exhibit 1998 was not called “cow parade” – it was called “Land in Sicht” (roughly translated as “Countryside in view”).[citation needed] The concept was brought to the United States when Chicago businessman Peter Hanig, along with Commissioner of Cultural Affairs Lois Weisberg, organized an event in Chicago in 1999.[citation needed] A Swiss company, CowHolding Parade AG, started to explore the idea.[citation needed] The American company that explored this idea, CowHolding Parade, was founded in 1999; the Swiss company promptly sued but the case fizzled out without results.[citation needed] A bronze casting of one of the cows is on permanent display in Chicago in commemoration of the city’s initial exhibition.[citation needed]

The success of this venture inspired many other cities to host similar fundraising projects. The idea has been taken up by other cities which have chosen animals for public art projects with painted fiberglass sculptures (see Similar projects).[citation needed]”

There is rather a lot of citation needed! As an avid lover of research, this spurred my curiosity, naturally!

I also found this:

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/this-britain/is-someone-milking-the-painted-cows-704575.html

and these:

http://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/whats-on/going-out/legacy-of-bitter-legal-dispute-1113307

 

the next is from the New York Times, an article “Is Nothing Sacred?; International Discontent Erupts Over a Cow Parade”
By CHRIS HEDGES
Published: May 31, 2000

http://www.nytimes.com/2000/05/31/nyregion/is-nothing-sacred-international-discontent-erupts-over-a-cow-parade.html?pagewanted=all

and this is an interesting read also:

http://forecastpublicart.org/public-art-review/2014/07/cowparade-discontents/

Another article: Cash Cow: The CowParade™
The CowParade™ and its discontents…This is a perspective from Susan Tallman, who is an art historian who has written extensively on issues of authenticity, reproduction, and multiplicity. Her books include The Contemporary Print: from Pre-Pop to Postmodern and The Collections of Barbara Bloom (with Barbara Bloom and David Hickey).

Susan Tallman’s perspective is particularly interesting, and a very good read!

On the value of it artistically, and another perspective there is this  written by Thomas Vinciguerra FOR THE INQUIRER
POSTED: October 05, 2005

http://articles.philly.com/2005-10-05/news/25442066_1_tom-eccles-fine-arts-public-art-fund

I also found this, which offers an artist’s perspective from quite a way back, but interesting anyway:

http://artezine.com/issues/20001101/cowpar.htm

For an appreciation of profit to be made from merchandise, this is a good read, quoted from Speciality Retail, Winter 2001 Mad About the Cow by Lauryn Mittleman

http://specialtyretail.com/issue/2001/01/retail-products/retail-product-features/cow_retail_products/

Here is a snippet, but as always, best to read the whole thing to have it in context:

“Everywhere the CowParade goes, herds of people follow,” proclaims US CowParade Holdings. And so does the money. So whether it’s Chicago’s cows or a hometown critter crawl, specialty retailers benefit from the event-related T-shirts and totes, magnets and more. They’re not just colorful and clever and fun—they’re profitable. “Take a look,” says Nieroth, “and just try not to smile.”

 

I hope my researching is useful, it is certainly something I have found interesting to do. Once I start researching something, I find it hard to stop, as you can see!  Here is one rejected cow, which I have to show you, because it is brilliant!

http://www.davidlynch.de/eatmyfear.html

 

Not for me! 

I must stress…It is made very clear, and is totally transparent, that the artist is required to assign their copyright to the CowParade Holdings Corporation, for this is what the information in the “Details and Terms and Conditions” section of the Surrey Hills CowParade says:

“rights/entitlements

By submitting your application, you confirm that:

You are the original creator of your design.
You have not copied anyone else’s original work.
Your design does not infringe on anyone else’s intellectual property rights (for example, trademark or design patent).
Upon completion you must sign a “Copyright Assignment” indicating your understanding that you are assigning the entire right, title and interest to your design to CowParade Holdings Corporation.

If your finished cow is approved for exhibition, CowParade Holdings Corporation will continue to own the entire right, title and interest in your design proposal, accompanying sketches and all derivative works, including the final work completed on the fiberglass cow. You will be acknowledged as the artist on the base and in appropriate publications. However, the copyrights, including the rights to reproduce your design, create copies or reprint your design in books, will be owned by CowParade Holdings Corporation.”

However, many artists considering taking part may not have a full understanding of what this actually means. For more information, this is a good place to look:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/copyright-notice-assignment-of-copyright

I will try and post more about copyright considerations in another future post.  Bear in mind that there is nothing about payment of royalties, and also that once the copyright has been signed over, any revenue streams from the design (for the artist) are completely blocked.  It’s a lot of work to paint a cow too… Two weeks (80 hours) at the very least, if you include the several layers of varnish required.  Probably a lot more for a complex design applied, if well executed.  And that’s not including the creation of the design itself.

You can find out more about the CowParade Holdings story itself here:  http://www.cowparade.com/our-story/

and it does say here that “each artist is paid, on average, the equivalent of $1,000 per cow. CowParade has contributed well over $3 million dollars to artist communities around the world.”

Though as said, I can only find reference to materials being paid for on the Surrey Hills CowParade, and haven’t been able to find out anything more regarding any other payment as yet, to date.   I am not sure if I personally consider materials cost, payment for work.

And if you must paint a cow…

If you really want to paint a cow, (because it does have a certain appeal) but don’t want to sign away your rights to it,  then it is possible to purchase your own for around £400 it seems:

http://www.lifesize-models.co.uk/product.php?id=1088

Though it wouldn’t be permitted to join the CowParade, however, it would look lovely in the garden.

If you are an artist who chooses to take part in the Surrey Hills CowParade, then please do let me know how long you spent painting and designing your cow, and what you got paid for it, if you do get paid for it (I am unclear on this point!) Also, if you are happy about assigning the copyright to CowParade Holdings Corporation, your own views on this would be welcome.  However strongly I feel, I am always open to listening to other perspectives.

However, I feel sick to the stomach…. and cows have more than one ..(The cow has four stomachs and undergoes a special digestive process to break down the tough and coarse food it eats. When the cow first eats, it chews the food just enough to swallow it. The unchewed food travels to the first two stomachs, the rumen and the reticulum, where it is stored until later.), so it might take some time for me to get this one out of my system!  I am thinking of a creative and artistic response, but more of that will come later.

In the meantime, if artists want to tread on solid ground with copyright matters, then it is important to get informed, and if you wish, consider joining an organisation like DACS or similar, who will help you tread the sometimes miry path, without sinking your hoofs in too deeply, and not being able to moooooove forward with your work, due to lack of finance, which you could have had, if you had realised how valuable your work really is.  (apologies for the puns, too hard to resist!)

http://www.dacs.org.uk/

 

The Design and Artists Copyright Society

Established by artists for artists, DACS is a not-for-profit visual artists’ rights management organisation.

DACS
33 Old Bethnal Green Road
London E2 6AA

T +44 (0) 20 7336 8811
F +44 (0) 20 7336 8822

 

 

Back to the watercolours!

I DO LOVE WATERCOLOURS!

I am very much enjoying experimenting with watercolours, and as I cannot use my studio tent, due to the weather (plus it has also become a garden furniture dumping ground!) and so I have put the acrylic on canvas painting aside for a while.  Watercolour painting is something I started at the beginning of this year when I was on a retreat and it was not practical to bring other kinds of paints and substrates.  I also had a wonderful time over the Summer making my own watercolour paints which is something I wanted to do for ages.  It is pure delight to see this paint, and use it, and know that you have been with it right from the beginning!  I have used the pigments I love, basically all the ones I had to use with my mineral silicate paint when I was painting the mural at Trafalgar Junior School in Twickenham.  These are metal oxides and earths, and are all wonderfully light fast and reliable.  Ones like Ultramarine violet, (PV15), Ultramarine, (PB29), Cobalt Blue (PB28), Chrome green (PG17), Yellow Ochre (PY43) Titanium Yellow (PY53), Sanguine, Caput Mortuum, Venetian Red, Oxide Red (PR102) Red Ochre (PR102), Burnt Sienna (PBr7) and naturally formed iron oxides such as clay earth pigments, ie Raw Umber (PBr7), calcined(heated)as Burnt Umber, Raw Sienna (PBr7) and Iron black (PBk11).  The white I used for body colour when painting was probably Titanium white, I am not sure as I rejuvenated some old poster powder paint by adding my gum arabic mixture.   I also used some of my cream coloured leftover silicate mineral paint, with most of the binder removed (it floats to the top of the container when left for a long time!), and I then re-bound it with the gum arabic.  It seems to work fine, and I have had no problems with doing this.  I could probably just use the silicate paint on the paper to be honest, but I wanted all the paint to have the same binder and main vehicle as the other paint.   I also used in the paintings some water soluble wax crayons and watercolour pencils… Not as the main medium, but handy for little parts here and there.  A few additional colours came in that way too in a way which didn’t remove the main push of the pigments I had chosen for my actual home made watercolour paints.

Here are two examples of my work.  These two I have decided to submit to the Royal Watercolour Society.  I have spent so much time at the Bankside Gallery over the last few years it feels rather home to home.  And I can get there easily from Chessington, even if my  knee is playing up!  I plan to make a dedicated few months of each year to extending my experience with watercolours, and now I know I can make my paint so easily (well, for my own style and approach, my own home made watercolours work well!) I can move ahead without any prohibitive materials costs.

watercolour painting submitted by Jenny Meehan to the Royal Watercolour Society call out in 2015 cozens inspired internal landscape english watercolour contemporary painting jenny meehan

watercolour painting submitted by Jenny Meehan to the Royal Watercolour Society call out in 2015

 

cozens inspired internal landscape english watercolour contemporary painting jenny meehan, collectable english watercolours abstract expressionist, abstract english contemporary watercolourist,jenny meehan jamartlondon,imaginative contemplative process led painting,watercolours today bankside gallery, royal society of watercolours submission;

internal landscape inspired by cozens blot technique by jenny meehan submitted to the Royal Watercolour Society competition 2015

 

It is also handy for me to be able to work on slightly smaller paintings when my knee is painful, as some of the larger ones do involve a great deal of walking (yes, really… I have to view them from quite a distance) whereas these smaller ones can be painted however much pain I am in or not.   I am not happy about my knee… and it means it is sometimes not possible to carry heavy items, walk as far as I normally need to (as I do not/cannot drive).  It is cramping my style a little, however, I tend to see these things as also opening up new horizons, previously unexplored.

Making your own watercolour paint….

This is what I did, I expect there are other ways.  I don’t like very finely ground pigment, and so I just used the pigments as I had them without grinding them down further.   I found this rather interesting text on paints.. this extract being only one small part of it!

“Particle size also influences colour. Smaller particles are usually brighter in shade and change the hue of a pigment. As
a general rule, smaller particles give: greener yellows; yellower oranges; redder violets; greener blues; yellower greens. ” and
“Pigment manufacturers have become very skilled in producing pigments with the desired crystal form and even with a narrow particle size distribution in order to impart the desired colour, physical properties, and hence performance .yellower reds up to mid red; bluer reds from mid reds;”

this is quoted from:  Chemistry – Pigments For Paints uploaded by Giovanni Casati which can be found here:

http://independent.academia.edu/GiovanniCasati

(I have to confess to being terribly interested in the chemical features of paint… When I was researching using Silicate Mineral Paints I spent about six months reading and researching!)

Anyway, back to the making your own watercolours..

I chose to use gum arabic for my binder, which was easy to get on the internet.  I purchased it in a powdered form which was quick and easy to use.  I added acacia honey and used oil of cloves (I put more in than the recipe below, as I like the smell and some pigments, particularly earth ones, do tend towards getting mouldy quite easily!)

I dissolved one part of gum arabic powder in three parts of boiling water.  I used my slow cooker as the container for this.  You pour in the boiling water and still for a good ten minutes.  It looks like it won’t work out, getting gloopy and very lumpy!

I didn’t need to sieve my water and gum arabic mixture, as unlike  maybe when one is using solid gum arabic, there were no bits of bark or other impurities, or not any that I could see!

I added the honey, which draws in more of the water.  The honey helps the watercolour (if you put it in pans afterwards) to wetten and release colour onto the brush.  The recipe I used suggested four parts of solution to one part honey, which is what I choose to use, though I am sure the ratios could be different.

I left my solution in the slow cooker on a low heat which really helped the whole mixture to mix!  Stirring occasionally!

As I said before, I didn’t grind the pigment into the mixture, I simply added it.  I used small plastic lidded containers.  I put my pre wetted (the proper  term is slaked) pigment into the bottom of the containers and poured the gum arabic solution on top.   Apparently the general guide is to use slightly more of the gum solution than the pigment.  I stuck to about half and half.  The earth pigments need more….they really suck it up!   I decided to keep some of my paint wet, ie I just let it cool and sealed up the containers, and some of it I put into ice cube trays and let it dry, effectively therefore making little pans of watercolour.  My pans took a long time to dry (even in the hot Summer) and they did crack a lot.  However, they were still very usable.  I think if you want less cracking it would be best to increase the strength of the gum arabic solution and this would also reduce the drying time considerably.

I also added some extra oil of cloves, because of the delightful smell, and because of wanting to avoid any mould growth.  I had put about ten drops into the slow cooker, but added a few drops more to some of the paints.  Mmmmm!

The whole thing was a success!  It was quick, easy, enjoyable, suits my method of working, and enables me to work with top quality paints without being unable to feed the family!  I know 100 percent that there are no fillers in my watercolour paints, and when I chose to add body colour, I knew exactly how much I was working with.  I think making ones own paints gives one an essential dimension to ones watercolour painting, and a lot of pleasure.  I like the texture and consistency of them, and I have plenty of pre made gum arabic in the fridge, which I use to adjust the colours as I wish when I am painting with them.

PS..addition,  This is the recipe I based  my watercolour paint making experiments on which is quoted from http://www.earthpigments.com/artists-watercolor-and-gouache/:     I did add some glycerin also, as I had it to hand.

Gum Arabic Preparation
Ingredients
By Weight:
100 grams (3.5 oz) Gum Arabic
333g (11.75oz) boiled, distilled water
130g Glycerin (optional)
By Volume:
2 parts Gum Arabic
4 parts boiled, distilled water
1 part Glycerin (optional)
Boil water and pour over the powdered gum, stirring to make sure there are no lumps. Add the Glycerin if desired, stirring well. It is advisable to strain this mixture through cheesecloth when pouring it into your storage jar, then putting on the lid. Allow the mixture to soak 24-48 hours for full absorption. If desired, you can add drops of Clove Oil to extend shelf life. Prepared Gum Arabic Solution must be stored in the refrigerator to deter mold growth. It may be advisable to make small batches so the solution will be fresh rather than storing larger quantities for an extended period of time.
Watercolor Preparation
Ingredients
Prepared Gum solution
Pigments (premixed into a paste with water is preferable)
Honey in a 10% proportion to the weight of Gum solution used
Honey is used to help the pigments mix smoothly into the formula. Here it is calculated based on the weight of your Gum Solution rather than a volume mix. For example, if creating the Gum Solution with 100g of Gum Arabic, use 55g of Honey (2.6 tablespoons.) Honey weighs 21.25g per level Tablespoon.
The amount of pigment to use will vary depending upon the color. Start with a ratio of 1 part Gum/Honey to 1 part pigment paste and adjust as necessary. Mix all the ingredients and work them on a glass plate using a paint spatula. Your goal is to obtain a paste with a thick, creamy consistency. Some pigments will incorporate easier than others.” 

 

 

And something else to skim over!

 

What an interesting article, wonderfully written, and I rather like the painting too!

http://www.thenation.com/article/is-serious-landscape-painting-still-possible/

 

I look back fondly at my work with light, but no colour!  Those hours of looking for light and looking for how it works with surfaces resulted in a lot of photographs of shiny metal!

 

 

 west sussex mini owners club steyne gardens, wes sussex mini event minis by the sea, jenny meehan jamartlondon photography monochrome, mini revolution wheel, polished chrome mini part,shiny metal car part,

jenny meehan jamartlondon photography monochrome west sussex mini owners club steyne gardens

 

The photo above is one I took of several wonderfully shiny car parts!   I have always had a “thing” for metal, and shiny metal pulls the eye something rotten!  The photo was taken at West Sussex Mini Owners Club event “Minis by the Sea”  at Steyne Gardens, Worthing, West Sussex.   I am not sure where I put the images I had of engines, but I took a few, and they were equally shiny!

mini headlight from west sussex mini owners club minis by the sea at steyne gardens worthing west sussex

mini headlight from west sussex mini owners club minis by the sea at steyne gardens worthing west sussex

 

west sussex mini owners club minis by the sea at steyne gardens worthing west sussex image by jenny meehan all rights reserved

wes sussex mini owners club minis by the sea at steyne gardens worthing west sussex image by jenny meehan all rights reserved

 

 

 

Information Sheet for Workshops 2015/16.
General “Drop In Drawing/Painting” (Monthly, on a Friday or Wednesday Afternoon, for 2 hours) All abilities.
If you are interested in coming along to this regular small group from time to time contact me via the contact for on my website:

www.jamartlondon.com
This is not a pre-planned, structured teaching environment with specific defined learning objectives, but involves me opening my house to a maximum of three people, and making myself available to you. People let me know the week before (or earlier) if they will be coming, on a one-off basis. As a trained teacher and experienced artist I am in a good position to mentor you and assist you in developing your own creative direction. Individual attention not possible in larger teaching situations make this a golden opportunity for personal creative development. It is friendly and supportive group, and offers you sensitive feedback, engaging activity, elements of challenge, and most importantly the emphasis is on you developing your own personal direction with your art working. My suggested donation is £10 – £15 per person. This enables me to invest my time in this way.  The group number is kept small, with 3 or less participants.

 

 

 

 

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