I have been looking through my poetry, and it has improved over the last couple of years, for I have put a fair amount of time into it. However, the priority for me at the moment is to paint and I have decided to leave working on my poetry for a while. Occasionally the odd one pops up, and I will grab it with both hands, and do a little work on it, but I have to focus on my painting, and this means making more time for it.

I have just made another video today, this time of the photographic art displayed at my recent “Articulation 2009 – Jenny Meehan” solo exhibition at Leatherhead Theatre. It includes some of the fabric designs too, but I have not included the drawings and paintings in this video. I also have left it without music, which I prefer myself, as I like art to be viewed in silence, and it’s mood is, just as it is, unchanged and unaffected by music. Art is its own music anyway. Why add more to it? It just confuses the viewer.
Here is the video…

Recent painting by Jenny Meehan of the mud flats at Langstone Harbour 2009

Recent painting by Jenny Meehan of the mud flats at Langstone Harbour 2009

Suffering, as always, from a certain “come down” after a period of painting, is not such a bad thing. It is hard to stop, and hard to let go, but activity all the time would not be right for anyone. Now is a time for breathing space, a bit like the gaps between colours on a painting, these give opportunity for the colours to resound, as Ivon Hitchens would put in a similar way I think. From memory, of my reading a few weeks back, I think I read something of that sort, and how much I feel it to be true. This relationship between vibrant movements and colour, and quiet contemplation, is one which has me in its thrall.

I have a lot of recent work, very diverse in superficial style (I say this with intent, because, I think the outward differences immaterial to the constancy of what I am doing with paint)but I need to reflect on it more. It’s not ready for presentation. It’s like a child reaching for different things, and only just beginning to get the feeling and taste of them. So, I think I will be looking backwards to gather what I show for my next exhibition, which is of course a valuable exercise in itself. Indeed, I think it a most neglected activity, and key in the attempts to move forward in pretty much anything one does. History, in all its levels and dimensions, wether small and personal, or on a larger scale, has more to teach us then the fast approaching future (a little more fast than I would like, as I get older). And, delightfully enough, this “old” work seems as fresh as the day it was created. That’s good.

I will present some of my new printed work on fabric… what a wonderful discovery this has been, and how exciting to have so much colour on such a large scale! It helps me cope with my frustrations (with regard to the restricted scale I am able to work to) with my painting. Large areas of flat colour, and pattern! Delightful!

Colour Full House! I think I might make that the title for the CornerHOUSE exhibition. It’s a celebration of the visual arts in that place! A much needed place, because, let’s face it, in Kingston, how many FREE places ARE there for artists to exhibit? The borough of Kingston is full of wonderful art and wonderful artists, and WHY should they have to PAY to share what they do?

Image is one of my recent paintings. It was painted outside at Langstone. It was windy and wet! The canvas blew over a couple of times. The blue sky was only there for about five minutes, but I got it in there, right at the beginning. It was a feeling of the passage of time which took me away with this one, and the immediate experience of painting outside, as the tide came in and the waters flowed, as the sky altered its expressions, and the light lessened, was just perfect. It’s one of my bigger pieces, which was also very liberating. It felt like a dance at times.

David Hockney's painting "A Bigger Splash"
Well, my first solo exhibition is FINI! I am glad I did it, glad I organised it myself, glad of the experience. It was enjoyed by many people, and I know of several I have spoken to who were so inspired by it that it brought them to a place where they then created something themselves, which is wonderful. And most rewarding.

I was very pleased with the hanging, and I learnt a lot about my work through the process of selecting and hanging it. It looked good. You can see a video of the photographic work (but not the paintings and drawings) on You Tube. Taking it down was much quicker than putting it up!

I went away for a week for part of August, on a course, but I am afraid I have been spoilt by my West Dean experiences, and I did not enjoy it as much as past courses. I am back now, and though I enjoyed the opportunity to paint in a focused and continuous manner, it did not prove to be the challenge I had hoped for. I like meeting people, and I loved the swimming pool, but somehow I don’t think where I went was the place for me. I felt like a freak, both with respect to my painting and my personality. I don’t like it, but I’ll get over it.

I feel a lack of academic discipline, and of working with people who will challenge me. I want to push my work forward, and I feel isolated in my task. Maybe I should do a degree or something, but I feel I need to invest all my available time into my painting, and I have to allocate time, and money, carefully.

Win some, loose some. At least I know what I don’t want, even more than I did before,now. That’s pretty much the only positive I can come up with.

Confessional over.

Due now to start some sewing for the next exhibition, yes, sewing! Edges of hangings. Mulling over my paintings which speak words of encouragement complete in their imperfections, still showing positive signs of life. A couple of open competitions coming up I might well enter. A kind of necessary task for someone in my position.

I did enjoy the experience of painting outside with oils…

So there’s a spring board for the September burst. I will be out on the streets of Chessington, Hook, and Tolworth again, with sketchbook and paints this time. I also start some ceramics at the local adult education centre. I think it’s quite important to experiment with different materials, and this might seem like a diversion, but I don’t think it is. Things feed into eachother, and if one wants to come up with something unique, then narrow is not the way, at least, not at the early stages. Maybe later.

Image, “A Bigger Splash” by David Hockney Acrylic 1967

I am enjoying reading about his work, and I am attracted by the the flat colour in this piece. Investigating the relationship/perceptions of colour is fascinating. While my photography has a lot of flat colour… this kind of happened over time… I only occasionally try this out in my painting, and along with using pattern, these are a couple of elements I want to experiment with.

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