Enjoying the sunshine.   It’s excellent for drying acrylic paint quickly and this has been fantastic for me as I have started working on some non objective paintings in acrylic on canvas to be displayed from September 2012 onwards.  Before that though is the joint exhibition of  painting and drawing at Leatherhead Theatre.  It runs at the same time as the Drama Festival, which means that a lot of people will see it. 

 All are welcome to the Opening Night on Saturday 28th April 2012.  It’s from 6pm until 9pm.  Visiting Information: Leatherhead Theatre 7 Church Street, Leatherhead, Surrey Kt22 8DN Tel 01372 365141.  Email me at j.meehan@tesco.net if you would like  more details of the exhibition and/or visiting information. We have used some representational painting for the flyer, but the exhibition is a mixture of both non-objective and representational work.

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Lots of impressionistic scenes.

Lots of weak non-objective painting.

Those were the negatives for me.

But each to their own, and if it sells, it sells, and that’s what this event is all about.   And we all have our own likes and dislikes.  I won’t complain, I won’t explain. 

BUT!!!!   Standing out for me, oh JOY, I found myself meeting two paintings by Philip Maltman, who I have not come across before.  I liked “No Leaf” the best.  My heart!  How inspiring to see painting like this!  Philip Maltman’s painting was at the fair via ArtDog…

www.artdoglondon.co.uk

Other bright lights for my visit:

John Scarland “Large Picnic”, Dooze Storey “Red Bow”  Charlie O’Sullivan “Gathering Thoughts on an Incoming Tide” (Nice Title too!) Roisin O’Farrell “A Moment of Truth”  De Angel “Power Struggle” Nicholas Chistiakov “The Red Room with Two Visitors” Relton Marine “Low Row II” and Russel Frampton “Winterbourne, Droves Road”.

They will be in my notes, for sure.  What interesting work.  I find it vital to identify artists and particular paintings by them, in order to spend time looking and learning from the evidence of their hand and eye.  Skill is learnt, and it takes years of experience and years of  study.  “Gift”  is not something which you are just “given”; there is an element of that, yes, but it must be grown and developed, and this takes practice.  I am finding at the Art Fairs I am making a point of visiting right now that in some painting, the years of work reveal themselves…You can actually see it in the painting.  It’s an almost tangible sense of what the eye has seen and the traces it has left on the painting (and this is the same for non-objective painting!).  I think it’s about inner vision, being communicated.  Wether expressed through recognisable objects or not, there seems to be a point at which you can say this has been successful or not, and it is the somewhat mysterious “point” (which maybe is the meeting of the emotion and intellect) along with the drive, of the artist, and the meeting of that with the materials, which creates a kind of joyous and beautiful creation.

My visit to the Affordable Art Fair has pretty much sealed my decision to concentrate on non-objective painting this year, even though I struggle internally with the feeling that I OUGHT to be painting objects!  If people don’t have the eyes to see non-objective painting, if they don’t give it the time, if they don’t give themselves the time, then let that be their loss. Not mine. One has to stay true, and I haven’t signed a contract with myself not to paint representational paintings; there is a time and a season for everything.  I can always indulge myself with a little obvious subject matter, if I please.

I think it more pressing right now to work on developing an intimacy with my materials, and I feel that through this, whatever I do, my painting will benefit.  There is also the need, whatever goes on around me, to bury myself in what I am painting in the moment I am painting it.  I loved the painting of all those painters I have listed, and I will, as always, take the time to find out more about their work and see more of their paintings.  It’s on my agenda this year to widen my awareness of what is going on around me, and I am already learning a lot through this process.  It’s helping me steer my own way ahead, and enabling me to develop more focus and direction in my painting.

I’ve also been to see “Die Harder” 22 Feb – 6 April at Southwark Cathedral.  An amazing sculpture by David Mach RA.  The blurb says: “The figure of Christ in paint and anguish pierced by thousands of spears, that single body acting as a conduit for the cares and woes in the world.  That body can feel everything and the hangers don’t just pierce: they stand on end, electrified like thousands of antennae transmitting messages out into the word and receiving them back simultaneously”

http://www.davidmach.com/precious-light-2/

I’ve started another blog, with Blogger:

http://jennymeehan.blogspot.co.uk/

It’s going to have pretty much the same as this one in it I expect.

I’ve just seen the Joan Mitchell exhibition of some of her later works at Hauser and Wirth http://www.hauserwirth.com/ and LOVED the scale of them.  I also noticed a little iridescent paint on one of them, which I am experimenting with myself at the moment.  I have been drawn to her painting for some time.   I love the sheer single-mindedness of it.

All this researching on the net is great, apart from the major problem of it using up time when I could be painting, but I have uncomfortable feelings and thoughts shifting here and there as I negotiate my way into thinking about the state of the “Art World” as it is so often put. So the essay below was a fine find for me, and yet another hearty read:

http://www.abstract-art.com/abstraction/l5_wordings_fldr/l1_lyr_abst_proposal.html

I’m sensing a new liberty in my approach and thinking about painting.

 

 

There are some good reads on the Abstract Critical website:

http://abstractcritical.com/2012/02/ha-ha-what-does-this-represent/

While I oft times would rather forget the theory, as it holds no relevance for me at the actual time I paint, I do find it good to read from time to time others thoughts and as I didn’t myself endure a Fine Art degree, I think it doesn’t do any harm once in a while.

Here’s some more painting now photographed and prepared for the net. 

“Til The Cows Come Home” above is painted on canvas with acrylic and glass beads. It was inspired by the phrase “Til The Cows Come Home” which was used by Pryle Behrman, Curator of Art Projects the the London Art Fair this year.  It just stuck in my mind.  Maybe I felt a bit like a cow as I made my way with the group from stand to stand at the London Art Fair? I was thinking about hoofs making marks in soft sticky mud as I painted it. The guided tour by Pryle Behrman was something very enjoyable, and he said that he would be happy to talk until “the cows came home”.  I am still waiting for “the cows to come home”, and so the talk I imagine is still in progress…

Oh!  Just found this today!

http://painters-table.com/

Looks as if it has lots of interesting links to follow.

“Fallen”  Oil on canvas.  Painted in 2010 which is a while back now.

I’ve started writing a book.  Not sure if anything will come of it, but I like writing so I hope to keep it up. I think it might be better than writing too much about individual paintings, and rather than treating work in isolation, it will place (some of them)  in their context within the narrative which I guess is my life. Even the most abstract painting is part of a narrative. Thinking of narratives, here is the flyer for the exhibition coming up in April/May 2012.  It’s a while away, but time flies.

 

 

Edit note:  My old website http://www.jennymeehan.co.uk is no longer living, so if you would like to see what I am doing currently, then please follow the link to my new website which is http://www.jamartlondon.com.   www.jamartlondon.com

 

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