Llewellyn Alexander “Not The Royal Academy” Exhibition – Three New Completed Paintings – Acrylic on Canvas Painting Surface Details

June 25, 2012

If you are in London this Summer,  take a look at the “Not The Royal Academy” exhibition of original artwork at Llewellyn Alexander (Fine Paintings) Ltd situated very close to Waterloo Station. There is a  varied selection of paintings on show, and seeing them makes me think I really ought to try to enter something into the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition next year. It helps to think that if you don’t get something in the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition itself, you could have a chance of getting something on show at Llewellyn Alexander’s “Not The Royal Academy” exhibition instead.


The exhibition of paintings at Llewellyn Alexander is changed around every three weeks, so I think I need to go and take another look soon.  The paintings are representational and taking a quick look at the website it looks like the prices are around the £400 mark in the main.  It is a very pleasant gallery, they are always very welcoming and though the space is quite compact, they always seem to use it well ensuring that the do have quality, fine painting on show, rather than paint squeezed out a tube, with a long explanation of what it means!

Thinking about the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition , and possibly entering a painting in it, it is a lot of hassle for a very small chance of success, but on the other hand, “Nothing ventured, nothing gained” comes to mind.  You never know.  It’s all a bit random I am sure, pot luck really, but it is exposure and I have realised that I can save some money by reducing the pages on my website next time it comes up for renewal, so I might just re allocate the money saved to enter the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition next year.  If I paint a representational painting, it might get into the Llewellyn Alexander show, so I might just do that.

I did not realise that there was such an opening ceremony for the RA Summer exhibition until I saw it covered  last week on the second half of the BBC programme  “Royal Academy Summer Exhibition: The Culture Show”  (Missed the first part, as my son wanted to watch The Simpsons!).  Seeing the opening ceremony service proved another motivation to enter, as I thought how great it would be to take part in that service, and have the experience of being part of that tradition.  I would really like that.  Actually having the work on show would be great of course, but for me personally I would get such a kick out of going to that church service.  So next year I think I will start to enter the Summer Exhibition, and you never know, one day, one person might see one painting and have one thought which means one choice, and, the one work might just happen to look good next to another work and be the right size and fit well in the space and have the right frame and just tickle someones fancy in the right place.  I think it probably comes down to that.  So failure to get in is not failure at all.  It is just randomness.  Bearing no relationship to the actual worth of the painting.  Nothing ventured, nothing gained.  I am so near to London, I should throw a piece in that direction each year.  I would LOVE to get to that service.

I have taken a look at the Anthony Fry Works on Paper exhibition at Browse & Darby.  I liked the intimacy that I felt with the work, but felt a bit more excited about the work at Messum’s;  Drawings and paintings by David Tress, and also lovely stone carvings by Dominic Welch.  The gallery is in two parts and it would be easy to walk in and see only part of the exhibition by mistake, but I was told about the other section of the gallery, thankfully.  The painting by David Tress which I found attracted me the most was “26 Kirkstall Abbey (Girtin’s View) 2005, mixed media on paper.  I love the way he manipulates the surface so much, frantic sometimes, with various scrapings, tears and rips.

rippled paper on david tress painting at messums london

This manipulation of paper, along with the equally interesting mounds of paint,  work well together.  In a detail of 26 Kirkstall Abbey 2005, which I show you here, the paper is rippling over the layer beneath quite freely, and it’s all very visually exciting.  I also particularly like “58 Light, Suddenly (Coire Nan Arr) 2011, mainly because I liked the colours he has used and the large areas of very thick paint.

When it comes to paper, I got very excited this morning at the sight of some packaging material.  I opened up an order of printing ink, PVA and foam board and it was packed with this wonderfully textured paper which I was more pleased with than the order itself.  I haven’t grown up much, it seems. This paper is hidden away in a safe place now, for future use, because while I am sorely tempted to start some paintings with collage, I am holding back for now, and attempting to continue on the Allied Healthcare series with paint, glass beads and sand.  There is so much to think about already with the possibilities offered with the materials I am already working with I feel it would be counter productive to add anything else right now.

I have just finished three more of the Allied Healthcare paintings.  Here are some details.

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And here  is one of the finished paintings:

abstract acrylic painting christian art sacred symbolism jenny meehan

I’m very keen about the black area which is full of glass beads and looks warm and inviting for black.  Also like the cobalt blue which is very pigment rich, only a tiny amount of white and not much filler.  (Must try that cobalt out completely neat, in just acrylic binder.)  I’m pleased with the title; it came quickly. I decided on  “The Upper Room” because I felt the image resonated as a building structure, (maybe my mind!) and past drawing work has had a rectangular black area as a void, as a very negative symbol.  However, the glass beads in the black here just added such texture that the black became inviting and warm in feeling.  Not empty.  The lower area hit me as a doorway, an entrance.  The cobalt as a positive spiritual presence.  And so quickly the Last Supper came to mind, (which was, according to the New Testament, an event that took place in an “Upper Room”).  But this place of exit, was also a place of entrance: the coming of the Holy Spirit.  It’s not certain if the upper rooms are the same, (I should think not, because of the numbers of people at Pentecost), however, it matters not.  Jesus Christ leaves, but  promises the Comforter: The Holy Spirit.

This is my response to what I have done.  I like the symbolic strength it holds for me, in my own response.   Well, this is how it resonated with me.  It’s what it embodied for me, its creator.  In other peoples minds it will resonate very differently, without doubt.

Just need to varnish which I will do with a variety of varnishes, matt, satin and gloss, because different areas need a different finish.  It is quite remarkable how much the light, the type of light, and the light direction changes the appearance of these paintings mostly because of the use of texture, glass beads, pearlescent pigment, high gloss areas and very matt areas, and the depth of colour achieved by using very pure pigments (with no fillers just the acrylic binder) in some places.  The intensity of colour possible by using my own mix of pigment with the binder is very dramatic in impact, and I am also very pleased with the warmth of the glass beads mixed in black acrylic.

And TWO other paintings.  They are all happening right now.

abstract internal landscape acrylic glass beads, mediums, expressive imaginative jenny meehan

This is “Awakening”.  Maybe a bit of a boring title, but it seems to suit.  Remember reading “The Awakening” by Kate Chopin years back, and I must re-read that.  Cannot even remember what happens, but she walks into the sea at the end and ends her life.  However, from memory, the short story is all about an awakening of self.  This painting, unlike a suicide, had a kind of breaking through and positive, joyful, feeling.

abstract acrylic contemporary british lyrical expressionist romantic elegiac fine painting alley outhouses lament past rear access roads passageway memory

past remembrances, elergy painting poetic mournful lament

“Time Passes” .  It is so interesting, using texture and those glass beads offering so much interesting experimentation.   There was something very mournful here.  I have happy memories of playing in alleyways as a child, and also a kind of wilderness experience attached to some time spent a couple of years back sketching in the rear access roads in my local area, in the wide passages and alleyways which run behind the houses.   I liked the connections, so I stuck with them.  It was quite enjoyable to have some geometric structures overylaying the texture.  I am currently exploring my own past experiences and some of the thinking which has resulted from them through psychotherapy.  I’m quite amazed at how my memories/thoughts/emotion becomes embodied on the canvas through painting in the way I am currently painting, ( that is, with no pre determined course or subject matter).  A kind of visual free association takes place as the painting progresses. It’s quite hard going at the end though, pulling it together. Though in any painting, it is the case that the last ten percent or so is always the most difficult!


One Response to “Llewellyn Alexander “Not The Royal Academy” Exhibition – Three New Completed Paintings – Acrylic on Canvas Painting Surface Details”

  1. jennymeehan Says:

    Please note that my website is now http://www.jamartlondon.com as http://www.jennymeehan.co.uk has expired! Take a look at my website for more art work by Jenny Meehan and sign up for my bi-annual newsletter. You can also sign up as a follower on my wordpress blog!

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