Popped in to St John The Evangelist, Waterloo Road, London SE1 recently and was grateful to have walked in at a time when a youth orchestra were rehearsing in the building, which was beautiful to listen to and made me wish that I remembered more German as the singers where singing about God (I know “meine Gott” in German!) and the voices and instruments were such a spiritual blessing it would have been great to know exactly what was being sung!  The church interior was quite unexpected and a lot of restoration work has gone on.   I pick out particularly the following quote from the website:

“On 7 April 1998, in the presence of      HRH Princess Alexandra, a packed      church gave thanks and celebrated the latest restoration of this beautiful church.

Work had begun under a previous vicar and was continued by the then      vicar, the Rev (later Canon) Richard Truss. Now as the fifth phase of the work reached completion the      beautiful interior shone as the sunlight beamed through the new windows onto the gleaming      paintwork and restored ceiling.

In his sermon, The Bishop of Kingston spoke of an unattributed quote      that he had heard recently, it said: ‘The world belongs to those who care deeply,      dream boldly and work steadfastly’. He went on to say that the service of      thanksgiving was ‘the fulfilment of a bold dream, dreamt by people who have cared      deeply for this church, community and city, and who have worked steadfastly often against      insuperable odds, worrying set backs, and the inevitable financial constraints’.      Further he said, ‘this church is to be a sign of hope. It must symbolise the dream of      a new and restored humanity. The bringing together of the present and ‘what lies beyond’,      heaven and earth’.

In inviting the Princess to unveil the plaque the vicar, Richard Truss,      said that the church was ‘a memorial to a lot of hard work and generous giving, to      skilled experts and gifted craftsmen.’ ‘… This is a time of great rejoicing,      but also of anticipation. We want this building to be open to be used, for prayer,      worship, but also for music and meetings, lectures and conferences, but primarily as a      place which is there for the people of this area, both those who live here and those who      work here and also those who are simply passing through.’

That’s a great quote from the Bishop of Kingston, whoever it was at that time, and it is also great to see the building being used for many different things.  It is a beautiful building.  I was also pleased to see that it is part of the “Inclusive Church” movement, which I find very encouraging indeed.

The architect was Francis Octavius Bedford who was in the forefront of the Greek revival in the early nineteeth century.  I am yet to explore the grounds but I plan to do some sketching there.  Bombed in 1940, people used to worship in the Crypt until 1951 as the roof was blown off.  (I wonder at this, we do seem to worship in the crypt when our roofs are blown off!) Very beautiful to see were the paintings by Hans Feibusch, who was a Jewish artist exiled from Germany in 1933.  There are other paintings, but I like his painting the most.

I am planning to visit a variety of different churches in central London over the Winter months.  I enjoy the buildings and artefacts.  These are not the life of the church, but for a creative like myself, I take heart in the creative achievements and examples.  They are a service in themselves.

Just noticed that one of my images submitted to this site has been accepted:  http://www.hesainprint.com/search/jenny+meehan   I cannot remember being notified that it was included, but never mind, nice to see it there anyway.

Ever orientated towards things people write about painting landscapes, I found this a very good read:  http://painters-table.com/blog/tenses-landscape?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Painters+Table+-+Weekly+Update+October+19+2012&utm_content=Painters+Table+-+Weekly+Update+October+19+2012+CID_010b424e11d6329ca909cd4cbf072ded&utm_source=PT

Jonathan Chapman has done an amazing job in organising the Autumn Art Exhibition at The Ark Centre in Basingstoke.  The whole process was so well organised and includes this entry on WordPress, with images of all the work on display  http://artintheark.wordpress.com/exhibitions/autumn-open/

I was sad not to make the opening night, but it really helps to see the space and the work on display, and it has been a pleasure to be involved in this venture.  It must be a lot of work to sort an exhibition this size out.

Melanie Boda  has kindly invited me to contribute in a small way to her delightful “Bog Standard Gallery”.  See  http://www.bogstandardgallery.com/about.htm.   At Watersmeet Theatre  in Rickmansworth the Christmas Pantomime for 2012 will be “Peter Pan”, and so with the pirate theme in mind, she has asked for contributions of toilet signs with a pirate theme.  This has been delightful fun, and my contributions are as follows:

So, I hope you enjoy a little toilet humour.

Melanie Boda is the creator of the “Bog Standard Gallery”.  The “Bog Standard Gallery” must surely be the smallest art gallery in the world!  It is a converted portable toilet cubicle, and thankfully it smells fresh and clean!  Melanie exhibits photographs of toilet signs from many different countries and I was delighted to produce these pirate themed toilet signs for display inside the cubicle.

I enjoy the challenge of creating something to a brief, and took a conventional approach in terms of using black and white on a flat plane surface.  But toilet humour must be a little bit silly and a little bit “naughty”.  While I played with various ideas, I settled in the end on a pile of cannon balls/shots and ever keen to encourage equality, it felt good to have “nice shot” on BOTH of the sexes signs.  (Yes, I know  you menfolk have some advantage in terms of aiming, but we still fire with the same power.  Just differently.)

More about Artistsmeet at Watersmeet here:  http://www.threerivers.gov.uk/Default.aspx/Web/AboutArtistsmeet

I really enjoyed responding to a theme, and this challenge brought the designer out in me.  (The painter in me is having a break over Winter!)  I do plan to work on some new “Resting Place ” paintings shortly, as The White Gallery in Dorking Surrey would like me to swop over some work soon, ready for Christmas.  I’ve been working on my new website www.jamartlondon.com as the old website http://www.jennymeehan.co.uk will soon expire.


The winter days tend to send me to the computer screen.  It is sometimes the lightest thing around!  As well as the “Pirate Toilet Humour Cannon Ball Loo Sign” shown above, I have been Photoshopping various other images. ( it’s the only kind of shopping I really enjoy), and as a result I have been posting a few new designs up on Zazzle.com.  Zazzle.com is a great website for creating affordable products of all kinds, (and customizing them as you wish).  At my Zazzle store  “FizzPopPlus” Design I have some  fixed and some customizable designs. A huge range of products, from Christmas tree decorations, to clocks and napkins, are available at Zazzle.com.   I have placed the “Pirate Toilet Humour  Cannon Ball Loo Sign” in the Featured product section and it is possible to buy this as a Ceramic Tile or a Photo Display Plaque (hardboard panel protected with UV resistant coating). It’s available as many other kinds of products too, but the Ceramic Tile and Photo Display Plaque would be most use for signage I should think!

Here’s the link for my Zazzle store: http://www.zazzle.co.uk/fizzpopplusdesign.  Fizzpopplus is a very “off the top of my head” kind of name, but it was my reaction to the word “zazzle”.  Something about these Winter months sends me into a frenzy of posting work on the internet.  It’s a type of hibernation I think.  Maybe a hoarding mentality, stacking and storing nuts for the cold Winter months and hoping that I might reap the benefits later. (Not sure I will, but that’s another matter!)  It’s quite sensible to have more than one string in your bow…My painting is the most important thing to me in terms of value, but it doesn’t follow that just because I paint and this falls into the  “Fine Art”category I am somehow prohibited from playing around with other things, including funny loo signs, commercially created products for general consumption and popular images/subject matter.   Maybe this may “cheapen” some kind of image about myself and my artwork, but “some kind of image” is only that.  And nothing more.  So it need not be my concern.

I’ve got a few paintings on the go.  Slow simmer.  Ready in Springtime.

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