Just digitalized two recent paintings “Icy Landscape” and “Tower”.  After “Whatever the Weather”, and enjoying painting with a lesser number of colours, I’ve taken the plunge to paint with just one, and just two, very watered down acrylics, and what a pleasure that was.  Working on the bare canvas with various textures and fillers created an interesting ground for working on top with the dilute acrylics.  These two paintings are almost like notes….There are a few passages I will take special note of, and just having them up on the wall serves as a memory aid and reference point for elements which I may well use again.  Though I have got very much into experimenting with different hues over the year, and in particular, experimented with  varying pigment load in the paint, to work in this delicate way, both with boldness and yet also paying attention to the finer details, and to see depth created in a kind of watercolour way, is very exciting and definately a path to travel on in the future.   Maybe a little return to my work with oils during 2010?  Oh, oils would be a fine thing with more drying space.

Not great to view paintings like this on the net, because of their need for close observation under good light in order to appreciate the tactile qualities, however, must do.  The fragments shown might help.

Starting with the end of my title strand, rather than the beginning,  with notification that my old website www.jennymeehan.co.uk is now no longer operating and instead of www.jennymeehan.co.uk, I have a new site www.jamartlondon.com.   I think the new website www.jamartlondon.com might risk sounding a little pretentious, but my reasoning is rather basic.  I liked the Jam part, because a while back someone nick named me “Jenny Jim Jams” which sounded rather nice and relaxed, and I liked it as a nick name.  Also my initials are JAM and I now sign my work this way.  There were already a couple of websites with jamart in the title, so www.jamartlondon.com, with the location included, seemed a sensible option.   So http://www.jamartlondon it is.   and the com is pretty meaningless, of course, but seems the preferred ending for a website if you can get it.

Though the weather is cold and uninviting,  I find this time of year very good for research and getting around London and the surrounding areas to see what other artists are doing.  The value of looking at other peoples work should never be underestimated.  Artists both past and present work in distinctive ways which only add to inspiration and clarification of where we ourselves are located.  What is more, it brings joy, to see creativity expressed in so many marvellous ways.

When visiting Wimbledon Art Studios I always pop in and see Andrew Fyvie’s  www.andrewfyvie.co.uk      tactile and skilfully constructed sculptural pieces which sit so well next to the collages of Paul G Emmerson, ( no site,  paulgemmerson@tiscali.co.uk)    and artistically strike the same kind of notes, rather like different musicians in an orchestra or something like that.  I like very much Paul Emmerson’s latest work: the longer format works very well, and the panels at the sides are in accord with the general “interiors” feeling…maybe in my mind suggesting movement through one space to another, (rather as moving from one room to another).   I think this may be the thought behind my feeling.   It was very pleasant to actually meet Andrew Fyvie, as I have not done that before, and learn more about how he constructs his work, and about some of the materials he uses.

While this causes a certain amount of conflict within me, (as I do like a bit of 3D form making myself), and now I have a list of a few materials I would like to try out,  it is worth suffering the tension of a pull to three dimensionality, because this is not a bad thing for a painter to feel.  I am aware, for example, that when I visit exhibitions with both paintings and sculpture in them, it is normally the sculpture which leaves the greatest and most profound impression on me.  I think this is because of the tension in space.  Hard to put into words, and I am most probably terrible at it, well, (at least compared to some other very accomplished writers) but I have been thinking about space experience when viewing paintings and space experience when viewing sculpture.  The fact that I have to walk around sculpture is dynamically engaging.  The physical space between elements/parts/features of a sculpture has a presence which is more intimate, more enquiring of me, in terms of emotional response.  It is more blatant. More intrusive. More confrontational.  On the other hand, the space experience in a painting is more of a suggestion.  It is generally more fickle.  There are more whispers?  Sometimes less reliability?  (Light will change the surface of a sculpture however, so alterations come in that way.)  Light on a painting also changes… something I have been experimenting very much with myself recently and most probably the reason for my focus on texture and the different ways I can make light bounce off the surface of the canvas.  This can alter the way space is perceived in a painting too. And this, even without or with very little colour, as I am now exploring, which I will post up soon no doubt.  But I think that because of all the angles that light approaches a sculpture, there is  a  more lasting  and immediate presence.   Plus the contrast between solidity and space.  It is greater.  (I stumble and trip with words, as I alway will do. I will continue to mull, pointlessly, over the matter! )

AM interested in this attraction I have right now.  I like paint too much to do without it.  However, at a recent visit to Poussin Gallery (Bermondsey Street, London SE1 3UW) to see “Douglas Abercrombie: New Paintings and Peter Hide: New Sculpture, it was Peter Hides emotive heavy but fluid steel constructions which caught me in themselves.  Not keen on the smaller pieces…the scale of the larger works fitted better with the work in my opinion, but the way he uses the steel , from the folded “soft” areas, and the harder more angular forms, to the little incisions and the “bites”…the “damaged” areas to the carefully attended to part: this all worked together in a perfect balance of, well, I guess I am back to the structure and flow idea.  I do like steel too, of course.  And having spent a good few pleasurable hours manipulating it myself, I understand (a little) and respect the skill involved in creating these sculptures. That oxidised surface too…like velvet.    See   http://www.poussin-gallery.com/site.php?exhibition=44

Popped  in to see Paul Lemmon http://www.paullemmon.co.uk/   and enjoyed seeing his recent work, which I like very much.  New subject matter…figures by water, sun splashed, and lots of diagonal brushstrokes, (as previously), but something is happening which I am excited to see…lots of the new studies have a greater presence due to less markmaking but strokes placed with the benefit of further years of painting experience, which comes across more strongly and I think even more effectively. Something is moving forward.  This is essential to any artist, progression.  I am very much looking forward to seeing what happens, and one of the reasons I make a point of visiting Wimbledon Art Studios regularly is that I find it very interesting and useful to see different artists work over a span of several years, as the interest lies not only in the products produced but viewing what is happening from a distance.  A distance that is only possible with the passage of time.

Took a look at the work of Vaughn Horsman     http://www.grasshopper3d.com/photo/photo/listForContributor?screenName=34slbq8vl7o4e    who has only been at Wimbledon Art Studios for a few months.  Got very excited about this work.  One, I love wood and this appears to be his main material and two I have for many months been thinking along the lines of what makes a beautiful work of art is a balance between structure (I guess I mean mathematics…in the sense of forms being geometrically based/constructed…((for me as a painter, then we would speak of the grid, I suppose) and illogical, random, flow…organic, free formed, with no underlying determinate.  So, of course, I loved these creations.  How exciting to see!  It is new to me, and encouraging because I really do feel that this is something significant…and to see digital technology in tandem with practical, manual skill has got to be good.  We live in a different age, the whole thing seemed to say to me.  (At the risk of sounding profound!)  I teased him about  the whole thing being  Geeky.  (But that is a positive, in my opinion, if you are creating things like this!) I trust that forgiveness is extended my way!

Spurred on by the wonders of technology, I have taken some time for some geometrical playing around myself, and have come to the unexpected place of rather enjoying flipping various shapes around in Photoshop.  This is, I think, of use to me…just the sheer speed is helpful and it is allowing me to experiment with what may well become some underlying structure/composition to use in later paintings.  I am undecided right now, but have recognised on reviewing my work over 2012 that I do like to have a strong sense of structure in my work, and the paintings I felt would take me forward into the following year are indeed the ones which had plenty to hang the fluid and well, more illusive, marks, gestures and accidents on.  (Nice title for a show that, “Marks, Gestures, and Accidents”…must make a note of that. ) Some of the playing has produced imagery which I will get printed onto paper, and then play about with it that way too, maybe with some cutting and some paper stencils, which I am most fond of.  Some of them I feel have reached their own ending, though it is too tempting with Photoshop to experiment…forever.   Paint is better though.   Here are some of my playful experiments:

It is such a delight to experiment so freely and fluently with composition, and I will continue to develop and play with some of the experiments over the Winter Months.  It is likely that after a few months of working with these I will select some and get them printed out for one of my exhibitions next year.  It’s only by doing that you learn, and being able to work with shapes, the symbolism possible through different combinations, and quickly altering basic colours (while no way as subtle as pigment, for a rough idea, the screen colours are fine)is just great for me right now.   I cannot afford to experiment in this way physically due to time and money/material restrictions, and using Photoshop at least provides some foundational sketches, some of which might well end up being used in paintings, and others which may well stand up on their own two feet as prints.

I’m FREEZING!  Keeping the house warm in one room is fine, but means that walking around the house becomes very daring, as I disturb the air, and wonder if I really can wear gloves indoors?  Why not?  No reason.  Just feels odd.  It is soooooooo tempting to turn up the heating, but just a small thought of rising electricity and gas bills quickly changes my mind. (Quick diversion in discourse!)


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