I tend to spend a lot of time at this time of year reviewing past work, which is very important to do, because looking back at what you have done with some distance between you and your work, you see things you didn’t, and, thankfully, sometimes you recognise something which quite clearly points the way forward.  Last year, for the first time, I did some painting in a series.  Not in terms of the subject matter, but simply just the format (50x70cm), substrate (canvas) and paint (acrylics).  This was worth doing, quite simply because it gave me a collection of work which generally hangs well together.  The additional factor of using  some pre mixed colours across the thirteen paintings brought a connection between the works which is useful if they need to be hung together, which they were when up at Alliance Healthcare.  I didn’t find that working this way took anything special away from the individual works, which all developed along their own path very independently.

A new venture for 2013 is some women’s painting tuition which I will start in February.  It’s been in my mind for a while, and I think I should use my Post Graduate Teaching Certificate in combination with what I have learnt over the last seven years or so.  One to one painting tuition can be very expensive, so a small group setting is more accessible for the majority of people.  I plan to structure it in a fairly informal way, with teaching points based on peoples individual needs.  There might be some whole group teaching if there is a shared interest in a particular problem or subject, but I want to utilize the character of a small group (maximum 4) to enable people to develop in their own directions in a very focused way from the outset.  I’m very much looking forward to this, because I loved teaching when I taught, and the mural at Trafalgar reminded me how much I enjoy it.  I don’t want to waste what I have. I have  one group starting in February, and hope to add another session later on in the year if other commitments allow.  If you are interested in joining an adult painting and drawing class at some point, let me know.  The classes will continue to be in the daytime and for women only in the immediate future.

I have also joined KAOS (Kingston Artist’s Open Studios) and it’s really lovely to get to know other artists in my geographical area, something I have meant to do for ages.  Here’s the website:  http://www.kingstonartistsopenstudios.co.uk/

Looking forward to West Dean soon, for some life drawing, which is hard work but very worthwhile.  I cannot afford more than a weekend course at West Dean now, so I intend to make the very most of it.  I think I might need to give up on the idea of returning to West Dean for a few years, because though I consider the continuation of my training essential, there are many other demands on our finances, and other needs are also to be considered.  But to have an opportunity for some concentrated time with drawing is long overdue for me, and I am very much looking forward to some hard work.  The problem with working mainly with abstraction for a while is that there is no need to really study external subjects with such intent, and direct observation, while it appears restrictive in one sense, in reality is far from restrictive but opens up new and exciting possibilities which can only come from the outside.

I will certainly be going along to see this free exhibition at the British Museum:  http://www.britishmuseum.org/whats_on/exhibitions/bubbles_and_bankruptcy.aspx?utm_source=enewsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Dec2012&spMailingID=40798212&spUserID=MTY0ODIwNDUzOTgS1&spJobID=173607659&spReportId=MTczNjA3NjU5S0.   Call me a prophet of doom, but I think that this financial crisis/downturn/whatever is going to last a very long time and quite possibly get worse, and it is going to take/make a very radical shift for most people in terms of values.  We have been saturated in what I will playfully call “materialist esteem” ; something that will caress and love you AS LONG AS YOU CAN PAY FOR IT.  I whimsically thought yesterday of what life would be like without advertising, and while it would probably be harder to get hold of what you wanted, it may also be true that you may not really want it anyway.  How much of our desire is created by external influences which tell us that “THIS or THAT is what we need?”  Fascinated, as I have been for some time, by the idea of using materials traditionally utilised by advertising,  ie PVC banners, Foamboard signs, etc. I’m now working on my next solo exhibition “Signs of the Times” which will mainly consist of some recent abstract prints expressing small phrases/actions/emotions, for example “Putting Your Point Across”  “Relaxing Walk” “Irritation” etc.  Just the simple things.  No instructions.  Nothing to “live up to”.  Nothing much to think about.  Just visual experience to relate to, however you want.  No pressure.  I let the viewer know what the work meant to me in the title…I have a pet hate of “untitled” work, (if it is called that intentionally), and not just because the artist hasn’t made up their mind, (or maybe not even thought it worth a title). Things deserve a name.  Sometimes more than one.  It can change.  There’s no rule against it. As long as it rings true. As long as it really does relate.

Here is some of the work.  It is available as prints in various forms, including Digital C Prints, Poster Prints, slightly more expensive Giclee Prints, and some very nice quality affordable Ink Jet Prints on Bond Paper.   Contact me at j.meehan@tesco.net if you would like to buy one.

Jenny Meehan jamartlondon fine art digital prints expressive abstraction experiments 2013, British female contemporary fine artist painter south west london,east surrey United Kingdom.  graphic communication signs signage symbolistt geometrical abstraction images, kandinsky style art

“We Get On” Jenny Meehan. Reasonably priced prints available contact Jenny Meehan for more details

Jenny Meehan jamartlondon fine art digital prints expressive abstraction experiments 2013, British female contemporary fine artist painter south west london,east surrey United Kingdom.  graphic communication signs signage symbolistt geometrical abstraction images, kandinsky style art,"christian artist working with abstraction"

“Calm Moment” Jenny Meehan

Jenny Meehan jamartlondon fine art digital prints expressive abstraction experiments 2013, British female contemporary fine artist painter south west london,east surrey United Kingdom.  graphic communication signs signage symbolistt geometrical abstraction images, kandinsky style print, "christian artist working with abstraction"

“Gentle Touch” Jenny Meehan

Jenny Meehan jamartlondon fine art digital prints expressive abstraction experiments 2013, British female contemporary fine artist painter south west london,east surrey United Kingdom.  graphic communication signs signage symbolistt geometrical abstraction images, "christian artist working with abstraction"

“Growing” Jenny Meehan

Jenny Meehan jamartlondon fine art digital prints expressive abstraction experiments 2013, British female contemporary fine artist painter south west london,east surrey United Kingdom.  graphic communication signs signage symbolistt geometrical abstraction images,christian female visual artist,

“Irritation” Jenny Meehan

Jenny Meehan jamartlondon fine art digital prints expressive abstraction experiments 2013, British female contemporary fine artist painter south west london,east surrey United Kingdom.  graphic communication signs signage symbolistt geometrical abstraction images,kandinsky style art prints for sale to buy

“No Problem” Jenny Meehan

Jenny Meehan jamartlondon fine art digital prints expressive abstraction experiments 2013, British female contemporary fine artist painter south west london,east surrey United Kingdom.  graphic communication signs signage symbolistt geometrical abstraction images, geometrical abstract art prints to purchase for sale cheap,

“One Moment” Jenny Meehan

Jenny Meehan jamartlondon fine art digital prints expressive abstraction experiments 2013, British female contemporary fine artist painter south west london,east surrey United Kingdom.  graphic communication signs signage symbolistt geometrical abstraction images, fine art abstract to buy collectable british contemporary female artist,

“Putting Your Point Across” Jenny Meehan

Jenny Meehan jamartlondon fine art digital prints expressive abstraction experiments 2013, British female contemporary fine artist painter south west london,east surrey United Kingdom.  graphic communication signs signage symbolistt geometrical abstraction images, christian spiritual religious abstraction art prints

“A Quick Dip” Jenny Meehan

Jenny Meehan jamartlondon fine art digital prints expressive abstraction experiments 2013, British female contemporary fine artist painter south west london,east surrey United Kingdom.  graphic communication signs signage symbolistt geometrical abstraction images, female abstract artist,abstract art prints to buy for sale affordable cheap

“There May Be Trouble Ahead” Jenny MeeJenny Meehan jamartlondon fine art digital prints expressive abstraction experiments 2013, British female contemporary fine artist painter south west london,east surrey United Kingdom.  graphic communication signs signage symbolistt geometrical abstraction images

Jenny Meehan

Just got the month for my next Cornerhouse Community Art Centre Exhibition, and it is June.  So I will be showing some of the above there I expect.

I digress. Joyfully.

Back to the current Financial situation.  I look back nostalgically on my photographic artwork “Don’t Bank On It – Still Life ” which was selected, I am very pleased and grateful to say, for exhibition at Pallant House Gallery in Chichester as one of the works on show as part of their Open Art Competition: the “Pallant House/St Wilfrid’s Hospice Open Art Exhibition. What a long time ago that was!  But I still feel a little sense of achievement, having had some work displayed there.  It’s always encouraging when someone chooses to exhibit your work.  It’s not the reason for doing it, but it does help to know that lots of people are able to see it, because let’s face it.  There’s not much pleasure to be had from a load of artwork stuck in a cupboard.  The spider’s might enjoy it. I am not sure if moths like paintings. Do they? Or does the paint put them off?

Here is “Don’t Bank On It – Still Life”, which I am still happy with, so it seems to be standing the test of time.

dont bank on it jenny meehan still life vanitas contemporary photograph at pallant house gallery chichester,jenny meehan jamartllondon british contemporary photography vanitas financial downturn crisis themed artwork visual art imagery,economic recession art photography

Had a look around the London Art Fair.  I found myself drawn to every Ivon Hitchens and Alan Davies painting in the building, which made me smile.  Nothing else seemed as interesting to me as their work.  Not on that day, anyway!

I’m getting quite irritable at my own lack of painting, but I’m needing to sort out some domestic matters, which have to be done.

I like the Mall Galleries (Mall Galleries, The Mall, London, SW1) very much.  It is a lovely space, doesn’t feel cold (I mean in the emotional sense!) and I very much enjoyed the exhibition “The British Scene” which runs from 24th January to 16th February.  This is well worth a visit.  Works which I enjoyed the most: Melvyn Petterson “Hainton Track Snow”; an etching which demonstrated a wonderful match of subject matter to medium…Even the tiny specks against the white rang true in terms of depiction, yet, only there in chance, however, as in reality, only there in chance.  How satisfying to see that.  However, nothing chancy about the composition; it is the best I have seen for ages.  The scratching and scrapings of black grass against the snow in their composition which created a path; a path you wanted to walk down even though it somehow seemed like you shouldn’t…Well, that’s how my imagination worked for me!  I love the rather uncharted walkways idea…The whole thing of walking BEHIND the facades, and I think that is what drew me to this particular work.  You can view Melvyn Petterson’s “Hainton Track Snow” on the Mall website, as it is for sale. If I had the money, this is the work in the exhibition I would have brought!  It is very reasonably priced and some of the edition still available.  

http://mallgalleries-shows.com/

Ah, better than that I have permission to include on the blog!

Hainton Track Snow by Melvyn Petterson etching mall gallery london 2013

Hainton Track Snow by Melvyn Petterson

I also enjoyed Anthony Morris’s “River Melte, South Wales”.  It was beautifully framed too.  It has a sensitivity and softness, with just the right amount of light.  Unfortunately the image on the Mall website is far more contrasty than the painting itself, and this pretty much takes away the feeling which the painting gives, which is far more gentle, and indeed, the power it possesses isn’t due to impact in a dramatic way but to some beautiful brushworking and a certain restraint in the use of light; just enough to give it the necessary life, but really JUST enough, which I think was the appeal for me.

Out of the Peter Clossick paintings I liked “Yellow Flowers” most, and it is so rewarding to see such dynamic use of paint bringing structure and form on the surface, hand in hand with confident colour.  I felt I wanted a little bit more definition in the yellow flowers because they were the focus, but however it’s not my painting, so it matters not!  Also, I could easily change my mind either way, because the colour itself may hold enough autonomy to assert the flowers, indeed it did.  And the title helps.  It is maybe to easy to define things too much too.  I think this is a very difficult matter, because more damage is done by showing too much than too little in a painting in my opinion.  Maybe it is good to make the viewer work a little harder in certain areas!

Also noted by me were some of Bob Rudd’s painting’s particularly “Lakenheath Fens, Suffolk” and seeing these added some urgency to my desire to play with watercolours this year. An unexpected find for me too, in the book shop area, in the shape of a book containing images of  Michael Morgan’s paintings.

Popping along to the Cork Street Open 2013 was also a good trip.  Huge variety of work, which was very interesting.  My favourite by miles, was a sculpture by Colin Hoppe. (which has a french accent on the e, though I don’t know how to insert it here).

Take a look at the work “Back to Basics” which was on display at the Cork Street Open here:

http://www.hillingdonartists.org/artists/Colin%20Hoppe/Colin%20Hoppe.htm

and his own website also:http://www.feelliketouchingsculptures.co.uk/ 

I nearly fell off my chair when I found out he was blind.  What a humbling experience to see, touch and feel something so beautifully created with such power.

Jonathon Chapman has moved “Art in the Ark”, to a section of his own website and the new address is http://www.jkchapman.com/art_in_the_ark/.  Jonathon does an excellent job of organising the exhibition programme at The Ark Conference Centre and it is well worth taking a look at his coverage.

Well, these are the snippets for now.

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