Urban Dialogues

Just working on something to submit to “Urban Dialogues” Open Call.  At a networking meeting organised by the various organisations involved with “Urban Dialogues” one person revealed that he had come along because he liked the sound of the title”Urban Dialogues”;  He thought it sounded cool, interesting and hip. (Wow, that word places me in the sixties, I think!)  I know what he meant.  Having spent a lot of time in the more urban surroundings of Central London over the last couple of years, the word “Urban” has taken on a new visual meaning for me, as my eyes have taken in the sights and sounds of the city, and pushed geometric forms deep into my subconscious.  I am working on something very rooted in this urban experience, and I have decided to connect my creative writing with my creative imagery for my submission, well, at least one of them anyway.  I’ll post that work up when it is done.

In the meantime, I am working in the house.  Yes, pure domestic bliss.  It’s interesting that my relationship with my kitchen has been totally transformed since deciding to think of it as firstly a studio and then a kitchen, rather than the other way around.  Yes, in many ways I can see the value of a cut off place in which to retreat into the realm of visual creation, into a writing space insulated from the outside world, from activity, from distraction.  But I cannot deny, despite my previous moaning and groaning  regarding lack of a studio, that, with the right mind set, the proximity of my studio space, indeed, it’s very complete merging into my domestic realm, is not a hindrance, but rather a help.  The only hindrance is that of the perception (not held by all, but held by some) that it is somehow “less” or means I am less serious about my work…  The reality is I do not possess the time or money for an alternative space right now.  And, what I have works.  Problems can be solved…I have set up a drying space for my oils in the outhouse and while size is restricted, right now I want to push my painting forward in such a way that it is better to work a little smaller than my ideal.  I have enough room in the kitchen to teach four people, which is my preferred number of people to work with anyway.  There is the bind of getting stuff out and then having to put it away of course, but I have a lot of things, and often forget where they are, so the putting away often means I will have a little look around the cupboards and this sometimes means I find things I didn’t know I have.  This is not a bad thing!

There is something very good about having an integrated approach to my work.  To understand that is is not disconnected from anything else I do, think or say in life.  The mixing of domestic activity with my painting has born it’s own unexpected fruit for me.  Because of the need to work in a piecemeal fashion, I have developed a very organic and process based way of working which while it is not my only approach, has opened the door to some very interesting passageways of thinking, and given my painting a kind of inner core that I don’t think I would have found any other way.  There is something about having a painting which evolves over a long period of time, and which experiences it’s own very slow genesis, which simply is not possible any other way.  In the kitchen studio, work hangs on the wall for many minutes, days, and hours of reflection, among the other activities of life, and it doesn’t suffer for this, rather, there is more time to mull over and ponder, to think without any need to act.  If suddenly something needs to be done, then there is always a handy plate or bowl to put the paint in, and make a swift move into the work, while still attending to the dinner or whatever else is happening.  This is not a bad thing; it is very good indeed.

One day, I do hope for defined studio space.  But, to not be possessive about my working space is my lot, and always I am most grateful  for the materials I have and the time I manage to spend with my work.  If it doesn’t carry an impression of serious endeavour with it, then I feel one should ask what it is about the domestic environment which makes it somehow “less”.  Could this be to do with some perceptions regarding the value of the home environment? (And possibly, also the value/influence of women who work in this defined space?)  I may be getting a bit overly analytical here, (and I am reacting to some negative comments I have encountered about my lack of studio and the impression it may give), but is it fair to equate a lack of studio with a lack of serious endeavour?  Surely this is more to do with a lack of money/physical space than anything else?  Thankfully, space dissolves as a problem in the actual painting process, as I can make it exactly what I want it to be!   I have more of a space problem with respect to my copious notebooks, sketchbooks, pieces of paper, reference materials, second-hand art books, found objects, snippets of every and any kind…

Joanne Greenbaum by Jeremy Sigler Interview – A Quote from Joanne Greenbaum

“The most conceptual, theoretical, strategic thinker is also going on intuition on a certain level. Just because my work is loose and hand-drawn, it doesn’t necessarily translate into being intuitive. There are a lot of ideas about painting here. I think there is not great language out there for the purely visual, and art historians and others try to describe something that is so inherently preverbal. So that’s where the word intuition comes in. I think it’s the wrong word for a type of thinking that can be very deep but ultimately unexplainable.”

This lovely, relaxed and very natural interview between Joanne Greenbaum and Jeremy Sigler can be found here:

http://bombsite.com/issues/124/articles/7204

There’s a lot of wisdom here I think.

Interview with Thomas Berding

As there is here…Thoman Berding has identified several aspects of the way I have conducted/now conduct  my own work which are helpful to me;

Christopher Lowrance: Tell us about one useful thing you learned for yourself…

“All artists who do anything really interesting teeter on the edge of not knowing. To be a studio artist is to embrace that condition or at least acknowledge that as a fundamental position. The studio is a grand experiment and rarely a place to confirm or depict what is already known-but rather it is a place to speculate and propagate new awareness, albeit from a base of knowledge, insight, or what we inherit. The most important thing is to collect and notate things of interest (work, experiences, images, and color etc..) and use this as a jumping off point. Then, one must understand how these things work their way through the filter that is painting.”

I also find Thomas Berding’s comments about therapy and painting interesting.  Having spent last year using some of my work (not all) to explore my psyche, maybe sometimes in quite a cathartic way,  I am currently experiencing a shift in approach which Thomas Berding does identify very well in this interview I think.  I think that both the approaches together are important, but in terms of pushing my painting forward, Thomas Berding has certainly clarified and helped me to see what has started to happen of late:

Thomas Berding:  “While art is my passion and profession, it is never therapy. It can be problem solving and of course, problem creating. These days the studio is filled with more looking and decisive action, rather than being an extroverted search with brush in hand, an approach that characterized much of my earlier working years.” (my emphasis)

And look at his paintings!  How exciting they are and how you can see the fruits of his decisive action.  I can appreciate their presence even on screen.  This is strong and inspiring painting for me to see right now.   See some of Thomas Berding’s paintings and read the interview, which is very inspiring indeed:

http://mwcapacity.wordpress.com/2013/06/18/q-a-with-thomas-berding/

I am sure there is some other facility here on WordPress to rave about this, but I will stick with this method for now, until I know otherwise!

How interesting to read both of these interviews…Very different in style but working so well with their own approach.

The interview by Christopher Lowrance relates to the following exhibition at The Painting Centre

http://www.thepaintingcenter.org/exhibitions/thomas-berding-makeshift-futures

Feeling this post needs a picture

Ahh, it just doesn’t feel right, all this writing with no image.

"pillar and moon" paul nash painting imaginative interpretation,jenny meehan jamartlondon.com lyrical and geometric abstraction modern contemporary british female painter,process led painting uk,

I’ve got this painting up on the wall right now, and it’s nudging me gently into doing some more painting!

I WAS planning a group of paintings based on gardens…But have decided I have too many weeds in my actual garden and therefore need to spend a lot of time with that…So suddenly the thought of painting gardens has gone out the window, and instead I am working on imaginative landscapes again, devoid of boundary walls…I don’t know.

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Well, it was an eclectic mixture of work with plenty of interesting artist’s to research.  My favourite work was by the London based artist Lesley Hilling.  On her website is a delightful video of her studio, which looks amazing!  For more on Lesley Hilling see   http://www.lesleyhilling.co.uk/information  

The work on show was enchanting to look at, possessing integrity and beauty… quite captivating.

The work on show at “Lines” was Darkwood Days Wood, a mixed media work, with dimensions of 29cm x 28cm x 17cm

The blurb…

“Lesley Hilling is a London based artist who makes sculptural collages from a wide range of recycled materials that take the form of box constructions, walls, towers and spheres. Obsessive joinery is merged with a confusion of disparate elements, structured in a complex but ordered whole. Her work conveys a powerful sense of longing to preserve the fragments of the past, a desire for order, a passionate and mysterious evocation of lost moments.”

But best of all take a look at the image, and if possible, go and see the work “in the flesh”.  There’s a good image of it here:

http://www.advertisingexhibitions.co.uk/artist_lesley_hilling.html

My work “London Downpour” needed to be viewed from a greater distance, however, due to the narrow dimensions of most of the lower part of the gallery, this was not possible.   Because it was an experiment with colour and space, it’s tricky to view from close up.  When I was painting it, well, indeed, when I was painting all of the process-led paintings last year, I found I had to stand at least 6 metres away to work out what was happening with the colour-space relationships.  With little obvious pictorial structure to rely upon, and the structure only establishing itself in a gradual and piecemeal fashion, the distance was vital.  I think it could be viewed in a OK way from about three metres.  However, it must have been quite a challenge to place the works in the Strand Gallery, as there are lots of angles, corners, and different proportions of wall, so I think bearing in mind the constraints an excellent job was done, and the exhibition looked really good.  To hang so much work by very different artists in a pretty restricted space is not something I would want to have to do!  I found hanging the work of three artists along a flat wall at Leatherhead Theatre quite enough to orchestrate.  So my hearty “Congratulations” to the organisers of the show, including of course Jack Smurthwaite who curated the exhibition.

Here’s the image of “London Downpour” in situ.

London Downpour- Jenny Meehan painting abstraction at The Strand Gallery London as part of "Lines" visual art exhibition, jenny meehan jamartlondon london downpour process led painting british contemporary female abstract expressionistic painting, claude venard style work of london southbank tate modern river thames,contemporary emerging artist exhibition london.

London Downpour- Jenny Meehan painting abstraction at The Strand Gallery London as part of “Lines” visual art exhibition. Lyrical and geometric abstraction painting southbank london from the imagination! painted in a process-led, intuitive guided fashion, external impressions from regular trips to London appear to have seeped into my subconscious!

I love meeting people and the Private View was an enjoyable event.  I also love tonic water, and as I don’t drink alcohol, I passed on the gin and drunk only the tonic water, which was very nice and flavoursome indeed!   Wish I had had more.  It was exceptionally HOT in the gallery and refreshment was much needed.  It was interesting having come to the Private View directly from a visit to the National Gallery.  Having bathed myself in some amazing paintings, the creation of which, I realise day by day, my heart finds most interest in, and which hold a most lasting impression, I think to  myself that it is true that any artist should constantly hold themselves against the work which has hung on walls for a long time,  and continue to assess what they do in the light of the past, which, though it might seem  backward to some minds,  actually holds within it’s aged hands, the very keys to the future.  History. Maybe the greatest teacher to any forward thinking person?

I am taking some time right now to review some past drawings which I worked at during a Life Drawing Weekend Short Course at West Dean College, Near Chichester, Sussex.  I am very grateful for all the  training I get from my visits to West Dean and my participation in various short courses at West Dean College now stretches back over a period of nine years…Something I can hardly believe!  Initially working with sculpture (which I still love) I have found in the high standard of tuition and the amazing opportunity to learn from experienced creative practitioners a wonderful solution to the problem of meeting my needs for training.  I am now very much thinking that it is a blessing that I did my degree in Literature and not Fine Art, as I find my interest in words and image complement each other very well indeed.  Due to increased financial constraints (mostly due to rising energy bills and rising costs of pretty much everything!)  I find now I must restrict my training opportunities and I have resigned myself to the understanding that from now on it will be one, very short course, probably about once every two years from now on.   However, I have much material and ideas accumulated, and I will not go short in the sense that my creativity will not suffer because of this.  I also think I have such a strong sense of direction now, that maybe it will be fitting to steam ahead with little input (apart from the regular exposure to all kinds of wonderful artworks which I encounter in my regular trips to London).  I have tried applying for a couple of residencies this year, but nothing came of that, and the work involved in applying is considerable.

So, some lines of another kind, here in some recent life drawing examples.  The length of pose varies from very quick, say, just a few minutes, to the longer pose. Quality is variable, I haven’t posted up here as fine examples, rather reference.  There are some interesting things going on, and it has been good to “retune” my eyes, which have become somewhat lazy through lack of observational study.  I will take some of this work to develop I think.  Some of the drawings have quite a nice feeling to them, and I do like working with charcoal more than pencil I have found.  I am most grateful to Valerie Wiffen for her valuable input, which I will carry with me into further observational drawings in the future.

example of observational figure studies carried out at west dean college by jenny meehan exploring female figure, line,gesture, emotion and female form, jenny meehan

example of observational figure studies carried out at west dean college by jenny meehan exploring female figure, line,gesture, emotion and female form, jenny meehan

example of observational figure studies carried out at west dean college by jenny meehan exploring female figure, line,gesture, emotion and female form, jenny meehan

example of observational figure studies carried out at west dean college by jenny meehan exploring female figure, line,gesture, emotion and female form, jenny meehan

example of observational figure studies carried out at west dean college by jenny meehan exploring female figure, line,gesture, emotion and female form, jenny meehan

example of observational figure studies carried out at west dean college by jenny meehan exploring female figure, line,gesture, emotion and female form, jenny meehan

example of observational figure studies carried out at west dean college by jenny meehan exploring female figure, line,gesture, emotion and female form, jenny meehan

example of observational figure studies carried out at west dean college by jenny meehan exploring female figure, line,gesture, emotion and female form, jenny meehan

example of observational figure studies carried out at west dean college by jenny meehan exploring female figure, line,gesture, emotion and female form, jenny meehan

example of observational figure studies carried out at west dean college by jenny meehan exploring female figure, line,gesture, emotion and female form, jenny meehan

example of observational figure studies carried out at west dean college by jenny meehan exploring female figure, line,gesture, emotion and female form, jenny meehan

example of observational figure studies carried out at west dean college by jenny meehan exploring female figure, line,gesture, emotion and female form, jenny meehan

example of observational figure studies carried out at west dean college by jenny meehan exploring female figure, line,gesture, emotion and female form, jenny meehan

example of observational figure studies carried out at west dean college by jenny meehan exploring female figure, line,gesture, emotion and female form, jenny meehan

example of observational figure studies carried out at west dean college by jenny meehan exploring female figure, line,gesture, emotion and female form, jenny meehan

example of observational figure studies carried out at west dean college by jenny meehan exploring female figure, line,gesture, emotion and female form, jenny meehan

example of observational figure studies carried out at west dean college by jenny meehan exploring female figure, line,gesture, emotion and female form, jenny meehan

example of observational figure studies carried out at west dean college by jenny meehan exploring female figure, line,gesture, emotion and female form, jenny meehan

example of observational figure studies carried out at west dean college by jenny meehan exploring female figure, line,gesture, emotion and female form, jenny meehan

example of observational figure studies carried out at west dean college by jenny meehan exploring female figure, line,gesture, emotion and female form, jenny meehan

example of observational figure studies carried out at west dean college by jenny meehan exploring female figure, line,gesture, emotion and female form, jenny meehan

example of observational figure studies carried out at west dean college by jenny meehan exploring female figure, line,gesture, emotion and female form, jenny meehan

example of observational figure studies carried out at west dean college by jenny meehan exploring female figure, line,gesture, emotion and female form, jenny meehan

example of observational figure studies carried out at west dean college by jenny meehan exploring female figure, line,gesture, emotion and female form, jenny meehan

example of observational figure studies carried out at west dean college by jenny meehan exploring female figure, line,gesture, emotion and female form, jenny meehan

example of observational figure studies carried out at west dean college by jenny meehan exploring female figure, line,gesture, emotion and female form, jenny meehan

example of observational figure studies carried out at west dean college by jenny meehan exploring female figure, line,gesture, emotion and female form, jenny meehan

example of observational figure studies carried out at west dean college by jenny meehan exploring female figure, line,gesture, emotion and female form, jenny meehan

example of observational figure studies carried out at west dean college by jenny meehan exploring female figure, line,gesture, emotion and female form, jenny meehan

example of observational figure studies carried out at west dean college by jenny meehan exploring female figure, line,gesture, emotion and female form, jenny meehan

  example of observational figure studies carried out at west dean college by jenny meehan exploring female figure, line,gesture, emotion and female form, jenny meehan

example of observational figure studies carried out at west dean college by jenny meehan exploring female figure, line,gesture, emotion and female form, jenny meehan

Well, it’s good, but while I may have an exhibitionist kind of streak in me, I am finding myself wanting to have some quiet, reclusive time alone with just some paint.

Leatherhead Painting Exhibition “Order and KAOS” now finished. 

The Leatherhead exhibition is all taken down now…I love taking exhibitions down, it is so much quicker than setting them up!!!!  Here are some more images from the exhibition.

Nigel Prabhavalkar's paintings at Order and KAOS  painting exhibition

Nigel Prabhavalkar’s paintings at Order and KAOS painting exhibition

Derek Turner's(left) and Jenny Meehan's (right) paintings at Order and KAOS painting exhibition

Derek Turner’s(left) and Jenny Meehan’s (right) paintings at Order and KAOS painting exhibition

Jenny Meehan's painting (left) and Derek Turner's painting (right) at Order and KAOS exhibition

Jenny Meehan’s painting (left) and Derek Turner’s painting (right) at Order and KAOS exhibition

“Jenny Meehan Recent Paintings and Prints” Exhibition at the Cornerhouse Community Arts Centre, Surbiton

One down, then one up…Hanging the Cornerhouse Community Arts Centre exhibition went well, took an hour and a half.  The Surrey Comet did an article on it but I cannot find it on the net as yet.  Also published in the Kingston Guardian.  Had a lovely evening with the Deputy Mayor of the Royal Borough of Kingston Upon Thames  Councillor Alan Dean and the Deputy Mayoress Mrs Miriam Dean, along with many other folk.   A good turn out, and a delight to give an “Artist’s Talk”  (or rather, an attempt to convey in words what I am trying to do through my work!).  I got good feedback about the talk…quite enjoyed it.  I like talking, always have done.

 jamartlondon fine art prints emerging female british artist designer visual art exhibition event jenny meehan art prints exhibition cornerhouse with alan and miriam dean deputy mayor and mayoress of kingston upon thames

Jenny Meehan exhibition

 jamartlondon fine art prints emerging female british artist designer visual art exhibition event jenny meehan art prints exhibition cornerhouse with alan and miriam dean deputy mayor and mayoress of kingston upon thames

“Signs of the Times” hung at the Cornerhouse Community Arts Centre, Surbiton Surrey

 jamartlondon fine art prints emerging female british artist designer visual art exhibition event jenny meehan art prints exhibition cornerhouse with alan and miriam dean deputy mayor and mayoress of kingston upon thames

“Allotted” Exhibition at The Beetroot Tree Gallery, Draycott, Derbyshire

Coming up next in June is the “Allotted” exhibition at The Beetroot Tree Gallery, in Draycott, Derbyshire.  I want to try and get along to this, as I have three pieces of work in it, but not sure if time will allow.  Hopefully I can.  It looks like a good exhibition, very interesting.  Here is the press release:

PRESS RELEASE

 

Exhibition: Allotted

 

15 June to 27 July 2013

 

With a nod to the way we carve up our personal space in homes, allotments, office desks, ‘Allotted’ presents individual spaces in the gallery of artist’s worked form a broad range of media.

 

Centre stage in the gallery will be a new realisation of the ‘Gallery Garden’ from Bethany Walker (concrete and textiles) and Stevie Davies (kiln fused glass) previously seen at the National Centre of Craft & Design.

Surrounding displays come from: Andy Cairns, the alchemy of recycling; Claire Williams, twisted silver jewellery; Jenny Meehan, Digital Prints; Karoline Rerrie, illustrator and printmaker; Kate Robotham, painting conceptually driven by an interest in materiality; Katherine Jones (Printfest Printmaker of the Year 2013), the  metaphor of the glass house explored through printmaking; Katie Gayle, Silver, Gold and Platinum hand crafted jewellery: Marie Wright, mixed media observing the fragility and changing nature of the area of Morecambe Bay; Nita Nathwani; organic forms in paper clay; Presiana Shisheva (winner of The Glass Prize 2103, student category), juxtaposing natural and manmade  materials to consider our built and natural environments; and Sue Lancaster, domestic landscapes described in textile design.

 

 

For further information please contact

Paul Storer [Gallery Director]

Tel: 01332 873 929 Email: info@thebeetrootree.com

 

VENUE:                        The Beetroot Tree Gallery, Draycott, Derbyshire DE72 3PP

DATES:                        15 June 2013 – 27 July 2013

TIMES:                         Open Daily 10am-5pm, entry free

 

Llewellyn Alexander “Not The Royal Academy” Exhibition at Waterloo, London SE1

Popped into Llewellyn Alexander today to take a look at the work currently on show as part of the “Not the Royal Academy” Exhibition and spent a good hour looking at the work.  I’m rather interested in the framing considerations right now, as well as the work itself, of course.  It is amazing how much difference the framing makes though, and I took the opportunity to study and think about this aspect of presenting my work, and took away a few good ideas too.   My painting “The Upper Room” wasn’t currently on show, but I am hoping that I will re-meet it on one of my London trips, as I fancing taking an image of it hanging there if possible.

Llewellyn Alexander “Not The Royal Academy” Exhibition at Waterloo, London SE1

I recommend a visit to Llewellyn Alexander…it’s located at 124-126 The Cut, Waterloo, London SE1 8LN (opposite The Old Vic Theatre).  The exhibition changes on a three weekly basis,  so it’s going to be an exciting place discover paintings for some time as the exhibition runs until August 17th 2013.  I am learning with my own painting that the time my paintings are worth most to me is when I am in the process of painting them, and after that, though it is very easy to continue the attachment, this isn’t wise, well, maybe for a short time, as one mulls and reflects and thinks and wonders about them, also casting a critical eye, but not for too long.  Now with digital imagery, it is possible to use past work to inform the present work very easily, and there is no need to still have the painting with me, which is a wonderful thing.  So, while I am so pleased with what I achieved with “The Upper Room”, I am most keen for it to go to someone else who can enjoy it, and enjoy it’s full presence with their own eyes without having the trouble of painting it themselves!  It’s been giving a lot to me, and I can still draw from it; I will never loose what I have learnt, I will only sow it in another painting, and let that one go too. I have realised I don’t want to die in a pile of my own paintings. They serve me best in the process, after that, they will bless someone else.  This surely is the point?

abstract acrylic painting christian art sacred symbolism jenny meehan

lyrical abstract painting selected for “Not the Royal Academy” exhibition at Llewellyn Alexander Fine Paintings Waterloo this year 2013. For sale.

“Lines” at The Strand Gallery

http://thestrandgallery.wordpress.com/blog/

The private view for “Lines” at The Strand Gallery is tommorrow.  I cannot wait to see the work on show.  I didn’t realise that they got as many as 1ooo entries for it.  I really am one of the chosen few then.  The work and other artists showing look really interesting and I am very much looking forward to the evening. I’ll probably pop into the National Gallery just before, as it’s so near by.

And REST….

Next plan….Do nothing! (Well, maybe a bit of housework and some gardening! )

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