Open Studio and Studio Sale – Paintings, Photographs, Original Artwork and Affordable Prints – Plus other Mullings and Musings from Jenny Meehan British Female Contemporary Artist

November 2, 2013

Open Studio and Studio Sale on Saturday 9th November 3pm – 7pm

Come along and take a look at a variety of paintings, photographs, original artwork and affordable prints.  If you are interested, then contact me via my website contact form and I will send you more details.  Come to look,  chat, discuss.  I am happy to consider commissioned paintings too. My price range is between £200 and £400 for  unframed paintings under 50 x 70cm, but I also have smaller artworks available to buy for much less, starting at only £15 in the form of digital C prints. 

Interested?  If you cannot make it on Saturday 9th November, but might like to come another time, then contact me though my website and I will place you on my mailing list and let you know when I hold another similar event. 

Empathy and Compassion in Society

Wow!  This looks  good, shame the cost (while no doubt standard for this type of thing) makes it completely unaccessible to me at this present moment in time.   However, I take heart when I see this kind of activity going on, and it looks like it will be a wonderful day.   I think by the time I post up this blog entry the Empathy and Compassion in Society Conference will be over as I see it’s down for the 24th October but they have a mailing list which can be joined, so I expect there will be future events and forums to go to.   Info on the Empathy and Compassion Society below, not sure why it has appeared like this and if I can re-arrange it or not, but I will just leave like this for now!

Empathy and Compassion in Society is a forum for professionals to explore what compassion is, how it can be cultivated, and what benefits it brings to the modern world.Empathy and Compassion in Society aims to present universal and well researched methods for cultivating empathy and compassion, show how these methods can enhance one’s personal and professional life, and share concrete examples of organisations and public institutions where these methods have been shown to be effective.
Internationally renowned neuroscientists, psychologists and thinkers share their insights and present methods for developing compassion.Innovators are also invited to submit case studies demonstrating how compassion has been a force for change in their area of work.The conference is for professionals from all sectors, including those working in management, policy, law, education, health, social care, as well as in the private sector.

Imperial War Museum Architecture of War Exhibition 

Here is the information given for the Imperial War Museum’s art exhibition “Architecture of War”

“29 July – 5 May 2014

Through IWM’s art collection, Architecture of War presents artists’ responses to the impact of warfare on landscape and environments.

The selection spans almost a century of British art, from the First World War to the present day, and explores themes such as construction, destruction, cities and interiors.

Some artworks show the united purpose of humans and machines in factories, others show tension in divided cities. Many artists have used ruined buildings to symbolise the effects of warfare on people. Others show the claustrophobic conditions of control rooms and shelters.

Architecture of War displays oil paintings, prints, sketches, drawings, watercolours and photographs by artists including William Orpen, Ronald Searle, William Scott and Langlands and Bell.”

Well, I took a walk around the Imperial War Museum and though it is in the process of being renovated, I managed to find my way around!   I did not know this but the Imperial War Museum possess thousands of paintings and other artworks and there are two exhibitions on at the moment, not just the Architecture of War but also one as part of the “A Family in Wartime” section.  I was fortunate to stumble in just before the guided tour, which was very interesting.  I have to say I felt the lighting very poor and it was frustrating to see the paintings in such dim  and erratic lighting.  The guide was lovely, and I brought up the subject of female artists, who, I was informed were much better represented in the selection of work which was hung currently than they were in the war art schemes of their time!!! No surprise there, I guess.

On the Imperial War Museum website, it gives more information about the  art collection  held there:

“This exceptional collection is one of the most important representations of twentieth century British art in the world. It includes many great works of art from the British government war art schemes of the First and Second World Wars, which employed the greatest artists of their day, including leaders of the avant-garde. These included Paul Nash, C R W Nevinson, John Singer Sargent and Sir William Orpen.” and “Important works from outside official schemes can also be found in the collection, by artists ranging from Edward Burra to Willie Doherty. The collection of almost 20,000 items includes paintings, prints and drawings, sculpture, and works in media such as photography, sound, and film. IWM also holds the unique War Artists Archive, which reveals the day-to-day running of the war art schemes and gives fascinating glimpses of the artists’ experiences.”

Well, I never knew.  I will be keeping an eye out for future exhibitions.  I am interested in twentieth century British art, so this may be a good place to snoop around in from time to time!

Paintings in Progress

I have several paintings in progress at the moment.  All acrylic paintings, and mostly non-objective at this point in time anyway.  As I now mix up many of my own paints, thereby getting more control over the intensity of pigment  among other factors, the problem of acrylics just being liquid plastic in my thinking is lessened a little.   I have need of rapid drying times…  And the family don’t like the smell of oil paints very much.  But I love oils, and have decided to work on some smaller paintings, around 16x12inches,  in order to indulge myself in this avenue.   When the Summer comes back to see us next year, I will set up my outdoor “studio”.  This studio consists of tarpaulin over a frame, but it will be just the job for allowing me to work on some larger oil paintings without having to clear up everything after each session.  This clearing up matter does somewhat spoil the process of immersing oneself into the work I find.  With oils, the whole uncontrollable mess  business seems to help the painting somehow.  The mess in my kitchen studio is normally washing, washing up, and other people’s items.  This can be ignored with some determination during a painting session, I have learnt.   But it is joyful to leave things out, to be surrounded by the materials you work with, to be completely steeped in the rearrangement of your surroundings which happens when you are working. I am looking forward to it.

For now, here are a few acrylics in progress.  Don’t take any notice of the way up they are, as this will most probably change:

lyrical abstract romantic expressive painting in progress - jenny meehan British female fine painting experimental markmaking contemporary modern abstraction jenny meehan UK
lyrical abstract romantic expressive painting in progress – jenny meehan British female fine painting experimental mark making contemporary modern abstraction jenny meehan UK
lyrical abstract romantic expressive painting in progress - jenny meehan British female fine painting experimental markmaking contemporary modern abstraction jenny meehan UK
lyrical abstract romantic expressive painting in progress – jenny meehan British female fine painting experimental markmaking contemporary modern abstraction jenny meehan UK
lyrical abstract romantic expressive painting in progress - jenny meehan British female fine painting experimental markmaking contemporary modern abstraction jenny meehan UK
lyrical abstract romantic expressive painting in progress – jenny meehan British female fine painting experimental markmaking contemporary modern abstraction jenny meehan UK
In recognition that the above paintings are very much in progress, I thought you might enjoy seeing some completed artwork in the form of the painting for Allglass:
jenny meehan british contemporary abstraction female painter acrylic for Geoff, Glass Beads Painting Geometric Abstract for Allglass by Jenny Meehan

Glass Beads Painting Geometric Abstract for Allglass by Jenny Meehan

The light on this image doesn’t really show off the way the beads are working in the piece, so maybe more images up later on. 

The Menier Gallery

I often pop into the Menier Gallery to see what is showing there, and I particularly enjoyed these two paintings by Paul Whitehead. What beautiful, fine and restful work, with such wonderful flow and composition.  Mountains and water have been and will continue to be a favourite subject matter of mine, and to see the imagination melded so gently with some of my favourite subjects, executed so skillfully, is a real pleasure to behold.  (Beholding is such a great word!)


It’s revealing for me to see what I am attracted to in terms of techniques and also subject matter.  I always fall for a figure viewed from the back  (great to identify with) and a water falling over rocks.  It seems I may be an incurable romantic.  And who wants to be cured?    It’s very heartening to see such sensibly priced work too, which makes it more accessible to a wider range of people.  It’s a very large space at the Menier Gallery, very large indeed.


Back on the War theme, I have been looking at my own painting “Pillar and Moon” an awful lot recently.  It’s giving back a lot to me.  Thanks painting.  Is this vanity? No, not so, I don’t think.  I am looking and thinking and pondering and wondering.  I will take the subject matter forwards, for sure.   Inspired by my trip to the Imperial War Museum I looked up the Tate blurb on Paul Nash’s “Pillar and Moon” as follows:

” Paul Nash was deeply affected by his experiences as a soldier and an artist during the First World War. This picture was based around ‘the mystical association of two objects which inhabit different elements and have no apparent relation in life… The pale stone sphere on top of a ruined pillar faces its counterpart the moon, cold and pale and solid as stone.’Though not explicitly about mourning, the deep, unpopulated space and ghostly lighting gives the scene a melancholy air. Rather than depict a real landscape, Nash said that his intention had been ‘to call up memories and stir emotions in the spectator’.

My pillar doesn’t have it’s sphere!    I did paint another painting with a sphere in it around the same time as “Pillar and Moon”, which I trashed.  Rather sorry about that, as it was interesting, but I turned it into something else.  (That one’s still in the cupboard waiting to be taken for another outing!)  To me, the painting by Paul Nash  “Pillar and Moon” does have a sense of mourning about it, which I like.  Maybe an awareness of disconnection between two related entities?  Maybe the hard and cold and near, needing the light and soft and far?  Maybe and maybe not…But an interesting relation, clearly, which is why I took it up.

Mine seems less mournful.   My moon is linked with the pillar with a broken line, so they still have a relationship.  I also painted a reflection too.  I think about the painting this way long after completion…It’s not something I am conscious of at the time…these possible ideas which might be floating about in the back of my head,  which is the way I like it to be.   I’m not taking the analysis any further than this though.   I am sure I could go into what moons, orbs and pillars might symbolize and in the process create an interesting “explanation” for the work.  The main pleasure for me in “Pillar and Moon” is that it is quite different from a painting with a clear intention at the outset! Quite different, more of an exploration, not just of the surface and colours as is the case when using a pre-existing design like the recent Allglass painting, but rather of the mystery of the process of painting itself?  Well, a stirring of emotions, yes.   That will do.  Stirring of emotions is a great reason for any painting to exist, and paintings don’t need anything more, though it is always interesting to speculate as to what might have been going on there I guess.

"pillar and moon" paul nash painting imaginative interpretation,jenny meehan 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!

Can I find the image I had of the Paul Nash “Pillar and Moon”…. NO!  But it is well-known and easily found.  I get a great deal of pleasure from looking at his work and so in the absence of “Pillar and Moon” here is, at least, another beautiful work by Paul Nash to feast your eyes on.

Paul Nash Edge of the Wood Silverdale 1915

Paul Nash Edge of the Wood Silverdale 1915

Just found this:

Getting into a productive routine of studio practice, prayer, study and the usual domestic matters

I am reaping the benefits of a regular studio schedule,  and find the beginning of the week much better than the end of it!  Discipline is very important and I am finding that making that studio time sacred is very helpful, as is indeed generally organising time in a more structured way.  I have always been a very disciplined person in terms of working, but it has to be said that the challenges of being both a mother and an artist need careful management.   And yes, you don’t actually need a separate studio to have sacred studio time!  Hooray!  It is the structuring which happens within and is expressed outwardly which can bring the necessary environment, thought this probably is harder without the physical space defined before you start working!   I currently focus on painting on Mondays, Tuesdays and Fridays…though Fridays often get used for making frames and other less intensive tasks. Tuition and teaching or other projects sometimes slip in…Also painting boards white.  Mixing up new colours.  Research, reading, study, promotional things.   I’m making more regular slots for exercise and prayer. which has got to be good for body and spirit!  I pack as much domestic activity into the parts of the day which I know are less productive for me creatively, ie after 4pm in the afternoon is the best time to throw myself into domestic chores and all things domestic.  The prime part of the day for me is from 8am in the morning till around 2pm…I work best then.  If I set up at 8am, then I have a good foundation for a days painting work.  I’ve stopped moaning about the restrictions of my situation and instead now recognise the benefits of being in control of my working schedule.   I said to another female painter I met recently how I felt it was a great privilege to be able to paint, and she didn’t get what I meant at all…She saw it as a right I think…  I think “I could be living hand to mouth, with hungry children and little shelter”.  I always feel immensely fortunate to be able to work with paint in the way I do, and not a day goes by when I take it for granted.   Maybe it is the years when this was less possible for me which have taught me something, because life has been more precarious in terms of survival in the past.  While life is certainly not problem free, particularly in the current economic climate, and the choices we make are never without cost of some kind, basically I find myself blessed with sufficient resources to use for the passion which drives my life forward, and this has not always been the case.

Interesting Listening to Amy Sillman

I enjoyed listening to this podcast…So enjoyable to have an interview where the artist has plenty of time to talk, and manages to convey the organic processes which come into making paintings, and also talks without pretence of anything greater than the simple encounter which forms the core of any painting…

Interesting to find out more about what has been involved in the formation and development of her painting journey.

Jenny Meehan is a painter and designer based in East Surrey/South West London.
Her website is  ( replaces the older now deceased website

Jenny Meehan BA Hons (Lit.) PGCE also offers art tuition.  Please contact Jenny at or through the contact form at for further details.   Commissions for paintings are also undertaken at affordable prices.

 Jenny Meehan works mainly with either oils or acrylics  creating both abstract/non-objective paintings  and also semi-abstract work.  She also creates representational and figurative artwork,  mostly using digital photography/image manipulation software, painting and  drawing.

Jenny Meehan exhibits around the United Kingdom and holds regular Open Studio/Studio Sale events.  To be placed on Jenny Meehan’s mailing list please email requesting to be kept up to date.  Also, follow the Jenny Meehan Contemporary Artist’s Journal at WordPress and keep informed that way. 


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