Walking a Labyrinth – Kingston Artists’ Open Studio Leatherhead Exhibition – “Sacred Spaces” – Painting and Drawing Monthly Art Session – Plus Two Calm Moments -Jenny Meehan Artist’s Journal

February 11, 2014

Walking a Labyrinth at St John’s Church, Waterloo

Walking a labyrinth is a spiritual exercise to quiet, center, and allow contemplation and prayer.  I tried this experience out recently at St John’s Church, Waterloo.   People get very different things from the experience, depending on exactly where they are (in a personal sense!) when they choose to walk it.  The location also, it follows has a big impact too!   I enjoyed it  and found it much better than I expected it would be, and I came away with  some of the strands of thought which I had already been playing with in my mind, rather focused and much clearer.  So I suppose I could say it “worked” for me.  I am not interested at all in anything to do with “sacred geometry” or anything like this, I see it as a tool. It is a helpful structure, a useful form and pattern to hold a walk within it, and a good tool to help contemplation take place.

I took lots of lovely ideas away. For example, it was a nice feeling being in the centre,  and even though I personally always set myself to the path and did not think of the centre as a destination at any point, I did realise after walking the labyrinth several times that I liked the middle simply because it was the most surrounded part…It had the most layers or boundaries around it, so maybe it was a sense of safety there in the centre which I was enjoying so much?   It wasn’t so much a place to stop for me, as I found myself stopping en-route anyway to enjoy the interesting  paintings and sculpture which happen to be in the interior of St John’s and provided some very good foci in themselves.  But, because there was a bit more space, it was logical to stop in the middle and this is what pretty much everyone seemed to do.

I tried walking the Labyrinth both slowly and at speed.   When you walk fast, people tend to step aside as you approach!    (Why was I surprised at this!)  This reminded me of the potential damage that is done by rushing, not in the sense of bumping into people (Which did not happen, I hasten to add, I was very careful!) but in terms of relationship…That in being very busy, maybe, and moving very fast, other people may pull away and draw away from us at times where we might have been able to experience a closeness, an opportunity to show grace,  or simply to just relate more intimately because of  people feeling less need to pull away from us in order to protect themselves from our busyness which, let’s face it, can be a very damaging thing if it communicates (which is often does) that that other person doesn’t matter, or that you are not available to them, should they need you.  It was a rather risky and adventurous experiment, and I was conscious that in doing it quite differently, I made myself conspicuous.  It would have been quite different walking it fast with a bunch of lively children!

However, even the decision to risk being seen to be noticeably “different”  was a helpful and meaningful one for me.  To step out, follow the courage of my own conviction, and not to be self-conscious to the extent that stops me exploring in life, is something I have been working on for some time.   It seems that pretty much all the time we quite easily find difference, in whatever shape or form, challenging.  Be it disagreement, sexuality, culture, or religious beliefs… And I decided that rather than being something to shy away from, maybe I would be better served by embracing  differences and disagreements a little more myself, and by recognising that they can be positive, if handled with grace?  Walking at a difference pace was a way and method for me to imprint this into my mind.  It is all right to stick out sometimes!  We don’t all merge together in a huge blob like jelly.

By risking walking differently,  (though it was a little mortifying for me at the time), I have gained in that I will be able to picture clearly (for I won’t forget!) that there is a vulnerability involved in difference, a risk, and that those who are markedly different, and stand out, maybe more obviously, as “different” deserve respect and even admiration maybe at times, and certainly not hostility, because of the difference.  For we are all very very different from eachother, even if we look to be pretty similar on the outside.   The acceptance and implicit respect  of other peoples  ways of walking, their paths and journeys, however different in character, foot size, types of socks or length of toe nails  (!!!!) , are essentially the same, in that we are humans on a journey (essentially the same journey, called “life”), and cannot see the whole.   My wild and fanciful imagination takes me, on thinking the matter over right now, to a delightful image with rather extreme variations, ie some people hopping, others rolling, some dancing….all very different but on the same labyrinth at the same time.  Well, the differences where there, but far more subtle on this occasion.  What fun you could have with a wild and wacky labyrinth walk!

I had many other reflections on my Labyrinth walk at St John’s, Waterloo.  I met some interesting and lovely people, and also found watching other people walking the labyrinth quite moving too…  I hope to do the walk again at some point in time.

Kingston Artists’ Open Studio – Leatherhead Exhibition in May 2014  “Sacred Spaces”

Time runs so fast!  Despite my intentions to hibernate for the whole year, I am, of course, unable to do that.  However, I am now getting at least two good length studio sessions in per week.  So the discipline is paying off.   As well as my own painting I do enjoy spending time with other creatives, and wanted to organise an exhibition at Leatherhead Theatre this year for some of my fellow artist members of Kingston Artists’ Open Studios, or KAOS, ( the abbreviation, which I prefer!).  Last year I organised and curated “Order and KAOS” which focused in on abstraction in painting but this year I am going for a theme… one which I would like to explore with my fellow artists a little and also, very importantly, give us an opportunity to explore, think, reflect and ruminate, meditate, contemplate (pick the word you prefer!) on our work and also maybe even add new dimensions to our understanding and thinking about what we are doing, through the insights of one another.   So part of the exhibition process this year will be a meeting of the artists who are contributing their work also being able to contribute themselves by meeting and discussing together.   Among other things, I am  wanting to explore the important “sacred space” that exploration of our creative  selves through our art working provides.  How this works for each of us, what helps it to work well, what hinders,  how it relates to our sense of well being.  All that kind of thing. I will post more later.  Here is the flyer for the “Sacred Spaces” Exhibition at Leatherhead.   I quite enjoy designing flyers.

jenny meehan KAOS flyer leatherhead sacred spaces art exhibition. The flyer designed by Jenny Meehan for the Kingston Artists' Open Studios Exhibition at Leatherhead Theatre 2014 Jenny Meehan curation project, exhibition curated by jenny meehan, community arts exhibition,

jenny meehan KAOS flyer leatherhead sacred spaces art exhibition.
The flyer designed by Jenny Meehan for the Kingston Artists’ Open Studios Exhibition at Leatherhead Theatre 2014

It is quite a way ahead, but time does whizz so.   I have selected the artworks and will hopefully be posting information on them and their creators as time goes by.  I am not organising a Private View for the exhibition, as in the past I have found that the travel distance from Kingston to Leatherhead has put people off.   However, the footfall at the theatre is normally very good at this time of year so I think the exhibition will get plenty of viewings!  Sorted out the blurb:

“Sacred Spaces” – Free Art Exhibition, Open to All.  Disabled Access.  Children Welcome. 

See this exciting and interesting collection of work by Kingston Artists’ Open Studio artists Chris Birch, Emily Limna,  Jenny Meehan,  Richard Tomlin,  Derek Turner,  Hilary Walker, and Jude Wild.

The exhibition is curated by Jenny Meehan on behalf of Kingston Artists’ Open Studios.  A varied mixture of  18 original paintings, monoprints and  photography by  seven  professional artists is sure to delight and interest you.  The title of the exhibition “Sacred Spaces” references the inner lives of the artists , the process of creating artworks,  and evidence  expressed  physically  in the artworks themselves.  In our creation we bring body and substance from our own inner contemplation, reflection and response to life and all we experience,  both internal and external.

Details are:

It runs from 2pm on Saturday 3rd May until Friday 30th May  during normal theatre opening hours which are normally 10am – 10pm. Sometimes the theatre closes at 4pm so best to check exact times with the theatre first. Phone:  01372 365141).

Leatherhead Theatre:  7 Church Street Leatherhead Surrey KT22 8DN.     The exhibition takes place on the ground floor main theatre foyer, and is accessible to all. Children are welcome.   There is a coffee shop too, so you can enjoy a drink while you look at the exhibition.

Contact Jenny Meehan at j.meehan@tesco.net for more information. Or see  www.jamartlondon.com and

www.kingstonartistsopenstudios.co.uk

Visiting Information:

The Leatherhead Theatre
7, Church Street
LEATHERHEAD
Surrey
KT22 8DN

Tel: 01372 365141
Fax:     01372 365195

Accessible location – 5 mins from M25, Junction 9

5 minutes walk from Leatherhead British Rail Station.
Town centre location, close to local shops and restaurants.

Three car parks within a few minutes walk (free after 6pm)

Parking is free on Sundays at the Swan Centre

Access to the exhibition is from Tuesday to Saturday inclusive.  The theatre is not open to the general public on Sundays or Mondays.

Spring Harvest

Looking forward to some refreshment of the spiritual variety this year at Spring Harvest, and I will be hearing from Dr Paula Gooder and Nick Herbert (worship leader and songwriter, part of the Worship Central team)  on the four days we are set to be there.  Text from the Spring Harvest website:  “Dr Paula Gooder is a writer and lecturer in biblical studies. Her research areas are the writings of Paul the apostle (with a particular focus on 2 Corinthians). She is canon theologian of Birmingham and Guildford Cathedrals, vice president of the Bible Society and visiting lecturer at King’s College, London”    It’s about time I invested some time in studying the Bible, so I look forward to attending at least a couple of studies when we are there.  And the worship is always great.  The sea is great too.  I could look at that for ages, as long as it is not too cold, wet or windy.  I hope the weather is better then!

Braque’s Wonderful Work

I am spending as much time as possible right now looking at some examples of Georges Braque’s paintings, something which is inspiring and motivates me to painting very much indeed.  As I toy with including more objects in my work, he is a good painter to look at, as he grasps both abstraction and objects together in an interesting way.

http://painters-table.com/blog/braque-phillips-collection#.Uu0vQvl_thY

I’m thinking of painting some of my own imaginary round table paintings… Kind of thinking along the line of a table being prepared in front of me, like the Psalm…

But with realised in wonderful paint, which does bring me joy!

Will post up when done.

Beautiful Stained Glass Windows at Winchelsea Church…

It is a while back, but finally got around to posting  these…

Stunned by the beauty.  Wonderful colours and design.  Will visit again.

winchelsea church st thomas the martyr stained glass windows

winchelsea church st thomas the martyr stained glass windows

winchelsea church st thomas the martyr stained glass windows

winchelsea church st thomas the martyr stained glass windows

Painting and Drawing Workshop – Fridays – Once a Month

I currently have a place free on the once a month Painting and Drawing Workshop I hold in my home studio space.  You would need to commit to coming along to the series of sessions each term (normally three per term), but if you would like to try out the session on a one-off basis, then this is normally possible and will enable you to work out if the group is something that you would like to join for a term.   Just contact me via my website contact form at http://www.jamartlondon.com and I can let you know more.  I also hold occasional one day or half day workshops from time to time.

Brief Introduction to the Painting and Drawing Workshop…

Takes place on a Friday, once a month.  Either am (9.30 to 12 noon) or  pm (12.45 to 3.15)

It is a small group (maximum four), which makes it more akin to individual tuition and give you a level of input much greater than most adult education art courses normally offer you.

Each session provides a focus activity and includes teaching points which will help support your own experimentation. I am a qualified teacher (Post Graduate Certificate in Education) and have been practising as an artist for ten years.

I  will provide a balance of input, based on  developing drawing and observation skills, as we respond to the external environment /objects which surround us,  along with learning to trust our own instincts and  grow in our individual way of seeing/interpreting/expressing  things.   So whatever your preferred approach in terms of level of abstraction/direct observation,  the sessions will  provide opportunity to develop both your painting and drawing skills.

Frequent feedback,  active engagement,  appropriate challenge for your level of ability, and the opportunity to work in a way which develops your own autonomy in the process, will enable you to achieve your own objectives throughout the sessions and ensure the experience adds tangible value to you as you make your own creative journey.

Contact me if interested, any questions welcome.

“Calm Moment” selected for the Artistsmeet Open 2014 at Artistsmeet, Rickmansworth.

The variations of “Calm Moment” are very popular, as not only has the light version “Calm Moment” been selected for the Artistsmeet Open at Artistsmeet in Rickmansworth, but the darker version which I submitted to the KAOS  (Kingston Artists’ Open Studios) Riverside Exhibition was also selected for that exhibition.    Here they are:

geometric abstract colour design art jenny meehan jamartlondon british contemporary femaile artist symbolist graphic colourist contemporary abstraction experimental jenny meehan art for sale to buy prints affordable

calm moment. A calm moment spent looking at a
piece of artwork is always a good investment!

And the darker version…

geometric abstract colour design art jenny meehan jamartlondon british contemporary femaile artist symbolist graphic colourist contemporary abstraction experimental jenny meehan art for sale to buy prints affordable, jenny meehan abstract art print

The night time version, maybe calm moment in the dark, partner of calm moment in the light!

Jenny Meehan is a painter and designer based in East Surrey/South West London.

Her website is www.jamartlondon.com.  (www.jamartlondon.com replaces the older now deceased website http://www.jennymeehan.co.uk)

Jenny Meehan BA Hons (Lit.) PGCE also offers art tuition.  Please contact Jenny at j.meehan@tesco.net or through the contact form at www.jamartlondon.com 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 produces representational/figurative artwork,  mostly using digital photography/image manipulation software, painting and  drawing.  Both original fine paintings and other artwork forms (prices ranging from between £60 and £700) and affordable photo-mechanically produced prints are available to purchase.

Enquiries welcome.  I have more artwork than I can display on the internet, so let me know if you are looking for something specific in terms of style, function, or subject matter. 

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 j.meehan@tesco.net requesting to be kept up to date.  Also, follow the Jenny Meehan Contemporary Artist’s Journal at WordPress and keep informed that way. 

You tube video with examples of photography, drawing and painting

by Jenny Meehan http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TAXqzMIaF5k

Website Link for jamartlondon:  www.jamartlondon.com 

Digital photography can be viewed on http://www.photographyblog.com/gallery/showgallery.php?cat=500&ppuser=5491

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