Images from Portland – Starting Stone Carving with Simon Keeley – Leatherhead Theatre Exhibition “Sacred Spaces” –

March 3, 2014

coast photograph image,jenny meehan photograph for church website st paul's hook surrey

The photograph (NOT from Portland!) above is one I prepared for the St Paul’s Church of England, Hook, Surrey website.    I don’t take so many photographs now as more focused on painting and drawing, but there is still a certain pleasure in “finding” pictures and they serve as a useful reference for myself in terms of tracking and recording my own visual interests.  It is also of course nice to share them and good if they serve some useful purpose for others, ie, being used on the church website!  With all the rocks to follow, I thought a bit of sand would be nice.

More Past Digital Photographs

portland stone portland bill portland sussex, jenny meehan digital photography image, black and white image portland bill, monochrome photograph of portland bill sussex uk,  portland bill portland bill portland sussex, jenny meehan digital photography image, black and white image portland bill, monochrome photograph of portland bill sussex uk,   portland bill portland bill portland sussex, jenny meehan digital photography image, black and white image portland bill, monochrome photograph of portland bill sussex uk,

portland bill portland sussex, jenny meehan digital photography image, black and white image portland bill, monochrome photograph of portland bill sussex uk,

Floating Stone – Portland Bill, Portland, Sussex – Jenny Meehan

portland bill portland sussex, jenny meehan digital photography image, black and white image portland bill, monochrome photograph of portland bill sussex uk,

Crevice – Portland Bill, Portland, Sussex – Jenny Meehan

Verne High Angle Battery on Portland

This year I am  looking forward to a return trip to Verne High Angle Battery…A historic monument which our children had immense fun exploring.  Standing at one opening and shouting and speaking in a haunting voice so that it runs along the passageways and comes out the other way is excellent fun and it is an interesting walk around that part of Portland.  The battery was built as part of Britain’s Coastal Defences in 1892 and is located in a disused Portland Stone quarry at the northern end of the island.  It is built of Portland stone, concrete and brick.

Note About Following Jenny Meehan Contemporary Artist’s Journal 

I would be very pleased if you would choose to “follow” the Jenny Meehan Contemporary Artist’s Journal at WordPress and keep informed of what I am up to this way.   Just press the “follow” button and pop in your email address.  You determine how often you get updates and you don’t need a WordPress account to follow Jenny Meehan Contemporary Artist’s Journal.  I don’t have a Facebook page as yet, and won’t be on Twitter.  So this is the best way to follow my art practice.  Though I ramble on, I try to organise things for easy skimming, so you can pick and choose according to your own interests quite easily!    

Exploring Stone Carving

Well, now I can no longer afford to grace the gardens of West Dean College,  I had been thinking for some time of how I can continue my training.   I think it very important to try different materials, whichever one you tend to prefer to use, and after using clay during an adult education class a couple of years ago, I realised that I do enjoy working very much in three dimensions, and, even as a painter, this is very important to develop.  To work with space and the tensions between parts possible with sculpture, and to work with light in a different way to that of colour, has worked its appeal into my mind quite well, and after toying with this and that, I decided to try out stone carving.   I found that Simon Keeley holds  stone carving classes, both in Surrey and also in the London area.  This year he will be running a  one week stone carving course in Umbria, in Italy.  It runs from 30th July for one week.   For details of this take a look at his teaching page and follow the link.

Having made my fish in clay,  I now realise I have made quite a substantial commitment to stone carving, as I did not make things easy for myself by choosing a small block of stone to work on!  Thankfully, I do like working with the stone; in this instance, it is Portland Stone which is a limestone, so not very hard compared with some.    So, I have started, and will I finish?  I plan to!  Simon is a good teacher… This cannot be taken for granted with art classes, as there are many fine artists who are good at what they do, but not good at teaching it.   The group is fun and  I will post progress as it slowly happens up on this journal.    Simon does also teach at West Dean College,  and more information on his teaching can be located on his website

Portland Stone Surrounds Us

While when I think of Portland Stone I think of Portland,  I  realise that I am encountering Portland Stone all the time when I go into London.  When I took photographs of St Giles in the Fields last year,  I was curious as to why some of the stone work was black and other blocks white.  I asked The Reverend Alan Carr (Associate Rector The Parish Church of St Giles-in-the-Fields and Director of Ordinands, Two Cities Area) about this and he explained:

“Some years ago the stones on the north side of the church were cleaned, but not elsewhere. As a result the north side now has a slightly creamy colour, whereas the remainder of the church has retained the stark and original black and white colouring, much-loved by conservation architects. When left to itself Portland Stone will age and mature as we see on the south side, but when cleaned the colour composition is altered.  Individual stones which stand out brightly may have been cleaned separately, or be of a different density. The colouring of the north side of the church is also affected by the bright yellow colouring of Renzo Piano’s Central St Giles building opposite.’

After the Great Fire of London in 1666 Portland Stone was used to rebuild many buildings, some of which I often visit, for example, the British Museum and Somerset House.  The facade of Waterloo Station is also Portland Stone, and it was used by Sir Christopher Wren in St. Paul’s Cathedral too.  These are just a few of the buildings in London  built of Stone from Portland!

Baker Tilly Exhibition 

It is always nice to be invited to exhibit, and this has happened to me for the first time ever this year!  I will show four paintings  and four digital prints.  The paintings are from a flurry of painting activity over 2012 (I won’t say, a “series” of paintings, because it is more of an explosion of paintings!).  The digital prints are from a series, as I worked on them with a more predetermined aim right from the outset, and are examples of an intense period of experimenting over the Christmas period at the end of 2012/the Spring of 2013.  I called the series “Signs of the Times”.

Here is one of the prints:

Enclosed Garden (Hortus conclusus) Digital Print from Jenny Meehan's "Signs of the Times" print series.  See more at

Enclosed Garden (Hortus conclusus) Digital Print from Jenny Meehan’s “Signs of the Times” print series. See more at

The prints which will be on show at Baker Tilly are signed on reverse with both my signatures.  I have two signatures, one is a combination of my initials and the other my usual signature which I use in daily life.  I tend to sign paintings just with the combination of my initials and prints with both.  But it depends on the work.  I always use my initials signature, for all my work now.  I like the way it can be used on any material, for example, clay and even stone, quite easily.

I also now have available selected prints from the “Signs of the Times” series on my Photobox Gallery.  The Photobox Gallery is a handy facility for enabling people to buy my prints in a quick, easy and affordable way.  The prints I describe as “Poster Prints” because they are not signed and checked by me, but I am very confident about the quality.  They are in fact  A2 and A3 sized laser prints…So, they are photographic quality…by this, I mean they are printed on archival quality photographic paper using a chemical process, rather than ink-jet prints.  Here is the link to my Photobox Gallery:

There are other options for different types of prints on the Photobox Gallery, but at the present time I am restricting the distribution of my work over the Photobox Gallery to just A2 and A2 laser prints.   However, if you do want something specific, just contact me with your requirements and I am completely free, (thanks to not limiting these images to “limited edition”) to arrange to have prints made to varying specifications and to be signed and numbered.

The “Signs of the Times” series is composed of completed works in their own right, but I also view several of them as foundational, and I will be drawing from them in the future, probably for the composition and colour combinations…Not to be directly transferred to another medium, but to inform and influence  other works. Maybe to become in quite a different form?  Who knows?  I am always tempted by three dimensions…

Leatherhead Theatre Exhibition 2014 

Wanting a chance to show you some of (Not all!  You will need to come along to the exhibition to see all the work on show!) the wonderful artwork which will be on display at Leatherhead Theatre this May.

If you are interested in this exhibition and are willing to help me promote it, then contact me at, or through LinkedIn or through my website contact form at  and I will send you a high resolution image of the flyer below to print out. Just displaying it may mean that someone gets the opportunity to enjoy it.  Anyone with an interest in art and creativity, spirituality and contemplation would enjoy it very much indeed.

Sacred Spaces Flyer by Jenny Meehan which promotes the Sacred Spaces Visual Art Exhibition at Leatherhead Theatre in May 2014 organised on behalf of KAOS  (Kingston Artists' Open Studios)

Sacred Spaces Flyer by Jenny Meehan which promotes the Sacred Spaces Visual Art Exhibition at Leatherhead Theatre in May 2014 organised on behalf of KAOS (Kingston Artists’ Open Studios)

 Below is are some examples from some of the participating artists and I will post some more up on the next blog entry also.  I enclose the text which is written by the artists themselves about their work and has been combined into an Artists Information document which will be displayed with the work when the exhibition runs.

Richard Tomlin - Lula, sacred spaces exhibition leatherhead  surrey

Richard Tomlin – Lula

  Richard Tomlin

Lula – this charcoal study of Lula was produced one autumn Monday morning. Perhaps she is reflecting on the weekend just past, or her sister and family in far away Venezuela. There’s a sadness to her mood, a far away-ness that is made more poignant by her pale skin against her lustrous, long black hair.

The search for emotion – the reflection of the interior life – is the aspect of portraiture that I find so fascinating and equally illusive. To me she seems melancholy, but as so often with portraiture, the portrait says as much about the artist’s state of mind that is reflected in the image created.

Richard studied graphics at Portsmouth College of Art and practiced as a graphic designer in London. During 2013 he decided to refresh lost skills in drawing and painting. Inspired by the work of Lucian Freud, Andrew Wyeth and Alison Lambert, led him to focus on the human figure and portraiture. 

 Richard’s work is often the result of long periods of observation, the images gradually edging towards realisation. The discovery of charcoal has been a joy, black is one of the most important colours in his palette. His current work is focused on the search to express emotion through the image. 

Richard’s work can be found on his website:



Still Waters 1- Jude Wild, sacred spaces exhibition leatherhead theatre

Still Waters 1- Jude Wild

Jude Wild

The two examples of my work on show are from a strand of my practice that is inspired by place. I don’t set out to record a specific scene, but to capture a memory, a feeling and a sense of place.  I aim to express my emotional response to this place.

The places that inspire me in this way most often include still, or slowly drifting water that gives scope for reflection.  Often they also include a symbolic feature such as a jetty or temple. Subconsciously I am seeking a place of contemplation or meditation – my inner sea of calm. I think that subsequently my work does very often have an ethereal and contemplative quality.

I originally trained at art school as a theatre designer and spent many years as a professional designer of both sets and costumes. An important aspect of this work was to produce a series of visuals to express the atmospheric lighting changes of the different scenes. Now that I paint fulltime, I find that it is the light and atmosphere that provides the starting point for my work. I use a limited colour scheme to intensify the image and bring a heightened sense of atmosphere.

Committee member and Art History lecture organiser for Richmond Art Society.


Art & Design Foundation Course
Canterbury College of Art, Kent

Dip AD Stage Design
Birmingham College of Art

Short Course Drawing & Painting
Slade School of Fine Art, UCL

Post Graduate Certificate, History of Art & Architecture
Birkbeck, University of London

Part of the exhibition process will be a meeting between the artists through which we are able to discuss how our art working and creativity relates to spirituality and the idea of a “sacred space”.  Hence the exhibition title “Sacred Spaces”.  I will be posting more information about the artists taking part, including what they have to say about the work they are showing in the exhibition, over the next couple of months.  I also plan to use what we have discovered through our discussion and thinking in the formation of the text which will accompany the visual art.  I have found when organising exhibitions in the past, that the last couple of months need to be devoted to publicity as much as possible, but with most of the other admin tasks mostly done, I should have time to promote the exhibition as well as doing the rather more interesting and rewarding task of researching and writing, assimilating and reflecting on the whole process so far.

All this activity for this project has meant my own painting,  plus rather too many domestic tasks, have been left for a while.  Running the household, being a mother and seeking progression as an artist, plus organising an exhibition in between everything else, means I progress with my painting rather more slowly than might otherwise be the case.  But at least I have plenty of variety!  I also feel that it is important to recognise that all we do feeds into our work, and the life and vitality of what one does as a painter comes mainly from the richness of our life experiences.  We tend to put the different parts of our life into boxes, and rate some of more worth than others, but I think this is a mistake.  For example, if it has money attached then it is “worth” something.  If not, it tends to be overlooked.  Ask any parent and home-maker who works unpaid, or anyone involved in work with less tangible and measurable results than those determined by money, and I think, at this present time in our society, they  may be liable to finding their self-worth rather battered by our present government, who seem to equate working for cash and being conventionally “successful” in an economic sense as the only sign of value of anything.  (Moan over.  Shouldn’t really moan on my blog, but so hard to resist!)

Discovering Clyde Hopkins Painting

Looking on Abstract Critical, as I do from time to time when I feel like stretching a few of my brain cells, I came across some painting by painter Clyde-Hopkins.  Now his painting is very exciting to me, as it strikes internal chords, which I don’t need to define but just resonate with  some of the things in my current thinking…that kind of under the surface thinking which happens when I grapple with where I might experiment in my own painting.  This website has some examples:

Clyde kindly was happy for me to include images of his paintings in my blog, which is helpful, as much easier to comment on individual paintings that way!   I will, over the next few Jenny Meehan Journal posts, draw your attention to some which have caught the little fishes that swim through my mind the most.  I am only using digital images to base my comments on, so my response is limited significantly by the absence of the painting right before me.  I was planning to fit into this post, but I don’t want to do the paintings a disservice by trying to reflect on them in a rush.  Right now things are a bit too hectic for me to do them justice, so better not to write anything in haste.

As ALWAYS  my Jenny Meehan Journal is far too long!  However, I don’t write it just for you to read, (though it is nice to think it may be read, of course!).  I write it to attempt at some kind of narrative which traces and skims playfully along the course of my life.  I like the element of process  of writing a blog.  I chip away in little bits, (even though the end posts are long).  The little fragments come together and somehow my piecemeal life takes on at least a little order.  I worry I will look back in years and cringe.  But never mind. We are all entitled to change, and writing is only writing, after all.  It’s not written in stone!  Even if it was, it would wear down with time.

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 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 requesting to be kept up to date.  Also, follow the Jenny Meehan Contemporary Artist’s Journal at WordPress and keep informed that way.  Just press the “follow” button and pop in your email address.  You determine how often you get updates and you don’t need a WordPress account to follow Jenny Meehan Contemporary Artist’s Journal.    

You tube video with examples of photography, drawing and painting

by Jenny Meehan

Website Link for jamartlondon: 

Digital photography can be viewed on


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