Dulwich Picture Gallery Friends Open Competition Soon to be Over…

Well, I am soon to come and collect “Bright and Breezy” from the Friends Open Exhibition at Dulwich Picture Gallery.   I am so grateful it was selected for show, yet, as always, rather aware of the expense, time, and travelling involved.   If someone buys the work, then the effort is rewarded.  If not,  it is, again, once again, more effort and investment of time and money, for no reward.   If this sounds negative, yes, it is.  In this case, I do not mind too much…. Dulwich Picture Gallery is a charity and holding the Friends Open Exhibition at Dulwich Picture Gallery brings a lot of pleasure,  some  useful finance, and is a great way of contributing to a wonderful gallery.   I am happy to contribute  in some way… Though I hasten to add, that the gallery would be even more helped if all the paintings were sold, because of the commission they would gain!  And, I hasten to add, so would I !

“Bright and Breezy” is the very colourful one,  top left of the image as you, the viewer, are facing it now.


bright and breezy painting meehan at dulwich picture gallery uk

bright and breezy painting meehan at dulwich picture gallery uk


bright and breezy painting meehan at dulwich picture gallery uk

bright and breezy painting jenny meehan at dulwich picture gallery uk


Also, as I take more thought generally about what I do and why,  I realise, once again, that the process of creation is the main purpose and benefit of choosing  to invest myself into painting in the way that I do.  There are lots of other aspects of it, but for myself anyway, it is a functional need first and foremost.  A practice which is so bound up in the way I work as a person, that everything which accompanies it is certainly very interesting and can be quite significant, but is not, in the final analysis, the point of it all.    I am beginning to care much less about what happens to my work (not in terms of copyright, I hasten to add!)  but am more focused on what I am doing rather than the reasons why I am doing it or not doing it!  That’s a blessed release, I can tell you.   Painting is a type of communion for me.  It’s the spiritual, psychological and emotional practice which fuels my moving forwards in life.  This reason, and this reason alone, holds me to the task.  Even if reward-less financially.

Painting Flowers

Flowers are lovely.  They seem even lovelier at this time of year when they all start dying!   Their exit makes me want their entrance!

“I like painting flowers – I have tried to paint many things in many different ways, but my paint brush always gives a tremor of pleasure when I let it paint a flower … to me they are the secret of the cosmos.”  Winifred Nicholson

This quote by Winifred Nicholson makes me think of a very nice evening I spent a while back at the London Centre for Spirituality.  “Consider The Lilies” led by Kenneth Boyd  Browne was an evening invested in some times of silence,  some listening to poetry with flowers as their subject, and lots of question asking as we watched Kenneth making a couple of flower arrangements.  I don’t like lilies very much, as flowers.  I cannot deny their beauty, but their smell is so strong and they always make me think of death (and sex).  Their appearance is  great…but they seem so heavy somehow.   Thankfully it seems that the quote by the Lord Jesus Christ doesn’t ask me to just consider the lilies…  One member of the group commented that the Greek word for “lilies” means “wild flowers”.

Flowers that won't die - Jenny Meehan

Flowers that won’t die – Jenny Meehan
For my Mother


Gosh, this is an early painting of mine, must be around 2008/9   This is when I first got my hands on some oil paint.  I got into this one.  It was one of those very immersive painting experiences.   I was thinking of my mother.  I painted it for her, even though she is dead.  It was a kind of memorial.  More meaningful then any other way of remembering for me personally.  I still like this one…I like it’s quietness.  I suspect at some point at least one strand of my current working will dissolve into the softness I started out with.  It’s still very much with me, but lurking!

This one followed, as another interpretation.

 flower painting British Modern still life painting, Burst Forth - Jenny Meehan

Burst Forth – Jenny Meehan


“Burst Forth”  is rather more characteristic of my approach normally, but the time invested in the “Flowers That Won’t Die”  informed the much quicker and bolder, brasher, painting which followed.

I don’t paint flowers very much , but I do like them, and their transitory nature is an invitation to paint.  Well, everything is transitory of course, but flowers seem especially fleeting.   One of the observations made during “Consider The Lilies” was that the question may be quite easily asked “What’s the point?”  This stuck in my mind, as I have heard it said of art also, and it is a question which could be applied to many activities, when you think about it.  The lovely thing, we concluded, was that flowers just “are”.

Later flower paintings of my own have been “Break Out/Vista/Promised Land” which is a celebration of freedom,  and includes many textural elements, and the later “Falling Flowers”…  in which the fluidity of water (of which I am so much draw to over the last year or so) meets flowers, on the way down!

 imaginative water and flowers painting, british modern expressionistic painting, Falling Flowers - Jenny Meehan

Falling Flowers – Jenny Meehan


jenny meehan british female 21st century, painting english modern jenny meehan,flowers imaginative expressionistic,

Break Out/Vista/Promised Land – Acrylic medium and various pigments and fillers


Water and Flowers 

“When down her weedy trophies and herself
Fell in the weeping brook. Her clothes spread wide,
And mermaid-like a while they bore her up,
Which time she chanted snatches of old lauds
As one incapable of her own distress,
Or like a creature native and indued
Unto that element. But long it could not be
Till that her garments, heavy with their drink,
Pulled the poor wretch from her melodious lay
To muddy death.”
This reminds me that it was just a few months ago that a board and bench were erected in the place where the painting Ophelia by John Millais was said to have been painted.   The board and bench were unveiled by Councillor Penny Shelton.  The spot  the painting was based on was discovered by a Worcester Park resident, Barbara Webb in the 1990’s.  Through a lot of research she found that he had  set up his easel in Six Acre Meadow on the west bank of the Hogsmill River at the bottom of the Manor House garden in Old Malden, South West London.  So near!
William Nicholson – The Bathing Pool at Chartwell
I dwell on another wonderful painting by William Nicholson…
It is the a quiet but perceptive response….The light touch of the brush is something which lies gently on the surface in a restful manner…. As restful as the subject matter itself.  The cool refreshing water is expressed throughout the whole of the painting, and this is a painting I will dwell on, and continue to dwell on, for years, I suspect!   Finding such painting treasures helps me very much in my own painting direction…   It helps clarify for me my own desires and aspirations and also helps introduce subject matter which resonates deeply with me.  The subject matter is there in a painting like The Bathing Pool at Chartwell clear for all to see,  but I find I take subject matter and absorb it, and find later that it will appear in my own paintings… maybe not with the same clarity, but there, still, and sure.   I know what I have let into my life and my consciousness, when  it comes out, very often!
the bathing pool at chartwell by william nicholson photo credit national trust © Elizabeth Banks

the bathing pool at chartwell by william nicholson photo credit national trust © Elizabeth Banks

Photo credit: National Trust Elizabeth Banks
Usage under fair use terms, for commentary
Looking at the painting by William Nicholson makes me want to get out some watercolours.    I think I will do that, for a change.  While I have several acrylic on canvas paintings on the go at the moment,  I quite fancy a few intimate moments with some paper and watercolours.   The painting above isn’t a watercolour I don’t think (??)  It looks more like an oil painting (I have not checked but it has that feeling of softness which is what I personally like about watercolours) but that and having just seen some watercolours at the Bankside is proving rather motivating for me!   I went along to this exhibition:

Watercolour Secrets: RWS Autumn Exhibition

2 October – 1 November 2014

To celebrate the launch of the latest RWS publication ” Watercolour Secrets” Royal Watercolour Society artists present a show demonstrating their virtuosity in the medium
Pop along, it’s got some jewels in it!
Thinking about exhibitions the “A Letter in Mind” at the Oxo gallery is finished.  Another fundraising exhibition…It was a super mix of lots of talent, and a very enjoyable show to view… I hope they decide to do it again.
Here is an image from the exhibition “A Letter in Mind”.   My work is shown, but I am not telling which yet, as I think they are still selling the work and it could spoil the principle a little if I make my reveal!
letter in mind brain appeal at oxo gallery southbank jenny meehan

letter in mind brain appeal at oxo gallery southbank jenny meehan

 October 2014
This time of year is a time to be less productive I feel.  I have a few abstract paintings I am working on.   I am giving them loads of time on the wall, so I can invest a lot of thinking about what I might do next, before I actually go and do anything about it.   I have now  a studio tent in the garden.   I rather like this completely dedicated space.  Nothing else goes on there but prayer, reading and painting.   It is rather cold at the present time, but still OK for drying acrylic paintings in most of the time.  It is very good to have somewhere completely cut off to look at paintings and paint in.  The times I have spent in it so far have been fantastic.  I have felt a very great sense of the presence of the Holy Spirit, when I take the time to just sit and wait on my Creator.  And I am growing more comfortable with the abstract paintings I am producing.  I think maybe the way they cannot be defined by a subject matter is fitting with the way they are created.  There is a lot of mystery in life generally…I shouldn’t worry about anyone else’s encounter with my painting, but only about my own.  My paintings have their own mysterious coming into being, and I like the way I have relinquished the kind of control which one exerts when painting an object or recognisable subject.  As this is what comes naturally to me,  then maybe I should just go with it completely.   I’m not adverse to a bit of drawing from time to time.   But what flows best for me is probably the best way for me to go.  And it will flow into any representational work I carry out too.  It is all an investment, and nothing is wasted.  Anxiety  and anxious thoughts about painting direction is probably the only time which is wasted!    As long as a painting has poetry, it doesn’t matter what it is, or is not.
winchelsea window stained glass winchelsea church st thomas the martyr stained glass windows

winchelsea window stained glass
winchelsea church st thomas the martyr stained glass windows


Let nothing disturb you,
Let nothing frighten you,
All things are passing away:
God never changes.
Patience obtains all things
Whoever has God lacks nothing;
God alone suffices.

— St. Teresa of Avila

west dean gardens photograph, west dean sussex estate, west dean college garden, black and white garden photographs jenny meehan, foliage landscape photograph meehan

west dean gardens, west dean college, west dean near chichester in sussex photography copyright jenny meehan


Above “West Dean Gardens – Light and Trees” –  An example of the photographic strand of my art working.

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)

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. 

Also, you could follow the Jenny Meehan Contemporary Artist’s Journal at WordPress and keep informed that way. 

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.  

Website Link for jamartlondon:  www.jamartlondon.com 


Copyright in all images by Jenny Meehan is held by the artist.
Permission must be sought in advance for the reproduction, copying or any other use of any images by Jenny Meehan. Individuals or businesses seeking licenses or permission to use, copy or reproduce any image by Jenny Meehan should, in the first instance, contact……. Yes!  Jenny Meehan.


Notice regarding my use of images on my Jenny Meehan Artist’s Journal blog:   I always try and contact the relevant artist/organisation  if I include images of their work on my blog, and make clear the source.  I am doing as I would be done by.   Where images are taken from other websites, I make it my practice to  cite the source and include a link if possible.  When I include images,  I do so in the belief that this will not cause commercial harm to the copyright holder. I  believe that this is fair use  and does not infringe copyright.  Images are used in order for me to comment and reference them in relation to my own creative and artistic practice.  When I include extracts of text, I also do so with the understanding that again, this is permissible under the widely accepted fair usage terms with respect to copyright.  Please do contact me if you feel I have not practised as I preach! 

Outline of my “Fair Use”  rationale, which is applicable to all images from other sources which I include on this blog:
There is no alternative, public domain or free-copyrighted replacement image available to my knowledge.
Its inclusion in my blog adds significantly to my narrative  because it shows the subject which I want to refer to and relate to my own artistic practice and is necessary in order for me to communicate accurately my observations/critical appraisal/appreciation/educate my readers, in understanding my perspectives on art and life.  Inclusion is for information, education and analysis only. The text discussing the significance of the included  art work is enhanced by inclusion of the image. The image is a low resolution copy of the original work of such low quality that it will not affect potential sales of the art work.



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