Happy New Year 2016!

As usual, I have rambled on in my usual manner with an excess of both words and images!  Do skim over, just stopping as you require!  I use this blog as a personal journal/memo/notebook, publishing it on the net so that anyone interested in my work can find out more, but I do not finely hone it in the way that writers should…It is an unfolding and disorderly discourse, which tumbles off the computer keys and doesn’t get much editing!  I have to manage my time carefully, and though I love writing it, I cannot play about with it too much!  So off we go:

 

This looks good!

https://www.royalacademy.org.uk/exhibition/abstract-expressionism

How tempting!  The entrance fee often deters me from seeing the exhibitions I want to, but this is one I will visit for sure!  Too interesting not to!

Text from the website:

This ambitious and long overdue exhibition will bring together some of the finest works associated with the movement from around the world.

London has seen retrospectives of the most famous proponents of Abstract Expressionism over the decades, but this is the first time since 1959 that the movement as a whole will be represented in one landmark show. It is an opportunity for us to re-evaluate an artistic phenomenon, and make the case that far from being unified, Abstract Expressionism was in fact far more complex and ever-changing.

In addition to featuring work of the most celebrated artists associated with the movement: Kline, Pollock, Rothko, Newman, Still, de Kooning, Smith, Reinhardt and Gorky, we will also display work by lesser-known – but no less influential – artists to reveal the extraordinary breadth of a movement that gave New York City an artistic identity for the first time.

Cannot wait!  Will have to…

I also just found this, very pleased, as I remember seeing  Ffiona Lewis’ paintings a few years back when popping into the galleries on Cork Street.  Though I took some notes I couldn’t remember where I put them (no surprise there! ) and it was a happy moment to re locate her work!  I rate her painting very highly indeed, and it’s a lovely selection here at the Redfern Gallery.

http://www.redfern-gallery.com/ffiona-lewis_1039

The REDFERN GALLERY
20 Cork Street
London, W1S 3HL Telephone: +44 (0)207 734 1732
Fax: +44 (0)207 494 2908
Email: art@redfern-gallery.com Monday to Friday 11:00am to 5:30pm
Saturday 11:00am to 2:00pm
Closed on Bank Holidays

Oh, these dark days!

Christmas tree lights are still very welcome and much enjoyed!

I am looking through sketch books and note books.  I am not motivated to start any new work right now, but rather still looking backwards. Apart from the watercolours, which are being reviewed, and reflected on!

Some things I have found: An old poem, written at a time I was thinking about beech leaves and made a copper sculpture of one.

Beech Leaf

Pick me up from the pool…

Rescue me from

the depths and heights

of the skies.

Place me in your hand

and treasure me,

Then,

return me,

to my resting place.

 

 

Not one of my best, but interesting to me to review what my interests have been, and notice how consistent certain preoccupations are!

I was struck by the lovely beech leaves on the beech hedging which is near the King’s Centre, Coppard Gardens, Chessington.  Many years of walking that way when the children were younger meant I saw the young tender green shoots turn to soft and downy leaves, and then into their dry, crispy, light brown state;  still held onto the branches even though dead.  I also love leaves floating on water, for the water mirrors the sky, and you have the depths of the water, and the sky held together with an awareness of the boundary between the two marked by the floating object.  I had both in mind.

jenny meehan jamartlondon photography

jenny meehan jamartlondon photography

Here is an old image of the new leaves opening up.  Apologies, cannot find the colour version!

copperleaf sculpture jenny meehan

 

Above is the leaf form I created during a course at West Dean College, which a friend brought.  I haven’t continued with the metal working though I enjoyed it immensely.

New Year’s Resolutions?

I don’t do those… and I feel January is far too early to think about the year ahead…This is still Winter!  Wait until Spring, and then I will start to look forward.  I am still in the curling up on the sofa time!  I am sketching cats, for the forthcoming KAOS “Raining Cats and Dogs” Charity event later on in the year.  KAOS stands for “Kingston Artists’ Open Studios.  I have no idea what I will do for it, and I want to produce about ten pieces of work.  But there is plenty of time.

I have had a bit of a time mending my studio tent.  The winds have been strong, and several times have nearly pulled the tarpaulin completely off!  But hopefully I have worked out the best way to keep it on…It hasn’t taken off yet!

 

Holocaust Memorial Day is coming soon

Below is the link from last years Kingston Event, which included an art competition.  I was awarded third place in the adult category.  It’s nice to look back on.  If you look on the winners images, you can find mine.  The artwork is a poem and painting combined, and was submitted as one work.  As is with the case with a lot of my imagery, I often work a poem into a painting, or vice versa.

http://www.kingston.ac.uk/faith/events/holocaust-memorial-day/

 

Faith and Art: Spirituality and Creativity working together

Religion is a funny word.  It is hard to call myself a religious artist, because of the abstract nature of a lot of my work.  Spiritually orientated art might be a more accurate expression.

See this, which is quoted from: http://www.rowan.edu/open/philosop/clowney/Aesthetics/art_spirit.htm

“Spirituality and the Pioneers of Modern Art

The beginnings of modern art, especially abstract art, have strong spiritual roots. This fact is not always obvious from textbook discussions of the work, which are more likely to focus on the many formal innovations of twentieth century art.

While these formalistic accounts are valid so far as they go, they omit what may have been the most central motivation of the pioneers of modern art. Kandinsky, Mondrian, Arp, Duchamps, Malevich, Newman, Pollack, Rothko and most of the other giants of early and mid-twentieth century painting shared common spiritual roots. For many of these men and women, art was primarily about spirituality, and was perhaps the most appropriate vehicle for expressing and developing the spirituality that the new century called for. Kandinsky expresses this conviction in his 1912 publication “Concerning the Spiritual in Art”; Mondrian mentions it in many of his writings; and so do many other painters, poets, musicians and dancers. Here is Kandinsky, in a selection from his influential 1912 booklet Concerning the Spiritual in Art:

When religion, science and morality are shaken (the last by the strong hand of Nietzche) and when outer supports threaten to fall, man withdraws his gaze from externals and turns it inwards. Literature, music and art are the most sensitive spheres in which this spiritual revolution makes itself felt. They reflect the dark picture of the present time and show the importance of what was at first only a little point of light noticed by the few. Perhaps they even grow dark in their turn, but they turn away from the soulless life of the present toward those substances and ideas that give free scope to the non-material strivings of the soul. (Concerning the Spiritual in Art, p. 33)

Whether they saw their quest as primarily personal, or whether (like Kandinsky) they saw the artist as a kind of prophet in the vanguard of humankind’s spiritual development, many of the great artists of the twentieth century saw their art in spiritual terms. For many of them also, the spirituality expressed in their work derives from eastern sources. Hindu and Buddhist ideas and practices had a strong influence on these artists, in some cases directly, in many others through the influence of Helena Blavatsky, Rudolph Steiner, and the Theosophical Society. Mondrian was a member of this society, and Kandinsky writes approvingly of it. The goal of these and other artists was to develop an art which expressed a reality beyond the material, a consciousness like that of a meditative state in which ordinary reality is transcended. Knowing this purpose casts a different light on the blank or monochrome canvases, the empty spaces, and the simple geometrical or biomorphic shapes of many abstract works. They might best be seen as meditative aids meant to reveal the transcendent or provoke a transcending consciousness. (In fact some of them strongly resemble asian works produced for exactly that purpose.) The same is true for work like that of Jackson Pollack, strongly influenced by Native American spirituality, whose drip paintings are meditative healing exercises like those of Indian shamans and Navaho sand painters (see The Spiritual in Art: Abstract painting 1890 – 1985, pp. 281 – 293 for these connections).”

The above text is written by  Dr. David Clowney, Ph.d , (Rowan University web pages)

 

“They might best be seen as meditative aids meant to reveal the transcendent or provoke a transcending consciousness.”

I seem to have fallen into creating meditative aids myself!

Yet what I do is, and cannot cease to be, related to my particular faith and perspectives. Even if not explicit.  I thought about introducing a crucifix to a couple of my paintings last year as they progressed, but then found this too stark, too obvious,  and much better when fragmented and broken up.   I arrived at Resurrection One and Resurrection Two via a crucifix at some stage in the painting.  Then my concern with light and colour took over, became more essentially part of the paintings than the symbol of the cross could hold up to… there was a fight going on and as the emotion was breaking out far more as a thrust of new life, energy and power, I just went with that, hence the title.  I felt that as the paintings had both brokenness and beauty, this was just exactly what I wanted them to be.

resurrection two, lyrical abstract painting jenny meehan, religious spirituality christian painting, contemporary christian fine artist, christian painter, british women artists 21st century

british collectable abstract paintings

 

british collectable abstract paintings

british collectable abstract paintings

 

I view all that I do artistically as being part of my response to God’s redemptive work through Christ Jesus.  For me, the energy and will to create is a handy by product of the ongoing spiritual renewal that my experience of the Holy Spirit brings into my life.  I have also found my engagement with my own subconscious through regular psychoanalysis a vital part of the development of my artistic work, as it enables me to draw deeply from my emotions and thoughts, and  reflect contemplatively, thoughtfully and analytically, into the processes and various directions which I encounter, hopefully bringing some discernment and wisdom into the decision making processes, as well as relying on aesthetic judgement.   I spend a fair bit of time looking over what I have done, and it is from this that little stepping stones sometimes appear and lead me forwards.  Not straight away.  But it is always very important to look back.  We are living in the now, but also the past and future are with us.  We cannot see the future, but the past might help root us in the ground sufficiently to enable us to gain some insight.  Looking at past works of art, both mine, and that of other artists, is a vital part of any artist’s practice.

I found this recently: http://www.leftlion.co.uk/articles.cfm/title/canon-richard-davey/id/7613

I rather like this, text quoted from an interview with Canon Richard Davey:

“Yet even as he conducts a tour of his paintings, starting and ending in a living room – ‘the abstract room’ – he stresses that what he is not is an art collector per se. The reason, perhaps, is that he has acquired his paintings over the years out of love for them, and in some cases because they were gifts from the artists, rather than because he regarded them as investments. He estimates that only half of the paintings explicitly reflect a Christian message.

However, when asked to define what he means by ‘spiritual painting’, there is a long pause followed by a much longer attempt at an explanation that touches on art and science, the mystery of matter at the atomic level and what this suggests about the cosmic interconnectedness between humans, and between the human and the divine.

“These texts and these works of art will slowly dissolve, just as we are dissolving as we shed skin and so on. What I’m interested in are artists who have a sensation or an attunement to that sense. And I find it interesting and sad. I suppose that‘s why people ask me to write about it. The artists don’t have to be ‘religious’ artists but that doesn’t mean that their faith isn’t important.”  (my bold)

The above is quoted from an interview with Canon Richard Davey, from http://www.leftlion.co.uk/articles.cfm/title/canon-richard-davey/id/7613   I cannot locate the author from the page unfortunately.

Here, once again, endless images.. to help me remember the lovely journey of painting!  I may have posted these by mistake before, apologies for that, if so, I cannot keep track even of this more organised, yet piecemeal, stream of narrative!

As I often write, do skim over!  I tend to use this blog as a diary/notebook as much as anything else, so rambling and too many images of paintings in progress is the norm!

below, wellspring two in progress…

 

 

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

 

 

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

above, Pilgrimage, in progress.  I submitted the final work to the John Moores Painting prize,  I am not sure when I will hear about if it has passed the first stage of the selection process.  http://www.liverpoolmuseums.org.uk/walker/johnmoores/

Here is some information about the John Moores Painting Prize from the website:

Background
Who or what is John Moores?
John Moores (1896-1993) was the founder of Littlewoods, a Liverpool-based company. A man of fierce local pride and a keen amateur painter, he was concerned at London’s increasing domination of the national arts scene. He established the John Moores Painting Prize in 1957 as a competition open to anyone and sponsored the exhibition’s prizes. He received a Knighthood in 1980, becoming Sir John Moores.

Today, the John Moores Liverpool Exhibition Trust works in partnership with National Museums and Galleries on Merseyside (operating as National Museums Liverpool (NML)) to organise and present the John Moores Painting Prize at the Walker Art Gallery every two years.

What is the John Moores Painting Prize?
The prize is an open competition for artists working with paint, which, since 1957, has culminated in an exhibition at the Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool. The exhibition is open to all artists aged 18 years or over, living or professionally based in the UK. It showcases the best new painting produced in Britain today and attracts a broad spectrum of artists. Named after its founding sponsor, the first John Moores exhibition was a great success and led to it becoming a biennial event. By the early sixties, the exhibition was regarded as the UK’s leading showcase for avant-garde painting. Many of the prize-winning works were purchased by John Moores and presented to the Walker Art Gallery for its permanent collection.

Since John Moores 23 in 2004, the first prize is no longer such a purchase prize. Instead, the painting that wins the first prize may be purchased by the Walker, meaning that the artist receives not only their prize money but the value of the painting in addition.

The John Moores Painting Prize is selected by an invited jury which changes for every competition, and the whole selection process is anonymous – the jurors are not told who the paintings are by.

 

I have never entered it before, as due to finances I need to pick just a couple of competitions to enter each year, especially if you need to pay to submit the work, regardless of if it gets selected or not.  But the John Moores Painting Prize is one competition I have thought about entering several times, so this time around I finally paid my money and sent the image off.  I like the fact that the whole selection process is anonymous… there is some peace of mind in the fact that the work is judged purely as it comes to meet one in the face, rather than influenced by other factors.

More painting in progress images;

 

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

 

above, those images from “rock strike”  Not sure is this one is quite finished, so will hold off the final image for now.  I enjoyed experimenting with a bit of collage;  wall paper, mod-roc, scrim, and tiny glass beads mostly.  It all feels rather a mess, and that  I have let things fall apart.  However, I recognise this as an important part of creativity, and indeed, of life.   Things get messy. Who knows what will come of it?

 

 

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

 

this one above is still waiting, I am not sure how to go with it right now…

 

 

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

 

above, “view”… this stayed like this for a long time before proceeding!  Just contemplating it at the moment.

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

 

above, “into the ocean deep”  That one was in progress for at least six months.  I don’t rush these paintings along at all!

Sometimes I wonder, amused, at what has happened with my painting.  Reading things like this;

Jules Olitski (1922–2007) 

“Painting is made from the inside out. I think of painting as possessed by a structure—i.e., shape and size, support and edge—but a structure born of the flow of color feeling. Color in color is felt at any and every place of the pictorial organization; in its immediacy—its particularity. Color must be felt throughout.”—Jules Olitski

and realising a ridiculous (but lovely) love of paint which rules itself and pulls me along with it,  is not very unusual, but something which inspires thousands of painters across the ages, whatever their style.

 

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

above, “catastrope”…. still thinking about this one..

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

above, one of the “resurrection” series, the full image of which I showed you earlier.   These were a long haul, quite a struggle at times, only coming together right at the very end.

Pillar and Moon

http://www.tate.org.uk/art/artworks/nash-pillar-and-moon-n05392

Quote from the tate site:

Display caption

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’.
July 2007

Follow the link to see the image.

My “Pillar and Moon” below.

"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,

 

Found this while doing some sorting, it’s 70cm by 50cm… has some lovely texture in it.  While in Paul Nash’s “Pillar and Moon”  I can share in the calling up memories and stirring emotions… very much an aim which has emerged in my painting, (though unexpectedly I have gone further into abstraction than I expected to),  in my “Pillar and Moon” the relationship between the two is less distant… “‘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.’… He pulls them together in their almost parallel position at the top of his painting, so you know what he is doing there, but I have pulled mine into even closer relationship and because my painting is  more abstract, their material composition differences,  and the ground/sky relationship are lessened.  My moon is below the pillar even, and earthed with a brown which reaches towards the pillar, surrounded in blue, more resounding of sky than earth.

Pillar and Moon, by Jenny Meehan is available for purchase, please contact me for further details.

Use the contact form on my website:   www.jamartlondon.com

 

 

A Book of Silence….

I read this book several years ago, and it influenced me, so here is sharing a little more about it!

Quotes from http://www.saramaitland.com/Silence.html

” For about the last 10 years Sara Maitland has been trying to understand more about silence: what it might mean in 21st century; what effects it has on people; how it has been used and understood in the past; why we are so frightened of it; and why she has come to love it so much.
Her new book is an account of that adventure, a sort of mixture of personal journey and cultural history, both deeply personal and intellectually exciting. In the course of researching and writing the book Maitland spent silent time in silent places – on Skye in the Hebrides; in the Sinai Desert; in forests and mountains; in a flotation tank; in monasteries and libraries. She was trying to match her personal experiences to those of other people – from fairy stories to single-handed sailors, from hermits and romantic poets to prisoners and castaways, from reading and writing to mountaineering and polar exploration, from mythology to psychoanalysis.

“A serious, important and deeply engaging book, describing with equal honesty the risks and the resources of silence. In describing her own exploration of these, Sara Maitland prompts some very uncomfortable questions about the fear, the shallowness and the lack of attentive listening that so effectively keep us prisoners” Archbishop Rowan Williams

“Sara Maitland’s search for silence and solitude turns into an intriguing spiritual quest which takes the reader deep into her inner thoughts and fears. ‘A Book for Silence’ records a brave and adventurous psychological journey that will speak to all who have doubts about our increasingly over-materialistic society.” Stuart Sim, author of Manifesto for Silence

“I am grateful to Sara Maitland for this joyful book, filled with humour. It is a beautifully written, the fruit of prolonged experience of different sorts of silence, as well as wide reading and real scholarship. It uncovered within me a half-forgotten hunger for silence which surely most of feel in this noisy world.” Timothy Radcliffe, OP

Very struck by the quote below;  I think because I have found articulating my own experiences in life, through visual and written communication, very important and empowering.  I have seen silence as negative, and it has been, very often, very negative.  But I like the expression “presence of something which is not sound” and this struck me.  So, quoted from her book:

Perhaps it is a real, separate, actual thing an ontological category of its own: not a lack of language but other than, different from language; not an absence of sound but the presence of something which is not sound.

Nonetheless the idea that silence is an absence or lack is the commonly help position in contemporary life and especially – this is why it was painful – among the radical intellectual milieu in which I had for so long lived and flourished.

Toward the end of the 1990s my friend Janet Batsleer, with whom I was discussing all this at great length, sent me a (deliberately) provocative letter:

Silence is the place of death, of nothingness.  In fact there is no silence without speech.  There is no silence without the act of silencing, some one having been shut up, put bang to rights, gagged, told to hold their tongue, had their tongue cut out, had the cat get their tongue, lost their voice.  silence is oppression and speech, language, spoken or written, is freedom.”

and another quote from the letter she quotes..

That silence is a place of non-being, a place of control, from which all our yearning is to escape.  All the social movements of oppressed people in the second part of the twentieth century have claimed “coming to language” and “coming to voice” as necessary to their politics.. In the beginning was the Word.. Silence is oppression.  It is “the word” that is the beginning of freedom.  All silence is waiting to be broken”

…..

I like both silence and sound:  both are vital.  Reading this book certainly made me think about the pauses, rests, and other no-noise part of our existence!   However, when I took my retreat at the beginning of last year, I chose not to make it a silent one.  For me, this wouldn’t have sat well, I don’t feel.  Many people have tried it and like it, but speaking matters to me too much to forego it altogether!

I am an expressive person!  I am a communicator!  I simply enjoy being with people too much to deprive myself of communicating with them! And while I find attractive, the “the presence of something which is not sound.” and often enjoy silence (well, as near to it as possible, bearing in mind where I live),  I guess, as a painter, I am still listening and hearing, responding and communicating in the act of painting and the outworking of a painting comes to me very much as a kind of listening and a kind of speaking, even without words. There is a kind of presence which can be felt when looking at a painting, and a kind of listening, maybe a kind of echo or resonating type experience. Spiritual soundings, maybe?  Not audible, but through the eye comes some awareness?

Words, as ever, fail! But I think expression, sometimes termed “sound” can be silent, but also sounding.  Paintings can resonate with one’s spirit, and there is a silent sound which is heard, even if nothing enters the ears.  And it is not a matter of body and materiality being separate from the spiritual, psychological and emotional (soul) aspects of life and experience.   It is not a matter of silence or sound, or any kind of “either”  “or”  matter.    In fact, I feel as a painter, that  the physicality of the whole experience of creating a painting and enabling something to materialize is one of the most incarnational and wonderful things about it.  A unifying, incarnational and sacramental matter!  Outward signs of inner experiences and realisations of wonderful grace, maybe?  This is my take, anyway. When a painting goes well, and comes together, it is like a gift.  I just stand there feeling grateful, relieved, and slightly in  wonder.  Surprised, feeling tired from the work, but feeling that it’s not just my work, but a rather nice present from a Creator God who is far beyond anything I could ever imagine or create. Yet one who likes to share the joy of creation with me!  I moan sometimes about aspects of being an artist, but someone reminded me recently that it is a wonderful gift and worth being grateful about. And I do know what they mean. It’s not simply a matter of ability or skill (important though that is to develop)but it’s an experience of immersion in the creative, of being in the flow, of being opened up and thrown into the unknown, and loving it. That’s faith, isn’t it?

Watercolour Experiments 

Having made some watercolour paints last year, I have been keen to experiment with these.  I think I mentioned that in more detail in my last post.   I am jumping into the deep, and learning lots about this paint, and it helps me that I made the paints myself.  It is not hard, and I had the pigments.  It feels great to have been with the paints right from the beginning, and I can be generous in my experiments, as the water colour paints are more economical and far less expensive than if I had purchased them.  I have been blessed with a lot of pigment…pure and lovely, … so much to play with!   I am getting to know them well.  I am working with inorganic pigments which I obtained initially for use with silicate mineral paint (I was going to use with potassium silicate as the binder)  but which are now bound with some gum arabic solution I made up.  I have plenty more for use with other binders if I want to, but working on paper is interesting indeed, and though I cannot tell what the outcome will be, the process is very interesting!  I will post some up later on in the year, when I have worked sufficiently with them.  I showed you the two I entered for the Royal Watercolour Competition, but I have around twenty more I am working on.

Spiritual Direction/Guidance

I continue my mental touselling, (a word which does exist, even though the spell checker tells me that I have spelt it incorrectly!) over the term “spiritual director”.  As most of the population have never heard of a spiritual director, the term says all the wrong things and so I am continuing to experiment with ideas for how to better describe the role of a spiritual director in a short, quick and easily understandable way!   Here is something I rather like from the Mount Street Jesuit Centre website:

“Would you like the chance to meet an experienced prayer guide to share your thoughts and reflections about your own journey in life within a sacred and secure space where you will be listened to and accompanied on your path?

Typically, people meet with a spiritual director every 6-8 weeks for about an hour. There are no requirements other than an open heart. So, if attending any of our events leaves you wishing you had someone to talk things through with, this could be for you. There is a large local network of spiritual guides and we can put you in contact.”

That is pretty much the best and clearest description I have come across.  I like the expression “prayer guide” and the description of the space also.   I like the term “spiritual guide” too, which is much better than “director” as a word.   I often say to people who ask me what a “spiritual director is” is that it is a kind of mentoring, spiritual counselling, and listening type role, which aims to help people in their relationship with the divine and the spiritual dimension of their life experience/ God, in the way that they understand God,  and how this is working in their life.  I say that it is something open to all, whatever faith tradition, or none.  It seems to be, maybe not surprisingly, that most people who come to seek spiritual direction do have some background in one church or religious group setting or another, and have a faith tradition, however, this is not always the case.  What is beyond us is often an awful lot, (actually, always!) and I think  there are times in our lives when we want to ask ourselves what we believe, and why, and just make space to examine our consciousness and hopefully increase our awareness of where we are going, and why.   I come from a Christian perspective, and it obviously influences my approach and how I work as a spiritual director.  However, I am hoping that when I do complete my training with SPIDIR I won’t just be seeing people who happen to have similar affiliations to me.

In the SPIDIR course recently we had a brilliant session from Tim Stead on Mindfulness.  Tim is very thoroughly trained in Mindfulness and in delivering Mindfulness workshops and it certainly showed.   It was very helpful for me, as I had been seeking clarification on a few points.  It really was one of the best sessions so far.  Very inspiring.  Mindfulness, I think, is something ever more necessary in our current time, and essential to develop and cultivate.  Details of courses on Mindfulness run by Tim Stead can be found here:  http://www.hthq.org.uk/mindfulness.html

And also here:  http://bemindful.co.uk/learn-mindfulness/

 

New Redbubble art work…

I have just posted up some more artwork on Redbubble, do take a look!  My son likes Star Trek and I wanted to play around with ideas of speed and space.  I am pleased with the result, and he will get a T Shirt as one of his birthday presents!

 

http://www.redbubble.com/people/jennyjimjams/works/20306316-not-long-until-i-reach-warp-speed-star-trek-parody-logo-design-with-transparent-background?grid_pos=132&p=t-shirt

 

For general look at my Redbubble portfolio go here:

http://www.redbubble.com/people/jennyjimjams?ref=account-nav-dropdown

…………………………………………………………………………………………..

All content on this blog,  unless specified otherwise,  is © Jenny Meehan.  Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts of writing and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jenny Meehan with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.  Images may not be used without permission. 

Copyright and Licensing Digital Images Information – Jenny Meehan

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 Jenny Meehan.
Any persons discovered to be reproducing, copying or using images by Jenny Meehan without prior consent, authorisation or permission will be put on notice that Jenny Meehan is the copyright owner and asked to immediately cease and desist the infringing activity. If a satisfactory response and / or compliance is not forthcoming promptly, the matter will be pursued. For clarification of the laws of copyright, please contact the Design and Artists Copyright Society (DACS). http://www.dacs.org.uk

Copyright for all visual art by Jenny Meehan is managed by the Design and Artists Copyright Society (DACS) in the UK. If you wish to licence a work of art by Jenny Meehan, please contact Jenny Meehan in the first instance to clarify your requirements. There is a contact form on my website www.jamartlondon.com

Licensing an image is quick and easy for both parties and is organised through the Design and Artist Copyright Society. (Note, my images are not shown on the “Art image” selection on the Design and Artist Copyright “Art Image” page. This does NOT mean you cannot apply for a license to use an image of my work from DACS… They simply have a very limited sample selection of work in their “Artimage” page!)

 

 

%d bloggers like this: