KAOS (Kingston Artists’ Open Studios) 2017- What DO Artists Do all day? – “Is Art Just Rip Off?” written by Roger Lewis -Imagined Worlds Exhibition at Royal United Hospitals in Bath – Asana and the Meditative Seat of a Painting – What IS Work? – Daily Activities of a Fine Artist and Useful Skills for an Artist – Jenny Meehan’s VERY Meandering Discourse!

March 1, 2017

As per usual, skimming is order of the moment…because the writing just goes on!   I have a new camera which is very exciting and will be better for cataloguing my work.  I am rather behind on this, and have quite a lot of photography to get done.  But with the knee replacement operation very soon here, I have to keep lowering my expectations of what I will achieve in the next few months.   I have various things in the pipe line as  per normal.  And the Kingston Artists Open Studios is coming up in a few months:

KAOS OPEN STUDIOS 10th/11th and 17th/18th June 2017

Our 7th Open Studios Event will feature over 80 artists in studios across Kingston!

It’s no time at all!  So pop this in your diary and make yourself a nice day out.   Walk by the river in Kingston, Stroll in the park, walk along the studio trail, pop into a little cafe!  Meet KAOS (we are a lovely bunch of creatives) and take a look at what we love investing ourselves into!  And if you are someone who does collect art, be it just a few pieces or many,  make a good choice and visit the artists direct…You can talk with us and find out more about the work in a way that you wouldn’t be able to do in a different context.   I will be showing a mixture, including a recent series of paintings which are 20 x 16 inches on hardboard.  The look deceptively simple.  But they are the fruit of many dedicated years of working with paint non objectively and have a level of refinement that is characteristic of my expressionistic paintings and an attention to surface and light which has taken years to develop.

Here is one, actually my personal favourite!   I have it facing me right now in the living room.

abstract lyrical expressionist british paintings jenny meehan

abstract lyrical expressionist british paintings jenny meehan

Painting by Jenny Meehan “Simple Piece – Crossing Over” © Jenny Meehan DACS All Rights Reserved

“Is Art Just Rip Off?” written by Roger Lewis

(Roger Lewis writes this article in response to the “Rogues’ Gallery: A History of Art and Its Dealers ” by Philip Hook)

In my various ramblings over the internet I often research things about the value of art, because what people understand as “value” is a very interesting matter.  And as an artist I am interested in why one person will consider art worthwhile and another not.  Value is an elusive thing.  How surprised I was to find this article on the internet.  It’s written by Roger Lewis, who brought some happiness into my life by purchasing one of my paintings a few years ago to add to his collection.   This was a good encouragement to me, as it always is, when another person sees, responds, and wants your work to the extent that they decide to buy it.  The joy in this for me is not the money paid (though obviously needed) but it’s the faith placed in the work you have done.  That someone has recognised a value in it is the most precious transaction.  Because how ever good I believe my work, and however much faith I have in the purpose of it, I want it to to have a purpose far beyond the perimeters of my studio space.  The main value in people buying my paintings, if they should ask to do such a thing, is that they relieve me of an item which is taking space up needed for another painting.  Not just that, of course. I jest.  It is that they bring the work into another context, for encounters hopefully with other people, (Oh, please, never buy a painting and put it in a cupboard). (Of if you do, never tell me about it, because you have imprisoned any life that might be experienced by the work’s existence). Value is the meeting of artist and buyer, in discovering that something worthwhile has been done, and that the experience of it can be shared and enjoyed.  Value is the recognition that there is another dimension to life and experience which lies far beyond the business of buying and selling art.  And it’s the desire that investing in that is worthwhile simply for that.

Yes, I am romantic at heart.  Much too much, but that is how it is for me.  But success as I define it is based on what I have written above.  It is nothing to do with profit in the money sense of the word.  It’s a about enlarging our souls and if someone relates to a painting in such a way as they want an ongoing encounter with the work, then this is an amazing and wonderful thing to happen.  Both people are happy.

Er, they may go off it, yes.  But that happens with all things in life.  But anything good and offering sustenance in life is a good thing.

My romantic aspirations are one thing.  But I don’t want other people taking the words from my lips on the eternal virtues of a painting and then demanding a ridiculous amount of money for it. So it was with great pleasure that I enjoyed reading Roger Lewis’ article.  He has articulated several things I have not been able to but have wanted to.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/home/books/article-4185476/Is-art-just-rip-off.html

“On the face of it, art ought to be the cheapest thing going, as the outlay is minimal: pens, pencils, paint — or, in this day and age, unmade beds and pickled fish. 
What makes it desirable, though, what creates the eye-watering price tag, is the compelling sales pitch of the dealer.”

Indeed, so there is some sense in heading  to your local artists’ Open Studios Events or arrange to visit their studios, if you want to collect art!  The dealer may not have your best interests at heart.  They are running a business, after all.  Yet the country is full of self representing artists who need more space to make more work.  And need sufficient money for their materials.  Don’t let illusions of relative status affect your desire, or let anyone fabricate them for you.  Because what makes something desirable in the truest sense of the word comes right from you very own heart.  And that desire will stick with you, and not be a passing fad or temporary creation which someone else has created for you in order to release you of some cash.  So, again I say, pop that KAOS Kingston Artists Open Studios in your diary!

Another related read:

https://www.theguardian.com/books/2017/feb/06/rogues-gallery-review-history-of-art-and-its-dealers-philip-hook

 

Imagined Worlds Exhibition

This fantastic  touring exhibition is now at its second venue http://artatruh.org/exhibitions/temporary-programme/:

imagined worlds coleridge kubla khan inspired art exhibition somerset imagined worlds exhibition alph the sacred river coleridge kubla khan jenny meehan

imagined worlds exhibition alph the sacred river coleridge kubla khan jenny meehan

The work above “Alph the Sacred River” was selected as part of this art exhibition. More information:

 

IMAGINED WORLDS ‘IN XANADU DID KUBLA KHAN…’

Event Date and Time:
Monday, 30 January 2017 – 8:00am to Thursday, 27 April 2017 – 8:00am

Event Description:
Imagined Worlds’ features the work of twenty contemporary artists inspired by Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s visionary poem Kubla Khan. The exhibition curated by Somerset Art Works on behalf of The Friends of Coleridge Society is part of a programme of events timed to coincide with the bicentenary of the poem’s first publication.

The artists have drawn upon different facets of Coleridge’s or their own imagination to create a diverse array of works including painting, drawing, printmaking, collage and photography as well as film which is available to view online at http://artatruh.org/exhibitions/temporary-programme/central-exhibition/

The Friends of Coleridge Society is grateful to the Arts Council England, Somerset Art Works, Somerset Film, Sedgemoor District Council, and many other supporters for their help in enabling the celebrations to take place.

Event Location:
RUH Central Gallery, Ground Floor (Zone B)
Royal United Hospitals Bath NHS Foundation Trust, Combe Park
BA1 3NG Bath
United Kingdom

I cannot remember if I put these images up on here before but better late than never!  These were from the previous venue. Exhibition was curated by Jon England in collaboration with Somerset Art Works.  All the following images of the exhibition: Photo: Jon England

imagined worlds coleridge kubla khan inspired art exhibition somerset

imagined worlds coleridge kubla khan inspired art exhibition somerset

imagined worlds coleridge kubla khan inspired art exhibition somerset

imagined worlds coleridge kubla khan inspired art exhibition somerset

imagined worlds coleridge kubla khan inspired art exhibition somerset

imagined worlds coleridge kubla khan inspired art exhibition somerset

imagined worlds coleridge kubla khan inspired art exhibition somerset

imagined worlds coleridge kubla khan inspired art exhibition somerset

imagined worlds coleridge kubla khan inspired art exhibition somerset

imagined worlds coleridge kubla khan inspired art exhibition somerset

imagined worlds coleridge kubla khan inspired art exhibition somerset

imagined worlds coleridge kubla khan inspired art exhibition somerset

What do artist’s do all day?

Maybe paintings like this one? !

 

dark night of the soul abstract painting jenny meehan jamartlondon

dark night of the soul abstract painting jenny meehan jamartlondon© Jenny Meehan DACS All Rights Reserved

I titled this painting “Dark Night/noche oscura” primarily because things have been harder for me since the condition of my knee deteriorated, and that experience of deterioration,  (while certainly not an experience of depression, but rather of desperation and challenge), has been a path of uncertainty, and of not knowing the way ahead.  Maybe an amount of not understanding what is going on, and a difficulty in getting to grips with the reality of my situation. Some times in life, things seem more predictable and we feel more secure.  Other times we are thrown all over the place.  So when I looked at this painting, having worked my way with tenacity through the process of it’s evolution, a fight into the face of darkness and unknowing seemed to be it’s main root.

Dark Night of the Soul (Spanish: La noche oscura del alma) is the title given  (though not by the poet himself) to a poem  by 16th-century Spanish poet and Roman Catholic mystic Saint John of the Cross. Saint John of the Cross’ poem narrates the journey of the soul from its bodily home to its union with God. The journey is called “The Dark Night” in part because darkness represents the fact that the destination, God, is unknowable.  The “dark night of the soul” does not refer to the hardships and difficulties of life in general, although the phrase has generally been taken to refer to such trials. The nights which the soul experiences are the necessary purgations on the path to divine union. There are several steps in this night, which are related in successive stanzas. The main idea of the poem can be seen as the joyful experience of being guided to God. The only light in this dark night is that which burns in the soul. And that is a guide more certain than the mid-day sun. This light leads the soul engaged in the mystic journey to divine union. ( text adapted from Wiki…https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dark_Night_of_the_Soul

“Dark Night” is often used as a way of referring to a person’s spiritual crisis.

 

 

Debris painting by Jenny Meehan

Debris Painting by Jenny Meehan © Jenny Meehan DACS All Rights Reserved

Not much to say about this one, except that the interest with solidity and fluidity, continues.  While debris is often used to refer to rubbish or waste material, I titled this painting more thinking along the lines of loose natural material, breaking and being scratched into, with varying degrees of solidity.  My interest was to create something which had a feeling of brokenness, but also conveyed suspension and holding together. The disintegration of the solid matter having a kind of dynamic and positive feeling to it, rather than being a simple matter of decay.

 

waterfall abstract painting jenny meehan

waterfall painting jenny meehan© Jenny Meehan DACS All Rights Reserved

“Waterfall” by Jenny Meehan © Jenny Meehan DACS All Rights Reserved

Sharing this, for I have just cut it into two pieces.   It is now “Waterfall One” and “Waterfall Two”.  I need to now frame it.  I will make a few adjustments.  This painting was somewhat inspired by my looking at the “Waterfall” painting by Arshile Gorky at Tate Modern.  

http://www.tate.org.uk/art/artworks/gorky-waterfall-t01319       take a look.

“Gorky was born in Armenia, but was forced to flee Turkish persecution, and in 1920 settled in the USA. His early work was strongly influenced by Pablo Picasso and the European Surrealists. In the summer of 1942, Gorky spent three weeks in Connecticut making drawings from nature. He went on to produce a series of paintings that refer to natural forms. In this painting, amorphous shapes and drips of liquid paint suggest the fluidity of the waterfall.

Gallery label, August 2004″

Mine is a somewhat more blocky type matter, but I kept the whole things quite loose.  This was a discovery for me, that I did not need to hold everything neatly together.

“Gorky was a quite well known but rather derivative painter for 15 years before he found himself in about 1943,” wrote Alfred Barr, founder-director of the Museum of Modern Art. That small waterfall he found on the Housatonic River, New Milford, Connnecticut, and the flowers and insects he came upon at Crooked Run Farm, Virginia, fed Gorky’s appetite for animation within ground cover. Suddenly he flourished.”

https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2010/feb/06/arshile-gorky-painting-william-feaver

Nice quote from Arshile Gorky:

“Abstraction allows man to see with his mind what he cannot physically see with his eyes… Abstract art enables the artist to perceive beyond the tangible, to extract the infinite out of the finite. It is the emancipation of the mind. It is an explosion into unknown areas.”

Read more about Arshile Gorky here:  http://www.theartstory.org/artist-gorky-arshile.htm

 

So What Does “Asana” Really Mean?

I found the following text here:  https://www.yogatraveltree.com/blog/article/sanskrit-101-real-meaning-asana

and was very pleased, as I had been playing with the idea of titling some of my paintings with the word “Asana”.

“We’ll start with the term “asana” which is part of most of the Sanskrit pose names. “Asana” is defined as any of the yogic postures or movements, but literally translates to “seat.” It’s said that originally the only posture in yoga was a comfortable seat taken for long periods of mediation. Eventually the other postures were developed to help find ease in sitting for so long, and to assist with opening the mind to a meditative state. The postures are used to increase hip flexibility so one can sit crosslegged, and to stimulate the chakras and nadis (allowing for energy body throughout the body). “Asana” is a very thought-provoking term, since thinking of each posture as a place to find the meditative “seat” or state of mind brings the practice away from just the physical movement and begins the journey of the mind looking inward. It also reinforces the idea that a practitioner should try seated meditation in addition to practising postures.”

Each painting may also be an opportunity to find a meditative “seat” or state of mind.  I have several earlier paintings which I called “Resting Place” and they featured a block/still area which served as a point of resting the eye…or seating the eye maybe, in one (normally fairly central) area.   I very much like this idea of the painting, as a whole, as an “asana” or point of entry to a journey of the mind, as it looks inwards.   So the looking ourwards bears a kind of inner reflection, a reflective state.   A painting, while it does contain dynamic movement in the way that it stimulates the eye and mind, is also beautifully still.  For looking at a painting to be appreciated as a kind of meditative pose being taken by the viewer has a lot of appeal to me.

Boat House - Romantic Expressive Abstract Lyrical acrylic painting by surrey south west london painter artist jenny meehan imaginative internal landscape

 

The painting above “Boat House”  was for a considerable time also titled “Resting Place”.  In the end I settled with the “Boat House” because of the strong aspect of reflection in water which really makes it stand apart from the other similar experiments I did at the time.  Around 2012 ish.  This painting is ready to find a new home I think.  We are now five years down the line.  Because of what happens when you take photographs of paintings the blue looks much stronger than it is in the flesh.  The red is also a little more prominent.  The playing around with more solid areas and then areas of fluidity turned out to be a feature which continues to fascinate me.

So What DO Artist’s Do All Day?

Well, if they are mothers and housekeepers, domestic bliss will keep them busy. (!!!!) They do all that they can to avoid their domestic tasks, and spend as much possible time as they can developing their art working!  But, other work cannot be avoided.  Indeed,  the challenges of balancing one’s time between the work of an “artist”  and the work of “everything else” is a healthy tension.  It’s helpful to keep perspective, and also distance, in any creative activity, is a great blessing.  It is very convenient for me that my work base is also my home.  I  can flit between the intensely creative, to the simplest mundane tasks, and both contribute to the other in some way.  The constant effort of letting go is a good one to employ. In order to paint, I need to somehow ignore the piles of domestic tasks which surround me.  It is hard, takes will power, and a very  focused attitude of mind.  On the other hand, to be able to release myself from the intense involvement in a painting, and do a bit of washing up, or work in the garden for a while is also very helpful.  There is always a certain frustration with respect to limitations on time, however this is less of a problem now the children are older.

So, for a start, throw out the impression (possibly) given by the title “So What DO Artist’s Do all Day?” that they might be wondering what to do. For a large number of artists, the time they invest in their art working is hard won, in one way or another.  It is pressed between the other demands of life.  Unless on a creative retreat or residency maybe.  Many artists have multiple roles in life…Artist is just one of them.  And art working is just one strand.  But they may still choose to define themselves primarily as an artist. And the greater or lesser amount of their time spent on their work in no way makes them less or more of an artist. What an artist does “all day” may be for a small part of the day, among all the other “normal” things (!!!!!) that occupy people.  While some artists may pride themselves when they reach of point of describing themselves as a “Full Time Artist”, there is no real merit in that description, I don’t think, because defining yourself as “an artist” is more about an ongoing mission/vocation.

So, don’t worry about dreaming or wishing you could be a “full time artist”.  If you are an artist, every part of  your  being abides in the whole of your life, and in every little thing you do.  Your whole life and all you do in it,  is essentially the raw material of your art working, and will influence what you create, if you let it.  The way your time is allocated, is the way your time is allocated, and no more or no less than that.  You are not more or less of an artist if you need to spend more time doing things which seem less related to your art work creation/activities.   You will call yourself an artist, if you decide that this definition is something which most aptly describes what matters to you.

Here a another read on the topic.  The Myth of the Full Time Creative Artist!  

http://skinnyartist.com/myth-of-the-full-time-creative-artist/

This is a very good read.

This “Don’t Fall For The Part-time Artist Versus Full-Time Artist Trap”.was also a good read:

http://theartedge.faso.com/blog/94055/dont-fall-for-the-part-time-artist-vs-full-time-artist-trap

Adds another dimension that I had not thought through with regard to the whole “art business” model.

A Reflection

I realised recently, that from an external perspective, unless one already knows a professional artist,  it might be hard to appreciate the nature of “work” for a fine artist.  This is the only explanation I can come to as I mull over the words “But it doesn’t affect your work” (with reference to the state of my knee) which was applied to me a while back.  I may have misunderstood.  I will get over the shock of hearing this, I am sure. Though how a lack of mobility cannot affect every single area of a person’s life, I am not sure.  And how some areas might be considered more worthy or less worthy of attention, I am not sure either. And how anyone could say that to someone else, when they do not know the person, or know nothing about what they spend their time doing, I do not know either.  It was a mistaken assumption, for sure.  (I have ranted!)

But we all make mistakes. Sometimes ones which cause annoyance!  And it makes me remember the look of bewilderment on a young lady’s face at a recent art networking event I went to.  Myself and another Mother-Artist were talking about the challenges of balancing the domestic sphere of activity, child rearing, and our art practice, and in the conversation we referred to “Keeping the house”.  This phrase was a complete mystery to the younger lady…She said “What do you mean? Keeping the house?”.  She looked bemused and confused and said “What is there to do?”.  It’s amazing, but I shouldn’t be surprised because I think thirty years earlier in my life I would have had no idea or no appreciation of what household management and housekeeping involved.  The whole idea would have been alien to me. We are often very lacking in awareness of the work which our mothers (usually mothers) do because we take them for granted.  And also, probably, I would have had no appreciation of the way that the person who spends more time based in the home often tends, by natural default, to then take over the main responsibility of running the show. Which, depending on their partners occupation, and various other factors, can mean running everything. We slip into roles.  They just happen.

But I don’t think what is happening with the whole matter of women being strongly encouraged/expected to enter, (even when their children are very young),  into external workplaces, at the expense of the work which happens in the home, really helps younger people, or anyone, gain an appreciation of either the importance, nature, or value of work done in the home/stemming from the home base. The implication is that home based work is something that is easily left, and of lesser importance, when in reality they are of equal value to society.  The only difference between work done in the home and work done elsewhere is that they are carried out in different locations, and one tends to be paid and the other not. (Well, there are other differences, depending on the job titles which might be coming to mind, but potentially there are also no differences, just a merging of potential job titles!). The actual activity varies from person to person, depending on their situation, but there is a lot of overlap in terms of what is actually done/the effect on society.  Investment is a word we tend to associate with money, but time and effort are the material of investment.

I reflect, then, that there are many people who are not part of the labour market, but who do “work” very hard, and with a sense of purpose and drive, which is the very same purpose and drive, which might fire them ahead in any paid career. Many people in this category might be termed “retired”, I guess, but may have nothing retiring about themselves and their outlook or their manner of going about their lives. Or they may be caregivers of various kinds, or just be pursuing a vocation which doesn’t fit neatly into a box or is slightly unconventional. The main thing is that voluntary work, or activities which do not profit in the financial sense, (or aim to in any way), are still work. And profitable work.  But the profit is not monetary.  It’s not spiritualistic. It is not materialistic either.  It is to do with the soul, the heart, the centre of being, and those experiences and moments in life which touch us to the core, and ultimately make us who we are.

Passion and involvement are what is needed to “work” in the truest sense of the word. To coin that familiar phrase “It’s not what you do, it’s the way that you do it” Maybe “work” is, ultimately,  those activities we do in life which are rooted in love, passion and maybe even a sense of mission.  So “work” may weave it’s way through our many aspects of life…it is not limited to a single compartment of someone’s life.  It is, maybe that which we apply ourselves to in a dedicated and determined manner, in order to reap benefit, for oneself and for others.  In order to contribute to our society in some form or other.

Basically, work is life!

Consider also the words of the Lord Jesus Christ

Mark 8:36 King James Version (KJV)

36 “For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?”

As a mother, I can also testify that the unpaid work of mothering (fathering and indeed, parenting roles by any person…gender regardless, but I have to speak as I am) is extremely important for the soul of our society, and is horrifically and destructively attacked by the capitalist and materialist systems/prevailing consciousness we are subject to, in my opinion.

The whole trend of equating money with value is pretty gross basically.  Thankfully a lot of people do see this, recognise it, and speak about it.  We kind of know it, deep down I think.   But the currents are strong, and pull us sometimes away from our very selves, and away from the source of our being.  A person, whatever their occupation, and regardless of what they do or do not do,  is no less valuable than any other human being.  We work at life, and do not understand or fully appreciate each other, or our own unique trials and triumphs. Though we work at doing so, hopefully.  It is not for us to judge…Though we tend to, by habit.  We judge ourselves and others.

It’s worth adding, also, that if someone is free to involve and invest themselves in unpaid work, this should not stand against them either.  The assumption that because someone is presently at liberty not to need to earn any money, and that this state will go on forever, is also mistaken. We all need to work, and our work is what we work at.  It is the matter of life which matters to us.  What we invest ourselves into.  Our mission.  Sometimes the activities people do “for a living” are that which provide them the financial resources they need.  But sometimes the activities people do “for a living” are not related to the financial resources they need but are still none the less related to their living, their experience of living, and the quality of life. What IS work and what is not work?   In the end, work is what matters to a person and what they invest themselves into.

I think I have digressed rather, as is my habit.  For I did start with “What do Artists Do all Day”. So I had better get back to that.  One thing did lead to another! I am still slightly reeling, but it is an overreaction on my part.  I do realise this.  An artist’s work is not a conventional “job” in the way that so many peoples work activities are.   I am in charge of my own work schedule in a way which is very helpful when disabled with knee osteoarthritis. There is some flexibility there.  However, in so many respects, the effects of a lack of mobility have the potential to be just as destructive for someone in my position as  for someone who is employed in a more conventional work context.  In terms of one’s future, one’s potential. one’s personal development, and basically one’s fulfilment in life, if your mobility is affected, then your opportunities in life ARE drastically restricted.  Every thing is impacted.  Don’t worry.  I’ll get over it!

Back once more to “What do Artists Do all Day”.  Well, away from the emotional and into the practical.  While clearly there is a lot of variation, and this variation is wonderfully interesting, some of the practical tasks which are carried out by artists of a similar type to me, might include:

Creating original work, and also prints and reproductions of their work.

Carrying out commissioned work

Being involved in selling their work, as much as time allows.  This may be through Open Studios events or Studio visits.  Artists need to sell their work because if they don’t, then end up having no room to live in anymore! They need room to create more work!  And money for resources. (Some might be in a position of having someone to do this for them.  Most don’t though!)

Involvement in community art projects and sometimes teaching and education.

Maintaining a website and creating an internet presence.

Researching and planning art works.

Sourcing materials and developing relationships with suppliers

Keeping in touch with what is happening creatively around them. This includes seeing exhibitions, meeting other artists, and keeping eyes out for future opportunities for good working relationships and interesting projects.

Networking, through private views, and other events

Administration, correspondence, and creating publicity

Project planning

Writing proposals for galleries, competitions or artist residencies.

Writing funding applications (public and private)

Applying for residencies, competitions and other opportunities.

Liaising with contacts, gallery owners, curators and other artists

Curating individual and group shows

Writing press releases, and writing/speaking about your work

Maintaining a portfolio

Documenting your work

Skills needed are (as well as artistic talent/ability)

determination and commitment, with passion
self-belief, without an over active ego, but with a good dose of humility
good writing, verbal communications skills and presentation skills
self-promotion skills and confidence
technical ability and interest in materials and experimentation
an ongoing orientation toward professional development
organisation skills and the ability to meet deadlines
research skills
ability to work independently and with others
stamina and a willingness to put in long hours
flexibility and a constant attitude of readiness to learn
a lot of self motivation!
ability to grow and develop your work and practice through increased self-awareness
curiosity and interest in what is happening in the world around  you
Self motivation, determination, discipline, and perseverance are very important.

 

Have I written enough for March?  Yes.

I need to go into the garden and look at the shooting shoots shooting up into the air.

Do a last tiny bit of gardening before my knee replacement operation, being VERY careful not to cut or damage my legs in any way.

And I need to pray.

“By prayer I mean not that which is only in the mouth,
but that which springs up from the bottom of the heart”

John Chrysostom

 

Knee Replacement Operation Coming Up Soon!

Ah, it is coming up soon.

It is major surgery.  It is routine surgery.  I try to keep the two thoughts in balance!

And how interesting this journey towards surgery has been for me.

How grateful I am for the understanding and care I have had from the professionals I have been involved with.  Yet how aware I have also been of the influences which have been at play. Influences which constrain people, however understanding they might be.  Think…FUNDING and CCG.  Influences which affect all concerned, and subtly affect (I found in my experience) a patients belief, faith and understanding with respect to knee replacement surgery and how realistic an option that might be for them. Think…IS THIS AN OPTION FOR ME AT ALL? I am a sensitive soul. This may not have helped me in some ways, and I may have been better off oblivious.  But it is not my style.  Artists’ do tend to be rather sensitive to the currents of cultures they inhibit.  And I cannot help thinking that if I had not been so persistent, I would have been deterred by many factors,  and chosen to delay knee replacement surgery. But I had a pretty big sneaky feeling, which as time progressed grew less sneaky and far more obviously sensible, that for me personally, it would be insane to delay knee replacement surgery bearing in mind the disability and pain which have now become part of my life. The experience has inspired me to such an extent, that I plan to write another page on my blog completely dedicated to my knee journey story.  But as I am not ready to do that quite yet, then I share this little finding with you…  It is from the BOA, see   https://www.boa.ac.uk/publications/boa-letter-to-the-times-rationing-of-hip-knee-replacements-30-01-17/

The Times
1 London Bridge Street
SE1 9GF
Dear Sir,
I read with interest your article on rationing by CCG’s of hip and knee replacements – an issue which is so
important to many of our patients. It is unfortunate that a number of myths continue to be perpetuated in this
debate, some of which you have focused upon in your article. There are many further pieces of information which
support your comments.
Firstly there is robust evidence that having a BMI between 30 and 40 does not increase your risk of a poor
outcome following either hip or knee replacement. Indeed there is some evidence that this group of patients is
actually the ‘happiest’ with their outcome. If your BMI is over 40 your complication risk goes up marginally, but if
you have an uncomplicated outcome you are as happy with the outcome as thinner patients.
A hip replacement costs £7.50 a week and 90% of hip replacements will still be in place having required no further
treatment (beyond 15 years in many cases) at the end of a patient’s life. Patients prior to a major joint
replacement will attend their GPs, on average, a couple of times a month. Post joint replacement they need to do
so only a couple of times a year.
The Oxford hip and knee scores were not designed as a pre-op screening tool to eliminate large sections of the
population from a qualitative life improving procedure: they were designed as a tool to measure outcomes in
large populations and not in individuals. There is evidence that timely surgery has the best effect on patients’
general health, the implication being that if you wait, their general health deteriorates. There is also good
evidence that although patients with a very bad score pre-operatively may make greater improvements in some
respects, they tend not to reach such a high level of functioning or such a low level of disability after their
operation as those who start off with a lower level of disability.
Using the well-intentioned aim of an overall improvement of the populations’ general health as a justification for
limiting access to very effective treatment is neither acceptable nor ultimately cheaper. In an era where patients
should be fully advised as to their options and choice of treatment, this stance will inevitably lead to endless
appeals and a further waste of resources to deal with them.
The Department of Health says there is no more money. This is an assertion which can easily be challenged as in
the UK we spend much less of our money on health care than do most of the developed western nations.
However, if the government is absolutely adamant that they will provide no more funding, there are two things
that should be considered before such arbitrary rationing. Firstly, the enormous increase in NHS management
costs, which have at least tripled in terms of percentage spend over the last two decades, needs to be cut
radically. Secondly, if some form of rationing is deemed essential, it should not be targeted at treatments that
are cost effective and will help maintain the fitness and independence of patients. This clearly applies to total hip
and knee replacement as two of the most cost effective treatments available across the whole of health care.
Preventing patients accessing these life enhancing treatments smacks of moral bankruptcy.
Yours sincerely
Ian Winson FRCS
BOA President

 

Well said!

I personally thank the wake up call of knee pain due to post traumatic osteoarthritis in my right knee.  Yes, I really do, because it has provided a reality check in terms of me recognising how damaging being obese can be for me.  It is very true though, (with respect to my obese status …and I am still just above 30 BMI! Nearly under!)  I was, with various modes of support, able to utilise my experience of pain and disability pre-operatively but I am highly aware that this would not be the case for a lot of people.  Being overweight or obese isn’t good for the body in many respects, and the little bit of lay person’s research I did on the recovery from TKR did reflect this general principle, but it is interesting that the letter above references a BMI of 40…Much greater than the BMI of 30 which seems to feature in the CCG’s I looked at.

Indeed, when I look at my still just over 30 BMI body, which is several stone lighter than it was, I think most people seeing it would not realise that I am technically obese.  And, when it comes down to it, loosing weight HAS NOT reduced the pain and disability I experience.  My knee has had phases of being better and worse, but the general trend has been a steady but gradual deterioration.  Weight loss may have helped a bit, and lessened the load, quite literally.  I am certainly going to keep the weight off to make sure my knee replacement has the maximum chances of a long life.  And I plan to loose a couple more stone in addition, to keep up the good work.  Exercise is now a way of life for me.

NHS Financial Crisis

Here is the “NHS Financial Crisis” art work I came up with, as part of this experience.  It’s important to me that the load is seen to be born by both clinicians and patients, and not just one or the other.

NHS financial crisis, elective surgery joint replacement rationing, TKR graphic art, graphic image knee joint,abstract knee replacement design,abstract artwork knee joint, © Jenny Meehan DACS All Rights Reserved

NHS financial pressures knee replacement jenny meehan © Jenny Meehan DACS All Rights Reserved

 

Love my painting, but love a bit of graphic art from time to time.

 

 

On the matter of artist’s being sensitive:

“Sensitive people often pick up on the little things in the environment that others miss, see patterns where others see randomness, and find meaning and metaphor in the minutiae of everyday life. It’s no wonder this type of personality would be driven to creative expression. If we think of creativity as “connecting the dots” in some way, then sensitive people experience a world in which there are both more dots and more opportunities for connection.”

This excerpt is from the new book Wired to Create: Unravelling the Mysteries of the Creative Mind, by psychologist Scott Barry Kaufman and HuffPost Senior Writer Carolyn Gregoire.

Nice quote:

“The truly creative mind in any field is no more than this: A human creature born abnormally, inhumanly sensitive.”

— Pearl S. Buck

Read the article here:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/artists-sensitive-creative_us_567f02dee4b0b958f6598764

 

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

TO FOLLOW THIS ARTIST’S BLOG SIMPLY GO TO THE RIGHT HAND COLUMN, LOCATE THE  “FOLLOW” BOX AND POP IN YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS.  YOU WILL THEN RECEIVE MONTHLY UPDATES. 

Jenny Meehan is a painter-poet, artist-author  and Christian contemplative  based in East Surrey/South West London.   Her interest in Christ-centred spirituality and creativity are the main focus of this artist’s journal, which rambles and meanders on, maybe acting as a personal (yet open to view)  note book as much as anything else.  

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

Contact Jenny via her website: 

http://www.jamartlondon.com/#/contact/4569980742

Jenny Meehan BA Hons (Lit.) PGCE  offers art tuition.  Please contact Jenny at j.meehan@tesco.net or through the contact form at www.jamartlondon.com for further details.  Availability depends on other commitments.    

 Jenny Meehan works mainly with either oils or acrylics  creating both abstract/non-objective paintings  and also semi-abstract work.  She also produces some representational/figurative artwork,  mostly using digital photography/image manipulation software, painting and  drawing.  Both original fine paintings, other artwork forms,  and affordable photo-mechanically produced prints are available to purchase.

This artist’s blog is of interest to artists, art collectors, art lovers and anyone interested in fine art.  Those interested in British 21st century female contemporary artists, women and art, religious art, spirituality and art, and psychoanalysis and art, will probably enjoy dipping into this Jenny Meehan Contemporary Artist’s Journal.

Art collectors are often interested in the processes, techniques, interests and influences of the artists whose work they collect, and sharing my thoughts and perspectives through a blog is an important dimension of my creative practice.

My main focus is directed towards process led abstract painting, and you can view some examples of this on my website jamartlondon.com.  I encapsulate my painting as being romantic,expressionistic, abstract and lyrical.  Art collectors interested in lyrical abstraction, abstract expressionist, and essentially romantic art, are likely to find my paintings an interesting and exciting addition to their art collection. Art collectors can view a list of exhibitions I have taken part in on my websites exhibitions page; http://www.jamartlondon.com/#/exhibitions/4570944550

Art collectors can see selected examples of my original paintings  organised by year on jamartlondon which gives you a brief overview of the development of my painting over the years:

http://www.jamartlondon.com/#/paintings/4570156802

I am a self-representing artist, whose aim is to ensure  I continue to develop my painting practice in an innovative and pioneering way, rather than attempt some kind of commercial success, and whose aim is also that my work is historically relevant, rather then celebrated in that so called and illusive “art world”.  I hope to add to the number of people who value, collect, and develop an interest in my paintings and to thereby sustain and develop my practice over many years. 

I am also keen that my  art work is appreciated and accessible to as many people as possible, and am aware that not all art lovers and art collectors can afford to buy original paintings or limited edition prints.  For that reason I grant licenses for the use of my imagery. (See Redbubble.com and DACS information below). 

To be placed on Jenny Meehan’s  bi-annual  mailing list please contact Jenny via her website contact page:  www.jamartlondon.com

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 

TO FOLLOW THIS ARTIST’S BLOG SIMPLY LOCATE THE  “FOLLOW” BOX AND POP IN YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS.  YOU WILL THEN RECEIVE MONTHLY UPDATES. 

Website Link for jamartlondon:  www.jamartlondon.com 

A selection of non objective paintings can be viewed on pinterest:   https://uk.pinterest.com/Jamartlondon/

Help me continue my practice/art working:

 Jenny Meehan art images on Redbubble and Image Licensing through the Designer and Artists Copyright Society

If you would like a way of helping me in some small way, while benefiting from my art working yourself, then scoot along to redbubble.com where you can buy various products with my imagery on them.  It is a good company and they produce and sell their products with my images on.  I get a small royalty payment when something is sold.  It all helps a little. Here is the link to the pages on Redbubble.com which show prints with my imagery on them:

https://www.redbubble.com/shop/jenny+meehan+prints?cat_context=u-prints&page=1&accordion=department

My prints and some merchandise which uses my artwork can also be purchased safely and easily through Redbubble.com

Here is the link to the main Jenny Meehan portfolio page on Redbubble.com:

http://www.redbubble.com/people/jennyjimjams?ref=artist_title_name

COPYRIGHT INFORMATION

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 under any circumstances. 

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.

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,  you could contact Jenny Meehan in the first instance to clarify your requirements. There is a contact form on my website www.jamartlondon.com.  Alternatively you can contact the DACS directly;  https://www.dacs.org.uk/licensing-works

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!)

I have extensive archives of digital imagery, and keep records of all my art work, so  if you require an image similar to something of mine you have seen on the internet, it’s worth contacting me to see if I have something suitable for licensing if need be.  Use the contact form on my website jamartlondon.com to enquire:  http://www.jamartlondon.com/#/contact/4569980742

About Jenny Meehan (Jennifer Meehan) 

Jenny Meehan is an established artist who has been exhibiting for over ten years, mostly in the UK. Notable exhibitions include, most recently being selected for the Imagined Worlds touring exhibition of artworks inspired by the poem ‘Kubla Khan’ and inclusion in “Building Bridges, the Female Perspective” at Tower Bridge Victorian Engine Rooms in 2016. Jenny has been a keen supporter of various charity art exhibitions over the years including the National Brain Appeals ” A Letter in Mind” at Gallery@oxo, South Bank, London and the “Anatomy for Life” Exhibition for Brighton Sussex University Hospitals Trust in 2015

Selected by a wide range of judges in open submission exhibitions, her work appeals to the aesthetic and emotional discernment of many, and has been displayed in many prestigious galleries. These include the Dulwich Picture Gallery, London, in 2015, as part of their Open Exhibition, and the Pallant House Gallery, Chichester, West Sussex, as part of the Pallant House Gallery/St Wilfrid’s Hospice Open Art Exhibition in 2010.

Jenny Meehan’s work has been included in several academic projects and and publications including “Speaking Out – Women Recovering from the Trauma of Violence” by Nicole Fayard in 2014 and the ongoing “Recovery” Exhibition project – Institute Of Mental Health/City Arts, Nottingham University, also in 2014. While her romantic, lyrical, expressionistic, abstract paintings offer a contemplative space free from cares and concerns, other strands of her practice engage with subjects ranging from violence, trauma recovery, psychoanalysis, and mental health.

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