first day morning abstract art image licensable ©jenny meehan, circles, moon, sun,light,day,digital collage,emotive,spiritual art,geometric abstraction

jenny meehan art prints abstract digital collage First Day; Morning abstract art image licensable ©jenny meehan all rights reserved

First Day; Morning

Above:  First Day; Morning. Archival Quality Digital Print….

I’m just sorting out some digital prints ready for this years Kingston Artists’ Open Studios…And “First Day; Morning” is one of them.  I’ve become fascinated with the circle as a geometric shape and am using it increasingly in my art working.  Yet my ongoing interest in texture and surface persist.

In the run up to the Open Studios  most of my focus is on organisation at the moment, as well as reviewing work and deciding what to show.  It’s a busy time, but rewarding.  There’s the odd conflict between selecting work that I hope might sell and selecting work which I personally want to spent a couple of weekends looking at!  I do need to sell artwork…Money is needed.  And space is needed!  The great thing about being so productive, is I have a lot of choice in what I decide to show.  There’s only a tiny fraction of my work on the internet, and my archives are huge.  But with work which is actually printed or painted… It does take up space.  And space is limited!

I’m in the mood for writing now, so I’m going for it!  I’d like to write more in the future…More project based and focused…but for now the “meandering discourse” serves me best for it’s function, which isn’t  particularly focused (in an “overview” kind of way…with editing and honing and shaping, and all of that): It never was meant to be something which stood on it’s own two feet.  Rather a brook through my mind and thinking; sometimes feeling… meeting artwork here and there. Not showing in a conclusive way.  But something useful for me to look back on.  Indeed, I do.  And it serves it’s purpose. Works as a kind of gauge at times. Shows movement in other areas, even though it moves itself. Leaves an indentation, which is easier to see when looking backwards.

 

first day morning abstract art image licensable ©jenny meehan, circles, moon, sun,light,day,digital collage,emotive,spiritual art,geometric abstraction

jenny meehan art prints abstract digital collage ©jenny meehan all rights reserved  First Day; Evening

“First Day; Morning” and “First Day Evening” will be available for sale at this year’s Kingston Artists’ Open Studios!

 

Sean Scully

I enjoyed the recent programme on Sean Scully. Interesting quote:

He admits to being a bit surprised that his stature has not just endured but grown exponentially. “I think it’s a question of the way the cultural ocean moves,” he explains. “Painting has made a huge comeback. There’s a whole generation of curators out there who are young, but they’re sick and tired of conceptual art, they’re interested in things that are actually made. So all over, in South America, in China, there’s a return to a world of emotional materiality in painting. In a way I was waiting for this to happen for a long time, but no longer.”

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.irishtimes.com/culture/art-and-design/visual-art/artist-sean-scully-it-s-about-stacking-putting-things-in-order-1.3642099%3fmode=amp
Sat, Sep 29, 2018, 05:00. Article written by Aiden Dunne

Read the whole article.

http://seanscullystudio.com/

He certainly has plenty of room (and studios in the plural!) to paint in!

“A mysterious embodiment, it remains silent, yet potentially potent, whilst never entirely giving up its mystery.”  On painting, from Metaphor

On abstract painting and music….Kevin Power / Sean Scully October 2, 2002
(Questions to Sean Scully on the occasion of Encuentro, Mudial de Las Artes,
Valencia October 3-6 2002)

It is sometimes said that all art aspires to the condition of
music. I would like my art to aspire to something like the condition of music:
but a condition that can be felt and experienced in a deep moment. I think
with painting you can get rid of the problem of time. You can feel it abstracted
in the rhythms, in the layers of the painting; but you are, for your moment,
free.
I do believe abstraction is and was meant to embody deep emotion. I believe
that’s its job, in the history of art. The edges of the character and forms in my
paintings should lie against and with each other, with complexity and
emotional depth. Naturally one feels time in my work, because it is layered. It
is repainted many times, in different colors and weights of paint, always by
me: until somehow everything lives, however gracefully or awkwardly, in its
right place. So it’s a façade, but it’s a façade that submits to feeling or is
overwhelmed by it: since nothing is perfect.”

This is something I wish I heard more often:

You have talked about yourself as a ‘romantic realist”, a stance that given our
present circumstances is not easy to sustain both on account of the geo political changes
taking place in the world and because numerous philosophers seem to be questioning the
gains of our Western humanist tradition to which such an attitude clearly belongs. How
do you see the real as now penetrating the romantic frame through which you “feel” the
world?
This is a very big question, a question about which one could write a book. I
am very aware that the romantic is now seen to be of limited relevance.
However, I have attempted to articulate my idealistic sense of romanticism in
the world, as it is, with its problems now. Without giving up on my true
personal feeling. To say it simply, I think it’s not only possible, but important to
offer a deeply felt example of a humanistic art form: in a world that has
become extremely cynical. I have lived through many changes, social and
political, that have affected me and changed me. However, my art is trying to
address something eternal and universal. So however difficult it may be for
someone with my sense of connection (connectedness) to continue to offer
an idealistic/humanistic view, I have to keep doing it. In fact, the worse it gets,
the more crucial it is to offer it.
I hope my work can stand as an example of another possibility. I realized,
when I moved out of the political arena in my radical days, that I would
experience as an artist moments of guilt and impotence.”

Here’s a bit about the programme I watched:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/mediacentre/proginfo/2019/15/unstoppable-sean-scully

You can watch it here:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/m00041pb/unstoppable-sean-scully-and-the-art-of-everything

Signs of the Times… Continues!

One of the great things about art working is the way that things develop over time.  I think it may be the best!  I love the way I get new perspectives on things I have done often several years ago.  The “Signs of the Times” strand of experimentation started a few years back, but set me off on a useful path into working with flat surfaces and geometric elements…A welcome change from the lyrical abstraction.  (It’s easily possible to become over saturated with one aspect of your work).  Contrasts and changes, trying new mediums, and keeping an open mind are essential in artistic creation.  Concepts are all well and good, but the tree of ideas grows from the art working, in my opinion.  Life and its experiences enter the life of the artist and strange things happen there!  Well, this is the approach which works for me.  There are many others. It can work in other ways too.  I find the openness and flow essential though, in my own creativity.  Openness and flow involve a fair amount of trust, risk, and uncertainty.   We get to know our materials well.   We need to also get to know ourselves well.  Because what we do comes from deep within us.  It cannot come from anywhere else in the end.  And life changes.  It changes us.  And the work of any artist evolves along with everything else.

 

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

The night time version, maybe calm moment in the dark, partner of calm moment in the light! © Jenny Meehan. All Rights Reserved

 

 

Above is one example of my series “Signs of the Times”: Geometric abstraction experiments carried out using vector graphics software. It was a delight to try communicating simple phrases and emotions visually in an abstract form, making simple yet emblematic pieces of affordable art. Affordable because the artwork is printed via Redbubble.com, which is a print on demand site.  Yes, it may not be very “fine arty” in the exclusive sense, but it’s no less fine art because it is accessible.  I have grown tired of the whole idea of value and art.  What I mean is, the connection (which is sometimes made…not by all) that if something is very expensive and out of reach it is somehow more well, “art”.  The reality is that sites like Redbubble.com make the work of artists very accessible.

When people buy products on Redbubble.com, for example, they may be buying a mass produced item, BUT, and it’s a big BUT…The design and the artwork on the items is far from mass produced.  It may be very available on Redbubble.com, BUT that doesn’t mean that lots and lots of it is going to be sold.  Far from it…Thankfully the world is FULL of marvellous artists.  So full, in fact, that most of us only occasionally sell now and again.  So the items which people buy on Redbubble.com could quite easily be “one-offs”.  Yes, there is no limiting of editions, (the traditional way of restricting prints executed in the traditional manner) but if someone is looking for a piece of art by an artist, they could consider buying something through a print-on-demand site.  They may well be getting a totally unique object which ends up being a “one-off”, even though it is not marketed as such.

https://www.redbubble.com/shop/jenny+meehan+art-prints

The only thing it will not have, of course is a signature!  And there is that point which the item will have never been actually touched by the artist…But that is the object itself.  Art is not just about the production of objects and artefacts. “Common place” ones or “exclusive” ones…It makes no difference does it?   The appearance of one of my own artworks through the avenue of Redbubble.com is a choice I have made most purposefully. It reflects my feelings and values.  It’s part of how I operate, and not just for practical reasons.  There are practical reasons.  And I carefully selected Redbubble.com because of the quality of the products.  They met my own requirements for forms that my artwork might be re-presented through.  Yes, I will also have my paintings, and sometimes sell those, from time to time.   And some numbered (but not limited edition) prints.  But I have no time or desire to do things which distract me from my main focus of innovation, creation, experimentation, and development.

https://www.redbubble.com/shop/jenny+meehan+art-prints

 

Digital printing is a whole new world!

Part of my thinking in this kind of direction also leads me to an interest in using substrates which are generally utilised in distinctly “non-fine art” realms.  Banners and advertising boards.  Company promotional material product materials and equipment. Printing is now so wonderful! So much is possible which was not possible before! We see such much printed matter all around us. So many interesting surfaces and substrates.  Do I feel that I somehow debase my art work by presenting it on materials used for advertising? Not one little bit.  Why should I?  This is the matter we meet in our daily life and it should be the material of fine art too.  Why not?  It’s a most definite form, and we associate it with one type of activity but that doesn’t mean it cannot be associated with another.  The longevity possible now, and the quality of printing and inks has come such a long way. It’s amazing!  Exciting!  Fantastic!  If I had more money available to spend, I would be printing my work on many more substrates than I use at present…if it suited the realisation aptly!

Maybe there is a kind of redemption going on for me in this desire?  For our desires are so much influenced by what is around us.

“A successful advertising message transcends the audience perceptions of needs and wants. It creates an emotional appeal that subtly convinces the audience that the item being promoted will make a difference in their lives by either making them happy, giving them status, satisfying a desire or providing security.”

I like an emotional appeal to a viewer to come from the imagery I create. But because it is what it is. And it can be to them how they wish it to be.  It’s always good when someone connects and it’s helpful to me if they decide they want to buy something. (Why not?) But to replace advertising with my own imagery and take over the territory, even in just a very small way…As a gesture maybe?  It feels good to do this.  Maybe I have moved myself from the position of passive object of the advertising to the active subject in some sense? I won’t be told what I desire…(I am sure I often am! Not advertising proof!)  I will put my expression, the product of my own desire to create, on substrates/objects/forms associated in our minds with advertising.

It’s nothing new.  But I need to think it through, so I am doing so.

On a slightly different, but allied tack…

There are various billboard art projects going on/which have happened.  The materials and context are often used to great advantage.  There are many themes developed by billboard artists, yet the majority address social issues.  There’s a kind of takeover bid…using that advertising space (and so the same media). A kind of graffiti form, with just a bit more of an element of disguise maybe?! Billboard artist use many strategies, including appropriating well known ads to alter meanings, making objects which look and function like adverts, and graffiti over advertisement boards.

There’s often text and a clear concept, rather than something which is abstract expressionist though.  I like my work to be in the public realm, but it doesn’t have to have the kind of extent of publication that something with a message would be targeted at.  (Though wouldn’t the world look lovely if all the adverts were removed?  I think we would probably feel all a lot better to be honest.)

So much public space is dominated by the media, corporate culture and advertising.

I’m very fond of the Guerrilla Girls work! (Guerrilla Girls is an anonymous group of feminist, female artists devoted to fighting sexism and racism within the art world. The group formed in New York City in 1985 with the mission of bringing gender and racial inequality into focus within the greater arts community. The group employs culture jamming in the form of posters, books, billboards, and public appearances to expose discrimination and corruption. (wording from Tate website)

Mmm.

I do remember there being some project I came across years back which put artist’s work up on posters on the tube.  Trouble was it did cost quite a lot of money to do so.  Nice way to share your work if you can though.  I remember coming across some and very much enjoying the fact that I wasn’t being exposed to an advert.  Simply a piece of work with a name, which I could look into if I wanted to, but could just enjoy it’s presence in front of my eyes.

 

And look at this… What an interesting read!  Coming from a slightly different angle…Very interesting on “special status”.

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110823130029.htm

Fine art in advertising can backfire
Date:
August 23, 2011
Source:
Boston College
Summary:
Fine art has been used for centuries to sell goods and ideas, but a new study finds artwork can lose its special status with consumers if it’s improperly used for product illustration.

“The researchers suggest the responses reflect how humans have evolved to recognize and appreciate art as a special category of expression.

“People have evolved to care about art,” said Hagtvedt. “It is something we have appreciated in all societies known to man, throughout history and pre-history. It is also a magnificent tool for marketers who rely on its communicative power in a thoughtful and honest manner, but those who use it thoughtlessly are not likely to impress anyone.””

Ah!  So that’s one way which “fine art” might be utilized, from one direction.  Many very successful artists are happy to have their art work used in this way, and often they are very well known ones.  While others, far less well known and defensive of the “value” of their work (even though it generates little in the cash sense) may feel horror at the very thought.

It is the sense of being set apart from the objectives of advertising…This is important.

Does my practice of sometimes choosing to manifest my fine art practice on a PVC banner, or in a material form commonly used for advertising change it’s nature at all? No!  Why should it? If I think something looks right printed on something commonly used for marketing material, then might I fear it somehow less fine art because of the substrate or the intended purpose of the item when it was manufactured? No, of course not. I can print what I want where ever I want.  If it serves the vision and works aesthetically.  If the conceptual aspect materialises in line with my intention, then I could print on your bottom and that would be just fine.  (Well, maybe not. With consent! I’m sure it’s been done before anyway!).

So the movement of some expressions of my work, which is indeed part of a “fine art” practice, onto objects which are part of everyday life, is a lovely thing, and something I need not ever steer myself away from.  Indeed, for many years, I have used table clothes with my digital imagery on them (dye-sublimation printed) in my domestic sphere…There’s been no need for a separation of myself from my art working/results of my art working materialised  in every day life.  It’s been a necessary combination!  I live in an art gallery!  It’s called my home.  The relative status of such a situation is one thing. Just one thing. Nothing more.

That my home is also my workplace is both great and challenging.  It doesn’t offer me the same sense of status (it appears) as someone who works in a separate place, but to be fair, I think that may be partly just an ignorance thing… People don’t recognise what happens in homes as work in the same way they do when activities take place in other buildings. And many people don’t see art working as work.  Or indeed, don’t see anything as “work” unless it involves the generation of finances. (However, I have a vague memory that I have probably rambled on about that in some earlier post!)

When writing this artist’s journal, repetition is the name of the game.  I’m a stuck record on some things!

I may be digressing a little.

The main thing is that it’s my prerogative to use whatever materials I want, regardless of how they may be normally perceived or used in our culture/society.  If, for whatever varied reasons, the appearance of something generated by me on an object of lowly status, be it via Redbubble.com or on an advertising banner, cushion cover, whatever, seems less in value because of it’s form, then so be it.  I think maybe just to be aware that artists make very careful choices about what they do, and why: this may help understanding a little. It’s all part of the same thing in the end.  What we do.  It’s an expression of us. Whoever we are and whatever we do. We all measure up things all the time.  Cannot help doing so. But in no way, not one bit, is doing what I do in the way that I do it any kind of indication that I am valuing my artwork any less than someone who only sells to Kings and Queens for large amounts of money.  The whole value thing is an illusion.  I kind of enjoy breaking through it a little bit. That’s all.

And redemption. Buying back the territory a little bit.  I have become so tired of all this advertising so much in my face all the time.  Isn’t it tiresome?  Isn’t it relentless?  Persistent!  It’s a pest!

 

Remember! When people buy products on Redbubble.com, for example, they may be buying a mass produced piece of merchandise, BUT, and it’s a big BUT…The design and the artwork on the items is far from mass produced. The art working itself is original and unique.   It may be very available to everyone because it’s on Redbubble.com, (GOOD!) BUT that doesn’t mean that lots will be sold. There IS potential for something to become commonplace; No limited edition, HOWEVER in practice very few items will be sold which utilize the work of the individual artists in any large numbers.  WHY? Thankfully the world is full of brilliant artists selling on Redbubble.com. I’m saying this because I think folk don’t think things through.

If you are an art collector and want to collect artists work, then please don’t shun any options you have to get the artwork which you want.  It’s great to have an original piece of art, but also good to have examples of the artists you collect, across many of the mediums they use.  Nowadays print is a medium which cannot be ignored and there are many artists who see through the “value” goldfish bowl and the marketing strategies which often get used by art dealers, etc and which dictate more than they should what art collectors feel is worth collecting.  Realise the artificial constructs which are in operation. If you collect art, collect it because you love collecting the art you love to collect, and collect it in all forms, regardless of status or perceived value.  The value is what it says to you and means to you. 

 

London Downpour – Lyrically Abstract Painting – Jenny Meehan

We are a little past March and April now, but as I have been working on some editing of past writing “Some Kind of Narrative” my mind has taken me right back to the passage in my life, in 2012, when I started working with a therapist and started along the long road of recovery from much too much trauma!  Trauma in early life, I discovered, has a habit of sticking with you, even when you would like to leave it behind. I continue in therapy.  But looking back, I can appreciate all the work I have done, and I am reaping the rewards of it too.

And so my recollections dug up this painting for me.  It was painted during 2012.  I went into London twice a week for psychotherapy then.  I met my therapist at the Guild of Psychotherapists,  Nelson Square, which is not far from the South bank. I would very frequently walk along the river side and often in a state of numbness emotionally.  It was exhausting at times.  It was nice to sit down and gaze at the water.

And during 2012 there was plenty of water to gaze at, and coming from all directions!

The 2012 Great Britain and Ireland floods are a series of weather events that affected parts of Great Britain and Ireland periodically during the course of 2012 and on through the winter into 2013. The beginning of 2012 saw much of the United Kingdom experiencing droughts and a heat wave in March. A series of low pressure systems steered by the jet stream brought the wettest April in 100 years, and flooding across Britain and Ireland. Continuing through May and leading to the wettest beginning to June in 150 years, with flooding and extreme events occurring periodically throughout Britain and parts of Atlantic Europe.”

The wettest April in 100 years!

The painting “London Downpour” was painted over several months.  I always paint in a piecemeal fashion. Very rarely do I paint from start to finish.  The painting was exhibited at The Strand Gallery in June 2013 and was brought by a collector, Roger Lewis.  I was very glad of this.  Not only for myself and him (for it’s always happy when a person finds a painting they love) but for the charity to which I donated a portion of the price, as part of the arrangement, (as suggested by the exhibition organisers).  The painting is a good example of some of the main elements I was experimenting with at the time.

London Downpour- Jenny Meehan painting abstraction at The Strand Gallery London as part of "Lines" visual art exhibition, jenny meehan jamartlondon london downpour process led painting british contemporary female abstract expressionistic painting, claude venard style work of london southbank tate modern river thames,contemporary emerging artist exhibition london.

London Downpour- Jenny Meehan painting abstraction at The Strand Gallery London as part of “Lines” visual art exhibition. Lyrical and geometric abstraction painting southbank london from the imagination! painted in a process-led, intuitive guided fashion, external impressions from regular trips to London appear to have seeped into my subconscious!

 

London Down Pour process led painting contemporary female painter Jenny Meehan southwark southbank memory based abstraction lyrical solid liquid dialectic,contemporary london south west based visual artist woman painter

Floating…. Yes, this is a strand I continued with.  Solids and liquids… yes, another.  Water… yes, that too.  Formal elements…experimenting with paint continued and developed; textural elements becoming even more important and refined over time.

Mostly resonating with those walks along the Thames; past Tate Modern.  Which looks quite different now!  The sooty feeling of London.  Always felt it on your skin.  A contrast of buildings and water.

The paint is acrylic, but I see carefully balanced with earths… So important, because otherwise acrylic paint can be far too loud for a restful painting.

artist talk school london downpour, jenny meehan artist talk at st joachim's catholic primary school 2014

jenny meehan artist talk at st joachim’s catholic primary school 2014 on painting techniques used in london downpour painting

I later gave a talk at a primary school and shared a little about how the painting was created.  Funny being in a classroom again.  I used to be a primary school teacher. I have lost quite a lot of weight since then!

 

Ah, wow! What a great read!

Anton Vidokle
Art without Market, Art without Education: Political Economy of Art

https://www.e-flux.com/journal/43/60205/art-without-market-art-without-education-political-economy-of-art/

 

Read it all… Here’s a little taster! (E-flux Journal #43 – Anton Vidokle – Art without Market, Art without Education: Political Economy of Art)

“But since his time, Warhol’s economic independence seems to have been misunderstood. The independence that came from his bridging of the bohemian sphere and the sphere of day-to-day commerce has been converted into a vast proliferation of so-called artistic practices that treat art as a profession. But art is not a profession. What does being professional actually mean under the current conditions of de-skilling in art? We should probably be less concerned with being full-time, art-school-trained, professional artists, writers, or curators—less concerned with measuring our artistic worth in these ways. Since most of us are not expected to perfect any specific techniques or master any craft—unlike athletes or classical musicians, for example—and given that we are no longer tied to working in specific mediums, perhaps it’s fine to be a part-time artist? After all, what is the expertise of a contemporary artist? Perhaps a certain type of passionate hobbyism, a committed amateurism, is okay: after all, we still live in a reality largely shaped by talented amateurs of the nineteenth century, like Thomas Edison and so many others. I think it’s perfectly acceptable to work in some other capacity in the arts, or in an entirely different field, and also to make art: sometimes this situation actually produces much more significant work than the “professional art” we see at art fairs and biennials. Ilya Kabakov supported himself for decades by being a children’s book illustrator. Marcel Duchamp worked as a librarian and later sold Brancusi’s work to make a living, while refusing to be dependent on sales of his own work.”

Quote from https://www.e-flux.com/journal/43/60205/art-without-market-art-without-education-political-economy-of-art/

Anton Vidokle is an editor of e-flux journal.

© 2013 e-flux and the author

 

Kingston Artist’s Open Studios 2019 in June!

 

Kingston upon Thames in Surrey has a lovely hub of artists and each year we show our work, dotted around different venues in Kingston Upon Thames.

Open Studios in Kingston is a collaborative public exhibition whereby local artists and makers open their own homes or studios to the public and exhibit their work.

The Open Studio venues are organised into art trails in and around Kingston, featuring a wide range of 2D and 3D work – painting, drawing, printmaking, sculpture, ceramics, glass, photography, digital art, textiles, paper art and mixed media.

This is a perfect opportunity to meet local creators, see their work, talk to them about their techniques and inspirations and buy affordable art direct from the artist.

 

British Lyrical Abstract Paintings:  See http://www.jamartlondon.com/

2019 Open Studios in Kingston will be taking place on 8/9th and 15/16th June
from 11am to 5pm each day.

If you would like up to date information when it comes out, contact me via my website information form and I will send it to you asap! 

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

I plan to display a selection of recent work, both original paintings and prints. The price range of my original work is £80 to £600.  Most of my original fine art sells for around the £200/£300 mark, making it an affordable buy for any art collector.  I also offer a selection of prints for purchase for under £100.

 

There is a super video which was made last year which gives you an idea of what Kingston Artist’s Open Studios is all about!

 

Do come along!

 

“If funders truly believe in the humanistic value of the arts, they must not compel artists to merely adopt the practices of for-profit entrepreneurs. They must advocate for the value in what artists already do: bringing the artistic imagination more fully into everyday life and making creative expression a fundamental human right.They must resist the inexorable logic of the so-called free market, and advocate for the fundamental core value that there are things in this world that are not for profit – they are for something else, something more vast, meaningful and enduring, and that artists can lead the way.”

Quote from Andrew Horwitz

Had to pop that in here… So good.  So true!

The downside is we live in a culture which fundamentally devalues artists.  This is reflected in the fact that artists don’t get paid for exhibiting their work… rather they are used as a source of income generation, often through so called “opportunities” which involve hiring out space. There are exceptions to this, and what a jewel it is when they come up, but they are few and far between.  The majority of the general public are not aware that artists are the ones who pay to show their work, in the main. (Yeah, I am taking about the “Fine Art” strand of creation, so bear this in mind!) They are not aware that the majority of artists probably have an income from their art working of around £5,000 a year (my informed guess, based on conversation and snippets of research done over a few years)….A DACS survey in 2010 found it around £10,000, but I think one needs to bear in mind that this is only one pool of artists, and they are likely to be the ones who have had work published here and there… (like me! but I am rather the under a £1,000 year department! lol!) and this is across the range of visual art, not “fine art” alone.   Also bear in mind “Careers typically are sustained by a portfolio of other activities with 35% having a formal second job.”  And also need to add other sources of income, ie spouse, partner, etc.  So generally speaking, the majority of artists are supported in some way, but not by the the proceeds of their labours…  This is important to recognise.  But it is not convenient to recognise.

Yes, I am grateful I can do what I do… No taking for granted here, with me…I waited long enough to be able to do what I always dreamed of, but this doesn’t mean that I have money to invest in paying for the luxury of showing my work…and being an income source for others!  I’ts my choice to do what I do, and I am glad I have that choice, but it does not make my creative work less work because it doesn’t reap financial rewards sufficient to make it profitable, or a source of life sustaining income. 

This is not a rant, (well… OK, maybe it is!)  but it needs to said to increase awareness.  If the general public, who are able to and so inclined, wish to support artists and are more aware of how much that support is needed and valued, then this is all well and good.  Even if they don’t, I still think awareness is a good thing. The reason I think it is important is that artists are often treated as though they operate as businesses when in reality they just don’t. Often by businesses…not so incidentally!   Well, yes, there are some, of course, but some of us don’t want to be, don’t choose to be, or don’t want to change our direction/work by attempting to be… This art working matter is a different matter from income generation, and without the financial aspect, it is still a worth while, valuable, and a valid contribution to the world; the life sustaining dimension of art should not be underestimated… It may not be linked with finance in the way many other activities are but that does not make it any less purposeful. Or significant.

However, this doesn’t mean that we don’t need finance, and that we are not going to price our work in such a way that it helps fund our creative project, or that

Do you need exciting, engaging, images for a book cover design?

Do you need exciting, engaging, images for a book cover design? If so, then take a look at my website jamartlondon.com, for a start.

My artwork is particularly suitable for themes of: faith, religion, philosophy, Christian, church, all faith traditions, inter-faith, spirituality, the subconscious, psychoanalytic themes, mindfulness, contemplative practices, healing, health, both physical and mental, trauma recovery, metaphysical and psychological focused writings, the devotional life, and many other subjects.

Indeed, pretty much any subject matter or theme which benefits from a more abstract graphic image; one which also conveys basic feelings and ideas in an open and experimental manner; would benefit from it’s clarity of communication being enhanced by one of my art images.

From the lyrical abstraction of some of abstract expressionist style textured paintings, to the geometric abstraction clear edged imagery, which I also produce, the value of non representational imagery in book cover design which is both colourful and interesting, and stimulates the eye with colour and striking composition, cannot be under estimated.

If you are looking for something particular, do contact me, because I only display a small amount on the internet and may even be able to create something specific to your needs, or be able to locate something from my extensive archives which meets your need.

DACS administrate my licensing agreements and organise the use of my art work images quickly and conveniently. They are very helpful and can guide you through the process if you are unfamiliar with it. I normally follow their guidelines with respect to the fees for licensing, as these are set in line with the industry standard.

DACS do offer a good reduction in fees for registered charities. Occasionally it may be possible for slightly reduced rates to be negotiated in other circumstances.

To find out more about how you can arrange to use my imagery, see here:

https://www.dacs.org.uk/licensing-works/frequently-asked-questions#FAQ122

 

British Lyrical Abstract Paintings:  See http://www.jamartlondon.com/

A Poem of Panes

 

 

A Poem of Panes

It was only when they shattered
I felt the panes of glass between the window frame.
Those who knew me
could not see through my eyes.

I am aware of the surface, and of my own sinking.

I set my face forward,
but cannot progress.

They call my brother’s head injury “the invisible disability”.

The impact of one, booted, blow
also
unseen

in me.

Jenny Meehan 2014

The artwork I produce often relates to my psychological and emotional recovery journey, which is related to past trauma. In this instance, the full realisation of the impact of my brother’s traumatic brain injury on his personality and functioning, our relationship, and of its effect on my own mental capacity, made several years of my life exceptionally difficult. A major part of the difficulty was my inability to express what I was going through. Though able to function through the depression and anxiety (sometimes “just about”) , my awareness was that of being disabled internally, due to the shattering of my sense of self, and the isolation I felt. This is something I will never forget . Art can be a wonderful and powerful communicator of a person’s journey.

I’m working through my own traumas, and very grateful to be able to do so.  There is an image for the above poem, but it’s way back in the archives and I’m a bit pressed for time today, but I can dig it up in the future and I will post it.  It is the case that it is far easier for me to create visual art and write than it is to verbally speak about my own experiences.  I am sure this is very true for a large number of people.  While I can talk to a certain extent, it is far easier not to.  I do have an ongoing interest in trauma and recovery which just seems to continue  and certainly stretches far beyond my own experience.

I think it’s brilliant that mental health is more in the spotlight than it has been previously and there certainly is less stigma about it.  Here is an excellent read below.  I have just included a short extract here, but do follow the link to read the whole article.

 

For John Launer, GP educator and narrative medicine pioneer, medically unexplained symptoms are better understood as ‘medically unexplored stories’. Most GPs, especially those who work in deprived areas, bare witness every day to their patients’ accounts of trauma; including physical abuse and neglect; parents who were, because of alcoholism, drug abuse or mental illness unable to care for their own children in their earliest years; stories of material and emotional deprivation, abandonment and loss, domestic violence, crime and imprisonment and with shocking frequency, child abuse. Trauma begets trauma so that people rendered vulnerable by trauma in childhood are very frequently victims of violence and abuse in later life. Survivors of trauma use drugs and alcohol to cope with the aftermath, then find themselves involved with crime which leads to imprisonment and homelessness and further cycles of alienation and despair.

People whose work does not involved repeated encounters with survivors of trauma frequently either cannot believe, or refuse to believe how common it is. For years it’s been assumed that people invented stories of trauma to excuse bad behaviour. The medical profession bears a lot of responsibility for this, largely ignoring the psychological consequences of rape until the last 30 years.”

We need to talk about trauma

Long Stream of Paintings

 

And here lies a long stream of paintings… Or should I say, pieces of paintings, fragments of paintings, parts of paintings?

I take a lot of photographs as I work.  It is a good way of considering the material qualities of the paintings.  Something about isolating a section in a frame makes the eye think about it differently.  It may become the beginning of something new, but if it does not, this is of no consequence.  The process of taking images isn’t in order to achieve anything other than looking again and seeing again, and maybe being introduced to the composition within the composition, which I didn’t know was there!  It enables me to meditate further on the paint.  This may sound unusual for someone who is not a painter, but for a painter, meditating on the paint is very helpful indeed!

 

British Lyrical Abstract Paintings:  See http://www.jamartlondon.com/

 

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

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

 

Breaking my paintings into fragments by taking the images… It is a way of looking closely at them… but also interesting that I create in such a piecemeal way these paintings, pulling the work together into a whole, and then insist on breaking them up again afterwards, in one kind of way, at least!

 

British Lyrical Abstract Paintings:  See http://www.jamartlondon.com/

Into the Studio Tent for 2019!

 

jenny meehan jamartlondon abstract expressionist lyrical textural colorist paintings

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

 

Yes!  As the weather warms and I begin to tidy up the mess, so the studio tent becomes a place of artistic production!

Feeling GREAT!

 

Another good read…

One of my keen interests … I guess that’s what comes of having an exceptionally high ACE score myself! Lol!  This is a great read, and very heartening!  I have come a long way myself, but it’s a rough road to travel on, and exceptionally challenging at times!  All worth while work though.

 

https://www.psychologytoday.com/gb/blog/the-last-best-cure/201508/8-ways-people-recover-post-childhood-adversity-syndrome

 

Jenny Meehan Contemporary British Female Artist

 

(Just in case you were not sure about that!!!! )

My original artwork has two main strands: Lyrical Abstraction, painterly, fluid, with a lot of focus on light, how it bounces off the surface, textures and finishes, and Geometric Abstraction (created through digital imaging software) in which I focus on flat areas of smooth, solid, and translucent colour; ideally intended to be printed on even, matt or semi-mat surfaces.

While I’m experimenting with the overlap between the two, and make it my practice to regularly try out new mediums, in order to keep my artwork fresh and steadily evolving, identifying the strands in this way is helpful for clarity.  I use writing and poetry in my art working and now prefer to use sol-silica paint over acrylics or oils, though I am still known to dabble in many different types of paint, due to their particular material and visual qualities!

If you would like to give money to help support my creative practice, I can accept it quickly and easily through the Paypal.me process. Simply put the following in your browser:
paypal.me/jennymeehan
and follow the prompts. Please consider supporting my work in this way if it strikes a chord with you and you are able to do so. I do need support in order to continue my art working.

http://www.jamartlondon.com/contact/4569980742 direct link to contact page of website

Signing up as a follower on my WordPress blog ( https://jennymeehan.wordpress.com) also helps, as does sharing the posts when you receive them.  Anything you can do to help me is much appreciated!

My artwork is particularly suitable for themes of: faith, religion, philosophy, Christian, church, all faith traditions, inter-faith, spirituality, the subconscious, psychoanalytic themes, mindfulness, contemplative practices, healing, health, both physical and mental, trauma recovery, metaphysical and psychological focused writings, the devotional life, and many other subjects.

All my images are licensable and this is arranged through the Designer and Artists’ Copyright Socitety (DACS). If you wish to use my artwork, please contact me in the first instance.

http://www.jamartlondon.com/contact/4569980742 direct link to contact page of website

Alongside my mainly lyrical abstract paintings, there is another important strand in my work which includes more of a narrative.  Well, some kind of narrative. Through my writing, and my participation in ongoing psychotherapy, I draw on my subconscious.  It’s this process of self reflection, examination, and other contemplative practices which are rooted in my own faith tradition as a Christian, alongside a good dose of yoga and West African drumming, which have created an exciting way ahead for my work with visual art.  I think it’s the relationship between my writing and visual work, particularly through poetry, which helps determine the direction in my art practice.

I’m a member of Kingston Artists’ Open Studios: http://www.kingstonartistsopenstudios.co.uk/product-category/artists-m-to-z/

 

This is not the right time of year for writing blogs…

The sun is so hot, and so good at drying paint! (More on that later!)

I have a lot of work in progress… As always!

There are masses of flies in the studio tent, but thankfully they do leave when I come in and work in there.

Not much sign of snails in there even, except in a few damp crevices!

And I have now realised that I do get sun burnt even when inside the tent… translucent tarpaulin is not great at keeping UV rays off the skin!

(Update..And now in August…The rain has come! Much easier to work now!)

 

I am going to keep this months journal entry short, but have to say…

Congratulations NHS!  On your 70th year!  When posting this journal, finally….It’s a long way back.

Thursday 5 July 2018…

And without the NHS I wouldn’t be able to walk or stand as I need to…

It’s freed me to paint and work, and I am grateful every day I wake up with a working knee!

I can carry things, move work around, paint big paintings, and have big dreams.  Before my knee replacement my whole life was starting to run into a funnel, with a very narrow spout!

I’m not going to post lots of images of paintings in progress… I really have far too many and it would become quite pointless.

Because I work in such a piecemeal way, I have to work more on relinquishing the work when it is in progress, rather than tracking it.

I find this more helpful to my self.

It’s an odd way of working.  But I think its about picking up pieces.  And I have so many pieces.  Picked up and put down.  Not normally advised as a good way to work.  For for the abstract painting process it works very well for me.  This also applies to my many notebooks, reading and research.  It’s a constant process of losing and finding things. And unexpected relationships occurring.  With a lot of contemplation in between.

I have toyed with the idea of revealing what I am up to with my work, as it happens, but I need the energy brewing inside with the pressure which comes when something hasn’t been released into the world.  It feels like the minute something is published, it’s partly let go, somehow.  I don’t mind putting the occasional piece of work on here from time to time, but that’s enough.   It feels much better to publish images which I know have stood the test of time.  They have proven themselves able to stand on their own two feet.  Paintings with feet. Now, that’s a thought…

 

 

VOC’s  and painting large abstract paintings in the VERY hot sun

I am very much loving the sol-silicate paint I use from Keim Paints.

It’s AMAZING… and as I am working outside in the very hot sun, it is also very healthy!

I do wear gloves if I know I am going to be handling a lot of paint, because it is very alkaline.

It’s drying quick…I use Soldalit.

Very fine brushes are best, I find, but rollers can be useful.

The light bounces off the matt surface beautifully.

It’s a JOY!

keim soldalit sol silicate paint hand mixing up colours for use in fine art abstract paintings by jenny meehan

keim soldalit sol silicate paint hand mixing up colours for use in fine art abstract paintings by jenny meehan

It takes hours to make many pots of paint ready for a painting session.  Well worth it though!  I love this paint. It’s heaven!

I first started using Keim mineral paints a few years back.

I do use acrylic paints too, but I wouldn’t use large amounts in the sun anymore.

I did do this a couple of years back…

I could smell the fumes coming off the surface of the paint in the hot weather, and thought to myself, “NO, no NO!”  This isn’t good for me.

As I have to paint large scale out of doors, and very hot days ARE quite handy when drying paint matters, having paint to use where I don’t need to worry about what I am inhaling is just GREAT!

I don’t paint if the temperature is more than 30ºC, as per instructions… and find painting in the morning and evening essential at the moment because it is so very hot.

“Important Note – Materials must not be
applied at temperatures below 5ºC nor those
in excess of 30ºC, nor if it is raining, or if there
is an immediate likelihood of rain”

There certainly are no worries about an “immediate likelihood of rain” at the moment.  (PS  written before the rain came!  In the end, there were a good few days above 30% too!)

I do remember having to be very careful when painting my exterior mural all those years back, and needed to hang bubble wrap over the entire surface to protect it from rain!

I am painting on grey board…it is absorbent, and I thought I would need to use some fixative for the first layer, but I forgot to get some.  It is indicated, but as the area is so small (compared to what it would be if painting a large wall) I am managing without it.  I wish I had got some in order to make the paint layers a bit thinner, but with a fine brush and quick spreading I am getting away without it.

The grey board varies in thickness.  It is a little bit flexible, so not quite the rigid surface required but I don’t mind experimenting…It will most likely crack if bent, but I am not planning on bending it.  And I am currently experimenting on some flexible surfaces with the intention of cracking the paint layer.  So in some pieces I play things safer, using what I know of the materials I work with in order to produce a more predictable result.  And in other pieces I am jumping out, breaking the rules of the usual application of the Keim mineral paint, and enjoying the fact that, as I am not using the materials with the requirements of a building application to be met.

I spent a great deal of time mixing up the colours with the selection of Keim mineral paints I have available.  And now I need to move forwards at quite a rapid pace, because they won’t last forever…Their shelf life is stated as being 12 months.  I have found this varies a lot (and for my purposes, can be several more years, as long as stored carefully)  but once I have mixed up the colours, I guess maybe because of air and some evaporation, I need to commit to some steady application!

I love these paints so much…

Yes, all types of paint have their qualities, but it’s so nice to use paint which is healthy and environmentally sound.  VISUALLY it is pure as pure can be.  None of the plastic quality of acrylic paint.

Yes, acrylics can do many things well…I have not thrown mine out.  But I won’t be using mine in the hot sun again for certain.

But working with the Keim Mineral Paints is fantastic.

When I come to wash out the brushes or whatever, I tip the painty water on the garden.  Don’t need to put anything into the water system.  I am not sure if this is good for the garden but the plants seem happy enough… No complaints as yet!

If there are thicker paint layers in containers, it’s just a matter of letting it set and chipping it out.  That goes on the garden too.

I am also experimenting with the Keim Mineral paint in many other ways, which will no doubt seep out as time progresses!

keim soldalit sol silicate paint initial layer of painting fine art abstract paintings by jenny meehan silicate mineral paint third generation keim

keim soldalit sol silicate paint initial layer of painting fine art abstract paintings by jenny meehan

Above an example of the early stages of one of my paintings.  I am seriously into circles and squares at the moment.  Rests and motion, drums, drum beats, sound, filling space, boundaries, edges, meetings, ….That’s the poem.

 

 

Volatile organic compounds and why it’s worth being aware of them

For those not familiar with the term VOC, paints used in the home contain ­potentially harmful chemicals such as ­solvents and volatile organic compounds (VOCs),  and when paint dries, these chemicals evaporate into the air where the hapless artist or decorator  inhales their toxic fumes. This is true for both water based (acrylic emulsions) and solvent or oil based paints.  Inhaling paint fumes can exacerbate asthma and ­sinusitis, and because the solvents are absorbed into the lungs, then the blood stream, they can lead to headaches and dizziness.

I have experienced this myself when working with oil paints indoors on a hot day.  I keep my use of oil paints for cooler days, in a well ventilated area, and not on a very large format, where possible. Though I do confess to liking the smell of turps, I also realise that the fresher the air the healthier is my breathing!  It’s worth being aware that when VOCs are inhaled, they can cause eye, nose and throat ­irritation. In large quantities, ­animal ­studies have linked these chemicals to birth defects, cancers and damage to the central nervous system.

Oh er…

So best to breath fresh air!

According to the World Health Organisation, professional painters are most at risk, for they have a 20 per cent increased risk of a range of ­cancers, particularly lung cancer.

That’s a big percentage increase.

So anyone using larger amounts of paint, regularly, on bigger surface areas, needs to consider VOCs and the effect on their health.

There is even a  ­neurological condition brought on by long-term exposure to paint solvents — ‘painter’s dementia’, which I guess isn’t that surprising.  The World Health Organisation has also concerns about the long-term health effects of ‘off ­gassing’.  Off gassing is  the release of vapours over the life of the paint. (ie when it is on your walls).

If you do use a large quantities of paint as an artist, then it’s worth using it as safely as possible.  AND disposing of your paint responsibly.

Keim Mineral paints have given me the freedom I need as an artist to experiment with paint in large quantities, but free from any concerns of impacting the environment, or myself or other people, in a negative way.

If you are using large amounts of oil or acrylic paint, on a regular basis,  then consider using a respirator mask if you want to be keeping your air as fresh as you can, and work in a well ventilated area, taking regular breaks.

Healthy is important.

Now I can walk well with my new knee, I am pleased to say that I incorporated walking into my efforts for a healthy lifestyle.

Still eating a bit too much sugar!

 

Looking backwards in order to move forwards

 

internal landscape jenny meehan representational original fine painting landscape jenny meehan expressionist

the river within jenny meehan ©jenny meehan

I spend a fair amount of time looking backwards at previous art work. I find it essential.  As well as looking forwards, into all the ideas I have.  But the ideas of the future have no roots, and the past is well rooted.  So I need both to work for me well.  Constantly I find myself filled with ideas which could happen in the future.  But I also find myself finding some ground to stand on in work I have done in the past.  I normally don’t realise where I am going at all with my painting unless I regularly look back, and then I see, like an old friend, a painting waving at me and saying… “See…  this mattered to you then and now it matters to you again!”

So when I found this one, (above)  “The River Within” (quite early…around 2010, I think) I realised another strand…

KAOS open studios jenny meehan paintings

KAOS open studios jenny meehan paintings

This river business, with arc, is quite clearly something which is going to stay with me.  It’s popping up all over the place.  For myself, the significance of water is life. This feeds into my faith and belief as a Christian and follower of Christ, and should most accurately be read as an expression of that in most of my work.  If someone wants to “read” the “meaning” of my painting in that way.  Hopefully little things I write and say don’t detract from the poetry of the work which is my deepest motivation in creating it.  Water as spiritual life, flowing from the Creator of all, and manifest through the sacramental incarnation of Christ in the world.  Quite a mouthful!

However, for those of you from different faith and spiritual traditions or none, I also, as I play with various concepts in my thinking and enjoy researching many dimensions of things I encounter in life, explore many other angles on the symbolic elements I experiment in my work and all of them add something very great to the whole process, and open many interesting avenues, all resonating in a meaningful way. All faith traditions have many areas of overlap and unity, and it’s vital to appreciate these, share them, and respect differences, accepting the other/s, in the way we would wish to be accepted ourselves.  Love is the most important thing in life.  Love God and love others as yourself.  And communicating viewpoints with respect and peace.

Other Christian people may enjoy the way my faith is centred and rooted, and resonates with their own faith experience, and maybe recognise some themes in my painting practice  which stem from my belief system.  But I don’t tend to describe myself as a “Christian Artist”.  This is mainly because I am not attempting to convey a scriptural narrative or assert my work as specifically Christian, ie for Christians or for a Christian context.  Who I am as a person is intimately connected with my work, but the complexity of a human individual goes far beyond their religious tradition and identity within that.  All kinds of things have shaped my life. And while how my faith religious beliefs shape it is of interest to many, there are many other people who don’t find this dimension of my work of any interest to them.  I paint for myself and, for all who are interested in my work, for whatever reason.  For the purposes of search engines, then it’s common sense to use keywords which include Christian, because many Christians do seek out artwork created by others who share the same faith.  But it is my hope that this doesn’t ever prove a barrier to accessing or appreciating what I do. I am sure many other artists from different faith traditions and belief systems feel the same way.  Art is always there with the aim of opening eyes to new ways of seeing and experiencing the world.  New perspectives tend to enrich life, widening and extending the borders of what we had previously embraced.

Ooops, meandering and slightly digressing again!  Water, and many other concepts and ideas around it, have a long term thread through my visual art practice.  My contemplative practice and the research I do all feed into my painting and help steer the direction of it.

 

How to pray when we don’t want to pray

I found this very useful…See below, the writing in italics. This was published in Formed by the Spirit, The Newsletter of the Southwark
Diocesan Spiritual Formation Group; Opportunities, events, resources and articles on prayer and spirituality Issue 27: February 2016. It is written by Chris Chapman.

How to pray when we don’t want to pray
There are times when we don’t want to pray. We find that we are too busy to stop – but somewhere recognise that our activity is a way of avoiding the pain of silence where we might meet our own raw emotions or unresolved history.
Underneath all, we might not be sure we can trust this God with what matters to us most. We don’t want an answer that isn’t our answer
Or perhaps we are fed up with sitting there in the place of prayer and not getting anywhere. For all our efforts we remain distracted and restless, so far from the place of peace and understanding we desire.

How to begin to pray when we don’t want to pray? Here are some suggestions:

1] Begin from where you are and how you are: So, perhaps your prayer starts ‘I am sitting here unwillingly’ or…’I am not able to trust you’ or …’I am angry with you’…or ’I wonder whether you really care about me’…or ’I am afraid of what you want from me’.

2] Acknowledge that part of you that doesn’t want to pray…look without judgement at this side of your being. Now seek out that part of you that does feel drawn to pray: a sense of invitation that arises somewhere from within, an impulse that comes not as an ‘ought’ but as a longing that perhaps you are not used to listening to. Listen to that desire now.

3] When are you most relaxed: walking, cooking, gardening, knitting, or losing yourself in a book? Imagine yourself sharing this time with God. You are not so much looking at each other face to face as being side by side, comfortably sharing the experience. Perhaps some words flow one way or another, but being alongside might be enough of a beginning.

4] Let go of trying too hard. So, rather than summoning up your concentration, fighting distractions that come, or trying to squeeze wisdom from bible verse that mean little to you…relax. Prayer does begin with intention, and with choosing to place ourselves in a listening, attentive place, but the rest belongs to God. Leave what comes or does not come from your time of prayer with God. Everything is gift.

5] Use you body to help you to pray. Hold you hands closed to make fists. What is held inside there…feelings, experiences, repetitive worries or thoughts? Now open your hands and turn them palm upwards. All those things are still with you but now there is air around them…now you are open to God who cares about you and about what you carry. Keeping your palms open, turn them so they face down. Now you allow what you carry inside to fall away.

6] Be present: When we step into the present moment we also step into the ‘always’ of God. Look up from your work desk and watch the moving clouds. Open your window in the early morning and listen to birdsong. As the sun gathers strength enjoy its warmth on your back. Give thanks for what you receive in that moment.”

All very helpful!

 

 

In the garden

I am spending a lot of time in the garden right now.  It is the largest area I have for painting in and so when the weather is good painting weather it is a priority for me to be there.

I enjoy gardening too.

Here are a couple of poems I wrote inspired by the beauty of creation.

January

to merge – climb – burst forth
written forms vibrate each shoot
trees majestic stand

(Jenny Meehan copyright 2009)

Blossom and Bamboo

curved tips arching low
in stillness dips light-flecked wish
white blossom pleads pink

(Jenny Meehan copyright 2009)

 

Blossom, Bamboo, and Branches all feature in my visual art quite regularly.  Here are a few examples:

 

oriental blossom, image flower abstract, orange graphic blossom, japanese style flower image, jenny meehan jamartlondon, abstract flower

oriental blossom by Jenny Meehan © Jenny Meehan.

 

and a more recent monotype.  I used cut paper, ink and rollers to create the art work below:

bamboo blowing monotype jenny meehan, blue yellow white abstract bamboo, bamboo print art buy,bamboo graphic print meehan,

bamboo blowing monotype jenny meehan

© Jenny Meehan.

 

bamboo wind figure, figure drawing bamboo, jenny meehan art, crouched human figure in wind,

jenny meehan drawing painting uk ©jenny meehan

“Crouched and Facing Bamboo in Light and Shadow”  is an experiment with the shadow of the bamboo in my garden and a drawing of a crouched figure.  It’s still in progress as I am not 100% happy with it, but it has potential.  It’s expressive of struggle, pain, pressing forwards.

Bamboo is VERY useful!

I have a lot in my garden.   It makes very good paint mixing sticks.  It makes useful paintbrush holders.  And it is great for hanging things on.  I love looking at it blowing in the wind.  It’s so strong, and yet bends.  It is spreading year by year.  So I think I need to think up some other uses for it.  I did make some bamboo pens, which worked quite well.

I have a tree in the garden with blossom.  The blossom is beautiful, but delicate, and it does not last very long.  It’s fragile and white. The wind takes it and scatters it like snow. It looks just like snow when its falling.

The London Plane Tree at the front of the house is another source of interest and inspiration .  I’ve moved computers recently and cannot locate the full image digital file, but the purple picture on the top right is “Notation” which is based on an image of the London Plane Tree.  And the blue image on the left is the base image I think.  I took many, so not sure exactly but it looks like it.    I do have extensive archives on hard drives and could locate the image quite quickly but I am so behind on so much I cannot be bothered to do this right now.

Take a look on redbubble.com at the fabric design I created from one of my images of the London Plane outside my house:

https://www.redbubble.com/people/jennyjimjams/works/14956416-london-plane-lacewood-tree-pattern-design-by-jenny-meehan?c=389187-jenny-meehan-surface-pattern-and-clothing-designs

And the Fatsia in the front garden…

https://www.redbubble.com/people/jennyjimjams/works/14960095-fatsia-japonica-abstract-design-by-jenny-meehan?p=art-print&size=x_large

 

I also have many photographs of blossom, which I focused on one Spring;

jenny meehan jamartlondon.com photography,great white cherry blossom, black and white image tree blossom, blossom flowers close up,great white cherry photograph image,

jenny meehan jamartlondon.com photography ©jenny meehan

 

jenny meehan jamartlondon.com photography,great white cherry blossom, black and white image tree blossom, blossom flowers close up,great white cherry photograph image,

jenny meehan jamartlondon.com photography ©jenny meehan

 

jenny meehan jamartlondon.com photography, great white cherry blossom, black and white image tree blossom, blossom flowers close up,great white cherry photograph image,

jenny meehan jamartlondon.com photography ©jenny meehan

 

I tend to use ice, glass, frost, snowflakes as metaphors for trauma, and the way that blossom, though soft and beautiful,  looks like snow when it is falling, fascinates me.  Falling snow melts, and snowflakes are beautiful, things can viewed as  one thing soft, and alive, or conversely hard, sharp, painful.  Falling implies surrender, even death.  Healing from trauma when it happens is trans formative.  It changes the way things are seen and experienced.

 

Just a few here shown.  But blossom and bamboo continue to inspire me!

Some information from Wikipedia;

“In Japan, cherry blossoms symbolize clouds due to their nature of blooming en masse, besides being an enduring metaphor for the ephemeral nature of life, an aspect of Japanese cultural tradition that is often associated with Buddhist influence, and which is embodied in the concept of  mono no aware.  The association of the cherry blossom with mono no aware dates back to 18th-century scholar Motoori Norinaga.[11] The transience of the blossoms, the extreme beauty and quick death, has often been associated with mortality;  for this reason, cherry blossoms are richly symbolic, and have been utilized often in Japanese art, manga, anime, and film, as well as at musical performances for ambient effect”

and

“Mono no aware (もののあはれ?), literally “the pathos of things”, and also translated as “an empathy toward things”, or “a sensitivity to ephemera”, is a Japanese term for the awareness of impermanence (無常 mujō?), or transience of things, and both a transient gentle sadness (or wistfulness) at their passing as well as a longer, deeper gentle sadness about this state being the reality of life.”

Mono no aware…  How beautiful…

Redbubble.com

I really need to put some more of my artwork on Redbubble, but never seem to get around to it.

I get a small royalty when someone buys merchandise on the site with my design on it.

 

http://www.redbubble.com/people/jennyjimjams/works/16697304-new-era-geometric-abstract-rainbow-colours-design-by-jenny-meehan

chakra colours, yoga design, multicoloured, yoga products, geometric abstract design products to buy, new era rainbow coloured abstract design by jenny meehan

new era rainbow coloured abstract design by jenny meehan ©jenny meehan

Please note, all my images are copyrighted and should not be used without permission under any circumstances.

If you wish to obtain a license to use a work of art by Jenny Meehan, please contact Jenny Meehan in the first instance to clarify your requirements.

This is quick and easy for both parties and is organised either directly with the artist or through a collective management organisation; DACS, depending on nature of use.

 

Good Quote:

“Shortcomings, both real and imagined, when deeply seen and accepted, are an important part of the transformative process of learning to let go. If we do not let go of the need to be perfect, our need to be perfect will get in our way. Likewise, if we do not let go of our fear of failing, our fear of failing will get in the way. But as we learn to let go of the need to be perfect and the fear of failure, the intimate, earthy stuff of being a vulnerable, loving human being begins to shine through. In an ongoing process of learning to let go we bear witness to the great truth that the master limps. The mastery of life is intermingled with the ongoing weaknesses and limitions that gives life its rich and many layered texture and meaning.”
Copyright © 2013 Dr. James Finleyhttp://contemplativeway.org/newsletter/contemplativeliving.cfm

 

Langstone Harbour – The Tide Comes In

This painting is one from the past, but still available to buy if anyone would like it.  It is a rarity in my work, as it was painted outside, as you can see from this image.

sea scape painting langstone harbour painting by jenny meehan

langstone harbour painting by jenny meehan

Langstone Harbour lies between Portsmouth Harbour to the west, and Chichester Harbour to the east. It is a tranquil and beautiful place, the heart of a dynamic urban area, and a vital part of an extensive biological system.

The harbour is home for charter fishing boats and commercial fishermen, and hosts two commercial aggregate wharves. Many recreational activities including yachting, canoeing and windsurfing are also well established in its sheltered waters.

Langstone Harbour is recognised internationally for its importance for nature conservation, and is a haven for aquatic wildlife and a myriad of bird species.

The Langstone Harbour Board works to ensure the harbour remains a safe place for work and leisure, as well as an area rich in plant and animal life.   Quoted from the http://www.langstoneharbour.org.uk/

I love water and water appears time after time in my work. As said before!   This painting was a very immersive experience, and as the tide came in, my feet did get wet!  The canvas blew off a couple of times too!  It started off with a very blue sky and then the weather changed for the worse, but I kept some blue in there!

 

Jenny Meehan, of the mud flats at Langstone Harbour 2009

 

Well, better late than never, this post, originally for July, will have to suffice for August as well!

 

I sell my paintings when no longer needed for study and exhibition purposes.  At between £200 and £500 only, they are very good value indeed.  For a high quality original abstract painting, you may need to look quite a long way for something in this price bracket.  I sell my original paintings to enable me to continue to invest my time and effort into the painting endeavour.  Developing my work, materials, research and study all involve time and money.  It’s a matter of passion in the end.  Any support is welcome and appreciated.  Please contact me via my contact page on my website jamartlondon.com if my painting practice interests you and you are looking for high quality contemporary abstract painting by British female artists.   I also have extensive archives of my paintings and photography which can be licensed quickly and easily through DACS.

 

 

Victoria Miro Trip – Surface Work Exhibition

 

A quick shimmy around some of the paintings on show!

 

victoria miro surface works visit 2018 jenny meehan british contemporary lyrical abstraction abstract expressionist romantic painter artist non representational british female painter artist london

victoria miro surface works visit 2018

 

victoria miro surface works visit 2018 jenny meehan british contemporary lyrical abstraction abstract expressionist romantic painter artist non representational british female painter artist london

victoria miro surface works visit 2018

 

victoria miro surface works visit 2018 jenny meehan british contemporary lyrical abstraction abstract expressionist romantic painter artist non representational british female painter artist london

victoria miro surface works visit 2018

 

victoria miro surface works visit 2018 jenny meehan british contemporary lyrical abstraction abstract expressionist romantic painter artist non representational british female painter artist london

victoria miro surface works visit 2018

 

 

victoria miro surface works visit 2018 jenny meehan british contemporary lyrical abstraction abstract expressionist romantic painter artist non representational british female painter artist london

victoria miro surface works visit 2018

 

A bit of self indulgent selfies and digital alterations!

victoria miro surface works visit 2018 jenny meehan british contemporary lyrical abstraction abstract expressionist romantic painter artist non representational british female painter artist london

victoria miro surface works visit 2018

 

victoria miro surface works visit 2018 jenny meehan british contemporary lyrical abstraction abstract expressionist romantic painter artist non representational british female painter artist london

victoria miro surface works visit 2018

victoria miro surface works visit 2018 jenny meehan british contemporary lyrical abstraction abstract expressionist romantic painter artist non representational british female painter artist london

victoria miro surface works visit 2018

 

victoria miro surface works visit 2018 jenny meehan british contemporary lyrical abstraction abstract expressionist romantic painter artist non representational british female painter artist london

victoria miro surface works visit 2018

victoria miro surface works visit 2018 jenny meehan british contemporary lyrical abstraction abstract expressionist romantic painter artist non representational british female painter artist london

victoria miro surface works visit 2018

 

https://www.victoria-miro.com/exhibitions/521/

 

You see, I may not be hanging in a gallery like Victoria Miro’s, but I can still hang around in one, and be inspired.  Many muses sit on the shoulders of those who carry a paint brush (or any other paint applicator!)

It was great just to be there…Great encouragement among some of the remains of work done by other women.  The older I get the more wildly I feel I love painting and the more it matters.  Yet I was also thinking very much, and reflecting on the words:

Business! Mankind was my business; charity, mercy, forbearance, and benevolence, were, all, my business. The deals of my trade were but a drop of water in the comprehensive ocean of my business!” is a quotation from A Christmas Carol, by Charles Dickens

 

Business! Mankind was my business; charity, mercy, forbearance, and benevolence,

were, all, my business. The deals of my trade were but a drop of water in the

comprehensive ocean of my business!

 

Reflections on Artists and what their “Business” is!

 

With all the ambitions in the world, all the hopes of being remembered, and of having one’s painting remaining, after you die, (and hopefully in more than a charity shop), in all of the random thoughts about the significance of the work you do, and whether it would ever have a high value placed on it in the realm of financial exchanges or not…Many of us artists entertain such fancies, even though we might not admit to them.  It seems that in this current time, artists are treated as entrepreneurs, who operate primarily in order to make money.  Yet the vast majority of us, in my opinion, do what we do in order that we might continue to be able to do it.  This is a non-profit making endeavour. The motivation is not financial. It is much, much greater than that. It’s about humanity, culture, depth of experience, connection with others and with oneself. It is creating a vessel for inner life.  The inner life of us as individuals, yes, this is an essential part, and even doing this can be quite a challenge,  but this also applies to a much larger expanse… Our relationships with the world around us and the inner life of not just our own body but humanity in it’s most inter-relational dimension and expressions. Art is essential, not a side line matter, or something to hold status just because of monetary value, or not.   Any trade is always going to be a drop of water in the comprehensive ocean of my business.  And I am very glad I have sorted this out in my own head!

Thoughts of success in the business sense of the word are most probably an illusion. For me, personally, I think this is the case, and I have happily dispensed with the ambition, (for it has popped its head in the door on a few occasions).  It’s taken time to sort out WHY I do what I do, and WHY it matters.  Art making is NOT business for me and it won’t hold that place in my life either. It’s been perfectly acceptable for artists in the past to have day jobs and also be an artist, and there hasn’t been any shame in that.  For me, my “day job” is a mother and homemaker, and undervalued in our society as this job is (not even claiming the merit of being a “job” because it is not paid work), it’s an important and worthwhile occupation.  I have to confess to being grateful that as my offspring get older, I have more and more time released for my artistic endeavours!  There is always a (mostly) healthy tension between the two.  Both affect each other and it’s an interesting relationship.  Less frustrating now than it used to be when the children were younger.

For some artists, for their art working to be a business, may be what they want and aim for…It may matter a great deal, and/or it may need to matter. It may just happen; a fortunate combination of the right factors and knowing the right people, having the funds to get where they want to go, or other advantages which pave the way forward.  Or it may be a huge struggle of the most difficult and challenging type with very little advantage or fortune, yet they manage to do it anyway.  Or a bit of both, from time to time. This is all very admirable, and I think it’s great.  It’s not my path though, and I will always be content as long as I am able to work with materials in the way that I do.  For me it is ALL about working with materials, enjoying writing, and loving relationships. That is loving…and relationships, and loving relationships!

I think that even if an artist’s work does enter the business arena, this  does NOT actually make it more valuable in any but material currency.  The value of your work is the value of your work.  It is part of your life story, and it’s significance lies mainly in that.  It is the expression of your very self and that is why it matters immensely.  I read recently somewhere…I cannot remember where it was… that art is “a vessel for the interior life” and I just love this. Love it to bits.  Involvement and commitment to the arts is a humanistic endeavour; it’s about relationships and interactions with other people and our environment.  Ideas, thoughts, new perspectives, spirituality, insights, human development.  Emotional, spiritual and mental engagement, reflection, and creative regeneration.  Now, more than ever, the interior life is in danger of being depressed.  The time to dwell, reflect, and just be… The time of gazing, experiencing, allowing space and light to exist with no other reason to need to be than that they are.  I guess that is my painting popping into my head now.

Artists bring the artistic imagination into everyday life.

Creative expression is a fundamental human right.

Let’s not forget that.

 

We all, naturally, are pleased when people appreciate our work as artists and show they value what we do. We are especially pleased when collectors decide to buy our work and pay money for it, because money is very useful indeed and can open lots of creative doors in terms of enabling us to try out new ideas, develop professionally, and increase our skills.   Unfortunately, this cannot be counted upon.  It isn’t sufficient to keep us to the task we are engaged with.  A lot of strength and determination need to come from within.  If thoughts of public appreciation and recognition are realistic or not, (and it’s always nice when work is appreciated) ultimately, it doesn’t really matter one bit, because indeed, it’s just “a drop of water” anyway, this money matter.  The business of life, in truth,  is much greater.  I find it helpful to remind myself regularly of this though, because I get so caught up in what I am doing it’s easy to loose all perspective!  Such is the problem of any passion, I suppose. This is most probably why I am taking the time to write what I am now.  I write to myself, as much as to anyone else!

So I am content with my selfies in this gallery, with esteemed work behind me, even though not my own!  Great inspirational visit, much appreciated.

Kingston Artists’ Open Studio!

http://www.kingstonartistsopenstudios.co.uk/

Kingston Artists’ Open Studios (OS18) will be taking place on 9/10th and 16/17th June 2018 from 11am to 5pm each day. I will be enjoying the kind hospitality of one of my KAOS artist companions just a short walk from Kingston Town centre, not far from the Kingston Gate of Richmond Park.  I will be part of the KAOS 9 studios which is based at 14 Liverpool Rd KT2 7SZ   Parking available (metered Sat)

It would make a lovely day out to follow a few of the trails in and out of artist’s homes and studio spaces, so do come along!

For more details, please contact me via the contact page on jamartlondon.com. I will put you on my mailing list and send further information as soon as available!

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

Hope to see you! Jenny Meehan

I need and appreciate greatly your support!  I don’t take part in any other event, so the Annual Kingston Artist’s Open Studios in Kingston Upon Thames Surrey is the only time I get out there and invest time in this type of activity.  Most of my collectors come across me in other ways.  But it’s a good way to meet me and other very talented creatives!

Basically I work on a non-profit making basis, as any money I get from my creative activities gets fed straight back into my creative project.    Materials, professional development, research activities and writing, plus all the associated tasks which are part of my practice all take time and money. I am fortunate that I can work in the way I do, and I never take it for granted.

Like many artists, I don’t have  profit making aspirations, for me it is simply a matter of wanting to continue to be able to do what I do in life. To be true to myself. And share what I have with others, if it helps and enhances their life in any way possible. I sell my paintings when I have spent sufficient time learning from them and when they have been exhibited.

I sell my original paintings for between £200 and £400, which is amazingly affordable.  I do this deliberately because I would rather my paintings be affordable and bring pleasure to others in an accessible way.  If something strikes a chord with you about my work, then follow your instinct and buy one if you can. If your are not able to, then thanks to the wonders of the internet, I am glad you can at least see them that way.

There is such a wide variety of artists and their work.  All so different and wonderfully unique.

So come along and support your local creative community.  Kingston Artists’ Open Studios is a voluntary organisation which supports creativity!

 

© Jenny Meehan DACS All Rights Reserved lyrical abstract expressionist colourful textural art painting spirituality christian religious faith licensable image book covers etc see jamartlondon.com

joy pain painting by jenny meehan © Jenny Meehan DACS All Rights Reserved lyrical abstract expressionist colourful textural art painting spirituality christian religious faith licensable image book covers etc see jamartlondon.com

Joy/Pain Painting by Jenny Meehan .  One of the works which will be displayed as part of this years super Surrey arts event: “Kingston Artists’ Open Studios”. VERY busy at the moment getting work ready for this.

 

“My Muybridge” Exhibition at Kingston Museum

 

At the same time as the Kingston Artists’ Open Studios is the “My Muybridge” Exhibition, flyer below.

My piece is rather dark and delves into the subconscious mind of Eadweard Muybridge as I imagine it might have been.  Work is a funny thing.  We can do fantastic and amazing things, but in the end it is our being which makes the most significant mark of our existence.  What we do matters, of course, but nothing can take the place of happiness, contentment, relationships, love.  It’s very important for artists to remember this, because we get so caught up in our work.  This is lovely, and yet our work is only one little aspect of us in the end.  I guess I felt I wanted to go beyond his work, as this has had its impact, and it’s out there, well known, appreciated, clearly seen. And it will always be seen and noted.  But I tend to be interested in the things which are not so obvious, and while  speculative, and imaginative, it gave me a lot of pleasure to make this painted collage.  I did this after doing a great deal of research on reports and perspectives, both factual and imaginative,  on Eadweard_Muybridges personal life, as much as we know.

If you are not familiar with Eadweard Muybridge you can do your own little bit of research here…

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eadweard_Muybridge

 

Here is an extract from my statement about the work.  Unfortunately the artist’s statements are not shown in the exhibition.  This is a bit of a shame I think, as often new perspectives on a subject are made much clearer when the artist’s thinking and approach; their rationale, is at least glimpsed at.

“My creative practice includes poetry and painting and the relationships between the two. My interest in the subconscious provided the foundation for this work which touches on both lack of affect and the murder of a man.

The Mind’s Eye
What thoughts and memories
unsettled
might dwell in the unconscious mind of the artist
as he works?
Projected onto models…
Figures of his own past
laughing
moving
strangers
touching new pain in the mind’s eye?
Shot images…
they infiltrate the heart
yet, even the most animated
leave it
still
so solitary.

Jenny Meehan 2017”

 

Quite a nice change for me to produce something with a particular subject in mind from the outset. Immense amount of research went into the work.

 

artists and subconscious mind, artist interpretation of muybridge, kingston museum exhibition 2018, british female contemporary artist jenny meehan, brain injury muybridge and emotional affect, imaginative interpretation, projection into creation, minds eye muybridge artwork jenny

minds eye muybridge artwork jenny

 

 

Kingston Arts at Kingston Museum My Muybridge exhibition surrey cultu

Kingston Arts at Kingston Museum My Muybridge exhibition surrey cultural event 2018

 

Things which make me happy:  Art Collectors who kindly let me know how they feel about my work!

This lovely quote, written by one of my collectors!  It is always a great happiness to sell and painting, and this is not a simple matter of money, though we all need that, it is far, far more!

“I thought your picture was the finest thing in that exhibition — I am very pleased to be acquiring it. I have lots of things in my collection — Terry Frost, Clifford Fishwick, Sandra Blow, Barbara Hepworth, John Hoyland, Keith Vaughan … Also a fin de siecle artist called Charles Conder.”  

I keep the buyer confidential as I am not in the habit of listing other people’s personal possessions, but it’s bringing a smile to my face, of course!  It’s a few years back now.

 

Kaleidoscope: Colour and Sequence in 1960s British Art

1 April 2017 – 3 June 2018

Looks very good!

http://www.artscouncilcollection.org.uk/exhibition/kaleidoscope-colour-and-sequence-1960s-british-art

Text copied and pasted from the website:

“An Arts Council Collection Touring Exhibition

British art of the 1960s is noted for its bold, artificial colour, alluring surfaces and capricious shapes and forms, yet these exuberant qualities are often underpinned by a strong sense of order, founded on repetition, sequence and symmetry. Bringing together outstanding examples of painting and sculpture from the Arts Council Collection and other major UK collections, Kaleidoscope examines 1960s visual art through a fresh and surprising lens, bringing into view the relationship between colour and form, rationality and irrationality, order and waywardness.

As the first Arts Council Collection survey of 1960s British art in over twenty years, Kaleidoscope assumes a wide angle, looking across media and movements to find fresh correspondences. From this perspective, the mind-bending surfaces of Op Art, the flattened repetition of Pop, the mathematical order of Constructivism, and the sequential placement of brightly-coloured abstract units found in New Generation sculpture find a common language shaped by sequence and symmetry.

Kaleidoscope represents the work of over twenty artists including: David AnnesleyAnthony CaroRobyn DennyTess JarayPhillip KingKim LimMary MartinEduardo PaolozziBridget RileyTim ScottRichard SmithWilliam Tucker and William Turnbull.” 

I am not going to get there to see it in person, but thankfully so many resources online, I can have a very good research session!!!

 

“Christ Under the Tree/Contemplation/Garden of Gethsemane”

It is always a great pleasure to sell a painting.  I find it interesting and exciting to meet those who decide they like my painting so much they want an ongoing relationship with it!!!  Some of my painting I hold onto, (often for quite a while!) maybe because I am still learning something from it, or I am wanting to hold it for an exhibition or event, or I would like to do some writing around it.  I am always happy to let it go… I see this as part of the process in fact, and I have no wish to die under a pile of my own work!  But I do not paint in order to produce.  Bit of a paradox there!  I have realised I need to keep the creation process completely separate from any other journey the work might make.  The painting has a second life, apart from me, and it has the life which has been happening during its creation. The two are not connected. The reason for the paintings existence cannot be equated in any way with what will happen to it.  It must speak only for itself.  And that must be completely enough reason for its existence.

I have painted only a couple of works as commissions over the last ten years.  I don’t doubt there’s a place for this, but it is not my usual way of working at the present time.  The very good thing about painting something for an external reason or purpose,  is it can introduce very specific challenges which are great to get stuck into. The “Mind’s Eye” painted collage was like this.  And I enjoyed it, for the challenge. It involved a lot of research which takes time.  But it is interesting intellectually.  In creating something for a particular purpose things often get more conceptual at a stage when I wouldn’t normally think in clear thoughts.  Usually the thinking and reflection comes long after I have painted something.  So getting all conceptual can be an interesting dimension to a work.  Or sometimes the challenge can be practical, as it was when I created a painting for the company “All Glass”  So I am always open to external reasons for a painting to be.  However focused I am on what I am doing, I think I always need to be open to change, development, challenge, debate, discussion.  But above all,  nothing should interfere with the process of creation, and the relationship I have with my painting needs to be focused.  This seems to be the main challenge in painting, for me I find.  It’s an act of contemplation which takes time and discipline.  It’s great!

 

The painting below  “Christ Under the Tree/Contemplation/Garden of Gethsemane (yes, THREE titles!)

 

holy week art church of england hook jenny meehan

I am pleased that this has now a new home.  Also such a lovely comment and feedback on it.  As recent I am not going to quote, but as always, thank you.

 

Another Exhibition at Kingston Museum

 

me in front of anagrams kingston museum banner surrey art event

me in front of anagrams kingston museum banner

Gracious!  This was me in 2016… I have lost quite a bit of weight thankfully!  Kingston Museum chose to use part of my painting on their banner which was good, and here I am standing in front of it!  That was before my knee replacement when I couldn’t walk very far or well at all!  Apologies, this is a bit of repetition.  I write in a piecemeal fashion.  Happens sometimes.  Cutting down time by leaving as it is!

You can see some very interesting pieces of art, including my own offering, at the My Muybridge exhibiton!   Details:  Kingston Art 2018: My Muybridge’ exhibition at Kingston Museum 4 May – 7 July 2018 Wheatfield Way, Kingston upon Thames KT1 2PS

 

Kingston Arts at Kingston Museum My Muybridge exhibition surrey cultu

Kingston Arts at Kingston Museum My Muybridge exhibition surrey cultural event 2018

Ooops! Bit random, already wrote about that.  Must remember not to write my blog in the same way I paint my paintings! Piecemeal!

Wrote that earlier too!  Ha Ha!  More of the same!

 

Studio Tent… In the Spring and Summer it’s a wonderful place!

 

 

 

studio tent jenny meehan

 

 

 

There’s a lot of work going on in my studio tent at the moment.  This time of year in the run up to the Kingston Artists’ Open Studios is always full on!  Love it!  Yet I don’t tend to share my work at this stage in the making…It feels better to keep it to myself.  There is a lot of colour mixing going on.  A fair amount of finishing off too.  A lot of preparation for the Kingston Artists’ Open Studios.

So what I can show you now is a few past photos from the archives.  Though I don’t tend to paint from direct observation very much at all anymore,  I still get my inspiration from creation around me.  Everything goes in through the eyes.  I love looking and look hard as much as possible.  Taking in all the wonder and beauty around me.  Endless beauty and design, beautifully expressed.  So much. So immense. So inspiring.

 

©jenny meehan

Creation and nature is so wonderful, I love it!  Cannot bear to copy something like this flower above, because it is so perfect anyway!  Do enjoy taking photos though!  It’s all colour, light and composition which are such a joy.

 

 

A small selection of memory images

I’ve posted these because I don’t tend to show my photography anymore…it’s all paintings I exhibit.  But my archives are full of photographs and my photographs are memories which still beckon in visual directions and serve some kind of purpose for me in reminding me of things which have made an impression on me and which I thought worthy to remember.  Though my photographic output is not what it was, due to the need to focus on painting, I like to share past digital imagery.

 

jenny meehan jamartlondon photography monochrome

jenny meehan jamartlondon photography monochrome

 

jenny meehan jamartlondon photography monochrome

jenny meehan jamartlondon photography monochrome

 

jenny meehan jamartlondon photography monochrome

jenny meehan jamartlondon photography monochrome

 

jenny meehan jamartlondon photography monochrome

jenny meehan jamartlondon photography monochrome

 

jenny meehan jamartlondon photography monochrome

jenny meehan jamartlondon photography monochrome

 

 

 

jenny meehan jamartlondon.com photography

jenny meehan jamartlondon.com photography

 

As you can see, water is a repeated theme.  In various forms, from ice to unfrozen!  Vast amounts and small amounts.  I spend a lot of time looking at water!  Water is an element which repeatedly inspires! It’s immensely relaxing, interesting, and amazing!

 

 

 

Digging Up Old Posts…Fragment from 2012 Jenny Meehan WordPress Artist’s Journal

I always enjoy a reminisce, and here is one:

“If you are in London this Summer,  take a look at the “Not The Royal Academy” exhibition of original artwork at Llewellyn Alexander (Fine Paintings) Ltd situated very close to Waterloo Station. There is a  varied selection of paintings on show, and seeing them makes me think I really ought to try to enter something into the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition next year. It helps to think that if you don’t get something in the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition itself, you could have a chance of getting something on show at Llewellyn Alexander’s “Not The Royal Academy” exhibition instead.

http://www.nottheroyalacademy.com/#salon

The exhibition of paintings at Llewellyn Alexander is changed around every three weeks, so I think I need to go and take another look soon.  The paintings are representational and taking a quick look at the website it looks like the prices are around the £400 mark in the main.  It is a very pleasant gallery, they are always very welcoming and though the space is quite compact, they always seem to use it well ensuring that the do have quality, fine painting on show, rather than paint squeezed out a tube, with a long explanation of what it means!

Thinking about the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition , and possibly entering a painting in it, it is a lot of hassle for a very small chance of success, but on the other hand, “Nothing ventured, nothing gained” comes to mind.  You never know.  It’s all a bit random I am sure, pot luck really, but it is exposure and I have realised that I can save some money by reducing the pages on my website next time it comes up for renewal, so I might just re allocate the money saved to enter the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition next year.  If I paint a representational painting, it might get into the Llewellyn Alexander show, so I might just do that.”

I was up in London near Waterloo Station recently and noticed that Llewellyn Alexander was, by all appearances, at the end of its’s life.  And I find it is all done and dusted!

“After 31 Happy years of trading,
the Llewellyn Alexander Gallery
closed its doors on February 24, 2018.

Best wishes to the many customers
and artists who enjoyed our exhibitions.”

Well, all things do come to an end.  But I will miss the gallery immensely.  It was a lovely place to visit…I particularly liked their miniatures and the “Not the Royal Academy” exhibitions.  The year after I wrote the text above I did submit to the Royal Academy and then, rejected in due course, trundled over to Llewellyn Alexander with my painting “Upper Room”.  Interestingly, though it is an abstract painting, they received it and exhibited it, and this is something I am very grateful for.  I felt it  somewhat of a compliment, bearing in mind the work is so abstract.  It’s a great relief when people can see quality in an abstract painting.  For indeed, though bold, abstract and  bright, the painting did involve a sensitivity and discernment which is not always spotted by all who cast their eyes on it.

lyrical abstraction,abstract expressionist fine painting, british english women artist, 21st century painter female, upper room, christian artist art spirituality, contemplative art, meditative art, romantic abstract lyrical expressionism, abstract acrylic painting christian art sacred symbolism jenny meehan

lyrical abstract painting selected for “Not the Royal Academy” exhibition at Llewellyn Alexander Fine Paintings Waterloo in 2013. For sale.

 

I do still have this original painting, so contact me if interested.  I am normally happy to part with paintings if they have been shown in a public exhibition at least once.  And if I have dwelt and learnt from them long enough, which is the case with this one.   I am happy for it to go to another life now.  It’s a signature painting…What do I mean by that?  I think it marks a decisive point in my creative evolution. It was awareness of presence and the importance of this in a painting which became a clearer goal.   And those glass beads, of course, and pure pigment.  Which continue to feature in much of my painting.   I sell my original paintings, when ready to roll away with the waves and embark on their new life with another person between around £130 – £500.  I would rather have them appreciated by other people than just hanging around here, so keep the price on the low side… Gotta be realistic.  There’s a lot of wonderful art work in the world. A lot of choice.  My prayer is simply that the paintings find a friend they can live with, are appreciated, and that the person that buys them LOVES the painting, and continues to get a lot of solace and enjoyment from gazing at it.  Then it has done its job and I have done mine.  And as long as I can continue to do the work I do I am happy.   Here’s some old text about the “Upper Room” or “The Upper Room”.

Here’s some information on my painting “The Upper Room” which is to be included in the “Not the Royal Academy” exhibition at Llewellyn Alexander (Fine Paintings) LTD.  (I just love to include the “fine paintings” part!   I know I could miss it out quite easily!)

“The Upper Room” is a painting in which I started with no idea of the direction it might take me in, instead responding to each mark and colour as the painting progressed in a process based approach. Using both my instincts and formal considerations, I ended up with this. Emotionally, it made me think of the New Testament account of Jesus taking the Last Supper with his disciples, I think because of the sense of presence and warmth it communicated to me emotionally, (The Holy Spirit, the comforter, “I will be with you”) even though it contains a large area of black. Also, because of the way it is held together with a building type structure; upper and a lower areas, and suggestions of both entrance and exit. Pentecost also happened in an “Upper Room” though not the same one, I don’t think.

 

Well, that is more than enough for this month! I have a habit of continually popping different pieces into place!

PS…

 

If you would like to give money to help support my creative practice I can accept it quickly and easily through the Paypal.me process. Simply put the following in your browser:
paypal.me/jennymeehan and follow the prompts. Please consider supporting my work in this way if it strikes a chord with you and you are able to do so. Unfortunately there doesn’t seem to be a way via this system for me to send a “Thank you” to you, so you will need to just simply know that I appreciate it very much indeed!    Putting work into exhibitions does unfortunately cost money, and yet I like to get it out there.  Submission fees are the bane of my life, and I will spare you the moan. Because I have moaned before on this blog and there is no need to moan again!  (The Kingston Museum Exhibition was fine, by the way,  and no gripe with that, very very good arrangements, and very fair,  but so many exhibitions require considerable chunks of cash JUST to submit…)   That’s even before you get your work shown, (or not).

My ego doesn’t matter, it’s not about that. It is NICE to have work selected, yes, it’s a nice affirmation, but only a bonus. An artist makes their work for themselves primarily. The have to hang it in the gallery of their soul and be completely happy for its presence to inhibit them forever!  But when it gets hung elsewhere, it’s great too, because it is shared, and who wants to keep something all for themselves when it can be shared? But It’s the way things are this paying to show your work to others. A right pain.  Sometimes just a small amount.  Not a problem. Just a bit of a shame when money is made out of artists wish to exhibit their work, sometimes so ruthlessly.   As an artist, you just want your work to be seen, because as music is made to be heard, art is made to be seen. Simple as that.

Jenny Meehan on Redbubble.com

Redbubble is a great “print on demand” website and I have some of my images there.  The world is full of fabulous artists and Redbubble is a good place for buying merchandise which is original, exciting and contemporary.  The artists on Redbubble get a royalty payment from any items that you purchase there, so it is one way to support the creative community and help artists gain a little bit of income from their work.  Do take a look!

https://www.redbubble.com/people/jennyjimjams?asc=u

I get around 30% of the price you pay for the merchandise you buy.  Every little helps!

 

 

Interesting Television Programme

I have watched the “Basquiat – Rags to Riches” programme recently. Several times.

Here is the text about the programme:

The recent Sotheby’s auction of a Jean-Michel Basquiat Skull painting for over a hundred million dollars has catapulted this Brooklyn-born artist into the top tier of the international art market, joining the ranks of Picasso, de Kooning and Francis Bacon. This film tells Jean-Michel’s story through exclusive interviews with his two sisters Lisane and Jeanine, who have never before agreed to be interviewed for a TV documentary. With striking candour, Basquiat’s art dealers – including Larry Gagosian, Mary Boone and Bruno Bischofberger – as well as his most intimate friends, lovers and fellow artists, expose the cash, the drugs and the pernicious racism which Basquiat confronted on a daily basis. As historical tableaux, visual diaries of defiance or surfaces covered with hidden meanings, Basquiat’s art remains the beating heart of this story” 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b098pd3q

What an interesting programme and it’s opened my eyes up.  Not sure quite what the results will be, but feeling very inspired.  

The exhibition looks good too, must get to see it!  I have booked to see it in November.  This is very exciting!

Here is some information on the exhibition:

The first large-scale exhibition in the UK of the work of American artist Jean-Michel Basquiat (1960—1988).

Discover the work of Jean-Michel Basquiat, the pioneering prodigy of the 1980s downtown New York art scene. This unprecedented exhibition brings together an outstanding selection of more than 100 works from international museums and private collections. Engage in the explosive creativity of Basquiat who worked with Andy Warhol, Keith Haring and Blondie, among others. Featuring rare film, photography and archive material, the show captures the spirit of this self-taught artist, poet, DJ and musician whose influence, since his death at 27 in 1988, has been enormous.”

https://www.barbican.org.uk/whats-on/2017/event/basquiat-boom-for-real

Chester Open Art Exhibition 2017

One of my prints is still on display and has just been sold!  It was made available for sale as part of the Chester Open Art Exhibition 2017.  I have suddenly realised I don’t think I posted this up as a news item on this blog!  Better late than never!

How the months fly by!

© Jenny Meehan DACS All Rights Reserved leap of faith (jennifer meehan) jenny meehan geometrical abstrace design artwork fine art print to buy

leap of faith jenny meehan (jennifer meehan) geometrical abstract design artwork fine art print to buy © Jenny Meehan DACS All Rights Reserved

https://chesterartcentre.co.uk/chester-art-centre-open-exhibition-2017/

Information about the venue…

Joseph Benjamin is a Chester restaurant owned and run by brothers Ben and Joe Wright. The idea behind the restaurant is simple – top quality food and drink in a comfortable and relaxed environment, prepared with honesty and integrity and served with care and attention.

Joseph Benjamin opens at 9am for coffee and breakfast. Lunch is served from noon till 3pm and then, on a Thursday, Friday and Saturday, dinner is served from 6pm.

David Gill, Jenny Meehan, James March, Michele Landel, Susan Welsby, Liz Fitzgerald-Taylor, Ian Hill Smith are the artists with work on display.

The work looks very nice indeed!  I did have a nice image of it in situ but cannot locate it right now, however will post when I have found it!

Becoming – Painting and Poem by Jenny Meehan

“Becoming
light and colour.
The poetic space
coming together.
In one, long, moment
I will take you there,
and you will see
beauty in brokenness. ”

Jenny Meehan

© Jenny Meehan  All Rights Reserved

 

catastrophe becoming painting 100days100women.wordpress.com, abstract expressionist lyrical romantic painting, jenny meehan © Jenny Meehan DACS All Rights Reserved

catastrophe becoming painting by jenny meehan submitted to 100days100women.wordpress.com british collectable abstract paintings

 

I have submitted the above work for an excellent project by author Henry Martin.  Who knows if anything will come of it or not, but I actually feel so glad that such a project is being done that I am delighted to submit whatever the outcome may be.  And thankfully no charge involved to submit.   That’s always a blessing.  Here is some of the call out text:

To celebrate the launch of the biography Agnes Martin: Pioneer, Painter, Icon (published March 2018) author Henry Martin will promote 100 women artists on the blog 100days100women.wordpress.com from November 2017–March 2018.

Painters, sculptors, textile artists, illustrators, graphic designers, ceramicists; artists of all practices are invited to send their work for consideration. Selected artists will be featured alongside invited artists including:

Ying Ang, Elinor Carucci, Eleanor Crow, Suzanne Dean, Milena Dragicevic, Joy Gerrard, Jenny Grigg, Anne Jordan, Polly Morgan, Adrian Piper, Aidan Salakhova, Karen Schiff, Heidi Specker, Clare Twomey, Jo Walker, and Bettina von Zwehl.

Henry Martin says, “100Days100Women is a corrective measure I can take as a biographer and art writer, to not only educate myself on contemporary art practice by women artists known and unknown to me, but also to fight against historical precedent in the disappearance of art by women in art history books, the marketplace, and human consciousness.”

The feminist writer Jill Johnston once said of Agnes Martin: ‘During every terrible decade it’s a pleasure finding a great woman.’ I believe that we live in such a terrible decade, but we are lucky that there are many great women still to find and champion.

Submissions can be made on 100Days100Women.wordpress.com, and followed on Facebook at @100Days100Women. “

 

I look forward to seeing the project unfolding.

 

Before Knee Replacement…

Do you know, I STILL look back sometimes to what life was like before my knee replacement.  With a sigh of relief it is over.  Now over seven months post op I can now RUSH around.  That’s new.  Good exercise, walking fast.  Fantastic to be able to make plans to see exhibitions in London with no doubts that I will be able to get where I need to go!  While the weeks and months after TKR are a huge challenge, I still hold to the precept that the time period of a year (at least) before was far worse. Because of going nowhere, and not even going nowhere fast.  Going nowhere SLOW.  And sometimes going nowhere at all!  The lack of mobility was killing me.

Had a bit of a dark phase before my TKR..Paintings at the end of 2016 went very dark…

Dark Night Painting by Jenny Meehan

This painting which I did put up on jamartlondon.com is still standing its ground.

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dark night of the soul abstract painting jenny meehan jamartlondon

Dark Night Painting by Jenny Meehan. Available for sale, Please contact Jenny Meehan via the contact form on my website if interested in adding this work to your art collection!  http://www.jamartlondon.com

http://www.jamartlondon.com

I am standing around a lot too…  Kind of useful for painting!  Climbing up ladders and all sorts!  Back in action!

Female Abstract Expressionists

Terminology is crude, but I guess I would fit into that bracket.  I like to call my work “Romantic, Expressionistic, Abstract, Lyrical” painting.  But too many words for everyday use!

On the abstract expressionist theme, I have now taken some time to look into some female artists whose style can be defined as being in the abstract expressionist camp.  Abstract expressionism can reek of male dominance in my imagination… and there is possible a reason for this, as many female abstract expressionists seem to have dissolved more into the wings of the art theatre…

But women all over the world are completely immersed in the wonders of expression through non-objective painting…  And always have done…and always will!

Perle Fine is one painter I have looked at recently…

http://www.perlefine.com/collections.html

Quote Marika Herskovic:

“Perle Fine belonged to the early generation of New York School Abstract Expressionist Artists whose artistic innovation by the 1950s had been recognized across the Atlantic including Paris. New York School Abstract Expressionism represented by Jackson Pollock, Willem de Kooning, Franz Kline and others.”

Few nice quotes by Perle Fine:

 

“Feeling is what we are involved with” and

“I don’t paint to sell and I don’t paint not to sell”

I will keep that in mind!

https://www.aaa.si.edu/collections/interviews/oral-history-interview-perle-fine-12709

From the transcript, quote I find most interesting right now:

“PERLE FINE: Yes. Well, after leaving the Hofmann School—well, of course this was happening all the time I was at the Hofmann School—I realized that there was no such thing as semi-abstract painting; that one couldn’t be semi-abstract any more than you could—well, it’s like saying I feel a little bit strongly about something, you see. Because for a thing to be abstract meant to me that you had to feel strongly enough about it to turn your back on realism and do everything necessary in an abstract way to put across a feeling which meant being totally abstract or non-objective.”

And very interesting reading on her process.

 

Perle Fine was married to the photographer and art director Maurice Berezov.  Despite her innovative exploration of Abstract Expressionism, which she fused with an interest in the pure forms of Neo-Plasticism, Fine was not included in the Whitney’s 1978 show “Abstract Expressionism: The Formative Years,” which she contested in two letters to the museum.  She later became a renowned professor at Hofstra University.

A quote from Perle Fine I find inspiring:   “I never thought of myself as a student or teacher, but as a painter. When I paint something I am very much aware of the future. If I feel something will not stand up 40 years from now, I am not interested.”

 

The “Very Patient Knee Replacement Story” goes on, and on, and on and on…!

Well back in September now I wrote my latest update. Waiting for the eight month mark for the next update, but cannot resist a little narrative here!

In September I focused a lot on post operative depression and also on how I found yoga very helpful in my rehabilitation.

I am most grateful that I discovered the practice of yoga through the Our Parks scheme, because it has made a huge difference to my health and happiness. When I started doing it a couple of years back it made me aware of how limited my mobility was, helped my limbs to keep moving and to be as flexible as was possible, and helped all my soft tissues both pre and post op. It generally re-introduced me to the joy and importance of movement, something I had lost somewhat over the years. I realised how integral movement is to my sense of self. It brought an appreciation of how an embodied contemplative practice is so very beneficial and facilitated my general orientation towards the contemplative way of life, including the practice of mindfulness, which was something I had already started to embrace.  So three hundred cheers for Our Parks!

https://ourparks.org.uk/

On the subject of yoga,  a collector recently brought the two “Yoga Inhale” and “Yoga Exhale” paintings.  I am pleased they are still together.  They look great in her home.

© Jenny Meehan DACS All Rights Reservedchakra colours painting, chakra colours art, chakra movement opening, yoga inhale yoga breathing inspired abstract painting by jenny meehan

© Jenny Meehan DACS All Rights Reservedyoga inhale yoga breathing inspired abstract painting by jenny meehan

 

© Jenny Meehan DACS All Rights Reserved yoga chakra colours opening painting art, chakra art, chakra dance, yoga exhale yoga breathing inspired abstract painting by jenny meehan

© Jenny Meehan DACS All Rights Reservedyoga exhale yoga breathing inspired abstract painting by jenny meehan

I love it when my paintings find owners!

I have very real space issues here.  Living in a two up two down (well, three down!) house and being an artist presents some problems.  I am currently in the process of trying to organise all my work, equipment, materials and resources a little better.  Unfortunately this means that for a couple of weeks I have not done any painting at all.  I am getting irritable and cross.  However I will reap the rewards of being able to find things easier when it is done.  I now have quite a good system for locating particular paintings which is good because when art collectors are interested in buying one of my paintings, it helps a great deal if I can find it quickly!!!

 

Crossing Over, Letting Go and Entering the World of the Other

abstract lyrical expressionist british paintings jenny meehan

abstract lyrical expressionist british paintings jenny meehan

 

Crossing Over, Letting Go and Entering the World of the Other Painting by Jenny Meehan, available for sale please contact if interested. 

Available for sale, Please contact Jenny Meehan via the contact form on my website if interested in adding this work to your art collection!  http://www.jamartlondon.com

http://www.jamartlondon.com

The direction in my thinking on this painting above:

Deep Dialogue
Professor Leonard Swidler, in collaboration with Professor Ashok Gangadean, helped delineate the ‘Seven Stages of Deep Dialogue’ to describe the potential for dialogue leading to transformation. This narrative was intended as a meditation. This painting also: “Crossing Over, Letting Go and Entering the World of the Other”.

54x44cm external frame. Acrylic on Hardboard. Sealed with a protective layer of acrylic varnish. Light natural wood frame.

See more of this group of paintings on my website, jamartlondon.com.

http://www.jamartlondon.com/paintings-2017/4592780606 

Above is link direct to page.

 

In a bit of a fix…

A lot of my photographic art work involves images of fixings and fastenings of different kinds.  Images taken of buildings, mainly small out buildings like garages or beach huts, or garden gates or the backs of buildings seen from alleyways and rear access roads.  Most of these photographs were taken between  2007 and 2012, a period of five years which were for myself a period of certainly feeling I was falling apart, so maybe not surprisingly the orientation towards fixings was meaningful to me.   The need to hold myself together, though falling apart, is necessary for a mother who has care of others but needs to carry on functioning in life!  So the felt need was great!  In a big way, having responsibility for others can be helpful, even if tough times, as long as the strain is not too great.  Because you have to keep going.  But one needs to get help when falling apart from the inside.

It also occurs to me that the interest in fixings, which has translated itself into many of my paintings… mainly those with a structural, building type feel, like for example the “Nelson Square” painting, and it’s more recent “Nelson Square Two ” (which I am still working on, still in progress); this interest also says something maybe about my experience of having a bit of a “Fixer” relationship pattern.  I can see it more now, and am more aware of it, and it’s pitfalls.  Of which there are many!  But it is interesting as a creative… that love of putting things together, drawing together, uniting, balancing, melding things which are apart.  Articulating.  Joining. Building structure, and formation generally!  So positive and wonderful.  I spend myself and give myself through the process.  And this is rewarding.  I love it and find it fulfilling.  But to try and do this with other people is not good at all.  To try to do for others what is their own responsibility is very negative indeed.  As with many of our drives and urges, there is a positive and negative aspect.  It’s helpful to recognise both!  And so…

What is the  Fixer Relationship Type?

Note: Firstly, when categorising, it is important to realise that we are all rather piecemeal…The category is clumsy and only gives an approach to a personality…It is not there to confine or restrict but just to serve as an aid in thinking, and that alone.  The reality of each one of us is that we are far too complex to fall into any one category!!!

It sounds good, being a “fixer” but most people who tend this way learn their fixing behaviours in childhood, maybe by being burdened with inappropriate amounts of responsibility, in various ways, for example caring for siblings or even parents,  in “role reversal” where the child switches places with the adult.  It’s not good, but happens.  It’s hard to get out of the habit and so one tends to take it on into situations beyond childhood,  even seeking others to administer to!!!

This has an effect on the fixer’s adult relationships, as because one is looking for someone to fix, one tends to be drawn to those who maybe are not so able to participate in an equal relationship…The fixer may end up propping up the relationship more than is healthy and may get none or few of their own needs met.   This can also be limiting for the fixer, who may tend to believe that they will only be loved for what they do and not for the person they are.  Those who, in childhood, should have loved and taken care for them unconditionally, were not able to do that, and so the child was overburdened and understood that only if they do what their parents need them to do, may they have their own needs met.

So now, if you are a Fixer type, when you’d like to have a give and take relationship with another adult who is your equal, it is hard often to know how to let that happen. It can be scary to risk letting another person learn to love you for you, without you doing anything to bind that person to you for the care taking or other things you can do for them. Instead of rescuing someone or protecting them from themselves, you let them grow into their own personal sense of responsibility and you do the same for yourself in a way which has clear boundaries and which respects both yourself and the other person. The dynamic of you trying to fix things all the time can then stop, and if they are in discomfort or upset, you can feel their suffering, empathise, be compassionate,  but you don’t take responsibility for it.   Healthy boundaries are really worth developing!  You may choose to help in some way, but it won’t be because you are trying to earn their love.  And it is much easier to say “No” when you need to.

So from “fixing” to “mending”… A related activity, for sure… Beautiful mending, in the drawing together of different elements on a piece of board, using paint and card.  This is a healthy form of fixing activity!

“Mending” Painting by Jenny Meehan.  Available for sale.  Please contact if interested! 

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This original painting is available for sale, Please contact Jenny Meehan via the contact form on my website if interested in adding this work to your art collection!  http://www.jamartlondon.com

http://www.jamartlondon.com

I think I may have only posted this painting up recently, but never mind.  It’s good to look at it again, while mulling over the interest in fixings!!!

 

Poem to accompany “Mending” Painting – Jenny Meehan 2016

 

I scream out to be fixed

because I have fallen apart

And everywhere I see fixings fixed on

panels and walls and buildings

And I, flat faced and dropping into my feet

Cannot stand the sight which draws me forwards

Because it testifies to the problem I face

Surrounding me, encapsulating me

with  horror struck security

But there is no comfort

Because nobody knows anything deeper than

my own panels

paint stained panels

painted

by rain

inside

and out.

 

© Jenny Meehan

Best FIXING experience of 2017 – Total Knee Replacement!

Well, my best fixing experience recently has been my TKR (Total Knee Replacement) surgery of March 2017.  It may have been painful but definitely worth it.  I need to be on my feet a lot.  Now I can be.  Surgery is a wonderful thing.  Mind you, I have been splitting my sides watching the BBC series “Quacks” of late.  It has me falling over with laughter. (The only falling over I am now doing!)  I don’t think I would want a surgeon let loose on my knee in Victorian times.  Thankfully, wonderful developments in modern medicine, healthcare, surgery and hospitals make something like knee replacement possible.

It is odd how my interest in trauma and recovery, which started orientated around the psychological and emotional type of trauma, took a leap into the physical realm with the TKR.  Surgery is traumatic for the body, and the body is connected to the mind and emotions.  I always dislike people referring to knee replacement surgery as “brutal” because while it is major, I don’t associate it with brutality.  (Maybe in Victorian times this would be apt!)  There is nothing cruel about surgery…it’s not violence.  Having experienced physical violence as a child and teenager, it becomes very important to recognise the difference. If one gets the two mixed up in the brain, it does not help healing or recovery one little bit. I was quite surprised in the bulk of my TKR recovery (ie first four months) how positive (mostly) I felt.  Yes, the body is traumatised and the surgery invasive.  But it is completely different when you willingly place yourself in a situation which is designed and intended to to heal and help someone.  It still isn’t easy.  But it is no way brutal.  I was so much wanting and needing the surgery, that I guess I was “up for it” in terms of my mindset.  Dealing with it is hard. Yet for me personally, the experience was much better than the longer term disintegration of my life which was falling apart due to the effect of long term pain and increasing physical disability.

It’s not gentle though!  Rather like being a bit of woodwork with all those saws and drills!

So worth it now though.  So worth it.

 

Yoga and Christianity Thoughts

Shared by Christians Practicing Yoga on Facebook.

Here’s a good summary of some important scholarly work on the history of modern postural yoga. It serves as a corrective to the idealized and frankly ahistorical versions taught in many yoga classes and teacher trainings.

http://www.popmatters.com/column/on-evil-yogis-and-the-icy-silence-of-yogas-post-disintegration/

 

I found the above an interesting read.   My own perspective of healing in relation to my own experience of practising yoga is that through my own practice I open myself up to the Holy Spirit and experience the benefits of Mindfulness with attention to my body which I find extremely helpful.  I am being kind and attentive to my body, valuing it, as a temple of the Holy Spirit.   Being introduced to Yoga a couple of years back  has been something I am very grateful for, and something which I have received a lot of blessing through.   Through the frustrations of my experience with osteoarthritis, I have found that what I CAN do, through the practice of Yoga has been a huge encouragement and helped me to continue to direct compassion and faith towards my humble frame.  The release of stress, the practice of being kind and attentive to myself, the continued choice, in the end, to love my body and work with it, accepting it and being grateful for it (even with the painful and often not working very well knee!) has brought a real sense of faith embodied which has been inspiring me to continue and to embrace the blessing of doing it.    It has been and is something completely incorporated into my devotional and prayer life…  It has helped me attend to myself and to my maker in a disciplined and very liberating way.

I have never felt any sense to conform to any beliefs that I do not hold or do not feel comfortable with.   Where I felt disagreement, maybe in some verbalised meditation,  I simple change direction and articulation of my thought, for example, rather than saying  “I am not my body”   I say (internally!) “I am not just my body”  because I personally don’t aim for separation of my parts, however, I do recognise the value in a consciousness that can view things from another perspective. (Apologies,  I am not in the know about the meaning of that phrase… It may be just poetic anyway and probably has many different interpretations/philosophies in hand…For others it may be essential to their experience of Yoga practice, but it is not for mine).

But I wander off.. I found the article a good read, and it gave me a little bit of an overview which I am sure is helpful to be aware of.  Particularly with respect to some of the scare mongering narratives which seem to circulate around discussions about Yoga in relation to Christianity.    I found this part of particular relevance to my own experience:

“…part of White’s research is to restore the understanding of historic yoga as a counterbalance to the modern New Age spirituality and self-help commercialism that now dominates the practice.
For example, in his 2014 book on the Yoga Sūtras, part of the Princeton University Press Lives of Great Religious Books series, he explicates Patanjali’s four-word definition of yoga (lacking any verbs, mind you) that has become the foundation of modern meditational practice: yoga-citta-vritti-nirodha.

While “citta” has a wide range of meanings in early Sanskrit, the most adequate nontechnical translation of the term is “thought”. As for “vritti,” it means “turning,” and is related to the –vert in the English words introvert (“turned inward”) and extrovert (“turned outward”) as well as invert, subvert, pervert, revert, and so forth. Nirodha is a term meaning “stoppage” or “restraint” in Sanskrit. A simple translation of yoga-citta-vritti-nirodha should then read something like “Yoga is the stoppage of the turnings of thought.”

White offers 22 different translations of this phrase from sources ranging from handbooks on modern yoga to the work of other scholars. Here are five:

Yoga is to still the patternings of consciousness.

Yoga is the ability to direct the mind exclusively toward an object and sustain that direction without any distractions.

Yoga happens when there is stilling (in the sense of continual and vigilant watchfulness) of the movement of thought—without expression or suppression—in the indivisible intelligence in which there is no movement.

Yoga is the control of thought-waves in the mind.

Yoga is the icy silence of post-disintegration.

That’s a whole lot of interpretation of four nouns lacking a verb.”

The above is quoted from the article on  popmatters.com and was written by William Gibson

On Evil Yogis and the Icy Silence of Yoga’s Post-Disintegration”  published 12th October 2015.  You can read the whole thing here:

http://www.popmatters.com/column/on-evil-yogis-and-the-icy-silence-of-yogas-post-disintegration/

 

In relation to my lack of mobility (now thankfully past!) I credit the practice of yoga as playing a key part in my journey to movement!  It was fantastic both before and after my knee replacement surgery, and obviously gentle and adapted, sensitive yoga, which focuses on body awareness and mindful appreciation of the body and movement, is a very helpful thing to do.  Relaxation is very important for a good recovery, and so some odd reason, quite difficult after knee replacement surgery.  So with the full lung breathing and directing breath towards areas of tension in the body…Well, it all helps!

A Few Photographs…

A few photographs… To fill the time which does not need to be filled!

Some of the things which strike me I capture in a photograph…It serves as a reminder for the times when I stopped to look a little longer.  Taking photographs can be a nice form of meditation…You cut out all the other things which call to be seen and focus in on the one which appeals to you the most.  Then, isolated, compose it carefully as you dwell on it even longer.  The best part of taking a photograph is the moment something strikes… It’s worth staying a while after taking the image to look at what you have seen a bit longer.  Drawing demands more of your time, and for that reason, photography comes in handy if you cannot stop for long…

 

jenny meehan jamartlondon photography monochrome

jenny meehan jamartlondon photography monochrome

This was taken in the New Forest on one family holiday.   I do love the weather beaten look!  The New Forest is somewhere I have visited many times.  It was particularly good this year as I could walk freely around in it!

 

jenny meehan jamartlondon photography monochrome

jenny meehan jamartlondon photography monochrome

A quiet moment spent in West Dean Gardens…It’s fun to get right down to ground level as this often makes for a more interesting composition.  Though my painting is abstract, it is observation of the beauty in nature which I would credit with informing it most.  You don’t need to recognise objects in an art work to appreciate the colour, form, movement, light and space.  I spend a lot of time looking at natural forms.

jenny meehan jamartlondon photography monochrome

jenny meehan jamartlondon photography monochrome

Here is the same place photographed from a greater distance with a less dynamic composition!  The tree in the middle makes the whole image very still, and it’s rather boring.  Getting up closer is something which often brings improvement, and trying out unusual angles and composition often yields better results.  However, there is also a rather nice restful feeling. Almost a reflection suggested and the horizontal line and equilibrium has its own appeal.

 

jenny meehan jamartlondon photography monochrome

jenny meehan jamartlondon photography monochrome

jenny meehan jamartlondon photography monochrome

jenny meehan jamartlondon photography monochrome

jenny dohan jamartlondon photography

jenny meehan jamartlondon photography monochrome

Just a few more.  We live in a world so saturated with images that the appeal of printing and presenting my photography has kind of got lost for me.  I sometimes produce work using my photography or photographic elements/collage.  It is useful at times.  I am not taking anywhere as many photographs as I used to.  Apart from the occasional spate of picture taking or working with past images. And of course the recording and archiving of my current paintings.  Images of paintings in progress can also be useful.

 

 

 

“Tree by Water”  Monoprint

tree by water monoprint 2017

© Jenny Meehan DACS All Rights Reserved tree by water monoprint 2017

I entered this into “One-Off” – The Masters Monoprint Exhibition at The Bankside Gallery

(Thames Riverside
48 Hopton Street
London SE1 9JH

Tel. 020 7928 7521
info@banksidegallery.com)

Details here:

ONE-OFF | THE MASTERS | MONOPRINT

8 – 19 NOVEMBER

‘The Masters’ is a series of annual exhibitions established by the Royal Society of Painter-Printmakers focusing on a particular branch of printmaking each year. This year’s exhibition will be curated by Morgan Doyle RE and will showcase works using monoprint in a variety of forms.”

But sadly it was not accepted.  Ah well, not room for everything!

I will  pop along to take a look though, I am sure it will be brilliant!

Painting – Being a Mother-Artist, Yet necessity is the mother of invention!  Plato in book 2 of The Republic wrote “Then, I said, let us begin and create in idea a State; and yet the true creator is necessity, who is the mother of our invention.”

Necessity is the mother of invention is my favourite phrase at the moment!

This time of year is mostly a time for reviewing and reflecting over past work.  This is partly because my studio tent is a complete mess, it is colder, the garden is wetter,(so not so good for painting in!) and I have had to bring my plants into the studio tent, so it is now functioning more as a green house!

This is so important.  It’s not about production.  Rotting leaves bring richness to the soil.  Sometimes you just leave things.  There is always plenty to do.  Looking backwards is part of moving forwards. It’s preparing the ground.

Looking at these two paintings below, reminds me of my recent movement from actual texture to perceived texture in my paintings.  And with the Matisse exhibition at the Royal Academy I visited recently having reminded me of pattern, I wonder if I may bring that in more?  The idea has been lurking around for a while but it hasn’t happened yet.  As I work on so many things in such a piecemeal fashion,  I find it a great asset that there are so many periods of time elapsing as part of the process of painting each painting.  So much opportunity to float ideas around, and yet not have them land all at once in the work which is happening.

It’s funny that what used to frustrate me, ie the necessary responsibilities of being a mother and homemaker, has turned out unexpectedly to help me in my work.  Now the children are a bit older, it is much easier to get my painting done.  Sometimes it is still annoying that I cannot spend more time painting.  But all the other stuff doesn’t seem to stop me.  I have learnt to prioritise things better.  It is a restriction.. because being an artist is not just about producing the work… there are so many other aspects.  So I am restricted by being a Mother-Artist, in some ways.   But I guess even if I was not, there would be other restrictions.  So it is best not to dwell on them.  In the end, being able to paint is a most fantastic freedom.   I will always be glad of it.  I am always exceptionally grateful for being able to do it. This is the main thing.

 

unerring want of running water painting jenny meehan© Jenny Meehan DACS All Rights Reserved

unerring want of running water  ONE painting jenny meehan© Jenny Meehan DACS All Rights Reserved

 

unerring want of running water painting jenny meehan© Jenny Meehan DACS All Rights Reserved

unerring want of running water TWO painting jenny meehan

These two above, past paintings, 2016. Both were sold to the same art collector who wanted them both.  I am always pleased when my paintings find their new home.  Unerring Want (of) Running Water 2  was exhibited as part of the exhibition at Kingston Museum in 2016.  Details:

“Kingston Art 2016: Anagrams Opens Friday 29 April at Kingston Museum
29th April to 2nd July 2016
Opening on Friday 29 April at Kingston Museum, Anagrams is an exhibition which showcases the winning entries to a competition where artists from Kingston upon Thames’ local artists’ groups, ASC Kingston (Artists Studio Company Kingston), Hawks Road, Fusion Art and KAOS (Kingston Artists Open Studios), have entered new work under the theme Anagrams.

This is an exhibition of transformational art, where the art work and the artist’s explanations of how they have approached the theme give the viewer a fascinating insight into each artist’s way of seeing and working. Many different techniques are showcased from painting, drawing and photography to mosaic, installation and much more.”

 

me in front of anagrams kingston museum banner surrey art event

me in front of anagrams kingston museum banner

Nice to have my painting blown up!

I have always liked my work to be useful in many ways, so a section of the painting being used for the poster was a bonus!  I have lost weight since then, so I am shrunk down!

At present, on the practical front, I am painting edges,  and very small parts of very many paintings, making frames, looking, thinking, writing, tidying up mess and enjoying the bit of teaching I do very much indeed.  (Information on this below).

 Drop in Drawing and Painting Workshop

Here is the information I send out to interested people:

“As a trained teacher and experienced artist I am in a good position to mentor people and  can assist you in developing your own creative direction. Individual attention not possible in larger teaching situations make this a golden opportunity for personal creative development. It is friendly and supportive group, and offers you sensitive feedback, engaging activity, elements of challenge, and most importantly the emphasis is on you developing your own personal direction with your art working.

The Drop in Drawing and Painting sessions are organised so you are able to come along on a “one-off” basis. Please let me know at least a couple of weeks before, so I know about numbers, if possible.  There are a maximum of 3 places available.  There is a choice of both Wednesday or Friday across the course of the terms, which I have weighted in favour of people on the mailing lists stated availability. Please contact me via the contact form on my website jamartlondon.com if you wish to find out more.

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

You do need to bring your own materials and equipment. If you need some advice about what to bring, just email me and I can give you some guidance. I normally have a few additional resources available, if need be, ie, pencils and paper, chalk pastels and poster paint. Sometimes it’s not always possible to know what direction you might take and I am happy to supply the unexpected material needs if they occur!

The forthcoming Drop-In Drawing and Painting sessions are as follows:

For 2017:
Wednesday 20th September 1 – 3pm
Friday 20th October 1 – 3pm
Wednesday 15th November 1 – 3pm
For 2018:
Wednesday 17th January 1 – 3pm
Friday 23rd February 1 – 3pm
Wednesday 25th April 1 – 3pm

After that I will be busy preparing for the Kingston Artists’ Open Studios 2018 and working more intensively on my own paintings!

If these dates are not convenient, it may sometimes be possible to arrange individual tuition at a cost of £20 per hour. Please contact me if you are interested and I can send you more information. My availability varies, but is restricted to week days (excluding Tuesdays) and during the hours of 9 – 3 during term times at present.

The idea of holding the Drop in sessions is that I am available to help you to develop your own projects and ideas. I will be there to add my technical and practical input, and help you by discussing your direction and the difficulties which may be encountered along the way, if you so require. As to what you actually do, this could be from drawing from the imagination, copying something from life, designing something abstract, or making a collage of text and images. Or simply experimenting and exploring what it is like to use a particular material or method of drawing.

People who come along range from absolute beginners to experienced artists, and have a range of different objectives.  Teaching input is organised around the individual, rather than delivered in a structured way, so it’s more akin to individual tuition/mentoring rather than class focused on a particular topic or course of study.  So these workshop style sessions will give you plenty of individual input and opportunities for feedback, discussion, and analysis, as you consider ways of developing your own direction.   It is informal and friendly, and provides a level of input not possible in a larger group.”

NHS Financial Pressures

I have an interest in healthcare, and as a very grateful recipient of a new knee, my appreciation of the value of the NHS has increased a lot!  I often read what the Kings Fund send out via their mailing list to me.  This was an interesting read:

https://www.kingsfund.org.uk/sites/default/files/field/field_publication_file/Understanding%20NHS%20financial%20pressures%20-%20full%20report.pdf

My own expression, of the visual type, is here:

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

This is currently being exhibited as part of the Art of Caring exhibition which runs until the 19th October at CONFERENCE CENTRE GALLERY, ST PANCRAS HOSPITAL, 4 ST PANCRAS WAY
LONDON, NW1 OPE.  Will be taken down soon!  Free to visit.  Lots of great work on show.   I need to go and pick it up next week.  They are having a closing event too:

THE ART OF CARING is an exhibition we are very proud of in our sometimes troubled and troubling times, looked closely, the sensitivity and joy to be found in the small detail of our artists work is deeply moving. The exhibition closes on THURS 19/10/17.  We are hosting a small closing event from 5.30pm to 7.30pm along with the premiere of Anna Bowman’s short film ARTS OF CARING at 6pm in which the filmmaker explores the exhibition and what it means for a number of the contributing artists who are filmed creating works at home and in studios. Do visit if you can…it’s a fresh looking exhibition still after 2 months display so far…Opens Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm.

Well, must go now.

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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 (Jennifer 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 (Jennifer 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  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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lyrical abstraction contemporary artist british, female artist jenny meehan london based, lyrical abstraction process led painting,collectable abstract paintings for collectors, jenny meehan jamartlondon uk, art historical relevant significant art british,exploratory innovative paintings, british women artists current today,affordable original paintings to buy uk, collectable paintings original british contemporary painting jenny meehan river journey christian spirituality contemplative art, jamartlondon collectable british female artists 21st century painting, affordable original abstract art to buy, process led abstract painting, romantic expressionist abstract lyrical painting modern art, uk mindfulness art, meditation art, contemplative prayerful art, christian art london, experimental painting, art and spirituality,

“River Journey” abstract lyrical expressionist british paintings jenny meehan

Come and meet me this year at the Kingston Artists’ Open Studios!
KAOS OPEN STUDIOS 10th/11th and 17th/18th June 2017 11 – 5pm at Studio KAOS 2 , 14 Liverpool Road Kingston KT2 7SZ
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.
There are  over 90 artists showing work!  I am showing at KAOS 2, along with 8 other artists:
Sandra Beccarelli, Cressida Borrett, Lizzie Brewer, Caroline Calascione, Ikuko Danby, Bali Edwards, Yuka Maeda, and Anna Tikhomirova! See you there!

http://www.kingstonartistsopenstudios.co.uk/

 

Snails in the Studio

Still recovering from my knee replacement surgery, but getting around a bit more now.  The snails may well be moving more quickly than me!

abstract expressionist collage painting jenny meehan jamartlondon snail in the studio artists studio paintings

the snail in the studio jenny meehan abstract painting

 

 

This  painting-collage includes the munch marks of the snails who share my outdoor studio with me.  A market stall steel frame covered in reinforced heavy duty translucent tarpaulin is excellent for the purposes of working in when the weather is not too cold or damp.  I share this wonderful space with my snail friends.  Who also work slowly but very steadily, munching away at my painted cardboard samples of colours and textures and excreting them into multicoloured snail poo and card combinations.  There is none of their waste matter on the collage-painting but some of the card with the munch marks on it.  I find the effect quite attractive.  Sometimes very good things come from the most unexpected places!

I titled the work “Snail in the Studio” after my fellow workers…As interested as I am, in colour, which must satisfy something in them. They devour and work their way through the painted cardboard samples and they do add something to them!  I decided not to fight with them, but just go along with what was happening, so the painting offers them a place in my work!  There are a lot of images of knights fighting snails in old manuscripts, I have discovered. As those familiar with 13th and 14th century illuminated manuscripts can attest, images of armed knights fighting snails are common, especially in marginalia.

Different people have many different theories about what the image of a knight fighting a snail might be symbolising. The Continuum Encyclopedia of Animal Symbolism in Art says:  “The snail was a symbol of sloth and of those who are content with things of the material world at the expense of striving for the spiritual”.  I don’t quite get that one, because the snails in my studio are far from slothful.  They are manic and move very fast indeed.  They are industrious and ravenous beasts! They are certainly concerned with material things though.  Great consumers!  So if consumption is the point, then they may be symbolic of appetite I think.  And the knight to slay the fleshly appetites might be a possible route to go down.

Another idea might be that snails love to eat bark, paper, cardboard,  and similar materials. As far as the monks go, (bearing in mind their books would often be stored in damp places, maybe cellars or similar) I am sure they were very much aware of the risk of damage to their manuscripts/books from snails, and it makes a lot of sense for them to maybe depict this battle against potential destruction of their life work. Snails would be a suitable “enemy” for a bookish monk, bearing in mind their main occupation was producing manuscripts.  Maybe, including the image of the knight fighting the snail, would be a way of asserting that the word and the message of the text, recorded for continuity to be passed through the ages, would overcome any decay or destructive influences.  And also, this would resonate with their own very practical battle of protecting the work from snails eating it!

The “Snails in the Studio” painting includes my little nod, to the snails.  The studio tent is certainly a place of contemplation…As well as paint, I pray and meditate in this set apart space.  I reflect and review, sometimes read, and drink tea as much as possible. It is my holy place, my mini monastery, the place most available to me when I want to focus in on the inner room of my life.  And this is the best place to paint in, because of it being a dedicated space.

The snail — the archetypal slow creature, paradoxically endowed with implacable destructive power —might represent the agonising impossibility of accomplishing all that we hope to, because of the limits of time, and the knight  could teach us that we must nevertheless battle against the snail despite the inevitability of defeat.  I like this idea very much indeed. The reason being I think that in the context of my knee replacement surgery, and the long recovery and rehabilitation process, I am constantly facing the reality of not being able to accomplish all that I hope to, because I cannot rush time… I cannot make it go faster and I cannot speed up the process of recovery.  I am subject to time and it is only time that will reap gradual improvement. My giant metaphorical time-snail is felt to be very big at the moment!  So it’s a slightly different angle on time… but still orientated around the desire to achieve being confounded by the pace/passage of time!

In heraldry, the snail has a fixed meaning of perseverance and deliberation.  Certainly need plenty of that at the moment!

Thinking of snails in relation to reading, “The Very Patient Knee Replacement Story by Jenny Meehan” is now in an abridged form.  You can get to it by following this link, and the link is also on the side bar of this blog under “Pages”.

https://jennymeehan.wordpress.com/abridged-version-of-the-very-patient-knee-replacement-story-by-jenny-meehan/  It is still pretty long, so skimming may be a good idea!

Here’s a happy image of me walking around. With crutches I can now walk for a whole 40 minutes!  That’s more than I could do before the knee replacement!

walking after TKR

walking after TKR

 

 

Health Care

I have an ongoing interest in healthcare.  Earlier on in life I worked for ten years as a dental nurse.  It wasn’t planned.  Just a matter of leaving my DATEC Diploma in Art and Design course at Richmond Upon Thames College before the end, disillusioned and despondent.  Needing to leave home quickly.  Needing somewhere to live.  Needing money to be able to live.  So away with the art and into some nursing.  There was a Dental Surgery in Hampton Wick and as it was nearby and familiar (because it was were I had my own dental check ups!) I went along.  Didn’t expect to get the job.  Didn’t like it very much at first, but in the end, got rather enthusiastic.  Trained.

Looking back it was a very suitable job for me.   A good move.  What is more, it enabled me to go to University later as a mature student in my late twenties, as it was just the right kind of job to have while studying at the same time.  No work to take home.  And plenty of work available.  And enjoyable.  I did enjoy dental nursing very much indeed. And the whole role of nursing is such a valuable one.  It makes such a difference to a persons experiences when they feel vulnerable, afraid and anxious.  It is nice to help people in such situations.  To calm and reassure them.

I was very pleased to be part of “The Art of Caring”  http://www.artofcaring.org.uk/ in 2016 and went along to several events celebrating  International Nurses Day which reminded me what an important profession it is.

For 2017 “The Art of Caring”

The Theme
Although your art/photo should respond to the theme of Caring/Care we will be giving special attention to those artworks which respond to the theme of Sustainability. This is because the worldwide theme for International Nurses Day in 2017 is Nursing: A voice to lead – Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.
Sustainability
The ability to be maintained at a certain rate or level.
Avoidance of the depletion of natural resources in order to maintain an ecological balance
Or your interpretation of the theme…….
The Exhibitions
The Art of Caring is split into two clear exhibitions.
The first is at St George’s Hospital (3rd-12th May 2017) where printed postcards of your artwork are displayed on the walls of the hospital to help celebrate International Nurses Day. This is an inclusive exhibition.
The second is at St Pancras Hospital (July-October 2017) and uses a mixture of original artworks and printed postcards. Works will be selected by Arts Project curators Peter Herbert and Elaine Harper-Gay.
With my knee replacement experiences of needing care and treatment, the value of those working in healthcare was brought afresh to me.  As part of my experience I began to be aware of other forces at work, and realised that my experience of the health service was affected by many different ebbs and flows.  I discovered the Kings Fund, and the discovery was very helpful. https://www.kingsfund.org.uk/publications/six-ways
Quote from the link:
“In The King’s Fund report Thinking about rationing, Rudolf Klein and Jo Maybin describe a useful framework for understanding the different ways in which access to high-quality care can be limited by commissioners and providers, building on earlier work by Roy Parker. Their typology outlines six ways in which patients can be affected by financial pressures and provides a useful means of examining what is happening in local health systems.
  1. Deflection
  2. Delay
  3. Denial
  4. Selection
  5. Deterrence
  6. Dilution

The first five categories relate to restrictions on access to care, the final category (dilution) relates to reductions in the quality of care.”  credit: written on 31 March 2016 Ruth Robertson

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

So you see above my contribution to the theme “Sustainability”.

On the theme of knee replacement surgery,  the recovery and  rehabilitation from my surgery which was on the 8th March is certainly a marathon.  But I’m doing my exercises!  Getting there slowly.  My experience of being cared for in hospital was amazing! It couldn’t have been better! So impressed!   I wrote a lot about it in “The Very Patient Knee Replacement Story by Jenny Meehan” which is on a separate page of this blog.  Look to the right hand side under pages and you can follow the link to it there if knee replacement surgery and patients experience of it is of interest to you! As well as the full version, which had colour coded text to help selective reading, “The Very Patient Knee Replacement Story by Jenny Meehan” is now in an abridged form.  You can get to it by following this link, and the link is also on the side bar of this blog under “Pages”.

https://jennymeehan.wordpress.com/abridged-version-of-the-very-patient-knee-replacement-story-by-jenny-meehan/  It is still pretty long, so skimming may be a good idea!

 

Here is the introduction to the full version, as a sample of the reading experience.  I do go on!!!!!

Full Version of “The Very Patient Knee Replacement Story by Jenny Meehan”

Warning!  This is VERY long.  For the abridged version of  “The Very Patient Knee Replacement Story by Jenny Meehan ” follow this link: https://jennymeehan.wordpress.com/abridged-version-of-the-very-patient-knee-replacement-story-by-jenny-meehan/

No Problem/Moving On abstract art print by Jenny Meehan jamartlondon.com bright bold motivational art for physiotherapy experience personal mobility challenges, jenny meehan,

No Problem/Moving On sign of the times series jenny meehan

Do you like this print?  Buy it, easily and safely, through Redbubble.com:

https://www.redbubble.com/people/jennyjimjams/works/20507601-no-problem-moving-on-geometric-colour-abstract-print-by-jenny-meehan-jamartlondon-com?asc=u

Introduction to “The Very Patient Knee Replacement Story” by Jenny Meehan

Before I start, or should I say finish, bearing in mind that this post at the beginning, is the post at the end of the story, even though it is not the end of the story, because it is also the beginning…

You are clear on that, yes?  !!!

Never mind! It depends which way round you choose to read this!

You will need patience to read this story.  But I am needing so much patience myself, and it’s a good thing to cultivate.  So it might be useful for you to bear with me.    “The Very Patient Knee Replacement Story” will be added to, probably in a couple of months time, as I am still writing it periodically.  So, here is the full version of “The Very Patient Knee Replacement Story” as it stands on 4th April 2017.   If you want a much shorter read on a patients experience of knee replacement surgery and recovery, then I have posted some extracts from my story as part of a post I made for April 2017. And there is the abridged version!

Warning! This present version is VERY long! (Around the length of a PhD!) It has some text in a different colour, so that if you are not interested in exercises or mental meandering, you can be aided in your reading by knowing which areas to skip over with ease. Information I’ve found in the expanse of the internet will often be in sea green. Text related to physiotherapy and exercises will be in orange, and mental meanderings will be in blue. You can then jump right over those in your reading if you wish.  Even if you do that, it’s still a good two hour read! But I couldn’t bear to cut the text out, and didn’t think it right to, even if not of interest to the majority,  because if you are considering a knee replacement, I can tell you now, you will need to make yourself interested in exercises and mental meandering, because it is likely you will be doing a fair amount of both! And you will need patience.

If you do prefer a shorter version then follow the link to the abridged version: https://jennymeehan.wordpress.com/abridged-version-of-the-very-patient-knee-replacement-story-by-jenny-meehan/

I have called this “The Very Patient Knee Replacement Story” as it features a chapter of my life which, while it is still ongoing, (my knee replacement surgery was recently carried out on the 8th March 2017), was one of those experiences where time takes on a new dimension, and patience, as a virtue, does come into its own. The story as it stands at present, covers the time period from January 2017  to a couple of weeks after my knee replacement surgery,  but  it alludes back in time, (rather a lot!) as I recall the past, and try and make some kind of sense from it.

I think I have realised that what often happens in life, is we are very patient, but not out of choice, rather out of desperation, and a hope that something will change.   In some situations, patience is not a virtue.  Sometimes we wait, hoping, wondering, worrying, and being passive, but could be taking some action ourselves. We can wait too long for a change to happen and in the process of doing so, cause ourselves and others, a lot of distress.  We sometimes have some control over what happens, even if only a small amount, and we need to take it.  It might be the smallest of actions. A change of mind, or of direction.   A few questions asked.  An attempt at trying some new venture, or seeking any small thing which might help, clarify, or educate.  We might need to question something, and challenge it, rather than accept it.  We might need to raise our expectations both of ourselves and of how others treat us.  We may need to find faith in the process, where we currently harbour only doubt.  Just sitting there and waiting, while sometimes the right thing to do, isn’t always the right thing.

Waiting is not the same as patience.  Sometimes you can be patient, but choose not to wait.

I have been patient, but I did not want to wait, because I felt the timing for having knee replacement surgery on my very arthritic  (I prefer the term “screwed up”) right knee was ripe.  Now the knee replacement surgery  is done, and the story and journey continue, and indeed, I know in my heart of hearts, it was right to have this surgery now.  I’m a “young” knee replacement recipient, at just 52,  so in the decision for a knee replacement at this point is also embedded the prospect of revision surgery in the future.  It will take a long time to reap the benefits fully, but I am already reaping them now, just a few weeks post-operatively, and all the distress of the last two years can fade into the background.  This hasn’t happened quite yet, as you will see from my narrative, but it is happening, and it is happening in the light of me having a life which I can now walk through, with some chance of regularly being able to walk for an hour, and probably even more.  If this expectation seems a little low, and it probably is, it is because my expectations with respect to my quality of life shrunk before my eyes, and this alarming experience was made all the more alarming by the thoughts which were sown in my mind that it was reasonable simply to accept what was happening and live with it.  I did not accept these ideas in the end, though I toyed with them for a while,  and felt a certain amount of pressure to accept them.

I hope my writing about my experience, and sharing some of the thought processes I went through, will help someone else in some way.  Every person’s situation is different and everyone’s knees are different.  The knee is the largest load bearing joint of the body, and this, for me, is as well as being a simple fact, is also profoundly resonant psychologically.  Because my story is one not just of the problems with this load bearing joint, but the psychological load bearing which my knee has brought me into. The struggle involved in  making a decision to have elective knee replacement surgery, and the need for determination and faith at a time  when I was  already pretty discouraged and distressed.  (Anxious and depressed, at times, in the end!)  And it is a story of patience.  When feeling the pressure.

Patience is power.
Patience is not an absence of action;
rather it is “timing”
it waits on the right time to act,
for the right principles
and in the right way.”
― Fulton J. Sheen

Patience is  born from our inability to control much in our lives, and while we by our very natures, like to be in control, the reality is that while we exert control in some areas, we find ourselves in this vast pool of life, subject to all kinds of forces, influences, situations, people,  and experiences which we do not have any control over at all. Or very little.   Sometimes we did have control of an area of our life, at least in part, but did not see it, either because we were unwilling or unable to. Sometimes we were simply subjects, and didn’t have the power or ability to change things. We are broken, and lack insight at times to recognise what is going on. We misunderstand others and we misunderstand ourselves.  I think often the hardest person to understand in our life is ourselves, and we are also often the hardest person to get along with!

In this quest for understanding and getting along with ourselves, we  encounter our broken parts…our injured internal limbs, which stop us from moving as freely as we would like to move.  This “The Very Patient Knee Replacement Story” which orbits around my personal experience with osteoarthritis of my right knee and the decision for getting my knee surgically treated, is a personal narrative, first and foremost, which might be of interest to other obese 52 year olds who are considering elective surgery.  Or others, of other ages, who are not obese, but who are considering knee replacement surgery! It might be interesting for anyone working with patients having knee replacement surgery, or “TKR”s, as they are often termed.  (Total Knee Replacements). It’s not the usual type of patient account/diary/story of TKR, as I let myself dwell in waters deep; a little theological here and there, a bit philosophical, a little bit practical, with some research and some emotional angst as well.  It’s long. You’ve been warned!  It has many extra miles in it, and like my life at the moment, cannot be rushed through!  Recovery is a slow process. But gives me a lot of time to write!

My experience of increased pain and disability due to osteoarthritis in my right knee was something which came upon me rather more suddenly than I could ever have imagined, and it changed my life dramatically from the beginning of 2015 onward.  With my knee replacement surgery in March 2017, the journey is not over, but it is significantly altered, as is my life, which is  already much better.  I am not sure how unusual such a rapid deterioration of a knee joint is, and I do not have the means to judge my own experience in a comparative way, with others,  but I imagine that my previous injury to the knee in 2010, no doubt contributed to the state of the knee being quite as dire as it was.   Well, whatever the whys and wherefores, this is my knee replacement story as it stands (rather nice and straight!) at the moment. I have kept my narrative centred on myself, and not included all the wonderful, lovely people who have helped me through this time.  I prefer to keep confidentiality unless specific permission has been given by people I write about, but one of the fantastically valuable aspects of my experience has been the way I have realised how much God can bless, work, and use people, working in hearts, minds, words and understanding, to knit together, in a healing way, the wounds we all carry and experience in our lives. It’s been a wonderful last few months.

I trust you’ll get something worthwhile from it, if you are patient enough to read it, that is!  Though I have packed it into some form of organisation, also strays this way and that, meandering, in the style of my usual blog “Jenny Meehan, Contemporary Artist’s Journal – The Artist’s Meandering Discourse”.    Written from my perspectives as a Christian, aspects of my faith are shared as they are an integral part of my life, and my understanding of my experience is that it has very much been a matter of me learning to trust God, to wait patiently, and to expect good things.  But trusting God, waiting patiently, and expecting good things, are not passive, and do not preclude taking actions or making decisions.  Indeed, the power and ability and strength to take action, comes from “Waiting on God”. The timing, the principles, the way.  As I quoted earlier, but will again, because it is of the essence of what I have learnt through this experience:

“Patience is power.
Patience is not an absence of action;
rather it is “timing”
it waits on the right time to act,
for the right principles
and in the right way.”
― Fulton J. Sheen

As a believer in a marvellously mysterious Creator, yet one also intimately involved in our lives, (if we wish this to be so), I can see how I muddle through things, often rather blindly, and in my stumbling around, often make things quite hard for myself.  However, through all this, God manages to work, and writing this story also means I can look back and be reminded afresh of this time.  Whatever happens with my knee replacement in the future…that great unknown… nothing can take away the rich and rewarding aspects of this experience.  Though it certainly has not been easy, this experience  is one through which I have made progress, and also gained more faith through.

Sometimes when writing, people dedicate their writing to others, and I dedicate this piece of writing to the wonderful people who have been part of this experience; the friends, family, and NHS staff, my surgeon, and all those who made it possible for me to get where I am at the moment.  Anyone who has helped me in any way.  You know who you are!  And I also dedicate it to my knee, which though it found the pressure too much to bear without some reformation, still continues to bear my weight, even while traumatised and healing.

It’s early days.  But I’ve come forward miles already.

Here goes…Be patient!

Most recent entry is first. “The Very Patient Knee Replacement Story by Jenny Meehan”  can be read either way, from the present backwards, or in chronological order.

Well that’s the introduction!  If you are brave enough to read it, you may find you enter your own experience of being a knight fighting a snail, because it does go on!!!!   I am hoping it might be of use to those who do have a knee replacement operation.  It’s very helpful to read of other peoples experiences. 

Meditation Garden

Very pleased to see what is happening in the garden at the moment!

 

abstract graphic art, geometric design, contemplative christianity artist christian uk, british female contemporary art, colourful graphic garden design, art print to buy simple piece, jamartlondon.com © Jenny Meehan DACS All Rights Reserved

sign of the times series jenny meehan

And I have spent quite a bit of time pottering around in the garden, which is very enjoyable!  Plus doing what I am able to do for the:

Forthcoming Kingston Artists’ Open Studios for 2017

jenny meehan lyrical abstraction british 21st century emerging artist contemporary, london based female artists fine painting british women artists jenny meehan, christian art contemplative spirituality art, contemplative meditational aids for reflection through art and painting, jenny meehan jamartlondon collectable original paintings affordable,

“No Fear” painting by jenny meehan abstract lyrical expressionist british paintings jenny meehan

 

“No Fear” is one of the paintings I plan to bring along and show as part of this years Kingston Artists’ Open Studios.

Interesting among  other things for the combination of some of my more graphic strands of working, for example, the “Signs of the Times” series (of which “Meditation Garden” is one) but this time happening in paint, with, quite literally, a more lyrical edge to it.  Plus the joys of action painting!

To simplify one’s painting from time to time is a helpful habit.  It tends to get over involved if you are not careful.  That is OK to a point but it can be a slippery  slope to lost perspective.

 

Emily Carr Quote:

Emily Carr. Carr said “Art is art, nature is nature, you cannot improve upon it… Pictures should be inspired by nature, but made in the soul of the artist; it is the soul of the individual that counts.”

© Jenny Meehan DACS All Rights Reserved

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

Above “Dear Life” photograph by Jenny Meehan © Jenny Meehan DACS All Rights Reserved

 

Well, because of all the time I am spending with my knee surgery rehabilitation, I am going to finish promptly, for a change!  Do come along and see me at the Open Studios if you can.  Feel free to email me and let me know if you are coming and introduce yourself when you visit!  Remember:

KAOS OPEN STUDIOS 10th/11th and 17th/18th June 2017 11 – 5pm at Studio KAOS 2 , 14 Liverpool Road Kingston KT2 7SZ
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! …Visit several studios and meet lots of artists! You can talk with us and find out more about the work in a way you wouldn’t be able to do in a different context.
There are 90 artists showing work in total. I am showing at KAOS 2, along with 8 other artists:
Sandra Beccarelli, Cressida Borrett, Lizzie Brewer, Caroline Calascione, Ikuko Danby, Bali Edwards, Yuka Maeda, and Anna Tikhomirova! See you there!

http://www.kingstonartistsopenstudios.co.uk/

 

About Jenny Meehan 

 Jenny Meehan (Jennifer Meehan) is a painter-poet, artist-author
inspired by contemplative practices including prayer and mindfulness,
Christ-centred spirituality, various psychoanalytic themes
and trauma recovery processes.
See examples of her painting at jamartlondon.com

Making my own watercolour paints

I wanted to experiment with watercolours, and I wanted good quality paint to experiment with, and to be able to do so without worry about cost.  So I have made my own watercolour paints!  Problem solved! Worrying about the cost of materials is very detrimental to creative exploration… an artist needs to be able to work without little thought of the economics involved.  But I am in somewhat in a huff  right now.  My huff is this:  That artists are often being treated as if they need no money, food, or shelter.  How?  In the form of opportunities where they spend huge amounts of time working only to then end up assigning their copyright to large corporations.  This does no service to the artistic profession at all, in my opinion.

I am thinking of a recent call out for “Surrey Hills CowParade” I came across.  I won’t go on about it now, (actually, I will!) but though it seems materials for painting the cow are paid for, the artist, (as far as I can see at the moment*), receives no payment for their time, and also signs their copyright over to the CowParade Holdings Corporation who can, if they choose to, make all sorts of products and merchandise without the artist getting a penny from this. (For those not familiar with copyright, that would also mean that the artist couldn’t do anything or make anything with their design on, ie they couldn’t print their own prints, license the use of their design for anything else, create a similar design, or basically make any money from its use at all!)

  • Ahh, just found this on the website, on the page for sponsors: “As a sponsor, what do I have to pay for? The full size resin cow is £3,500 plus VAT. In addition, the sponsor pays a fee to the artist (to be negotiated), plus the materials the artist will need to decorate the cow.

(However, I cannot find anything on  the artists’ information section and terms and conditions about any fee for payment for work, only a reference to materials being paid for?? I find the way it is phrased a bit ambiguous?   In the artist’s pack it says “Please note, the sponsors of each cow will be commissioning the recommended artists, based on the designs submitted and on the CowParade website. They will be covering the cost of suitable materials including a protective glaze and paying the artist directly. On the charities section is says  “If you’re a fundraiser looking for a unique way to raise money for your charity, CowParade is the perfect opportunity for you. You will need to find a sponsor to cover the cost of a cow (£3,500 + VAT) and the materials needed to decorate it. )

Maybe more clarification will come later.  It appears that artists are not paid for their work? Even if some kind of production fee is paid for the actual painting of the cow,  which I cannot see any indication of on the Surrey Hills CowParade website,  it is important to remember that the actual design and copyright are a potentially very valuable asset in themselves.

The whole CowParade™ venture is a worldwide one, and some big artist names are involved/have been involved.  I cannot help speculating that the terms and conditions for the larger names must be different from that of the general artist call out, but I don’t have any information about this.  Maybe they are different for invited, well known artists?  I cannot believe that the big names would assign their copyright for their CowParade Cow design to a large corporation.  (I cannot, so far, locate any of the cow figurines for Vivienne Westwood, for example, and when I enquired on the website, I was told that none were made.) If you have one, let me know!

Ah, but it is all for charity, so it is good, yes? In my opinion, NO.  And it isn’t all for charity either.  (CowParade Holdings is not a non-profit organisation itself,  as far as I can see from the research I have done.)   There’s nothing wrong with artists donating some of their time and energy to charity.  It is one thing donating  a single piece of work to charity. Or even a few.  Or even investing a few hours work into a charitable event. I am all for it.  I donate some of my work to charity every year, but it is quite different to this, where you  work for nothing/next to nothing (??as said earlier, unclear on this point!)   and then sign away your copyright!   It makes me angry.   The time involved in working on the design and the painting and varnishing of a cow with even a fairly simple design would take at least a month, probably more.    One of the websites for another country’s Cow Parade mentions that the artists are given a lump sum of money once the full size cow has been auctioned, so it might be that this element varies depending on the country?  Some of the Cow Parade™ websites for other countries say that the artist is paid a “production fee” and others an “honorarium”.

Clarity is a great thing, but I don’t have it at the moment!   Are artists paid for the  design work/painting work,  and the materials? And if so, when?  (Might they want to know what they are going to be paid BEFORE signing away their copyright?)  And if  artists do indeed need to negotiate a fee for their work with the sponsors, how keen are those sponsors going to be to pay the artist very much, I am wondering, bearing in mind that they have already paid over £3,000? If the sponsors want to keep the cow they commissioned the artist to paint, they still need to bid for it at auction.  They may feel they don’t wish to pay the artist for their work in painting the cow, as the cow is not strictly speaking theirs?  The artist’s work in designing and painting/varnishing a cow for CowParade is considerable. Is it then wise and/or fair, for them  to then sign away the financial benefit which they might have gained from their labours?  If it doesn’t work out and sponsor and artist cannot agree a fee, is it then possible than another artist could be brought in to paint the design on the cow?  I would have thought it was, bearing in mind that the copyright has been assigned quite early on in the process.  Artists are required to sign the copyright clause on their initial application, and it says (among other things)  “If your finished cow is approved for exhibition, CowParade Holdings Corporation will continue to own the entire right, title and interest in your design proposal, accompanying sketches and all derivative works, including the final work completed on the fiberglass cow.”  What would happen if your finished cow (what does that mean? It must be the design proposal, as the final work is mentioned also?) is approved, your copyright signed away, and it is then painted onto the cow by another artist?   I can also see nothing which guarantees that if your design is approved, you will definitely be the artist who is allowed to execute the actual painting work on the cow itself. Once you have signed away your copyright, any artist given permission by the copyright  holder can produce your design.   It might not happen, but technically, it could.  All questions worth checking out before you proceed.  Ensure that you have the clarity your require.  There are answers to these questions, so it is wise to make sure that you have them,  so that you can be 100% confident and happy about what you are doing, and have no reason for complaint or dissatisfaction.

Well, I will look into this Cow Parade™ project a bit more, and I hope my writing at least prompts some valid questions which any self respecting artist will wish to consider before investing themselves into this project.   My writing and perspectives here are simply my own opinion, and reflect a rather strong emotional response as well as my rather critical thinking mind!  But I do feel strongly, mostly because it says on the website; “Proceeds benefit non-profit organizations worldwide.”   However, it does not appear that the process benefits the artist, many of whom, like myself, work hard at what is our calling in life,  but are certainly  non-profit in our art-working activities.  Selling pieces of  art  we produce is normally a sporadic and irregular occurrence, happening when the wind chooses to blow in the right direction!  (well, I speak for myself!)) and any money gained is sown right back into our costs and sustaining our practice.  The majority of fine artists, a group I count myself in,  tend to depend on alternative sources of income in order to meet our daily needs.  I consider myself blessed and fortunate to be able to invest myself in what is my profession and vocation, regardless of the lack of money it generates.  I had to wait until the second half of my life to be able to do what I do, because of social and economic factors.  However, just because I am now more enabled to carry out my art working, this doesn’t mean I don’t feel passionately about the need for artists and their work to be treated as other types of work, ie plumbers, builders, etc!  Creatives of all kinds need to be valued, and their work valued, in the same way that other occupations are valued. And we also need to be tenacious in our requirements for precise information, which any artist working in a professional manner expects and requires, in order to make informed judgements and ensure they use their time wisely.

This is particularly important for fine artists who of course could choose to create art which is more commercial, and there is nothing wrong with that, (often we do both) but many of us have responsibilities and other tasks, ie parenting, caring responsibilities, etc which mean our time is fairly limited, and it is important for all artists, of whatever variety, to go in the creative directions that maintain our own integrity…Our own unique contribution to life, in it’s fullness.  It is this diversity, freedom of expression, experimentation, and basically the role of creativity in general, which are a vital element of our role in society and culture.  If the artistic profession, as it operates on the kind of level I am working at (ie, not  anywhere near profit making, but still needing funding to continue operating!) was better valued and respected, and there were sounder frameworks and systems within our society to ensure that artist’s work, (all kinds of artists, not just visual artists!) was treated as work, and treated accordingly, then how much better the creativity we all benefit from would be.  The cynical part of me tells me that artists will continue to allow themselves to be treated in ways which don’t value the importance of artistic creativity, invention, and let their work be undervalued in the process.  But you never know, it’s good to have hope!

Well, er, I have got that out of my system!  Oh, not quite!

I did find this also:

http://www.wendyrodrigue.com/2009/12/blue-dog-man-1996-1999.html

If it doesn’t show up (not sure why!) just copy and paste the text below you will be able to find it.  Alternatively, there is a good picture to be found here:  http://www.nola.com/living/index.ssf/2008/03/noma_tail_wagger.html  and that one shows the little cows, so it’s a better image of the work.  Very creative response!  And some of the little cows are still wandering around somewhere:

http://www.worthpoint.com/worthopedia/rodrigue-blue-dog-black-tie-dog-cows-on-parade

This quote is from the wendyrodrigue website, but read the whole thing!

“And the Chicago Cow Parade (1999), for which Neiman Marcus requested three Rodrigue cows to graze in their flower gardens on Michigan Avenue. The project unfortunately caused a copyright nightmare and lawsuit when the Cow Parade attorneys reproduced miniature versions of George’s cows for Hallmark stores across the country after he specifically denied them permission. Upon settling the dispute, we ended up with hundreds of these cows in our warehouse, and in typical Rodrigue-form, he turned them into an installation for the New Orleans Museum of Art exhibition in 2008 (pictured, one of the Chicago Cows in front of A Herd of Moos, a Wall of Blues, created from illegally reproduced mini-cows).”

Nice to hear of a creative response!  I suspect I may produce my own artistic response later on it the year!

 

And I also found this,  the link from the Hartford Courant:  (This is dated from 2007)

http://articles.courant.com/2007-09-02/news/0709020604_1_cow-parade-fiberglass-cow-local-artists

After reading this with respect to the Cow Parade™ business venture, I can only say, as you would imagine, that my anger was increased.  Reading things like this:  All extracts are taken from “There’s Moola In Them Thar Cows
September 02, 2007|By JANICE PODSADA; Courant Staff Writer The Hartford Courant ©

Janice writes:

“But whether the cow parade is in New York City, Moscow, Paris, Istanbul or Harrisburg, Pa., it originates in West Hartford, home to CowParade Holdings Corp.

Founded by Jerry Elbaum, 67, a West Hartford lawyer, the privately held company’s business consists of selling the licensing rights and providing expertise to people who want to hold an official cow parade in their city.

A cow parade is a deceptively simple event: A city contracts with CowParade Holdings and the company joins with a local partner who then solicits local sponsors and artists. A year later, the whimsical cows make their debut.

Since its launch in 1998, CowParade Holdings, a six-person firm, has become a multimillion-dollar business, company officials said. After almost a decade, “how we do business is pretty much a science. We don’t need a lot of people to operate,” Elbaum said. ”

and

“With a cow parade, everyone wins, said Ron Fox, the company’s vice president. The city gets a free art exhibit with local businesses picking up the tab; merchants benefit from increased tourism; and local artists take home a $1,000 honorarium for each cow they embellish. When the exhibit closes, the cows are auctioned off, and nonprofit organizations typically take home all or most of the proceeds. And CowParade Holdings makes a bundle.”

And more from the article:  “There’s Moola In Them Thar Cows
September 02, 2007|By JANICE PODSADA; Courant Staff Writer.  Here is another extract:

“The licensing part of our business is where we make money,” Fox said.

To participate in a cow parade, artists must agree to assign the copyright for their design to the company, which then owns the rights to the art.

CowParade also makes money by licensing the manufacture of a range of products, including a collection of 250 different 6-inch ceramic cows that retail for $20 to $35, official cow parade apparel, books and memorabilia, and in Europe, a line of kitchen and home decor products. The company is also planning to launch an e-commerce store that will sell its collection of larger, home decor cow figurines.”

 

and also this from the same piece:

 

`Artists clamor to participate in our exhibits because they get a tremendous amount of exposure,” he said.”

Well, I wish them every success,  and I am sure it will be a super event.  But do artists “clamor to participate?”  Well, some do, but I am not one of them.

I spoke to a friend recently who happened to have a cow figurine, and we were discussing if it did work on a promotional level.  She didn’t recall who the artist was that had designed her cow, and said that it had not made her want to look at the artist’s other work. (Which of course, could be very different in style and subject matter anyway)  The cow had been brought for her as a gift.  This made me also consider the fact that if an artist assigns their copyright to someone else, they have no say on if and how their name, website or anything about them is shown, or have no control on how much, how prominently, or how long their information is displayed with reference to/or on  the product.  Or what the artwork is used for, made into, and how long and by whom it is used.  Indeed, the artist has no say at all. This is quite different to the situation if you license your work for something as an artist, everything needs to be approved by you, and is set out clearly.   You maintain control.  I have never seen one of these Cow Parade™ figurines in person, and I have no idea of how they are packaged, presented and labelled; the artists names are displayed with the item, I am sure, however, how beneficial this is to an artists other types of work I am not convinced about. There are lots of cheaper and easier ways to get your name splattered about the place, and there is nothing like your own network and those you come into contact with personally. I suppose there is a certain amount of exposure during the event itself, yes, indeed there would be,  but would that bring any financial benefit to the artist?   There may be examples of this, if you know, please let me know so I can adjust my own perspective a little.

I don’t think taking part in the Cow Parade™ is the way I personally want to help Charities… There are other ways!

When you know that many of the organisations and charities involved are probably blissfully unaware of how important an artist’s copyright is in terms of enabling artists to function and thrive, and how this corporation is effectively benefiting their own business by insisting that artists who take part assign their copyright to them,  I can find no redeeming features, however hard I look, from an artistic community point of view.   As I  have said before,   the potential benefit that the artist would get from any promotion would be primarily related to their actual cow design, as this is what the public would see and this is what the public would want to buy something of. You do sometimes hear that if you work for free then the publicity somehow generates sales for the artist, but I think this is a fallacy. Donate work to charity, yes, the whole charity auction events are a wonderful thing for artists to be involved in,  I wish there were more, but please, artists, stop working for free.  We don’t have an artists union or anything like that, so it is up to us to carefully examine what we sign up for, and if this does us a service or not. It is true, no one forces artists to take part in something like this.  It is up to the individual artist to do what they want with their copyright, and there may be some who don’t mind assigning it to a large profit making organisation who will benefit from their hard work, but I am certainly NOT one of those.

I think that is is very important that people who get involved with the whole Cow Parade™ event are fully aware of what the reality of the situation is, from an artist’s perspective.  And so, here, I have shared mine.   I am sure for many it will make no difference at all as to what happens with the artist’s copyright, after all, no one is forcing the artists to sign their copyright away, and no one is forcing them to take part at all.  However, I personally cannot agree with this kind of activity, and, yes, you have guessed, I will not be taking part.  I want no part in something like that at all.  As artists, we must value our work and our contribution to society, and do what we can to ensure that those around us are educated as to the value of our work.   I can see nothing about Cow Parade™ that inspires me, or encourages me, or supports me, as an artist.  I also think that if charities and artists want to work together, there are better ways to do it than something like this.  Charities often organise their own art exhibitions and art events, and all those I have been involved with have been a delight to work with, given me opportunity to show and share my work, have not required to to sign away my copyright, and have had clear terms and conditions which restrict the use of my work in a way which protects me and respects me, my work, and my kind contribution.

There are some positive things about the Cow Parade™, of course… I am sure many charities  and businesses will benefit from it.  I hope those charities and businesses that get involved in it, also value the hard work, dedication, and artistic talent, skill, and creativity involved, without which, there would be no Cow Parade at all.  I think for local community groups who would like to design a cow and paint it, as a type of creative activity, and they don’t mind at all about copyright, (it may be that the terms and conditions are different in this case anyway?  I do not know about this aspect?)  it could be a super, fun, and very positive thing to do. I think for artists who do not care about retaining their copyright and don’t mind their work being used in this way, it could also be a very positive use of time, and it may well be something which serves their own purposes and situation in a way which they feel perfectly at peace about.  But it only inspires me to lament the whole affair.

There is some more information here also….

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CowParade

“The concept of “cow parade” has its origins in Zürich, Switzerland, in 1998[1] by artistic director Walter Knapp, it is based on an idea which was realised in the same city for the first time in 1986: Lions as the symbol of Zurich were painted and then on display throughout the city.

The Zürich exhibit 1998 was not called “cow parade” – it was called “Land in Sicht” (roughly translated as “Countryside in view”).[citation needed] The concept was brought to the United States when Chicago businessman Peter Hanig, along with Commissioner of Cultural Affairs Lois Weisberg, organized an event in Chicago in 1999.[citation needed] A Swiss company, CowHolding Parade AG, started to explore the idea.[citation needed] The American company that explored this idea, CowHolding Parade, was founded in 1999; the Swiss company promptly sued but the case fizzled out without results.[citation needed] A bronze casting of one of the cows is on permanent display in Chicago in commemoration of the city’s initial exhibition.[citation needed]

The success of this venture inspired many other cities to host similar fundraising projects. The idea has been taken up by other cities which have chosen animals for public art projects with painted fiberglass sculptures (see Similar projects).[citation needed]”

There is rather a lot of citation needed! As an avid lover of research, this spurred my curiosity, naturally!

I also found this:

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/this-britain/is-someone-milking-the-painted-cows-704575.html

and these:

http://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/whats-on/going-out/legacy-of-bitter-legal-dispute-1113307

 

the next is from the New York Times, an article “Is Nothing Sacred?; International Discontent Erupts Over a Cow Parade”
By CHRIS HEDGES
Published: May 31, 2000

http://www.nytimes.com/2000/05/31/nyregion/is-nothing-sacred-international-discontent-erupts-over-a-cow-parade.html?pagewanted=all

and this is an interesting read also:

http://forecastpublicart.org/public-art-review/2014/07/cowparade-discontents/

Another article: Cash Cow: The CowParade™
The CowParade™ and its discontents…This is a perspective from Susan Tallman, who is an art historian who has written extensively on issues of authenticity, reproduction, and multiplicity. Her books include The Contemporary Print: from Pre-Pop to Postmodern and The Collections of Barbara Bloom (with Barbara Bloom and David Hickey).

Susan Tallman’s perspective is particularly interesting, and a very good read!

On the value of it artistically, and another perspective there is this  written by Thomas Vinciguerra FOR THE INQUIRER
POSTED: October 05, 2005

http://articles.philly.com/2005-10-05/news/25442066_1_tom-eccles-fine-arts-public-art-fund

I also found this, which offers an artist’s perspective from quite a way back, but interesting anyway:

http://artezine.com/issues/20001101/cowpar.htm

For an appreciation of profit to be made from merchandise, this is a good read, quoted from Speciality Retail, Winter 2001 Mad About the Cow by Lauryn Mittleman

http://specialtyretail.com/issue/2001/01/retail-products/retail-product-features/cow_retail_products/

Here is a snippet, but as always, best to read the whole thing to have it in context:

“Everywhere the CowParade goes, herds of people follow,” proclaims US CowParade Holdings. And so does the money. So whether it’s Chicago’s cows or a hometown critter crawl, specialty retailers benefit from the event-related T-shirts and totes, magnets and more. They’re not just colorful and clever and fun—they’re profitable. “Take a look,” says Nieroth, “and just try not to smile.”

 

I hope my researching is useful, it is certainly something I have found interesting to do. Once I start researching something, I find it hard to stop, as you can see!  Here is one rejected cow, which I have to show you, because it is brilliant!

http://www.davidlynch.de/eatmyfear.html

 

Not for me! 

I must stress…It is made very clear, and is totally transparent, that the artist is required to assign their copyright to the CowParade Holdings Corporation, for this is what the information in the “Details and Terms and Conditions” section of the Surrey Hills CowParade says:

“rights/entitlements

By submitting your application, you confirm that:

You are the original creator of your design.
You have not copied anyone else’s original work.
Your design does not infringe on anyone else’s intellectual property rights (for example, trademark or design patent).
Upon completion you must sign a “Copyright Assignment” indicating your understanding that you are assigning the entire right, title and interest to your design to CowParade Holdings Corporation.

If your finished cow is approved for exhibition, CowParade Holdings Corporation will continue to own the entire right, title and interest in your design proposal, accompanying sketches and all derivative works, including the final work completed on the fiberglass cow. You will be acknowledged as the artist on the base and in appropriate publications. However, the copyrights, including the rights to reproduce your design, create copies or reprint your design in books, will be owned by CowParade Holdings Corporation.”

However, many artists considering taking part may not have a full understanding of what this actually means. For more information, this is a good place to look:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/copyright-notice-assignment-of-copyright

I will try and post more about copyright considerations in another future post.  Bear in mind that there is nothing about payment of royalties, and also that once the copyright has been signed over, any revenue streams from the design (for the artist) are completely blocked.  It’s a lot of work to paint a cow too… Two weeks (80 hours) at the very least, if you include the several layers of varnish required.  Probably a lot more for a complex design applied, if well executed.  And that’s not including the creation of the design itself.

You can find out more about the CowParade Holdings story itself here:  http://www.cowparade.com/our-story/

and it does say here that “each artist is paid, on average, the equivalent of $1,000 per cow. CowParade has contributed well over $3 million dollars to artist communities around the world.”

Though as said, I can only find reference to materials being paid for on the Surrey Hills CowParade, and haven’t been able to find out anything more regarding any other payment as yet, to date.   I am not sure if I personally consider materials cost, payment for work.

And if you must paint a cow…

If you really want to paint a cow, (because it does have a certain appeal) but don’t want to sign away your rights to it,  then it is possible to purchase your own for around £400 it seems:

http://www.lifesize-models.co.uk/product.php?id=1088

Though it wouldn’t be permitted to join the CowParade, however, it would look lovely in the garden.

If you are an artist who chooses to take part in the Surrey Hills CowParade, then please do let me know how long you spent painting and designing your cow, and what you got paid for it, if you do get paid for it (I am unclear on this point!) Also, if you are happy about assigning the copyright to CowParade Holdings Corporation, your own views on this would be welcome.  However strongly I feel, I am always open to listening to other perspectives.

However, I feel sick to the stomach…. and cows have more than one ..(The cow has four stomachs and undergoes a special digestive process to break down the tough and coarse food it eats. When the cow first eats, it chews the food just enough to swallow it. The unchewed food travels to the first two stomachs, the rumen and the reticulum, where it is stored until later.), so it might take some time for me to get this one out of my system!  I am thinking of a creative and artistic response, but more of that will come later.

In the meantime, if artists want to tread on solid ground with copyright matters, then it is important to get informed, and if you wish, consider joining an organisation like DACS or similar, who will help you tread the sometimes miry path, without sinking your hoofs in too deeply, and not being able to moooooove forward with your work, due to lack of finance, which you could have had, if you had realised how valuable your work really is.  (apologies for the puns, too hard to resist!)

http://www.dacs.org.uk/

 

The Design and Artists Copyright Society

Established by artists for artists, DACS is a not-for-profit visual artists’ rights management organisation.

DACS
33 Old Bethnal Green Road
London E2 6AA

T +44 (0) 20 7336 8811
F +44 (0) 20 7336 8822

 

 

Back to the watercolours!

I DO LOVE WATERCOLOURS!

I am very much enjoying experimenting with watercolours, and as I cannot use my studio tent, due to the weather (plus it has also become a garden furniture dumping ground!) and so I have put the acrylic on canvas painting aside for a while.  Watercolour painting is something I started at the beginning of this year when I was on a retreat and it was not practical to bring other kinds of paints and substrates.  I also had a wonderful time over the Summer making my own watercolour paints which is something I wanted to do for ages.  It is pure delight to see this paint, and use it, and know that you have been with it right from the beginning!  I have used the pigments I love, basically all the ones I had to use with my mineral silicate paint when I was painting the mural at Trafalgar Junior School in Twickenham.  These are metal oxides and earths, and are all wonderfully light fast and reliable.  Ones like Ultramarine violet, (PV15), Ultramarine, (PB29), Cobalt Blue (PB28), Chrome green (PG17), Yellow Ochre (PY43) Titanium Yellow (PY53), Sanguine, Caput Mortuum, Venetian Red, Oxide Red (PR102) Red Ochre (PR102), Burnt Sienna (PBr7) and naturally formed iron oxides such as clay earth pigments, ie Raw Umber (PBr7), calcined(heated)as Burnt Umber, Raw Sienna (PBr7) and Iron black (PBk11).  The white I used for body colour when painting was probably Titanium white, I am not sure as I rejuvenated some old poster powder paint by adding my gum arabic mixture.   I also used some of my cream coloured leftover silicate mineral paint, with most of the binder removed (it floats to the top of the container when left for a long time!), and I then re-bound it with the gum arabic.  It seems to work fine, and I have had no problems with doing this.  I could probably just use the silicate paint on the paper to be honest, but I wanted all the paint to have the same binder and main vehicle as the other paint.   I also used in the paintings some water soluble wax crayons and watercolour pencils… Not as the main medium, but handy for little parts here and there.  A few additional colours came in that way too in a way which didn’t remove the main push of the pigments I had chosen for my actual home made watercolour paints.

Here are two examples of my work.  These two I have decided to submit to the Royal Watercolour Society.  I have spent so much time at the Bankside Gallery over the last few years it feels rather home to home.  And I can get there easily from Chessington, even if my  knee is playing up!  I plan to make a dedicated few months of each year to extending my experience with watercolours, and now I know I can make my paint so easily (well, for my own style and approach, my own home made watercolours work well!) I can move ahead without any prohibitive materials costs.

watercolour painting submitted by Jenny Meehan to the Royal Watercolour Society call out in 2015 cozens inspired internal landscape english watercolour contemporary painting jenny meehan

watercolour painting submitted by Jenny Meehan to the Royal Watercolour Society call out in 2015

 

cozens inspired internal landscape english watercolour contemporary painting jenny meehan, collectable english watercolours abstract expressionist, abstract english contemporary watercolourist,jenny meehan jamartlondon,imaginative contemplative process led painting,watercolours today bankside gallery, royal society of watercolours submission;

internal landscape inspired by cozens blot technique by jenny meehan submitted to the Royal Watercolour Society competition 2015

 

It is also handy for me to be able to work on slightly smaller paintings when my knee is painful, as some of the larger ones do involve a great deal of walking (yes, really… I have to view them from quite a distance) whereas these smaller ones can be painted however much pain I am in or not.   I am not happy about my knee… and it means it is sometimes not possible to carry heavy items, walk as far as I normally need to (as I do not/cannot drive).  It is cramping my style a little, however, I tend to see these things as also opening up new horizons, previously unexplored.

Making your own watercolour paint….

This is what I did, I expect there are other ways.  I don’t like very finely ground pigment, and so I just used the pigments as I had them without grinding them down further.   I found this rather interesting text on paints.. this extract being only one small part of it!

“Particle size also influences colour. Smaller particles are usually brighter in shade and change the hue of a pigment. As
a general rule, smaller particles give: greener yellows; yellower oranges; redder violets; greener blues; yellower greens. ” and
“Pigment manufacturers have become very skilled in producing pigments with the desired crystal form and even with a narrow particle size distribution in order to impart the desired colour, physical properties, and hence performance .yellower reds up to mid red; bluer reds from mid reds;”

this is quoted from:  Chemistry – Pigments For Paints uploaded by Giovanni Casati which can be found here:

http://independent.academia.edu/GiovanniCasati

(I have to confess to being terribly interested in the chemical features of paint… When I was researching using Silicate Mineral Paints I spent about six months reading and researching!)

Anyway, back to the making your own watercolours..

I chose to use gum arabic for my binder, which was easy to get on the internet.  I purchased it in a powdered form which was quick and easy to use.  I added acacia honey and used oil of cloves (I put more in than the recipe below, as I like the smell and some pigments, particularly earth ones, do tend towards getting mouldy quite easily!)

I dissolved one part of gum arabic powder in three parts of boiling water.  I used my slow cooker as the container for this.  You pour in the boiling water and still for a good ten minutes.  It looks like it won’t work out, getting gloopy and very lumpy!

I didn’t need to sieve my water and gum arabic mixture, as unlike  maybe when one is using solid gum arabic, there were no bits of bark or other impurities, or not any that I could see!

I added the honey, which draws in more of the water.  The honey helps the watercolour (if you put it in pans afterwards) to wetten and release colour onto the brush.  The recipe I used suggested four parts of solution to one part honey, which is what I choose to use, though I am sure the ratios could be different.

I left my solution in the slow cooker on a low heat which really helped the whole mixture to mix!  Stirring occasionally!

As I said before, I didn’t grind the pigment into the mixture, I simply added it.  I used small plastic lidded containers.  I put my pre wetted (the proper  term is slaked) pigment into the bottom of the containers and poured the gum arabic solution on top.   Apparently the general guide is to use slightly more of the gum solution than the pigment.  I stuck to about half and half.  The earth pigments need more….they really suck it up!   I decided to keep some of my paint wet, ie I just let it cool and sealed up the containers, and some of it I put into ice cube trays and let it dry, effectively therefore making little pans of watercolour.  My pans took a long time to dry (even in the hot Summer) and they did crack a lot.  However, they were still very usable.  I think if you want less cracking it would be best to increase the strength of the gum arabic solution and this would also reduce the drying time considerably.

I also added some extra oil of cloves, because of the delightful smell, and because of wanting to avoid any mould growth.  I had put about ten drops into the slow cooker, but added a few drops more to some of the paints.  Mmmmm!

The whole thing was a success!  It was quick, easy, enjoyable, suits my method of working, and enables me to work with top quality paints without being unable to feed the family!  I know 100 percent that there are no fillers in my watercolour paints, and when I chose to add body colour, I knew exactly how much I was working with.  I think making ones own paints gives one an essential dimension to ones watercolour painting, and a lot of pleasure.  I like the texture and consistency of them, and I have plenty of pre made gum arabic in the fridge, which I use to adjust the colours as I wish when I am painting with them.

PS..addition,  This is the recipe I based  my watercolour paint making experiments on which is quoted from http://www.earthpigments.com/artists-watercolor-and-gouache/:     I did add some glycerin also, as I had it to hand.

Gum Arabic Preparation
Ingredients
By Weight:
100 grams (3.5 oz) Gum Arabic
333g (11.75oz) boiled, distilled water
130g Glycerin (optional)
By Volume:
2 parts Gum Arabic
4 parts boiled, distilled water
1 part Glycerin (optional)
Boil water and pour over the powdered gum, stirring to make sure there are no lumps. Add the Glycerin if desired, stirring well. It is advisable to strain this mixture through cheesecloth when pouring it into your storage jar, then putting on the lid. Allow the mixture to soak 24-48 hours for full absorption. If desired, you can add drops of Clove Oil to extend shelf life. Prepared Gum Arabic Solution must be stored in the refrigerator to deter mold growth. It may be advisable to make small batches so the solution will be fresh rather than storing larger quantities for an extended period of time.
Watercolor Preparation
Ingredients
Prepared Gum solution
Pigments (premixed into a paste with water is preferable)
Honey in a 10% proportion to the weight of Gum solution used
Honey is used to help the pigments mix smoothly into the formula. Here it is calculated based on the weight of your Gum Solution rather than a volume mix. For example, if creating the Gum Solution with 100g of Gum Arabic, use 55g of Honey (2.6 tablespoons.) Honey weighs 21.25g per level Tablespoon.
The amount of pigment to use will vary depending upon the color. Start with a ratio of 1 part Gum/Honey to 1 part pigment paste and adjust as necessary. Mix all the ingredients and work them on a glass plate using a paint spatula. Your goal is to obtain a paste with a thick, creamy consistency. Some pigments will incorporate easier than others.” 

 

 

And something else to skim over!

 

What an interesting article, wonderfully written, and I rather like the painting too!

http://www.thenation.com/article/is-serious-landscape-painting-still-possible/

 

I look back fondly at my work with light, but no colour!  Those hours of looking for light and looking for how it works with surfaces resulted in a lot of photographs of shiny metal!

 

 

 west sussex mini owners club steyne gardens, wes sussex mini event minis by the sea, jenny meehan jamartlondon photography monochrome, mini revolution wheel, polished chrome mini part,shiny metal car part,

jenny meehan jamartlondon photography monochrome west sussex mini owners club steyne gardens

 

The photo above is one I took of several wonderfully shiny car parts!   I have always had a “thing” for metal, and shiny metal pulls the eye something rotten!  The photo was taken at West Sussex Mini Owners Club event “Minis by the Sea”  at Steyne Gardens, Worthing, West Sussex.   I am not sure where I put the images I had of engines, but I took a few, and they were equally shiny!

mini headlight from west sussex mini owners club minis by the sea at steyne gardens worthing west sussex

mini headlight from west sussex mini owners club minis by the sea at steyne gardens worthing west sussex

 

west sussex mini owners club minis by the sea at steyne gardens worthing west sussex image by jenny meehan all rights reserved

wes sussex mini owners club minis by the sea at steyne gardens worthing west sussex image by jenny meehan all rights reserved

 

 

 

 

 

 

Art Fund Raising for Straight Talking…

 

Gala Night Tuesday 8th December 7-9pm.  All Welcome!

Exhibition runs from then until 3rd January 2016.

 

http://www.straighttalking.org/

I’m donating another one of the “My Patch/Cat Print” digital prints.

my patch/cat print digital print jenny meehan jamartlondon copyright jenny meehan DACS all rights reserved

my patch/cat print digital print jenny meehan jamartlondon copyright jenny meehan DACS all rights reserved

 

‘Straight Talking Peer Education employs teenage parents to run courses in secondary schools about the realities of early parenthood. This achieves a reduction in teenage pregnancy rates and allows teenage parents to access employment.’ For further details please see their website  www.straighttalking.org   Hilary Pannack, the CEO,  will come on the Gala night with some of the peer educators and talk about their work.
http://www.thecornerhouse.org/

The cornerHOUSE runs in an old Church Hall at the junction of Douglas Road and Ravenscar Road. The postal address is:

116 Douglas Road
Surbiton
Surrey
KT6 7SB

It is best to use public transport to get to the cornerHOUSE. Buses 281, 406 and 418 stop regularly at the end of Douglas Road (ask for the police station), bus K1 stops near the end of Ravenscar Road (ask for Tolworth Hospital) and bus 71 stops in the Hook Road (ask for Thornhill Road).

Please note that if you use your own car there is no dedicated parking at the cornerHOUSE and it is usually difficult to park nearby. The cornerHOUSE is in a residential area so please allow enough time to find a safe and sensible parking space which may be some distance away. Please park with consideration for our neighbours and avoid obstructing their access ways.

 

Court Farm Cafe

I also have several digital prints up at the Court Farm Cafe,  Court Farm Garden Centre, Tolworth for a couple of months.  These are reasonably priced at just £35 and £40 so would make great Christmas presents.  Having a bit of a sort out at home, as I need more space, so effectively selling these off at a rather reduced amount!

 

jenny meehan artwork court farm cafe at chessington court farm garden centre tolworth surrey

jenny meehan artwork court farm cafe at  court farm garden centre tolworth surrey

 

jenny meehan artwork court farm cafe at chessington court farm garden centre tolworth surrey

jenny meehan artwork court farm cafe at court farm garden centre tolworth surrey

 

http://www.courtfarm.uk.com/  Old Kingston Road, Worcester Park, Surrey… It’s not far from Tolworth Rail Station.

Old Kingston Road, Worcester Park, Surrey, KT4 7QH020 8012 8626  admin@gardencare.uk.com

Hopefully it will be nice and busy, with folks getting their Christmas Trees, etc.  I could do with selling some things to help with the expenses of Christmas!

Singing in the Rain

Lyrical abstract painting… This is the final…

Singing in the Rain abstract expressionist colourist lyrical painting by jenny meehan jamartlondon

Singing in the Rain abstract expressionist colourist lyrical painting by jenny meehan jamartlondon

Singing in the Rain Images taken when 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

Yeah,  I like taking pictures of my paintings!

You might notice that it hasn’t changed that much, if at all!  The reason for this is that when I talk about a painting being “In Progress”  I consider the time I spend in contemplation/reflection/meditation (whatever your preferred word!) part of the process of the painting…Time spent waiting for paint to dry with acrylics is too, too short, and so I spend a lot of time looking at the paintings when they are dry.  I sometimes think that something is not finished when it ends up telling me that it is.  I sometimes find the opposite, and something calls out for attention several months later.  After about six months I can be more certain.  This painting lurked around and I thought it wasn’t finished, but it was.  The taking of close up images is helpful to me as it helps to freshen up my eyes and seeing of what is going on.  It sometimes helps me appreciate what a painting has to give me as it stands, which can be helpful, as it is very easy to rush forwards in a painting pushing it on to new things, when you haven’t actually seen what is there properly.

 

Resurrection Two –  Painting in Progress

Unlike the other, these image show a bit more visible development!

Resurrection Two Painting:

 

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

I have colour corrected the image above so it is more like the original.  Images below haven’t had that treatment, and are therefore rather blue!

 

 

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

 

Yoga Inhale and Yoga Exhale paintings.

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

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

I am particularly pleased with the Yoga ones; very exciting to be able to use all the years of experimenting with acrylic paints, pigments and various mediums.   The right way up is as follows:

chakra colours painting, chakra colours art, chakra movement opening, yoga inhale yoga breathing inspired abstract painting by jenny meehan

yoga inhale yoga breathing inspired abstract painting by jenny meehan

 

yoga chakra colours opening painting art, chakra art, chakra dance, yoga exhale yoga breathing inspired abstract painting by jenny meehan

yoga exhale yoga breathing inspired abstract painting by jenny meehan

 

I posted these only a short while ago, I know, but I am VERY pleased with them!

 

November Thoughts

We should all be hibernating!

I’ve been to an excellent one day course at the Mount Street Jesuit Centre on “Spirituality and Chronic Illness”.  It was very good and will add to my training in the art of spiritual direction no doubt.   Here are the details taken from the Mount Street Jesuit Centre website.

 

Chronic illnesses – conditions which are long term and for which there is no obvious cure, affect almost half the population. Including arthritis, COPD, depression, ME, fibromyalgia and many others, these conditions often leave us tongue-tied and frustrated, struggling to find a language of faith in which to respond.

This workshop seeks to create a space for exploration of the ways in which we can encounter God in the midst of long-term physical and emotional pain. We will explore the spiritual impact of chronic illness, ways of listening to the reality of the experience, and ask how we can engage with God in the midst of pain.

This interactive day is aimed at those with chronic illness, those who live alongside them, and those involved in spiritual direction and pastoral care of people impacted by these conditions.

About Edel McClean

Edel McClean is a trainer, facilitator and spiritual director. She currently works as a learning and development officer with the Methodist Church in the North West. She was previously a team member at Loyola Hall for almost seven years. She has a commitment to Ignatian spirituality, to demystifying prayer and to empowering people to embody change within the Church. She has been living with chronic illness for 15 years.”

It was a fun, lively and interesting day, which helped us to examine the way that we communicate and also to recognise some of the theological beliefs that we sometimes hold which, often distorted and mis-applied, can make offering deep, understanding and compassionate relations with those who experience chronic pain/illness less possible. There’s a lot more I could say about it, but rather pressed for time at this point!  I met some lovely people… I always enjoy my times at Mount Street Jesuit Centre!

Go to the following, for information on Saturday Workshops coming up next year.

http://www.msjc.org.uk/events/categories/saturday-workshop/

Back to the hibernating…

I’m not currently painting, but organising and tidying.  Thinking ahead to next year, yes, already, as I mentally prepare for some future directions.  A lot of time spent reviewing the year’s work, and the directions that seemed to be indicating.

 

General Information on Jenny Meehan:

Artist’s Statement (sketchy overview, rather!)

Art, in my experience, is about exploration. I view mine as a natural and evolving process which is primarily to do with the emotions and spirit, though I do enjoy playing with concepts too. My Christian faith, relationships, and artistic contemplation and production are the main driving forces in my life.

Trees and plants, metal objects, the human figure, and many different types of man- made constructions, are subject matter I favour. I like to explore different styles of expression using a range of media; primarily paint, but also photography, poetry, and some sculpture. The brokenness of human experience fascinates me, but also the potential for growth and renewal. My work has a positive outlook, as I think that it is often through suffering, touched by God’s grace, that the beauty of the human soul is revealed. The idea of strength combined with vulnerability is particularly attractive to me.

My art is a sacramental practice, and the mystery of faith and its reality, which stretches beyond our human rational capacities, is something which interests me. I also see my work as an articulation of fragmentary experience; it’s how I make sense of the world.  Since 2010 I have put most of my creative energies into developing my skills with paint, which I love. Intensely.

 

See my website, jamartlondon.com, for more!    www.jamartlondon.com

 

 

 

Some of the material I appreciated a lot over the period of my recent retreat:

85 Veni Sancte Spiritus – Come, Holy Spirit

Come, Holy Spirit;
send down from heaven’s height
your radiant light.
Come, lamp of every heart,
come, parent of the poor;
all gifts are yours.
Comforter beyond all comforting,
sweet unexpected guest,
sweetly refresh.
Rest in hard labour,
coolness in heavy heat,
hurt souls’ relief.
Refill the secret hearts
of your faithful,
O most blessed light.
Without your holy power
nothing can bear your light,
nothing is free from sin.
Wash all that is filthy,
water all that is parched,
heal what is hurt within.
Bend all that is rigid,
warm all that has frozen hard,
lead back the lost.
Give to your faithful ones,
who come in simple trust,
your sevenfold mystery.
Give virtue its reward,
give, in the end, salvation
and joy that has no end.     after the Golden Sequence

 

The canticles can be found here, very usefully:

http://www.richardliantonio.com/anglican/Canticles%20Booklet%20-short.pdf

http://www.richardliantonio.com/anglican/

and also I found this, which is kind of useful too:

https://www.churchofengland.org/prayer-worship/worship/texts/daily2/canticles/psalmcanticles.aspx#5

 

Oh, that retreat seems a long way away now, but I plan to revisit and recall often.  It was a brilliant and rich time, much needed.  I will be posting bits and pieces from it over the next few months I expect.

retreat jenny meehan 2015

retreat jenny meehan 2015

This image was taken on a very bright but chilly day!  Sitting on the roof was good both in daytime and at night time!

 

Interesting…

” we should question the conventional wisdom that would place religious art and secular art in different and opposing camps”

“There are implicit assumptions throughout Pickstone’s lecture that sacred and profane, religious and secular, need no longer be seen as antithetical in the light of contemporary crossovers: the gallery has been sacralised by the continuing presence of religious concerns and the church has been colonised by the secular. Pickstone suggests that while the sacred and secular have historically been separate, artists are amongst those who can disturb this division and encourage a greater parity of, or communion between, the two. In other words, we should question the conventional wisdom that would place religious art and secular art in different and opposing camps. This would seem to allow more latitude for diverse experiences of sacredness, beyond monolithic religious categorisations.”

The above quote from: http://www.transpositions.co.uk/2012/06/art-in-the-cathedral-sacred-and-secular-galleries/

(Transpositions is the official blog of the Institute for Theology, Imagination, and the Arts at the University of St Andrews.)

SPIDIR Training

Soon I will be starting my SPIDIR training.  Looking forward to this.

http://www.spidir.org.uk/

The name SPIDIR comes from the contraction of Spiritual Direction.  It’s nothing to do with spiders.

And what is spiritual direction?   A couple of years ago I had not heard of it.  The  text comes from the soul friend website:

http://soulfriend.org.uk/about-us/

Sacred space and spiritual direction

From early times across many religions, people have found it helpful to talk about their spiritual life with someone they trust. This creates a ‘sacred space’, confidential and comfortable, totally focused on their concerns.

Spiritual direction is not about someone telling you what to do, but about finding your own ‘direction’ in life, through the companionship of someone who listens reflectively, without judgement or prior expectations.

This may be particularly important at times of great change in your life, or when you have a difficult issue to deal with, or a feeling of inner emptiness. Or it may be about finding ways to pray, or to respond to a sense of being invited into something deeper.”

I am starting a two year training hoping to develop in this area.  As my lovely retreat companion reminded me “the Holy Spirit is the retreat giver”.   So I guess I am hoping that I will increase my own capacity to be led, to listen, and to learn, and then to put myself into being some use to others at the same time.

Painting Ramble

Well there is a lack of painting right now, mostly due to the fact that the house is full of people and the Studio Tent is freezing. Freezing.  However, it is good to look at others work, and also look back on my own.  Times and seasons.  I read a great deal about other painters approaches, thoughts and work on blogs such as “Painter’s Table”:

http://painters-table.com/ 

It’s quite helpful, as apart from my fellow Kingston Artist’s Open Studios folk,  and a few longer term painters who I converse with, I have limited opportunity to discuss in depth ways of working, work, and motivations, thoughts, directions in painting.  I used to enjoy “Abstract Critical” quite a bit, but that no longer continues.  My Psychotherapist is a good person to discuss work with, and my Spiritual Mentor  also, so I am grateful for them.  I have had some excellent conversations with artists I have met over the last year in particular, and the consensus has been that it we invest our time into focused discussions this brings a lot of creative energy and light into our work, our perceptions, and our creativity in general.  Reading, listening and talking do serve as fuel for the fire!

One of the things I have mulled over for a while could be placed in the theme of “Order and Chaos”… This constantly interests me, and indeed, I named the exhibition in 2013  “Order and KAOS” (Kingston Artists Open Studios) because I have been thinking so much about art and creativity, and order and chaos in relation to my own art making approach.  I think when I am painting that formal considerations, (maybe “rules” or “order”  is another word for this), shouldn’t be foremost in mind, but neither should they be neglected.  When I am working I follow my feelings and inspiration instinctively, and the whole process feels very organic, but at the same time there has to be a kind of backbone.   Through habit and the accumulation of what I have learnt through past paintings, both my own and those of others, the work happens through a sieve of formal considerations, and they have to be under my command, ready to use,  a bit like subconscious tools.  I  need these tools to do the job of delivering my work in a resonant way,  visually, even if I am not always certain at all times what that “meaning”  is.  Well, on the matter of meaning… Do I always need to know? No, I don’t. Because I exist, the meaning is there in what I do with paint.  The act of painting is fundamental in that respect, and I think  it is vital for this to be a very much esteemed awareness. I paint not because I know, but because I paint in order to know.  But the knowing is still, and always will be, a mysterious kind of knowing; poetic. Meaning is a problematic word, too much attached to words.   One of the most lovely quotes I came upon recently was “The only reason to paint is that there is no reason to paint”…or something similar to that.  I just cannot get it out of my head… I releases me from this grappling with words!  Though I insist, it seems, on doing so anyway, as you see here.

But as an act of communication not just between the painter and the painting and vice versa, if something more expansive is wanted than this, then it’s not just my responses which matter, but the responses of others.   But I do not like to think of these very much, as it tends to steer me off course.  However, I do wish to strike emotional chords in paintings which can be heard by others (and  this is true for both paintings with recognisable subject matter and those without).  I also, very importantly, want my paintings to be beautiful. Physically.  Vulnerable.   So I arrive at some point in a painting where I need to demand certain things back from the work in the way of order and arrangement, even in the middle of chaos. And this is the excitement and the joy of it, the challenge and the achievement.  I think the kind of paintings I tend to enjoy the most are those that seem to have experienced periods of both chaos and order, just like us human beings do. Just as experience is.   I am rather aware when showing my abstract paintings to those who have no previous experiences of engaging with abstraction, that they may well find it pretty hard to appreciate the beauty which seems so clear to me!  Though I am often surprised.

It seems to me that I notice beauty in the relationships between chaos and order, not just in one or the other.  In order to create those relationships, I have to be aware of, and apply the rules I have learnt;   It may be that there are two kinds of rules;  There are rules formed by moments of realising what effect different elements of abstraction will have on the journey you eye takes when looking at a painting.  But there are also possibly rules which are uniquely personal, which determine if what the painter is doing rings “true” and accurately expresses that person’s individual approach/vision/  identity.   I think to have both is best.  It’s what I tend to aim for most of the time anyway. Each to their own.

In considering the “act” of painting, I tell myself that it depends on the nature of the act and the process of enactment.  An act can be brash, thoughtless and pointless, or it can be like this, but relate to something else in a  purposeful way.  Which changes it.  Or an act can be most well thought out and considered, indeed , too well thought out and considered; really needing  a wild companion to liven it up!  Or it may be quite complete in itself: both spontaneous and determined AND be able to convey both the interest which comes with uncertainty and the assurance that comes with structuring.

“Technique must be born of inner necessity” is something that seems true enough to me.  And maybe this is the contribution of a greater accordance with the whole action painting phases when we come to them.  Expressing movement;   the internal movements of emotion, thought, understanding and experience, (from whatever inspirational source thy come from, imaginative  or the physical environment)  Expressing movement in the stillness of a painting, I believe, will continue to entrance any who care to spend enough time looking.  Any painter needs to find the best way of expressing what moves them in life, and the particular techniques they choose for doing so are a secondary concern.  What matters is that they use the best way for them; the way which is most natural to them, and which enables them to function in accordance with their own personality.  In the way they feel comfortable with, but are not bored by.  In the way which enables them sufficient excitement and fear, (even if this comes with the attempt at a perfectly straight line…Not my kind of thing, but I am sure that it could be a thrill).  In a way that includes both elements of risk and elements of security.

Thoughts on painting, for now!

I am currently exploring some very different techniques to those I have been using for the last couple of years, though with no major plans to change direction.  However, I need to cast out in different directions in order to see what happens.  It might be a case of try it out and leave it where it is, but its so easy to rely on things you have been doing, and then to over use them.  So some rather random experiments for the time being.  Not sure I will post them up here though… That feels too exposed!

Lenten Flowers  by Kathleen Raine

Text here is quoted from http://allpoetry.com/Lenten-Flowers  where you can read this delightful poem.

 “Kathleen Raine was born in London in 1908, where she grew up; taking on a number of unsatisfactory jobs. Through one of her later jobs she met the nephew of the Indian mystic Rama Coomaraswamy Tambimuttu, who invited her to contribute to his new magazine, Poetry London, she did of course, and soon developed a lifelong passion for all things Indian. Raine began to seriously write toward her late twenties, and by 1943 she had published her first collection of poetry Stone and Flower, which was illustrated by Barbara Hepworth. Three years later the collection Living in Time was released, followed by The Pythoness in 1949. – See more at: http://allpoetry.com/Lenten-Flowers#sthash.n6ySR9NX.dpuf

You can also read it here:

http://www.poemhunter.com/poem/lenten-flowers/

I came across Kathleen Raine when researching a little more about Winifred Nicholson a while back.  I saw some of Winifred’s paintings at the Dulwich Picture Gallery last year, and they still delight me.   Take a look here:  http://www.winifrednicholson.com/node/137/35

 

Leatherhead Theatre Exhibition 2015 “With Flying Colours” Affordable Prints by Chris Birch and Jenny Meehan

This year I will be showing some affordable prints along with a fellow Kingston Artists’ Open Studios artist.  I will be sorting out the details nearer the time, but the essentials are:

Exhibition runs from Saturday 2nd May until Friday 29th May 2015.

The Leatherhead Theatre
7, Church Street
LEATHERHEAD
Surrey

KT22 8DN

Tel: 01372 365141
Fax:     01372 365195

Accessible location – 5 mins from M25, Junction 9

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

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

Parking is free on Sundays at the Swan Centre

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

Opening times are normally from 10am until around six, but contact the theatre to check as it depends on what else is going on.

 

Surrey Artists Open Studios

This year I am taking part in the Surrey Artists Open Studios.  I haven’t up until now, because it works out rather expensive… You need to join Surrey Artists Open Studios for the year,  and then pay again to take part.  But as I am pulling back for a while in other departments, ie, not spending my budget on entering competitions or anything like that, I have decided this year it would be a good experience.  I look forward to showing with some of my wonderful Kingston Artists’ Open Studio folk.  Details below, on more blurby stuff!:

Jenny Meehan      www.jamartlondon.com

Jenny Meehan is a local artist, based in Chessington.  As well as showing her work at this year’s Surrey Artists’ Open Studios and Kingston Artists’ Open Studios she also holds regular open studios at her home in Chessington.   Contact Jenny via the contact form on her website http://www.jamartlondon.com or by emailing:  j.meehan@tesco.net and request to be put on her bi-annual mailing list if you would like to receive an invitation to further open studio events.  

This year you can meet Jenny and some of her fellow artists as part of Surrey Artists’ Open Studios (North on map SAOS 19), Studio KAOS 2, at 14 Liverpool Road, Kingston Upon Thames, Surrey, KT2 7SZ,  on the following  weekends:  Saturday 6th and Sunday 7th June and Saturday 13th and Sunday 14th June from 11am until 5pm.  This is within walking distance of Kingston Town Centre, and also near Richmond park. Come along!  If you have time, follow the whole Kingston Artists’ Open Studios trail!

Last, another image from the recent retreat.

 

retreat 2015 jenny meehan

retreat 2015 jenny meehan

 

Painting on Retreat

I did do a little bit of experimenting with watercolours on retreat…I haven’t used watercolours very much at all, so it was venturing onto new ground.  Here is one of the experiments:

franciscan office quote, canticles, church of england canticle, Through your gentleness we find comfort in fear by Jenny Meehan

Through your gentleness we find comfort in fear by Jenny Meehan

 

“Through Your Gentleness We Find Comfort in Fear”

Copyright Information – Jenny Meehan 

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.
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.

Licencing 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 licence from DACS…They simply have a very limited sample selection of work in their “Artimage” page!) If you use their online form and attach the low resolution image of my artwork which you have found on the internet, they will know which image you seek permission for.

Also, please of course feel free to contact me if you are looking for a particular type of artwork image, as I have a large archive of images myself. I will also be able to let you know the maximum size the digital image is available at. If you then wish to licence the artwork image, you would then contact the Design and Artist Copyright Society to arrange the licencing agreement according to your requirements. Once paid and agreed, I then supply the high resolution image directly to you.

If you need any further clarification, the DACS website is clear and very helpful indeed, and they would be happy to help you.

DACS
Design and Artist Copyright Society
33 Old Bethnal Green Road
London E2 6AA
Telephone: +44 (0) 20 7336 8811
Fax: +44 (0) 20 7336 8822
email: info@dacs.org.uk
website: http://www.dacs.org.uk
Offices are open 0930 – 1700 Monday through Friday.

 

 

 

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