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!

 

 

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Little Robin Friend

robin my supervisor!

Well, my little robin friend is serving as supervisor in the garden right now!  I go out there just for a look or for a rumble around the studio tent and I hear his chirp, see something flitting through the foliage, and there he is!  Before I know what has happened, I find myself digging around in the earth… weeding, moving pots, filling pots with earth…  I tell myself I am doing this because it needs to be done, but the truth is that while this is true, the most immediate reason is this little robin is telling me he wants me to work in the garden so he can have some insects, worms, and whatever else I reveal!

I am now to be found rustling around myself, not in the foliage but in the studio tent.  This year I am keen on rollers it seems and have an assortment.  I started using them last  year in experiments and now I have gathered quite a few.  It’s good to have new tools to experiment with. So there’s some action happening.  There is a lot of tidying up to be done, and I am grateful for the studio tent.  OK, it has its limitations, but I know of many artists whose studio space isn’t much different, even when “indoors”.  The only difference with mine is that it gets rather damp and wet.  I have extended it now.  It consists of two tarpaulin covered market stalls and has now ventured into the side passage and outhouse.  That’s the wet and damp part, because there is a crack in the ceiling. It’s reinforced concrete.  The good news about having a large crack in your ceiling is that the water does drip down through it.   I’m serious.  It’s better for the water to have somewhere to go than to build up above and then damage the concrete further.  Well, that’s how I have chosen to think about it!

In this new darkened area of my studio tent, or now my studio tent with outhouse extension, is that I can experiment with larger substrates and also light projection.  I have been wanting to do this for ages, so at last a new door is opened.  I have purchased some folding tables too, so I have more table space.  It’s great to have more space.  I cannot quite use it fully yet because of the weather, but it’s not as if I am waiting around to do things.  There is always plenty, and more, to do.

Generally in life I am feeling less frustrated by the demands of the domestic using up time when I could be painting.  It’s always a huge conflict, but acceptance helps a lot.  I am beginning to appreciate the benefits of having my focus fragmented into so many pieces, as it forces a kind of relinquishment which I think probably helps in the long run, even is somewhat frustrating short term.  I have always had workaholic tendencies, and  often found myself doing the work of two people (unfortunately not for double pay!) in past jobs, so I am aware of constantly overreaching and over stretching myself.  This is not a problem as long as one is aware of it.  It needs to be managed, addressed, and disciplined!  And life… Needs to be enjoyed!

I remain secretive, as is appropriate, about current work in progress.  For my eyes only! But always willing to look backwards!

 

Signs of the Times Series

 

© Jenny Meehan DACS All Rights ReservedQuick Dip print by Jenny Meehan

© Jenny Meehan DACS All Rights ReservedQuick Dip print by Jenny Meehan. One of the Signs of the Times series

 

There’s a great feeling of rest looking at the smooth flat colours of the signs of the times laminated prints…I’d never bother trying to create that surface in paint which is why I continue to appreciate this series.  And the compositions are still teaching me a lot.

 

© Jenny Meehan DACS All Rights Reserved digital print buy abstract geometric Rush Hour - Jenny Meehan Signs of the Times Series

© Jenny Meehan DACS All Rights Reserved Rush Hour – Jenny Meehan Signs of the Times Series

 

Rush Hour is one of my favourites.  You can buy a version of it here, on Redbubble.com.

https://www.redbubble.com/people/jennyjimjams/works/13790846-rush-hour-calm-in-the-cityscape-design-by-jenny-meehan?p=art-print&rel=carousel

 

I get a small royalty from any sale on Redbubble.com.  Every litttle helps!

 

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

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

 

jamartlondon fine art prints emerging female british artist designer visual art exhibition event jenny meehan art prints exhibition cornerhouse with alan and miriam dean deputy mayor and mayoress of kingston upon thames

“Signs of the Times” hung at the Cornerhouse Community Arts Centre, Surbiton Surrey

 

That was a long time ago!  The good thing about the laminated “Signs of the Times” is they can be hung in bathrooms and kitchens.  I have one which has been hanging in our bathroom for years, and it looks just fine.  No mould or any deterioration.  If you would like to buy one of my own signed versions contact me via my website as I have one or two still around.  I am not planning to print any more, as Redbubble do such a great job of producing good quality prints.

http://www.jamartlondon.com/

 

 

No Cares/Take Courage print from Signs of the Times series by Jenny Meehan

No Cares/Take Courage/Leap of Faith print from Signs of the Times series by Jenny Meehan

This is another favourite of mine…Again, available from Redbubble.com

https://www.redbubble.com/people/jennyjimjams/works/13790986-no-cares-take-courage-leap-of-faith-design-by-jenny-meehan

 

 

 

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 of Calm Moment, maybe calm moment in the dark, partner of calm moment in the light!

Here’s an artist’s statement which was submitted with some of the series “Signs of the Times”

Artist Statement – Jenny Meehan

My current body of work, some of which you can see on the enclosed images, is basically a series of experiments with shape and colour. After having worked throughout last year on a series of very lyrical and process led paintings, I realised that I felt the need for more structure in my work. Fuelled by an interest in conveying emotion and thought through elements of abstraction, while at the same time seeking that sense of formal balance which I consider essential to my work, the series of digitally produced laminated prints which I have called “Signs of the Times” relate to my own life and experiences.

The current series will also form the foundation of further paintings in the future, and bring to my painting practice an element of planning. I think that, far from being rigid and inflexible, this will introduce an initial underlying structure which I will be able to use in a very exciting way as I experiment with the relationship between solidity and fluidity in future paintings. Each step in the process of developing my work opens up numerous possibilities, and I cannot be sure exactly of what will happen, which is rather exciting. I do not take a scientific approach to my art, but view it as a process which defies logic, by necessity, and embraces the irrational and spiritual within me.
So these works, though they stand in themselves and I consider them finished, like everything one does are neither an end nor a beginning, but part of an evolving and organic process which I feel pulls me along with it, to some extent. I feel very fortunate to be able to work with visual language and consider it a great privilege to do so. “Signs of the Times” is an interesting experiment in relating thoughts and emotion to visual language in a very direct way.

Jenny Meehan is a Fine and Applied Artist based in South West London/East Surrey, United Kingdom. She works mainly with painting, drawing and digital photography and also writes poetry and an artist’s blog. Jenny also teaches small groups and individual in her studio space. More examples of her practice can be found at http://www.jamartlondon.com .

There are still some “Signs of the Times” in progress, as I work in a piecemeal fashion over periods of several years.  It’s a very enjoyable way of working with shapes and colours!

 

Easter Art Installation at St Paul’s Church of England, Hook

I was very pleased to be able to create this installation in service to the Church and in order to help the prayers and reflections of any who ventured into the building during Holy Week.  I will post some additional images soon when I have worked on them, but this gives you an idea. Other members of the church also created some beautiful places to reflect.  It was well worth the effort.

 

holy week art installation at st pauls church of england hook jenny meehan jamartlondon contemporary christian art in place of worship

holy week art church of england hook jenny meehan

holy week art church of england hook jenny meehan

holy week art church of england hook jenny meehan

holy week art church of england hook jenny meehan

holy week art church of england hook jenny meehan

holy week art church of england hook jenny meehan

holy week art church of england hook jenny meehan

holy week art church of england hook jenny meehan

holy week art church of england hook jenny meehan

holy week art church of england hook jenny meehan

holy week art church of england hook jenny meehan

holy week art church of england hook jenny meehan

holy week art church of england hook jenny meehan

holy week art church of england hook jenny meehan

holy week art church of england hook jenny meehan

holy week art church of england hook jenny meehan

holy week art church of england hook jenny meehan

holy week art church of england hook jenny meehan

holy week art church of england hook jenny meehan

holy week art installation at st pauls church of england hook jenny meehan jamartlondon contemporary christian art in place of worship

holy week art church of england hook jenny meehan

 

Lots of images!

It all seems rather a long time ago now!

Was a bit last posting up the April blog entry!   Open Studios is rapidly approaching and this is a very busy time of year for me!

Not quite done with the contemplative theme though…

 

The Soldier And The Cross

This is an old poem I wrote a few years back.  I didn’t display it as part of the installation in the church but I have re read it, and edited it slightly.

The Soldier And The Cross

For a moment
I thought you a bit of a wimp…
To turn,
And say to me
“What have I done to you?”

I saw…
In your innocence…
A victim mentality
related to my response to suffering…
A powerless moment

of weakness
and subjection.

And ALL in me,
ALL that grasps onto power…
Felt repulsed
and
disgusted by you.

By the sight of you.

Because…
It was true…You had done nothing,
Yet, I hated you,
and your holiness
frightened me.

 

I,
I am the accuser.
I have raged against you
And despised the look of love on your face.
In paranoid fear
I have threatened you with my wrath
And struck the blow
which tears across your face.
I have hardened my heart
against your love
and pushed you
hard, straight down
against the ground.

In acts of violence
I have hated, and hated more.
I have hated you
More than I dare say.

So  how do I stand?
Do I have  a place to stand against you?
And can I stop your
Love
from breaking me?

If I believe,

just for one
moment

that you might choose to forgive?

 

©jenny meehan

 

 

Drop In Drawing and Painting

I have finished the sessions until September.  I am a trained teacher and I like to use my teaching skills to help people with the development of their own visual expression.

 

jenny meehanccol0033

 

I will be running some more sessions from September.  I shouldn’t call them “Drop in” really, as I do need to know in advance if people can come.  So if you are interested in these do contact me, and I can send you more details.   They are suitable for all levels, as the input is very much individual.  The advantage of them is that it is possible for people to just come for a “one off” session, rather than needing to sign up for a whole course.  This gives more experienced artists a chance for some input as they feel the need, and in pace with their own work flow.   It gives beginners a chance to experiment creatively with support and a level of input normally only possible with individual tuition.  I don’t plan a structured session, but the structure is determined by the individual needs of the students attending.  I do normally throw a few ideas about for possible areas to explore and experimentation, which all those attending are invited to spend some time on if they wish, though normally people come with existing work, or work in progress, or an idea of what they would like to do, or are trying to achieve.   Contact me via my website if you are interested.  There is sometimes a bit of a waiting list, as I don’t hold many.  http://www.jamartlondon.com/

Time Passes Painting by Jenny Meehan

I have this painting on the wall at the moment and am getting a lot out of it.  It’s an early abstract painting but I am still learning from it.  I might well take it along to the Kingston Artists’ Open Studios event this year.

 

jenny meehan jamartlondon art work uk licensable images

jenny meehan jamartlondon art work uk licensable images

 

I have started removing some of my canvas paintings from their frames and will sell them unframed now.  It means I can sell them for a bit less, (£180) and I have found that often people either like to select frames themselves or like to display them unframed.  It takes a lot of time for me to make frames, which I have been doing up until now, and it is also very expensive.  As the pace of my painting has increased, I am less inclined to spend time with framing.

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.

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/

Hope to see you! Jenny Meehan

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!

 

Upper Room Painting by Jenny Meehan

This one isn’t on the wall, but it’s the one I use for the background of my website jamartlondon.com.

 

jenny meehan jamartlondon art work uk licensable images

jenny meehan jamartlondon art work uk licensable images

It’s available for purchase if you are interested.

 

Good News

 

Shortlisted for Kingston Art 2018: My Muybridge' exhibition at Kingston Museum 4 May - 7 July 2018 Wheatfield Way, Kingston upon Thames KT1 2PS

minds eye edward muybridge kingston musuem exhibition jenny meehan

I have had my painting “Mind’s Eye”, image above (sorry, not tarted up image yet!) selected for the exhibition at Kingston Museum this year, details are:

Kingston Art 2018: My Muybridge’ exhibition at Kingston Museum 4 May – 7 July 2018 Wheatfield Way, Kingston upon Thames KT1 2PS

Bit of a departure for me in this one, using images.  Like collage..

 

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

 

 

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 isn’t a system in this facility for me to send a thank you.  But if you do use it, then understand that I am grateful!

Another way you could support my participation in the visual arts could be by praying for me, if that’s part of your daily life. As mentioned above, I also put some of my visual art work on the “print on demand” website redbubble.com. People buying merchandise with my designs on through redbubble.com results in my gaining a royalty for the use of the image concerned.

Signing up as a follower on this WordPress blog also helps, as does sharing the posts when you receive them.  Anything you can do to help me is much appreciated!  Time and money is limited for me, and it’s a challenge being a mother-artist in terms of promotion and increasing awareness of what I do.  I put my energy into producing my artwork.  For the rest, I need any help I can get!

Jenny Meehan (Jennifer Meehan) BA Hons (Lit.) PGCE  offers art tuition.  Please contact Jenny 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. 

After having left my February post on the late side, I am getting the March post in early!  The piecemeal nature of this journal continues its meandering way, as I do mine, making my way through the vast expanse called life!

 

Desiderata written in 1927 by Max Ehrmann

Someone pointed me in the direction of this lovely piece of writing, which I share with you.

Desiderata

Go placidly amid the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence.
As far as possible, without surrender, be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others,
even to the dull and ignorant; they too have their story.

Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit.
If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain and bitter,
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.

Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs, for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
many persons strive for high ideals,
and everywhere life is full of heroism.

Be yourself. Especially do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love;
for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment it is as perennial as the grass.
Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.

Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself.
You are a child of the universe no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be.
And whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life,
keep peace with your soul. With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.

 

This has been quoted from the following website:  https://www.poemhunter.com/max-ehrmann-2/

Desiderata was written in 1927 by Max Ehrmann, a poet and lawyer from Terre Haute, Indiana. The word desiderata means “things that are desired.” Ehrmann said he wrote it for himself, “because it counsels those virtues I felt most in need of.”

There are also many audio versions of Desiderata by Max Ehrmann, for example the following:

 

 

 

This journal; this “meandering discourse”, serves to educate you on what happens alongside my painting and visual artwork. Though I don’t often make direct references to all that inspires me, confronts me, meets me, greets me and generally impacts my life, and therefore my work,  (which is just as well to be honest, because the important meaning in your relationship with my painting is based upon your own life and experience, not mine), however, my painting is one facet of the whole, not the whole, and folk often like to know about the creator behind the art.  Sharing what inspires me, may add a dimension to someones experience of my work, and this is something which can add some depth.  Many artists are also writers, and/or musicians.  It’s good to have different forms to hand.  I think writing for me has relieved me of some pressures, and given me a place to explore concepts through a medium I find best suited to it.  With painting I am relieved of any need to say or sound anything other than the materials I work with, the rhythms of painting are poetic and resonate emotionally, free of any need to be or say anything other than they are.  And that feels good and liberating to me.  So I write regularly and this is helpful.  It is a very useful tool to have, among the paintbrushes, rollers, and collection of materials.  And now I have started to learn hand drumming, which is probably the best new activity I have started for years.  This links in with my painting; the connection being rhythms and resonance, and presence and space and all those things which words don’t quite manage to express!

I learnt one of the rhythms from Sinte last night!

 Kingston Artists’ Open Studios 2018

Getting ready for this year’s Kingston, Surrey Artist’s Open Studios.

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.

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!

Hope to see you! Jenny Meehan

 

Bits and Bobs

I post past work up from time and time.  I find it helpful to look back fairly often and ask new questions about what I was doing and why.  It also reminds me of what matters to me, and how certain strands have developed over the years.  It’s essential in order to come up with new directions, because in looking back you actually see things anew and recognise the elements of your work which you still like and which interest you.  Like old friends, who know you well, they often offer important insights!  Here is some past work:

 

“Round and Round Inside My Head” Monoprint  by Jenny Meehan

Oil based ink, graphite, and oil pastel on paper.

jenny meehan jamartlondon art work uk licensable images

jenny meehan jamartlondon art work uk licensable images

I don’t use linear elements in my work so much now, or when I do they are hidden lines formed not from direct application of a media but from edges and the meetings of other forms.  I have recently started using tearings and collage a bit more and this is bringing line into my vocabulary once more.  I have been once again inspired by Francis Davidson, whose work I saw again at the end of last year, and this exhibition was helpful to me.  I likes the strips very much and this has given me a few thoughts about future direction which are very timely.  I don’t tend to talk about my thoughts for the future in any detail as they need incubation time, and it is easy to diffuse things before they have properly had a chance to grow.

I think of Henry Moore saying ” It is a mistake for a sculptor or a painter to speak or write very often about his job. It releases tension needed for his work. (Henry Moore). I heard or read that quote years ago and it has stuck with me.  I completely “get” this.   I love writing and have decided to keep the sharing of my work to this Journal, rather than use Instagram.  I did start using Instagram, but felt this “dissolve” immediately.  As far as I understand it is thought best for artists to share their work in progress. Because this is interesting.  People are interested in  how artists make their work.  However this feels like a violation to me.  This is probably due to the way I personally work, because I work in such a piecemeal, gradual, and extended process, with work coming out and being put away, over a period of years. Privacy is part of the process.  It’s not that I don’t share work in progress at all, because I do.  But I don’t want the pressure of feeling I need to supply a stream of my work to other people before it has found itself and feels some degree of its own resolution.

If my work was different, I don’t think this would be an issue.  For example, if I was sketching and making work which went from start to finish in one fell swoop, I don’t think I would feel the same way about using Instagram.  Slightly conversely, this journal gives me a chance to share about my work but in a way which is limited, quiet, and doesn’t have the effect of diluting any of the energy.  I don’t talk about my work very much at all to other people, only quite rarely.  I find it interesting being a visual artist in this current age, where so much is public that would not have been public in years gone by.  It gives me some pleasure that my writing is here for people to read if they are interested, but I see this Journal as being as much a tool for my own development as it may be for “the public” eye.   It is the only organised writing I have, because the rest floats around all over the place, in small notebooks and pieces of paper!   The organisation of it, in the  liquid “stream of consciousness form, may be it’s prime virtue! Kind of not chaos and not order, but between the two!

Below is  “Baptism/Into the Ocean” Painting by jenny meehan

 

 

jenny meehan jamartlondon art work uk licensable images

jenny meehan jamartlondon art work uk licensable images

It looks equally good rotated to the left and displayed as portrait…  This is available for sale so contact me via my website contact page at jamartlondon.com if interested.  http://www.jamartlondon.com/

It’s got a lot of energy!

“Pillar and Moon”  below is also available.  http://www.jamartlondon.com/

 

 

jenny meehan jamartlondon art work uk licensable images

jenny meehan jamartlondon art work uk licensable images

 

This digital photographic work below evolved from a photograph taken in Oxshott Woods, one of my favourite places.  I went there each Sunday as a child and continue to make regular walks through the woods!

 

 

jenny meehan jamartlondon art work uk licensable images

jenny meehan jamartlondon art work uk licensable images

 

Henry Moore Quotes

I quoted Henry Moore earlier and found several quotes from him I would like to take note of:

The important thing is somehow to begin. (Henry Moore)

If an artist tries consciously to do something to others, it is to stretch their eyes, their thoughts, to something they would not see or feel if the artist had not done it. To do this, he has to stretch his own first. (Henry Moore)

To be an artist is to believe in life. (Henry Moore)

Art is a continuous activity with no separation between past and present. (Henry Moore)

 

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 haven’t put much up new, but did add this a few months ago:

https://www.redbubble.com/people/jennyjimjams/works/29863227-dyno-blue-wall-tapestry-design-by-jenny-meehan?asc=u&ref=recent-owner

It’s called “Dyno Blue”.  Quick burst of activity on the computer, and there it is!  The wonders of technology!

dyno blue tapestry design jenny meehan© Jenny Meehan. All Rights Reserved, DACS

dyno blue tapestry design jenny meehan © Jenny Meehan. All Rights Reserved, DACS

 

Gum Arabic Preparation

I was recently looking over some experimental paintings I had made with  home made watercolour paints.  The paints still look great in their pots.  I made mine to keep in liquid form and put more clove oil in them.  They are keeping very well.  I really enjoyed making them and it much easier to be lavish and generous when using materials which are more affordable.  All the pigments used were mineral, earth, iron oxides or mixes, and and NO FILLER at all!  It is great to have better control possible through being the master or mistress of your own fillers!!!!

I didn’t use honey, (I don’t think, or I may have just put a bit in, cannot remember!!!) but as said, I wasn’t trying to make blocks, and kept it liquid!  Here is the recipe I used but I used my slow cooker.

Gum Arabic Preparation
Ingredients
• 300 grams (10.5 oz) Gum Arabic powder
• 3 drops Clove Oil (optional)
• 1 liter (2.1 pints) of boiled water
The ratio is 1 part gum to 2 parts water. Boil water and pour over the powdered gum, stirring to make sure there are no lumps. Allow the mixture to soak 24-48 hours for full absorption.
Add drops of Clove Oil to extend shelflife. Prepared Gum Arabic 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 Preperation
• Prepared Gum solution (Arabic or Tragacanth)
• Honey (Acacia is preferable) in a 10% proportion to the weight of Gum solution used
• Pigments
Mix all the ingredients and crush them on a glass plate using a spatula to obtain a paste with a thick, creamy consistency. It is recommended that you finish the mixture by crushing it with a glass muller (available at art supply stores). Transfer your paints to saucers for painting. When creating your initial gum, you may wish to addGlycerin as a plasticizer to prevent cracking and brittleness. The ratio would be 1 part Glycerin or less by volume to 5 parts of your prepared gum solution. Add the Glycerin after gum has been completely dissolved but while still warm.

I still have my gum arabic solution in the fridge, over a year later, and it still looks fine.  I use it in my hair at the moment, because I have made myself a single braid, and need to dip the end of it into the solution to make it easier to thread a bead through it!!!  I didn’t bother with grinding pigments….  I like using them a bit coarser, I prefer the way the light bounces off them.  If I was painting miniatures or tiny detailed paintings I guess I would want them finer but why use them finer unless you need to?

Studio Tent

 

 

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

The image above was taken in the Summer.  It’s still too cold in the studio tent at the moment, but I have started pottering around in there!

Below a few images of work.  These two “Yoga Inhale” and Yoga Exhale” paintings both sold.  I take lots of photographic images of my work, cropping and at different angles and orientations, as it is a helpful way of looking at what I have done.  Details also get forgotten.  Particularly if I don’t have the painting any more.  I use previous paintings for reference points all the time.

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 abstract expressionist lyrical textural colorist paintings licensable images

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

New Knee Anniversary!

One year today, I had my knee replacement!  Now I have hit the one year mark I am stopping my piece of writing, which inhibits another page on this blog. https://jennymeehan.wordpress.com/the-very-patient-knee-replacement-story-by-jenny-meehan/

Not going to write much here about the knee, more than mention it.  The project is over!  My life goes on, and it’s a lot better than it was just over a year ago!

IMG_7305knee replacement in bed

Great Quote from Frank Auerbach

I enjoyed reading this interesting article:

https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2015/may/16/frank-auerbach-when-paint-fantastic-time-lots-girls?CMP=share_btn_fb

My favourite part:

He says the obligation to take account of the art that has gone before carries two demands: “first that you attempt to do something of a comparable scale and standard, which is impossible; second that you try and do something that has never been done before, that is also impossible. So in the face of this you can either just chuck it in, or you can spend all your energy and time and hopes in trying to cope with it. You will fail. But as Beckett very kindly said for all of us, ‘try again, fail better’, and painting just took me over.”

That’s it for this month!

PS

If you would like to donate money to help support my creative practice I can accept donations 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.  If you do this, there isn’t a system for me to contact you and thank you, so you will need to believe you have my heart felt thanks!

Another way you could support my participation in the visual arts could be by praying for me, if that’s part of your daily life. I also put some of my visual art work on the “print on demand” website redbubble.com. People buying merchandise with my designs on through redbubble.com results in my gaining a royalty for the use of the image concerned.

Signing up as a follower on this WordPress blog also helps, as does sharing the posts when you receive them.  Anything you can do to help me is much appreciated!  Time and money is limited for me, and it’s a challenge being a mother-artist in terms of promotion and increasing awareness of what I do.  I put my energy into producing my artwork.  For the rest, I need any help I can get!

Well, another month, another post!

Quite late to post February post on the 19th!

The older you get the quicker time flies!  Indeed, I am mid month, and only just posting this entry!  For time may have wings, but I don’t.  Though it’s great to be able to walk now! (March 8th, last year…Total Knee Replacement!!!) This journal serves as a tool for my creative practice.  It’s a reason to write with a deadline, of sorts, and keeps me writing, reviewing, thinking, and having a space to think and reflect, as well as enabling me to share snippets of what I am up to with my visual art practice. I throw in a poem here and there, and chew over random thoughts from time to time.  I share paintings, drawings and photographs, both past and present. Sometimes those in progress and those which seem finished.

Though I keep my website jamartlondon.com reasonably tidy and succinct, on this Jenny Meehan Contemporary Artist’s Journey, I take my meandering discourse wherever it will go. Great fun.  Not a perfected piece of writing but a narrative, partly to myself and partly to you.  A note book of a kind.  A discipline.  A record.  A way of me looking back from time to time to reflect on what I have been thinking and doing, how things have changed, how they are the same, and simply just wondering.

I have always enjoyed the stream of consciousness writing form, so while I do edit this journal a little bit, the overarching idea is I just write whatever I fancy at the time and don’t worry very much at all about structuring it.  It’s a bit of a collage I think.  I hope it serves as some kind of insight into my visual art activities and it provides some release for me in terms of enjoying very much the process of writing, researching and reflecting.  It’s not a solid and it’s not a gas.. It’s a liquid.  Not  order.  Not chaos.  Somewhere in between!

Unfortunately this cannot be said for my studio tent, which does need some attention.  It’s nice for the flowers to have somewhere to grow though!

studio tent jenny meehan

studio tent jenny meehan

Time to tidy up, before March, when it gets (hopefully) warmer!

“Vibe Drome”: One Small Piece of the Small World Futures project!

Image of the Small World Futures contribution from myself!

SWF_Jenny_Meehan_14d_33% vibe drome on display london bridge

Image credit: ©Alban Low

The “Vibe Drome” (My nick name for this world!) is taking part in the “Small World Futures” exhibition at the Unsettled Gallery, London Bridge.  Look out for it, and if you find it, be careful…It may pick you up!

Many other interesting pieces to be found! Hopefully, if they stay there for long.  Let’s hope they do!

Here is some text quoted from the CollectConnect website:

“Here at ColllectConnect we’re starting 2018 with a fascinating little exhibition. Small World Futures is a collection of 38 miniature sculptures depicting what life could look like in years to come. Each of these small artworks will be placed in public spaces (#unsettledgallery) around London Bridge. Every day throughout February we will be featuring one of these worlds here on the website. A writer will also use the world as an inspiration to create something new and fresh, their words describing the shape of a new world.

In the autumn of 2017 Dean Reddick and Alban Low began cultivating a series of public exhibition spaces around London Bridge called the #unsettledgallery. These include flowerbeds, railings and gates, as well as spaces between bricks, in gullies and beside drainpipes – basically anywhere an artwork can rest and be seen by the public.  Although these spaces change and evolve on a daily basis, several housed artworks for a longer period of time. The Small World Futures will find their homes in these public spaces. They may stay there for an hour or a week. Perhaps they will plant a seed of an idea in the people who see them.”

I did write my own text for the Vibe Drome, but I have kept that under covers so that my own ideas don’t influence anyone else’s.  Take a look at the blog to see more on the project and lots of fabulous future worlds with the writing which they have helped to inspire!

http://collectconnect.blogspot.co.uk/

And here is the delightful poem to accompany it,  by Natalie Low:

Today we discover the Small World Future of…. Jenny Meehan
The year is 5,000,000,000 AD

Twinkle twinkle dying star
No escape from what you are
Hanging limply in the sky
Watching us all wave bye-bye
Twinkle twinkle dying star
Au revoir our ex-solar.

Now your light and fire are gone
Earth’s too cold to live upon
You can’t blame the human race
Off to try another place
Twinkle twinkle dying star
Au revoir our ex-solar.

© Natalie Low

(Included on here with permission from Natalie Low)

I will be going to visit it in person very soon.  Hopefully it will still be there!  It looks like it is worth something due to the shiny parts.  My earnest wish is that a magpie in need of some bling might locate it and take part of it away for its nest.  I think anyone picking it up in search of worldly wealth is going to be very disappointed.  Damien Hirst may well have been able to use real diamonds on his skull, but my sculpture is, quite literally, a world apart.  Some information from Wiki on Damien Hirst’s skull:

“For the Love of God is a sculpture by artist Damien Hirst produced in 2007. It consists of a platinum cast of an 18th-century human skull encrusted with 8,601 flawless diamonds, including a pear-shaped pink diamond located in the forehead that is known as the Skull Star Diamond. The skull’s teeth are original, and were purchased by Hirst in London. The artwork is a Memento mori, or reminder of the mortality of the viewer. Costing £14 million to produce, the work was placed on its inaugural display at the White Cube gallery in London in an exhibition Beyond belief with an asking price of £50 million. This would have been the highest price ever paid for a single work by a living artist.[2]”

Rather than inhibit an interior space, I am hoping that my piece dies a natural death, remains in its place, and looses its worthless jewels in the beak of a magpie.  I have to say, I have never seen a magpie around the London Bridge area, but you never know, there may be a small chance!

Do take a look at Alban Low’s website too.  He’s doing great work in a variety of ways!

http://www.albanlow.co.uk/

He’s busy sketching on the radio at A World In London at Resonance FM nearly every week, as well as plenty of gigs around London. Have a look at http://artofjazz.blogspot.co.uk/

I love his drawing!

Why Abstract Painting Isn’t Music

https://philosophynow.org/issues/50/Why_Abstract_Painting_Isnt_Music

Patricia Railing on the point of abstract art, and on how it works.     I am reading through and reflecting on this.  It’s one of the best pieces of writing on painting I have come across in a long time!

NOTE: I have emboldened some areas for my own notes, this is not in original text.  

A recent exhibition in Paris at the Musée d’Orsay, entitled At the Origins of Abstraction (Aux Origines de l’abstraction), explained the advent and practice of abstract painting at the beginning of the 20th century as the ‘translation of music’. Thus continues into our new century the widespread misunderstanding of the early abstraction of ‘pure painting’ and of the relationship between painting and music.

Certainly there were composers who wrote scores accompanied by colour-light shows (e.g., Scriabin and Rimsky-Korsakov) and painters like Ciurlionis who wrote scores as sound compositions of their paintings. This correspondence between the arts issued largely from Symbolism and had been inspired by scientific studies of colours and tones as sensations. The ‘pure’ painters – Vasily Kandinsky, Frank Kupka, Piet Mondrian and Kazimir Malevich – who followed after 1910, however, always declared that their paintings were not music, nor that they were painting music. Rather, they claimed that painting’s colours have an effect on the human being just as music’s tones do: the relationship between music and painting is a parallel one, colour and tone affecting and enlivening human feelings. 

Painting and Music Play on the Instrument of the Feelings

It is the feelings, then, that are the ‘instrument’ on which colours and tones play their tunes. The media are different but both set the feelings in motion, giving them a particular kind and quality.  In his 1912, Concerning the Spiritual in Art, Kandinsky wrote: “Generally speaking, colour is a power which directly influences the soul (i.e., the feelings). Colour is the keyboard, the eyes are the hammers, the soul is the piano with many strings. The artist is the hand which plays, touching one key or another, to cause vibrations in the soul.” (Dover Publications, p.25). It was Schopenhauer who had inspired this image of the feelings, writing: “We ourselves are now the vibrating string that is stretched and plucked” by pleasure and pain, by harmony and dissonance. (The World as Will and Representation, Vol. II, p.451.)

References to music abound in Kandinsky’s book, and he gave musical titles to three groups of work between 1909 and 1914: Improvisations, Impressions, and Compositions. Frank Kupka also titled a few of his works with the musical terms of Nocturne and Fugue. So critics at the time, standing before works the likes of which they had never seen in their lives, latched on to the musical theme and explained this abstract painting in terms of music. This was so frequent that Kandinsky was compelled to state in a 1913 catalogue and a 1914 lecture: “I do not want to paint music. I do not want to paint states of mind.” Rather, it had to be understood that the “laws of harmonics in painting and music are the same”, to borrow the title of Henri Rovel’s article of 1908 in Les Tendances nouvelles.

This parallelism of the arts of painting and music was based, on the one hand, on their inner creative laws and, on the other hand, on their effects in the human realm of feeling (called the soul). This is neatly illustrated by Kandinsky and by Franz Marc in letters of January 1911 after they had attended a concert of the music of Arnold Schoenberg. Remarking particularly on the composer’s 1909 Three Piano Pieces, Kandinsky wrote to Schoenberg: “The independent progress through their own destinies, the independent life of the individual voices in your compositions, is exactly what I am trying to find in my paintings.” What Kandinsky meant is made clearer by Franz Marc, writing to Auguste Macke: “Can you imagine a music in which tonality (i.e., the adherence to any key) is completely suspended? I was constantly reminded of Kandinsky’s Composition [see Illustration], which also permits no trace of tonality, and also of Kandinsky’s ‘jumping spots’, in hearing this music, which allows each tone sounded to stand on its own (a kind of white canvas between the spots of color!)”. (In Schoenberg, Kandinsky, and the Blue Rider, Scala, 2003, p.25 and p.21.) Applied to his painting, Kandinsky’s ‘jumping spots’ of colour allow each colour to stand on its own, independent of colour tonality. To feel the content of each tone or each colour, to feel their ‘independent voices’, is one of the essential creative aims of the abstract arts of music and of painting around 1910.

Composition

Why should artists want to tap the feelings in this way? This is a broad issue and part of the Zeitgeist of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Two aspects of this are particularly relevant. First of all, artists wanted to see behind appearance, or rather, they wanted to see the realities that create appearance, at a time when publications on the new physics were providing a new understanding of creation itself. Secondly, the artists were among the first to explore another reality: that of colour itself and tone itself, together with their effects on the human being. This was based on the many 19th century publications by experimental scientists like Helmholtz, Wilhelm Wundt, Freud, Mach and others. The premise of this work was that the nerve-sense system is a dynamic system in constant movement, receiving and responding to stimulae, called sensations, which are found to directly affect the feelings and hence states of mind. This field of exploration, called psycho-physiology, informed Kandinsky’s Concerning the Spiritual in Art, Kupka’s Creation in the Plastic Arts, Malevich’s writings, and traces are also found in Mondrian’s writings. The metaphor that the feelings are like a musical instrument playing the songs of life allowed artists to take a new look at their media. Scientists were asserting that colours and tones have direct and verifiable effects on every individual, so artists set about exploring the vast artistic realm of sensation and feeling through colour and tone, and this resulted in a new form of artistic expression. Artists could play on the harp of the soul, plucking now one string, now another, now sounding them together. This inner music, “in which tonality is completely suspended,” in which “jumping spots allow each tone sounded [or painted] to stand on its own,” was the touching of the soul (the feelings) directly. The created work was thus pure music or pure painting, having no intermediary and no intrusion from the world of thought in the form of any kind of imitation (mythology, religious philosophy, history or genre). It was the pure music or the pure painting of pure feeling in the artist’s use of colours and tones, stimulating pure feeling in the spectator.

 

All is Energy

But what were the ‘laws of harmonics’ that stood behind the creation of pure painting and pure music and that were common to both? Essential to them is that they were based on yet another component of the early 20th century Zeitgeist: the world-view that all is energy, dynamism, movement. This was asserted by the new physics of Einstein (1905 and 1916), Maxwell’s treatises on electromagnetism (1870s), Max Planck’s paper on quantum theory in 1900, Poincaré’s works, and so many others. Thus, the laws of harmonics – by which is meant the laws of constructing music and painting – are to be found in the laws of movement, dynamism and the expression of energy. The laws of construction are the forming processes of music and of painting, and they are parallel to the forming processes found in all reality. As music is the art of movement itself, and painting had always been thought of as a static art, it was to the language of music that painters turned for want of a traditional vocabulary of movement.

The Constructive Laws of Rhythm

‘Rhythm’ is music’s most basic component. Tone moves according to rhythm, but colours in a painting are also arranged according to rhythm. The same is true for poetry. In How Verses Are Made (1926) the Russian poet, Vladimir Mayakovsky, wrote: “I went along, swinging my arms and mumbling almost incoherently, now slowing down so as not to disturb my mumbling, now mumbling quicker in order to keep time with my feet. That is the way to shape and plane rhythm, the basis of all poetry, which runs through it in the form of a subdued roar. Gradually, you begin to extract individual words from the roar.” And in the same year the German painter/poet/composer/builder, Kurt Schwitters, noted:

“What art is you know as well as I do: it is nothing more than rhythm. And if that’s true, I … can modestly and simply give you rhythm, in any material whatsoever: bus tickets, oil paints, building blocks, that’s right, you heard me, building blocks, or words in poetry, or sounds in music, or you just name it. That’s why you mustn’t look too hard at the material; because that isn’t what it’s all about…. [Just] try, in spite of the unusual materials, to catch the rhythm of the forms and the colours…. Every artwork throughout history has had to fulfill this primary requirement: to be rhythm, or else it isn’t art.” (In poems performance pieces proses plays poetics, Cambridge, MA., Exact Change, 2002, p.229.)

In nature, rhythm is the manifestation of energy in its forming process, and it functions according to one of two fundamental laws: that of progression, and that of the contrast of forces; usually they are found together. Progression is always numerical and/or geometrical, as in the Fibonacci series, while the contrast of forces is the law of polarity, those forces of the centrifugal/centripetal, push/pull, the attraction/repulsion of electromagnetism. In art, rhythm is also the manifestation of energy in the forming, creative process. The law of numerical progression had been the fundamental creative means of classical Western music; in painting it is found in perspective – geometrical – and proportion – numerical. When artists like Schoenberg and Kandinsky began to use the law of the contrast of forces rather than that of progression, music and painting became subject to entirely different rules of rhythm and, hence, to entirely different rules of harmony, made up of consonance, the means according to which the law functions, and dissonance, the necessary opposite of consonance.

In the creative law of numerical and geometrical progression, consonance is determined by adherence to the particular order or structure of progression; dissonance is introduced when that order or structure is violated. When an artist creates using the energy of polarities, the law of contrasts – of tones or of colours push-pulling, attracting and repelling – consonance is that state of balance between the two forces while dissonance is that state of imbalance between the two forces when one or the other increases or decreases its energy. Movement or dynamism then take the place of a state of rest, allowing change to occur. Because of the innate dynamism of polarities, the term ‘dissonance’ became an alternative word for ‘creativity’ for many artists. Thus would Kandinsky write to Schoenberg in his letter of January 1911:

“I am certain that our own modern harmony is not to be found in the ‘geometric’ way, but rather in the anti-geometric, anti-logical way. And this way is that of ‘dissonances in art’, in painting, therefore, just as much as in music. And ‘today’s’ dissonance in painting and music is merely the consonance of ‘tomorrow’.”

It is interesting to note here Schoenberg’s interpretation of the term ‘anti-logical’ in his reply to Kandinsky, writing that it is what “I call the elimination of the conscious will in art.” Around 1910, art was rejecting cultural anecdotes of whatever subject matter, no longer constructing according to linear, intellectual progression, and becoming instead a means of revealing the very nature of the human being, a being that is dynamic, continuously ignited by contrast in the feelings, in thinking and in life itself. Art gave expression to, and extended, the potential of this vast creative realm, the realm from which the human being extends into the world and creates it.

Rhythm is innate to the human being, to the breath and to the heartbeat. It is innate to the very existence of nature and the universe. Rhythm, for so many early 20th century artists, was the heartbeat of all reality and it was the very substance of Frank Kupka’s art. Drawing on Henri Bergson’s Creative Evolution, and on many scientific publications, Kupka made visible the invisible forces of growth in nature, the universe and in the physical human body. These forces – taking the shape of the spiral, the triangle, the vertical and the horizontal – are both the scaffolding of everything that exists and the means of its creative laws. They are so, they are both particle/form and wave/energy, because they are determined by rhythm. Catching the rhythm meant catching the chord which holds together the human body, nature and the universe, meant catching the energy that creates.

Rhythm is not a thing: it can only act through things. For the painting-composer these things are colours and forms, for the music-composer they are tones. We shall consider painting only.

To begin with colour. In their writings, Kandinsky, Kupka and Mondrian all describe how colours function both optically and in the realm of feelings and, therefore, how they can be used to set up many, many kinds of rhythms. As Kupka wrote in Creation in the Plastic Arts, “The radiation of vital energy in nature, and of the same energy which dwells inside us, always manifests itself through the relationships between different vibrations and, therefore, between different colours.” (Liverpool University Press, p.87.) Scientists had shown how long exposure to certain reds made the subject anxious or angry, for example. In Concerning the Spiritual in Art Kandinsky writes that the intensification of a certain yellow “increases the painful shrillness of its note” (p.68). And Kupka says in Creation in the Plastic Arts that violet is “a mixture of passion and reason, is the colour of thought and of bishops” (p.86). Playing the strings of the feelings meant playing the effects of the colours on the feelings. And suddenly, the painting becomes active and activated, the spectator experiencing the light vibrancy or heavy thud of ‘jumping spots’ and, in the case of Kupka, say, a swirling of blues where inner movement is harmonious and pleasant.

Forms, too, affect the feelings. Kandinsky did studies on the effects of shape, concluding that the pointed triangle made a different impression on the subject than the curved circle, and he published his findings in 1926 in Point and Line to Plane whilst at the Bauhaus. Colouring the pointed triangle yellow or red produced yet another effect on the observer, one being harmonious and satisfying, the other like a conflict between two forces and thus producing another feeling. It is precisely in the law of forces, whether they are consonant or dissonant, that the laws of harmonies are found. Rhythm is an expression of these forces.

Painting, then, has a ‘grammar’ of colours and of forms, to use Kandinsky’s word. Simple and straightforward as the grammar itself might be, it allows great complexity of expression, just as the written and spoken grammar of words does. We have only to compare the painting of Kandinsky and Mondrian: Kandinsky’s Composition II (1910, destroyed) was full of colour energies in animated, painterly movement, while Mondrian’s compositions with the primary colours of red, yellow and blue (1920s and 1930s) were made of few colours in flat planes held within a few horizontal or vertical bands. The former work is visually dynamic, the latter are visually static. The former has many loud or breezy rhythms rushing about, the latter have quiet, even silent, rhythms, especially noticeable in the white and black paintings such as Composition II with Black Lines, 1930 (Stedelijk Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven). All these rhythms we feel, played as they are on the instrument of our soul, our feelings. These paintings do not come from music, they are not the translated tones of Schoenberg’s Three Piano Pieces or any other musical composition. But like anything that makes the soul sing – or weep or jump or dance – they can be called ‘musical’, if that is understood as only a metaphor for organised movement and dynamism.

Pure Painting, Pure Aesthetics

Consonance and dissonance of rhythm in pure painting, the play between contrasting forces and their coherence or unity, was for Vasily Kandinsky the basis of the new ‘harmony’, as he concluded in Concerning the Spiritual in Art. Kazimir Malevich called consonance and dissonance and their unity in the work of art the ‘new aesthetic’, in the opening paragraph of his 1919, On New Systems in Art / Statics & Speed. Malevich writes that this new aesthetic, this new means of affecting the feelings directly through artistic means, is seen in nature by the artist as “painterly masses in motion and at rest, … the unity of diverse painterly forms; … the symmetry and harmony of contrasting elements”, the painter rejoicing in nature’s “flow of forces and their harmony”. Similarly, sitting before his canvas, the painter:

“regulates the flowing forces of colour and painterly energy in a multiplicity of forms, lines, planes; he also creates forms and the different elements of their signs and achieves a unity of contrasts on the surface of his picture. Thus the creation of contrasts between forms leads to a single harmony in the body of the construction without which creation would be inconceivable.” (In Malevich on Suprematism, University of Iowa Museum of Art, 1999, p.55.)

And all this because the contrasts set up by consonance and dissonance produce a harmony of the feelings. Pure painting had led to pure aesthetics, one that was of and for the feelings alone (without the intervention of thinking through mimesis), while awakening consciousness, the mind. This is why artists claimed that art was finally fulfilling its true task.

Since painting had become abstract after 1910, it could certainly be talked about in the same way as Schopenhauer had described music. Abstract painting was rhythm touching the feelings directly so now, it too, like music, was a ‘copy of the world will’. No longer passing through objects of the world but passing over them, no longer depicting only fragments of reality, abstract painting, like music, was independent of the phenomenal world of objects. Abstract painting objectifies the will itself, directly (no longer indirectly through ‘mimesis’, the imitation of the phenomenal world) through its artistic means and their arrangement, also like music.

Abstract painting, however, had taken a further step: because it embodies pure rhythm, which takes place in time, whilst existing as an object in space, abstract art brought time and space together in a way that had been inconceivable for Schopenhauer and 19th century painting and sculpture. Abstract art was a reconciliation of fundamental opposites. As the union of space and time, abstraction was both ‘representation’, or pure forms, and ‘will’, or pure energy, it was particular and universal, it was material and essence – that essence that sings its way through all eternity in every living thing.”

© Patricia Railing 2005

Dr Patricia Railing has published widely on early 20th century abstract art. She is director of Artists.Bookworks which publishes artists’ books and writings of the early 20th century.  See:  https://artistsbookworks.co.uk/

This piece was originally published in Philosophy Now Issue 50, as follows:  https://philosophynow.org/issues/50/Why_Abstract_Painting_Isnt_Music

Included in this blog by kind permission.

I am delighted to find this article and I find it vastly helpful and insightful.   It certainly describes excellently what my painting means to me and how I see it functioning.  It is amusing to me that I have recently started learning African hand drumming and am very excited about rhythm and movement, seeing a connection between the drumming, dancing (which I have often done when painting, often wearing clogs!) and movement in general.  Since my knee replacement and the experience of pain and disability, and of having my movement restricted, the importance is felt even more deeply.  I am very much looking forward to the Summer this year, when I plan to work on some bigger paintings which incorporate recent developments in my practice.

The Smell of Paint!

Walking into a gallery in Cork Street last December  made a big impression on me but not for the reasons you might think!

The SMELL!

Paint fumes!  They had painted the walls with thick emulsion paint, and the sculpture on show was also painted.   I told them about the smell, and asked if it was the walls or the sculptures.  They told me the sculptures had been repainted and that it was that but it smelt like both vinyl emulsion and enamel paint to my nifty nose!

It was the Waddington Custot Gallery,  (Waddington Custot 11 Cork Street, London W1S 3LT) and the show was very good.  Here is some blurb quoted from the website:

“David Annesley (b. 1936, London) received early recognition for his colour sculptures at The New Generation: 1965 show at the Whitechapel Gallery, London. The exhibition showcased a new generation of sculptors who had been taught by Anthony Caro at St Martin’s School of Art in London in the early sixties. The new approach was defined by the placement of sculptures directly on the ground, allowing them to occupy the same floor-space as the viewer; the use of new materials such as fibreglass, aluminium and plastic, which were less expensive and more practical than traditional bronze; and the use of bright colours.”

I enjoyed looking around, and enjoyed the effect of the shadows on the work immensely.  That, and the wonderful experience of three dimensions and all that walking around, back and forth, and playing around with the angles and other joys that sculpture has which the flat 2D plane hasn’t!

https://www.waddingtoncustot.com/artists/150-david-annesley/works/11184/

However, the feeling of space was spoilt for me by the fumes of the paint!

As they had just painted the walls it seemed a bit late to tell them about Keim silica sol paint and how much better it would be if they had painted the walls with it!  The smell from the sculpture was only half of it, I am certain about that!

Paint to love…

The kind of paint you use in your home or work environment is very important.  There is such a thing as indoor pollution, and the experience of walking around that gallery really brought that home to  me.  Indoor pollution is caused by things like building materials, heating, chemicals and cleaners, materials and furnishing, paints and solvents, and mould and bacteria.   Unfortunately we are  not always very  aware of this.  I was thinking of using some blue loo fluid recently in some painting. I wanted to use the colour as it is very violently blue and as I am trying to use materials I already have as I start to experiment with working on a larger scale.  I guessed it has no binders in it, but the synthetic dye itself is very strong and I thought it would be interesting to play with.  Until I found out that it had formaldehyde in it! Among other things.  That put me off the idea, so I let that one go.

I am not thinking I need to ban these chemicals from my life and work entirely, as this wouldn’t be practical.  But it is important to be aware of VOCs, … Volatile Organic Compounds.  VOCs are chemicals like formaldehyde, Benzene, Toluene,  Acetaldehyde.   Conventional paint finishes do contribute to poorer indoor air quality by releasing VOCs.  Sad, but true.  Of course,  I use acrylic paints in my fine art paintings…Yes, like many artists, the event of acrylics has opened up new avenues to us.  Plastics have changed the way we live.  I think of acrylic paints as working with liquid plastic. Not a nice thought, but we live in the age we live in!  There are useful qualities about PVA and acrylics, as there are of all plastics.  Indeed, I am currently spending quite a bit of time experimenting with plastic.  Never thought that would happen!  But at the same time, I feel concern about pollution and the environment.

It was when I started researching for the mural at Trafalgar Junior School several years back, that I spent some time looking into more ecologically friendly paint and this was when I discovered the virtues and qualities of it.  I looked at many different types of paint and materials, and worked on the mural with both Beeckosil and Keim Soldalit.   I preferred the Keim Soldalit, which is a third generation silica sol mineral paint, because of its ease of use.  It was easier to manipulate on the vertical surface of the walls, and I used it for the linear elements.  Silicate paint of all kinds has a much better light reflective quality, and how paint reflects light is pretty much an essential interest for any painter!

Though I have not continued with painting murals due to my knee problem,  now I have my new knee, at least I can experiment again with painting on a large scale and also using my new found mobility in my work.  Action, movement, motion.  Rhythm.   I am liking the sound of it all!   I can now stand as long as I need to.  Even dance!  The only problem I have right now is lack of wall space and lack of floor space!   I did paint a painting on the outside of the house with a roller a few years back, which is nice, but painting the outside of the house is not very transportable work, and I do like to take my work to other places, not just in the home!

I am currently involved in a lot of experiments with more substrates and Keim Optil.   I am thinking along the lines that as long as I know the qualities and limitations of the paint I work with, I will know how far I can push it or not.  And in terms of the pigment looseness on certain substrates and the flexibility, or lack of, of the paint on certain substrates, as long as I know what I am working with, all will be well.  It may be that I produce some temporary paintings, or it may be that I produce some paintings which need to be kept behind glass.  It may also be that I find some options which would not conventionally be acceptable, ie not working to the usual criteria necessary for practical use in other spheres, ie interior or exterior decorative purposes, but which would be interesting and do-able in the arena of fine art.  It is not likely that I will be posting or publicising what I do for a couple of years, as I find it takes a few years to find a direction worth walking in.  Indeed,  I have been using the Keim silica-sol paint in my work for several years already, though often in combination with acrylic paints.

Nothing should be rushed.  Even the newest things need time to die first before they come alive again.  It’s the same with glass.  I have an undercurrent of using that in my paintings which goes back a fair few years now.  And I have only just begun. The trouble and delight of using different materials in painting is they open up so many different avenues that it is quite possible to get lost very quickly.  Hence the necessary reserve and holding back on quickness to display what I am up to! Besides, it’s a tender process, this painting matter.  It’s all quite vulnerable at first, new ventures.  I think it will be interesting to relinquish my need for permanence and to produce some work which may be of a temporary nature.  The main thing is that the nature of the work is clear.

I am actually quite a pedant when it comes to materials.   I take great care in ensuring my paintings are light fast, sealed, with no loose pigment, unless displayed under glass. I think about the practical considerations for a person who collects my art work and wants it to last as long as possible, and too be cleanable, practical and enduring!  Yet I am thinking new thoughts also, about an openness to exploring in some different ways.  With paintings which I may not keep, or which may not last maybe?   I may experiment with that as well.  I think as long as an artist knows the material they work with, they can risk playing around!  And I certainly know my materials.

Using recycled materials as much as I can, is something I plan to do.  Even in my house, I have plenty of materials to hand.  I was disappointed to find out that my local borough does not have a community paint recycling scheme!  A lot of needless waste is created by the lack of such schemes.  I have written to the local waste department, and to their credit, they are looking into the matter.  I am going to need to buy a little bit of vinyl emulsion for sure, but I would like to buy as little as possible.  Well, I cannot actually afford to buy very much, but this doesn’t matter.  It is probably just as well!   Using  mineral paints is my preferred option  and is much nicer to use, looks beautiful and holds a lot more promise.   I like the inorganic oxide pigments much better.  Having said that, I am currently also experimenting with the synthetic dyes available a lot, though obviously NOT in the silica sol mineral paints!  It’s getting interesting seeing the different directions I am being taken in with these two very different types of paint and pigment!

Keim  silica sol mineral paints are environmentally friendly and sustainable, VOC and solvent free, odourless and non-toxic, anti-bacterial and breathable, and basically brilliant!

https://www.keim.com/en-gb/

For my purposes,  acrylics and vinyl emulsion paints are OK, in small quantities only!

Plastics etc are very useful, but we don’t seem to be handling them very well in terms of looking after our environment and our lovely world.

My oil paints seem to have been put aside for the time being.  I have nowhere to dry oil paintings!  This is another problem with not having an interior space of dedicated use for painting.  The studio tent is still rather too cold to work in right now.

Not Drawing…

Yeah, I am not drawing much of late.  I like drawing from life.  But I have other tasks which just seem more pressing.   But not drawing doesn’t mean I am not looking.  It’s making that mental space to dwell on what you see.  It can be recorded and interpreted, or just taken in.  But the main thing is the looking.   I guess.  Will, it will have to be, for me right now, for the time being!

Here is some past drawing.

The rear access roads in Chessington were a bit of a refuge for me, and a very good place for drawing!

rear access roads chessington art jenny meehan

rear access roads chessington art jenny meehan

rear access roads chessington art jenny meehan

rear access roads chessington art jenny meehan

rear access roads chessington art jenny meehan

rear access roads chessington art jenny meehan

rear access roads chessington art jenny meehan

rear access roads chessington art jenny meehan

rear access roads chessington art jenny meehan

rear access roads chessington art jenny meehan

rear access roads chessington art jenny meehan

rear access roads chessington art jenny meehan

rear access roads chessington art jenny meehan

rear access roads chessington art jenny meehan

rear access roads chessington art jenny meehan

rear access roads chessington art jenny meehan

rear access roads chessington art jenny meehan

rear access roads chessington art jenny meehan

rear access roads chessington art jenny meehan

rear access roads chessington art jenny meehan

rear access roads chessington art jenny meehan

rear access roads chessington art jenny meehan

rear access roads chessington art jenny meehan

rear access roads chessington art jenny meehan

rear access roads chessington art jenny meehan

rear access roads chessington art jenny meehan

rear access roads chessington art jenny meehan

rear access roads chessington art jenny meehan

Sitting outside and drawing was lovely, and I still remember the very kind lady who gave me a sweet, and the worried looking cats whose territory I was invading!  But these drawings in no way convey the feeling or the desolation I felt.  The grief and the void.  They cannot convey the place I was in, even though they depict it.  They were enjoyable enough to produce, and I do like a bit of drawing from time to time, but they don’t reveal any strong interest.  The visual experience which held me fast and touched me, which sung out for the future and which offered a sense of direction, was all to do with paint, surfaces, texture, and some beautiful revelation possibly neatly summed up particularly in  two photographs I took.  Though they were just two of many, for I took photograph after photograph of my observations in the rear access roads of Chessington, it was “Wall Painting” and……

 

insert

Speaking Out Project

Just realised that there is this record of one of the projects I was involved with a few years back.  It was an excellent project, so do take a look:   Speaking out.

It was a fantastic privilege to be involved in this. As someone who experienced violence from a very young age and who has done a  lot of work in psychotherapy to recover from the trauma of it, my involvement in the project, while challenging, did serve as a means to focus thoughts in a way which it would have been easier to avoid. While no one wants to be re-traumatised, I have found in my own creative practice that working visually, and with poetry, can help me come to terms with what has happened, and helps me make something positive from adversity.  I hope this may serve someone else in some way, who has had a similar experience.  Articulation, be it written or visual, can sound a sound and resonate in another human being in a way which can help facilitate healing. Maybe it is just bringing some kind of order into being?  A sense is felt.  It’s a comfort in itself maybe? A recognition? Because though we are all completely different, we do share in our suffering.   For in understanding a feeling, there can be a meeting of sorts.  I don’t know.  I am not a theorist.  But it’s good to wonder!

What is happening this year?

Well, the Kingston Artists’ Open Studios!

I will be taking part once more.  So pencil in your diary!

OS18 will be taking place on 9/10th and 16/17th June 2018 from 11am to 5pm each day

Open to all artists and makers living or working in the Kingston area
Kingston Artists Open Studios is a group of artists and makers based in and around Kingston. Our main annual event is our open studios when we open our studios to the public for two weekends in the summer. But our members are active throughout the year, taking part in exhibitions and events both nationally and internationally. See: 

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

http://www.kingstonartists.co.uk/

A Prayer of Anselm (1033-1109)

 Jesus, like a mother you gather your people to you;

you are gentle with us as a mother with her children.

Often you weep over our sins and our pride,

tenderly you draw us from hatred and judgement.

You comfort us in sorrow and bind up our wounds,

in sickness you nurse us, and with pure milk you feed us.

Jesus, by your dying we are born to new life;

by your anguish and labour we come forth in joy.

Despair turns to hope through your sweet goodness;

through your gentleness we find comfort in fear.

Your warmth gives life to the dead,

your touch makes sinners righteous.

Lord Jesus, in your mercy heal us;

in your love and tenderness remake us.

In your compassion bring grace and forgiveness,

for the beauty of heaven may your love prepare us.

Amen.

 

Such a beautiful prayer. 

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

See some of my paintings on my personal website jamartlondon.com

 

 

August!

I have been experimenting with egg tempera.  This is painting suited to a small scale of course.  Quite different to what I have been doing over the last few months. From large scale to small, the movement between the two is interesting.  All materials have their strengths and weaknesses.  For larger scale lyrical abstract expressionist painting quick drying acrylics have their advantages.  Yet for smaller scale paintings, it may be that egg tempera might provide an avenue for painting which yields promise.  I like using natural materials.

I experimented with egg tempera at West Dean College this year.  It has encouraged me to continue with my experiments with Keim mineral paints.  A gentle reminder about another strand in my work.  I love silica-sol paint and Keim Optil and Soldalit are lovely.  I dealt with Keim several years back when painting the mural at Trafalgar Junior School.  I used Beeck silicate dispersion paints and also the Keim Soldalit (silica sol paint) for the lines.  I found the Keim Soldalit much easier to use than the Beeck silicate dispersion paint and wished I had painted the whole mural in it.  We live and learn.  Keim were an excellent company to deal with and very helpful with respect to technical information.  I continue to experiment with Optil and Soldalit, on smaller scale paintings at present.  Here is a link to information on that mural.  It was good to teach the children about ecologically friendly paint options and materials.

 

https://jennymeehan.wordpress.com/2011/07/24/trafalgar-junior-school-exterior-wall-mural-painting-images-jenny-meehan/

https://jennymeehan.wordpress.com/2011/09/02/trafalgar-junior-school-exterior-mural-on-playground-wall-finished/

I experimented with making my own watercolour paints last year.  They are still looking good in their pots, thanks to oil of cloves.

West Dean Taster Session with Jon Edgar

One of the highlights of West Dean College for me this year was working in three dimensions during the taster session taught excellently by Jon Edgar.  Stimulating mentally, he facilitated our learning with a exercise involving making a sphere before going on to carve a block of soap.  I am rather pleased with mine.  I really need to do more work in three dimensions.  You can see I enjoyed examining the work afterwards!

soap sculpture west dean college jenny meehan

soap sculpture west dean college jenny meehan

soap sculpture west dean college jenny meehan

soap sculpture west dean college jenny meehan

soap sculpture west dean college jenny meehan

soap sculpture west dean college jenny meehan

soap sculpture west dean college jenny meehan

soap sculpture west dean college jenny meehan

soap sculpture west dean college jenny meehan

soap sculpture west dean college jenny meehan

soap sculpture west dean college jenny meehan

soap sculpture west dean college jenny meehan

soap sculpture west dean college jenny meehan

soap sculpture west dean college jenny meehan

soap sculpture west dean college jenny meehan

soap sculpture west dean college jenny meehan

soap sculpture west dean college jenny meehan

soap sculpture west dean college jenny meehan

The blue gloves were part of my costume for the evening dinner event…

Gracious, look at those muscles!

Here are the other images from that taster session!

three photos above jon edgar©  for info on his courses see: http://www.jonedgar.co.uk/teaching/?main_selected=teaching

 

Artists writing about their work

As an artist who likes to write about what I do,  I prefer to do this  in a simple and direct manner, with the aim of helping people to engage with my work, rather than scaring them away.  And  I am also someone who engages in meandering ramblings this way and that, here in my journal, because it helps me sort my head out.  And because I can…I enjoy writing… And starting sentences with “and” as much as I want to…The following work on International Art English holds many a jewel! Language is an interesting matter. A matter we work with.

https://www.canopycanopycanopy.com/issues/16/contents/international_art_english

And I read this with wonder, and a certain amount of delight… for this work by David Levine and Alix Rule which “touched off a minor furor with its attempt to prove scientifically that the art world was a hive of pompous windbags”  is rather beautifully true.   It’s not a new piece of writing, and I remember  reading a little about it nearer to the time it was written.  However, the current of writing about art which is hard to understand, continues none the less, with vigour.  Maybe it is simply because it SOUNDS clever.  I would rather sound straightforward.  And be thought less intelligent or academic as a result.  It does not bother me.

I am sure I could compose some clever paragraphs which made me sound more intelligent than I am, but I would betray myself and others in the process.  And if that “intelligence” is some kind of delusion anyway,  or a mystic aspiration to enter a world which does not exist,(or even does, but I have no interest in) then that too seems a bad idea.  And, I would be ashamed of myself if I ever used “International Art English” for my own work.  If you ever catch me doing so, pick me up on it.  Back to the work in question.

They attempted to prove that  “the official language of art was a linguistically meaningless jumble of buzzwords written in a tortured style imported from French theory, a claim the authors said they could verify through running 13 years of press releases through a computer.”  (quotes from http://www.blouinartinfo.com/news/story/911210/international-art-english-the-joke-that-forgot-it-was-funny

written by BY BEN DAVIS | JUNE 06, 2013  Follow link to read the whole article.  It’s an interesting read.

My take on this  is simply a kind of relief and pleasure on reading https://www.canopycanopycanopy.com/issues/16/contents/international_art_english

and in looking into this a little, I found the following…Which added to the enjoyment:

https://careersuicideblog.wordpress.com/artbollocks-bingo/

I like ALL of the https://www.canopycanopycanopy.com/issues/16/contents/international_art_english , but this caught my eye:

“But not everyone has the same capacity to approximate. It’s often a mistake to read art writing
for its literal content; IAE can communicate beautifully without it. Good readers are quite sensitive to the language’s impoverished variants. An exhibition guide for a recent New York City MFA show, written by the school’s art-history master’s students, reads: “According to [the artist] the act of making objects enables her to control the past and present.” IAE of insufficient complexity sounds both better and worse: It can be more lucid, so its assertions risk appearing more obviously ludicrous. On the other hand, we’re apt to be intimidated by virtuosic usage, no matter what we think it means.”

I wonder what the greatest crime might be in the realm of International Art English. It might be something like “I did this because I felt like it”!  Or, “I did this picture for you.”  Or “I had a lot of this colour of paint left over, and I wanted to use it up.”  Or “I didn’t have a clue about what I was doing, to be honest.”

“I didn’t have a clue about what I was doing, to be honest.” is probably the best one, I think.  Yet, when pushing boundaries in painting, it may be the most helpful attitude to have.  I am not dismissing thinking analytically about one’s work and what it means. And history is very important.  Relating your work to what has happened and is happening from time to time is good.  But in the end the meaning in the most intimate sense is very personal and cannot be disconnected from ones self  and one’s experiences and situation.  The real context is, essentially, pretty small.  References and relationships can be made beyond that, because it is interesting, can be fun, and it is good to apply what we do to other situations.  Maybe this is because it enables both us, and others, to experiment with looking at what we do/produce from different angles. This may also open up new, related ways of looking at things, perceiving and understanding aspects of experience, which enrich us all.  AND we all want to be relevant and contemporary. That kind of sounds so good.   The reality is, that you don’t have to try and be contemporary, because you just ARE if you live in the here and now!!!!

There are times when I am working on something that I do know what I am doing…I feel I have to add that into the pot.  Sometimes I work with a design…I don’t mean a physical one, but a mental plan, and I do have an idea of where I am going with it.  But normally the brain work attached to my art work comes AFTER I have created it.  Not before.  It is a bit like something landing in a pool and ripples coming out from it.  You spend time looking at what kind of effect it is making, and then how those ripples relate to what is going on with yourself and the world around you.  THEN you might write about it.  But I would not want to pretend that I know what I am doing when I do it, because most of the time I don’t.  Is not that true of life generally?  Don’t we often look back, and then see what was going on in retrospect?

We need distance, when viewing art work, but not a distance created artificially by language which promises to open up our eyes to a vision beyond ourselves, but is, in reality, a mirage bearing no kind of nourishment at all.

I was chatting to a gallery owner in London recently, and she told me that for the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition artists now have to write a short statement about their work if they get past the first stage.  I didn’t know this, as I haven’t entered the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition for years.  I did realise they have changed the way they organise things, because there is now a digital image submission for the first stage.  I felt initially that this was good, because a lot less hassle practically, but in reflection of my conversation with the gallery owner, it is very  true that some paintings don’t look as good in a digital image as they do in real life, and some look much better than they do in the flesh!

I think some of my very textured lyrical abstract expressionist paintings would stand to lose a lot when viewed in an image.   Really need a few images in different lighting to see the paintings, especially as they are painted to be seen in different types of lighting across the day. Those different finishes I use sometimes cannot be appreciated at all in a digital image.  And there is always a huge distortion of colour, especially with reds and blues, plus the type of light the digital image of the painting is taken in.  When I produce images of my paintings I don’t spent ages matching the colours perfectly, because I don’t have any aim to make accurate reproduction prints.  I tend to see the digital image of my paintings as a separate entity and often develop the image as such.  However I do correct to some degree, having the painting in view as I make the adjustments.  I normally ensure levels are true, adjust the colour balance to remove the blue tinge which they carry, and adjust any prominent discrepancies which occur… just the obvious.. normally blue and red need attention.  So this gives me a reasonable reproduction suitable for use in conveying what the painting looks like.

However, not all artists will have the skill or knowledge to do this, and therefore this may be a stumbling block.  The other matter, that of providing an  artists statement for the submission to the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition isn’t something which is difficult for me personally, with my degree in Literature and love of writing, I enjoy analysing what is happening with my work and what it means, and how it resonates for me.  It’s part of the process I enjoy.  However it is the case that there are many exceptionally talented artists, experts in visual expression, representation, and highly skilled in the craft of painting, who have huge problems with written expression.  It is a different art form, and they may find themselves disadvantaged by the new process.

I guess I had better start entering paintings into the Royal Academy  Summer Exhibition.  I have found the cost a little prohibitive, but as I am so near London, it may be foolish not to randomly enter something now and again.  It doesn’t matter so much to me… it would be a bit of a buzz, though in reality the whole thing is a bit of a lottery, and down to luck.  It’s not really an endorsement of the quality of ones work.  Just a super event and very creative and inspiring.  A showcase in the finest sense.  But it might be nice to try.  I don’t gamble in any other area of my life, ie don’t do lottery tickets or anything else betting wise!  And on the hanging day, it really is about what fits. Could be a good fit.  Could not.  Nothing to do with the actual art work.  But as this kind of thing matters to collectors and lovers of fine art,  and they see it as being an endorsement, I probably should have a few bashes at it.  Will look good!  Even if not that meaningful as a validation in the direct sense of the word.   I would like to go to the church service. That would mean the most to me personally.

 

Technical Interest Regarding Resins

I have been wondering if there a difference between polyester, acrylic, and epoxy resins.   I do experiment from time to time with new materials, as I believe this is important in order to keep things fresh.  While using acrylic emulsion, which is the basis of acrylic paint,  I have only dipped my feet in using acrylic resin, in the form of Rosco clear acrylic gloss which I mix with pigments and paints sometimes.  Plus also using a hot melt adhesive (HMA), (also known as hot glue) which is a form of thermoplastic adhesive that is commonly supplied in solid cylindrical sticks.  I used the hot melt glue in this painting:

 

© 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

 

I am still thinking about this painting, therefore it is still in progress.  There may be some minor alterations to make.

jenny meehan abstract expressionist painting licensable art images book covers   detail of joy pain

Acrylic resin is a thermoplastic, which means it is one of a group of plastics which can be heated and manipulated repeatedly, whereas polyester resin and epoxy are thermosetting plastics, which use heat or a catalyst to solidify into a solid mass that won’t melt down.  Acrylic is mixed from acrylic polymer, a dry powder, a methyl methacrylate monomer, a thin liquid, and usually an organic peroxide hardener of some sort.

Polyester resin is a syrupy clear liquid, and is mixed with a small but variable amount of a strong catalyst, which causes the curing mass to heat up (and to craze if you’ve added too much.) It is versatile stuff, being useful for coating, casting, and building up composites, usually in conjunction with fiberglass cloth. It is not as hard or as clear as acrylic, having a somewhat yellowish tinge to it. And it—and especially the catalyst—is also highly toxic, and is persistently evil-smelling as well.

Epoxy resin works similarly, doesn’t smell as bad, but it—and the hardener that makes it set—is a sensitizer, meaning that you can get a nasty allergic reaction after repeated exposure. Some hardeners are not as bad as others in this respect. Epoxy won’t set water-clear like acrylic, and doesn’t resist sunlight (UV) degradation as well.,

Almost any dry pigment can be used to colour these resins, as well as various inert fillers which also add colour; there are also special polyester dyes available. It can be made opaque or transparent—acrylic is used for casting “plexiglas” sheets, among other clear things.

I am interested in the problem of yellowing, which is a problem when using these materials clear without colouration. Even if you start with a clear resin, this does not necessarily mean ‘colour free’. Some clear resins will have a yellow tint to them, which varies depending on the kind of resin. If you’re unsure about how clear the resin is  be sure to check with the retailer or manufacturer before making a purchase. Know that the clearer and more colour free the resin, the more it will cost because it is extra expense to remove the impurities. If you don’t need it clear you may even want to consider using an opaque resin, which will save you some money.

I have some Epoxy Glosscoat made by Vosschemie which I brought from Tiranti, but I have not tried it out as yet. It is a solvent free two component casting or coating resin:

“Description
Glosscoat is a cold curing, solvent free, transparent, easy flowing resin.
It is cured with Glosscoat hardener. Decorative pictures, collages and coatings with a smooth, high gloss surface can be made. The colours can be separated by wire inlays (similar to lead borders) or allowed to flow into one another. A coating of Glosscoat enhances the effect of wood grain.

Appliance
– Decorative coatings, collages on wood and other materials
– High gloss, transparent coats on various materials e.g. wood, plastics,
metals etc.”

 

The problem is that all epoxies will yellow over time and especially under UV sunlight. A clear epoxy turns yellow, a white epoxy turns golden, blue epoxies turn sort of green.While all epoxies will yellow (and you cannot add UV blockers to thermoset resin systems like epoxies) there are some epoxies that yellow more and yellow quicker. Do not believe anyone that claims to have a non yellowing epoxy or an epoxy with UV protection (other than pigment).

Well, that’s my technical research for now done!

Varnishing Paintings

Most of my everyday yellowing concerns are to do with how I varnish my paintings, which varies immensely depending on the work and characteristics of the painting.  I have UV protective laminate coatings, spray coatings, brush applied coatings and different varnishes.  All hugely different.  I choose accordingly. For some paintings, a slight variation in the colour of the varnish in time actually looks good!  I normally make a note of what I have used on the reverse of the painting, and as I hold much of my work for several years before offering it to other people, I can monitor what is happening.  I am pretty sure so far that any changes are only noticeable to myself, and my highly tuned eye which remembers the unmemorable!  Some people say that you don’t need to varnish an acrylic painting, but I don’t agree.  Acrylic paint is micro-porous and because I do adjust my paints, sometimes making them myself and adjusting ratios of binder and pigment, I need to ensure the work is well sealed and paint is not lose.  I don’t worry about the actual pigment colour fastness because I only use light fast pigments and tend to favour those with the most robust colour fastness anyway!  Plus modern day synthetic dye based pigments probably benefit from a bit of fading because they are so obscenely bright!  I spend a lot of my time knocking them back!

Random Quote from Jung

Yep, bit random.  That is the joy of piecemeal!

Jung saw collective neuroses in politics: “Our world is, so to speak, dissociated like a neurotic” (Jung, 1964:85).
[Contemporary man] is blind to the fact that, with all his rationality and efficiency, he is possessed by “powers” that are beyond his control. His gods and demons have not disappeared at all; they have merely got new names. They keep him on the run with restlessness, vague apprehensions, psychological complications, an insatiable need for pills, alcohol, tobacco, food – and, above all, a large array of neuroses. (Jung, 1964:82).

Yep. What can I add?  Not a lot.  Thank God for psychotherapy, reflective practice, contemplation, and paint.

And God (source of all LOVE) in action in the world, in hearts and lives of people!

Some Lovely Flora and Foliage from West Dean Gardens

I have been there recently.  I like to keep myself professionally developed!

I can credit the bulk of my artistic training to the Short Course Programme at West Dean College.

west dean college short course jenny meehan flora and foliage images© Jenny Meehan DACS All Rights Reserved

west dean college short course jenny meehan flora and foliage images© Jenny Meehan DACS All Rights Reserved

 

 

west dean college short course jenny meehan flora and foliage images© Jenny Meehan DACS All Rights Reserved

west dean college short course jenny meehan flora and foliage images© Jenny Meehan DACS All Rights Reserved

Lovely Bees.  Teach us about being.  The worker bee and the queen bee.  We need both in our lives.  A version of Martha and Mary in the Bible.  Sorry, this is a bit random and cannot be bothered to explain it in greater depth.  Just in summary, that our selves need to value the act of being as much as of doing! Our culture is not geared up for this at all.  Those busy bees gather what they need.   The fruit of their labour is made into honey.

 

Quote From St. Teresa of Avila

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

— St. Teresa of Avila

Painting, Painting, Painting, Painting

SOOOOOO GOOOOOOOOD  to do everything without my knee stopping me!  Instead, it is helping me!  I am incorporating exercises and movement into my times of paintings.   This has always been important to me.  I find it helpful on so many levels.  Painting is not a static activity. It is movement, all movement, internally and externally.  The paint is moving and I am moving.  I am playing with space and colour.  It is a dance of motion, emotion, reflection and liberty. Now I am freer than I have been for years.  I can move better and I can paint more freely.  It is psychological and emotional as well as physical.  These parts of a person are not disconnected.  I have more time released to paint, because everything does not take as long as it used to.  I have recovered my old painting clogs and can wear them again!  I couldn’t wear them for two years because my knee was too painful and needed cushioning all the time when I was standing on my feet.  I haven’t limped since my TKR, not once.  Not even a glimmer.  I can stand up straight.  Not sure when the novelty of this will wear off!  Hope it never does!  Also great to get around London.  I can live without constant worry of if I will be able to get somewhere or not.  And not have what I do dictated to by knee restrictions!

 

copyright jenny meehan DACS clog dance, sacred dance, dance inspired painting,clog dancing, jenny meehan, jamartlondon, licensable painting, painting for sale, contemporary british abstract painting, lyrical abstraction,colourist expressionist abstract, modernist romantic, 21st century painters,

clog dance/sacred dance abstract paintings colour copyright jenny meehan DACS

The painting above is quite an old one, oil on canvas, done while dancing in my clogs.   Last time I wore them.  Now I am back in my clogs once more!  Tipped y tap!  I am not due to post an update on “The Very Patient Knee Replacement Story by Jenny Meehan” as yet, but if you would like to read it the link is at the right hand side of this blog.  Or go here. https://jennymeehan.wordpress.com/the-very-patient-knee-replacement-story-by-jenny-meehan/   It is at the five month mark at present.  It is not ideal to need a TKR aged 52, this is true.  It may not be a cause of rejoicing for many people.  But life is now life, while before it was running down a plughole.  I suffered a lot of agony before the knee replacement, and thankfully it all seems a distant memory now.  It wasn’t a good two years preceding the surgery.  But knee replacement surgery, far from being a “procedure of limited clinical value” is a life changing and liberating surgery, and I will always be grateful for it.

Another Cluster of Random Images

Here’s a few more photographs from the archives, as I look back for a while…

 

jenny meehan jamartlondon photo black white

jenny meehan jamartlondon photo black white

This was a small section in the ground either in or near the  Victorian Glasshouses in West Dean Gardens.  It was on a slab of stone, so I guess there must have been/or is something underneath the slab.  From the website;

“These splendid glasshouses were all built between 1890 and 1900 and were completely derelict before their restoration in the early 1990s. They are magnificent examples of Victorian craft and ingenuity. They are repainted on a four year cycle; the exteriors over summer, when the weather is kinder, and the interiors over winter, when the glasshouses can be emptied. In addition, they are hand scrubbed from top to bottom, inside and out, each winter, a process that takes two tolerant gardeners two months to complete. There are thirteen glasshouses in total, superbly restored. “

 

 

jenny meehan jamartlondon photo black white

jenny meehan jamartlondon photo black white

 

Another fond West Dean memory.  This restful landscape view is one I have in colour, which is a rich green.  However, this black and white version supplies so much visual interest, I dispensed with the green.  Most of my photography ended up being in black and white because I demand more colour control than I could deliver without actually printing my images myself.  I do continue with photographic imagery as part of my practice.

 

jenny meehan jamartlondon photo black white

jenny meehan jamartlondon photo black white

 

Again,  West Dean Gardens.  Looking across the River Lavant,  in the Spring, with the young Horse Chestnut leaves opening. The River Lavant is a winterbourne that rises at East Dean and flows west to Singleton, then south past West Dean and Lavant to Chichester. The River Lavant dries up around July and starts to flow again in November.


jenny meehan jamartlondon photo black white

jenny meehan jamartlondon photo black white

 

Do you remember these steps up the slide when you were a child?  I certainly do!  Being rather fond of metal objects of all kinds, this is one of my photographs of metal!  Now I can stand more, I may even make it back into the forge at some point!

 

jenny meehan jamartlondon photo black white

jenny meehan jamartlondon photo black white

 

Wooden ground/flooring, another image taken at West Dean Gardens.  I have used photography to develop my awareness of different textures and light.  My photography is completely relevant to my paintings, as though pictorial and black and white, the process of looking and taking them, and of creating the compositions is most valuable.  Wood, metal, and rock/stone, water and sky…All this awareness can be taken inside oneself and expressed in one’s painting.  You cannot always make direct associations with the source and inspiration of a painting, sometimes I detect a memory here and there, but I think my paintings are mostly a simple response to my experience of living and life.  Sometimes there is a clearer and more direct reference which I feel comfortable making.  It varies a lot.

 

jenny meehan jamartlondon photo black white

jenny meehan jamartlondon photo black white

Many of my photographs have been taken on Oxshott Heath, a much loved place for me, starting with walks as a child, and I am still walking there today!  Which is rather nice.. a sense of continuity and a link with myself as a child.  My Dad used to pluck a fern from the forest floor for my brother and I to hold like an umbrella.  It’s hard to pluck a fern from the forest floor… He was rather strong!  So this photograph makes me think of him!   I love growing ferns and have a bit of a collection in the garden now.  Cannot resist them!

 

 

The Snail in the Studio Painting by Jenny Meehan

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

the snail in the studio jenny meehan abstract painting

 

Thought I would pop this up. This is an example of one of my paintings with a very direct and clear reference/inspiration!  I have posted it not that long ago, but because I have been learning the art of patience, it seems so apt to post it again! I have not done so much in my studio this year, apart from tidy it up and sort it out,  because I have been working in the garden on bigger paintings, and also spent the earlier  months of the year  focused on recovery and rehabilitation from knee replacement surgery.  But I do go and sit in my studio tent often, to pray and contemplate.  And memories of constantly discovering snails had eaten up pieces of painted card I have from last year still fill my mind.  I painted on the card sometimes to mix paints and sometimes to take note of certain colours.  Amazingly the snail poo contains the colours…not surprising but novel to discover what has been eaten!  I have painted some more pieces of card and laid them out to see what those lovely snails will do this year.

So… “The Snail in the Studio” is my image of my studio.  It does not show you the appearance, but the general feel is right on.  The tarpaulin is translucent white and there are dabs of paint all over the place.  Things hang or sit in a random fashion and objects have a look of waiting to be picked up somehow, to my thinking.  It is a place of movement and activity which is also very still.  The shaft of sunlight breaks in through the generally diffused light.  And evidence of snails, working their way through things, is dotted here and there.

I used some of the remaining card, which the snails had left their own patterns on, in the painting/collage “The Snail in the Studio”.

While I enjoy my new found freedom, I am also surprised that the narrowing down my activity has been as rewarding as it has been.  The lead up to the knee replacement was like a river, the knee replacement surgery like a dam, and the time after has increased my mental meanderings, maybe because of the earlier necessity to drop all other activities.  I have this image in my head of tiny little rivers, or rivulets (must be a word?!) coming out of small outlets in the dam and what once was a river, is now many small and more slowly flowing rivulets.  I wonder how this is going to change my creative work? Will it just be a matter of doing less, (does not seem to be!) or just moving at a different pace? Or will I find greater depth even in the shallow and more slowly flowing waters? There is a certain discipline involved in doing less. Maybe when it comes to passionate art making, this is a good thing, and the holding back will bear its own fruit?   I have certainly lost the panic of feeling that I am never doing enough.  Had to let go of that completely over the course of this year!

And my studio…Yes, chaos, and wonderful creativity!

 The Very Patient Knee Replacement Story by Jenny Meehan

Yes, still banging on about this.  Will continue to do so!

On the theme of knee replacement surgery,   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!  It’s an ongoing project.  I am also going to attend the patients forum at SWLEOC (South West London Elective Orthopaedic Centre).  I want to offer back anything that might be useful.

Oh what a laugh I am having watching the BBC series “Quacks”!  Puts knee replacement surgery into the background!  Love the humour…

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p05bsn8k

Rather outrageous!    So, beware, never worship your surgeon, however good they may be!!!

Good job they didn’t do TKR’s in Victorian times!!

 

Images of artists’ studios

How do artists depict their studio space? It is the most intimate and sacred place.  A place of being and creating at the core of the creative artist.  In that place what is revealed and what is discovered?  How is the studio space shown and why is it shown in the way it is shown?

In February 2015 (Yes, a while back) Gagosian Gallery picked “In the Studio” as the theme for an exhibition, more details here:  http://www.gagosian.com/exhibitions/in-the-studio-paintings–february-17-2015

The exhibition was devoted to images of artists’ studios, as recorded in photographs and paintings and featured more than 50 paintings and works on paper ranging over five centuries.    You can read more about it by clicking on the link below:

 

This year, a more recent peep into one artist’s studio!

Matisse in the Studio – Exhibition at the Royal Academy, London

Well, I am very pleased about this, as Matisse is certainly a painter who has influenced me and my own painting.  From seeing “The Snail” as a primary school child, a door opened into abstract art, and it was a pleasant introduction! Since then I have spent time looking at different examples of his vast creative practice.  But the opportunity to see this exhibition is most welcome and I will probably go in September I should think!

Here is the text quoted from the Royal Academy website, which gives a little insight into the nature of the exhibition:

“Step into the studio of Henri Matisse, brimming with the artist’s treasured objects. Focusing exclusively on their important role in his work for the first time, we will reveal how this eclectic collection took on new life in his transcendent art.

Matisse drew his collection from the far corners of the world: Buddhist statuary from Thailand, Bamana figures from Mali, furniture and textiles from North Africa. Rarely of material value, these objects were nonetheless precious. Offering points of departure to which he could return again and again, they appear in his work in different guises and across spans of decades, reinvented afresh in each new setting.Matisse’s objects formed his repertoire, but they also provided him with influences from beyond the limits of Western art. African sculpture and masks were a revelation, suggesting more expressive models for depicting the human figure and face. Later, Matisse adorned his Nice studio with props from the Islamic world to create the sensuous sets for his ‘odalisques’, in which a harmonious synergy emerges between figure and object. And as his oeuvre reached its joyous apex in his cut-out period, he looked to the concise precision of Chinese calligraphy and African textiles as he sought to invent his own simplified language of signs.This sumptuous exhibition offers a rare glimpse into the artist’s personal collection, as well as the paintings, sculptures and drawings it inspired. Seen together, they reveal how Matisse’s masterful vision of rich and masterful energy first stemmed from the collage of patterns and rhythms which he found in the world of objects.”Oh, that does sound rather inviting!More details here:It is probably going to be rather crowded, and far to busy, but I will still go and see it!https://www.royalacademy.org.uk/exhibition/matisse-in-the-studio

The exhibition has already been seen at The Museum of Fine Arts, and here is a quote from Boston Magazine:   http://www.bostonmagazine.com/arts-entertainment/blog/2017/04/07/matisse-exhibit-mfa-2/ :

“Eclectic, personal, and vibrant, “Matisse in the Studio” at the Museum of Fine Arts offers you the chance to delve into Henri Matisse’s whimsical world of figures, patterns, and objects. The new exhibit showcases 34 paintings, 26 drawings, 11 bronzes, seven cutouts, and three prints by the artist, along with 39 objects from his studio.

“Nothing happens alone,” says MFA director Matthew Teitelbaum. “There are some really extraordinary works that came from overseas, and without the National Endowment for the Arts indemnity program, this wouldn’t have been possible.”

The exhibit was curated by Helen Burnham, curator of prints and drawings at the MFA; Ann Dumas, curator of the Royal Academy of Arts; and Ellen McBreen, a Matisse scholar and associate professor art history at Wheaton College. Forty international lenders, both public and private, contributed pieces to “Matisse in the Studio,” organized by the MFA and the Royal Academy of Arts in London, where the exhibit will be displayed starting in August after its residency in Boston. The MFA partnered with the Musée Matisse in Nice, the only museum in the world dedicated to the art of Matisse.

Director of the Musée Matisse, Claudine Grammont, says that this exhibit gives the viewer access to the artist’s studio and his process of artistic creation, and describes the collection of paintings and objects as both “personal and intellectual.”

Located in Ann and Graham Gund Gallery, the various rooms of the exhibit focus on different themes in Matisse’s work, from pots and cutouts, to portraiture and more, shown alongside Matisse’s objects of inspiration.

In the first gallery, for instance, you’ll find a Spanish vase that Matisse acquired in Spain in 1910 and a silver chocolate pot, both shown in surrounding works by the artist.”

Quoted from: “Matisse in the Studio” Offers a Look into the Artist’s World
The Museum of Fine Arts offers a blockbuster exhibit of Henri Matisse paintings, as well as objects from his studio. By Claire Selvin | Arts & Entertainment | April 7, 2017, 12:42 p.m. Boston Magazine

Read the full article here: http://www.bostonmagazine.com/arts-entertainment/blog/2017/04/07/matisse-exhibit-mfa-2/

“To meditate is often to move through a land without paths.”
Christophe André

That’s it for now! Leaving you with a Summery Expression, in a portion of a painting!

 

summer seaside details romantic expressionist lyrical abstract painting by jenny meehan jennifer meehan

summer seaside details romantic expressionist lyrical abstract painting by jenny meehan jennifer meehan © Jenny Meehan DACS All Rights Reserved

 

About Jenny Meehan

I am a painter/visual artist/contemplative/poet/writer and mother, based in Surrey/South West London, UK.
Interested in spirituality (particularly Christ centred spirituality), creativity, emotional and psychological well-being.

I exhibit mainly in the UK, and am a member of Kingston Artists’ Open Studios. I am a trained teacher (PGCE) and hold occasional small groups in developing painting and drawing skills, and general visual creative expression.

Contact me via the contact form on my website http://www.jamartlondon.com if you would like more information with respect to art tuition, and/or if you wish to receive my my bi-annual newsletter.

My artistic training has been through the Short Course programme at West Dean College, Surrey and through local adult art education classes.  I exhibit widely over the UK and some of my paintings and prints are available for purchase.

Please note that all images of my artwork are subject to copyright law: All rights reserved: Jenny Meehan DACS (Designer and Artist Copyright Society). In the first instance, contact me, and I will refer, as/if appropriate.
http://www.jamartlondon.com

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 JOY!

The joy of TKR?  Really? Are you sure?

Um, normally one associates the word “Joy” with something like the joy of sex, or the joy of birth or the joy of life, and NOT the joy of a knee replacement.  I have used the phrase in The very patient knee replacement story by Jenny Meehan: “I loved having a knee replacement”.  Well, it is a very painful surgery, which tempers any experience, however I insist on keeping my  sentence in place, even though it is rather odd! (I am a bit odd, if the truth be know, but it’s great fun being that way!)   The reason for this is I feel people are unduly put off having elective surgery on their knees because of a fear of the pain, even though they are already enduring long term chronic pain. But surgical pain can be managed very effectively,  and if a knee replacement operation is successful, it has the potential to give someone so much liberty and happiness… it can give them their life back basically… and THIS is the joy of having a knee replacement.

It is hard to leave a life of pain behind.  Sounds silly, and there are often areas of pain still around after a knee replacement operation, as the healing process takes a good year, or even up to two, I believe.  There are complications and risks, as with any surgical procedure.  Pain and how we negotiate our way through it is an emotional and psychological, as well as a physical process.  But as I have said before, the key difference is pain which happens as the body heals itself is a lot easier to deal with than the pain of deterioration.  Well, for me this has been the case.  We are all different.  There are people who regret having it done, or who don’t feel that it has helped them in their lives.  Who are disappointed and expected more of a result.  My “result” has been beyond what I could have imagined.  It is not simply a matter of pain reduction, but of restored function.  I can WALK and STAND up properly now.  I have no regrets, not one.

It is wonderful to paint BIG paintings!  Wonderful to walk where I need to go!  Wonderful to carry what I need to carry! Wonderful to be able to embrace again the aspirations which I found torn away in the two year period before my knee replacement surgery in March this year.  I reflect a bit on work, value and time at the end of this post.  Well, this surgery has blessed me with a lot of time!  I am miles more productive already than I was before the TKR.   This is everything to me, because my work is my passion, and it’s what keeps me alive, in the truest sense of the word.

I sold a couple of paintings and I have another image being used for a book cover.  This is great because it funds the work I do and enables me to carry on doing what I do. And now my knee cannot stop me from doing my work and as work is so important to me, it’s a great relief!

I like to give my artwork to people and organisations from time to time, if I am particularly grateful and so true to form I donated a print to the South West London Orthopaedic Centre in Epsom where I had my surgery.  It was such a positive experience which helped me in so many ways.  It is very important that the whole person is treated…not just the knee and the care I received was fantastic.  It helped immensely with my recovery.  And you need a positive hospital experience with TKR, because there is no getting away from the reality of it being a hard slog for the few months afterwards!   My surgeon was Mr Dinah, with his team,  and they and all the staff,  have done a very good job!

http://www.eoc.nhs.uk/news/artwork-donated-by-jennifer-meehan

Quote from their newsletter:

“SWLEOC would like to say a warm thank you to Jennifer Meehan who very generously donated a piece of her own artwork to the Centre.
 
Jennifer met with SWLEOC Medical Director Mr Philip Mitchell and Director Mary Richardson to discuss her experience as a patient at SWLEOC and her surgery which was performed by Mr Dinah. 
 
Afterwards, Jennifer kindly  donation a piece of art that she had created, which will now take pride of place in our Pre Theatre Department for all of our new patients to admire.”

 

It gives me a lot of pleasure to donate what was my personal print of ” No Problem/Moving On”.  I won’t be making another of the work the same…It’s a digital print mounted on foamboard and laminated.  Just right for a medical setting, as easy to clean!

Detail on the work:

No Problem/Moving On – Geometric Colour Abstract Print by Jenny Meehan jamartlondon.com

One of the “Signs of the Times Series” by Jenny Meehan

This artwork design conveys a positive attitude, and is the fruit of my interest in positive psychology and personal mobility challenges. A “can do” attitude in the face of resistance and difficulties is the only way to move forward. The design has something of my own experience of exercising in a gym with motion suggested through various formal elements, of varying speeds and a sense of progression.

www.jamartlondon.com

It gives me a lot of happiness to know that people will see it when they come in for their surgery.  It’s a good image of positive movement forwards, up beat and certainly has some bounce to it.   I think they have put it in an excellent place and it can do its work now.

The world needs artists.

Thank you to the person who said that to me!

It’s a treasure!

Here is No Problem/Moving On:

 

Jennifer Meehan/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,now at SWLEOC south west london elective orthopaedic centre

No Problem/Moving On sign of the times series jenny meehan (jennifer meehan) now at SWLEOC

 

Now I CAN move on!  With my “new” knee!

No Problem/Moving On Jenny Meehan/Jennifer Meehan SWLEOC art donation image 2017

Jenny Meehan/Jennifer Meehan SWLEOC art donation image 2017 No Problem/Moving On

I have an “Attune” Knee!

https://www.depuysynthes.com/hcp/knee/products/qs/ATTUNE-Knee-System

It’s LOVELY!  Really settling in well!

If you like the image “No Problem/Moving On”  I have it on the “print on demand” site Redbubble.com.  I get a small percentage of any sales.  Work is not signed personally by me, and hasn’t been through my own fair hands, but the quality of their products is very good in my experience at least.

Once I have worked on my digital images, I don’t tend to print them out myself, or get them printed directly, as I have too many other projects to work on, plus the voluntary counselling/mentoring and the small amount of  teaching/art tuition I do.  And domestic work.  But Redbubble is a good way to make my work available to all.  If you do possess a signed digital print by me,  it’s a bit of a rarity, and ever increasingly so at the present time. I am painting MORE than ever before.  This is good.

https://www.redbubble.com/people/jennyjimjams

Plenty of unsigned prints here though!

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

The clothing looks, erm, different, but I thought I would leave it on there anyway!  Just an art print may be a more conservative choice!

 

“Starting Out” by Jenny Meehan

© Jenny Meehan DACS All Rights Reserved

 

© Jenny Meehan DACS All Rights Reservednew starting out geometric abstract design jenny meehan

new starting out geometric abstract design jenny meehan© Jenny Meehan DACS All Rights Reserved

Very fond of the above!  Still getting a lot from it.

I have “Calm Moment” which is another of the same series of work on show at JAX Cafe in Kingston Upon Thames. (52 Old London Road, Kingston Upon Thames KT2 6QF)

Calm Moment by Jenny Meehan at JAX Cafe Kingston upon Thames

Calm Moment by Jenny Meehan at JAX Cafe Kingston upon Thames

I have more similar work, which can be purchased very easily on Redbubble.com.

http://www.redbubble.com/people/jennyjimjams

Here is another example produced around the same time period:

“Drawn Together”

Southwark Arts Forum,Tower Bridge "Art at the Bridge" #7 “Building Bridges, the Female Perspective" in celebration of International Womens's Day,Drawn together by Jenny Meehan, Victorian Engine Rooms Tower Bridge Exhibition, jamartlondon, modern contemporary abstraction geometric art,

Drawn Together by Jenny Meehan

“This artwork expresses some of my female emotional experience: the emotion of two parts of my sense of self being pulled together. A feeling of balance and unity, which holds, even when the two sides are different in some respects. The suspended purple and yellow contrasting colours create stasis and tension. Yet, there is also a mirroring of the same essential structure in my composition, drawn together in a pivotal centre, which may suggest movement. This piece also resonates in relation to the Tower Bridge; an engineering achievement involving among other things, precision, balance, and design. Creative energy, both within and without, in both engineering and art.”

(Statement for the Building Bridges Tower Bridge Exhibition, for the above work)

 

As said earlier, the versions of geometric prints  I had printed myself are laminated and mounted on foam board, and signed by me personally, but the work is also available as open edition unsigned prints on the “print on demand site” Redbubble.com.  I like my work to be available to a wide range of people, with all budgets.  The laminated prints on foamboard would be particularly good for a bathroom or other slightly wet area.  I have one in my bathroom and it’s been there for five years and is still looking very good.   On Redbubble.com I noticed they now do prints on metal…I imagine they may be similar in being fine in a bathroom.   Need to check them out.

 

“The Very Patient Knee Replacement Story by Jenny Meehan”

The recovery and  rehabilitation from my surgery which was on the 8th March continues!   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!

Just have to post this again!  I love it!  Such a good memory!

very happy with my new knee in bright red Asda nightdress

very happy with my new knee in bright red Asda nightdress

 

Just loving the new knee.  Can paint for hours.  Stand for hours.  No longer limp at all. Can carry my art work places and use public transport with ease.  Can walk fast in a London crowd.  Can plan to go places, without fear of being stranded. Can keep up with friends.  It’s all just great, at just coming up to five months post op.    Very minor pain, when over doing things.  Well worth the effort, is the verdict on it for me.

 

Working on some new paintings…

Now I CAN!

Very early sneak preview of some in progress.

Bear in mind I work in a very piecemeal way.

These may not be ready for a few years.

Little and often.  Just like TKR post op exercises!

I have around 20 paintings “on the go” right now.

I often just put a couple of colours and marks down at a time.

They need a lot of thought.  A lot of patience.  They are ready when they are ready.

Some come together quite quickly.

Others take years.

I thought I was going to be stuck with working on tiny little paintings for the rest of my life.

Nearly got used to the idea.

Thankfully not.

I need to walk around a lot when painting.  I need to view the work at a distance, and this involves a lot of walking back and forth.

Plus all the hunting around for what I need!

Great to be in action again!

 

These will develop significantly over time.  That’s the good thing about acrylic paints. Quick drying.  Layers.

Miss using oil paint, but studio is not big enough…Need a lot of drying space for those!

 

Can  You Put A Price On Art?

I have been thinking about the question “Can you put a price on Art?” recently.  And the simple answer is “No”. Even though artists have to put a price on their art work if they offer it up for sale, and they may use various factors to determine the price, for example, how established they are, where it is being shown, how much time and materials it took to make, and the general ball park figure that they normally sell work at. The figure they choose does not reflect the value of the art work, but serves more as an entry point, to another person, in respect of if they are able to access it.  If they love it, the range of what they can afford will adjust accordingly, to a point.  Hence the importance of artists being consistent in their pricing of work.  It is simply a matter of integrity.

For the artist there are additional considerations, like how much commission the organisation they are showing with takes, how much their expenses were all around, and how much they had to pay to take part in the exhibition in the first place, etc, etc.  These need to be born in mind, and do make some variations in what the price label finally is.  The majority of artists, as I have said before, find that they might sell work very occasionally, and the whole matter is rather an added bonus rather than something that they actually depend on happening, particularly if their focus is not commercial, as is the case with myself, but is more a matter of progress and being able to progress one’s work.

It is also true that, along with that progress, there is a desire that people should be able to possess my work, and that does not mean a certain class or type of person, but simply any person who sees, loves, wants and relates to the art work in some way. This does not mean I am going to give it away, (though sometimes I do) or that I do not value it myself, because of course I do.  When I put an affordable price on a piece of work, it does not represent the value of it to me, because I do not personally gauge the value of it in monetary terms.  But I price my work in a way which I hope will make it accessible, as far as possible, without discounting my own time and effort, which matters very much to me.

This approach is also why I have no problems with my work being reproduced and used, as long as the appropriate legalities are in place.  It is not, in my opinion, only for the famous and well known fine artists, to enjoy the multiple reproductions and use of their imagery, while the less well known fear publication and reproduction of various kinds because they feel somehow that it makes their work less “fine art” and somehow more common!  To make art accessible is not to undervalue it, but simple to share it around a little more liberally and let it do it’s own work without hiding it away or keeping it to yourself.  Copyright violations are another matter…Artists of all kinds should always get appropriate recompense for their work, unless they choose to do otherwise, because it is their work and as work it is investment.  This applies regardless of the way the artist sustains their practice.

While there is plenty of information about on how artists should choose to price their art, and there are also wider economic considerations, such as in the article below:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-21481381

Putting a price on the value of art
By Jane O’Brien
BBC News, Washington
18 February 2013

This was a good read!

 

I tend to bring myself back to the fact that the value of many things in life cannot be measured.   It is not over spiritual and unrealistic to hold this important fact in mind, and the presence of it, and an awareness of it, is very important for any person involved in any type of work which, for whatever reason, does not equate, in their realm of doing and practising it, with money.  The work of a person parenting, housekeeping and domestic managing, plus all that is involved in caring for others and nurturing growth, is something which does have a monetary value if the tasks are all broken up and done is one particular setting, but in another setting, any currency that would apply is suddenly not there.  There are also those involved in paid work which has a monetary value applied to it far beyond and out of proportion to the work in hand, and others whose work is paid and yet is completely underpaid, bearing in mind the nature of their work, it’s value in society and what they actually do.

So money is a very random and inaccurate way of telling what things are worth.  It is a consideration, and may become a more important and crucial matter for an artist at a certain stage in their development if that development starts impacting the so called “art world” at some point.   The following is a helpful read, if that is the case:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/daniel-grant/artist-art-sales_b_1097873.html

THE BLOG Putting a Price on (Your) Art Takes Some Thought
11/17/2011 04:36 pm ET | Updated Jan 17, 20 written by Daniel Grant

I do not believe that it helps an artist to focus in this direction though.  People who love with passion their work are able to see it’s value completely apart from any measure of value put on it from external sources.

This is excellent, and quoted from  “10 Reasons Why Following Your Passion Is More Important Than Money” by

Siobhan Harmer

“Money is a very powerful thing, it builds empires and breaks down kingdoms, it allows for dreams to come true and it takes others away, it makes some people happy and others completely miserable. Today the pursuit of money is almost directly linked to the pursuit of happiness, many will argue that money = happiness.

However, this is inherently problematic as this mindset leads many people to stray down a path that doesn’t best suit them. When people choose their careers, they are sometimes blinded by money and so choose to follow the paper trail. Although money is great and can buy us all the things that will temporarily make us happy, no amount of money can buy time. Time is our most valuable asset and it is something, that while on this earth, we should spend most wisely. You shouldn’t feel like you’re mindlessly wasting your life away.”

“10 Reasons Why Following Your Passion Is More Important Than Money” by  Siobhan Harmer

Read the rest of the article, it’s excellent.  My favourite line:

“Time is our most valuable asset and it is something, that while on this earth, we should spend most wisely.”

It is obvious really.

This article, “More than job satisfaction – Psychologists are discovering what makes work meaningful – and how to create value in any job by Kirsten Weir”  was a good read too:

Something that’s meaningful for one person may be inconsequential for another, however. What makes work worthwhile to you probably depends on your culture, your socioeconomic status and how you were taught to see the world, according to Pratt. An academic might find value in scholarship, for instance. “But a firefighter might look at an academic and ask, ‘Are you helping people on a daily basis? If not, it’s not worthwhile work at all.'”
People assign significance to their work in a variety of ways, as Pratt and doctoral students Douglas Lepisto and Camille Pradies describe in a chapter in the 2013 book “Purpose and Meaning in the Workplace.” Some may derive meaning not from the job itself, but from the fact that it allows them to provide for their families and pursue non-work activities that they enjoy. Others may find meaning in being able to advance themselves and be the best they can be. People with a craftsmanship orientation take pride in performing the job well. Those with a service orientation find purpose in the ideology or belief system behind their work. Still others extract meaning from the sense of kinship they experience with co-workers.
Craftsmanship, service and kinship orientations are especially likely to be meaningful, as they all point to something beyond the individual, says Pratt.”

More than job satisfaction
Psychologists are discovering what makes work meaningful — and how to create value in any job.
By Kirsten Weir
December 2013, Vol 44, No. 11
Print version: page 39

Nice quote from the above:

“Meaning doesn’t take money,” she says. “At any rank, people can make different meanings of their work, and also of themselves at work.”  – Jane E. Dutton, PhD, a professor of business administration and psychology at the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan.

So throw that status away!  Because it may well be measured in monetary terms… And that is not very reliable at all! If others do it, so be it.  But make sure you don’t do it yourself.  Because we all mean an awful lot.

On a very practical note, I tend to price my original artwork at between £200 and £500…  It is not for me to assess the value of it, but I guess that is the monetary range I personally feel appropriate.  As my work is well developed and strong, I have been focused on it for the last ten years, and I assess what I ask for it based on that, as well as the other factors mentioned at the beginning of this post.  I don’t work on a profit making basis, but I need to develop and continue what I do, and this enables me to do so.  I don’t think about my work in terms of the “market”  or even with thoughts of what I might potentially get from it.  I am simply not orientated that way.  When I paint, I paint to paint and that is all that is involved.  I do not paint to sell and I do not paint thinking one little bit about even selling the work.   I paint to paint and that is it.  And when the work is done, it will live with me for often many years, for it still has a lot to say, and I do not mind learning from it one little bit.

What I want is to be able to die knowing that my work is not where I personally left it!  But in other places living it’s new life with a new owner.  That is far more important. Consequently, I probably under price my work.  But there comes a point at which you know for sure a painting is ready for a new home.  If the new owner comes and recognises the fact, then both collector and artist are very happy, and go away pleased, having both their lives enriched.

Our time does end.  At some point!  There is nothing morbid about that. And I do not want to leave a pile of paintings behind me that haven’t really been able to enter into anyone’s heart but my own.

Time is our most valuable asset and it is something, that while on this earth, we should spend most wisely. You shouldn’t feel like you’re mindlessly wasting your life away.

 

And something completely different…

Bruce The Great Poem, by Jenny Meehan

I wrote this poem as one of my efforts when attending a local poetry writing group.

Unfortunately due to needing to allocate the time elsewhere, I had to stop attending the group.  But I hope to rejoin again at a later date.

I am Bruce; Bruce the Great

I do not fear the purr, and whirring rotation of blades;
The black box behind me,
a dark and solid mass, suckered to the side
of the invisible container…
which I refuse to acknowledge.

I am Bruce, Bruce the Great…
Amid the mass of bubbles, I fly
high above the rocks;
No wind will blow
me off direction.

What moves before my face
speaks an echo…
It too, testifies of the extent of my domain.
You may fix me in your eyes,
open your orifice, and flash your fins
to the beats of time. Maybe,
dissolving thoughts of moving ahead
into aqueous meditations?
I wait; My pause is ever before me,
but I will not turn.

I am beautiful !
Reflective and fiery orange,
flame-like,
un-cooled by water, which is my elemental matter
of flecked and opalescent wonder!
Did you not see the extent of my tail?
Did you come to listen to the oracle of my mind?
Surely not to invade?
Do you see in the darkness of my mouth
the end of your existence?

The edge of my world is not something I like to admit.
I do not speak of this, but hollow out bubbles of air.
Send them up;
Prayer, to the fish that fly.
I hear them, even though I have no ears,
rotating my eyes upward
and twisting my dorsal fin.
My body placed in perfect alignment.

It is in this yogic moment…
when you caught me
and recorded my existence, forever.
Against the flowing, green, weeds
and the purr and the whirring
rotation of the blades; that black box behind me,
a dark, solid, mass.
But no darker than the tunnel
I breath into you.

Go no further!
I am Bruce; Bruce the Great

Jenny Meehan 2016

 

I wrote the poem in response to a photograph of the group facilitators gold fish. Her pet fish was called Bruce, and the poem is what came to mind.   I keep tropical fish and love watching them.  So my own fish also helped the process.

 

Enjoying the Sunshine!

Just loving the weather we had in June, and now also.  Great for drying paint.  I am experimenting with painting on some large A1 greyboard.  It’s nice to have a bit more room to move the paint around!  I am also working on smaller paintings, and experimenting more with perceived texture as well as actual texture.   I have many pieces of card with paint on, both very small and large.  And there is a lot of looking going on.  At past work as well as present.   I have been blessed to meet some lovely people so far this year, and I am enjoying the fruits of the patience I have come to appreciate more.  The knee replacement surgery has had unexpected benefits.

 

………………………………………………….

Jenny Meehan (Jennifer Meehan)

Jenny Meehan is an artist and designer based in Chessington Surrey, Greater London/South West London/Surrey

(text from website jamartlondon.com)

Jenny takes a process led approach and while the art she creates is informed by her research activities, her outlook on life, and personal experiences, it is the formal qualities and what she perceives as the presence or poetry of the work itself which she is most concerned with. Her visual art is intimately connected with her writing and poetry, and the relationship between these two strands of her creativity is a lively and interesting one.

Jenny is particularly interested in the relationships between creativity, spirituality and mental health and wellbeing and uses both Christian contemplative practices and participation in regular psychoanalysis to inform the direction and development of her artistic practice. While specialising in abstract painting and interested in lyrical abstraction and abstract expressionism, she also enjoys working with digital imagery and graphic art. Her visual art relates intimately to her spirituality, writing, and poetry, and she explores this dimension of her work and experience through an artist’s blog on WordPress: Jenny Meehan Artist’s Journal – The Artist’s Meandering Discourse.

 

 

 

Well, this year’s KAOS Open Studios is all done and dusted!

Now I need to put back all the paintings, prints, easels, etc etc.

There is not enough room in our house, but never mind.  It is what it is.  My favourite phrase for this year.

It was great to show my work with other artists, and we love to chat and spend time with each other over this time as well as welcome guests.   I was showing with Sandra Beccarelli, Cressida Borrett, Lizzie Brewer, Caroline Calascione, Ikuko Danby, Bali Edwards, Yuka Maeda, and Anna Tikhomirova.  This was a good mix of work and people.

For more information on Kingston Artists Open Studios, see here:

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

We are a group of East Surrey/South West London Artists.

Each year we hold an Artists’ Open Studios Event. If you like this kind of thing, contact me and I can put you on my mailing list.  Use the contact form on my personal website jamartlondon.com 

 

The Knee

My knee is good.  So fantastic to be able to walk around without restrictions, stand as long as I need to, and just get on with life.  I write about my experience of TKR (total knee replacement) on “The Very Patient Knee Replacement Page” of this blog.  I wanted to write about my experience in order to both give myself something purposeful to do and also hopefully to help others in some way.  Everyone’s experience of knee replacement surgery is very different, but it is certainly a challenging time.  You can get to the page by following the link to the right handside.

 

 

Feeling good with my new knee!

 

“The Art of Buying Art”  Alan Bamberger.

Nice quote, from this book, which I have read recently…from the chapter on “Building a Collection” which contains a lot of very helpful advice for people who would like to start collecting art but are not sure where to start.  I particularly liked these paragraphs, and think them particularly important for anyone wanting to collect art today.

“Believe in Yourself”

Buy what you want to buy, and collect what you want to collect.  Far too many people deny their own dreams, compromise their tastes, follow the crowd and end up with dull, boring collections.  One collection looks just like the next when unimaginative collectors try harder to be correct than they do to collect.  This type of buying behaviour is all too often based on fears of being rejected, ridiculed, or not doing what’s “right”, of wasting one’s money, and so on.

In a way, fears like those mentioned above are justified.  When you’re true to yourself and you follow your own inner urges, you become vulnerable to hash judgements by others who see art differently than you do.  Your art tells outsiders revealing things about what you like, what you believe in , what your philosophies are, who you like and how your mind works.  And revealing yourself like this can be scary.

But the positive results of honest collecting far outweigh the negatives.  For one thing, you end up owning art that your really love and not art that you feel lukewarm about just because someone else told you to buy it.  you call the shots, you direct the show, you have total freedom and control over your actions and, in the end, you experience a level of freedom that is not easy to come by in this day and age. “

Above quotes taken from my copy of The Art of Buying Art, 2nd Edition, by Alan Bamberger.  I jotted this down a while ago in one of my many notebooks, so I am not actually sure if they are direct quotes or adapted by me!  But I include as quotes just in case.

Reading the above brought to mind the excellent programme I watched this year on Peggy Guggenheim.  She certainly collected what she liked and set about her collection in a passionate and devoted way.  Quite an inspiration!  She was quite ahead of her time, and built a culture changing collection, which must have taken a great deal of determination and love.  The film on the BBC was called “Peggy Guggenheim: Art Addict” and offered a very interesting insight into Peggy Guggenheim, an heiress who became a central figure in the modern art movement; “a colourful character who was not only ahead of her time but helped define it.”

 

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

Contemporary Watercolour painting by Jenny Meehan “Accidental Shapes” painted with watercolour and gouache  paints made by the artist and soluble wax crayon.

I have been looking at some of my painting with watercolours from 2015 and am using this to inform some more recent larger scale paintings I am working on at the moment.  I am moving up to A1 in size for a change.  It’s helpful to work larger for a while.

 

Contemporary Watercolours

I have decided to spend some time researching contemporary watercolour artists, and finding this was a good start:

http://watercolor.net/british-contemporary/

Do take a look.  Text from above:

Five British artists engaged in contemporary work discuss the use of watercolour in their art practice… Several artists are cited who are currently challenging some of the perceptions about the watercolour medium. Given the diverse nature of contemporary art, it is little surprise that artists use watercolour in a range of ways, sometimes unorthodox, that best suit their ideas and working method.

I rather like what Alf Löhr has to say:

For me, creativity is in the sketch, when the mind is still free to explore and is open for things to happen. That’s why watercolours are always nearer to life and more lively than cleverly executed artistic statements. Watercolours allow you to avoid big, heroic simplifications. You either look for life or you don’t.”

I do like that, and watercolours are certainly super spontaneous, and beautifully immediate,  something which is great for  working in a free manner.  The way they are easy to remove while working  is similar to oil paints, and unlike acrylic.  The difficulty in removing acrylic paint is a restriction. You can remove it before it is dry, but after it is dry it is a matter of painting over the top.  I have found my experiments with watercolour so far to be very exciting and liberating.  It’s nice to have the body colour (gouache) and the watercolour colour relationships to think about too.

I am hoping that looking as some good and exciting watercolour paintings will inspire me in my own direction.  Appreciating other artists work is very important as it opens new ways of seeing things and shows you what a medium can do. Unfortunately I was not successful in having any of my work accepted in the The Contemporary Waercolour Competition, run by the Royal Watercolour Society  a few years ago in 2015.   Very disappointed.  I have a very restricted budget for entering competitions, and it is quickly  used up.  Artists need to pay to submit their work, regardless of whether it gets chosen.  I mention this because many people are not aware of it, and it is one of the things, I personally feel, which does a disservice to artists in this country.  If you are talking about under £10, to enter several art works, (ie not payment per work)  then I have no issues with that. But when you are talking of over £10 for each work, I think you can see that entering your art into competitions becomes somewhat of a luxury expenditure for many artists.

Not all.  For others it will not be a problem.  However, my personal belief is that any artist, from any socio economic situation, should be able to submit art to such competitions for ten pounds or less. And for that, to submit at least three pieces.  Ideally, submitting art to competitions and for exhibitions would be  free of charge, though that may be a little unrealistic.   We need to move with the times and help artists to show and share their work.  Artists bear all other costs in providing their work free of charge for exhibition.  With the internet and digital technology, it takes no more than one minute to view a piece of artwork, even when you consider it thoughtfully.  Two minutes to look at it again when the selection is narrowed down.  Three minutes, as before.   And four minutes at the very most.  Please, if anyone can justify to me why the artists themselves bear these costs, I prepare to be enlightened. I bang on again, and I will continue to do so.  I know I am not alone in my feelings.  I don’t rant very often, but this is one of my popular rant subjects!   I simply want as many people as possible and as much variety of artwork to be on show for people to see.  I know there are costs.  But the  system works in a way which penalises artists and exploits their desire to simply share what they do.

Come on now,  unless an artist is particularly popular and well known, they don’t normally make a profit from their artistic practice.  A sale of an art work exhibited is usually an unexpected bonus.   They may not want to be commercially orientated.  Why should they? Art for the creator, has never been fundamentally about money. If that does come with it, or they want to make it profit making, then that’s up to them.  some do. That’s what they want.  That is their aspiration/need/want/motivation.  It may be their business or a significant part of a much needed income.  But a lot don’t treat their creative profession as a business enterprise,  but still want to exhibit their work. But exhibiting work is not a business venture.  We don’t exhibit in order to sell.  We exhibit in order to show, primarily. We just want to share what we do.  I need to sell sometimes to pay for materials and enable me to continue my work.  This is what matters to me. But it’s never something I count on.  I pray for it, but it’s a venture of faith, rather than by design.  It does not feed my children.

My paintings are like little children though, and I want to send them out into the world to find a home elsewhere.  They cannot live with me forever!  I love to wave them off as they go into the world.  They are my legacy. I seem to live with a sense that I won’t be around forever.  So aware of my mortality. It’s a wonderful gift, to be able to paint as I do.  It also takes a lot of constant work.  I have invested myself in this endeavour, this vocation.  It’s the only way for me to go. It’s great when a collector finds just what they are looking for and loves it.  It’s a pleasure to make an exchange then, and both people benefit.  The problem with galleries and exhibitions isn’t just submission fees but commission.  Many people buying art are not aware of these matters, which is probably one of the reasons I like to rattle on about it.  I think people should know.  And know that the best way to deal with an artist is to deal with them personally.

Spiritual Direction Training 

It’s over two years since I started training in the art of spiritual direction with SPI-DIR!  (nothing to do with spiders!).  It is now finished (well, never finished, as an ongoing process, but that chapter of it!)  and I look back fondly.   This course, along with lots of different short courses, (mostly one day training courses) has been of great use to me and given me lots of useful tools and insights.  Whatever training one has though, it is the Holy Spirit who actually provides the direction aspect of this kind of ministry.  The term “spiritual director”is unfortunate in the respect that it tends to communicate the idea of the facilitator or guide being the one “doing” the direction, which is far from the case!   Here’s another useful description for all unfamiliar with the term “Spiritual Direction” which I hope clarifies the ministry a little better:

Spiritual Direction

What is spiritual direction?

It is an ancient ministry, sometimes called Spiritual Counsel, Prayer Guidance or Soul Friendship. It is about taking the time to meet with another person to talk together about your spiritual journey, prayer and search for God. Many people find that this pattern of reflective companionship can be a significant help.

What can I talk about?

The important thing is that this is a ‘sacred space’ into which we can bring anything but into which we do not have to bring anything. There are no expectations, and no judgement. It is a listening and accepting space.

Sometimes you might have a sense of something happening in your life and needing to make sense of it in a spiritual context: ‘Where is God in this for me?’
Sometimes you might have a particular spiritual issue you want to work through.
Sometimes it is as simple as: ‘How can I pray?’
Sometimes it is an individual’s awareness of God inviting them to ‘something more’, and needing help to work out what that is really all about.
So the answer to the question is: ‘Anything that impacts on your relationship with God.’

Who?

The person offering this ministry will be a person of prayer who makes the commitment to accept you as you are and where you are. The companion or guide’s role is to support the discernment of God’s activity in your life.”

The above quoted from http://www.oxford.anglican.org/mission-ministry/spiritual-direction/

I quite like the above explanation.

Spiritual direction is something which many people are not familiar with, and I tend to use the phrase “Spiritual Mentoring and Guidance”.  It isn’t quite counselling in the usual sense, but I suppose it would easily fall under the umbrella term of being counselling, though not a problem focused activity, which counselling normally is.   It’s been an interesting development for me in terms of activity, and runs alongside the creative project very well.  It is sometimes something I integrate with individual artistic tuition or as part of a person seeking direction in their creativity and artist pursuits as part of one of my “Painting and Drawing Workshops”.  They are on hold at present, due to lack of time but I plan to start holding them again at the end of the year.

I would like to do some further training in the art of spiritual direction in the future, but cannot afford to do so at the moment.  I don’t mind waiting.  I would like my next training endeavour to be related to visual art in some way.  Keep looking at the West Dean College Short Course Programme.  It’s good to use different materials and techniques to keep the vigour in one’s creative practice.  So easy to grow stale, due to lack of extension!

 

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon© Jenny Meehan DACS All Rights Reserved

“Flower Meditation” © Jenny Meehan DACS All Rights Reserved

 

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

 

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

 

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

 

I like these photographic studies I took a while back.  All my painting is inspired by nature ultimately, because this is what I am surrounded by.  The forms and movements of natural beauty as they filter in through my senses keep the creative will alive in so many respects.  That a painting does not look representational does not mean that it represents nothing.  For all around experience and life is breathed in, and for the painter, often breathed out in the work they produce.  This is living in the way I love to live.  This is the joy of being a painter.

 

“The Very Patient Knee Replacement Story by Jenny Meehan”

The recovery and  rehabilitation from my TKR surgery which was on the 8th March 2017 is still a big feature of my life! Getting there a little more quickly now, at around 14 weeks post op.  Goodness, I have often felt an affinity with snails, but little did I know how manifest that would be in terms of a physical experience.  But it is a very positive experience, and the positive part of it started from the moment I was listed for surgery.  My experience of being cared for in hospital was amazing and has helped me immensely in my recovery process.  When tired and feeling challenged, I have been able to look back and remember how well I was looked after, and this reminds me that I need to look after myself in the same way.

Knee replacement surgery is a challenging experience but mine couldn’t have been better!   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!

I will be writing another update, probably in September this year, as that will be six months from the surgery date.  I am still in the early stages of my recovery and rehabilitation. Seems crazy, but it is a LONG HAUL experience.  Still immensely tired, and needing to limit time both walking and standing a bit.   I am looking at a September as being the time when I feel more fully back to normal, and the recovery process takes even longer than that. Up to two years I think.  I am happy with my knee though.  It feels a lot stronger than the how it did before the knee replacement operation. It’s given me some space to take in aspects of my practice which are proving rather beneficial.  It also provided a lot of opportunities for visiting garden centres and enjoying cream teas, which have also been beneficial!  I have realised I work much to hard, and need to spend more time relaxing, resting and enjoying life!

 

 

“The Realm of Between” Painting by Jenny Meehan

© Jenny Meehan DACS All Rights Reservedjenny 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,

“The Realm of Inbetween/Pushing it a bit” abstract lyrical expressionist british paintings jenny meehan© Jenny Meehan DACS All Rights Reserved

 

On the far side of the subjective, on this side of the objective, on the narrow ridge where I and Thou meet, there is the realm of ‘between’. Buber 1949

With “the space between”, I allude to Martin Buber’s conception of a sacred realm which opens when people of different faiths speak profoundly to one another, from heart to heart. In the suggestive words of Buber himself:

In the most powerful moments of dialogic, where in truth “deep calls unto deep”, it becomes unmistakably clear that it is not the wand of the individual or of the social, but of a third which draws the circle round the happening. On the far side of the subjective, on this side of the objective, on the narrow ridge, where I and Thou meet, there is the realm of “between” (Buber 2002: 242f)

“Today, when the word ‘dialogue’ is spoken in educational circles, it is often linked to Paulo Freire. The same is true of ‘subject’ and ‘object’. Yet, in the twentieth century, it is really in the work of Martin Buber that the pedagogical worth of dialogue was realized – and the significance of relation revealed. He wrote – ‘All real living is meeting’ (Buber 1958: 25) and looked to how, in relation, we can fully open ourselves to the world, to others, and to God.”

“I and Thou, Buber’s best known work, presents us with two fundamental orientations – relation and irrelation. We can either take our place, as Pamela Vermes (1988: 40-41) puts it, alongside whatever confronts us and address it as ‘you’; or we ‘can hold ourselves apart from it and view it as an object, an “it”‘. So it is we engage in I-You (Thou) and I-It relationships.”

Encounter

For Buber encounter (Begegnung) has a significance beyond co-presence and individual growth. He looked for ways in which people could engage with each other fully – to meet with themselves. The basic fact of human existence was not the individual or the collective as such, but ‘Man with Man’ (Buber 1947). As Aubrey Hodes puts it:

When a human being turns to another as another, as a particular and specific person to be addressed, and tries to communicate with him through language or silence, something takes place between them which is not found elsewhere in nature. Buber called this meeting between men the sphere of the between. (1973: 72)
Encounter (Begegnung) is an event or situation in which relation (Beziehung) occurs. We can only grow and develop, according to Buber, once we have learned to live in relation to others, to recognize the possibilities of the space between us. The fundamental means is dialogue. Encounter is what happens when two I‘s come into relation at the same time. This brings us back to Buber’s distinction between relation and irrelation. ‘All real living is meeting’ is sometimes translated as ‘All real life is encounter’. This, as Pamela Vermes (1994: 198) has commented, could be taken as the perfect summary of Buber’s teaching on encounter and relation. However, it seems unlikely that he would have agreed with the notion that where there is no encounter life is ‘unreal’. It appears to be in encounter ‘that the creative, redemptive, and revelatory processes take place which Buber associates with the dialogical life’ (op cit.).”

“Dialogue

Dan Avnon (1998: 5) comments, ‘the reality of “space” that is between persons is the focus of Buber’s philosophy’. At its root is the idea that self-perfection is achievable only within relationship with others. Relationship exists in the form of dialogue. Furthermore, self-knowledge is possible only ‘if the relation between man and creation is understood to be a dialogical relationship’ (Buber quoted by Avnon op cit). Significantly, for Buber dialogue involves all kinds of relation: to self, to other(s) anhttp://infed.org/mobi/martin-buber-on-education/d to all forms of created being. Recognizing this allows us to see that it is ‘the conceptual linchpin of his teachings’ (Avnon 1998: 6).”

All the above from Martin Buber on Education

http://infed.org/mobi/martin-buber-on-education/

The dimension that essentially makes us human, it could be argued, is  the “between”: the space between I and Thou which neither party is totally in control of, but is given life only through dialogue. Understanding is not necessarily the same as consent.  It can make one’s own position clearer and contextualise the self as situated in time and space. Interpersonal in-between-ness actually makes one human: the space of the between allows one to find their own voice and gives them the opportunity to step forward as own perspectives on the world.”

 

Images from this years East Surrey/South West London “Kingston Artists’ Open Studios” Event!

 

jenny meehan at 2017 south west london/east surrey Kingston Artists Open Studios event contemporary female artist painter jenny meehan

jenny meehan at 2017 south west london/east surrey Kingston Artists Open Studios event contemporary female artist painter jenny meehan

 

jenny meehan at 2017 south west london/east surrey Kingston Artists Open Studios event contemporary female artist painter jenny meehan

jenny meehan at 2017 south west london/east surrey Kingston Artists Open Studios event contemporary female artist painter jenny meehan

 

jenny meehan at 2017 south west london/east surrey Kingston Artists Open Studios event contemporary female artist painter jenny meehan

jenny meehan at 2017 south west london/east surrey Kingston Artists Open Studios event contemporary female artist painter jenny meehan

 

This is some of the text I displayed with the work this year.   People like to read about it.  I also had many interesting discussions with different people.  I enjoy assisting people in engaging with painting and my own work.

South West London based Fine Artist and Painter
Jenny (Jennifer) Meehan. 

Jenny Meehan is based in Chessington, Surrey. Her personal website jamartlondon gives you an introduction to her art working. For a more extensive online publication of her creative project follow her activities in more detail through her blog: “Jenny Meehan Artist’s Journal – The Artist’s Meandering Discourses – Poetry – Painting – Spirituality” on WordPress.com.

Jenny thrives on experimentation and innovation. Her highly personal style invites the viewer to embark on their own visual journey, opening up their senses to the interplay of light, colour, texture, movement and stillness.

If you are interested in digital prints, take a look at the selection of imagery available as prints on Redbubble.com by following the link below:
To see Jenny Meehan’s portfolio page at Redbubble.com follow the link: below: http://www.redbubble.com/people/jennyjimjams?ref=artist_title_name&asc=u

Using digital imagery, painting, drawing and writing, I take a primarily process-led approach, acting in response to the materials I am working with. It is a spirit and emotion led practice which I often describe as an articulation of fragmentary experience. This expresses the core of my art-working well, as all I create is autobiographically rooted and expressionistic. It acts as a kind of “re-membering”; a way of bringing things together, and making sense of life.

 

My interest in spirituality and mindfulness mean that I view my art work as a type of contemplative tool, which hopefully enables the viewer to connect with their own emotional life and experiences and gives space in a busy world for imagination and connection. Working with abstraction provides an opportunity for openness, allowing the viewer to determine their own path into my work, and this is coloured by their own experience and memory, unique to them.

Contact me if you have any enquiries. I am happy to arrange studio visits. Digital images of my paintings are numerous, and it is quick and easy to obtain a license for use through DACS (see end of page for more details).

I am a qualified teacher (Post Graduate Certificate in Education) with a BA Hons in Literature. I offer individual tuition subject to other commitments.

I am a member of Kingston Artists’ Open Studios, Guildford Arts, Kingston Arts, and the faith community of St Paul’s Church of England Church in Hook, Surrey. I am interested in spiritual formation and art working in relation to emotional and psychological wellbeing.

 

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.

For more information regarding exhibitions go to the “Exhibitions” section of jamartlondon.com

 

Oh gosh,  sometimes I wish my parents could see what I was doing.  I think my mother would like my paintings.  Not so sure about my father.  My mother was Swiss German and came to England to work as an Au pair for Dr Boxall and his family in New Malden.  She was born in Villingen, Deutschland,  and her mother, Rosa Josefina Eicher originated from Eschenbach St. Gallen, and later lived in Basel.  I have no idea why my mother came England by herself in her early twenties, but she did, and she brought with her an appreciation for paintings which I can thank her for now.  Just prints, but they informed my eyes when I looked at them as a child growing up.  Impressionists.  Certainly made an impression on me.  It’s sad to lose your parents when you are fairly young, however it happens.  But as said, I think she would enjoy looking at what I do now, which is a nice thought.  Shame she can’t though. She died when I was 31, which is rather young to lose your mother I think.   “Buried Mother” is one painting painted in memory of her.

copyright jenny meehan DACSBuried Mother/Laid to Rest Oil Painting - Jenny Meehan

Buried Mother/Laid to Rest Oil Painting – Jenny Meehan

Really need to get those oil paints out again.  Paint quite differently in oils!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Germination Image

© Jenny Meehan. All Rights Reserved, jenny meehan, jennifer meehan, jamartlondon.com,germination seed image,new life,creativity image, black and white graphic image germination,jenny meehan woman female contemporary british artist 21st century,

germination print jenny meehan jamartlondon© Jenny Meehan. All Rights Reserved;

I have just done some framing.  Knee is painful. Knee cap is grating.  But framing brings quick and impressive feelings to the forefront of the mind.  So nice to see the printed image sitting so comfortably in it’s position.

Escape from Death Image

© Jenny Meehan. All Rights Reserved, jenny meehan,jennifer meehan graphic art print,jamartlondon,escape from death deliverance from evil image, christian art and spirituality,christian artist uk based,british contemporary christian art, jamartlondon.com,life and death art image, birth and death art image,

escape from death by jenny meehan graphic print to buy jamartlondon.com© Jenny Meehan. All Rights Reserved

The actual print has less of a colour contrast than how the image shows here on screen.  I altered it a bit for the print so it is more subtle.

Knee Replacement Season

Well, I start a new journey soon into the land of knee replacement.  So I may be working on some digital images for a while rather than working on larger paintings.   I do have some small scale projects I can work on.  The months of December, January, February and March tend to be a little more sedentary anyway.  So it should work out quite well.

Going into hospital has suddenly reminded me of my “real name”… for I am a Jennifer Meehan not actually a Jenny Meehan.  I have used Jenny Meehan since around the age of 18 when I left home.  When people call me Jennifer I seem to loose a few years and am reminded of how I was when living at home in my parents house.  Well, that is one way to loose a few years I guess!  It is odd when you are suddenly referred to with a name you do not use anymore.  Though it has made me decide to use the “proper” form of my name a little more, in addition to the Jenny Meehan which I work with and use all of the time.  The world is full of Jennifers who are Jennys!

I sign my work with my initials which are J, A, and M.  Jenny/Jennifer Meehan is née Jennifer Ann Gray.  So Jennifer Ann Meehan becomes JAM.  Hence the name jamartlondon for my website.  If I used my maiden name, it would be JAGARTLONDON.  That’s not bad, but JAMARTLONDON is better!

Well, that was a pleasant little meandering discourse!

 

Past painting…

Sack of a Great House/Arise, Sleeper

Painting experiment with acrylic,pigments,textures - Jenny Meehan

“Arise, Sleeper, Wake/Sack Of A Great House” Jenny Meehan 2010

© Jenny Meehan. All Rights Reserved, DACS

This painting is an early example of my experimentation with texture in my work.  It may well be the first time I used fillers of different sorts.  That was back in 2010.

Ephesians 5 v14  “This is why it is said: “Wake up, sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.”

 

Jenny Meehan, Oil painting experiment, 2010

UnderPainting for an Oncoming Vision/The River Within  by Jenny Meehan  2010

© Jenny Meehan. All Rights Reserved, DACS

Under Painting for an Oncoming Vision/The River Within is an example of some of my earlier work.  In this painting I was experimenting with glazes.  Oil on board.  In the flesh the painting does radiate light in a very pleasing way.  You cannot quite get that from looking at it on a screen.

 

 

Interesting information on Gloss and Emulsion Paint

Well, you know I appreciate that this won’t get everyone excited, but for me as a painter when I find nice clear information on paint, I am very happy indeed!  Someone mentioned gloss paint to me in conversation and it is not something I have tried, so this maybe something for the new year.

Gloss or emulsion

When we buy a can of paint we expect to be able to apply it with a brush or roller and for it to dry leaving behind a solid film. To achieve this paints are made up of a mixture of different components. Although paints designed for different purposes will have different formulations, they all have some key features in common.
Paints contain a pigment to give colour, including white; a film former that binds the pigment particles together and binds them to the surface to be painted; a liquid that makes it easier to apply the paint and additives to make the basic paint better to store and to use.

The two main types of paint are gloss and emulsion. (My addition, well, not quite, but for domestic household use, yes!)

Gloss Paint
Gloss paint is widely used because it produces an attractive shiny surface that is so durable that it can be used outside. The binder or film former in gloss paint is called an alkyd resin. This is a long chain polymer made by reacting a vegetable oil such as soya bean or linseed oil with an alcohol and an organic acid. The resin is dissolved in an aliphatic petroleum solvent, so that it can be spread easily. When the solvent evaporates, the oxygen of the air interacts with the resin which results in the formation of cross links between the polymer molecules and produces a strong, dry film.
A typical gloss paint formulation
Component Percentage by mass
Alkyd resin binder 54
Pigment 25
Solvent 17
Additives 4
(Additives might be driers and anti-skin agents)
Emulsion Paint
Some paints are emulsions . They are made up of tiny droplets of liquid polymer binder spread out in, rather than dissolved in water. This emulsion can be spread easily.
The polymer is made by the addition polymerisation of alkene monomers such as ethenyl ethanoate, methyl 2-methylpropenoate and 2-ethylhexyl acrylate. These monomers can be mixed in different proportions before polymerisation to form a co-polymer which has exactly the right properties for the purpose it is to be used for.

After an emulsion paint is applied, the water evaporates and the polymer particles pack closely and fuse together to form a continuous film. The use of water rather than an organic liquid means that emulsion paints produce fewer VOC (volatile organic compounds) when they are used.
A typical emulsion paint formulation
Component Percentage by mass
Co-polymer binder 15 to 23
Pigment (white) 20
Pigment (colour) 0 to 5
Extenders 15 to 25
Water 25 to 50
Additives 2 to 5
(Additives might be antifreeze, dispersing aids, wetting agents, thickeners, biocides, low temperature drying aids, antifoam agent, coalescing solvent, ammonia)”

The above is quoted from: http://resources.schoolscience.co.uk/ICI/14-16/paints/paintch1pg1.html

 

I am so happy reading this! Crazy, Yes.  For sure!  Love Paint!

Quotes I like…

This below from http://abstractcritical.com/article/the-language-of-painting/

http://abstractcritical.com/article/the-language-of-painting/

by John Holland

Though it will deeply pain Mr. Gouk, I agree that art is not a language, except in the most metaphorical way. It’s not true to say that, “If art has a meaning, then it must be a language”; language is a particular conception, and all real languages share certain necessary features,such as modular units that must be arranged according to quite strict syntactical rules if they are to make sense. What are the equivalents in painting of tenses, verbs, word definitions? Any metaphorical application of the word ‘language’ to art (or music) is too vague to be useful. Maths, maybe, is the only thing that might meaningfully be called a non-verbal language.

As Gouk suggests, a work like Finnigan’s Wake pushes the rules about as far as they will go before sense breaks down- which is why, by and large, literature has had to ‘retreat’ since then to more conservative forms. There’s no equivalent in Modernist painting.
Art has meaning, but it lies largely outside language- this is why it fails when it tries to operate in essentially verbally structured contexts like political discourse.”

 

Art has meaning, but it lies largely outside language- this is why it fails when it tries to operate in essentially verbally structured contexts like political discourse.

 

Victor Brauner

I have been looking at some work by Victor Brauner recently, who I had not heard of before.  Here is some information on him.

Victor Brauner’s multi-media practice is now most closely associated with Surrealism. During his training at the School of Fine Arts in Bucharest, Brauner had in fact developed an expressionist style, which he later abandoned during his involvement with various Dadaist and Surrealist art publications. It was Yves Tanguy who formally introduced Brauner to the Surrealists and instigated his involvement with the movement. His practice, which included painting, drawing, and printmaking, drew from disparate symbolic systems like Tarot Cards, Egyptian hieroglyphics, and ancient Mexican texts. Brauner asserted that all of his paintings were autobiographical in some way. He led a turbulent life of constant displacement; anticipating the danger of World War II, Brauner reduced the dimensions of his canvases such that each could fit in his luggage for emergency travel—he called these his “suitcase paintings.”  (quoted from Artsy.net) 

And from my reading:

Dialogues; Conversations with European Artists at Mid-Century by Edouard Roditi
An interesting extract:
Victor Brauner interviewed by Edouard Roditi. A small extract from a longer interview.
ER: Do you believe that non formal abstract art can offer an artist a new kind of freedom?
BRAUNER: In theory perhaps, at least as long as it relies on chance to suggest meanings for its formlessness. In practice, however, it generally concerns itself with such problems only superficially and soon degenerates into a style of decoration that lacks any more articulated systems of beliefs, thought and emotion. In any case, such terms as figurative and non-figurative or formal and non formal suggest very superficial categories. An artist such as Paul Klee understood quite properly that he had to try his hand at any style that occurred to his mind, and this is how he managed to leave some works that are figurative and others that are nonfigurative – but all of them equally typical of his very personal genius.
ER So you would not advise an artist to seek too personal a style to which he would remain rigidly faithful in all his work?
BRAUNER : Certainly not. The modern art market requires that an artist specialise and, in the long run, repeat himself too. But what he then produces may no longer illustrate what remains indispensable to him as artistic expression – I mean a sense of adventure, of discovery and perhaps even of danger, of the risk of really making the wrong choice and of losing or destroying himself as an artist. Whenever I face a fresh canvas,I feel like a new man and become an utter stranger in my own eyes. When one faces this mystery of becoming and of self discovery and self-expression as an artist, one can no longer rely very much on what one has already achieved. But this is also why I can never have a very clear long-range plans. I do not want to become a specialist in any strictly limited style or range of subject matter, though I may actually find myself more often preoccupied by some problems or symbols than by others. Nor would I really be able to be such a specialist, even if I wanted. But this problem, fortunately, has never arisen in my life, and this may well be why I continue to feel the need to work and to create, as if I had never yet created anything in the past which I can still recognize as wholly my own”
At the time of this brief interview, Brauner was seriously ill and easily tired. A few weeks later Victor Brauner died and this was his last interview.

 

Interesting with respect to the matter of repetition, and what a wonderful quote:

Whenever I face a fresh canvas,I feel like a new man and become an utter stranger in my own eyes. When one faces this mystery of becoming and of self discovery and self-expression as an artist, one can no longer rely very much on what one has already achieved.

My own experience for the need for constant jumping into the dark, into the unknown, into the not previously explored avenues of the unfolding process of my painting, and how important it feels NOT to simply do something because it has worked well, or is popular, or has some other reason to be done, finds some agreement here.  This may not make commercial sense, however,  I ask myself what matters the most and what I personally think more important.  Freedom is a key not worth throwing away unless it is absolutely necessary to do so.   At the moment I am free to be led by whatever happens next, without needing to know what that whatever will be.  I do find that there are distinctive strands in my work, they resurface again and again; it just happens.  The art is to look back and consider them from a distance of time having passed, to ask if they have any direction to point one to, and to not force any coherence in one’s work, but simply let it happen.

 

Suburban Meditations/Painter’s Development Images…

Once more, a look into what caught me when my camera served as my main tool.  I am thinking of buying a new camera, but so confused by the choice!!!  My extensive archives of imagery lie waiting for resurrection.  But it is nice to look back at what I was looking at (and finding interesting) when I took more photographs more than I painted.  And then I ask myself what the images are saying to me now.   Quite a lot.  Of lovely silent words.

 

suburban meditations painters development series jenny meehan

suburban meditations painters development series jenny meehan

 

suburban meditations painters development series jenny meehan

suburban meditations painters development series jenny meehan

 

jamartlondon. christian artist uk, women artist uk, suburban meditations painters development series jenny meehan

suburban meditations painters development series jenny meehan

 

christian artist uk, women artist british, suburban meditations painters development series jenny meehan

suburban meditations painters development series jenny meehan

 

women artist british, christian artist uk, suburban meditations painters development series jenny meehan

suburban meditations painters development series jenny meehan

 

Types of metal fixings and neglected structures drew me towards them.  Wood and metal were the main materials I took photographs of.  I experimented with colour images but in the end presented a lot of my photographs in black and white as the kind of control over colour was too limited with photography, or at least, in my case, with using pretty limited types of photographic equipment and not printing the images myself.   I take very few photographs at the present time.  I feel I have so many that I have not utilised and engaged with sufficiently.  So much material that could bring forth so much.  So I have put an end to taking more images at the moment. ( Very occasionally I succumb!)  Sometimes I see something I cannot resist, but it is not helpful to try and do too much. We have too many images.  This feeling probably accounts for my getting lost (willingly) into abstraction!

 

There Will Always be a Point at Which We Will Meet

 

 

jenny meehan jamartlondon art work uk licensable images

jenny meehan jamartlondon art work uk licensable images

 

 

Past Painting and Poem :  Bandage Box

 

jenny meehan jamartlondon art work uk licensable images

jenny meehan jamartlondon art work uk licensable images

jenny meehan jamartlondon art work uk licensable images

jenny meehan jamartlondon art work uk licensable images

Bandage Box

Gently pressed
fabric
laid over a stretched surface,
soaked in milky balm.
I am tenderly
making, building
a new impression with my mind
whose inner wound cannot be bound
but which seeks
to make
new structure.

Jenny Meehan 2013 (written to accompany the above painting of 2013) 

 

There will be some wounding experience with my knee replacement, but wounding with the aim of healing and repair is quite a different matter to wounding with destruction as it’s intent.

 

 

And Now…

I have been dwelling on similar material recently… Reflecting on the healing process of painting, because it clearly is a healing process for me.  The bringing together, in articulating something, something which I don’t know when I start, but which evolves.  The something which is becoming.  Bringing into being a painting is like realising an emotion…, or maybe not just emotion, something of the heart; a heart connection and an experience felt.  Maybe coming from a memory or experience.  That memory need not be explicit and clear but I can still paint from it.  Paint from its centre, from the time when it started.  It may be from the past but the time doesn’t matter,  The main thing is that it is and that I don’t need to ignore it or push it away. So the whole thing about painting for me is that it is about being allowed to be.  Being and coming into being.  Feeling and experiencing the paint and the material and the process of painting.  And for nothing else to matter.  There is a space in that which is healing. There is a bringing together and a resolution of something within.  There is the fact that it appears and that it now matters.  It always mattered but it could not be seen.  And there is nothing about that painting which is not me.  And there is everything just laid there to see.  Which is rewarding.  And the work has been hard, not easy. Sometimes easy, in a kind of surprise, but often very hard.  But the bringing together of the painting is very rewarding.  I feel engaged in life in a way that is essential to my happiness.  I think I have written about the psychology of flourishing before on this journal.  And that whole thing of “being in the flow” or in your element.   I think some of the recent paintings I have been working on this year may touch on both the experience of flow, of happiness and of healing.  The relief of coming together.

And here is one of  my VERY recent paintings.

This one, “Mending”…It may well acquire an additional title as I continue the phase of contemplation through simple looking for a while.   Sometimes over time a painting speaks of something not so obvious at the time of painting, or even just after it.

But this is “Mending” for now.

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 a

abstract lyrical expressionist british paintings jenny meehan

 

“Mending” uses a mixture of Keim Optil paint, acrylic paint, and household emulsion.  I have also used painted card which is something I have been keen to use for a while.  The substrate is hardboard which has a lovely colour which I have left showing in places.  There are also some areas of paper tape.  The size is just 20x16inches.  This is a good size for such experiments as not too big, and I rather like the aspect ratio.

 

A nice little quote, rather random, but still lovely;

“Conversion, at its root, is not the action performed but the source of that action, the experience of being loved.”
Carroll & Dyckman,  quoted from Inviting the Mystic Supporting the Prophet. 

That is it for now.  Happy Christmas!

 

 

As per usual, I enjoy writing so much I ramble on  for ages, so do skim and skip over content which doesn’t grab you, dwelling only on that which is of your particular interest.  This way, I don’t need to worry about being succinct or structuring my writing more tightly (it serves as exploration for me, and isn’t just written to be read by you.) but can let it evolve as openly and profusely as it will.

West Dean College Visit

A flourish of monochrome images from a recent visit to West Dean College will provide some inspiration for my current experiments with black and white ink, paint, and mono printing.   I have not edited these to cut down time but want them here as a reference I can access easily.  How beautiful is the hand of our Creator God, whose touch never ceases to inspire.

The photographs look nice in colour too, but during the course I have just come back from we worked with black ink on paper, and it is best to stay black and white for a while.  “Drawing in the Garden – Pattern and Place” was a pleasing contrast to my non objective paintings in colour.  The blurb for the course: ” Explore a pattern-based interpretation of the gardens through drawing from observation. Drawing in the garden – pattern and place with Rosie MacCurrach”.  The opportunity to simply do some observational drawing was very welcome, and it is always very interesting and helpful to be part of a group of people being creative.  It is amazing how unique and individual each person is, and the very special characteristics, challenges and triumphs of each person’s drawings were an education in themselves.  A brilliant time.  I will post my work up soon, but still in the whirl of what I have done, and don’t want to share quite yet as I need to continue to work with it.

There are quite a few here, so scroll down rapidly if you don’t want to view them!  The variety of pattern, line, form, texture is immense, and these photographs will serve me as a visual reminder.

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

 

 

Several drawings done, yes, DRAWINGS!  Finally!  Here is one below.  I will be experimenting further with some print making experiments based around the drawings.  That will be the Autumn project.

jenny meehan charcoal drawing west dean college art contemporary, jamartlondon, female british woman artists, emerging art historically significant artist,jenny meehan wordpress journal, drawing garden spiritual contemplation meditation visual art, spiritual growth image for meditation, christian visual artist 21st century

jenny meehan charcoal drawing west dean college art contemporary

 

I LOVE charcoal.  A timely reminder to use it more.  So forgiving, like oil paint.  Cannot wait to get into the studio tent and experiment with some black ink also.  I am going to immerse myself in black for a while.

 

Paintings I like…

I like these paintings very much.

http://www.widewalls.ch/artist/jiang-tie-feng/

Text below is quoted from the above:

“Splendid Watercolor and Serigraphy Works
Jiang Tie Feng was born in Zhejiang Province in China and he discovered his love for visual arts through painting and drawing while he was still a child. Consequently, he studied at the Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing. In the turbulent 60s and 70s in China, Jiang Tie Feng was asked to create propaganda posters for Mao’s Cultural Revolution. However, at night, the artist was secretly creating his very own artistic style, based on Chinese mythology and Buddhism. My paintings are not only pictures; they are also music and poetry that is bewitching, sweet dreams that are being dreamed, says Tie Feng about his work. The artist is considered one of the best examples of contemporary Chinese art and he is a truly creative painter, who often creates stained glass windows and focuses on the subject of women, horses, birds, and nature as his main sources of inspiration. He created mainly in watercolor and serigraphy and it is known that his masterpiece serigraph edition as well as canvas-based works have been popular worldwide ever since the early 1980s. The artist was also a member of the Chinese Woodblock Association as well as a professor at the Yunnan Art Institute.”

My paintings are not only pictures; they are also music and poetry that is bewitching, sweet dreams that are being dreamed, says Tie Feng about his work.

Sweet dreams that are being dreamed….

 

More Thoughts from other Artists:

” Lisa Yuskavage
Make art that you want to see that doesn’t already exist. Stand by it regardless of the response. Try to get past the desire to have everyone like you.

All positive feedback is not a good sign. It means you are feeding the views that they already like and not going to change how the world sees.”   

quoted from the article on artnet news; 18 Female Artists Give Advice to Women Starting Out in the Art World
“Try to get past the desire to have everyone like you,” and more words of advice.
Eileen Kinsella, July 21, 2016

Like this one too:

 “Marilyn Minter
Find your strengths and develop them! Don’t waste your time trying to do things that don’t come easy to you.

Go with your gut, even if it goes against all rational thinking.”  

and this:

 Mariko Mori
“Never compare your career with other artists. Concentrate on developing your work and believe in yourself. The necessary path to grow as an artist is all different and unique. Trust in your path as every moment is a gift to strengthen your creativity.”

and this one, which I found particularly interesting:

 Adrian Piper
“First, you should be clear about what you are aiming for: (1) public approval, (2) commercial success, or (3) art-historical significance. These three are not necessarily mutually exclusive, and there is nothing wrong with any of them. But my remarks address only (3).

The best means to art-historical significance is financial independence. Don’t even think about trying to earn a living from your artwork, or else you’ll start producing the artwork that will earn you a living. A trust fund will divert your energies in a different way. The best means to financial independence is a day job in a different field. Waiting tables, driving a cab, office work, and teaching are traditional alternatives for artists, but the digital revolution opens up many others. All of them will free you to make the work you are most deeply driven to make, regardless of whether or not anyone else likes it or buys it. That’s the work that’s most interesting and important to you. You won’t have time to waste on producing work that doesn’t obsess you.

Your day job will also free you to be selective about what you do in order to promote your artwork, and with whom. It will protect your pursuit of quality. That’s one reliable path to art-historical significance (although of course not the only one).”

All above quoted from the article on artnet news; 18 Female Artists Give Advice to Women Starting Out in the Art World.  To read the full article please follow the link: https://news.artnet.com/art-world/advice-to-young-female-artists-542609

 

Thinking about my own work, it is art historical significance which interests me the most.   Who put a stamp of approval on this or that work, in terms of the canons of art history may be another matter.  Women artists have not traditionally fared very well in this respect.  I am not very convinced that things have changed that much, but I may be wrong.  It seems that the people you know, the money you have, if you have it, and the circles you move in may have a big part in how significant your art is thought to be.  However, this then leads me on the the fact that it is not individual artists but movements, and what is happening, which determines the course of developments in culture.  As long as one shares what one does, and gets it out there as much as one can, then this will influence other artists.  It is not helpful to have an individualistic view.  What one does in life may not be fully known, or even known as much as it should be, or even deserves to be. But what matters is that one is faithful to doing it, and that one continues to believe that whatever it is within which drives one to create.. this deserves to be followed.

And so, for any artist, the pursuit of innovation and development, the desire for new discoveries which come from persistence in the task of art marking and art working….this pursuit and desire have their own merit.  Indeed, they become the life-breath of an artist.  It is not a simple matter of making an impression on the world one inhabits.  This may happen to a large degree,  and it may not.. It will happen to some extent, even if that extent is not as great as one would wish.   I do pray that the Creator God, in whom I live and have my being, works in the world through the Holy Spirit to bring people into my life and work who will support it, love it, benefit from it, and propagate it.  But for this, I must trust.

I dislike the term “Art World” intensely.  Because that is a small orb in something much bigger.    I am sure it can be very helpful, as well as a hindrance.  Whatever the result of art working, it must just be got on with.  Glorified or not, it is what it is.

Paintings in Progress….

Here is one recently finished!  Yes,  a Mad Moment!  I titled it “Mad Moment/Water Fight” in the end.  I like two titles. Both are right.   The painting did take several weeks, rather than a moment, but it has a good immediacy and can carry the moment part of the title.  And like many jumps into paintings where one tries out new things, it has an element of madness… into the chaos… about it.  During the week that I finished it I let my son and five of his friends have a crazy limitlessness water fight in the garden.  And it spoke of that too..  So “Mad Moment/Water Fight” it is.

jenny meehan waterfight mad moment abstract painting jamartlondon, christian spirituality visual artist female 21st century abstract expressionist spiritual poetry painting poet-painter jenny meehan, contemplative art practice meditation images,

jenny meehan waterfight mad moment abstract painting jamartlondon

 

Bit different on the corrugated plastic….  Wanted to try it out.  This painting took a long time…  still under review, as all my work, for six months.  But feeling pretty settled about it.  Water, water, water.  Seems I cannot get enough of it!!!

I have experimented with using some synthetic organic dye based paints for this painting.  The colours are terribly intense and suited to the mood.  Rather transparent, in the main.  Quite different from my heavier bodied metal oxide, earth and mineral based pigmented paints. Good for a change.

General information about this type of paint…

By the way  Organic simply means “containing carbon atoms,”

With organic pigment, the molecules are made of carbon atoms along with hydrogen, nitrogen or oxygen atoms and organic pigments are further divided into two subgroups:

Natural Organic Pigments- These type of pigments are derived from animal products and plant products.  We don’t tend to use them anymore as they are not very light fast at all.  Nowadays a lot of these have been replaced by the synthetic organic dyes. They are remembered by their quaint historical names, which are often adopted by the modern commercial paint companies to lend romance in their traditional mixtures, for example, one of my synthetic organic dye based paint is called “Red Madder”  but it certainly does not contain any madder!
Synthetic Organic Pigments- Synthetic Organic Pigments are carbon based and are often made from petroleum compounds. Under intense pressure or heat, carbon base molecules are manufactured from petroleum, acids, and other chemicals and Synthetic Organic Pigments have been formulated from these molecules. Quinacridones Phthalocyanines Perylenes Pyrroles Arylamides Metal Complexes: e.g Transparent Yellow, New Gamboge Miscellaneous: e.g Dioxazsine in Danthrone; These are all synthetic organic pigments.

They are not my preferred colours.  I like the earthy feel of earths, oxides, and mineral pigments.  But again, as with the change in ground, it’s important to push forward.  The only way I can learn about these pigments is by using them.

There are other paintings, many of them, around 30 I should think, still currently in progress.  But they are resting for a while.  Various stages.  It’s good to go back to them after a while and see them with new eyes.

 

St Julian Talk at St Pauls Church of England, Hook – Jenny Meehan

Here are the notes from a mini talk I gave a while back:

St Julian of Norwich…

Not a man, but a Woman…. named after the church she was attached to…. ie St Julian, in Norwich.

She was something called an anchoress….kind of a counsellor/spiritual director who spent her time praying and giving counsel. She lived in an hermitage… which is a small stone dwelling with one or more rooms attached to a church, often with a garden too. She lived by herself but also had a maid to look after her practical needs. When people came to see her, they spoke to her through a little window.

She is well known today because she had a series of visions which she wrote about. These can be easily read today and are published as “Revelations of Divine Love”.

She was the first woman to write a book in the English Language

The Medieval times she lived in were very difficult and life were very hard for people. Famine, war, and early death were commonplace and made people very aware of suffering. It was easy to be tempted to view the suffering as God’s punishment, and to see God as vengeful, angry and harsh.

Haven’t got time to summarise her writings here, but her attention to the loving and caring nature of God is very strong, so I will focus on that. When she asks what God means, and what is the most important thing for us to understand about God, the answer she comes to is LOVE.

“From the time these things were first revealed, I had often wanted to know what was our Lords meaning. It was more than fifteen years after that I was answered in my spirits understanding. ” You would know our Lords meaning in this thing? know it well. Love was his meaning. who showed it you? Love. What did he show you? Love why did he show it? For love. Hold on to this and you will know and understand love more and more. ”

As well as her emphasis on God’s love, she also encourages us to Rest in this love and the goodness of God. She emphasises that God is our resting place and where we belong.

God is our rest: his love is endlessly turned towards us and active within us, whether we directly experience this or not. It is enough to turn and face God.
She writes a lot about the nature of prayer, how the Holy Spirit gives us both the desire and shows us the way to pray.
I think what we can learn from St Julian of Norwich is that we are wise to invest our time into making space in our lives for time to pray and wait on God. That if we want to know more about God’s loving kindness, we are wise to ensure we have set aside dedicated times for prayer, for seeking God in all things. This way we will have clear opportunities to really listen to what God is wanting to communicate to us. We might not live in a hermitage, like her, but we can make room in our lives to listen to our Creator.
Julian understood prayer as consciously choosing relationship with God as our rest… in other words, our resting place.. our place of belonging, where we can know and become our true selves.

That’s the end of the talk notes, but I like this quote from her very much:

“Our Savior is our true Mother in whom we are endlessly born and out of whom we shall never come.”
― Julian of Norwich

 

This was the painting “Comforter/St Julian of Norwich” while I painted over the period of researching St Julian of Norwich and thinking about her theological significance for me personally:

Acrylic, various fillers, acrylic mediums and pigments, and glass beads , sacred art painting religious, spiritual visionary painting, christ centred poetic visual art, The Comforter/St Julian - Jenny Meehan

The Comforter/St Julian – Jenny Meehan
Acrylic, various fillers, acrylic mediums and pigments, and glass beads

Now here is an example of some experiments on the computer… A great way to experiment with colour and pattern.  Rather large watermarking, but I think you can get a feel for the designs OK without them being too much of a distraction!

 

Crystal Cluster Surface Pattern Design

This design, shown below,  was inspired by my interest in quartz, one of the most well known minerals on earth. The pattern doesn’t seek to replicate the form, but suggests the cluster of the mineral reflecting light.  The text is from the Redbubble site the work is displayed on..

Jenny Meehan is a British fine artist, based in the United Kingdom. She paints non objective and semi abstract paintings, as well as working with digital imagery. For more of her paintings see http://www.jamartlondon.com

© Jenny Meehan. All Rights Reserved, DACS

My pattern designs and digital files of my distinctive, colourful and textural abstract expressionist/lyrical abstraction style paintings can be quickly and easily licensed through DACS.

 

crystal cluster surface pattern design uk jamartlondon

crystal cluster surface pattern design uk jamartlondon

crystal cluster surface pattern design uk jamartlondon

crystal cluster surface pattern design uk jamartlondon

crystal cluster surface pattern design uk jamartlondon

crystal cluster surface pattern design uk jamartlondon

crystal cluster surface pattern design uk jamartlondon

crystal cluster surface pattern design uk jamartlondon

crystal cluster surface pattern design uk jamartlondon

crystal cluster surface pattern design uk jamartlondon

crystal cluster surface pattern design uk jamartlondon

crystal cluster surface pattern design uk jamartlondon

crystal cluster surface pattern design uk jamartlondon

crystal cluster surface pattern design uk jamartlondon

crystal cluster surface pattern design uk jamartlondon

crystal cluster surface pattern design uk jamartlondon

crystal cluster surface pattern design uk jamartlondon

crystal cluster surface pattern design uk jamartlondon

crystal cluster surface pattern design uk jamartlondon

crystal cluster surface pattern design uk jamartlondon

 

If you scrolled down quickly, your eyes would have been shaken in their sockets…If you didn’t, you might like to try it!

 

More Recent Painting

I consider this painting “still in progress” though I have not added anything to it and probably will not.  But after I think I have finished a painting I always leave it about six months and stay open to the fact that it may not be finished.  So sharing it now may be a little premature, however, I don’t mind popping it up here for now.

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

 

It is not possible to see the surface properly on screen, however there is a good sense of flow which comes in the way the broad white bands of paint have been applied and this inspired the title.  It reminded me of “Resting Place” a little, but as I had another painting painted over this painting session which kept saying to me “Harbour”  and this one had more of a sense of movement and flowing in it,  the two seems to compliment eachother, so I preferred a title with both a suggestion of water and of movement in it rather than something more static.

 

harbour painting 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,

Harbour Painting abstract lyrical expressionist british paintings jenny meehan

 

“Harbour Painting” has a lot of contrast between some very glossy areas and matt surfaces which cannot be seen on screen at all but which add another dimension to the simple composition.

Kingston Artists’ Open Studios

Here are some images from this year’s Kingston Artists’ Open Studios.

kingston artists open studios

kingston artists open studios – image of “Rush Hour” (below) and “No Cares” (above)

kingston artists open studios jenny meehan

kingston artists open studios jenny meehan  “laid to rest” and “clog dance/sacred dance” oil paintings by Jenny Meehan

Okingston artists open studios jenny meehan

kingston artists open studios jenny meehan showing various acrylic on linen paintings by Jenny Meehan

kingston artists open studios jenny meehan

kingston artists open studios jenny meehan  “bright and breezy” and “resurrection one” paintings plus the table with information and prints.

kingston artists open studios jenny meehan

kingston artists open studios jenny meehan – “bright and breezy” painting.  this was exhibited at the Dulwich Picture Gallery a couple of years ago but still lives with me at the moment!

kingston artists open studios jenny meehan

kingston artists open studios jenny meehan – “Resurrection One”

kingston artists open studios jenny meehan

kingston artists open studios jenny meehan view showing my work and some of Cressida Borrett’s ceramics.

 

Writing this after the first weekend and before the second.. So still time to come along and visit 13 venues in the Kingston Upon Thames area…

18/19th June. 11 – 5pm at Studio KAOS 3, 14 Liverpool Road Kingston KT2 7SZ to come and say hello to me,  and:

Caroline Calascione, find out more about her work here: http://www.carolinecalascione.co.uk/

Lizzie Brewer, find out more here: http://www.lizziebrewer.com/

Cressida Borrett, see some of her ceramics here: http://www.cressidaborrett.co.uk/

Plus more ceramics from Bali Edwards here: http://www.pots4u.com/

And also Anna Tikhomirova   http://www.artist-anna.com/

Martina van de Gey will also be here from Germany:  www.martinavandegey.de

and Seana Mallen:  www.smallen.moonfruit.com

There are 74 artists taking part showing their work in 13 venues, so plenty to see!  Take a look in the catalogue to plan your route!

It’s wonderful to have other creatives to talk with, bounce ideas about with, and generally spend time with.  We need each other to encourage and support each other.  One of the wonderful things about being part of KAOS I have found is that we a mutually supportive group, rather than competitive with each other, and this means a lot.  While taking part in the Kingston Artists’ Open Studios event does take a lot of effort, it is good to talk to each other and those who visit.

One lady profusely thanked us last weekend for all our time and effort and I was very much blessed by that, as she recognised that we are offering something which we don’t often get thanked for.  While we hope to sell some of our work (of course)  the time and effort of putting on an event like the Kingston Artists’ Open Studios doesn’t normally generate profit for the vast majority of us (even if you sell something, it doesn’t translate into profit!).  So we hope very much that people not only come themselves,  but spread the word, as the more people who know about Kingston Artists’ Open Studios and who come along to the Kingston Artists’ Open Studios weekends each year, the more our work is appreciated.  The process of showing artwork, introducing people to our work, and talking about what we do is a valuable contribution to society which is sometimes not appreciated.   Aside from the practical necessity of selling the work, which does exist,  (both from the point of recovering storage space in our already too “jam packed with artwork” homes and the need to reinvest in the development of our work/materials, etc) it is immensely motivating to see people discover art work which resonates for them in a powerful way.

Artists Need Collectors!  

I have put that in bold, because it is a reality.  We need people who discover that our art works resonate with them to a degree that they purchase them, and also, that they then invest themselves into keeping in track with what we are doing, and make a kind of mini internal commitment to “openness to buy” our work, not as a means of purchasing a commodity, but by way of a creative relationship which supports and encourages the artist, and also benefits the collector.  A ideal collector will buy something not just because they love the art work itself but because they are interested in the artist and recognise that the artist is involved in a creative process which they need support and encouragement in.  It is not simply a matter of buying objects for oneself.  When you buy a piece of art, you help the artist in the creation of their work and support them in their vocation.

While there are some artists whose art working is a business, (among other things) (they have my admiration, and I applaud them on all fronts!) , there are many whose art working will never be, nor does it aspire to be a business (I am one of those!)  What I do is a vocation only.  However, this does not remove the need for money to fund it.  Buying a certain piece of art may not be an investment of the financial type (however… you never know, when I am dead!!!  Ho Ho Ho!!! Give me 100 years…or 300) and there is a challenge in purchasing a piece of art for yourself,  I think. And the challenge is this:  If it speaks to you, do you consider that encounter worth investing in?  I feel personally that buying a piece of art and/or being a collector of art might very healthily be viewed as a type of self investment.  There is a mysterious type of poetic strengthening of life which happens in the face of a deep resonance between a work of art and the human being encountering it.  Sometimes,  just sometimes, this is worth investing in, if the work is such that it has a sustaining effect on you as a person, and that you sense this will be a long lasting affair.

Profit is not simply about money… Indeed, I find it is seldom about money at all.

Where collectors  (I term “collector” as anyone who has purchased one of my art works either to add to an ongoing collection, or who has purchased more than one of my art works) become patrons, is at the point where their relationship with your work of art becomes not something simply to do with them and an object they have paid for, but becomes a recognition that they are part of a creative process themselves.  In collecting a certain artists work they recognise that they have a supportive role.  Not one with  strings attached.  But one which recognises that in choosing to pay money for an artists work they are contributing in some way to the production of future work.  The buying of an art work is not just a matter of themselves,  but might be, if they choose to make it so, the beginning of an interesting and ongoing journey, in following an artist in the creative path they travel down, and periodically assisting in that path by buying that artists work not just once, but over a period of time.

This type of collector-patron, one who will invest in an artist and their work, and pick out specific artists which they develop an ongoing creative relationship with, is something I am mulling over right now, as I bounce around my thinking in this Journal.  I think this is because I have been thinking about the word commodity.

Simple Definition of commodity
: something that is bought and sold
: something or someone that is useful or valued….Merriam-Webster’s Learner’s Dictionary

It is the sick feeling I get each year before the Kingston Artists’ Open Studios event which has led me to start thinking this through.  My experience or rather fear, of my work being viewed as a commodity only... an object brought and sold, probably brings on the dire feeling.    An artists work is so much more.  The usefulness and value of a piece of art is not very measurable at all.  And the buying and selling bit has to happen, such is the world we live in.    But what is the exchange really meaning in all this?  Money is the medium of exchange, but what is the meaning of the exchange, what is it’s nature and what might be it’s potential?   The use and value of someone choosing to buy artwork which you as an artist have created  isn’t simply a material matter.  That someone decides to invest and that this is symbolised partly through the exchange of money is always a great thing.  Useful too, on a practical level. Essential. But the transaction can mean so much more to the artist.  We are separate from our work, and don’t need to hang on to it, control it, or refuse to let go, however, what it will be,  we always hope, will be so much more than something brought and sold.  We want it to have a life of its own. An existence which will live new lives in the people who relate to it.  We want that to be a good relationship.  We poured ourselves into it, and then let go completely.  Even if it ends up in a charity shop, we wish it well, and hope that no one sits on it.  Well, I speak for myself with my very big “We”.  But it writes better to say “We” and I know I am not alone.

And I guess it varies a lot with the type of work it is, and how much creative energy/significance/effort one has invested in it.  I am thinking of my paintings here, rather than anything else.  My paintings are the spear head of my creative energy and the tool with which I hammer on into reality, searching, but always in the dark! Wonderful abandonment, which strangely, I am found in!  (And probably pretty much any other paradox which could be applied, could be applied!  So words do fail..)

I do ramble on!

To finish on this one, I hope that those who I will call, for the reasons of my ramblings above, art “collector-patrons”; those who buy a few select pieces that mean the world to them, and who follow artists and take a genuine interest in them, recognise how important they are to the ongoing creation of art.  For example, those who have brought my work and continue to do so, encourage and inspire me, by their investment.  Which is not actually simply a matter of paying money for something, but rather the faith that what they have brought matters. That it matters to them, yes, this is clear and true, yet also, in that process, a recognition that it matters to me to the extent that I pour myself out for it.  They see my investment and choose to invest.  That’s a good thing.

I have just found this, which is kind of what I am getting at I think:

Terry Eagleton offers insight into the idea that art may transcend systemic titles of value such as money, by “…suspending itself between life and death. The work of art seems full of vital energy, but is no more than an inanimate object. The mystery of art is how black marks on a page, or pigments on a canvas, or the scraping of a bow on a catgut, can be so richly evocative of life”(Eagleton, 2010, p. 71).”

I have quoted this from: http://www.artandeducation.net/paper/art-as-an-autonomous-commodity-within-the-global-market/

(Art as an Autonomous Commodity within the Global Market
Dan Zimmerman)

Other interesting thoughts:

“It’s cold logic then to think of art as a commodity, but what you are really seeing is a whole generation of peers and people older and wealthier than you deciding whether art history is going to remember you or not,’ said Crow” ( Kelly Crow, The Wall Street Journal’s art market journalist)

quoted from: http://ginafairley.com/artshub/is-art-a-commodity/

Also interesting:

http://archive.boston.com/business/blogs/global-business-hub/2012/04/art_as_commodit.html

from which comes:  “Todd Levin, Director of Levin Art Group, told me, “Art fairs are not places where aesthetic or intellectual fields of value are created. Art fairs are competitive fields where the destruction of aesthetic and intellectual values takes place for the benefit of consumptive value.”

and:

Some artists prefer to see themselves as pilgrims rather than as stock commodities. Regarding the art market, Amy Ragus states: “If possible, make your money elsewhere, so your art isn’t compromised to forces that often seek to exploit and codify your message.”

(My thought,  not inevitable, and not terrible,  (one artist can have more than one single “art” and it doesn’t have to be kept in a protective environment)  however, worth being aware of what is happening and if it is exactly what you want.)

Kingston Artists Open Studios is still on this year:  

https://issuu.com/kingstonartistsopenstudios/docs/cataloguekaos2016 

Follow the link to view the 2016 Kingston Artists Open Studios catalogue

There are  many different KAOS (Kingston Artists’ Open Studios) artists showing this year.

Below an image of the Cass Art Kingston Artists Open Studios Taster Exhibition.

Lovely private view, very much enjoyed. Even with my stick.

Exhibition open to all so do come and see it.  Free. Cass Art, 103 Clarence Street, KT1 1 QY in “The Art Space” above the shop.  Just go in the shop and ask to be directed in the right direction!

 

cass art taster exhibition wall 2016 with gentle leaves Kingston Artists' Open Studios

cass art taster exhibition wall 2016 with gentle leaves Kingston Artists’ Open Studios

 

The quotes  below come from Living Within .  (Copyright Living Within).

http://www.livingwithin.com/20052016-kingston-artists.html

KINGSTON ARTISTS PREPARE FOR OPEN STUDIOS WEEKENDS IN JUNE
Friday 20 May 2016 – Kingston

“This year there will be over 70 painters, printmakers, photographers, sculptors, ceramicists, textile artists, glass artists, and many others, taking part. Open Studios is a growing national movement, with towns all over the UK taking part at different points in the year, and is an opportunity for the artists to share what they do with each other – and of course the general public. Often working alone in their studios for most of the year, it’s great to spend two relaxing weekends sharing ideas and meeting people. It is also an opportunity to show a wider range of work than they can in fairs and galleries, where space is limited.”

 

“2016 is the biggest event yet, with 13 different venues opening their doors, including a ‘taster exhibition’ throughout the week of June 11th, held in the upstairs art space at Cass Art, in Kingston town centre. Providing you live in the area, you will receive a flyer through your door, or alternatively you can pick up a catalogue at Kingston museum, the library, Cass Art, Pullingers or one of the many cafes around town. A trail map is included, or can be downloaded from http://www.kingstonartistsopenstudios.co.uk/show”

Not forgetting the Anagrams Kingston Museum Exhibition.. Wheatfield Way, KT1 2PS runs till 2nd July.

So much to see!

 

Yoga and the Devoted Christian

Sadly, for the last two weeks I have been unable to do my local Our Parks Yoga class, due to my right knee becoming very unstable, and difficulty walking/pain just meaning I need to give it a bit of a rest.  Still doing a bit of Yoga at home and planning a return soon, but waiting till I have seen a specialist as rather worried about what is happening with it  right now.

Despite my current limitations, I am LOVING Yoga, and find it quite a revelation!

Wishing I had discovered it earlier in life, however, there is a time for things, so it being now is just fine!

Reflecting back on how my faith and views have changed… I am now in the second half of life.

There would have been a time, twenty years ago, when I would have viewed the practice of Yoga with suspicion and a certain amount of what can only be called paranoia and fear.

Maybe a feeling of somehow betraying my religion.

However, what has changed?

I think my experience with psychotherapy has changed rather a lot for me.  Because the tendency of all people is to try and avoid that which makes us feel uncomfortable.  Natural.  Understandable.

But our fears are rooted deep within.  We attach them to things.  Fear is good when there is a good reason for it.

A “good reason” for fear with vary a lot, depending on one’s life experience.

Every person has their own sense of integrity, and for some Christians, to practice something like Yoga is something they cannot allow themselves to do.  Others won’t even think about philosophical or religious ideas or possible conflicts and will just worry about if they are “doing it properly”.

I feel that the practice of Yoga is pretty much like anything else, what it means, represents, and promotes varies hugely depending on who is teaching it, how they are teaching it, and what the intentions and objectives are behind it.  As is the case in the vast area of what might be termed Christianity, or in a more expressed in ritual/religious sense “the Christian Church” What is actually going on, being taught and expressed, and how this is being done, varies immensely.    There are all kinds of things going on!

“Nowhere’s Safe” comes to mind…. words I remember from a Graham Greene book I read. Cannot remember which one!

Might seem negative, but for me, not so.

There is a place of refuge in our Creator God.  Yes.  But it is easy to allocate “safe” and “unsafe” places in our life.  We are not always right.

If someone feels they are betraying themselves, their particular religious affiliation, or their innermost being, in some way by practising Yoga, then they should not do it.  It is as simple as that.  If it doesn’t feel “safe” somehow, then it doesn’t feel right.

However, if it seems in accordance with what God and the Holy Spirit are doing in their life, and indeed,  then it may be for them a gift, and a  wonderful thing, liberating, helpful, and definitely in the service of Christ and others.  In my humble opinion.

For me, it is a gift, and I am grateful to receive it.  I see my Yoga teacher’s work as an act of service, which I am grateful to receive.

I don’t feel any obligation to believe what I do not believe, or change what I believe, because of a variances and differences in philosophy  in the context of a Yoga Class, any more than I would in any other setting.  However, it is the case that I feel no imposition or pressure to do so, and this is probably something which varies a lot depending on the individual teacher of Yoga.  There are more religious and ritualistic ways of Yoga, I am sure.  It is doubtful that I would feel comfortable with that, just as someone who wasn’t a committed Christian believer and used to taking Communion at Church wouldn’t feel very right at all about taking Communion!

I am a big fan of Mindfulness as a practice, and I think that probably my appreciation of Yoga is the working together  of the mind and body in what I view as a prayerful discipline, and the whole matter of body awareness and opening myself up to God, (God awareness) which I really love a lot.  I do experience very good  sense of communion with God when doing Yoga, and invite the Holy Spirit into the whole of my being in a very intentional and focused way.

I can see that some folk would  worry about what they were opening themselves up to, if they felt that it was not actually in their own control and that their personal boundaries might somehow be infiltrated by “something else” spiritually without their awareness or consent.  Or if they felt pressured or imposed upon in some way.  But I think a good Yoga teacher is one, like any other kind of teacher, who doesn’t seek to impose anything, but instead, trusts, TRUSTS, in the Spirit of God.

I guess the problem for many devoted Christians with Yoga might be in a belief that there is more than one God and that actually the “God” or “Spirit” of Yoga is a different one to the one that they believe in.  My own belief is that there is only one God, but lots of different ways and approaches, or paths, which people negotiate their way along in their quest for spiritual truth and freedom.  I don’t believe God is an impersonal force,  and I hold passionately to the uniqueness of Christianity in relation to other religions.  Christ is God, and is Saviour.  The ultimate truth. The light of the world.  The point at which all points converge.  I don’t need to argue any kind of case about what I believe being better, or more right, or “the only way”.  Because quite clearly, it is not the only way to experiencing God’s truth, Spirit, and working in the world. God works in people who are not calling themselves Christians.  He worked in me, throughout my life, long before I committed myself to Christ, in many significant ways.

 The fact that I believe the SOURCE of all truth and revelation is indeed bedded in the work of the Lord Jesus Christ, is something I pray I hope to simply live out and testify to, in whatever ways I am given to. The way, it is a way of Love.  So I aim to love, as I am loved by my Creator.    I can express what about Christ, being a Christian, and knowing God through Christ, means, and how it matters, and have open eyes to the wonderful working of the Holy Spirit. In my own experience, I see the Holy Spirit manifest in my practice of Yoga.  It is as simple as that.

It’s not that I don’t believe that there are harmful spiritual influences in the world… because actually, I do believe they exist.   I don’t think a recognition of such is Medieval or delusional.  But I draw my attention to what is good, and orientate myself to  the workings on the Holy Spirit.  And God is using my practice of Yoga in a wonderful and exciting way. Which I am very grateful for.

Suspicions about yoga are shared by many Muslims, Christians and Jews around the world and relate to yoga’s history as an ancient spiritual practice with connections to Hinduism and Buddhism.  It is a spiritual exercise, to be sure, but what it means to someone is what it means to them.   All the things in our lives mean something different to what they mean to someone else, I think.   It is more OUR intention and purpose, which makes things what they are.

And as I mentioned earlier, the variety and differences, the various schools and approaches, the diversity of what Yoga “is” is rather hard to pop into one big lump.    Just because Yoga is ancient, and a bit mysterious, doesn’t make it evil.   You don’t have to agree with philosophies, theories and ideas about how and why it “works” or is beneficial to experience it as beneficial.  God does work in mysterious ways, as that familiar saying goes!  And, if Yoga is a “way” to God, then it doesn’t follow that this somehow supplants Christ, or that it is and “either” “or” situation.  Or that it is in itself some kind of salvation by works. (I am sure it might be practised in this way by some, but that doesn’t mean that it needs to be).  Deep down, we all struggle with the sense that we need to earn favour, approval and acceptance.  This is lived out in our lives in many different kinds of way.  Grace, pure grace, is always a challenge.

Even if yoga is, fundamentally, a religious activity, our yoga practice is OUR YOGA PRACTICE.  It does not belong to anyone else.  Therefore, if we are religious, then it will be, as we are.

No prizes for guessing what “Sun Salutation” is for me!!!!

Basically Yoga is a very broad term and this does cause difficulty.  There are lots of different forms of Yoga and some are more overtly religious than others.  For example, Hare Krishna monks, are adherents of bhaktiyoga, the yoga of devotion. But what most people in the West think of as yoga is properly known as hathayoga – a path towards enlightenment that focuses on building physical and mental strength.  The word “enlightenment” might cause some alarm to some Christians I guess. but what  “enlightenment” means  depends on tradition.  For some Hindus it may be a liberation from the cycle of reincarnation, but it doesn’t have to be.  For many yoga practitioners it is a point where you achieve stillness in your mind, or understand the true nature of the world and your place in it.  In this respect, it appears more to me to be a matter of  Mindfulness. With wonderful physical benefits!

I guess there will always be debate about whether Yoga is  compatible with Christianity, Islam and other religions.  The yogic asanas  might retain elements of their earlier spiritual meanings, however, as I move MY body and use MY mind, in prayer to MY GOD, then I think what is theoretically  “retained” becomes meaningless in my practice, because I do not hold onto it, nor have I even held it.  What Yoga embodies will surely stem from the soul of the person doing it, and no more or less?  It is an art, and like my painting, I use elements of what has gone before, but what I do is not what has gone before, it is what is now.

It is all about intention.

When I take communion, in my local Anglican Church, I take the wine, though I am teetotal.  I do this and it is deeply symbolic and special to me.  It defines the importance of the sacred for me.  I have rejected alcohol in my life, but I receive it in this context, and it deepens the symbolism for me actually, because it is about sufficiency in Christ for me.   Yet I could ,if I wished to, chose to receive wine in other ways, drinking at a party or something.  (Though it would not be a good idea for me!)   It is the intention which is different.  My fallen intention with alcohol was that it was, fundamentally there, as an instrument of destruction for me.  That is what it meant.  But in the rite of Communion, the intention is transformational.  Its meaning is blessedly transformed for me.  It is life, and life through the blood of Christ.

I mention this because taking that communion is not like drinking alcohol, even though it is drinking alcohol.  That is the best way I can think of describing it, and I also believe that kneeling, for example in an asana, is kneeling in whatever way the intention is focused.

Religion is not installed in a person through repetition of outward rituals or practices.  That is quite simply, rather empty. In my opinion.

Faith comes from the inside out, and from an inward working of God’s Grace.  As a sacrament is an outward sign of an inward grace, Yoga practice can be that too.  If you want it to be.

I won’t be chanting Hindu sutras, but I am happy to use “namaste” because I do acknowledge the meeting of God in each other.  I don’t understand God as just an impersonal force, but I do recognise very much, especially as an artist, the creative spirit at work in the world, as it says “In Him we live and move and have our being”.  There is something of the breath of God, which is very wonderfully engaged with by focus on the breath!

I view Yoga as a philosophy and approach, and one which can be very usefully engaged by Christians, without causing sudden destruction to their faith or adversely affecting them in any other way,  as indeed much can be gained from the many rich areas of life and experience, which happen to be new or different to us, in some way.

Quote from Rebecca Ffrench:

“People say that yoga is Hindu, but “Hinduism” is a problematic term, coined by outsiders for everything they saw going on in India.

Yoga stems from the Vedas – the Indian holy texts that were composed from around 1900BC. Besides yoga, three major religions came from those texts – Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism.

Around 200-400AD, a sage called Patanjali composed the Yoga Sutras. His “eight limbs” of yoga still inform practice today and discuss posture, breathing, meditation and correct living.

For many centuries yoga was all about meditation and austerity practices, such as standing on one leg for weeks or hanging upside-down from a tree. There were only 14 yoga asanas or postures.

The big explosion in hatha yoga didn’t come until the early 1900s in Mysore, India – now there are over 100 postures.”

Well, that’s enough of that for now.

Apart from… Yoga has helped me deal in all respects with my ongoing experience of osteoarthritis, and been a fantastic tool and resource in so many ways.  It seems  a shame to dismiss something  or even prohibit something which is so beneficial to so  many just because of irrational fears…

It is, I think, what comes OUT of us, which is normally the problem.  So much inner trash!

Discernment with respect to our own inner brokenness and our faulty strategies of dealing with it, is probably more useful than avoiding this or that, in case of “pollution”.  However, each should only do what they feel comfortable with, this is the main thing.

Art at the Bridge#7

This exhibition is still up.  Wonderful to see my work in such a prominent place.  Tower Bridge! I never would have thought!    So pleased to be part of it.  “Drawn Together”  my piece of work can be brought as a print on Redbubble.com .  Here is the link;

http://www.redbubble.com/people/jennyjimjams/works/20377969-drawn-together-building-bridges-the-female-perspective-design-by-jenny-meehan

Artist Notes for Drawn Together:

“Building Bridges, the Female Perspective”.
This artwork expresses some of my female emotional experience: the emotion of two parts of my sense of self being pulled together. A feeling of balance and unity, which holds, even when the two sides are different in some respects. The suspended purple and yellow contrasting colours create stasis and tension. Yet, there is also a mirroring of the same essential structure in my composition, drawn together in a pivotal centre, which may suggest movement. This piece also resonates in relation to the Tower Bridge; an engineering achievement involving among other things, precision, balance, and design. Creative energy, both within and without, in both engineering and art.

 

building bridges the female perspective art exhibition tower bridge engine rooms jenny meehan, all female art exhibition london, contemporary women artists british, jenny meehan jamartlondon, all woman art exhibition,

building bridges the female perspective art exhibition tower bridge engine rooms jenny meehan

My friend Denise and me had a great day out!  Loved the glass walkway and the Engine Rooms were amazing!

 

drawn together by jenny meehan, art at tower bridge, abstract art female artist, feminist artist, contemporary women artists, contemporary female artists, jamartlondon,building bridges the female perspective art exhibition tower bridge engine rooms jenny meehan

building bridges the female perspective art exhibition tower bridge engine rooms jenny meehan  Jenny’s work “Drawn Together”

 

Here is one of the reviews:

http://whatsgoodtodo.co.uk/art-at-the-bridge-7-review/

Art at the Bridge #7
Tower Bridge, London
http://www.towerbridge.org.uk

8 March to 31 July 2016

Reviewed by Amanda Hayes

“I was privileged to be invited to the press night of Art at the Bridge #7 – Building Bridges: The Female Perspective last night, held in the fantastic setting of the Victorian engine rooms at the iconic Tower Bridge site it was the perfect backdrop to display art works. The engine rooms are very much an industrial setting with uncluttered bare brick walls and this lets the art speak for itself showing off the different genres with clarity.

Tower Bridge work with a range of community partners such as Variety & Southwark Young Pilgrims and has partnered with the Southwark Arts forum since 2011 to provide an annual exhibition at the Engine Rooms. This year’s exhibition is entitled Building Bridges: the Female Perspective and showcases the very different art forms from a network of local artists, 15 of which have gone through a judging process to exhibit at this prestigious venue. The works are a selection of paintings, photographs, mixed media, drawings and lino cut prints each showing their unique view, either literally or metaphorically of what building bridges in a modern world means to them.

Whilst the moody photograph Momentary Flight by Ana Katrina Giles-Myers, and the lino cut Albatross from Charlotte Tymms portray bridges in a more literal sense Donna Leighton’s etching entitled The New Baby explores building bridges in a completely different way by portraying the bond between mother and baby. A particular favourite of mine was Bound to Remember by Victoria Coster, a collage on canvas layering paper that would typically be discarded such as receipts for food and travel from 2006-2011 bridging together the space between those times.

Running from International Women’s Day on 8 March until 31 July 2016, Building Bridges: The Female Perspective is a must see exhibition set in an atmospheric setting. Art being a truly personal taste I highly recommend you go along and find your own personal favourite.” 

Bits and Bobs

This is a nice little run down of exhibitions by British female artists happening in 2016:

http://www.culture24.org.uk/art/art548364-International-Womens-Day-2016-19-must-see-exhibitions-by-women-artists-this-year

More interesting reading from Gresham College:

http://www.gresham.ac.uk/lectures-and-events/contemporary-christian-art

 

That’s it for now….

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

Jenny Meehan is a painter, poet, 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.  If you read and enjoy it, this would be an added bonus! 

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

Jenny Meehan BA Hons (Lit.) PGCE also occasionally offers art tuition for individuals or in shared sessions.  Please contact Jenny at j.meehan@tesco.net or through the contact form at www.jamartlondon.com for further details as availability depends on other commitments.    

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

Jenny Meehan exhibits around the United Kingdom.   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 GO TO THE RIGHT HAND COLUMN, LOCATE THE  “FOLLOW” BOX AND POP IN YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS.  YOU WILL THEN RECEIVE MONTHLY UPDATES. 

You tube video with examples of photography, drawing and painting

by Jenny Meehan http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TAXqzMIaF5k

Website Link for jamartlondon:  www.jamartlondon.com 

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

 

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