November and December!

December 11, 2018

©jenny meehan contemporary female abstract artist kingston upon thames surrey art culture

jenny meehan prints ©jenny meehan

November and December are when I tend to turn my attention to updating my website and various other computer based tasks.  A good time for more socialising too!  While I love and need much time in solitude, I am an extrovert by nature and there are so many fun things to do at this time of year! I have packed my studio tent away for this year.  It’s too cold now, and the days are shorter anyway.

Above you see, along with my feet, some prints which were printed for me as part of a prize awarded!  It was the 2nd Prize in Digital Art Category of Chester Art Centre Open Exhibition 2017.  One hundred pounds worth of digital printing!  What a useful prize!  I have put them in frames and prepared them ready for next years Kingston Artists’ Open Studios. They are archival quality prints, and look fantastic.  I am very pleased with them. Though I won’t label them limited edition,  because I feel that is somewhat irrelevant in today’s digital age, (with so many printing options available), because I don’t print and sign much work nowadays, they should probably be labelled 1/1….    for it is very unlikely I will produce anymore.  But I don’t know what I may want to do in the future with them.  For this reason, I tend to just sign and number my prints without specifying how many I will or won’t make.  As said, the reality is that I don’t spend much time on printing my work now or getting it printed.  Too busy creating, innovating, and experimenting!

I have made several visits to the British Museum in the later part of this year.  Glad of it.  Great place to wander through and appreciate the wealth of historical artefacts; all in one place.  I love looking at historical artefacts and discovering more about the past. I admire craftsmanship and find religious beliefs and learning about different cultures very helpful.  Kind of liberating.  The focus of so much creation is bound up in religious belief.  I find this helpful to bear in mind.

Ritual. Remembrance. Death.  Eternity.

These were the words I left with.

And a focus on the art working I do, which is purely focused on what I am doing.  Yes, it’s hard…Because there is a need to share, promote, and put things on the internet.  But as the years go by, I am learning to focus more, and in a more refined manner, on the work itself.  What it means.  What it says.  Why it matters.

Helpful.

We have so much.  It can get confusing!

 

Looking Back

Looking back, though not very far, here are a couple of images of my paintings from this year’s Kingston Artists’ Open Studios event.  If you like visiting Artists, seeing their work, and getting a chance to ask the questions you want, as well as maybe having the opportunity to buy an original piece of fine art much cheaper than you would probably be able to get it at a gallery, then an Open Studios event is just the thing for you.

Contact me via my website jamartlondon.com and ask to be placed on my mailing list and I will send you information on the Kingston Artist’s Open Studios event in 2019.  Surrey artists open their studios each year, and Kingston has a wealth of artistic talent just waiting to be explored.

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

 

kingston artists open studios jenny meehan paintings in situ

KAOS open studios jenny meehan paintings

On the left “Joy and Pain” and on the right (face on view) “Father, Son and Holy Spirit/Trinity”.

The latter painting has been licensed for use on one of the Bible Reading Fellowship’s publications, on the cover of a book by Nigel G. Wright titled “How to be a Church Minister”.  I am always very pleased when images of my paintings are licensed for use.  It’s great when they can be of practical use, and particularly, as a bit of a writer myself, I am pleased when they are employed in the service of writings relating to faith and spirituality. It’s wonderful to see my paintings used in design…As long as a licence has been issued!  Being a member of DACS (Design and Artists Copyright Society) has been one of the best moves I have made.

If you want to use any of my paintings, and are looking for something specific, do contact me, because the vast majority of my work is not shown on the internet.  I really do work hard, and produce quite an array.  It’s quick and easy to purchase a licence through DACS.  My paintings have graced many book covers.

 

©jenny meehan

waterloo clock ©jenny meehan

Love this clock!

In 2010 the specialist clock maker Smith of Derby removed the hands and many of the internal workings of the clock so they could be re-engineered to work with the latest technology. The  clock’s historic exterior was also  cleaned and decorated as part of the project.  The clock has been a central feature of Waterloo Station since the early part of the 20th century.  The clock was made by Gents of Leicester and is believed to date back to the 1920s.  My photography now is pretty much limited to the occasional snap here and there, such as this one.  I have a huge archive of the years I spent focused primarily on photography but I tend to use it for reference mostly.

 

under pressure©jenny meehan

under pressure ©jenny meehan

Yes, well, we all feel like this sometimes.  An example of some early experiments with Photoshop.  The image was based on a cut out and stencil mono type  I made at West Dean one year.  We live in a society and culture which exerts an awful lot of pressure on us, in a relentless manner.  What a challenge it is to even just BE.  How do we define ourselves from the inside out, in a strong and certain manner, in the face of all the media? What masks do we adopt and what happens when they fail and we fall? What happens when our vulnerability and fragility need to be faced, our self encountered, and avoidance and repression, distraction and entertainment, fail to keep us afloat?

 

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 only get a small royalty percentage, but it’s lovely to know someone has chosen something with my design/artwork on it.  It’s one of those welcome emails…And a small, but vital encouragement to me!   I don’t print very much of my own artwork anymore, as I prefer to focus on painting and poetry, but using a company like Redbubble.com does mean if people want to buy something printed they can quickly and easily, and it doesn’t take my time up in order to produce the item.

 

https://www.redbubble.com/people/jennyjimjams/works/13671316-spring-will-come-surface-pattern-design-by-jenny-meehan?cat_context=u-prints&grid_pos=9&p=art-print&rbs=9ffb27e7-1ab7-4d7e-9c74-621ba19bc8b0&ref=shop_grid&searchTerm=jenny%20meehan%20art-prints

 

Follow the link above to see one of my patterns.  Using the “Spring Will Come” image.  Now the patterns I make tend to be with pieces of stone and glass, as my new venture into mosaic continues.  But however they are made, there is something very satisfying about making patterns.

 

 

 

jenny meehan jamartlondon photography monochrome jenny meehan jamartlondon photography monochrome ©jenny meehan west dean college time enjoying the garden

jenny meehan jamartlondon photography monochrome ©jenny meehan west dean college time enjoying the garden

An early photograph of mine taken at West Dean Gardens.   I am posting up rather random images, because I have spent time looking through my archives.  Pathways of various kinds have always held my interest.  Way forward. Need to move forward.  Sense of direction.

jenny meehan jamartlondon photography monochrome

jenny meehan jamartlondon photography monochrome ©jenny meehan west dean college time enjoying the garden

This little decking area is no more in West Dean Gardens.  They have removed it.  The pond area has changed a lot. This is such an elegant bench. I have so many photos and drawings of seats, benches, chairs…resting places.  The need to stop. Dwell. Cease moving. Contemplate.

jenny meehan jamartlondon photography monochrome jenny meehan jamartlondon photography monochrome ©jenny meehan west dean college time enjoying the garden

jenny meehan jamartlondon photography monochrome ©jenny meehan west dean college time enjoying the garden

And so many photographs of plants, trees, vegetation, and all growing things!  Growth, natural form, being essentials for the eye, in appreciation of variety, vast variety, endless variety, of God’s amazing ongoing creative power and endless inspiration to be found by looking at it!

I continue my professional development in the visual arts through the short course programme at West Dean College when I can.  It works very well for me, and I find it has been far more useful to me than a fine art degree.  My degree is in Literature, and I also studied a substantial number of modules in History as part of my degree at Kingston University.

jenny meehan jamartlondon photography monochrome

jenny meehan jamartlondon photography monochrome ©jenny meehan west dean college time enjoying the garden

Another sweet West Dean moment!  And yet another of numerous images of water.  Water.  Sea. Rivers. All things watery. I love water and rocks, and all the images I have taken, while I don’t tend to refer to them directly, feed into my consciousness and inform my paintings.  I think the years I spent taking pictures were a good training in terms of composition particularly.  I also reached the point where I had so many pictures they did not interest me so much, and this may be one of the reasons I jumped into abstraction!

jenny meehan jamartlondon photography monochrome jenny meehan jamartlondon photography monochrome ©jenny meehan west dean college time enjoying the garden

jenny meehan jamartlondon photography monochrome ©jenny meehan west dean college time enjoying the garden

 

Lovely light.

jenny meehan jamartlondon photography monochrome

jenny meehan jamartlondon photography monochrome ©jenny meehan west dean college time enjoying the garden

On my most recent course at West Dean College, the box needed a tidy up, but in this image the rounded shapes are very neat and tidy!

 

black and white landscapes jenny meehan jamartlondon photography monochrome

jenny meehan jamartlondon photography landscapes in uk ©jenny meehan west dean college time enjoying the garden

Another West Dean Gardens delight.

 

It’s a bit of a brief journal entry, I know. But I am so much absorbed in my work at the moment.  There’s some great relief for me at the present time in not writing so much.  Just being totally immersed in experimenting doesn’t seem to need any kind of documentary.  I am almost tempted to stop writing this journal.  I won’t do that, but it may be shorter and sharper.

Many years ago I used to enjoy the Abstract Critical website.

 

https://abstractcritical.com/note/the-conspiracy-theory-series-a-note-on-the-kinblethmont-show/index.html

There were some interesting discussions… It helped me put my brain into action, and introduced me to thinking about abstraction at a time when I was still battling internally with if I should really let myself go down the abyss!

Reading what Alan Gouk had to say was exceptionally helpful to me.

 

Happy Christmas!

Now I must go.  As said, I think it likely that I will now continue just to post once every two months.

angel print for all saints church of england kingston upon thames angel campaign submission by jenny meehan

Angel print for All Saints church of england CofE Kingston parish church kingston upon thames angel campaign submission by jenny meehan

https://www.redbubble.com/people/jennyjimjams/works/14968646-holy-holy-holy-abstract-angel-design-by-jenny-meehan?cat_context=u-prints&grid_pos=1&p=art-print&rbs=7bd9f01c-9a54-440b-8296-bec275550d06&ref=shop_grid&searchTerm=holy%20holy%20holy%20jenny%20meehan%20art-prints

You can purchase a print of the above art work by me on Redbubble!

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©jenny meehan grave yard glimmers mosaic and accompanying poem jenny meehan

grave yard glimmers mosaic and accompanying poem jenny meehan ©jenny meehan

 

 

The Grave Yard Glimmers

 

Under grey ground

my shattered self, recovered

crept gentle, back to the moment

when

a younger me-child

within

Summer holiday sunshine

discovered

picking, glass, stones, off graves

was an open treasure chest.

Even while the body laid low…

sighing with relief…

anticipating release…

for each passing moment.

 

Simple time steps.

One strand of self to

reflect

back to me.

 

Porous ceramic spreads moisture

Yet only a shadow

touches

meeting edges

I am sorry that I left, and still sometimes leave

these parts of me behind.

 

Much later,  my rape was a vacation of another kind.

 

I hover, momentarily, over my body

unable to take in, even in  consciousness

the un-do- able

which was done.

 

It takes years to cry.

And bodies lie under the floor

even in houses.

 

Light still

makes glimmers

Glimmers in eyes

meeting.

Glimmers in finding

pieces

all broken

but beautiful.

 

l hold hope, for you

my friend, and myself

on dream-like, flattened

slates… to write all over

a past story, a new one…

 

We wash the silver ore, and smelt it

in the smiles of those we love.

 

Jenny Meehan

August 2018

 

 

Looking forward to working with mosaic in November, tutored by Vanessa Benson, whose inspirational course at West Dean College this year has kicked me off in this direction!

Realising my poetry and all the visual work I do are inseparable.  Well, I knew this already, but now I know it more.  Also, I will always be a materials orientated artist.  One who handles my own materials.

The most annoying saying “Everyone is an artist”.  Is everyone a plumber too?  The role of an artist has a broad skill set attached.

Everyone is innately creative, yes, but everyone is not an artist.  I hate walking past Cass Art and seeing the motto… it’s something like “Let’s fill this town with artists”.  Sounds like a nightmare to me.  Do you want a town filled with artists?   Would be quite a poor town, for a start! But it would, of course, be ideal for the local art shop!!! At least they are honest!

I was reading recently that a survey found most artists earn between £1,000 and £5,000 a year. That sounds about right.  I kind of felt relieved on reading it.  It is hard when you live in a world where finance reflects value.  I know I am doing what I should be doing in life, and feel extremely grateful, that finally, after years of waiting, I am able to work at the work which feels most natural to me.  It’s not to be taken for granted.  But it isn’t a “job” in the proper sense. And all the other work I have done in the past is very relevant, and has been valuable in many different respects.  It’s made me who I am.  I wasn’t unhappy in the work I previously did.  Just not quite so fulfilled. But there are many aspect to being fulfilled in life, and there were parts of me which probably developed, in a good way, which I might have avoided, if I was art working then.   Discipline is important. For an artist, if you have not got it, you cannot be productive, I don’t think.  Getting up each morning to do what you must, is part of every occupation, and we don’t always feel like it!

And now, I cannot rely on a “job” to define who I am.  It’s sometimes challenging.  Like being a mother, I guess.  The key thing is, I think, not to confuse status or money with value. It’s always a challenge! What I do does pay for itself.   Sometimes I feel discouraged, but it’s only passing.  Thankfully enough good things happen to keep me motivated!

 

 

Thelma Narrative Series

My Thelma sculpture project was in 2014 and it is now 2018!   In truth, the project is not finished, because I got a mould made of the essential base of Thelma and intend to make some plaster versions in order to experiment further.  Indeed, I will.  Yet for now, here are the images with text, which does seem to have a degree of being a complete work.  The actual wax sculpture is in a box in my cupboard, and now and again I pick bits off it and add bits on!  It is one figure, which I moved through a series of transformations without thinking about concepts  in a conscious way.

ONEthelma psychodynamic jenny meehan personal development psychotherapy and art relationship investigation psychoanalytic visual experimentationONEthelma psychodynamic jenny meehan

ONEthelma psychodynamic jenny meehan personal development psychotherapy and art relationship investigation psychoanalytic visual experimentation THELMA ONE

 

thelma psychodynamic jenny meehan personal development psychotherapy and art relationship investigation psychoanalytic visual experimentation

thelma psychodynamic jenny meehan personal development psychotherapy and art relationship investigation psychoanalytic visual experimentation THELMA TWO

 

thelma psychodynamic jenny meehan personal development psychotherapy and art relationship investigation psychoanalytic visual experimentation

thelma psychodynamic jenny meehan personal development psychotherapy and art relationship investigation psychoanalytic visual experimentation THELMA THREE

 

 

 

thelma psychodynamic jenny meehan personal development psychotherapy and art relationship investigation psychoanalytic visual experimentation

thelma psychodynamic jenny meehan personal development psychotherapy and art relationship investigation psychoanalytic visual experimentation THELMA FOUR

 

 

 

thelma psychodynamic jenny meehan personal development psychotherapy and art relationship investigation psychoanalytic visual experimentation

thelma psychodynamic jenny meehan personal development psychotherapy and art relationship investigation psychoanalytic visual experimentation THELMA FIVE

 

thelma psychodynamic jenny meehan personal development psychotherapy and art relationship investigation psychoanalytic visual experimentation

thelma psychodynamic jenny meehan personal development psychotherapy and art relationship investigation psychoanalytic visual experimentation THELMA SIX

 

This is probably my favourite in the series…It’s the one I associate with the ongoing process of participating in psychotherapy!  Hard work, at times,  yes,  but something which can be a tool in bringing freedom from the negative consequences of violence, abuse, and trauma.  This time I spend in therapy is an investment I choose because I value self reflection so much.  Participation in Psychotherapy can be viewed two ways.  One, is that of being a practice of WELLNESS…Which for me, it now is, thankfully. (Mostly)  It’s like going to the gym to keep fit.  (Mostly, not always! Sometimes it’s painful and hard! Still challenging, still uncomfortable. Always will be! )

I find it very harmonious with being an artist, and working in the way that I do with other people with mentoring/spiritual direction/teaching art.  The other way that psychotherapy can be viewed might be summed up with “Gosh, they must be very screwed up to need therapy” maybe?  It is the idea that someone would only participate in psychotherapy if they really had to, because it wasn’t possible to carry on without it.  Because why would they want to do take part in something like that otherwise?  Well, I do understand that perspective.

Personally, I did start my psychoanalytic journey in a very distressing place, and I knew it was what I needed, and things were often very alarming and extremely difficult.  So it wasn’t optional in any sense in 2011.  Yet my journey, and the experience gained from working with a very good therapist, has been so valuable and positive, it seems needless not to carry on with it, as long as it bears fruit, which it does.  I do review it from time to time, but so far, I reach the same conclusion, which is why stop for the sake of stopping?  It might be different if I was not an artist, but it’s become part of the process of my artistic creating, and it’s so useful, even for that, even apart from the other benefits.

It feels like pulling a net through my own depths, pulling it along the sea bed.  It’s an effort, but somehow drawing deep in myself in this way produces a lot of goodness.  Life is vastly improved, and I feel so much more alive than I ever used to be.  So the effort is definitely worth it for me.

Thoughts on the sculpture…

Difficulty of wading forwards… Trolling is a method of fishing….  There is a huge sense of continuity and flow, in this one, with metal outside of the figure clearly relating to the which goes through it’s core.  Through the waters of my mind, in the psychoanalytic work I am doing.  Found this, it’s helpful..

Bodies of Water and the Unconscious
Often in dreams, large bodies of water (oceans, lakes, pools) symbolize the unconscious. As with bodies of water, we often see the surface, but cannot easily see into the depths.

Also, the vastness of the ocean symbolizes the vastness of the unconscious mind. Jung observed long ago that the unconscious mind was much vaster than the conscious portion. His insight has been confirmed by fascinating developments in neuroscience, where new technologies, such as particularly sophisticated MRIs have enabled brain scientists to see that the unconscious processes in the brain dwarf the conscious mind in magnitude.

In those regions of the brain/mind lies the meaning of dreams. Jungian therapy is always aware that, for each of us, much goes on in the depths of those oceanic waters…”  quoted from https://www.briancollinson.ca/index.php/2012/11/jungian-therapy-the-meaning-of-dreams-5-water.html

 

WOW!  The unconscious mind….

Oceanic Waters!

thelma psychodynamic jenny meehan personal development psychotherapy and art relationship investigation psychoanalytic visual experimentation

thelma psychodynamic jenny meehan personal development psychotherapy and art relationship investigation psychoanalytic visual experimentation THELMA SEVEN

 

Must be the faith aspect coming through in this one!

 

 

thelma psychodynamic jenny meehan personal development psychotherapy and art relationship investigation psychoanalytic visual experimentation

thelma psychodynamic jenny meehan personal development psychotherapy and art relationship investigation psychoanalytic visual experimentation   THELMA EIGHT

No doubt some  theme of healing…  And in this one, a mould was made, and the body cast in plaster.

 

Interesting looking back at these.  Rather funny that I depicted my right thigh with what looks like a strip of metal along it.  This was before my knee replacement and before I was having problems with my walking!   Plaster for me is evocative of healing and holding, and showing this  liquid flow over the now plaster form, is something I like a lot.  The flow may be static in that the plaster is set,  but it is suggestive of flow and continuity by it’s very shape, and the meeting point between those forms of underlying form and dripped plaster brings some awareness of touch and being touched to my mind.  As the final figure is the model cast, it’s a new creation but still intimately related to the former figure in brown wax.   I will continue working with this, and post up soon.

 

So this is September…OOOps… Late again, October!

 

jenny meehan jamartlondon art work uk licensable images

jenny meehan jamartlondon art work uk licensable images

 

Painting “Upper Room” by Jenny Meehan 70 x 50cm   This is available, contact me if interested.  Use contact form on my personal website jamartlondon.com  http://www.jamartlondon.com/

Direct link to contact page; http://www.jamartlondon.com/contact/4569980742

Bit about my painting…

About Jenny Meehan’s Paintings

My process led painting…romantic, expressionistic, abstract and lyrical, is simply the result of my own contemplative practice, which I work through in many ways. Let by instinct and intuition, inspired by my own life experiences, and several much loved artists, including Klee, Hitchens, Claude Venard, Matisse and Kandinsky, it provides the ground for the viewer’s own interpretations and responses, and will be whatever you want it to be. My own titles reflect my own interpretation/,sense of meaning, but the beauty and openness of non objective painting allows you a place in the process exclusively yours!

The image doesn’t show the extent to which texture, and various surface finishes are used in the painting, for example, I use tiny glass beads for their effects on light hitting the surface of the painting. Maybe they could be seen as a dance of light and colour? Certainly, as the light in the day changes, the appearance of the painting changes considerably, with different parts being emphasised and other parts sinking into the background. This painting is one which responds, and I hope you get pleasure from viewing it! See more at http://www.jamartlondon.com

 

 

 

jenny meehan jamartlondon art work uk licensable images

jenny meehan jamartlondon art work uk licensable images©jenny meehan

 

Boat House, Monotype. ©jenny meehan

Sometimes the simplest of things can give pleasure.  I am looking at this one at the moment, particularly as I think about how I will approach working with mosaic in November.  I think to start with some kind  of simple forms, rectangular, square, maybe a good start.  I don’t see myself going into the pictorial.  I suspect I will need to seriously spend time considering the materials I use.  They will suggest a way forwards, I am sure.  And I want to make more effort with this linkage between my poetry and visual expression. I think that’s key for me.

 

jenny meehan jamartlondon art work uk licensable images

jenny meehan jamartlondon art work uk licensable images©jenny meehan

Icy Landscape ©jenny meehan

A major theme of my work is recovery from trauma.  The subject of an internal landscape dominates my creative practice.  Tiny glass beads are used in the above painting and they catch the light, transforming the appearance of the work at different times of the day.

 

“Eternal” Painting by Jenny Meehan

 

 

jenny meehan jamartlondon art work uk licensable images

jenny meehan jamartlondon art work uk licensable images©jenny meehan

Eternal by Jenny Meehan ©jenny meehan

This is one of my paintings which has been licensed for use as a book cover. The cover designer was Alison Beek.   I really like my paintings being used in this way, and it is a small source of income which helps sustain my artistic practice, so it’s very much valued.

https://wordery.com/quiet-spaces-prayer-journal-mrs-olivia-warburton-9780857465245?currency=GBP&gtrck=S2Z1YnlZVlZsTTV6K1BVYkdyNERsL2JwTWhWcHA3dnM5bERaeTRueE1KNndyem4vbG5ENFJSV2tycFVKK0tnUHpISjRLNFJMY2hnaWJHb2hMMGg4UlE9PQ&gclid=EAIaIQobChMIyLOtiOTn3QIVROd3Ch13IwVCEAQYAyABEgJmVPD_BwE

Finding God in all things, hearing God’s voice for ourselves and others…the Quiet Spaces Prayer Journal will help you to develop and maintain a life of creative prayer. With space to write, quotations drawn from Christian tradition and BRF’s Quiet Spaces publication to aid reflection, this is ideal to buy for yourself or as a gift for anyone wanting to deepen their prayer life. It features quotations to inspire, allowing plenty of space to write.

Quiet Spaces Prayer Journal Spiral bound edition by Mrs Olivia Warburton”

Edited by Mrs Olivia Warburton ISBN-139780857465245Format Spiral bound, Publisher BRF (The Bible Reading Fellowship) Publication date23 Sep 2016Pages192Product dimensions 150 x 210 x 14mm E Weight338g

Quiet Spaces is BRF’s prayer and spirituality journal. Published three times a year, each edition journeys through up to nine themes drawn from the Bible, spiritual writers, the natural world, the lives of Christians from across the centuries or from Christian spiritual traditions. Each theme is explored in twelve prayerful ways using creative activities, your personal faith experience, poetry, liturgy, reflection, imagining and meditation, helping you into a heart encounter with God. Ideal both for those who have discovered the benefits of reflection, meditation and contemplation and are looking for a resource to guide their periods of quiet and for people coming to reflection and meditation for the first time.”

 

I use my own copy!

 

This months post is September and October combined! It’s my aim to write a bit less on my journal each month and work more on my poetry.  As I mentioned at the beginning, a brilliant course on mosaic at West Dean college tutored by Vanessa Benson has provided some interesting routes in using mosaic, and along with my other ongoing experiments with silica sol mineral paint I want to immerse myself more in silence and music and poetry than longer blog entries.  And drumming too.  I am loving my djembe, and enjoying learning some traditional West African patterns.

I think I may have exhausted my writing capacity a little bit when writing “The Very Patient Knee Replacement Story by Jenny Meehan” last year!  By the way, the knee is working wonderfully.  It’s an “Attune” knee.  I am no longer disabled and able to live a full life. I am so grateful for the South West London Elective Orthopaedic Centre, and the NHS.  My life would be quite different without such a positive experience.

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

 

Really enjoying these…

http://openchurch.network/chalketalk

That’s me for now!

Do take a look at my website. http://www.jamartlondon.com/

I will be updating it over December.  I have a lot more work than I can show on the internet.

 

 

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

Thursday 5 July 2018…

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

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

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

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

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

I find this more helpful to my self.

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

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

 

 

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

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

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

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

It’s drying quick…I use Soldalit.

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

The light bounces off the matt surface beautifully.

It’s a JOY!

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

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

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

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

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

I did do this a couple of years back…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I love these paints so much…

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

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

But working with the Keim Mineral Paints is fantastic.

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

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

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

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

Oh er…

So best to breath fresh air!

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

That’s a big percentage increase.

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

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

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

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

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

Healthy is important.

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

Still eating a bit too much sugar!

 

Looking backwards in order to move forwards

 

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

the river within jenny meehan ©jenny meehan

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

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

KAOS open studios jenny meehan paintings

KAOS open studios jenny meehan paintings

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

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

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

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

 

How to pray when we don’t want to pray

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

All very helpful!

 

 

In the garden

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

I enjoy gardening too.

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

January

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

(Jenny Meehan copyright 2009)

Blossom and Bamboo

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

(Jenny Meehan copyright 2009)

 

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

 

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

oriental blossom by Jenny Meehan © Jenny Meehan.

 

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

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

bamboo blowing monotype jenny meehan

© Jenny Meehan.

 

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

jenny meehan drawing painting uk ©jenny meehan

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

Bamboo is VERY useful!

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

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

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

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

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

And the Fatsia in the front garden…

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

 

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

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

jenny meehan jamartlondon.com photography ©jenny meehan

 

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

jenny meehan jamartlondon.com photography ©jenny meehan

 

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

jenny meehan jamartlondon.com photography ©jenny meehan

 

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

 

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

Some information from Wikipedia;

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

and

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

Mono no aware…  How beautiful…

Redbubble.com

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Good Quote:

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

 

Langstone Harbour – The Tide Comes In

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

sea scape painting langstone harbour painting by jenny meehan

langstone harbour painting by jenny meehan

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

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

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

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

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

 

Jenny Meehan, of the mud flats at Langstone Harbour 2009

 

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

 

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

 

 

Victoria Miro Trip – Surface Work Exhibition

 

A quick shimmy around some of the paintings on show!

 

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

victoria miro surface works visit 2018

 

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

victoria miro surface works visit 2018

 

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

victoria miro surface works visit 2018

 

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

victoria miro surface works visit 2018

 

 

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

victoria miro surface works visit 2018

 

A bit of self indulgent selfies and digital alterations!

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

victoria miro surface works visit 2018

 

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

victoria miro surface works visit 2018

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

victoria miro surface works visit 2018

 

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

victoria miro surface works visit 2018

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

victoria miro surface works visit 2018

 

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

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

comprehensive ocean of my business!

 

Reflections on Artists and what their “Business” is!

 

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

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

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

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

Artists bring the artistic imagination into everyday life.

Creative expression is a fundamental human right.

Let’s not forget that.

 

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

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

Kingston Artists’ Open Studio!

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

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

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

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

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

Hope to see you! Jenny Meehan

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

“My Muybridge” Exhibition at Kingston Museum

 

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

Jenny Meehan 2017”

 

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

 

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

minds eye muybridge artwork jenny

 

 

Kingston Arts at Kingston Museum My Muybridge exhibition surrey cultu

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

Kaleidoscope: Colour and Sequence in 1960s British Art

1 April 2017 – 3 June 2018

Looks very good!

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

Text copied and pasted from the website:

“An Arts Council Collection Touring Exhibition

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

 

holy week art church of england hook jenny meehan

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

 

Another Exhibition at Kingston Museum

 

me in front of anagrams kingston museum banner surrey art event

me in front of anagrams kingston museum banner

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

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

 

Kingston Arts at Kingston Museum My Muybridge exhibition surrey cultu

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

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

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

 

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

 

 

 

studio tent jenny meehan

 

 

 

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

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

 

©jenny meehan

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

 

 

A small selection of memory images

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

 

jenny meehan jamartlondon photography monochrome

jenny meehan jamartlondon photography monochrome

 

jenny meehan jamartlondon photography monochrome

jenny meehan jamartlondon photography monochrome

 

jenny meehan jamartlondon photography monochrome

jenny meehan jamartlondon photography monochrome

 

jenny meehan jamartlondon photography monochrome

jenny meehan jamartlondon photography monochrome

 

jenny meehan jamartlondon photography monochrome

jenny meehan jamartlondon photography monochrome

 

 

 

jenny meehan jamartlondon.com photography

jenny meehan jamartlondon.com photography

 

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

 

 

 

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

I always enjoy a reminisce, and here is one:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

PS…

 

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

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

Jenny Meehan on Redbubble.com

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

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

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

 

 

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!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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