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.

 

 

 

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“River Journey” abstract lyrical expressionist british paintings jenny meehan

Come and meet me this year at the Kingston Artists’ Open Studios!
KAOS OPEN STUDIOS 10th/11th and 17th/18th June 2017 11 – 5pm at Studio KAOS 2 , 14 Liverpool Road Kingston KT2 7SZ
It’s no time at all! So pop this in your diary and make yourself a nice day out. Walk by the river in Kingston, Stroll in the park, walk along the studio trail, pop into a little cafe! Meet KAOS (we are a lovely bunch of creatives) and take a look at what we love investing ourselves into! And if you are someone who does collect art, be it just a few pieces or many, make a good choice and visit the artists direct…You can talk with us and find out more about the work in a way that you wouldn’t be able to do in a different context.
There are  over 90 artists showing work!  I am showing at KAOS 2, along with 8 other artists:
Sandra Beccarelli, Cressida Borrett, Lizzie Brewer, Caroline Calascione, Ikuko Danby, Bali Edwards, Yuka Maeda, and Anna Tikhomirova! See you there!

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

 

Snails in the Studio

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

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

the snail in the studio jenny meehan abstract painting

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

walking after TKR

walking after TKR

 

 

Health Care

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

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

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

For 2017 “The Art of Caring”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

You are clear on that, yes?  !!!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Here goes…Be patient!

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

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

Meditation Garden

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

 

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

sign of the times series jenny meehan

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

Forthcoming Kingston Artists’ Open Studios for 2017

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

Emily Carr Quote:

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

© Jenny Meehan DACS All Rights Reserved

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

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

 

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

KAOS OPEN STUDIOS 10th/11th and 17th/18th June 2017 11 – 5pm at Studio KAOS 2 , 14 Liverpool Road Kingston KT2 7SZ
It’s no time at all! So pop this in your diary and make yourself a nice day out. Walk by the river in Kingston, Stroll in the park, walk along the studio trail, pop into a little cafe! …Visit several studios and meet lots of artists! You can talk with us and find out more about the work in a way you wouldn’t be able to do in a different context.
There are 90 artists showing work in total. I am showing at KAOS 2, along with 8 other artists:
Sandra Beccarelli, Cressida Borrett, Lizzie Brewer, Caroline Calascione, Ikuko Danby, Bali Edwards, Yuka Maeda, and Anna Tikhomirova! See you there!

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

 

About Jenny Meehan 

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

The usual mass of discrete title topics all messed into one…Just the way I like it!

Transgender, Gender & Psychoanalysis (Freud Museum and the SITE conference: Fringe event art exhibition)

 

 

pen and ink on torn paper unique print by jenny meehan jamartlondon

pen and ink on torn paper unique print by jenny meehan jamartlondon

Looking forward to being part of this exhibition.

Above is one of two submitted art works which were chosen by the curators for exhibition.  “Pen and Ink on Torn Paper” is composed of a digitally printed torn image, but this is effectively a unique original artwork, in that the tearing is unique to itself. So there is no edition as such. It is a “one off” by virtue of it’s torn substrate. It’s the tearing, rather than the print itself, which would is unique to each one, if I decide to make any more. So if anyone does express an interest in buying it, I can make one for them which would have the same image, but would be torn differently.

(Pen and ink were the original mediums of the figures, but they have never existed together in reality! )

And here, below is “Pink Girl”…

 

The SITE for Contemporary Psychoanalysis ,recovery psychotherapy,art psychotherapy,british female painter artist jenny meehan,Pink Girl painting in Recovery University of Leicester Instutute of Mental Health by Jenny Meeha

Pink Girl painting by Jenny Meehan © Jenny Meehan DACS All Rights Reserved

The exhibition is a fringe event which is part of an annual conference…

The SITE is teaming up with the Freud Museum for its annual conference in 2017:

Transgender, Gender & Psychoanalysis

11th & 12th March 2017 at the Freud Museum

EARLY BIRD TICKETS ON SALE UNTIL 15 JANUARY

The Conference Fringe will include a series of events leading up to the Conference…

 

Here is a bit about the SITE, quoted from their website:

The SITE for Contemporary Psychoanalysis is a training organisation and a member of the Council for Psychoanalysis and Jungian Analysis College (CPJA) of the United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP). All graduates are eligible for UKCP registration.

The Site was established in October 1997 by psychotherapists from diverse psychoanalytic organisations who wished to create a training programme and an association that would foster critical, reflective and imaginative thinking about psychoanalysis and its contemporary practices.

In 2010 the Site set up a sister training in Truro, Cornwall. This is now a well established part of the Site, with a successful training, an Introductory course and annual public events.

Here is the link to The SITE for Contemporary Psychoanalysis

And here is the information on the event, of which the Art Exhibition is going to be just one part.  I am delighted that my work was selected for this art exhibition!

“SITE announces collaboration with Freud Museum

The SITE is teaming up with the Freud Museum for its annual conference in 2017.

Transgender, Gender & Psychoanalysis

11th & 12th March 2017 at the Freud Museum

The struggles of people of transgender identity have exploded into mainstream consciousness. By crossing the ‘gender divide’, the trans movement has radicalised the question of what it means to be a man or a woman, uncovering a fertile and conflicting arena in which the emancipatory deconstruction of sexual identity intriguingly flirts with the pitfalls of essentialism.

Such a reshuffling of binary and non-binary categories confronts psychoanalysis with new clinical, political and theoretical challenges that push it out of its comfort zone. How can contemporary psychoanalysis meet the demands and the needs that such challenges yield? What does psychoanalysis have to lose? And what does it stand to gain?

The 2017 SITE Conference in collaboration with the Freud Museum will approach these questions critically while exploring new horizons from which to address the complex issues of sexual identity and gendered positioning.”

Here is the flyer for the SITE fringe “Transgender, Gender & Psychoanalysis” Art Exhibition:

fringe-exhibition-flyer-transgender-and-psychoanalysis

fringe-exhibition-flyer-transgender-and-psychoanalysis

Because my forthcoming knee replacement operation is also due in March,  I will not be able to make even the “short walk” to see the exhibition, as far as I can see, if I have just had the op!  Even now, getting to the venue has an added layer of complexity which I never fully appreciated before my own experience of disability in terms of mobility. On the other hand, If I have not had my operation, I am sure I can work out a way of getting to it. I use a crutch for when I am in London, as I need the extra support using public transport, (all those stairs!) and to enable me to walk more reliably for longer and without aggravating the joint to the point of agony.  Agony is not good.  I am now hoping that maybe the operation will be after this exhibition, and I can both deliver and collect my work at least. But I will need to wait and see.

It is a shame not to know how things will be, but actually it is heaven just knowing that I will have my knee joint treated surgically.   Hopefully they will take lots of images at the private view and I can get a taste of it that way, even if I cannot make the event. Until I am well and truly back walking again, I may have to give pursuing any opportunities a miss.

Labels for Painting Styles

Labels…  Kind of a necessity for me, in terms of communicating how my painting relates to other “movements”.  The good thing about movements is they are normally seen best from a great distance, and also, it is encouraging to look back and see other artists who have been as obsessed as you about particular approaches to art making and art working.  It is also helpful for those who enjoy collecting art…  They can explore different movements and will settle on something maybe over time which they find the most exciting and interesting for themselves in terms of a historical period or style of painting.  There are all kinds of ways that an art collector might decide to focus their collection of art work.

The terms I tend to use for describing my main thrust in painting are bouncing within the realms of the following terms: Lyrical abstraction, abstraction lyrique, tachism, tachisme, action painting, abstract expressionism, art informal, informalism.  But these are terms which relate to particular movements in the past, and serve as a way of describing and communicating what to expect with my own painting, and not anything more than that.  And it is the case that within my own realm of art working, I move between several styles…  This is part of the process of development.  I think I have written about this in a previous post.  It is a bad thing to narrow down artistic creation in order to adhere or fit into a style.  If it happens it will happen naturally, and evolve that way. It will grow and develop, playing and toying with different styles and approaches en route!

It is the case, that when using paint, things now are tending to fall within the bounds of my approach, which is process led and focused on formal elements and experimenting with materials. What comes through is a materialisation, a becoming, of my self.  Which references my life experience and emotional and spiritual journey.  Mostly I like to let things happen, rather than plan.  But there is a lot of unconscious planning which happens I think.  There is a lot of emerging!!!

Historical terms and descriptions of styles are good for searching for the kind of paintings you like, and there are plenty of movements which it is helpful for the keen collector of art to educate themselves in.  My own preoccupation is with the formal elements of the painting, and a process led approach.  My preferred terminology for my own work is that of British romantic, poetic, lyrical, abstract and expressionistic painting.  I like the romantic, because of the way it conveys both individuality and intensity of emotion and the importance of these.  I loved my studies of the Romantic poets when at University, and also of the paintings of Turner, which were studies as part of a couple of painting courses at West Dean College given by John T Freeman, (who I credit, among others, with role of welcoming me into the realms of painting as a way of life/vocational activity!)

This is rather helpful:

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Serge Poliakoff Composition: Gray and Red, 1964
Tachisme (alternative spelling: Tachism, derived from the French word tache, stain) is a French style of abstract painting popular in the 1940s and 1950s. The term is said to have been first used with regards to the movement in 1951.[1] It is often considered to be the European equivalent to abstract expressionism,[2] although there are stylistic differences (American abstract expressionism tended to be more “aggressively raw” than tachisme).[1] It was part of a larger postwar movement known as Art Informel (or Informel),[3] which abandoned geometric abstraction in favour of a more intuitive form of expression, similar to action painting. Another name for Tachism is Abstraction lyrique (related to American Lyrical Abstraction). COBRA is also related to Tachisme, as is Japan’s Gutai group.

After World War II the term School of Paris often referred to Tachisme, the European equivalent of American abstract expressionism. Important proponents were Jean-Paul Riopelle, Wols, Jean Dubuffet, Pierre Soulages, Nicolas de Staël, Hans Hartung, Serge Poliakoff, Georges Mathieu and Jean Messagier, among several others. (See list of artists below.)

According to Chilvers, the term tachisme “was first used in this sense in about 1951 (the French critics Charles Estienne and Pierre Guéguen have each been credited with coining it) and it was given wide currency by [French critic and painter] Michel Tapié in his book Un Art autre (1952).”

Tachisme was a reaction to Cubism and is characterized by spontaneous brushwork, drips and blobs of paint straight from the tube, and sometimes scribbling reminiscent of calligraphy.

Tachisme is closely related to Informalism or Art Informel, which, in its 1950s French art-critical context, referred not so much to a sense of “informal art” as “a lack or absence of form itself”–non-formal or un-form-ulated–and not a simple reduction of formality or formalness. Art Informel was more about the absence of premeditated structure, conception or approach (sans cérémonie) than a mere casual, loosened or relaxed art procedure.[4]

And there is lots more to read: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tachisme

More Paintings

eternal one painting jenny meehan referencing afterlife

eternal one painting jenny meehan referencing afterlife

Eternal One

arylic painting for sale purchase surrey fine painting on surrey artist network by contemporary British painter Jenny Meehan based in south west london. Acrylic paint, pigments, various mediums and fillers, sand, glass beads, on canvas coated with very thin coating of acrylic resin for protection. Framed and available for sale/purchase/collection.

Painting referencing afterlife, heaven,future,doorways,entrance,exit,rite of passage,dust,clouds,air,vision,Christian,heaven,ascension,spiritual,spirit,supernatural,death, life,journey,light

Time Passes

abstract acrylic contemporary british lyrical expressionist romantic elegiac fine painting alley outhouses lament past rear access roads passageway memory, jamartlondon, jenny meehan, jennifer meehan, © Jenny Meehan, abstract expressionist female painter 21st century, collectable abstract art,

past remembrances, elergy painting poetic mournful lament

Abstract acrylic painting, using glass beads, filler, pigments, pearlescent pigment,sand,acrylic medium.
Process based painting, with subject matter emerging as the painting progresses, so kind of free association process going on through the painting. This resonated as a memory, memory of past walks through the rear access roads in my area and also childhood memories of playing in alleyways.

Non representational acrylic painting with pigments, acrylic medium, glass beads,filler, wax crayon,oil pastel, pigment.

 

Upper Room

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.

“Upper Room” (reference, upper room in New Testament, where Last Supper took place)

Non representational acrylic painting with pigments, acrylic medium, sand, glass beads,filler, spray paint, pearlescent pigment, pigment.

 

Update on the current paintings in progress is there is a lot of looking and thinking, mulling and reflecting going on, but not a lot of action.

 

Printing Papers

While not painting, I have been experimenting with inkjet printing on different types of paper.  For some images I wanted duller colours and not the brightness which comes from using an ink-jet paper. I have a new printer which takes some time to get the head around but with a scanner it offers some new opportunities I am sure.  I have produced a fair bit of work but not anything I want to show at this point as still very much under consideration.

I have many different types of paper and have no rule for what I use for what.  Sometimes ordinary watercolour paper is right, other times, just copy paper.  Ink jet paper yields totally  different results to watercolour paper, quite surprisingly so. I should not be surprised, but I always am. There are different grades of ordinary printing paper that can give some of the benefits of photo paper (cleaner, clearer images; brighter colour; cleaner text) but for less money.

Fundamental differences are:

Weight: The amount of mass of a ream of 500 pages of the paper in question before it is cut down to whatever its current size may be.  Paper weight is simply an simple way to measure the density of a paper.

Point size: Point size is a measure of the thickness of paper, unlike weight, which is a measure of density of paper material. Points are one thousandth of an inch, with heavier papers having higher point sizes. Many types of paper will have no mention of point size, but photo papers/cards may include it.

Brightness: Brightness is the amount of light that is reflected off the surface of the paper.  More reflected light mean  a better colour range is achievable, and better contrast too. So the brighter the paper stock, the better, IF brightness is what you want and the greatest range of colours.   Brightness is measured in values from 0 to 100. For instance, you can  buy fine quality reams of typing paper with a brightness of 90.

Whiteness: Easily confused with paper brightness, “whiteness” is the shift in colour of the paper, for example white can lean towards blue or much warmer red.  There are icy, bluish, and cool whites or whites which lean towards cream.

Paper stock: Related to point size and weight, various densities, thicknesses, and paper qualities have various names, like “Newsprint,” “Cardstock,” or “Bristol.” Many photo papers are heavier weights, often in an attempt to recreate the feel of old style photo prints on light sensitive paper developed with photo chemistry.

Coated Paper:  (for photo papers) They are coated with a layer of chemical bonded to the paper, intended to allow inks to be absorbed more accurately, creating better quality images.  They can be coated on  just one or both sides. They might be gloss or matte.

 

I don’t always choose to print on coated paper, as what I want the print to look like can vary a lot depending on the image.  Inkjet printers fire ink at pages in small liquid drops and the porous paper accepts the liquid material with capillary action, drawing it out in multiple directions.  This can sometimes be the kind of image I want, and the flow of ink,  though it could be seen as detrimental to the quality of the print, (because the print is less clean and crisp) can also add a softness to the print which is rather suitable.

Coated papers are chemically treated to help the paper be a better printing substrate, well, “better” if crisp and clear is your objective. Ink blots rest on the emulsion in a wet state, but stay neatly put and are also neatly absorbed. Images stay clean, because the absorption of inks into emulsified surfaces is a more controlled process.  As the ink settles and dries, the pigment left behind is effectively locked into the surface treatment of the paper. It cannot have it’s own way  quite as much as it would!

 

 

Prints, Editions, Limited Editions, Numbered Editions – Clarity  or Confusion?

I’m popping this in by way of general reference in relation to the way I have chosen to do things.

There are two main strands to my visual creative practice, one being original fine paintings and the other being mechanically reproduced prints (either digital C-prints or ink-jet prints). I do not often artificially limit my prints in number, but it is safe to say that numbers are very well limited by the amount of time I spend on creating them.

Digital C-prints and ink-jet prints made by me personally are numbered and signed, and I keep my own records, but their number will be naturally limited by nature of my own mortality! “Numbered and signed” prints are NOT the same as “limited editions”. I describe them as “numbered editions”, but the number of prints possible is open ended. This gives me greater flexibility as their creator in that I can make them in a variety of formats and sizes, and on different substrates.

Selected imagery is available unsigned and un-numbered for use on print-on-demand merchandise. It’s no less valuable than any other imagery, but if something leans in that direction and I can share it, then I will. Plus, funding is much needed to pay for painting materials and this facility helps in a small way by giving me a royalty from each sale.

Please do consider purchasing some of my printed artwork as this is an easy and mutually beneficial way help support my creative project.
Take a look at Redbubble.com:

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

Most of the signed/numbered and unsigned/open edition mechanical prints of my work, are not reproductions of paintings or drawings but are works true to their own medium which is photographic imagery, either originating from a photographic image or from photo-manipulation software. If I think a work in another medium suitable for translation into digital imagery and printing, then I will do this, but not indiscriminately.

I also produce monotypes, using traditional printing techniques and sometimes hand finished digital prints on various substrat

Here is the link to my website jamartlondon which tells you a bit about editions with reference to my own imagery. 

Good Article on an Exhibition I won’t be able to see…STRIKING UP A CONVERSATION: THE BALTIMORE MUSEUM OF ART UNITES MATISSE AND DIEBENKORN IN A GLORIOUS EXHIBITION

Both Diebenkorn and Matisse have worked their magic on me, and so feeling rather sad I cannot see this.  This review makes for a good read though, and gives a flavour at least of what must be a super experience of viewing the works together.. It’s written by Phyllis Tuchman  and POSTED 01/19/17 10:51 AM January 29.

http://www.artnews.com/2017/01/19/striking-up-a-conversation-the-baltimore-museum-of-art-unites-matisse-and-diebenkorn-in-a-glorious-exhibition/

First Visit to an Osteopath – What to Expect

Well, that is the question. There are lots of answers to that, but for me, the “What to expect” is, rather than the actual  encounter,  if I should expect any kind of improvement or result from the visit.  My agenda in going to see an osteopath certainly wasn’t anything to do with avoiding knee replacement surgery.  The bones are grating and banging against each other in a way which clearly isn’t going to be changed by anything at all.  I have been exercising and working on the muscles of the whole leg, and the rest of my body, since September 2015, starting with GP prescribed quad muscle exercises, gentle yoga, swimming, and then individually tailored physiotherapy from September 2016.  It was hard to imagine that any thing further might change in any way at all. Even with trying something new and unexplored, and having an appointment with an Osteopath.

I was not looking for a reduction in pain either.  I have got used to pain being part of my daily menu in life.  I am getting the knee surgically treated because the knee needs to be treated, and the problem addressed in this way.  I am not a medic,  but it has become increasingly clear to me, as I experience the steady and rather rapid deterioration, that things are not going to improve.  The fluctuations in symptoms which do occur, only belie the underlying reality that I cannot walk very far at all, and the I am turning down opportunities left, right, and centre, because I am now disabled and my life is restricted in a soul destroying way, and in a way I cannot accept.   And I don’t want to sign up to an experience of pain and disability any longer than I need to.

But, as an artist, I have a strong appreciation of the importance of balance.  In an abstract painting, the constant alterations to the balance of the work, which are to do with the form/structure of the painting, make all the difference.  So it is simply logical that the same should apply to my own body.  I have been aware of being very “out of kilter”  and also of how a problem/alteration in one joint affects the whole body.  It affects the way I move, hold myself, and the experience of pain also needs to be managed and negotiated somehow.  The whole body tenses up when in pain.  So I did not go along to an Osteopath to relieve any pain.  Maybe that might be an objective after surgery though!!!

Here is a link if you want an answer to the question “First Visit to an Osteopath – What to Expect” in terms of the general experience of a visit to an Osteopath, the examination, diagnosis, and treatment, plus ongoing care: 

http://www.osteopathy.org.uk/visiting-an-osteopath/what-to-expect/

My Personal Experience of Consulting an Osteopath

As part of my knee journey, I felt some time ago it would be beneficial to visit an osteopath.  I walk past the British School of Osteopathy quite regularly.   http://www.bso.ac.uk/   One of the things I had felt surprised about was that at no point in my experiences of physiotherapy had any direct manual work been done on my knee/leg and that this was something which might be beneficial. It just seemed logical.  All those exercises did make a difference to the muscles around the knee joint, and I guess an appreciation of the importance of all the soft tissues and how they are involved did make me think that, even though I will have my joint addressed, it is also important for everything around it to be treated.

I don’t have any great expectations attached to my interest.  I don’t wish to avoid a knee replacement, as my quality of life is too badly affected.  I am fortunate in that I have worked, and continue to work very hard, on my body… The yoga is beneficial, the swimming is beneficial and the physiotherapy was also beneficial.  I have been pulling, stretching, massaging and moving both in and out of water.  I have been working hard for  months and doing all I can, including weight loss, to improve my situation.  I am managing the pain pretty well, though it has to be noted that it has been a lot easier to manage with the forthcoming knee replacement operation well and truly on the horizon.  The thought that I do not have a life long sentence of avoidable pain and disability is a very significant point to make.  I now realise that I will miss my “old knee” to a certain extent… It has been with me for a long while.

Anyway, back to Osteopathy and why I thought I would bring myself along to the British School of Osteopathy and see what happened.  As said, I wondered about the lack of physical manipulation.  The total lack of physical manipulation.  When I was treated with Physiotherapy at hospital I was very grateful for the individually tailored programme of exercises, and I did them very conscientiously every day.  But something about being treated was missing.  People with a long term chronic condition  are in a very different place to someone with a more immediate trauma injury.  The whole experience of knowing that your life will be affected in a very long term way,  is a big matter to get your head around.  But even when you have done your best at that, constantly experiencing pain and disability and knowing this is your daily lot, if it happens to be beyond what you feel you can bear, is depressing and anxiety provoking.  Your WHOLE life is affected, and it becomes more important, that when you are treated, the effect on your whole life becomes an important element of the way you are treated.  More so than if you have something with a clear beginning and end.

So what happened when I went to visit an Osteopath?  Things had deteriorated with my knee at such a pace which did have the overall effect of making me willing to try anything, even if I had not thought about it before.   So I was ready for anything potentially beneficial at all.  I do confess to having dismissed osteopathic treatment, thinking it was probably something not REALLY worthwhile. However, I am pleased to say that the session of osteopathic treatment I had WAS beneficial.   Someone who knows how to pull and push your limb around, and manipulate the soft tissues in theory should be helpful, and it was with this in mind that I went along.   I can now straighten my right leg more than before…  I felt the difference last night lying in bed, and was suitably impressed.  I also noticed some change in how the leg felt when I was swimming this morning.  It does feel more comfortable somehow. It feels straighter.  I did not ask about the details of what she was doing/had done because I did not want to involve my brain and my thinking, or my belief process in the treatment but I just wanted to simply have the limb manipulated and see what happened.

Bearing in mind that I have been working on my right leg for months, and have done what I am able to attempt to increase how straight it can be, including stretching it in the sauna, , plus yoga stretching and standing, and various other activities (with straight leg pressing the back of back of  knee into bed,etc) I am suitably impressed.   The fixed flexion deformity was only slight when noted last year, but all the same,  as far as I understand, it is not a good thing for the knee joint not be able to straighten well, as this I think puts more load on the patella.   From my perspective though, it was simply rather impressive and encouraging that it is possible to manipulate the limb in this way and I wasn’t expecting anything at all. Simply curious and interested.  So it was a positive experience and I plan to come back when I have got the “all clear” after the knee replacement operation, and offer up my leg for some manual treatment.  I do confess to being very keen to ensure that I make the best possible recovery, and that I make the most of my rehabilitation process and get a good outcome from the operation.

As said, I had not considered going to see an osteopath.  But, as I massaged my knee, for pain relief mainly, I felt not only that there had been nothing practically done in the area of physical manipulation, which I was surprised about, (because of the importance of all the surrounding structures), but also that my experience with my knee was effectively a whole body experience. The osteoarthritis, while the right knee has taken centre stage, is part of what is happening for me all round.   The knee joint itself is one part of that.  The best way for me to tell you the outcome is by posting the feedback letter I posted…As I have already written it!

Hello,

I would be very grateful if you would pass on this feedback from my recent appointment

Dear ………

I just wanted to say how pleased I feel after deciding to come along and see what an osteopathic approach might offer me and to see if I found it beneficial.

I had no particular expectations with respect to any treatment, but my own instincts from massaging my own knee and to thinking about the body in general (in relation to art, in fact…as a mechanism which needs balance in order to create harmony) and also my experience of doing Scarivelli inspired yoga over the last year prompted me to come along. I have walked past the other BSO building many times and had never thought about osteopathic treatment up until then.

While I have certainly appreciated the Physiotherapy I received at hospital, I was surprised and disappointed with respect to the absence of any physical manipulation. This just seemed logical to me. I ended up feeling that my knee was not actually being treated. While all the exercises, (which I have been doing for rather a long time) have improved my leg, it was important to me that when I have the bones of the knee treated surgically that I had an optimal state of leg!

After my treatment my leg felt fine, but I wasn’t expecting anything much to be different. However, I am pleased to say that my leg does feel more aligned…and more like the left one. I had noticed that their was something a bit different about the right one in terms of alignment but couldn’t quite put my finger on it… it was to do with the way it moved. I also am pleased to say that indeed, something has been released at the back and I can more comfortably straighten it.

It is a much better feeling to do the necessary exercises having had the structure of the leg adjusted. I have noticed that when I do my sit to stands there is less shaking in the quads…They are still shaking a bit of course, because weakened, but there is certainly less shaking. When I am swimming, it feels I am swimming more efficiently. I was getting a lot of “out of joint” ness (cannot think of a way to put it) when swimming “doggie paddle” which stopped me doing that style, and had just been sticking to the crawl, but so far I can now doggie paddle too.

I am most pleased about the way it can now lay straighter though. It might seem a small thing but it really bothered me, because I felt this cannot be helpful for the knee, and though my walking is much better than it was last June, when the ESP noted “a slight fixed flexion deformity (“right knee movement -5 to 110 degrees with springy end feel at both ends”) it was very good to have you actually addressing the matter directly. I had set myself to attempt to address this myself, as nothing was said or done about it when I then got referred on to another Physio at the hospital. I had expressed my concern about the way it was painful there when sitting in “staff pose” but the response was “Well, just don’t do it then”. But I believe that this is a good and healthy sitting position for me to take, for my whole body, not just my leg, and that I should be able to sit that way if I want to. Plus, I really enjoy the yoga I do and I wanted to be able sit like that! I also stretched the back of the right leg in the sauna weekly and in the pool, and in various other ways I could think of. But it is so nice that it feels less tight and much easier to do now. Thank you very much!

All in all, when I do my exercises the whole leg feels stronger and more efficient, and this is a really great experience for me, in the respect that I can now go and have my surgery knowing that things are as good as they can get in the other structures of my leg. I realise that the surgeon will upset things with the surgery, hopefully as little as possible…and that I will need to start all over with the rehab. But it makes sense for things to be as nicely in place as they can at the start and certainly the way the exercising is more effective is very encouraging. It worried me that even some of the simple post op exercises where so difficult for me pre-op, (ie lying down with left leg bent, then doing a low straight leg lift with the right, involved an awful lot of trembling!) and now they are easier, I feel more confident about my body’s ability to work through the whole experience successfully.

So thank you very much indeed, and I look forward to seeing you post op! What a shame that Physio’s are also not Osteopaths, for I would have been able to access this experience much earlier. But thank you for your treatment of me, and I will definitely be coming back.

Kind regards,

Jenny Meehan

 

Some general information gleaned on Osteopathy:

Osteopathy is a system of diagnosis and treatment for a wide range of medical conditions. It works with the structure and function of the body, and is based on the principle that the well-being of an individual depends on the skeleton, muscles, ligaments and connective tissues functioning smoothly together.

To an osteopath, for your body to work well, its structure must also work well. So osteopaths work to restore your body to a state of balance, where possible without the use of drugs or surgery. Osteopaths use touch, physical manipulation, stretching and massage to increase the mobility of joints, to relieve muscle tension, to enhance the blood and nerve supply to tissues, and to help your body’s own healing mechanisms. They may also provide advice on posture and exercise to aid recovery, promote health and prevent symptoms recurring.

The above is quoted from http://www.osteopathy.org.uk/visiting-an-osteopath/about-osteopathy/

and, a small extract quoted from

 OSTEOPATHIC PRINCIPLES AND PHILOSOPHY
by
Raymond J. Hruby, DO, MS, FAAO
Copyright 2000, 2007, 2014 by
Raymond J. Hruby, DO, MS, FAAO

We can define osteopathic medicine as a complete system of medical care with a
philosophy that combines the needs of the patient with the current practice of medicine,
surgery, and obstetrics; that emphasizes the interrelationship between structure and
function; and that has an appreciation of the body’s ability to heal itself. Based on this
definition, osteopathic medicine defines a distinctive set of tenets which osteopathic
physicians use to formulate their approach to patient care.5
These tenets are:
 A person is the product of dynamic interaction between body, mind, and
spirit
 An inherent property of this dynamic interaction is the capacity of the
individual for the maintenance of health and recovery from disease
 Many forces, both intrinsic and extrinsic to the person, can challenge this
inherent capacity and contribute to the onset of illness
 The musculoskeletal system significantly influences the individual’s
ability to restore this inherent capacity and therefore to resist disease
processes
From these tenets the osteopathic physician derives certain principles for patient care.
These principles state that 1) the patient is the focus for healthcare; 2) the patient has the
primary responsibility for his or her health; and 3) an effective treatment program for
patient care is founded on the above-mentioned tenets.
Thus the osteopathic physician uses a health-oriented and patient-centered
philosophy to implement the principles of osteopathic medicine in the care of the patient.
The osteopathic physician’s goals are to:
 Seek out and address the root cause(s) of disease using available evidence-based
approaches
 Optimize the patient’s self-regulating and self-healing capacities
 Provide an individualized patient management plan that includes emphasis on
health promotion and disease prevention
7
 Include palpatory diagnosis and osteopathic manipulative treatment to address the
somatic component of disease the extent that it influences the well-being of the patient.”

 

 

figure on uncertain ground print by jenny meehan

jenny meehan fine artist british female jamartlondon

Figure on Uncertain Ground © Jenny Meehan. All Rights Reserved

Figure On Uncertain Ground

This image was created by making a seated figure out of black plasticine, taking a image of this,  and then digitally collaging it on top of two translucent images taken from sections of two of my paintings “Debris” and “Rock Pool”.  ” Definition:  A ground or primer, is the background surface on which you paint. It is usually a coating which physically separates your painting from the support. It is the foundation of a painting, applied onto the raw canvas, paper, or other support.  I have described to you how this work was created to allay the uncertainty.  Yet the body, both material and immaterial, is floating, paradoxically with a sense of stability. 24 x 34cm  #1/25 Limited Edition with image size of 13 x 20cm with slight variations in colour within edition Framed in a black frame

 

pen and ink on torn paper unique print by jenny meehan jamartlondon

pen and ink on torn paper unique print by jenny meehan jamartlondon

Pen and Ink on a Torn Strip © Jenny Meehan. All Rights Reserved

Pen and Ink on a Torn Strip

I don’t wish to offer any text for this, except for this.  I have created this work to be my own recognition that hate violence is a prevalent and deadly issue for transgender communities.  It is also a physical expression of my prayers for healing, recovery, and improvement  in our broken world.

24x34cm external frame size.  Unique Digital Print on Paper  Framed in a black frame  with a black mount and glazed.

Knee, Knee, Knee

My knee, poor knee.  A wake up call to loose weight, and the weight is coming off.  But the pain is near constant and my introduction to the world of chronic pain suffering seems to be just too long.  It has been 16 months since the agonising introduction, which came on holiday in August 2015.  I insisted on carrying on walking even though the ache in my right knee screamed at me, and that was the start of an osteoarthritis “flare up” that never quite flared down.  But that right knee, since my full body weight landed on it in 2010, was  never quite the same again. Such a mistake not to go to A&E.  I think I did not go because of being in shock and not thinking straight.

Feeling like a caged bird.

I go for a  fifteen minute walk, but I pay for it later.

I cut down standing time in the day to just one or two hours maximum, and tried cutting out my exercise session, but that makes no difference.

Most nights I have pain.

But I can swim, and I love this.  If only I could swim around all the time.

I can write, which is good.

I can listen to the wise words which lovely people around me gift me with.

I can hope that it gets treated surgically…

And that makes things better, in the long run.

I do have a pair of socks with “walk” on the soles.

Thankfully, I can now look forward to a knee replacement.  This offers some hope of improvement at least.  Nothing guaranteed of course, and surgery always involves risk.  But a risk I am happy to take, for chance of even a moderate improvement.  What a reality check these last months have been.  How important it is not to overburden ones joints with excess weight.   Weight it was not designed to carry.  But I have been unkind to myself in the past.  Now I can train myself to be kind to my frame and burden it less with excess weight.

 

Interesting read below…. quoted from:

The Nature of the “In-Between”
in D.W. Winnicott’s Concept of Transitional Space
and in Martin Buber’s das Zwischenmenschliche
Laura Praglin

Here is some of the introduction, for a little background:

Introduction
Martin Buber (1878-1965), German Jewish social philosopher and theologian, and D.W. Winnicott
(1896-1971), British pediatrician and psychoanalyst, portray in vibrant detail the reality of
the “in-between”. Although contemporaries, they were separated by country and profession, and
did not know each other. Yet both set forth in their writings remarkably complementary views
concerning “in-between space”–the transitional area, to Winnicott, or das Zwischenmenschliche to
Buber. This is a meeting-ground of potentiality and authenticity, located neither within the self
nor in the world of political and economic affairs. In this space, one finds the most authentic
and creative aspects of our personal and communal existence, including artistic, scientific, and
religious expression.
The creative and moral implications of the “in-between” continue to resonate deeply,
and to claim the attention of recent scholars. Decades after their original contributions, we
witness an ongoing engagement of Buber and Winnicott within a variety of interdisciplinary
contexts. Fields as varied as philosophy, theology, politics, health care, communication, gender
studies, and psychology continue to employ the work of these two thinkers when grappling with
the themes of intersubjectivity, dialogue, and moral responsibility.”

And the section which interests me most, as a creative artist:

“Art and the Creative Process
For Winnicott, life itself is always expressed in symbol, for it plays an integral part in the formulation
and realization of transitional space. Yet, paradoxically, not even an artist creates entirely
new symbols and forms, only, like the child, discovers them. As a result, Winnicott remarks,
“creative living involves, in every detail of its experience, a philosophical dilemma–because, in
fact, in our sanity we only create what we find.”

Such creativity, declares Winnicott–whether artistic, religious, or scientific—is “the doing
that arises out of being.” Using Winnicott’s terms, we may say that the artist, for example,
expresses his/her being by constructing a framed, transitional area in which creativity finds expression.
The artist creates and recreates unconscious processes, and presents these in a manner
which resonate with our shared sense of symbols. By articulating these shared symbols, the artist
invites us into this intermediate area of experiencing. The poet, for example, chooses symbols
and images of a common language, and finds comfort not available in herself. S/he invites others
into this in-between space, beyond the merely private, subjective, or psychological, which serves
as a resting place between inner and outer reality, between psyche and culture. Through art,
therefore, one can move from the private to the social world. Readers find meaning as well, because
they now share in the capacity to articulate experience. Creative expression–through art,
philosophy, religion or mathematics—may thus resolve situations, and allow for new possibilities.
In this way, it is like the child’s experience in imaginative play.

Buber seems to agree that creativity and the discovery of form also occur in the realm
of the “in-between”. Maurice Friedman suggests that Buber views “a work of art is not the
impression of natural objectivity nor the expression of spiritual subjectivity. It is the witness of
the relation between the human substance and the substance of thing. Art is “the realm of ‘between’
which has become a form”: In the creative process, the artist discovers the potentialities
of form, as s/he encounters that which is over against the self. But form itself crystallizes into
structure, and thus non-immediacy:
[The artist] banishes it to be a ‘structure’. The nature of this ‘structure’ is to be freed for a timeless
moment” by meeting the work of art again, lifting the ban of distance or crystallization, and
clasps the form.”

As said, all the above is quoted from: The Nature of the “In-Between”
in D.W. Winnicott’s Concept of Transitional Space
and in Martin Buber’s das Zwischenmenschliche
Laura Praglin

and the full text may be read at: http://www.uni.edu/universitas/archive/fall06/pdf/art_praglin.pdf

WOW..How wonderful to read it put so clearly…The words have brought clarity to my own inclinations and floating feelings and ideas… So glad to have found this.

It is the witness of the relation between the human substance and the substance of thing.  Art is “the realm of ‘between’ which has become a form”.

I could never articulate, or rather define how things are for me in painting so well. Glad other minds can do this!

What a find!

“The poet, for example, chooses symbols
and images of a common language, and finds comfort not available in herself. S/he invites others
into this in-between space, beyond the merely private, subjective, or psychological, which serves
as a resting place between inner and outer reality, between psyche and culture. Through art,
therefore, one can move from the private to the social world. Readers find meaning as well, because
they now share in the capacity to articulate experience.”

“The Realm of Between” Painting by Jenny Meehan 

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

“The Realm of Between/Pushing it a bit” abstract lyrical expressionist british paintings jenny meehan

 

Thinking on this has clarified for me, among other things, my love of double titles for my work, as above, for example with “The Realm of Between/Pushing it a bit”.  To have two titles introduces a space between the concepts.  It helps to bring an awareness that the painting cannot be summed up, or encompassed, by language, which I like.  That is often the problem with titles. However, it is nice to suggest to others something of the thinking and reflection, of the approach maybe I have had, and people are interested. I always feel disappointed when paintings are titled “untitled”!  But to allude to any sense of the inbetwee-ness  is good.”

It reminds me of what I have read and thought of above, the “transitional space” which though it is not a space between one set of words and another, rather:

“a resting place between inner and outer reality, between psyche and culture.”

and 

“the capacity to articulate experience.”

in that;

“the artist, for example, expresses his/her being by constructing a framed, transitional area in which creativity finds expression. The artist creates and recreates unconscious processes, and presents these in a manner
which resonate with our shared sense of symbols. By articulating these shared symbols, the artist
invites us into this intermediate area of experiencing.

That’s a good space, a good place.

Also my recent clarity on defining myself (for the purposes of publication on the internet) as a “Painter-Poet and Artist-Author”.  Not only does it have a nice alliteration, always pleasing from a language perspective, but it does manage to encompass both the written and the visual aspects of my creative practice, which I do see as holding a very important and dynamic relationship.  And it seems to me that the space between the two is also a place of dynamic tension and creative potential.  Hard as it is to articulate with words, there is a kind of parallel or concurrent-ness which exists between word and image in what I do artistically.

In the end, it’s not about defining anything, but opening up experience.   Such is the purpose of this meandering discourse.  Whatever I write, think, and say about what I do, for the seer of one of my  paintings  it will evoke completely something unique for them, thankfully.

 “Art is “the realm of ‘between’ which has become a form”

Thoughts on Changing Style for an Artist

I have been thinking about my changing style of painting, and am rather amazed as I see my painting go through different phases.  It is as if I am watching it and don’t really have control over what is happening.  Though clearly I do, because it is me that makes the choices.  So there is partial control, just limited awareness!  It is very easy for artists to get screwed up about their work and where it is going, or rather, maybe we just get anxious about where it is taking us and fearful.  One of the good things about not being represented by a gallery is that there is no pressure to produce the same type of work in order to meet expectations.  Or classifications.  Or definitions.  Or all those “tions”!  Looking at an artist, for example, Helen Frankenthaler, when looking over the evolution of her work, the process of development can be seen, and the value of letting it happen appreciated.  This is from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Helen_Frankenthaler

“As a whole, Frankenthaler’s style is almost impossible to broadly characterize. As an active painter for nearly six decades, she went through a variety of phases and stylistic shifts.[11] Initially associated with abstract expressionism[12] because of her focus on forms latent in nature, Frankenthaler is identified with the use of fluid shapes, abstract masses, and lyrical gestures.[8][13] She made use of large formats on which she painted, generally, simplified abstract compositions.[14] Her style is notable in its emphasis on spontaneity, as Frankenthaler herself stated, “A really good picture looks as if it’s happened at once.” [6]

Frankenthaler’s official artistic career was launched in 1952 with the exhibition of Mountains and Sea.[15] Throughout the 1950s, her works tended to be centered compositions, meaning the majority of the pictorial incident took place in the middle of the canvas itself, while the edges were of little consequence to the compositional whole.[11] In 1957, Frankenthaler began to experiment with linear shapes and more organic, sun-like, rounded forms in her works.[8] In the 1960s, her style shifted towards the exploration of symmetrical paintings, as she began to place strips of colors near the edges of her paintings, thus involving the edges as a part of the compositional whole. With this shift in composition came a general simplification of Frankenthaler’s style.[11] She began to make use of single stains and blots of solid color against white backgrounds, often in the form of geometric shapes.[8] Beginning in 1963, Frankenthaler began to use acrylic paints rather than oil paints because they allowed for both opacity and sharpness when put on the canvas.[9] By the 1970s, she had done away with the soak stain technique entirely, preferring thicker paint that allowed her to employ bright colors almost reminiscent of Fauvism. Throughout the 1970s, Frankenthaler explored the joining of areas of the canvas through the use of modulated hues, and experimented with large, abstract forms.[11] Her work in the 1980s was characterized as much calmer, with its use of muted colors and relaxed brushwork.[8]”

Also Different Strands…

Some artists also find allowing different strands to develop in their work beneficial.  Using different materials will result in very different work.  I focus most on my paintings on my website jamartlondon.com, but have another strand of mostly black and white work, which is a mixture of digital collage and physical collage which has been steadily developing alongside my non objective painting.  “Pen and Ink on a Torn Strip” and “Figure on Uncertain Ground” which I posted at the outset of this post are examples of this work.  As I have developed and grown more comfortable with the insecurities which come with throwing myself into my work while simultaneously not having a clue about what will happen, I have become more accepting of diversity in my output, and it is the applying of my mind in reflecting on the work in progress, thoughtful consideration with a lot of pausing, and a lot of retrospective examination, which prove to most influential in determining what happens next I think.

Helen Frankenthaler Quotes

Helen Frankenthaler:

“A really good picture looks as if it’s happened at once. It’s an immediate image. For my own work, when a picture looks laboured and overworked, and you can read in it—well, she did this and then she did that, and then she did that—there is something in it that has not got to do with beautiful art to me. And I usually throw these out, though I think very often it takes ten of those over-labored efforts to produce one really beautiful wrist motion that is synchronised with your head and heart, and you have it, and therefore it looks as if it were born in a minute.”

“In relations with people, as in art, if you always stick to style, manners, and what will work, and you’re never caught off guard, then some beautiful experiences never happen.”

Here is a link to one of my favourite paintings by Helen Frankenthaler, Interior Landscape 1964…

https://www.wikiart.org/en/helen-frankenthaler/interior-landscape-1964

There is a selection of other paintings on that page also.

Christmas Design/Print “Holy, Holy, Holy”

This is not new, but I still love it for Christmas time!

This is my card to you for this year and probably for every year to follow!

jenny meehan, jennifer meehan,all saints church angels project design angel abstraction holy holy holy image jenny meehan

all saints church angels project design angel abstraction holy holy holy image jenny meehan

 

Help me pay for materials and continue my art working

Canvas, paint, all costs money.  Exhibitions charge submission fees.  Travel costs money.

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

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

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

Also, you could follow the Jenny Meehan Contemporary Artist’s Journal at WordPress and keep informed that way. 

Note About Following Jenny Meehan Contemporary Artist’s Journal 

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

You tube video with examples of photography, drawing and painting

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

Website Link for jamartlondon:  www.jamartlondon.com 

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

Help me continue art working

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

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

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

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

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

COPYRIGHT INFORMATION

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

Copyright and Licensing Digital Images Information – Jenny Meehan

www.jamartlondon.com

Copyright in all images by Jenny Meehan is held by the artist.
Permission must be sought in advance for the reproduction, copying or any other use of any images by Jenny Meehan. Individuals or businesses seeking licenses or permission to use, copy or reproduce any image by Jenny Meehan should, in the first instance, contact Jenny Meehan.

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

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

 

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

West Dean College Visit

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

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

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

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

 

 

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

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

jenny meehan charcoal drawing west dean college art contemporary

 

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

 

Paintings I like…

I like these paintings very much.

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

Text below is quoted from the above:

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

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

Sweet dreams that are being dreamed….

 

More Thoughts from other Artists:

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

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

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

Like this one too:

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

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

and this:

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

and this one, which I found particularly interesting:

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

Paintings in Progress….

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

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

jenny meehan waterfight mad moment abstract painting jamartlondon

 

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

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

General information about this type of paint…

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

St Julian of Norwich…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

Crystal Cluster Surface Pattern Design

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

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

© Jenny Meehan. All Rights Reserved, DACS

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

 

crystal cluster surface pattern design uk jamartlondon

crystal cluster surface pattern design uk jamartlondon

crystal cluster surface pattern design uk jamartlondon

crystal cluster surface pattern design uk jamartlondon

crystal cluster surface pattern design uk jamartlondon

crystal cluster surface pattern design uk jamartlondon

crystal cluster surface pattern design uk jamartlondon

crystal cluster surface pattern design uk jamartlondon

crystal cluster surface pattern design uk jamartlondon

crystal cluster surface pattern design uk jamartlondon

crystal cluster surface pattern design uk jamartlondon

crystal cluster surface pattern design uk jamartlondon

crystal cluster surface pattern design uk jamartlondon

crystal cluster surface pattern design uk jamartlondon

crystal cluster surface pattern design uk jamartlondon

crystal cluster surface pattern design uk jamartlondon

crystal cluster surface pattern design uk jamartlondon

crystal cluster surface pattern design uk jamartlondon

crystal cluster surface pattern design uk jamartlondon

crystal cluster surface pattern design uk jamartlondon

 

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

 

More Recent Painting

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

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

“River Journey” abstract lyrical expressionist british paintings jenny meehan

 

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

 

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

Harbour Painting abstract lyrical expressionist british paintings jenny meehan

 

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

Happy New Year 2016!

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

 

This looks good!

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

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

Text from the website:

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

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

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

Cannot wait!  Will have to…

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

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

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

Oh, these dark days!

Christmas tree lights are still very welcome and much enjoyed!

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

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

Beech Leaf

Pick me up from the pool…

Rescue me from

the depths and heights

of the skies.

Place me in your hand

and treasure me,

Then,

return me,

to my resting place.

 

 

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

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

jenny meehan jamartlondon photography

jenny meehan jamartlondon photography

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

copperleaf sculpture jenny meehan

 

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

New Year’s Resolutions?

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

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

 

Holocaust Memorial Day is coming soon

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

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

 

Faith and Art: Spirituality and Creativity working together

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

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

“Spirituality and the Pioneers of Modern Art

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

I seem to have fallen into creating meditative aids myself!

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

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

british collectable abstract paintings

 

british collectable abstract paintings

british collectable abstract paintings

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

below, wellspring two in progress…

 

 

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

 

 

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

More painting in progress images;

 

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

 

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

 

 

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

 

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

 

 

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

 

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

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

 

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

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

Jules Olitski (1922–2007) 

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

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

 

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

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

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

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

Pillar and Moon

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

Quote from the tate site:

Display caption

Paul Nash was deeply affected by his experiences as a soldier and an artist during the First World War. This picture was based around ‘the mystical association of two objects which inhabit different elements and have no apparent relation in life… The pale stone sphere on top of a ruined pillar faces its counterpart the moon, cold and pale and solid as stone.’Though not explicitly about mourning, the deep, unpopulated space and ghostly lighting gives the scene a melancholy air. Rather than depict a real landscape, Nash said that his intention had been ‘to call up memories and stir emotions in the spectator’.
July 2007

Follow the link to see the image.

My “Pillar and Moon” below.

"pillar and moon" paul nash painting imaginative interpretation,jenny meehan jamartlondon.com lyrical and geometric abstraction modern contemporary british female painter,process led painting uk,

 

Found this while doing some sorting, it’s 70cm by 50cm… has some lovely texture in it.  While in Paul Nash’s “Pillar and Moon”  I can share in the calling up memories and stirring emotions… very much an aim which has emerged in my painting, (though unexpectedly I have gone further into abstraction than I expected to),  in my “Pillar and Moon” the relationship between the two is less distant… “‘the mystical association of two objects which inhabit different elements and have no apparent relation in life… The pale stone sphere on top of a ruined pillar faces its counterpart the moon, cold and pale and solid as stone.’… He pulls them together in their almost parallel position at the top of his painting, so you know what he is doing there, but I have pulled mine into even closer relationship and because my painting is  more abstract, their material composition differences,  and the ground/sky relationship are lessened.  My moon is below the pillar even, and earthed with a brown which reaches towards the pillar, surrounded in blue, more resounding of sky than earth.

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

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

 

 

A Book of Silence….

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

and another quote from the letter she quotes..

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

…..

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

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

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

Watercolour Experiments 

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

Spiritual Direction/Guidance

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

New Redbubble art work…

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

 

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

 

For general look at my Redbubble portfolio go here:

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

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

Copyright and Licensing Digital Images Information – Jenny Meehan

www.jamartlondon.com

Copyright in all images by Jenny Meehan is held by the artist.
Permission must be sought in advance for the reproduction, copying or any other use of any images by Jenny Meehan. Individuals or businesses seeking licenses or permission to use, copy or reproduce any image by Jenny Meehan should, in the first instance, contact Jenny Meehan.
Any persons discovered to be reproducing, copying or using images by Jenny Meehan without prior consent, authorisation or permission will be put on notice that Jenny Meehan is the copyright owner and asked to immediately cease and desist the infringing activity. If a satisfactory response and / or compliance is not forthcoming promptly, the matter will be pursued. For clarification of the laws of copyright, please contact the Design and Artists Copyright Society (DACS). http://www.dacs.org.uk

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

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

 

 

Making my own watercolour paints

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I did find this also:

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

Janice writes:

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

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

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

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

and

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

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

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

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

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

 

and also this from the same piece:

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

There is some more information here also….

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

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

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

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

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

I also found this:

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

and these:

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

 

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

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

and this is an interesting read also:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

Not for me! 

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

“rights/entitlements

By submitting your application, you confirm that:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And if you must paint a cow…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

The Design and Artists Copyright Society

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

DACS
33 Old Bethnal Green Road
London E2 6AA

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

 

 

Back to the watercolours!

I DO LOVE WATERCOLOURS!

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

Making your own watercolour paint….

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

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

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

http://independent.academia.edu/GiovanniCasati

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

Anyway, back to the making your own watercolours..

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

And something else to skim over!

 

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

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

 

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

 

 

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

 

 

Information Sheet for Workshops 2015/16.
General “Drop In Drawing/Painting” (Monthly, on a Friday or Wednesday Afternoon, for 2 hours) All abilities.
If you are interested in coming along to this regular small group from time to time contact me via the contact for on my website:

www.jamartlondon.com
This is not a pre-planned, structured teaching environment with specific defined learning objectives, but involves me opening my house to a maximum of three people, and making myself available to you. People let me know the week before (or earlier) if they will be coming, on a one-off basis. As a trained teacher and experienced artist I am in a good position to mentor you and assist you in developing your own creative direction. Individual attention not possible in larger teaching situations make this a golden opportunity for personal creative development. It is friendly and supportive group, and offers you sensitive feedback, engaging activity, elements of challenge, and most importantly the emphasis is on you developing your own personal direction with your art working. My suggested donation is £10 – £15 per person. This enables me to invest my time in this way.  The group number is kept small, with 3 or less participants.

 

 

 

 

Art Fund Raising for Straight Talking…

 

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

Exhibition runs from then until 3rd January 2016.

 

http://www.straighttalking.org/

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

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

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

 

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

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

116 Douglas Road
Surbiton
Surrey
KT6 7SB

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

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

 

Court Farm Cafe

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

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

Singing in the Rain

Lyrical abstract painting… This is the final…

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

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

Singing in the Rain Images taken when in progress:

 

 

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

Yeah,  I like taking pictures of my paintings!

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

 

Resurrection Two –  Painting in Progress

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

Resurrection Two Painting:

 

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

british collectable abstract paintings

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

 

 

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

 

Yoga Inhale and Yoga Exhale paintings.

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

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

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

yoga inhale yoga breathing inspired abstract painting by jenny meehan

 

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

yoga exhale yoga breathing inspired abstract painting by jenny meehan

 

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

 

November Thoughts

We should all be hibernating!

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

 

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

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

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

About Edel McClean

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

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

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

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

Back to the hibernating…

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

 

General Information on Jenny Meehan:

Artist’s Statement (sketchy overview, rather!)

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

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

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

 

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

 

 

As ever, a LOOOONG title:

Spiritual Direction/Guidance…What is it? – Franz Marc – Past and Present Paintings – A Letter in Mind – The Art of Journey – Chakra Dance type Paintings – Artists and Open Exhibition Submission Fees/Payments

As ever, skim as you will, like water boatmen on the surface of the water!

Well…

I am enjoying the spiders busy making their webs…How clever they are!

Due to a nasty osteoarthritis flare up (I now understand what it was!) I have been rather disabled physically, and in a lot of pain.  Now I can walk again, though not for a long time, I hope to get around to visit some more galleries in London once more, though the toilet is pretty much the only place I have been visiting recently!!!!

I never would have expected so much pain, both day and night, was possible.  A good incentive to loose weight.

This has confined me to a period of hobbling around the house, however, I have done many useful tasks on the computer and also spent time reviewing some of the paintings from earlier on in the year.  Painting activities will now involve a lot of contemplation and not much mark making.  Some of my process led paintings take a year to complete.  They must not be rushed and I would rather keep something unresolved and come back to it rather than push it forward if it feels like it is going downhill.  Sometimes things have to crash before they come to life, however, it feels so much more rewarding for a painting to just float along, and take the time, space and thought that it needs.

Here are some recently resolved paintings:

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

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

 

I will experiment with the mounting of this one.

And this has come together well:

 

drop in the ocean painting jenny meehan romantic lyrical abstraction expressionist abstract fine painting drop in the ocean painting jenny meehan

british collectable abstract paintings

 

That’s going to be called “Jesus Calms the Storm/A Drop in the Ocean”.  I like more than one title.  I often have two things floating around in my head when I reflect back on paintings recently completed.  Why restrict the title to one thing?

That will do for now…but more coming soon!   Colour is welcome in Winter, and I have enjoyed the dance of colour and light I have taken part in this year!

 

Spiritual Direction/Guidance

When I googled recently “spiritual guide” the main thing which appeared was either to do with having some kind of spirit guide or having a guru/shaman type person… Neither of these reflect my use of the term Spiritual Direction or Spiritual Guidance, as I use the term in within the context of the Christian tradition, which seems to be something that people in the Catholic church are more familiar with, though in the Anglican tradition the role of a Spiritual Director/Mentor is also quite well established.  Though I have had a committed faith in Christ for years, I only came across the term “Spiritual Director” in the last few years…  And now I find I am training in this area.  The idea behind the “Director” part isn’t that you are told where to go/what to do, by the way, it is rather that your spiritual guide/mentor seeks with you to find out how the Holy Spirit is working and directing you in your life…It is rather a case of finding out which way the wind blows or the water flows with you!  It is a service ideally completely dependent on the Holy Spirit, the aim of it being to encourage insight, wisdom and help someone in gaining their own sense of direction.

Many people would like to grow in the way that they relate to God, and something like a Spiritual Direction session once every few months could be very helpful.  Having recognised how much my own faith has been encouraged through one-to-one input, the opportunity for contemplation, reflection, and discussion, about things which compose this life of mine, I feel quite keen to be of some use to others in this way.  I am still training right now, and enjoying the process very much.

Here is a good description!

“What is a spiritual director?
A spiritual director is someone who offers a safe space where he/she can help us explore and reflect on our relationship with God, however fragile that may seem.
Over a period of time we share our faith story with this trusted person, in confidence. We bring the things that mean the most to us, including our hopes, dreams and struggles.
Each one of us meets God in our own everyday experience, sometimes we just need a little guidance and help to recognise it, and celebrate it.
Who becomes a spiritual director?
Ordinary people who have journeyed through the ups and downs of life, and who feel called to this ministry.
They are from all walks of life. Most spiritual directors have extensive training and experience, and are excellent listeners.
They offer time, attention, acceptance and encouragement.
So where did the idea of spiritual guidance come from?
Since the time of the early Desert Fathers in the 3rd Century, spiritual guidance has been part of the tradition of the church.
A growing number of people are rediscovering how helpful it can be in today’s busy, confusing world to have someone to walk alongside them on their journey of faith.
“Where two or three have gathered in my name, there I am in the midst of them”. (Matthew 18: 20)
So is spiritual direcdtion/guidance for the super-spiritual only?
No. It is for anyone who is interested in drawing closer to God. God seeks us where we are.
How can spiritual guidance help me?
As a relationship of trust with this spiritual companion builds over a period of time, there will be opportunities to explore and develop ways of praying, meditation and reflection that may be helpful.
Through a more developed self-knowledge, we can become more aware of God’s grace and movement in our daily lives. A good guide can bring a different perspective to issues, both pat and preent, that we may have been grappling with for some time.
As we speak more honestly and openly about ourselves and our struggles, we can grow more open to God. This greater transparency can lead to a growing sense of God’s presence in all things, and a more grateful heart.
There is help and support in making dificult choices, which can be helpful in the decision-making process.”

The above text was taken from: http://www.holyangelsash.org/noticeboard/diocesan-events/

 

Franz Marc

 

Oh yes,  Another artist’s work which has inspired me along the way…

Franz Marc (February 8, 1880 – March 4, 1916) was a German painter and printmaker, one of the key figures of the GermanExpressionist movement. He was a founding member of Der Blaue Reiter (The Blue Rider), a journal whose name later became synonymous with the circle of artists collaborating in it.”

 

 

franz marc creation woodcut

franz marc creation woodcut

Working with design in black and white is very, very difficult.  I was amazed how challenging it was when I attempted it a few years back.  To keep the balance in the work is hard, but this woodcut is a super example of someone accomplished in the balancing act of artistic creation!

 

 

 

 

Images from the Wiki page..

The one above makes me think of  Max Beckmann, another favourite of mine.  I have some woodcutting tools and keep meaning to try it, but this may be a later endeavour I think, due to other demands on time and the need to continue to push the painting forward as a priority.

 

The Storyteller

I’m posting this older work of mine because it involves recognisable objects and I find it useful to reflect on how I decided to render them.  An awareness and thought on the matter is still relevant to my current work, even though non-objective, because paintings is a way of thinking…an approach, a venture into an unknown future, even if the future is only five minutes away, what makes one do this, and not that, is worth consideration.  I often look back and the choices I made in the past inform the present work, even if it looks totally different.

psychotherapy and art, psychoanalysis art painting, carl jung artwork, carl jung the storyteller oil painting jenny meehan

the storyteller oil painting jenny meehan

I was thinking about Carl Jung and his work with the imagination, and the belief that the  foundations of personality are archaic, primitive, innate, unconscious, and universal.  He believed that every human being or human personality has a story to tell. and that derangement comes when individuals are denied the chance to tell their story or the story is rejected.  This painting was painted from the  imagination, rather than from observation.

 

bosham landscape view painting jenny meehan

bosham landscape view painting jenny meehan

 

This painting however was painted from observation.  I painted it with rather wet feet…and kept sinking into the ground when painting as the land was rather boggy and wet!  Bosham is in West Sussex, UK.  This painting was purchased by a collector very quickly indeed, which was pleasing!  It came out well…I was experimenting with my style, and as said, this work informs even the work of the present.   I remember being fascinated by the stillness of the water, which was disturbed at one point by a lady taking a small boat out onto it.  She had a dog with her who also splashed around.   It was a lovely hot sunny day and the paint is thinly applied onto primed hardboard, which worked well.   I wonder if I have this experience in mind when I worked on the series of Boat house paintings…Though I don’t know the location of the building I painted…I didn’t take enough note of the exact geographic location!

Recent Exhibitions

Other Exhibitions coming up in 2015:

A Letter in Mind – The Art of Journey, Gallery@oxo
Oxo Tower Wharf
Bargehouse Street
South Bank
London SE1 9PH

From 8th October until 18th October. This is a charity exhibition with artworks being sold for £80 each. The National Brain Appeal will benefit from your purchase! Entry is free.

 

Here’s the blurb from the website:

A huge thank you to everyone who submitted an artwork for this year’s exhibition – which runs from 8 to 18 October at gallery@OXO in London.

The Art of a Journey invited artists to respond visually to a journey that they have experienced: whether emotional, psychological, real or imagined – using a simple envelope as their starting point. The concept of a journey is specifically relevant to artists as it mirrors the production and culmination of an artwork.
Our aim is to raise awareness of neurological conditions through artistic questioning as patients at The National Hospital embark on their own personal journeys.
Submissions have come from established and emerging names in the worlds of art and design, architecture, illustration, graphic design, film and the dramatic arts; the envelopes have been built in, drawn on, painted, written on, cooked, wired, collaged, sewn and had artworks sealed inside them! This year’s international entries have come in from all over the world including Ireland, Belgium, Spain, USA and even Venezuela!
We are delighted to announce a selection of our artists: Grayson Perry and Billy Childish, Gill Rocca and Natasha Kidd, Harry Pye – artist and magazine editor, Horace Panter – artist and bassist for The Specials – actors Joanna David, Phyllida Law and Kevin Eldon and comedian Jo Brand, illustrators Polly Dunbar, Chris Haughton and Tim Hopgood, BP Portrait Award winner, artistic director of the Royal Drawing School Catherine Goodman and contemporary British architects Professor Will Alsop and Amina Taha (to name but a few)! Alongside our supporters, students, designers, drawing clubs and the general public have also shared their extra-ordinary talent in aid of The National Brain Appeal.
All of the artworks are now being processed and photographed and will be available to view from September in our online gallery.”

Link to the gallery is here:

http://www.nationalbrainappeal.org/letter-in-mind-gallery-shop/

Can you guess which one is mine?  Last year’s sold, so I am hoping this year is the same, as it will help the charity!

 

Also, in November:

Challenging Behaviour Foundation Exhibition, Sun Pier House, Sun Pier, Medway Street, Chatham, Kent, ME4 4HF
3 November 2015 – 29 November 2015

And ones which have just been: 

Brighton Sussex University Hospitals Trust National Transplant Week 2015 (7th-13th September) public art exhibition in Brighton UK at the Brighton Jubilee Library Jubilee St, Brighton, East Sussex BN1 1GE. Items 13 and 14 were my donations… Bidding is open!

Jenny Meehan’s donation can be found on page 10 of the following publication:

http://issuu.com/anatomyforlife/docs/afl_artist_statements_2015/12?e=9456284/15283286

To bid, go to the Ebay store, here’s the facebook link:
https://www.facebook.com/AnatomyForLife/app_149115948441659

‘The Story So Far’, organised by Acton Arts Forum, at W3 Gallery, 185 Acton High Street, W3 9DJ . From 1 July to 14th July 2015.

http://www.w3gallery.org.uk/index.php/what-s-on

I hope this gallery continues… I think it was closing and the exhibition I was in was the last one!  This is tragic if it is the case.  Artists need affordable ways to show their work.  All the above were free to exhibit…  I simply cannot afford to pay £25 here and there for a chance… I mean a chance to show my work.  Submission fees don’t mean that artists definitely get their work shown…You pay anyway, just to submit…  This is the terrible truth, and it is quite frankly wrong.  Most of the general public are not aware of this fact.

FREE for the public AND  FREE for the Artist!

Artists are being used to help organisations make money.  Artists should only pay if their work is shown in open call competitions, and  if so, the fee should be minimal.  I mean, minimal, under £10.  (a true admin fee, could be justified!)  The whole system is at fault really.  It favours those who have disposable income to spend on their art working aspirations.  I choose one or two paid submission opportunities each year, at the most, and when submitting I wave bye bye to the money knowing it will never return to me.  I simply hope that I sell a painting at some point in the year which might pay for it.   I also dislike the way that commission is taken for this kind of exhibition…it is quite uncalled for,  and shouldn’t really be applied. It means that the buyer has to pay more, because the artist has to make the price higher knowing that 30 or 40% will be taken off if it does sell.  And the higher price means it will be less likely to sell!   It is a different matter if an artist has a contract with a gallery, in that case, the gallery is actually working for the artist in order to promote them and the artist gets benefits from this.    Thankfully there are alternatives…but not as many as would be great to have.  Other buildings and venues can be used to show art, and that is pretty much the way to go I think.   I sometimes have a rant about this.  It helps a bit.  Bear in mind I have a lot of un exhibited work here in my home and studio, and that is not because I don’t want to show it.  The internet helps, at least it can be seen.  However, it’s much better to see artwork in the flesh.

Every now and again I have this very same rant.  And I will continue to do so, as it lets of a tiny bit of steam!  There are some cafes, bars, pubs, hotels, churches, and community buildings  etc who will have work hung for free and more of this needs to happen.  Giving the organisation 20% of work if it is sold seems to work out well for all concerned.  However, some organisations, seeing this as an opportunity to make money, have taken to emulating the open call/competition status quo, and ask artists to pay to exhibit, even though they are not a gallery in the true sense of the word.  That stinks.   Let’s be clear about this… They get lovely free artwork hung for all to enjoy… ie decoration, in the finest sense, if one wants to be utilitarian about it.  The artists get to show their work, yes… But generally that is all they get from it… the odd sale might occasionally happen, but they do the work….     Organisations will find that artists are generally very helpful and co-operative with respect to consultation about hanging equipment, and together the practicalities can be worked out for mutual benefit.

I have had several exhibitions in community spaces, ie theatre and community arts centres, and they have worked to the benefit of both parties, with no charge being made to exhibit.  Only sold two pieces, over a total of five exhibitions, mind you!   I personally am not in a position where I can pay to hold an exhibition,  and the vast majority of artists are in the same position as me…particularly in the current climate.  Even when we get together, it can still cost a couple of hundred to show work.. That’s just crazy!  Sweep out of you mind the few successful and prominent artists who catch the media’s eye and may create an image of money being no object, and of no concern to the “true artist”, and instead replace this with the reality of lots of lovely art work and lovely artists who cannot simply show what they do to as many people as they would like to.  If we want to educate the community about art and artists, then there needs to be a greater range of art and artists available to enjoy.  FREE for the public AND  FREE for the Artist!   At the current time,  I am donating more of my work than doing anything else…I am pleased to do this to some extent, because sometimes  I would rather donate a piece of work than pay a submission fee to show my work…though I have in the past viewed the submission fee as a kind of donation if it is for an organisation which I wish to support.  However, artists do need money in exchange for their work if they are to buy materials and pay for travel costs, and suchlike.   Do people think we just like showing it, because we want to show it off?  No, we do not.  We want to sell it because we don’t want a house full of our own work, we want other people to own it and enjoy it, and we would like money for our work, as this is an investment in us and what we do.  It says  “This Matters”.    And rant is not over… but I will pause in it for now!!!!

I feel the need to post my “Yoga Inhale” and “Yoga Exhale” as I take a deep breath… So here they are!!!

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

yoga inhale yoga breathing inspired abstract painting by jenny meehan

 

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

yoga exhale yoga breathing inspired abstract painting by jenny meehan

Looking at these, I thought of dancing chakras!  (in Indian thought) each of seven centres of spiritual power in the human body.   Though not a familiar tradition of thought for me,   I am sure there are various understandings and believes about chakras which I wouldn’t share in, but energy and life do run through us, and might well be thought of/understood  as different colours.   As an artist, those colours wouldn’t be limited to rainbow colours… there are too many colours/variations of the same colour,  for things to be that simple.  I dislike labelling one colour as this and one colour as that…It just goes against the grain when you work with colours/light perceptions with paint.  Working with colour and seeing how acute the tiniest adjustment can be, and also how colours affect one another, it’s very hard to reduce things to a series of seven colours.  However,  I am ignorant in the matter, not having spent any time looking into it, so apologise for my limited understanding! I think the colour aspect is just one tiny bit.    I also don’t have any sustained interest in chakra theories  themselves, as I am more interested in painting… Though I do LIKE the idea of my coloured blobs and areas being representative of things going on in the human being.  For me, the colours are related to feeling and emotion.  I wouldn’t want to start naming things though.  It is the whole effect of the completed painting which is the expression.  It’s not about analysing different parts.   It might be that I am painting a kind of chakra dance in the sense that I am concerned with balancing out the painting in an aesthetic formal sense and using the areas of colours as the matter with which I work with.

There is a huge amount of different beliefs and thoughts regarding chakras of which I know nothing of, and I am investing my time and self into manipulating paint…this is my “healing art”, I guess, and this, and any other healing I get, I see as coming straight from the grace of God, through the work of Christ Jesus. The truest source of my being, and the light of life! When I am doing yoga and we focus on different parts, I embrace the sense of it, think of the colour if referred to,  and resolve to open up all parts of myself to the Holy Spirit.  For I am known in Christ, through and through, and all the mysteries of God are revealed in God incarnate, that is Christ, and Christ in me.

But some Christians have terribly fear induced and extreme ideas about anything which is a bit of a mystery to them, and chakras and any thoughts around that area are thought of as demonic in some Christian circles.  I have the belief that there is a lot of wisdom around, and that the Holy Spirit can guide us with discernment as to what will be beneficial to us and what will not be.  People are all different, and what is OK for some won’t be OK for others.   We feel comfortable with different things, and uncomfortable with others, and have our own sense of integrity as to what is good and true.  (I am not talking about behaviours/morality here, rather beliefs).   I believe that all truth belongs to God… and it is he who reveals his knowledge and insights, and gives them to people… all people can receive insights which come from the Spirit of God, whatever their beliefs or non-beliefs. What is problematic is things like manipulation, people controlling other people,  cults or cultish-ness (not a word!)and deception and lies.  These are the real dangers in life…and happen across the board, in all religious and belief systems.  Holding different beliefs and thinking different things about stuff, having different understandings and theories about things, isn’t a problem at all.  It is the fruit of our lives and the way we behave, how we relate to ourselves and to others, which tend to be more revealing.

A working definition for chakra might be that they are thought to be “centres of energy, located on the mid-line of the body. There are seven of them, and they govern our psychological properties.”  Both transmitters and receivers of energy, the idea is that in order to be healthy the chakras and meridians will be balanced.  Sometimes blockages and instabilities cause problems.  For me, thinking about how paintings work, and how unresolved areas need balancing out for the painting to have the beauty and harmony of a well balanced composition, I can relate to this idea quite well.  We do run on energy, and there are pathways for blood, nerves, lymph, so there could easily be pathways for energy too.  We are infused with God’s divine energy, “In him we live and move and have our being”.  You get my drift!  It’s possible that chakras are spiritual energy centres…and I know from when I have received healing prayer in the past, that it is possible to feel the flow of God’s energy moving around in the body!  A long time ago I was prayed for and felt a strong current of energy moving up and down both my legs…There was no imagination in that at all.  (in the John Wimber era!)  Recently someone prayed for my knee, and I felt something very definite going on then too, though in that case it was pain I felt, however, afterwards there was improvement.  God can release energy into our bodies, and that energy would flow around in paths, I should think.

What IS important to me as a committed Christian,  is that I wouldn’t ever limit God into being a mass of energy, or something impersonal, ie just a force.  A vital part of my own perspective and faith is that God is a personable, personal, compassionate and loving God, with an interest in relating to us, his lovely creations, in a very intimate and personal way.  I’m not into many of the associated beliefs and thinking which come with chakras, (as far as I know, and I don’t know a lot! ) and the Saviour of the world isn’t an energy field,  but neither do I think one should reject everything just because it is unfamiliar, and not part of one’s tradition.  We all have a lot to learn.

 

Peacock Image

This image was taken at Kew Gardens a few years back.  It is digitally manipulated, but not as much as one would think…

As a painter, my interests lie very much in light, colour, and such matters, so the feathers of a peacock are very inspiring.  Here’s some info from Wiki:

“As with many birds, vibrant iridescent plumage colours are not primarily pigments, but structural coloration. Optical interference Bragg reflections based on regular, periodic nanostructures of the barbules (fiber-like components) of the feathers produce the peacock’s colours. Slight changes to the spacing of these barbules result in different colours. Brown feathers are a mixture of red and blue: one colour is created by the periodic structure and the other is created by a Fabry–Pérot interference peak from reflections from the outer and inner boundaries. Such structural coloration causes the iridescence of the peacock’s hues since interference effects depend on light angle rather than actual pigments.[2]

peacock feathers, colour image of peacock, colour image graphic peacock, peacock plumage digital image by Jenny Meehan

peacock plumage digital image by Jenny Meehan

 

http://www.redbubble.com/people/jennyjimjams/works/16696815-peacock-showing-plumage-full-colour-digital-image-from-jenny-meehan

 

I’ve just put that up on Redbubble, if you fancy seeing it on something you own, or as a picture on the wall!

 

As usual, a very eclectic assortment of random things which have caught my interest…Skim over in that “facebook” kind of way and stop where you will!

 

giuseppe passeri,web christ falling beneath the weight of the cross

giuseppe passeri ,web christ falling beneath the weight of the cross

 

Another post… As always, this is rather like an open journal…So I have been unconcerned if I ramble on… Yet you have the power of skimming as fast as you want and scrolling as furiously as you need to in order to avoid reading anything which is not a good use of time for you right now!  And….. YOU CAN JUST LOOK AT THE PICTURES!   So off I go!

Giuseppe Passeri (12 March 1654 – 2 November 1714) was an Italian painter of the Baroque period, active in his native city of Rome.

This drawing “Christ falling beneath the weight of the cross” by Giuseppe Passeri  is a wonderful example of drawing, and when I look at drawings like this I do feel only awe!  True masters of the art of drawing can only inspire…  There is so much emotion in all those bodies, the forms  radiate emotion…   Not including the human form in much of my work right now, but apart from abstraction, it is  my other main interest.   I cannot credit this image as I took a photo of it from a book years ago and cannot remember the details!

Drop In Drawing

If you fancy trying your own fair hand to a spot of Drawing, then remember that I do hold a once a month “Drop in Drawing/Painting” group on either a Wednesday or Friday afternoon, once a month.  Contact me via my website www.jamartlondon.com  for more information if you are interested in this.   Here’s a little more information:
“I won’t be planning a structured session but I am there to help people on a one-to-one basis with achieving their own objectives.
Many people just come now and again, so the more people who know about it the better. Please do mention to anyone you know who might be interested in trying something visually creative as the session is suitable for all abilities, from beginner to advanced, due to the emphasis on individual tuition.
You do need to bring your own materials and equipment. If you need some advice about what to bring, just email me and I can give you some guidance. I normally have a few additional resources available, if need be, ie, pencils and paper, chalk pastels and poster paint.
The idea of holding these sessions is that I am available to help you to develop your own projects and ideas. I will be there to add my technical and practical input, and help you by discussing your direction and the difficulties which may be encountered along the way, if you so require. As to what you actually do, this could be from drawing from the imagination, copying something from life, designing something abstract, or making a collage of text and images. Or simply experimenting and exploring what it is like to use a particular material or method of drawing.
I will provide some ideas if people like, but anticipate people coming along with some idea of what they might like to do beforehand. However, just a vague idea is just fine! If you want to use paint, then of course, certainly do, however, for practical reasons, you might need to work outside if you are painting on a medium to large scale and the group is running to full capacity.
These workshop style session will give you plenty of individual input and opportunities for feedback, discussion, and analysis, as you consider ways of developing your own direction. I also offer individual tuition in oil painting, painting with acrylics, and drawing which can be arranged if you wish. ”

I haven’t held any structured art classes (ie with set activities/objectives and/or areas of focus for the group as a whole)  for ages because I have found that though they are great fun to plan (nice to use my teacher training and experience in this respect!) with a small group of four people (which is all I can accommodate) it makes more sense to offer a kind of individual tuition/workshop style approach and let people go off in their own direction completely!  People also learn a lot from listening and seeing what is going on and talking and sharing some aspects of  what they are doing, (if they wish)  which is encouraged.

Inclusive Church Movement

Quote from the Inclusive Church website:

“Inclusive Church was born on 11th August 2003 at St Mary’s Putney, at a Eucharist attended by over 400 people. The cause of this gathering was the deep unease felt by many within the Church of England regarding the resignation of The Rev’d Dr Jeffrey John as Bishop of Reading.

Working with individuals and partner organisations we seek to raise awareness about the ways that people feel excluded by the church.

An on-line Petition was set up requesting assent to a Declaration of Belief. The response was immense and we soon reached nearly 10,000 signatories. On 15th September 2003 a small group of supporters met to consider this overwhelming response, and concluded that Inclusive Church was here to stay.

Over time this group has met and developed. We are now “…a network of individuals and organisations whose make-up reflects the breadth and scope of the Church of England and beyond. We come from differing traditions and differing locations but we are united in one aim: To celebrate and maintain the traditional inclusivity and diversity of the Anglican Communion”

We work closely with a large number of organisations. The partnership work which has emerged over the past few years is very valuable – we work with, among others, the Association of Black Clergy, Women and the Church, the Group for the Rescinding of the Act of Synod, Lesbian and Gay Christian Movement, Changing Attitude, Affirming Catholicism, the Society of Catholic Priests, Accepting Evangelicals, Courage, Modern Church, Progresssive Christianity Network and Integrity (US).

Inclusive Church is so much more than a single issue organisation. We are committed to working for a church that is welcoming and open to all. We welcome other partnerships. If you would like to work with Inclusive Church please contact us”

http://inclusive-church.org.uk/about-us

I’ve included this because I stumbled on the following article on facebook recently, and it got me thinking about what a blessing being open to change is, and how important it is that those people who start to explore the possibility that God might actually be inclusive in all respects, realise that they are part of a very positive movement, and that there is a lot of help and resources around to draw from, as they consider themselves where they are in relation to all that is happening at the moment.   Here is the post below:

This is a very well written post on the LGBT/Christian debate, which will be a helpful read in exploring thinking around the matter.

https://julierodgers.wordpress.com/2015/07/13/an-update-on-the-gay-debate-evolving-ideas-untidy-stories-and-hopes-for-the-church/#comments

Yoga

I have just started some FREE sessions of Yoga with the Our Parks scheme:  http://www.ourparks.org.uk/.  Well, it’s amazing!  I am enjoying it immensely and finding it very beneficial…already…. I have only been to two sessions!  I have been trying out things at home a bit which has helped me to get into it too.   I have found that, even though I have been working for three years on trauma recovery with my psychotherapist (lots of adverse childhood/early life experiences!) my body more often than not, full of tension, and still feels constantly uptight.  It’s odd, because I know I don’t come across as an uptight person in  any other sense, but my body seems to hold the fight/flight thing in itself rather dearly!

I found with the Yoga practice a lot of releasing of tension, and it was rather liberating.  I think it must be the whole thing of connecting your body with your mind more, because this feeling of distance/disconnection between the two is something which I have been living with for a long time. So much so, that when I walked back from my first Yoga session, I couldn’t quite believe how I felt so integrated.  This is a huge deal for me. It might seem rather too soon for me to feel such positive effects on the one hand, but when I consider things which are particularly resonant for me, ie  I did ballet from the age of 5 to 15, and the whole thing of me focusing on my body and movements brings to me to a place of re-connecting with my body/self which is emotionally profound.  It helped me to see how much over all physical sensation and  body awareness I have lost… The main physical sensation I have let lead me has been my stomach (I expect this has contributed no doubt to the whole over eating thing!), and now I am thinking that if I focus on other areas of my body, I might well end up a little more well balanced, and possibly less overweight?

The second session made me cry a bit (after the session)… not because of pain, I hasten to add, (there was some discomfort at times, but not pain!)  but because of some of the mental blocks I faced, some of the self-judgement and having to accept my body as it is now, rather than hark back to my ballet days.  It is pretty hard to realise that you used to spin around en-pointe and now you cannot even lift one leg up for a tiny amount of time and balance for one second!  Well, good for humility, I guess.  And will crush any spirit of competitiveness, for sure!!!  However, though I may struggle, and feel challenged physically, mentally and emotionally, I will certainly push on through.  Body injuries in various places/over-sized body/post traumatic self and wounded spirit, yes, … Here I come, you are all mine, we will go for it!

When I started psychotherapy in 2012, one of the most helpful things my therapist pointed me towards was that deeper kind of breathing,  something I tend to think of as baby breathing, (not sure why?) but it’s called “diaphragmatic breathing”, oh, thank you Wiki:

Diaphragmatic breathing, abdominal breathing, belly breathing or deep breathing is breathing that is done by contracting the diaphragm, a muscle located horizontally between the chest cavity and stomach cavity. Air enters the lungs and the belly expands during this type of breathing.

This deep breathing is marked by expansion of the abdomen rather than the chest when breathing. It is considered by some to be a healthier way to breathe, and is considered by some a useful form of complementary and alternative treatment.

Diaphragmatic Breathing is also known scientifically as Eupnea, which is a natural and relaxed form of breathing in all mammals. Eupnea occurs in mammals whenever they are in a state of relaxation, ie when there is no clear and present danger in their environment.”

Interesting last line there…with accumulated trauma related stress in your life,  the whole thing of doing anything which is a natural thing to do when there is “no clear and present danger in their environment”  is immensely appealing… that made me smile and laugh when I read that!

Well,   using that kind of breathing over the last few years has been very helpful, essential, I would say, at times of flashback/anxiety/panic attack especially, and also helpful to use in the psychotherapy session when things were overwhelming, and I needed to breath in order to stay present during trauma therapy…It helps you stay grounded.   It was this positive experience with breathing in this way, plus my past ballet training (which did use some yoga stretches, so I felt kind of comfortable with it as a form of physical training…) which made my ears prick up when I found I could try it out!  I am so glad I did.

I plan to devise a kind of Yoga-Ignation Examen combo practice!   I have been using the Ignation Examen for a while.. I must confess normally just two or three times a week, though the aim was every day!  Here’s a quick description, quoted from the ignatianspirituality.com website:

This is a version of the five-step Daily Examen that St. Ignatius practiced.
1. Become aware of God’s presence.
2. Review the day with gratitude.
3. Pay attention to your emotions.
4. Choose one feature of the day and pray from it.
5. Look toward tomorrow.
– See more at: http://www.ignatianspirituality.com/ignatian-prayer/the-examen#sthash.yquODWgJ.dpuf

So you can see it’s  very much an examination of consciousness.

“The Daily Examen is a technique of prayerful reflection on the events of the day in order to detect God’s presence and discern his direction for us. The Examen is an ancient practice in the Church that can help us see God’s hand at work in our whole experience.
The method presented here is adapted from a technique described by Ignatius Loyola in his Spiritual Exercises. St. Ignatius thought that the Examen was a gift that came directly from God, and that God wanted it to be shared as widely as possible. One of the few rules of prayer that Ignatius made for the Jesuit order was the requirement that Jesuits practice the Examen twice daily—at noon and at the end of the day. It’s a habit that Jesuits, and many other Christians, practice to this day.”
– See more at: http://www.ignatianspirituality.com/ignatian-prayer/the-examen#sthash.yquODWgJ.dpuf

The following is a deeper explanation, just an extract quoted from:  George Aschenbrenner, SJ  From Consciousness Examen, part of the Somos Católicos series 

Examen of Consciousness
For many people today life is spontaneity, if anything. If spontaneity is crushed or aborted, then life itself is stillborn. In this view, examen is living life backwards and once removed from the vibrant spontaneity and immediacy of the experience itself. These people today disagree with Socrates’ claim that the unexamined life is not worth living. For these people the Spirit is in the spontaneous and so anything that militates against spontaneity is not of the Spirit.
This view overlooks the fact that welling up in the consciousness and experience of each of us are two spontaneities, one good and for God, another evil and not for God. These two types of spontaneous urges and movements happen to all of us. So often the quick-witted, loose-tongued person who can be so entertaining and the center of attention and who is always characterized as being so spontaneous is not certainly being moved by and giving expression to the good spontaneity. For people eager to love God with their whole being, the challenge is not simply to let the spontaneous happen but rather to be able to sift through these various spontaneous urges and give full existential ratification to those spontaneous feelings that are from and for God. We do this by allowing the truly Spirited-spontaneity to happen in our daily lives. But we must learn the feel of this true Spiritual-spontaneity. Examen has a very central role in this learning.
When examen is related to discernment, it becomes examen of consciousness rather than of conscience. Examen of conscience has narrow moralistic overtones. Its prime concern was with the good or bad actions we had done each day. Whereas in discernment the prime concern is not with the morality of good or bad actions; rather the concern is with the way God is affecting and moving us (often quite spontaneously!) deep in our own affective consciousness. What is happening in our consciousness is prior to and more important than our actions, which can be delineated as juridically good or evil. How we are experiencing the “drawing” of God (John 6:44) in our own existential consciousness and how our sinful nature is quietly tempting us and luring us away from intimacy with God in the subtle dispositions of our consciousness—this is what the daily examen is concerned with prior to a concern for our response in our actions. Hence it is examen of consciousness that we are concerned with here, so that we can cooperate with and let happen that beautiful spontaneity in our hearts that is the touch of God and the urging of the Spirit.
– See more at: http://www.ignatianspirituality.com/ignatian-prayer/the-examen/consciousness-examen#sthash.Ygh4hnyG.dpuf

I am hoping that along with the classes, which I am happy to follow as they happen,  I will develop my own pathway of combining Yoga practice with the the pattern of the Examen, (which I have got used to over the last year or so, so comes pretty naturally now), my general prayer practice and meditating on whatever the Holy Spirit brings my way.  It’s all good stuff.   The whole “grounding” emphasis has been completely helpful to me.  (And I will try to look after my feet, because they bear a lot! )

In celebration of this new found enthusiasm… What is needed here is a piece of art!

yoga mindfulness, yoga meditation contemplative spirituality,contemplative christianity,grounding techniques, trauma recovery, complex post traumatic stress body work, examination of consciousness, head in the clouds but feet on the ground art image jenny meehan

head in the clouds but feet on the ground art image jenny meehan

I’m calling this “Head in the Clouds but Feet on the Ground/Contemplation”  (I often give two titles!)

 

Outsider Art? Insider Art?  Outside In Art or Inside Out Art?

I’ve been shimmering over the net, skimming here and there for a bit for a while with respect to the category of “Outsider Art”.  This is very problematic a term, and though it is used a lot, it means so many different things to so many different people and groups.  Now “Outsider Art” is maybe a world of it’s own, but not the “world” of it’s own that it used to be, because that exclusive and private world has now blow out in a host of other bubbles and into the atmosphere of the so-called “Art World”… Which is itself, not a world at all, but a network of activities centred around… yes,  you know, money and connections.

You can see I am having problems from the start, and I haven’t even started yet!  I remember speaking to someone a while back who went to study art at degree level, or it may have even been an MA,  and yet he got a fair amount of resistance to his own work in that setting because he was so self directed and knew what he wanted to do, and did it.   Would he be termed an “Outsider Artist”?  He could maybe be described as an “Inside but Outside artist”???  According to some thinking, the fact that he was in this kind of education setting would disqualify him straight away from calling himself an “Outsider Artist” (if he wanted to) because he had an awareness of the contemporary art “scene” “world” “culture” other artists, and also, had the capacity to think about his art and work in a certain way.  But the education/training or rather lack of, as a criteria for discerning if it is appropriate to term someone’s art or themselves as an “Outsider Artist” falls down flat on it’s face, because there are of course many artists who have received training and education, and who through mental health challenges, traumatic brain injuries, or many other kinds of life experiences, or disabilities, find themselves in a place where they either no longer care, or are not interested, in anything as dubious and unreliable as the so-called “Art World” (whatever that may be or mean), and simply want to get on with their art working.  They may also have received training, education and awareness from many other different sources, the internet, adult education, personal relationships, etc, and they may have gone to college, picked up a load of rubbish in terms of ideas about art, and happily dispensed with it because they realised that it was a waste of time and energy, for them at least.    Does this work produced by sometime “trained” (could be questioned, I guess, if that is the right word!)  but no longer interested in banging their heads against a brick wall with a lot of conceptual stuff, type art and artist count as “Outsider Art”?  Is the difference an educational and or class one?  is the question which quickly follows.

I put myself on the Pallant House Gallery “Outside In” web gallery for a while last year, mostly because of my experiences and journey with mental health difficulties/challenges, my participation in long term psychotherapy (which includes a great deal of interest in the subconscious!) and because I view my art work as part of my trauma recovery experience, (though certainly, this is only one aspect of it, as I view it as plenty of other things too!)  I also put my work there for a little while because I wanted to align myself with those other artists who I could feel very much closer to in terms of values and purpose,   I think, much more so than the alternative so called “Art World” construct, which didn’t fit in with the direction I was looking in, and look in now, at all.  However, I  took myself off the Pallant House Gallery “Outside In” web gallery after a while because I was unsure if  it was really quite “fair” to be there.  I wondered how one could really make a judgement about such things, and I think I probably could be on there, but then I felt that bearing in mind that I am pretty good with words, I do have the kind of power because of that which many artists because of learning disabilities and such like, didn’t have.   So it felt best to leave that space for those who really needed supporting in that way, even though I wanted my work to be there symbolically as it being a place I would rather align myself with in terms of a values and focus.

Now “Outsider Art” is more of an “In Thing”  this also brings much interest to Outsider Art, which kind of brings it into a different place, one which has many educated, intellectually incisive, and, well, able, people, mentally and physically, into it’s realm, both as makers, collectors and dealers.  If “Outsider Artists” are termed that by merit of disadvantages in society and in relation to that ever illusive “Art World” I need to ask: “How do you make judgements about disadvantages anyway?  I could be described as disadvantaged compared to some people,  (more so in terms of my past) but advantaged compared to others   My period of what I will call, deconstruction, has brought me into a new place in thinking about brokenness in general, where I see it as a positive dimension to life, rather than something negative, and would even say that my difficulties in life, though being a disadvantage in some respects are also an advantage in others.

To use relative financial wealth/success or not is also problematic when thinking about “Outsider Art”…I cannot afford to do what I would do with my artwork if I had more finance, and this is a disadvantage, (I can hear the cries from pretty much all the other artist’s I know echoing the same words!!! )   but on the other hand I have a level of security which rolls me firmly off the “Starving Artist” spectrum.   I am a woman and a mother, and a “Stay at Home Mother”, so these might also move me into a disadvantaged position in terms of the way that the “Art World” swings in favour of men (which is does, imo). But I also appreciate fully and know it well, that I am hugely advantaged compared to so many, even if my plans and aspirations tend to hit the wall because of lack of funds.  In the end, the family need feeding and clothes.. (thank goodness for Lidl! and Asda).  I could go to work and get a job which brings some more money into our household, but then I wouldn’t have the time to do the art work I do.  The art work I do I need to do, because this is something of my life blood in life, it keeps me motivated for living and keeps me sane, very often times!  I do what I do because of necessity, as well as a choice, which I must say, I am constantly  grateful for.

I can say that most of the exceedingly brilliant and wonderful artists I know could easily be termed “Outsider Artists” for a huge variety of reasons, yet all might differ in their life experiences and situations to quite a large extent.  And most of them don’t make much money, if any, or certainly no financial profit, from their art working and their art work. Many have various mental health challenges or disabilities…Even if they are not actually their own, they are closely involved with or caring for those who have them, and therefore their lives are entwined with a much larger spectrum of experience, which is, theirs, even though not tangible or obvious to see.  And it is all felt and lived through.  I keep in my mind just one of the things I learnt when I was finding out more about traumatic brain injury and it’s effects on both the person with the injury and those close to them.  Traumatic brain injury is often termed the “hidden disability”  and when I recall my experience of coming to terms with my brother’s, among other things, I am aware of this shared nature of tragedy, and the way our lives impact on others, and vice versa.  There is a lot of hidden injury around.  So we really cannot make judgements and have to accept that categories, of all kinds, are going to be problematic from the outset to the end.

So where might I take my meanderings, with respect to “Outsider Art”?  Maybe I might ask myself where I would place myself?  I would place myself as an “Insider-Outer” artist I think, because I have taken my inner life and let it out…but not just as catharsis, oh no, and not without training, or education.  Not without awareness of the other artist’s both past and present, and not without consideration or analysis…There is certainly plenty of analysis going on in the confines of my psychotherapy sessions.   I am always pleased when something good happens and something gets chosen for an exhibition, because I want my art work to be used, because I am in this funny old world of ours and I am a funny little part of it…I don’t identify myself with the word “outsider”, well, not now, not any more.  Isolation can be acutely felt, and it’s not great at all.  Outside says the wrong things to me…because I am not on the outside at all.  We  are all on the outside of some things, groups and places, but it is what is happening in the inside of our lives which helps us to forge the connections and relationships we need and love to experience.

I found this writing on the net with respect to Outsider Art and  found it helpful to read.

http://www.jameselkins.com/index.php/essays/253-there-is-no-such-thing-as-outsider-art

Naïfs, Faux-naïfs, Faux-faux naïfs, Would-be Faux-naïfs:
There is No Such Thing as Outsider Art
James Elkins
This was originally published in: Inner Worlds Outside, exh. cat., edited by John
Thompson (Dublin: Irish Museum of Modern Art, 2006), 71–79.]

Quote from website:  “The argument here is that “outsider art” and similar concepts (“naive art,” “primitive art,” etc.) are constructions of modernism, and only exist as ideals understood as contrasts to normative practice. It doesn’t mean there aren’t artists outside of the traditions of modernism and postmodernism, or outside of academic art—rather that the value we place on them is itself characteristic of modernism, so that “outsider” or “naive” art is not distinct from the modernist enterprise.”

James Elkins is E.C. Chadbourne Professor in the Department of Art History, Theory, and Criticism, School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Such a helpful read!

 

Details from recent process led painting experiments!

Well, here we are.  PAINTING!  I have popped some text on the top of these thinking this might be helpful to anyone interested in my painting who stumbles upon my work and wants to know quickly where to see more!  As these images are fragments/close ups/details, they serve a great function for me in helping me remember various painting options and ideas when I sell (hopefully) the final painting.  Also, because these highly abstracted paintings go through several stages, and sometimes morph rather unexpectedly along the way, it helps me to remember some of the lost paintings which are often  part of the work, but can not be seen again in quite the same way in the final piece.  They are very much there and present, and exerting an influence, however, sometimes covered, I still need to remember what was happening underneath if possible, particularly if I was trying out something new, (which didn’t work/did work).

I am rather fond of the idea of “lost paintings”…The sense that what is in the past/gone/dead/buried, is lost but still present.

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

Painting and Physicality…

Come to think about it, it is the physicality, and the way I focus on the materials I use in painting that helps me feel  connected with myself … I haven’t thought about it much but it IS very therapeutic!  I have around 20 paintings “on the go” at the moment, but they are not all moving forwards at the same time, and I am having a short break right now.  Not sure what’s happening with them, but some are falling into the water and flow category…solid/liquid, block, flow, water, waterfalling/waterfalls, some centring just on expression of some fundamental feeling/emotion, lots of pushing out experimentally in terms of trying out new things.  There’s a few shelters/tents/refuges/tower type imagery emerging.  It’s wonderful weather for drying paint!

Having a great time in the “Studio Tent” … Might start calling it the “Tent of Meeting”… This is influenced by me preparing a talk to give at St Paul’s Church of England, Hook, in a couple of weeks on Psalm 84… (Lovely Psalm!)… In researching the talk, I discovered that the phrase “tent of meeting”  is used in the Old Testament as the name of a place where God would meet with His people. ” Usually, the “tent of meeting” was used as another name for the Tabernacle of Moses. However, before the tabernacle was constructed, God met with Moses in a temporary tent of meeting: “Now Moses used to take a tent and pitch it outside the camp some distance away, calling it the ‘tent of meeting.’ Anyone inquiring of the Lord would go to the tent of meeting outside the camp. . . . As Moses went into the tent, the pillar of cloud would come down and stay at the entrance, while the Lord spoke with Moses” (Exodus 33:7, 9).” (quoted from http://www.gotquestions.org/)

Wow, well there isn’t a pillar of cloud at the entrance of my Studio Tent of Meeting, however, I do feel the Holy Spirit a lot inside it… and it is heaven to simply have that space, and to paint, pray, and meditate in there.  It is a place of a lot of blessing and happiness! It’s a kind of oratory!

Here’s Psalm 84:

Psalm 84  Good News Translation (GNT)

Longing for God’s House[a]
84 How I love your Temple, Lord Almighty!
2 How I want to be there!
I long to be in the Lord’s Temple.
With my whole being I sing for joy
to the living God.
3 Even the sparrows have built a nest,
and the swallows have their own home;
they keep their young near your altars,
Lord Almighty, my king and my God.
4 How happy are those who live in your Temple,
always singing praise to you.
5 How happy are those whose strength comes from you,
who are eager to make the pilgrimage to Mount Zion.
6 As they pass through the dry valley of Baca,
it becomes a place of springs;
the autumn rain fills it with pools.
7 They grow stronger as they go;
they will see the God of gods on Zion.
8 Hear my prayer, Lord God Almighty.
Listen, O God of Jacob!
9 Bless our king, O God,
the king you have chosen.
10 One day spent in your Temple
is better than a thousand anywhere else;
I would rather stand at the gate of the house of my God
than live in the homes of the wicked.
11 The Lord is our protector and glorious king,
blessing us with kindness and honor.
He does not refuse any good thing
to those who do what is right.
12 Lord Almighty, how happy are those who trust in you!
Footnotes:

Psalm 84:1 HEBREW TITLE: A psalm by the clan of Korah.

 

Well…. That is it for now… Till next month! 

Ah, just couldn’t resist this photo I stumbled on when doing a bit of computer sorting!  Me and the children, a few years back!  I’m totally passionate about art, but never forget, people are more important than art will ever be!

 

jenny meehan jamartlondon photography

jenny meehan jamartlondon photography

 

 

 

Jenny Meehan. All Rights Reserved, DACS

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

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

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

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

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

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

Also, you could follow the Jenny Meehan Contemporary Artist’s Journal at WordPress and keep informed that way. 

Note About Following Jenny Meehan Contemporary Artist’s Journal 

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

 

 

 

 

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