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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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, so not quite finished… I plan to stick it on top of something else!

 

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. 

 

 

 

 

Ah, how I love long never ending titles!  And meandering discourse.

As per usual, skim as fast or slow as you need…I always pack lots of too much of everything in!

 

From: ‘In No Strange Land’ by Francis Thompson

 

O world invisible, we view thee,
O world intangible, we touch thee,
O world unknowable we know thee,
Inapprehensible, we clutch thee.

Does the fish soar to find the ocean,
The eagle plunge to find the air –
That we ask of the stars in motion
If they have rumour of thee there?
From ‘In No Strange Land’ by Francis Thompson

 

Willi Baumeister

What a delightful poem… indeed, “world unknowable”  is so attractive to the painter, particularly one as myself.   I recal “The Unknown in Art” by Willi Baumeister suddenly, though I have not read it yet..not yet.    I have been looking on the net again at the work of Willi Baumeister, who is one of my favourite influences, and was reminded again of his use of sand in painting.  I started using sand a while back, but now use very tiny glass beads as they have little colour and reflect light very consistently.  Recently while painting, I pressed some of the smallest micron beads into the surface of some very full bodied paint and the effect was very pleasing indeed.  I think if I put any kind of varnish on top (I normally put a very thin layer of varnish on my acrylic paintings in order to protect them) the effect will be ruined, but with the thickness of the paint I have pressed the tiny glass pieces into, thankfully there is plenty of grip there, so I should think there will be no need for any further application, certainly on the fixing front, at least.

I always try to try something new when I start a group of paintings.  While I wouldn’t say that I work in a series, at all, the various paintings sessions normally leave their mark in terms of the colour groupings I use, or new experiments tried out.  And I am finding myself rather attracted to working on paintings in pairs…though their relationship won’t stay intimate I don’t think, somehow working on two at a time works well for me, at least in the initial stages.

Back to Willi Baumeister..

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

And here, some quotation from the wiki information on his work, which is of particular interest to me:

“Baumeister took part in his first exhibition in 1910, showing figurative works inspired by impressionism. His chief interest was even at this time already in cubism and Paul Cézanne, whose work remained important to him throughout his life. These influences of impressionism and cubism that shaped Baumeister’s early paintings played an essential role in his work until the end of the 1920s. On the one hand, his representational painting was increasingly reduced (abstracting and geometric) as it gained form and lost depth. Parallel to the paintings of his friend Oskar Schlemmer, Baumeister’s independent exploration of form and color emerged. Already around 1919, his teacher Adolf Hölzel wrote to him: “Out of all of us, you will be the one who will achieve the most.” Also worth noticing is that the idiosyncratic German path into modernism, expressionism, barely resonates at all in Baumeister’s work, even though he had met, for instance, Franz Marc earlier on, and was certainly acquainted with the works of the Brücke (Bridge) artists and those of the Blaue Reiter (Blue Rider).

After his return from the First World War, Baumeister rigorously developed his work further. Although one still finds figurative elements in his paintings, the forms grew increasingly geometric and took on a dynamic of their own, and Baumeister broke the traditional connection between form and color. Various work groups emerged at this time, including the relief-like wall pictures, and paintings with sports theme (as a symbol for modernity). In his painting, the grappling with shapes and material of the painting as well as the relationship between reality and representation became visible. Parallel to this development, nonrepresentational painting began to gain a foothold in works that centered on geometric shapes and their relationships to one another in the picture (e.g. Planar Relation of 1920). Baumeister’s lively exchange with other German and foreign artists must also be seen as vitally important in the consequent development of his work. Indeed, as it was for many of his fellow artists, posing such questions was part of the agenda of the modern age (for example, El Lissitzky, Kazimir Malevich, Wassily Kandinsky, Fernand Léger, Amédée Ozenfant, Le Corbusier, Paul Klee).

Towards the end of the 1920s, the shapes in Baumeister’s pictures grew softer. His paintings moved away from being oriented by the elementary shapes of the circle, triangle, and square towards organic forms. Although this development could also be observed concurrently in the work of other artists of his time, in Baumeister’s case, it was tied to his fascination for the prehistoric and archaic paintings. Baumeister intensely explored artifacts of early paintings and integrated this pictorial experience into his own painting. He identified the symbols, signs, and figures of cave painting as components of a valid archaic pictorial language that he used in his works. These included his increasing number of paintings in “oil on sand on canvas” that, in their materials, also approached the cave painting that Baumeister so admired (beg. ca. 1933). He himself collected examples of prehistoric findings, small sculptures, and tools, and occupied himself with cliff drawings that had been discovered in Rhodesia. This experience was undoubtedly important for Baumeister’s artistic disposition since he, evidently inspired by this rich store of prehistoric works, ultimately used extraordinarily reduced organic shapes for his “ideograms” (beg. ca. 1937). In these works he used a unique world of signs, which he saw as symbols for the laws of nature, their evolution, and human existence.

Baumeister’s artistic development was not interrupted when he lost his professorship at the Städel in Frankfurt in 1933. He continued to paint despite political persecution and economic difficulties. His work and its development are correspondingly diverse, even for the period after 1941, when he was imposed with an exhibition prohibition. While on the one hand his employment at the Dr. Kurt Herberts & Co. varnish factory in Wuppertal to research antique and modern painting techniques protected him politically, it also on the other hand gave him the opportunity to explore the fundamentals of painting, so that he could further his knowledge on the prehistoric cave painting techniques. At the same time, he tuned to Goethe’s theory of plant morphology. Out of this study the “eidos pictures” (eidos: idea) emerged: paintings that, unlike Baumeister’s ideograms, are rich in their variety and coloration. Moreover, the forms are organic, but seem to be less of symbols or signs, than images of simple plantlike and animal life forms. The pictures bear titles such as Rock Garden, Eidos, or Primordial Vegetable.

As an indefatigable researcher and collector, Baumeister also owned examples of African sculpture, in which he, as in the case of the prehistorical artifacts, saw universal images for life, development, and human existence. Correspondingly, their formal language entered Baumeister’s work in the early 1940s—highly abstracted, at first chromatically restrained (African Tale, 1942), and with time, became increasingly colorful and in part very complex in their formal design (Owambo 1944–1948). Both the titles and formal language reveal Baumeister’s preoccupation with other old (Latin American) cultures (Peruvian Wall, 1946, and Aztec Couple, 1948).

Another example of his search for the “foundations of art” is Baumeister’s transposition of the Gilgamesh Epic, one of the oldest surviving literary works. Therefore, Baumeister used his personal pictorial and sign language in his illustration of the narrative (beg. 1943), which resulted in an astonishingly unified cycle, which with his pictorial language came strikingly close to depicting the literary and linguistic effects(impression) of the epic. He also produced illustrations to texts from the Bible—Saul, Esther, Salome—as well as to William Shakespeare’s The Tempest.

In this way, Baumeister single-mindedly and successfully developed a very personal and impressive visual language that was and still is unique in the German art immediately after 1945. The national and international recognition that Willi Baumeister received in the postwar period was correspondingly high. But his artistic development did not stop there. On the one hand, he developed his painting further in a virtuosic manner and, what is more, combined the variety of his formation phases in many other pictures—in part into “overalls structures” that nonetheless still possessed a fundamental that was reminiscent of landscape imageries (Blue Movement, 1950). On the other hand, Baumeister also produced densely packed abstractions that, proceeding from a central form, characterized him as an outstanding “nonrepresentationalist.” These paintings became quite possibly the most famous of his works, and were immediately associated by a broad public with Baumeister (e.g. ARU 2, 1955). Even so, Baumeister did not limit himself to this late “trademark.” Multiform and multicoloured pictures emerged as well in the year of his death.”

quoted from: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Willi_Baumeister

What a brilliant inspiration Baumeister is… and how grateful I am to both read and see with such ease the paths trodden down so well…!!!  As said, I haven’t yet read his “The Unknown in Art” but it is on my reading list, which, as ever is extremely long!!!!!  I do have some German blood in me…my mother was German-Swiss (Eleanor Rosa Eicher) ( or “Norli Rosa Eicher…informally called!).  My mother’s father is recorded as “unknown” (which is very annoying, as it would be nice to try and trace my ancestory!)  and I have little information available to me now, about him, apart from a photo of her standing at a grave (which I imagine must be her father’s, as she has drew a big question mark on it!!!  I went to Basel as a child, just once, to visit my Granny Josephina Bohlmer (I imagine that my mother’s mother must have remarried and therefore taken the surname Bohlmer??? Or that my mother had taken her Father’s name Eicher, and therefore he was not as unknown as suggested in her marriage documents??? But this is forever going to remain unknown, for me…So more unknown material, also remaining….  (How I just wish I had spoken more to both my parents when they were alive!)  However, I am sure, my parents being who they were, that there would be a lot unsaid that would be unsaid even if I did ask about it!

I have photographs.. including of my great grandmother, who was located in the black forest area of Germany…and that, is pretty much where I need to leave it I think!  To leave it with a felt affinity with several German artists, will probably serve me as well as any other knowledge, and maybe better!  However, worth a mention in reference to my paintings, I see now, is the impression of visiting the Glacier Garden in Lucerne, during that childhood visit to Switzerland (Basel…to see Granny, and to Lucerne, to visit my Uncle Herman, who was a very well renowned chef, and my Auntie, who I think was called Marie:

http://www.gletschergarten.ch/Glacial-potholes.11.0.html?&L=2

Seeing the glacial potholes had a HUGE impression on me… I can remember it so well, and I am quite sure that this experience is seeping into my interests right now with, well, basically rock and water!….  The solid like areas in my paintings, related to my own life/experience, are metaphors for rock and the rest increasingly resonates of water/fluidity of various kinds, emotional as well as physical.

“These impressive potholes were formed at the bottom of the glacier by the sheer force of the water. As is still the case in alpine glaciers today, the melt water initially flowed on the surface of the ice before seeping into the glacier through fissures. At the bottom of the glacier the water was under tremendous pressure. As the flow of water gathered speed, vortices with speeds of up to 200 km/h began to form. Within a few years, potholes had been eroded out of the rock. Most of the erosion was created by sand and gravel that was transported with the cloudy melt-water.”

 

I also remember a very exciting trip up Mount Pilatus,  and a boat ride on the Lake.  It was a completely “out of the world” or the usual world, at least, experience for me, and so I am not surprised that it has such a lasting impression!

 

Afterthoughts…. 

There are plenty of reasons to look back,  and with the wonders of digital image manipulation software, I can play with past paintings in a way that previous generations of artists have not had at their disposal.  While I don’t see my experiments with past paintings combined with digital image manipulation as works in their own right, they are, however valuable “Afterthoughts” and I have taken to calling them that.  For they must have some kind of name, even though they don’t express anything different from the paintings which brought them into being.   To take some sections, to make alterations…Sometimes something new, in it’s own right, does emerge, and it will be named accordingly, because I discovered something within it.   In the end, my main objective is to experiment, and so, this is just another way to do so.   In the process of re-examining the painting, it’s surface, and the colours, I am also currently informing the original paintings which I carry out.  So it is “win win”.

Working on some smaller works… prints… very colourist/expressionist/textural… An interesting development for me…

christian faith painting jenny meehan, abstract expressionist, textural colourful  god  divine religion religious abstract painting,jamartlondon,lyrical abstraction,father son holy spirit,blessing painting,contemplative spirituality,christian mysticism,art to license,book covers christian books,visual art to license,modern contemporary uk british artist,colourist,book cover images,digital images to license;

jenny meehan textural colourful abstract painting afterthoughts into the ocean deep series

© Jenny Meehan. All Rights Reserved, DACS  To license this  work contact jenny via her website www.jamartlondon.com

Afterthoughts Prints...Into the Ocean Deep Series   textural expressionistic abstract painting print lyrical abstraction Christian spirituality theme of water christian faith painting jenny meehan, abstract expressionist, textural colourful  god  divine religion religious abstract painting,jamartlondon,lyrical abstraction,father son holy spirit,blessing painting,contemplative spirituality,christian mysticism,art to license,book covers christian books,visual art to license,modern contemporary uk british artist,colourist,book cover images,digital images to license;

jenny meehan textural colourful abstract painting afterthoughts

 

© Jenny Meehan. All Rights Reserved, DACS To license this work contact jenny via her website www.jamartlondon.com

 

Afterthoughts Prints...Into the Ocean Deep Series   textural expressionistic abstract painting print lyrical abstraction Christian spirituality theme of water christian faith painting jenny meehan, abstract expressionist, textural colourful  god  divine religion religious abstract painting,jamartlondon,lyrical abstraction,father son holy spirit,blessing painting,contemplative spirituality,christian mysticism,art to license,book covers christian books,visual art to license,modern contemporary uk british artist,colourist,book cover images,digital images to license; inner life spiritual development,faith focused,subconscious depth,

jenny meehan textural colourful abstract painting afterthoughts

© Jenny Meehan. All Rights Reserved, DACS To license this work contact jenny via her website www.jamartlondon.com

 

 

Afterthoughts Prints...Into the Ocean Deep Series   textural expressionistic abstract painting print lyrical abstraction Christian spirituality theme of water christian faith painting jenny meehan, abstract expressionist, textural colourful  god  divine religion religious abstract painting,jamartlondon,lyrical abstraction,father son holy spirit,blessing painting,contemplative spirituality,christian mysticism,art to license,book covers christian books,visual art to license,modern contemporary uk british artist,colourist,book cover images,digital images to license; book cover images christian themes

jenny meehan textural colourful abstract painting afterthoughts

 

© Jenny Meehan. All Rights Reserved, DACS To license this work contact jenny via her website www.jamartlondon.com

Afterthoughts Prints...Into the Ocean Deep Series   textural expressionistic abstract painting print lyrical abstraction Christian spirituality theme of water christian faith painting jenny meehan, abstract expressionist, textural colourful  god  divine religion religious abstract painting,jamartlondon,lyrical abstraction,father son holy spirit,blessing painting,contemplative spirituality,christian mysticism,art to license,book covers christian books,visual art to license,modern contemporary uk british artist,colourist,book cover images,digital images to license;

jenny meehan textural colourful abstract painting afterthoughts

 

© Jenny Meehan. All Rights Reserved, DACS To license this work contact jenny via her website www.jamartlondon.com

I might well title them in the future, but often ideas take time to emerge, and I don’t push it.

 

A Letter in Mind is running again this year.  

I was very pleased that my work was purchased last year….So good to know it did some worthwhile good, as well as being what it was.  I am entering again this year, and hopefully the work will also come to good use!

http://www.aplaceforcreation.com/a-letter-in-mind/#!

 

“Pushing the Boat out into the Sun”

 fine painting using silica sol mineral paints (soldalit) Keim Soldalit  silica sol mineral paint soldalit, pushing the boat out into the sun by jenny meehan© Jenny Meehan. All Rights Reserved, DACS

© Jenny Meehan. All Rights Reserved, DACS

 

“Pushing the Boat out into the Sun” is painted with Silica Sol Mineral Paint (Keim Soldalit, to be exact) on primed board.  It works well… reflects light beautifully.    The style of my painting varies according to medium… this is only right and fitting, and I like what happens with the mineral paints.  I love the metal oxide colours which are needful with working with this type of very alkaline paint.  I love mixing the pigments into the paint, which is very creamy and highly light reflective. And this one certainly has a German Expressionist flavour to it!!!(I suspect when I revisit representational painting more in the future, that this painting might well indicate the type of approach and style I take!)    It brings memories of the mural I produced several years ago.  See here for a You Tube video of the process I used.  Gosh, that was a while back.  It was great to work on a larger scale, and lovely working outside.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Je8SouQNIs0

The design for this was more planned in advance than my current methods of painting, but that was a necessity…I couldn’t afford to waste paint or time…

school playground mural painted with silicate mineral paints  Beeck and also Keim Soldalit, silica sol  jenny meehan project led, jamartlondon.

school playground mural painted with silicate mineral paints (Beeck and also Keim Soldalit, silica sol )

John T Freeman led some excellent cartooning workshops, and then transferred (exactly as the children had drawn them) the figures onto the mural, deciding on a pleasing placement.   The underlying Mondrian-ish style design was created by me, and the children helped me with a lot of the painting.

jenny meehan jamartlondon,school mural silicate mineral painting,trafalgar junior school twickenham playground mural project.

Children at Trafalgar Junior School working very hard on the bridging primer application for the mural!

 

That was a few years back,  2011!    I haven’t done a mural since, but that’s simply just the way it goes.  I was very pleased with the result and it still looks great.  It’s pretty hard to get one’s head around working with such a different type of paint, but I learnt a lot.  Now I continue using Keim Soldalit and Keim Optil on smaller scale paintings… mixing into them the slaked pigments, and continuing the journey I started all those years ago.

Photobox Gallery for Poster Prints by Jenny Meehan 

It is rather a slow process, but I am planning to put up more imagery on my Photobox Gallery.  For now, take a look at some of what is already there:

http://www.photoboxgallery.com/gallery/collection?album_id=94169746

Festival surface pattern design by uk fine artist designer,colourful multicoloured surface pattern striped design,

Festival surface pattern design by uk fine artist designer jenny meehan© Jenny Meehan. All Rights Reserved, DACS To license this work contact jenny via her website http://www.jamartlondon.com

To buy a “Festival Pattern Print”  from the Jenny Meehan Photobox Gallery.  This is a poster print, and is ordered directly through Photoboxgallery,  and therefore is unsigned.   © Jenny Meehan. All Rights Reserved  2009.  This “Festival” design was one of my earliest experiments with surface pattern design and I had it printed on a nice tablecloth which I still have.  It is certainly eye catching!.  It’s washed well too.  It was a dye sublimation print on poly cotton.  Looks as good as the day it was printed.

Gosh, my output is very eclectic….However it works in generating new ideas and I am never, ever bored or uninspired!

 

Sorting Out and Looking Back

Never under rate time spent reviewing past work.  I have been sorting through some drawers and boxes and finding all kinds of things which have been “in process” for some considerable time!   I take some encouragement from finding things which still interest me, and let them influence me afresh, making suggestions into what I am working on at the present time.  It’s great fun.

 

block peace mono type jenny meehan blue printing, print making, mono print, blue, pink, markmaking jenny meehan all rights reserved DACS

Block Peace Mono type jenny meehan

 

This piece has already influenced several of the textural acrylic works I am in the midst of, so “thank you very much…my long lost monoprint”.

 

 

 

 

 

Surrey Artists’ Open Studios June 2015.

This was my first time being part of the Surrey Artists’ Open Studios and I enjoyed it very much indeed.  Here are some images of the work I had on show, plus some from the Cass Art “Selfies” Exhibition too:

jenny meehan kingston artists open studios events

jenny meehan kingston artists open studios events

jenny meehan kingston artists open studios events

jenny meehan kingston artists open studios events

jenny meehan kingston artists open studios events

jenny meehan kingston artists open studios events

jenny meehan kingston artists open studios events

jenny meehan kingston artists open studios events

jenny meehan kingston artists open studios events

jenny meehan kingston artists open studios events

jenny meehan kingston artists open studios events

jenny meehan kingston artists open studios events

jenny meehan kingston artists open studios events

jenny meehan kingston artists open studios events

jenny meehan kingston artists open studios events

jenny meehan kingston artists open studios events

 

Thoughts on the Open Studios… 

Well,  it was lovely in lots of ways.. I like meeting people and talking about my work, so there was a lot of pleasure there.  I was disappointed that I did not sell one of the paintings… £250 isn’t bad at all for a large painting, and they take a long time to paint… However, I guess one needs the wall space and also an interest in abstraction, plus the ability to engage with abstract painting, which not everyone has.    I sold one print for £20 and that was it…however, I was very pleased about the sale because the person who brought it was taking in the work in a very appreciative way, which is a great pleasure to me.

However, one print isn’t enough to even cover the costs of taking part…I needed to join Surrey Artists’ Open Studios for the year and then also pay to take part in the event on top… I don’t like the idea of paying to simply show what I do, as I have often  said before.  But it seems this is the norm…    On a more positive note, it was wonderful to spend time with some of the other ladies from KAOS!   That was brilliant, and the investment of time, at least was certainly worth it.  I am just not so sure about the money aspect!

I do plan to take part next year, and I will prepare some smaller work on paper, around the £20, £30, £40 £50  mark… these may have more chance of being brought.   My hopes for a collector of fine paintings who didn’t mind investing in one of mine did not materialise.  It has happened before, but it seems that it was not to happen this year.  My disappointment has had a good effect though.  After the initial slough of despond, I have been painting away today (16th June) in the Sun, and have hurled myself full swing into painting as I do…  without much reservation, well, at least at this early stage in the process.  Later come painstaking meditation and contemplation, reflection and consideration…it is very slow in the latter stages, very slow indeed.

The problem with abstraction is that it is very hard for the general public to appreciate the skill which goes into it, whereas when they see a horse which looks like a horse, they are bowled over with admiration.  I realise I just need to accept this, but it can be hard to stomach at times.    I have thought of a few ways that I can continue with my painting and yet still produce little novelties for those that need to see something and know what it is, without needing to invest my time too much in that direction.   I do appreciate that there is a huge need for security when looking at art, that means that a lot of head-knowing, and object recognition needs to take place.  I myself love looking at pictures…indeed, my favourite kind of pictures to look at are miniatures… which may be rather surprising…  One of my favourite occupations which I do from time to time is to pop into Llewllyn Alexander (Fine Paintings) near Waterloo Station.

The Not the Royal Academy Exhibition is on at the moment.     I had something in that a couple of years back, but  my work is too abstract right now…  Again, I would need to make it a little project to paint a few more representational pieces I think if I want to do that again.

LLEWELLYN ALEXANDER (Fine Paintings) LTD
London Gallery Selling Original Paintings in Oil, Watercolour and Pastel by Living ArtistsGallery Open 10am – 7.30pm Tuesday – Saturday inclusive:
124 -126 The Cut, Waterloo, London SE1 8LN UK
(Opposite the Old Vic Theatre)
Tel: 0207 620 1322/1324 Fax: 0207 928 9469

 

Photobox Gallery 

 

http://www.photoboxgallery.com/gallery/collection?album_id=404896014

To buy a “Bruised Reed” poster print, directly from the facility on Photoboxgallery.  This digital artwork..© Jenny Meehan. All Rights Reserved  2008

 

Photography

 

As I have rather a lot of photography in my archives, and I find it helpful to dig it  up from time to time to remember what inspired me enough to take a photograph in the first place, here are some more images from the archives!  A very suitable start, I think, therefore with this rusted old spade!

rusty spade with leaves in the woods mono image jenny meehan all rights reserved DACS,jamartlondon british female contemporary fine artist surrey south west london,

jenny meehan jamartlondon photography

© Jenny Meehan. All Rights Reserved, DACS

temperate house kew gardens structure building,painted metal image with plants, jenny meehan fine art photography,fine artist female contemporary,monochrome image

jenny meehan jamartlondon photography metal structure  in the temperate house at Kew Gardens

© Jenny Meehan. All Rights Reserved, DACS

 

jenny meehan jamartlondon photography monochrome, mini revolution wheel, polished chrome mini part,shiny metal car part,

jenny meehan jamartlondon photography monochrome

© Jenny Meehan. All Rights Reserved, DACS

 

While I don’t focus on photography in the way that I used to, it’s still an important part of my work and I often draw on past imagery to inform what I do in the present.    I often say that my abstract work is not really  “abstract”…I don’t think such a thing exists… it may be mostly non-objective, but the reality is that it is informed by all my looking, thinking and being, and therefore does have subject matter, even though it is not clear what that is, in an exact way.  My eye is informed by all it sees, and any painting I paint, even if no subject is clear, comes from the world and from natural and man made forms, which have impressed themselves into my subconscious, leaving impressions which are deep and often drawn upon to influence any artistic activities I do.  Looking at these images here, reminds me of some of the visual matter which has impressed me.  The interest in surfaces of all kinds, metal (which as a material, has always held a strong interest) and naturally occurring textures and patterns, plus the extensive experimentation with composition which always becomes a necessary part of picture taking/making,  resound through the images of my past art working endeavours, and remind me  not just of where I was, but where my present interests and occupations come from.  The past is very important indeed in art.  I don’t think we pay enough attention to it.  The novelty factor is very transient.  (Though fun to have…of course).

Copyright Information – Jenny Meehan 

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

Licencing an image is quick and easy for both parties and is organised through the Design and Artist Copyright Society. (Note, my images are not shown on the “Art image” selection on the Design and Artist Copyright “Art Image” page. This does NOT mean you cannot apply for a licence from DACS…They simply have a very limited sample selection of work in their “Artimage” page!) If you use their online form and attach the low resolution image of my artwork which you have found on the internet, they will know which image you seek permission for.

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

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

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

 

 

 

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

85 Veni Sancte Spiritus – Come, Holy Spirit

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

 

The canticles can be found here, very usefully:

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

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

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

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

 

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

retreat jenny meehan 2015

retreat jenny meehan 2015

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

 

Interesting…

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

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

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

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

SPIDIR Training

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

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

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

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

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

Sacred space and spiritual direction

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

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

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

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

Painting Ramble

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

http://painters-table.com/ 

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thoughts on painting, for now!

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

Lenten Flowers  by Kathleen Raine

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

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

You can also read it here:

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

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

 

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

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

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

The Leatherhead Theatre
7, Church Street
LEATHERHEAD
Surrey

KT22 8DN

Tel: 01372 365141
Fax:     01372 365195

Accessible location – 5 mins from M25, Junction 9

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

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

Parking is free on Sundays at the Swan Centre

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

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

 

Surrey Artists Open Studios

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

Jenny Meehan      www.jamartlondon.com

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

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

Last, another image from the recent retreat.

 

retreat 2015 jenny meehan

retreat 2015 jenny meehan

 

Painting on Retreat

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

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

Through your gentleness we find comfort in fear by Jenny Meehan

 

“Through Your Gentleness We Find Comfort in Fear”

Copyright Information – Jenny Meehan 

Copyright in all images by Jenny Meehan is held by the artist.
Permission must be sought in advance for the reproduction, copying or any other use of any images by Jenny Meehan. Individuals or businesses seeking licenses or permission to use, copy or reproduce any image by Jenny Meehan should, in the first instance, contact Jenny Meehan.
Copyright for all visual art by Jenny Meehan is managed by the Design and Artists Copyright Society (DACS) in the UK. If you wish to licence a work of art by Jenny Meehan, please contact Jenny Meehan in the first instance to clarify your requirements.

Licencing an image is quick and easy for both parties and is organised through the Design and Artist Copyright Society. (Note, my images are not shown on the “Art image” selection on the Design and Artist Copyright “Art Image” page. This does NOT mean you cannot apply for a licence from DACS…They simply have a very limited sample selection of work in their “Artimage” page!) If you use their online form and attach the low resolution image of my artwork which you have found on the internet, they will know which image you seek permission for.

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

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

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

 

 

 

Surrey  Artist’s Open Studios 2015

I am pleased to say that I will be taking part in the 2015 Surrey Artist’s Open Studios as part of the Kingston Artist’s Open Studios group.   I plan to show some paintings and a few digital prints and though it seems ages away, I know from experience how quickly the time flies, and so invite you to make a note of the Surrey Artist’s Open Studios well ahead of the actual dates, which are from the 6th until the 21st of June 2015.  I will be showing work with other Kingston Artist’s Open Studios artists on the weekends 6th and 7th  and 13th and 14th  June …So pencil it in!

For general information on the Surrey Artist’s Open Studios:

http://www.surreyopenstudios.org.uk/home/visitors/open-studios/

To see my Surrey Artist’s Open Studios Page on the Surrey Artist’s Open Studios Website:

http://www.surreyopenstudios.org.uk/home/visitors/find-a-surrey-artist/artists/?mem_id=993

Thinking On…

“The happiness which God designs for His higher creatures is the happiness of being freely, voluntarily united to Him and to each other in an ecstasy of love and delight compared with which the most rapturous love between a man and a woman on this earth is mere milk and water. And for that they’ve got to be free. Of course God knew what would happen if they used their freedom the wrong way: apparently, He thought it worth the risk. … If God thinks this state of war in the universe a price worth paying for free will – that is, for making a real world in which creatures can do real good or harm and something of real importance can happen, instead of a toy world which only moves when He pulls the strings, then we may take it it is worth paying.”(C.S. Lewis, The Case for Christianity).

 

Accepting Evangelicals Event at St John’s Waterloo

http://www.acceptingevangelicals.org/

This was a super event which took place on the 18th October 2014… I am so glad I made the effort to come along.   The talks were really inspiring and the worship and atmosphere were really very, very lovely, indeed.  It is very important I believe for people to  examine the problem of prejudice in ourselves and our religious organisations, and to be open to changing our views when we find them to be unloving and unkind.  It is a big step out of a comfort zone,  and does take considerable effort, as generally us humans find it much easier not to change our minds and our thinking about things…and much easier to stick to the familiar paths.  But so much hurt and harm is done to others because of prejudice.  And also, to ourselves, for we cut away the very part of our hearts which could have capacity for deeper and greater love.    We just need to listen and learn, talk and think,  and be prepared for change to happen.

Some Examples of Artwork by Jenny Meehan on You Tube

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TAXqzMIaF5k

I put this video together a few years ago… Gives you a little assortment of images to meditate on if you should so wish!   Please note the website address is incorrect, as my website is now www.jamartlondon.com

Chichester Cathedral

Looking forward to a visit here in the New Year…

Some images taken several years ago on a visit…Such lovely artworks!

This tapestry designed by John Piper…

john piper tapestry at chichester cathedral

john piper tapestry at chichester cathedral

 

Ursula Benker-Schirmir in the retro-choir chichester cathedral

Ursula Benker-Schirmir in the retro-choir chichester cathedral

 

Ursula Benker-Schirmir  Tapestry in the retro-choir, Chichester Cathedral.  The tapestry was designed by a German artist, Ursula Benker-Schirmer, in 1984.  It blends Christian symbols of a chalice, a cross, a dove (flying over the cross from the right) a flame, and fishes (at the bottom). Among other things, it was meant to symbolize reconciliation between the British and German people after WWII.

Looking Backwards

jenny meehan sketch book

jenny meehan sketch book

My “sketch books”  are not true sketch books, but a vast selection of different pieces of card and paper which are spread around the whole house.  My sketchbooks tend to get filled with notes and thoughts, rather than drawings.  I find it better to draw from observation on loose pieces of paper, because there is a horrid pressure with a sketch book to somehow turn it into a consistent piece of work as a whole, and I dislike that.   I use this time of year to look back and reflect on what I have been experimenting with.  This piece above was simply trying out different types of paint and pigments….Different viscosities of paint and different media for lines.

Henri Nouwen

“Our brokenness reveals something about who we are.  Our sufferings and pains are not simply bothersome interruptions of our lives; rather, they touch us in our uniqueness and our most intimate individuality.  The way I am broken tells you someting unique about me.  The way you are broken tells me something unique about you.  That is the reason for my feeling very privileged when you freely share some of your deep pain with me, and that is why it is an expression of my trust in you when I disclose to you something of my vulnerable side.  Our brokenness is always lived and experienced as highly personal, intimate and unique.  I am deeply convinced that each human being suffers in a way no other human being suffers.  No doubt, we can make comparisons; we can talk about more or less suffering, but, in the final analysis, your pain and my pain are so deeply personal that comparing them can bring scarcely any consolation or comfort.  In fact, I am more grateful for a person who can acknowledge that I am very alone in my pain than for someone who tries  to tell me that there are many others who have similar or a worse pain.”

 

Painting Details

One of the things I like about the way I am painting right now is that there is both brokenness expressed but also some beauty in this.  Years back I used to walk down the rear access roads of Chessington while taking my children here and there and I used to look very carefully indeed at both the ground and the neglected outbuildings, fences, sheds, walls etc which yielded for me a type of beauty most unexpected.  Rusted metal, in particular, often produced beautiful patterns and colours.  Peeling paint.  It was peeling paint which called me into painting, I think.  I found a beauty in the paint which enticed me into using it myself.  It encouraged me to spend a lot of time researching pigments and different types of paint.  All very useful to me now.

jenny meehan imagery, jenny meehan visual art, moon key photograph jenny meehan rusted metal door

moon key photograph jenny meehan rusted metal door

This image “Moon Key” was very inspiring.  How beautiful is that.  And a given.  Just happened.   Keeps one in a state of humility, which is a blessing indeed!

sketch of chessington rear access road jenny meehan

sketch of chessington rear access road jenny meehan

Above a little sketch-painting of one of the rear access roads in Chessington I used to roam around in!  I spent some time hunting around as many as a could find once I started.  It felt like another world.

all rights reserved jenny meehan DACS hinge painting jenny meehan

hinge painting jenny meehan
all rights reserved jenny meehan DACS

Please note all images are All rights reserved – Jenny Meehan DACS.  Please contact me in the first instance if you wish to include in anything online, and if required for other uses, a licence is required.  

Oh, and to the point, this part is titled “Painting Details”… So here they are some from recent painting:

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painting detail jenny meehan jamartlondon.com

painting detail jenny meehan jamartlondon.com

That’s plenty!

Bigger images of some recent paintings:

21st century female painter uk british english, the gift of orange 2014 by jenny meehan

the gift of orange 2014 by jenny meehan

 

Christian spirituality art painting uk british Divine Intervention - Jenny Meehan

Divine Intervention – Jenny Meehan

Now play spot the area!

 

I do remember being very struck when finding a book in a jumble sale, aged around 16, showing work by the Boyle family.. See here:

http://www.boylefamily.co.uk/boyle/about/index.html

I am wondering if this may have had more of an impact on me than I realised…All this concern with ground, groundwork, surface.

Textures just do so many interesting things with light, it is quite impossible to neglect investing time in looking at them!

Pushing the pushchair along the pavement was a good way of looking downwards for long periods of time.  I have many hours spent doing that!

Lots of my paintings when on the wall have numerous different appearances due to the changes of light which I like a lot.  This is due to the variety of textures and finishes used.  It is also nice and challenging when creating them to consider the appearance as not fixed but fluid… it keeps me on my toes.   My oil paintings tend to be thinner and flatter, which I also like.  It’s exciting to see different strands and directions happening within what I do.  Art working is not a narrow singular path.

Ann Gale

Oh, this was a good read…

http://paintingperceptions.com/featured-interviews/interview-with-ann-gale

I miss the figure drawing and the beginnings of figure painting which were a brief feature for me at the beginning of this year, and reading this has tweaked my interest in painting the figure from observation again.  It’s something  I intend to do.

Reading

Reading around five books at once, as usual.

And of course, the hard to resist realm of the internet…

Interested in Jung right now…Having followed my inkling around the phrase “wounded healer”  I find it a term many have used…

As always interested in psychological theories.  A brief introduction:

Carl Jung

Excerpt from Personality and Personal Growth (6th ed.)
Frager, R., & Fadiman, J. (2005). New York: Pearson
Prentice Hall pg. 56:

Carl Jung is one of the most important, most complex, and most controversial psychological theorists. Jungian psychology focuses on establishing and fostering the relationship between conscious and unconscious processes. Dialogue between the conscious and the unconscious aspects of the psyche enriches the person, and Jung believed that without this dialogue, unconscious processes can weaken and even jeopardize the personality.

One of Jung’s central concepts is individuation, his term for a process of personal development that involves establishing a connection between the ego and the self. The ego is the center of consciousness; the self is the center of the total psyche, including both the conscious and the unconscious. For Jung, there is constant interplay between the two. They are not separate but are two aspects of a single system. Individuation is the process of developing wholeness by integrating all the various parts of the psyche.

Jung’s analysis of human nature includes investigations of Eastern and Western religions, alchemy, parapsychology, and mythology. His initial impact was greater on philosophers, folklorists, and writers than on psychologists or psychiatrists. Today, however, growing concern with human consciousness and human potential has caused a resurgence of interest in Jung’s ideas.”

One of my favourite writers, Henri Nouwen, has also, used the term and has written a book with that title…So I have ordered a second hand copy.  Rather pleased to find that you can order second hand books from Oxfam online, which I did not realise.

 

So, another piecemeal journal entry.  Another collage of creative thinking.  Another meandering discourse.  Beats the hundreds of pieces of paper floating around the house.

Let me say “Happy Christmas” for now, and let the skimming cease…the scrolling subside, and the eyes look elsewhere, away from the wretched screen.

Dulwich Picture Gallery Friends Open Competition Soon to be Over…

Well, I am soon to come and collect “Bright and Breezy” from the Friends Open Exhibition at Dulwich Picture Gallery.   I am so grateful it was selected for show, yet, as always, rather aware of the expense, time, and travelling involved.   If someone buys the work, then the effort is rewarded.  If not,  it is, again, once again, more effort and investment of time and money, for no reward.   If this sounds negative, yes, it is.  In this case, I do not mind too much…. Dulwich Picture Gallery is a charity and holding the Friends Open Exhibition at Dulwich Picture Gallery brings a lot of pleasure,  some  useful finance, and is a great way of contributing to a wonderful gallery.   I am happy to contribute  in some way… Though I hasten to add, that the gallery would be even more helped if all the paintings were sold, because of the commission they would gain!  And, I hasten to add, so would I !

Though I have a very mini little moan,   I have chosen to invest myself in this direction, and of course, take full responsibility for it.  If money were no object, then there would be no problem at all.   And the cost, while very much counted,   at least goes to a good organisation.  While I will always say, and still hold to, that artists, in principal, should be paid for the exhibiting of their work,  something like this exhibition is put on as a fund raiser, and that is no bad thing.

“Bright and Breezy” is the very colourful one,  top left of the image as you, the viewer, are facing it now.

 

bright and breezy painting meehan at dulwich picture gallery uk

bright and breezy painting meehan at dulwich picture gallery uk

 

bright and breezy painting meehan at dulwich picture gallery uk

bright and breezy painting jenny meehan at dulwich picture gallery uk

 

Also, as I take more thought generally about what I do and why,  I realise, once again, that the process of creation is the main purpose and benefit of choosing  to invest myself into painting in the way that I do.  There are lots of other aspects of it, but for myself anyway, it is a functional need first and foremost.  A practice which is so bound up in the way I work as a person, that everything which accompanies it is certainly very interesting and can be quite significant, but is not, in the final analysis, the point of it all.    I am beginning to care much less about what happens to my work (not in terms of copyright, I hasten to add!)  but am more focused on what I am doing rather than the reasons why I am doing it or not doing it!  That’s a blessed release, I can tell you.   Painting is a type of communion for me.  It’s the spiritual, psychological and emotional practice which fuels my moving forwards in life.  This reason, and this reason alone, holds me to the task.  Even if reward-less financially.

Painting Flowers

Flowers are lovely.  They seem even lovelier at this time of year when they all start dying!   Their exit makes me want their entrance!

“I like painting flowers – I have tried to paint many things in many different ways, but my paint brush always gives a tremor of pleasure when I let it paint a flower … to me they are the secret of the cosmos.”  Winifred Nicholson

This quote by Winifred Nicholson makes me think of a very nice evening I spent a while back at the London Centre for Spirituality.  “Consider The Lilies” led by Kenneth Boyd  Browne was an evening invested in some times of silence,  some listening to poetry with flowers as their subject, and lots of question asking as we watched Kenneth making a couple of flower arrangements.  I don’t like lilies very much, as flowers.  I cannot deny their beauty, but their smell is so strong and they always make me think of death (and sex).  Their appearance is  great…but they seem so heavy somehow.   Thankfully it seems that the quote by the Lord Jesus Christ doesn’t ask me to just consider the lilies…  One member of the group commented that the Greek word for “lilies” means “wild flowers”.

Flowers that won't die - Jenny Meehan

Flowers that won’t die – Jenny Meehan
For my Mother

 

Gosh, this is an early painting of mine, must be around 2008/9   This is when I first got my hands on some oil paint.  I got into this one.  It was one of those very immersive painting experiences.   I was thinking of my mother.  I painted it for her, even though she is dead.  It was a kind of memorial.  More meaningful then any other way of remembering for me personally.  I still like this one…I like it’s quietness.  I suspect at some point at least one strand of my current working will dissolve into the softness I started out with.  It’s still very much with me, but lurking!

This one followed, as another interpretation.

 flower painting  British Modern still life painting,  Burst Forth - Jenny Meehan

Burst Forth – Jenny Meehan

 

“Burst Forth”  is rather more characteristic of my approach normally, but the time invested in the “Flowers That Won’t Die”  informed the much quicker and bolder, brasher, painting which followed.

I don’t paint flowers very much , but I do like them, and their transitory nature is an invitation to paint.  Well, everything is transitory of course, but flowers seem especially fleeting.   One of the observations made during “Consider The Lilies” was that the question may be quite easily asked “What’s the point?”  This stuck in my mind, as I have heard it said of art also, and it is a question which could be applied to many activities, when you think about it.  The lovely thing, we concluded, was that flowers just “are”.

Later flower paintings of my own have been “Break Out/Vista/Promised Land” which is a celebration of freedom,  and includes many textural elements, and the later “Falling Flowers”…  in which the fluidity of water (of which I am so much draw to over the last year or so) meets flowers, on the way down!

 imaginative water and flowers painting, british modern expressionistic painting, Falling Flowers - Jenny Meehan

Falling Flowers – Jenny Meehan

 

jenny meehan british female 21st century, painting english modern jenny meehan,flowers imaginative expressionistic,

Break Out/Vista/Promised Land – Acrylic medium and various pigments and fillers

 

Water and Flowers 

“When down her weedy trophies and herself
Fell in the weeping brook. Her clothes spread wide,
And mermaid-like a while they bore her up,
Which time she chanted snatches of old lauds
As one incapable of her own distress,
Or like a creature native and indued
Unto that element. But long it could not be
Till that her garments, heavy with their drink,
Pulled the poor wretch from her melodious lay
To muddy death.”
This reminds me that it was just a few months ago that a board and bench were erected in the place where the painting Ophelia by John Millais was said to have been painted.   The board and bench were unveiled by Councillor Penny Shelton.  The spot  the painting was based on was discovered by a Worcester Park resident, Barbara Webb in the 1990’s.  Through a lot of research she found that he had  set up his easel in Six Acre Meadow on the west bank of the Hogsmill River at the bottom of the Manor House garden in Old Malden, South West London.  So near!
William Nicholson – The Bathing Pool at Chartwell
I dwell on another wonderful painting by William Nicholson…
It is the a quiet but perceptive response….The light touch of the brush is something which lies gently on the surface in a restful manner…. As restful as the subject matter itself.  The cool refreshing water is expressed throughout the whole of the painting, and this is a painting I will dwell on, and continue to dwell on, for years, I suspect!   Finding such painting treasures helps me very much in my own painting direction…   It helps clarify for me my own desires and aspirations and also helps introduce subject matter which resonates deeply with me.  The subject matter is there in a painting like The Bathing Pool at Chartwell clear for all to see,  but I find I take subject matter and absorb it, and find later that it will appear in my own paintings… maybe not with the same clarity, but there, still, and sure.   I know what I have let into my life and my consciousness, when  it comes out, very often!
the bathing pool at chartwell by william nicholson photo credit national trust © Elizabeth Banks

the bathing pool at chartwell by william nicholson photo credit national trust © Elizabeth Banks

Photo credit: National Trust Elizabeth Banks
Usage under fair use terms, for commentary
Looking at the painting by William Nicholson makes me want to get out some watercolours.    I think I will do that, for a change.  While I have several acrylic on canvas paintings on the go at the moment,  I quite fancy a few intimate moments with some paper and watercolours.   The painting above isn’t a watercolour I don’t think (??)  It looks more like an oil painting (I have not checked but it has that feeling of softness which is what I personally like about watercolours) but that and having just seen some watercolours at the Bankside is proving rather motivating for me!   I went along to this exhibition:

Watercolour Secrets: RWS Autumn Exhibition

2 October – 1 November 2014

To celebrate the launch of the latest RWS publication ” Watercolour Secrets” Royal Watercolour Society artists present a show demonstrating their virtuosity in the medium
Pop along, it’s got some jewels in it!
Thinking about exhibitions the “A Letter in Mind” at the Oxo gallery is finished.  Another fundraising exhibition…It was a super mix of lots of talent, and a very enjoyable show to view… I hope they decide to do it again.
Here is an image from the exhibition “A Letter in Mind”.   My work is shown, but I am not telling which yet, as I think they are still selling the work and it could spoil the principle a little if I make my reveal!
letter in mind brain appeal at oxo gallery southbank jenny meehan

letter in mind brain appeal at oxo gallery southbank jenny meehan

 October 2014
This time of year is a time to be less productive I feel.  I have a few abstract paintings I am working on.   I am giving them loads of time on the wall, so I can invest a lot of thinking about what I might do next, before I actually go and do anything about it.   I have now  a studio tent in the garden.   I rather like this completely dedicated space.  Nothing else goes on there but prayer, reading and painting.   It is rather cold at the present time, but still OK for drying acrylic paintings in most of the time.  It is very good to have somewhere completely cut off to look at paintings and paint in.  The times I have spent in it so far have been fantastic.  I have felt a very great sense of the presence of the Holy Spirit, when I take the time to just sit and wait on my Creator.  And I am growing more comfortable with the abstract paintings I am producing.  I think maybe the way they cannot be defined by a subject matter is fitting with the way they are created.  There is a lot of mystery in life generally…I shouldn’t worry about anyone else’s encounter with my painting, but only about my own.  My paintings have their own mysterious coming into being, and I like the way I have relinquished the kind of control which one exerts when painting an object or recognisable subject.  As this is what comes naturally to me,  then maybe I should just go with it completely.   I’m not adverse to a bit of drawing from time to time.   But what flows best for me is probably the best way for me to go.  And it will flow into any representational work I carry out too.  It is all an investment, and nothing is wasted.  Anxiety  and anxious thoughts about painting direction is probably the only time which is wasted!    As long as a painting has poetry, it doesn’t matter what it is, or is not.
winchelsea window stained glass winchelsea church st thomas the martyr stained glass windows

winchelsea window stained glass
winchelsea church st thomas the martyr stained glass windows

 

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

— St. Teresa of Avila

west dean gardens photograph, west dean sussex estate, west dean college garden, black and white garden photographs jenny meehan, foliage landscape photograph meehan

west dean gardens, west dean college, west dean near chichester in sussex photography copyright jenny meehan

 

Above “West Dean Gardens – Light and Trees” –  An example of the photographic strand of my art working.

Jenny Meehan is a painter and designer based in East Surrey/South West London.
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 offers occasional art tuition.  Please contact Jenny at j.meehan@tesco.net or through the contact form at www.jamartlondon.com for further details. 

 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.  

I now have available selected prints from the “Signs of the Times” series, plus several other groups of photographic and digital imagery, available as poster prints through on my Photobox Gallery.  The Photobox Gallery is a handy facility for enabling people to buy my prints in a quick, easy and affordable way.  The prints I describe as “Poster Prints” because they are not signed and checked by me, but I am very confident about the quality.  They are in fact  A2 and A3 sized laser prints on Fujicolor Crystal Archive Paper (a silver halide colour paper, designed exclusively to produce high-image-quality colour prints on both analogue and digital printers).

Here is the link to my Photobox Gallery:

http://www.photoboxgallery.com/19507

There are other options for different types of printing on the Photobox Gallery, but at the present time I am restricting the distribution of my work over the Photobox Gallery to just A2 and A2 laser prints.   However, if you do want something specific, just contact me with your requirements and I am completely free, (thanks to not limiting these particular images to “limited edition”) to arrange to have prints made to varying specifications and to be signed and numbered.

Enquiries welcome.  I have more artwork than I can display on the internet, so let me know if you are looking for something specific in terms of style, function, or subject matter. 

Jenny Meehan exhibits around the United Kingdom.   To be placed on Jenny Meehan’s  bi-annual  mailing list please email j.meehan@tesco.net requesting to be kept up to date.

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 

I would be very pleased if you would  choose to “follow” the Jenny Meehan Contemporary Artist’s Journal at WordPress and keep informed of what I am up to this way.   Just press  the “follow” button and pop in your email address.  You determine how often you get updates and you don’t need a WordPress account to follow Jenny Meehan Contemporary Artist’s Journal.  

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 

Digital photography can be viewed on http://www.photographyblog.com/gallery/showgallery.php?cat=500&ppuser=5491

COPYRIGHT INFORMATION

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……. Yes!  Jenny Meehan.

COPYRIGHT INFORMATION FOR OTHER IMAGES

Notice regarding my use of images on my Jenny Meehan Artist’s Journal blog:   I always try and contact the relevant artist/organisation  if I include images of their work on my blog, and make clear the source.  I am doing as I would be done by.   Where images are taken from other websites, I make it my practice to  cite the source and include a link if possible.  When I include images,  I do so in the belief that this will not cause commercial harm to the copyright holder. I  believe that this is fair use  and does not infringe copyright.  Images are used in order for me to comment and reference them in relation to my own creative and artistic practice.  When I include extracts of text, I also do so with the understanding that again, this is permissible under the widely accepted fair usage terms with respect to copyright.  Please do contact me if you feel I have not practised as I preach! 

Outline of my “Fair Use”  rationale, which is applicable to all images from other sources which I include on this blog:
There is no alternative, public domain or free-copyrighted replacement image available to my knowledge.
Its inclusion in my blog adds significantly to my narrative  because it shows the subject which I want to refer to and relate to my own artistic practice and is necessary in order for me to communicate accurately my observations/critical appraisal/appreciation/educate my readers, in understanding my perspectives on art and life.  Inclusion is for information, education and analysis only. The text discussing the significance of the included  art work is enhanced by inclusion of the image. The image is a low resolution copy of the original work of such low quality that it will not affect potential sales of the art work.

If my own digital images are used by other people,   I likewise,  expect to be contacted, and for permission to be requested from me.  

 

A Letter in Mind –  The National Brain Appeal Art Event

“As part of our 30th anniversary celebrations we are planning an exciting exhibition called ‘A Letter in Mind’ which will be held at the prestigious central London exhibition space gallery@oxo in October 2014. For more information about the gallery@oxo click here

The exhibition will consist of visual responses to the title ‘A Letter in Mind’ realised on or in pre-supplied envelopes. The medium is determined by the artist; the envelopes can be drawn on, written in, collaged or even disassembled. The artworks will be priced at between £50-£100 and sold anonymously at the exhibition in aid of The National Brain Appeal.  Only when the purchaser buys the work will the artist’s name and biography be revealed.

We are inviting UK resident artists (aged over 18 on 1st September 2014), designers and illustrators to produce an artwork using an envelope (supplied by us). Students are welcome to apply. Please spread the word about this opportunity to exhibit and be part of The National Brain Appeal’s first art event.”

I have entered something into “A Letter in Mind”… Not sure when I would be notified if included, but the exhibition is planned for October.  Worth considering entering this for a worthy cause.  (addition, yes, mine is in there!)

 

Coleman, A. D. Depth of Field. University of New Mexico Press, 1998.

I’m posting this in again, as I like it so much!

Nice quote, taken from:  Coleman, A. D. Depth of Field. University of New Mexico Press, 1998.

‘If recognition – or, even worse, fame – is your goal,  you are again in the wrong profession.  Modesty is another of the artist’s tools.

If you’re lucky, any recognition you gain will be merely commensurate with your achievement, and any fame that afflicts you will pass quickly, leaving your sense of self undamaged, so that you can get on with your work.

Get on with your work”‘

And, indeed, I am getting on with my work.

Due to my interest in Spiritual Formation and Spiritual Accompaniment,  which involves time to be invested in reading and quiet (and sometimes loud) reflection,  I am making more effort to focus my art working, and this is good, because my general pace is normally quite fast.  This is just right for some times and some types of working… For some phases in the creative process, it is essential to work fast.  I don’t think there is any special virtue in working in a slow manner, but,  I do want to invest more time thinking about what I am doing and why: more time absorbing what I am doing, and also,  I think, a greater appreciation of the value of time spent not always pushing things forward.   It’s quite hard to allow times of retreating as well as moving forwards.  There is so much emphasis on pushing oneself forward, in promoting, in telling others what you are doing, in all that marketing type activity.  Being an extrovert I don’t mind all that, but it is a job in itself, and I am withdrawing a little from all that exhibition organising and hunting around for opportunities for a while.  The writing of this Jenny Meehan Journal I do very much enjoy, and as I use it as a type of note taking device, it serves me well alongside the potential, at least for any interested parties to dip into it here and there, if so inclined.

I first started the “Jenny Meehan Contemporary Artist’s Journal” as  way of keeping my friends up to date with what I do.  I think I felt that many people I knew did not know very much about what I do,  and having the Jenny Meehan Contemporary Artist’s Journal gives people somewhere to look if they want to get more of an idea.  It’s a rather thrown together blog,  for I don’t work on it much:  it’s all rather stream of consciousness!  For that reason, I have no doubt that it repeats and over dwells on certain matters, however, it does the job for me that I want it to!

Thelma – Her Water Supply was Cut Off,  but her Spirit was Strong”

Here are some images below of a sculpture in wax which is now mostly finished,or at least in the final stages.  The images below show it’s first expression/manifestation, but it looks rather different now as I have added a lot to it in order to make it suitable for casting. It’s gone through several phases.. including a female bishop (in celebration of the ordination of women bishops).   At the point shown in these images I was experimenting with the aluminium.   I will experiment and photograph, maybe experimenting with some painting also, and some pigment.  Once I have finished modifying it  so that a suitable for a cast can  be made,  I might translate the sculpture into some other materials.

The story behind “Thelma – Her Water Supply was Cut Off, but her Spirit was Strong”  (which is the title at the stage shown below!)  lies in the experiences of the life model, who, in the midst of the hot and roasting heat we experienced at the end of July 2014, had to endure the stoppage of her water supply!   Her lovely character though didn’t suffer and while I was working on my brown wax sculpture the theme of water emerged… of flow, and of fluidity.  I joked how lovely it would be to have a wonderful fine spray of water falling down from above… I may well play with this thought as I continue.  The sculpture was carried out on a three day course at Morley College taught by Shelley  Wilson. This was a complete joy, as I have wanted to learn about constructing an armature and working with wax for years.  It was a mega big treat for me,  but I have put a little money aside each month and I was very glad to find a course in London which met a long term desire to experiment with these materials.   I do find it very important to try and do one short course each year if possible, or if not possible, at least a few sessions of life drawing.  It keeps things fresh, and makes the mind think of new directions and new possibilities.

Brown wax and aluminium in progress semi abstract sculpture of human figure,  jenny meehan sculpture semi abstract wax contemporary, Thelma - Her Spirit is Strong

Thelma – Her Spirit is Strong Brown wax and aluminium in progress semi abstract sculpture of human figure

 

 Jenny Meehan  spirit, thelma, Brown wax and aluminium in progress semi abstract sculpture of human figure

Brown wax and aluminium in progress semi abstract sculpture of human figure

Brown wax and aluminium in progress semi abstract sculpture of human figure - Jenny Meehan "Thelma - Her Spirit is Strong"

Brown wax and aluminium in progress semi abstract sculpture of human figure – Jenny Meehan “Thelma – Her Spirit is Strong”

Brown wax and aluminium in progress semi abstract sculpture of human figure - Jenny Meehan "Thelma - Her Spirit is Strong"

Brown wax and aluminium in progress semi abstract sculpture of human figure – Jenny Meehan “Thelma – Her Spirit is Strong”

Brown wax and aluminium in progress semi abstract sculpture of human figure - Jenny Meehan "Thelma - Her Spirit is Strong"

Brown wax and aluminium in progress semi abstract sculpture of human figure – Jenny Meehan “Thelma – Her Spirit is Strong”

Brown wax and aluminium in progress semi abstract sculpture of human figure - Jenny Meehan "Thelma - Her Spirit is Strong"

Brown wax and aluminium in progress semi abstract sculpture of human figure – Jenny Meehan “Thelma – Her Spirit is Strong”

Brown wax and aluminium in progress semi abstract sculpture of human figure - Jenny Meehan "Thelma - Her Spirit is Strong"

Brown wax and aluminium in progress semi abstract sculpture of human figure – Jenny Meehan “Thelma – Her Spirit is Strong”

Brown wax and aluminium in progress semi abstract sculpture of human figure - Jenny Meehan "Thelma - Her Spirit is Strong"

Brown wax and aluminium in progress semi abstract sculpture of human figure – Jenny Meehan “Thelma – Her Spirit is Strong”

Brown wax and aluminium in progress semi abstract sculpture of human figure - Jenny Meehan "Thelma - Her Spirit is Strong"

Brown wax and aluminium in progress semi abstract sculpture of human figure – Jenny Meehan “Thelma – Her Spirit is Strong”

thelma webImage00004

 

 

 

Well, of course since posting the above images, I have continued to work with the sculpture and the sculpture has taken on more than one life of it’s own.  With the need to fill in some areas due to my desire to cast the sculpture at some point, I then let other ideas emerge.  The sculpture went from it’s very watery focus, with it’s root in the memory of the model herself, and took several other forms…Such is the wonder of modelling with brown wax, I find.  It’s so flexible.  After experimenting with stone carving recently, brown modelling wax couldn’t be further away from stone.

With many gaps filled in, a greater sense of body came to be.  This was a great process…quite therapeutic.   This is what psychotherapy does for me, I was thinking…That patient fleshing out and filling in of my sense of self.  Healing.  A kind of spiritual formation process… and, for a Christ believer, as I am,  all the art working I do is a sacramental practice.  An outer sign of an inward grace.  A sign of Christ’s work, on the cross, and in the world, through the Holy Spirit.  This kind of thinking brought me swiftly to the very topical matter of the ordination of women bishops in the Church of England…but I will save the sharing the other images for another time.

Spiritual Formation/Spiritual Direction

At the heart of
spiritual formation is
becoming aware that
God is everywhere,
learning to ‘practise’
God’s presence, and
yielding to God’s
transforming grace.

David Benner

I found the above quote helpful.  As I go through the process of considering some further training in spiritual direction (spiritual mentoring is a more accessible term, I feel)  I am taking time to try and find simple and understandable descriptions of what spiritual direction is.   The one above is like a delightful potted plant!

I have also found this quote below on “The Underlying Rhythm of Lectio Divina” very interesting.   I won’t go into what Lectio Divina is, (I am only just starting to find out myself anyway) but the text below is particularly interesting to me.   By the way…apostolates (never heard of that before!) is, according to wikipedia:  “An Apostolate is a Catholic organization devoted to the mission of the Catholic Church. In more general usage, an apostolate is an association of persons dedicated to the propagation of a religion or a doctrine. ”  

 

” THE UNDERLYING RHYTHM of LECTIO DIVINA

IF WE are to practice lectio divina effectively, we must travel back in time to an understanding that today is in danger of being almost completely lost. In the Christian past the words action (or practice, from the Greek praktikos) and contemplation did not describe different kinds of Christians engaging (or not engaging) in different forms of prayer and apostolates. Practice and contemplation were understood as the two poles of our underlying, ongoing spiritual rhythm: a gentle oscillation back and forth between spiritual “activity” with regard to God and “receptivity.”

PRACTICE – spiritual “activity” – referred in ancient times to our active cooperation with God’s grace in rooting out vices and allowing the virtues to flourish. The direction of spiritual activity was not outward in the sense of an apostolate, but inward – down into the depths of the soul where the Spirit of God is constantly transforming us, refashioning us in God’s image. The active life is thus coming to see who we truly are and allowing ourselves to be remade into what God intends us to become.

IN THE early monastic tradition contemplation was understood in two ways. First was theoria physike, the contemplation of God in creation – God in “the many.” Second was theologia, the contemplation of God in Himself without images or words – God as “The One.” From this perspective lectio divina serves as a training-ground for the contemplation of God in His creation.

IN CONTEMPLATION we cease from interior spiritual doing and learn simply to be, that is to rest in the presence of our loving Father. Just as we constantly move back and forth in our exterior lives between speaking and listening, between questioning and reflecting, so in our spiritual lives we must learn to enjoy the refreshment of simply being in God’s presence, an experience that naturally alternates (if we let it!) with our spiritual practice.

IN ANCIENT times contemplation was not regarded as a goal to be achieved through some method of prayer, but was simply accepted with gratitude as God’s recurring gift. At intervals the Lord invites us to cease from speaking so that we can simply rest in his embrace. This is the pole of our inner spiritual rhythm called contemplation.

HOW DIFFERENT this ancient understanding is from our modern approach! Instead of recognizing that we all gently oscillate back and forth between spiritual activity and receptivity, between practice and contemplation, we today tend to set contemplation before ourselves as a goal – something we imagine we can achieve through some spiritual technique. We must be willing to sacrifice our “goal-oriented” approach if we are to practice lectio divina, because lectio divina has no other goal than spending time with God through the medium of His word. The amount of time we spend in any aspect of lectio divina, whether it be rumination, consecration or contemplation depends on God’s Spirit, not on us. Lectio divinateaches us to savor and delight in all the different flavors of God’s presence, whether they be active or receptive modes of experiencing Him.

IN LECTIO DIVINA we offer ourselves to God; and we are people in motion. In ancient times this inner spiritual motion was described as a helix – an ascending spiral. Viewed in only two dimensions it appears as a circular motion back and forth; seen with the added dimension of time it becomes a helix, an ascending spiral by means of which we are drawn ever closer to God. The whole of our spiritual lives were viewed in this way, as a gentle oscillation between spiritual activity and receptivity by means of which God unites us ever closer to Himself. In just the same way the steps or stages of lectio divina represent an oscillation back and forth between these spiritual poles. In lectio divina we recognize our underlying spiritual rhythm and discover many different ways of experiencing God’s presence – many different ways of praying.”

Copyright information:

This article may be downloaded, reproduced and distributed without special permission from the author. It was first published in the Spring, 1990 (vol.1, no.1) edition of Valyermo Benedictine. It was reprinted as “Appendix 2” in The Art and Vocation of Caring for People in Pain by Karl A. Schultz (Paulist Press, 1993), pp. 98-110. This article can be found in St. Andrew’s Abbey Website.

 

“Bright and Breezy” Painting Chosen for the Dulwich Picture Gallery 2014 Friends Exhibition

 

Bright and Breezy" Jenny Meehan Acrylic and Oil Painting, jenny meehan abstract colourist expressionistic, modernist lyrical abstraction,female british uk 21st century artist jenny meehan, contemporary painters in uk,

Bright and Breezy” Jenny Meehan Acrylic and Oil Painting
There’s a little memory from childhood of a tuft of a tree growing on the edge of a cliff

 

This painting “Bright and Breezy” has been selected for an exhibition at the Dulwich Picture Gallery this year.  I am delighted, and pleasantly surprised, as there were a lot of entries.

“Thank you for your entry to the Friends Open.  This year 234 artists submitted 573 artworks.  The judges were very impressed by the high quality of work submitted and, due to limited display space, had to make some difficult choices to select work for the exhibition.

I am pleased to inform you that the judges have selected Bright & Breezy for exhibition.”

“Bright and Breezy” is 40 x 60 cm in size.  Painted mainly in acrylic, with a very small amount of oil paint  in places on top (I have checked this out technically, and have experienced no issues with the oil paint applied in small areas/amounts in this way).  Very small glass beads are used in some areas, applied by mixing with acrylic medium. ) The surface is partially varnished in some areas with an acrylic varnish, some areas matt and some semi-matt.   It has some interesting surface qualities, and though I am aware I probably sound very pedantic  about the surface,  it naturally interests( and matters to) me a great deal…it does also affect the way the light bounces off the surface, which matters a great deal in painting!  I am framing it in a natural wood (Obeche) frame, with a little satin acrylic varnish.

I think I have posted this painting up on the Jenny Meehan Contemporary Artist’s Journal before and said a little bit about it’s inspiration from a childhood memory of a view of Combe Martin Bay in North Devon.  The little red and blue tuft of a tree hangs onto the side of the cliff, and weathers all storms.  An image of resilience if there ever was one!  I also love the way that the  rocks in the bay,  (though they will certainly change over long periods of time) are so resounding of un-changeability,  in the way they maintain the same basic structure, even forty years later!!!!  You don’t see an image or picture of the scene in my painting, but certainly the emotional and spiritual impulses were expressed successfully, from my perspective/in my understanding.  For some other viewer I expect the painting will resonate with a different memory and image.. the image sometimes may not be seen, but hovers there in the back of the viewers mind, rather than blatantly on the surface of the canvas.

I will now need to sort out a frame, thankfully, I have become quite a dab hand at constructing the frames for my paintings.  I like to make them myself, not only because of the financial aspect, but because I can have them exactly as I please in terms of colour and form, and also, they are even more part of the painting when I personally make them.

The Exhibition space is very nice indeed, and I am looking forward to seeing all the other artworks on show.

Here are the details taken from the Dulwich Picture Gallery website:

“In celebration of their 60th Anniversary the Friends of Dulwich Picture Gallery are holding a special Open Exhibition in the Gallery’s temporary exhibition spaces. This is a unique opportunity for the public to have work shown at the world’s very first purpose-built public art gallery.

569 artworks have been submitted by 230 artists. The Sackler Director of the Gallery, Ian Dejardin, is heading a panel of judges including Rebecca Fortnum, Clive Head, Nicky Hirst and Elo Schuneman, who will select over a hundred pictures to be displayed for sale.

Work chosen will hang in the Open Exhibiton, on show to the public from 30 September to 12 October.  Entrants will be invited to a Private View on 29 September where three prizes will be awarded by the judges.”

Private View: 29 September

For enquiries please contact: friendsexhibition@dulwichpicturegallery.org.uk

The exhibition runs from the 30th of September until the 12th October 2015

http://www.dulwichpicturegallery.org.uk/whats-on/exhibitions/2014/sep/open-exhibition/

I’m looking forward to the private view, though hoping that they don’t just offer wine to drink, but have something non-alcoholic as well!  I hope the painting sells, as I now need to fund an individually guided retreat  next year, and the money would be very handy indeed for this.

 

The “Art and Life” exhibition is on at the moment, and so it is still possible to visit this!  It’s very good!

http://www.dulwichpicturegallery.org.uk/whats-on/exhibitions/2014/jun/art-and-life/

 

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