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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

Thursday 5 July 2018…

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

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

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

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

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

I find this more helpful to my self.

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

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

 

 

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

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

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

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

It’s drying quick…I use Soldalit.

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

The light bounces off the matt surface beautifully.

It’s a JOY!

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

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

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

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

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

I did do this a couple of years back…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I love these paints so much…

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

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

But working with the Keim Mineral Paints is fantastic.

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

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

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

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

Oh er…

So best to breath fresh air!

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

That’s a big percentage increase.

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

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

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

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

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

Healthy is important.

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

Still eating a bit too much sugar!

 

Looking backwards in order to move forwards

 

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

the river within jenny meehan ©jenny meehan

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

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

KAOS open studios jenny meehan paintings

KAOS open studios jenny meehan paintings

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

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

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

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

 

How to pray when we don’t want to pray

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

All very helpful!

 

 

In the garden

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

I enjoy gardening too.

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

January

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

(Jenny Meehan copyright 2009)

Blossom and Bamboo

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

(Jenny Meehan copyright 2009)

 

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

 

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

oriental blossom by Jenny Meehan © Jenny Meehan.

 

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

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

bamboo blowing monotype jenny meehan

© Jenny Meehan.

 

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

jenny meehan drawing painting uk ©jenny meehan

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

Bamboo is VERY useful!

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

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

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

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

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

And the Fatsia in the front garden…

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

 

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

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

jenny meehan jamartlondon.com photography ©jenny meehan

 

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

jenny meehan jamartlondon.com photography ©jenny meehan

 

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

jenny meehan jamartlondon.com photography ©jenny meehan

 

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

 

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

Some information from Wikipedia;

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

and

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

Mono no aware…  How beautiful…

Redbubble.com

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Good Quote:

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

 

Langstone Harbour – The Tide Comes In

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

sea scape painting langstone harbour painting by jenny meehan

langstone harbour painting by jenny meehan

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

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

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

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

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

 

Jenny Meehan, of the mud flats at Langstone Harbour 2009

 

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

 

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

 

 

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Victoria Miro Trip – Surface Work Exhibition

 

A quick shimmy around some of the paintings on show!

 

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

victoria miro surface works visit 2018

 

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

victoria miro surface works visit 2018

 

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

victoria miro surface works visit 2018

 

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

victoria miro surface works visit 2018

 

 

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

victoria miro surface works visit 2018

 

A bit of self indulgent selfies and digital alterations!

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

victoria miro surface works visit 2018

 

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

victoria miro surface works visit 2018

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

victoria miro surface works visit 2018

 

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

victoria miro surface works visit 2018

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

victoria miro surface works visit 2018

 

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

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

comprehensive ocean of my business!

 

Reflections on Artists and what their “Business” is!

 

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

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

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

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

Artists bring the artistic imagination into everyday life.

Creative expression is a fundamental human right.

Let’s not forget that.

 

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

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

Kingston Artists’ Open Studio!

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

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

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

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

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

Hope to see you! Jenny Meehan

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

“My Muybridge” Exhibition at Kingston Museum

 

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

Jenny Meehan 2017”

 

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

 

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

minds eye muybridge artwork jenny

 

 

Kingston Arts at Kingston Museum My Muybridge exhibition surrey cultu

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

Kaleidoscope: Colour and Sequence in 1960s British Art

1 April 2017 – 3 June 2018

Looks very good!

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

Text copied and pasted from the website:

“An Arts Council Collection Touring Exhibition

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

 

holy week art church of england hook jenny meehan

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

 

Another Exhibition at Kingston Museum

 

me in front of anagrams kingston museum banner surrey art event

me in front of anagrams kingston museum banner

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

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

 

Kingston Arts at Kingston Museum My Muybridge exhibition surrey cultu

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

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

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

 

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

 

 

 

studio tent jenny meehan

 

 

 

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

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

 

©jenny meehan

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

 

 

A small selection of memory images

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

 

jenny meehan jamartlondon photography monochrome

jenny meehan jamartlondon photography monochrome

 

jenny meehan jamartlondon photography monochrome

jenny meehan jamartlondon photography monochrome

 

jenny meehan jamartlondon photography monochrome

jenny meehan jamartlondon photography monochrome

 

jenny meehan jamartlondon photography monochrome

jenny meehan jamartlondon photography monochrome

 

jenny meehan jamartlondon photography monochrome

jenny meehan jamartlondon photography monochrome

 

 

 

jenny meehan jamartlondon.com photography

jenny meehan jamartlondon.com photography

 

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

 

 

 

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

I always enjoy a reminisce, and here is one:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

PS…

 

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

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

Jenny Meehan on Redbubble.com

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

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

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

 

 

Well, another month, another post!

Quite late to post February post on the 19th!

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

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

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

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

studio tent jenny meehan

studio tent jenny meehan

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

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

Image of the Small World Futures contribution from myself!

SWF_Jenny_Meehan_14d_33% vibe drome on display london bridge

Image credit: ©Alban Low

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

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

Here is some text quoted from the CollectConnect website:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

© Natalie Low

(Included on here with permission from Natalie Low)

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

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

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

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

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

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

I love his drawing!

Why Abstract Painting Isn’t Music

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

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

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

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

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

Painting and Music Play on the Instrument of the Feelings

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

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

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

Composition

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

 

All is Energy

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

The Constructive Laws of Rhythm

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Pure Painting, Pure Aesthetics

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

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

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

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

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

© Patricia Railing 2005

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

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

Included in this blog by kind permission.

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

The Smell of Paint!

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

The SMELL!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Paint to love…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Not Drawing…

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

Here is some past drawing.

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

rear access roads chessington art jenny meehan

rear access roads chessington art jenny meehan

rear access roads chessington art jenny meehan

rear access roads chessington art jenny meehan

rear access roads chessington art jenny meehan

rear access roads chessington art jenny meehan

rear access roads chessington art jenny meehan

rear access roads chessington art jenny meehan

rear access roads chessington art jenny meehan

rear access roads chessington art jenny meehan

rear access roads chessington art jenny meehan

rear access roads chessington art jenny meehan

rear access roads chessington art jenny meehan

rear access roads chessington art jenny meehan

rear access roads chessington art jenny meehan

rear access roads chessington art jenny meehan

rear access roads chessington art jenny meehan

rear access roads chessington art jenny meehan

rear access roads chessington art jenny meehan

rear access roads chessington art jenny meehan

rear access roads chessington art jenny meehan

rear access roads chessington art jenny meehan

rear access roads chessington art jenny meehan

rear access roads chessington art jenny meehan

rear access roads chessington art jenny meehan

rear access roads chessington art jenny meehan

rear access roads chessington art jenny meehan

rear access roads chessington art jenny meehan

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

 

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Speaking Out Project

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

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

What is happening this year?

Well, the Kingston Artists’ Open Studios!

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

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

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

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

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

A Prayer of Anselm (1033-1109)

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

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

Often you weep over our sins and our pride,

tenderly you draw us from hatred and judgement.

You comfort us in sorrow and bind up our wounds,

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

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

by your anguish and labour we come forth in joy.

Despair turns to hope through your sweet goodness;

through your gentleness we find comfort in fear.

Your warmth gives life to the dead,

your touch makes sinners righteous.

Lord Jesus, in your mercy heal us;

in your love and tenderness remake us.

In your compassion bring grace and forgiveness,

for the beauty of heaven may your love prepare us.

Amen.

 

Such a beautiful prayer. 

Redbubble.com

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

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

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

 

 

Thinking, Thinking and Thinking a little bit more…

I am still thinking about the installation”Wetin You Go Do? ”    I saw last month at Tate Modern.  Large concrete spheres with rope which ran  through them.  Like large beads!  I couldn’t get a ball and chain out of my mind while walking around the installation.  How heavy those beads looked.  I could identify with that heaviness, and for me the experience resonated of the heaviness of not being able to move. Because beads and orbs must roll around mustn’t they?  Made to do that.  But no movement there.   As I have experienced in some degree reduced mobility over the last couple of years, it was an experience which  hit my core.

As a child I loved dancing, and I wanted to be a ballet dancer.  Dancing was my freedom, and as I was  growing up in  a household which was oppressive in many respects, and in which I did not feel free to be myself, movement has always been something which matters with a force of feeling I am very conscious of. The associations I have with dancing and ballet are all good.  That was my space, my being, my freedom, my territory.  So walking around “Wetin You Go Do? ”  2015, the work of  Nigerian artist Otobong Nkanga was profound.  The fact that I was able to walk around it, with no stick, no pain, and with the freedom to walk around and around, as many times as I wanted, is great.  It made the immovable nature of the concrete orbs even stronger in my mind.  To be created in a form which is meant to move, and to not move, seemed the uppermost idea in my mind.

The text on “Wetin You Go Do? ”  says that it “integrates voice and sculpture to reflect on contemporary anxieties”.  It was quite beautiful to listen to and there was movement in the voices and the sound.  To have the overlapping sound was almost healing in effect.  Like water.  The sound was edited and layers, and each sphere represented an imaginary character.  The cross over of the voices meant they never quite met, even though linked together.  I guess this is something I understood personally as symbolising that there is no escape from our own unique individual experience. Our own narrative, story, is our own.  We can tell it and say it, and it may be heard or it may not.   However linked we are, there is an overlapping which means some of our voice is missed.  I cannot remember if there were points at which there was a meeting of the voices ( I mean, a small space left so that one voice seemed to respond to another) but I think there was at times.  I did go back to dwell in the space again the week after my visit, but it had finished!  I would have gone back every week if I had known about it sooner.  It meant that much to me!

The soundtracks in “Wetin You Go Do? ”   were partly narrative and partly song.  As well as some statements in English, French and Nigerian Pidgin, there were the watery poetic meanderings (and you know how much I like meanderings!) of a stream of consciousness narrative . Meandering monologues!   I am very fond of the stream of consciousness narrative mode, which I first encountered when studying Mrs Dalloway, a novel by Virginia Woolf, as part of my Literature degree.  “Stream of consciousness”  describes a literary form where a person’s thoughts and conscious reactions to events are perceived as a continuous flow.  The term was introduced by William James in his Principles of Psychology (1890).

Though the dialogue in “Wetin You Go Do? ” was improvised by the artist on the subject of reflecting on life’s difficulties, so in emotional expression, steeped in anxiety; I found it oddly soothing.  I suppose maybe it’s kind of wonderful when emotion is expressed.  Expressed anxiety is shared, and the installation as a whole did hold a huge sense of interconnectedness which is comforting and made the space very expansive even though enclosed.

I went back to see it a second time, but it had finished!

I have made several trips to Tate Modern recently.  I am getting a lot out of it.  Now I can walk freely, I can fill up with visits to galleries!   This is very good and very important to me.

Big Brainstorming!

I am enjoying brainstorming and having a very productive time in the thought department.  While my painting is rather “finishing off” orientated.. not that there ever is an end to a painting… but what I mean, maybe… is just visually resolving a few of the painterly footsteps I make as I meander through life!  But alongside the current of traces of paint, snail like trails which follow behind me, there is a lot going on.  Being very inspired!  I had a FANTASTIC three hours at the Barbican for the Jean-Michel Basquiat exhibition.  I have been seriously shaken up and stirred!  I knew I would, which is why I went!  And the fantastic day ended with the amazing “Interchange” experience:

Text from website:

“Friday Tonic: Interchange

Part of EFG London Jazz Festival
See an exciting new jazz dectet comprising ten of the nation’s most innovative jazz composers and improvisers.

Ten of the UK’s leading female musicians combine in a new initiative led by Issie Barratt, playing new music from women composers representing a breadth and diversity that crosses generations and cultural backgrounds.

Interchange’s programme of ten new works keenly explores the full emotional spectrum while collectively pushing the composed and the improvised to the max.

Because of Interchange’s diverse cultural background combined with their mutual experience across all genres (jazz, pop, classical, world music) they’re a very genre-fluid ensemble. For example, Shirley Karen is a regular member of both Mike Westbrook’s big band and the Ballet Rambert, while Carol’s either touring with Seal or playing on TV soundtracks. Shirley’s equally at home playing jazz, Middle Eastern or classical cello and Yazz is as comfortable working with the LSO as with the LJO making for an eclectic and vibrant mix.

Issie Barratt is supported by PRS for Music Foundation”

While they were playing several small children were moving to the music…At times with beautiful expressive movements, among the general running, jumping and chasing each other around.  It was delightful. I took note of some of their moves, though unfortunately, mobile as I am, I am not sure I can quite do all of them!!!

Research

I am currently doing a lot of research on materials and textures.  And colour, of course.  Also, though I do love my iron oxides, earths and other metal based inorganic pigments, I did succumb to the violent modern dye based experience over the year with “Water Fight/Mad Moment” and I also succumbed to the lure of plastic gloves!  This may be a sign of things to come!

… as you see here:

I don’t always dress like  this…It was a special occasion!  Look at those arms!  Swimming arms and good for holding big heavy paintbrushes!

 

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

jenny meehan waterfight mad moment abstract painting jamartlondon

I have tended to refer to acrylic paint as “liquid plastic” and I don’t like the feel of it all that much.  Well, not as much as silica sol mineral paint or oil paint.  But it dries quickly, and with just a studio tent and no other permanent space solely devoted to being a painting area, it does have its benefits.  No I am getting very interested in increasing the size of my painting, this brings with it many practical issues.  However, as I think I have written before, “Necessity is the Mother of Invention”.  Well, it can be.  Sometimes it is just a pain in the arse and annoying.

So I am doing a lot of experimentation at the moment with more affordable substrates than stretched canvas.  As I want to paint larger, I need to change the materials I use.  I have a lot of materials around me in my domestic environment.  I have a lot of sheets and tablecloths, pillow cases and lots of other materials which I could use.  I am keen to recycle the materials I already have.   I enjoy experimenting and researching… I spent at least six months when I was looking into silica sol mineral paint…So this is going to take some time.  I am also considering, alongside my usual emphasis on ensuring my materials are compatible, stable, long lasting and as permanent as possible, using some materials which are temporary and experimenting with painting which is temporary.  I feel as long as I know what I am doing in terms of the materials, I can do what I want.  What is distressing is when artists use materials which they don’t know the properties of.  For example, doing work in biro which they want to last and think will last, but not checking if the ink in the pen is permanent or not!!!

I am also thinking very much that I need to move myself in to the moment more.  It is so easy for me to think about my production and what I produce, but lose the value of the moment, of the very act of being and doing something for its own sake.  There is a ritualistic aspect to my painting.  I sometimes dance or move, listen to music, exercise… the list goes on. It is relatively easy to produce a pleasing painting.  It can be harder to shed the mental shroud of it needing to matter.  In the end it is a simple entering into an experience of life giving interaction with materials and movement.  It is the movement which now interests me.  Probably because I feel so very very grateful for it.

I do need more space.

I need a room of my own.

My studio tent is full.

And it’s very COLD at the moment.

I do have my kitchen table.

I am constantly aware of the restrictions on my art working in financial and practical areas.  But I am happy too.  Because I am blessed to be an artist. It is a calling in life for me.   I was grateful many years ago to someone I spoke to who reminded of this.  I was moaning about financial restrictions, and they simply said about their own painting “I am so grateful that I have the gift I have.”  And I am so grateful to them for reminding me.  It’s very easy to fall into being negative.

So as I seek to enlarge the area of my painting, I can utilise what might hold it back, and enable it to move forwards.  No problem.

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

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

Yes!  No problem, again!  I have popped this in because I saw it in it’s place today when I was at SWLEOC for the Patient Forum.   It really does look like it was made to go where it is placed.   They did a good job of finding its home for it, because it certainly looks at home!

 

 

“Wisteria Trellis” Print by Jenny Meehan

 

© Jenny Meehan DACS All Rights Reserved jamartlondon.com wisteria trellis by jenny meehan

wisteria trellis by jenny meehan© Jenny Meehan DACS All Rights Reserved

Above is “Wisteria Trellis” another print.  This was exhibited at “Bah Humbug” KAOS exhibition Cass Art 2016

My thoughts on it at the time:

More aware of the value of support systems in daily life, the motif of a trellis as a support for growth is an important one for me. Collage as a technique has started to sneak into some of my paintings, and is not new to me in terms of digital imagery, but with the introduction of a graphic plant motif, combined with experiments with printed colour, the production of small printed images provides an interesting strand of my work which I am able to do while seated.”

I was needing to be rather more seated than I wanted!  Now, with my nice new knee,  I have to remind myself to sit down from time to time!

And my supports, in the form of crutches and sticks, have lain unused for months!

I am now 8 months post op from my TKR.  I will be posting the update on “The very patient knee replacement story by Jenny Meehan” soon.  It is getting quite hard to fit that additional writing in!  I have given up on including images.

 

Second Prize in the Chester Art Centre Open Exhibition 2017

I now need to sort out some more printing because I won 2nd Prize in the Digital Art section of the Chester Art Centre Open Exhibition this year, with “Leap of Faith”.

 

Leap of Faith…This time paid off!

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

leap of faith jenny meehan (jennifer meehan) geometrical abstract design artwork fine art print to buy

You can buy unsigned prints of “Leap of Faith” on Redbubble.com  It is under its first title “Take Courage/Leap of Faith”.  I like two titles!

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

It was printed as part of the Chester Art Centre Exhibition and the framed print was purchased.

I am very pleased about winning £150 worth of printing,  because I no longer have an A3 printer (it broke), so it is rather timely!  I have a series of prints I am working on still which I would like printed.   I don’t tend to produce limited edition prints very much, but just sign and number them, as it gives me a lot more freedom as an artist to do what I want with my imagery in the future.  As I don’t spend much time producing prints this means all my prints are limited in number!  There are also open edition unsigned prints available of some of my selected images at Redbubble.com.   Now is the age of printed matter all over the place.  No point in artificially limiting numbers for most of the things I print, in my opinion.  As long as I get my royalty and people don’t use my images without my permission, I am happy.    They have LOTS of merchandise you can have printed with my images!

One example:

https://www.redbubble.com/people/jennyjimjams/works/21152134-trellis-wisteria-floral-design-jenny-meehan-jamartlondon?p=poster&rel=carousel

Take a look!

 

Moral Rights Information

Here for my own information!  As I have said before, I use this blog as a bit of a notepad!

Quoted from DACS Newsletter September 2016

 https://www.dacs.org.uk/latest-news/copyright-uncovered-moral-rights?utm_source=DACS%2BGeneral%2BMailing%2BList&utm_campaign=4c1d8e013c-DACS_newsletter_Sep_2016&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_de159500fe-4c1d8e013c-222682597&mc_cid=4c1d8e013c&mc_eid=747412c6ec&category=For+Artists&title=N

Whereas copyright allows you to control how your work is reproduced and distributed, moral rights protect your name and reputation – so it is important to be aware of them.

There are four moral rights under UK law:

  • The right to be identified as the creator of your work – known as ‘the Attribution Right’
  • The right to object to derogatory treatment of your work negatively affecting your reputation – known as ‘the Right of Integrity’
  • The right to not be identified as the creator of a work created by someone else – known as ‘The Right to object to False Attribution’
  • The right to not have photographs or films that were commissioned for private and domestic purposes exhibited, broadcast or issued to the public – known as ‘the Right of Privacy in certain photographs and films’

 

Artists Exhibiting – Open Studios of the 18th Century- Painters in search of their Public

I found the following read charming… And discovered  that my kitchen and living room space, which serves as a display area for a selection of my paintings,  has some historical precedence, of which I knew not!

The Illustrious Academies: 17th and 18th Centuries (The painter in search of his public: the commercialization of art) …  quote from  Chambers Arts Library “How to read Paintings 2- The secrets of the artist’s studio”

“A change was occurring, particularly in France at around the time the Academie was founded, whereby the distinction between artists who “peddled their own wares” and those who (at least in an ideal sense) painted or sculpted out of love for their art (receiving the thanks of delighted clients who where able to appreciate their talent and the time they had devoted to their work) became even more clear-cut.  Thus in his petition to the king, Martin de Charmois asked that anyone who ran a shop be prohibited from calling himself a painter or sculptor.  There was doubtless a good deal of hypocrisy in this.  Whether they belonged to the guild (whose members were allowed to deal in art) or the Academie, artists had to earn a living, and in reality it was fully acknowledged that they had no need to limit themselves to salaries and privileges – which were growing in number but still only benefited a minority of artists – provided they sold only their own paintings and went about it discreetly.  In 17th- century France, therefore, transactions tended  to be carried out not in workshops that opened onto the street, but in the upper rooms of the house in which the artist worked or in a room disguised as a sitting room adjoining the artist’s studio (as in the room in which Poussin painted himself in the Louvre self-portrait, which was probably at the back of the courtyard of a private mansion or at the top of  building.)

The same arrangement was usual in 18th-century England.  The most famous artists maintained a showroom – a sitting room or private gallery – next to their studio.  During the second half of the 18th century, Joshua Reynolds had his studio in Leicester Fields in London.  The painter showed his own paintings here, taking care to recreate the hushed atmosphere of a private apartment.  He also offered curios and old masters for sale, the latter in order to increase the prestige and therefore the price of his own work.  Angelika Kauffmann, a Swiss painter who settled in London in 1766, also maintained an exhibition room next to her studio in Suffolk Street, not far from where she lived.  She described the arrangement as follows : ” I have four rooms, one in which I paint, another in which, in keeping with the custom here, I hand my finished paintings… People come and sit here – to visit me or to see my pictures; it would be out of the question to receive the public in a room which was not handsomely decorated.”

 

And so, indeed it would!  However, I trust the room need not be spotless, because it is very hard, or maybe even impossible, for a artist with an additional domestic/home management role to have time to do both her painting and a sufficient amount of housework.  !!!!  And, I may “peddle my wares” and paint for love, I trust.  Indeed, in order to paint for love, finances are needed.  I need people to buy my work… In doing so, they ensure I am able to continue.  Resources are limited.  Just love this..

“People come and sit here – to visit me or to see my pictures; it would be out of the question to receive the public in a room which was not handsomely decorated.”   

I do agree.

My kitchen space, and sometime studio, and my studio tent, and sometime greenhouse, are NOT handsomely decorated one little bit.  But the welcome is there!

 

“The Very Patient Knee Replacement Story by Jenny Meehan.”

Well,  I need to get on with writing the 8 month update on “The Very Patient Knee Replacement Story by Jenny Meehan.”  It is certainly not the sort of writing I thought I would be engaged in, but little did I know what would happen with my knee!  I feel it is worth investing my time into it, as major surgery is a very challenging experience, and I wanted to do something which may help other people going through the same operation!  Everyone has very different experiences and everyone’s situation is very different, but I felt by sharing my experience it might prove useful in some way.  Because I have an ongoing interest in trauma recovery, it seemed to add another dimension to my existing interests.    I am also working on an abridged version, as the full version is rather long.  But writing it kept me sane as I had a project to work on which I could do throughout the whole period.  I will stop writing it at the one year mark.

https://jennymeehan.wordpress.com/the-very-patient-knee-replacement-story-by-jenny-meehan/

 

https://jennymeehan.wordpress.com/abridged-version-of-the-very-patient-knee-replacement-story-by-jenny-meehan/

 

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

 

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

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

Contact Jenny via her website: 

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

Jenny Meehan (Jennifer Meehan) BA Hons (Lit.) PGCE  offers art tuition.  Please contact Jenny at j.meehan@tesco.net or through the contact form at www.jamartlondon.com for further details.  Availability depends on other commitments.    

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

This artist’s blog is of interest to artists, art collectors, art lovers and anyone interested in fine art.  Those interested in British 21st century female contemporary artists, women and art, religious art, spirituality and art, and psychoanalysis and art, will probably enjoy dipping into this Jenny Meehan Contemporary Artist’s Journal.

Art collectors are often interested in the processes, techniques, interests and influences of the artists whose work they collect, and sharing my thoughts and perspectives through a blog is an important dimension of my creative practice.

My main focus is directed towards process led abstract painting, and you can view some examples of this on my website jamartlondon.com.  I encapsulate my painting as being romantic,expressionistic, abstract and lyrical.  Art collectors interested in lyrical abstraction, abstract expressionist, and essentially romantic art, are likely to find my paintings an interesting and exciting addition to their art collection. Art collectors can view a list of exhibitions I have taken part in on my websites exhibitions page; http://www.jamartlondon.com/#/exhibitions/4570944550

Art collectors can see selected examples of my original paintings  organised by year on jamartlondon which gives you a brief overview of the development of my painting over the years:

http://www.jamartlondon.com/#/paintings/4570156802

I am a self-representing artist, whose aim is to ensure  I continue to develop my painting practice in an innovative and pioneering way, rather than attempt some kind of commercial success, and whose aim is also that my work is historically relevant, rather then celebrated in that so called and illusive “art world”.  I hope to add to the number of people who value, collect, and develop an interest in my paintings and to thereby sustain and develop my practice over many years. 

I am also keen that my  art work is appreciated and accessible to as many people as possible, and am aware that not all art lovers and art collectors can afford to buy original paintings or limited edition prints.  For that reason I grant licenses for the use of my imagery. (See Redbubble.com and DACS information below). 

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

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

Note About Following Jenny Meehan Contemporary Artist’s Journal 

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

 

Website Link for jamartlondon:  www.jamartlondon.com 

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

 

Help me continue my practice/art working:

 Jenny Meehan art images on Redbubble and Image Licensing through the Designer and Artists Copyright Society

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

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

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

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

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

 

COPYRIGHT INFORMATION

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

Copyright and Licensing Digital Images Information – Jenny Meehan

www.jamartlondon.com

Copyright in all images by Jenny Meehan is held by the artist.
Permission must be sought in advance for the reproduction, copying or any other use of any images by Jenny Meehan.

Copyright for all visual art by Jenny Meehan is managed by the Design and Artists Copyright Society (DACS) in the UK. If you wish to licence a work of art by Jenny Meehan,  you could contact Jenny Meehan in the first instance to clarify your requirements. There is a contact form on my website www.jamartlondon.com.  Alternatively you can contact the DACS directly;  https://www.dacs.org.uk/licensing-works

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

I have extensive archives of digital imagery, and keep records of all my art work, so  if you require an image similar to something of mine you have seen on the internet, it’s worth contacting me to see if I have something suitable for licensing if need be.  Use the contact form on my website jamartlondon.com to enquire:  http://www.jamartlondon.com/#/contact/4569980742

About Jenny Meehan (Jennifer Meehan) 

Jenny Meehan is an established artist who has been exhibiting for over ten years, mostly in the UK. Notable exhibitions include, most recently being selected for the Imagined Worlds touring exhibition of artworks inspired by the poem ‘Kubla Khan’ and inclusion in “Building Bridges, the Female Perspective” at Tower Bridge Victorian Engine Rooms in 2016. Jenny has been a keen supporter of various charity art exhibitions over the years including the National Brain Appeals ” A Letter in Mind” at Gallery@oxo, South Bank, London and the “Anatomy for Life” Exhibition for Brighton Sussex University Hospitals Trust in 2015

Selected by a wide range of judges in open submission exhibitions, her work appeals to the aesthetic and emotional discernment of many, and has been displayed in many prestigious galleries. These include the Dulwich Picture Gallery, London, in 2015, as part of their Open Exhibition, and the Pallant House Gallery, Chichester, West Sussex, as part of the Pallant House Gallery/St Wilfrid’s Hospice Open Art Exhibition in 2010.

Jenny Meehan’s work has been included in several academic projects and and publications including “Speaking Out – Women Recovering from the Trauma of Violence” by Nicole Fayard in 2014 and the ongoing “Recovery” Exhibition project – Institute Of Mental Health/City Arts, Nottingham University, also in 2014. While her romantic, lyrical, expressionistic, abstract paintings offer a contemplative space free from cares and concerns, other strands of her practice engage with subjects ranging from violence, trauma recovery, psychoanalysis, and mental health.

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Interesting Television Programme

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

Here is the text about the programme:

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

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

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

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

Here is some information on the exhibition:

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

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

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

Chester Open Art Exhibition 2017

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

How the months fly by!

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

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

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

Information about the venue…

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

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

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

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

Becoming – Painting and Poem by Jenny Meehan

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

Jenny Meehan

© Jenny Meehan  All Rights Reserved

 

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

I look forward to seeing the project unfolding.

 

Before Knee Replacement…

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

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

Dark Night Painting by Jenny Meehan

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

dark night of the soul painting, abstract expressionist painting by jenny meehan, british 21st century female woman painter artist, lyrical abstraction,woman artists contemporary collectable, black white painting,jenny meehan jamartlondon,

dark night of the soul abstract painting jenny meehan jamartlondon

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

http://www.jamartlondon.com

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

Female Abstract Expressionists

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

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

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

Perle Fine is one painter I have looked at recently…

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

Quote Marika Herskovic:

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

Few nice quotes by Perle Fine:

 

“Feeling is what we are involved with” and

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

I will keep that in mind!

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

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

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

And very interesting reading on her process.

 

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

https://ourparks.org.uk/

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

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

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

 

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

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

I love it when my paintings find owners!

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

 

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

abstract lyrical expressionist british paintings jenny meehan

abstract lyrical expressionist british paintings jenny meehan

 

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

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

http://www.jamartlondon.com

The direction in my thinking on this painting above:

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

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

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

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

Above is link direct to page.

 

In a bit of a fix…

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

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

What is the  Fixer Relationship Type?

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

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

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

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

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

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

lyrical abstraction contemporary artist british, female artist jenny meehan london based, lyrical abstraction process led painting,collectable abstract paintings for collectors, jenny meehan jamartlondon uk, art historical relevant significant art british,exploratory innovative paintings, british women artists current today,affordable original paintings to buy uk, collectable paintings original british contemporary a

abstract lyrical expressionist british paintings jenny meehan

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

http://www.jamartlondon.com

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

 

Poem to accompany “Mending” Painting – Jenny Meehan 2016

 

I scream out to be fixed

because I have fallen apart

And everywhere I see fixings fixed on

panels and walls and buildings

And I, flat faced and dropping into my feet

Cannot stand the sight which draws me forwards

Because it testifies to the problem I face

Surrounding me, encapsulating me

with  horror struck security

But there is no comfort

Because nobody knows anything deeper than

my own panels

paint stained panels

painted

by rain

inside

and out.

 

© Jenny Meehan

Best FIXING experience of 2017 – Total Knee Replacement!

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

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

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

So worth it now though.  So worth it.

 

Yoga and Christianity Thoughts

Shared by Christians Practicing Yoga on Facebook.

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

Yoga is to still the patternings of consciousness.

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

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

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

Yoga is the icy silence of post-disintegration.

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

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

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

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

 

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

A Few Photographs…

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

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

 

jenny meehan jamartlondon photography monochrome

jenny meehan jamartlondon photography monochrome

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

 

jenny meehan jamartlondon photography monochrome

jenny meehan jamartlondon photography monochrome

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

jenny meehan jamartlondon photography monochrome

jenny meehan jamartlondon photography monochrome

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

 

jenny meehan jamartlondon photography monochrome

jenny meehan jamartlondon photography monochrome

jenny meehan jamartlondon photography monochrome

jenny meehan jamartlondon photography monochrome

jenny dohan jamartlondon photography

jenny meehan jamartlondon photography monochrome

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

 

 

 

“Tree by Water”  Monoprint

tree by water monoprint 2017

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

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

(Thames Riverside
48 Hopton Street
London SE1 9JH

Tel. 020 7928 7521
info@banksidegallery.com)

Details here:

ONE-OFF | THE MASTERS | MONOPRINT

8 – 19 NOVEMBER

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

unerring want of running water TWO painting jenny meehan

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

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

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

 

me in front of anagrams kingston museum banner surrey art event

me in front of anagrams kingston museum banner

Nice to have my painting blown up!

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

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

 Drop in Drawing and Painting Workshop

Here is the information I send out to interested people:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

NHS Financial Pressures

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Well, must go now.

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

 

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

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

Contact Jenny via her website: 

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

Jenny Meehan (Jennifer Meehan) BA Hons (Lit.) PGCE  offers art tuition.  Please contact Jenny at j.meehan@tesco.net or through the contact form at www.jamartlondon.com for further details.  Availability depends on other commitments.    

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

This artist’s blog is of interest to artists, art collectors, art lovers and anyone interested in fine art.  Those interested in British 21st century female contemporary artists, women and art, religious art, spirituality and art, and psychoanalysis and art, will probably enjoy dipping into this Jenny Meehan Contemporary Artist’s Journal.

Art collectors are often interested in the processes, techniques, interests and influences of the artists whose work they collect, and sharing my thoughts and perspectives through a blog is an important dimension of my creative practice.

My main focus is directed towards process led abstract painting, and you can view some examples of this on my website jamartlondon.com.  I encapsulate my painting as being romantic,expressionistic, abstract and lyrical.  Art collectors interested in lyrical abstraction, abstract expressionist, and essentially romantic art, are likely to find my paintings an interesting and exciting addition to their art collection. Art collectors can view a list of exhibitions I have taken part in on my websites exhibitions page; http://www.jamartlondon.com/#/exhibitions/4570944550

Art collectors can see selected examples of my original paintings  organised by year on jamartlondon which gives you a brief overview of the development of my painting over the years:

http://www.jamartlondon.com/#/paintings/4570156802

I am a self-representing artist, whose aim is to ensure  I continue to develop my painting practice in an innovative and pioneering way, rather than attempt some kind of commercial success, and whose aim is also that my work is historically relevant, rather then celebrated in that so called and illusive “art world”.  I hope to add to the number of people who value, collect, and develop an interest in my paintings and to thereby sustain and develop my practice over many years. 

I am also keen that my  art work is appreciated and accessible to as many people as possible, and am aware that not all art lovers and art collectors can afford to buy original paintings or limited edition prints.  For that reason I grant licenses for the use of my imagery. (See Redbubble.com and DACS information below). 

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

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

Note About Following Jenny Meehan Contemporary Artist’s Journal 

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

 

Website Link for jamartlondon:  www.jamartlondon.com 

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

 

Help me continue my practice/art working:

 Jenny Meehan art images on Redbubble and Image Licensing through the Designer and Artists Copyright Society

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

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

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

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

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

 

COPYRIGHT INFORMATION

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

Copyright and Licensing Digital Images Information – Jenny Meehan

www.jamartlondon.com

Copyright in all images by Jenny Meehan is held by the artist.
Permission must be sought in advance for the reproduction, copying or any other use of any images by Jenny Meehan.

Copyright for all visual art by Jenny Meehan is managed by the Design and Artists Copyright Society (DACS) in the UK. If you wish to licence a work of art by Jenny Meehan,  you could contact Jenny Meehan in the first instance to clarify your requirements. There is a contact form on my website www.jamartlondon.com.  Alternatively you can contact the DACS directly;  https://www.dacs.org.uk/licensing-works

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

I have extensive archives of digital imagery, and keep records of all my art work, so  if you require an image similar to something of mine you have seen on the internet, it’s worth contacting me to see if I have something suitable for licensing if need be.  Use the contact form on my website jamartlondon.com to enquire:  http://www.jamartlondon.com/#/contact/4569980742

About Jenny Meehan (Jennifer Meehan) 

Jenny Meehan is an established artist who has been exhibiting for over ten years, mostly in the UK. Notable exhibitions include, most recently being selected for the Imagined Worlds touring exhibition of artworks inspired by the poem ‘Kubla Khan’ and inclusion in “Building Bridges, the Female Perspective” at Tower Bridge Victorian Engine Rooms in 2016. Jenny has been a keen supporter of various charity art exhibitions over the years including the National Brain Appeals ” A Letter in Mind” at Gallery@oxo, South Bank, London and the “Anatomy for Life” Exhibition for Brighton Sussex University Hospitals Trust in 2015

Selected by a wide range of judges in open submission exhibitions, her work appeals to the aesthetic and emotional discernment of many, and has been displayed in many prestigious galleries. These include the Dulwich Picture Gallery, London, in 2015, as part of their Open Exhibition, and the Pallant House Gallery, Chichester, West Sussex, as part of the Pallant House Gallery/St Wilfrid’s Hospice Open Art Exhibition in 2010.

Jenny Meehan’s work has been included in several academic projects and and publications including “Speaking Out – Women Recovering from the Trauma of Violence” by Nicole Fayard in 2014 and the ongoing “Recovery” Exhibition project – Institute Of Mental Health/City Arts, Nottingham University, also in 2014. While her romantic, lyrical, expressionistic, abstract paintings offer a contemplative space free from cares and concerns, other strands of her practice engage with subjects ranging from violence, trauma recovery, psychoanalysis, and mental health.

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 JOY!

The joy of TKR?  Really? Are you sure?

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

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

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

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

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

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

Quote from their newsletter:

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

 

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

Detail on the work:

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

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

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

www.jamartlondon.com

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

The world needs artists.

Thank you to the person who said that to me!

It’s a treasure!

Here is No Problem/Moving On:

 

Jennifer Meehan/Jenny Meehan No Problem/Moving On abstract art print by Jenny Meehan jamartlondon.com bright bold motivational art for physiotherapy experience personal mobility challenges, jenny meehan,now at SWLEOC south west london elective orthopaedic centre

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

 

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

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

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

I have an “Attune” Knee!

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

It’s LOVELY!  Really settling in well!

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

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

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

Plenty of unsigned prints here though!

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

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

 

“Starting Out” by Jenny Meehan

© Jenny Meehan DACS All Rights Reserved

 

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

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

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

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

Calm Moment by Jenny Meehan at JAX Cafe Kingston upon Thames

Calm Moment by Jenny Meehan at JAX Cafe Kingston upon Thames

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

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

Here is another example produced around the same time period:

“Drawn Together”

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

Drawn Together by Jenny Meehan

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

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

 

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

 

“The Very Patient Knee Replacement Story by Jenny Meehan”

The recovery and  rehabilitation from my surgery which was on the 8th March continues!   I wrote a lot about it in “The Very Patient Knee Replacement Story by Jenny Meehan” which is on a separate page of this blog.  Look to the right hand side under pages and you can follow the link to it there if knee replacement surgery and patients experience of it is of interest to you! As well as the full version, which had colour coded text to help selective reading, “The Very Patient Knee Replacement Story by Jenny Meehan” is now in an abridged form.  You can get to it by following this link, and the link is also on the side bar of this blog under “Pages”.

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

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

very happy with my new knee in bright red Asda nightdress

very happy with my new knee in bright red Asda nightdress

 

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

 

Working on some new paintings…

Now I CAN!

Very early sneak preview of some in progress.

Bear in mind I work in a very piecemeal way.

These may not be ready for a few years.

Little and often.  Just like TKR post op exercises!

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

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

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

Some come together quite quickly.

Others take years.

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

Nearly got used to the idea.

Thankfully not.

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

Plus all the hunting around for what I need!

Great to be in action again!

 

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

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

 

Can  You Put A Price On Art?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This was a good read!

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

Siobhan Harmer

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

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

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

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

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

It is obvious really.

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

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

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

Nice quote from the above:

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

And something completely different…

Bruce The Great Poem, by Jenny Meehan

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

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

I am Bruce; Bruce the Great

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

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

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

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

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

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

Go no further!
I am Bruce; Bruce the Great

Jenny Meehan 2016

 

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

 

Enjoying the Sunshine!

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

 

………………………………………………….

Jenny Meehan (Jennifer Meehan)

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

(text from website jamartlondon.com)

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

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

 

 

 

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“River Journey” abstract lyrical expressionist british paintings jenny meehan

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

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

 

Snails in the Studio

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

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

the snail in the studio jenny meehan abstract painting

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

walking after TKR

walking after TKR

 

 

Health Care

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

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

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

For 2017 “The Art of Caring”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

You are clear on that, yes?  !!!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Here goes…Be patient!

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

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

Meditation Garden

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

 

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

sign of the times series jenny meehan

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

Forthcoming Kingston Artists’ Open Studios for 2017

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

Emily Carr Quote:

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

© Jenny Meehan DACS All Rights Reserved

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

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

 

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

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

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

 

About Jenny Meehan 

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

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

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

 

 

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

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

Looking forward to being part of this exhibition.

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

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

And here, below is “Pink Girl”…

 

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

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

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

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

Transgender, Gender & Psychoanalysis

11th & 12th March 2017 at the Freud Museum

EARLY BIRD TICKETS ON SALE UNTIL 15 JANUARY

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

 

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

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

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

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

Here is the link to The SITE for Contemporary Psychoanalysis

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

“SITE announces collaboration with Freud Museum

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

Transgender, Gender & Psychoanalysis

11th & 12th March 2017 at the Freud Museum

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

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

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

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

fringe-exhibition-flyer-transgender-and-psychoanalysis

fringe-exhibition-flyer-transgender-and-psychoanalysis

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

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

Labels for Painting Styles

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

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

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

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

This is rather helpful:

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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

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

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

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

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

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

More Paintings

eternal one painting jenny meehan referencing afterlife

eternal one painting jenny meehan referencing afterlife

Eternal One

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

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

Time Passes

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

past remembrances, elergy painting poetic mournful lament

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

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

 

Upper Room

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

Printing Papers

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

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

Fundamental differences are:

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

First Visit to an Osteopath – What to Expect

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

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

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

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

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

My Personal Experience of Consulting an Osteopath

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hello,

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

Dear ………

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Kind regards,

Jenny Meehan

 

Some general information gleaned on Osteopathy:

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

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

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

and, a small extract quoted from

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

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

 

 

figure on uncertain ground print by jenny meehan

jenny meehan fine artist british female jamartlondon

Figure on Uncertain Ground © Jenny Meehan. All Rights Reserved

Figure On Uncertain Ground

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

 

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

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

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

Pen and Ink on a Torn Strip

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

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

Knee, Knee, Knee

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

Feeling like a caged bird.

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

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

Most nights I have pain.

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

I can write, which is good.

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

I can hope that it gets treated surgically…

And that makes things better, in the long run.

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

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

 

Interesting read below…. quoted from:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What a find!

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

“The Realm of Between” Painting by Jenny Meehan 

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

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

 

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

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

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

and 

“the capacity to articulate experience.”

in that;

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

That’s a good space, a good place.

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

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

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

Thoughts on Changing Style for an Artist

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

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

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

Also Different Strands…

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

Helen Frankenthaler Quotes

Helen Frankenthaler:

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

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

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

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

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

Christmas Design/Print “Holy, Holy, Holy”

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

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

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

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

 

Help me pay for materials and continue my art working

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

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

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

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Note About Following Jenny Meehan Contemporary Artist’s Journal 

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

You tube video with examples of photography, drawing and painting

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

Website Link for jamartlondon:  www.jamartlondon.com 

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

Help me continue art working

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

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

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

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

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

COPYRIGHT INFORMATION

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

Copyright and Licensing Digital Images Information – Jenny Meehan

www.jamartlondon.com

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

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

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

 

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

West Dean College Visit

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

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

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

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

 

 

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

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

jenny meehan charcoal drawing west dean college art contemporary

 

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

 

Paintings I like…

I like these paintings very much.

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

Text below is quoted from the above:

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

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

Sweet dreams that are being dreamed….

 

More Thoughts from other Artists:

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

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

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

Like this one too:

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

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

and this:

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

and this one, which I found particularly interesting:

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

Paintings in Progress….

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

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

jenny meehan waterfight mad moment abstract painting jamartlondon

 

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

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

General information about this type of paint…

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

Here are the notes from a mini talk I gave a while back:

St Julian of Norwich…

Not a man, but a Woman…. named after the church she was attached to…. ie St Julian, in Norwich.

She was something called an anchoress….kind of a counsellor/spiritual director who spent her time praying and giving counsel. She lived in an hermitage… which is a small stone dwelling with one or more rooms attached to a church, often with a garden too. She lived by herself but also had a maid to look after her practical needs. When people came to see her, they spoke to her through a little window.

She is well known today because she had a series of visions which she wrote about. These can be easily read today and are published as “Revelations of Divine Love”.

She was the first woman to write a book in the English Language

The Medieval times she lived in were very difficult and life were very hard for people. Famine, war, and early death were commonplace and made people very aware of suffering. It was easy to be tempted to view the suffering as God’s punishment, and to see God as vengeful, angry and harsh.

Haven’t got time to summarise her writings here, but her attention to the loving and caring nature of God is very strong, so I will focus on that. When she asks what God means, and what is the most important thing for us to understand about God, the answer she comes to is LOVE.

“From the time these things were first revealed, I had often wanted to know what was our Lords meaning. It was more than fifteen years after that I was answered in my spirits understanding. ” You would know our Lords meaning in this thing? know it well. Love was his meaning. who showed it you? Love. What did he show you? Love why did he show it? For love. Hold on to this and you will know and understand love more and more. ”

As well as her emphasis on God’s love, she also encourages us to Rest in this love and the goodness of God. She emphasises that God is our resting place and where we belong.

God is our rest: his love is endlessly turned towards us and active within us, whether we directly experience this or not. It is enough to turn and face God.
She writes a lot about the nature of prayer, how the Holy Spirit gives us both the desire and shows us the way to pray.
I think what we can learn from St Julian of Norwich is that we are wise to invest our time into making space in our lives for time to pray and wait on God. That if we want to know more about God’s loving kindness, we are wise to ensure we have set aside dedicated times for prayer, for seeking God in all things. This way we will have clear opportunities to really listen to what God is wanting to communicate to us. We might not live in a hermitage, like her, but we can make room in our lives to listen to our Creator.
Julian understood prayer as consciously choosing relationship with God as our rest… in other words, our resting place.. our place of belonging, where we can know and become our true selves.

That’s the end of the talk notes, but I like this quote from her very much:

“Our Savior is our true Mother in whom we are endlessly born and out of whom we shall never come.”
― Julian of Norwich

 

This was the painting “Comforter/St Julian of Norwich” while I painted over the period of researching St Julian of Norwich and thinking about her theological significance for me personally:

Acrylic, various fillers, acrylic mediums and pigments, and glass beads , sacred art painting religious, spiritual visionary painting, christ centred poetic visual art, The Comforter/St Julian - Jenny Meehan

The Comforter/St Julian – Jenny Meehan
Acrylic, various fillers, acrylic mediums and pigments, and glass beads

Now here is an example of some experiments on the computer… A great way to experiment with colour and pattern.  Rather large watermarking, but I think you can get a feel for the designs OK without them being too much of a distraction!

 

Crystal Cluster Surface Pattern Design

This design, shown below,  was inspired by my interest in quartz, one of the most well known minerals on earth. The pattern doesn’t seek to replicate the form, but suggests the cluster of the mineral reflecting light.  The text is from the Redbubble site the work is displayed on..

Jenny Meehan is a British fine artist, based in the United Kingdom. She paints non objective and semi abstract paintings, as well as working with digital imagery. For more of her paintings see http://www.jamartlondon.com

© Jenny Meehan. All Rights Reserved, DACS

My pattern designs and digital files of my distinctive, colourful and textural abstract expressionist/lyrical abstraction style paintings can be quickly and easily licensed through DACS.

 

crystal cluster surface pattern design uk jamartlondon

crystal cluster surface pattern design uk jamartlondon

crystal cluster surface pattern design uk jamartlondon

crystal cluster surface pattern design uk jamartlondon

crystal cluster surface pattern design uk jamartlondon

crystal cluster surface pattern design uk jamartlondon

crystal cluster surface pattern design uk jamartlondon

crystal cluster surface pattern design uk jamartlondon

crystal cluster surface pattern design uk jamartlondon

crystal cluster surface pattern design uk jamartlondon

crystal cluster surface pattern design uk jamartlondon

crystal cluster surface pattern design uk jamartlondon

crystal cluster surface pattern design uk jamartlondon

crystal cluster surface pattern design uk jamartlondon

crystal cluster surface pattern design uk jamartlondon

crystal cluster surface pattern design uk jamartlondon

crystal cluster surface pattern design uk jamartlondon

crystal cluster surface pattern design uk jamartlondon

crystal cluster surface pattern design uk jamartlondon

crystal cluster surface pattern design uk jamartlondon

 

If you scrolled down quickly, your eyes would have been shaken in their sockets…If you didn’t, you might like to try it!

 

More Recent Painting

I consider this painting “still in progress” though I have not added anything to it and probably will not.  But after I think I have finished a painting I always leave it about six months and stay open to the fact that it may not be finished.  So sharing it now may be a little premature, however, I don’t mind popping it up here for now.

lyrical abstraction contemporary artist british, female artist jenny meehan london based, lyrical abstraction process led painting,collectable abstract paintings for collectors, jenny meehan jamartlondon uk, art historical relevant significant art british,exploratory innovative paintings, british women artists current today,affordable original paintings to buy uk, collectable paintings original british contemporary painting jenny meehan river journey christian spirituality contemplative art, jamartlondon collectable british female artists 21st century painting, affordable original abstract art to buy, process led abstract painting, romantic expressionist abstract lyrical painting modern art, uk mindfulness art, meditation art, contemplative prayerful art, christian art london, experimental painting, art and spirituality,

“River Journey” abstract lyrical expressionist british paintings jenny meehan

 

It is not possible to see the surface properly on screen, however there is a good sense of flow which comes in the way the broad white bands of paint have been applied and this inspired the title.  It reminded me of “Resting Place” a little, but as I had another painting painted over this painting session which kept saying to me “Harbour”  and this one had more of a sense of movement and flowing in it,  the two seems to compliment eachother, so I preferred a title with both a suggestion of water and of movement in it rather than something more static.

 

harbour painting lyrical abstraction contemporary artist british, female artist jenny meehan london based, lyrical abstraction process led painting,collectable abstract paintings for collectors, jenny meehan jamartlondon uk, art historical relevant significant art british,exploratory innovative paintings, british women artists current today,affordable original paintings to buy uk, collectable paintings original british contemporary painting jenny meehan river journey christian spirituality contemplative art, jamartlondon collectable british female artists 21st century painting, affordable original abstract art to buy, process led abstract painting, romantic expressionist abstract lyrical painting modern art, uk mindfulness art, meditation art, contemplative prayerful art, christian art london, experimental painting, art and spirituality,

Harbour Painting abstract lyrical expressionist british paintings jenny meehan

 

“Harbour Painting” has a lot of contrast between some very glossy areas and matt surfaces which cannot be seen on screen at all but which add another dimension to the simple composition.

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