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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
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Germination Image

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

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

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

Escape from Death Image

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

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

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

Knee Replacement Season

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

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

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

Well, that was a pleasant little meandering discourse!

 

Past painting…

Sack of a Great House/Arise, Sleeper

Painting experiment with acrylic,pigments,textures - Jenny Meehan

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

© Jenny Meehan. All Rights Reserved, DACS

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

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

 

Jenny Meehan, Oil painting experiment, 2010

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

© Jenny Meehan. All Rights Reserved, DACS

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

 

 

Interesting information on Gloss and Emulsion Paint

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

Gloss or emulsion

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

Quotes I like…

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

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

by John Holland

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

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

 

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

 

Victor Brauner

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

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

And from my reading:

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

 

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

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

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

 

Suburban Meditations/Painter’s Development Images…

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

 

suburban meditations painters development series jenny meehan

suburban meditations painters development series jenny meehan

 

suburban meditations painters development series jenny meehan

suburban meditations painters development series jenny meehan

 

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suburban meditations painters development series jenny meehan

 

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suburban meditations painters development series jenny meehan

 

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suburban meditations painters development series jenny meehan

 

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

 

There Will Always be a Point at Which We Will Meet

 

 

jenny meehan jamartlondon art work uk licensable images

jenny meehan jamartlondon art work uk licensable images

 

 

Past Painting and Poem :  Bandage Box

 

jenny meehan jamartlondon art work uk licensable images

jenny meehan jamartlondon art work uk licensable images

jenny meehan jamartlondon art work uk licensable images

jenny meehan jamartlondon art work uk licensable images

Bandage Box

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

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

 

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

 

 

And Now…

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

And here is one of  my VERY recent paintings.

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

But this is “Mending” for now.

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

 

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

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

That is it for now.  Happy Christmas!

 

 

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

West Dean College Visit

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

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

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

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

 

 

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

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

jenny meehan charcoal drawing west dean college art contemporary

 

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

 

Paintings I like…

I like these paintings very much.

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

Text below is quoted from the above:

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

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

Sweet dreams that are being dreamed….

 

More Thoughts from other Artists:

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

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

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

Like this one too:

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

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

and this:

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

and this one, which I found particularly interesting:

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

Paintings in Progress….

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

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

jenny meehan waterfight mad moment abstract painting jamartlondon

 

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

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

General information about this type of paint…

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

St Julian of Norwich…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

Crystal Cluster Surface Pattern Design

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

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

© Jenny Meehan. All Rights Reserved, DACS

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

 

crystal cluster surface pattern design uk jamartlondon

crystal cluster surface pattern design uk jamartlondon

crystal cluster surface pattern design uk jamartlondon

crystal cluster surface pattern design uk jamartlondon

crystal cluster surface pattern design uk jamartlondon

crystal cluster surface pattern design uk jamartlondon

crystal cluster surface pattern design uk jamartlondon

crystal cluster surface pattern design uk jamartlondon

crystal cluster surface pattern design uk jamartlondon

crystal cluster surface pattern design uk jamartlondon

crystal cluster surface pattern design uk jamartlondon

crystal cluster surface pattern design uk jamartlondon

crystal cluster surface pattern design uk jamartlondon

crystal cluster surface pattern design uk jamartlondon

crystal cluster surface pattern design uk jamartlondon

crystal cluster surface pattern design uk jamartlondon

crystal cluster surface pattern design uk jamartlondon

crystal cluster surface pattern design uk jamartlondon

crystal cluster surface pattern design uk jamartlondon

crystal cluster surface pattern design uk jamartlondon

 

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

 

More Recent Painting

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

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

“River Journey” abstract lyrical expressionist british paintings jenny meehan

 

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

 

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

Harbour Painting abstract lyrical expressionist british paintings jenny meehan

 

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

Kingston Artists’ Open Studios

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

kingston artists open studios

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

kingston artists open studios jenny meehan

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

Okingston artists open studios jenny meehan

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

kingston artists open studios jenny meehan

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

kingston artists open studios jenny meehan

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

kingston artists open studios jenny meehan

kingston artists open studios jenny meehan – “Resurrection One”

kingston artists open studios jenny meehan

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

and Seana Mallen:  www.smallen.moonfruit.com

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

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

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

Artists Need Collectors!  

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I do ramble on!

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

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

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

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

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

Other interesting thoughts:

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

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

Also interesting:

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

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

and:

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

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

Kingston Artists Open Studios is still on this year:  

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

So much to see!

 

Yoga and the Devoted Christian

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

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

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

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

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

Maybe a feeling of somehow betraying my religion.

However, what has changed?

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

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

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

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

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

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

Might seem negative, but for me, not so.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

It is all about intention.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Quote from Rebecca Ffrench:

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

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

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

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

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

Well, that’s enough of that for now.

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

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

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

Art at the Bridge#7

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

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

Artist Notes for Drawn Together:

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

Here is one of the reviews:

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

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

8 March to 31 July 2016

Reviewed by Amanda Hayes

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

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

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

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

Bits and Bobs

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

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

More interesting reading from Gresham College:

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

 

That’s it for now….

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Note About Following Jenny Meehan Contemporary Artist’s Journal 

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

You tube video with examples of photography, drawing and painting

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

Website Link for jamartlondon:  www.jamartlondon.com 

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

 

The usual assortment of bits and bobs from me!  It’s a bit of a scrap book really!   This journal is an invaluable tool for me, in that it enables me to look back and see what is happening with more detail than would otherwise be possible.  It is also a way for those interested in my work to delve a little deeper and pick out what they are interested in, while discarding the rest.  The internet is a wonderful tool.  Sometimes I cannot find things myself that I am looking for, be they notes or images, and if I cannot find them at home either digitally or on paper, I can often find them by looking in this Journal!

In this vein, do take a look at my pinterest board.  I often post my work up on there as it is a quick and easy way for people to look at my artwork .   https://uk.pinterest.com/Jamartlondon/abstract-expressionist-paintings-jenny-meehan-jama/

The Art of Caring at the Rose Theatre

It was nice to go to the launch and be able to speak to people in person about my photographs on show.  I had three on display, of the late Reginald Driver.   Reginald Driver was a prisoner of war at the stalag at Teschen, Stalag VIIIB.  I just checked this out, as someone asked me.  I couldn’t remember which camp he was at, but  I had a photograph of a postcard which Reg had shown me, and it says Stalag VIIIB on it, dated 1945.  I remember he told me about the “Death March”, and mentioned Poland.  But I wasn’t sure so hunted through my archives to find it.

reg driver christmas card stalag at Teschen Stalag VIIIB

reg driver christmas card stalag at Teschen Stalag VIIIB

I was pleased that one of my photographs,  “Reg: Support System” has been selected as one of 20 to be part of a further exhibition at the Arts Project exhibition space in St Pancras Hospital from July – October 2016.

 

 

Reg Driver of Chessington Surrey, photo title Support System. photo copyright Jenny Meehan DACS

Reg Driver of Chessington Surrey, photo title Support System. photo copyright Jenny Meehan DACS

Description of the submission:  “The photographs show a neighbour (died 4th January, 2015) Reginald Driver, and were taken when Reg was 88/89. Reg’s experience of being a prisoner of war and fighting in the second world war included many very traumatic memories which stuck in his mind, and my own belief in the value of listening to people’s life stories as part of valuing them as a person and communicating love, motivates me to submit them to this exhibition.

The titles are as follows:
Reg: Incline Your Ear by Jenny Meehan
Reg: Support System of 2008 by Jenny Meehan
Reg: Sharing Memories by Jenny Meehan

Reg Driver Incline Your Ear photo copyright Jenny Meehan DACS

Reg Driver Incline Your Ear photo copyright Jenny Meehan DACS

reg driver for art of caring

Reg Driver “Sharing Memories”

There was lots of amazing work on show, but my favourite has got to be “Praying with Mrs. Cooper”.  You can see an image of this, and the source of the quoted text below by following the link.

This year’s crop include 3 artworks from The Rev. Robin Pfaff, he told us about his motivation to get involved, “As a hospital chaplain I often meet people at a time of intense change, but these encounters usually show me something of the indomitable human spirit. Healthcare professionals, however, who are regularly exposed to highly traumatic situations need to find their own way of coping and build up a resilience that is both sturdy as well as tender. Talking about what we do and see can be extremely difficult, as we all have a tendency to avoid emotional pain.”  (quote from http://caringandcare.blogspot.co.uk/ by Alban Low)

Rev. Robin Pfaff’s paintings are AMAZING, I love them so much, and I have only seen a few digital images and the print at the Art of Caring Exhibition.  They are the kind of representational painting I love, rich with emotional  depth, profound, touching, sensitive.  When I looked at the small print of “Praying with Mrs. Cooper” it was as if the whole painting had been totally immersed in experience, dipped in and pulled out, saturated with reality and also with compassion.  This is the kind of painting I could look at for hours. I just count myself blessed to be able to see it.  Goodness knows what it must be like “in the flesh”.

 

Biggs & Collings present Turn the Colour Down!
Frank Bowling | Marcus Harvey | Tess Jaray | Chantal Joffe | Mali Morris | Justin Partyka | Dan Perfect | Fiona Rae | Biggs & Collings

16th April – 7th May

Talk: Saturday May 7th 5.00-6.00

“Colour in art can be powerful by being subdued. Muted colour is often what you’re seeing in work by artists known as colourists.  Many people’s idea of colour in art is something bright, like children’s toys or Pop Art, and it’s not particularly part of what’s celebrated in contemporary art.  It’s unusual today to come across anything like the sophisticated colour arrangements of historic art, which must now include Modernism. There are new technologies and the new sensibilities they produce, but these developments mean that some old sensibilities may be lost. There’s no material need to find colour now. It’s found for you in the popular medium you’re using — your camera, for example, with its colourising menu. If it’s rare for artists now to come up with the kinds of colour subtleties in painting that existed in the past it’s at least partly because the ingredients are no longer there in the social imagination.

We’ve brought together these works as an indicator — to our mind, at any rate — of the present’s difference to the past, even the recent past. But also — because we feel they have a rare intensity — as an example of how the lost is never really lost. We think there are possibilities for surprise. A law or rule that’s gradually set in can be joyously broken. Abstraction or figuration is a red herring, the world is the issue, and art turned towards it and interested in interpreting it can easily be abstract in form.

How do the works in this show express the world around us? Chantal Joffe strips away at figuration — people she knows; her family — until she arrives at a rich faux-simplicity with powerful abstract values. In Mali Morris’s painting scrawled maroon surrounds a thick, palpable yellow.  These contrasting presences and the painterly drama of accident and control suggest reality apprehended through light. Tess Jaray’s distilled geometric work with its play of edges and planes, and its subtle surfaces where many layers of oil are freely brushed onto wood, is one of a recent series. Recurrent shapes and colours echo the polychrome patterned entrance to a mosque she saw in Aleppo, the city whose destruction we’ve all witnessed on the news.  Because of the way he’s captured available natural light: low, dim, Goyaesque, Justin Partyka’s photo of a scene on a Norfolk farm is epic and tragic. Fiona Rae summons up the look of early abstract painting a century ago with its characteristic voids and floating objects, and air of the inner world, the unseen. In her painting she refracts all that through the kind of forms anyone might generate today on a screen: a balance of transcendence with the close at hand. Marcus Harvey shows a seascape with an imposed presence that suggests natural patterns, an earthy ceramic object that confounds the photographic context spatially and at the same time eerily connects to it. Dan Perfect paints what seems to be a 1950s lyrical abstraction suggesting river, rocks and wind. This painting on paper is a study, a halfway stage before he processes that pure lyricism into something more multi-dimensional. With our works, we try to achieve a quality of shimmer and vibration like the multiplying patterns that exist in the surviving religious art of late antiquity, but which also suggests its illogical ravages of time and repair. Frank Bowling is the only artist in the show that makes colour synonymous with materiality, the stuff of the world, as if there’s colour substance somehow on the tips of his fingers that he’s agitating and manipulating. He makes a living surface with it, which is also a picture.”

Biggs & Collings 2016

 

Ahh, Drat.   I liked the writing above so much, that I thought I will certainly go to the talk and see the paintings.  It is always a relief to find interesting and engaging writing on painting.  However, after going to visit the Original Print Fair,  my heel, which has been giving me sharp pain for over a month,  and my knee, which has been playing me up for ages, decided to get worse, and even with a stick, I really could not walk any further.   I am very disappointed.  Hopefully soon to see a specialist about the knee!

The Print Fair was enjoyable.  My favourite stand was the August Laube stand.   I was kindly given the annual catalogue by Brigitta Laube, and I will be feasting my eyes on that for a long time.    I love the selection of prints, so rich and interesting.  It must be my German-Swiss heritage (mother) that pulls me this way.

The catalogue can be viewed here: http://www.augustlaube.ch/fileadmin/user_upload/catalogues/72.pdf

One delight, a German Single-Sheet Woodcut, from about 1420-1440 showed Saint Veronica holding the Sudarium and two Apostles St. Peter and St. Paul on either side.   The Sudarium… Here is some information quoted from Wikipedia:

The Veil of Veronica, or Sudarium (Latin for sweat-cloth), often called simply “The Veronica” and known in Italian as the Volto Santo or Holy Face (but not to be confused with the carved crucifix Volto Santo of Lucca), is a Christian relic of a piece of cloth which, according to tradition, bears the likeness of the face of Jesus not made by human hand (i.e. an Acheiropoieton). Various existing images have been claimed to be the “original” relic, or early copies of it.

The final form of the Western tradition recounts that Saint Veronica from Jerusalem encountered Jesus along the Via Dolorosa on the way to Calvary. When she paused to wipe the blood and sweat (Latin sudor) off his face with her veil, his image was imprinted on the cloth. The event is commemorated by the Sixth Station of the Cross. According to some versions, Veronica later traveled to Rome to present the cloth to the Roman Emperor Tiberius and the veil possesses miraculous properties, being able to quench thirst, cure blindness, and sometimes even raise the dead.

The story is not recorded in its present form until the Middle Ages. During the fourteenth century it became a central icon in the Western Church – in the words of art historian Neil Macgregor – “From [the 14th Century] on, wherever the Roman Church went, the Veronica would go with it.”[1] The act of Saint Veronica wiping the face of Jesus with her veil is celebrated in the sixth Station of the Cross in many Anglican, Catholic, Lutheran, Methodist and Western Orthodox churches.[2][3][4]

 

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

more info, follow the above link.

The worm holes in the print were wonderful!

I want to keep this reference, so include it here.

Keith Vaughan 1912 – 1977 Old Seaweed Hoist, Lithograph, Window Landscape, and The Walled Garden, stood out for me, stunning.  

https://aberystwythuniversitycollections.wordpress.com/2013/06/11/keith-vaughan-figure-and-ground/

http://www.invaluable.com/auction-lot/keith-vaughan-winter-landscape.-655-c-f25ffa4e33

http://www.originalprints.com/printview.php?dx=1&page=1&id=21761&sid=ff7adddc9f0ce40761b8a4c2ff26afe9

 

Art at the Bridge #7

Launching on International Women’s day,’Art at the Bridge #7′, showcases the talents of 15 local, female artists.

8 March – 31 July

Celebrate female artistic endeavour this spring with Tower Bridges new ‘Art at the Bridge’exhibition. Now in its seventh iteration, this long running exhibition in partnership with Southwark Arts Forum will display the works of 15 female artists as they explore the theme ofBuilding Bridges: The Female Perspective’.

The exhibition aims to reflect upon female perspectives in the community, providing a platform for artists to express their ideas through a variety of media including paintings, etchings, video, photography and drawing.

Each of the artists have drawn inspiration from their own experiences and these artworks offer a striking contrast to the huge and beautifully maintained steam engines that surround them.

Tower Bridge is committed to engaging with, and acknowledging, the talents of the local community. Through its regular exhibitions in partnership with Southwark Arts Forum, we are delighted to provide an opportunity for artists to gain exposure to an international audience of approximately 2,500 visitors daily.

Learn more about our community partners here.

Entry to ‘Art at the Bridge #7’ is included in the admission price.

Book your tickets online now to receive your discount!

 

Well, yes, another plug from me for the above exhibition.  I am mega pleased to be part of it.  I had such a lovely day visiting Tower Bridge too, a real highlight of the year.

 

Art and the Subconscious

I remember well the day I realised that the inner world was just as an important a subject of my artistic interests as my external surroundings.   Around 2009, when the children were younger, just before I started to really get on track with my work, I went on a short painting course, and while I had produced some nice paintings, one afternoon, in a slough of despond, I painted this:

© Jenny Meehan. All Rights Reserved, DACS spinning table painting jenny meehan

jenny meehan spinning table painting

© Jenny Meehan. All Rights Reserved, DACS

Based on the sight in front of me, I looked into the darkness of the bushes and into the shadows, and worked into the background experimentally.  I played with the relationship of stillness and motion, and also with perspective, and while giving a lot of attention to the little naturalistic apples in the centre of the table, I took great care to ensure that the fact they were rotten was accurately depicted!  I realised the desire to experiment was more important to me than painting pleasing pictures.  I felt that my artistic endeavours shouldn’t just be to render what is seen accurately.  When I look back on this strange little experiment, I am glad I went with the flow, though it felt hard at the time as I didn’t have any understanding of the direction I was heading in.  It’s quite a significant piece, on reflection, as it marks a turning point.

Nature and the natural world is wonderful….There’s no rejection of that, because everything in my mind got in there somehow.  But I have little desire to attempt to copy what I see.  I admire others who do it wonderfully, and I enjoy and take in all that is around me, but to paint it?  That I am able to, is not sufficient reason to do something.  I have several older paintings which show me that I am able to paint representationally.  Occasionally the urge strikes me, though this is more likely to happen with drawing.  But I have fallen into paint, as into the ocean!    I can imagine in the future I might do some imaginative representational pictures, based on memory.  But it is not possible for me to force myself in one direction or another.  And I think, with painting, one should walk in the dark, just seeing a fraction of the way ahead sometimes, and glimmers of possibility.  But no more than that.

 

Interesting thoughts from “Mothers at Home Matter” on Facebook this March…

“How do global decision-makers measure ‘equality’ and by what criteria?
Where does care work fit in?
As mothers, do we agree with their interpretation of what constitutes equality and ‘progress’ i.e prioritising more hours of paid work for all family members whilst downgrading the value of caregiving work?

It seems to us that what tends to get overlooked in fight for women’s freedom is for caregiving work to be treated as equally valuable work – 100 percent equal alongside other forms of ‘contribution’ in society.

Sadly, because of the way care is devalued and disrespected, it means that equality is measured by minimising the amount of caregiving time women engage in, whislt maximising time spent in other kinds of work! But that means women lose the freedom to nurture their own infants and care for their families, which in many ways is the antithesis of progress surely? Mother-child separation doesn’t sound progressive to us.

Also it’s time to debate how/why poverty in developed economies is rising (and the gap widening between well-off and least well-off) just as there are more adults (men and women) in the workplace than ever before. So it’s clear that more paid work doesn’t equal less poverty or income equality, in fact it seems to correlate with a period of rising poverty and more income inequality. Perhaps rising housing costs/rents has a lot to do with it – ordinary folk can’t catch up no matter how many hours they put in.”

Well said!

Spiritual Direction Ministry Information

I often look out for different definitions/descriptions of what the art of spiritual direction “is”.  So many people have not heard of it.  As I am currently training in this area, I pop an occasional thought up on this blog from time to time.  So here is another:

Quote below from the Guidelines of Good
Practice for offering the
Ministry of Spiritual
Direction  from the Diocese of Liverpool

 

“Spiritual direction is described as being a way of helping
people ‘to pay attention to and to share with another member
of the community experiences of God, and, in the process, to
learn how to discern what is authentically of God from what is
not. In this way they also learn how to talk about their
experiences of God with other members of the community.’1
Spiritual direction then, is seen as having a communal dimension
which enables the individual to look within to the movement of
God, to bring this through reflection, and maybe with cognitive
reasoning, into conversation with another, and then into forming
and informing their way of life. This way of life is both personal
and corporate.
Reflecting upon the presence of God means that the time of the
director with the directee becomes a ‘holy time’, as a ‘sacred
space’ is created between each, and each with God. The director
offers a total and unconditional listening, putting their own self
away for that time to focus upon the directee. The spiritual
director offers to the directee, ‘the gift of disinterested, loving
attention’.2
It is a vital support for all people, lay and licensed alike.”

 

I am personally mulling over the possibility that it may be helpful to view it as a modality of psychotherapy… there is a lot of overlap, in many ways, though the focus on relationship with God is more central/explicit.  And the desire is, for both people, an invitation to the Holy Spirit, to meeting, hearing, and receiving from our Creator God.  The emphasis on the Holy Spirit as the source of guidance is very specific to Christian Spiritual mentoring/guidance ministries.  It may provide new perspectives and bring release and growth, (I would hope so!) but theses things are blessed additions to the central work of making space for both ourselves and our maker.  And seeing what happens.  I like the description I quote above very much indeed, in particular”enables the individual to look within to the movement of God, to bring this through reflection, and maybe with cognitive reasoning, into conversation with another,”

And the movement of God which happens in all people, should we open ourselves up, believe, and receive.

 

Boat House acrylic painting in progress Jenny Meehan 2012

 

the boat house lino print, jenny meehan jamartlondon

boat house lino print jenny meehan © Jenny Meehan DACS All Rights Reserved

The Boat House – Lino print and The Boat House -Painting, are two examples of a strand in my work based on the motif of the symbol for rest used in musical notation, which I used in combination with the concept of a river journey. A rest is an interval of silence in a piece of music which is marked by a symbol indicating the length of the pause. The rectangle shape I adopted is the musical symbol for a half rest, or minim rest, which denotes a silence for the same duration as a minim note. Half rests are drawn as filled-in rectangles sitting on top of the middle line of the musical staff.
Removed from their musical context and placed in the visual landscape, where they relate to the deeply resonate symbol of a river, the motif provides a way of expressing the importance of retreat, rest, contemplation and prayer for the human being on life’s journey. Symbolically the river represents the flow of time, and the river, on its long journey, is symbolic of life in general and our lives in particular. There are periods when the river experiences turbulent, chaotic and disturbing times; there are periods when it experiences twists, turns and pauses; and then there are periods when the river flows peacefully, smoothly and calmly. A pause taken on the journey, a rest in a metaphorical boat house, is a vital part of it.
In my own artistic practice and life I have found that time taken to pause, to interrupt the often frantic pace of life which seems to be something that our particular culture encourages, has fed into my creativity and enriched it by increasing both the potency and depth of my work. Allowing me time to mull over what I produce…the pauses between painting and writing, thinking and doing, might seem like gaps in activity, but it is in these spaces and what I like to call “the in-between-doing places” where we have opportunity to draw meaning from both our being and our doing.

The “rest” in the painting looks a little like a sofa, which is good!

 

Nicked image…

If you see this on the internet on http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-j-0oyT3yeUA/UNC-e4mLUFI/AAAAAAAAATk/ij1eNODkPPk/s1600/sketch-book-sketch-leith-hill-jenny-meehan-drawing-web1.jpg

You will notice that it is MY drawing, and nothing to do with the young man who has posted it on his site.

Oh, so so sad.  To do that.  Much better for that person to learn to appreciate the value of their own work!  mshazis.blogspot.com is nothing to do with me or my work in any way.

Leith Hill Surrey Pencil Sketch Jenny Meehan Contemporary British Artist surrey artist artwork for sale to buy affordable english romantic artist modern, tree trunk bench resting place,

This pencil sketch is by Jenny Meehan.
Copyright jenny meehan.

 

http://www.methodist.org.uk/static/artcollection/image41.htm

Image of Christ walking on water by Maggi Hambling can be seen here

Good Friday (Walking on the water)
Maggi Hambling (b.1945)

Quote below from http://www.theartsdesk.com/visual-arts/theartsdesk-qa-artist-maggi-hamblingtheartsdesk Q&A: Artist Maggi Hambling
The flamboyant artist talks to theartsdesk about sex, death and the sea.
by Hilary WhitneySaturday, 01 May 2010

 

“When I paint the waves I want them to seem as if they are crashing in front of you, right now. That’s the magic of oil paint over any bloody photograph because a photograph is just a single moment, immediately consigned to history, whereas an oil painting is the result of many hours’ work, culminating in a single moment. If you look at a late Titian or a Rembrandt or a Van Gogh, it’s as if you’re there at the act of making the painting and that’s what’s so exciting about paint to me. It’s something photography can never touch, no matter how moving the subject.
Although they are ostensibly very different, I can see a lot of similarities in the sea paintings with your other work, such as Laughing Mouth and Good Friday 2004.
What? You see Jesus in the sea? But yes, I think a lot of things have come together in these paintings – they’re full of mouths and animals and all sorts of things that people tell me about which I haven’t noticed – and I did paint a Christ of the waves although I only do him on Good Friday. It’s a kind of bad habit which comes from childhood memories of Good Friday being such a miserable day. My mother was quite churchy and it was instilled in me that you couldn’t have any fun so I find it very difficult to think of anything else on Good Friday but Christ on the cross.
And of course, it is an extraordinary image combination of life and death at the same moment. I think great art inhabits the place that is both life and death and that’s rather the point of it.”

 

“I think great art inhabits the place that is both life and death and that’s rather the point of it.”

VERY interesting!

 

Tips for Commissions

Find out if the person has commissioned art before, and how it went.

If they are new to commissioning art, get a good idea of what they want and make sure that their expectations are realistic.

Find out what they want to see in their painting…aim for getting a general idea, an also find out what they definitely don’t want.

Check out who will be approving the art, is it just them or a larger group of people.  If it’s a large group then it’s going to be less likely you will please everyone!

Make sure you  write and sign a contract or agreement.  This should include a description of the art, physical characteristics such as size and medium, payment schedule, late payment fees, how many times you meet to see the work in progress during the course of the commission, completion time and final delivery.
Take a percentage of the full fee in advance, and explain it is non-refundable.   If the client backs out before the work is completed, they need to understand that you have still invested a lot of time and effort, plus materials into it and therefore the advance is non refundable.
Arrange viewings as the work progresses, three or four is plenty.  And encourage plenty of dialogue and keep conversation channels open.   Stick to what you agreed and if you want to move the painting in a different direction then check this out first

 

Oh America!

http://www.markelfinearts.com/blog/

I am glad I have found this.  I find it encouraging to see what is happening in America with abstraction and painting.  There is a lot going on here in Britain, of course.  But we do like a picture, and one we can get a grip on.  There seems to be more of a sense of abandon and acceptance of abstraction over there.  Well, thankfully because of the internet, the sea is not so wide!  This blog here makes a very interesting read. Kathryn Markel has conversations with the artists she works with, and I have enjoyed reading with a lot of pleasure!

 

Steve Chalke – Why I’ve Created a Church Charter…

I am pleased and so glad for the worthwhile work of Steve Chalke in this area, and I hope and pray for this man and his passion and love, which brings the heart of Christ into being in our world today.  What a relief to hear and what a balm for the wounded soul, wounded by prejudice, ignorance and fear.   Christ knows all about that.  He really does.

With time, I hope, love will reign supreme, on earth as well as in heaven.  But for now, we pray that eyes and ears be opened and that hearts be opened, to the Love of God, which has no bounds.

https://www.premierchristianity.com/Blog/Steve-Chalke-Why-I-ve-created-a-church-charter-for-gay-marriage

https://www.oasisuk.org/sites/default/files/A%20MATTER%20OF%20INTEGRITY%20Expanded%20version.pdf

 

http://www.acceptingevangelicals.org/

 

Zachary Keeting

http://www.conversationprojectnyc.com/blog/2016/5/21/zachary-keeting

I really like  and enjoyed reading this conversation very much!

 

Kingston Artists Open Studios

Well, yes, I have to plug this, as it is coming up soon!

I will have six paintings on show, plus images of others, as I cannot bring all my work to the KAOS 3 venue!  I will also have some greetings cards and smaller framed prints.   Here are three of the paintings I will show this year at the Kingston Artists Open Studios event.

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

Buried Mother/Laid to Rest Oil Painting – Jenny Meehan

 

If you are interested in coming along, then take a look at the online catalogue:

 

Contact me via my website and let me know you are coming along, or just turn up!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Note About Following Jenny Meehan Contemporary Artist’s Journal 

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

You tube video with examples of photography, drawing and painting

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

Website Link for jamartlondon:  www.jamartlondon.com 

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

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

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!)

COPYRIGHT INFORMATION FOR OTHER IMAGES

Permission is always sought before use. When I include images,  I do so in the belief that this will not cause commercial harm to the copyright holder. I  believe that this is fair use  and does not infringe copyright.  Images are used in order for me to comment and reference them in relation to my own creative and artistic practice.  When I include extracts of text, I also do so with the understanding that again, this is permissible under the widely accepted fair usage terms with respect to copyright. 

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

 

 

 

I’m posting this up in addition to my usual once a month post, as it is Holy Week now and I want this up in time!  I am hoping that those in the area who are interested in creative communications and the Christian faith, and would like to invest some time into drawing closer to themselves and God over the Holy Week, will be encouraged to use St Paul’s Church in Hook during those times when it will be open for prayerful reflection, meditation and contemplation.  (or just one of those would suffice!!!!)

Between 7 and 8pm…  Monday to Thursday the church will be open.

On Good Friday the installation will be taken away, but in the evening there will be a performance of  Requiem by Gabriel Fauré which starts at 7pm.

 

Images from St Paul’s Church, Hook  “Holy Week” Installation

First of all there were lots of different areas in the church building used by many different people, and all wonderfully put together and conceived which will provide lots of opportunity for people to guide their prayer experiences…I am just focusing on my own contribution here as this is the focus of this blog, but I will be posting more images on Facebook which will show others work as well.

This is how I chose to use the Chancel area of St Paul’s Church, Hook.  It’s my own place of corporate worship, so it was very lovely to bring myself into the space and express thoughts and feelings in a visual way.

Love Bade Me Welcome inspired Altar Piece by Jenny Meehan Love Bade Me Welcome inspired Altar Piece by Jenny Meehan Holy Week art installation in St Paul's Church religious art Christian contemporary art in church buildings, jenny meehan christian contemplative artist painter poet, contemporary use of art in places of worship, art for worship prayer, religious symbolism in church, symbolic language of art in christianity,

Love Bade Me Welcome inspired Altar Piece by Jenny Meehan Holy Week art installation in St Paul’s Church

 

Love Bade Me Welcome inspired Altar Piece by Jenny Meehan Love Bade Me Welcome inspired Altar Piece by Jenny Meehan Holy Week art installation in St Paul's Church religious art Christian contemporary art in church buildings, jenny meehan christian contemplative artist painter poet, contemporary use of art in places of worship, art for worship prayer, religious symbolism in church, symbolic language of art in christianity,

Love Bade Me Welcome painting displayed as part of art installation at St Paul’s Church of England Church

 

Love Bade Me Welcome inspired Altar Piece by Jenny Meehan Love Bade Me Welcome inspired Altar Piece by Jenny Meehan Holy Week art installation in St Paul's Church religious art Christian contemporary art in church buildings, jenny meehan christian contemplative artist painter poet, contemporary use of art in places of worship, art for worship prayer, religious symbolism in church, symbolic language of art in christianity,

st pauls church holy week art installation jenny meehan

 

Love Bade Me Welcome inspired Altar Piece by Jenny Meehan Love Bade Me Welcome inspired Altar Piece by Jenny Meehan Holy Week art installation in St Paul's Church religious art Christian contemporary art in church buildings, jenny meehan christian contemplative artist painter poet, contemporary use of art in places of worship, art for worship prayer, religious symbolism in church, symbolic language of art in christianity,

st pauls church holy week art installation jenny meehan

(not very good quality pictures unfortunately… I really need a better camera!… Looks like I need to pop back and adjust the candles too! These were not part of the original idea, but as is often the case, when you are there you use what you can and how you can.)

 

Love Bade Me Welcome inspired Altar Piece by Jenny Meehan Love Bade Me Welcome inspired Altar Piece by Jenny Meehan Holy Week art installation in St Paul's Church religious art Christian contemporary art in church buildings, jenny meehan christian contemplative artist painter poet, contemporary use of art in places of worship, art for worship prayer, religious symbolism in church, symbolic language of art in christianity,

st pauls church holy week art installation jenny meehan

 

On the Altar –  I used a white paper table cloth, a sheet,  and a long piece of white canvas.  I dripped some paint, which I made using acrylic medium and a lot of red iron oxide pigment, along the canvas.  Initially this was in separate spots, but I decided to drip them into each other to create a line, not unbroken, but leading into itself in places.   This led from the centre outwards to a plate and knife and fork at each end.  In the middle I had a single red rose in a single stemmed glass vase.  The rose is open and the petals may start to fall at the end of the week.   I felt these symbols to be very common and not particularly innovative, however, they were there to help engage people with the poem by George Herbert, which I put on display near by.

George Herbert. 1593–1632

286. Love

LOVE bade me welcome; yet my soul drew back,
Guilty of dust and sin.
But quick-eyed Love, observing me grow slack
From my first entrance in,
Drew nearer to me, sweetly questioning
If I lack’d anything.

‘A guest,’ I answer’d, ‘worthy to be here:’
Love said, ‘You shall be he.’
‘I, the unkind, ungrateful? Ah, my dear,
I cannot look on Thee.’
Love took my hand and smiling did reply,
‘Who made the eyes but I?’

‘Truth, Lord; but I have marr’d them: let my shame
Go where it doth deserve.’
‘And know you not,’ says Love, ‘Who bore the blame?’
‘My dear, then I will serve.’
‘You must sit down,’ says Love, ‘and taste my meat.’
So I did sit and eat.

Two chairs on each side of the Altar.   Cushions on them, to be comfortable!   Maybe this could be identified as a “Table for Two” !!!!   Altar rail open, of course, as broken, it is the entrance into the area.

 

I put my painting “Love Bade Me Welcome” behind the altar.  Very pleased that the colours worked well.

love bade me welcome painting jenny meehan

love bade me welcome painting jenny meehan

 

 

The Pews

On just one side of the Pews I had a pot of Chrysanthemums; lovely daisy single petal types.  Then another pot from which all the flowers had been cut off.  Then a couple on stalks lying out of water, a couple more in some water, and a few flowers which had been taken apart.

Love Bade Me Welcome inspired Altar Piece by Jenny Meehan Love Bade Me Welcome inspired Altar Piece by Jenny Meehan Holy Week art installation in St Paul's Church religious art Christian contemporary art in church buildings, jenny meehan christian contemplative artist painter poet, contemporary use of art in places of worship, art for worship prayer, religious symbolism in church, symbolic language of art in christianity,

st pauls church holy week art installation jenny meehan

 

 

Love Bade Me Welcome inspired Altar Piece by Jenny Meehan Love Bade Me Welcome inspired Altar Piece by Jenny Meehan Holy Week art installation in St Paul's Church religious art Christian contemporary art in church buildings, jenny meehan christian contemplative artist painter poet, contemporary use of art in places of worship, art for worship prayer, religious symbolism in church, symbolic language of art in christianity,

Then I displayed the two poems I wrote when thinking through things. The first to go with the flower on it’s stalk, out of water, and the second for the flowers in the pot.

 

A Poem for Chrysanthemums in Holy Week 2016

Cut
from my roots
I lie and wait. Someone will pick me up
tear me apart.
But what difference will it make, to me?
A stranger from my source
with no future destiny.
Another Poem for Chrysanthemums in Holy Week 2016

Gathered together
Clamouring for space;
Dreaming of re-potting,
Positioning, in a different place.
Some golden, garden, Summer
may be our future lot;
Yet, in the present, happily,
nurtured in our pot.

You may come and take one,
and tear the life apart,
And what is done to one of us
will shake us from the heart
Yet this brings opportunity,
new hope and faith to know.
Because where one is broken
another two may grow.

 

(The ones in water are there simply so I can replenish when need be!)

The meditative activity, if anyone wanted to do it, was taken from Stephen Cottrell’s book “The Things He Carried – A Journey to the Cross: Meditations for Lent and Holy Week” This had several points and suggestions to it, which included a reading from Romans 5. 1-11, and a suggestion for breaking up a flower and after holding it for a while, then trying to reassemble it as best you could. Part of this was feeling “how hopeless it is”  (to try and reassemble it) and also watching “it fade”.

Other Areas

I had the Hymn “What a Friend we have in Jesus”  also displayed in another part of the chancel.   No surprise there…I have been thinking about this Hymn for around the last three years!!!!!!

What a Friend We Have in Jesus | Joseph M. Scriven
1. What a friend we have in Jesus,
All our sins and griefs to bear!
What a privilege to carry
Everything to God in prayer!
Oh, what peace we often forfeit,
Oh, what needless pain we bear,
All because we do not carry
Everything to God in prayer!
2. Have we trials and temptations?
Is there trouble anywhere?
We should never be discouraged—
Take it to the Lord in prayer.
Can we find a friend so faithful,
Who will all our sorrows share?
Jesus knows our every weakness;
Take it to the Lord in prayer.
3. Are we weak and heavy-laden,
Cumbered with a load of care?
Precious Savior, still our refuge—
Take it to the Lord in prayer.
Do thy friends despise, forsake thee?
Take it to the Lord in prayer!
In His arms He’ll take and shield thee,
Thou wilt find a solace there.
4. Blessed Savior, Thou hast promised
Thou wilt all our burdens bear;
May we ever, Lord, be bringing
All to Thee in earnest prayer.
Soon in glory bright, unclouded,
There will be no need for prayer—
Rapture, praise, and endless worship
Will be our sweet portion there.

 

Our vicar Luke kindly offered his Father, Iden Wickings’  sculpture for use as part of the installation.

Love Bade Me Welcome inspired Altar Piece by Jenny Meehan Love Bade Me Welcome inspired Altar Piece by Jenny Meehan Holy Week art installation in St Paul's Church religious art Christian contemporary art in church buildings, jenny meehan christian contemplative artist painter poet, contemporary use of art in places of worship, art for worship prayer, religious symbolism in church, symbolic language of art in christianity,

st pauls church holy week art installation jenny meehan

I responded to this sculpture like this:

“Holding On” A poem by Jenny Meehan in response to the sculpture ” ‘Raising the Totem’ by Iden Wickings

Holding on
Substance of my self
standing, but with force, drawing away.
Welded, in baptismal fires
ordained for me.
The effort of this slope of life
is too much…
The gravity and weight of it
beyond my ability to sustain.
Yet
you, Oh Christ…
Within and around me
hold on.
Holding on.

In a single step,
the weight of your love lifts me.
The strength of a hundred men
in just one,
says
“This will last forever”
then
“My work is done”.

 

And I used one of my paintings which I felt worked well with the sculpture visually.  It’s an untitled painting right now… but was painted alongside the Resurrection One and Resurrection Two paintings.  It’s still eluding me a little… I realise the logical and predictable thing is to call it “Resurrection Three” but I might settle for relating it to it’s use in this context, maybe “Resurrection Three/Holding On”

I enjoyed the process of putting it together, especially stretching my arms out when leaning over the altar to smooth out the table cloth.  This has got to be the most profound part for me.. to serve, to bow, to stretch my arms out, maybe there was there a small echo which resonated with my identification with what Christ has done for me.

It’s all part of the service…

Considerations

This strikes me.   I have read it many times before…

“If the Church gained more confidence in the figurative languages on which it is built, it would feel more able to befriend the artists, writers and poets of today with more open and trustful willingness.  Like birds hovering on the strong currents of the air we breathe, people of art and people of faith are keen to discern something of these currents which pull and shape our lives.  It is an exciting task and one that  might create many friendships and maybe even some agreement.   It does not surprise me, then, that it is our cathedrals that, by their beauty of stone, liturgy and music, are housing some of the most reflectice and lively partnerships between the contemporary arts and faith.  It is also our cathedrals for the same reasons, that are attracting many people’s interest in the possibilities of God.   Human beings need intimation as well as specification.” 

Mark Oakley in his book “The Collage of God”  2001.

 

 

Art Fund Raising for Straight Talking…

 

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

Exhibition runs from then until 3rd January 2016.

 

http://www.straighttalking.org/

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

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

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

 

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

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

116 Douglas Road
Surbiton
Surrey
KT6 7SB

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

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

 

Court Farm Cafe

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

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

Singing in the Rain

Lyrical abstract painting… This is the final…

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

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

Singing in the Rain Images taken when in progress:

 

 

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

Yeah,  I like taking pictures of my paintings!

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

 

Resurrection Two –  Painting in Progress

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

Resurrection Two Painting:

 

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

british collectable abstract paintings

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

 

 

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

 

Yoga Inhale and Yoga Exhale paintings.

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

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

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

yoga inhale yoga breathing inspired abstract painting by jenny meehan

 

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

yoga exhale yoga breathing inspired abstract painting by jenny meehan

 

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

 

November Thoughts

We should all be hibernating!

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

 

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

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

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

About Edel McClean

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

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

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

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

Back to the hibernating…

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

 

General Information on Jenny Meehan:

Artist’s Statement (sketchy overview, rather!)

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

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

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

 

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

 

 

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

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

Drop In Drawing

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

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

Inclusive Church Movement

Quote from the Inclusive Church website:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Yoga

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Such a helpful read!

 

Details from recent process led painting experiments!

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

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

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

Painting and Physicality…

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

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

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

Here’s Psalm 84:

Psalm 84  Good News Translation (GNT)

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

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

 

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

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

 

jenny meehan jamartlondon photography

jenny meehan jamartlondon photography

 

 

 

Jenny Meehan. All Rights Reserved, DACS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Note About Following Jenny Meehan Contemporary Artist’s Journal 

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

 

 

 

 

Fifty Names for Jesus

May 30, 2015

As always, skim down and stop when your interest is caught!  Too lengthy for a “blog”  this is rather more a journal, and I post once a month only, so end up squishing too much together!  If you are wanting just a quick look over some images, it’s easy to scroll down.  The wonders of mobile phones!

I have sown various seeds in the garden, and the snails are eating the little shoots as they shoot!

But I like snails…

I don’t like slug pellets and I don’t use them.

Hopefully something will survive!

Sunflowers

Well, it’s not quite the sunflower stage of the year, but oh how generous is the bloom and how strong the stalk of the sunflower, and how it lifts my spirit to even think of a sunflower. I love the motif of a sunflower, and use it in a lot of my painting and drawing.

Here are some of my sunflower explorations:

 

sunflower digital image by jenny meehan jamartlondon  colourful flowerhead

sunflower digital image by jenny meehan jamartlondon colourful flowerhead

 

 

sunflower digital image by jenny meehan jamartlondon  colourful flowerhead yellow  art to license uk

sunflower digital image by jenny meehan jamartlondon colourful flowerhead

 

art to license uk sunflower digital image by jenny meehan jamartlondon  colourful flowerhead

sunflower digital image by jenny meehan jamartlondon colourful flowerhead

 

 

The Sunflower image below is one I have used for several experiments, including using the sunflower for a surface pattern design.  Nothing very clever, but sometimes the simple things can be most effective, and it is rather exciting to see more of something that you like splattered all over an item of some kind!  I love creating patterns with various adaptations of my paintings and photographs.  There’s something very satisfying about bringing a strong pattern into play…While my painting with it’s rich colours and textures, the interplay between the two, and the subtle nuances of light and surface, which take me into the realm of the unknown and the unpredictable, there is something very reassuring to be found in a repetitive pattern! It’s a completely different experience, but very enjoyable.  I am hoping that in time, more of my art work will be licensed, because I like to see it used.

 

sunflower digital image by jenny meehan jamartlondon  colourful flowerhead

sunflower digital image by jenny meehan jamartlondon colourful flowerhead

 

 

I have posted some products with this “Sunflower” Design on Redbubble, here is one, so take a peek:

http://www.redbubble.com/people/jennyjimjams/works/13937496-sunflower-surface-pattern-design-by-jenny-meehan?grid_pos=53&p=iphone-case

Looking at this page, I think if you go to the portfolio link, you will then arrive at my main Jenny Meehan Redbubble Page and if you click on the Sunflower image you will see all the other products which can be purchased via Redbubble with this Sunflower design on them!

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

The sunflower as a symbol has often been used to represent the unwavering faith that guides a soul to higher spiritual attainment, though what the sunflower symbolises is different depending on which culture you are looking at.  However, I rather like the faith version!  Sunflowers have been in existence since ancient times .A carbon dating was done to some clay found in  North America, which seemed to have some kind of seeds in it, and the dating showed both that the seeds were sunflower seeds, and also that they dated back to a period of time approximately  3,000 years ago.

The shape of the sunflower—the large disk in the centre and the ray-like petals emanating from it—resembles the sun. The florets in the centre of the sunflower,  that later become seeds, are arranged in a complex pattern of left and right spirals and are placed according to the Fibonocci mathematical formula.  The resulting pattern is not only beautiful, but it is practical too, being the most compact way that the florets can be fitted. It is just one of the many marvellous details in nature that point to the goodness and wisdom of God.  Though you cannot see the seed pattern in this design, I hope that the bright, fresh, boldness of the design will strike you with its flash of uncompromising yellow.

The  flowering time for sunflowers is from around May to October,  so some of them do flower much earlier than I have in my mind…They always make me think of the late Summer.  Another name for sunflower is Helianthus, and in the Greek, the meaning of “helios” is sun and “anthos” means flower.  The way that the Sunflower faces the direction of the sun is something that a lot of flowers do, but I guess because it is rather a big flower, we notice this fact about it more vividly.

I have a drawing here, which I have called “Sunflower and Rose Bowl”

sunflower and rose bowl drawing jenny meehan graphite on cartridge paper

sunflower and rose bowl drawing jenny meehan

 

This drawing was one of the results of a spontaneous quick drawing session.  I armed myself with a large pile of paper and drew quickly and without any preconceived ideas about subject matter.  I was interested to see what would come from my subconscious.  What did come were several landscapes, loose and flowing, which I will share another time.  But “Sunflower and Rose Bowl” was the one which interested me most.   There are rays of light indicated as coming from the left of the drawing.  The Sunflower springs up from a distant point far below and it’s centre echoes some random, rather creative,  patterns at the top right of the drawing.  Below the Sunflower is a bowl which contains just one empty and thin stalk, and that alone.  To my thinking the drawing shows a contrast between life, and the life force, like powerful light pushing upwards and radiating outwards, and, in contrast, the grid like pattern of the wires on the restrictive rose bowl, holding that one thin and flowerless stalk,which  though more dimensional, is more static and less promising.  I wondered at one point if the sunflower was foolishly looking at the rose bowl and wishing to be contained, but finding itself too big and not in fitting with the rose bowl.  Why is it looking there?  Is the ordered pattern of the grid an alternative to the free flowing patterns within its own seed head? Is there a wish for order, in the chaos of creativity?  Possible.  Certainly, there is a need for containment, for my self, which I do feel quite acutely at times.  So it could be the wishful thinking of a sun loving flower!

 Nice Quote from William Blake, which is rather relating to the Sunflower and Rose Bowl

“Shall painting be confined to the sordid drudgery of facsimile representations of merely mortal and perishing substances and not be, as poetry and music are, elevated to its own proper sphere of invention and visionary conception? No, it shall not be so! Painting, as well as poetry and music, exists and exults in immortal thoughts.” William Blake

Yes, indeed, and yet, as high as it goes, like the Sunflower, still looking down to the sordid drudgery!  (I personally feel that in the routine and everyday, much rooting and grounding takes place, needful for even the most aspiring Sunflowers!)

 

Fifty Names for Jesus

This is based on an exercise that my spiritual guide on a recent (February 2015)  retreat gave me.   It comes under the heading of “A Thousand Names for God”, but that is rather a lot.  So, bearing in mind “Fifty Shades of Grey”…But, I hasten to add, having nothing to do with it!, here is my “Fifty Names for Jesus”  (there ended up more than fifty in the end)

Passion flower,
Silver Snail Trail,
Sunlight Falling, Moonlight rising,
Sound of footsteps…Coming…

Breeze of moving.

Wonder in a child’s eyes,
rustle of leaves and falling snow.
Smile of God,
Laughter of God,
Tears of God,
Sorrow of God.

Stray Note.

Sound in Silence, Silence in Sound.

Generous hearted.

Concerned one,
Compassionate one,
Flamboyant one,
Sense of humour one,
Contented one.
Holy One, Holy Two, Holy Three…

Further than far, nearer than near.

Companion Jesus,
Leader Jesus,
Surgeon Jesus.
Maybe, mother Jesus.  Maybe mother Jesus?
Therapist Jesus
Teacher Jesus,
Dancer Jesus.  Leaper, Prancer Jesus!
Pigeon Jesus and Rock Dove Jesus…(Because the same, but not in name)

Moon and Sun Jesus,

Ultimate Christmas Jumper Jesus,
Healing Jesus,
Kind Jesus.

Perceptive Jesus,
Searching Jesus,
Knowing Jesus,
Discerning Jesus.

Suffering Jesus
Bright Star Jesus.
Ultimate Vision Glasses Jesus.
Tender Jesus, Loving Jesus
Listener Jesus.
Listen Jesus.

Listen, Jesus.

 

It was very enjoyable to do this!

 

 

The Studio Tent

Jenny Meehan's Studio Tent for Painting

Jenny Meehan’s Studio Tent for Painting

Oh, it’s just great to have the Studio Tent!  The image up here is a bit out of date…It’s in action now, and I use it just for painting in acrylics, and drinking tea and praying in!  The sound of the birds is lovely, and the flapping sides of the tent as the wind blows is pretty relaxing too.  It’s great to have all the acrylics, pigments, glass beads and fillers, inks, and all the rest all together under one roof, even if it is a tarpaulin roof!  Though not a mobile studio, as Emily Carr’s “Elephant” caravan was, I know I am going to get some interesting painting done within it’s confines!  I will post a more up to date image soon.  One side of it has become a palette of sorts. Well, not for mixing, but just some examples of the contents of some of the containers, so jolly useful to have up there on the wall.

The kitchen/studio is better for oil painting because I cannot store all my paints in one place as I have too many, so I will keep the kitchen table for painting oils I think.  Flitting back to Emily Carr, what a wonderful exhibition at the Dulwich Picture Gallery that was earlier on this year, and what an interesting lady! I found this:

She experienced everything with uncommon intensity, a factor which fuelled her frenzied periods of enormous output, yet contributed to her self-doubt which led to a lengthy and marked slowdown–some would call it a regenerative hiatus–in her painting. Nevertheless, she pulled herself up out of depression, came to ignore public disregard, surrounded herself with pets, sang hymns to her half-finished paintings out in the forest, and, at fifty-seven, won her way to her most productive and original period of painting, producing the works for which she is most known. And always, always, she was seeking.

Carr looked for answers to questions of life, soul and God from many sources–the Bible, despite her early intolerance of scripture readings being forced upon her in a pious household; the essays of Ralph Waldo Emerson, particularly striving to emulate his thoughts in “Self Reliance;” the poetry of Walt Whitman in Leaves of Grass, which encouraged her to see a universal God in all life; works of Theosophy and Buddhism, as introduced to her by the painter Lawren Harris of the Group of Seven, though she ultimately rejected them as too abstract in not incorporating God and Christ; Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, the textbook of Christian Science, by Mary Baker Eddy; and the teachings of Raja Singh. All of these sources, together with what she observed from Native cultures, combined to help her define her own personal spiritual foundation which served as the basis for her mature work, and as the source of her strength.”

I THINK this quote is the writing of Susan Vreeland, but I am not quite sure, as it appears on the net on several blogs, but I am doing my best here to credit it.   Here is the site link: http://www.svreeland.com/  and see here:  http://www.svreeland.com/real-ec.html  This is just a small snippet of some very interesting reading, and it is well worth a look at the rest of what Susan Vreeland has written about Emily Carr.

I am rather encouraged that it was at fifty-seven Emily Carr experienced her most productive and original period of painting!  I have time!!!  And, yes, we must always be seeking.. Seeing and seeking!   I do think that to have a personal spiritual foundation IS indeed very helpful, and certainly a source of strength.  Many creative s and artists find this, and benefit from the continual refreshment and focus that a spiritual direction offers them. Well, one thing is for sure, all the encouragement you can get is needed in order to carry on.

 

Advance Notice:

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

Kingston Artists’ Open Studios is a voluntary group of artists, and there are many studios open in and around Kingston Upon Thames… A whole trail! The Open Studios event is part of the bigger Surrey Artists Open Studios network event.

I cannot decide what to bring along to this.  I was going to bring some drawings, but I think I might just stick with some paintings and some prints.  I haven’t done the Surrey Artists’ Open Studios before, so I am looking forward to taking part.  You need to join Surrey Artists Open Studios first, and then pay more to take part in the event itself, so I certainly hope I do sell some things in order to recoup the costs!  I will probably bring along just acrylic paintings, as my oil painting style is quite different to the work I produce when using acrylics and it will all be placed pretty close together.  And some digital prints.  Take a look at my website for a taster:

www.jamartlondon.com 

Silence in the City 

Here is some information from the Silence in the City website:

About Silence in the City
This series of talks on silent prayer and the Christian contemplative life has been running since 2007 in London’s Westminster Cathedral Hall. We invite a range of speakers, each of whom is committed to the contemplative life; each meeting includes one or more talks, and at least one period devoted to silent prayer.

The speakers are invited to concentrate on the value of silence and the possibilities of silent prayer, but they are also encouraged to discuss any or all of the other monastic values of solitude, simplicity and contemplative service. The series is ecumenical in nature; we may in due course include representatives of other faiths.

Silence in the City is organised by lay members of the World Community for Christian Meditation and Contemplative Outreach. Our inspiration is the practice of silent prayer itself, and while we hope that this series of talks will continue, its real success will be measured by individuals’ discovery of a method of silent prayer that is right for them.

See the website here: http://www.silenceinthecity.org.uk/index.html

I’m looking forward to two forthcoming events:

Wednesday, 17 June 2015 (10a.m.- 4 p.m.)

James Finley PhD: Transforming Trauma: Exploring the Healing Power of Spirituality (A one day healing retreat)

A one day retreat devoted to exploring the healing power of spirituality. The day’s reflections will focus on seven traumas or wounds to which we are all subject as human beings and then go to explore methods of meditation and other steps we can take to help ourselves and others heal from each of these seven wounds. The emphasis will be on the lifelong process of learning to be a healing presence in the midst of the world. Time will be given for brief periods of silent group meditation and discussion of the themes presented. Those in ministry, in the healing professions, trauma survivors and all who are interested in exploring healing power of spirituality in their own life and in today’s world will benefit from this day of prayerful reflection.

The Seven Steps of Spiritual Healing Explored in the Retreat Are:

Be grounded in your experience of who you are as a human being in relationship with others. Take responsibility for the healing that needs to occur there.
Have faith in the subtle flashes of spiritual awakening that occur each day. Trust these moments reveal that although you are ego, you are not just ego. You are a spiritual being created in the image and likeness of God who is spirit.
Realize that the root of suffering is estrangement from spiritual experience. The root of happiness is spiritual experience.
Follow the mystics on the path of prayer and meditation that heals the root of suffering in its origin.
Follow the path of the saints in compassionate love that heals the suffering that has found its way into our minds and hearts (facing and working through bodily and psychological suffering in a spiritually grounded way).
Learn to live in the axial moment that transcends suffering in the midst of suffering, that transcends death in the midst of death.
Devote yourself in prayer, meditation and compassionate love to the lifelong process of learning to be a healing presence in the midst of the world. Be resolved to continue living in this way until the last traces of suffering dissolve in love and only love is left.
Venue: Westminster Cathedral Hall, Ambrosden Avenue, London SW1P 0QJ.

Refreshments provided. Suggested donation £20.

Text from the Silence in the City website.

And also, I will be attending:

Wednesday 1 July 2015 (10a.m.-4 p.m.)

Rev Dr Cynthia Bourgeault: Harnessing the Power of Love – Unveiling the New Breed of Trinity (one day seminar)

Venue: Westminster Cathedral Hall, Ambrosden Avenue, London SW1P 0QJ.

Refreshments provided. Suggested donation £20.

Rethinkyourmind 2015

It was lovely last year to have “Well Spring” chosen to be included in the Rethinkyourmind Yellow Book.  Anything positive related to mental health matters a great deal to me.  My mother was seriously mentally ill for the majority of her life, and my sister also.  Though pretty psychologically resilient myself, I do know what it is like to experience  anxiety and depression,  and also what it means to engage in the processes of recovery from  trauma.  It’s hard work; long, often painful, and very challenging.  Without my engagement in psychotherapy, I know that I wouldn’t have  been able to move forward personally myself, at all.  So I am eternally grateful for the place I am in now, and feel passionately that projects like Rethinkyourmind have lasting value and influence, and do make a significant difference to many people.

This year I entered a couple of photographic images in, and was delighted to once more find my art work selected!  The selected photograph was  “I Feel Better When Walking by Trees and Water”  (this also has  it’s previous title which is “High Water Thames”).

Here it is!

jenny meehan copyright DACS all rights reserved highwater, i feel better when walking near trees and water

highwater, i feel better when walking near trees and water

 

A lot of my artwork has more than one title…It is not a matter of changing the title, I find, but of having further thinking time on the work and realising more about the motivations I had,  in slightly more depth.  Normally I find this happens quite naturally over time.  I have always been quite conscious of the correspondence between the patterns of nerves in the brain and the patterns of branches of trees, and when contemplating the scene before taking the photograph, the reflection of the branches in the water spoke an additional  sense of connection (with the water, the life-source) to me which I liked very much, along with the patterning of the branches.  I have discovered through reading an extract from  “Fractal Brains: Fractal Thoughts by David Pincus Ph.D. lots of fascinating things about fractals!  The brain has a fractal organization, as indeed do many natural systems.  A fractal is a branchlike structure, and when you think about natural structures like trees,  rivers, snow-flakes,  the circulatory system, and such like, an awareness of the beauty of fractal organisation is certainly highlighted.  Interestingly, researchers in psychology have been finding many examples of fractal patterns, for example in visual search and speech patterns. They have even found that interpersonal relationships are organised as fractals and that the self-concept is a fractal, with complexity being associated with health.  I found this all wonderful reading:

“Essentially, fractal systems have many opportunities for growth, change and re-organization. Yet they also are very robust. They maintain their coherence; they hold together well, even under tough circumstances. They are balanced in this respect, between order and chaos. They are simple, yet also very complex. This balance is often referred to as “criticality,” thus the title of the article: “Broadband Criticality.” And the term “self-organized” is often added because systems tend to become fractal on their own, simply by putting a lot of system components together and allowing them to exchange information. Think of a party. All you need to do is come up with enough people at the same place and time and they will start to form complex patterns of connection with one another.

Self-organizing critical systems are also very good at connecting, both internally and also to other surrounding systems. The branches of a tree are connected in a very lovely way. If you shake one branch, you’ll see broad shaking across the tree. Fractal structures hang together nicely. Yet they branches may be trimmed without affecting the overall structure. Indeed, if you trim them far enough out (above the growth bud, “post-traumatic growth” or “whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger”) they will often grow even stronger, with more complex connections in the outer branches. Finally, branchlike patterns easily connect to other systems – a literal web of life. A tree with many fractal branches (and also roots) can better connect to the sun (and soil) to gather and exchange life sustaining nutrients.”

This is a quote from Fractal Brains: Fractal Thoughts
Our Brains are fractal, with far reaching branches; Post published by David Pincus Ph.D. on Sep 05, 2009 in The Chaotic Life   https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-chaotic-life/200909/fractal-brains-fractal-thoughts

Oh wow, well, I hope that my “post-traumatic growth” serves me well…according this the above I may grow even stronger, with more complex connections in my outer branches!!!!

This posting is very photography orientated!  I am painting, but it is all behind the scenes for now, and a lot of ground laying activity is going on which I don’t intend to post on the internet for some time!  I am a very prolific artist, and quite frankly I cannot keep up with bringing an account of what I am doing all the time as well as doing it.  At the moment I am doing a lot of organising, taking images of paintings for the archive, tidying up the studio tent, preparing work for this years Surrey Artists’ Open Studios Event, and preparing some more canvases for future paintings.  Also, very importantly, as ever constantly reviewing my photography, painting and drawing to see how it can inform me right now.  This is probably the most important task.  I’ve stopped fretting about representation (finally) and have jumped into the realm of colour, texture and form most fully, without angst.  It seems right to loose myself in these eternal layers of colour and texture if that is the way things are going.  I enjoy the occasional bit of drawing here and there.  It won’t disappear!

 

Copyright and Licensing Digital Images Information – Jenny Meehan

www.jamartlondon.com 

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

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

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

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

Rich, interesting, lyrical abstraction, full of texture, colour, and variations, emotionally expressive and poetically resonant, my expressive paintings are ideal for book cover design and many other design purposes.  Licenses for digital images suitable for cover-art for books are really easy and quick to organise through DACS.  My artwork is unique and having developed my own direction over the last few years it’s ripe to use. I am relatively prolific, and my main current work centres around painting with a lot of  experimentation with layers of colour and texture, though I have a lot of digital photographic (tending towards pictorialism) imagery too.  

 

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

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

Jenny Meehan – General Introduction 

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

A vocational, rather than a professional artist, I exhibit mainly in the UK, and am a member of Kingston Artists’ Open Studios. I am currently training with SPIDIR as a spiritual guide/mentor. I am a trained teacher and hold occasional small groups in developing painting and drawing skills, and general visual creative expression.

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

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

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

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 uk british contemporary fine artist uk boarded window photo jenny meehan

boarded window photo jenny meehan

Above “Boarded Window” photograph.  One of the Chessington Series.  copyright Jenny Meehan DACS

Kingston Artists’ Open Studios “Selfie” Exhibition at Cass Arts, Kingston Upon Thames

Another task is the self portrait for the KAOS exhibition at Cass Arts, in Kingston Upon Thames.  (103 Clarence Street, Kingston upon Thames KT1 1NW).  The exhibition will be called ‘Selfie’ and Kaos members  will submit at least one self portrait.  It is planned to hang the exhibition on 3rd June, and Cass Art have kindly offered to sponsor a private view on Thursday 4th June.  This will be the official opening exhibition for this year’s open studios.   I have a few photographic works which I might submit, but the most likely one would probably be “Woman and Home” which was one of three digital art prints which where part of the very excellent ” Speaking Out – Women Healing from the Trauma of Violence” project at the University of Leicester (Dr Nicole Fayard and Stella Couloutbanis).  The “Speaking Out” (2014) project involved an exhibition of painters, printmakers, installation artists, sculptors, writers, photographers, and performers coming together because of their particular interest in gender violence.   “Woman and Home” was one of my submitted images.  It is a self portrait I took by holding a camera above me, as I was sorting through a huge pile of washing.   After manipulating the image I then added a layer of headlines taken from the front cover of the “Woman and Home” magazine.  Here is the text from the catalogue regarding the art work which was included in the exhibition “Speaking Out”:

“Jenny Meehan’s photography provides powerful representations of the psychological damage that can be inflicted on children who witness domestic abuse.  Children acquire their positive sense of self and self-esteem from powerful role models, usually their parents or carers.  Trauma occurs when this relationship is broken.  The traumatised individual will incessantly re-experience the suffering caused by the events that shattered their sense of identity, independence or their trust.  Meehan explores such a mother-daughter connection by keeping both subjects separate but connected by their gaze.  In “Pages in my Story Book, It is Hard to Turn the Page”, eight juxtaposed copies of the same image of the artist’s daughter shot in high angle capture the sense of traumatic repetition that affects the child’s sense of self.  This contrasts with the image of the artist herself in a point of view shot in “Woman and Home”. Whilst both subjects are separated by the angle of the shot and the frame of the photograph, their gaze appears to look in the same direction. “Hide and Peep” shuts us out of the scene and offers the view of an insider – the child – looking out, conveying a sense of entrapment.  This oppressive mood is however contrasted as “Woman and Home” is superimposed with empowering messages.  The camera angle and the dialogue between “you” and “me” in the messages, which appear to reflect the survivor’s stream of consciousness, both act to restore her sense of self.  The sharing of the experience of trauma and empowerment might also provide ways of bringing the disempowered together.  By addressing her work to a wider community (“you”) Meehan implies that it is intended to function as a narrative of empowerment for a community of fellow-sufferers in similar positions.”

There is more text, but as usual, this Jenny Meehan Artist’s Journal is longer than it was ever intended to be, so I will skip the rest! The above text credit is as follows: “Speaking Out” University of Leicester 2014

 

Embrace Arts (University of Leicester Art Centre) Speaking Out: Women Healing from the Trauma of Violence Art Exhibition Following then along the same thread, was a decision to submit some work for the forthcoming Embrace Arts (Universityof Leicester’s arts centre) exhibition 2014 which is titled ‘Speaking Out: Women Healing from the Trauma of Violence’. It’s a collaboration of Embrace Arts and the School of Modern Languages.The exhibition will be at Embrace Arts from Monday 13 January through to Friday 28 March 2014. “The aims of Speaking Out are to promote awareness of the processes of healing from the trauma of violence against women and girls; communicate women’s experiences through contemporary art and from their testimonies; foster a dialogue about the connection between violence and mental health; break the secrecy and silence about the prevalence of abuse against the disabled; inspire confidence by speaking out to empower women and girls.” All really worthwhile stuff. And some more of the blurb: “The artworks that will be on display in Speaking Out will demonstrate that art can educate us about the effects of violence perpetrated against women and girls. The exhibition will foster the engagement of survivors with the processes that can help overcome traumatic experiences, and promote a positive view of women’s forms of resistance and empowerment through art.” Jenny Meehan "Woman and Home" photographic imagery submitted accepted for Leicester university

“Woman and Home” One of three submitted and accepted artworks for this valuable and worthwhile project.

 

I need to add, with respect to the following:  “This oppressive mood is however contrasted as “Woman and Home” is superimposed with empowering messages.  The camera angle and the dialogue between “you” and “me” in the messages, which appear to reflect the survivor’s stream of consciousness, both act to restore her sense of self.”   I liked this reading of the work, and so was happy to accept it for the purposes of the catalogue, which, rightfully, had an emphasis on the positives and recovery, rather than just the damage and negative effects of violence and trauma.    It was a pleasing reading, and I always value and appreciate others perspectives, though, the reality of the matter for me, at the time of making the work, was not optimistic.  I was in a place where I was re-experiencing quite strong bouts of emotional distress/flashbacks with respect to some of my own  past traumatic experiences, and the original image (of 2006, before I re-worked it ) was inspired by childhood experience of domestic  violence:  the power of existing within a schema of subjugation, rather than anything positive.  I was  struggling with  low self esteem also, and the work, from my own perspective, was more to do with feeling trapped by the messages from the media with respect to how I should be…A kind of media oppression!   And of feeling the weight of all that was involved in running a household,  and just about managing to do it while in the slough of despond.  I was feeling completely overwhelmed by media communicated expectations and images of what both a “woman” and a “home” should be.  So it was rather an expression of negative, than a positive, experience.  However,  I chose not to input this material into the catalogue, because, as said,  I didn’t dislike the interpretation.  I have always viewed women’s magazines with a lot of cynicism and not personally found them a source of empowerment…I am sure that they work very differently for many other people though.  And I do believe it is important to acknowledge the positive dimensions of having experienced a lot of suffering in one’s life, and to realise that there are many strengths which can be developed through having experienced extreme adversity.  I found a brilliant book on this, which I reference later on in this post.

 

Healing and Recovering Thoughts…

Even with very helpful experiences of divine healing, thanks to the Holy Spirit, and assisted  by some  influence from John Wimber’s ministry in the eighties,  plus all the other benefits of faith in a Creator God,  since around 2008, the accumulation of unresolved trauma (and lots of damaged ways of operating ) suggested (strongly!) that I seek professional help,  which I did in 2011.  For me personally, psychotherapy and its various approaches have been something which I have (and still find) very complementary to my faith and relations with others and God, and my interest in psychology of many approaches,  frequently brings my way lots of very interesting reading material which I find very useful when I look at my painting and other creative pursuits.  Something I have been reading recently is “The Posttraumatic Self: Restoring Meaning and Wholeness to Personality” Edited by John P Wilson…

“The Posttraumatic Self: Restoring Meaning and Wholeness to Personality” – John P Wilson  Routedge

I have to confess to only having read extracts of it on the internet, as I often do!  I cannot afford to buy all the books I might fancy reading, and I have not enough room to put them in anyway, but I do find my dipping into articles, extracts and papers which are easily found on the internet a great asset to my thinking about things!  I am finding “The Posttraumatic Self: Restoring Meaning and Wholeness to Personality edited by John P. Wilson immensely helpful.  Here is the blurb on it:

“Filling a gap that exists in most traumatology literature, The Posttraumatic Self provides an optimistic analysis of the aftermath of a traumatic event.

This work appreciates the potentially positive effects of trauma and links those effects to the discovery of one’s identity, character, and purpose. Wilson and his distinguished contributors explore the nature and dynamics of the posttraumatic self, emphasising human resilience and prompting continued optimal functioning. While taking into consideration pathological consquences such as posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), the authors study the impacts a traumatic event can have on one’s inner self, and they help the victims transform such an event into healthy self-transcendent lifecycles. The Posttraumatic Self will help victims and healers transform the way they deal with the complexities of trauma by making important connections that will allow for healing and growth.”

It is such an excellent book, but even second hand it is quite pricey.  Maybe at Christmas!  (put it on the list!!!)

Trauma certainly is complex, and even more so when you have had lots of it over the years.  I have found reading the parts of this book I have had access to very helpful in balancing out the tendency to be more aware  of the negative impact of having had lots of very traumatic experiences (and the related consequences) than I am (at times) of the positives.  I know the positives are there, and experience them too,  but seeing them outlined has been immensely useful to me.  It’s much more common to be aware of the  pathological consequences as you push on through and forwards in the recovery processes.  It is easy to become discouraged by the physical tension you feel every day,  occasional flashbacks (which always take you by surprise!),  negative expectations, anxieties, etc, even though you know why you have the feelings and expectations you do.  I have come a very long way in the last several years,  and everything is now far more balanced, stable and joyful than it used to be.     I am getting my head around my life, and recovering a sense of meaning which isn’t totally fragmented and broken.  And even, seeing the blessing in it. There is a lot of blessing there for the receiving.   My awareness of my brokenness isn’t a negative.  I have often held onto this. And I have needed to, because I need to accept that I won’t ever recover completely.  Not in the way that you “get over” something.  It is more a matter of acclimatization and adjustment.  Re learning.  Understanding. Getting better at recognising what is happening emotionally and psychologically,  and acting accordingly.  And getting the spiritual sustenance I need.  Which brings me on to this!  …..

Canticle 74 : A Song of Our True Nature (Julian of Norwich)

Christ revealed our frailty and our falling, * our trespasses and our humiliations.

Christ also revealed his blessed power, *

his blessed wisdom and love.

He protects us as tenderly and as sweetly when we are in greatest need; *

he raises us in spirit and turns everything to glory and joy without ending.

God is the ground and the substance, the very essence of nature; *

God is the true father and mother of natures.

We are all bound to God by nature, *

and we are all bound to God by grace.

And this grace is for all the world, *

because it is our precious mother, Christ.

For this fair nature was prepared by Christ

for the honor and nobility of all,

and for the joy and bliss of salvation.

(the little stars are there to indicate that you make a long pause.  This is quite useful, as it stops you reading it aloud too quickly.)

 

I mentioned in a past posting about a very helpful workshop I attended at Mount Street Jesuit Centre,  “Life Before Death” and I was so grateful for this input, as it has been very much in line with my interest in making important connections which will allow for healing and growth.  I have had a chance to review my notes and the material, and while I can offer only a glimmer, putting it here in this Journal is a good way for me to keep a note of it.  I find my paper notes, like my art work, paintings, poems and drawings, tend to float around the house and are very hard to retrieve!  Using this Journal means I have at least one river which flows in a place I can always find it!

Just briefly then,  the day focused on the psychology of flourishing…  Basically, paying attention to “what makes life worth living” and included considerations on analysing what happiness and well-being is.  A recommended read was “Thinking Fast Thinking Slow” by Daniel Kahnemann.  The distinction between the experiencing self and remembering self is something I would like to read more about. (I cannot really give a great account of the content of the day, as so selective is what gets into ones mind and not, but these little scraps will help me!)  Also a couple of books by Martin Seligman will be worth reading, I am sure.   Routes to well being can come through positive emotion, engagement, positive relationships, meaning, and accomplishment, and all these are underpinned by character.

Other notes: (not necessarily particularly accurate…lots of information caught on ear wax on the way in, I think!  )

How important it is to look beyond us, especially the importance of HOPE!!!!!  Pitfalls of the “damage and deficit model of growth”…the idea that if you want to grow and change to be a better person you need to look at what is wrong with you and what you are lacking, and fix it.  The challenge is not solely  to fix and repair, but live with things creatively and work with them.  He wasn’t saying there isn’t a time to sort out mess if people get stuck, and wasn’t anti therapy or anything like that, it was more that it’s really important to look further than just inside ourselves.  (note, in my own reading regarding the pros and cons of psychotherapy, it certainly is a very focused way of working…I rate this and find it very helpful, but like any approach, it does have its pitfalls, and what is it’s strength may also a times be it’s weakness too…)  My notes on Character… Use your strengths to solve problems or to cope with things that cannot be changed.  Build a life around what you are good at.   Point about the way we have ended up with a “victimology”… the character as a moral agent has declined, personal responsibility matters.  Lots of practical ideas to try out, which I won’t go into here, but will try out!  Linked the psychological stuff with growth as a Christian and drew parallels between traditionally recognised virtues and values and positive psychology.

Oh, I cannot do it justice here, but I was most impressed, because I even had some homework to do, which I like immensely!

jenny meehan well spring rethinkyourmind NHS mental health resource art book selected jenny meehan

Well Spring is one of the artworks in the new Rethinkyourmind mental health resource

 

“Well Spring” above is suitable to go with this Journal entry…  It was one of the paintings chosen to be included in last year’s “Rethinkyourmind” Mental Health resource.

A lot of interesting thoughts and ideas regarding Flow.  (Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi) … All good and interesting.    Also, never to be forgotten , the heart.  So much information, great, exciting, super, interesting.  But as well as head, the heart.  Give me grace!

 

Mark Cazalet’s Recent Work

http://www.markcazalet.co.uk/news.html

I love these pastels by Mark Cazalet!

Mark Cazalet was one of several very inspirational teachers who taught me at West Dean College as part of their Short Course Programme, and I am so glad I took these images of students work on the course on colour, all those years ago!

mark cazalet course west dean 2007  students work

mark cazalet course west dean 2007 students work largest image jenny meehan’s painting

mark cazalet course west dean 2007  students work

mark cazalet course west dean 2007 students work early part of course

 

mark cazalet course west dean 2007  students work

mark cazalet course west dean 2007 students work middle part of course

 

mark cazalet course west dean 2007  students work

mark cazalet course west dean 2007 students work final part of course

I hasten to add that no LSD (or any other hallucinogenic drug!)  was given to students as part of the course… The dramatic change in the colours was due to the tremendous confidence and boldness encouraged over  the course, which is testimony to the art of the tutor as much as the students!   It was only a four day course, I think, so a lot happened!

I am recalling this course now I think as I am pretty sure that it was this time of year I took part in it!  Unfortunately I can no longer afford to continue with formal art training,  which is a shame, but I do have many happy memories.   I applied for a residency recently at the London City and Guilds Art School, but didn’t get it.  It was going to be one way of getting into an Art Education Institution, but not successful, sadly.  There is an Artist’s Access Scheme that some Colleges run, so maybe that might be worth looking at in the future.  See:  http://www.aa2a.org/

Well, looking back,   I have just put up one of my drawings which I drew from life during one of my West Dean College stints.

" room for a view" charcoal drawing by jenny meehan jamartlondon.com charcoal drawing landscape west dean college and west dean estate  jenny meehan romantic

” room for a view” charcoal drawing by jenny meehan jamartlondon.com charcoal drawing landscape west dean college and west dean estate jenny meehan romantic

 

This is available currently.  contact me for details via my website www.jamartlondon.com

I look back with fondness on the time when I painted from observation more than I do currently.  However I still draw from observation, in order to keep my eyes keen.  I don’t count out painting from observation, at all, but I have to go with the flow of what I am learning, and trust in the direction I have been carried in through my own process of discovery.  I was saying to someone recently that when I look at nature, I feel it is so wonderful I don’t want to insult the beauty of it by attempting to replicate it in any way.  I think this is why I have immersed myself in abstraction.  I feel that patterns of beauty can still be discovered and experienced but without attempting to copy something already there.  However, I feel that observation is very important indeed, and I spend a lot of time looking, and often drawing from life.  The time I have invested in exploring surfaces and colours, textures and composition, has meant my focus has been  off the external world somewhat.  But though I don’t put it down on paper, I spend a great deal of time looking!

Leatherhead Theatre Flying Colours Exhibition..

Will be hanging this exhibition of fine art prints with Chris Birch on Saturday 2nd May…

We are really grateful to the theatre for hosting the exhibition and hope it brings a lot of pleasure to many!

free art exhibition jenny meehan and chris birch Flying Colours Leatherhead Theatre

free art exhibition jenny meehan and chris birch Flying Colours Leatherhead Theatre

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