Court Farm Garden Centre  Cafe Art Exhibition – KAOS (Kingston Artists Open Studios) 

I have three of the “Signs of the Times”  Laminated Ink Jet Prints on Foamex hanging as part of the KAOS (Kingston Artist’s Open Studios) exhibition at  Court Farm Garden Centre Cafe Exhibition space.   The Cafe is part of the Court Farm Garden Centre in Tolworth Surrey.   There is a large area for art exhibitions in the Cafe and there is work from around 13 artists in the Court Farm Garden Centre show, which will be up for a couple of months I think, right up until Christmas.

Address for the Cafe if you fancy going along to take a look at the exhibition is:

Café at Court Farm Garden Centre. Old Kingston Road, Worcester Park, Surrey, KT4 7QH  (actually very near to Tolworth British Rail, even though address is Worcester Park) 

The three works I chose to show were “Irritation”  “We Get On” and “That’s Enough” .  Mmmm, maybe I should change the order of those to how things generally go, ie “We Get On”  “Irritation” and then “That’s Enough” !

That's Enough Digital Print by Jenny Meehan  for sale to buy at Chessington Court Cafe and Garden Centre  This ink-jet print is laminated and mounted on Foamex.  It can be purchased with or without a frame.  Bold, bright, geometric composition from British female fine and applied artist Jenny Meehan jamartlondon.com

That’s Enough Digital Print by Jenny Meehan for sale to buy at Chessington Court Cafe and Garden Centre This ink-jet print is laminated and mounted on Foamex. It can be purchased with or without a frame. Bold, bright, geometric composition from British female fine and applied artist Jenny Meehan jamartlondon.com

"We Get On"  Digital Print by Jenny Meehan  for sale to buy at Chessington Court Cafe and Garden Centre  This ink-jet print is laminated and mounted on Foamex.  It can be purchased with or without a frame.  Bold, bright, geometric composition from British female fine and applied artist Jenny Meehan jamartlondon.com

“We Get On” Digital Print by Jenny Meehan for sale to buy at Chessington Court Cafe and Garden Centre This ink-jet print is laminated and mounted on Foamex. It can be purchased with or without a frame. Bold, bright, geometric composition from British female fine and applied artist Jenny Meehan jamartlondon.com

"We Get On"  Digital Print by Jenny Meehan  for sale to buy at Chessington Court Cafe and Garden Centre  This ink-jet print is laminated and mounted on Foamex.  It can be purchased with or without a frame.  Bold, bright, geometric composition from British female fine and applied artist Jenny Meehan jamartlondon.com

“Irritation” Digital Print by Jenny Meehan for sale to buy at Chessington Court Cafe and Garden Centre This ink-jet print is laminated and mounted on Foamex. It can be purchased with or without a frame. Bold, bright, geometric composition from British female fine and applied artist Jenny Meehan jamartlondon.com

 

 

Ignore the fact I have described in the above text the venue as being “Chessington Court Cafe”…My error in haste and now rather too busy to go back and change it on everything!

There is a great range of many different artists work on show, with a nice selection of both fully abstract/non objective work, to semi-abstract and then extremely detailed photo-realistic artworks, so something for everyone.  All the work on show is by KAOS members.  Come along to Café at Court Farm Garden Centre. Old Kingston Road, Worcester Park, Surrey, KT4 7QH and take a look  yourself.

Dorking Museum Greetings Cards

I am just working on some Greetings Card Designs for Dorking Museum which will be available in the Dorking Museum shop very soon.   I will post these up soon.

Partia “Places I Remember – Collective Nostalgia Photography Exhibition at Aintree University Hospital, Liverpool 

Just packing up  one of my digital C-prints to send off to Aintree University Hospital, Liverpool.   Here is a little bit of information about this interesting exhibition which runs for one month:

‘Places I Remember: Collective Nostalgia’ photography exhibition with PARTIA at Aintree University Hospital 

PARTIA at Aintree University Hospital NHS Trust are currently accepting submissions to our photography exhibition ‘Places I Remember: Collective Nostalgia’ (1st October – 1st November 2013).

Inspired by The Beatles song from which this exhibition takes its name, PARTIA invites photographers to submit work to this exhibition that explore their ideas of collective nostalgia. Photographers are not limited to an examination of Liverpool; this exhibition theme can be explored either through work that directly represents particular locations or perhaps via photographs and photographic collages of items that are symbolic of a specific location.

Unlike a traditional gallery space PARTIA at Aintree University Hospital welcomes a variety of work from established to emerging artists and receives 350,000 visitors per year.

The work submitted for this exhibition is “How Much is that Doggie in the Window?”

 Jenny Meehan "How Much is that Doggie in the Window" Digital C-Print exhibited as part of the "Places I Remember - Collective Nostalgia" Photography Exhibition with PARTIA at Aintree University Hospital Liverpool.

Digital C-Print exhibited as part of the “Places I Remember – Collective Nostalgia” Photography Exhibition with PARTIA at Aintree University Hospital Liverpool.
This little ornament caught behind glass at a local charity shop, caught my eye, and brought to mind the song “How Much is that Doggie in the Window?” Jenny Meehan

I presented the image behind glass (Of course!… To add more reflections to the reflections which are caught on the image itself) and framed it in a simple black wooden 9x7inch frame.

Information submitted with the image as follows:

“My local charity shop is the place for me where the  words “collective nostalgia” resound most powerfully.  I  often gaze into the window and see objects which, if I let them, bring into my mind all kinds of connections and associations. The mish-mash of different things brought together, each with memories and meaning for the unknown people who used to own them.

Jenny Meehan is a painter, photographer and writer based in South West London.  See her website http://www.jamartlondon.com for more about her visual arts practice.”

If you live in Liverpool do pop in and see the exhibition…It’s a bit far for me to travel right now, but it sounds like an interesting exhibition.

Bit of an advance notice but I am holding a Studio Art Sale in my kitchen studio space on Saturday 9th November 3pm – 7pm.   Please let me know if you plan to come so I know how many people roughly to expect by emailing me at j.meehan@tesco.net or using the contact form on my website www.jamartlondon.com 

________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Jenny Meehan is a painter and designer based in East Surrey/South West London.
Her website is http://www.jamartlondon.com.  (www.jamartlondon.com replaces the older now deceased website http://www.jennymeehan.co.uk)

Jenny Meehan BA Hons (Lit.) PGCE also offers art tuition.  Please contact Jenny at j.meehan@tesco.net or through the contact form at http://www.jamartlondon.com for further details.   Commissions for paintings are also undertaken at affordable prices.

 Jenny Meehan works mainly with either oils or acrylics  creating both abstract/non-objective paintings  and also semi-abstract work.  She also creates representational and figurative artwork,  mostly using digital photography/image manipulation software, painting and  drawing.

Jenny Meehan exhibits around the United Kingdom and holds regular Open Studio/Studio Sale events.  To be placed on Jenny Meehan’s mailing list please email j.meehan@tesco.net requesting to be kept up to date.  Also, follow the Jenny Meehan Contemporary Artist’s Journal at WordPress and keep informed that way. 

Well, it was an eclectic mixture of work with plenty of interesting artist’s to research.  My favourite work was by the London based artist Lesley Hilling.  On her website is a delightful video of her studio, which looks amazing!  For more on Lesley Hilling see   http://www.lesleyhilling.co.uk/information  

The work on show was enchanting to look at, possessing integrity and beauty… quite captivating.

The work on show at “Lines” was Darkwood Days Wood, a mixed media work, with dimensions of 29cm x 28cm x 17cm

The blurb…

“Lesley Hilling is a London based artist who makes sculptural collages from a wide range of recycled materials that take the form of box constructions, walls, towers and spheres. Obsessive joinery is merged with a confusion of disparate elements, structured in a complex but ordered whole. Her work conveys a powerful sense of longing to preserve the fragments of the past, a desire for order, a passionate and mysterious evocation of lost moments.”

But best of all take a look at the image, and if possible, go and see the work “in the flesh”.  There’s a good image of it here:

http://www.advertisingexhibitions.co.uk/artist_lesley_hilling.html

My work “London Downpour” needed to be viewed from a greater distance, however, due to the narrow dimensions of most of the lower part of the gallery, this was not possible.   Because it was an experiment with colour and space, it’s tricky to view from close up.  When I was painting it, well, indeed, when I was painting all of the process-led paintings last year, I found I had to stand at least 6 metres away to work out what was happening with the colour-space relationships.  With little obvious pictorial structure to rely upon, and the structure only establishing itself in a gradual and piecemeal fashion, the distance was vital.  I think it could be viewed in a OK way from about three metres.  However, it must have been quite a challenge to place the works in the Strand Gallery, as there are lots of angles, corners, and different proportions of wall, so I think bearing in mind the constraints an excellent job was done, and the exhibition looked really good.  To hang so much work by very different artists in a pretty restricted space is not something I would want to have to do!  I found hanging the work of three artists along a flat wall at Leatherhead Theatre quite enough to orchestrate.  So my hearty “Congratulations” to the organisers of the show, including of course Jack Smurthwaite who curated the exhibition.

Here’s the image of “London Downpour” in situ.

London Downpour- Jenny Meehan painting abstraction at The Strand Gallery London as part of "Lines" visual art exhibition, jenny meehan jamartlondon london downpour process led painting british contemporary female abstract expressionistic painting, claude venard style work of london southbank tate modern river thames,contemporary emerging artist exhibition london.

London Downpour- Jenny Meehan painting abstraction at The Strand Gallery London as part of “Lines” visual art exhibition. Lyrical and geometric abstraction painting southbank london from the imagination! painted in a process-led, intuitive guided fashion, external impressions from regular trips to London appear to have seeped into my subconscious!

I love meeting people and the Private View was an enjoyable event.  I also love tonic water, and as I don’t drink alcohol, I passed on the gin and drunk only the tonic water, which was very nice and flavoursome indeed!   Wish I had had more.  It was exceptionally HOT in the gallery and refreshment was much needed.  It was interesting having come to the Private View directly from a visit to the National Gallery.  Having bathed myself in some amazing paintings, the creation of which, I realise day by day, my heart finds most interest in, and which hold a most lasting impression, I think to  myself that it is true that any artist should constantly hold themselves against the work which has hung on walls for a long time,  and continue to assess what they do in the light of the past, which, though it might seem  backward to some minds,  actually holds within it’s aged hands, the very keys to the future.  History. Maybe the greatest teacher to any forward thinking person?

I am taking some time right now to review some past drawings which I worked at during a Life Drawing Weekend Short Course at West Dean College, Near Chichester, Sussex.  I am very grateful for all the  training I get from my visits to West Dean and my participation in various short courses at West Dean College now stretches back over a period of nine years…Something I can hardly believe!  Initially working with sculpture (which I still love) I have found in the high standard of tuition and the amazing opportunity to learn from experienced creative practitioners a wonderful solution to the problem of meeting my needs for training.  I am now very much thinking that it is a blessing that I did my degree in Literature and not Fine Art, as I find my interest in words and image complement each other very well indeed.  Due to increased financial constraints (mostly due to rising energy bills and rising costs of pretty much everything!)  I find now I must restrict my training opportunities and I have resigned myself to the understanding that from now on it will be one, very short course, probably about once every two years from now on.   However, I have much material and ideas accumulated, and I will not go short in the sense that my creativity will not suffer because of this.  I also think I have such a strong sense of direction now, that maybe it will be fitting to steam ahead with little input (apart from the regular exposure to all kinds of wonderful artworks which I encounter in my regular trips to London).  I have tried applying for a couple of residencies this year, but nothing came of that, and the work involved in applying is considerable.

So, some lines of another kind, here in some recent life drawing examples.  The length of pose varies from very quick, say, just a few minutes, to the longer pose. Quality is variable, I haven’t posted up here as fine examples, rather reference.  There are some interesting things going on, and it has been good to “retune” my eyes, which have become somewhat lazy through lack of observational study.  I will take some of this work to develop I think.  Some of the drawings have quite a nice feeling to them, and I do like working with charcoal more than pencil I have found.  I am most grateful to Valerie Wiffen for her valuable input, which I will carry with me into further observational drawings in the future.

example of observational figure studies carried out at west dean college by jenny meehan exploring female figure, line,gesture, emotion and female form, jenny meehan

example of observational figure studies carried out at west dean college by jenny meehan exploring female figure, line,gesture, emotion and female form, jenny meehan

example of observational figure studies carried out at west dean college by jenny meehan exploring female figure, line,gesture, emotion and female form, jenny meehan

example of observational figure studies carried out at west dean college by jenny meehan exploring female figure, line,gesture, emotion and female form, jenny meehan

example of observational figure studies carried out at west dean college by jenny meehan exploring female figure, line,gesture, emotion and female form, jenny meehan

example of observational figure studies carried out at west dean college by jenny meehan exploring female figure, line,gesture, emotion and female form, jenny meehan

example of observational figure studies carried out at west dean college by jenny meehan exploring female figure, line,gesture, emotion and female form, jenny meehan

example of observational figure studies carried out at west dean college by jenny meehan exploring female figure, line,gesture, emotion and female form, jenny meehan

example of observational figure studies carried out at west dean college by jenny meehan exploring female figure, line,gesture, emotion and female form, jenny meehan

example of observational figure studies carried out at west dean college by jenny meehan exploring female figure, line,gesture, emotion and female form, jenny meehan

example of observational figure studies carried out at west dean college by jenny meehan exploring female figure, line,gesture, emotion and female form, jenny meehan

example of observational figure studies carried out at west dean college by jenny meehan exploring female figure, line,gesture, emotion and female form, jenny meehan

example of observational figure studies carried out at west dean college by jenny meehan exploring female figure, line,gesture, emotion and female form, jenny meehan

example of observational figure studies carried out at west dean college by jenny meehan exploring female figure, line,gesture, emotion and female form, jenny meehan

example of observational figure studies carried out at west dean college by jenny meehan exploring female figure, line,gesture, emotion and female form, jenny meehan

example of observational figure studies carried out at west dean college by jenny meehan exploring female figure, line,gesture, emotion and female form, jenny meehan

example of observational figure studies carried out at west dean college by jenny meehan exploring female figure, line,gesture, emotion and female form, jenny meehan

example of observational figure studies carried out at west dean college by jenny meehan exploring female figure, line,gesture, emotion and female form, jenny meehan

example of observational figure studies carried out at west dean college by jenny meehan exploring female figure, line,gesture, emotion and female form, jenny meehan

example of observational figure studies carried out at west dean college by jenny meehan exploring female figure, line,gesture, emotion and female form, jenny meehan

example of observational figure studies carried out at west dean college by jenny meehan exploring female figure, line,gesture, emotion and female form, jenny meehan

example of observational figure studies carried out at west dean college by jenny meehan exploring female figure, line,gesture, emotion and female form, jenny meehan

example of observational figure studies carried out at west dean college by jenny meehan exploring female figure, line,gesture, emotion and female form, jenny meehan

example of observational figure studies carried out at west dean college by jenny meehan exploring female figure, line,gesture, emotion and female form, jenny meehan

example of observational figure studies carried out at west dean college by jenny meehan exploring female figure, line,gesture, emotion and female form, jenny meehan

example of observational figure studies carried out at west dean college by jenny meehan exploring female figure, line,gesture, emotion and female form, jenny meehan

example of observational figure studies carried out at west dean college by jenny meehan exploring female figure, line,gesture, emotion and female form, jenny meehan

example of observational figure studies carried out at west dean college by jenny meehan exploring female figure, line,gesture, emotion and female form, jenny meehan

example of observational figure studies carried out at west dean college by jenny meehan exploring female figure, line,gesture, emotion and female form, jenny meehan

example of observational figure studies carried out at west dean college by jenny meehan exploring female figure, line,gesture, emotion and female form, jenny meehan

  example of observational figure studies carried out at west dean college by jenny meehan exploring female figure, line,gesture, emotion and female form, jenny meehan

example of observational figure studies carried out at west dean college by jenny meehan exploring female figure, line,gesture, emotion and female form, jenny meehan

 

Just digitalized two recent paintings “Icy Landscape” and “Tower”.  After “Whatever the Weather”, and enjoying painting with a lesser number of colours, I’ve taken the plunge to paint with just one, and just two, very watered down acrylics, and what a pleasure that was.  Working on the bare canvas with various textures and fillers created an interesting ground for working on top with the dilute acrylics.  These two paintings are almost like notes….There are a few passages I will take special note of, and just having them up on the wall serves as a memory aid and reference point for elements which I may well use again.  Though I have got very much into experimenting with different hues over the year, and in particular, experimented with  varying pigment load in the paint, to work in this delicate way, both with boldness and yet also paying attention to the finer details, and to see depth created in a kind of watercolour way, is very exciting and definately a path to travel on in the future.   Maybe a little return to my work with oils during 2010?  Oh, oils would be a fine thing with more drying space.

Not great to view paintings like this on the net, because of their need for close observation under good light in order to appreciate the tactile qualities, however, must do.  The fragments shown might help.

Starting with the end of my title strand, rather than the beginning,  with notification that my old website www.jennymeehan.co.uk is now no longer operating and instead of www.jennymeehan.co.uk, I have a new site www.jamartlondon.com.   I think the new website www.jamartlondon.com might risk sounding a little pretentious, but my reasoning is rather basic.  I liked the Jam part, because a while back someone nick named me “Jenny Jim Jams” which sounded rather nice and relaxed, and I liked it as a nick name.  Also my initials are JAM and I now sign my work this way.  There were already a couple of websites with jamart in the title, so www.jamartlondon.com, with the location included, seemed a sensible option.   So http://www.jamartlondon it is.   and the com is pretty meaningless, of course, but seems the preferred ending for a website if you can get it.

Though the weather is cold and uninviting,  I find this time of year very good for research and getting around London and the surrounding areas to see what other artists are doing.  The value of looking at other peoples work should never be underestimated.  Artists both past and present work in distinctive ways which only add to inspiration and clarification of where we ourselves are located.  What is more, it brings joy, to see creativity expressed in so many marvellous ways.

When visiting Wimbledon Art Studios I always pop in and see Andrew Fyvie’s  www.andrewfyvie.co.uk      tactile and skilfully constructed sculptural pieces which sit so well next to the collages of Paul G Emmerson, ( no site,  paulgemmerson@tiscali.co.uk)    and artistically strike the same kind of notes, rather like different musicians in an orchestra or something like that.  I like very much Paul Emmerson’s latest work: the longer format works very well, and the panels at the sides are in accord with the general “interiors” feeling…maybe in my mind suggesting movement through one space to another, (rather as moving from one room to another).   I think this may be the thought behind my feeling.   It was very pleasant to actually meet Andrew Fyvie, as I have not done that before, and learn more about how he constructs his work, and about some of the materials he uses.

While this causes a certain amount of conflict within me, (as I do like a bit of 3D form making myself), and now I have a list of a few materials I would like to try out,  it is worth suffering the tension of a pull to three dimensionality, because this is not a bad thing for a painter to feel.  I am aware, for example, that when I visit exhibitions with both paintings and sculpture in them, it is normally the sculpture which leaves the greatest and most profound impression on me.  I think this is because of the tension in space.  Hard to put into words, and I am most probably terrible at it, well, (at least compared to some other very accomplished writers) but I have been thinking about space experience when viewing paintings and space experience when viewing sculpture.  The fact that I have to walk around sculpture is dynamically engaging.  The physical space between elements/parts/features of a sculpture has a presence which is more intimate, more enquiring of me, in terms of emotional response.  It is more blatant. More intrusive. More confrontational.  On the other hand, the space experience in a painting is more of a suggestion.  It is generally more fickle.  There are more whispers?  Sometimes less reliability?  (Light will change the surface of a sculpture however, so alterations come in that way.)  Light on a painting also changes… something I have been experimenting very much with myself recently and most probably the reason for my focus on texture and the different ways I can make light bounce off the surface of the canvas.  This can alter the way space is perceived in a painting too. And this, even without or with very little colour, as I am now exploring, which I will post up soon no doubt.  But I think that because of all the angles that light approaches a sculpture, there is  a  more lasting  and immediate presence.   Plus the contrast between solidity and space.  It is greater.  (I stumble and trip with words, as I alway will do. I will continue to mull, pointlessly, over the matter! )

AM interested in this attraction I have right now.  I like paint too much to do without it.  However, at a recent visit to Poussin Gallery (Bermondsey Street, London SE1 3UW) to see “Douglas Abercrombie: New Paintings and Peter Hide: New Sculpture, it was Peter Hides emotive heavy but fluid steel constructions which caught me in themselves.  Not keen on the smaller pieces…the scale of the larger works fitted better with the work in my opinion, but the way he uses the steel , from the folded “soft” areas, and the harder more angular forms, to the little incisions and the “bites”…the “damaged” areas to the carefully attended to part: this all worked together in a perfect balance of, well, I guess I am back to the structure and flow idea.  I do like steel too, of course.  And having spent a good few pleasurable hours manipulating it myself, I understand (a little) and respect the skill involved in creating these sculptures. That oxidised surface too…like velvet.    See   http://www.poussin-gallery.com/site.php?exhibition=44

Popped  in to see Paul Lemmon http://www.paullemmon.co.uk/   and enjoyed seeing his recent work, which I like very much.  New subject matter…figures by water, sun splashed, and lots of diagonal brushstrokes, (as previously), but something is happening which I am excited to see…lots of the new studies have a greater presence due to less markmaking but strokes placed with the benefit of further years of painting experience, which comes across more strongly and I think even more effectively. Something is moving forward.  This is essential to any artist, progression.  I am very much looking forward to seeing what happens, and one of the reasons I make a point of visiting Wimbledon Art Studios regularly is that I find it very interesting and useful to see different artists work over a span of several years, as the interest lies not only in the products produced but viewing what is happening from a distance.  A distance that is only possible with the passage of time.

Took a look at the work of Vaughn Horsman     http://www.grasshopper3d.com/photo/photo/listForContributor?screenName=34slbq8vl7o4e    who has only been at Wimbledon Art Studios for a few months.  Got very excited about this work.  One, I love wood and this appears to be his main material and two I have for many months been thinking along the lines of what makes a beautiful work of art is a balance between structure (I guess I mean mathematics…in the sense of forms being geometrically based/constructed…((for me as a painter, then we would speak of the grid, I suppose) and illogical, random, flow…organic, free formed, with no underlying determinate.  So, of course, I loved these creations.  How exciting to see!  It is new to me, and encouraging because I really do feel that this is something significant…and to see digital technology in tandem with practical, manual skill has got to be good.  We live in a different age, the whole thing seemed to say to me.  (At the risk of sounding profound!)  I teased him about  the whole thing being  Geeky.  (But that is a positive, in my opinion, if you are creating things like this!) I trust that forgiveness is extended my way!

Spurred on by the wonders of technology, I have taken some time for some geometrical playing around myself, and have come to the unexpected place of rather enjoying flipping various shapes around in Photoshop.  This is, I think, of use to me…just the sheer speed is helpful and it is allowing me to experiment with what may well become some underlying structure/composition to use in later paintings.  I am undecided right now, but have recognised on reviewing my work over 2012 that I do like to have a strong sense of structure in my work, and the paintings I felt would take me forward into the following year are indeed the ones which had plenty to hang the fluid and well, more illusive, marks, gestures and accidents on.  (Nice title for a show that, “Marks, Gestures, and Accidents”…must make a note of that. ) Some of the playing has produced imagery which I will get printed onto paper, and then play about with it that way too, maybe with some cutting and some paper stencils, which I am most fond of.  Some of them I feel have reached their own ending, though it is too tempting with Photoshop to experiment…forever.   Paint is better though.   Here are some of my playful experiments:

It is such a delight to experiment so freely and fluently with composition, and I will continue to develop and play with some of the experiments over the Winter Months.  It is likely that after a few months of working with these I will select some and get them printed out for one of my exhibitions next year.  It’s only by doing that you learn, and being able to work with shapes, the symbolism possible through different combinations, and quickly altering basic colours (while no way as subtle as pigment, for a rough idea, the screen colours are fine)is just great for me right now.   I cannot afford to experiment in this way physically due to time and money/material restrictions, and using Photoshop at least provides some foundational sketches, some of which might well end up being used in paintings, and others which may well stand up on their own two feet as prints.

I’m FREEZING!  Keeping the house warm in one room is fine, but means that walking around the house becomes very daring, as I disturb the air, and wonder if I really can wear gloves indoors?  Why not?  No reason.  Just feels odd.  It is soooooooo tempting to turn up the heating, but just a small thought of rising electricity and gas bills quickly changes my mind. (Quick diversion in discourse!)

 

I was delighted to be informed that “Sorrow for Myself” has been selected as one of the works on show for The Ark 10th Anniversary Autumn/Winter Exhibition at “The Ark Centre” which is located on the ground of the North Hampshire Hospital, just off the Basingstoke ring road, Basingstoke.  If you would like to come along to the Opening Night on Friday 12th October, please contact me at j.meehan@tesco.net.

A bit about The Ark Centre…

In 2002 a new Education Centre, The Ark Centre, was opened on the hospital campus, run by the North Hampshire Medical Education Trust, a registered charity. This works in partnership with the hospital to provide many postgraduate education functions as well as running as an independent conference centre. Other partners in The Ark are the Pelican Cancer Foundation, a charity dedicated to the cure of pelvic & liver cancer by the use of precision surgical techniques, and Southampton University’s nurse training facility. The Ark specialises in high tech conferences, including medical & surgical meetings, providing first rate IT and interactive live case presentation facilities. The Charity also sponsors a large range of community activities, within the Ark itself, sponsoring a range of educational and self-help meetings.

Also, see here more information about The Ark Medical Trust:

http://www.arkmedicaltrust.org.uk/the_ark_centre.html

Here is an image of the painting “Sorrow for Myself”

Sorrow for Myself Acrylic Painting - Jenny Meehan work selected for The Ark Centre Open Art Exhibition 2012 at The Ark Centre Basingstoke abstract figure weeping river broken spirit and heart,emotional romantic lyrical abstraction

More information regarding other artists featured in the Open Art Exhibition at The Ark Centre:http://artintheark.wordpress.com/2012/09/03/line-up-for-our-autumn-exhibition/

The regular Open Art Exhibitions at The Ark Centre are an exciting feature of what goes on in the building and it’s great to know that so many people will see a good range of visual art, free of charge and hopefully their experiences will be enriching and add something to their life.  (I never assume this will be the case, but one optimistically hope!!!)

I am delighted that the work was accepted and I have been blessed recently with two paintings chosen for Open Art Exhibitions in just a very short period of time, something which is very pleasing indeed.  So soon, one painting in Basingstoke and another in Rickmansworth.  I plan to go back to Rickmansworth, as it is a lovely area, with some beautiful nature reserves, and if the painting “Whatever the Weather” doesn’t sell, I will have a good reason to return!  (However, I would ideally like it to sell, of course.)  If you are in Rickmansworth, then take a look at the Artistsmeet Open Exhibition 2012 at Watersmeet, which runs from 6th September until 31st October 2012. (Artistsmeet, Watersmeet, High Street, Rickmansworth WD3 1EH)  Disappointingly I cannot make the launch event, which I am sad about, because I love socialising (and it’s not that far away), but circumstances prevent me from attending this event. This years open exhibition will display the work of 22 artists from both the UK and abroad and includes painting, ceramics, textiles and photography.  Original artworks are all for sale. The exhibition will run from Thursday 6th September until Wednesday 31st October 2012.

More information about the exhibition can be found online at

www. facebook.com/artistsmeet

Looking forward to seeing the next exhibition of drawings and prints at the British Museum “Renaissance to Goya – Prints and Drawings from Spain”. This free exhibition brings together for the first time prints and drawings by mainly Spanish and important European artists working in Spain from the mid-16th to the first decades of the 19th century, some of which haven’t been on display before. The show includes works by Diego Velázquez, Vicente Carducho, Alonso Cano, Bartolomé Murillo, Francisco de Zubarán, José de Ribera and Francisco de Goya. See:  http://www.britishmuseum.org/whats_on/exhibitions/renaissance_to_goya.aspx?utm_source=enewsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Sep2012&spMailingID=39666920&spUserID=MTY0ODIwNDUzOTgS1&spJobID=156851801&spReportId=MTU2ODUxODAxS0

Though I am drawing very little myself right now, I relish the opportunity to see such fine examples.  I can’t wait.  I love drawing, and have resolved to carry a sketch book around with me more, so that I will be inclined to use my pencil more.  I do believe that even if I mostly paint paintings without much drawing in them, that the discipline of drawing is essential to any painter and I don’t intend to neglect it.  I have also booked myself on an intensive life drawing class at West Dean next year.  I cannot really afford it, but with vouchers for Christmas and Birthday, it makes it more accessible.  It is just a short course, so it doesn’t work out too badly.

Just recently hung the latest exhibition in the Alliance Healthcare IT department in Chessington, Surrey.  Thanks to the “Work with Art” initiative people working in IT at Alliance Healthcare now have 13 of my recent paintings to hopefully enjoy.  I say “hopefully” because I am aware that they will have to look at them for three months!  It is not like a gallery, where if you don’t like something you can just walk by and not look at it again.  I think the paintings have beauty, though there is one of them I am not so fond of now, and will change at a later date.  It is not developed sufficiently.  They are a rather eclectic mix.  Here’s the blurb for them:

“This painting exhibition in Surrey will show some of my most recent work. It consists of many examples of process based paintings which stem from my imagination. This is a body of work I consider as a kind of “seed bed” for future strands of painting in that I have quite deliberately kept it as organic in conception as possible, drawing on my own subconscious in an attempt to locate some of my most central concerns, emotions, and thinking. I then plan to work into this foundation with future paintings which I envisage becoming more of a mixture of both my subjective inner vision and external subject matter of a more clearly definable and recognisable nature.

At the current time though, I want primarily to experiment with the materials I use and discover new ways of manipulating them unrestricted by the specific demands of creating a “realistic” representation of anything in particular. However, I do find that as the paintings develop, I often discover an image appearing which seems true to the work which has preceeded it. So subject matter develops, and this you see reflected in the titles of many of the paintings. While this exhibition contains an eclectic assortment of paintings which signal several different future directions in painting, I see this diversity as fundamental to developing a painting practice which is able to develop in an visually intelligent, interesting and original way. Someone once said to me that “No painter is self-taught” and I understand the truth of this. I find myself constantly drawing from paintings by painters who employ very different styles and approaches to their work, both past and present, and I find their thoughts, lives and experiences offer me priceless insights which helps to establish my own direction.”

and here are some images.

 See  this…        http://artinfo.com/news/story/821974/%E2%80%9Ci-just-wait-until-it-goes-pow%E2%80%9D-abstract-painter-ed-moses-on-his-methodical-and-intuitive-process

I LIKE what this painter, Ed Moses has to say!  Especially the bit about the “romance” of painting, and about not liking the word “art”.   While I am, of course, very jealous of his studio set up, (Ed Moses has plenty of room, and plenty of assistants!) I am always encouraged when I read interviews like this, where my own core feelings and beliefs about painting are proclaimed from somewhere else.  It makes you feel one of the crowd, rather than a lone voice.  I will take a better look at Ed Moses’ paintings over the next few weeks.  My favourite part of the interview:  “I don’t like the terms art or artist. I like the idea of doing what I do in terms of exploration. The roots of that may go back to the earliest man, where he made markings in response to his existence when he saw a mirror image of himself in water, or a footprint in mud, or a blood print with his hand on a wall. So what were these guys doing this for? They were responding to the environment they existed in through paint or marking or scraping or scratching.”

And, in bold: “People are more interested in ideas than the romance of painting.”  

Another wonderful read which glows rather well with me is the following by Mark Stone:

“And in the end it can no longer be about the context of things, but the vision of things. How we see things is the most important place to start. There are many of us who are fed up with the ongoing Postmodernist dialog. We want something more visually stimulating, thoughtful and resonant. We want to use our eyes informed by our technologies instead of relying on the technologies to dictate to our eyes. We are all visual hybrids at this point. We work both online through the lens-based programs and in the flesh and blood world. We are “colored” by those distinct experiences. We do not see in the open world as an Impressionist did. We focus on specifics, isolate details, scan for patterns and then suddenly if we move beyond the program, we are able to comprehend a larger picture, fall into older ways of linear seeing, a to b to c, rather than being stuck in the loop from zero to one, one to zero. When we paint we should work through the lens to our own physical structures of vision, not the other way around. We should abstract from the world around us rather than world presented to us. For me there’s no going back to Modernist pretensions, no insider refinements of period pieces, no pleasing designs for fashionably retro collecting clientele. To see in a new way, outside the Postmodern imperatives, we must, each of us, devise a different engagement with how we understand our lives through our vision. Yes, we may be very, very late, but we are also very, very early.”

Feeling Foremost…

Just stumbled across this:

http://leftbankartblog.blogspot.co.uk/2012/07/the-color-picture-now-feeling-foremost.html

All hearty.

Thinking of feeling…

Feeling nostalgic, looking through my website blog from around a year and a half ago I found this:

“I’m busy priming boards at the moment and stepping out with a little painting on a slightly bigger scale. Experimenting with colours generally and enjoying the freedom of not working so much with depicting recognisable objects. It’s a necessary phase, and enables me to increase my sensitivity to paint which is important. If I want a picture which looks like whatever, I can always work on a photographic image for a few hours. Though I inwardly stress a little about if I will lose my skill with drawing, (my sketchbook has more text and paint in it than drawing) I feel I have to go in this direction for a while…
The sad thing is, maybe, that this kind of painting I am embarking on may not be thought of as being as clever as something which folk (who cannot draw) esteem? A person who cannot draw (I mean, duplicate and copy something exactly, not in the wider sense of drawing) will always be impressed by a painting which looks very close to the reality they see in their everyday life. And how common the mistake is, to see an artist’s work and think that because they have not chosen a strictly representational route, that they do not possess the skill to produce such an image? Yet for me, delighting in the beauty of the paint I see all around me, in the billions of possibilities, (by me,so far unexplored), wanting to discover, experiment, and create new images which don’t have to stick to external reality with superglue, but rather hover, at various distances in the area between the imagination and the natural world…Does it seem right to bother about this? It is far more important for me to develop my skill with paint…craftsmanship…practical skill…knowledge, and establish a good foundation in working with the material I have chosen to concentrate on, than to bother about how accessible this might be to other people. Once I have allowed myself the freedom to explore, I can then return if I wish to using what I have learnt in a more familiar dialect!”

Or maybe not return? I think now, I may have changed my view, for this abstraction is not apart from nature, it is simply a sharing in the processes of creation. But people do like to look at objects.  So do I sometimes.  But I love the freedom to do whatever, regardless.  And the subjects do tend to push through by the end of the painting, emotive and buried, as they are at first.  They want a body, a material, a place in the outside world.  It maybe is just a matter of order.  I can start to paint with no conscious thought of a subject, but I always arrive at one by the end of the painting.  Or I could start knowing, and have more drawn out at the start.  I plan to do some of that next, and see how it feels.

I’m feeling rather happy with the freedom of starting from nothing though, and increasingly more content to surrender the need to depict from the outset of a painting, in a pre determined way.   I like the uncertainty, and its nice to get a surprise at the end of it.   I also recognise drawing and painting are quite different practices, and it is quite good to develop them apart for a while.  No harm done I don’t think.   Looking at the paintings of Claude Venard (1913-1999) has been immensely helpful to me because I can see that there is plenty of potential for the direction I am going in right now, and also I don’t need to be “clever” about my painting, intellectually.  If a painting is good, it can stand on its own two feet (or four corners) and instead of needing to explain itself to its viewer, it will be simply seen.  Anything else is interesting, maybe, might help make a sale (or not) might provide some food for thought, but however, is an added bonus, and nothing more than that.  If the painting has to clutch onto words around it to work, then something is not right.

What I do value, and wish I had more of, is constructive critique and I was so grateful recently to have a dear painter friend view my Alliance Healthcare work and offer her insights and observations, ALL without fail, were helpful and incisive in a way which helped me over a few hurdles I was encountering.   The rather Claude Venard style painting below (I mean, because of the chunky areas of paint) I am happy with right now, but there is a need for linear elements to come into such a piece of painting to increase the interest.  I want to leave this one as it is, because I think for this one, its state is right for it, but looking at “Trees with Sacre Coeur in the Distance” oil on canvas by Claude Venard I rather like the way that he has used lines to build the area in the top left corner and I love his post cubist composition which however holds a very interesting and strong tension between flatness and form, definition and lack of clarity.

claude venard french painting,trees with sacre coeur in the distance detail colourist post cubist composition expressionist painting,landscape buildings trees subject

Making a big impact, and adding a comforting reassurance to me in terms of my own painting direction, the paintings of Claude Venard are an inspiration. Claude Venard, Matisse, Ivon Hitchens and Turner, all influential.

claude venard french painting,trees with sacre coeur in the distance detail colourist post cubist composition expressionist painting,landscape buildings trees subject

Claude Venard Painting Trees with Sacre Coeur in the Distance

What seems to be happening now in some of the Allied Healthcare paintings I am still working on,  is that FORM is emerging as a natural urge, even though I like working on one plane there seems to be something which pushes against this for me.  I see the painting process very much like sculpture and maybe it is this feeling which tends to bend the singular plane into an illusion of three-dimensional space.  I’ve taken a couple of paintings too far in this directon, and had to flatten them and block them down.  Cylinders and cubes have appeared, but I don’t like them just appearing with no job to do!  I think if I am going to have more form in the work I would prefer it to relate to objects rather than just appear! Maybe next after this Alliance Healthcare project I will indulge myself in some paintings with a more definate starting point and clearly defined subject matter and see if what I have been doing lately has proved to be useful for that approach.

More paintings are just reaching that point where they are resolved, or certainly resolved enough to be able to show them.  However, I don’t line working to a deadline, not with this type of painting work, because I don’t know the target I am trying to hit until very near the end, and, if the end is actually coming towards you, rather than you towards it, there is a certain pressure.  In a painting I think the way forward must always come from your centre and outward, yes, with limitations and constraints, maybe from subject matter or a  known idea, and subject to constant reappraisal.  There needs to be willingness to be flexible, but TIME is just deathly.

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Above some details from some of the Alliance Healthcare paintings.  “Sorrow for Myself”  “Deluge” and “Cove” (Though I have just added a very important mark to “Cove” so it looks a little more resolved right now).

I love taking these images of the paintings after painting as  looking through the camera lens is an excellent way of isolating areas of a painting and looking at the relationships between different marks, colours and textures.

Abstract Acrylic Painting/Markmaking with Colour.  Instinctive intuitive process led painting, psychotherapy and art,psychotherapy and painting, British Contemporary female artist painter Jenny Meehan

“Deluge/House Flood”  Acrylic painting.  It was cathartic, but not in a “let it rip” kind of way, because I work very firmly within formal considerations as well as following my own instincts with respect to what I should paint next.  It started with no obvious subject matter but through the painting process, water came in and what for me is a house form.  I related this to a past dream referring back to my childhood home environment, hence the title.

The other paintings in the slide show are “Sorrow for Myself” (and Cove I will post later once I have retaken a full size image with the additional mark. ) “Sorrow for Myself” ended up showing a figure watching broken pieces being pulled downstream by a small stream of water.  More water!  More rocks!  You cannot see the textures too well, or the pearlescent quality of the stream.  Also the way that the cobalt blue (always resonates of the spirit, for me)  is changed in intensity, not by a change of shade, but by the application of varnish.  The pigment load was so high because I made my own paint,  (for that part of the painting) and this is very, very useful.  I focused on texture and marks mainly, wanting to explore the relationships between texture, mark and emotion.  The setting sun colours have been used in past work, I realise.  The landscape is quite bright, though the figure subdued.  The iron oxide red, I love.  There is bleeding, there is pain. But also water flowing (many glass beads used here, with the white).  Interested, as I am, in psychoanalytical theory I think there is some emotional freezing going on, and maybe this is something I like in using the glass beads, because they are very ice like, and yet, beautiful too.  So reflective and, as I found out with the black area of “The Upper Room” it is very possible for them to convey warmth too, not only coldness.  I hope I haven’t ruined my painting too much by writing about it, however, it is helpful to be able to look at it in this analytical way, because there is something interesting going on.

sorrow for myself, abstract colour markmaking painting, human figure, depression, grief,trauma, loss,psychotherapy and art,jenny meehan fine and applied art,british contemporary abstract fine painting,subconscious subject matter,emotional release,lyrical abstraction,lyrical markmaking,instinctive intuitive process led painting,

Well, I paid my £10 entrance, and was it worth it?  Yes, just.  The sculptures were the high point, in my opinion.  What a jumble sale mix they were, and I loved it.  Wonderful.  A pleasure.  Fun with a capital F, U, and N!  Clever fun, interesting fun, skilled fun.  The painting always presents a good mix, but I was a little disappointed.  I just expect wonders all the time with painting, and I have some better memories of the painting last year.  That is not to say that I did not find some jewels.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/art/7814756/Summer-Exhibition-2010-at-the-Royal-Academy.html?image=11

Painting should be beautiful, and the painting by Emma Biggs and Matthew Collings IS beautiful.  The combination of opaque, white-i-full (Oh, my invented word, but I like it!) segments meeting with the transluscent, clear segments, this shimmering dance of shards, colour pieces, fragments, (whatever), they all resound very well.  This is clever and sensitive stuff. I loved to see the white beneath the film of pigment, with delicate texture, and then, to be kept away from the canvas by the opaque areas.  Yet, to see them working together in this way.  It is lovely.  I love it. “The Unseen” is worth seeing.

I liked the red room.  Very nice.  I mean the walls.  I liked that a lot.  I like the ceiling at the  Royal Academy. It is lovely.  Very nice indeed.  I LOVE listening to the people looking at the work.  Two ladies with VERY loud and raucous laughter fell around for a lot of the time I was there, reading out the prices of some of the work, and most particularly, the work that they felt they could easily do themselves.  Well, who could blame them?  I think this is all part of the fun.  And then the others, searching desperately for paintings of things that they recognise, for some sense of light and space, for objects, for something which holds anything they can relate to.  Some way to navigate.  Navigate in order to relate.

So now, in my thoughts,  I come to my favourite word right now “resonance”.  This word seems stuck in my mind, and I think it is because I have realised with my own painting that it is emotional resonance, maybe the striking of a particular chord,  the realisation and expression of emotion, which matters the most to me.  There is a kind of peace in this, and a release from the worry of feeling that it need be anything else.  I am also finding that I now feel my work itself is leading the way ahead.  I have kind of resigned myself to the sense that while I often agonise about this or that, in terms of direction, really I should just let what I am doing lead me, and look out, in an analytical way, for what is happening, think about why, and think about how I can respond to that.   Preoccupations do seem to be emerging.  Subject matter is always there, as is narrative, though it may be implicit, and not obvious to a viewers eye, I know it is there, and my painting is part of my narrative. There is always a story; if there is a life and a person, and a place and experiences, then there is always a story.  The work is part of that.  The problem many experience with abstract painting which appears to have no subject matter is that they cut off the work from the humanity of its creator.  They maybe idolise it, and seek to make it something that it is not.  ??

http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio3/johntusainterview/hodgkin_transcript.shtml

I have enjoyed reading the above John Tusa interview with Howard Hodgkin… How interesting with regard to this country and words!  I like words, but feel I am committing some kind of injustice most of the time when I write about painting, because words are words and painting is painting, but I also think that any artist should maybe also see themselves as an educator in the sense of their personal aims being not just to do their own work but to help other people to access the experiences which can be gained from it, wether in the doing or the viewing.

Oops, I have moved away from the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition.  Paintings which resonated with me, and impressed, and instructed.  “Drinking Water” (oil and acrylic) The Baron.  Approximately £2,000.  Subject matter I like…water, as always.  Reflection. Boat. Destination/point of departure.  Oh but why was it hung so high up!  I could not see it as well as I would wish.  And who is this painter, because I cannot find an image of this “Drinking Water” painting by the mysterious “The Baron” to show you.   Another jewel was “Ridgeway Path” an oil painting by Tim Woodcock-Jones.  BEAUTIFUL.  Soft and luminous landscape, so so so breathing.  The furrows in the ground made maybe by a tractor.  Bliss, and here, it has been easy to find an image:

http://www.artistsandillustrators.co.uk/tim-woodcock-jones

Always orientated towards the landscape, another gem:

“Landscape in Warwickshire” an oil painting by Timothy Gatenby and I also loved “Trees in Morning Light” (mixed media) by Maxine Hart.   Very pleased to see two paintings by Jeff Dellow, “Where White is the Colour” and “Vernal Layer” (both acrylic paintings). Both brilliant.  I stumbled across Jeff Dellow’s paintings last year when I applied for the artists access to  art college AA2A scheme at Kingston University (no success, sadly) as he is a Principal Lecturer at Kingston University.  I was doing a bit of research regarding the Fine Art Department there, and got happily distracted by his paintings.

http://www.jeffdellow.com/

Get happily distracted!

I cannot remember what I have posted painting wise of my own on this blog or not, but the painting I am most looking at  myself right now, from my own work is “Sorrow for Myself”.  Acrylic paint, acrylic mediums, pigments, sand, glass beads.

"Sorrow for Myself" not "Sorry for Myself".  And, thinking of my own faith in a Creator who weeps for brokeness, I was pleased to have arrived at this result which is true to feeling.

“Sorrow for Myself”  Abstract acrylic painting on canvas of figure bent over a running stream.

The narrative:  The weight is heavy. The sun sets. Broken fragments are carried away. Down stream.  This is sorrow.  Sorrow for myself.  Blood is shed, but it is the blood of Christ which covers. God is compassionate.

The reference:  “Yet it was our weaknesses he carried;

it was our sorrows  that weighed him down.

And we thought his troubles were a punishment from God,

a punishment for his own sins!”

It might be a good thing to do with some of my paintings, to have not only a title, but a “narrative” in words and also a reference, if this reflects the way that the painting speaks to me?   I don’t like the idea of people taking this as me being didactic about things.  It is not that, it is nothing, nothing at all, to do with the viewer  but it is helpful to ME to have some things crystallised in words, because I am learning, always learning, from the painting I do, and think that each painting does have its own objective, which is either met, or not.  This one, worked.

I think that anything of religious or faith subject matter can turn people off,  because it is not the “in” thing.  But happily, I couldn’t care less.  My objective is to be completely true to what I am doing, and if my paintings say something to me, then that is what they say.  It’s not all crosses and bible stories, life is expansive, very, very expansive.  And so is painting.  The horizons are limitless.

Very grateful to have been able to have a dear artist friend offer critique on my recent paintings.  This is SO important, because my eyes get tired and complacent, all of the time!

Having fun with the batch editing.  Here are details from some more of the Alliance Healthcare abstract acrylic paintings that I am spending my time with right now.

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I will post up the images of the whole of the paintings when I have sorted them out.

Making some frames, it’s not hard to make a very simple frame, and I like my paintings in simple frames.  As I have got 20 to make, I should think I will be quite good at the end of it!  I might leave some unframed, but I like a clear division between the painting and the wall.

Still rather bowled over by my discovery of Claude Venard!  Oh look! This is wonderful!

https://www.google.co.uk/search?hl=en&cp=13&gs_id=1e&xhr=t&q=claude+venard&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.r_qf.,cf.osb&biw=1249&bih=626&wrapid=tljp1339312040969024&um=1&ie=UTF-8&tbm=isch&source=og&sa=N&tab=wi&ei=pUfUT_XmN6is0QWd0cz2Aw

Look at his use of colour!

His work has eclipsed anything else I saw when I went for my visit to Cork Street.  Completely.  Though I still plan to ensure I work my way through some of the paintings and painters I saw who caught my interest, the paintings I am looking at by Claude Venard are satisfying any desire for other peoples work right now, and so even though I plan to visit a few other exhibitions, I don’t think I need to look elsewhere right now for my study.  I do love colour.

Maybe also, less colour has interest too. I also very much  responded to the painting I saw by Ffiona Lewis at The Redfern Gallery, 20 Cork Street.  They had an exhibition Landscape – Paintings Drawings and Prints which ran from 15th May until 5th July.  There was rather a good selection of paintings on show, and I have a list of names of artists to look at, but “Summer House 2011” by Ffiona Lewis stood out.  Small,  but every touch significant.  A  very sensitive painting.  With little colour, much less than I use, but the restraint is attractive and indeed, I think to use more would not be right at all with her painting, for it is the very small marks and scratchings on the surface, the texture of her sensitive application, which asserts the paintings. To have more colour would detract from this.  Having experimented myself recently in using colour and texture, I have found that with more concentration on the texture, there is less need for colour.  The texture itself can lead the eye into the necessary emotional response. To have a lot of both, can be (though not always) too much.  They run like two strands and it takes a huge amount of effort to keep the two going together.  So to pick carefully which will be dominant, is a good solution.   I have been thinking a lot about both, and this is a great challenge in one painting, hard, but worthwhile.  As far as the viewing goes, it may be that it is possible to create more confusion by working both together.   But I am not sure.  I want the excitement of both texture and colour.  It may be a matter of just how obvious the effect of each is.  Maybe some turn taking, like is needful with children, is something to think about.

http://www.redfern-gallery.com/DesktopDefault.aspx?tabid=45&tabindex=44&artistid=96126

Austin/Desmond Fine Art

A few weeks back I  visited the Francis Davison: Collages 1976 – 1983 exhibition at Austin/Desmond Fine Art.

Some of the small studies had something to teach me, and I found myself wishing that my experiments sold at a couple of thousand pounds, but as I am not Francis Davison, it might be worth settling for a little less in the way of financial benefit.    The larger work on show revealed the fruit of many hours experimentation, and it was a rich experience to view the work.  “Orange Arc and Spot in Turquoise & Brown”  “Egypt” “Blass Mass, Blue Angle, White Background”  “Disintergrating Black, Green, Blue Fields”  “Sand Ground with Black,Red,White and Green”.  Say it how it is.  Titles to the point.  I was good, I am glad I made the effort to see this exhibition.

What most struck me was how much like paint the way Francis Davison uses some of the paper.  I was convinced that some of the paper was paint, until I took a closer look.  This is interesting to me because I have thought about using collage in my own paintings and I have been put off mostly because of not mixing the paint with the paper, but  what I saw done here was inspiring.  Not a drop of paint in sight, but very, very painterly collage.  And the contrast between the dissolved type edges with those of jagged cut paper, which spoke sharper than sharp, was delightful.

My words don’t articulate visual things well, but all I can say is if you give this kind of work the time it deserves, then it will teach you a lot.  As I looked at the work I looked for the decision-making process, I looked for the junctures and the points at which I might agree or disagree with decisions made.  This navigational process of working my way through any visual expression has become much more obvious to me recently, so much so that the lack of overt subject matter worries me less and less.  To see an exhibition like this at this particular time, when I am experimenting in a very free manner has proved very fruitful.  I find that I need to remind myself of restraint with colour and never forget the importance of edges, as well as the effect of different sized masses and some of the interesting relationships which can be so easily overlooked.

In Alon Zakaim Fine Art,    http://www.alonzakaim.com    I found three paintings which I certainly will be paying attention to.  The first which took my eye was “Le Bal (1976) Acrylic on canvas by Charles Lapicque.  This reminds me again of the beauty of boldness with colour.   The painting by Claude Venard “Le Phare” is a new discovery for me, as I have not come across this painter before, and I like, like, like!  I am experiencing a tension inside myself right now, with respect to painting completely non objective paintings and yet also feeling the pull of a recognisable image, and this painting is very satisfying to see, because it holds both so well together.  I think it holds an answer to one of the problems I have been tossing around in my head for a while. It’s funny how sometimes you just need to see something for a problem to be resolved. I have spent a little time looking at the  Alon Zakaim website, and the page with an exhibition on Claude Venard included a painting “Composition” painted in 1970 and I practically had kittens looking at this one.  I am so excited to find some painting like this.  It is like looking at the ground in front of me, and seeing, that though I thought I was travelling an unknown path, there is someone before me who has trodden the same path, and has left the grass and foliage pushed back a little which makes my journey a little easier.  I have never felt I was doing anything “new” because I don’t think there is anything “new” under the sun, (as it says in Ecclesiastes,) however, it is very helpful to see another painter grappling with the same issues as I am, and it is heartening too, because I unfortunately do not have the level of critical input into my work as maybe some people participating in a Fine Art Painting degree or similar might receive.  I value the lessons learnt  by those who have walked before me.  There is no need to do a degree, masters, or whatever, if you can attend to the work of others and learn from that.  You don’t need to put into words what the marks of a paintbrush put onto the canvas. But you do need to ask what is happening here? And what does this mean TO ME.

I am so in love with “Trees with Sacre Coeur in the Distance” by Claude Venard that I have printed out a small print which I now carry  around in my purse so I can look at it whenever I want to.  It gives me a tangible lift of heart, and so why not?

Here is some of my own painting, IN PROGRESS,  I must say.  And progress is a little slow right now, as having started around 20 paintings I now find myself at the most demanding stage with all of them at the same time.  I have started to stick little pieces of masking tape on the parts which I am thinking about, because otherwise I forget what I was thinking.  If I can locate easily the areas which I am concerned with, it is much easier to come into the painting after a period of a few days away from it, and I find that with so many other things demanding my attention, this helps a lot.

These examples are not necessarily shown the correct way up,  (or in the right order!) but I am now wanting to spend less time fiddling around with digital images.  Some have masking tape on them right now and many have subsequently changed direction quite significantly.  Other I reckon are nearly finished but I am not rushing anything and want time to think them through. The images are only here to give a little idea of what I working on right now.

Just taken a master class in knowing when to stop….Looking through Google images at the paintings of Ivon Hitchens (my great inspiration in so many ways) has reminded me that I don’t need to tie up every ending.  Take an inspirational look:

https://www.google.co.uk/search?hl=en&cp=6&gs_id=m&xhr=t&q=ivon+hitchens&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.r_qf.,cf.osb&biw=1140&bih=572&wrapid=tljp1338964659606010&um=1&ie=UTF-8&tbm=isch&source=og&sa=N&tab=wi&ei=uvrOT9iqAYXV0QW_6dDJCw#um=1&hl=en&tbm=isch&sa=1&q=%22ivon+hitchens%22&oq=%22ivon+hitchens%22&aq=f&aqi=g8g-S2&aql=&gs_l=img.3..0l8j0i24l2.2867.5015.0.6689.2.2.0.0.0.0.91.178.2.2.0…0.0.0ZpTYrl0Pes&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.r_qf.,cf.osb&fp=165f60c0fcb53761&biw=1140&bih=572

Indeed, some open endings in a painting are a good thing.  It is only the need to control that requires a painter to reach the very end of the painting.  I am also reminded of a favourite childrens story “The Magic Paintbrush”, a story both myself and my own children have loved, where the child painter finds that it is necessary to leave his paintings JUST unfinished, otherwise they will come alive and actually become the things that they depict.  So, we need the unreality of non quite completion?  I think so, though maybe not for the reason in the narrative, because if my paintings right now came to reality, they wouldn’t know what to do with themselves.

Visually, the slight sense of just being undone is both a slightly disturbing but also a stimulating one.  A certain amount of discomfort is a natural part of life, and I guess there is no reason why this should not be the case in a painting.  However, I do confess to liking sometimes to be able to read to the very end of a narrative, and the same goes for a painting too.  And sometimes we want the whole to the very detail, the finest detail.  I was thinking about this last night, that final touch moment.  It is a jewel.  So both are true, the open and the closed.  I guess it depends on the particular painting, how far you go.  And the mood you are in!

In some of the recent paintings I have used the PUREST pigment and to very exciting effect.  I took the cobalt (pure cobalt, not a mix) from some of the silicate colourisers I brought discounted last year (an easy matter, to drain off the potash waterglass and take spoonfuls of thick brilliant cobalt from the container) and mixed with white acrylic so that I could use it on the canvas.  It is heavy. Heavy, the weight of the pigment.  It’s very noticeable. (oxides of cobalt and aluminium, PB 28). And though when I have heard people rattling off in the past about the importance of quality, I have to admit that they are right, particularly if your painting becomes such that it depends on the impact of the light bouncing off the surface as a significant feature of the content, as so much non representational painting does.   Well, all painting does, but I think having no pictorial concerns does free one to become quite absorbed in the finer dimensions of paint itself, and I think this is the pleasure for me right now.  I just see what I am doing as getting aquainted with my materials and techniques.

After a little experiment in restricted brush use, (ie only using same size round and flats, though sometimes in bunches of more than one brush) I happily return to my former practice of using a variety of brushes.  I was testing out something I heard someone say which I thought very ridiculous but I thought I would test it out anyway.  They said that you didn’t need lots of different types of brushes.  Well, you do.  And if you want to call yourself a painter, you certainly do.  It’s nothing fancy.  Just common sense.   I couldn’t quite stick to restricted brush idea, but I thought I would give it a try.  Silly me.  It was handy with the acrylics though, in that I have lots of cheap brushes which I could use with complete abandon, (ie, no need to wash, just pick up another one and leave the used one in water).  This IS a good idea.  Easy to use brushes very dry and very wet, which is handy.  However, best with some more expensive spalters and filberts.  And I do wash those, very carefully, because acrylic is a horror for ruining brushes.

Thinking of blues, this is a nice handy run down:

http://www.gamblincolors.com/artists.grade.oils/blues/index.html

Feeling in need of some structure and clarity in my painting right now, so planning to take a look at the “Structure and Clarity” part of the Tate Modern on Level 5.  Though I initially planned to work on some non objective compositions based on the fundamental forms of construction, I was unable to contain myself within these boundaries, and instead opted to continue to experiment with an evolving organic, process based approach to composition, because I find it more exciting.  However, there is some comfort in knowing where you are starting from, and I think I would benefit from a little more pre determined structure, so I think a visit to “Structure and Clarity” at Tate Modern will serve my imagination well.  I am increasingly aware of how important it is to give myself plenty to think about, and this in the visual sense, not a matter of ideas, but just a matter of seeing and sensing.

http://www.tate.org.uk/art/artworks?sid=3501&ws=date&wv=grid

 

Painting below: “Resting Place” Jenny Meehan

 

 

Boat House - Romantic Expressive Abstract Lyrical acrylic painting by surrey south west london painter artist jenny meehan imaginative internal landscape

Again, as always, image only gives an idea.

Though I believe a painter should always seek to challenge themselves by experimenting with a great variety of underlying compositions, I don’t mind working on a series of these internal landscapes, and I think it will be good to have a strand of work which takes a pre determined direction.  So I am quite looking forward to continuing to explore this route.  It seems to fit in quite well with my approach to my work at the present time which is  rooted in an awareness of the intimate relationship between psychotherapy (which I am undertaking at the present time) and painting, which I find is a very interesting way to  think about my work critically. Not the only way, by any means; historical context, the analysis of surface aesthetics, and just straightforward description of the paintings, are all modes of critique which hold interest for me.  But as the creator of these paintings, I’m interested in the unconscious ideas behind my work because I find I discover things, both through the painting process and the final paintings, which bring a clarity to my life, both emotionally, psychologically and spiritually.

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