After having left my February post on the late side, I am getting the March post in early!  The piecemeal nature of this journal continues its meandering way, as I do mine, making my way through the vast expanse called life!

 

Desiderata written in 1927 by Max Ehrmann

Someone pointed me in the direction of this lovely piece of writing, which I share with you.

Desiderata

Go placidly amid the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence.
As far as possible, without surrender, be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others,
even to the dull and ignorant; they too have their story.

Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit.
If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain and bitter,
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.

Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs, for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
many persons strive for high ideals,
and everywhere life is full of heroism.

Be yourself. Especially do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love;
for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment it is as perennial as the grass.
Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.

Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself.
You are a child of the universe no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be.
And whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life,
keep peace with your soul. With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.

 

This has been quoted from the following website:  https://www.poemhunter.com/max-ehrmann-2/

Desiderata was written in 1927 by Max Ehrmann, a poet and lawyer from Terre Haute, Indiana. The word desiderata means “things that are desired.” Ehrmann said he wrote it for himself, “because it counsels those virtues I felt most in need of.”

There are also many audio versions of Desiderata by Max Ehrmann, for example the following:

 

 

 

This journal; this “meandering discourse”, serves to educate you on what happens alongside my painting and visual artwork. Though I don’t often make direct references to all that inspires me, confronts me, meets me, greets me and generally impacts my life, and therefore my work,  (which is just as well to be honest, because the important meaning in your relationship with my painting is based upon your own life and experience, not mine), however, my painting is one facet of the whole, not the whole, and folk often like to know about the creator behind the art.  Sharing what inspires me, may add a dimension to someones experience of my work, and this is something which can add some depth.  Many artists are also writers, and/or musicians.  It’s good to have different forms to hand.  I think writing for me has relieved me of some pressures, and given me a place to explore concepts through a medium I find best suited to it.  With painting I am relieved of any need to say or sound anything other than the materials I work with, the rhythms of painting are poetic and resonate emotionally, free of any need to be or say anything other than they are.  And that feels good and liberating to me.  So I write regularly and this is helpful.  It is a very useful tool to have, among the paintbrushes, rollers, and collection of materials.  And now I have started to learn hand drumming, which is probably the best new activity I have started for years.  This links in with my painting; the connection being rhythms and resonance, and presence and space and all those things which words don’t quite manage to express!

I learnt one of the rhythms from Sinte last night!

 Kingston Artists’ Open Studios 2018

Getting ready for this year’s Kingston, Surrey Artist’s Open Studios.

Kingston Artists’ Open Studios (OS18) will be taking place on 9/10th and 16/17th June 2018 from 11am to 5pm each day. I will be enjoying the kind hospitality of one of my KAOS artist companions just a short walk from Kingston Town centre, not far from the Kingston Gate of Richmond Park.

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

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

Hope to see you! Jenny Meehan

 

Bits and Bobs

I post past work up from time and time.  I find it helpful to look back fairly often and ask new questions about what I was doing and why.  It also reminds me of what matters to me, and how certain strands have developed over the years.  It’s essential in order to come up with new directions, because in looking back you actually see things anew and recognise the elements of your work which you still like and which interest you.  Like old friends, who know you well, they often offer important insights!  Here is some past work:

 

“Round and Round Inside My Head” Monoprint  by Jenny Meehan

Oil based ink, graphite, and oil pastel on paper.

jenny meehan jamartlondon art work uk licensable images

jenny meehan jamartlondon art work uk licensable images

I don’t use linear elements in my work so much now, or when I do they are hidden lines formed not from direct application of a media but from edges and the meetings of other forms.  I have recently started using tearings and collage a bit more and this is bringing line into my vocabulary once more.  I have been once again inspired by Francis Davidson, whose work I saw again at the end of last year, and this exhibition was helpful to me.  I likes the strips very much and this has given me a few thoughts about future direction which are very timely.  I don’t tend to talk about my thoughts for the future in any detail as they need incubation time, and it is easy to diffuse things before they have properly had a chance to grow.

I think of Henry Moore saying ” It is a mistake for a sculptor or a painter to speak or write very often about his job. It releases tension needed for his work. (Henry Moore). I heard or read that quote years ago and it has stuck with me.  I completely “get” this.   I love writing and have decided to keep the sharing of my work to this Journal, rather than use Instagram.  I did start using Instagram, but felt this “dissolve” immediately.  As far as I understand it is thought best for artists to share their work in progress. Because this is interesting.  People are interested in  how artists make their work.  However this feels like a violation to me.  This is probably due to the way I personally work, because I work in such a piecemeal, gradual, and extended process, with work coming out and being put away, over a period of years. Privacy is part of the process.  It’s not that I don’t share work in progress at all, because I do.  But I don’t want the pressure of feeling I need to supply a stream of my work to other people before it has found itself and feels some degree of its own resolution.

If my work was different, I don’t think this would be an issue.  For example, if I was sketching and making work which went from start to finish in one fell swoop, I don’t think I would feel the same way about using Instagram.  Slightly conversely, this journal gives me a chance to share about my work but in a way which is limited, quiet, and doesn’t have the effect of diluting any of the energy.  I don’t talk about my work very much at all to other people, only quite rarely.  I find it interesting being a visual artist in this current age, where so much is public that would not have been public in years gone by.  It gives me some pleasure that my writing is here for people to read if they are interested, but I see this Journal as being as much a tool for my own development as it may be for “the public” eye.   It is the only organised writing I have, because the rest floats around all over the place, in small notebooks and pieces of paper!   The organisation of it, in the  liquid “stream of consciousness form, may be it’s prime virtue! Kind of not chaos and not order, but between the two!

Below is  “Baptism/Into the Ocean” Painting by jenny meehan

 

 

jenny meehan jamartlondon art work uk licensable images

jenny meehan jamartlondon art work uk licensable images

It looks equally good rotated to the left and displayed as portrait…  This is available for sale so contact me via my website contact page at jamartlondon.com if interested.  http://www.jamartlondon.com/

It’s got a lot of energy!

“Pillar and Moon”  below is also available.  http://www.jamartlondon.com/

 

 

jenny meehan jamartlondon art work uk licensable images

jenny meehan jamartlondon art work uk licensable images

 

This digital photographic work below evolved from a photograph taken in Oxshott Woods, one of my favourite places.  I went there each Sunday as a child and continue to make regular walks through the woods!

 

 

jenny meehan jamartlondon art work uk licensable images

jenny meehan jamartlondon art work uk licensable images

 

Henry Moore Quotes

I quoted Henry Moore earlier and found several quotes from him I would like to take note of:

The important thing is somehow to begin. (Henry Moore)

If an artist tries consciously to do something to others, it is to stretch their eyes, their thoughts, to something they would not see or feel if the artist had not done it. To do this, he has to stretch his own first. (Henry Moore)

To be an artist is to believe in life. (Henry Moore)

Art is a continuous activity with no separation between past and present. (Henry Moore)

 

Jenny Meehan on Redbubble.com

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

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

I haven’t put much up new, but did add this a few months ago:

https://www.redbubble.com/people/jennyjimjams/works/29863227-dyno-blue-wall-tapestry-design-by-jenny-meehan?asc=u&ref=recent-owner

It’s called “Dyno Blue”.  Quick burst of activity on the computer, and there it is!  The wonders of technology!

dyno blue tapestry design jenny meehan© Jenny Meehan. All Rights Reserved, DACS

dyno blue tapestry design jenny meehan © Jenny Meehan. All Rights Reserved, DACS

 

Gum Arabic Preparation

I was recently looking over some experimental paintings I had made with  home made watercolour paints.  The paints still look great in their pots.  I made mine to keep in liquid form and put more clove oil in them.  They are keeping very well.  I really enjoyed making them and it much easier to be lavish and generous when using materials which are more affordable.  All the pigments used were mineral, earth, iron oxides or mixes, and and NO FILLER at all!  It is great to have better control possible through being the master or mistress of your own fillers!!!!

I didn’t use honey, (I don’t think, or I may have just put a bit in, cannot remember!!!) but as said, I wasn’t trying to make blocks, and kept it liquid!  Here is the recipe I used but I used my slow cooker.

Gum Arabic Preparation
Ingredients
• 300 grams (10.5 oz) Gum Arabic powder
• 3 drops Clove Oil (optional)
• 1 liter (2.1 pints) of boiled water
The ratio is 1 part gum to 2 parts water. Boil water and pour over the powdered gum, stirring to make sure there are no lumps. Allow the mixture to soak 24-48 hours for full absorption.
Add drops of Clove Oil to extend shelflife. Prepared Gum Arabic must be stored in the refrigerator to deter mold growth. It may be advisable to make small batches so the solution will be fresh rather than storing larger quantities for an extended period of time.
Watercolor Preperation
• Prepared Gum solution (Arabic or Tragacanth)
• Honey (Acacia is preferable) in a 10% proportion to the weight of Gum solution used
• Pigments
Mix all the ingredients and crush them on a glass plate using a spatula to obtain a paste with a thick, creamy consistency. It is recommended that you finish the mixture by crushing it with a glass muller (available at art supply stores). Transfer your paints to saucers for painting. When creating your initial gum, you may wish to addGlycerin as a plasticizer to prevent cracking and brittleness. The ratio would be 1 part Glycerin or less by volume to 5 parts of your prepared gum solution. Add the Glycerin after gum has been completely dissolved but while still warm.

I still have my gum arabic solution in the fridge, over a year later, and it still looks fine.  I use it in my hair at the moment, because I have made myself a single braid, and need to dip the end of it into the solution to make it easier to thread a bead through it!!!  I didn’t bother with grinding pigments….  I like using them a bit coarser, I prefer the way the light bounces off them.  If I was painting miniatures or tiny detailed paintings I guess I would want them finer but why use them finer unless you need to?

Studio Tent

 

 

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

The image above was taken in the Summer.  It’s still too cold in the studio tent at the moment, but I have started pottering around in there!

Below a few images of work.  These two “Yoga Inhale” and Yoga Exhale” paintings both sold.  I take lots of photographic images of my work, cropping and at different angles and orientations, as it is a helpful way of looking at what I have done.  Details also get forgotten.  Particularly if I don’t have the painting any more.  I use previous paintings for reference points all the time.

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon abstract expressionist lyrical textural colorist paintings licensable images

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

New Knee Anniversary!

One year today, I had my knee replacement!  Now I have hit the one year mark I am stopping my piece of writing, which inhibits another page on this blog. https://jennymeehan.wordpress.com/the-very-patient-knee-replacement-story-by-jenny-meehan/

Not going to write much here about the knee, more than mention it.  The project is over!  My life goes on, and it’s a lot better than it was just over a year ago!

IMG_7305knee replacement in bed

Great Quote from Frank Auerbach

I enjoyed reading this interesting article:

https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2015/may/16/frank-auerbach-when-paint-fantastic-time-lots-girls?CMP=share_btn_fb

My favourite part:

He says the obligation to take account of the art that has gone before carries two demands: “first that you attempt to do something of a comparable scale and standard, which is impossible; second that you try and do something that has never been done before, that is also impossible. So in the face of this you can either just chuck it in, or you can spend all your energy and time and hopes in trying to cope with it. You will fail. But as Beckett very kindly said for all of us, ‘try again, fail better’, and painting just took me over.”

That’s it for this month!

PS

If you would like to donate money to help support my creative practice I can accept donations quickly and easily through the Paypal.me process. Simply put the following in your browser:
paypal.me/jennymeehan and follow the prompts. Please consider supporting my work in this way if it strikes a chord with you and you are able to do so.  If you do this, there isn’t a system for me to contact you and thank you, so you will need to believe you have my heart felt thanks!

Another way you could support my participation in the visual arts could be by praying for me, if that’s part of your daily life. I also put some of my visual art work on the “print on demand” website redbubble.com. People buying merchandise with my designs on through redbubble.com results in my gaining a royalty for the use of the image concerned.

Signing up as a follower on this WordPress blog also helps, as does sharing the posts when you receive them.  Anything you can do to help me is much appreciated!  Time and money is limited for me, and it’s a challenge being a mother-artist in terms of promotion and increasing awareness of what I do.  I put my energy into producing my artwork.  For the rest, I need any help I can get!

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Well, another month, another post!

Quite late to post February post on the 19th!

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

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

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

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

studio tent jenny meehan

studio tent jenny meehan

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

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

Image of the Small World Futures contribution from myself!

SWF_Jenny_Meehan_14d_33% vibe drome on display london bridge

Image credit: ©Alban Low

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

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

Here is some text quoted from the CollectConnect website:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

© Natalie Low

(Included on here with permission from Natalie Low)

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

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

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

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

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

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

I love his drawing!

Why Abstract Painting Isn’t Music

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

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

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

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

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

Painting and Music Play on the Instrument of the Feelings

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

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

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

Composition

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

 

All is Energy

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

The Constructive Laws of Rhythm

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Pure Painting, Pure Aesthetics

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

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

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

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

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

© Patricia Railing 2005

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

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

Included in this blog by kind permission.

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

The Smell of Paint!

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

The SMELL!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Paint to love…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Not Drawing…

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

Here is some past drawing.

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

rear access roads chessington art jenny meehan

rear access roads chessington art jenny meehan

rear access roads chessington art jenny meehan

rear access roads chessington art jenny meehan

rear access roads chessington art jenny meehan

rear access roads chessington art jenny meehan

rear access roads chessington art jenny meehan

rear access roads chessington art jenny meehan

rear access roads chessington art jenny meehan

rear access roads chessington art jenny meehan

rear access roads chessington art jenny meehan

rear access roads chessington art jenny meehan

rear access roads chessington art jenny meehan

rear access roads chessington art jenny meehan

rear access roads chessington art jenny meehan

rear access roads chessington art jenny meehan

rear access roads chessington art jenny meehan

rear access roads chessington art jenny meehan

rear access roads chessington art jenny meehan

rear access roads chessington art jenny meehan

rear access roads chessington art jenny meehan

rear access roads chessington art jenny meehan

rear access roads chessington art jenny meehan

rear access roads chessington art jenny meehan

rear access roads chessington art jenny meehan

rear access roads chessington art jenny meehan

rear access roads chessington art jenny meehan

rear access roads chessington art jenny meehan

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

 

insert

Speaking Out Project

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

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

What is happening this year?

Well, the Kingston Artists’ Open Studios!

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

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

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

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

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

A Prayer of Anselm (1033-1109)

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

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

Often you weep over our sins and our pride,

tenderly you draw us from hatred and judgement.

You comfort us in sorrow and bind up our wounds,

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

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

by your anguish and labour we come forth in joy.

Despair turns to hope through your sweet goodness;

through your gentleness we find comfort in fear.

Your warmth gives life to the dead,

your touch makes sinners righteous.

Lord Jesus, in your mercy heal us;

in your love and tenderness remake us.

In your compassion bring grace and forgiveness,

for the beauty of heaven may your love prepare us.

Amen.

 

Such a beautiful prayer. 

Redbubble.com

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

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

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

 

 

Thinking, Thinking and Thinking a little bit more…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Big Brainstorming!

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

Text from website:

“Friday Tonic: Interchange

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

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

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

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

Issie Barratt is supported by PRS for Music Foundation”

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

Research

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

… as you see here:

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

 

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

jenny meehan waterfight mad moment abstract painting jamartlondon

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

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

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

I do need more space.

I need a room of my own.

My studio tent is full.

And it’s very COLD at the moment.

I do have my kitchen table.

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

“Wisteria Trellis” Print by Jenny Meehan

 

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

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

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

My thoughts on it at the time:

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

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

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

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

 

Second Prize in the Chester Art Centre Open Exhibition 2017

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

 

Leap of Faith…This time paid off!

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

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

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

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

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

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

One example:

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

Take a look!

 

Moral Rights Information

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

Quoted from DACS Newsletter September 2016

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

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

There are four moral rights under UK law:

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

I do agree.

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

Contact Jenny via her website: 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Note About Following Jenny Meehan Contemporary Artist’s Journal 

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

 

Website Link for jamartlondon:  www.jamartlondon.com 

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

 

Help me continue my practice/art working:

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

COPYRIGHT INFORMATION

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

Copyright and Licensing Digital Images Information – Jenny Meehan

www.jamartlondon.com

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

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

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

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

About Jenny Meehan (Jennifer Meehan) 

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

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

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

……………………………………………………………………………………………………

August!

I have been experimenting with egg tempera.  This is painting suited to a small scale of course.  Quite different to what I have been doing over the last few months. From large scale to small, the movement between the two is interesting.  All materials have their strengths and weaknesses.  For larger scale lyrical abstract expressionist painting quick drying acrylics have their advantages.  Yet for smaller scale paintings, it may be that egg tempera might provide an avenue for painting which yields promise.  I like using natural materials.

I experimented with egg tempera at West Dean College this year.  It has encouraged me to continue with my experiments with Keim mineral paints.  A gentle reminder about another strand in my work.  I love silica-sol paint and Keim Optil and Soldalit are lovely.  I dealt with Keim several years back when painting the mural at Trafalgar Junior School.  I used Beeck silicate dispersion paints and also the Keim Soldalit (silica sol paint) for the lines.  I found the Keim Soldalit much easier to use than the Beeck silicate dispersion paint and wished I had painted the whole mural in it.  We live and learn.  Keim were an excellent company to deal with and very helpful with respect to technical information.  I continue to experiment with Optil and Soldalit, on smaller scale paintings at present.  Here is a link to information on that mural.  It was good to teach the children about ecologically friendly paint options and materials.

 

https://jennymeehan.wordpress.com/2011/07/24/trafalgar-junior-school-exterior-wall-mural-painting-images-jenny-meehan/

https://jennymeehan.wordpress.com/2011/09/02/trafalgar-junior-school-exterior-mural-on-playground-wall-finished/

I experimented with making my own watercolour paints last year.  They are still looking good in their pots, thanks to oil of cloves.

West Dean Taster Session with Jon Edgar

One of the highlights of West Dean College for me this year was working in three dimensions during the taster session taught excellently by Jon Edgar.  Stimulating mentally, he facilitated our learning with a exercise involving making a sphere before going on to carve a block of soap.  I am rather pleased with mine.  I really need to do more work in three dimensions.  You can see I enjoyed examining the work afterwards!

soap sculpture west dean college jenny meehan

soap sculpture west dean college jenny meehan

soap sculpture west dean college jenny meehan

soap sculpture west dean college jenny meehan

soap sculpture west dean college jenny meehan

soap sculpture west dean college jenny meehan

soap sculpture west dean college jenny meehan

soap sculpture west dean college jenny meehan

soap sculpture west dean college jenny meehan

soap sculpture west dean college jenny meehan

soap sculpture west dean college jenny meehan

soap sculpture west dean college jenny meehan

soap sculpture west dean college jenny meehan

soap sculpture west dean college jenny meehan

soap sculpture west dean college jenny meehan

soap sculpture west dean college jenny meehan

soap sculpture west dean college jenny meehan

soap sculpture west dean college jenny meehan

The blue gloves were part of my costume for the evening dinner event…

Gracious, look at those muscles!

Here are the other images from that taster session!

three photos above jon edgar©  for info on his courses see: http://www.jonedgar.co.uk/teaching/?main_selected=teaching

 

Artists writing about their work

As an artist who likes to write about what I do,  I prefer to do this  in a simple and direct manner, with the aim of helping people to engage with my work, rather than scaring them away.  And  I am also someone who engages in meandering ramblings this way and that, here in my journal, because it helps me sort my head out.  And because I can…I enjoy writing… And starting sentences with “and” as much as I want to…The following work on International Art English holds many a jewel! Language is an interesting matter. A matter we work with.

https://www.canopycanopycanopy.com/issues/16/contents/international_art_english

And I read this with wonder, and a certain amount of delight… for this work by David Levine and Alix Rule which “touched off a minor furor with its attempt to prove scientifically that the art world was a hive of pompous windbags”  is rather beautifully true.   It’s not a new piece of writing, and I remember  reading a little about it nearer to the time it was written.  However, the current of writing about art which is hard to understand, continues none the less, with vigour.  Maybe it is simply because it SOUNDS clever.  I would rather sound straightforward.  And be thought less intelligent or academic as a result.  It does not bother me.

I am sure I could compose some clever paragraphs which made me sound more intelligent than I am, but I would betray myself and others in the process.  And if that “intelligence” is some kind of delusion anyway,  or a mystic aspiration to enter a world which does not exist,(or even does, but I have no interest in) then that too seems a bad idea.  And, I would be ashamed of myself if I ever used “International Art English” for my own work.  If you ever catch me doing so, pick me up on it.  Back to the work in question.

They attempted to prove that  “the official language of art was a linguistically meaningless jumble of buzzwords written in a tortured style imported from French theory, a claim the authors said they could verify through running 13 years of press releases through a computer.”  (quotes from http://www.blouinartinfo.com/news/story/911210/international-art-english-the-joke-that-forgot-it-was-funny

written by BY BEN DAVIS | JUNE 06, 2013  Follow link to read the whole article.  It’s an interesting read.

My take on this  is simply a kind of relief and pleasure on reading https://www.canopycanopycanopy.com/issues/16/contents/international_art_english

and in looking into this a little, I found the following…Which added to the enjoyment:

https://careersuicideblog.wordpress.com/artbollocks-bingo/

I like ALL of the https://www.canopycanopycanopy.com/issues/16/contents/international_art_english , but this caught my eye:

“But not everyone has the same capacity to approximate. It’s often a mistake to read art writing
for its literal content; IAE can communicate beautifully without it. Good readers are quite sensitive to the language’s impoverished variants. An exhibition guide for a recent New York City MFA show, written by the school’s art-history master’s students, reads: “According to [the artist] the act of making objects enables her to control the past and present.” IAE of insufficient complexity sounds both better and worse: It can be more lucid, so its assertions risk appearing more obviously ludicrous. On the other hand, we’re apt to be intimidated by virtuosic usage, no matter what we think it means.”

I wonder what the greatest crime might be in the realm of International Art English. It might be something like “I did this because I felt like it”!  Or, “I did this picture for you.”  Or “I had a lot of this colour of paint left over, and I wanted to use it up.”  Or “I didn’t have a clue about what I was doing, to be honest.”

“I didn’t have a clue about what I was doing, to be honest.” is probably the best one, I think.  Yet, when pushing boundaries in painting, it may be the most helpful attitude to have.  I am not dismissing thinking analytically about one’s work and what it means. And history is very important.  Relating your work to what has happened and is happening from time to time is good.  But in the end the meaning in the most intimate sense is very personal and cannot be disconnected from ones self  and one’s experiences and situation.  The real context is, essentially, pretty small.  References and relationships can be made beyond that, because it is interesting, can be fun, and it is good to apply what we do to other situations.  Maybe this is because it enables both us, and others, to experiment with looking at what we do/produce from different angles. This may also open up new, related ways of looking at things, perceiving and understanding aspects of experience, which enrich us all.  AND we all want to be relevant and contemporary. That kind of sounds so good.   The reality is, that you don’t have to try and be contemporary, because you just ARE if you live in the here and now!!!!

There are times when I am working on something that I do know what I am doing…I feel I have to add that into the pot.  Sometimes I work with a design…I don’t mean a physical one, but a mental plan, and I do have an idea of where I am going with it.  But normally the brain work attached to my art work comes AFTER I have created it.  Not before.  It is a bit like something landing in a pool and ripples coming out from it.  You spend time looking at what kind of effect it is making, and then how those ripples relate to what is going on with yourself and the world around you.  THEN you might write about it.  But I would not want to pretend that I know what I am doing when I do it, because most of the time I don’t.  Is not that true of life generally?  Don’t we often look back, and then see what was going on in retrospect?

We need distance, when viewing art work, but not a distance created artificially by language which promises to open up our eyes to a vision beyond ourselves, but is, in reality, a mirage bearing no kind of nourishment at all.

I was chatting to a gallery owner in London recently, and she told me that for the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition artists now have to write a short statement about their work if they get past the first stage.  I didn’t know this, as I haven’t entered the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition for years.  I did realise they have changed the way they organise things, because there is now a digital image submission for the first stage.  I felt initially that this was good, because a lot less hassle practically, but in reflection of my conversation with the gallery owner, it is very  true that some paintings don’t look as good in a digital image as they do in real life, and some look much better than they do in the flesh!

I think some of my very textured lyrical abstract expressionist paintings would stand to lose a lot when viewed in an image.   Really need a few images in different lighting to see the paintings, especially as they are painted to be seen in different types of lighting across the day. Those different finishes I use sometimes cannot be appreciated at all in a digital image.  And there is always a huge distortion of colour, especially with reds and blues, plus the type of light the digital image of the painting is taken in.  When I produce images of my paintings I don’t spent ages matching the colours perfectly, because I don’t have any aim to make accurate reproduction prints.  I tend to see the digital image of my paintings as a separate entity and often develop the image as such.  However I do correct to some degree, having the painting in view as I make the adjustments.  I normally ensure levels are true, adjust the colour balance to remove the blue tinge which they carry, and adjust any prominent discrepancies which occur… just the obvious.. normally blue and red need attention.  So this gives me a reasonable reproduction suitable for use in conveying what the painting looks like.

However, not all artists will have the skill or knowledge to do this, and therefore this may be a stumbling block.  The other matter, that of providing an  artists statement for the submission to the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition isn’t something which is difficult for me personally, with my degree in Literature and love of writing, I enjoy analysing what is happening with my work and what it means, and how it resonates for me.  It’s part of the process I enjoy.  However it is the case that there are many exceptionally talented artists, experts in visual expression, representation, and highly skilled in the craft of painting, who have huge problems with written expression.  It is a different art form, and they may find themselves disadvantaged by the new process.

I guess I had better start entering paintings into the Royal Academy  Summer Exhibition.  I have found the cost a little prohibitive, but as I am so near London, it may be foolish not to randomly enter something now and again.  It doesn’t matter so much to me… it would be a bit of a buzz, though in reality the whole thing is a bit of a lottery, and down to luck.  It’s not really an endorsement of the quality of ones work.  Just a super event and very creative and inspiring.  A showcase in the finest sense.  But it might be nice to try.  I don’t gamble in any other area of my life, ie don’t do lottery tickets or anything else betting wise!  And on the hanging day, it really is about what fits. Could be a good fit.  Could not.  Nothing to do with the actual art work.  But as this kind of thing matters to collectors and lovers of fine art,  and they see it as being an endorsement, I probably should have a few bashes at it.  Will look good!  Even if not that meaningful as a validation in the direct sense of the word.   I would like to go to the church service. That would mean the most to me personally.

 

Technical Interest Regarding Resins

I have been wondering if there a difference between polyester, acrylic, and epoxy resins.   I do experiment from time to time with new materials, as I believe this is important in order to keep things fresh.  While using acrylic emulsion, which is the basis of acrylic paint,  I have only dipped my feet in using acrylic resin, in the form of Rosco clear acrylic gloss which I mix with pigments and paints sometimes.  Plus also using a hot melt adhesive (HMA), (also known as hot glue) which is a form of thermoplastic adhesive that is commonly supplied in solid cylindrical sticks.  I used the hot melt glue in this painting:

 

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

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

 

I am still thinking about this painting, therefore it is still in progress.  There may be some minor alterations to make.

jenny meehan abstract expressionist painting licensable art images book covers   detail of joy pain

Acrylic resin is a thermoplastic, which means it is one of a group of plastics which can be heated and manipulated repeatedly, whereas polyester resin and epoxy are thermosetting plastics, which use heat or a catalyst to solidify into a solid mass that won’t melt down.  Acrylic is mixed from acrylic polymer, a dry powder, a methyl methacrylate monomer, a thin liquid, and usually an organic peroxide hardener of some sort.

Polyester resin is a syrupy clear liquid, and is mixed with a small but variable amount of a strong catalyst, which causes the curing mass to heat up (and to craze if you’ve added too much.) It is versatile stuff, being useful for coating, casting, and building up composites, usually in conjunction with fiberglass cloth. It is not as hard or as clear as acrylic, having a somewhat yellowish tinge to it. And it—and especially the catalyst—is also highly toxic, and is persistently evil-smelling as well.

Epoxy resin works similarly, doesn’t smell as bad, but it—and the hardener that makes it set—is a sensitizer, meaning that you can get a nasty allergic reaction after repeated exposure. Some hardeners are not as bad as others in this respect. Epoxy won’t set water-clear like acrylic, and doesn’t resist sunlight (UV) degradation as well.,

Almost any dry pigment can be used to colour these resins, as well as various inert fillers which also add colour; there are also special polyester dyes available. It can be made opaque or transparent—acrylic is used for casting “plexiglas” sheets, among other clear things.

I am interested in the problem of yellowing, which is a problem when using these materials clear without colouration. Even if you start with a clear resin, this does not necessarily mean ‘colour free’. Some clear resins will have a yellow tint to them, which varies depending on the kind of resin. If you’re unsure about how clear the resin is  be sure to check with the retailer or manufacturer before making a purchase. Know that the clearer and more colour free the resin, the more it will cost because it is extra expense to remove the impurities. If you don’t need it clear you may even want to consider using an opaque resin, which will save you some money.

I have some Epoxy Glosscoat made by Vosschemie which I brought from Tiranti, but I have not tried it out as yet. It is a solvent free two component casting or coating resin:

“Description
Glosscoat is a cold curing, solvent free, transparent, easy flowing resin.
It is cured with Glosscoat hardener. Decorative pictures, collages and coatings with a smooth, high gloss surface can be made. The colours can be separated by wire inlays (similar to lead borders) or allowed to flow into one another. A coating of Glosscoat enhances the effect of wood grain.

Appliance
– Decorative coatings, collages on wood and other materials
– High gloss, transparent coats on various materials e.g. wood, plastics,
metals etc.”

 

The problem is that all epoxies will yellow over time and especially under UV sunlight. A clear epoxy turns yellow, a white epoxy turns golden, blue epoxies turn sort of green.While all epoxies will yellow (and you cannot add UV blockers to thermoset resin systems like epoxies) there are some epoxies that yellow more and yellow quicker. Do not believe anyone that claims to have a non yellowing epoxy or an epoxy with UV protection (other than pigment).

Well, that’s my technical research for now done!

Varnishing Paintings

Most of my everyday yellowing concerns are to do with how I varnish my paintings, which varies immensely depending on the work and characteristics of the painting.  I have UV protective laminate coatings, spray coatings, brush applied coatings and different varnishes.  All hugely different.  I choose accordingly. For some paintings, a slight variation in the colour of the varnish in time actually looks good!  I normally make a note of what I have used on the reverse of the painting, and as I hold much of my work for several years before offering it to other people, I can monitor what is happening.  I am pretty sure so far that any changes are only noticeable to myself, and my highly tuned eye which remembers the unmemorable!  Some people say that you don’t need to varnish an acrylic painting, but I don’t agree.  Acrylic paint is micro-porous and because I do adjust my paints, sometimes making them myself and adjusting ratios of binder and pigment, I need to ensure the work is well sealed and paint is not lose.  I don’t worry about the actual pigment colour fastness because I only use light fast pigments and tend to favour those with the most robust colour fastness anyway!  Plus modern day synthetic dye based pigments probably benefit from a bit of fading because they are so obscenely bright!  I spend a lot of my time knocking them back!

Random Quote from Jung

Yep, bit random.  That is the joy of piecemeal!

Jung saw collective neuroses in politics: “Our world is, so to speak, dissociated like a neurotic” (Jung, 1964:85).
[Contemporary man] is blind to the fact that, with all his rationality and efficiency, he is possessed by “powers” that are beyond his control. His gods and demons have not disappeared at all; they have merely got new names. They keep him on the run with restlessness, vague apprehensions, psychological complications, an insatiable need for pills, alcohol, tobacco, food – and, above all, a large array of neuroses. (Jung, 1964:82).

Yep. What can I add?  Not a lot.  Thank God for psychotherapy, reflective practice, contemplation, and paint.

And God (source of all LOVE) in action in the world, in hearts and lives of people!

Some Lovely Flora and Foliage from West Dean Gardens

I have been there recently.  I like to keep myself professionally developed!

I can credit the bulk of my artistic training to the Short Course Programme at West Dean College.

west dean college short course jenny meehan flora and foliage images© Jenny Meehan DACS All Rights Reserved

west dean college short course jenny meehan flora and foliage images© Jenny Meehan DACS All Rights Reserved

 

 

west dean college short course jenny meehan flora and foliage images© Jenny Meehan DACS All Rights Reserved

west dean college short course jenny meehan flora and foliage images© Jenny Meehan DACS All Rights Reserved

Lovely Bees.  Teach us about being.  The worker bee and the queen bee.  We need both in our lives.  A version of Martha and Mary in the Bible.  Sorry, this is a bit random and cannot be bothered to explain it in greater depth.  Just in summary, that our selves need to value the act of being as much as of doing! Our culture is not geared up for this at all.  Those busy bees gather what they need.   The fruit of their labour is made into honey.

 

Quote From St. Teresa of Avila

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

— St. Teresa of Avila

Painting, Painting, Painting, Painting

SOOOOOO GOOOOOOOOD  to do everything without my knee stopping me!  Instead, it is helping me!  I am incorporating exercises and movement into my times of paintings.   This has always been important to me.  I find it helpful on so many levels.  Painting is not a static activity. It is movement, all movement, internally and externally.  The paint is moving and I am moving.  I am playing with space and colour.  It is a dance of motion, emotion, reflection and liberty. Now I am freer than I have been for years.  I can move better and I can paint more freely.  It is psychological and emotional as well as physical.  These parts of a person are not disconnected.  I have more time released to paint, because everything does not take as long as it used to.  I have recovered my old painting clogs and can wear them again!  I couldn’t wear them for two years because my knee was too painful and needed cushioning all the time when I was standing on my feet.  I haven’t limped since my TKR, not once.  Not even a glimmer.  I can stand up straight.  Not sure when the novelty of this will wear off!  Hope it never does!  Also great to get around London.  I can live without constant worry of if I will be able to get somewhere or not.  And not have what I do dictated to by knee restrictions!

 

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

The painting above is quite an old one, oil on canvas, done while dancing in my clogs.   Last time I wore them.  Now I am back in my clogs once more!  Tipped y tap!  I am not due to post an update on “The Very Patient Knee Replacement Story by Jenny Meehan” as yet, but if you would like to read it the link is at the right hand side of this blog.  Or go here. https://jennymeehan.wordpress.com/the-very-patient-knee-replacement-story-by-jenny-meehan/   It is at the five month mark at present.  It is not ideal to need a TKR aged 52, this is true.  It may not be a cause of rejoicing for many people.  But life is now life, while before it was running down a plughole.  I suffered a lot of agony before the knee replacement, and thankfully it all seems a distant memory now.  It wasn’t a good two years preceding the surgery.  But knee replacement surgery, far from being a “procedure of limited clinical value” is a life changing and liberating surgery, and I will always be grateful for it.

Another Cluster of Random Images

Here’s a few more photographs from the archives, as I look back for a while…

 

jenny meehan jamartlondon photo black white

jenny meehan jamartlondon photo black white

This was a small section in the ground either in or near the  Victorian Glasshouses in West Dean Gardens.  It was on a slab of stone, so I guess there must have been/or is something underneath the slab.  From the website;

“These splendid glasshouses were all built between 1890 and 1900 and were completely derelict before their restoration in the early 1990s. They are magnificent examples of Victorian craft and ingenuity. They are repainted on a four year cycle; the exteriors over summer, when the weather is kinder, and the interiors over winter, when the glasshouses can be emptied. In addition, they are hand scrubbed from top to bottom, inside and out, each winter, a process that takes two tolerant gardeners two months to complete. There are thirteen glasshouses in total, superbly restored. “

 

 

jenny meehan jamartlondon photo black white

jenny meehan jamartlondon photo black white

 

Another fond West Dean memory.  This restful landscape view is one I have in colour, which is a rich green.  However, this black and white version supplies so much visual interest, I dispensed with the green.  Most of my photography ended up being in black and white because I demand more colour control than I could deliver without actually printing my images myself.  I do continue with photographic imagery as part of my practice.

 

jenny meehan jamartlondon photo black white

jenny meehan jamartlondon photo black white

 

Again,  West Dean Gardens.  Looking across the River Lavant,  in the Spring, with the young Horse Chestnut leaves opening. The River Lavant is a winterbourne that rises at East Dean and flows west to Singleton, then south past West Dean and Lavant to Chichester. The River Lavant dries up around July and starts to flow again in November.


jenny meehan jamartlondon photo black white

jenny meehan jamartlondon photo black white

 

Do you remember these steps up the slide when you were a child?  I certainly do!  Being rather fond of metal objects of all kinds, this is one of my photographs of metal!  Now I can stand more, I may even make it back into the forge at some point!

 

jenny meehan jamartlondon photo black white

jenny meehan jamartlondon photo black white

 

Wooden ground/flooring, another image taken at West Dean Gardens.  I have used photography to develop my awareness of different textures and light.  My photography is completely relevant to my paintings, as though pictorial and black and white, the process of looking and taking them, and of creating the compositions is most valuable.  Wood, metal, and rock/stone, water and sky…All this awareness can be taken inside oneself and expressed in one’s painting.  You cannot always make direct associations with the source and inspiration of a painting, sometimes I detect a memory here and there, but I think my paintings are mostly a simple response to my experience of living and life.  Sometimes there is a clearer and more direct reference which I feel comfortable making.  It varies a lot.

 

jenny meehan jamartlondon photo black white

jenny meehan jamartlondon photo black white

Many of my photographs have been taken on Oxshott Heath, a much loved place for me, starting with walks as a child, and I am still walking there today!  Which is rather nice.. a sense of continuity and a link with myself as a child.  My Dad used to pluck a fern from the forest floor for my brother and I to hold like an umbrella.  It’s hard to pluck a fern from the forest floor… He was rather strong!  So this photograph makes me think of him!   I love growing ferns and have a bit of a collection in the garden now.  Cannot resist them!

 

 

The Snail in the Studio Painting by Jenny Meehan

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

the snail in the studio jenny meehan abstract painting

 

Thought I would pop this up. This is an example of one of my paintings with a very direct and clear reference/inspiration!  I have posted it not that long ago, but because I have been learning the art of patience, it seems so apt to post it again! I have not done so much in my studio this year, apart from tidy it up and sort it out,  because I have been working in the garden on bigger paintings, and also spent the earlier  months of the year  focused on recovery and rehabilitation from knee replacement surgery.  But I do go and sit in my studio tent often, to pray and contemplate.  And memories of constantly discovering snails had eaten up pieces of painted card I have from last year still fill my mind.  I painted on the card sometimes to mix paints and sometimes to take note of certain colours.  Amazingly the snail poo contains the colours…not surprising but novel to discover what has been eaten!  I have painted some more pieces of card and laid them out to see what those lovely snails will do this year.

So… “The Snail in the Studio” is my image of my studio.  It does not show you the appearance, but the general feel is right on.  The tarpaulin is translucent white and there are dabs of paint all over the place.  Things hang or sit in a random fashion and objects have a look of waiting to be picked up somehow, to my thinking.  It is a place of movement and activity which is also very still.  The shaft of sunlight breaks in through the generally diffused light.  And evidence of snails, working their way through things, is dotted here and there.

I used some of the remaining card, which the snails had left their own patterns on, in the painting/collage “The Snail in the Studio”.

While I enjoy my new found freedom, I am also surprised that the narrowing down my activity has been as rewarding as it has been.  The lead up to the knee replacement was like a river, the knee replacement surgery like a dam, and the time after has increased my mental meanderings, maybe because of the earlier necessity to drop all other activities.  I have this image in my head of tiny little rivers, or rivulets (must be a word?!) coming out of small outlets in the dam and what once was a river, is now many small and more slowly flowing rivulets.  I wonder how this is going to change my creative work? Will it just be a matter of doing less, (does not seem to be!) or just moving at a different pace? Or will I find greater depth even in the shallow and more slowly flowing waters? There is a certain discipline involved in doing less. Maybe when it comes to passionate art making, this is a good thing, and the holding back will bear its own fruit?   I have certainly lost the panic of feeling that I am never doing enough.  Had to let go of that completely over the course of this year!

And my studio…Yes, chaos, and wonderful creativity!

 The Very Patient Knee Replacement Story by Jenny Meehan

Yes, still banging on about this.  Will continue to do so!

On the theme of knee replacement surgery,   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!  It’s an ongoing project.  I am also going to attend the patients forum at SWLEOC (South West London Elective Orthopaedic Centre).  I want to offer back anything that might be useful.

Oh what a laugh I am having watching the BBC series “Quacks”!  Puts knee replacement surgery into the background!  Love the humour…

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p05bsn8k

Rather outrageous!    So, beware, never worship your surgeon, however good they may be!!!

Good job they didn’t do TKR’s in Victorian times!!

 

Images of artists’ studios

How do artists depict their studio space? It is the most intimate and sacred place.  A place of being and creating at the core of the creative artist.  In that place what is revealed and what is discovered?  How is the studio space shown and why is it shown in the way it is shown?

In February 2015 (Yes, a while back) Gagosian Gallery picked “In the Studio” as the theme for an exhibition, more details here:  http://www.gagosian.com/exhibitions/in-the-studio-paintings–february-17-2015

The exhibition was devoted to images of artists’ studios, as recorded in photographs and paintings and featured more than 50 paintings and works on paper ranging over five centuries.    You can read more about it by clicking on the link below:

 

This year, a more recent peep into one artist’s studio!

Matisse in the Studio – Exhibition at the Royal Academy, London

Well, I am very pleased about this, as Matisse is certainly a painter who has influenced me and my own painting.  From seeing “The Snail” as a primary school child, a door opened into abstract art, and it was a pleasant introduction! Since then I have spent time looking at different examples of his vast creative practice.  But the opportunity to see this exhibition is most welcome and I will probably go in September I should think!

Here is the text quoted from the Royal Academy website, which gives a little insight into the nature of the exhibition:

“Step into the studio of Henri Matisse, brimming with the artist’s treasured objects. Focusing exclusively on their important role in his work for the first time, we will reveal how this eclectic collection took on new life in his transcendent art.

Matisse drew his collection from the far corners of the world: Buddhist statuary from Thailand, Bamana figures from Mali, furniture and textiles from North Africa. Rarely of material value, these objects were nonetheless precious. Offering points of departure to which he could return again and again, they appear in his work in different guises and across spans of decades, reinvented afresh in each new setting.Matisse’s objects formed his repertoire, but they also provided him with influences from beyond the limits of Western art. African sculpture and masks were a revelation, suggesting more expressive models for depicting the human figure and face. Later, Matisse adorned his Nice studio with props from the Islamic world to create the sensuous sets for his ‘odalisques’, in which a harmonious synergy emerges between figure and object. And as his oeuvre reached its joyous apex in his cut-out period, he looked to the concise precision of Chinese calligraphy and African textiles as he sought to invent his own simplified language of signs.This sumptuous exhibition offers a rare glimpse into the artist’s personal collection, as well as the paintings, sculptures and drawings it inspired. Seen together, they reveal how Matisse’s masterful vision of rich and masterful energy first stemmed from the collage of patterns and rhythms which he found in the world of objects.”Oh, that does sound rather inviting!More details here:It is probably going to be rather crowded, and far to busy, but I will still go and see it!https://www.royalacademy.org.uk/exhibition/matisse-in-the-studio

The exhibition has already been seen at The Museum of Fine Arts, and here is a quote from Boston Magazine:   http://www.bostonmagazine.com/arts-entertainment/blog/2017/04/07/matisse-exhibit-mfa-2/ :

“Eclectic, personal, and vibrant, “Matisse in the Studio” at the Museum of Fine Arts offers you the chance to delve into Henri Matisse’s whimsical world of figures, patterns, and objects. The new exhibit showcases 34 paintings, 26 drawings, 11 bronzes, seven cutouts, and three prints by the artist, along with 39 objects from his studio.

“Nothing happens alone,” says MFA director Matthew Teitelbaum. “There are some really extraordinary works that came from overseas, and without the National Endowment for the Arts indemnity program, this wouldn’t have been possible.”

The exhibit was curated by Helen Burnham, curator of prints and drawings at the MFA; Ann Dumas, curator of the Royal Academy of Arts; and Ellen McBreen, a Matisse scholar and associate professor art history at Wheaton College. Forty international lenders, both public and private, contributed pieces to “Matisse in the Studio,” organized by the MFA and the Royal Academy of Arts in London, where the exhibit will be displayed starting in August after its residency in Boston. The MFA partnered with the Musée Matisse in Nice, the only museum in the world dedicated to the art of Matisse.

Director of the Musée Matisse, Claudine Grammont, says that this exhibit gives the viewer access to the artist’s studio and his process of artistic creation, and describes the collection of paintings and objects as both “personal and intellectual.”

Located in Ann and Graham Gund Gallery, the various rooms of the exhibit focus on different themes in Matisse’s work, from pots and cutouts, to portraiture and more, shown alongside Matisse’s objects of inspiration.

In the first gallery, for instance, you’ll find a Spanish vase that Matisse acquired in Spain in 1910 and a silver chocolate pot, both shown in surrounding works by the artist.”

Quoted from: “Matisse in the Studio” Offers a Look into the Artist’s World
The Museum of Fine Arts offers a blockbuster exhibit of Henri Matisse paintings, as well as objects from his studio. By Claire Selvin | Arts & Entertainment | April 7, 2017, 12:42 p.m. Boston Magazine

Read the full article here: http://www.bostonmagazine.com/arts-entertainment/blog/2017/04/07/matisse-exhibit-mfa-2/

“To meditate is often to move through a land without paths.”
Christophe André

That’s it for now! Leaving you with a Summery Expression, in a portion of a painting!

 

summer seaside details romantic expressionist lyrical abstract painting by jenny meehan jennifer meehan

summer seaside details romantic expressionist lyrical abstract painting by jenny meehan jennifer meehan © Jenny Meehan DACS All Rights Reserved

 

About Jenny Meehan

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.

I exhibit mainly in the UK, and am a member of Kingston Artists’ Open Studios. I am a trained teacher (PGCE) 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.  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.

 JOY!

The joy of TKR?  Really? Are you sure?

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

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

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

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

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

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

Quote from their newsletter:

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

 

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

Detail on the work:

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

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

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

www.jamartlondon.com

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

The world needs artists.

Thank you to the person who said that to me!

It’s a treasure!

Here is No Problem/Moving On:

 

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

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

 

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

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

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

I have an “Attune” Knee!

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

It’s LOVELY!  Really settling in well!

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

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

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

Plenty of unsigned prints here though!

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

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

 

“Starting Out” by Jenny Meehan

© Jenny Meehan DACS All Rights Reserved

 

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

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

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

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

Calm Moment by Jenny Meehan at JAX Cafe Kingston upon Thames

Calm Moment by Jenny Meehan at JAX Cafe Kingston upon Thames

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

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

Here is another example produced around the same time period:

“Drawn Together”

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

Drawn Together by Jenny Meehan

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

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

 

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

 

“The Very Patient Knee Replacement Story by Jenny Meehan”

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

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

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

very happy with my new knee in bright red Asda nightdress

very happy with my new knee in bright red Asda nightdress

 

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

 

Working on some new paintings…

Now I CAN!

Very early sneak preview of some in progress.

Bear in mind I work in a very piecemeal way.

These may not be ready for a few years.

Little and often.  Just like TKR post op exercises!

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

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

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

Some come together quite quickly.

Others take years.

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

Nearly got used to the idea.

Thankfully not.

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

Plus all the hunting around for what I need!

Great to be in action again!

 

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

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

 

Can  You Put A Price On Art?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This was a good read!

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

Siobhan Harmer

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

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

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

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

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

It is obvious really.

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

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

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

Nice quote from the above:

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

And something completely different…

Bruce The Great Poem, by Jenny Meehan

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

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

I am Bruce; Bruce the Great

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

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

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

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

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

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

Go no further!
I am Bruce; Bruce the Great

Jenny Meehan 2016

 

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

 

Enjoying the Sunshine!

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

 

………………………………………………….

Jenny Meehan (Jennifer Meehan)

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

(text from website jamartlondon.com)

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

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

 

 

 

Well, this year’s KAOS Open Studios is all done and dusted!

Now I need to put back all the paintings, prints, easels, etc etc.

There is not enough room in our house, but never mind.  It is what it is.  My favourite phrase for this year.

It was great to show my work with other artists, and we love to chat and spend time with each other over this time as well as welcome guests.   I was showing with Sandra Beccarelli, Cressida Borrett, Lizzie Brewer, Caroline Calascione, Ikuko Danby, Bali Edwards, Yuka Maeda, and Anna Tikhomirova.  This was a good mix of work and people.

For more information on Kingston Artists Open Studios, see here:

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

We are a group of East Surrey/South West London Artists.

Each year we hold an Artists’ Open Studios Event. If you like this kind of thing, contact me and I can put you on my mailing list.  Use the contact form on my personal website jamartlondon.com 

 

The Knee

My knee is good.  So fantastic to be able to walk around without restrictions, stand as long as I need to, and just get on with life.  I write about my experience of TKR (total knee replacement) on “The Very Patient Knee Replacement Page” of this blog.  I wanted to write about my experience in order to both give myself something purposeful to do and also hopefully to help others in some way.  Everyone’s experience of knee replacement surgery is very different, but it is certainly a challenging time.  You can get to the page by following the link to the right handside.

 

 

Feeling good with my new knee!

 

“The Art of Buying Art”  Alan Bamberger.

Nice quote, from this book, which I have read recently…from the chapter on “Building a Collection” which contains a lot of very helpful advice for people who would like to start collecting art but are not sure where to start.  I particularly liked these paragraphs, and think them particularly important for anyone wanting to collect art today.

“Believe in Yourself”

Buy what you want to buy, and collect what you want to collect.  Far too many people deny their own dreams, compromise their tastes, follow the crowd and end up with dull, boring collections.  One collection looks just like the next when unimaginative collectors try harder to be correct than they do to collect.  This type of buying behaviour is all too often based on fears of being rejected, ridiculed, or not doing what’s “right”, of wasting one’s money, and so on.

In a way, fears like those mentioned above are justified.  When you’re true to yourself and you follow your own inner urges, you become vulnerable to hash judgements by others who see art differently than you do.  Your art tells outsiders revealing things about what you like, what you believe in , what your philosophies are, who you like and how your mind works.  And revealing yourself like this can be scary.

But the positive results of honest collecting far outweigh the negatives.  For one thing, you end up owning art that your really love and not art that you feel lukewarm about just because someone else told you to buy it.  you call the shots, you direct the show, you have total freedom and control over your actions and, in the end, you experience a level of freedom that is not easy to come by in this day and age. “

Above quotes taken from my copy of The Art of Buying Art, 2nd Edition, by Alan Bamberger.  I jotted this down a while ago in one of my many notebooks, so I am not actually sure if they are direct quotes or adapted by me!  But I include as quotes just in case.

Reading the above brought to mind the excellent programme I watched this year on Peggy Guggenheim.  She certainly collected what she liked and set about her collection in a passionate and devoted way.  Quite an inspiration!  She was quite ahead of her time, and built a culture changing collection, which must have taken a great deal of determination and love.  The film on the BBC was called “Peggy Guggenheim: Art Addict” and offered a very interesting insight into Peggy Guggenheim, an heiress who became a central figure in the modern art movement; “a colourful character who was not only ahead of her time but helped define it.”

 

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

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

Contemporary Watercolour painting by Jenny Meehan “Accidental Shapes” painted with watercolour and gouache  paints made by the artist and soluble wax crayon.

I have been looking at some of my painting with watercolours from 2015 and am using this to inform some more recent larger scale paintings I am working on at the moment.  I am moving up to A1 in size for a change.  It’s helpful to work larger for a while.

 

Contemporary Watercolours

I have decided to spend some time researching contemporary watercolour artists, and finding this was a good start:

http://watercolor.net/british-contemporary/

Do take a look.  Text from above:

Five British artists engaged in contemporary work discuss the use of watercolour in their art practice… Several artists are cited who are currently challenging some of the perceptions about the watercolour medium. Given the diverse nature of contemporary art, it is little surprise that artists use watercolour in a range of ways, sometimes unorthodox, that best suit their ideas and working method.

I rather like what Alf Löhr has to say:

For me, creativity is in the sketch, when the mind is still free to explore and is open for things to happen. That’s why watercolours are always nearer to life and more lively than cleverly executed artistic statements. Watercolours allow you to avoid big, heroic simplifications. You either look for life or you don’t.”

I do like that, and watercolours are certainly super spontaneous, and beautifully immediate,  something which is great for  working in a free manner.  The way they are easy to remove while working  is similar to oil paints, and unlike acrylic.  The difficulty in removing acrylic paint is a restriction. You can remove it before it is dry, but after it is dry it is a matter of painting over the top.  I have found my experiments with watercolour so far to be very exciting and liberating.  It’s nice to have the body colour (gouache) and the watercolour colour relationships to think about too.

I am hoping that looking as some good and exciting watercolour paintings will inspire me in my own direction.  Appreciating other artists work is very important as it opens new ways of seeing things and shows you what a medium can do. Unfortunately I was not successful in having any of my work accepted in the The Contemporary Waercolour Competition, run by the Royal Watercolour Society  a few years ago in 2015.   Very disappointed.  I have a very restricted budget for entering competitions, and it is quickly  used up.  Artists need to pay to submit their work, regardless of whether it gets chosen.  I mention this because many people are not aware of it, and it is one of the things, I personally feel, which does a disservice to artists in this country.  If you are talking about under £10, to enter several art works, (ie not payment per work)  then I have no issues with that. But when you are talking of over £10 for each work, I think you can see that entering your art into competitions becomes somewhat of a luxury expenditure for many artists.

Not all.  For others it will not be a problem.  However, my personal belief is that any artist, from any socio economic situation, should be able to submit art to such competitions for ten pounds or less. And for that, to submit at least three pieces.  Ideally, submitting art to competitions and for exhibitions would be  free of charge, though that may be a little unrealistic.   We need to move with the times and help artists to show and share their work.  Artists bear all other costs in providing their work free of charge for exhibition.  With the internet and digital technology, it takes no more than one minute to view a piece of artwork, even when you consider it thoughtfully.  Two minutes to look at it again when the selection is narrowed down.  Three minutes, as before.   And four minutes at the very most.  Please, if anyone can justify to me why the artists themselves bear these costs, I prepare to be enlightened. I bang on again, and I will continue to do so.  I know I am not alone in my feelings.  I don’t rant very often, but this is one of my popular rant subjects!   I simply want as many people as possible and as much variety of artwork to be on show for people to see.  I know there are costs.  But the  system works in a way which penalises artists and exploits their desire to simply share what they do.

Come on now,  unless an artist is particularly popular and well known, they don’t normally make a profit from their artistic practice.  A sale of an art work exhibited is usually an unexpected bonus.   They may not want to be commercially orientated.  Why should they? Art for the creator, has never been fundamentally about money. If that does come with it, or they want to make it profit making, then that’s up to them.  some do. That’s what they want.  That is their aspiration/need/want/motivation.  It may be their business or a significant part of a much needed income.  But a lot don’t treat their creative profession as a business enterprise,  but still want to exhibit their work. But exhibiting work is not a business venture.  We don’t exhibit in order to sell.  We exhibit in order to show, primarily. We just want to share what we do.  I need to sell sometimes to pay for materials and enable me to continue my work.  This is what matters to me. But it’s never something I count on.  I pray for it, but it’s a venture of faith, rather than by design.  It does not feed my children.

My paintings are like little children though, and I want to send them out into the world to find a home elsewhere.  They cannot live with me forever!  I love to wave them off as they go into the world.  They are my legacy. I seem to live with a sense that I won’t be around forever.  So aware of my mortality. It’s a wonderful gift, to be able to paint as I do.  It also takes a lot of constant work.  I have invested myself in this endeavour, this vocation.  It’s the only way for me to go. It’s great when a collector finds just what they are looking for and loves it.  It’s a pleasure to make an exchange then, and both people benefit.  The problem with galleries and exhibitions isn’t just submission fees but commission.  Many people buying art are not aware of these matters, which is probably one of the reasons I like to rattle on about it.  I think people should know.  And know that the best way to deal with an artist is to deal with them personally.

Spiritual Direction Training 

It’s over two years since I started training in the art of spiritual direction with SPI-DIR!  (nothing to do with spiders!).  It is now finished (well, never finished, as an ongoing process, but that chapter of it!)  and I look back fondly.   This course, along with lots of different short courses, (mostly one day training courses) has been of great use to me and given me lots of useful tools and insights.  Whatever training one has though, it is the Holy Spirit who actually provides the direction aspect of this kind of ministry.  The term “spiritual director”is unfortunate in the respect that it tends to communicate the idea of the facilitator or guide being the one “doing” the direction, which is far from the case!   Here’s another useful description for all unfamiliar with the term “Spiritual Direction” which I hope clarifies the ministry a little better:

Spiritual Direction

What is spiritual direction?

It is an ancient ministry, sometimes called Spiritual Counsel, Prayer Guidance or Soul Friendship. It is about taking the time to meet with another person to talk together about your spiritual journey, prayer and search for God. Many people find that this pattern of reflective companionship can be a significant help.

What can I talk about?

The important thing is that this is a ‘sacred space’ into which we can bring anything but into which we do not have to bring anything. There are no expectations, and no judgement. It is a listening and accepting space.

Sometimes you might have a sense of something happening in your life and needing to make sense of it in a spiritual context: ‘Where is God in this for me?’
Sometimes you might have a particular spiritual issue you want to work through.
Sometimes it is as simple as: ‘How can I pray?’
Sometimes it is an individual’s awareness of God inviting them to ‘something more’, and needing help to work out what that is really all about.
So the answer to the question is: ‘Anything that impacts on your relationship with God.’

Who?

The person offering this ministry will be a person of prayer who makes the commitment to accept you as you are and where you are. The companion or guide’s role is to support the discernment of God’s activity in your life.”

The above quoted from http://www.oxford.anglican.org/mission-ministry/spiritual-direction/

I quite like the above explanation.

Spiritual direction is something which many people are not familiar with, and I tend to use the phrase “Spiritual Mentoring and Guidance”.  It isn’t quite counselling in the usual sense, but I suppose it would easily fall under the umbrella term of being counselling, though not a problem focused activity, which counselling normally is.   It’s been an interesting development for me in terms of activity, and runs alongside the creative project very well.  It is sometimes something I integrate with individual artistic tuition or as part of a person seeking direction in their creativity and artist pursuits as part of one of my “Painting and Drawing Workshops”.  They are on hold at present, due to lack of time but I plan to start holding them again at the end of the year.

I would like to do some further training in the art of spiritual direction in the future, but cannot afford to do so at the moment.  I don’t mind waiting.  I would like my next training endeavour to be related to visual art in some way.  Keep looking at the West Dean College Short Course Programme.  It’s good to use different materials and techniques to keep the vigour in one’s creative practice.  So easy to grow stale, due to lack of extension!

 

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon© Jenny Meehan DACS All Rights Reserved

“Flower Meditation” © Jenny Meehan DACS All Rights Reserved

 

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

 

I like these photographic studies I took a while back.  All my painting is inspired by nature ultimately, because this is what I am surrounded by.  The forms and movements of natural beauty as they filter in through my senses keep the creative will alive in so many respects.  That a painting does not look representational does not mean that it represents nothing.  For all around experience and life is breathed in, and for the painter, often breathed out in the work they produce.  This is living in the way I love to live.  This is the joy of being a painter.

 

“The Very Patient Knee Replacement Story by Jenny Meehan”

The recovery and  rehabilitation from my TKR surgery which was on the 8th March 2017 is still a big feature of my life! Getting there a little more quickly now, at around 14 weeks post op.  Goodness, I have often felt an affinity with snails, but little did I know how manifest that would be in terms of a physical experience.  But it is a very positive experience, and the positive part of it started from the moment I was listed for surgery.  My experience of being cared for in hospital was amazing and has helped me immensely in my recovery process.  When tired and feeling challenged, I have been able to look back and remember how well I was looked after, and this reminds me that I need to look after myself in the same way.

Knee replacement surgery is a challenging experience but mine couldn’t have been better!   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!

I will be writing another update, probably in September this year, as that will be six months from the surgery date.  I am still in the early stages of my recovery and rehabilitation. Seems crazy, but it is a LONG HAUL experience.  Still immensely tired, and needing to limit time both walking and standing a bit.   I am looking at a September as being the time when I feel more fully back to normal, and the recovery process takes even longer than that. Up to two years I think.  I am happy with my knee though.  It feels a lot stronger than the how it did before the knee replacement operation. It’s given me some space to take in aspects of my practice which are proving rather beneficial.  It also provided a lot of opportunities for visiting garden centres and enjoying cream teas, which have also been beneficial!  I have realised I work much to hard, and need to spend more time relaxing, resting and enjoying life!

 

 

“The Realm of Between” Painting by Jenny Meehan

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

“The Realm of Inbetween/Pushing it a bit” abstract lyrical expressionist british paintings jenny meehan© Jenny Meehan DACS All Rights Reserved

 

On the far side of the subjective, on this side of the objective, on the narrow ridge where I and Thou meet, there is the realm of ‘between’. Buber 1949

With “the space between”, I allude to Martin Buber’s conception of a sacred realm which opens when people of different faiths speak profoundly to one another, from heart to heart. In the suggestive words of Buber himself:

In the most powerful moments of dialogic, where in truth “deep calls unto deep”, it becomes unmistakably clear that it is not the wand of the individual or of the social, but of a third which draws the circle round the happening. On the far side of the subjective, on this side of the objective, on the narrow ridge, where I and Thou meet, there is the realm of “between” (Buber 2002: 242f)

“Today, when the word ‘dialogue’ is spoken in educational circles, it is often linked to Paulo Freire. The same is true of ‘subject’ and ‘object’. Yet, in the twentieth century, it is really in the work of Martin Buber that the pedagogical worth of dialogue was realized – and the significance of relation revealed. He wrote – ‘All real living is meeting’ (Buber 1958: 25) and looked to how, in relation, we can fully open ourselves to the world, to others, and to God.”

“I and Thou, Buber’s best known work, presents us with two fundamental orientations – relation and irrelation. We can either take our place, as Pamela Vermes (1988: 40-41) puts it, alongside whatever confronts us and address it as ‘you’; or we ‘can hold ourselves apart from it and view it as an object, an “it”‘. So it is we engage in I-You (Thou) and I-It relationships.”

Encounter

For Buber encounter (Begegnung) has a significance beyond co-presence and individual growth. He looked for ways in which people could engage with each other fully – to meet with themselves. The basic fact of human existence was not the individual or the collective as such, but ‘Man with Man’ (Buber 1947). As Aubrey Hodes puts it:

When a human being turns to another as another, as a particular and specific person to be addressed, and tries to communicate with him through language or silence, something takes place between them which is not found elsewhere in nature. Buber called this meeting between men the sphere of the between. (1973: 72)
Encounter (Begegnung) is an event or situation in which relation (Beziehung) occurs. We can only grow and develop, according to Buber, once we have learned to live in relation to others, to recognize the possibilities of the space between us. The fundamental means is dialogue. Encounter is what happens when two I‘s come into relation at the same time. This brings us back to Buber’s distinction between relation and irrelation. ‘All real living is meeting’ is sometimes translated as ‘All real life is encounter’. This, as Pamela Vermes (1994: 198) has commented, could be taken as the perfect summary of Buber’s teaching on encounter and relation. However, it seems unlikely that he would have agreed with the notion that where there is no encounter life is ‘unreal’. It appears to be in encounter ‘that the creative, redemptive, and revelatory processes take place which Buber associates with the dialogical life’ (op cit.).”

“Dialogue

Dan Avnon (1998: 5) comments, ‘the reality of “space” that is between persons is the focus of Buber’s philosophy’. At its root is the idea that self-perfection is achievable only within relationship with others. Relationship exists in the form of dialogue. Furthermore, self-knowledge is possible only ‘if the relation between man and creation is understood to be a dialogical relationship’ (Buber quoted by Avnon op cit). Significantly, for Buber dialogue involves all kinds of relation: to self, to other(s) anhttp://infed.org/mobi/martin-buber-on-education/d to all forms of created being. Recognizing this allows us to see that it is ‘the conceptual linchpin of his teachings’ (Avnon 1998: 6).”

All the above from Martin Buber on Education

http://infed.org/mobi/martin-buber-on-education/

The dimension that essentially makes us human, it could be argued, is  the “between”: the space between I and Thou which neither party is totally in control of, but is given life only through dialogue. Understanding is not necessarily the same as consent.  It can make one’s own position clearer and contextualise the self as situated in time and space. Interpersonal in-between-ness actually makes one human: the space of the between allows one to find their own voice and gives them the opportunity to step forward as own perspectives on the world.”

 

Images from this years East Surrey/South West London “Kingston Artists’ Open Studios” Event!

 

jenny meehan at 2017 south west london/east surrey Kingston Artists Open Studios event contemporary female artist painter jenny meehan

jenny meehan at 2017 south west london/east surrey Kingston Artists Open Studios event contemporary female artist painter jenny meehan

 

jenny meehan at 2017 south west london/east surrey Kingston Artists Open Studios event contemporary female artist painter jenny meehan

jenny meehan at 2017 south west london/east surrey Kingston Artists Open Studios event contemporary female artist painter jenny meehan

 

jenny meehan at 2017 south west london/east surrey Kingston Artists Open Studios event contemporary female artist painter jenny meehan

jenny meehan at 2017 south west london/east surrey Kingston Artists Open Studios event contemporary female artist painter jenny meehan

 

This is some of the text I displayed with the work this year.   People like to read about it.  I also had many interesting discussions with different people.  I enjoy assisting people in engaging with painting and my own work.

South West London based Fine Artist and Painter
Jenny (Jennifer) Meehan. 

Jenny Meehan is based in Chessington, Surrey. Her personal website jamartlondon gives you an introduction to her art working. For a more extensive online publication of her creative project follow her activities in more detail through her blog: “Jenny Meehan Artist’s Journal – The Artist’s Meandering Discourses – Poetry – Painting – Spirituality” on WordPress.com.

Jenny thrives on experimentation and innovation. Her highly personal style invites the viewer to embark on their own visual journey, opening up their senses to the interplay of light, colour, texture, movement and stillness.

If you are interested in digital prints, take a look at the selection of imagery available as prints on Redbubble.com by following the link below:
To see Jenny Meehan’s portfolio page at Redbubble.com follow the link: below: http://www.redbubble.com/people/jennyjimjams?ref=artist_title_name&asc=u

Using digital imagery, painting, drawing and writing, I take a primarily process-led approach, acting in response to the materials I am working with. It is a spirit and emotion led practice which I often describe as an articulation of fragmentary experience. This expresses the core of my art-working well, as all I create is autobiographically rooted and expressionistic. It acts as a kind of “re-membering”; a way of bringing things together, and making sense of life.

 

My interest in spirituality and mindfulness mean that I view my art work as a type of contemplative tool, which hopefully enables the viewer to connect with their own emotional life and experiences and gives space in a busy world for imagination and connection. Working with abstraction provides an opportunity for openness, allowing the viewer to determine their own path into my work, and this is coloured by their own experience and memory, unique to them.

Contact me if you have any enquiries. I am happy to arrange studio visits. Digital images of my paintings are numerous, and it is quick and easy to obtain a license for use through DACS (see end of page for more details).

I am a qualified teacher (Post Graduate Certificate in Education) with a BA Hons in Literature. I offer individual tuition subject to other commitments.

I am a member of Kingston Artists’ Open Studios, Guildford Arts, Kingston Arts, and the faith community of St Paul’s Church of England Church in Hook, Surrey. I am interested in spiritual formation and art working in relation to emotional and psychological wellbeing.

 

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

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

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

For more information regarding exhibitions go to the “Exhibitions” section of jamartlondon.com

 

Oh gosh,  sometimes I wish my parents could see what I was doing.  I think my mother would like my paintings.  Not so sure about my father.  My mother was Swiss German and came to England to work as an Au pair for Dr Boxall and his family in New Malden.  She was born in Villingen, Deutschland,  and her mother, Rosa Josefina Eicher originated from Eschenbach St. Gallen, and later lived in Basel.  I have no idea why my mother came England by herself in her early twenties, but she did, and she brought with her an appreciation for paintings which I can thank her for now.  Just prints, but they informed my eyes when I looked at them as a child growing up.  Impressionists.  Certainly made an impression on me.  It’s sad to lose your parents when you are fairly young, however it happens.  But as said, I think she would enjoy looking at what I do now, which is a nice thought.  Shame she can’t though. She died when I was 31, which is rather young to lose your mother I think.   “Buried Mother” is one painting painted in memory of her.

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

Buried Mother/Laid to Rest Oil Painting – Jenny Meehan

Really need to get those oil paints out again.  Paint quite differently in oils!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jenny Meehan:  Romantic, Expressionist, Abstract, and Lyrical Paintings

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 painting jenny meehan copyright DACS all rights reserved

“Deluge” Painting by Jenny Meehan referencing water,flood,deluge,catastrophe,disaster,trauma,house,home,wind,air.    I don’t paint to commission at all, but I do sell my old paintings when no longer needed for exhibitions, study, contemplation, etc.  This one I am happy to say “bye bye” to.   It has certainly stood the test of time, but needs another set of eyes to appreciate it I think.   It’s been exhibited a couple of times in the UK.

 

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

Well Spring painting by Jenny Meehan used on the cover of The Recovery of Hope by Naomi Starkey

 

The above painting “Well Spring” by Jenny Meehan.  This painting is referencing; spring, well, water,water spring,rocks,quarry,underground streams,recovery,spiritual and emotional renewal,sunlight,rays,beams,mist,water spray,evaporation.    Very strong painting, which cannot fully be appreciated on screen as there are glass beads used on the surface which bring a lot of added dimension.  This painting was used by designer Alison Beeck very skillfully and to great effect on the book cover of “Recovery of Hope” by Naomi Starkey.  You can take a look at the book cover here:

https://www.waterstones.com/book/the-recovery-of-hope/naomi-starkey/9780857464170

Synopsis: We live in the hope of experiencing first-hand the all-sufficient grace, love and forgiveness which are God’s alone, a hope that we may know with our heads long before we feel it in our hearts. Such hope may mean encountering God as consoling presence in the darkness, as well as one who challenges us to respond to his call. That call may prove to be costly but, in responding, we are transformed by discovering and rediscovering that we are known exactly as we are, yet still loved beyond understanding, as God’s precious children. In a series of Bible reflections – and some poems – this hope is explored in different ways, from the yearning of the psalmist to walking the gentle journey of the Good Shepherd’s leading.
Publisher: BRF (The Bible Reading Fellowship)
ISBN: 9780857464170

I have read the book (of course!) and it is very good.  Like a well, it is something I keep dipping into now and again.  Just right.  So glad the painting has served so well for a book cover.  Even better that the book is about something I care about!!!

I am willing to let this painting go also, so contact me if you are interested in it.  I have space problems here, and new paintings are being painted all the time.  So while I would retain this one for personal reasons on the one hand, I don’t think it possible to hold onto for much longer.

 

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

Above we have a painting titled “The Comforter/St Julian”  This painting is referencing the  Holy Spirit, comforter, counsellor, human intervention, divine intervention, figures, help, psychotherapy and painting, past and present, container, emotional container, catastrophe, smoke,fire ,anger, emotional landscape, freezing, burning, meeting.  This painting marks the beginning of a more contemplative path for me in my life and also an embracing of psychotherapy as part of that process of self-development, bound intimately with spirituality, in particular Christ-centred spirituality, which is where my own heart lies most happily.

This painting is also one I am happy to let go of.  It has an interesting surface and is a good example of one of my paintings with a more subtle and restrained use of colour, yet with a strong and dynamic mark making element.

 

47 nelson square surviving houses,jenny meehan psychotherapy art post traumatic stress, painting modernist 21st century female british fine artist. house mind process led painting,guild of psychotherapists art,therapy painting,

Final version of Surviving Houses/47 Nelson Square

“Surviving Houses/47 Nelson Square” is a painting firmly rooted in my early experiences of participating in a psychoanalytic/psycho dynamic process in order to re establish my own foundations which were certainly bomb hit.

This painting is referencing 47 Nelson square, Lambeth, Southwark, London, trauma recovery,Guild of Psychotherapists, Psychotherapy,survival,house,rooms,hope,sun,windows,light sources, insight,mental and emotional ordering,fear,anxiety,safe place, security,warmth home,construction,reconstruction,mind as a building.

This painting is not available.  It’s interesting for me to compare this with recent work which also uses very bold brush work. (See below!!)

Good Read on Copyright Infringement 

 

https://www.dacs.org.uk/latest-news/copyright-uncovered-infringements?category=For%20Artists|For%20Licensing%20Customers|Latest%20News&title=N

Small quote here:

An infringement can occur when someone directly copies one of your works in its entirety or if they use substantial elements of your work without your permission.

What is determined by ‘substantial’ is not necessarily about proportion or size. A small but distinct element of your work can be copied and this could still amount to an infringement.

In previous UK court cases – for example, where an artist has been accused of infringing another artist’s work, or where a company has used parts of an artist’s work on a product they are selling – the assessment for copyright infringement has been made by looking at the similarities, rather than differences.

For copyright infringement to be determined there must be a connection between the infringing work and the original work – the infringement has to be derived from the original. There are ways of establishing the connection by looking at surrounding circumstances, such as availability. For example, the original work could be easily accessed online or in public exhibitions. Additionally, any contact with the infringing party such as discussions to use the work, or even engagement on social media, will help establish that they were aware of your work before making the infringing version.

The test for infringement is done on a case by case basis. If you claim your work has been infringed, you will have to prove this. Once it has been established, it will be for the person potentially infringing the work to prove they have a defence, for example that their work was their independent creation. Copyright infringement is known as a ‘strict liability’ offence, which means that it is irrelevant whether or not the infringer knew or wanted to infringe copyright.
– See more at: https://www.dacs.org.uk/latest-news/copyright-uncovered-infringements?category=For%20Artists|For%20Licensing%20Customers|Latest%20News&title=N#sthash.QixIArcE.dpuf

It’s a very important matter, and artists who are professional in approach should certainly ensure they understand how it works.  I am a member of DACS and find it a very helpful and important organisation.

Busy Paintings

I have been feeling that my recent very full and rather busy paintings, lovely as they are, need a little respite and so have been working the tail end of this year on some which are far less crowded and more simple.  With my usual attention to surface, and working with the pigments which I am particularly fond of, I have sought to obtain a balance between dynamic energy and restfulness.

 

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

 

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

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

It has been interesting to experiment with the relationship between quite delicate and intricate variations in perceived and actual texture along  broad and very matt, almost sheaths, of paint, laid down on unprimed hardboard.

 

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,

“Crossing Over/Simple Piece” abstract lyrical expressionist british paintings jenny meehan

Some time of  “less is more” to challenge that part of me which last year was placing daub upon daub of colour.  I am not unhappy with those paintings… not at all, but need to balance out that experience of painting with something different.

Helpful quotes, and my comments,  from “The Art of Buying Art” by Alan Bamberger. The section entitled “How to Look”.
“How to Look
“Looking at art means more than giving casual glances as you pass it by. You’ve got to spend time studying individual pieces.

Indeed… There is too much casual glancing going on nowadays.  We are bombarded with some much imagery.  I also believe just focusing on one small part of an art work is beneficial.  This is partly why I plan to start another blog soon focusing on passages of my paintings.  To immerse oneself needs time.
“Stand up close and focus on small areas of the art. Stand back and look at the whole thing. Stick your nose right up to the canvas or wood or paper or bronze and study the minutest details. Back away slowly and watch how the art changes. Move so far away that the art fades into its surroundings.”

What comes to mind now is the frustration of paying to see an exhibition and then not being able to view the work properly due to too many other people, distractions and also, because one is paying for a single visit, the pressure of seeing everything in one go.  How much better it is then to see exhibitions which do not charge, for then you can go back as many times as you want!

Looking at every element and aspect of a work, and giving it time is essential.

This is helpful:

“If you happen to see something you really like, note what it is, where you saw it, how it looks, and why it attracts you – nothing more. You’ll have plenty of opportunity to return and learn more about it later. By experiencing a little bit of everything that’s out there and taking some time to study it in detail, you begin to acquire strength of conviction and begin to define what really thrills you.”

Strength of conviction is kind of related to confidence.  Confidence that your own experience matters and that that experience is the most important thing about the art work you are viewing.  I had an interesting conversation recently with someone unfamiliar with appreciating non-objective paintings.  I simply said “Don’t worry about what it is meant to be.  What it is to me is of interest, but it is not that that matters.  You have your own experience of this painting and that is what matters.  She was worried that I would be offended if my painting was not what it was for me.  I explained that if it mattered to me I would paint more representational paintings which gave the viewer more direction and prescribed more what the subject matter was.  It would then be rather offensive if they thought my, horse, for example, was actually a man.

But with a completely abstract painting, though I will have my own personal interpretation,  for the viewing, this does not matter to the extent that it should dictate their experience of the painting.  They may find it of interest, and they may ask me what the painting is to me.  But it is what the painting is to them which matters.  They have a huge part to play in the experience of viewing the paintings.  Once they have the assurance that there isn’t some hidden, strange, meaning or concept that they have to “get” in order to access the work, they suddenly find that the freedom to experience it in their own way is quite a liberating and enjoyable matter.  Well, some people do.  Others find they want and need to be told “What it is”.  This is fine, of course.  However, they may have to accept that it is not definable in the way that they would like it to be!!!

I have now settled on the practice of including references (as I have done in this post) for those who are interested in the relationship between my abstract paintings and their significance/meaning for me.  But I would never feel upset if someone did not see what I see.  We all have valid perceptions and what we see is influenced by ourselves, our experience, and our emotions.

Alan continues:
Out of all the millions of art pieces that have ever been and have yet to be created, you will choose to own maybe one, maybe five, maybe one hundred. And you’ll choose them because they mean something special to you and you alone. Now is the time to acquire a feel for where that special meaning lies, and to identify what qualities in art attract you the most.”

Perfectly put.   “Something special to you and you alone”.

I like this advice very much. For those wanting to get into collecting art, it is probably the most important piece of advice to heed. The book  has a lot of advice, and quite a lot of it focuses on art which no doubt considerably more expensive than my own, however, there are many key points and while not a recent book, being published in 2007, I still found it an interesting read.
I have not considered myself how much of a mine field it must be for some people who want to collect art but are not familiar with the various systems (ie galleries, dealers). I think the chapter on buying directly from the artist of most use and of relevance to my own experience. Indeed, the way people buy art has changed a lot. For the majority, I think, it is much easier, more accessible and pretty straightforward. The book includes chapters on buying directly from artists, and also buying art over the internet. I cannot be done with all the speculative buying, “art world” and dealer dealing matters personally. But there are chapters which offer very interesting insights into a realm which lies well outside my own remit. And I cannot help feeling rather thankful that my own work is not being handled by dealers!!!

The so called “Art World”

With no aspirations towards business, profit, fame or financial success, I have mercifully relieved myself of the whole so called “art world”; that world of art, which I have no desire to enter. I am not sure where the boundaries of this mysterious “art world” lie, but I suspect they lie in the imaginations of those who consider themselves part of it.  And if the determining factor of being in or out of it,  is money and status driven, and to do with who you know, then it may be best that I do consider myself an “outsider artist”…if that is what that term means.  (I am sure I have rambled on about outsider art before in this journal.) But I don’t like the whole insider/outsider definition.  We are all inhabiting the same world, in truth.  The aim for the artist could be to see ourselves as continual welcomers…with the aim of continually inviting people in to an experience of our artistic practice which aims to educate and enlighten, enrich and nourish the imagination and hearts of all. Fame and fortune will just be for the very few. And this may be good for them in many ways.  But it is not a good hope.  I focus on people, relationships, and creativity.

I have been thinking about what a “professional” artist is.  I consider myself one. As a professional artist, the idea that in order to be professional, ones activities should be financially profitable, is a huge mistake in my opinion. Professionalism is an attitude and an approach that does not need too be qualified with monetary gain. It’s more about how you go about what you do, and how you think of it.   Things such as exhibiting your work, cataloguing it, having faith in what you are doing, and having collectors and followers who engage with your work are important. Taking it seriously and investing in it in a professional manner. Engaging in training and development.  Being part of groups of artists and networking.  Looking for new projects and opportunities.  Being open minded and receptive to whatever creative currents are weaving their way about the age in which you live in.  Being professional is an attitude and approach more than anything else.  A way of thinking about what you do and understanding the value of it. An attitude of rigour to ones work.  And discipline.

The fact that some activities in life are not termed a “job”, and are rather a vocation, (and caring for others, raising children, plus many voluntary activities come under this banner) does not mean that they are either hobbies, optional for the person doing them, or of lesser importance.  A vocation may not count officially in respect of it not being counted in the “labour market”,  but this does not mean that that it is not work, and should not therefore be valued. Thankfully there are plenty of people who do recognise that vocation in life is sometimes expressed in part through paid employment, be it self-employment or as an employee, but that this is only the case for some, and there are millions of other people who fulfil their calling in life through other avenues.  Vocation can be:

1.
a particular occupation, business, or profession; calling.
2.
a strong impulse or inclination to follow a particular activity or career.
3.
a divine call to God’s service or to the Christian life.
4.
a function or station in life to which one is called by God.

Indeed, we are not singular in purpose or vocation.  We have many strands running through us.  At different times they will be developed and come into being and we will be active to a greater and lesser degree.  Sometimes circumstances help, and other times they hinder.  What I was involved in ten years ago is different to what I am involved in now.  But all the strands of my life contribute to who I am, to my art working, and to how I see what I do.

As far as I can see, the majority of artists I have come across are not financially “successful” in the sense that they do not generate an income, from the sale of their work, which is anything near capable of meeting their most basic human needs. They rely on other, often related activities, to help sustain them in life, normally in employment of some kind or being part of a partnership or community which helps them financially. This is one of the reasons I get cross about ridiculous submission fees for artists wanting to exhibit their work.  To treat artists showing their work as some kind of business venture for the artist, which therefore they should be prepared to pay for, it just not the case. (I read this recently, I cannot remember where, and was furious.) The chances of selling your work at an exhibition are pretty low.  There are thousands of wonderful artists, for which I am glad, but even the good ones don’t necessarily sell much work.  It does happen, but only occasionally, for the majority.  And it costs money to take part, even without submission fees. Time, travel, framing… all that kind of thing.  This is not a moan, by the way. That is just the way it is. If I wanted money and that was my aim, then I would do something else with my life.

I have realised that I personally am not able to mix painting with any aspirations of business or profit making.  I have thought about it in the past, but other time commitments have pretty much nipped that in the bud before the bud even appeared!  And I have questioned myself, and sifted out what I really want, from what I do.  A little bit of occasional recompense here and there is always welcome, and helps towards material costs in some small way. (It certainly is occasional! But good when it happens.)  I consider a professional approach from myself in all that I do, as essential to the value I hold in what I do, yet this is simply as far as it goes.  I think what I do is more of a creative mission.  It’s something about me simply being in the world what I feel I am meant to be.  Something which is like breathing and serves the same purpose.  Which comes out with no external aim in mind but the mere act/material of being.  I can accept that, and I like it.  I don’t need anything else to validate it.

But still, it is lovely when someone decides to collect your art.  I am delighted when the chord is struck, and I wave bye bye to one of my paintings.  So much of what artists do (fine artists, I mean) is speculative.  It is a hit and miss matter.  Once in a blue moon you sell something.   That’s always nice.  But certainly not dependable!  Artists should technically  be paid if their work is shown in an exhibition. They provide the material substance of an art exhibition.   I have little hope of this happening, as it is  not the way the system works at all, but when you provide part of the material for an exhibition, you are offering your work for a use, of sorts.  People come to see the art work.  What would the exhibition be without it?

Thankfully, we at least have some options for exhibiting art work with no submission fees, or very low ones.  Unless exhibitions are very big/renowned, charges are not made to people viewing the work, and people don’t consider paying to see an art exhibition as something that they would need to do, unless the artists were famous.  I am all for people seeing art exhibitions for free.  But not so keen on the idea of artists paying for them to do so!  Artists bear many costs when exhibiting work.  We don’t need any more costs!  Artists desire to show and share our work, which is a vital part of what we do.  It’s not about showing what we can do. (Well, I speak personally, but I am not alone in this respect) It’s about opening eyes to new possibilities.  Creative energy.  Visual education.  Opening up the mind and spirit.  Emotionally connecting.  There are some opportunities which don’t have submission fees. Always grateful for those.

Sadly, artists are sometimes used by organisations and individuals as a way of generating money. It is not surprising, and not always the case, but it is good to be aware of it.  It is something to do with some strange idea that having work in an exhibition makes an artist more successful, (in the public perception) I think. It is always nice to have your work  selected for exhibition, of course.  Yet it is simply fortunate if your work gets shown. Nice.  Pleasing.  After all, we want it to be viewed!!!!  But the cost of doing so must be counted, as all costs need to be.  Juried exhibitions generally come down to what the taste of the jury is.  And not a lot more than that, in the end.  Why would it be anything more? It may sometimes be a case of who know’s who, and existing links.  That just happens.  Some themed exhibitions can be more of a quest… and can be interesting in this respect. There is satisfaction in exploring a theme or concept and coming up with something very apt and fitting.  There is a challenge which makes selection more rewarding if your work hits the core of some issue or theme.  Exhibitions for charities are rewarding, in that it is a great way to give to charity and show work.  Artists can bear some costs, but the addition of a submission fee is quite frankly annoying.  Minimal, it must be, if it is made at all.  Certainly under a tenner!  “Admin Fee”… but no more.  And one fee, however many works.

It is a fundamental error, I think, to equate success as a fine artist, with money. With fame, or fortune.   If you are able to invest your time into art working, then you are fortunate even in that. There are many people in the world who have to spend all of their time simply fetching water.  I am highly aware of the blessings and benefits of my own situation in life. I am fortunate to be able to do what I do, and I thrive in it. I overheard an interesting conversation on the train recently.  And it was in this conversation the nail was hit on the head.  “Money is not the same as Value”.  Thank you, to the person who said that.

I value my work.

But as is the case with homemaking, and/or domestic and caring work carried out by people (who happen to be related to those they care for), or who work in many fields voluntarily, fine artists too find themselves in the realms of those who do work, but who are not part of the labour market.  But my main point is, if you are an artist, don’t believe that your only option is to sign up for the “starving artist” or the “financially successful artist”.  The success of what you do can be judged by other criteria.  It is my opinion that success is to do with connection, growth and development.  Success for me is when a painting is done and I look at it, and see it is finished.  When I learn and progress.  When research, training, and education are part of what I do. When my work develops and resonates with a sense of integrity and truthfulness to experience and life.  When someone relates to it, uses it, connects with it, responds to it.  When it’s relevance is something felt by them.  Which brings us neatly back to the earlier quote:

“Something special to you and you alone”.

“Out of all the millions of art pieces that have ever been and have yet to be created, you will choose to own maybe one, maybe five, maybe one hundred. And you’ll choose them because they mean something special to you and you alone. Now is the time to acquire a feel for where that special meaning lies, and to identify what qualities in art attract you the most.”

And I think the artist creator themselves also needs to have this either as their sole focus,or certainly main focus, and preoccupation.  There must be nothing else in the way.  This does not make paintings done for other people any less worthy, but somewhere in the centre of the process there must be a connection which is not comprised.  It doesn’t make anything more art or less art, but, if you want to be a successful fine artist who gets a real sense of reward from what you do, then do what you do in your way, and stick to that. All the time seek to learn and develop.  If you sell and your work is useful to others that is a great bonus.  If it matters to you (and/ or you need it),  that  you have some kind of business/monetary success and you want to develop what you do in that way, then of course,  there is nothing wrong with that at all.  It is an exciting and challenging aim, and many artists want to be self employed as artists.  Often doing something for someone else’s criteria and requirements can open up new and exciting avenues.  It is one path. But just one.

Commercially viable art working is the aim of some artists, and there are plenty of online courses and programmes to follow for those who want to try it out. But being commercially viable is not the same thing as successful.

I like this:

“Society needs artists, just as it needs scientists, technicians, workers, professional people, witnesses of the faith, teacher, fathers and mothers, who ensure the growth of the person and the development of the community by means of that supreme art form which is “the art of education.” Within the vast cultural panorama of each nation, artists have their unique place… The particular vocation of individual artists decides the arena in which they serve and points to the tasks they must assume, the hard work they must endure and the responsibility they must accept… There is therefore an ethic, even a spirituality of artistic service, which contributes in its way to the life and renewal of a people.”

(From the Letter of His Holiness Pope John Paul II “To Artists.”)

“There is therefore an ethic, even a spirituality of artistic service, which contributes in its way to the life and renewal of a people.”

 

Found this, and will make it some reading:

http://theotherjournal.com/2012/01/16/are-artists-the-high-priests-of-culture-part-i/

 

Ahh, Blow!  Sandra Blow! 

I am unable to walk very far at present… and this means that I cannot pop along and see the exhibition of eleven late works of the British abstract painting Sandra Blow, which is being presented by The Fine Art Society.  I have to keep my walking to the most essential, and while I would like to see this exhibition, it would involve a lot of walking.

The British abstract painter Sandra Blow (1925-2006) was influenced by Italian post-war art and by the American Abstract Expressionists.  I was very delighted to find that the collector who purchased my “London Downpour” also had a work by Sandra Blow, and it was, I have to confess, pleasing to think my work would be hung in a collection which included a piece by Sandra Blow.  There were other names of works mentioned, but only Sandra Blow stood out for me, because I have encountered her painting “Space and Matter” at the Tate, and admired it. Sandra Blow was very occupied with the material of her paintings, and “Space and Matter” involves the use of liquid cement, chaff and charcoal.  She worked in a process led and  intuitive way which I always find interesting.   The term sometimes used is “Art Informel” which was a term coined by the French critic Michel Tapié.  Sandra Blow spent time at “Eagles Nest” which was Patrick Heron’s home and then she rented a cottage at Tregerthen.   She enjoyed the encouragement and patronage of Heron, Roger Hilton, and Peter Lanyon.   (Peter Lanyon’s paintings have had a significant influence on my own approach.)

St. Ives and the sea were great sources of inspiration to Sandra Blow in the end phase of her career.

 

Sandra Blow said “Now I have more enjoyment, and knowledge of what happens when I do what I do. The pressures have gone, the striving to find something. I do work I know is good, and I know how to do it.”

The exhibition at The Fine Art Society is at 148, New Bond Street, London, W1S 2JT.  It runs until 30th January 2017

 

http://www.sandrablow.com/page2.htm

On the Knee …

I now have a pre-op assessment appointment…  Going round the house putting up unfinished paintings everywhere so I can work on them.  “Work on them” in this case will mean looking at them.  I have a tablet and I am going to experiment with using it to help me explore options.  I normally need to stand and walk a lot, applying paint, and then taking it off.  I am hoping that by taking an image and making visual notes I might make some progress on some of the paintings which are nearly done.  However, this won’t be sufficient, as I need to see the actual pigment on the painting, the texture, the exact brush stroke.  But it may help with some decisions.  I will wait and see.

I also have a lot of books I plan to read and look at.

Seems like life will be a mixture of pain management, exercises, some resting and recovery.  Challenging.

“Angles and Edges”  Experiment below, inspired by the whole knee journey!

"Angles and Edges" Knee Replacement inspired art work image by Jenny Meehan. © Jenny Meehan DACS All Rights Reserved

“Angles and Edges” Knee Replacement inspired art work image by Jenny Meehan. © Jenny Meehan DACS All Rights Reserved

 

I read there are seven key cuts in a knee replacement operation:

 

Seven cuts to the perfect total knee.
Brooks P1.
Author information
Abstract
There are a total of 7 bone cuts in a typical total knee replacement (TKR): distal femur, anterior femur, posterior femur, anterior chamfer, posterior chamfer, tibia, and patella. Each of these cuts has its own special science, and each cut can affect the other cuts and potentially the outcome of the TKR. The distal femoral cut starts the overall alignment of the leg. Five degrees of valgus is cosmetically appealing, avoids excessive valgus, and prevents thighs from rubbing together. The anterior femoral cut sets femoral component rotation, which has effects on patellar tracking and gap balancing. In most knees, correct rotation is approximately 3 degrees of external rotation compared to the posterior condylar axis. An important exception is in valgus knees, where this could lead to accidental internal rotation. The posterior condyle cuts, with the tibial cut, determine the flexion gap. Injury to the medial collateral and posterior cruciate ligaments should be avoided. Anterior and posterior chamfer cuts must avoid these ligaments as well. The tibial cut is challenging. A 3 degrees posterior slope is most typical, and rotation is crucial. Internal rotation is a common error, affecting patellar tracking. Changing rotation on a sloped cut also adds varus or valgus. The patella cut should not be too deep. Component placement should tend medial and superior. If a lateral release is necessary, it should be done from inside-out, with preservation of the blood supply.

This is of interest to me, in appreciation of the art of surgery!  My image has rather random cuts pretty much everywhere; “Angles and Edges” seemed apt though, for this image.   I liked the suggestion of shine in the image.  Light bounces off objects,  and light of course is a natural preoccupation!  So it is an image which alludes to the importance of precision, mathematics and the surgeon’s skill, but rather plays around with the actual object with that joyous and wonderful “Art licenselo” or Artistic License. An image which relates to face, but denotes the distortion of fact.  My fictional image for my real situation!   However, I hope my own knee is very factual indeed!!!!!!!!

I continued to work on the image and then came up with the “Cutting Edge” design, which has a more abstract reference to the figure of a knee replacement but I think retains enough of the structure.  You can see that here;

 

http://www.redbubble.com/people/jennyjimjams/works/24202274-cutting-edge-abstract-knee-replacement-design-by-jenny-meehan?asc=u&c=231599-geometric-abstract-prints

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About Jenny Meehan

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.

I exhibit mainly in the UK, and am a member of Kingston Artists’ Open Studios. I have  trained  with SPIDIR as a spiritual guide/mentor. I am a qualified 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.

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.

 

figure on uncertain ground print by jenny meehan

jenny meehan fine artist british female jamartlondon

Figure on Uncertain Ground © Jenny Meehan. All Rights Reserved

Figure On Uncertain Ground

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

 

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

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

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

Pen and Ink on a Torn Strip

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

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

Knee, Knee, Knee

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

Feeling like a caged bird.

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

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

Most nights I have pain.

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

I can write, which is good.

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

I can hope that it gets treated surgically…

And that makes things better, in the long run.

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

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

 

Interesting read below…. quoted from:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What a find!

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

“The Realm of Between” Painting by Jenny Meehan 

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

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

 

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

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

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

and 

“the capacity to articulate experience.”

in that;

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

That’s a good space, a good place.

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

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

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

Thoughts on Changing Style for an Artist

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

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

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

Also Different Strands…

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

Helen Frankenthaler Quotes

Helen Frankenthaler:

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

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

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

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

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

Christmas Design/Print “Holy, Holy, Holy”

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

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

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

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

 

Help me pay for materials and continue my art working

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

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

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

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Note About Following Jenny Meehan Contemporary Artist’s Journal 

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

You tube video with examples of photography, drawing and painting

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

Website Link for jamartlondon:  www.jamartlondon.com 

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

Help me continue art working

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

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

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

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

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

COPYRIGHT INFORMATION

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

Copyright and Licensing Digital Images Information – Jenny Meehan

www.jamartlondon.com

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

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

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

 

imagined worlds exhibition alph the sacred river coleridge kubla khan jenny meehan

imagined worlds exhibition alph the sacred river coleridge kubla khan jenny meehan

 

As per normal, skim down, as I have written far too much for a single post, but added and added and added!!!!

Imagined Worlds Exhibition – A touring exhibition of artworks inspired by the poem ‘Kubla Khan’ written by Samuel Taylor Coleridge in 1816.

Good news.  My work has been selected for this touring exhibition “Imagined Worlds Exhibition – A touring exhibition of artworks inspired by the poem ‘Kubla Khan’ ”

Imagined Worlds Exhibition – A touring exhibition of artworks inspired by the poem ‘Kubla Khan’ written by Samuel Taylor Coleridge in 1816. This is a celebration by the Friends of Coleridge supported by Somerset Art Works, working in partnership with the National Trust, CICCIC Taunton, and Art at the Heart, RUH Bath.

CICCIC Memorial Hall, Paul St, Taunton TA1 3PF 7 October -12 November 2016 . Special PV 21 October 2016

Mid November – January tbc

RUH Bath Mid January – Mid April 2017

Coleridge Cottage Nether Stowey Mid April – May 2017

I am delighted about this.  Coleridge is a poet I both studied at degree level and very much enjoy.  So pleased to make my own response present in this way.  The work I submitted is here, shown above,  along with the information I prepared to accompany it.
Jenny Meehan is a well established South West London based artist whose art work evolves in a process led way, dependent on both intuition and imagination. She studied Literature at Kingston University and after working as a teacher for several years has spent the last ten years developing her creative practice, which includes painting, printmaking and poetry.
The artwork submitted responds to the water element in the poem ‘Kubla Khan’; “Alph, the sacred river” whose mysterious flow runs through its lines. Resonating with emotional highs and lows and “meandering with a mazy motion”, it carries the listener along with it.
Water is a subject matter which often preoccupies Jenny, occurring as a repeated motif in many of her paintings and prints. An interest in the subconscious and the resulting exploration of “caverns measureless to man” attracted her to this image in the poem.
Other Information
Jenny Meehan
j.meehan@tesco.net
Title of Work: “Alph, The Sacred River 1”
Image sent with email. Price: £ 200
Dimension 36 x 27cm
Medium: Ink jet Print on Cartridge Paper 1/10 Limited Edition

Over the Summer we stopped by outside Coleridge Cottage Nether Stowey.  We had got a little lost but when I saw the sign I took it as an added bonus to see the cottage, if only from the outside!

https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/coleridge-cottage

It does not seem to be open every day, but a few times a week.  I am very pleased to think of my visual art residing in the same building as the poet himself.   I am very pleased with the way I framed it.. I found the frame over the Summer and instinct told me to buy it…I knew it would be useful.  It works well with the flow feeling of the print.  I am also pleased that there is an illusion of reflection happening.  The photograph here was taken without glazing, yet there is an appearance of reflection which is apt for the piece.  I have now glazed it, and it looks doubly reflective!  Suitable for a poem by Coleridge!

 

 

 

jenny meehan jamartlondon photo black white copper work metal work copper foliage jenny meehan

jenny meehan jamartlondon photo black white

Above:  Copper Fern 1 by Jenny Meehan  (Image of “Copper Fern” by Jenny Meehan)

jenny meehan jamartlondon photo black white copper

jenny meehan jamartlondon photo black white

Above: Copper Edge (Image of “Copper Edge” by Jenny Meehan)

jenny meehan jamartlondon photo black white copper work copper jenny meehan

jenny meehan jamartlondon photo black white

Above: Copper Fern 2 by Jenny Meehan (Image of “Copper Fern” by Jenny Meehan)

 

Ah, October.  Lovely spiders, everywhere.  I walk into them.  Watch them weave. And leaves are changing. Creeping edges of colour; yellow, orange, black, red.  Damp green grass, and the birds sound louder.  I like this time of year. Even the rain.

I planned to start some printmaking, but my right knee, with it’s osteoarthritis, is making everything take longer.  And so time is short; too short to start a new project right now.  I cannot walk very quickly.  I have had a lot of pain in the last few weeks.   I am doing a lot of  exercise, and physiotherapy, and “Better Bones” classes.  But my bones are not better.  It is what is around them that needs attention. My legs are certainly stronger. And I am less heavy.  Let the weight loss continue.  But how I wish I could walk for longer than 20 minutes, without a stick, and without severe pain at the end of it. I do not like this.  It is a miserable matter.  I cry and get cross.  Cry and Cross! There may be a title for a painting there!

So, with domestic work, and various voluntary activities,  plus exercise, exercise, exercise, the time is all used up. But I have managed to make some frames for paintings carried out over the Summer.  Which I quite like doing. And need for next year.  And I have also spent some time discovering more about Bessel van der Kolk…

Bessel van der Kolk

http://www.traumacenter.org/about/about_bessel.php  Very interesting.  Just listened to a talk by Bessel van der Kolk, MD called “Trauma, Body, and the Brain: Restoring the Capacity for Synchronicity and Imagination,” an exploration of how the brain is shaped by experience and how our relationship to ourselves is the product of our synchronicity with those around us.  Wonderful talk, very interesting and inspiring!

I have also been listening to several different talks which I was able to access through an online training summit, all focused on Neuroscience, Trauma, Mindfulness, and Attachment Therapy.  I am a big fan of Margaret Wehrenberg (not personally, because I don’t know her at all!!!) but certainly of her books which I have found very helpful personally, and as she was speaking on one of the sessions, I thought I would sign up for the summit…

Little snippets/notes from listening to Margaret Wehrenberg which I found particularly interesting and helpful…

She spoke on “The Purpose of Worry and How to Manage It” .  Under this banner highlights for me personally were…

how fear and worry are different…

why do we worry? anxiety is a normal condition. it is they way we feel in response to ambiguity.  sensation of anxiety gives us some motivation to look for and identify potential problems and look for them but with a disorder we feel anxiety in the absence of any actual threat or problem…  get into “what if” thinking and worry becomes persistent, disruptive, and robs people of the joy of being alive.

fear and worry distinguished…if there is a distinct threat, basically  something which has an objective observable cause… that is fear and it prompts action, look for a way to escape from what it is that scares us, we can imagine that we would be afraid…that is not the same as worry… worry is persistent however it  never solves a problem where as fear can solve a problem

some people are wired up to be worriers more than others and have not very effective stopping mechanisms or brain shifting capacity… lots of her techniques attempt to equip the person to shift gears manually, and eventually this becomes more automatic with repetition using brain to change the brain.

stress creates conditions of anxiety as an outcome of stress…  so stress reduction is key.    ie body care sleep eat,    causes people to feel generally uneasy..  thinking what could be going wrong…

anxiety is a condition looking for content… asking all the time what could be causing me to have this kind of arousal?  seeking relief, ie with health anxiety..  internet searching!!!    scanning for health concerns.. looking up symptoms and trying to diagnose themselves, does not typically help. Calmness while searching, act of reassurance in seeking, and while online person may feel calm,  but better to respond to the feeling of a needing some reassurance through other ways not internet searching…

people believe if is it is possible to happen then it is probably going to happen….start to behave as if it is going to happen or is even happening right now. But it may only be remotely possible.  Are you worrying about something which is possible or probable? 

do you have a real problem, if so you can plan a way to solve it… so planning is a good tool a real antidote to worry

if you cannot make a plan then it is not a real problem, or at least not yet, so then worry is the problem itself.

 

Well, the above is a little taster.  Excuse the note form.  As said, I use this Journal not as a finished piece of personal narrative, but as an unfolding notebook/journal/record, for my own use as much as sharing it with any interested parties.   If you would like to find out more about Margaret’s work she has a website:  http://www.margaretwehrenberg.com/   The two books I have read by Margaret Wehrenberg are “The 10 Best-Ever Depression Management Techniques: Understanding How Your Brain Makes You Depressed & What You Can Do to Change it” and “The 10 Best-Ever Anxiety Management Techniques: Understanding How Your Brain Makes You Anxious and What You Can Do to Change it”.

I liked very much the writing style of the books as well as the content and organisation.  I read  “The 10 Best-Ever Depression Management Techniques: Understanding How Your Brain Makes You Depressed”  when I was very depressed several years ago, and found the tone very helpful, as not patronising.   I had a pre existing interest in the neuroscience, due to my brother’s head injury, and I found the matter of fact approach, with reference to how the brain works,  good for me personally.  Also, being someone possessing sound intelligence and being of a practical nature, enjoying concrete and material things, as well as theory,  I was glad to find something which suggested that I could manage what was happening to me and that I had some kind of influence over it.  This is always a big step when feeling depressed, however it is a crucial one.  There were so many small and accessible things suggested that one could do.  This was just what I needed.  I never had an expectation of quick and easy answers, and was looking around to access psychotherapy at the time, but as I was unable to access it for six months  I needed something to help me manage things in the meantime. It might not suit everyone, but was perfect for me.

There were plenty of other speakers also. I don’t have the inclination to share any more here, but one of the little bits of information I picked up from another talk was with regard to a term “Window of Tolerance”. “Window of Tolerance” is a term coined by Dr. Dan Siegel, and is now widely used in understanding normal brain/physiology reaction responses, as well in trauma-informed treatment terminology, and in all areas of mental health. Efforts are made to assist individuals to learn how to widen their personal, unique Window of Tolerance, as well as to have methods to stay in the Window of Tolerance via self-soothing and self-regulating behaviours. When an individual “jumps” out, or feels “pushed” out of their Window of Tolerance on the upper or lower sides, the prefrontal cortex is essentially going offline, with only subcortical brain regions (limbic system-emotional brain, and brain stem) staying active, removing ability to think through actions and consequences. Before any type of talking or making sense of a situation can occur, individuals need to find a way back into their Window of Tolerance, through self-soothing and self-regulating behaviours, which will allow all regions of the brain to get back online, and our processing system to function appropriately.

Mmm, as you can see.  I am really into this!

quoted from:  http://www.drmariedezelic.com/window-of-tolerance–traumaanxiety-rela

I found this terribly interesting.  Not quite sure what I will do with it, if anything right at the moment, but wanting to record it here in the Journal so that I will at some point look over it again, and it won’t just disappear in the computer without memory!

This is such a psychological post in the Journal…  I am also interested in numbing!

Numbing is a biological process whereby emotions are detached from thoughts, behaviours, and memories. As I look back into the significant period of depression I experienced, which was over the period  from about 2010 to 2012,  I am aware very much that the numbing I experienced was a traumatic stress reaction, and one which hid what was going on inside emotionally.  It is this, and the feeling of separation from others, because of the emotional disconnect, which makes it all the more distressing.  The impact of trauma is felt very greatly by the person, but is not very easy for others to recognise, because the emotionless-ness hides the distress and masks the levels of stress experienced.   It is efficiently kept to oneself. But it is a sad isolation. Alcohol to self-medicate does not help either.  You cannot deny your emotions on a long term basis.

A Brief Writing on It…

The detachment

The feeling of the

need

to connect

The gap, which imperceptibly widens

The falling apart, within, without

The without-ness growing like a huge plant

Which sucks the water from the soul

This is the abyss in which I have fallen.

 

It’s a long time since I have written any poetry.  Must do some this Winter.  And must put some visual content in this post… I have been doing a lot of research recently and very little painting.  The painting below dates from between 2007 and 2012… (around 2010 I think).  Certainly carried out during those “wilderness years”.  Didn’t like it at the time, but I like it now.

sketch of chessington rear access road jenny meehan

sketch of chessington rear access road jenny meehan

 

Love working abstractly… So interesting.  But great to have something there to bounce off too!

Determined to do some painting, despite the obstacles in the way, the pain, the slowness of walking, the mounting of domestic tasks, the knowledge that as I stand to paint, the end result will be I cannot stand at all in the evening. I must instead tend to my knee with ice, massage, heat, and whatever else I fancy.   Going out to network is out of the question.  I do not anticipate pain coming to me… I am using mindfulness to good effect, however it seems doggedly faithful. And arrives an uninvited guest.  What I will achieve in the future, with this situation of disability is a matter of concern to me, even while taking one day at a time.  So I look back and enjoy what I have done.  I will do more…It just looks like it will be more difficult.  Knee replacement at some point.  Often feel unsure of how long I can keep this up.

Posting Recent List of Exhibitions..

Here is what I have done so far in the way  of exhibitions.  Just skim down quickly if they are not of interest!  Just need to remind myself of what I have done at the moment!

Exhibitions List Up to Date. To October 2016

Imagined Worlds Exhibition – A touring exhibition of artworks inspired by the poem ‘Kubla Khan’ written by Samuel Taylor Coleridge in 1816. This is a celebration by the Friends of Coleridge supported by Somerset Art Works, working in partnership with the National Trust, CICCIC Taunton, and Art at the Heart, RUH Bath.

CICCIC Memorial Hall, Paul St, Taunton TA1 3PF 7 October -12 November 2016 . Special PV 21 October 2016

Mid November – January tbc, RUH Bath Mid January – Mid April 2017, Coleridge Cottage Nether Stowey Mid April – May 2017
“The Art of Caring” ( second exhibition curated by Peter Herbert) at The Conference Centre, St Pancras Hospital, NW1 OPE 21st July – 13th October 2016
KAOS OPEN STUDIOS 11th / 12th and 18th / 19th June 2016 (Kingston Artists’ Open Studios)70 artists taking part at venues around Kingston. Annual event.
Kingston Artists’ Open Studios Taster Exhibition at Cass Art , 103 Clarence Street, KT1 1 QY in “The Art Space” Kingston Upon Thames. 6th – 20th June 2016
“Anagrams” at Kingston Museum, Kingston Art 2016. Juried. Wheatfield Way, Kingston upon Thames, KT1 2PS. 29 April 2016 to 2 July 2016

“Building Bridges, the Female Perspective” 8th March – October 2016 organised by Southwark Arts Forum & Tower Bridge Art at the Bridge #7. Tower Bridge Victorian Engine Rooms, Tower Bridge Road London SE1 2UP.

“The Art of Caring” Exhibition curated by Alban Low at The Upper Circle Gallery, The Rose Theatre, Kingston-upon-Thames 12th to 24th May 2016.

2015

CornerHouse Charity Exhibition for “Straight Talking Charity at Cornerhouse Arts Centre, Surbiton, Surrey Nov 30th – Dec 31st

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

Court Farm Cafe Group Exhibition, organised by Kingston Arts Cafe at Court Farm Garden Centre, Worcester Park, Surrey KT4 7QH October 2015 – January 2016

A Letter in Mind – The Art of Journey, Charity Exhibition at Gallery@oxo, South Bank, London SE1 9PH 8th October until 18th October 2015. My donated work sold for this worthy cause.

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

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

To bid, go to the Ebay store, here’s the facebook link:

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

KAOS (Kingston Artists’ Open Studios “Selfie” Exhibition in The Art Space at Cass Arts, Kingston Upon Thames. 6 – 14th June

KAOS OPEN STUDIOS June 2015 (Kingston Artists’ Open Studios) at venues around Kingston. Annual event.
“Flying Colours” Joint exhibition of prints, Leatherhead Theatre, Leatherhead (Jenny Meehan and Chris Birch) 3rd – 30th May 2015

“Day of Reflection on Spiritual Homelessness” at St Nicholas Church, Guildford GU2 4AW on 11th April 2015. Six paintings shown as part of a group exhibition.

“Tiny Bones and Lasting Stones of Memory” (poem and painting) shown as part of Holocaust Memorial Day – Keeping the Memory Alive Through Art Exhibition: Kingston University, 16th – 17th March; Kingston Museum, 26 March – 23 April 2015, Kingston College, 24th – 28th April 2015 and at the Council Chambers, Kingston Upon Thames 1st February (Third prize in adult category)

2014 Exhibitions

Holocaust Memorial Day – Keeping the Memory Alive Through Art Exhibition at the Council Chambers, Kingston Upon Thames, Sunday 1st February (Third prize in adult category)

KAOS Exhibition at All Saints Church, Kingston upon Thames
KT1 1JP 11th Nov – 25th Nov. Kingston Artist’s Open Studios Group Exhibition

“Breaking the Chains” (Anti human trafficking) Exhibition at Tower Gallery, Memorial Community Church, 395 Barking Road, London E13 8AL. 16th October – 6th November. Selected

“A Letter in Mind”…The National Brain Appeal’s Exhibition Charity Exhibition) at gallery@oxo, Oxo Tower Wharf, Bargehouse Street, South Bank, London, SE1 9PH. 2nd October – 5th October. Selected and donated work sold.

Dulwich Picture Gallery Open Exhibition, Gallery Road, London SE21 7AD 30th Sept – 12th Oct 2015. Juried, (Selection panel headed by Ian Dejardin, and including Rebecca Fortnum, Clive Head, Nicky Hirst and Elo Schuneman).

NewArt@Baker Tilly, Baker Tilly, 3rd Floor, One London Square, Cross Lanes Guildford GU1 1UN 7th June -20th September. Selected

Court Farm KAOS (Kingston Artists’ Open Studios) Cafe at Court Farm Garden Centre, Worcester Park, Surrey. 3rd May – 27th July

Multiple Sclerosis Trust “The Secret Art Show” (Charity Exhibition) Spirella Building, Bridge Road, Letchwoth Garden City, Hertfordshire SG6 4ET. 30th April – 7th May

Artistsmeet Open Exhibition, Rickmansworth, Hertfordshire WD3 1EH. 3rd March – 6th May 2014 Selected.

“Drawn Together” Riverside Gallery, Old Town Hall, Richmond Upon Thames TW9 1TP. 1st March – 25th May 2014 Juried.

“Sacred Spaces” KAOS Exhibition curated by Jenny Meehan, Leatherhead Theatre, Leatherhead. May 3 – 31st 2014. Seven members of Kingston Artists’ Open Studios.

“Speaking Out – Women Recovering from the Trauma of Violence” Embrace Arts at the RA Centre, Leciester University, Leciester. 13 January – 28th March 2014. Juried.

“Drawing Inspiration” Holocaust Memorial Day Trust, A-Side B-Side Gallery, Hackney Downs Studios, E8 2BT. 23rd Jan – 3rd Feb 2014 Highly Commended awarded. Juried.

“Recovery” Exhibition – Institute Of Mental Health/City Arts at Nottingham University NG7 2TU Nov 6th – May 2014

2013 Exhibitions

“Recovery” Exhibition – Institute Of Mental Health/City Arts at Nottingham University NG7 2TU Nov 6th – May 2014

Brixton Drawing Project Exhibition. Brixton East, Brixton, SW9 Sunday 6th October.

Orange Tree Theatre KAOS Group Exhibition. Orange Tree Theatre, Richmond upon Thames, Surrey 23rd Oct – 30th Nov.

PARTIA “Collective Nostalgia” at Aintree University Hospital, Liverpool. 1st Oct-1st Nov 2013. Selected.

Court Farm KAOS (Kingston Artist’s Open Studios) Group Exhibition. Cafe at Court Farm Garden Centre, Worcester Park, Surrey. Sept 3rd – November 2013

“Not The Royal Academy” exhibition at Llewellyn Alexander Fine Paintings. London SE1 June – August

“Allotted” Curated Exhibition at The Beetroot Tree Gallery, Draycott, Derbyshire 15th June – 27th July 2013 Selected.

“Lines” Curated Exhibition at The Strand Gallery, London. Selected. June 2013

Cornerhouse Arts Centre, Surbiton, Surrey. Jenny Meehan Recent Work, Solo Exhibition. June 2013

Group Exhibition “Order and KAOS” (Four Painters from Kingston Artists Open Studios). Leatherhead Theatre (curated by Jenny Meehan) 4th-31st May.

Dugout Women’s Inclusive Festival – The Hoxton Arches, Cremer Street, E2 8HD (2nd March 2013). Juried.

Open Exhibition at The Classroom Gallery, Nottingham. Selected. March 23 – April 5th.

National Open Exhibition 2013 at Electric Picture House Congleton, Cheshire. March 9th -30th. Selected.

2012
September – December Alliance Healthcare Exhibition, Alliance Healthcare, Chessington Surrey (SOLO)

The Bog Standard Gallery, Artistsmeet, Watersmeet, Rickmansworth Hertfordshire. WD3 1EH December 2012

The Ark Centre Autumn Exhibition, Basingstoke, Hampshire RG24 9NN. October/November 2012

Artistsmeet Open Exhibition, Rickmansworth, Hertfordshire WD3 1EH. September/October 2012

Cranleigh Arts Centre Open Exhibition, Cranleigh, Surrey GU6 8AS June 2012

“Some Kind Of Narrative” Joint Exhibition at Leatherhead Theatre, Leatherhead, Surrey KT22 8DN Stephanie Greenslade – Jenny Meehan. 29th April – 25th May 2012. ”

Hidden Artists” Exhibition at Denbies Picture Gallery 2012, Denbies Wine Estate, Charity fundraising event for NSPCC.

2011
Jigsaw4Uinternational.org project “Strong Voices” Event 2011 at The Rose Theatre, Kingston Upon Thames in October. (sculpture and photographs). Charity event.

Cranleigh Arts Centre Open Exhibition 2011 at Cranleigh Arts Centre, Cranleigh, Surrey GU6 8AS June 2011 Juried Exhibition

“Hidden Artists” Exhibition at Denbies Picture Gallery 2011, Denbies Wine Estate, Dorking, Surrey. Fundraising exhibition for NSPCC.

2010
“John Lewis Prize” Exhibition (of shortlisted work) at “The Place To Eat”, John Lewis, Kingston Upon Thames. 8th September – 10th December 2010 Juried Exhibition

Pallant House Gallery/St Wilfrid’s Hospice Open Art Exhibition at Pallant House Gallery, Chichester, West Sussex. 3rd June – 2nd July 2010. Juried Exhibition.

Surrey Artists Network Ist Anniversary Exhibition at Otters Pool Studio, Guildford, Surrey GU1 4QG Ist May – 22nd May 2010. Juried Exhibition.

Denbies Open Exhibition 2010 Denbies Vineyard, Dorking, Surrey RH5 6AA January 7th-17th, 2010.

2009
“Doorway” Visual Meditation 2009 (Jenny Meehan and Mary Reid) at St Paul’s C of E Church, Hook, Surrey. February 22nd.

2008 – 2006

Kingston Contemporary Open 2007 (Stanley Picker Gallery, Kingston Upon Thames, Surrey, UK). Juried.

Kingston Contemporary Open 2006 (Stanley Picker Galllery, Kingston Upon Thames, Surrey, UK). Juried.

SOLO EXHIBITIONS (Self Organised in Community Spaces)

” Jenny Meehan -Recent Paintings and Prints” Cornerhouse Arts Centre, Surbiton Surrey June 2013

“Paintings – Jenny Meehan ” Alliance Healthcare, Chessington, Surrey Sept-Dec 2012

“Inking Outside The Block” (CornerHOUSE Arts Centre, Surbiton) December 5th to December 31st 2011.
PRIZES/AWARDS

Painting and Poetry – Third Prize in “Keeping the Memory Alive through Art”, Kingston Inter Faith Forum, Kingston University, Kingston Upon Thames February 2015

Painting – Highly Commended – Needhams Open Art Competition 2009, Cambridgeshire, UK. Juried Exhibition.

Poetry – Finalist (second place) in “Literary Mary” poetry competition March 2009

Painting – Highly Commended – “Drawing Inspiration” Competition Holocaust Memorial Day Trust, January 2014

QUALIFICATIONS

BA Hons English Literature (Kingston University, Kingston Upon Thames)

PGCE Primary Education (Roehampton Institute, Roehampton)

COLLECTIONS

Kingston Museum

John Lewis Partnership

Bog Standard Gallery

Private collections in the United Kingdom

 

This is getting to be a rather long post… As often happens…

Walter Darby Bannard, 1934-2016

A lovely write here:

http://www.artblog.net/post/2016/10/walter-darby-bannard/

Notes from the Life of an Artist by Franklin Einspruch, an artist and writer based in Boston.

Sometimes I am caught by what I read, and this part caught me:

I’ll let you in on a secret: the scorn never mattered. Darby lived well. His was a life full of brilliant friends, talented colleagues, and passionate relationships. Throughout it all and up to the end, he painted. When he was painting, canvases tacked to the floor, surrounded by jars of acrylics, and an arsenal of squeegees, brooms, and brushes at the ready, his enjoyment was unassailable. Art rides in on pleasure, he says in the Aphorisms.

The pleasure carries something with it, something very precious to us that is inseparable from the pleasure itself.

I live with that something every day, but I can’t say what it is. No one can. If you have an eye, you comprehend it in an instant; you feel it and you know it. That’s that.

And now that really is that.”

The above quoted from:  http://www.artblog.net/post/2016/10/walter-darby-bannard/   Do take a look and read the whole post.

There is such a lot of distraction.  But I will certainly be taking a look at http://wdbannard.org/ and reading some more!

Researching Family History

I have dug around a bit. Stumbled on this:

Some of my family history

While not possible to trace much of my mother’s side due to lack of information,  I was grateful to find this recently:

Born in Boscombe, Hampshire in 1882, Albert was the son of blacksmith, Colin Gray and his wife Selina. He had an older brother, Colin Bertie and a younger sister, Laura. In 1891 the family were living in Victoria Road, Pokesdown, where they also took in a lodger. They later moved to Hannington Road, Bournemouth. By 1901 Albert’s brother was working as a decorator, whilst his sister was employed as a laundress and later as a dye cleaner in the textile industry.

Albert seems to have followed a similar career path to his sister. By the age of 29 he was a wash house foreman, in a local laundry. This is probably where he met his future bride, Gertrude Harradine. The daughter of a railwayman, she was originally from 104 Palmerston Road, Wimbledon but was boarding in Bournemouth, having found work as a laundress. The couple married at Holy Trinity Church, Wimbledon on 3 August, 1912.

During the war, Albert joined the Royal Field Artillery. He served with the 189th Brigade, part of the 41st Division. This was formed in Aldershot in 1915 from units raised in southern England. Comprising 3 – 4 gun batteries, the brigade was sent to France in May 1916 and was initially based in the area between Hazebrouck and Bailleul. As field artillery for the 1st Army, Albert and his comrades would have fought in the Battle of Flers-Courcelette. During this week-long offensive in September 1916, artillery and infantry tried, but failed to break the German line and leave an opening for cavalry attacks. In November the 189th brigade was also involved in the Battle of the Transloy Ridge, part of the third and final offensive of the Somme campaign. Fighting was made all the more harrowing by terrible weather conditions and a battlefield devastated by months of artillery fire.

Promoted to the rank of sergeant, Albert must have shown bravery and determination during his military service, as he was mentioned in dispatches. He survived the war, albeit briefly and died of influenza on 25 November 1918, just two weeks after peace was declared. He was buried at Gap Road Cemetery and is commemorated at Wimbledon Parish Church. His widow continued to live at 28a Wycliffe Road, Wimbledon, after his death.

That widow was my father, Gordon William Gray’s mother. I never met her, as they were estranged.  I don’t know why as it was not talked about.  My maiden name of Gray, yet another interesting journey of discovery!

I had gleaned some of the information myself, but this extract above, which I quote from http://cis.photoarchive.merton.gov.uk/entity/186931-serjeant-albert-william-gray..   contains much more detail than I had been able to obtain on my own.

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. 

 

Website Link for jamartlondon:  www.jamartlondon.com 

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

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

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

 

 

COPYRIGHT INFORMATION

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

Copyright and Licensing Digital Images Information – Jenny Meehan

www.jamartlondon.com

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

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

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

 

 

Making my own watercolour paints

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I did find this also:

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

Janice writes:

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

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

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

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

and

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

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

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

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

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

 

and also this from the same piece:

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

There is some more information here also….

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

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

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

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

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

I also found this:

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

and these:

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

 

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

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

and this is an interesting read also:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

Not for me! 

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

“rights/entitlements

By submitting your application, you confirm that:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And if you must paint a cow…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

The Design and Artists Copyright Society

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

DACS
33 Old Bethnal Green Road
London E2 6AA

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

 

 

Back to the watercolours!

I DO LOVE WATERCOLOURS!

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

Making your own watercolour paint….

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

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

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

http://independent.academia.edu/GiovanniCasati

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

Anyway, back to the making your own watercolours..

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

And something else to skim over!

 

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

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

 

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

 

 

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

 

 

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

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

 

 

 

 

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