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.

 

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

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

 

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.

 

 

 

 

Jenny Meehan – General Introduction 

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

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

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

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

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

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

 jenny meehan uk british contemporary fine artist uk boarded window photo jenny meehan

boarded window photo jenny meehan

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

Healing and Recovering Thoughts…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Christ also revealed his blessed power, *

his blessed wisdom and love.

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

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

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

God is the true father and mother of natures.

We are all bound to God by nature, *

and we are all bound to God by grace.

And this grace is for all the world, *

because it is our precious mother, Christ.

For this fair nature was prepared by Christ

for the honor and nobility of all,

and for the joy and bliss of salvation.

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

Mark Cazalet’s Recent Work

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

I love these pastels by Mark Cazalet!

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

mark cazalet course west dean 2007  students work

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

mark cazalet course west dean 2007  students work

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

 

mark cazalet course west dean 2007  students work

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

 

mark cazalet course west dean 2007  students work

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

Leatherhead Theatre Flying Colours Exhibition..

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

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

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

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

Jenny Meehan's Studio Tent for Painting

Jenny Meehan’s Studio Tent for Painting

 

Well, here it is… The Studio Tent…

There are a few too many things in it right now, but appearances can be deceptive, it is ideal for painting in!  It is a little cold right now, so I am tending to use it mostly as a prayer tent rather than painting in it.  Still cold, but the heavenly thing about it is that is is my space.  Our home, much appreciated as it is, and even with the wonderful kitchen extension, still does not give me a room of my own.  So having this space, however small, is heaven on earth, it really is.  The ceiling of the tent is transparent tarpaulin, which lets in loads of light and is perfect.  The tent is situated at the side of the house, so it is fairly sheltered.  The front is completely open (if wished…. currently some tarpaulin hangs there… which means that if I need a very great distance between myself and the painting, then I can easily have it as there is space to move back from the easel.   It can be used for painting on the floor, but when I paint a highly abstracted painting I do tend to work on four at a time in the early stages, and so it is not so good for that.  It will be great in the Spring and the Summer to make more use of it.    I am not too miffed about the lack of warmth..  I have heard many artists in commercial studios, for example Wimbledon Art Studios and the ASC Studios at Hook Road, Kingston,  have reason to complain about the temperature in the Winter being too cold.. Often studio spaces are not in conventional buildings, but have plastic roofs and such like… So I don’t feel deprived in any way at all.

I have, as you can see,  a lovely lamp which currently has some LED solar lights in it.  I also have a few candles and have placed my chimera near to the front of the tent, so I can have a fire if I seek refuge in the Studio Tent one evening!    (Not too close to ignite the tarpaulin, I trust!)  I have seen little camping heaters, but will leave that for now and see how the fire goes… I prefer fire.

I was very pleased with the company who constructed the frame for my studio tent, and so I would like to give them a mention.   I always think good customer service is worth mentioning…http://www.tradersupplies.co.uk/market-stalls-equipment.html

Here is the blurb:

“We are the UK’s largest and most established manufacturer of market stalls and market stall equipment with almost 40 years of manufacturing excellence to our name. An unrivalled knowledge and expertise of the British market industry is built into every single one of our market stall products.

Whether you’re a new market trader or seasoned professional, we have a solution. Whether it’s a traditional counter market stall for over the counter retail, a walk in market stall for ultimate coverage or a special purpose market stall tailored to suit your specific requirements, we have a solution.”  from the website link above.

As you can see they manufacture market stalls.  After much thinking outside the box on my part,  which ranged from adapting sheds to pop up gazebos,  I suddenly realised that the answer to my studio problem was to get a market stall steel frame made, and just like the market stalls, drape this with tarpaulin!  It is perfect for an outdoor studio, very affordable indeed, and very versatile!  It keeps out the rain and lets in the light… which for painting anyway, is all that I need.  It is really strong and well constructed, and  the company could not have been more helpful.  I let them know my specifications and they came up with a basic design for the framework.  I am thinking of having a small extension unit added on to the back of the current one next year… As room for storage.  And maybe a table.

The tarpaulin I used for the top and sides was this very strong yet light tarpaulin:  http://www.tradersupplies.co.uk/clear-mono-tarpaulin-heavy-duty.html

The tarpaulin on the sides is a collection of tarpaulin’s I already possessed… bits and bobs left over from old tents and such like are used for the sides right now.  It makes it look rather ramshackle which I quite like, but you could have a much more tidy appearance if you used new clear tarpaulins.  I like the gathered thin tarpaulins as they have in insulating effect, and it certainly does provide a shelter.   A sheltered place to paint in!  It’s a great combination of an enclosed place but very very light…perfect for making judgements about colours.  Which is my main thing right now.

I have crates to store some paint in, but I will be getting a cool box soon, as I don’t want paints to be ruined by the cold and frost.  I will keep a limited supply in the tent.  I have too many paints to store them all in the tent but plan to use the tent for middle stages of paintings mostly, where a limited colour selection will do.

The Studio tent is 5 foot wide and 8 foot long…and the cost of the frame when I brought it just over a year ago was only £130…. That must be the cheapest artist’s studio around!!!!!  The tarpaulin and other bits didn’t add much onto that.    I am sure there must be lots of painters and other artist-makers around who need a little bit more space to work in but don’t have the money to rent a studio  at the moment.  Artist’s studio space is so expensive, and also has the time limitations of needing to travel to the studio space, which all costs time and money.  I am quite certain that there are many artist-makers who could benefit from my idea of using a market stall as an artist’s studio space, and so I hope sharing my idea here will be useful to someone else.  If you want very cheap studio space, with plenty of light, and have some ground to put it on…then this is the answer.

Last thought on the cheapest Studio ever…You might need to weight it down in case of high winds, but mine is in a sheltered position, and a few large plastic milk cartons filled with water seem to be sufficing!  And welcome the snails in, if they seek shelter!

 

lyrically abstract english modernist painting colourist expressionist, romantic exploratory female artist jenny meehan

another highly abstracted painting….colour is the matter, light is the reason…something like that!

 

Mmmm, this one isn’t far off…

Nice Quote:  “Be sensitive to your sensitive inner capacities to respond to color.” (Nathan Cabot Hale)

Maybe this explains the attraction I have with not painting objects right now…I find the hook of colour alone sufficient to satisfy me!

 

Paintings…

I have a few on the wall and on the floor.

I like my feet…

The floor is wonderfully cool, hence the lack of shoes.

I’ve given up on the hope of painting really BIG paintings.. Around 70 x 50cm suits me OK for now.  It’s a practical matter.  I need to have them up on the wall in order to have plenty of time to contemplate them.  Not possible with larger paintings right now!  Never mind.  Work with what you have.

Interesting read below… Not new, but caused a stir.  From art musings to theological musings…

Note in particular…

” the most basic truth about God’s nature is that He is Love, not wrath and punishment.”  

(text of Dr John’s lent talk is included below.)

The God of Wrath
Lent Talk 2007 by Dr Jeffrey John, dean of St Albans
Broadcast on BBC Radio 4, Wednesday 4 April, repeated Saturday 7 and Sunday 8 April

The instinctive feeling that suffering must be a punishment sent from God seems to lie deep in the human soul – or it does in mine anyway. In my case it may have something to do with the fact that I was brought up in a tradition of Welsh Calvinism which took a pretty firm line on sin and retribution.

In my childhood I also had a naughty great uncle, a man who very uncalvinistically drank and smoked and swore and womanized. He died a happy man, as you might imagine, but at a rather early age, of cirrhosis of the liver. His funeral was the first time he’d been in Chapel since his wedding. But the really memorable thing was the sermon, and the gasp of disbelief as the minister took a text of appalling relevance: Psalm 55, verse 23, “Y pechadur ni chaiff fyw hanner ei ddyddiau”…; “The sinner shall not live out half his days, for thou Lord shalt bring him down to the pit of destruction”.

Well, you know where you are with religion like that; but belief in divine retribution isn’t confined to Welsh Calvinism. Some years ago there was a small earthquake on the island of Crete, which the local bishop promptly declared was God’s punishment on the Cretans for practising contraception. And it’s not so many years ago that some people in the Church of England were seriously wondering whether God had personally hurled a thunderbolt at York Minster in a fit of pique at Bishop David Jenkins’ consecration. It is a pleasing thought in some ways, I admit, but it does leave you with an alarming picture of God if you carry it through.

Even on a personal level we seem to have this instinct that good fortune or bad must somehow depend on how good or bad we have been. Something awful happens and what we do? We look up to heaven and say “What have I done to deserve this? – as though divine rewards and retributions really were immediate and automatic.

Now, as it happens, there is some biblical backing for this instinct. In most of the earlier parts of the Old Testament, the bits that date before the Babylonian exile, this is precisely the way God’s justice works. Sinners are struck down on the spot; Sodom is razed to the ground; whole clans are wiped out for the transgression of a single member, and the people of Israel suffer or prosper in direct proportion with their obedience or disobedience to God. At the personal level, if a man is healthy and happy it means God approves of him, he must have been behaving himself. Bu if he’s poor, ill, luckless, childless, and subject to cirrhosis or earthquakes, then he must be a bad man, God is obviously punishing him.

“The Lord preserves the way of the righteous” says the Psalmist, “But the way of the ungodly shall perish”…. “Once I was young and now I am old” he says, “Yet I never saw the righteous man begging his bread”. I must say I’ve always felt, reading that, that the Psalmist really needed to get out more. Because of course it’s nonsense. The theory doesn’t work, and after the experience of the Exile most of the later Old Testament writers saw very plainly that it doesn’t work; but it remained a persistent theory. And of course a very convenient one, if you happen to be rich, successful and healthy, because it gives you the added bonus of knowing you’re in with God as well. But if you are none of those things, then not only do you have to suffer your misfortunes, you have the added burden of knowing God doesn’t like you either.

There’s a much-ignored passage in Luke’s Gospel that tells us very clearly what Jesus thought about this theory of retribution. The disciples come up to Jesus one day and tell him about two recent events in the Palestinian news. In Galilee Pilate had just staged a massacre of some sectarian Jews who had been holding an illegal sacrifice; he had actually had them burned along with their offerings. And then in Siloam, a suburb of Jerusalem, a tower block had collapsed and killed l8 people. The disciples were very excited about all this and distinctly inclined to gloat. These people had got it in the neck, so they must have deserved it; besides, they had just been to Jerusalem and Galilee with Jesus, and those people had refused to listen. So plainly they had it coming to them. But when Jesus replies, what the disciples get is a wonderful smack in the mouth. “Do you really think the Galileans were worse than anyone else because they suffered? Or do you suppose the people in Siloam were greater sinners than anybody else?

The fact is that throughout the New Testament the primitive theory about the relationship between justice and suffering is turned upside-down. Jesus couldn’t have been clearer. Blessed are the hungry, he said, not the well-fed. Blessed are the poor, not the rich. Blessed are the sick, the miserable, the disreputable, the outcast, the down and out. They are the ones who will get their reward. If anything, a man’s suffering and failure in this life are the sign of God’s special blessing and care for him, not the opposite.

Come to that, how would Jesus himself have fared by the standards of worldly success? He who was the best and most holy of men, who should have been the happiest man alive if the old theory had been correct, turned out to be a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief.

And then finally, at the end of it all, he got himself crucified. Crucifixion may or may not be the worst form of torture in the world, but it had a particular theological significance we mustn’t miss. As St Paul explains, crucifixion was the method of execution which, according to the Law, was the special sign of God’s ultimate punishment, his absolute curse: “Cursed be he that hangs upon a tree”. On the cross, says Paul, Jesus took the place of all those who were supposed to be punished according to the Law. “God made him into sin who knew no sin”. “He became a curse for us”.

But hang on – you may well say – what exactly does that mean – ‘Jesus took our place’ ? Does it mean, then, that we are back with a punishing God after all, and that the Cross is somehow to be understood as God’s ultimate punishment for sin?

That’s certainly what I was told in my Calvinistic childhood. The explanation I was given went something like this. God was very angry with us for our sins, and because he is a just God, our sin had to be punished. But instead of punishing us he sent his Son, Jesus, as a substitute to suffer and die in our place. The blood of Jesus paid the price of our sins, and because of him God stopped being angry with us. In other words, Jesus took the rap, and we got forgiven, provided we said we believed in him.

Well, I don’t know about you, but even at the age of ten I thought this explanation was pretty repulsive as well as nonsensical. What sort of God was this, getting so angry with the world and the people he created, and then, to calm himself down, demanding the blood of his own Son? And anyway, why should God forgive us through punishing somebody else? It was worse than illogical, it was insane. It made God sound like a psychopath. If any human being behaved like this we’d say they were a monster.

Well, I haven’t changed my mind since. That explanation of the cross just doesn’t work, though sadly it’s one that’s still all too often preached. It just doesn’t make sense to talk about a nice Jesus down here, placating the wrath of a nasty, angry Father God in heaven. Christians believe Jesus is God incarnate. As he said, ‘Whoever sees me has seen the Father’. Jesus is what God is: he is the one who shows us God’s nature. And the most basic truth about God’s nature is that He is Love, not wrath and punishment.

Some Christians go through their lives without grasping this. I recently came across an interview given by an elderly priest who said it wasn’t till he was nearly seventy that he was finally set free from his picture of an angry God.

Fr Robert Llewellyn was nearing retirement when he was appointed as custodian to the shrine of the 14th century mystic, Julian of Norwich. Until then he’d regularly recited the confession in the prayer book which speaks of God’s “wrath and indignation against us” without a second thought. But Julian’s teachings changed his life, because through her he met a God who didn’t need placating. Instead he says he became “drenched in the love of God”. He realised, as Julian did, that the wrath of God is no more than a human projection, and that for God to be God, he can’t be less merciful and loving than the best of human beings. As Julian wrote,

wrath and friendship are two contraries… For I saw that there is no manner of wrath in God, neither for short time nor for long;—for in sooth, if God be wroth for an instant, we should never have life nor place nor being.

The cross, then, is not about Jesus reconciling an angry God to us; it’s almost the opposite. It’s about a totally loving God, incarnate in Christ, reconciling us to him. On the cross Jesus dies for our sins; the price of our sin is paid; but it is not paid to God but by God. As St paul says, God was in Christ reconciling the world to himself. Because he is Love, God does what Love does: He unites himself with the beloved. He enters his own creation and goes to the bottom line for us. Not sending a substitute to vent his punishment on, but going himself to the bitter end, sharing in the worst of suffering and grief that life can throw at us, and finally sharing our death, so that he can bring us through death to life in him.

There’s a song by Sidney Carter which ironically sums up our misunderstanding of the cross, in the words of the impenitent thief:

It was on a Friday morning when they took me from the
cell,
And I saw they had a carpenter to crucify as well
Well: you can blame it on Pilate, you can blame
it on the Jews
You can blame it on the Devil – but it’s God that
I accuse;
It’s God they ought to crucify instead of you and
me –
I said to the Carpenter a-hanging on the tree.
Like the impenitent thief, we too can be so fixated on our picture of the punishing God of power we imagine up in heaven, we can’t grasp he’s really down here, bleeding and dying at our side.

The most powerful illustration of this I know comes not from a Christian writer but a Jew, Elie Wiesel, the holocaust survivor and Nobel prize winner, who described his experience of Auschwitz in a famous book called Night. In the face of so much horror and evil many lost their faith; yet for a few it became, paradoxically, a new realisation of God’s closeness to them. In one harrowing passage Wiesel tells how a young boy was punished by the guards for stealing food. He was hanged on piano wire, while all the other prisoners were forced to watch:

For more than half an hour the boy stayed there, struggling between life and death, dying in slow agony before our eyes. We were all forced to pass in front of him, but not allowed to look down or avert our eyes, on pain of being hanged ourselves. When I passed in front of him, the child’s tongue was still red, his eyes not yet glazed. Behind me a man muttered, ‘Where is your God now’? And I heard a voice within me answer him, ‘Where is he? Here He is. He is hanging here on this gallows’.

For me – if not for Ellie Wiesel – this above all is the meaning of the Cross: that God is one with us in our sufferings, and not just 2000 years ago but through all time.

On the cross God absorbs into himself our falleness and its consequences and offers us a new relationship.
God shows he knows what it’s like to be the loser; God hurts and weeps and bleeds and dies. It’s a mystery we can hardly glimpse, let alone grasp; and if there is an answer to the problem of suffering, perhaps it’s one for the heart, not the reason. Because the answer God’s given is simply himself; to show that, so far from inflicting suffering as a punishment, he bears our griefs and shares our sorrow. From Good Friday on, God is no longer “God up there”, inscrutably allotting rewards and retributions. On the Cross, even more than in the crib, he is Immanuel, God down here, God with us.”

“that God is one with us in our sufferings, and not just 2000 years ago but through all time.”   Surely, yes, this is the heart of the matter.

It’s interesting…that our Creator may be angry, in a sinless way,  (righteous anger…because of evil and the damage it causes) but not punishing…hostile, destructive, and all the other distortions which sometimes happen to us with our sinful natures…anger against what is wrong is more a kind of passion, and a passion to act, and to act IN LOVE.  A motivating force kind of passion.  Not destructive.  It’s a shame that so many of us tend to get caught in a very primitive idea of God…as being some kind of volcano maybe…erupting and destroying anything in its path.  We accuse God of not acting, but deny his work through Christ, in both Christ’s life, death and resurrection. And we, in our natural natures, tend to push God away.   Or maybe we maintain a negative conception of God, forgetting that our Creator has always been able to forgive us, even before the work of the cross, as our Creator God  is eternally forgiving, as the Trinity  is eternally loving.  Oh please,  all I can say for myself, is that I want the work of the Holy Spirit to continue, and bring me to a change of mind and heart, that I will continue to embrace this mysterious yet wonderful God of perfect love.  How amazing it is, that he/she has made himself known through Christ, incarnate.  And we may see the life and spirit of God within us too…flourishing, if we choose to obey.

(ps… re the he/she bit…I find it helpful to remember that the “He” we so often use to refer to God, includes both he and she)

…………………………………..

I wonder if my thoughts on the above will make their way into my painting… Need they?  Should they?  Will they?

The work of an artist,  an artist who is also a Christian, need not profess any conceptual thoughts in itself…It might be taken of evidence of this or that, or understood in many ways,  and I wonder at times, if I start to include some narrative in my painting, what this narrative might be.  I prefer words for narrative.  I prefer to ask people looking at my painting to make their own narrative. Make their own sense of it, if they are open to doing that.  However, I would not discount the possibility of anything happening.  You never know.  I may well look back in time at what I have written and cringe, because my perspective has changed.  And with my interest in Ignatian Spirituality, I might find I want to use my pictorial imagination in my painting a little more!!!! (for it may be that I end up investing more time in dwelling in the biblical narrative).  I may have some interesting ideas that I feel I want to explore in painting and drawing.  At the moment, I prefer to write about these thoughts as I work them out.  I often write poetry, to enjoy that tension of the written and the visual.   To enjoy the slight openings which poetry seems to make in the logical construction of some of my mind!  For now, though, I remain mostly working with non-representational (in the pictorial sense) paintings.  They are challenging to me, and I like this.  They are like climbing a very tricky mountain, because you just don’t know what is going to meet you next, and I like this.  It is only when I look back at them,  I get some idea of what I was meaning and exploring in the process of creating them.  And I like this.  Alot.

Here are some I am working on right now.

summer 2014 jenny meehan painting in progress

summer 2014 jenny meehan painting in progress

 

Summer 2014 is very  nearly finished…I have now left it for some time, before I do any thing else on it.

 

river journey painting in progress jenny meehan

river journey painting in progress jenny meehan

I like this painting above very much as it is…  but for the sake of learning and exploring and experimenting, I will continue with it.  I am particularly aware right now of how my painting has gone into patches of colour and drips and blobs, which is fine, however, I am interested in the linear part of this one.  The need to include it was very strong.  I may well take it back into a more familiar route, however, while I can happily leave it as it is, I want to push on forward.  I might regret this.  I feel though that if I continue, I will open up a few more ways of potentially viewing it, which is hard to resist.

 

Jenny Meehan is a painter, poet, and Christian contemplative  based in East Surrey/South West London. She is a member of Kingston Artist’s Open Studios, Surrey Artist’s Open Studios, Kingston Arts, and Guildford Arts.  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 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.    Commissions for paintings are also undertaken at affordable prices.

 Jenny Meehan works mainly with either oils or acrylics  creating both abstract/non-objective paintings  and also semi-abstract work.  She also 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 email j.meehan@tesco.net requesting to be kept up to date.

 

Dulwich Picture Gallery Friends Open Competition Soon to be Over…

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

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

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

 

bright and breezy painting meehan at dulwich picture gallery uk

bright and breezy painting meehan at dulwich picture gallery uk

 

bright and breezy painting meehan at dulwich picture gallery uk

bright and breezy painting jenny meehan at dulwich picture gallery uk

 

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

Painting Flowers

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

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

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

Flowers that won't die - Jenny Meehan

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

 

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

This one followed, as another interpretation.

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

Burst Forth – Jenny Meehan

 

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

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

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

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

Falling Flowers – Jenny Meehan

 

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

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

 

Water and Flowers 

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

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

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

Watercolour Secrets: RWS Autumn Exhibition

2 October – 1 November 2014

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

letter in mind brain appeal at oxo gallery southbank jenny meehan

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

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

 

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

— St. Teresa of Avila

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

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

 

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

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

Jenny Meehan BA Hons (Lit.) PGCE also offers occasional art tuition.  Please contact Jenny at j.meehan@tesco.net or through the contact form at www.jamartlondon.com for further details. 

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

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

Here is the link to my Photobox Gallery:

http://www.photoboxgallery.com/19507

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

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

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

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

Note About Following Jenny Meehan Contemporary Artist’s Journal 

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

You tube video with examples of photography, drawing and painting

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

Website Link for jamartlondon:  www.jamartlondon.com 

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

COPYRIGHT INFORMATION

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

COPYRIGHT INFORMATION FOR OTHER IMAGES

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

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

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

 

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