Well, another month, another post!

Quite late to post February post on the 19th!

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

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

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

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

studio tent jenny meehan

studio tent jenny meehan

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

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

Image of the Small World Futures contribution from myself!

SWF_Jenny_Meehan_14d_33% vibe drome on display london bridge

Image credit: ©Alban Low

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

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

Here is some text quoted from the CollectConnect website:

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

© Natalie Low

(Included on here with permission from Natalie Low)

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

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

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

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


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

I love his drawing!

Why Abstract Painting Isn’t Music


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

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

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

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

Painting and Music Play on the Instrument of the Feelings

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

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

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


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


All is Energy

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

The Constructive Laws of Rhythm

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Pure Painting, Pure Aesthetics

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

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

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

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

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

© Patricia Railing 2005

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

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

Included in this blog by kind permission.

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

The Smell of Paint!

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


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

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

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

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


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

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

Paint to love…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

Not Drawing…

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

Here is some past drawing.

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

rear access roads chessington art jenny meehan

rear access roads chessington art jenny meehan

rear access roads chessington art jenny meehan

rear access roads chessington art jenny meehan

rear access roads chessington art jenny meehan

rear access roads chessington art jenny meehan

rear access roads chessington art jenny meehan

rear access roads chessington art jenny meehan

rear access roads chessington art jenny meehan

rear access roads chessington art jenny meehan

rear access roads chessington art jenny meehan

rear access roads chessington art jenny meehan

rear access roads chessington art jenny meehan

rear access roads chessington art jenny meehan

rear access roads chessington art jenny meehan

rear access roads chessington art jenny meehan

rear access roads chessington art jenny meehan

rear access roads chessington art jenny meehan

rear access roads chessington art jenny meehan

rear access roads chessington art jenny meehan

rear access roads chessington art jenny meehan

rear access roads chessington art jenny meehan

rear access roads chessington art jenny meehan

rear access roads chessington art jenny meehan

rear access roads chessington art jenny meehan

rear access roads chessington art jenny meehan

rear access roads chessington art jenny meehan

rear access roads chessington art jenny meehan

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



Speaking Out Project

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

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

What is happening this year?

Well, the Kingston Artists’ Open Studios!

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

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

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



A Prayer of Anselm (1033-1109)

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

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

Often you weep over our sins and our pride,

tenderly you draw us from hatred and judgement.

You comfort us in sorrow and bind up our wounds,

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

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

by your anguish and labour we come forth in joy.

Despair turns to hope through your sweet goodness;

through your gentleness we find comfort in fear.

Your warmth gives life to the dead,

your touch makes sinners righteous.

Lord Jesus, in your mercy heal us;

in your love and tenderness remake us.

In your compassion bring grace and forgiveness,

for the beauty of heaven may your love prepare us.



Such a beautiful prayer. 


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


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



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“River Journey” abstract lyrical expressionist british paintings jenny meehan

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



Snails in the Studio

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

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

the snail in the studio jenny meehan abstract painting



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

walking after TKR

walking after TKR



Health Care

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

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

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

For 2017 “The Art of Caring”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

You are clear on that, yes?  !!!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Here goes…Be patient!

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

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

Meditation Garden

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


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

sign of the times series jenny meehan

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

Forthcoming Kingston Artists’ Open Studios for 2017

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

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


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

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

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


Emily Carr Quote:

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

© Jenny Meehan DACS All Rights Reserved

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

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


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

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



About Jenny Meehan 

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

Kingston Artists’ Open Studios

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

kingston artists open studios

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

kingston artists open studios jenny meehan

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

Okingston artists open studios jenny meehan

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

kingston artists open studios jenny meehan

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

kingston artists open studios jenny meehan

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

kingston artists open studios jenny meehan

kingston artists open studios jenny meehan – “Resurrection One”

kingston artists open studios jenny meehan

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

and Seana Mallen:  www.smallen.moonfruit.com

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

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

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

Artists Need Collectors!  

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I do ramble on!

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

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

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

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

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

Other interesting thoughts:

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

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

Also interesting:


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


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

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

Kingston Artists Open Studios is still on this year:  


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

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

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

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

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


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

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


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


Friday 20 May 2016 – Kingston

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


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

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

So much to see!


Yoga and the Devoted Christian

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

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

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

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

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

Maybe a feeling of somehow betraying my religion.

However, what has changed?

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

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

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

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

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

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

Might seem negative, but for me, not so.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

It is all about intention.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Quote from Rebecca Ffrench:

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

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

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

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

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

Well, that’s enough of that for now.

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

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

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

Art at the Bridge#7

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


Artist Notes for Drawn Together:

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


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

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


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


Here is one of the reviews:


Art at the Bridge #7
Tower Bridge, London

8 March to 31 July 2016

Reviewed by Amanda Hayes

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

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

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

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

Bits and Bobs

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


More interesting reading from Gresham College:



That’s it for now….


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

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

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

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

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

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

Note About Following Jenny Meehan Contemporary Artist’s Journal 


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/



Art at the Bridge #7 Photographs and Visit

Had a great time at the Art at the Bridge # 7 – Building Bridges, The Female Perspective, in the Victorian Engine Rooms at Tower Bridge.  Thought I would get in there before it gets too busy over the holidays.  Very pleased to have my art work “Drawn Together” on show.  Here are some images!

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


Here’s an image of part of the Building Bridges Exhibition…  What a lovely wall..!!  (As well as the art work, of course!)

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

As well as being part of a very harmonious corner in terms of the hanging of the exhibition,  I had the good fortune to even catch a colour coordinated passer by!

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

jenny meehan drawn together art tower bridge

It’s a great space, lovely and light and refreshing!

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

glass walkway tower bridge experience as part of the building bridges the female perspective art exhibition tower bridge engine rooms jenny meehan

Even lighter on the walkway!  It can hold the weight of several elephants, I was assured!

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

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


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

jenny meehan on her visit to building bridges the female perspective art exhibition tower bridge engine rooms jenny meehan


Massive “Thank You” to Southwark Arts Forum and Tower Bridge for this opportunity to show my work.  If you would like to support Southwark Arts Forum it is quick and easy to do over their website: http://www.southwarkartsforum.org/

Artists need the support of their local community in order to thrive, and organisations like the Southwark Arts Forum, Kingston Artists Open Studios, etc are always keen to look for ways they can partnership with organisations who can help them with the provision of exhibition space without charge.  It’s a challenge investing time into the arts, especially with the rising cost of  living, etc and partnerships like the Tower Bridge/Southwark Arts Forum one are beneficial to all concerned.  Artists are not exploited by being forced to pay ridiculous amounts of money to exhibit their work, and the organisations get a wonderfully high quality selection of art work free of charge.  It’s a win win situation!

Details of the Exhibition here, quoted  from the Tower Bridge website:

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

8 March – 31 July
Celebrate female artistic endeavour this spring with Tower Bridges new ‘Art at the Bridge’exhibition. Now in its seventh iteration, this long running exhibition in partnership with Southwark Arts Forum will display the works of 15 female artists as they explore the theme of ‘Building Bridges: The Female Perspective’.

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

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

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


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

This successful partnership was set up in 2011 as part of Tower Bridge’s ongoing commitment to engage with and acknowledge the talents of the local community; and these regular exhibitions provide an opportunity for artists to gain exposure to our international audience of  2,500 daily visitors.Check out the Tower Bridge website for exhibition times.

For sales and artist enquiries contact: bridget@southwarkartsforum.org.

There are plenty of reviews and features on the exhibition on the internet… this one shows you some more of the art works on show.  I could not get to the private view as I was on a residential course, which was a great shame!



Ps…  If you like my print “Drawn Together” you can purchase your own, quickly, easily and safely, on Redbubble.com.  Follow the link!




British Female Contemporary Artists – Painter Rose Wylie

Very interesting read.


My particular favourite quotes:

“Two years ago, the art critic Brian Sewell dismissed one of her pictures as “a daub worthy of a child of four”, and the “worst” work in the Royal Academy’s annual Summer Exhibition.

Earlier this year, though, the RA elected Wylie a Senior Royal Academician.”

Something to remember next time someone slags off your painting!

” The extraordinary thing is that this hot streak for Wylie, who is now 80, has occurred in the twilight of her career, after years of relative obscurity.”

Well, that is rather a long time to wait, but at least she is still alive… You don’t have to die first!  

“For much of her adult life, she put her ambitions as a painter on hold while she brought up three children, two of whom now work in finance. “[Roy] was the dominant artist, certainly,” she says, “because I was the mother, wife, cook.” Once the children had grown up, though, she went back to art school, graduating from the Royal College of Art in 1981, and devoted herself to painting. Does she ever feel that concentrating on motherhood at the expense of painting was a sacrifice?

“That’s such a crappy question,” she shoots back. “People like to think that I was frustrated – that the male element was working and that I must have been jealous or angry.” That wasn’t the case? “No! I think children are important, relationships are important, life is important. Besides, I used to do stuff – like make their clothes. I used to make curtains, sofa covers. I made pâté.”

I Love this woman!  Creativity in whatever realm, is creativity.  The fact that it is not recognized by certain people, in certain circles, as important art, does not make it any less art, any less valuable, artistic, or worth of attention!  Plus, the domestic matters of life are important. 

“Painting is both horrifically demanding and exciting. When it’s going badly, it’s very depressing – it’s not fun. But then you get into it and you can’t stop. It’s compulsive. If it weren’t there, life would be very drab.””


The above is quoted from the very interesting article,” Rose Wylie: ‘I don’t like arty’
Alastair Sooke meets the 80-year-old whose childlike work is the toast of the art world” By Alastair Sooke 4:00PM BST 06 Jun 2015 in the Telegraph.  Read the whole article here: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/art/11652527/Rose-Wylie-I-dont-like-arty.html


Very interesting read here also:



The link above is an extract from the book, information below:

” Mark Rothko (1903–1970), world-renowned icon of Abstract Expressionism, is rediscovered in this wholly original examination of his art and life written by his son. Synthesizing rigorous critique with personal anecdotes, Christopher, the younger of the artist’s two children, offers a unique perspective on this modern master.
Christopher Rothko draws on an intimate knowledge of the artworks to present eighteen essays that look closely at the paintings and explore the ways in which they foster a profound connection between viewer and artist through form, color, and scale. The prominent commissions for the Rothko Chapel in Houston and the Seagram Building murals in New York receive extended treatment, as do many of the lesser-known and underappreciated aspects of Rothko’s oeuvre, including reassessments of his late dark canvases and his formidable body of works on paper. The author also discusses the artist’s writings of the 1930s and 1940s, the significance of music to the artist, and our enduring struggles with visual abstraction in the contemporary era. Finally, Christopher Rothko writes movingly about his role as the artist’s son, his commonalities with his father, and the terms of the relationship they forged during the writer’s childhood.
Mark Rothko: From the Inside Out is a thoughtful reexamination of the legendary artist, serving as a passionate introduction for readers new to his work and offering a fresh perspective to those who know it well.”


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

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

Two prizes, the Judge’s Choice and the Public Choice, will be awarded to the artwork which gains the most votes in respective category.

“I am intrigued to see the works that have been submitted and the ways in which each artist has chosen to respond to the theme of “Anagrams” in order to convey their intentions to the viewer. Given Kingston’s rich artistic heritage, I am hoping there will be some great surprises in store from local artists”.

David Falkner, Director Stanley Picker Gallery & Dorich House Museum, Kingston University
Organised in conjunction with artist’s group KAOS. Last day is Saturday 2 July.

Anagram definition: An anagram is a type of word play, the result of rearranging the letters of a word or phrase to produce a new word or phrase, using all the original letters exactly once; for example, the word anagram can be rearranged into nag-a-ram. Someone who creates anagrams may be called an “anagrammatist”. Any word or phrase that exactly reproduces the letters in another order is an anagram. However, the goal of serious or skilled anagrammatists is to produce anagrams that in some way reflect or comment on the subject.
Main image: Jenny Meehan

29 April – 2 July 2016
Opening hours: Tuesday, Friday, Saturday 10am-5pm, Thursday 10am-7pm
Admission free

Kingston Museum
Wheatfield Way
Kingston upon Thames, KT1 2PS
020 8547 5006


Nice quote:


“Know Yourself – in talents and capacity, in judgement and inclination. You cannot master yourself unless you know yourself. There are mirrors for the face but none for the mind. Let careful thought about yourself serve as a substitute. Where the outer image is forgotten, keep the inner one to improve and perfect. Learn the force of your intellect and capacity for affairs, test the force of your courage in order to apply it, and keep your foundations secure and your head clear for everything.” quote from Baltasar Gracián (1601 -1658) from The Art of Worldly Wisdom

Creativity and Divergent Thinking…

If creativity is not equivalent to a high IQ, then how else might it be defined and measured? Several different approaches have been taken to address this question. One has been to develop tests specifically designed to measure creativity and to designate people who achieve high scores on these tests as creative. The basic assumption behind most such tests is that creativity can be defined as having a capacity for achieving a high level of divergent thinking. Divergent thinking is defined as the ability to come up with a large number of responses to an open-ended probe; it is contrasted with convergent thinking, which tends to apply a sequential series of steps to answer a question that has only one possible solution (Runco and Marz, 1992). An example of a probe used to assess divergent thinking is asking: How many uses can you think of for a brick? A series of similar questions can be asked and then used to create a score that is a continuous measurement of divergent thinking (Torrance, 1998). This approach is favoured by some psychologists as a way of achieving an objective measure of creativity.” 

Quoted from  A Journey into Chaos: Creativity and the Unconscious**
Nancy C. Andreasen, M.D., Ph.D.    © Mens Sana Monographs




Ah, how I love long never ending titles!  And meandering discourse.

As per usual, skim as fast or slow as you need…I always pack lots of too much of everything in!


From: ‘In No Strange Land’ by Francis Thompson


O world invisible, we view thee,
O world intangible, we touch thee,
O world unknowable we know thee,
Inapprehensible, we clutch thee.

Does the fish soar to find the ocean,
The eagle plunge to find the air –
That we ask of the stars in motion
If they have rumour of thee there?
From ‘In No Strange Land’ by Francis Thompson


Willi Baumeister

What a delightful poem… indeed, “world unknowable”  is so attractive to the painter, particularly one as myself.   I recal “The Unknown in Art” by Willi Baumeister suddenly, though I have not read it yet..not yet.    I have been looking on the net again at the work of Willi Baumeister, who is one of my favourite influences, and was reminded again of his use of sand in painting.  I started using sand a while back, but now use very tiny glass beads as they have little colour and reflect light very consistently.  Recently while painting, I pressed some of the smallest micron beads into the surface of some very full bodied paint and the effect was very pleasing indeed.  I think if I put any kind of varnish on top (I normally put a very thin layer of varnish on my acrylic paintings in order to protect them) the effect will be ruined, but with the thickness of the paint I have pressed the tiny glass pieces into, thankfully there is plenty of grip there, so I should think there will be no need for any further application, certainly on the fixing front, at least.

I always try to try something new when I start a group of paintings.  While I wouldn’t say that I work in a series, at all, the various paintings sessions normally leave their mark in terms of the colour groupings I use, or new experiments tried out.  And I am finding myself rather attracted to working on paintings in pairs…though their relationship won’t stay intimate I don’t think, somehow working on two at a time works well for me, at least in the initial stages.

Back to Willi Baumeister..


And here, some quotation from the wiki information on his work, which is of particular interest to me:

“Baumeister took part in his first exhibition in 1910, showing figurative works inspired by impressionism. His chief interest was even at this time already in cubism and Paul Cézanne, whose work remained important to him throughout his life. These influences of impressionism and cubism that shaped Baumeister’s early paintings played an essential role in his work until the end of the 1920s. On the one hand, his representational painting was increasingly reduced (abstracting and geometric) as it gained form and lost depth. Parallel to the paintings of his friend Oskar Schlemmer, Baumeister’s independent exploration of form and color emerged. Already around 1919, his teacher Adolf Hölzel wrote to him: “Out of all of us, you will be the one who will achieve the most.” Also worth noticing is that the idiosyncratic German path into modernism, expressionism, barely resonates at all in Baumeister’s work, even though he had met, for instance, Franz Marc earlier on, and was certainly acquainted with the works of the Brücke (Bridge) artists and those of the Blaue Reiter (Blue Rider).

After his return from the First World War, Baumeister rigorously developed his work further. Although one still finds figurative elements in his paintings, the forms grew increasingly geometric and took on a dynamic of their own, and Baumeister broke the traditional connection between form and color. Various work groups emerged at this time, including the relief-like wall pictures, and paintings with sports theme (as a symbol for modernity). In his painting, the grappling with shapes and material of the painting as well as the relationship between reality and representation became visible. Parallel to this development, nonrepresentational painting began to gain a foothold in works that centered on geometric shapes and their relationships to one another in the picture (e.g. Planar Relation of 1920). Baumeister’s lively exchange with other German and foreign artists must also be seen as vitally important in the consequent development of his work. Indeed, as it was for many of his fellow artists, posing such questions was part of the agenda of the modern age (for example, El Lissitzky, Kazimir Malevich, Wassily Kandinsky, Fernand Léger, Amédée Ozenfant, Le Corbusier, Paul Klee).

Towards the end of the 1920s, the shapes in Baumeister’s pictures grew softer. His paintings moved away from being oriented by the elementary shapes of the circle, triangle, and square towards organic forms. Although this development could also be observed concurrently in the work of other artists of his time, in Baumeister’s case, it was tied to his fascination for the prehistoric and archaic paintings. Baumeister intensely explored artifacts of early paintings and integrated this pictorial experience into his own painting. He identified the symbols, signs, and figures of cave painting as components of a valid archaic pictorial language that he used in his works. These included his increasing number of paintings in “oil on sand on canvas” that, in their materials, also approached the cave painting that Baumeister so admired (beg. ca. 1933). He himself collected examples of prehistoric findings, small sculptures, and tools, and occupied himself with cliff drawings that had been discovered in Rhodesia. This experience was undoubtedly important for Baumeister’s artistic disposition since he, evidently inspired by this rich store of prehistoric works, ultimately used extraordinarily reduced organic shapes for his “ideograms” (beg. ca. 1937). In these works he used a unique world of signs, which he saw as symbols for the laws of nature, their evolution, and human existence.

Baumeister’s artistic development was not interrupted when he lost his professorship at the Städel in Frankfurt in 1933. He continued to paint despite political persecution and economic difficulties. His work and its development are correspondingly diverse, even for the period after 1941, when he was imposed with an exhibition prohibition. While on the one hand his employment at the Dr. Kurt Herberts & Co. varnish factory in Wuppertal to research antique and modern painting techniques protected him politically, it also on the other hand gave him the opportunity to explore the fundamentals of painting, so that he could further his knowledge on the prehistoric cave painting techniques. At the same time, he tuned to Goethe’s theory of plant morphology. Out of this study the “eidos pictures” (eidos: idea) emerged: paintings that, unlike Baumeister’s ideograms, are rich in their variety and coloration. Moreover, the forms are organic, but seem to be less of symbols or signs, than images of simple plantlike and animal life forms. The pictures bear titles such as Rock Garden, Eidos, or Primordial Vegetable.

As an indefatigable researcher and collector, Baumeister also owned examples of African sculpture, in which he, as in the case of the prehistorical artifacts, saw universal images for life, development, and human existence. Correspondingly, their formal language entered Baumeister’s work in the early 1940s—highly abstracted, at first chromatically restrained (African Tale, 1942), and with time, became increasingly colorful and in part very complex in their formal design (Owambo 1944–1948). Both the titles and formal language reveal Baumeister’s preoccupation with other old (Latin American) cultures (Peruvian Wall, 1946, and Aztec Couple, 1948).

Another example of his search for the “foundations of art” is Baumeister’s transposition of the Gilgamesh Epic, one of the oldest surviving literary works. Therefore, Baumeister used his personal pictorial and sign language in his illustration of the narrative (beg. 1943), which resulted in an astonishingly unified cycle, which with his pictorial language came strikingly close to depicting the literary and linguistic effects(impression) of the epic. He also produced illustrations to texts from the Bible—Saul, Esther, Salome—as well as to William Shakespeare’s The Tempest.

In this way, Baumeister single-mindedly and successfully developed a very personal and impressive visual language that was and still is unique in the German art immediately after 1945. The national and international recognition that Willi Baumeister received in the postwar period was correspondingly high. But his artistic development did not stop there. On the one hand, he developed his painting further in a virtuosic manner and, what is more, combined the variety of his formation phases in many other pictures—in part into “overalls structures” that nonetheless still possessed a fundamental that was reminiscent of landscape imageries (Blue Movement, 1950). On the other hand, Baumeister also produced densely packed abstractions that, proceeding from a central form, characterized him as an outstanding “nonrepresentationalist.” These paintings became quite possibly the most famous of his works, and were immediately associated by a broad public with Baumeister (e.g. ARU 2, 1955). Even so, Baumeister did not limit himself to this late “trademark.” Multiform and multicoloured pictures emerged as well in the year of his death.”

quoted from: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Willi_Baumeister

What a brilliant inspiration Baumeister is… and how grateful I am to both read and see with such ease the paths trodden down so well…!!!  As said, I haven’t yet read his “The Unknown in Art” but it is on my reading list, which, as ever is extremely long!!!!!  I do have some German blood in me…my mother was German-Swiss (Eleanor Rosa Eicher) ( or “Norli Rosa Eicher…informally called!).  My mother’s father is recorded as “unknown” (which is very annoying, as it would be nice to try and trace my ancestory!)  and I have little information available to me now, about him, apart from a photo of her standing at a grave (which I imagine must be her father’s, as she has drew a big question mark on it!!!  I went to Basel as a child, just once, to visit my Granny Josephina Bohlmer (I imagine that my mother’s mother must have remarried and therefore taken the surname Bohlmer??? Or that my mother had taken her Father’s name Eicher, and therefore he was not as unknown as suggested in her marriage documents??? But this is forever going to remain unknown, for me…So more unknown material, also remaining….  (How I just wish I had spoken more to both my parents when they were alive!)  However, I am sure, my parents being who they were, that there would be a lot unsaid that would be unsaid even if I did ask about it!

I have photographs.. including of my great grandmother, who was located in the black forest area of Germany…and that, is pretty much where I need to leave it I think!  To leave it with a felt affinity with several German artists, will probably serve me as well as any other knowledge, and maybe better!  However, worth a mention in reference to my paintings, I see now, is the impression of visiting the Glacier Garden in Lucerne, during that childhood visit to Switzerland (Basel…to see Granny, and to Lucerne, to visit my Uncle Herman, who was a very well renowned chef, and my Auntie, who I think was called Marie:


Seeing the glacial potholes had a HUGE impression on me… I can remember it so well, and I am quite sure that this experience is seeping into my interests right now with, well, basically rock and water!….  The solid like areas in my paintings, related to my own life/experience, are metaphors for rock and the rest increasingly resonates of water/fluidity of various kinds, emotional as well as physical.

“These impressive potholes were formed at the bottom of the glacier by the sheer force of the water. As is still the case in alpine glaciers today, the melt water initially flowed on the surface of the ice before seeping into the glacier through fissures. At the bottom of the glacier the water was under tremendous pressure. As the flow of water gathered speed, vortices with speeds of up to 200 km/h began to form. Within a few years, potholes had been eroded out of the rock. Most of the erosion was created by sand and gravel that was transported with the cloudy melt-water.”


I also remember a very exciting trip up Mount Pilatus,  and a boat ride on the Lake.  It was a completely “out of the world” or the usual world, at least, experience for me, and so I am not surprised that it has such a lasting impression!



There are plenty of reasons to look back,  and with the wonders of digital image manipulation software, I can play with past paintings in a way that previous generations of artists have not had at their disposal.  While I don’t see my experiments with past paintings combined with digital image manipulation as works in their own right, they are, however valuable “Afterthoughts” and I have taken to calling them that.  For they must have some kind of name, even though they don’t express anything different from the paintings which brought them into being.   To take some sections, to make alterations…Sometimes something new, in it’s own right, does emerge, and it will be named accordingly, because I discovered something within it.   In the end, my main objective is to experiment, and so, this is just another way to do so.   In the process of re-examining the painting, it’s surface, and the colours, I am also currently informing the original paintings which I carry out.  So it is “win win”.

Working on some smaller works… prints… very colourist/expressionist/textural… An interesting development for me…

christian faith painting jenny meehan, abstract expressionist, textural colourful  god  divine religion religious abstract painting,jamartlondon,lyrical abstraction,father son holy spirit,blessing painting,contemplative spirituality,christian mysticism,art to license,book covers christian books,visual art to license,modern contemporary uk british artist,colourist,book cover images,digital images to license;

jenny meehan textural colourful abstract painting afterthoughts into the ocean deep series

© Jenny Meehan. All Rights Reserved, DACS  To license this  work contact jenny via her website www.jamartlondon.com

Afterthoughts Prints...Into the Ocean Deep Series   textural expressionistic abstract painting print lyrical abstraction Christian spirituality theme of water christian faith painting jenny meehan, abstract expressionist, textural colourful  god  divine religion religious abstract painting,jamartlondon,lyrical abstraction,father son holy spirit,blessing painting,contemplative spirituality,christian mysticism,art to license,book covers christian books,visual art to license,modern contemporary uk british artist,colourist,book cover images,digital images to license;

jenny meehan textural colourful abstract painting afterthoughts


© Jenny Meehan. All Rights Reserved, DACS To license this work contact jenny via her website www.jamartlondon.com


Afterthoughts Prints...Into the Ocean Deep Series   textural expressionistic abstract painting print lyrical abstraction Christian spirituality theme of water christian faith painting jenny meehan, abstract expressionist, textural colourful  god  divine religion religious abstract painting,jamartlondon,lyrical abstraction,father son holy spirit,blessing painting,contemplative spirituality,christian mysticism,art to license,book covers christian books,visual art to license,modern contemporary uk british artist,colourist,book cover images,digital images to license; inner life spiritual development,faith focused,subconscious depth,

jenny meehan textural colourful abstract painting afterthoughts

© Jenny Meehan. All Rights Reserved, DACS To license this work contact jenny via her website www.jamartlondon.com



Afterthoughts Prints...Into the Ocean Deep Series   textural expressionistic abstract painting print lyrical abstraction Christian spirituality theme of water christian faith painting jenny meehan, abstract expressionist, textural colourful  god  divine religion religious abstract painting,jamartlondon,lyrical abstraction,father son holy spirit,blessing painting,contemplative spirituality,christian mysticism,art to license,book covers christian books,visual art to license,modern contemporary uk british artist,colourist,book cover images,digital images to license; book cover images christian themes

jenny meehan textural colourful abstract painting afterthoughts


© Jenny Meehan. All Rights Reserved, DACS To license this work contact jenny via her website www.jamartlondon.com

Afterthoughts Prints...Into the Ocean Deep Series   textural expressionistic abstract painting print lyrical abstraction Christian spirituality theme of water christian faith painting jenny meehan, abstract expressionist, textural colourful  god  divine religion religious abstract painting,jamartlondon,lyrical abstraction,father son holy spirit,blessing painting,contemplative spirituality,christian mysticism,art to license,book covers christian books,visual art to license,modern contemporary uk british artist,colourist,book cover images,digital images to license;

jenny meehan textural colourful abstract painting afterthoughts


© Jenny Meehan. All Rights Reserved, DACS To license this work contact jenny via her website www.jamartlondon.com

I might well title them in the future, but often ideas take time to emerge, and I don’t push it.


A Letter in Mind is running again this year.  

I was very pleased that my work was purchased last year….So good to know it did some worthwhile good, as well as being what it was.  I am entering again this year, and hopefully the work will also come to good use!



“Pushing the Boat out into the Sun”

 fine painting using silica sol mineral paints (soldalit) Keim Soldalit  silica sol mineral paint soldalit, pushing the boat out into the sun by jenny meehan© Jenny Meehan. All Rights Reserved, DACS

© Jenny Meehan. All Rights Reserved, DACS


“Pushing the Boat out into the Sun” is painted with Silica Sol Mineral Paint (Keim Soldalit, to be exact) on primed board.  It works well… reflects light beautifully.    The style of my painting varies according to medium… this is only right and fitting, and I like what happens with the mineral paints.  I love the metal oxide colours which are needful with working with this type of very alkaline paint.  I love mixing the pigments into the paint, which is very creamy and highly light reflective. And this one certainly has a German Expressionist flavour to it!!!(I suspect when I revisit representational painting more in the future, that this painting might well indicate the type of approach and style I take!)    It brings memories of the mural I produced several years ago.  See here for a You Tube video of the process I used.  Gosh, that was a while back.  It was great to work on a larger scale, and lovely working outside.


The design for this was more planned in advance than my current methods of painting, but that was a necessity…I couldn’t afford to waste paint or time…

school playground mural painted with silicate mineral paints  Beeck and also Keim Soldalit, silica sol  jenny meehan project led, jamartlondon.

school playground mural painted with silicate mineral paints (Beeck and also Keim Soldalit, silica sol )

John T Freeman led some excellent cartooning workshops, and then transferred (exactly as the children had drawn them) the figures onto the mural, deciding on a pleasing placement.   The underlying Mondrian-ish style design was created by me, and the children helped me with a lot of the painting.

jenny meehan jamartlondon,school mural silicate mineral painting,trafalgar junior school twickenham playground mural project.

Children at Trafalgar Junior School working very hard on the bridging primer application for the mural!


That was a few years back,  2011!    I haven’t done a mural since, but that’s simply just the way it goes.  I was very pleased with the result and it still looks great.  It’s pretty hard to get one’s head around working with such a different type of paint, but I learnt a lot.  Now I continue using Keim Soldalit and Keim Optil on smaller scale paintings… mixing into them the slaked pigments, and continuing the journey I started all those years ago.

Photobox Gallery for Poster Prints by Jenny Meehan 

It is rather a slow process, but I am planning to put up more imagery on my Photobox Gallery.  For now, take a look at some of what is already there:


Festival surface pattern design by uk fine artist designer,colourful multicoloured surface pattern striped design,

Festival surface pattern design by uk fine artist designer jenny meehan© Jenny Meehan. All Rights Reserved, DACS To license this work contact jenny via her website http://www.jamartlondon.com

To buy a “Festival Pattern Print”  from the Jenny Meehan Photobox Gallery.  This is a poster print, and is ordered directly through Photoboxgallery,  and therefore is unsigned.   © Jenny Meehan. All Rights Reserved  2009.  This “Festival” design was one of my earliest experiments with surface pattern design and I had it printed on a nice tablecloth which I still have.  It is certainly eye catching!.  It’s washed well too.  It was a dye sublimation print on poly cotton.  Looks as good as the day it was printed.

Gosh, my output is very eclectic….However it works in generating new ideas and I am never, ever bored or uninspired!


Sorting Out and Looking Back

Never under rate time spent reviewing past work.  I have been sorting through some drawers and boxes and finding all kinds of things which have been “in process” for some considerable time!   I take some encouragement from finding things which still interest me, and let them influence me afresh, making suggestions into what I am working on at the present time.  It’s great fun.


block peace mono type jenny meehan blue printing, print making, mono print, blue, pink, markmaking jenny meehan all rights reserved DACS

Block Peace Mono type jenny meehan


This piece has already influenced several of the textural acrylic works I am in the midst of, so “thank you very much…my long lost monoprint”.






Surrey Artists’ Open Studios June 2015.

This was my first time being part of the Surrey Artists’ Open Studios and I enjoyed it very much indeed.  Here are some images of the work I had on show, plus some from the Cass Art “Selfies” Exhibition too:

jenny meehan kingston artists open studios events

jenny meehan kingston artists open studios events

jenny meehan kingston artists open studios events

jenny meehan kingston artists open studios events

jenny meehan kingston artists open studios events

jenny meehan kingston artists open studios events

jenny meehan kingston artists open studios events

jenny meehan kingston artists open studios events

jenny meehan kingston artists open studios events

jenny meehan kingston artists open studios events

jenny meehan kingston artists open studios events

jenny meehan kingston artists open studios events

jenny meehan kingston artists open studios events

jenny meehan kingston artists open studios events

jenny meehan kingston artists open studios events

jenny meehan kingston artists open studios events


Thoughts on the Open Studios… 

Well,  it was lovely in lots of ways.. I like meeting people and talking about my work, so there was a lot of pleasure there.  I was disappointed that I did not sell one of the paintings… £250 isn’t bad at all for a large painting, and they take a long time to paint… However, I guess one needs the wall space and also an interest in abstraction, plus the ability to engage with abstract painting, which not everyone has.    I sold one print for £20 and that was it…however, I was very pleased about the sale because the person who brought it was taking in the work in a very appreciative way, which is a great pleasure to me.

However, one print isn’t enough to even cover the costs of taking part…I needed to join Surrey Artists’ Open Studios for the year and then also pay to take part in the event on top… I don’t like the idea of paying to simply show what I do, as I have often  said before.  But it seems this is the norm…    On a more positive note, it was wonderful to spend time with some of the other ladies from KAOS!   That was brilliant, and the investment of time, at least was certainly worth it.  I am just not so sure about the money aspect!

I do plan to take part next year, and I will prepare some smaller work on paper, around the £20, £30, £40 £50  mark… these may have more chance of being brought.   My hopes for a collector of fine paintings who didn’t mind investing in one of mine did not materialise.  It has happened before, but it seems that it was not to happen this year.  My disappointment has had a good effect though.  After the initial slough of despond, I have been painting away today (16th June) in the Sun, and have hurled myself full swing into painting as I do…  without much reservation, well, at least at this early stage in the process.  Later come painstaking meditation and contemplation, reflection and consideration…it is very slow in the latter stages, very slow indeed.

The problem with abstraction is that it is very hard for the general public to appreciate the skill which goes into it, whereas when they see a horse which looks like a horse, they are bowled over with admiration.  I realise I just need to accept this, but it can be hard to stomach at times.    I have thought of a few ways that I can continue with my painting and yet still produce little novelties for those that need to see something and know what it is, without needing to invest my time too much in that direction.   I do appreciate that there is a huge need for security when looking at art, that means that a lot of head-knowing, and object recognition needs to take place.  I myself love looking at pictures…indeed, my favourite kind of pictures to look at are miniatures… which may be rather surprising…  One of my favourite occupations which I do from time to time is to pop into Llewllyn Alexander (Fine Paintings) near Waterloo Station.

The Not the Royal Academy Exhibition is on at the moment.     I had something in that a couple of years back, but  my work is too abstract right now…  Again, I would need to make it a little project to paint a few more representational pieces I think if I want to do that again.

London Gallery Selling Original Paintings in Oil, Watercolour and Pastel by Living ArtistsGallery Open 10am – 7.30pm Tuesday – Saturday inclusive:
124 -126 The Cut, Waterloo, London SE1 8LN UK
(Opposite the Old Vic Theatre)
Tel: 0207 620 1322/1324 Fax: 0207 928 9469


Photobox Gallery 



To buy a “Bruised Reed” poster print, directly from the facility on Photoboxgallery.  This digital artwork..© Jenny Meehan. All Rights Reserved  2008




As I have rather a lot of photography in my archives, and I find it helpful to dig it  up from time to time to remember what inspired me enough to take a photograph in the first place, here are some more images from the archives!  A very suitable start, I think, therefore with this rusted old spade!

rusty spade with leaves in the woods mono image jenny meehan all rights reserved DACS,jamartlondon british female contemporary fine artist surrey south west london,

jenny meehan jamartlondon photography

© Jenny Meehan. All Rights Reserved, DACS

temperate house kew gardens structure building,painted metal image with plants, jenny meehan fine art photography,fine artist female contemporary,monochrome image

jenny meehan jamartlondon photography metal structure  in the temperate house at Kew Gardens

© Jenny Meehan. All Rights Reserved, DACS


jenny meehan jamartlondon photography monochrome, mini revolution wheel, polished chrome mini part,shiny metal car part,

jenny meehan jamartlondon photography monochrome

© Jenny Meehan. All Rights Reserved, DACS


While I don’t focus on photography in the way that I used to, it’s still an important part of my work and I often draw on past imagery to inform what I do in the present.    I often say that my abstract work is not really  “abstract”…I don’t think such a thing exists… it may be mostly non-objective, but the reality is that it is informed by all my looking, thinking and being, and therefore does have subject matter, even though it is not clear what that is, in an exact way.  My eye is informed by all it sees, and any painting I paint, even if no subject is clear, comes from the world and from natural and man made forms, which have impressed themselves into my subconscious, leaving impressions which are deep and often drawn upon to influence any artistic activities I do.  Looking at these images here, reminds me of some of the visual matter which has impressed me.  The interest in surfaces of all kinds, metal (which as a material, has always held a strong interest) and naturally occurring textures and patterns, plus the extensive experimentation with composition which always becomes a necessary part of picture taking/making,  resound through the images of my past art working endeavours, and remind me  not just of where I was, but where my present interests and occupations come from.  The past is very important indeed in art.  I don’t think we pay enough attention to it.  The novelty factor is very transient.  (Though fun to have…of course).

Copyright Information – Jenny Meehan 

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

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

Licencing 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 licence from DACS…They simply have a very limited sample selection of work in their “Artimage” page!) If you use their online form and attach the low resolution image of my artwork which you have found on the internet, they will know which image you seek permission for.

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

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

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




Fifty Names for Jesus

May 30, 2015

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

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

But I like snails…

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

Hopefully something will survive!


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

Here are some of my sunflower explorations:


sunflower digital image by jenny meehan jamartlondon  colourful flowerhead

sunflower digital image by jenny meehan jamartlondon colourful flowerhead



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

sunflower digital image by jenny meehan jamartlondon colourful flowerhead


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

sunflower digital image by jenny meehan jamartlondon colourful flowerhead



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


sunflower digital image by jenny meehan jamartlondon  colourful flowerhead

sunflower digital image by jenny meehan jamartlondon colourful flowerhead



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


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


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

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

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

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

sunflower and rose bowl drawing jenny meehan graphite on cartridge paper

sunflower and rose bowl drawing jenny meehan


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

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

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

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


Fifty Names for Jesus

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

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

Breeze of moving.

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

Stray Note.

Sound in Silence, Silence in Sound.

Generous hearted.

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

Further than far, nearer than near.

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

Moon and Sun Jesus,

Ultimate Christmas Jumper Jesus,
Healing Jesus,
Kind Jesus.

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

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

Listen, Jesus.


It was very enjoyable to do this!



The Studio Tent

Jenny Meehan's Studio Tent for Painting

Jenny Meehan’s Studio Tent for Painting

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

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

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

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

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

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


Advance Notice:

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

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

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


Silence in the City 

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

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

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

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

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

I’m looking forward to two forthcoming events:

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

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

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

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

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

Refreshments provided. Suggested donation £20.

Text from the Silence in the City website.

And also, I will be attending:

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

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

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

Refreshments provided. Suggested donation £20.

Rethinkyourmind 2015

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

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

Here it is!

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

highwater, i feel better when walking near trees and water


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

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

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

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

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

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


Copyright and Licensing Digital Images Information – Jenny Meehan


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

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

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

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

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


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

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


Jenny Meehan – General Introduction 

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

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

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

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

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


 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


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

Drop In Drawing/Painting Sessions for 2015 – Fridays- Daytime-Once a Month-Workshop Style-Beginners and Experienced Welcome
Friday 27th February 1 – 3pm
Friday 20th March 1 – 3pm
Friday 17th April 1 – 3pm
Friday 15th May 1 – 3pm
The idea is that I am available to help you to develop your own projects and ideas. I will be there to add my technical and practical input, and help you by discussing your direction and the difficulties which may be encountered along the way, if you so require. As to what you actually do, this could be from drawing from the imagination, copying something from life, designing something abstract, or making a collage of text and images. Or simply experimenting and exploring what it is like to use a particular material or method of drawing.I will provide some ideas if people like, but anticipate people coming along with some idea of what they might like to do beforehand. However, just a vague idea is just fine! Participants also need to bring their own materials along with them. I am gearing it mostly to dry media, ie pencil, charcoal, oil pastels, chalk pastels, pens, biros, markers etc. If someone sneaks a bit of paint in, I won’t complain though.. (how could I?) however, for practical reasons, you might need to work outside if you are painting medium or large scale!The idea of holding the sessions on a “drop in” basis is that is it often hard for people to commit to a regular group a long time in advance, however, you do need to let me know the same week if you will be attending, as there is limited space and so I need to know about numbers. I won’t be formally planning a structured session… On these occasions the session takes a “workshop” style approach, with plenty of individual input and opportunities for feedback, discussion, and analysis, as you consider ways of developing your own direction.
If interested, then please contact me via my website contact form http://www.jamartlondon.com for more information.   Thanks.
 Some Painting
 Some painting would be a fine thing…There is too much rubbish in the house which needs sorting!  Too many outstanding household chores, jobs, mending, admin, etc etc.  However I reflect that it’s not a bad thing to have gaps in one’s creative production.   Ill with some flu type cold, and minus my voice for a few weeks forces me into silence, and also into a nostalgic trip into the past as I look through images on CDS and put them onto a portable hard drive.  It’s great to be able to document my work myself.    For a nice escape, I took a tour.
Fancy a little tour around some of the National Gallery?   This little “Life of Christ” tour may be an enjoyable investment of time!
I have also started a mini blog on the Artists Newsletter site.  This is an attempt to make a somewhat narrower stream than river which is this meandering discourse.   I envisage this being orientated around just what I am working as I am working on it, rather than a broader span of past and present artworking.
I am concerned that I might be spewing out too many words, however, I cannot deny that I find it helpful to my creative processes.  I suspect this might be something I start and don’t continue…this does happen sometimes, but it might be useful to try, maybe focusing just on my sculpture/3D work.  ???
I have also looked back on the photography blog site…Something that kept me happy when the children were younger.   I would like to pull together some of the past imagery and self publish a book with some poems maybe.  At some point.
“When we were children, we used to think that when we were grown-up we would no longer be vulnerable. But to grow up is to accept vulnerability… To be alive is to be vulnerable.”
Madeleine L’Engle
Yeah, so true.
Past Work Review 
New Start by Jenny Meehan

New Start by Jenny Meehan

 There is something of the moon in here…Something of an orbit…It is one of the geometric abstract works from the “Signs of the Times” Series.  I had painted some flat abstract paintings several years earlier, but didn’t enjoy painting  sharp lines and didn’t see the point in going to a lot of effort to make intense, flat, smooth areas of colour with paint, when I could do so far more easily,(and get the effect that I wanted ie..smooth smooth smooth, and completely all over satin finish…so that the light would hit the physical surface in exactly the same way), far more easily with vector graphics and wonderful rich pigment ink printed by Poster Pigeon.  I don’t mind plugging them because the service and prints were excellent.
These colours I like very much, I may take and use as a start for a painting.  The moon pops into a lot of my paintings too.  Why the moon?  Maybe just because it is nice and round and white…I suspect this is what attracts me.  Looking at the moonlight as it sometimes floods into the house on a dark clear night is a wonderful experience.  The quality of light, light reflected, does seem to bathe  one in a way which the sunlight cannot.  It is more gentle, more mysterious, and a deeper kind of light.  Reflected light.
As I often do, I have played with this image, and produced this:
starting out series design by jenny meehan to buy on redbubble

starting out series design by jenny meehan to buy on redbubble

This is one of a series.
I have put these up on Redbubble.  The cards and other products are quite reasonably priced, so take a look.  If you would like to support in some small way my art working, which is far, far, from profitable in the monetary sense of the word, at least, then buying something this way will, at some point help me pay for materials.  ( I say “at some point” because I haven’t yet even reached the small amount of sales which mean that any due payments will get processed!)   I get around ten percent of whatever the cost of the item is. Only three items with my design have been sold in the last five years…!!!!!  This is common, because the pool of lovely art work is so large.  Which is good, though doesn’t make it that much of a feature in my life.  I do feel it is good to make things available though, which is why I bother with it.  I have completely given up on the idea that I might ever generate anything resembling an income from my art working.  And I don’t wish to make what I do commercial in the sense of really gearing myself up in that direction.  However, it’s always a little boost when something happens! And, materials are expensive.  We are fortunate to  get by financially as a family, but the fact that I don’t earn because I am investing my time in other directions, means that I don’t mind making little pleas like this from time to time.  I don’t paint on thin air.  It all has to come from somewhere.
Look under the products to narrow down the shown selection to something you are most interested in.  The cards are super and very good value.
If you take a look, see something you like, but don’t wish to buy at, then even enabling a “share” will be great!
If you have some inclination to support my art working in a rather more substantial way, then Cass Art gift vouchers always come in handing for art materials.  Or an Art Fund card, Tate Card, Royal Academy Card…anything like that which helps me see lots of art… A useful thing for any artist to do.  Keeps one fresh.   (feels odd to mention it, but  why not?) 
I was thinking today that we are all wounded…This is something which every single person shares with each other.  We are all the same in this respect.  Some people have a larger portion than others, but it is foolish to make measurements about such things.  We tend to be  defensive, and guarded about our suffering.  For self protection, I think.   I was reading about how groups of hens peck their weakest member, and I can see we all have a bit of this instinct in us too.  It is horrible, but true, that signs of weakness, particularly if we are not able to identify, embrace, and accept our own vulnerabilities, weaknesses and struggles, sometime contribute to decisions, both subconscious and conscious, to give other people a hard time.  I am grateful I have opportunity to delve below the surface of my own experiences, both past and present.  Therapy has been a great asset for my art working for sure.   And it has introduced me to the area of  depth psychology, which in turn leads me at times to spend time reading about different theories and approaches.  As always, there are endless numbers of different schools of thought and theories.  None on their own make up the whole picture, thankfully.  But very interesting to read about!
(Logotherapy is a form of psychotherapy proposed by the Austrian neurologist, psychiatrist, and holocaust-
survivor, Dr Viktor E. Frankl.)
Quote from:
Fabry, Joseph B.
The Pursuit of Meaning : Logotherapy Applied to Life
. Cork (4 Bridge St., Cork):Mercier Press, 1975.
 Fabry writing about a type of psychotherapy approach called Logotherapy:
” It tells him that he cannot change his past, but that he is not its slave either; that he can change his present and influence his future. It tells him that he has limitations but also great freedom within these, and that the use of this freedom can make the difference between a full and empty life; that, if not used responsibly, freedom will turn into meaningless arbitrariness. It tells him that he has choices to make, at every moment, and that he must make them in the face of constant uncertainty, that he never can wait until all answers are in. It tells him that each person is alone, yet participates in a reality that far transcends him and his understanding; that success in life does not depend on the obvious; that individual life is geared to ultimate meaning. It tells him that he can never grasp the reality of the Ultimate, whatever name is given to it, but that everything depends on how he responds to its demands. Logotherapy assumes that ultimate  meaning exists but that it is ultimately un-knowable for the individual. He only can guess at it by means of his conscience, which is part of his human make up and therefore can err. And what his best guesses will reveal is not the overall Master plan but only the meaning of one life situation at a time. He can participate in ultimate meaning only by responding, to the best of his limited capacities, to the meaning demands of the moment. The day-by-day pursuit of meaning gives content to his life. Happiness, peace of mind, satisfaction, success are only by-products of his pursuit of meaning.”
I like these thoughts, though I don’t sign up to any particular school or approach to therapy, (not knowing enough about it in the first place!)  I do rather like this quote from Fabry in addition to the above: “In philosophy something wholly new is likely not to be fully true. That holds for psychotherapy, too. If Logotherapy had achieved nothing more than to rediscover and reformulate old truths even then it would have contributed to the advancement of psychotherapy.”


The Imagination between Beauty and Goodness


Rather a snippet… But as said before…This blog is my notebook!


Mount Street Jesuit Centre

I am benefiting from my visits to the Mount Street Jesuit Centre.  While I cannot shake off the feeling that I am venturing, soaked in Protestantism, onto Catholic territory, I don’t mind the feeling, indeed, I quite like it.  I haven’t found it a problem, rather, it is very interesting, and I am finding, as far as I have experienced so far at least, that those who are looking to deepen their experience of the Creator God through investing time in listening and learning, and whose focus is on deepening their own personal spirituality in a determined and dedicated way, have a wider conception of the body of Christ than that exclusive idea that it is limited to one’s own particular church or church tradition.  (Thankfully!) So I am having interesting discussions and meeting lots of lovely people who were not brought up in a Baptist Church and who don’t go to an Anglican Church.

When asked what I considered myself to be recently, found myself faltering, and saying “nothing really”, explaining that I had been in a great variety of churches, including charismatic, Baptist, evangelical, house churches, and now the Anglican church.  I did mention that my choice to be baptised as an adult was particularly significant for me.  I went to a Baptist Church (Hampton Wick Baptist Church)  as a child, and the female minister Sister Edna Black was such an inspiration to me…I realise this more now as an adult than I did as a child.   So my deep roots feel mostly of that variety.  Choosing to be baptised is the most significant turning point in my life, and the symbolism of that resonates mostly through my self, particularly at this present time.  I have the Baptist  ideas on adult Baptism to thank for that.  I see it as the most helpful marker in my own experience and walk in faith.   Other people have different markers.  I don’t feel that one should have to be baptised or anything like that.  I feel that our Creator is interested in the constant conversion of our hearts as we bumble along in everyday life most of all.  Conversion as a constant, and dedicated baptism process of death and life.  Immersion in the Holy Spirit.  Identifying ourselves with Christ, and taking our identity in who we are in Christ.   But now later on in my journey, I am glad I took part in that particular rite of conversion, because it’s so rich in symbolism, in a continual kind of way, rather than as a one off experience, also.



Can we still experience the sacred in a secular world?  Ignation and Buddhist Perspectives – Facilitated by Terry Walsh SJ

7th February.

Text from the printed leaflet.  Quote:

“Fr Terry Walsh is a Jesuit priest and a philosopher. His curiosity about the roots of human experience – cognitive, ethical and religious – led him to the practice of Buddhist meditation at a time in 2007 when he was living among the Tibetans in exile in northern India. Since then he has returned to Asia every two years to teach philosophy and to continue the practice of meditation in monasteries in Thailand, Laos, and Sri Lanka. There he has discovered not an identity, but a valuable and enlightening correlation between the Buddhist concept of mindfulness and the Ignatian focus on the desires that compel the search for the divine as the interior realization of freedom.”


“Do we believe that in the present state of secular culture marked by unbelief in God and indifference to religion it is still possible to experience the sacred? I believe experience of the sacred is attainable, but there are obstacles mostly of our own making that must be overcome. As the parable of the sower in Matthew’s Gospel suggests, it is possible to have ears and not hear, eyes and not see, hearts and not understand (Mt 13). The sacred might surround us and thoroughly penetrate our lives; yet we don’t perceive it.

Both Buddhism and Ignatian spirituality direct us to enter into ourselves, to search for traces of a hidden yet real dimension of the sacred within the fabric of mundane experience, which we unthinkingly dismiss as too ordinary or profane to contain the divine.

The workshop will explore how these two schools of spirituality offer concrete ways to achieve a freedom that arises once we have let go of preconceived notions of the sacred that blind us to its authentic presence and constrict our experience. We need to allow our minds and senses to grow accustomed to the darkness and emptiness of spirit, because this is where grace takes root and thrives. For whatever we think of the holy, it is not just another object in the world, there to be egotistically manipulated for personal satisfaction.”

For more information on the Mount Street Jesuit Centre, go to:



Photoshop Learning

There is so much to learn, and while I really should have picked up this little gem of knowledge before, I only recently found out the following!

Merge Layers – All layers that are selected are merged into a single layer

Merge visible – All layers that are not hidden will be merged into a single layer

Flatten Image – Will merge all layers and discard any layers that are hidden

Ah well, better late than never!

Holocaust Memorial Day 2015: Keeping the Memory Alive at the Council Chambers, Guildhall, Kingston on Sunday 1st February 2015

This was a very valuable event with lots of variety and different presentations by many people, including the Revd Andrew Williams who gave an excellent presentation on the visual arts in relation to the Holocaust.  I was very pleased to receive third prize in the 16+ category of the art competition which was part of the event.  The judging panel was made up of representatives from the Kingston Synagogues, the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust, the Inter Faith Forum and the Volunteering Service at Kingston University.

How lovely it was to receive a prize, and a lovely one, at that, some gift vouchers to spend at a local art store.  So useful too!  I met some great  people, and was glad of the opportunity to spend time in reflection not only on the Holocaust, but on other genocides which have happened since, and to receive the sobering message that our intentions should be strengthened against the prejudice and fear which often starts such horrific processes festering, and adds fuel to the creation of such atrocities.

The plan is that over the coming weeks several local exhibitions will be mounted in order to display the work.

lasting stones of memory painting by jenny meehan for holocaust memorial day kingston

lasting stones of memory painting by jenny meehan for holocaust memorial day kingston

Above:  Lasting Stones of Memory – Painting by Jenny Meehan – Acrylic on Canvas Board

Tiny Bones


I trod on fragments of bone;

Homosexual, Jew and Gypsy.

Unknowingly desecrating

precious loved ones,

with my soles.


A heartless, human realisation –

I did not know, until the man told me.

When he spoke,

my world changed.

Brokenness took a new meaning.

Even the tiniest


is a terrible thing.


I took one of the splinters –

pressed it

into my skin

and wept.


Jenny Meehan

3 – 22 February 2015

Society of Wood Engravers

I always go and see the exhibition at the Bankside Gallery by the Society of Wood Engravers, as I love it so much.  Here is the text which I quote from the website:

“The Society of Wood Engravers is the principal organisation and rallying point for those interested in the subject, and it also maintains a lively interest in other forms of relief printmaking. Essentially, it is an artists’ exhibiting society. There are about seventy members, practising artists who have been elected or invited to membership on merit.
An international exhibition drawn from an open submission of wood engravings and other forms of relief printmaking. In this show there will be over 130 original prints by elected SWE members and others, plus a special section spotlighting the work of Sarah van Niekerk and her great influence as a teacher of engraving. While the exhibition will comprise mainly of wood engravings other forms of relief print such as woodcut and linocut will also be on display”

Well, I saw it again this year, and it always delivers.  Something about black and white is very challenging, and very useful and important.  The combination of mark making variations, types, directions, characters, all give a lot.


Copyright Alert

A blog run by someone else has pinched one of my drawing images and has posted it up as their own work.   Just for the records, the image below is my work.  In this case it appears difficult to track down…mshahzis.blogspot.  But no way of contacting that I can see right now, anyway.   But for those that like to know what they are looking at…This pencil sketch is mine!


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

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

I’m not flattered when people do this.    Those that have respect, ask permission before using others work on their blogs and certainly provide clear credit and a link, so that there is no confusion.  For full information on copyright matters, see below.

Copyright Information – Jenny Meehan 

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

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

Licencing 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 licence to use an image of my work from DACS… They simply have a very limited sample selection of work in their “Artimage” page!)

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

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

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



Open Art” Open Studio – Jenny Meehan 

Date:  13th December

Time 2pm til 6pm

This is not a selling event, just an opportunity to come along and see some of the paintings I am working on at the moment.

Please RSVP if you plan to come along, as space is limited.

Tea, Coffee and biscuits provided.

Cntact me via my website contact form  www.jamartlondon.com 


We have just taken this down, but it went down very well, and got positive feedback.


“All Saints Church North Aisle Exhibition

Nataliya Zozulya has kindly curated a small
exhibition of varied work  by  invited artists
who participated in the “Angel Project”, in the
North Aisle of All Saints Church in Kingston.

The exhibition runs from 11th November until
25th November 2014 and can be viewed at all
times when the Church is open.

Invited artists include Nataliya Zozulya, Jenny Meehan,
Stewart Ganley and Chris Birch who are also members
of KAOS.

Everyone is welcome to come along and have look at the
show, it is situated in the tranquil environment of the
North Aisle and perhaps, while you are there, you may
enjoy a coffee at the cafe in the newly refurbished church .”

north aisle kaos exhibition 2014 all saints kingston

north aisle kaos exhibition 2014 all saints church of england kingston


north aisle kaos exhibition2014 all saints church of england kingtons upon thames , kingtston artists open studios group ehibition, jenny meehan, chris birch, nataliya zozulya

north aisle kaos exhibition2014 all saints church of england kingston upon thames

All Saint’s Church in Kingston Upon Thames has  been refurbished and it looks fantastic.  I like particularly the lovely angels on the ceiling which stand out beautifully.   As it is the run up to Christmas, I’d like to share my “Angels Project” design with you.

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


Ivon Hitchens

I come back again and again to admire Ivon Hitchens paintings.  They are an education in themselves.


Surrey  Artist’s Open Studios 2015

I am pleased to say that I will be taking part in the 2015 Surrey Artist’s Open Studios as part of the Kingston Artist’s Open Studios group.   I plan to show some paintings and a few digital prints and though it seems ages away, I know from experience how quickly the time flies, and so invite you to make a note of the Surrey Artist’s Open Studios well ahead of the actual dates, which are from the 6th until the 21st of June 2015.  The weekends I will be participating in are the weekend of the  13th and 14th and the 20th and 21st and I will be part of a group showing in Kingston Upon Thames in Surrey.  If you are interested in joining my mailing list and/or coming along to see not only my work, but that of the six other wonderfully talented artists, then contact me via the contact form on my website www.jamartlondon.com, and I will send you further details about the Surrey Artist’s Open Studio group I am part of nearer the time.  It’s going to be good!

For general information on the Surrey Artist’s Open Studios:


To see my Surrey Artist’s Open Studios Page on the Surrey Artist’s Open Studios Website:



What is Spiritual Direction? – Some Descriptions for Consideration

As I become increasingly interested in various retreating practices, the contemplative way of life, spiritual direction (spiritual mentoring/guiding) as a ministry to others and invest time into researching and experimenting with this increased emphasis in my life, I have endeavoured to try and locate some descriptives/definitions of “spiritual direction”.  When I mention “spiritual direction” most people haven’t heard of the word, and it is an alien term to many people, or at least, it appears so, from my limited experience.  As is the case with so many things in life, sometimes the terminology and and language we use can present blocks to  helping people to gain an understanding of something related to faith. “Spiritual”   and “Director” are two very loaded words, and together, I think, sound rather unattractive!   It’s a shame,  but in response to my aversion to the terminology, I can at least attempt something positive by offering some perspectives on the matter, rather than just my own!  Here is one I find attractive:

“Spiritual guidance is being present in the moment, seeing and honouring the sacred mystery of the soul of another. It is witnessing this mystery and reflecting it back in word, prayer, thought, presence, and action. Spiritual guidance is modelling a deep relationship with the Divine and standing in faith and love with the other as that relationship unfolds. Spiritual guidance is a journey of deep healing and an affirmation of Holiness (wholeness), the Sacred, and the Mystery of all of life.”

Carol A. Fournier, MS, NCC, Interfaith Spiritual Director/Guide, Silver Dove Institute, Williston, Vermont, USA

(Carol A. Fournier.  “A Voice for Compassion and Wisdom:  Reflections on Interfaith Spiritual Direction.” (in publication, VT:2012))

I will continue to add to this strand in the journal every now and again.  I use the journal as my own note taking device, and it’s very handy to skim over on a mobile phone for a quick review of what has caught my attention.  I am not very good at note keeping on paper… Well, I am , but the notes get put on so many different surfaces and put in so many different places that they are impossible to track down!  I have sketchbooks which have become notebooks, random papers which have become folded into leaflet type documents, bookmarks which have become very important ideas records, only to become completely  lost in books which have also become lost!  Because space in our house is in short supply, I am finding that I tend to stuff things in whichever little crevice or nook I can find!



Nice quote:  “The best reason to paint is that there is no reason to paint.”—Keith Haring

Short and sweet, another little viewing of one of my much loved painters:


The realisation that quite extreme and loose, free flowing  fragmentation in a painting could be attractive, valuable, beautiful, and interesting has never left me since discovering the paintings by Claude Venard.  I sometimes feel when I am painting with a high level of abstraction and drawing from my subconscious that I am very fortunate to be a painter in the time I am in, where I can look back and constantly locate numerous examples of fine painting with such ease on the internet.  It isn’t the same as seeing the painting in the flesh, but, it does a jolly good job of introducing ideas and approaches.  My London trips are a little less frequent now, because I have decided to spend more time painting and researching (and exercising, in an attempt to trim down my dear body a little more!) but I still look out for interesting exhibitions on a regular basis.


John Seed Interviews Sangram Majumdar

This isn’t new, but I have come back to it to mull.  The whole blog posting is a very good read, yet these words from Sangram Majumdar stood out for me in particular:

“The phenomena of Facebook and Twitter, is in line with the exponential nature of how we are able to find information in any form, any time. For me, choosing to be a painter is an intentional decision to work on the other side of this streaming data- the slower and the tangibility of direct human experience. But apart from being anachronistic or foolhardy, I am curious as to how our understanding of our own immediate lives, when slowed to the measure of a heartbeat, compares to our daily intake of virtual experiences. What is real?”

Read the whole blog entry which is titled “A Conversation with Sangram Majumdar” by John Seed


I’ve been thinking a bit about the contrast between the kind of instant clarity of information available to us now because of the age we live in,  and the contrast between this and the unknown, and un-knowable even…the mystery…much of which we find in the process of painting (and yes, spirituality)…it may be it’s very delight, and freedom.  This thrusting outwards but inwards at the same time.  This venture into experience which is realised, but not fixed in a way which ties it up.  It is a poetic thing, painting.



Well by the Foot of a Tree by Jenny Meehan, wellbeing mental health art therapy, west dean college, jenny meehan artist female painter semi abstract landscape, colourist expressionist process led landscape painting,

Well by the Foot of a Tree by Jenny Meehan


Painting “Road to Recovery/Well by the Foot of a Tree” is an example of some of my earlier painting. It’s oil on primed board.  I haven’t painted on board for a while, but will do so soon, as I like the surface very much!  This painting was one of the two I exhibited at All Saint’s Church in Kingston Upon Thames.   It is titled “Road to Recovery/Well by the Foot of a Tree”  I forgot to put in the more descriptive “Well by the Foot of a Tree” title on the work when it was on display at All Saint’s, so there is a very high chance that those looking at it would not have the faintest idea of what it depicts!  It was painted from a line sketch at West Dean College, so was a combination of imagination and external landscape.  My smaller paintings on board are normally around just £60 – £100.

Wholesome Quote

“Put your own work on view in your home and studio, where you must live with and confront it daily. If your images cannot nourish you and sustain your own interest at length, they are unlikely to be of use to anyone else”  (Coleman, A. D. Depth of Field. University of New Mexico Press, 1998)

Another wholesome quote from A. D Coleman.  I learn a lot from gazing at my work as it hangs in my studio and home space.   Art works need time, and a lot of it, if one is to get out of them something of what one has invested in the creation.   Yes,  I do get tired of them, and they need to be changed often.  However,  I find it helpful to review why I have done something the way I have, and it’s good use of time, as the critical reviewing can take place randomly and regularly.  It is also good to appreciate one’s own work.  There is nothing wrong with this… It’s not a pride thing at all, but a recognition of the purpose of what you have done…it’s value to yourself.   I can look back, for example at the painting above, “Road to Recovery/Well by the Foot of a Tree” and see it’s place in my developing direction artistically in a way which is very helpful…indicating which paths to follow and which to leave alone.   It’s only by constantly confronting your work, with eyes which have changed through time and experience, that you can make it useful to yourself and useful to the unfolding exploration which is the main stay of any artist’s work and even existence.


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

watering system in glass house at west dean gardens near chichester


Photographic Imagery – Jenny Meehan 

I love to play around with images.


Quote taken from the following website:


“Open to all ways of wisdom but drawing directly from the early Christian teaching John Main summarised the practice in this simple way:

Sit down. Sit still with your back straight. Close your eyes lightly. Then interiorly, silently begin to recite a single word – a prayer word or mantra. We recommend the ancient Christian prayer-word “Maranatha”. Say it as four equal syllables. Breathe normally and give your full attention to the word as you say it, silently, gently, faithfully and above all – simply. The essence of meditation is simplicity. Stay with the same word during the whole meditation and from day to day. Don’t visualise but listen to the word as you say it. Let go of all thoughts (even good thoughts), images and other words. Don’t fight your distractions but let them go by saying your word faithfully, gently and attentively and returning to it immediately that you realise you have stopped saying or it or when your attention is wandering.

Silence means letting go of thoughts. Stillness means letting go of desire. Simplicity means letting go of self-analysis.

Meditate twice a day every day. This daily practice may take you sometime to develop. Be patient. When you give up start again. You will find that a weekly meditation group and a connection with a community may help you develop this discipline and allow the benefits and fruits of meditation to pervade your mind and every aspect of your life in ways that will teach and delight you. John Main said that ‘meditation verifies the truths of your faith in your own experience’

Meditation has the capacity to open up the common ground between all cultures and faiths today. What makes meditation Christian? Firstly the faith with which you meditate – some sense of personal connection with Jesus. Then the historical scriptural and theological tradition in which we meditate.

Another good site to look at:



Jenny Meehan is a painter, poet and Christian contemplative  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 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.  

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:


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

Notice regarding my use of images on my Jenny Meehan Artist’s Journal blog:   I always try and contact the relevant artist if I include images of their work on my blog and make clear the source.  Where images are taken from other websites, I make it my practice to  cite the source and normally include a link to the place where the image was found.  When I include images I do so in the belief that this will not cause commercial harm to the copyright holder. I  believe that this is fair use  and does not infringe copyright.  Images are used in order for me to comment and reference them in relation to my own creative and artistic practice.  When I include extracts of text, I also do so with the understanding that again, this is permissible under the widely accepted fair usage terms with respect to copyright.

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


My images:  Don’t use them without permission.  Contact me in the first instance.  Please.   If you wish to use them under the “Fair Use” it’s really nice for me to know you have found, like, and wish to comment on them.


Copyright for all works of 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 DACS as indicated below:
Design and Artist Copyright Society
33 Old Bethnal Green Road
London E2 6AA
Telephone: +44 (0) 20 7336 8811
Fax: +44 (0) 20 7336 8822
email: info@dacs.org.uk
website: http://www.dacs.org.uk




I am not sure if I have posted this up already.. Had a few problems once when writing a post, and got muddled with the different versions, so if this is a repeat, well.  Don’t worry, it’s me, not you, who has gone double!


Memo for June:  Baker Tilly in Guildford

Four of Jenny Meehan’s prints and four of her original paintings can be seen at Baker Tilly’s  offices in Guildford between July – September 2013. To make an appointment to view please contact Sue Dragon at Guildford Arts on
Email: gabt@guildfordarts.com or Phone: 01483 573 538

texture acrylic filler pigments, imaginative internal landscapes,memory based painting abstract expressionist, lyrical abstraction,romantict british art,romanticism expressionism 21st century,british uk female painter fine artist meehan,Cove - Jenny Meehan Acrylic Painting

Cove – Jenny Meehan Acrylic Painting
Very textural…which you cannot see too well here!


Above is “Cove”… I think childhood memory plays it’s part, once more, as it nearly always does!  I loved Combe Martin in North Devon, and there are wonderful rocks, crevices, caves, and other places of shelter.  The three little finger marks I placed near the end…I was thinking then of my  family members, both birth family and family now.  I think many people have treasured memories from their times by the sea…  I cannot imagine living somewhere without a coastline!    Cove is one of four paintings which will be on show at Baker Tilly in June

Artists Beware!  Amusement and Depression!

We simply don’t command what we are worth.  Well, maybe toned down a little into “It is easy to undervalue art working”.

This is the conclusion I have come to regarding art working in all its forms.

This article below, by Alistair Gentry is highly amusing, sobering, and maybe slightly depressing!


While amusingly extreme, it’s wise to take note of  what the situation often is…Not always, not necessarily so extreme, but  I have suspected much of this for a while.  I have very limited experience and Alistair Gentry has a lot.  So I do mark his words!

I think the “answer” is to simply make sure that what you do does work for you in the way you want it to.  Our reasons for doing things are many, and the bottom line is that the reason you ultimately choose to do something is because it means something to YOU.  How you go about getting it around, how you use  your skills, how you choose to invest your time and money…  Make your choices but whatever you do, don’t delude yourself that the substance of what you do is going to be realised in recognition, status,  or money.  It might be, but this is a side issue.   Put your heart into your art working and do it for the value it brings to your life and try to educate others as much as you can as to why art working is valuable, and exactly how it is.  Think  about it for a start… Why do you bother then?   How do you show this?  How do you talk about it?  What difference can it make to someone’s life?  Why does it matter?

“We simply don’t command what we are worth.”  Is me quoting myself!  I had better listen!

It is not rooted in a sense of self importance or inflated idea of the value of my own work, but more the conclusion I have come to through thinking about why art does matter in society and culture.   We have to have useful, transferable, competent skills and be willing to share them.  Useful, interesting, and thoughtfully reflective insights into the human condition which come from time invested into what is,  at it’s root, a contemplative practice.   And the value of the practice and it’s produce needs to be encouraged,  not exploited, by the way things work in the “art world”  (whatever that really is!).  I think it quite possibly nothing to do with art.  In my realistic moments I also conclude that business will always be business, and this is a ruthless and money minded matter.

I’ve resolved myself to continue to re-think and review what I do and why.  How I invest my time and money.  I’ve built up a bit of an exhibition history now, which can have it’s uses, but my heart is not in it.  As a trail or path in itself, it does not lead anywhere.  It is more what happens inside of us, and with our relationships and connections which matters, not some illusory idea of recognition or value based on ever shifting sand of whim, personal taste, or an idea or relative importance and value.   Only history holds the real answer to what ends up having stood the test of time, and even that is selective and not entirely reliable as a gauge of value, though it certainly indicates impact.  Many wonderful women have sadly been left out of the big art history trail!

On an optimistic note,  just to balance out the extreme despair that could easily assail one if only thinking down certain lines,   I have also  found that, as well as many rather dry experiences in my efforts to share my own work with others,  there are very many exciting, interesting and worthwhile artistic ventures happening.  People researching certain themes,  for example,  the wonderful “Speaking Out – Women Healing from the Trauma of Violence”  by Dr Nicole Fayard (University of Leicester 2014).  This project was a fantastic example of art working being explored in a very interesting and positive way, and for good end too,  raising awareness of trauma recovery and art,  bringing insight and information regarding social issues, sparking off discussion and establishing connections between people with common interests and passions.  Being part of that project has given me far more than I expected it to.  Not only has the process of working through some of my own tangled thoughts been  quite helpful,  but it has been inspiring and motivating to understand and recognise the value of art working in relation to trauma recovery, and this pushed me along a path I had started to walk on just that little bit further.


A Quote From “Going Slow” by Michael Sadgrove

“I am trying to learn, late in life, that the race is not always to the swift nor the battle to the strong.  Ours is an age where speed is everything.  Wherever you turn, in business, in industry, in education, even in the church, success is measured by this: that you fill your diary, work every hour God sends, work both smart and fast.  When I was in Sheffield and trying to raise funds for the Cathedral, I asked a wealthy businessman to help.  As he wrote out the cheque, he said to me: ‘Michael, it’s really important that the church models something different from the hectic pace at which we in the public and private sectors expect to see results.  The cathedral has been here for centuries. It has a perspective sub specie aeternitatis: it looks at things from the vantage point of eternity. It can help us take the long view, learn the meaning of patience.’  Perhaps this is what St Benedict meant by stability in his rule for monks: not running feverishly from place to place either physically or metaphorically, but being committed to the present where God has placed us, living according to that long view. ”

The above extract is from “Going Slow” a sermon preached by Michael Sadgrove on 10th February 2013 http://www.durhamcathedral.co.uk/worshipandmusic/sermon-archive/going-slow  for the whole sermon, which is a good read.

As someone who often, for some odd reason, sometimes makes life much harder than it needs to be by overreaching, in terms of giving myself unrealistic targets, the sermon “Going Slow” is a timely reminder that a hectic pace is not the way I want to live my life deep down, and not the way to position myself to my best advantage I don’t think either.   Thankfully I tend to recognise fairly quickly when I make my schedule unrealistic, and manage to adjust things accordingly by making a reassessment of priorities…it hasn’t got me into any trouble yet and I hope will not in the future, but it has caused me unnecessary stress at times.   I think that one of the reasons I find the contemplative way of life a great aspiration and the way forward for me is probably in that it counteracts my natural tendency to associate achievement and doing with being worthwhile as a person.  I continue to shake this delusion off, and it will be a long term task, I am certain!

Good Article on Oil Paints and Acrylic Paints http://www.goldenpaints.com/justpaint/jp12article1.php

This article on Oil and Acrylic Paints is one of the most thorough I have come across, and I do just love my paint research.  I have such an interest in it, I know for sure I am obsessed with paint, because it defies all reason.  I could quite happily spend an hour a day reading about technical matters regarding the use and qualities of different paints.  Well, there have been some days when I have done this…  Finding an in depth article like this one from Golden Paints “Just Paint” publication does save a lot of time though, so I hope it is useful to you if your interests lie in that direction!   If not, there is no doubt something else that you would happily spend an hour reading about!


Clyde Hopkins’ Paintings Continued…

I used to love getting plasticine and putting all the colours together, then slicing through them.  Clyde Hopkins’ paintings make me think of this memory, and so comes another of those internal connections that draw us one way or another when we look at paintings which excite us more than some others. “About the Orinoco” 2013   Oil on linen 105 x 90 cm

Copyright Clyde Hopkins.  Permission to use has been granted by the artist.

Oh, this one, yes.  This may be my favourite.  ( I can see my plasticine cut well).  What is more, there is an egg which lies waiting underneath the ground.  I am slightly concerned at this point that my comments and response are rather simplistic.  However, who cares but me, and only for a moment. Plus, this is probably a good thing.  My logical and intellectual  brain, while useful, sometimes robs me of a lot of pleasure. I love allusions to growth and the organic, and find them here in this painting, with a sense of being below ground level, which is also something which has held an interest to me for many years.  It was the only part of geography I enjoyed…rock formations, glaciers, volcanoes, different types of layers on the earth’s surface.  All so much better than towns, houses and populations.

“The Orinoco is one of the longest rivers in South America at 2,140 km (1,330 mi). Its drainage basin, sometimes called the Orinoquia, covers 880,000 square kilometres (340,000 sq mi).”

There you are.  Your intellect is now satisfied a little.   There is certainly a feeling of drainage in the painting.  And of forest.  And of roots. It’s kind of odd, that part in the painting at the near top right, with it’s concentric circles rippling together, bringing it away from the flat surface into a space beyond the picture plane.  But it doesn’t disturb me, and I think there is a patch of what I will call  “mystic light” just where those light purple/lilac seed type patches are falling.    So there is movement, light, and what looks like  a fair amount of texture in the bottom right hand side of the painting (looking face on).  Those things build an area which has pulled away from  the flatness of the strata/cross section side, and so, all does look in accord.  It works.  The computer screen will be playing its part in distorting what the reality of the reflected light is,  and so I am feeling  deprived.  But something like that is happening.

It’s a joyous painting, and seeps a sense of experience, and experienced use of colour, which is delightful to me.  I like organic forms in paintings and while I can appreciate paintings of geometric composition, and can imagine the freedom to explore various colours and paint applications within them, my eyes need the relief of a bit of undulation!   I like paintings which are a pleasure to the eye…No shame in that.   But ones which also challenge and stimulate.  These paintings do all three, and, like all paintings, all kinds of other things which we have not a clue about, no doubt. I want to look at some more in future posts. On the “Will Do” list!


Signs of  The Times

I hold a preference for  strictly geometric designs just being printed and flat.  And no more.  I found this out through my own “Signs of the Times” series.  I was thinking about maybe  translating some of them into paint, but couldn’t really conjure up the will to tear them away from their printed expressions, which were far truer to my intentions at the outset.  Behind each one,  there stood the thought that I had started working on them because I was sick to the core of advertising… sick of seeing all around me images which had the sole intention of pointing out some need and proposing the answer to it, all for commercial and business gain.  And so I took the sign part seriously.  I wondered how the world would look with, instead of adverts for products and services everywhere, it had simple statements of being or small phrases which simply hit you with no ulterior motive.  Things like “Quick Dip”  and “Putting Your Point Across” just expressed with no more message than that.  No more meaning or intent than the fruit of me grappling with how best I could express inner movements of the mind and heart.  Simple symbolic communication, which one could respond to without pressure.  You could emotionally agree, or not.   Simple as that.  Inner experiencing.  No demands.  No pointing out of anything you may be lacking, may need, should have etc. etc.

So I like the simple and the straightforward, and I like geometric design and paint encountering it.  I like them apart and I like them together.  But in my own painting I want the challenge of the relationship between the geometric and the organic/lyrical.   There is something which is more “giving” about it.  My mind just doesn’t respond to straight lines that well, maybe.  It is interesting for me to take note of others work and I don’t have the time to put everything which strikes a chord in this Journal, but hopefully I will have some trace over time, of things which have helped me to discern my own creative path.  It is though recognising something you like in others work that you get some sense of what your inner interests might be.   I think it possible that seeing what you like around you, you see it with eyes fresher than you could have for your own work and that this can encourage you and validate the little stirrings which you are starting to feel inside yourself.  I still remember wandering round some art fair (I cannot remember which it was) and finding my eyes only resting on Ivon Hitchens’ and Alan Davie’s paintings…everything else just seems to sink into the abyss!  It was their painting alone which caught me completely…  Nothing else seemed significant. We search for significant form, and I don’t mean significant form in the Bell sense, but in the poetic.  Something which calls back to us, like an echo, of what resounds within.

Back to the “Signs of the Times”… Here is another one which will be on show at Baker Tilly this year… Title is “No Cares”

No Cares print from Signs of the Times series by Jenny Meehan

No Cares print from Signs of the Times series by Jenny Meehan


Chance Encounter on the South bank with Nigel Fountain interviewing for  “The Oldie”

As I make my way back from my psychotherapy session I often stop to sit by the Thames.  Anywhere by water is my favourite place in London.  I have rather “a thing” about water… and find myself drawn to it in both in the ways it is used symbolically,  and as a real substance.  I’ve always loved water…Been a bit of a “water baby”!    I had only been sitting down for a short while when a man approached me, explaining that he was from “The Oldie” Magazine, and asking “Would I be willing to be interviewed?”  Well, I had, as it happens, heard of  The Oldie Magazine, but only because a writer  who brought “London Downpour” from me last year happened to be attending one of their events in London, and I needed to drop the painting off there for collection.   This was just as well, as I don’t think I would have said  yes if I had  not recognised the name of the magazine.

Nigel Fountain…What a great name… For me to be interviewed by Nigel Fountain on the edge of the Thames, and to have the painting “London Downpour” connected in my mind with The Oldie Magazine, is something which makes my heart smile a little… I am a great believer in taking the time both to talk and to listen, and so this was handy for him, as I gave him a great deal of my time.  It was so nice to be interviewed by someone so good at doing it well, and I feel very grateful for the opportunity to share some of my life experiences with him.  I was very open about my life experiences, which I am not always… but I follow my instincts in matters such as these, and I feel in a place myself where the traumatic nature of quite a lot of my earlier life really does seem a very long way away.  Though I work through some of the issues in psychotherapy/psychoanalysis,  the fact that I have been able to work my way through them is starting to pay dividends in my ability to talk about them in a reflective and thought out way.  It helps me to appreciate other people too.

Surprisingly, I find,  engaging in psychotherapy  is not a selfish endeavour.  It is self focused,  but time invested in listening to one’s self is probably something we should all do a great deal more of.   Being able to see yourself compassionately yet also critically, in a constructive way,  can be also a way to allow more compassion into your heart when looking at other people’s life experiences.    Why do we shy away from others pain and suffering?  Why do we fear the vulnerability in each other, and make so many efforts to hide our common tears?  Maybe because we have not faced our own pains and sorrows?

I am writing this now very deliberately having not seen yet what Nigel Fountain has written!  This is important to me because as a writer myself, I am interested to see how what I write now relates to what he writes when I get hold of it  in just over a month (today as I write this   is 22nd March). It is rather risky to talk very freely to journalists.  Having had three other local paper journalists write articles on me over the last few years,   I am very aware indeed of how their individual perspectives colour their work.  You trust them to re form what you give them, and  you do not know if their own distortions, which are bound to be there, are going to give a likeness which you feel ok about.   But I was so impressed with his interview technique I am quite confident he will do an excellent job, and if I don’t like it, it is his work, not mine.

I also really like the whole idea of what he does…Going around and interviewing random people…listening to their stories and making a piece of writing out of them.   These chance encounters happen to us all the time in life.  Just investing that little bit more time to find out about someone and to somehow allow them to open up a little more than they might do in a rushed interaction.  Making time to make a connection with someone else, simply by showing an interest.    It is much easier to flick on your mobile phone or tablet and interact with that.  How many opportunities to communicate will our gadgets and technology close down for us, I wonder?

Note:  Since writing the above, the article has been published, and it is a most excellent piece of writing.  I am delighted, and it is by far the most accomplished piece of writing about me I have experienced so far.    I feel rather privileged to have met the man and been interviewed, and also to have his writing skill used in sketching an impression of my life with such a perceptive and acute penning!  My most favourite bit…Will need to do a painting in response to it, I think:

“I contemplate the north bank of the Thames and Jenny, scratching her chin, avoids looking born-again”  Quote from “Brief Encounters – Nigel Fountain looks at the lives of others” published in The Oldie magazine, June, 2014

I looked into “The Oldie” which has been described as the spiritual successor to Punch and was set up in 1992 by Richard Ingrams.  It’s aim was ” to “produce an antidote to youth culture but, more importantly, a magazine with emphasis on good writing, humour and quality illustration.”   I want to get hold of a copy now, this sounds very good!   This quote in particular about The Oldie is very enticing: “The most original magazine in the country…..their eclectic embrace of human variety is a monthly rebuke to the formulaic, celebrity led concept of features in our newspapers and magazines.”  The Independent. http://www.the.oldie.magazine.co.uk/about_us/

St Julian of Norwich/The Comforter Painting

Researching Julian of Norwich a while back  led me to the final title of the painting below, which was first called “The Comforter” referencing Christ’s words regarding the Holy Spirit in the New Testament books of John: “Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.”  I then expanded the title to include the reference to St Julian of Norwich, because my research and thinking, along with the writing of the poem, made me feel that the two works, though in different mediums, were one.

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 “The Comforter/St Julian of Norwich”  Painting by Jenny Meehan  

I entered this in the Womens’ Interfaith Network exhibition submission process this year, but it did not get in,  so I am taking this opportunity to show it for now!   I would also like to include the poem I wrote in response to my studies of St Julian of Norwich and also another poem which I found later on by someone called Venetia Carse.

Firstly then, my poem on St Julian of Norwich, which is called “To Saint Julian”

To Saint Julian


I had not heard of you,

I had not seen you

Within your four walls

The small rectangle looks out


You look within

The walls of your cell rough marked and mottled

Play with the light which moving across the day

Casts itself into interplay with your mind and thinking

On the source of our reason to live

Our reason to live, even within the pain

The darkness we fear around us

Theblackness we all must face when

Forced into our own heart cell

The confines of our place.


It is not the now, the then, the will be

It is all three in one small speck

Which running down, splatters, splinters the hardness

Catastrophe brought us a gift in one falling

One who was God, and also was man

And woman? Is this so? If so,my heart cries childishly

For that warm embrace.

the hug, and the softness

The cover, white on your arm , ready to wrap round me.


I need the way forward.

In the indistinct marks of the wall which surrounds me

gentle ring, containing all which first took joy

Fear which raged spitting brimstones not from

another world, but from ours

iface the trauma

Know the grief, see the hurt, in the living of life

Is a heart of pain.

Being  wounded is not hard.

All enter into  our own cell.


How far I have fallen!

Yet, there is the always the holding.

You are holding,

You circle me.

Containment  of our being.

Able to be as  we are in you.

And not despised.

Light changes, it changes everything

Every image alters,

In the light.

I look back to you , St Julian, in the refuge you took

Because life is not easy.

“All is well”  your voice comes to me

Not as platitude, nor  peace,

Rather as hope, because His love is better than life

We look beyond, look through, and look within.

Our search is not in vain.

life hits hard each tender soul that struggles forward,

Clothed in the flesh that does not cover

Our multitude of sins.

see the blows of life on our bodies

But see too

God’s covering.

Within the blood of my new birth

“All IS well”



And the poem by Venetia Carse:


Let me live beyond the limits of my Self,

still in the ‘now’, yet on the edge of time;

eye looking inward, forward, down and through,

seeing always God’s radiance coloured

in the mist, rime, blackthorn, shine.


Let me live where Christ, my faith, begins,

where love, confronting fear,

holds candle to the dark;

rejection, rape – bitterness and pain

by this most holy Cross

so forgivingly redeemed.

Should we be asked to travel some dark road,

bruised, disillusioned, life meaningless,

it seems,

may openness to God’s all-giving

grace guide our blind eyes … through.



And shall we see once more

and sense the joy

in small and patient things;

soft mist, sun warmth

and blackthorn bud;

or glory in a cloud of swallows wings.

Then let us cease to strive

beyond ourselves and live,

content to be, aware

of God’s compassion … and His Love, which sets us free’

with prayer and reverence prepared

to care for Earth’s sad frailty.


Venetia Carse – A POEM inspired by Dame Julian of Norwich.   This was published in one of the Julian Magazines, but I cannot remember which one, so apologies for the vague source reference.  I normally ensure I give publication details, but this is the best I can do for this one, for now. 


Poetry and Painting

I will post up some of my recent work very soon.  I am enjoying writing some more poetry right now, and also experimenting with painting in response to the poetry.  This seems to be a fitting approach…I feel released from the need to define objects or have explicit pictorial content in the painting,  as can rest, relaxed and chilled, that I have said what I want to say (in language) in the poem.  I can then simply express in visual language the feeling with no obligation to define anything more than my instincts are leading me to.  This is great fun!    I still enjoy painting pictures, and I still enjoy drawing from life, and I still enjoy paintings which have a recognisable subject matter, but I do not feel bound by this.  What  I am doing with my painting is sticking to the heart of what I enjoy the most about it, which is creating significant emotional form, and experimenting with materials, techniques, colours and composition.    I don’t need to do any more than this in one painting.  Drawing IS fundamentally important.  I love it dearly.  Sometimes it meets the painting and sometimes it doesn’t.  I don’t have to prove a thing, just paint.   If someone sees my painting and thinks I cannot draw, so be it.  Not my problem!  (Gosh, I do angst over this matter, again and again!)

I think I probably just need to sit down, look at the strands in my work, identify them and develop them.  At present I have:

Spiritual, poetic, personal painting type work.  Experimenting with the relationships between image and word.  An interest in the spiritual direction and creativity interface, mental health and well being, and trauma recovery.  Using the psychoanalytic approach generally to increase self awareness in my own life and work, and the extremely delightful, wonderful liberating experience of living a life which is as Christ-centred as I can possible make it.

Drawings (mostly life drawing), which I would like to take into painting also.  Just started going along to the Dulwich Art Group about once a month.  Very exciting to paint the figure from life.  Colour, if used will be expressionistic.  Black and white is more appealing initially, as it is the marks I am interested in right now.

Rambling, on this blog.  On and on and on and on.  As long as I can.  Free to do, because of the joy of skimming over the surface, which we are all very good at.  I write, I like to write.  Poet seems too grand a word, but I lean into that direction rather than other genres.  Writing this journal is an indulgence.

An interest in producing and developing/marketing a commercial strand, but one which I still feel has roots I can feel at least a little bit connected to.  This might happen later, as my time is tight with household and family matters.  I make little attempts here and there, but the reality is, other things are more important right now.

A photographic strand, which has completely become black and white, and small, rather than big, both in terms of print size and time spent on it.   I really need to put all my images from the past to good use… I have a lot of work I could use potentially.

And other things too…  I expect.



Excellent article by Mark Stone at Abstract Critical…


A possible response might be … Sort out why you are doing what you are doing for yourself.



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 (prices ranging from between £60 and £700) and affordable photo-mechanically produced prints are available to purchase. 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.

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

Here is the link to my Photobox Gallery: http://www.photoboxgallery.com/19507


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