©jenny meehan grave yard glimmers mosaic and accompanying poem jenny meehan

grave yard glimmers mosaic and accompanying poem jenny meehan ©jenny meehan

 

 

The Grave Yard Glimmers

 

Under grey ground

my shattered self, recovered

crept gentle, back to the moment

when

a younger me-child

within

Summer holiday sunshine

discovered

picking, glass, stones, off graves

was an open treasure chest.

Even while the body laid low…

sighing with relief…

anticipating release…

for each passing moment.

 

Simple time steps.

One strand of self to

reflect

back to me.

 

Porous ceramic spreads moisture

Yet only a shadow

touches

meeting edges

I am sorry that I left, and still sometimes leave

these parts of me behind.

 

Much later,  my rape was a vacation of another kind.

 

I hover, momentarily, over my body

unable to take in, even in  consciousness

the un-do- able

which was done.

 

It takes years to cry.

And bodies lie under the floor

even in houses.

 

Light still

makes glimmers

Glimmers in eyes

meeting.

Glimmers in finding

pieces

all broken

but beautiful.

 

l hold hope, for you

my friend, and myself

on dream-like, flattened

slates… to write all over

a past story, a new one…

 

We wash the silver ore, and smelt it

in the smiles of those we love.

 

Jenny Meehan

August 2018

 

 

Looking forward to working with mosaic in November, tutored by Vanessa Benson, whose inspirational course at West Dean College this year has kicked me off in this direction!

Realising my poetry and all the visual work I do are inseparable.  Well, I knew this already, but now I know it more.  Also, I will always be a materials orientated artist.  One who handles my own materials.

The most annoying saying “Everyone is an artist”.  Is everyone a plumber too?  The role of an artist has a broad skill set attached.

Everyone is innately creative, yes, but everyone is not an artist.  I hate walking past Cass Art and seeing the motto… it’s something like “Let’s fill this town with artists”.  Sounds like a nightmare to me.  Do you want a town filled with artists?   Would be quite a poor town, for a start! But it would, of course, be ideal for the local art shop!!! At least they are honest!

I was reading recently that a survey found most artists earn between £1,000 and £5,000 a year. That sounds about right.  I kind of felt relieved on reading it.  It is hard when you live in a world where finance reflects value.  I know I am doing what I should be doing in life, and feel extremely grateful, that finally, after years of waiting, I am able to work at the work which feels most natural to me.  It’s not to be taken for granted.  But it isn’t a “job” in the proper sense. And all the other work I have done in the past is very relevant, and has been valuable in many different respects.  It’s made me who I am.  I wasn’t unhappy in the work I previously did.  Just not quite so fulfilled. But there are many aspect to being fulfilled in life, and there were parts of me which probably developed, in a good way, which I might have avoided, if I was art working then.   Discipline is important. For an artist, if you have not got it, you cannot be productive, I don’t think.  Getting up each morning to do what you must, is part of every occupation, and we don’t always feel like it!

And now, I cannot rely on a “job” to define who I am.  It’s sometimes challenging.  Like being a mother, I guess.  The key thing is, I think, not to confuse status or money with value. It’s always a challenge! What I do does pay for itself.   Sometimes I feel discouraged, but it’s only passing.  Thankfully enough good things happen to keep me motivated!

 

 

Thelma Narrative Series

My Thelma sculpture project was in 2014 and it is now 2018!   In truth, the project is not finished, because I got a mould made of the essential base of Thelma and intend to make some plaster versions in order to experiment further.  Indeed, I will.  Yet for now, here are the images with text, which does seem to have a degree of being a complete work.  The actual wax sculpture is in a box in my cupboard, and now and again I pick bits off it and add bits on!  It is one figure, which I moved through a series of transformations without thinking about concepts  in a conscious way.

ONEthelma psychodynamic jenny meehan personal development psychotherapy and art relationship investigation psychoanalytic visual experimentationONEthelma psychodynamic jenny meehan

ONEthelma psychodynamic jenny meehan personal development psychotherapy and art relationship investigation psychoanalytic visual experimentation THELMA ONE

 

thelma psychodynamic jenny meehan personal development psychotherapy and art relationship investigation psychoanalytic visual experimentation

thelma psychodynamic jenny meehan personal development psychotherapy and art relationship investigation psychoanalytic visual experimentation THELMA TWO

 

thelma psychodynamic jenny meehan personal development psychotherapy and art relationship investigation psychoanalytic visual experimentation

thelma psychodynamic jenny meehan personal development psychotherapy and art relationship investigation psychoanalytic visual experimentation THELMA THREE

 

 

 

thelma psychodynamic jenny meehan personal development psychotherapy and art relationship investigation psychoanalytic visual experimentation

thelma psychodynamic jenny meehan personal development psychotherapy and art relationship investigation psychoanalytic visual experimentation THELMA FOUR

 

 

 

thelma psychodynamic jenny meehan personal development psychotherapy and art relationship investigation psychoanalytic visual experimentation

thelma psychodynamic jenny meehan personal development psychotherapy and art relationship investigation psychoanalytic visual experimentation THELMA FIVE

 

thelma psychodynamic jenny meehan personal development psychotherapy and art relationship investigation psychoanalytic visual experimentation

thelma psychodynamic jenny meehan personal development psychotherapy and art relationship investigation psychoanalytic visual experimentation THELMA SIX

 

This is probably my favourite in the series…It’s the one I associate with the ongoing process of participating in psychotherapy!  Hard work, at times,  yes,  but something which can be a tool in bringing freedom from the negative consequences of violence, abuse, and trauma.  This time I spend in therapy is an investment I choose because I value self reflection so much.  Participation in Psychotherapy can be viewed two ways.  One, is that of being a practice of WELLNESS…Which for me, it now is, thankfully. (Mostly)  It’s like going to the gym to keep fit.  (Mostly, not always! Sometimes it’s painful and hard! Still challenging, still uncomfortable. Always will be! )

I find it very harmonious with being an artist, and working in the way that I do with other people with mentoring/spiritual direction/teaching art.  The other way that psychotherapy can be viewed might be summed up with “Gosh, they must be very screwed up to need therapy” maybe?  It is the idea that someone would only participate in psychotherapy if they really had to, because it wasn’t possible to carry on without it.  Because why would they want to do take part in something like that otherwise?  Well, I do understand that perspective.

Personally, I did start my psychoanalytic journey in a very distressing place, and I knew it was what I needed, and things were often very alarming and extremely difficult.  So it wasn’t optional in any sense in 2011.  Yet my journey, and the experience gained from working with a very good therapist, has been so valuable and positive, it seems needless not to carry on with it, as long as it bears fruit, which it does.  I do review it from time to time, but so far, I reach the same conclusion, which is why stop for the sake of stopping?  It might be different if I was not an artist, but it’s become part of the process of my artistic creating, and it’s so useful, even for that, even apart from the other benefits.

It feels like pulling a net through my own depths, pulling it along the sea bed.  It’s an effort, but somehow drawing deep in myself in this way produces a lot of goodness.  Life is vastly improved, and I feel so much more alive than I ever used to be.  So the effort is definitely worth it for me.

Thoughts on the sculpture…

Difficulty of wading forwards… Trolling is a method of fishing….  There is a huge sense of continuity and flow, in this one, with metal outside of the figure clearly relating to the which goes through it’s core.  Through the waters of my mind, in the psychoanalytic work I am doing.  Found this, it’s helpful..

Bodies of Water and the Unconscious
Often in dreams, large bodies of water (oceans, lakes, pools) symbolize the unconscious. As with bodies of water, we often see the surface, but cannot easily see into the depths.

Also, the vastness of the ocean symbolizes the vastness of the unconscious mind. Jung observed long ago that the unconscious mind was much vaster than the conscious portion. His insight has been confirmed by fascinating developments in neuroscience, where new technologies, such as particularly sophisticated MRIs have enabled brain scientists to see that the unconscious processes in the brain dwarf the conscious mind in magnitude.

In those regions of the brain/mind lies the meaning of dreams. Jungian therapy is always aware that, for each of us, much goes on in the depths of those oceanic waters…”  quoted from https://www.briancollinson.ca/index.php/2012/11/jungian-therapy-the-meaning-of-dreams-5-water.html

 

WOW!  The unconscious mind….

Oceanic Waters!

thelma psychodynamic jenny meehan personal development psychotherapy and art relationship investigation psychoanalytic visual experimentation

thelma psychodynamic jenny meehan personal development psychotherapy and art relationship investigation psychoanalytic visual experimentation THELMA SEVEN

 

Must be the faith aspect coming through in this one!

 

 

thelma psychodynamic jenny meehan personal development psychotherapy and art relationship investigation psychoanalytic visual experimentation

thelma psychodynamic jenny meehan personal development psychotherapy and art relationship investigation psychoanalytic visual experimentation   THELMA EIGHT

No doubt some  theme of healing…  And in this one, a mould was made, and the body cast in plaster.

 

Interesting looking back at these.  Rather funny that I depicted my right thigh with what looks like a strip of metal along it.  This was before my knee replacement and before I was having problems with my walking!   Plaster for me is evocative of healing and holding, and showing this  liquid flow over the now plaster form, is something I like a lot.  The flow may be static in that the plaster is set,  but it is suggestive of flow and continuity by it’s very shape, and the meeting point between those forms of underlying form and dripped plaster brings some awareness of touch and being touched to my mind.  As the final figure is the model cast, it’s a new creation but still intimately related to the former figure in brown wax.   I will continue working with this, and post up soon.

 

So this is September…OOOps… Late again, October!

 

jenny meehan jamartlondon art work uk licensable images

jenny meehan jamartlondon art work uk licensable images

 

Painting “Upper Room” by Jenny Meehan 70 x 50cm   This is available, contact me if interested.  Use contact form on my personal website jamartlondon.com  http://www.jamartlondon.com/

Direct link to contact page; http://www.jamartlondon.com/contact/4569980742

Bit about my painting…

About Jenny Meehan’s Paintings

My process led painting…romantic, expressionistic, abstract and lyrical, is simply the result of my own contemplative practice, which I work through in many ways. Let by instinct and intuition, inspired by my own life experiences, and several much loved artists, including Klee, Hitchens, Claude Venard, Matisse and Kandinsky, it provides the ground for the viewer’s own interpretations and responses, and will be whatever you want it to be. My own titles reflect my own interpretation/,sense of meaning, but the beauty and openness of non objective painting allows you a place in the process exclusively yours!

The image doesn’t show the extent to which texture, and various surface finishes are used in the painting, for example, I use tiny glass beads for their effects on light hitting the surface of the painting. Maybe they could be seen as a dance of light and colour? Certainly, as the light in the day changes, the appearance of the painting changes considerably, with different parts being emphasised and other parts sinking into the background. This painting is one which responds, and I hope you get pleasure from viewing it! See more at http://www.jamartlondon.com

 

 

 

jenny meehan jamartlondon art work uk licensable images

jenny meehan jamartlondon art work uk licensable images©jenny meehan

 

Boat House, Monotype. ©jenny meehan

Sometimes the simplest of things can give pleasure.  I am looking at this one at the moment, particularly as I think about how I will approach working with mosaic in November.  I think to start with some kind  of simple forms, rectangular, square, maybe a good start.  I don’t see myself going into the pictorial.  I suspect I will need to seriously spend time considering the materials I use.  They will suggest a way forwards, I am sure.  And I want to make more effort with this linkage between my poetry and visual expression. I think that’s key for me.

 

jenny meehan jamartlondon art work uk licensable images

jenny meehan jamartlondon art work uk licensable images©jenny meehan

Icy Landscape ©jenny meehan

A major theme of my work is recovery from trauma.  The subject of an internal landscape dominates my creative practice.  Tiny glass beads are used in the above painting and they catch the light, transforming the appearance of the work at different times of the day.

 

“Eternal” Painting by Jenny Meehan

 

 

jenny meehan jamartlondon art work uk licensable images

jenny meehan jamartlondon art work uk licensable images©jenny meehan

Eternal by Jenny Meehan ©jenny meehan

This is one of my paintings which has been licensed for use as a book cover. The cover designer was Alison Beek.   I really like my paintings being used in this way, and it is a small source of income which helps sustain my artistic practice, so it’s very much valued.

https://wordery.com/quiet-spaces-prayer-journal-mrs-olivia-warburton-9780857465245?currency=GBP&gtrck=S2Z1YnlZVlZsTTV6K1BVYkdyNERsL2JwTWhWcHA3dnM5bERaeTRueE1KNndyem4vbG5ENFJSV2tycFVKK0tnUHpISjRLNFJMY2hnaWJHb2hMMGg4UlE9PQ&gclid=EAIaIQobChMIyLOtiOTn3QIVROd3Ch13IwVCEAQYAyABEgJmVPD_BwE

Finding God in all things, hearing God’s voice for ourselves and others…the Quiet Spaces Prayer Journal will help you to develop and maintain a life of creative prayer. With space to write, quotations drawn from Christian tradition and BRF’s Quiet Spaces publication to aid reflection, this is ideal to buy for yourself or as a gift for anyone wanting to deepen their prayer life. It features quotations to inspire, allowing plenty of space to write.

Quiet Spaces Prayer Journal Spiral bound edition by Mrs Olivia Warburton”

Edited by Mrs Olivia Warburton ISBN-139780857465245Format Spiral bound, Publisher BRF (The Bible Reading Fellowship) Publication date23 Sep 2016Pages192Product dimensions 150 x 210 x 14mm E Weight338g

Quiet Spaces is BRF’s prayer and spirituality journal. Published three times a year, each edition journeys through up to nine themes drawn from the Bible, spiritual writers, the natural world, the lives of Christians from across the centuries or from Christian spiritual traditions. Each theme is explored in twelve prayerful ways using creative activities, your personal faith experience, poetry, liturgy, reflection, imagining and meditation, helping you into a heart encounter with God. Ideal both for those who have discovered the benefits of reflection, meditation and contemplation and are looking for a resource to guide their periods of quiet and for people coming to reflection and meditation for the first time.”

 

I use my own copy!

 

This months post is September and October combined! It’s my aim to write a bit less on my journal each month and work more on my poetry.  As I mentioned at the beginning, a brilliant course on mosaic at West Dean college tutored by Vanessa Benson has provided some interesting routes in using mosaic, and along with my other ongoing experiments with silica sol mineral paint I want to immerse myself more in silence and music and poetry than longer blog entries.  And drumming too.  I am loving my djembe, and enjoying learning some traditional West African patterns.

I think I may have exhausted my writing capacity a little bit when writing “The Very Patient Knee Replacement Story by Jenny Meehan” last year!  By the way, the knee is working wonderfully.  It’s an “Attune” knee.  I am no longer disabled and able to live a full life. I am so grateful for the South West London Elective Orthopaedic Centre, and the NHS.  My life would be quite different without such a positive experience.

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

west dean college short course jenny meehan flora and foliage images© Jenny Meehan

 

Really enjoying these…

http://openchurch.network/chalketalk

That’s me for now!

Do take a look at my website. http://www.jamartlondon.com/

I will be updating it over December.  I have a lot more work than I can show on the internet.

 

 

 

 

Advertisements
small world futures chapbook sampson low publishers

small world futures chapbook

 

I enjoyed taking part in the Small World Futures project earlier on this year.

And look here….. The delightful chap book!

HUGE thanks to Collect Connect for all their hard work!

Title:  Small World Futures – A CollectConnect Production at the #unsettledgallery

It’s published by Sampson Low Ltd, 2018

http://www.sampsonlow.com/

Chapbook 24

LB088

ISBN 978-1-910578-80-3

All rights reserved.

Text quoted from the sampson low website:

“The tradition of chapbook publishing in England is a long established one and here at Sampson Low Ltd we think it’s the perfect format for our most exciting authors and artists. Although small (A6) and relatively brief (16 printed pages) our punchy publications share their ideas with you in one delicious sitting.”   and see here:

https://www.bl.uk/romantics-and-victorians/articles/chapbooks

This wonderful chapbook is the remaining evidence for the exhibition which took place in public spaces around London Bridge.

Info: 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. A writer will also use the worlds as inspiration.
Venue
#unsettledgallery
Starts
Thursday, February 1, 2018
Ends
Wednesday, February 28, 2018
Address
London Bridge, London
Location
London
Organiser
CollectConnect” 

I love this kind of thing…  I sometimes moan a bit about not showing my work as much as I would like because of costs involved.  Something like this gets the work out there on the street.  OK, you have to be prepared to loose it.  But that’s not a bad thing now and again.  I liked very much the writing on my work…I am pretty sure I published it here on this Journal a few posts back.

How good to now have this chapbook as a record!   Do go and buy one for yourself.

https://sampsonlow.co/chapbooks/

vibe drome by jenny meehan

vibe drome by jenny meehan

 

Kingston Artists’ Open Studios (OS18)

Kingston Artists’ Open Studios (OS18) took place on 9/10th and 16/17th June 2018 from 11am to 5pm each day.

It was a really good year, and very enjoyable.

Here are some images of my paintings in situ…

kingston artists open studios jenny meehan paintings in situ

KAOS open studios jenny meehan paintings

KAOS open studios jenny meehan paintings

KAOS open studios jenny meehan paintings

KAOS open studios jenny meehan paintings

Kingston Artists’ Open Studios is a voluntary group, and we need and appreciate all the support we can get. If you think you could help us in anyway, do contact us via the link below.  Visual art is important to the health of society, bringing pleasure, connection, and space for contemplation.  The value is not easy to measure maybe, but it is always worth investment.

Hope to see you at this even next year, maybe?  !Jenny Meehan

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

http://www.jamartlondon.com/

 

kingston artists open studios jenny meehan

kingston artists open studios jenny meehan  image from 2017

 

Image shows paintings of Jenny Meehan and ceramics by Cressida Borrett  http://www.cressidaborrett.co.uk/

Contact me via my contact page at jamartlondon if you would like more information!

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

 

Looking backwards and moving forwards…

Or moving forwards and looking backwards?  !!!

This old post from 2012…

This painting…  I liked it, and it was exhibited at The Ark Conference Centre in Basingstoke.  Titled “Sorrow for Myself”.

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

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

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

it was our sorrows  that weighed him down.

And we thought his troubles were a punishment from God,

a punishment for his own sins!”

We think about being sorry for ourselves as a bad thing.  But it’s not what I meant with using the term “Sorrow for myself”.   I have allowed myself  to feel sorrow for myself, and to feel the sadness which I previously did not allow very much room for in my life.  It seems to be for me a process of allowing myself to feel compassionate towards myself.   I picked up this painting last year and decided to continue to work on it.  I have now titled it “Kaleidoscope” …

Not a great image of it…  Main archive image is still in the camera, but this will do for now.

Also I am increasingly deciding to put watermarks over my images.  It’s a boring job to contact websites and get them to remove images they have no permission and/or license to use.  Very boring.

©jenny meehan kaleidoscope painting jenny meehan process led painting abstract lyrical british colourist

kaleidoscope painting jenny meehan ©jenny meehan

 

The story behind this title is as follows;   I had a  vision while at an Ignatian Retreat Day at the Mount Street Jesuit Centre a while back where I could see I was holding a kaleidoscope in my hands and lamenting the broken pieces in it.  Then Jesus, or rather, Yeshua the Messiah… (Digression!  So many people just use the words “Jesus Christ” meaninglessly, I am seriously wondering if I might be best to use Yeshua, as it’s more in the historical context and I don’t hear people using it carelessly!) Anyway, back to the point.   He placed his hand on mine and told me to lift the kaleidoscope to my eyes and point it at him.  He guided my hand to turn it and as I did so beautiful light and patterns flowed through it, and the patterns went on forever and ever and they were always changing and all completely different.   Both looking at the brokenness, which was a sorrowful process,  and looking through the kaleidoscope, which was wonderful,  are important.   It was hard to allow Yeshua to touch my hand.  Maybe I felt like a leper, as we had been meditating on Yeshua healing the leper?  Maybe?  I wonder if the turning motion was the process of repentance?  It would seem so based on my current reflections and thoughts.  A continual process.   Allowing our Creator God to turn us around?  Writing words about it seems shoddy and clumsy.  But I continue to think about it.  And to title the painting with its continued work “Kaleidoscope” is just right.

Here it is now.  I showed it at this years Kingston Artists’ Open Studios.

I sell my paintings when they have been exhibited and/or I no longer need them for study and reflection. I don’t sell more than a handful each year. It’s great when they find someone to own them.  Makes more room in my house for the new ones too!  I am increasingly not using frames as they take up a lot of room.  I am now starting to work on card and other substrates rather than stretched canvas.

 

Tiny Bones Poem by Jenny Meehan

 

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
prejudice
is a terrible thing.

I took one of the splinters –
pressed it
into my skin
and wept.

Jenny Meehan

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

 

 

“Surface Work”  Exhibition across Victoria Miro’s London galleries  VERY GOOD INDEED!

This was good… VERY GOOD.  When I found out about it it was straight into the diary.  Essential viewing for any female abstract artist. And other folk too, of course!  I wrote about this a little bit in my last post.  But here is more information…

Some text from the website:

“An international, cross-generational exhibition of women artists who have shaped and transformed, and continue to influence and expand, the language of abstract painting.

Information
Private View 6-8pm, Wednesday 11 April 2018

14 St George Street, London W1S 1FE
Tuesday-Saturday 10am-6pm

Taking place across Victoria Miro’s London galleries, this international, cross-generational exhibition is a celebration of women artists who have shaped and transformed, and continue to influence and expand, the language and definition of abstract painting.”

It included the following female artists:

The exhibition includes: Rita Ackermann, Etel Adnan, Gillian Ayres, Sara Barker, Lynda Benglis, Suzanne Blank Redstone,
Betty Blayton, Sandra Blow, Sarah Cain, Varda Caivano, Lygia Clark, Prunella Clough, Angela de la Cruz, Jay DeFeo,
Svenja Deininger, Lucy Dodd, Louise Fishman, Helen Frankenthaler, Mary Heilmann, Ilse D’Hollander, Loie Hollowell,
Tess Jaray, Martha Jungwirth, Bharti Kher, Lee Krasner, Yayoi Kusama, Agnes Martin, Joan Mitchell, Katy Moran, Annie
Morris, Rebecca Morris, Victoria Morton, Elizabeth Murray, Dala Nasser, Elizabeth Neel, Tomie Ohtake, Betty Parsons,
Howardena Pindell, Liubov Popova, Fiona Rae, Mary Ramsden, Dorothea Rockburne, Jackie Saccoccio, Mira Schendel,
Yuko Shiraishi, Raphaela Simon, Pat Steir, Hedda Sterne, Alma Thomas, Mildred Thompson, Adriana Varejão, Paule
Vézelay, Jessica Warboys and Mary Weatherford”

List of works:

https://www.victoria-miro.com/usr/documents/exhibitions/list_of_works_url/items/45/454bb64bd0bd410bbd30ffb8d4d2b9cb/surface-work-mayfair-walking-list-final.pdf

Quote from press release:

“Surface Work takes its title from a quote by the Abstract Expressionist painter Joan Mitchell, who said: ‘Abstract is not a style. I simply want to
make a surface work.’ The exhibition reflects the ways in which women have been at the heart of abstract art’s development over the past
century, from those who propelled the language of abstraction forward, often with little recognition, to those who have built upon the legacy of
earlier generations, using abstraction to open new paths to optical, emotional, cultural, and even political expression. Historical and
contemporary works shown in dialogue will create a series of conversations across the decades, touching on themes such as the monochrome,
process, geometric abstraction, seriality and gesture.”

News coverage example:

https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2018/apr/15/surface-work-victoria-miro-review-women-abstract-painting?CMP=Share_iOSApp_Other

Guide to the exhibition:

http://viewer.zmags.com/publication/8554a0b8#/8554a0b8/1

I posted some images last month.

 

victoria miro surface works visit 2018

victoria miro surface works visit 2018

 

The painting above, WELL…That’s paint! It’s inspiring!

Adriana Varejão
Azulejão (Moon), 2018
Oil and plaster on canvas
180 x 180 cm
70 7/8 x 70 7/8 in

 

On the way home I sat at Waterloo station and enjoyed the view!

 

 

waterloo station image jenny meehan

Romantic Abstract Expressionistic Lyrical Paintings by Jenny Meehan British female painter

When I get to archiving my current work by processing the images and information I promise I will post them up on this journal.  But this time of year is the important and vital painting season for me.  I need to paint now because I use my studio tent and it is most usable at this time of year.  Kitchen and garden are also handy, but as my paints and tools are all out, sorted and ready to roll, painting has to come first.  This is the least piecemeal part of the year… from March to September and  this is because I focus and drive ahead in all respects. Practically it works best.  Image taking, admin, and all the rest are confined to the darker weeks and days, the colder and the wetter times.  Yes, times like that still occur, this is the UK, of course, and I let the weather determine my course of action and artistic activities.  So my website remains a little need in an update, and digital tasks pile up.  Housework piles up.  All piles up, but the most necessary.  It’s actually much easier to structure things this way than try and equalise the process.  I do write this artist’s journal, but that is because I love to write!  However, this explains the lack of new images of more recent paintings.     So repetition of paintings displayed on this artist’s blog is the necessary result.  Never mind.  Cannot do everything!

catastrophe becoming painting 100days100women.wordpress.com, abstract expressionist lyrical romantic painting, jenny meehan © Jenny Meehan DACS All Rights Reserved

catastrophe becoming painting by jenny meehan submitted to 100days100women.wordpress.com british collectable abstract paintings ©jenny meehan

 

This is one of my personal favourites.  It’s got a great surface…I am pleased with what I have achieved.  This is one of my best achievements.

©jenny meehan DACS

seaside details ©jenny meehan DACS

This is a detail from “Sea Side”.  How annoying… The full painting image is on one of my hard drives and not on this newer computer.  I have extracts but no full view available right now to post.  Never mind!

 

seaside details

©jenny meehan DACS

seaside details ©jenny meehan DACS

seaside details

seaside details

seaside details

©jenny meehan DACS romantic abstract lyrical painting british female contemporary artist

seaside details

seaside details

seaside details

seaside details

seaside details

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

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

©jenny meehan DACS romantic abstract lyrical painting british female contemporary artist

seaside details

©jenny meehan DACS romantic abstract lyrical painting british female contemporary artist

seaside details

seaside details

©jenny meehan DACS romantic abstract lyrical painting british female contemporary artist

seaside details

©jenny meehan DACS romantic abstract lyrical painting british female contemporary artist

seaside details

©jenny meehan DACS romantic abstract lyrical painting british female contemporary artist

seaside details

©jenny meehan DACS romantic abstract lyrical painting british female contemporary artist

seaside details

©jenny meehan DACS romantic abstract lyrical painting british female contemporary artist

seaside details

©jenny meehan DACS romantic abstract lyrical painting british female contemporary artist

©jenny meehan DACS
romantic abstract lyrical painting british female contemporary artistseaside details

 

All this dancing and prancing around with painting… lyrical and brushmarks, experimentation and exploration.   I am pushing ahead.

 

This is another sound painting.  As it is the seaside time of year here in the UK…As much as possible,  this is a good one to show now. The side side is one of my favourite places.  Both positive memories from the past and current pleasure inform the feeling.  As my childhood was more sad than not, I hold onto the happy parts most keenly because they were gifts and I am glad I received them.

 

drop in the ocean painting jenny meehan romantic lyrical abstraction expressionist abstract fine painting drop in the ocean painting jenny meehan

british collectable abstract paintings ©jenny meehan DACS
romantic abstract lyrical painting british female contemporary artist

Ah thank goodness for that “Drop in the Ocean” painting is at least to be found in completeness!

These two go very well together. Not surprising really!   I am selling these, so contact me if interested, via my website;  jamartlondon.com

I sell my paintings when no longer needed for study and exhibition purposes.  At between £200 and £500 only, they are very good value indeed.  For a high quality original abstract painting, you may need to look quite a long way for something in this price bracket.  I sell my original paintings to enable me to continue to invest my time and effort into the painting endeavour.  Developing my work, materials, research and study all involve time and money.  It’s a matter of passion in the end.  Any support is welcome and appreciated.

It’s bye bye for now.

Cannot believe it took until the 18th of the month to get this done.

Never mind.

 

 

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

 

Desiderata written in 1927 by Max Ehrmann

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

Desiderata

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

 

 

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

I learnt one of the rhythms from Sinte last night!

 Kingston Artists’ Open Studios 2018

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

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

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

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

Hope to see you! Jenny Meehan

 

Bits and Bobs

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

 

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

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

jenny meehan jamartlondon art work uk licensable images

jenny meehan jamartlondon art work uk licensable images

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

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

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

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

 

 

jenny meehan jamartlondon art work uk licensable images

jenny meehan jamartlondon art work uk licensable images

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

It’s got a lot of energy!

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

 

 

jenny meehan jamartlondon art work uk licensable images

jenny meehan jamartlondon art work uk licensable images

 

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

 

 

jenny meehan jamartlondon art work uk licensable images

jenny meehan jamartlondon art work uk licensable images

 

Henry Moore Quotes

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

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

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

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

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

 

Jenny Meehan on Redbubble.com

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Gum Arabic Preparation

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

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

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

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

Studio Tent

 

 

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

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

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

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon abstract expressionist lyrical textural colorist paintings licensable images

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

New Knee Anniversary!

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

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

IMG_7305knee replacement in bed

Great Quote from Frank Auerbach

I enjoyed reading this interesting article:

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

My favourite part:

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

That’s it for this month!

PS

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

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

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

Happy New Year!

I continue with my experiments with materials and a little bit of finishing off of paintings in progress.  I never work on one thing at a time.  I always need to have several paintings going on at once.  However, as I currently have well over 20 paintings on the go, I feel it would be a good idea to narrow down the range a little bit.

Though my plans are to paint on a bigger format, I still enjoy working on smaller pieces and I can see that continuing into the year.   I am mad to work on a bigger scale in so many respects, financial and practical.  But I cannot resist the temptation.   I feel that my painting is something that people should be able to immerse themselves in in the way that I enjoy immersing myself in it.  Making it bigger makes that easier I think.  So much is thrust at us visually.  We are completely bombarded with images from all angles.  Bigger in NOT better.  No way.  But it’s what I want.  It presents more challenges, and to be honest, I am so grateful for my mobility, that I feel if I don’t do it now, as the years go by, I cannot take for granted that I will be able to make bigger paintings later on.  Yet I must make bigger paintings which don’t take up too much room.  Because I don’t have enough room as it is!

I am also thinking about my oil paint.  I have a lot of it but am not using it in the way that I used to.  I am going to try and make some oil sticks with it, to use with my acrylic paintings.   I like making paints and enjoyed making my own watercolour paints a couple of years ago.  Making oil sticks will be fun too.

Here are some past oil paintings:

Oil Paintings “Poetic Landscape/When Trust Breaks” and “Alabaster Loving”

These two oil paintings are linked intimately with two of my poems, and I have enjoyed reviewing both the paintings and the poetry which accompanies them.

© Jenny Meehan DACS All Rights Reserved Oil painting based on one of the poems by Jenny Meehan

Part of coursework on a short course at West Dean College 2010© Jenny Meehan DACS All Rights Reserved

 

OOOps!   Due to moving things around on various hard drives I cannot locate the poem for the above painting right now!  Another time!

“Alabaster Loving”  is slightly later, finally resolved in the following poem:

Alabaster loving

I have hardened my heart.
Made a cave
within which I can hide away my flesh, bruised and dark.
Sobs in silence, surrounded
still
alone.

You came later, bearing gifts from afar…
Some nativity story you said, in recognition of me being the chosen one. Redeemer, and Saviour of your soul.

My love, holding the hope you hungered for…
But I could not carry it.
Each little spark of faith, placed religiously in rapid motion,
layer upon layer, tear upon tear, and sorrow upon sorrow.

You looked to me, and believed your self would define your better being
in a little child…
But I could not carry it.
“I wish you were like other mummys.” I say.
And you are sadder still.

I see them, with their children laughing.
I wish for my own fairy godmother,
able to transform rags.
Cinderella’s dress is blue with a bright bodice
Joy is not squeezed out of her, she lives.
Reality on the cover of a single book.

I am sorry for my hard heart. I know now
it must have hurt you, the reality.
I pulled myself together in such a tight knot
in order to preserve my life.
I did not mean to make a stone of it.

I remember wanting you on the coach back from Bexhill.
Lumps in my throat…(I had mumps),
but also bumps of sadness.
Looking out of the window, and seeing you in the distance
though you were not really there, as we had not got back yet.
I wanted to buy you some flowers, they were “Gypsophila”
(Commonly known as “Baby’s Breath”)
Small, white, and dry,
but pretty.

Then you were there,
I was glad to see you. You felt like my Mummy, and you looked after me.
But it didn’t seem to last very long.
The flowers, quite possibly,
may have outlived you.

I must be forgetting so many good times,
I am sorry for that. I know they are there.
But I cannot help wrapping the gifts in the paper you gave me.
It was not soft pink tissue, but earth brown, and protective.
I wish it were different.
Maybe it’s just too hard to think of the colours,
for they may only make the darkness darker?

“Commonly known as Baby’s Breath”

In tight knots of white
fight, outward
Tight
Clutch your bunch, in little hands
Finger strands reach
as thin fine stalks
balancing flowers
in air.

Know ” Gypsophila ” means gypsum- loving
Gypsum white
hard.
I’m making my dry flowers soggy
But my flesh is warm.

I think you are in heaven now,
It being a safe place, I know you are fine.
I know your maker knows you
and holds your story within his own flesh,
bound in holy suffering,
complete,
divine.

I know he knows my story, too…
Incomplete, but unravelling.

Unravelling as self-seeded flowers
Small and unpretending,
moisture loving, in the childhood garden.
Ever living little eyes, meeting mine.
No need of nurture, and
only spread by finding crevice or gap
in which to place and plant their fragile root.
Forget – Me -Nots
Lay their cloud-like carpet over the earth
winking dots of timid,
almost blue.

“The Creator thought he had finished giving the flowers their colours
he heard one whisper “Forget me not!”
There was nothing left but a very small amount of blue
but the forget-me-not was delighted to wear such a light blue shade.”

I can hold my stone, I need not throw it…
… hold it,
…bury it.
Not re-membered, exactly,
but neither
forgotten.

 

 

 

© Jenny Meehan DACS All Rights Reserved painting the poetic, art poetry, expressionist, lyrical abstraction, romantic, Alabaster Loving - Abstract Painting by Jenny Meehan

Alabaster Loving – Abstract Painting by Jenny Meehan. Relates to the Poem “Alabaster Loving”.
Painting the Poetic is probably the whole point of things for me! © Jenny Meehan DACS All Rights Reserved

 

 

Pat Steir Painting Video

While overcoming my jealousy with respect to the size of her studio, I loved watching this video.  I use some dripping paint in many of my paintings and love what it can bring to a painting,  and so I found seeing what Pat Steir does on a large scale working just with dripping fluid paint very interesting.

http://painters-table.com/blog/pat-steir-painting-vermont?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Painters+Table+-+Weekly+Update+-+October+10+2015&utm_content=Painters+Table+-+Weekly+Update+-+October+10+2015+CID_98eca7c15fb24f505654ebd1fb7159ac&utm_source=PT%20Email&utm_term=View%20the%20full%20post%20at%20Painters%20Table#.VhoewvlViko

St Paul’s Church of England, Hook, Surrey in the snow with blossom.

I cannot remember when I took this, but I love the combination of blossom and snow!  I think it must have been one Spring a couple of years ago.  This is my local church and we have been going there for  years now!  How time flies!

st pauls church of england church hook in snow

st pauls church of england church hook in snow

 

The Other Side of Chaos by Margaret Silf

Great quote:

“When we are in transition, depending on how serious the breakdown is, we may feel as though almost every aspect of life has been disrupted. The old certainties, the old habits and comfort zones, have been dive-bombed. The old home, the old job, the old “me,” may be almost gone. It may be the time to ask, “What is that essential core of who I am that remains through all this upheaval?” This is an important question, because it is this remnant that will be the starter for the new stage of our growth.
The thing about this remnant, this core of being, is that we often don’t discover it until the force of change has stripped away the outer layers of past certainties and securities. Just as the seeds of the eucalyptus trees in Australia can’t germinate until they are exposed to the intense heat of a forest fire, so, too, there may be deep parts of ourselves that are activated only when the shallower layers are stripped away.
And it isn’t just about survival; it is about growth and transformation. The new you that comes through the blast of change will not be just a shadow of your former self, but truly a new you, with deeper layers of your personal potential exposed and invited to grow and flourish. For example, through apparent disaster you may discover skills you never knew you had. You may discover qualities that had never previously been called upon, such as resilience, patience, ingenuity, empathy with others going through similar upheavals, and even a sense of humor to laugh through the tears and glimpse the rainbow through the rain.
—Excerpted from The Other Side of Chaos by Margaret Silf
– See more at: http://www.ignatianspirituality.com/19469/the-challenges-of-life?utm_source=emagislist&utm_medium=email&utm_content=201509&utm_campaign=emagis#sthash.2sf1vNEK.dpuf

Singing in the rain

It is rather wet, dark and very January!   This thought brings me to a fairly recently completed painting “Singing in the Rain”.  The joyous dance of colour along with the running paint marks makes a nice combination here.   I also often do a fair bit of walking backwards and forwards if I am at a turning point when painting, and I need to think about moving a painting forwards in a more definitive way, but am not sure which way to go.  A bit of dancing breaks up any dead ends too! Now I can do this pain free there is every reason to be singing in the rain, even when indoors!

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

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

This makes me think of the past painting “London Downpour” which is now in the hands of a collector:

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

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

 

London Down Pour process led painting contemporary female painter Jenny Meehan southwark southbank memory based abstraction lyrical solid liquid dialectic,contemporary london south west based visual artist woman painter

 

I like looking back on different strands in my painting.  It seems to evolve in a cyclical way, with different strands being repeated on quite a regular basis.  This is why it is important to let your painting develop naturally and not artificially confine it, but spend time reflecting on what you have done in the past, while being willing to try completely new directions as well.

I think I posted this one before, but no harm in posting again.  It’s acrylic on canvas, mounted on board and framed under glass.

 

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

clog dance/sacred dance abstract paintings colour

This Clog Dance/Sacred Dance is oil on stretched canvas.

It’s more structured and painted in oils which has changed my relationship with it a lot.  It was done while dancing in my clogs.  I like to dance when I paint, it helps a lot.  This one is still available.  If you are interested please contact me through my website jamartlondon.com.  There is a contact form there.

I have started posting some recent paintings on my website.  As I complete paintings this year I will post more up.

http://www.jamartlondon.com/

I need to think about what I will show at this year’s Kingston – upon – Thames,  Surrey based “Kingston Artists’ Open Studios”

It’s a nice event to take part in and if you would like to visit me and see some of my work, along with lots of other wonderful artists, then do pencil it in your diaries!  Time whizzes by!  This years Kingston Artists’ Open Studios  will be taking place on 9/10th and 16/17th June 2018 from 11am to 5pm each day.  It is open to all artists and makers living or working in the Kingston area.  Registration is happening right now!

A bit more about Surrey’s wonderful opportunity to meet artists and makers, from our website:

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 the events page for more details. For more information about our members please visit our artists pages.”

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

 

Photography Examples – Jenny Meehan

I use photography as a type of creative meditation, and through the act of composing an image, the finely tuned observations I make inform and educate me with respect to the natural world.  Indeed, these representations serve as reminders to me and speak the abstract language of art just in their very being, enabling me to get to the root of natures meanings (in a mysterious, and felt sense). I then  hopefully retain some given aesthetic sensibility, which I can then use in my  paintings.   The beauty of natural forms is inspiring and I find it helpful to have images to hand of things I have seen from times I remember.  Even though I don’t translate the images directly into my paintings, it is the looking, seeing, noticing, and taking in of nature, and the creative inspiration behind all creation, which inspires my paintings and fuels the desire to carry on painting.  I have a lot of photography in my archives, and haven’t done very much with it, so I will share a little bit here with you!

 

 

jenny meehan jamartlondon art work uk licensable images

jenny meehan jamartlondon art work uk licensable images

 

These lovely day lilies were seen at West Dean Gardens, when I was on a course at West Dean College a few years back.

jenny meehan jamartlondon art work uk licensable images

jenny meehan jamartlondon art work uk licensable images

 

Suburban Meditations/Painter’s Development

I’ve been reviewing fondly many images I took in what I will call my wilderness years… The years when increasingly the sense of life disintegrated  and while life carried on externally pretty much as normal, internally I became increasingly aware  of that gaping void, the one we avoid…The depth of the personality which we sometimes fear investigating, because it is harder to face our innermost being than it is to focus on the frontage!   It seems wrong maybe to use the term “wilderness”  because I think that by wandering in the dry and difficult places of life, we often find that the source of life, the spring, the waters which take us into new places, come unexpectedly up from the hard ground.  Though I haven’t sorted through these images yet, and I will probably think further and arrange them with others into several collections,  I enjoyed reviewing them recently in the light of my present preoccupations with painting…I can see how that seed began to grow.  As I look at the images, and the instinct which led me to dwell so deeply on the fences, pavements, walls, and all the other places I walked through,  I can see myself gathering the matter which enchants me now as I experiment with painting in the way that I do.  My intense  desire to paint in the way that I do is surely founded on those walks and the way that I let myself become so absorbed with the surfaces which met me and which I took note of  by means of a camera shot.  The images vary in quality, and should be seen more as a personal record than anything else.  They are meditation, and meditation carried out at a time of searching and of internal turmoil.  I think I found some reassurance in the way that beauty could be discovered in the most unlikely places.  A sense of order, through experiments with composition. Beauty even in erosion, wearing down, and breakage.

The following images were taken as I walked around my local suburban area, often through rear access roads and alleys which offered alternative routes, and were less on the beaten path (or pavement to be more accurate!)  These are a few examples.  Many were taken as I took the children to and from school, aided by the slowness of toddler-walking and pushchair pushing, which is very helpful in encouraging observation!

suburban meditations painters development series jenny meehan

suburban meditations painters development series jenny meehan

 

suburban meditations painters development series jenny meehan

suburban meditations painters development series jenny meehan

 

jenny meehan jamartlondon suburban meditations painters development series jenny meehan

suburban meditations painters development series jenny meehan

 

suburban meditations painters development series jenny meehan

suburban meditations painters development series jenny meehan

 

suburban meditations painters development series jenny meehan jamartlondon.com

suburban meditations painters development series jenny meehan

 

Looking intently at all those surfaces is something which certainly has influenced my approach to painting.  I think texture is very important in painting, and even more so at this current time, when we are so accustomed to smooth device screens, which we view so many images on.   Light, colour and image viewed on a screen is a completely different experience to having light bounce off textured surfaces.  I know that goes without saying, and I still find the smooth surface of a printed digital image pleasing, but I do think it is sad sometimes that our eyes are drawn to a screen more than they are to the effects of light bouncing around all over the place!

 

Frost From the Heavens

© Jenny Meehan. All Rights Reserved, DACS

© Jenny Meehan. All Rights Reserved, DACS

Needless to say, you cannot see this painting at all well on the screen…It has tiny glass beads which reflect light very decisively!

 

Virgin Birth?  Or Not Virgin Birth? And Does it Matter Anyway?

Some theological wanderings!

Read this with interest:

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/dec/24/story-virgin-birth-christianity-mary-sex-femininity

Christmas is finished with for another year…Decorations put away, lots of rubbish thrown out, and more things to fill the space, which in our house, isn’t much space at all!  As I was ill with some kind of flu bug in the run up to Christmas, I had plenty of time lying in bed unable to do much, and resorted to some theological wanderings, which I do enjoy. On the topic of the virgin birth.  It bugged me last year… this matter of the virgin birth….  A question popped into my mind regarding did it matter?  I thought about it a year ago and left it, but during the run up to this most recent Christmas it popped into my mind again, so I gave it some attention.

Now, firstly, I have been a Christian since the age of 18…That’s a long time.  And in time, a lot of things change. For example,  I was brought up, in my early Christian walk, with the penal substitution theory of atonement.  Urgh?  Here’s a short quote from Wiki:

Penal substitution (sometimes, esp. in older writings, called forensic theory)[1][2] is a theory of the atonement within Christian theology, developed with the Reformed tradition.[1][2][3][4][5] It argues that Christ, by his own sacrificial choice, was punished (penalised) in the place of sinners (substitution), thus satisfying the demands of justice so God can justly forgive the sins. It is thus a specific understanding of substitutionary atonement, where the substitutionary nature of Jesus‘ death is understood in the sense of a substitutionary punishment.

Yes,  and then, many years later, when I thought more deeply about it, and got to know the character of our marvellous Creator God a little bit better, (as much as I was able, in my limited capacity!) and got to sort out a little bit more of my own internal mess, I realised that there were problems for me with this stance, and the biggest problem being that this theory didn’t fit in with my understanding of God as being a God of love, mercy, justice and compassion.  So quite a few of my ideas changed, as did my approach to the Old Testament books of the Bible, with the character of God they tended to create in the imagination.  I changed my approach and started to see that the image of God shown there was indeed the image of God perceived by the people at that time…BEFORE CHRIST.  Christ being the full revelation of the character of God puts a whole different light on things.  What a relief, because the image of God I was getting from the old Testament, even with dollops of mercy and patience and even a bit of femininity thrown in here and there,  was violent, schizophrenic, and predominantly masculine.

I am not quite sure what relationship this has to my rethinking on the virgin birth,  but I guess it served as an invitation to be willing to think over once again certain aspects of faith and belief which I had taken for granted, on face value, in the past, without allowing myself to think them through again. Lots of researching, while very ill in bed with flu before Christmas, led me to the point where I have no issues with believing that the Lord Jesus Christ was conceived naturally in the usual way, and also, conceived of the Holy Spirit.  One need not be exclusive of the other, and natural ways don’t suddenly erase the holiness in life in my opinion.  It doesn’t make Jesus Christ less a member of the Trinity.

I am a firm believer in the truth of God as three in One, Father (also “Mother” is helpful for many, for the term “Father” is used as a matter of following Christ’s terminology, which was what he himself was brought up with), Holy Spirit, and Son.   It doesn’t make the significance of Jesus any less, or make God less God, or anything like that at all.  Surprisingly, I have found in my own experience, the alteration in my belief has made Christ even more significant to me. I have been blessed by this change of understanding.  My relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ has altered in a very good way. God did not abhor the flesh in any sense in the incarnation. The womb of my life is thoroughly human, but still Christ resides in it. I am not unclean to my Creator, his Holy Spirit resides in me.  (Lot’s of work to do there, but still, God is faithful!)

I think that previously I had kind of placed Christ in a  superior position to me with respect to his humanity.   I guess it may have sprung from the idea that he wasn’t quite human in the way that I am.  What with being God.  (It is hard to comprehend, well, impossible, that Christ could be fully God and fully human.  It is, as many things, a matter of faith and choice.)  However, believing that the Lord Jesus Christ is, and was, fully human and fully man, hasn’t changed for me. Even with a change of mind about the virgin birth.  His position in the Trinity hasn’t changed.  When asked by Christ “Who do you say I am?”  My answer will always be “You are the Son of God”.  Christ is part of God’s wonderful plan to BE IN INTIMATE RELATIONSHIP WITH US.  But something has changed for me.

I don’t believe that the Lord Jesus Christ was just a prophet, a teacher, or someone particularly gifted and enlightened.  I do believe that he is exactly who he said he is.  But his humanity has changed for me.  Well, this started a way back for me, a few years ago,  when I understood that he understood both doubt and fear. Fully.   That God, my Creator understood MY doubt and fear. Even at the point of it being completely overwhelming. Completely. That it wasn’t a sin to feel they way I did.  Just part of being human. But still something which God understood. Really understood.  But still, even in and through his complete humanity, Christ chose to believe God.  He did not curse God. He held onto the love of God, though all suffering.  In and through it. Yet he knew the experience of FEELING forsaken. Though he was not forsaken, he wasn’t somehow immune to the full human experience of life and death.     That was a liberating realisation!  I think I used to think it was easier for him because he wasn’t quite the same as me in his humanity.

Side line: Maybe the link between the “penal substitution” idea and the “virgin birth” idea, and the idea of Christ being “sinless” (in the sense this is taken at face value by many folk) is the basic concept that Jesus Christ had to be a “perfect” sacrifice, to take the perceived punishment for us?  Yes, there are references in Hebrews for this, but this was a very specific context.  (By the way, to those not into this theological wandering, this may seem a waste of time, but I am re-thinking over layers of assumptions, many of which have been presented to me in the past as being the truth, with no further thinking or questioning to be encouraged!)

But to now… As I slide down the slippery slope, maybe?

Reading the article on the birth of Christ got me thinking about what isn’t recorded in the New Testament.  (PS  I don’t personally believe the collection of books we call the Bible is inerrant…that doesn’t mean I don’t believe it’s not a crucial part of a Christian’s life, or that it isn’t inspired by the Holy Spirit!)  The different gospel writers had their own angles and own approach, and brought a different flavour and emphasis to their narratives,  which all provide a vital perspective and record of the life of Christ.  But while there is a lot that they do write about, there is a lot which is not included as well. Not everything could be written down!  It could not be a perfect account (if perfect means  complete), because it has limitations, as every written record has.  (And the limitations of such as I, in reading it!).  So I got thinking about the parts of Jesus Christ’s life which we don’t know anything about, because the New Testament doesn’t say much about them.  I began to wonder if Jesus was normal?  Was he a normal boy? A normal teenager? What was he like? It seemed silly I had never thought about this before.  To start to think about the Son of God needing to grow, develop, evolve, into the person that he was.  To start to imagine that he would be subject to all the usual psychological and emotional, as well as physical developmental stages.  I had never done this before. Don’t know why!

I had put him in a separate category to myself.  Human but not really human. And his holiness, and fully righteous, mature and Godly character, which is communicated so well and so beautifully expressed within his humanity through the images we get from reading the accounts of him in the New Testament… Was this how he ALWAYS was, right from the point of birth?  Years back, if someone had asked if Jesus Christ was “sinless” for the entirety of his life I would have said “Yes”.  Not sure why.  Must have just picked it up from the Christian cultures I inhibited!  I wouldn’t have even thought about it.  Indeed, many people feel the question a foolish and pointless one.  Maybe even irrelevant.  But nowadays, not thinking about it isn’t an option for me.  Thinking about things in a questioning and analytical way isn’t opposite to faith.  It can open doors into a great depth, and things can be thought about  with always an openness for change, held along with the thinking and the believing!  Plus, when you have flu and all you can do  is look on your tablet, it gives you something to put your mind to!

So I have a slightly different understanding of the Lord Jesus Christ during his time on earth now.  I am not going to go into all the reading, thoughts and theories I read.  It’s enough to say, I did some research, and found a way through it suitable for myself.   There is room for him to experience sinfulness for some of his life.  Why not?  Would this make him somehow less who he said he was?  That he needed to grow and evolve in obedience and perfect submission to God?  That he was not fully enlightened, perfect in holiness, for the entirety of his life, but just a portion of it?  Does being perfect ( whole, complete,  fully obedient, attuned, enlightened, submitted to God, letting God define your very being) for a few years of a human life make it any less amazing, divine, significant, or noteworthy?  Does it make the achievement of Christ’s way, the path he honed out, the extent of how God was revealed in him, and the work of the cross and the resurrection, any less?  Some would hold the opinion that it does diminish Christ to perceive things in the way I do now, I imagine.

But for me it doesn’t. It makes Christ’s achievement all the more inspiring to me, and gives me strength.   I don’t see a conflict in the idea of evolution, and the way that  things are evolving and developing  and the will and purposes of a Creator God. Or of divine things happening through natural human means.  Or of God’s ways revealed in natural and supernatural events.  Sometimes happening at the same time.  Sometimes overlapping.  Meeting.  God in all things, and the eyes to see and heart to believe, is an important principle for me in the way I live my life.  So not embracing the idea of the virgin birth isn’t a case of me not believing it would be possible. Oh no, I don’t have any issues with the fact that our Creator can do what he-she wants.  My understanding is that Christ put his deity aside, and was fully mortal. That all that is hard for me about life was also  hard for him.  For me, the idea of him being conceived naturally (as well as divinely) makes more sense and actually feels more profound and amazing.  No natural process shunned, but integrated divinely.

This is the difference for me in my present understanding and approach.  Christ was fully human. And also (at a point in his life) fully God.  That full measure of the Holy Spirit at his baptism, marked the beginning of his work and his full identity.  It is amazing that God himself understands humanity in a way that would otherwise not be possible without Christ. From a place of complete powerlessness and vulnerability, weakness and fragility.   God is WITH us, in and through Christ, in a way which can be experienced  in a wonderfully liberating and powerful way.   In placing our faith in Christ, as who he is, as the full revelation of God, placed both in history and time and beyond it, it is the case that a whole new way of relating to our Creator opens up.  This kind of makes arguments about a virgin birth, or not, feel a bit trivial I guess.  But I am not here to argue theology, just to share my current perspective.

What matters is who God is.  The Trinity is always going to be well beyond any human comprehension.  So that’s the biggest step of faith I guess.  In the end, we are left with Christ’s question “Who do you say I am?”.  The question and the answer are going to resonate  slightly differently for every person, because we are all unique and God knows each of us entirely.   Some will say Jesus Christ is God, others won’t.  What Christ means for different people is variable, because what the character of God is understood to be, will vary from person to person.  What Christ said about himself will be taken in many different ways.  For myself, as a Christian (a follower of Christ) I find in Christ a way which opens up the love of God to me in a life changing way.  The way we perceive God’s character (if we have a belief in God)  is vastly affected by our own developmental experiences.  Part of my journey so far has been casting off a very negative view of God, and letting the love and consolation of God flow into those places which previously only held desolation. Christ offers me a route into experiencing and relating to God in a way which has proven itself to me, through experience, to be life giving, life enhancing, liberating and revolutionary in many respects.

To entertain this newer idea of the Lord Jesus Christ has been helpful to me. To think that Christ could experience sin is a good thing, because he knows the feelings of guilt and shame which are part of being a human too. I see no need to assume that Jesus Christ was a really disobedient child, wildly rebellious, and rather immoral before he took on his mission.  It would make a good film drama, but not a lot of sense.   It sounds from what is in the New Testament that he was gifted and intelligent, and I do think there would be a serious inclination towards the ways of God from a young age, which would make him a pretty “good” boy, I should think in terms of morality and social behaviours and actions.  I think he needed to apply himself very diligently to learning and growing in the ways of God.  I find it very conceivable that from his baptism onward, in the later stages of his mature life and the time of his ministry, he could later be accurately described later by New Testament writers as being “sinless” and “perfect”.  What these words actually mean in the context they are used in probably quite interesting, and  Jewish and Greek scholars would have a much better grasp of things than I can have.  If “sinless” means “spot on”, and right on the mark, then I am very content to settle for that. A man of total and complete integrity, as I believe Christ was/is, is someone to be believed.

I think the character of Christ would speak, and still does speak, for itself.  My personal issues with Christ being thought of as completely sinless, I think,  is that the idea, in my thinking, seems to have come from an underlying belief that Christ had to be sinless, because if he was sinful AT ALL he couldn’t do the work he needed to do, in redemption. But now I tend to feel this is not the case. A man fully with God, immersed in the Holy Spirit,  is capable of perfect listening and perfect obedience, to the way that his Creator directs him.  A true servant.  Able to fulfil the word of God completely.

I also think, as I did before all this re thinking,  that  “sin” cannot be thought of as simply what goes on on the outside of our lives.  God knows the heart, and a lot happens inside of ourselves totally unseen by others.  The most morally upright and law abiding person, apparently perfect on the exterior, may have a lot of hardness inside.    It is hardness of heart which turns us away from God. And God is Love.  Choices, sometimes unconscious ones,  become part of our personalities and  sometimes have the potential to close us down to God working in our lives.  For most of the time we are pretty clueless as to what is going on in there!  I think of Jesus Christ as having a person hood which, in full maturity, continually said “Yes” to God.  A man with a truly repentant heart, constantly turning, constantly choosing, even though extremely hard…to the point of death on a cross.   I am certainly thinking that, rather then focusing on whether Christ ever sinned or not,  it may be wiser for me to ask what the heart of Christ was like, and take that as the point for focus.  And simply ask Christ to teach me the way he walked.

The heart of Christ. It must have been a thoroughly repentant heart, in the greatest and truest sense of the word. Constantly turning, softening, changing, learning.  Always opening up to God the Father. To change this beautifully repentant heart simply into a mind that never entertained an wrong thought for a second doesn’t seem necessary.  And I have to ask myself, “How can a person be fully human, without  a sinful nature, even if “wrong” (ie faulty) thoughts are never translated into action?”  This idea doesn’t mean that it wasn’t possible that Christ WAS completely sinless by the way,  if by sinless we mean in terms of actions, for a significant portion of his life.  Righteous is not the same as sinless, but one who acts correctly in all respects.  But surely the ability to bear the tension we all feel between what is good and evil and what is right and wrong in life, is the very place where we would both want, and need to meet our Creator? Where we would need to find him there, with us, and to experience the work of Christ, in that place in our lives?

I think I have had some old misconceptions nagging at the back of my mind, which I am chewing over, underneath this all.   I have confused “sinless” with blameless, for a start.  And for some of my Christian walk, in the early years,  I did think that God was expecting me to be sinless.  (Well, easy not to  manage that one!!! Lol).  Must have been that part of me that really didn’t believe I was acceptable to God, unless I was absolutely perfect, and caused no trouble at all!  That’s a cruel load to carry.   Ideally we should not sin, (I mean in actions) of course, but I don’t think avoiding sin should be the focus of the Christian walk.  We are called to be blameless – living above reproach and not creating stumbling blocks that turn others away from Christ.  Holiness is not merely the absence of sin, but having the nature of God and living according to that.  It’s a subtle difference in perspective, but an important one.

Christ summed up  what mattered:

(Gospel of Luke)
“And, behold, a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted him, saying, Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life? He said unto him, What is written in the law? how readest thou? And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself. And he said unto him, Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live.”

— Luke 10:25-28

I am certain that Christ loved completely,  in a way which blew people away when they encountered him, and to an extent to which his set apart-ness, his holiness, was clear to all he encountered.  That cannot of made life easy for him.  And I don’t quite know why I have never thought about the assumption of complete sinless-ness for Christ before. Or even if it matters or not.  I feel a bit of a twit really, for imagining a non-developmental pattern for the life of Christ.  Whatever place he inhibited throughout his ministry, I never cast my mind to the time before that. Oh well, questions asked now! Things do change as time moves on.

Was Jesus Christ always successful, did he never fail, never make a mistake? How did he learn, or did he not need to learn? In his entire life, from toddler-dom  onwards?  H’mm.  Really? We all have to start somewhere surely?  Is a plant less a plant because it starts as a seed? Does the unfolding nature of God within Christ, evolving and developing within the boundaries of time, make it any less holy?  Any less sacred?  Is there room for normal human development in the person of Christ?  Common sense would say “of course”! And Christ grew, to full stature!  That is amazing!  Fully who he was!  And what is more, he took on a task ordained for him, and one far more difficult than any  other living being could imagine.   What was hard for us, would be even harder for him I think.  Because the forces of darkness and evil would fight all the harder against the divine revelation of the Love of God. God incarnate.  How aggravating Jesus Christ would have been to many people.  How wonderful at the same time for others, if they received him with open hearts when he was walking the earth.   The “virgin” or “not virgin birth” will divide opinions for certain, but fades into insignificance in the light of the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ to my thinking. The more central point for a Christian to believe is the resurrection and the reality of Christ’s life, death and resurrection, and to believe, and continue to believe, what the Holy Spirit testifies about Christ.

Well, all this theological thinking is part of the background to the poem I wrote before Christmas, which I hope you enjoy. As for differences of opinion, they are part of the wonder of being on this earth, and I certainly don’t intend any offence to anyone.  I just share my own thoughts and ideas.  Just that.

Just before Christmas I wrote the poem below.  Bit clumsy and not my best, but it was challenging at least!

………………………..

I’ve written a Christmas poem…it’s pretty much all I can do, but it was fun!

Would Jesus take my toys? Mummy?

A mother and her child talk, while tidying the child’s room.

Would Jesus take my toys? Mummy?
If he came to play?
Because frankincense and myrrh
Are not much good for you
when you are six!

Would he want, what I have got?
And would he want to play?
Or would he simply look to God
Hold his hands in prayer, to pray?

I think you know the answer, sweet,
You know what I will say!
Jesus isn’t perfect, so
He might take them,
and play!

But when he sees your sorrow, sweet,
Or sadness he has brought,
Well, he’ll quicker, faster, sooner,
than other friends
Open up his truer heart.

You’re very good friends…you’ll work it out!
I can help you, if need be.
Don’t worry about Jesus coming to play
There’s room enough
for BOTH of you!
(And hopefully, IF we do this task…
Maybe even me!)

As she picks up the toys…

Your little play friend isn’t perfect
(Which is just as well for you!)
You kind of jumble on together
In this messy life, don’t you?

BOTH of you are perfect, well…
So, a mother’s heart would say
But as for him, he has a task
Beyond ALL comprehension.
(I dare not even ask his mother!)

She puts a toy in her child’s hand.

We don’t know what his life will be
Anymore than we know yours…
He still needs to learn the ways of God
While doing household chores.
He needs to trip and stumble
And maybe even hit his head?
He’s just a little boy, you know,
Whatever people said.

She pauses for a moment.

But there is something…
A depth of beautiful insight…
It’s like the brightest star…

The child throws the toy into a box.

Oh mummy! Do you love Jesus more?
And wish that I was just like him?
Because he is so very good
And hardly ever sins?
If you could have a child like him
Why would you want to keep one like me?
I groan when doing household chores
And I’m often quite naughty!

But mummy looked,
And mummy smiled,
And mummy took
The little child
Then in, when in her arms, she said,

THE KINGDOM OF GOD BELONGS TO YOU!

Your friend and you, are one of a kind,
Just hold his hand,
You’ll understand,
And when his work is done, there will be no
Comparison
IN YOUR HEART
He’s only just begun!

His humility will touch you,
His obedience, show the way,
His acceptance, open up your heart,
To the fullest light of day.

And now, my little sweet heart,
Let’s just PUT THOSE TOYS AWAY!

They laugh.

 

I’m glad I invested the time into that. Yet I need to focus on the following:

Gospel of Matthew:

“Then one of them, which was a lawyer, asked him a question, tempting him, and saying, Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.”

— Matthew 22:35-40

and:
Gospel of Mark

“And one of the scribes came, and having heard them reasoning together, and perceiving that he had answered them well, asked him, Which is the first commandment of all? And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord: And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.”

— Mark 12:28-31

Gospel of Luke

“And, behold, a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted him, saying, Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life? He said unto him, What is written in the law? how readest thou? And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself. And he said unto him, Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live.”

— Luke 10:25-28

 

I feel all the better for addressing my questions, and not just ignoring them.  Minds are handy, hearts are vital!  The bottom line is, that unless I was there, and asked the Lord Jesus Christ personally if felt himself he was completely sinless, and if so, what exactly that meant,  (or if he even wanted to be perceived that way!) I cannot speak with any authority. It is amazing how certain many people are about this idea though,  and it matters a great deal to them.   I fall on the “Of course he wasn’t and he never claimed he was” side of the matter.  Some people say Jesus Christ never sinned, and others say that he did.

I guess all this thinking has at least settled in my own perspective where I stand. It’s taken some chewing over though! I tend to feel the Lord Jesus Christ was clearly aware of his own humanity and his own human nature, and was someone who was very aware of how we deceive ourselves by judging things externally, while not fully acknowledging the mind and the subconscious.   “Sin” as in action,  is clearly a different realm to an understanding of the errant quality of human nature, and the distortions and perceptions of our minds.  I am ignorant of  the Jewish context, understanding and traditions, which inform the text, and of the culture at that time.  I only offer up my own musings as part of my own faith journey.  I can embrace the idea of Christ doing no wrong and “committing no sin” for the period of his active ministry.  I cannot stretch that to a  totally sinless life from A to B with a strange, detached humanity, which wasn’t rooted deep within his very being in the way that mine is.  To be fully human and fully God, I see a Saviour who possesses all of that which marks my own human existence.  Including personal growth and development. And yet, manages to be fully obedient in all respects when anointed in his mission.  This may not be simply equated with being “sinless”.  It is possibly (?) easier to pass over a sinless Christ, in terms of actually applying his work, and way, to our own lives?

For me personally, it’s been fruitful to throw off the idea of perfect Jesus, in the way I had previously understood perfection. For someone else, this might be an unhelpful and disturbing way of approaching Christ.   So apologies to you if this does offend. It’s not meant to.  I don’t share it by way of feeling I want to convince anyone either way, but just because this is where I am right now.  I won’t be entering into any debate or argument about it, because I have not interest in putting my energy that way. As I get older I tend to take the approach that “I cannot know anything for sure” but can only know what feels true, and can only choose to believe what feels right.  It’s wandering in the dark for me, and yet, my personal experience of Christ in my life has brought me where I am, and of that, I need not doubt, because this is the life I have lived and still live.  My story unfolds on the very foundations of my faith, which is rooted in Christ, my God, and all I can do is pray that I listen to the Spirit, and be as open as I can, to any way I might grow in Christ, who is Love, and God incarnate.

Sometimes this may mean chewing over things I have thought before in a new way, and sometimes I will change my mind.  It is the fully human aspect of Christ which I find so inspiring right now.  What he did with his humanity, and his human nature, which is something we share and relate to.   For the character of Christ is something I know just a little of, and that itself surpasses all other.  I just need to immerse myself more in that!

For those of you who read this Journal more for the visual art content, my writing has always been part of my creative output, and while not seeming relevant to what I do visually, it’s another dimension of my work which grabs me from time to time.  It’s so dark and cold in the studio tent right now, that January has mostly been spent with writing, domestic tasks, and admin!  Come to think of it,  I should possibly christen  the Winter as  as my writing season, because it’s not the first time I have turned to words rather than images at this time of year!

And for those of you who are more proficient in theological wandering than I am, be merciful!  And for those of you who find what I write offends your faith in some way, then even be perfect as your Father in heaven is perfect, and know that God loves both the “right” and the “wrong”!   There was a time, a long time back, when I would have thought that if I didn’t believe Christ was sinless, and I didn’t believe in the virgin birth,  I couldn’t possibly call myself a Christian.  Obviously I don’t hold that view now, but I fully appreciate that some will, and mutual respect is due, whatever stance one holds.

 

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

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

 

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

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

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

Do you like this print?  You can buy it easily and safely through Redbubble.com, just follow the link:

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

Briefly…On the knee

Well, I will save the big post for the one year mark and put that on “The very patient knee replacement story by Jenny Meehan” but things are great!  I love being mobile and I don’t miss my sticks!

Tidying up old research, I found this reading:

https://healthskills.wordpress.com/2011/03/23/its-there-and-im-stuck-with-it-chronic-knee-pain-after-knee-joint-replacement/

It’s an excellent read about pain after TKR.   I am very happy with my results, at 11 months now.  Yes, you do get a bit of an ache sometimes, but it is NOTHING compared to the experience of frequent constant pain before TKR.  And when you are able to live your life, pain in itself is no bother at all. Before my knee replacement I wasn’t able to live my life as I needed to.

It’s a good article, well worth reading.  I think anxiety is a major issue after a TKR for a lot of people.  There is such a vast variety of types of pain you get after the surgery as the soft tissues and bones are healing!  It’s very easy to focus on each one and worry.  I found it best to take a “I will wait a couple of days and see what it is like then” approach.  By the time a couple of days had past, there had been some change, and even if that change was a different pain,  the point was the initial worry had past!  I think it helped me that I did not have an expectation that I would be pain free necessarily, but that I would be mobile and have less pain.  Actually, my post surgery experience has exceeded my expectations, and I feel normal again in a way I did not expect.   I do worry a bit that I may wear it out, because I am whizzing around, but the reality is, even if this only lasted five years, I would consider it worth it.  Having said that, I do expect longer!!!   Keeping the weight off, and respecting the knee is the way forward I think.  I won’t be running or jumping up and down, unless I am in water!

Interesting Read

I found this blog interesting, as I was just sorting out some old emails and found I had been approached by the “It’s Liquid” venture.  I just chuck that kind of thing in the virtual bin, but it is often tempting to consider such invitations.

http://badartbad.blogspot.co.uk/2007/12/luca-curci-and-artexpo-scam.html

I don’t have very much disposable income to throw away, so it makes this kind of decision easy for me.

It’s best for artists to create their own exhibition opportunities if possible IMO.

 

About Jenny Meehan’s Paintings

This process led painting…romantic, expressionistic, abstract and lyrical, is simply the result of my own contemplative practice, which I work through in many ways. Let by instinct and intuition, inspired by my own life experiences, and several much loved artists, including Klee, Hitchens, Claude Venard, Matisse and Kandinsky, it provides the ground for the viewer’s own interpretations and responses, and will be whatever you want it to be. My own titles reflect my own interpretation/,sense of meaning, but the beauty and openness of non objective painting allows you a place in the process exclusively yours!

The image doesn’t show the extent to which texture, and various surface finishes are used in the painting, for example, I use tiny glass beads for their effects on light hitting the surface of the painting. Maybe they could be seen as a dance of light and colour? Certainly, as the light in the day changes, the appearance of the painting changes considerably, with different parts being emphasised and other parts sinking into the background. This painting is one which responds, and I hope you get pleasure from viewing it! See more at http://www.jamartlondon.com

COPYRIGHT INFORMATION

Copyright in all images by Jenny Meehan is held by the artist.
Permission must be sought in advance if you wish to use images by Jenny Meehan. In the first instance, please contact Jenny Meehan. Copyright for all works of art by Jenny Meehan is managed by the Design and Artists Copyright Society (DACS) in the UK.

Francis Davison at The Redfern Gallery

What a great show this was!

I took many visual meanderings across the surfaces of the many collages on show.

As I plan to bring my own work onto a larger format, I found the size of the work on show very pleasing…Large enough to be easy to enter into, but not so large as to be impractical.  Though wall space nowadays is a problem for many people…Unless you have plenty of walls, what do you do with this superb, intimate yet impressive work?  Both bold and delicate, strong and fragile.  I like this.   But I lack the wall and floor I need to work at this scale at the present time.

Just one wall.  Just one floor.  And I will be happy.

I did resort to painting on the side of our house a few years back…

© Jenny Meehan DACS All Rights Reservedjenny meehan spontaneous side of the house painting

jenny meehan spontaneous side of the house painting © Jenny Meehan DACS All Rights Reserved

You cannot see this anymore because I have erected my studio tent in front of it.  It was painted with rollers and I called it “Spontaneous Side of the House Painting”.  It was indeed completely spontaneous, with no planning, just a sudden urge with a roller in hand and some left over silicate mineral paint!

But to today!

I am currently  experimenting with different materials to use in my own paintings.  I had started to introduce collaged elements a while ago, so it seems a natural progression to maybe use the process of sticking things on…

Indeed, with the need to work a bit larger, to have areas I can just stick on will be useful…

Especially as I plan to experiment with both planned and unplanned paintings.  It will be useful to be able to move large areas around if I need to.

And I like sticky things… Mmmm.

Brought rather a lot of tape recently.

Maybe something to do with wrapping up presents?  But not sure I need hazard tape to do that…?? Or non slip gripper tape, or double sided tape or…  Off on another meander…!

I would combine collage with paint I should think.  However, before that, loads of experimentation with surfaces needs to happen.

And what a pleasure that is!

Back to Francis Davison…

Looking around The Redfern Gallery at Francis Davison’s collages at the Private View was not enough for me, and besides, people, lovely as they are, get in the way!  So I re visited and took in a little bit more deeply what was happening there for me.  Seeing the work generated all kinds of new ideas in my mind, really, so many I needed to take notes.  The art now for me will be restraint…To hold back yet give all, at the very same time.

https://www.redfern-gallery.com/artists/47-francis-davison/

I also enjoyed the Jasper Johns exhibition at the Royal Academy.

Here is a quote from the Royal Academy website:

“One hopes for something resembling truth, some sense of life, even of grace, to flicker, at least, in the work.” Jasper Johns, 2006.

Widely known for his iconic images of flags, targets, numbers, maps and light bulbs, Jasper Johns has occupied a central position in American art since his first solo exhibition in New York in 1958. His treatment of iconography and appropriation of objects, symbols and words makes the familiar unfamiliar, achieving this through the distinctive, complex textures of his works. Through his ground-breaking paintings and sculptures, Johns established a decisive new direction in an art world that had previously been dominated by Abstract Expressionism.

Jasper Johns: ‘Something Resembling Truth’ is the first comprehensive survey of the artist’s work to be held in the UK in 40 years. Comprising over 150 paintings, sculptures, drawings and prints, it reveals the continuities and changes that have occurred over the past six decades and the curiosity and experimentation that Johns continues to apply to his current practice. During the 1960s Johns added an array of household and studio objects and imprints and casts of the human figure. The works of the 1970s are dominated by an abstract pattern, referred to as “crosshatchings”. During the 1980s and 1990s Johns introduced a variety of images that engaged with the ambiguities of perception and ongoing themes involving memory, sexuality, and the contemplation of mortality. From this time, Johns increasingly incorporated tracings and details of works by artists including Matthias Grünewald, Pablo Picasso and Edvard Munch. By the early 2000s Johns had embarked on the pared-down and more conceptual Catenary series which, along with other recent works such as 5 Postcards, 2013 and Regrets, 2013, shows the rich productivity and vitality of this late phase of his career.

The exhibition brings together artworks that rarely travel from international private and public collections and new works by the artist. It follows in the Royal Academy’s tradition of celebrating its Royal Academicians, continuing the strand of programming that has showcased some of the most significant living artists including Anish Kapoor, David Hockney, Anselm Kiefer and Ai Weiwei.

Working in close collaboration with the artist, the exhibition is co-curated by Dr Roberta Bernstein and Edith Devaney.

There were a few pieces which I liked, but lots I didn’t feel drawn to.  Not the same kind of experience as the Francis Davison exhibition for me, however I am still very glad I went.  I have a kind  friend who is a friend of the Royal Academy, and so I went with her and could get in free of charge.  Target, 1960 and Jasper Johns’ 1962 painting known as Fool’s House stood out for me, and I liked much of the monochrome paintings and prints.  I think I may experiment more with black and white myself, as it will enable me to focus on the mark making without the need to perform the balancing act of colour!

Here is a short video on Jasper Johns:

https://www.royalacademy.org.uk/article/jasper-johns-video-60-seconds

Christmas is coming!

If you want a religious, traditonal Advent Calendar, watch out, as they seem to be very expensive!

It seems you pay more for wanting the Nativity story depicted on your little cardboard feast of doors to open.  If you choose an advent calendar with nothing to do with Christ, it will be much cheaper!  This is sad.

I’m not keen on the run up to Christmas…It’s so dark, I don’t like all the emphasis on material goods, and I always feel I should be in hibernation.   I like Christmas Day itself, quite like Christmas Eve, love Boxing Day and I feel increasingly Christmassy AFTER Christmas!   As a committed Christian I do celebrate the coming of Christ into the world, and I do enjoy that part of things, naturally.  But the rest is burdensome.    Some glimmers of pleasure here and there, but not much!   However, I will wish all who read this a Happy Christmas, with all my heart, because I am not totally Humbug!   I hope you have got some pleasure from dipping into my ramblings and seeing some of my art working, which I am grateful to be able to share with you.

So “Happy Christmas!”

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

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

And “Holy, Holy, Holy” is the most Christmassy piece of work I have done, so here it is as my Christmas Greeting to you!

 

Edward Muybridge

Kingston Museum are planning an exhibition of work via an open submission process.  It is sometime next year. As usual I have enjoyed taking many photographs of the work I am working on! That itself becomes a process of experimenting with composition.

 

 

© Jenny Meehan DACS All Rights Reserved minds eye edward muybridge kingston musuem exhibition jenny meehan

© Jenny Meehan DACS All Rights Reserved minds eye edward muybridge kingston musuem exhibition jenny meehan

minds eye edward muybridge kingston musuem exhibition jenny meehan © Jenny Meehan DACS All Rights Reserved

minds eye edward muybridge kingston musuem exhibition jenny meehan© Jenny Meehan DACS All Rights Reserved

minds eye edward muybridge kingston musuem exhibition jenny meehan© Jenny Meehan DACS All Rights Reserved

minds eye edward muybridge kingston musuem exhibition jenny meehan© Jenny Meehan DACS All Rights Reserved

minds eye edward muybridge kingston musuem exhibition jenny meehan© Jenny Meehan DACS All Rights Reserved

minds eye edward muybridge kingston musuem exhibition jenny meehan© Jenny Meehan DACS All Rights Reserved

minds eye edward muybridge kingston musuem exhibition jenny meehan© Jenny Meehan DACS All Rights Reserved

minds eye edward muybridge kingston musuem exhibition jenny meehan© Jenny Meehan DACS All Rights Reserved

minds eye edward muybridge kingston musuem exhibition jenny meehan© Jenny Meehan DACS All Rights Reserved

minds eye edward muybridge kingston musuem exhibition jenny meehan© Jenny Meehan DACS All Rights Reserved

minds eye edward muybridge kingston musuem exhibition jenny meehan© Jenny Meehan DACS All Rights Reserved

minds eye edward muybridge kingston musuem exhibition jenny meehan© Jenny Meehan DACS All Rights Reserved

minds eye edward muybridge kingston musuem exhibition jenny meehan© Jenny Meehan DACS All Rights Reserved

minds eye edward muybridge kingston musuem exhibition jenny meehan© Jenny Meehan DACS All Rights Reserved

 

minds eye edward muybridge kingston musuem exhibition jenny meehan© Jenny Meehan DACS All Rights Reserved

 

I make a habit of examining my work in detail with the aid of a camera.  Something about a viewfinder helps me to look carefully!

I did a lot of reading around,  and in the end, couldn’t get away from the fact that the man was a murderer and if he wasn’t a man, he probably wouldn’t have got away with it!  I ended up feeling more a sense of tragedy for his wife and child.  There were all kinds of routes I could have gone down, including the interesting way in which it was fine for men to look at the female body for the purpose of art, (and supposedly science) but it was not OK for women to draw from life until years later. But in the end, it was the idea of playing around with what might be triggered in Edward Muybridge’s mind as he went about his work which I found fascinated me, hence “The Mind’s Eye”.

With this collaged painting comes the poem I wrote which is part of it:

The Mind’s Eye

What thoughts and memories
unsettled
might dwell in the unconscious mind of the artist
as he works?
Projected onto models…
Figures of his own past
laughing
moving
strangers
touching new pain in the mind’s eye?
Shot images…
they infiltrate the heart
yet, even the most animated
leave it
still
so solitary.

Jenny Meehan 2017

 

This work has been submitted but I don’t yet know if it will be accepted or not.  But whatever happens, I am sure the exhibition will be very good and I look forward to seeing it.  I don’t think I have dates for the exhibition, just that submissions need to be in by sometime in February next year!  But will keep you posted!

Positive Psychology

Back again to my interest in positive psychology.  Bit about it here, quoted from Wikipedia:

Seligman and Csikszentmihalyi define positive psychology as “the scientific study of positive human functioning and flourishing on multiple levels that include the biological, personal, relational, institutional, cultural, and global dimensions of life.”[8] L.M. Keyes and Shane Lopez illustrate the four typologies of mental health functioning: flourishing, struggling, floundering and languishing. However, complete mental health is a combination of high emotional well-being, high psychological well-being, and high social well-being, along with low mental illness.[9]

Very small snippet, but referencing for further reading.

I added this work to my Redbubble.com facility a while back.  It is another of the  “Signs of the Times” series.  I have revisited the work in the light of recent experiences of restricted mobility due to osteoarthritis/knee replacement surgery, the experience of physiotherapy, and working my way forward into increased mobility.  This theme of motion and mobility, and freedom of movement,  has been a theme for a while.  I sense some future work, both in the graphic/geometric and expressionistic/lyrical painting realms, may be ripening itself for release over the next year or so.  I have become quite passionate, as a result of my experience of pain and disability, to express the liberation I feel now I have freedom of movement.  I would like to use physical actions and movements in my painting more, and paint on a larger scale.

 

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

“Slow Motion/We Get On” Digital Print by Jenny Meehan This ink-jet print is laminated and mounted on Foamex. It can be purchased with or without a frame. Bold, bright, geometric composition from British female fine and applied artist Jenny Meehan jamartlondon.com

 

Artist’s Description

Slow Motion/We Get On – Abstract Print Design by Jenny Meehan

Progress is sometimes slow in life, however, a positive attitude can take us a long way forwards. This contemporary abstract design is from the “Signs of the Times” series of art work. Inspired partly by my interest in Positive Psychology and also personal mobility challenges, this design is gently dynamic, with a sense of light inter-playing with darkness. Often we don’t see the “light at the end of the tunnel” but may be aware of nuances of light and dark through each day as it comes.

Jenny Meehan
jamartlondon.com

And the other one, which you saw above I donated to SWLEOC…. Here it is:

 

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

Artist’s Description

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

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

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

www.jamartlondon.com

 

Osteoarthritis –  The way it comes and runs off with your life

Well,  yes, it is all very positive, the psychology and the art.  But make no mistake, the time before my TKR (total knee replacement) was a very difficult time for me.  There was no doubt at all that the quality of my life diminished!    The worst thing for me was not being able to walk freely and the way it was affecting my painting and artistic practice. It was always  a challenge to balance different aspects of life, but it got even harder. Pain is very wearing.

I have very little pain now, and if I do (If I have really done a HUGE amount) it is very minor and no trouble at all.   In 2016 I found this, which I wrote before writing “The Very Patient Knee Replacement Story by Jenny Meehan”:

“Thoughts for potential artworks are jotted down with a Physiotherapy theme. “Being stretched to the Limit” is an attractive title.  Rather amazingly, the long awaited appointment with a surgeon is at eleven o’ clock in the morning.  Bearing in mind the phrase “the eleventh hour” this holds some  resonance.  For “the latest possible moment” is how it feels to me, even though the appointment has come quite quickly since I have been referred.  The last 16 months have been so restricting, frustrating, and basically disabling.  It’s been a long journey…not over yet. I will probably need to write about it here in the future, particularly in relation to my thoughts about age and access to knee replacement.”

How funny, and little did I know I would get so carried away with writing!

I think I need to write a booklet or some other kind of more concise text about knee replacement next!

Life is just great now though!  Movement and rhythm seem to be two of my most favourite things!  I had a fantastic time at “Drum Dance” which was organised by Kingston Arts in November.  I have even brought myself a little Bongo drum.  Small and cheap but OK for me.  I had such a brilliant time, dancing around for hours on my new knee, I couldn’t quite believe it.  And drumming away!  The best time I have had in ages.  And the next day, no soreness, pain, or any problems with my knee.

I am seriously thinking about incorporating movement into these bigger paintings I plan to do next year.  I need more room!  I need more space!

Dadirri

I found this interesting.  Always very into water.  Just excerpts of it:

Dadirri – A Reflection By Miriam – Rose Ungunmerr- Baumann
NGANGIKURUNGKURR means ‘Deep Water Sounds’. Ngangikurungkurr is the name of
my tribe. The word can be broken up into three parts: Ngangi means word or sound, Kuri
means water, and kurr means deep. So the name of my people means ‘the Deep Water
Sounds’ or ‘Sounds of the Deep’. This talk is about tapping into that deep spring that is
within us.”

“…this quality is called dadirri. It is inner, deep listening and quiet, still awareness.
Dadirri recognises the deep spring that is inside us. We call on it and it calls to us. This
is the gift that Australia is thirsting for. It is something like what you call “contemplation”.
When I experience dadirri, I am made whole again. I can sit on the riverbank or walk
through the trees; even if someone close to me has passed away, I can find my peace in
this silent awareness. There is no need of words. A big part of dadirri is listening.”

There is no need to reflect too much and to do a lot of thinking. It is just being aware.
My people are not threatened by silence. They are completely at home in it. They have
lived for thousands of years with Nature’s quietness. My people today, recognise and
experience in this quietness, the great Life-Giving Spirit, the Father of us all. It is easy for
me to experience God’s presence. When I am out hunting, when I am in the bush,
among the trees, on a hill or by a billabong; these are the times when I can simply be in
God’s presence. My people have been so aware of Nature. It is natural that we will feel
close to the Creator.”

She talks also about waiting and how the Aboriginal culture has “taught us to be still and wait”.

We don’t like to hurry. There is nothing more important than what we are attending to.
There is nothing more urgent that we must hurry away for.
We wait on God, too. His time is the right time. We wait for him to make his Word clear
to us. We don’t worry. We know that in time and in the spirit of dadirri (that deep listening
and quiet stillness) his way will be clear.
We are River people. We cannot hurry the river. We have to move with its current and
understand its ways.”

 

Yes, we cannot hurry the river!

Imagined Worlds Exhibition Images

This was an exhibition I took part in towards the end of 2016 and beginning of this year. It was a super project, brilliantly organised and I was very pleased to be part of it!

Here are some images from the “Imagined Worlds” Exhibition curated by Jon England in collaboration with Somerset Art Works.  All Photos: Jon England.

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

My work shown in the third image… Close up reminder:  Title:  Alph, the Sacred River 1

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

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

And we must have the poem, of course….

Kubla Khan
BY SAMUEL TAYLOR COLERIDGE
Or, a vision in a dream. A Fragment.
In Xanadu did Kubla Khan
A stately pleasure-dome decree:
Where Alph, the sacred river, ran
Through caverns measureless to man
Down to a sunless sea.
So twice five miles of fertile ground
With walls and towers were girdled round;
And there were gardens bright with sinuous rills,
Where blossomed many an incense-bearing tree;
And here were forests ancient as the hills,
Enfolding sunny spots of greenery.

But oh! that deep romantic chasm which slanted
Down the green hill athwart a cedarn cover!
A savage place! as holy and enchanted
As e’er beneath a waning moon was haunted
By woman wailing for her demon-lover!
And from this chasm, with ceaseless turmoil seething,
As if this earth in fast thick pants were breathing,
A mighty fountain momently was forced:
Amid whose swift half-intermitted burst
Huge fragments vaulted like rebounding hail,
Or chaffy grain beneath the thresher’s flail:
And mid these dancing rocks at once and ever
It flung up momently the sacred river.
Five miles meandering with a mazy motion
Through wood and dale the sacred river ran,
Then reached the caverns measureless to man,
And sank in tumult to a lifeless ocean;
And ’mid this tumult Kubla heard from far
Ancestral voices prophesying war!
The shadow of the dome of pleasure
Floated midway on the waves;
Where was heard the mingled measure
From the fountain and the caves.
It was a miracle of rare device,
A sunny pleasure-dome with caves of ice!

A damsel with a dulcimer
In a vision once I saw:
It was an Abyssinian maid
And on her dulcimer she played,
Singing of Mount Abora.
Could I revive within me
Her symphony and song,
To such a deep delight ’twould win me,
That with music loud and long,
I would build that dome in air,
That sunny dome! those caves of ice!
And all who heard should see them there,
And all should cry, Beware! Beware!
His flashing eyes, his floating hair!
Weave a circle round him thrice,
And close your eyes with holy dread
For he on honey-dew hath fed,
And drunk the milk of Paradise.

 

 

Interesting Book: Art and Psychoanalysis by Maria Walsh

Often derided as unscientific and self-indulgent, psychoanalysis has been an invaluable resource for artists, art critics and historians throughout the twentieth century. Art and Psychoanalysis investigates these encounters. The shared relationship to the unconscious, severed from Romantic inspiration by Freud, is traced from the Surrealist engagement with psychoanalytic imagery to the contemporary critic’s use of psychoanalytic concepts as tools to understand how meaning operates. Following the theme of the ‘object’ with its varying materiality, Walsh develops her argument that psychoanalysis, like art, is a cultural discourse about the mind in which the authority of discourse itself can be undermined, provoking ambiguity and uncertainty and destabilising identity. The dynamics of the dream-work, Freud’s ‘familiar unfamiliar’, fetishism, visual mastery, abjection, repetition, and the death drive are explored through detailed analysis of artists ranging from Max Ernst to Louise Bourgeois, including 1980s postmodernists such as Cindy Sherman, the performance art of Marina Abramovic’ and post-minimalist sculpture.

Innovative and disturbing, Art and Psychoanalysis investigates key psychoanalytic concepts to reveal a dynamic relationship between art and psychoanalysis which goes far beyond interpretation. There is no cure for the artist – but art can reconcile us to the traumatic nature of human experience, converting the sadistic impulses of the ego towards domination and war into a masochistic ethics of responsibility and desire.”

I will need to put this on my reading list..  Maybe on my Christmas list!

“understand how meaning operates” 

” psychoanalysis, like art, is a cultural discourse about the mind in which the authority of discourse itself can be undermined, provoking ambiguity and uncertainty and destabilising identity.”… interesting…

There is no cure for the artist – but art can reconcile us to the traumatic nature of human experience, converting the sadistic impulses of the ego towards domination and war into a masochistic ethics of responsibility and desire.”

Mmm, interesting with respect to the sadistic impulses of the ego…  Not so sure on the ethics of responsibility and desire, as don’t quite get why linked with masochistic….   But then, have not read the book yet.  

Introduction
Chapter 1 | Distortion and Disguise: The Dream-Work
Chapter 2 | Uncanny Eruptions
Chapter 3 | Refashioning Fetishism and Masquerade
Chapter 4 | Female Fetishism in the Expanded Field of Narcissism
Chapter 5 | Eye and Gaze: Restoring Body to Vision
Chapter 6 | The Evolution of Abjection
Chapter 7 | Black Narcissus
Chapter 8 | Repetition and the Death Drive
Chapter 9 | Returning to Melanie Klein
Chapter 10 | ‘Real-Making’: A Transitional Phenomenon
Chapter 11 | New Skins for Old
Select Bibliography
Index

Text above is quoted from: http://www.ibtauris.com/Books/The%20arts/The%20arts%20general%20issues/Theory%20of%20art/Art%20and%20Psychoanalysis.aspx?menuitem=%7BE0961D02-3441-46BB-AC01-8728897BEF72%7D

Maria Walsh is Senior Lecturer in Fine Art, Theory at University of the Arts, London.

As well as all this brain stretching stuff… I am very much interested in interpretation…Someone’s personal interpretation matters just as much as any academic theory or analysis.  But it is good to keep my mind working!

 

Mindful Eating

I lost a lot of weight in the last couple of years.  Still working on it though!  I found mindful eating helpful.

Information quoted below is from this website:  https://zenhabits.net/what-is-mindful-eating/

Simply put, my approach to mindful eating is learning to pay attention. Instead of eating mindlessly, putting food into your mouth almost unconsciously, not really tasting the food you’re eating … you notice your thoughts, feelings, and sensations.

You learn to pay attention to:

Why you feel like eating, and what emotions or needs might be triggering the eating.
What you’re eating, and whether it is healthy or not.
The look, smell, taste, feel of the food you’re eating.
How it makes you feel as you taste it, as you digest it, and throughout the day.
How full (or sated) you are before, during and after eating.
Your emotions during and after eating.
Where the food came from, who might have grown it, how much it might have suffered before it was killed, whether it was grown organically, how much it was processed, how much it was fried or overcooked, etc.

This is a skill, a form of meditation really, that you don’t just acquire overnight. It takes practice, and there will be times when you forget to eat mindfully, and there will be starts and stops. But with practice and attention, you can become very good at this.” 

 

“The Benefits of Mindful Eating
The benefits of eating mindfully are amazing, and it’s important to know these benefits as you consider the practice.

I’m going to go over just a handful of the most important benefits, though as you learn the practice I’m sure you’ll find many more. Many of these are from personal experience, but many of them are supported by research (I’ve linked to some of the research when I had the link handy).

My favorite benefits:

You learn to eat when you’re hungry, and stop when you’re sated.
You learn to really taste food, and to enjoy the taste of healthy food.
You slowly start to realize that unhealthy food isn’t as tasty as you thought, nor does it make you feel very good.
As a result of the above three points, you will often lose weight if you’re overweight.
You begin to sort through the emotional issues you have around food and eating. This takes a bit longer, but it’s important.
Social overeating can become less of a problem — you can eat mindfully while socializing, with practice, and not overeat.
You begin to enjoy the eating experience more, and as a result enjoy life more, when you’re more present.
It can become a mindfulness ritual you look forward to.
You learn how food affects your mood and energy throughout the day.
You learn what food best fuels your exercise and work and play.
Again, there are other benefits, but these are some of the most important, in my experience. “

I am rather rushing around at the moment, as I can now do so.  It seems I have a burst of energy I haven’t had for years and I think that now I am mobile and pain free, I am intent on making the most of what I have while I have it.  I don’t think I will ever take walking for granted again!

This looks interesting, on another tangent:

http://www.everypainterpaintshimself.com/about

Contact Jenny Meehan through the contact form on her website:

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

About Jenny Meehan (Jennifer Meehan) 

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

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

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

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

Interesting Television Programme

I have watched the “Basquiat – Rags to Riches” programme recently. Several times.

Here is the text about the programme:

The recent Sotheby’s auction of a Jean-Michel Basquiat Skull painting for over a hundred million dollars has catapulted this Brooklyn-born artist into the top tier of the international art market, joining the ranks of Picasso, de Kooning and Francis Bacon. This film tells Jean-Michel’s story through exclusive interviews with his two sisters Lisane and Jeanine, who have never before agreed to be interviewed for a TV documentary. With striking candour, Basquiat’s art dealers – including Larry Gagosian, Mary Boone and Bruno Bischofberger – as well as his most intimate friends, lovers and fellow artists, expose the cash, the drugs and the pernicious racism which Basquiat confronted on a daily basis. As historical tableaux, visual diaries of defiance or surfaces covered with hidden meanings, Basquiat’s art remains the beating heart of this story” 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b098pd3q

What an interesting programme and it’s opened my eyes up.  Not sure quite what the results will be, but feeling very inspired.  

The exhibition looks good too, must get to see it!  I have booked to see it in November.  This is very exciting!

Here is some information on the exhibition:

The first large-scale exhibition in the UK of the work of American artist Jean-Michel Basquiat (1960—1988).

Discover the work of Jean-Michel Basquiat, the pioneering prodigy of the 1980s downtown New York art scene. This unprecedented exhibition brings together an outstanding selection of more than 100 works from international museums and private collections. Engage in the explosive creativity of Basquiat who worked with Andy Warhol, Keith Haring and Blondie, among others. Featuring rare film, photography and archive material, the show captures the spirit of this self-taught artist, poet, DJ and musician whose influence, since his death at 27 in 1988, has been enormous.”

https://www.barbican.org.uk/whats-on/2017/event/basquiat-boom-for-real

Chester Open Art Exhibition 2017

One of my prints is still on display and has just been sold!  It was made available for sale as part of the Chester Open Art Exhibition 2017.  I have suddenly realised I don’t think I posted this up as a news item on this blog!  Better late than never!

How the months fly by!

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

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

https://chesterartcentre.co.uk/chester-art-centre-open-exhibition-2017/

Information about the venue…

Joseph Benjamin is a Chester restaurant owned and run by brothers Ben and Joe Wright. The idea behind the restaurant is simple – top quality food and drink in a comfortable and relaxed environment, prepared with honesty and integrity and served with care and attention.

Joseph Benjamin opens at 9am for coffee and breakfast. Lunch is served from noon till 3pm and then, on a Thursday, Friday and Saturday, dinner is served from 6pm.

David Gill, Jenny Meehan, James March, Michele Landel, Susan Welsby, Liz Fitzgerald-Taylor, Ian Hill Smith are the artists with work on display.

The work looks very nice indeed!  I did have a nice image of it in situ but cannot locate it right now, however will post when I have found it!

Becoming – Painting and Poem by Jenny Meehan

“Becoming
light and colour.
The poetic space
coming together.
In one, long, moment
I will take you there,
and you will see
beauty in brokenness. ”

Jenny Meehan

© Jenny Meehan  All Rights Reserved

 

catastrophe becoming painting 100days100women.wordpress.com, abstract expressionist lyrical romantic painting, jenny meehan © Jenny Meehan DACS All Rights Reserved

catastrophe becoming painting by jenny meehan submitted to 100days100women.wordpress.com british collectable abstract paintings

 

I have submitted the above work for an excellent project by author Henry Martin.  Who knows if anything will come of it or not, but I actually feel so glad that such a project is being done that I am delighted to submit whatever the outcome may be.  And thankfully no charge involved to submit.   That’s always a blessing.  Here is some of the call out text:

To celebrate the launch of the biography Agnes Martin: Pioneer, Painter, Icon (published March 2018) author Henry Martin will promote 100 women artists on the blog 100days100women.wordpress.com from November 2017–March 2018.

Painters, sculptors, textile artists, illustrators, graphic designers, ceramicists; artists of all practices are invited to send their work for consideration. Selected artists will be featured alongside invited artists including:

Ying Ang, Elinor Carucci, Eleanor Crow, Suzanne Dean, Milena Dragicevic, Joy Gerrard, Jenny Grigg, Anne Jordan, Polly Morgan, Adrian Piper, Aidan Salakhova, Karen Schiff, Heidi Specker, Clare Twomey, Jo Walker, and Bettina von Zwehl.

Henry Martin says, “100Days100Women is a corrective measure I can take as a biographer and art writer, to not only educate myself on contemporary art practice by women artists known and unknown to me, but also to fight against historical precedent in the disappearance of art by women in art history books, the marketplace, and human consciousness.”

The feminist writer Jill Johnston once said of Agnes Martin: ‘During every terrible decade it’s a pleasure finding a great woman.’ I believe that we live in such a terrible decade, but we are lucky that there are many great women still to find and champion.

Submissions can be made on 100Days100Women.wordpress.com, and followed on Facebook at @100Days100Women. “

 

I look forward to seeing the project unfolding.

 

Before Knee Replacement…

Do you know, I STILL look back sometimes to what life was like before my knee replacement.  With a sigh of relief it is over.  Now over seven months post op I can now RUSH around.  That’s new.  Good exercise, walking fast.  Fantastic to be able to make plans to see exhibitions in London with no doubts that I will be able to get where I need to go!  While the weeks and months after TKR are a huge challenge, I still hold to the precept that the time period of a year (at least) before was far worse. Because of going nowhere, and not even going nowhere fast.  Going nowhere SLOW.  And sometimes going nowhere at all!  The lack of mobility was killing me.

Had a bit of a dark phase before my TKR..Paintings at the end of 2016 went very dark…

Dark Night Painting by Jenny Meehan

This painting which I did put up on jamartlondon.com is still standing its ground.

dark night of the soul painting, abstract expressionist painting by jenny meehan, british 21st century female woman painter artist, lyrical abstraction,woman artists contemporary collectable, black white painting,jenny meehan jamartlondon,

dark night of the soul abstract painting jenny meehan jamartlondon

Dark Night Painting by Jenny Meehan. Available for sale, Please contact Jenny Meehan via the contact form on my website if interested in adding this work to your art collection!  http://www.jamartlondon.com

http://www.jamartlondon.com

I am standing around a lot too…  Kind of useful for painting!  Climbing up ladders and all sorts!  Back in action!

Female Abstract Expressionists

Terminology is crude, but I guess I would fit into that bracket.  I like to call my work “Romantic, Expressionistic, Abstract, Lyrical” painting.  But too many words for everyday use!

On the abstract expressionist theme, I have now taken some time to look into some female artists whose style can be defined as being in the abstract expressionist camp.  Abstract expressionism can reek of male dominance in my imagination… and there is possible a reason for this, as many female abstract expressionists seem to have dissolved more into the wings of the art theatre…

But women all over the world are completely immersed in the wonders of expression through non-objective painting…  And always have done…and always will!

Perle Fine is one painter I have looked at recently…

http://www.perlefine.com/collections.html

Quote Marika Herskovic:

“Perle Fine belonged to the early generation of New York School Abstract Expressionist Artists whose artistic innovation by the 1950s had been recognized across the Atlantic including Paris. New York School Abstract Expressionism represented by Jackson Pollock, Willem de Kooning, Franz Kline and others.”

Few nice quotes by Perle Fine:

 

“Feeling is what we are involved with” and

“I don’t paint to sell and I don’t paint not to sell”

I will keep that in mind!

https://www.aaa.si.edu/collections/interviews/oral-history-interview-perle-fine-12709

From the transcript, quote I find most interesting right now:

“PERLE FINE: Yes. Well, after leaving the Hofmann School—well, of course this was happening all the time I was at the Hofmann School—I realized that there was no such thing as semi-abstract painting; that one couldn’t be semi-abstract any more than you could—well, it’s like saying I feel a little bit strongly about something, you see. Because for a thing to be abstract meant to me that you had to feel strongly enough about it to turn your back on realism and do everything necessary in an abstract way to put across a feeling which meant being totally abstract or non-objective.”

And very interesting reading on her process.

 

Perle Fine was married to the photographer and art director Maurice Berezov.  Despite her innovative exploration of Abstract Expressionism, which she fused with an interest in the pure forms of Neo-Plasticism, Fine was not included in the Whitney’s 1978 show “Abstract Expressionism: The Formative Years,” which she contested in two letters to the museum.  She later became a renowned professor at Hofstra University.

A quote from Perle Fine I find inspiring:   “I never thought of myself as a student or teacher, but as a painter. When I paint something I am very much aware of the future. If I feel something will not stand up 40 years from now, I am not interested.”

 

The “Very Patient Knee Replacement Story” goes on, and on, and on and on…!

Well back in September now I wrote my latest update. Waiting for the eight month mark for the next update, but cannot resist a little narrative here!

In September I focused a lot on post operative depression and also on how I found yoga very helpful in my rehabilitation.

I am most grateful that I discovered the practice of yoga through the Our Parks scheme, because it has made a huge difference to my health and happiness. When I started doing it a couple of years back it made me aware of how limited my mobility was, helped my limbs to keep moving and to be as flexible as was possible, and helped all my soft tissues both pre and post op. It generally re-introduced me to the joy and importance of movement, something I had lost somewhat over the years. I realised how integral movement is to my sense of self. It brought an appreciation of how an embodied contemplative practice is so very beneficial and facilitated my general orientation towards the contemplative way of life, including the practice of mindfulness, which was something I had already started to embrace.  So three hundred cheers for Our Parks!

https://ourparks.org.uk/

On the subject of yoga,  a collector recently brought the two “Yoga Inhale” and “Yoga Exhale” paintings.  I am pleased they are still together.  They look great in her home.

© Jenny Meehan DACS All Rights Reservedchakra colours painting, chakra colours art, chakra movement opening, yoga inhale yoga breathing inspired abstract painting by jenny meehan

© Jenny Meehan DACS All Rights Reservedyoga inhale yoga breathing inspired abstract painting by jenny meehan

 

© Jenny Meehan DACS All Rights Reserved yoga chakra colours opening painting art, chakra art, chakra dance, yoga exhale yoga breathing inspired abstract painting by jenny meehan

© Jenny Meehan DACS All Rights Reservedyoga exhale yoga breathing inspired abstract painting by jenny meehan

I love it when my paintings find owners!

I have very real space issues here.  Living in a two up two down (well, three down!) house and being an artist presents some problems.  I am currently in the process of trying to organise all my work, equipment, materials and resources a little better.  Unfortunately this means that for a couple of weeks I have not done any painting at all.  I am getting irritable and cross.  However I will reap the rewards of being able to find things easier when it is done.  I now have quite a good system for locating particular paintings which is good because when art collectors are interested in buying one of my paintings, it helps a great deal if I can find it quickly!!!

 

Crossing Over, Letting Go and Entering the World of the Other

abstract lyrical expressionist british paintings jenny meehan

abstract lyrical expressionist british paintings jenny meehan

 

Crossing Over, Letting Go and Entering the World of the Other Painting by Jenny Meehan, available for sale please contact if interested. 

Available for sale, Please contact Jenny Meehan via the contact form on my website if interested in adding this work to your art collection!  http://www.jamartlondon.com

http://www.jamartlondon.com

The direction in my thinking on this painting above:

Deep Dialogue
Professor Leonard Swidler, in collaboration with Professor Ashok Gangadean, helped delineate the ‘Seven Stages of Deep Dialogue’ to describe the potential for dialogue leading to transformation. This narrative was intended as a meditation. This painting also: “Crossing Over, Letting Go and Entering the World of the Other”.

54x44cm external frame. Acrylic on Hardboard. Sealed with a protective layer of acrylic varnish. Light natural wood frame.

See more of this group of paintings on my website, jamartlondon.com.

http://www.jamartlondon.com/paintings-2017/4592780606 

Above is link direct to page.

 

In a bit of a fix…

A lot of my photographic art work involves images of fixings and fastenings of different kinds.  Images taken of buildings, mainly small out buildings like garages or beach huts, or garden gates or the backs of buildings seen from alleyways and rear access roads.  Most of these photographs were taken between  2007 and 2012, a period of five years which were for myself a period of certainly feeling I was falling apart, so maybe not surprisingly the orientation towards fixings was meaningful to me.   The need to hold myself together, though falling apart, is necessary for a mother who has care of others but needs to carry on functioning in life!  So the felt need was great!  In a big way, having responsibility for others can be helpful, even if tough times, as long as the strain is not too great.  Because you have to keep going.  But one needs to get help when falling apart from the inside.

It also occurs to me that the interest in fixings, which has translated itself into many of my paintings… mainly those with a structural, building type feel, like for example the “Nelson Square” painting, and it’s more recent “Nelson Square Two ” (which I am still working on, still in progress); this interest also says something maybe about my experience of having a bit of a “Fixer” relationship pattern.  I can see it more now, and am more aware of it, and it’s pitfalls.  Of which there are many!  But it is interesting as a creative… that love of putting things together, drawing together, uniting, balancing, melding things which are apart.  Articulating.  Joining. Building structure, and formation generally!  So positive and wonderful.  I spend myself and give myself through the process.  And this is rewarding.  I love it and find it fulfilling.  But to try and do this with other people is not good at all.  To try to do for others what is their own responsibility is very negative indeed.  As with many of our drives and urges, there is a positive and negative aspect.  It’s helpful to recognise both!  And so…

What is the  Fixer Relationship Type?

Note: Firstly, when categorising, it is important to realise that we are all rather piecemeal…The category is clumsy and only gives an approach to a personality…It is not there to confine or restrict but just to serve as an aid in thinking, and that alone.  The reality of each one of us is that we are far too complex to fall into any one category!!!

It sounds good, being a “fixer” but most people who tend this way learn their fixing behaviours in childhood, maybe by being burdened with inappropriate amounts of responsibility, in various ways, for example caring for siblings or even parents,  in “role reversal” where the child switches places with the adult.  It’s not good, but happens.  It’s hard to get out of the habit and so one tends to take it on into situations beyond childhood,  even seeking others to administer to!!!

This has an effect on the fixer’s adult relationships, as because one is looking for someone to fix, one tends to be drawn to those who maybe are not so able to participate in an equal relationship…The fixer may end up propping up the relationship more than is healthy and may get none or few of their own needs met.   This can also be limiting for the fixer, who may tend to believe that they will only be loved for what they do and not for the person they are.  Those who, in childhood, should have loved and taken care for them unconditionally, were not able to do that, and so the child was overburdened and understood that only if they do what their parents need them to do, may they have their own needs met.

So now, if you are a Fixer type, when you’d like to have a give and take relationship with another adult who is your equal, it is hard often to know how to let that happen. It can be scary to risk letting another person learn to love you for you, without you doing anything to bind that person to you for the care taking or other things you can do for them. Instead of rescuing someone or protecting them from themselves, you let them grow into their own personal sense of responsibility and you do the same for yourself in a way which has clear boundaries and which respects both yourself and the other person. The dynamic of you trying to fix things all the time can then stop, and if they are in discomfort or upset, you can feel their suffering, empathise, be compassionate,  but you don’t take responsibility for it.   Healthy boundaries are really worth developing!  You may choose to help in some way, but it won’t be because you are trying to earn their love.  And it is much easier to say “No” when you need to.

So from “fixing” to “mending”… A related activity, for sure… Beautiful mending, in the drawing together of different elements on a piece of board, using paint and card.  This is a healthy form of fixing activity!

“Mending” Painting by Jenny Meehan.  Available for sale.  Please contact if interested! 

lyrical abstraction contemporary artist british, female artist jenny meehan london based, lyrical abstraction process led painting,collectable abstract paintings for collectors, jenny meehan jamartlondon uk, art historical relevant significant art british,exploratory innovative paintings, british women artists current today,affordable original paintings to buy uk, collectable paintings original british contemporary a

abstract lyrical expressionist british paintings jenny meehan

This original painting is available for sale, Please contact Jenny Meehan via the contact form on my website if interested in adding this work to your art collection!  http://www.jamartlondon.com

http://www.jamartlondon.com

I think I may have only posted this painting up recently, but never mind.  It’s good to look at it again, while mulling over the interest in fixings!!!

 

Poem to accompany “Mending” Painting – Jenny Meehan 2016

 

I scream out to be fixed

because I have fallen apart

And everywhere I see fixings fixed on

panels and walls and buildings

And I, flat faced and dropping into my feet

Cannot stand the sight which draws me forwards

Because it testifies to the problem I face

Surrounding me, encapsulating me

with  horror struck security

But there is no comfort

Because nobody knows anything deeper than

my own panels

paint stained panels

painted

by rain

inside

and out.

 

© Jenny Meehan

Best FIXING experience of 2017 – Total Knee Replacement!

Well, my best fixing experience recently has been my TKR (Total Knee Replacement) surgery of March 2017.  It may have been painful but definitely worth it.  I need to be on my feet a lot.  Now I can be.  Surgery is a wonderful thing.  Mind you, I have been splitting my sides watching the BBC series “Quacks” of late.  It has me falling over with laughter. (The only falling over I am now doing!)  I don’t think I would want a surgeon let loose on my knee in Victorian times.  Thankfully, wonderful developments in modern medicine, healthcare, surgery and hospitals make something like knee replacement possible.

It is odd how my interest in trauma and recovery, which started orientated around the psychological and emotional type of trauma, took a leap into the physical realm with the TKR.  Surgery is traumatic for the body, and the body is connected to the mind and emotions.  I always dislike people referring to knee replacement surgery as “brutal” because while it is major, I don’t associate it with brutality.  (Maybe in Victorian times this would be apt!)  There is nothing cruel about surgery…it’s not violence.  Having experienced physical violence as a child and teenager, it becomes very important to recognise the difference. If one gets the two mixed up in the brain, it does not help healing or recovery one little bit. I was quite surprised in the bulk of my TKR recovery (ie first four months) how positive (mostly) I felt.  Yes, the body is traumatised and the surgery invasive.  But it is completely different when you willingly place yourself in a situation which is designed and intended to to heal and help someone.  It still isn’t easy.  But it is no way brutal.  I was so much wanting and needing the surgery, that I guess I was “up for it” in terms of my mindset.  Dealing with it is hard. Yet for me personally, the experience was much better than the longer term disintegration of my life which was falling apart due to the effect of long term pain and increasing physical disability.

It’s not gentle though!  Rather like being a bit of woodwork with all those saws and drills!

So worth it now though.  So worth it.

 

Yoga and Christianity Thoughts

Shared by Christians Practicing Yoga on Facebook.

Here’s a good summary of some important scholarly work on the history of modern postural yoga. It serves as a corrective to the idealized and frankly ahistorical versions taught in many yoga classes and teacher trainings.

http://www.popmatters.com/column/on-evil-yogis-and-the-icy-silence-of-yogas-post-disintegration/

 

I found the above an interesting read.   My own perspective of healing in relation to my own experience of practising yoga is that through my own practice I open myself up to the Holy Spirit and experience the benefits of Mindfulness with attention to my body which I find extremely helpful.  I am being kind and attentive to my body, valuing it, as a temple of the Holy Spirit.   Being introduced to Yoga a couple of years back  has been something I am very grateful for, and something which I have received a lot of blessing through.   Through the frustrations of my experience with osteoarthritis, I have found that what I CAN do, through the practice of Yoga has been a huge encouragement and helped me to continue to direct compassion and faith towards my humble frame.  The release of stress, the practice of being kind and attentive to myself, the continued choice, in the end, to love my body and work with it, accepting it and being grateful for it (even with the painful and often not working very well knee!) has brought a real sense of faith embodied which has been inspiring me to continue and to embrace the blessing of doing it.    It has been and is something completely incorporated into my devotional and prayer life…  It has helped me attend to myself and to my maker in a disciplined and very liberating way.

I have never felt any sense to conform to any beliefs that I do not hold or do not feel comfortable with.   Where I felt disagreement, maybe in some verbalised meditation,  I simple change direction and articulation of my thought, for example, rather than saying  “I am not my body”   I say (internally!) “I am not just my body”  because I personally don’t aim for separation of my parts, however, I do recognise the value in a consciousness that can view things from another perspective. (Apologies,  I am not in the know about the meaning of that phrase… It may be just poetic anyway and probably has many different interpretations/philosophies in hand…For others it may be essential to their experience of Yoga practice, but it is not for mine).

But I wander off.. I found the article a good read, and it gave me a little bit of an overview which I am sure is helpful to be aware of.  Particularly with respect to some of the scare mongering narratives which seem to circulate around discussions about Yoga in relation to Christianity.    I found this part of particular relevance to my own experience:

“…part of White’s research is to restore the understanding of historic yoga as a counterbalance to the modern New Age spirituality and self-help commercialism that now dominates the practice.
For example, in his 2014 book on the Yoga Sūtras, part of the Princeton University Press Lives of Great Religious Books series, he explicates Patanjali’s four-word definition of yoga (lacking any verbs, mind you) that has become the foundation of modern meditational practice: yoga-citta-vritti-nirodha.

While “citta” has a wide range of meanings in early Sanskrit, the most adequate nontechnical translation of the term is “thought”. As for “vritti,” it means “turning,” and is related to the –vert in the English words introvert (“turned inward”) and extrovert (“turned outward”) as well as invert, subvert, pervert, revert, and so forth. Nirodha is a term meaning “stoppage” or “restraint” in Sanskrit. A simple translation of yoga-citta-vritti-nirodha should then read something like “Yoga is the stoppage of the turnings of thought.”

White offers 22 different translations of this phrase from sources ranging from handbooks on modern yoga to the work of other scholars. Here are five:

Yoga is to still the patternings of consciousness.

Yoga is the ability to direct the mind exclusively toward an object and sustain that direction without any distractions.

Yoga happens when there is stilling (in the sense of continual and vigilant watchfulness) of the movement of thought—without expression or suppression—in the indivisible intelligence in which there is no movement.

Yoga is the control of thought-waves in the mind.

Yoga is the icy silence of post-disintegration.

That’s a whole lot of interpretation of four nouns lacking a verb.”

The above is quoted from the article on  popmatters.com and was written by William Gibson

On Evil Yogis and the Icy Silence of Yoga’s Post-Disintegration”  published 12th October 2015.  You can read the whole thing here:

http://www.popmatters.com/column/on-evil-yogis-and-the-icy-silence-of-yogas-post-disintegration/

 

In relation to my lack of mobility (now thankfully past!) I credit the practice of yoga as playing a key part in my journey to movement!  It was fantastic both before and after my knee replacement surgery, and obviously gentle and adapted, sensitive yoga, which focuses on body awareness and mindful appreciation of the body and movement, is a very helpful thing to do.  Relaxation is very important for a good recovery, and so some odd reason, quite difficult after knee replacement surgery.  So with the full lung breathing and directing breath towards areas of tension in the body…Well, it all helps!

A Few Photographs…

A few photographs… To fill the time which does not need to be filled!

Some of the things which strike me I capture in a photograph…It serves as a reminder for the times when I stopped to look a little longer.  Taking photographs can be a nice form of meditation…You cut out all the other things which call to be seen and focus in on the one which appeals to you the most.  Then, isolated, compose it carefully as you dwell on it even longer.  The best part of taking a photograph is the moment something strikes… It’s worth staying a while after taking the image to look at what you have seen a bit longer.  Drawing demands more of your time, and for that reason, photography comes in handy if you cannot stop for long…

 

jenny meehan jamartlondon photography monochrome

jenny meehan jamartlondon photography monochrome

This was taken in the New Forest on one family holiday.   I do love the weather beaten look!  The New Forest is somewhere I have visited many times.  It was particularly good this year as I could walk freely around in it!

 

jenny meehan jamartlondon photography monochrome

jenny meehan jamartlondon photography monochrome

A quiet moment spent in West Dean Gardens…It’s fun to get right down to ground level as this often makes for a more interesting composition.  Though my painting is abstract, it is observation of the beauty in nature which I would credit with informing it most.  You don’t need to recognise objects in an art work to appreciate the colour, form, movement, light and space.  I spend a lot of time looking at natural forms.

jenny meehan jamartlondon photography monochrome

jenny meehan jamartlondon photography monochrome

Here is the same place photographed from a greater distance with a less dynamic composition!  The tree in the middle makes the whole image very still, and it’s rather boring.  Getting up closer is something which often brings improvement, and trying out unusual angles and composition often yields better results.  However, there is also a rather nice restful feeling. Almost a reflection suggested and the horizontal line and equilibrium has its own appeal.

 

jenny meehan jamartlondon photography monochrome

jenny meehan jamartlondon photography monochrome

jenny meehan jamartlondon photography monochrome

jenny meehan jamartlondon photography monochrome

jenny dohan jamartlondon photography

jenny meehan jamartlondon photography monochrome

Just a few more.  We live in a world so saturated with images that the appeal of printing and presenting my photography has kind of got lost for me.  I sometimes produce work using my photography or photographic elements/collage.  It is useful at times.  I am not taking anywhere as many photographs as I used to.  Apart from the occasional spate of picture taking or working with past images. And of course the recording and archiving of my current paintings.  Images of paintings in progress can also be useful.

 

 

 

“Tree by Water”  Monoprint

tree by water monoprint 2017

© Jenny Meehan DACS All Rights Reserved tree by water monoprint 2017

I entered this into “One-Off” – The Masters Monoprint Exhibition at The Bankside Gallery

(Thames Riverside
48 Hopton Street
London SE1 9JH

Tel. 020 7928 7521
info@banksidegallery.com)

Details here:

ONE-OFF | THE MASTERS | MONOPRINT

8 – 19 NOVEMBER

‘The Masters’ is a series of annual exhibitions established by the Royal Society of Painter-Printmakers focusing on a particular branch of printmaking each year. This year’s exhibition will be curated by Morgan Doyle RE and will showcase works using monoprint in a variety of forms.”

But sadly it was not accepted.  Ah well, not room for everything!

I will  pop along to take a look though, I am sure it will be brilliant!

Painting – Being a Mother-Artist, Yet necessity is the mother of invention!  Plato in book 2 of The Republic wrote “Then, I said, let us begin and create in idea a State; and yet the true creator is necessity, who is the mother of our invention.”

Necessity is the mother of invention is my favourite phrase at the moment!

This time of year is mostly a time for reviewing and reflecting over past work.  This is partly because my studio tent is a complete mess, it is colder, the garden is wetter,(so not so good for painting in!) and I have had to bring my plants into the studio tent, so it is now functioning more as a green house!

This is so important.  It’s not about production.  Rotting leaves bring richness to the soil.  Sometimes you just leave things.  There is always plenty to do.  Looking backwards is part of moving forwards. It’s preparing the ground.

Looking at these two paintings below, reminds me of my recent movement from actual texture to perceived texture in my paintings.  And with the Matisse exhibition at the Royal Academy I visited recently having reminded me of pattern, I wonder if I may bring that in more?  The idea has been lurking around for a while but it hasn’t happened yet.  As I work on so many things in such a piecemeal fashion,  I find it a great asset that there are so many periods of time elapsing as part of the process of painting each painting.  So much opportunity to float ideas around, and yet not have them land all at once in the work which is happening.

It’s funny that what used to frustrate me, ie the necessary responsibilities of being a mother and homemaker, has turned out unexpectedly to help me in my work.  Now the children are a bit older, it is much easier to get my painting done.  Sometimes it is still annoying that I cannot spend more time painting.  But all the other stuff doesn’t seem to stop me.  I have learnt to prioritise things better.  It is a restriction.. because being an artist is not just about producing the work… there are so many other aspects.  So I am restricted by being a Mother-Artist, in some ways.   But I guess even if I was not, there would be other restrictions.  So it is best not to dwell on them.  In the end, being able to paint is a most fantastic freedom.   I will always be glad of it.  I am always exceptionally grateful for being able to do it. This is the main thing.

 

unerring want of running water painting jenny meehan© Jenny Meehan DACS All Rights Reserved

unerring want of running water  ONE painting jenny meehan© Jenny Meehan DACS All Rights Reserved

 

unerring want of running water painting jenny meehan© Jenny Meehan DACS All Rights Reserved

unerring want of running water TWO painting jenny meehan

These two above, past paintings, 2016. Both were sold to the same art collector who wanted them both.  I am always pleased when my paintings find their new home.  Unerring Want (of) Running Water 2  was exhibited as part of the exhibition at Kingston Museum in 2016.  Details:

“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.”

 

me in front of anagrams kingston museum banner surrey art event

me in front of anagrams kingston museum banner

Nice to have my painting blown up!

I have always liked my work to be useful in many ways, so a section of the painting being used for the poster was a bonus!  I have lost weight since then, so I am shrunk down!

At present, on the practical front, I am painting edges,  and very small parts of very many paintings, making frames, looking, thinking, writing, tidying up mess and enjoying the bit of teaching I do very much indeed.  (Information on this below).

 Drop in Drawing and Painting Workshop

Here is the information I send out to interested people:

“As a trained teacher and experienced artist I am in a good position to mentor people and  can assist you in developing your own creative direction. Individual attention not possible in larger teaching situations make this a golden opportunity for personal creative development. It is friendly and supportive group, and offers you sensitive feedback, engaging activity, elements of challenge, and most importantly the emphasis is on you developing your own personal direction with your art working.

The Drop in Drawing and Painting sessions are organised so you are able to come along on a “one-off” basis. Please let me know at least a couple of weeks before, so I know about numbers, if possible.  There are a maximum of 3 places available.  There is a choice of both Wednesday or Friday across the course of the terms, which I have weighted in favour of people on the mailing lists stated availability. Please contact me via the contact form on my website jamartlondon.com if you wish to find out more.

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

You do need to bring your own materials and equipment. If you need some advice about what to bring, just email me and I can give you some guidance. I normally have a few additional resources available, if need be, ie, pencils and paper, chalk pastels and poster paint. Sometimes it’s not always possible to know what direction you might take and I am happy to supply the unexpected material needs if they occur!

The forthcoming Drop-In Drawing and Painting sessions are as follows:

For 2017:
Wednesday 20th September 1 – 3pm
Friday 20th October 1 – 3pm
Wednesday 15th November 1 – 3pm
For 2018:
Wednesday 17th January 1 – 3pm
Friday 23rd February 1 – 3pm
Wednesday 25th April 1 – 3pm

After that I will be busy preparing for the Kingston Artists’ Open Studios 2018 and working more intensively on my own paintings!

If these dates are not convenient, it may sometimes be possible to arrange individual tuition at a cost of £20 per hour. Please contact me if you are interested and I can send you more information. My availability varies, but is restricted to week days (excluding Tuesdays) and during the hours of 9 – 3 during term times at present.

The idea of holding the Drop in sessions is that I am available to help you to develop your own projects and ideas. I will be there to add my technical and practical input, and help you by discussing your direction and the difficulties which may be encountered along the way, if you so require. As to what you actually do, this could be from drawing from the imagination, copying something from life, designing something abstract, or making a collage of text and images. Or simply experimenting and exploring what it is like to use a particular material or method of drawing.

People who come along range from absolute beginners to experienced artists, and have a range of different objectives.  Teaching input is organised around the individual, rather than delivered in a structured way, so it’s more akin to individual tuition/mentoring rather than class focused on a particular topic or course of study.  So these workshop style sessions will give you plenty of individual input and opportunities for feedback, discussion, and analysis, as you consider ways of developing your own direction.   It is informal and friendly, and provides a level of input not possible in a larger group.”

NHS Financial Pressures

I have an interest in healthcare, and as a very grateful recipient of a new knee, my appreciation of the value of the NHS has increased a lot!  I often read what the Kings Fund send out via their mailing list to me.  This was an interesting read:

https://www.kingsfund.org.uk/sites/default/files/field/field_publication_file/Understanding%20NHS%20financial%20pressures%20-%20full%20report.pdf

My own expression, of the visual type, is here:

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

This is currently being exhibited as part of the Art of Caring exhibition which runs until the 19th October at CONFERENCE CENTRE GALLERY, ST PANCRAS HOSPITAL, 4 ST PANCRAS WAY
LONDON, NW1 OPE.  Will be taken down soon!  Free to visit.  Lots of great work on show.   I need to go and pick it up next week.  They are having a closing event too:

THE ART OF CARING is an exhibition we are very proud of in our sometimes troubled and troubling times, looked closely, the sensitivity and joy to be found in the small detail of our artists work is deeply moving. The exhibition closes on THURS 19/10/17.  We are hosting a small closing event from 5.30pm to 7.30pm along with the premiere of Anna Bowman’s short film ARTS OF CARING at 6pm in which the filmmaker explores the exhibition and what it means for a number of the contributing artists who are filmed creating works at home and in studios. Do visit if you can…it’s a fresh looking exhibition still after 2 months display so far…Opens Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm.

Well, must go now.

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

 

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

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

Contact Jenny via her website: 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Note About Following Jenny Meehan Contemporary Artist’s Journal 

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

 

Website Link for jamartlondon:  www.jamartlondon.com 

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

 

Help me continue my practice/art working:

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

COPYRIGHT INFORMATION

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

Copyright and Licensing Digital Images Information – Jenny Meehan

www.jamartlondon.com

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

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

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

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

About Jenny Meehan (Jennifer Meehan) 

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

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

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

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August!

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

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

 

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

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

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

West Dean Taster Session with Jon Edgar

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

soap sculpture west dean college jenny meehan

soap sculpture west dean college jenny meehan

soap sculpture west dean college jenny meehan

soap sculpture west dean college jenny meehan

soap sculpture west dean college jenny meehan

soap sculpture west dean college jenny meehan

soap sculpture west dean college jenny meehan

soap sculpture west dean college jenny meehan

soap sculpture west dean college jenny meehan

soap sculpture west dean college jenny meehan

soap sculpture west dean college jenny meehan

soap sculpture west dean college jenny meehan

soap sculpture west dean college jenny meehan

soap sculpture west dean college jenny meehan

soap sculpture west dean college jenny meehan

soap sculpture west dean college jenny meehan

soap sculpture west dean college jenny meehan

soap sculpture west dean college jenny meehan

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

Gracious, look at those muscles!

Here are the other images from that taster session!

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

 

Artists writing about their work

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Technical Interest Regarding Resins

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

Varnishing Paintings

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

Random Quote from Jung

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

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

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

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

Some Lovely Flora and Foliage from West Dean Gardens

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

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

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

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

 

 

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

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

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

 

Quote From St. Teresa of Avila

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

— St. Teresa of Avila

Painting, Painting, Painting, Painting

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

 

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

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

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

Another Cluster of Random Images

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

 

jenny meehan jamartlondon photo black white

jenny meehan jamartlondon photo black white

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

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

 

 

jenny meehan jamartlondon photo black white

jenny meehan jamartlondon photo black white

 

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

 

jenny meehan jamartlondon photo black white

jenny meehan jamartlondon photo black white

 

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


jenny meehan jamartlondon photo black white

jenny meehan jamartlondon photo black white

 

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

 

jenny meehan jamartlondon photo black white

jenny meehan jamartlondon photo black white

 

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

 

jenny meehan jamartlondon photo black white

jenny meehan jamartlondon photo black white

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

 

 

The Snail in the Studio Painting by Jenny Meehan

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

the snail in the studio jenny meehan abstract painting

 

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

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

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

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

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

 The Very Patient Knee Replacement Story by Jenny Meehan

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

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

https://jennymeehan.wordpress.com/abridged-version-of-the-very-patient-knee-replacement-story-by-jenny-meehan/  It is still pretty long, so skimming may be a good idea!  It’s an ongoing project.  I am also going to attend the patients forum at SWLEOC (South West London Elective Orthopaedic Centre).  I want to offer back anything that might be useful.

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

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

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

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

 

Images of artists’ studios

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

About Jenny Meehan

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

I exhibit mainly in the UK, and am a member of Kingston Artists’ Open Studios. I am a trained teacher (PGCE) and hold occasional small groups in developing painting and drawing skills, and general visual creative expression.

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

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

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

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 JOY!

The joy of TKR?  Really? Are you sure?

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

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

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

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

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

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

Quote from their newsletter:

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

 

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

Detail on the work:

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

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

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

www.jamartlondon.com

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

The world needs artists.

Thank you to the person who said that to me!

It’s a treasure!

Here is No Problem/Moving On:

 

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

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

 

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

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

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

I have an “Attune” Knee!

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

It’s LOVELY!  Really settling in well!

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

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

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

Plenty of unsigned prints here though!

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

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

 

“Starting Out” by Jenny Meehan

© Jenny Meehan DACS All Rights Reserved

 

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

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

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

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

Calm Moment by Jenny Meehan at JAX Cafe Kingston upon Thames

Calm Moment by Jenny Meehan at JAX Cafe Kingston upon Thames

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

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

Here is another example produced around the same time period:

“Drawn Together”

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

Drawn Together by Jenny Meehan

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

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

 

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

 

“The Very Patient Knee Replacement Story by Jenny Meehan”

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

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

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

very happy with my new knee in bright red Asda nightdress

very happy with my new knee in bright red Asda nightdress

 

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

 

Working on some new paintings…

Now I CAN!

Very early sneak preview of some in progress.

Bear in mind I work in a very piecemeal way.

These may not be ready for a few years.

Little and often.  Just like TKR post op exercises!

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

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

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

Some come together quite quickly.

Others take years.

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

Nearly got used to the idea.

Thankfully not.

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

Plus all the hunting around for what I need!

Great to be in action again!

 

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

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

 

Can  You Put A Price On Art?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This was a good read!

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

Siobhan Harmer

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

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

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

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

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

It is obvious really.

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

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

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

Nice quote from the above:

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

And something completely different…

Bruce The Great Poem, by Jenny Meehan

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

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

I am Bruce; Bruce the Great

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

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

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

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

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

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

Go no further!
I am Bruce; Bruce the Great

Jenny Meehan 2016

 

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

 

Enjoying the Sunshine!

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

 

………………………………………………….

Jenny Meehan (Jennifer Meehan)

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

(text from website jamartlondon.com)

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

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

 

 

 

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“River Journey” abstract lyrical expressionist british paintings jenny meehan

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

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

 

Snails in the Studio

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

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

the snail in the studio jenny meehan abstract painting

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

walking after TKR

walking after TKR

 

 

Health Care

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

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

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

For 2017 “The Art of Caring”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

You are clear on that, yes?  !!!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Here goes…Be patient!

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

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

Meditation Garden

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

 

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

sign of the times series jenny meehan

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

Forthcoming Kingston Artists’ Open Studios for 2017

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

Emily Carr Quote:

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

© Jenny Meehan DACS All Rights Reserved

west dean gardens jenny meehan flora foliage jamartlondon

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

 

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

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

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

 

About Jenny Meehan 

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

As per usual, skimming is order of the moment…because the writing just goes on!   I have a new camera which is very exciting and will be better for cataloguing my work.  I am rather behind on this, and have quite a lot of photography to get done.  But with the knee replacement operation very soon here, I have to keep lowering my expectations of what I will achieve in the next few months.   I have various things in the pipe line as  per normal.  And the Kingston Artists Open Studios is coming up in a few months:

KAOS OPEN STUDIOS 10th/11th and 17th/18th June 2017

Our 7th Open Studios Event will feature over 80 artists in studios across Kingston!

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.   I will be showing a mixture, including a recent series of paintings which are 20 x 16 inches on hardboard.  The look deceptively simple.  But they are the fruit of many dedicated years of working with paint non objectively and have a level of refinement that is characteristic of my expressionistic paintings and an attention to surface and light which has taken years to develop.

Here is one, actually my personal favourite!   I have it facing me right now in the living room.

abstract lyrical expressionist british paintings jenny meehan

abstract lyrical expressionist british paintings jenny meehan

Painting by Jenny Meehan “Simple Piece – Crossing Over” © Jenny Meehan DACS All Rights Reserved

“Is Art Just Rip Off?” written by Roger Lewis

(Roger Lewis writes this article in response to the “Rogues’ Gallery: A History of Art and Its Dealers ” by Philip Hook)

In my various ramblings over the internet I often research things about the value of art, because what people understand as “value” is a very interesting matter.  And as an artist I am interested in why one person will consider art worthwhile and another not.  Value is an elusive thing.  How surprised I was to find this article on the internet.  It’s written by Roger Lewis, who brought some happiness into my life by purchasing one of my paintings a few years ago to add to his collection.   This was a good encouragement to me, as it always is, when another person sees, responds, and wants your work to the extent that they decide to buy it.  The joy in this for me is not the money paid (though obviously needed) but it’s the faith placed in the work you have done.  That someone has recognised a value in it is the most precious transaction.  Because how ever good I believe my work, and however much faith I have in the purpose of it, I want it to to have a purpose far beyond the perimeters of my studio space.  The main value in people buying my paintings, if they should ask to do such a thing, is that they relieve me of an item which is taking space up needed for another painting.  Not just that, of course. I jest.  It is that they bring the work into another context, for encounters hopefully with other people, (Oh, please, never buy a painting and put it in a cupboard). (Of if you do, never tell me about it, because you have imprisoned any life that might be experienced by the work’s existence). Value is the meeting of artist and buyer, in discovering that something worthwhile has been done, and that the experience of it can be shared and enjoyed.  Value is the recognition that there is another dimension to life and experience which lies far beyond the business of buying and selling art.  And it’s the desire that investing in that is worthwhile simply for that.

Yes, I am romantic at heart.  Much too much, but that is how it is for me.  But success as I define it is based on what I have written above.  It is nothing to do with profit in the money sense of the word.  It’s a about enlarging our souls and if someone relates to a painting in such a way as they want an ongoing encounter with the work, then this is an amazing and wonderful thing to happen.  Both people are happy.

Er, they may go off it, yes.  But that happens with all things in life.  But anything good and offering sustenance in life is a good thing.

My romantic aspirations are one thing.  But I don’t want other people taking the words from my lips on the eternal virtues of a painting and then demanding a ridiculous amount of money for it. So it was with great pleasure that I enjoyed reading Roger Lewis’ article.  He has articulated several things I have not been able to but have wanted to.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/home/books/article-4185476/Is-art-just-rip-off.html

“On the face of it, art ought to be the cheapest thing going, as the outlay is minimal: pens, pencils, paint — or, in this day and age, unmade beds and pickled fish. 
What makes it desirable, though, what creates the eye-watering price tag, is the compelling sales pitch of the dealer.”

Indeed, so there is some sense in heading  to your local artists’ Open Studios Events or arrange to visit their studios, if you want to collect art!  The dealer may not have your best interests at heart.  They are running a business, after all.  Yet the country is full of self representing artists who need more space to make more work.  And need sufficient money for their materials.  Don’t let illusions of relative status affect your desire, or let anyone fabricate them for you.  Because what makes something desirable in the truest sense of the word comes right from you very own heart.  And that desire will stick with you, and not be a passing fad or temporary creation which someone else has created for you in order to release you of some cash.  So, again I say, pop that KAOS Kingston Artists Open Studios in your diary!

Another related read:

https://www.theguardian.com/books/2017/feb/06/rogues-gallery-review-history-of-art-and-its-dealers-philip-hook

 

Imagined Worlds Exhibition

This fantastic  touring exhibition is now at its second venue http://artatruh.org/exhibitions/temporary-programme/:

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

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

The work above “Alph the Sacred River” was selected as part of this art exhibition. More information:

 

IMAGINED WORLDS ‘IN XANADU DID KUBLA KHAN…’

Event Date and Time:
Monday, 30 January 2017 – 8:00am to Thursday, 27 April 2017 – 8:00am

Event Description:
Imagined Worlds’ features the work of twenty contemporary artists inspired by Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s visionary poem Kubla Khan. The exhibition curated by Somerset Art Works on behalf of The Friends of Coleridge Society is part of a programme of events timed to coincide with the bicentenary of the poem’s first publication.

The artists have drawn upon different facets of Coleridge’s or their own imagination to create a diverse array of works including painting, drawing, printmaking, collage and photography as well as film which is available to view online at http://artatruh.org/exhibitions/temporary-programme/central-exhibition/

The Friends of Coleridge Society is grateful to the Arts Council England, Somerset Art Works, Somerset Film, Sedgemoor District Council, and many other supporters for their help in enabling the celebrations to take place.

Event Location:
RUH Central Gallery, Ground Floor (Zone B)
Royal United Hospitals Bath NHS Foundation Trust, Combe Park
BA1 3NG Bath
United Kingdom

I cannot remember if I put these images up on here before but better late than never!  These were from the previous venue. Exhibition was curated by Jon England in collaboration with Somerset Art Works.  All the following images of the exhibition: Photo: Jon England

imagined worlds coleridge kubla khan inspired art exhibition somerset

imagined worlds coleridge kubla khan inspired art exhibition somerset

imagined worlds coleridge kubla khan inspired art exhibition somerset

imagined worlds coleridge kubla khan inspired art exhibition somerset

imagined worlds coleridge kubla khan inspired art exhibition somerset

imagined worlds coleridge kubla khan inspired art exhibition somerset

imagined worlds coleridge kubla khan inspired art exhibition somerset

imagined worlds coleridge kubla khan inspired art exhibition somerset

imagined worlds coleridge kubla khan inspired art exhibition somerset

imagined worlds coleridge kubla khan inspired art exhibition somerset

imagined worlds coleridge kubla khan inspired art exhibition somerset

imagined worlds coleridge kubla khan inspired art exhibition somerset

What do artist’s do all day?

Maybe paintings like this one? !

 

dark night of the soul abstract painting jenny meehan jamartlondon

dark night of the soul abstract painting jenny meehan jamartlondon© Jenny Meehan DACS All Rights Reserved

I titled this painting “Dark Night/noche oscura” primarily because things have been harder for me since the condition of my knee deteriorated, and that experience of deterioration,  (while certainly not an experience of depression, but rather of desperation and challenge), has been a path of uncertainty, and of not knowing the way ahead.  Maybe an amount of not understanding what is going on, and a difficulty in getting to grips with the reality of my situation. Some times in life, things seem more predictable and we feel more secure.  Other times we are thrown all over the place.  So when I looked at this painting, having worked my way with tenacity through the process of it’s evolution, a fight into the face of darkness and unknowing seemed to be it’s main root.

Dark Night of the Soul (Spanish: La noche oscura del alma) is the title given  (though not by the poet himself) to a poem  by 16th-century Spanish poet and Roman Catholic mystic Saint John of the Cross. Saint John of the Cross’ poem narrates the journey of the soul from its bodily home to its union with God. The journey is called “The Dark Night” in part because darkness represents the fact that the destination, God, is unknowable.  The “dark night of the soul” does not refer to the hardships and difficulties of life in general, although the phrase has generally been taken to refer to such trials. The nights which the soul experiences are the necessary purgations on the path to divine union. There are several steps in this night, which are related in successive stanzas. The main idea of the poem can be seen as the joyful experience of being guided to God. The only light in this dark night is that which burns in the soul. And that is a guide more certain than the mid-day sun. This light leads the soul engaged in the mystic journey to divine union. ( text adapted from Wiki…https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dark_Night_of_the_Soul

“Dark Night” is often used as a way of referring to a person’s spiritual crisis.

 

 

Debris painting by Jenny Meehan

Debris Painting by Jenny Meehan © Jenny Meehan DACS All Rights Reserved

Not much to say about this one, except that the interest with solidity and fluidity, continues.  While debris is often used to refer to rubbish or waste material, I titled this painting more thinking along the lines of loose natural material, breaking and being scratched into, with varying degrees of solidity.  My interest was to create something which had a feeling of brokenness, but also conveyed suspension and holding together. The disintegration of the solid matter having a kind of dynamic and positive feeling to it, rather than being a simple matter of decay.

 

waterfall abstract painting jenny meehan

waterfall painting jenny meehan© Jenny Meehan DACS All Rights Reserved

“Waterfall” by Jenny Meehan © Jenny Meehan DACS All Rights Reserved

Sharing this, for I have just cut it into two pieces.   It is now “Waterfall One” and “Waterfall Two”.  I need to now frame it.  I will make a few adjustments.  This painting was somewhat inspired by my looking at the “Waterfall” painting by Arshile Gorky at Tate Modern.  

http://www.tate.org.uk/art/artworks/gorky-waterfall-t01319       take a look.

“Gorky was born in Armenia, but was forced to flee Turkish persecution, and in 1920 settled in the USA. His early work was strongly influenced by Pablo Picasso and the European Surrealists. In the summer of 1942, Gorky spent three weeks in Connecticut making drawings from nature. He went on to produce a series of paintings that refer to natural forms. In this painting, amorphous shapes and drips of liquid paint suggest the fluidity of the waterfall.

Gallery label, August 2004″

Mine is a somewhat more blocky type matter, but I kept the whole things quite loose.  This was a discovery for me, that I did not need to hold everything neatly together.

“Gorky was a quite well known but rather derivative painter for 15 years before he found himself in about 1943,” wrote Alfred Barr, founder-director of the Museum of Modern Art. That small waterfall he found on the Housatonic River, New Milford, Connnecticut, and the flowers and insects he came upon at Crooked Run Farm, Virginia, fed Gorky’s appetite for animation within ground cover. Suddenly he flourished.”

https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2010/feb/06/arshile-gorky-painting-william-feaver

Nice quote from Arshile Gorky:

“Abstraction allows man to see with his mind what he cannot physically see with his eyes… Abstract art enables the artist to perceive beyond the tangible, to extract the infinite out of the finite. It is the emancipation of the mind. It is an explosion into unknown areas.”

Read more about Arshile Gorky here:  http://www.theartstory.org/artist-gorky-arshile.htm

 

So What Does “Asana” Really Mean?

I found the following text here:  https://www.yogatraveltree.com/blog/article/sanskrit-101-real-meaning-asana

and was very pleased, as I had been playing with the idea of titling some of my paintings with the word “Asana”.

“We’ll start with the term “asana” which is part of most of the Sanskrit pose names. “Asana” is defined as any of the yogic postures or movements, but literally translates to “seat.” It’s said that originally the only posture in yoga was a comfortable seat taken for long periods of mediation. Eventually the other postures were developed to help find ease in sitting for so long, and to assist with opening the mind to a meditative state. The postures are used to increase hip flexibility so one can sit crosslegged, and to stimulate the chakras and nadis (allowing for energy body throughout the body). “Asana” is a very thought-provoking term, since thinking of each posture as a place to find the meditative “seat” or state of mind brings the practice away from just the physical movement and begins the journey of the mind looking inward. It also reinforces the idea that a practitioner should try seated meditation in addition to practising postures.”

Each painting may also be an opportunity to find a meditative “seat” or state of mind.  I have several earlier paintings which I called “Resting Place” and they featured a block/still area which served as a point of resting the eye…or seating the eye maybe, in one (normally fairly central) area.   I very much like this idea of the painting, as a whole, as an “asana” or point of entry to a journey of the mind, as it looks inwards.   So the looking ourwards bears a kind of inner reflection, a reflective state.   A painting, while it does contain dynamic movement in the way that it stimulates the eye and mind, is also beautifully still.  For looking at a painting to be appreciated as a kind of meditative pose being taken by the viewer has a lot of appeal to me.

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

 

The painting above “Boat House”  was for a considerable time also titled “Resting Place”.  In the end I settled with the “Boat House” because of the strong aspect of reflection in water which really makes it stand apart from the other similar experiments I did at the time.  Around 2012 ish.  This painting is ready to find a new home I think.  We are now five years down the line.  Because of what happens when you take photographs of paintings the blue looks much stronger than it is in the flesh.  The red is also a little more prominent.  The playing around with more solid areas and then areas of fluidity turned out to be a feature which continues to fascinate me.

So What DO Artist’s Do All Day?

Well, if they are mothers and housekeepers, domestic bliss will keep them busy. (!!!!) They do all that they can to avoid their domestic tasks, and spend as much possible time as they can developing their art working!  But, other work cannot be avoided.  Indeed,  the challenges of balancing one’s time between the work of an “artist”  and the work of “everything else” is a healthy tension.  It’s helpful to keep perspective, and also distance, in any creative activity, is a great blessing.  It is very convenient for me that my work base is also my home.  I  can flit between the intensely creative, to the simplest mundane tasks, and both contribute to the other in some way.  The constant effort of letting go is a good one to employ. In order to paint, I need to somehow ignore the piles of domestic tasks which surround me.  It is hard, takes will power, and a very  focused attitude of mind.  On the other hand, to be able to release myself from the intense involvement in a painting, and do a bit of washing up, or work in the garden for a while is also very helpful.  There is always a certain frustration with respect to limitations on time, however this is less of a problem now the children are older.

So, for a start, throw out the impression (possibly) given by the title “So What DO Artist’s Do all Day?” that they might be wondering what to do. For a large number of artists, the time they invest in their art working is hard won, in one way or another.  It is pressed between the other demands of life.  Unless on a creative retreat or residency maybe.  Many artists have multiple roles in life…Artist is just one of them.  And art working is just one strand.  But they may still choose to define themselves primarily as an artist. And the greater or lesser amount of their time spent on their work in no way makes them less or more of an artist. What an artist does “all day” may be for a small part of the day, among all the other “normal” things (!!!!!) that occupy people.  While some artists may pride themselves when they reach of point of describing themselves as a “Full Time Artist”, there is no real merit in that description, I don’t think, because defining yourself as “an artist” is more about an ongoing mission/vocation.

So, don’t worry about dreaming or wishing you could be a “full time artist”.  If you are an artist, every part of  your  being abides in the whole of your life, and in every little thing you do.  Your whole life and all you do in it,  is essentially the raw material of your art working, and will influence what you create, if you let it.  The way your time is allocated, is the way your time is allocated, and no more or no less than that.  You are not more or less of an artist if you need to spend more time doing things which seem less related to your art work creation/activities.   You will call yourself an artist, if you decide that this definition is something which most aptly describes what matters to you.

Here a another read on the topic.  The Myth of the Full Time Creative Artist!  

http://skinnyartist.com/myth-of-the-full-time-creative-artist/

This is a very good read.

This “Don’t Fall For The Part-time Artist Versus Full-Time Artist Trap”.was also a good read:

http://theartedge.faso.com/blog/94055/dont-fall-for-the-part-time-artist-vs-full-time-artist-trap

Adds another dimension that I had not thought through with regard to the whole “art business” model.

A Reflection

I realised recently, that from an external perspective, unless one already knows a professional artist,  it might be hard to appreciate the nature of “work” for a fine artist.  This is the only explanation I can come to as I mull over the words “But it doesn’t affect your work” (with reference to the state of my knee) which was applied to me a while back.  I may have misunderstood.  I will get over the shock of hearing this, I am sure. Though how a lack of mobility cannot affect every single area of a person’s life, I am not sure.  And how some areas might be considered more worthy or less worthy of attention, I am not sure either. And how anyone could say that to someone else, when they do not know the person, or know nothing about what they spend their time doing, I do not know either.  It was a mistaken assumption, for sure.  (I have ranted!)

But we all make mistakes. Sometimes ones which cause annoyance!  And it makes me remember the look of bewilderment on a young lady’s face at a recent art networking event I went to.  Myself and another Mother-Artist were talking about the challenges of balancing the domestic sphere of activity, child rearing, and our art practice, and in the conversation we referred to “Keeping the house”.  This phrase was a complete mystery to the younger lady…She said “What do you mean? Keeping the house?”.  She looked bemused and confused and said “What is there to do?”.  It’s amazing, but I shouldn’t be surprised because I think thirty years earlier in my life I would have had no idea or no appreciation of what household management and housekeeping involved.  The whole idea would have been alien to me. We are often very lacking in awareness of the work which our mothers (usually mothers) do because we take them for granted.  And also, probably, I would have had no appreciation of the way that the person who spends more time based in the home often tends, by natural default, to then take over the main responsibility of running the show. Which, depending on their partners occupation, and various other factors, can mean running everything. We slip into roles.  They just happen.

But I don’t think what is happening with the whole matter of women being strongly encouraged/expected to enter, (even when their children are very young),  into external workplaces, at the expense of the work which happens in the home, really helps younger people, or anyone, gain an appreciation of either the importance, nature, or value of work done in the home/stemming from the home base. The implication is that home based work is something that is easily left, and of lesser importance, when in reality they are of equal value to society.  The only difference between work done in the home and work done elsewhere is that they are carried out in different locations, and one tends to be paid and the other not. (Well, there are other differences, depending on the job titles which might be coming to mind, but potentially there are also no differences, just a merging of potential job titles!). The actual activity varies from person to person, depending on their situation, but there is a lot of overlap in terms of what is actually done/the effect on society.  Investment is a word we tend to associate with money, but time and effort are the material of investment.

I reflect, then, that there are many people who are not part of the labour market, but who do “work” very hard, and with a sense of purpose and drive, which is the very same purpose and drive, which might fire them ahead in any paid career. Many people in this category might be termed “retired”, I guess, but may have nothing retiring about themselves and their outlook or their manner of going about their lives. Or they may be caregivers of various kinds, or just be pursuing a vocation which doesn’t fit neatly into a box or is slightly unconventional. The main thing is that voluntary work, or activities which do not profit in the financial sense, (or aim to in any way), are still work. And profitable work.  But the profit is not monetary.  It’s not spiritualistic. It is not materialistic either.  It is to do with the soul, the heart, the centre of being, and those experiences and moments in life which touch us to the core, and ultimately make us who we are.

Passion and involvement are what is needed to “work” in the truest sense of the word. To coin that familiar phrase “It’s not what you do, it’s the way that you do it” Maybe “work” is, ultimately,  those activities we do in life which are rooted in love, passion and maybe even a sense of mission.  So “work” may weave it’s way through our many aspects of life…it is not limited to a single compartment of someone’s life.  It is, maybe that which we apply ourselves to in a dedicated and determined manner, in order to reap benefit, for oneself and for others.  In order to contribute to our society in some form or other.

Basically, work is life!

Consider also the words of the Lord Jesus Christ

Mark 8:36 King James Version (KJV)

36 “For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?”

As a mother, I can also testify that the unpaid work of mothering (fathering and indeed, parenting roles by any person…gender regardless, but I have to speak as I am) is extremely important for the soul of our society, and is horrifically and destructively attacked by the capitalist and materialist systems/prevailing consciousness we are subject to, in my opinion.

The whole trend of equating money with value is pretty gross basically.  Thankfully a lot of people do see this, recognise it, and speak about it.  We kind of know it, deep down I think.   But the currents are strong, and pull us sometimes away from our very selves, and away from the source of our being.  A person, whatever their occupation, and regardless of what they do or do not do,  is no less valuable than any other human being.  We work at life, and do not understand or fully appreciate each other, or our own unique trials and triumphs. Though we work at doing so, hopefully.  It is not for us to judge…Though we tend to, by habit.  We judge ourselves and others.

It’s worth adding, also, that if someone is free to involve and invest themselves in unpaid work, this should not stand against them either.  The assumption that because someone is presently at liberty not to need to earn any money, and that this state will go on forever, is also mistaken. We all need to work, and our work is what we work at.  It is the matter of life which matters to us.  What we invest ourselves into.  Our mission.  Sometimes the activities people do “for a living” are that which provide them the financial resources they need.  But sometimes the activities people do “for a living” are not related to the financial resources they need but are still none the less related to their living, their experience of living, and the quality of life. What IS work and what is not work?   In the end, work is what matters to a person and what they invest themselves into.

I think I have digressed rather, as is my habit.  For I did start with “What do Artists Do all Day”. So I had better get back to that.  One thing did lead to another! I am still slightly reeling, but it is an overreaction on my part.  I do realise this.  An artist’s work is not a conventional “job” in the way that so many peoples work activities are.   I am in charge of my own work schedule in a way which is very helpful when disabled with knee osteoarthritis. There is some flexibility there.  However, in so many respects, the effects of a lack of mobility have the potential to be just as destructive for someone in my position as  for someone who is employed in a more conventional work context.  In terms of one’s future, one’s potential. one’s personal development, and basically one’s fulfilment in life, if your mobility is affected, then your opportunities in life ARE drastically restricted.  Every thing is impacted.  Don’t worry.  I’ll get over it!

Back once more to “What do Artists Do all Day”.  Well, away from the emotional and into the practical.  While clearly there is a lot of variation, and this variation is wonderfully interesting, some of the practical tasks which are carried out by artists of a similar type to me, might include:

Creating original work, and also prints and reproductions of their work.

Carrying out commissioned work

Being involved in selling their work, as much as time allows.  This may be through Open Studios events or Studio visits.  Artists need to sell their work because if they don’t, then end up having no room to live in anymore! They need room to create more work!  And money for resources. (Some might be in a position of having someone to do this for them.  Most don’t though!)

Involvement in community art projects and sometimes teaching and education.

Maintaining a website and creating an internet presence.

Researching and planning art works.

Sourcing materials and developing relationships with suppliers

Keeping in touch with what is happening creatively around them. This includes seeing exhibitions, meeting other artists, and keeping eyes out for future opportunities for good working relationships and interesting projects.

Networking, through private views, and other events

Administration, correspondence, and creating publicity

Project planning

Writing proposals for galleries, competitions or artist residencies.

Writing funding applications (public and private)

Applying for residencies, competitions and other opportunities.

Liaising with contacts, gallery owners, curators and other artists

Curating individual and group shows

Writing press releases, and writing/speaking about your work

Maintaining a portfolio

Documenting your work

Skills needed are (as well as artistic talent/ability)

determination and commitment, with passion
self-belief, without an over active ego, but with a good dose of humility
good writing, verbal communications skills and presentation skills
self-promotion skills and confidence
technical ability and interest in materials and experimentation
an ongoing orientation toward professional development
organisation skills and the ability to meet deadlines
research skills
ability to work independently and with others
stamina and a willingness to put in long hours
flexibility and a constant attitude of readiness to learn
a lot of self motivation!
ability to grow and develop your work and practice through increased self-awareness
curiosity and interest in what is happening in the world around  you
Self motivation, determination, discipline, and perseverance are very important.

 

Have I written enough for March?  Yes.

I need to go into the garden and look at the shooting shoots shooting up into the air.

Do a last tiny bit of gardening before my knee replacement operation, being VERY careful not to cut or damage my legs in any way.

And I need to pray.

“By prayer I mean not that which is only in the mouth,
but that which springs up from the bottom of the heart”

John Chrysostom

 

Knee Replacement Operation Coming Up Soon!

Ah, it is coming up soon.

It is major surgery.  It is routine surgery.  I try to keep the two thoughts in balance!

And how interesting this journey towards surgery has been for me.

How grateful I am for the understanding and care I have had from the professionals I have been involved with.  Yet how aware I have also been of the influences which have been at play. Influences which constrain people, however understanding they might be.  Think…FUNDING and CCG.  Influences which affect all concerned, and subtly affect (I found in my experience) a patients belief, faith and understanding with respect to knee replacement surgery and how realistic an option that might be for them. Think…IS THIS AN OPTION FOR ME AT ALL? I am a sensitive soul. This may not have helped me in some ways, and I may have been better off oblivious.  But it is not my style.  Artists’ do tend to be rather sensitive to the currents of cultures they inhibit.  And I cannot help thinking that if I had not been so persistent, I would have been deterred by many factors,  and chosen to delay knee replacement surgery. But I had a pretty big sneaky feeling, which as time progressed grew less sneaky and far more obviously sensible, that for me personally, it would be insane to delay knee replacement surgery bearing in mind the disability and pain which have now become part of my life. The experience has inspired me to such an extent, that I plan to write another page on my blog completely dedicated to my knee journey story.  But as I am not ready to do that quite yet, then I share this little finding with you…  It is from the BOA, see   https://www.boa.ac.uk/publications/boa-letter-to-the-times-rationing-of-hip-knee-replacements-30-01-17/

The Times
1 London Bridge Street
SE1 9GF
Dear Sir,
I read with interest your article on rationing by CCG’s of hip and knee replacements – an issue which is so
important to many of our patients. It is unfortunate that a number of myths continue to be perpetuated in this
debate, some of which you have focused upon in your article. There are many further pieces of information which
support your comments.
Firstly there is robust evidence that having a BMI between 30 and 40 does not increase your risk of a poor
outcome following either hip or knee replacement. Indeed there is some evidence that this group of patients is
actually the ‘happiest’ with their outcome. If your BMI is over 40 your complication risk goes up marginally, but if
you have an uncomplicated outcome you are as happy with the outcome as thinner patients.
A hip replacement costs £7.50 a week and 90% of hip replacements will still be in place having required no further
treatment (beyond 15 years in many cases) at the end of a patient’s life. Patients prior to a major joint
replacement will attend their GPs, on average, a couple of times a month. Post joint replacement they need to do
so only a couple of times a year.
The Oxford hip and knee scores were not designed as a pre-op screening tool to eliminate large sections of the
population from a qualitative life improving procedure: they were designed as a tool to measure outcomes in
large populations and not in individuals. There is evidence that timely surgery has the best effect on patients’
general health, the implication being that if you wait, their general health deteriorates. There is also good
evidence that although patients with a very bad score pre-operatively may make greater improvements in some
respects, they tend not to reach such a high level of functioning or such a low level of disability after their
operation as those who start off with a lower level of disability.
Using the well-intentioned aim of an overall improvement of the populations’ general health as a justification for
limiting access to very effective treatment is neither acceptable nor ultimately cheaper. In an era where patients
should be fully advised as to their options and choice of treatment, this stance will inevitably lead to endless
appeals and a further waste of resources to deal with them.
The Department of Health says there is no more money. This is an assertion which can easily be challenged as in
the UK we spend much less of our money on health care than do most of the developed western nations.
However, if the government is absolutely adamant that they will provide no more funding, there are two things
that should be considered before such arbitrary rationing. Firstly, the enormous increase in NHS management
costs, which have at least tripled in terms of percentage spend over the last two decades, needs to be cut
radically. Secondly, if some form of rationing is deemed essential, it should not be targeted at treatments that
are cost effective and will help maintain the fitness and independence of patients. This clearly applies to total hip
and knee replacement as two of the most cost effective treatments available across the whole of health care.
Preventing patients accessing these life enhancing treatments smacks of moral bankruptcy.
Yours sincerely
Ian Winson FRCS
BOA President

 

Well said!

I personally thank the wake up call of knee pain due to post traumatic osteoarthritis in my right knee.  Yes, I really do, because it has provided a reality check in terms of me recognising how damaging being obese can be for me.  It is very true though, (with respect to my obese status …and I am still just above 30 BMI! Nearly under!)  I was, with various modes of support, able to utilise my experience of pain and disability pre-operatively but I am highly aware that this would not be the case for a lot of people.  Being overweight or obese isn’t good for the body in many respects, and the little bit of lay person’s research I did on the recovery from TKR did reflect this general principle, but it is interesting that the letter above references a BMI of 40…Much greater than the BMI of 30 which seems to feature in the CCG’s I looked at.

Indeed, when I look at my still just over 30 BMI body, which is several stone lighter than it was, I think most people seeing it would not realise that I am technically obese.  And, when it comes down to it, loosing weight HAS NOT reduced the pain and disability I experience.  My knee has had phases of being better and worse, but the general trend has been a steady but gradual deterioration.  Weight loss may have helped a bit, and lessened the load, quite literally.  I am certainly going to keep the weight off to make sure my knee replacement has the maximum chances of a long life.  And I plan to loose a couple more stone in addition, to keep up the good work.  Exercise is now a way of life for me.

NHS Financial Crisis

Here is the “NHS Financial Crisis” art work I came up with, as part of this experience.  It’s important to me that the load is seen to be born by both clinicians and patients, and not just one or the other.

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

 

Love my painting, but love a bit of graphic art from time to time.

 

 

On the matter of artist’s being sensitive:

“Sensitive people often pick up on the little things in the environment that others miss, see patterns where others see randomness, and find meaning and metaphor in the minutiae of everyday life. It’s no wonder this type of personality would be driven to creative expression. If we think of creativity as “connecting the dots” in some way, then sensitive people experience a world in which there are both more dots and more opportunities for connection.”

This excerpt is from the new book Wired to Create: Unravelling the Mysteries of the Creative Mind, by psychologist Scott Barry Kaufman and HuffPost Senior Writer Carolyn Gregoire.

Nice quote:

“The truly creative mind in any field is no more than this: A human creature born abnormally, inhumanly sensitive.”

— Pearl S. Buck

Read the article here:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/artists-sensitive-creative_us_567f02dee4b0b958f6598764

 

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

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

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

Contact Jenny via her website: 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Note About Following Jenny Meehan Contemporary Artist’s Journal 

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

Website Link for jamartlondon:  www.jamartlondon.com 

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

Help me continue my practice/art working:

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

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

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

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

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

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

COPYRIGHT INFORMATION

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

Copyright and Licensing Digital Images Information – Jenny Meehan

www.jamartlondon.com

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

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

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

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

About Jenny Meehan (Jennifer Meehan) 

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

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

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

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