I fancy making a more ridiculously long title, but this will do for now.

Just put a video on YouTube of the exhibition currently running at Leatherhead Theatre.  Do come along and see it.  Nice cafe opposite the theatre too.  There are 40 works on show, not all of them are included in the video, as there is also work hung in the Mezz Bar area.  The hanging went well.  Ideally I would have liked a little more space in between the pieces, but as we had a lot of work it was a bit of a squeeze. 

 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U5ZPhgA8CcA

As I am now up in London a couple of times a week, I am taking the opportunity to visit various galleries and see exhibitions, and en route to my destination I pass by Llewellyn Alexander (Fine Paintings) Ltd.  This is very handy as I have gained a lot from my time spent looking at the last two exhibitions and I intend to continue my visits.  While my own painting mainly non representational right now, I do love subject matter of the more obvious and external kind, and through looking at the work of other accomplished painters with more experience than myself, I am getting a strong sense of what exactly I value and admire, both in terms of emotional and psychological content as well as formal features. 

 I enjoyed some excellent paintings by Jeremy Barlow recently.  I don’t like busy street scenes and cafe scenes at all, and so I was surprised to find myself drawn INTO the gallery.   I had spotted some of  the quiet, soft and sensitively painted landscapes, blissfully free of crowds of people, and also some quite magical paintings of Venice with a kind of psychological depth which I always find attractive. 

I have also seen the exhibition at Hauser and Wirth, London W1J 9DY.  I have often admired Joan Mitchell’s painting and the exhibition “The Last Paintings”  was time well spent.  I enjoyed the scale of the paintings.  I am sad I do not have the facilities to make wall size paintings (what size is a wall?!) because I think with the non objective painting I’m busy with right now, it would be very interesting to try something out on a large scale.   

See: http://abstractcritical.com/2012/01/joan-mitchell-the-last-paintings/

and http://www.hauserwirth.com/exhibitions/1223/joan-mitchell-the-last-paintings/view/

 I am starting to think of a body of non-objective painting through which I can really throw myself about and achieve the satisfaction of experimenting without any restraint.  Sounds good, but, well, not quite true, because I find restraint is the very necessary ingredient to make a visually cohesive expressionistic work, so maybe that is the wrong word.  Rather, I will have some space, and within that space, establish the limitations required, without narrowing down the elements I experiment with. Well, that’s the aim anyway.  Thankfully, a nice opportunity has presented itself to exhibit some non objective paintings at Allied Healthcare in Chessington for three months from September this year.  A fine white wall is available, and I look forward to seeing some paintings hopefully breathing on it!

Enjoy a read from time to time:

http://www.axisweb.org/dlFULL.aspx?ESSAYID=17

Cross to find I have missed this exhibition, but the video was excellent.  I seem to be managing to feed myself intellectually right now. 

http://abstractcritical.com/2012/03/danny-rolph-michael-stubbs/

As the children are getting older, it is becoming more possible to spend longer blocks of time in the studio and this has meant that I am also listening to a lot more music.  It does stop things from getting too intense to have music on while painting.  Particularly enjoying listening to my husband’s “Trent – Live at Spring Harvest” CD right now, and singing along to my favourite song “Perfect Sacrifice”.   

 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jievt_72IKA&feature=related

While rather tired from the effort involved in the last few weeks with the painting and drawing exhibition at Leatherhead Theatre “Some Kind of Narrative…” I still had the energy yesterday to pull together a poster for it, to go on the outside of Leatherhead Theatre so that passers by know that it is there.  I am quite pleased with it, bearing in mind it was a last minute effort and done rather quickly.   Amazing what you can do with Photoshop. Here it is:

Finally found a title for this painting!

 

It can take some time to settle on a title for a painting.  I like to let my paintings hang around for a while as I think through their title and sometimes I change my mind, of course.   I am rather fond of titles with two parts. 

At the moment the title for the Trafalgar School Wall Mural is also being considered.  Many children came up with a variety of ideas, and myself, Neil and John will be thinking about those and come up with a winner soon!

 

Thankfully with a great team working together, we covered the prepared wall with the Beeck Quartz Filler quite rapidly.  It is quite time consuming, mostly because of the dabbing action needed for such a bumpy surface, but we loved using the paint.

It was Mufti Day when we painted on the bridging primer, and so, as you can see, there is not a uniform in sight.  Just as well really as the paint did tend to go in unexpected places….I have to say, not because the painters were not being sensible, its just the paint seemed to have a life of its own!

I have to say I was very impressed with how quickly those painters who worked with me picked up the way to control the paint…It is quite runny and it’s more like a stain, and so they sure did need to know how to control it!

The decking was very comfortable to sit on, and as you can see, we used rubber gloves to protect our hands and plastic goggles too.  There’s nothing unsafe or toxic about the paint, it’s just very alkaline and I know from experience that it dries out your skin, and can sting, though I didn’t find this much with the paint, it was more just the fixative alone.  In a school setting we have to do things properly though, and the goggles meant that there were no worries with regard to paint splashing in eyes.  However, to be honest, one has to manipulate the paint in such a way that you wouldn’t tend to splash it about anyway.

I started the mural using the Beeck Silicate Mineral paints, and they were fine, but when I got to the linear parts I had discovered Keim Mineral Paints, and most particularly, their Soldalit, which is a third generation sol-silicate paint.  This pain was much easier to handle..a very slight difference in consistency but it made all the difference with the lines.  It was slightly more viscous.  If I were to paint a mural like this again I would just use the Soldalit, as the difference in consistency made it easier to use.

From the Keim website:

“SOL-SILICATE MINERAL PAINTS

Recent developments in mineral silicate paint technology have seen the introduction of sol-silicate mineral paintswhich not only utilise potassium silicate but also silica sol.  Silica binders are ‘colloids’, a term originating from the Greek word for glue –‘kolla’.  These particles have excellent viscosity, meaning they are well absorbed into a surface and once dry the particles firmly bind to the surfaces.  The addition of the silica sol, enhances the already superior adhesion of mineral paints and increases their scope of use to include application onto previously painted surfaces.”

Yes, and an additional bonus, not utilised in this case, as it was silicate on silicate, but something which I will certainly experiment with in different contexts when the mural is done.

Again from the Keim Mineral Paint website:

 

MINERAL APPEARANCE

Mineral Paints have a flat, matt finish, however the crystal structure provides excellent light reflectance which gives a bright, clean apperance.  In addition, through the use of earth oxide pigments, there is no colour fade – proven on buildings which were been decorated over 100 years ago where there is still no visible colour fade and no breakdown of the coating itself.  Keim Paints are inherently resistant to mould and fungal growth due to their high alkalinity, (pH is approximately 12.3), and therefore can provide long term resistance to mould and fungal growth.

 

Edit note:  My old website http://www.jennymeehan.co.uk is no longer living, so if you would like to see what I am doing currently, then please follow the link to my new website which is http://www.jamartlondon.com.   www.jamartlondon.com

 

After a considerable amount of planning and thought, now the mural project for Trafalgar Junior School is more tangibly underway. Both good and bad experiences of customer services with suppliers has been an education in itself, but I am glad to, FINALLY (after some delay), be able to push the work ahead.  John T Freeman delivered some excellent cartooning workshops to groups of children in the school, and I understand that the children who received the benefit of his skill and expertise in the matter are now passing it on to other groups of children too. I must say, the children’s work is amazing, and I can see very distinctly the way in which John’s input has influenced their drawing skills and powers of expression, resulting in work which is lively and original.  John was also interviewed during assembly, and shared with the children many things about his work as an artist, showing some of his work, and also bringing along a few interesting objects to talk about.  Both the assembly and the workshops were thoroughly enjoyed by the children. 

I’m currently working on some educational materials for the project with regard to the ecological issues which are an important part of the whole thing.  Yes, I love the paint, aesthetically it pleases me so much I chose it for that, but not that alone.  It’s a great opportunity for the children to learn about paint as part of their environmental studies, and if I had more time, I would probably do a lot more in this area.  However, for now,  I will put together a few materials,  some samples of different types of paint, ideas, visual resources, that type of thing.  

Some examples of children’s work from the cartooning workshops by John T Freeman:

All the children’s cartooning looks fantastic,  and looking at their work, I want to spend some time talking to them about it, because it all looks very interesting!

Just put together a little video of a selection of my drawings from 2008 – 2010.  Do take a look: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DQnLHf8qlJ4

I have much to explore with drawing, and I am rather taken up with painting at present, but I am planning to use my sketchbook more, and I am hoping that over the Summer I will produce many more sketches and drawings which hopefully I will at some point put to use in a painting or two.  Drawing interests me in that it is one  way of developing visual awareness and sensitivity and it is  an extremely valuable discipline.   I learnt lots of different approaches during the time I spent life drawing, and I want to experiment with them over the Summer, out of doors, at West Dean Gardens, where I am repeating the excellent “Landscape and Figure Painting in Oils – The British Tradition” tutored by John T Freeman.

http://www.jamartlondon.com/

Take a look at my website!

I have been meaning to take a look at the Arts Fairs at the Landmark Arts Centre in Teddington, Middlesex for ages and finally got around to doing that today.  I love looking at other artists work and I had some lovely conversations today.  The recession has certainly affected the amount of sales that artists are making, and despite there being some very excellent work in the building it did not look like a huge amount was being sold. 

I have come away with many ideas and lots of inspiration.  Cannot think of anything else to write just now.  Feeling sorry for the lack of sales, and hoping that people at least recover their costs.  And also good contacts are made. 

Painted at Bosham, Sussex, United Kingdom

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