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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

Welcome to the flowers, the buds and all that is growing!

At last, May  is here!

My studio tent is still standing.  Yet another storm, Storm Katie, which came in April or the end of March, I think, threatened to blow it over!    Since I put up the Studio Tent I am a lot more aware of storms, though we have had rather a lot of late! I see it is the eleventh storm to be named since last Autumn!

Storm Katie will batter Britain with 80mph winds as the tempest aims to put a miserable end to the bank holiday when it hits our shores tomorrow.
The Met Office has issued a national weather warning today as forecasters predict blustery conditions will fell trees and disrupt power lines.
The north of Scotland will be the first to bear the brunt of the storm as hurricane winds hit Orkney and Shetlands tonight, while 70mph gusts will later blow onto the south coast of England.
Katie is the eleventh storm to be named since last autumn and will arrive over Britain by Monday morning, after being blown across the Atlantic in just 30 hours by 200mph winds.”

A few things got blown off, but still intact and ready for more intensive painting sessions soon.   At the moment I am tidying, thinking and pottering around.  All part of the painting process!  Still looking back an reviewing.  Reading and thinking. Wondering. Waiting. Mulling.  All part of the painting process.   I am pushing forward with various pieces of work, but all in a very piecemeal way!

Interesting recent read:

http://hamptonsarthub.com/2016/04/19/talking-with-vincent-longo-discusses-pollock-neolithic-abstraction-and-working-from-the-center/

Talking With: Vincent Longo Discusses Pollock, Neolithic Abstraction, and Working from the Center
April 19, 2016 by Janet Goleas Abstract Expressionism, ARTIST PROFILES, Contemporary Abstraction, HAMPTONS, Hamptons & East End, Painting, TALKING WITH

Vincent Longo, quote on his process:

“VL: It’s all predicated on a statement that Picasso made many years ago. He said “I don’t seek, I find.” I start with one thing and it leads to another. That’s it. It keeps going until either I see something happening or not, and decide what to do. My overall intentions—what I hope the results turn out to be—is that whatever seems like a finished product, I want that to have a kind of particular action with the viewer that puts the viewer in affect. If I’m successful, the viewer is accepting automatically what is going on in the front, in terms of the meaning. That person has more chance of seeing what might be happening.”

Love that:  “I don’t seek, I find.”

Finding can be tricky…. You can have something staring you in the face and not recognise it.  Or Miss it.  Or find it and ignore it.  I was talking to someone recently about the importance of waiting and looking when painting, and of the value of the distance of time; it is good to leave long spaces of time as a painting develops, and helpful to go off and do something else, do nothing, or work on another painting.  Do a bit of gardening, or dancing, or whatever you want. But the temptation is to move forward before you have properly seen what is happening with the painting and what you have done.

Pretty much true in life, also!

Another quote:  (best to refer to the whole article and see the question, but snippets serve well in this blog)

VL : Overall. I don’t think the act of painting is changed in that sense at all. Ever.

Audience 1: I say in relation to the representational in painting. There the viewer can easily relate to what’s going on whereas in abstraction…

VL : When people say this to me I really would like them to look a lot longer at what they call “representational painting” and you’ll see a lot more than what it looks like. Painting is really about creating something that hasn’t existed before. That’s what we all strive to do and it’s not about copying nature really. If you look at Monet, he wasn’t copying nature. He was redoing it and he was celebrating it. There was a show at Gagosian few years ago of his late paintings. He left white around the canvas and that white in no way interrupted what happened inside. These are all about color. I think it’s fine to have certain preferences of subject and style and what have you, but you remind me of a woman that I encountered when I was still a kid at Cooper. I was looking at White on White by [Kazimir] Malevich at the Modern and she comes up next to me. She said, “You call that art?” or something like that. “Why are you looking at this?” I said. “If you really want to know what’s going on here, you have to take longer looks at Rembrandt.” It’s all a continuum.

“Painting is really about creating something that hasn’t existed before. That’s what we all strive to do and it’s not about copying nature really.”

Not the first person to say that painting isn’t about copying nature, of course.  However, it is amazing how, to the person who has not had reason to think through what painting is, how the “copying” and production of a good copy holds so strongly as a gauge of assessing the value of a painting.   Of how “good” or “bad” it is.  With the forthcoming Open Studios in June,  I find it helpful to bolster myself up in terms of reminding myself of what I am about, as a painter.   I know it, deep inside, and lots of people are content to look, see, perceive, and just be, in front of a painting without needing to control the process in some way.  However, for some people, an abstract painting can push them into a sense of insecurity and confusion, unease, and even indignation.  Or just walk quickly past, to avoid the encounter!  Well,  this is the way it is.  Will always be.  Others can go with it.

However, I do find while I love lots about the Open Studios, it can be a little stressful opening ones painting up to all and any comments!   One needs resilience as well as self-belief!

2016 Open Studio Event – As part of Kingston Artists’ Open Studios Jenny Meehan will be showing some of her latest work on the weekends of the 11/12th June and 18/19th June. 11 – 5pm at Studio KAOS 3, 14 Liverpool Road Kingston KT2 7SZ

 

If you are reading this and would like to come along, do contact me via the contact page on my website http://www.jamartlondon.com    Let me know you are coming, and I will look forward to meeting you!

 

The Art of Caring Exhibition

http://caringandcare.blogspot.co.uk/p/artists.html

I’m always very pleased when I can exhibit my work locally…For one thing, it is easier!  Luckily, living  where I do in the outskirts of London means there is lots happening and it’s not too far away.  Having things happening in Kingston is even better!  Myself and many others will have small postcard sized prints on show in the Upper Circle Gallery, The Rose Theatre, Kingston-upon-Thames, UK from the 12th to 24th May 2016. The private view is  on International Nurses Day, Thursday 12th May 2016.  Some of the work will also be selected for a show at the Arts Project exhibition space in St Pancras Hospital from July – October 2016.

My work shows one of my neighbours, Reg Driver, now no longer here on earth.  He was an amazing man, and I am grateful to have known him.

The exhibition will be open daily from  10am-6pm at
Rose Theatre,
24-26 High Street,
Kingston upon Thames,
Surrey KT1 1HL

 

Art at the Bridge #7  “Building Bridges, the Female Perspective”

drawn together by jenny meehan, art at tower bridge, abstract art female artist, feminist artist, contemporary women artists, contemporary female artists, jamartlondon,building bridges the female perspective art exhibition tower bridge engine rooms jenny meehan

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

Above “Drawn Together” by Jenny Meehan.

So pleased to have one of my art works in the Building Bridges, The Female Perspective, this year.  It’s on now and runs for about five months.  http://www.southwarkartsforum.org/index.php?pagename=Art-at-the-bridge

I saw it with a friend recently and will post more up about that in my next post!

If you like “Drawn Together” you can get your own print of it quickly and easily by using the print on demand Redbubble.com website.  It is quick, easy and safe to buy via Redbubble and the quality is excellent!

http://www.redbubble.com/people/jennyjimjams/works/20377969-drawn-together-building-bridges-the-female-perspective-design-by-jenny-meehan

Last year there were over half a million visitors to the  exhibition, and so you can imagine I am exceptionally pleased about my work being on show at the Tower Bridge Victorian Engine Rooms.   Thanks indeed, to the Southwark Arts Forum (SAF) who work in partnership with Tower Bridge.

The exhibition opened on Tuesday 8th March 2016  and there is plenty of opportunity to see it at the Tower Bridge Victorian Engine Rooms.  It’s a very good show, with plenty of very interesting work based on the show’s theme “Building Bridges, The Female Perspective”. Art at the Bridge #7 is exclusively for women artists, as it was felt this would be a good way to profile the work of women artists in celebration of International Women’s Day.

Wonderful, an international audience of approximately 2, 000 visitors daily!

Bit more about the exhibition and the partnership between Southwark Arts Forum and Tower Bridge:

“Our aim in launching this exhibition is to provide a high profile platform for some of the brightest aspiring artists who live and work in our local area whilst offering an interesting new dimension to what we offer visitors to the Tower Bridge Exhibition. London is one of the art world’s most vibrant and culturally diverse hubs so to be able to give exposure to just some of these inspiring artists in such a spectacular setting as Tower Bridge is a privilege for us.” – David Wight, Tower Bridge Director

I’m so grateful for this opportunity, and SOOOO much wish that more of this kind of thing went on.  There are so many wonderfully talented artists who WANT to share their work.  However, we are often prevented from doing so by over high submission fees to enter work into competitions and exhibitions, which often, I feel, are money making opportunities  rather than good opportunities for artists.  There are many more organisations who could follow the example set here by Tower Bridge, and who could work in partnership with local arts organisations to help promote the work of local artists.  We are then all the richer for it; artists need opportunities to show their work to the public.  We want these opportunities not because they are money making for us… the reality is that once in a blue moon we might actually sell something.  But we do want these opportunities because we love what we do and we want to share it. However, we don’t want to end up exploited  and in a kind of “pay your way” system.  Unfortunately this is more often the case.

I am VERY encouraged to find a brilliant example of partnership which works so well for both parties.  It works for artists in a positive way and brings fresh new work to the public in an accessible way.  What is more, to enter was a very affordable amount, and you could enter more than one piece. |Hooray!  At last!    I also knew I would be contributing to a local arts organisation, and therefore knew that even if not selected, my money would be going to something which is in accordance with my values and that I am very pleased to support.

I normally look on submission fees as a way of giving to an organisation.  It’s the only way to think about it.  But sadly, the system is being misused in some cases. It is worth asking the question “Is this competition/open call a profit making venture which I as an artist am ending up funding?”  If it is clearly stated that it is not, in itself, profit making (ie all monies are absorbed in the costs), or it is for a charity, or a good cause you care about or something you actually want too support in some way, then it’s not bad at all.   Bear in mind too that profit will be made if your work is sold, because of the commission. That profit should be enough for whoever organises it, and is fair enough; this we are all used to.   But is profit being made from the submission fees?  That becomes questionable as an activity in my opinion.    And the amount, which is throwing money to the wind for an artist, needs to be as little as possible, in my opinion.   Do people seriously think that artists can easily afford to spend £15- £25 per artwork on entering a competition?….Bear in mind, this applies even if your work is not selected and never shown.

Many may be able to do this.  But how much this narrows the span of work which gets shown and exhibited….  I am sure it is a great narrowing.  Certainly, the whole matter is about taking a punt.  If there are prizes then this helps a lot.  Yet the most important objective is not a prize but to be able to show the work and have it seen.  Hopefully brought.  But the buying is not to be relied upon.  It’s certainly couldn’t be described as a source of income for most artists.  It’s not something one even HAS to do, however it’s nice to get one’s work about.   Just rather difficult financially to do this.  Oh dear!    I like to have my little moan, and will continue to moan about this matter without apology.  However, I am glad to temper my moan with such a positive and encouraging example of what is possible, as I have found with the Tower Bridge and Southwark Arts Forum partnership, and what should be possible much much more than it is at the present time.

 

Thinking about considerations when entering competitions, call outs, etc, this is a good read:

“Art Contests, Competitions, Offers & Shows
Where You Pay Money or Send Art:

Will They Be Good for Your Career?
Or Are They Dead Ends, Time Wastes or Scams?”   Read this by following the link!

http://www.artbusiness.com/osoqutscawas.html

 

This is also a good read…. Money is an important matter to artists, we don’t live off thin air, and even if we have other sources of income which help support us , this doesn’t mean we don’t need to work towards being treated more fairly…   http://marketproject.org.uk/tag/competitions/

 

 

Copyright considerations for poets wanting to use artist’s images on their blogs

Now and again I find that my art images have been used on people’s blogs without permission.  This mostly happens because of ignorance, and when the person is notified and asked to remove them,  the problem is sorted.  However, I wish I didn’t need to do this…Needs must!  I guess I am hoping that writing this will be my small contribution to increasing awareness and prove useful to people who are wondering what the score is.

As a poet AND a visual artist, I can see the attraction.  Wow, that lovely inspiring image, let’s write a poem about it and then post the image and the poem on a blog.  Look, if you do this, you are publishing the image, and normally, for publishing an artists image on the internet there is a fee made!  When people use an artist’s work, they are using an artists work, and artists are entitled to be paid for the usage.  That’s the way it is.

If I use images on my blog which are not mine, I always contact the artist (or whoever is  managing their copyright) and ask their permission, explaining what I am using it for and asking them exactly how they want to be credited.  I have never been refused, and I have never been asked to pay for that type of use,  the reason mainly being that the usage I tend to require is well accepted as being covered under the terms of “Fair Use”.  (I include images which related to some kind of commentary on them).   I know as an artist myself, that is it nice to know how my work is being shared, and it is often very encouraging.  If someone is commenting on it, I often gain some interesting insights myself!  Artists learn a lot from other peoples responses to their work!  We like to know how you respond to it, and if images are used under the “Fair Use” accepted terms, then it would be strange to ask for a fee. Though it is possible, and it is also possible that the artist may not wish you to use their image at all.

What is “Fair Use” though?  I am certain that some people who have used my images without permission, probably think that their use of the image is covered by “Fair Use”.  However, as an artist, I can tell you now that posting one of my images and then writing a poem about it, which links the image very intimately with your own artistic creation, is NOT fair use.  And neither is doing it the other way around. Writing your poem and then finding an image to illustrate it, is using the artwork as an illustration! (Something which enhances your work considerably, or at least would, if carefully chosen!).

I am a poet and an artist, and lots of visual artists are also poets and writers.  Our written work is intimately bound up with our visual artwork, and often a poem and image are used as one piece of artwork.  I have many paintings which I present with my own writing and poetry.  I often submit work to competitions and exhibitions which is both a poem and painting combined, and which are meant to be seen and displayed together.  And so I do not want other poets presenting my artwork with their poetry and publishing it on the internet, even if the image is credited.  A poem colours a painting and vice versa.  If you want to use images to illustrate your poetry, to add depth, volume and expression to your own, then you need to either produce the artwork yourself (cameras are good for this) or ensure that the art work you use is copyright free.

Just because something is on the internet, doesn’t mean it is there for the using. Artist’s rely on the licensing of their images as a source of income, and having it plastered around but not knowing how it is used has got the potential to quite possibly make it less desirable for use by someone who will actually pay for it.    Remember, an artist’s artwork is just as personal as the poem you have written, and you would expect your poetry to be treated with respect.  Make sure you treat visual artist’s work with the same respect.  Do as you would be done by.  Recognise their art has an evolving style and direction, and while there may be some images which they don’t mind you including on your blog (with PERMISSION!) because they don’t have a key note to play in one of the main thrusts of their body of work, or because the image isn’t a significant piece of their repertoire, there will definitely be other images which they would not be happy with your using. You need to contact any artist whose work you post on your blog, and quite simply, ask first.

An art image (Even without poem attached!) is a complete and whole work in itself.  Including it in a blog without permission is the same as if someone posted your poem on their blog.   It is not just a small extract or quotation.  It is a whole artistic work.  It would be like publishing a whole book on your blog. Would you do that?  Take a book and post that on your blog, without asking?   That single image, is a work  in its entirety.  Please, think it through.  I regularly check the internet and find time and time again my artwork used without my permission.  And while seeing it credited is some relief, it is still something which I follow up.  And if my artwork is linked with someone else’s creative writing in a way where it quite clearly links up with the poetry/meaning/themes, etc, then I do request that it is removed.  I recently found someone using an image I  had specifically created for Holocaust Memorial Day and which was linked with one of my poems… Indeed the artwork had been created in response to my poem, and is exhibited and shown in many contexts with the poem which is basically the other half of the art work.   You can imagine that I was not happy at all when I found another person was displaying it with their poem.  I was not flattered, impressed, or grateful for the illegal use of my work!  The image related to my own writing, and was intended for interpretation influenced by my own poetry alone.

I think the confusion or lack of clarity for some poets is maybe that they think  using an image with their poem is included under “Fair Use” whereas pretty much all artists wouldn’t agree!   I don’t consider a poem either commentary or criticism, and this is what I understand as “fair use”.  I found this which might enlighten a little, which I quote from Stanford University Libraries “What is Fair Use?”.  It’s talking about using written work, but I would like to draw your attention to what I have put in bold!

“Commentary and Criticism

If you are commenting upon or critiquing a copyrighted work — for instance, writing a book review — fair use principles allow you to reproduce some of the work to achieve your purposes. Some examples of commentary and criticism include:

  • quoting a few lines from a Bob Dylan song in a music review
  • summarizing and quoting from a medical article on prostate cancer in a news report
  • copying a few paragraphs from a news article for use by a teacher or student in a lesson, or
  • copying a portion of a Sports Illustrated magazine article for use in a related court case.

The underlying rationale of this rule is that the public reaps benefits from your review, which is enhanced by including some of the copyrighted material. Additional examples of commentary or criticism are provided in the examples of fair use cases.

– See more at: http://fairuse.stanford.edu/overview/fair-use/what-is-fair-use/#sthash.VSp004Hw.dpuf

I hope you can see where I am going with this.  None of the above says include the WHOLE work.  When I use an artist’s work on my blog I always ask permission, because I don’t see the artwork as a quotation.  I ask even when I am writing commentary on it because of this.  It is normally straightforward to find and contact the artist, and only a few times have I tried and been unable to.  Also, there are many sources of imagery which are copyright free, for various reasons, or which you are allowed to use for the purposes of commentary.

And the other side of the coin…Artists using poetry

The following is quoted from:  http://www.cmsimpact.org/fair-use/best-practices/code-best-practices-fair-use-poetry#four  (this was something which was compiled by several writers/poets getting together and working out what they felt was good practice)

“FOUR: Criticism, comment, illustration
Poetic quotations are frequently employed by writers and artists in other disciplines. Perhaps the most non-controversial example is that in which a scholar, critic, or reviewer quotes from a poem in order to make a point about the poet in question or about his or her work. Because poetry arises out of and speaks to the particular circumstances (social, cultural, economic) of its writing, members of the poetry community were also united in their opinion that scholars and creators in other fields should be entitled to use apt selections of poetry for purposes other than criticism. Thus, they were supportive of quotation both for textual “illustration” and in the practice of visual artists who take inspiration from poetic works.

PRINCIPLE: Under fair use, a critic discussing a published poem or body of poetry may quote freely as justified by the critical purpose; likewise, a commentator may quote to exemplify or illuminate a cultural/historical phenomenon, and a visual artist may incorporate relevant quotations into his or her work.

LIMITATIONS: This principle does not apply to reproductions in textbooks and anthologies where quotations appear without an independent critical apparatus.Quoted passages should be reproduced as accurately as possible to reflect, and not so minimally or selectively as to mislead about, creative choices embedded in the poem.Critics, commentators, and artists should provide conventional attribution for their chosen quotations.They should also have an articulable rationale for the relevance of their chosen quotations to their own work. Likewise, the extent of quotation should be appropriate to the purpose of the use.Uses that are solely “decorative” or “entertaining” should be avoided. Permissible quotations used for exemplary purposes generally should be briefer than those used for critical purposes. Visual artists generally should not incorporate entire poems in a merely decorative fashion without the copyright holder’s permission.”

“Visual artists generally should not incorporate entire poems in a merely decorative fashion without the copyright holder’s permission.” struck me for the obvious reason which I mentioned before about an art image being an entire work in itself.

There are several other interesting points, and it certainly helps to be able to look at things from both directions.  As a poet and visual artist, I can appreciate both perspectives.   “The Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Poetry” from which the above is quoted from is an excellent read and very helpful in considering the matter, I would recommend a reading of the whole code.  It helps poets understand when they and others have the right to excerpt, quote and use copyrighted material in poetry and it was created by poets discussing and considering the matter.

Hopefully my writing here will also give an visual artist’s perspective for consideration.  Remember, though the wonders of the internet are great for gaining inspiration, an artist’s image is their property, and you do need to ask! Many artist’s make some (or even a significant amount) of their income through selling digital images, licensing them, or selling prints of them.  We can do all kinds of things to make the unauthorized usage of them difficult and inconvenient, and many artists, like myself, are members of copyright societies  who assist us in ensuring that we are paid appropriately for the use of our work.  But if you are a blogger who likes using images then it is wisest of all to make sure you ask first, and don’t just assume that if you credit the artist you don’t need to ask.  Think, whole artwork = whole poem, or whole artwork = whole book, and then you might recognise that the author would expect to be asked!  It is your responsibility to ensure you don’t break the law.

If I find someone has included my artwork without authorisation on a blog, I ask them to remove it.  I have given permission to people when they are actually commenting on and responding to the image, as I count that as critical review/commentary,  (fair use without a doubt) but I still expect to be asked.  I sometimes contact other artists requesting to include images of their work on my blog, and often include the text I am posting with it, or provide a link to it, so they can see what I have written.  As said before, artists like to hear how people respond to their work, and I feel in particular that if it is another artist who wants to comment, respond and reflect, and wants to share their response because it relates to their own interests and artistic development, then this is very desirable. Writing from art critics is particularly interesting, and critical writing in response to particular artworks does need to show the artworks which are being referred to.  What I don’t endorse is other artists using my work as their own, and this has happened, though thankfully only once!

If you want to use an image and don’t have permission, then either ask, and use only with permission,  or provide a link to the original source of the image, but don’t actually post it in your blog.  It is not correct that artists like people to use their images because it helps them with exposure.  Artists who post a lot of images on the internet have plenty of exposure anyway, and don’t need people using their images in order to gain more.   What they need more is a respect and appreciation of the value of their work, and for their work to be treated with the value it deserves.  They also like, and need,  if possible to gain some financial rewards for their hard work, as we all do, and this comes through the licensing of their work.   It is also important to bear in mind that on occasions artists might choose to produce limited editions, or sell the copyright of a work,  and they need to know where their work has been used and how it has been used.   This means knowing when it has been posted and effectively published  by other people on the internet. If you put something on the net, you are publishing it.  You might not be making lots of money from selling prints of it, but it has still been published by you.  Published artwork is normally paid for, unless the artists has specified that they are happy to waive a fee.  I think a lot of web users just don’t realise that it is illegal or even bad manners to take images they find on the net and use them, and if  asked to take them down, they will quickly do that without any problems at all.

Well, that was thorough!

 

Anagrams Kingston Art 2016 Exhibition

Yes, well this is now upon us!   Here is a list of the participating artists!  It’s a super exhibition!  Free entry!  Don’t miss it!

Participating artists in Anagrams Exhibition 2016

Chris Birch
Lucy Birkbeck
Ruth Blackford
Lizzie Brewer
Adriana Brinsmead-Stockman
Caroline Calascione
Sarah E Choi
Leo Duff
Annamarie Dzendrowskyj
Martina van de Gey
Liz Harrington
Ewa Hawrylowicz
Martin Kerrison
Jenny Meehan
Loraine Monk
Ewa Morawski
Peg Morris
Paul Mowatt
Judith North
Laurence Ogden
Rachel Pearcey
Kate Proudman
Marianne Romeo
Paul Smith
Lindsay Terhorst North
Sue Tritton Brown

The Anagrams Exhibition can be seen at Kingston Museum from the end of April 2016.  Details here:

KINGSTON MUSEUM
29 APRIL – 2 JULY 2016
Wheatfield Way, KT1 2PS, Kingston upon Thames
Phone: 020 8547 5006
http://www.kingston.gov.uk/museum
Tuesday, Friday & Saturday 10am – 5pm
Thursday 10am – 7pm
Admission free

They have used, with my permission,  a section of one of my paintings (unerring want of running water 2)  in the publicity.  Sadly the contrast between the red around the title and the green/brown leanings of the painting has confused the printer and made the printed version of the poster far greener and browner in the depiction of the painting than is the case with the original…

anagrams kingston art 2016 exhibition kingston museum jenny meehan unerring want of running water image used on poster

anagrams kingston art 2016 exhibition kingston museum jenny meehan unerring want of running water image used on poster

 

However, of course, I am pleased that it has been used.

I much prefer it with the blue, however, as shown here:

http://www.kingstononline.co.uk/kingston-art-2016-anagrams-opens-friday-29-april-kingston-museum/

 

Anagrams Art at Kingston Museum

 

More info from Kingston Online:

29th April to 2nd July 2016

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

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

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

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

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

 

Chessington/Hook Surrey Images of the White Hart Pub

Well, locals here in Chessington will remember this building.  It’s now been replaced by Firs Court which provides residential support for 23 adults with learning disabilities. Firs Court is purpose built and provides state of the art homes for adults with learning disabilities.  I watched the demolition of the White Hart with interest, and with my camera in hand.  I have to say that I don’t mind the absence of drunk people staggering off home past our house, broken bottles, sick, and even someone walking over the top of the car one night! It was a super building though, and sad to see it knocked down.

Here are some of the images I took.  I manipulated these a lot as I was playing around, not all have been meddled with so much!

white hart pub chessington surrey photo jenny meehan copyright DACS jamartlondon

white hart pub chessington surrey photo jenny meehan copyright DACS jamartlondon

white hart pub chessington surrey photo jenny meehan copyright DACS jamartlondon

white hart pub chessington surrey photo jenny meehan copyright DACS jamartlondon

white hart pub chessington surrey photo jenny meehan copyright DACS jamartlondon

white hart pub chessington surrey photo jenny meehan copyright DACS jamartlondon

white hart pub chessington surrey photo jenny meehan copyright DACS jamartlondon

white hart pub chessington surrey photo jenny meehan copyright DACS jamartlondon

white hart pub chessington surrey photo jenny meehan copyright DACS jamartlondon

white hart pub chessington surrey photo jenny meehan copyright DACS jamartlondon

white hart pub chessington surrey photo jenny meehan copyright DACS jamartlondon

white hart pub chessington surrey photo jenny meehan copyright DACS jamartlondon

white hart pub chessington surrey photo jenny meehan copyright DACS jamartlondon

white hart pub chessington surrey photo jenny meehan copyright DACS jamartlondon

 

If you like photography, I have many other images here: http://www.photographyblog.com/gallery/showgallery.php?ppuser=5491&username=jena

I intended to do some painting based on these images somehow, but never quite got round to it.  I have often used a demolished or falling down house as an image of the mind, after having a clear dream (a visionary one!) of my own mind falling down/crumbling,  due to insufficient foundations and weak structures in need of support.  It was this dream which was one of the things which made me realise I needed to seek psychological help in the form of psychotherapy…There was nothing I could do myself to look at those foundations as the task was simple too big for me to do alone.   Having a clear dream was helpful in accepting the reality of damage which was done in childhood and the formative years of my life.

Therapy isn’t for everyone, this is true, but for me it has been a life saver! I continue with it in the present time. It’s a good investment of time, for anyone wanting to live from the inside, outwards.   For an artist, psychotherapy is particularly valuable, in my opinion.   There needs to be a great deal of insight and awareness, exploration, and mind stretching!

Here are some other images which use the image of a house/dwelling.  They spatter my artwork over the years!

Painting experiment with acrylic,pigments,textures - Jenny Meehan

“Arise, Sleeper, Wake/Sack Of A Great House” Jenny Meehan 2010

This one is probably as close to the dream as I could get… in colours at least.  It has some kind of coffin opening.   I had also in mind the wonderful painting by Turner, which has made a great impression on me..

interior of a great house, the drawing room east cowes castle by turnerweb

interior of a great house, the drawing room east cowes castle by turner

The emotion in this painting always touches a chord with me. Such desolation, and yet, the light.  How fortunate I am to be able to see it in person, on my visits to Tate Britain!   Can you see the white figure in the doorway to the left?  That sunk in.  When painting “The Comforter/St Julian that figure reappeared, this time as black on white, but I am quite sure it is the same.  The same in which the sense of a soul maybe?  In my painting, it was the self, the lost self, in what it meant to me.   Is it possible to loose ones’ soul?  Maybe not, but it is possible to feel that it is lost.  Forsaken.

figure in comforter painting by jenny meehan influenced by turner interior at petworth

figure in comforter painting by jenny meehan

 

And the Comforter/St Julian painting…

Acrylic, various fillers, acrylic mediums and pigments, and glass beads , sacred art painting religious, spiritual visionary painting, christ centred poetic visual art, The Comforter/St Julian - Jenny Meehan

The Comforter/St Julian – Jenny Meehan
Acrylic, various fillers, acrylic mediums and pigments, and glass beads

 

I know my little figures are vague, and barely marks; I love the tension and the possibility that they are just marks, but could be figures.  I noticed another in a recent painting “View”..  It is the black mark under the blue mark in the top right, as you view it.  Unfortunately it doesn’t stand out in this image nearly as much as when seen in the flesh, the reason being that there is quite a pearlescent area beneath the blue, that doesn’t show up in this image at all. But when the light bounces off it, it brings you straight to this point of the painting, and this adds to the impression of there being a figure in silhouette.

british collectable abstract paintings view painting by jenny meehan copyright DACS

british collectable abstract paintings view painting by jenny meehan copyright DACS

 

I’ve meandered away from houses, in taking attention to these figures.  Back to houses…

scraper charcoal drawing from imagination jenny meehan DACS copyrighted

scraper charcoal drawing from imagination jenny meehan DACS copyrighted

There’s a house in the air in this image!

Abstract Acrylic Painting/Markmaking with Colour. Instinctive intuitive process led painting, psychotherapy and art,psychotherapy and painting, British Contemporary female artist painter Jenny Meehan

deluge painting jenny meehan copyright DACS all rights reserved

 

In the bottom left, as you view it,  a broken shelter emerged in this painting, well, this is how I perceived the form when I was painting it, and what it meant to me.

A later work… with shelter/house…

franciscan office quote, canticles, church of england canticle, Through your gentleness we find comfort in fear by Jenny Meehan

Through your gentleness we find comfort in fear by Jenny Meehan

There’s two in this one, one brighter with water spilling out of it, and one which is darker and floating off the corner of the painting to the top right, as you view it.

There’s more in the archives, but this does for now!

Other people, looking at my paintings, will not see what I see.  But it is the emotion and sensation which are most important.  Painting is to be felt.

 

 

Paul Nash

Oh, I do like his paintings and I keep coming back to them again and again.

See “Landscape at Iden” 1929 Paul Nash, (Tate)

http://www.tate.org.uk/art/artworks/nash-landscape-at-iden-n05047

I like paintings I can see for myself, “in the flesh” as I like to put it, and this one can easily be seen at Tate Britain, which is handy for me.  The display caption, quoted from the Tate website:

Display caption

This mysterious picture shows the view from Nash’s studio in Sussex. The dramatic perspective and strange juxtaposition of rustic objects creates a sense of the uncanny. It has been read as a statement of mourning. While the young fruit trees may suggest the defencelessness of youth, the altar-like pile of logs may be a symbol of fallen humanity; the fallen tree as a symbol for the dead was common in the art and literature of the war, not least in Nash’s own paintings.For many, an idea of the timeless and enduring English landscape seemed to displace the violent destruction of the war.
July 2007

And a quote below from; ” Paul Nash Landscape and the Life of Objects”  ( chapter 4 New Vision) by Andrew Causey

“In the course of 1929 Nash’s technique changed
from the relatively loose paint application of February,
in which brush marks betray the presence of the hand
and make the picture seem personal, to the drier
and more formalised facture of Month of March and
Landscape at Iden, which, despite the intimate meanings
they had for Nash, also convey a feeling of being
outside time. In Landscape at Iden this is related to
Nash’s new interest in perspective. Denis Cosgrove has
argued that ‘an important effect of linear perspective
is to arrest the flow of history at a specific moment,
freezing that moment as a universal reality’, adding,
‘Perspective, in structuring and directing universal reality
at a single spectator, acknowledges only one, external
subject for the object it represents … In an important
… sense the spectator owns the view because all of its

components are structured and directed towards his

eyes only.’19 Cosgrove’s sense of the twin properties
of perspective, on the one hand, as an arrest of time
and the creation of a universal reality out of a single
moment and, on the other hand, by its nature conveying
the ownership of a single individual, because what is
seen is the product one pair of eyes, is informative for
Nash in Landscape at Iden. The work is personal to
him – his garden view, his feeling for trees, his memories
of war – while at the same time the formality of its
paint surface and the absence of brush marks suggest,
to the contrary, the sense that this is an emblematic
painting, where the artist is tacking on to the idea that
it is a highly personal painting the notion that it is an
impersonal one also.
Nash’s switch to a technique which seems
impersonal because there is no flexibility in the brush
marks to leave evidence of the artist’s hand, or give
the sense that decision-making continues as the work
progresses, suggests that he had two ambitions. He
wanted to put himself outside the painting, to give it an
objectivity and timelessness, a memorialising character
that establishes it as a thing in itself detached from
the artist, while at the same time actually creating in
Landscape at Iden a painting in which a great weight of
personal emotion, unexpressed since the war, is opened
up. If Landscape at Iden is in any sense a war memorial,
it is plainly an unconventional one. War memorials
normally communicate directly with the public, while
Nash was no longer working, as he had been at the
time of The Menin Road (1918–19, plate 29), for a
broad audience. He was speaking an elite language.”

 

 

http://www.iwm.at/publications/5-junior-visiting-fellows-conferences/vol-xxi/ingvild-torsen/

Something I am reading and thinking about..

http://www.iwm.at/publications/5-junior-visiting-fellows-conferences/vol-xxi/ingvild-torsen/

 

 

Gosh,  that is a substantial contribution for May….

Accumulation of lots of time in front of a screen.

I need to go and touch a leaf, a stone, and the surface of a painting!

 

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. 

Copyright and Licensing Digital Images Information – Jenny Meehan

www.jamartlondon.com

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

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

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

Happy New Year 2016!

As usual, I have rambled on in my usual manner with an excess of both words and images!  Do skim over, just stopping as you require!  I use this blog as a personal journal/memo/notebook, publishing it on the net so that anyone interested in my work can find out more, but I do not finely hone it in the way that writers should…It is an unfolding and disorderly discourse, which tumbles off the computer keys and doesn’t get much editing!  I have to manage my time carefully, and though I love writing it, I cannot play about with it too much!  So off we go:

 

This looks good!

https://www.royalacademy.org.uk/exhibition/abstract-expressionism

How tempting!  The entrance fee often deters me from seeing the exhibitions I want to, but this is one I will visit for sure!  Too interesting not to!

Text from the website:

This ambitious and long overdue exhibition will bring together some of the finest works associated with the movement from around the world.

London has seen retrospectives of the most famous proponents of Abstract Expressionism over the decades, but this is the first time since 1959 that the movement as a whole will be represented in one landmark show. It is an opportunity for us to re-evaluate an artistic phenomenon, and make the case that far from being unified, Abstract Expressionism was in fact far more complex and ever-changing.

In addition to featuring work of the most celebrated artists associated with the movement: Kline, Pollock, Rothko, Newman, Still, de Kooning, Smith, Reinhardt and Gorky, we will also display work by lesser-known – but no less influential – artists to reveal the extraordinary breadth of a movement that gave New York City an artistic identity for the first time.

Cannot wait!  Will have to…

I also just found this, very pleased, as I remember seeing  Ffiona Lewis’ paintings a few years back when popping into the galleries on Cork Street.  Though I took some notes I couldn’t remember where I put them (no surprise there! ) and it was a happy moment to re locate her work!  I rate her painting very highly indeed, and it’s a lovely selection here at the Redfern Gallery.

http://www.redfern-gallery.com/ffiona-lewis_1039

The REDFERN GALLERY
20 Cork Street
London, W1S 3HL Telephone: +44 (0)207 734 1732
Fax: +44 (0)207 494 2908
Email: art@redfern-gallery.com Monday to Friday 11:00am to 5:30pm
Saturday 11:00am to 2:00pm
Closed on Bank Holidays

Oh, these dark days!

Christmas tree lights are still very welcome and much enjoyed!

I am looking through sketch books and note books.  I am not motivated to start any new work right now, but rather still looking backwards. Apart from the watercolours, which are being reviewed, and reflected on!

Some things I have found: An old poem, written at a time I was thinking about beech leaves and made a copper sculpture of one.

Beech Leaf

Pick me up from the pool…

Rescue me from

the depths and heights

of the skies.

Place me in your hand

and treasure me,

Then,

return me,

to my resting place.

 

 

Not one of my best, but interesting to me to review what my interests have been, and notice how consistent certain preoccupations are!

I was struck by the lovely beech leaves on the beech hedging which is near the King’s Centre, Coppard Gardens, Chessington.  Many years of walking that way when the children were younger meant I saw the young tender green shoots turn to soft and downy leaves, and then into their dry, crispy, light brown state;  still held onto the branches even though dead.  I also love leaves floating on water, for the water mirrors the sky, and you have the depths of the water, and the sky held together with an awareness of the boundary between the two marked by the floating object.  I had both in mind.

jenny meehan jamartlondon photography

jenny meehan jamartlondon photography

Here is an old image of the new leaves opening up.  Apologies, cannot find the colour version!

copperleaf sculpture jenny meehan

 

Above is the leaf form I created during a course at West Dean College, which a friend brought.  I haven’t continued with the metal working though I enjoyed it immensely.

New Year’s Resolutions?

I don’t do those… and I feel January is far too early to think about the year ahead…This is still Winter!  Wait until Spring, and then I will start to look forward.  I am still in the curling up on the sofa time!  I am sketching cats, for the forthcoming KAOS “Raining Cats and Dogs” Charity event later on in the year.  KAOS stands for “Kingston Artists’ Open Studios.  I have no idea what I will do for it, and I want to produce about ten pieces of work.  But there is plenty of time.

I have had a bit of a time mending my studio tent.  The winds have been strong, and several times have nearly pulled the tarpaulin completely off!  But hopefully I have worked out the best way to keep it on…It hasn’t taken off yet!

 

Holocaust Memorial Day is coming soon

Below is the link from last years Kingston Event, which included an art competition.  I was awarded third place in the adult category.  It’s nice to look back on.  If you look on the winners images, you can find mine.  The artwork is a poem and painting combined, and was submitted as one work.  As is with the case with a lot of my imagery, I often work a poem into a painting, or vice versa.

http://www.kingston.ac.uk/faith/events/holocaust-memorial-day/

 

Faith and Art: Spirituality and Creativity working together

Religion is a funny word.  It is hard to call myself a religious artist, because of the abstract nature of a lot of my work.  Spiritually orientated art might be a more accurate expression.

See this, which is quoted from: http://www.rowan.edu/open/philosop/clowney/Aesthetics/art_spirit.htm

“Spirituality and the Pioneers of Modern Art

The beginnings of modern art, especially abstract art, have strong spiritual roots. This fact is not always obvious from textbook discussions of the work, which are more likely to focus on the many formal innovations of twentieth century art.

While these formalistic accounts are valid so far as they go, they omit what may have been the most central motivation of the pioneers of modern art. Kandinsky, Mondrian, Arp, Duchamps, Malevich, Newman, Pollack, Rothko and most of the other giants of early and mid-twentieth century painting shared common spiritual roots. For many of these men and women, art was primarily about spirituality, and was perhaps the most appropriate vehicle for expressing and developing the spirituality that the new century called for. Kandinsky expresses this conviction in his 1912 publication “Concerning the Spiritual in Art”; Mondrian mentions it in many of his writings; and so do many other painters, poets, musicians and dancers. Here is Kandinsky, in a selection from his influential 1912 booklet Concerning the Spiritual in Art:

When religion, science and morality are shaken (the last by the strong hand of Nietzche) and when outer supports threaten to fall, man withdraws his gaze from externals and turns it inwards. Literature, music and art are the most sensitive spheres in which this spiritual revolution makes itself felt. They reflect the dark picture of the present time and show the importance of what was at first only a little point of light noticed by the few. Perhaps they even grow dark in their turn, but they turn away from the soulless life of the present toward those substances and ideas that give free scope to the non-material strivings of the soul. (Concerning the Spiritual in Art, p. 33)

Whether they saw their quest as primarily personal, or whether (like Kandinsky) they saw the artist as a kind of prophet in the vanguard of humankind’s spiritual development, many of the great artists of the twentieth century saw their art in spiritual terms. For many of them also, the spirituality expressed in their work derives from eastern sources. Hindu and Buddhist ideas and practices had a strong influence on these artists, in some cases directly, in many others through the influence of Helena Blavatsky, Rudolph Steiner, and the Theosophical Society. Mondrian was a member of this society, and Kandinsky writes approvingly of it. The goal of these and other artists was to develop an art which expressed a reality beyond the material, a consciousness like that of a meditative state in which ordinary reality is transcended. Knowing this purpose casts a different light on the blank or monochrome canvases, the empty spaces, and the simple geometrical or biomorphic shapes of many abstract works. They might best be seen as meditative aids meant to reveal the transcendent or provoke a transcending consciousness. (In fact some of them strongly resemble asian works produced for exactly that purpose.) The same is true for work like that of Jackson Pollack, strongly influenced by Native American spirituality, whose drip paintings are meditative healing exercises like those of Indian shamans and Navaho sand painters (see The Spiritual in Art: Abstract painting 1890 – 1985, pp. 281 – 293 for these connections).”

The above text is written by  Dr. David Clowney, Ph.d , (Rowan University web pages)

 

“They might best be seen as meditative aids meant to reveal the transcendent or provoke a transcending consciousness.”

I seem to have fallen into creating meditative aids myself!

Yet what I do is, and cannot cease to be, related to my particular faith and perspectives. Even if not explicit.  I thought about introducing a crucifix to a couple of my paintings last year as they progressed, but then found this too stark, too obvious,  and much better when fragmented and broken up.   I arrived at Resurrection One and Resurrection Two via a crucifix at some stage in the painting.  Then my concern with light and colour took over, became more essentially part of the paintings than the symbol of the cross could hold up to… there was a fight going on and as the emotion was breaking out far more as a thrust of new life, energy and power, I just went with that, hence the title.  I felt that as the paintings had both brokenness and beauty, this was just exactly what I wanted them to be.

resurrection two, lyrical abstract painting jenny meehan, religious spirituality christian painting, contemporary christian fine artist, christian painter, british women artists 21st century

british collectable abstract paintings

 

british collectable abstract paintings

british collectable abstract paintings

 

I view all that I do artistically as being part of my response to God’s redemptive work through Christ Jesus.  For me, the energy and will to create is a handy by product of the ongoing spiritual renewal that my experience of the Holy Spirit brings into my life.  I have also found my engagement with my own subconscious through regular psychoanalysis a vital part of the development of my artistic work, as it enables me to draw deeply from my emotions and thoughts, and  reflect contemplatively, thoughtfully and analytically, into the processes and various directions which I encounter, hopefully bringing some discernment and wisdom into the decision making processes, as well as relying on aesthetic judgement.   I spend a fair bit of time looking over what I have done, and it is from this that little stepping stones sometimes appear and lead me forwards.  Not straight away.  But it is always very important to look back.  We are living in the now, but also the past and future are with us.  We cannot see the future, but the past might help root us in the ground sufficiently to enable us to gain some insight.  Looking at past works of art, both mine, and that of other artists, is a vital part of any artist’s practice.

I found this recently: http://www.leftlion.co.uk/articles.cfm/title/canon-richard-davey/id/7613

I rather like this, text quoted from an interview with Canon Richard Davey:

“Yet even as he conducts a tour of his paintings, starting and ending in a living room – ‘the abstract room’ – he stresses that what he is not is an art collector per se. The reason, perhaps, is that he has acquired his paintings over the years out of love for them, and in some cases because they were gifts from the artists, rather than because he regarded them as investments. He estimates that only half of the paintings explicitly reflect a Christian message.

However, when asked to define what he means by ‘spiritual painting’, there is a long pause followed by a much longer attempt at an explanation that touches on art and science, the mystery of matter at the atomic level and what this suggests about the cosmic interconnectedness between humans, and between the human and the divine.

“These texts and these works of art will slowly dissolve, just as we are dissolving as we shed skin and so on. What I’m interested in are artists who have a sensation or an attunement to that sense. And I find it interesting and sad. I suppose that‘s why people ask me to write about it. The artists don’t have to be ‘religious’ artists but that doesn’t mean that their faith isn’t important.”  (my bold)

The above is quoted from an interview with Canon Richard Davey, from http://www.leftlion.co.uk/articles.cfm/title/canon-richard-davey/id/7613   I cannot locate the author from the page unfortunately.

Here, once again, endless images.. to help me remember the lovely journey of painting!  I may have posted these by mistake before, apologies for that, if so, I cannot keep track even of this more organised, yet piecemeal, stream of narrative!

As I often write, do skim over!  I tend to use this blog as a diary/notebook as much as anything else, so rambling and too many images of paintings in progress is the norm!

below, wellspring two 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

above, Pilgrimage, in progress.  I submitted the final work to the John Moores Painting prize,  I am not sure when I will hear about if it has passed the first stage of the selection process.  http://www.liverpoolmuseums.org.uk/walker/johnmoores/

Here is some information about the John Moores Painting Prize from the website:

Background
Who or what is John Moores?
John Moores (1896-1993) was the founder of Littlewoods, a Liverpool-based company. A man of fierce local pride and a keen amateur painter, he was concerned at London’s increasing domination of the national arts scene. He established the John Moores Painting Prize in 1957 as a competition open to anyone and sponsored the exhibition’s prizes. He received a Knighthood in 1980, becoming Sir John Moores.

Today, the John Moores Liverpool Exhibition Trust works in partnership with National Museums and Galleries on Merseyside (operating as National Museums Liverpool (NML)) to organise and present the John Moores Painting Prize at the Walker Art Gallery every two years.

What is the John Moores Painting Prize?
The prize is an open competition for artists working with paint, which, since 1957, has culminated in an exhibition at the Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool. The exhibition is open to all artists aged 18 years or over, living or professionally based in the UK. It showcases the best new painting produced in Britain today and attracts a broad spectrum of artists. Named after its founding sponsor, the first John Moores exhibition was a great success and led to it becoming a biennial event. By the early sixties, the exhibition was regarded as the UK’s leading showcase for avant-garde painting. Many of the prize-winning works were purchased by John Moores and presented to the Walker Art Gallery for its permanent collection.

Since John Moores 23 in 2004, the first prize is no longer such a purchase prize. Instead, the painting that wins the first prize may be purchased by the Walker, meaning that the artist receives not only their prize money but the value of the painting in addition.

The John Moores Painting Prize is selected by an invited jury which changes for every competition, and the whole selection process is anonymous – the jurors are not told who the paintings are by.

 

I have never entered it before, as due to finances I need to pick just a couple of competitions to enter each year, especially if you need to pay to submit the work, regardless of if it gets selected or not.  But the John Moores Painting Prize is one competition I have thought about entering several times, so this time around I finally paid my money and sent the image off.  I like the fact that the whole selection process is anonymous… there is some peace of mind in the fact that the work is judged purely as it comes to meet one in the face, rather than influenced by other factors.

More painting in progress images;

 

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

 

above, those images from “rock strike”  Not sure is this one is quite finished, so will hold off the final image for now.  I enjoyed experimenting with a bit of collage;  wall paper, mod-roc, scrim, and tiny glass beads mostly.  It all feels rather a mess, and that  I have let things fall apart.  However, I recognise this as an important part of creativity, and indeed, of life.   Things get messy. Who knows what will come of it?

 

 

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

 

this one above is still waiting, I am not sure how to go with it right now…

 

 

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

jenny meehan jamartlondon lyrical abstract expressionistic paintings in progress

 

above, “view”… this stayed like this for a long time before proceeding!  Just contemplating it at the moment.

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

 

above, “into the ocean deep”  That one was in progress for at least six months.  I don’t rush these paintings along at all!

Sometimes I wonder, amused, at what has happened with my painting.  Reading things like this;

Jules Olitski (1922–2007) 

“Painting is made from the inside out. I think of painting as possessed by a structure—i.e., shape and size, support and edge—but a structure born of the flow of color feeling. Color in color is felt at any and every place of the pictorial organization; in its immediacy—its particularity. Color must be felt throughout.”—Jules Olitski

and realising a ridiculous (but lovely) love of paint which rules itself and pulls me along with it,  is not very unusual, but something which inspires thousands of painters across the ages, whatever their style.

 

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

above, “catastrope”…. still thinking about this one..

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

above, one of the “resurrection” series, the full image of which I showed you earlier.   These were a long haul, quite a struggle at times, only coming together right at the very end.

Pillar and Moon

http://www.tate.org.uk/art/artworks/nash-pillar-and-moon-n05392

Quote from the tate site:

Display caption

Paul Nash was deeply affected by his experiences as a soldier and an artist during the First World War. This picture was based around ‘the mystical association of two objects which inhabit different elements and have no apparent relation in life… The pale stone sphere on top of a ruined pillar faces its counterpart the moon, cold and pale and solid as stone.’Though not explicitly about mourning, the deep, unpopulated space and ghostly lighting gives the scene a melancholy air. Rather than depict a real landscape, Nash said that his intention had been ‘to call up memories and stir emotions in the spectator’.
July 2007

Follow the link to see the image.

My “Pillar and Moon” below.

"pillar and moon" paul nash painting imaginative interpretation,jenny meehan jamartlondon.com lyrical and geometric abstraction modern contemporary british female painter,process led painting uk,

 

Found this while doing some sorting, it’s 70cm by 50cm… has some lovely texture in it.  While in Paul Nash’s “Pillar and Moon”  I can share in the calling up memories and stirring emotions… very much an aim which has emerged in my painting, (though unexpectedly I have gone further into abstraction than I expected to),  in my “Pillar and Moon” the relationship between the two is less distant… “‘the mystical association of two objects which inhabit different elements and have no apparent relation in life… The pale stone sphere on top of a ruined pillar faces its counterpart the moon, cold and pale and solid as stone.’… He pulls them together in their almost parallel position at the top of his painting, so you know what he is doing there, but I have pulled mine into even closer relationship and because my painting is  more abstract, their material composition differences,  and the ground/sky relationship are lessened.  My moon is below the pillar even, and earthed with a brown which reaches towards the pillar, surrounded in blue, more resounding of sky than earth.

Pillar and Moon, by Jenny Meehan is available for purchase, please contact me for further details.

Use the contact form on my website:   www.jamartlondon.com

 

 

A Book of Silence….

I read this book several years ago, and it influenced me, so here is sharing a little more about it!

Quotes from http://www.saramaitland.com/Silence.html

” For about the last 10 years Sara Maitland has been trying to understand more about silence: what it might mean in 21st century; what effects it has on people; how it has been used and understood in the past; why we are so frightened of it; and why she has come to love it so much.
Her new book is an account of that adventure, a sort of mixture of personal journey and cultural history, both deeply personal and intellectually exciting. In the course of researching and writing the book Maitland spent silent time in silent places – on Skye in the Hebrides; in the Sinai Desert; in forests and mountains; in a flotation tank; in monasteries and libraries. She was trying to match her personal experiences to those of other people – from fairy stories to single-handed sailors, from hermits and romantic poets to prisoners and castaways, from reading and writing to mountaineering and polar exploration, from mythology to psychoanalysis.

“A serious, important and deeply engaging book, describing with equal honesty the risks and the resources of silence. In describing her own exploration of these, Sara Maitland prompts some very uncomfortable questions about the fear, the shallowness and the lack of attentive listening that so effectively keep us prisoners” Archbishop Rowan Williams

“Sara Maitland’s search for silence and solitude turns into an intriguing spiritual quest which takes the reader deep into her inner thoughts and fears. ‘A Book for Silence’ records a brave and adventurous psychological journey that will speak to all who have doubts about our increasingly over-materialistic society.” Stuart Sim, author of Manifesto for Silence

“I am grateful to Sara Maitland for this joyful book, filled with humour. It is a beautifully written, the fruit of prolonged experience of different sorts of silence, as well as wide reading and real scholarship. It uncovered within me a half-forgotten hunger for silence which surely most of feel in this noisy world.” Timothy Radcliffe, OP

Very struck by the quote below;  I think because I have found articulating my own experiences in life, through visual and written communication, very important and empowering.  I have seen silence as negative, and it has been, very often, very negative.  But I like the expression “presence of something which is not sound” and this struck me.  So, quoted from her book:

Perhaps it is a real, separate, actual thing an ontological category of its own: not a lack of language but other than, different from language; not an absence of sound but the presence of something which is not sound.

Nonetheless the idea that silence is an absence or lack is the commonly help position in contemporary life and especially – this is why it was painful – among the radical intellectual milieu in which I had for so long lived and flourished.

Toward the end of the 1990s my friend Janet Batsleer, with whom I was discussing all this at great length, sent me a (deliberately) provocative letter:

Silence is the place of death, of nothingness.  In fact there is no silence without speech.  There is no silence without the act of silencing, some one having been shut up, put bang to rights, gagged, told to hold their tongue, had their tongue cut out, had the cat get their tongue, lost their voice.  silence is oppression and speech, language, spoken or written, is freedom.”

and another quote from the letter she quotes..

That silence is a place of non-being, a place of control, from which all our yearning is to escape.  All the social movements of oppressed people in the second part of the twentieth century have claimed “coming to language” and “coming to voice” as necessary to their politics.. In the beginning was the Word.. Silence is oppression.  It is “the word” that is the beginning of freedom.  All silence is waiting to be broken”

…..

I like both silence and sound:  both are vital.  Reading this book certainly made me think about the pauses, rests, and other no-noise part of our existence!   However, when I took my retreat at the beginning of last year, I chose not to make it a silent one.  For me, this wouldn’t have sat well, I don’t feel.  Many people have tried it and like it, but speaking matters to me too much to forego it altogether!

I am an expressive person!  I am a communicator!  I simply enjoy being with people too much to deprive myself of communicating with them! And while I find attractive, the “the presence of something which is not sound.” and often enjoy silence (well, as near to it as possible, bearing in mind where I live),  I guess, as a painter, I am still listening and hearing, responding and communicating in the act of painting and the outworking of a painting comes to me very much as a kind of listening and a kind of speaking, even without words. There is a kind of presence which can be felt when looking at a painting, and a kind of listening, maybe a kind of echo or resonating type experience. Spiritual soundings, maybe?  Not audible, but through the eye comes some awareness?

Words, as ever, fail! But I think expression, sometimes termed “sound” can be silent, but also sounding.  Paintings can resonate with one’s spirit, and there is a silent sound which is heard, even if nothing enters the ears.  And it is not a matter of body and materiality being separate from the spiritual, psychological and emotional (soul) aspects of life and experience.   It is not a matter of silence or sound, or any kind of “either”  “or”  matter.    In fact, I feel as a painter, that  the physicality of the whole experience of creating a painting and enabling something to materialize is one of the most incarnational and wonderful things about it.  A unifying, incarnational and sacramental matter!  Outward signs of inner experiences and realisations of wonderful grace, maybe?  This is my take, anyway. When a painting goes well, and comes together, it is like a gift.  I just stand there feeling grateful, relieved, and slightly in  wonder.  Surprised, feeling tired from the work, but feeling that it’s not just my work, but a rather nice present from a Creator God who is far beyond anything I could ever imagine or create. Yet one who likes to share the joy of creation with me!  I moan sometimes about aspects of being an artist, but someone reminded me recently that it is a wonderful gift and worth being grateful about. And I do know what they mean. It’s not simply a matter of ability or skill (important though that is to develop)but it’s an experience of immersion in the creative, of being in the flow, of being opened up and thrown into the unknown, and loving it. That’s faith, isn’t it?

Watercolour Experiments 

Having made some watercolour paints last year, I have been keen to experiment with these.  I think I mentioned that in more detail in my last post.   I am jumping into the deep, and learning lots about this paint, and it helps me that I made the paints myself.  It is not hard, and I had the pigments.  It feels great to have been with the paints right from the beginning, and I can be generous in my experiments, as the water colour paints are more economical and far less expensive than if I had purchased them.  I have been blessed with a lot of pigment…pure and lovely, … so much to play with!   I am getting to know them well.  I am working with inorganic pigments which I obtained initially for use with silicate mineral paint (I was going to use with potassium silicate as the binder)  but which are now bound with some gum arabic solution I made up.  I have plenty more for use with other binders if I want to, but working on paper is interesting indeed, and though I cannot tell what the outcome will be, the process is very interesting!  I will post some up later on in the year, when I have worked sufficiently with them.  I showed you the two I entered for the Royal Watercolour Competition, but I have around twenty more I am working on.

Spiritual Direction/Guidance

I continue my mental touselling, (a word which does exist, even though the spell checker tells me that I have spelt it incorrectly!) over the term “spiritual director”.  As most of the population have never heard of a spiritual director, the term says all the wrong things and so I am continuing to experiment with ideas for how to better describe the role of a spiritual director in a short, quick and easily understandable way!   Here is something I rather like from the Mount Street Jesuit Centre website:

“Would you like the chance to meet an experienced prayer guide to share your thoughts and reflections about your own journey in life within a sacred and secure space where you will be listened to and accompanied on your path?

Typically, people meet with a spiritual director every 6-8 weeks for about an hour. There are no requirements other than an open heart. So, if attending any of our events leaves you wishing you had someone to talk things through with, this could be for you. There is a large local network of spiritual guides and we can put you in contact.”

That is pretty much the best and clearest description I have come across.  I like the expression “prayer guide” and the description of the space also.   I like the term “spiritual guide” too, which is much better than “director” as a word.   I often say to people who ask me what a “spiritual director is” is that it is a kind of mentoring, spiritual counselling, and listening type role, which aims to help people in their relationship with the divine and the spiritual dimension of their life experience/ God, in the way that they understand God,  and how this is working in their life.  I say that it is something open to all, whatever faith tradition, or none.  It seems to be, maybe not surprisingly, that most people who come to seek spiritual direction do have some background in one church or religious group setting or another, and have a faith tradition, however, this is not always the case.  What is beyond us is often an awful lot, (actually, always!) and I think  there are times in our lives when we want to ask ourselves what we believe, and why, and just make space to examine our consciousness and hopefully increase our awareness of where we are going, and why.   I come from a Christian perspective, and it obviously influences my approach and how I work as a spiritual director.  However, I am hoping that when I do complete my training with SPIDIR I won’t just be seeing people who happen to have similar affiliations to me.

In the SPIDIR course recently we had a brilliant session from Tim Stead on Mindfulness.  Tim is very thoroughly trained in Mindfulness and in delivering Mindfulness workshops and it certainly showed.   It was very helpful for me, as I had been seeking clarification on a few points.  It really was one of the best sessions so far.  Very inspiring.  Mindfulness, I think, is something ever more necessary in our current time, and essential to develop and cultivate.  Details of courses on Mindfulness run by Tim Stead can be found here:  http://www.hthq.org.uk/mindfulness.html

And also here:  http://bemindful.co.uk/learn-mindfulness/

 

New Redbubble art work…

I have just posted up some more artwork on Redbubble, do take a look!  My son likes Star Trek and I wanted to play around with ideas of speed and space.  I am pleased with the result, and he will get a T Shirt as one of his birthday presents!

 

http://www.redbubble.com/people/jennyjimjams/works/20306316-not-long-until-i-reach-warp-speed-star-trek-parody-logo-design-with-transparent-background?grid_pos=132&p=t-shirt

 

For general look at my Redbubble portfolio go here:

http://www.redbubble.com/people/jennyjimjams?ref=account-nav-dropdown

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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. 

Copyright and Licensing Digital Images Information – Jenny Meehan

www.jamartlondon.com

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

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

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

 

 

Making my own watercolour paints

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I did find this also:

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

Janice writes:

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

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

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

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

and

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

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

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

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

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

 

and also this from the same piece:

 

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

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

I spoke to a friend recently who happened to have a cow figurine, and we were discussing if it did work on a promotional level.  She didn’t recall who the artist was that had designed her cow, and said that it had not made her want to look at the artist’s other work. (Which of course, could be very different in style and subject matter anyway)  The cow had been brought for her as a gift.  This made me also consider the fact that if an artist assigns their copyright to someone else, they have no say on if and how their name, website or anything about them is shown, or have no control on how much, how prominently, or how long their information is displayed with reference to/or on  the product.  Or what the artwork is used for, made into, and how long and by whom it is used.  Indeed, the artist has no say at all. This is quite different to the situation if you license your work for something as an artist, everything needs to be approved by you, and is set out clearly.   You maintain control.  I have never seen one of these Cow Parade™ figurines in person, and I have no idea of how they are packaged, presented and labelled; the artists names are displayed with the item, I am sure, however, how beneficial this is to an artists other types of work I am not convinced about. There are lots of cheaper and easier ways to get your name splattered about the place, and there is nothing like your own network and those you come into contact with personally. I suppose there is a certain amount of exposure during the event itself, yes, indeed there would be,  but would that bring any financial benefit to the artist?   There may be examples of this, if you know, please let me know so I can adjust my own perspective a little.

I don’t think taking part in the Cow Parade™ is the way I personally want to help Charities… There are other ways!

When you know that many of the organisations and charities involved are probably blissfully unaware of how important an artist’s copyright is in terms of enabling artists to function and thrive, and how this corporation is effectively benefiting their own business by insisting that artists who take part assign their copyright to them,  I can find no redeeming features, however hard I look, from an artistic community point of view.   As I  have said before,   the potential benefit that the artist would get from any promotion would be primarily related to their actual cow design, as this is what the public would see and this is what the public would want to buy something of. You do sometimes hear that if you work for free then the publicity somehow generates sales for the artist, but I think this is a fallacy. Donate work to charity, yes, the whole charity auction events are a wonderful thing for artists to be involved in,  I wish there were more, but please, artists, stop working for free.  We don’t have an artists union or anything like that, so it is up to us to carefully examine what we sign up for, and if this does us a service or not. It is true, no one forces artists to take part in something like this.  It is up to the individual artist to do what they want with their copyright, and there may be some who don’t mind assigning it to a large profit making organisation who will benefit from their hard work, but I am certainly NOT one of those.

I think that is is very important that people who get involved with the whole Cow Parade™ event are fully aware of what the reality of the situation is, from an artist’s perspective.  And so, here, I have shared mine.   I am sure for many it will make no difference at all as to what happens with the artist’s copyright, after all, no one is forcing the artists to sign their copyright away, and no one is forcing them to take part at all.  However, I personally cannot agree with this kind of activity, and, yes, you have guessed, I will not be taking part.  I want no part in something like that at all.  As artists, we must value our work and our contribution to society, and do what we can to ensure that those around us are educated as to the value of our work.   I can see nothing about Cow Parade™ that inspires me, or encourages me, or supports me, as an artist.  I also think that if charities and artists want to work together, there are better ways to do it than something like this.  Charities often organise their own art exhibitions and art events, and all those I have been involved with have been a delight to work with, given me opportunity to show and share my work, have not required to to sign away my copyright, and have had clear terms and conditions which restrict the use of my work in a way which protects me and respects me, my work, and my kind contribution.

There are some positive things about the Cow Parade™, of course… I am sure many charities  and businesses will benefit from it.  I hope those charities and businesses that get involved in it, also value the hard work, dedication, and artistic talent, skill, and creativity involved, without which, there would be no Cow Parade at all.  I think for local community groups who would like to design a cow and paint it, as a type of creative activity, and they don’t mind at all about copyright, (it may be that the terms and conditions are different in this case anyway?  I do not know about this aspect?)  it could be a super, fun, and very positive thing to do. I think for artists who do not care about retaining their copyright and don’t mind their work being used in this way, it could also be a very positive use of time, and it may well be something which serves their own purposes and situation in a way which they feel perfectly at peace about.  But it only inspires me to lament the whole affair.

There is some more information here also….

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CowParade

“The concept of “cow parade” has its origins in Zürich, Switzerland, in 1998[1] by artistic director Walter Knapp, it is based on an idea which was realised in the same city for the first time in 1986: Lions as the symbol of Zurich were painted and then on display throughout the city.

The Zürich exhibit 1998 was not called “cow parade” – it was called “Land in Sicht” (roughly translated as “Countryside in view”).[citation needed] The concept was brought to the United States when Chicago businessman Peter Hanig, along with Commissioner of Cultural Affairs Lois Weisberg, organized an event in Chicago in 1999.[citation needed] A Swiss company, CowHolding Parade AG, started to explore the idea.[citation needed] The American company that explored this idea, CowHolding Parade, was founded in 1999; the Swiss company promptly sued but the case fizzled out without results.[citation needed] A bronze casting of one of the cows is on permanent display in Chicago in commemoration of the city’s initial exhibition.[citation needed]

The success of this venture inspired many other cities to host similar fundraising projects. The idea has been taken up by other cities which have chosen animals for public art projects with painted fiberglass sculptures (see Similar projects).[citation needed]”

There is rather a lot of citation needed! As an avid lover of research, this spurred my curiosity, naturally!

I also found this:

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/this-britain/is-someone-milking-the-painted-cows-704575.html

and these:

http://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/whats-on/going-out/legacy-of-bitter-legal-dispute-1113307

 

the next is from the New York Times, an article “Is Nothing Sacred?; International Discontent Erupts Over a Cow Parade”
By CHRIS HEDGES
Published: May 31, 2000

http://www.nytimes.com/2000/05/31/nyregion/is-nothing-sacred-international-discontent-erupts-over-a-cow-parade.html?pagewanted=all

and this is an interesting read also:

http://forecastpublicart.org/public-art-review/2014/07/cowparade-discontents/

Another article: Cash Cow: The CowParade™
The CowParade™ and its discontents…This is a perspective from Susan Tallman, who is an art historian who has written extensively on issues of authenticity, reproduction, and multiplicity. Her books include The Contemporary Print: from Pre-Pop to Postmodern and The Collections of Barbara Bloom (with Barbara Bloom and David Hickey).

Susan Tallman’s perspective is particularly interesting, and a very good read!

On the value of it artistically, and another perspective there is this  written by Thomas Vinciguerra FOR THE INQUIRER
POSTED: October 05, 2005

http://articles.philly.com/2005-10-05/news/25442066_1_tom-eccles-fine-arts-public-art-fund

I also found this, which offers an artist’s perspective from quite a way back, but interesting anyway:

http://artezine.com/issues/20001101/cowpar.htm

For an appreciation of profit to be made from merchandise, this is a good read, quoted from Speciality Retail, Winter 2001 Mad About the Cow by Lauryn Mittleman

http://specialtyretail.com/issue/2001/01/retail-products/retail-product-features/cow_retail_products/

Here is a snippet, but as always, best to read the whole thing to have it in context:

“Everywhere the CowParade goes, herds of people follow,” proclaims US CowParade Holdings. And so does the money. So whether it’s Chicago’s cows or a hometown critter crawl, specialty retailers benefit from the event-related T-shirts and totes, magnets and more. They’re not just colorful and clever and fun—they’re profitable. “Take a look,” says Nieroth, “and just try not to smile.”

 

I hope my researching is useful, it is certainly something I have found interesting to do. Once I start researching something, I find it hard to stop, as you can see!  Here is one rejected cow, which I have to show you, because it is brilliant!

http://www.davidlynch.de/eatmyfear.html

 

Not for me! 

I must stress…It is made very clear, and is totally transparent, that the artist is required to assign their copyright to the CowParade Holdings Corporation, for this is what the information in the “Details and Terms and Conditions” section of the Surrey Hills CowParade says:

“rights/entitlements

By submitting your application, you confirm that:

You are the original creator of your design.
You have not copied anyone else’s original work.
Your design does not infringe on anyone else’s intellectual property rights (for example, trademark or design patent).
Upon completion you must sign a “Copyright Assignment” indicating your understanding that you are assigning the entire right, title and interest to your design to CowParade Holdings Corporation.

If your finished cow is approved for exhibition, CowParade Holdings Corporation will continue to own the entire right, title and interest in your design proposal, accompanying sketches and all derivative works, including the final work completed on the fiberglass cow. You will be acknowledged as the artist on the base and in appropriate publications. However, the copyrights, including the rights to reproduce your design, create copies or reprint your design in books, will be owned by CowParade Holdings Corporation.”

However, many artists considering taking part may not have a full understanding of what this actually means. For more information, this is a good place to look:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/copyright-notice-assignment-of-copyright

I will try and post more about copyright considerations in another future post.  Bear in mind that there is nothing about payment of royalties, and also that once the copyright has been signed over, any revenue streams from the design (for the artist) are completely blocked.  It’s a lot of work to paint a cow too… Two weeks (80 hours) at the very least, if you include the several layers of varnish required.  Probably a lot more for a complex design applied, if well executed.  And that’s not including the creation of the design itself.

You can find out more about the CowParade Holdings story itself here:  http://www.cowparade.com/our-story/

and it does say here that “each artist is paid, on average, the equivalent of $1,000 per cow. CowParade has contributed well over $3 million dollars to artist communities around the world.”

Though as said, I can only find reference to materials being paid for on the Surrey Hills CowParade, and haven’t been able to find out anything more regarding any other payment as yet, to date.   I am not sure if I personally consider materials cost, payment for work.

And if you must paint a cow…

If you really want to paint a cow, (because it does have a certain appeal) but don’t want to sign away your rights to it,  then it is possible to purchase your own for around £400 it seems:

http://www.lifesize-models.co.uk/product.php?id=1088

Though it wouldn’t be permitted to join the CowParade, however, it would look lovely in the garden.

If you are an artist who chooses to take part in the Surrey Hills CowParade, then please do let me know how long you spent painting and designing your cow, and what you got paid for it, if you do get paid for it (I am unclear on this point!) Also, if you are happy about assigning the copyright to CowParade Holdings Corporation, your own views on this would be welcome.  However strongly I feel, I am always open to listening to other perspectives.

However, I feel sick to the stomach…. and cows have more than one ..(The cow has four stomachs and undergoes a special digestive process to break down the tough and coarse food it eats. When the cow first eats, it chews the food just enough to swallow it. The unchewed food travels to the first two stomachs, the rumen and the reticulum, where it is stored until later.), so it might take some time for me to get this one out of my system!  I am thinking of a creative and artistic response, but more of that will come later.

In the meantime, if artists want to tread on solid ground with copyright matters, then it is important to get informed, and if you wish, consider joining an organisation like DACS or similar, who will help you tread the sometimes miry path, without sinking your hoofs in too deeply, and not being able to moooooove forward with your work, due to lack of finance, which you could have had, if you had realised how valuable your work really is.  (apologies for the puns, too hard to resist!)

http://www.dacs.org.uk/

 

The Design and Artists Copyright Society

Established by artists for artists, DACS is a not-for-profit visual artists’ rights management organisation.

DACS
33 Old Bethnal Green Road
London E2 6AA

T +44 (0) 20 7336 8811
F +44 (0) 20 7336 8822

 

 

Back to the watercolours!

I DO LOVE WATERCOLOURS!

I am very much enjoying experimenting with watercolours, and as I cannot use my studio tent, due to the weather (plus it has also become a garden furniture dumping ground!) and so I have put the acrylic on canvas painting aside for a while.  Watercolour painting is something I started at the beginning of this year when I was on a retreat and it was not practical to bring other kinds of paints and substrates.  I also had a wonderful time over the Summer making my own watercolour paints which is something I wanted to do for ages.  It is pure delight to see this paint, and use it, and know that you have been with it right from the beginning!  I have used the pigments I love, basically all the ones I had to use with my mineral silicate paint when I was painting the mural at Trafalgar Junior School in Twickenham.  These are metal oxides and earths, and are all wonderfully light fast and reliable.  Ones like Ultramarine violet, (PV15), Ultramarine, (PB29), Cobalt Blue (PB28), Chrome green (PG17), Yellow Ochre (PY43) Titanium Yellow (PY53), Sanguine, Caput Mortuum, Venetian Red, Oxide Red (PR102) Red Ochre (PR102), Burnt Sienna (PBr7) and naturally formed iron oxides such as clay earth pigments, ie Raw Umber (PBr7), calcined(heated)as Burnt Umber, Raw Sienna (PBr7) and Iron black (PBk11).  The white I used for body colour when painting was probably Titanium white, I am not sure as I rejuvenated some old poster powder paint by adding my gum arabic mixture.   I also used some of my cream coloured leftover silicate mineral paint, with most of the binder removed (it floats to the top of the container when left for a long time!), and I then re-bound it with the gum arabic.  It seems to work fine, and I have had no problems with doing this.  I could probably just use the silicate paint on the paper to be honest, but I wanted all the paint to have the same binder and main vehicle as the other paint.   I also used in the paintings some water soluble wax crayons and watercolour pencils… Not as the main medium, but handy for little parts here and there.  A few additional colours came in that way too in a way which didn’t remove the main push of the pigments I had chosen for my actual home made watercolour paints.

Here are two examples of my work.  These two I have decided to submit to the Royal Watercolour Society.  I have spent so much time at the Bankside Gallery over the last few years it feels rather home to home.  And I can get there easily from Chessington, even if my  knee is playing up!  I plan to make a dedicated few months of each year to extending my experience with watercolours, and now I know I can make my paint so easily (well, for my own style and approach, my own home made watercolours work well!) I can move ahead without any prohibitive materials costs.

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

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

 

cozens inspired internal landscape english watercolour contemporary painting jenny meehan, collectable english watercolours abstract expressionist, abstract english contemporary watercolourist,jenny meehan jamartlondon,imaginative contemplative process led painting,watercolours today bankside gallery, royal society of watercolours submission;

internal landscape inspired by cozens blot technique by jenny meehan submitted to the Royal Watercolour Society competition 2015

 

It is also handy for me to be able to work on slightly smaller paintings when my knee is painful, as some of the larger ones do involve a great deal of walking (yes, really… I have to view them from quite a distance) whereas these smaller ones can be painted however much pain I am in or not.   I am not happy about my knee… and it means it is sometimes not possible to carry heavy items, walk as far as I normally need to (as I do not/cannot drive).  It is cramping my style a little, however, I tend to see these things as also opening up new horizons, previously unexplored.

Making your own watercolour paint….

This is what I did, I expect there are other ways.  I don’t like very finely ground pigment, and so I just used the pigments as I had them without grinding them down further.   I found this rather interesting text on paints.. this extract being only one small part of it!

“Particle size also influences colour. Smaller particles are usually brighter in shade and change the hue of a pigment. As
a general rule, smaller particles give: greener yellows; yellower oranges; redder violets; greener blues; yellower greens. ” and
“Pigment manufacturers have become very skilled in producing pigments with the desired crystal form and even with a narrow particle size distribution in order to impart the desired colour, physical properties, and hence performance .yellower reds up to mid red; bluer reds from mid reds;”

this is quoted from:  Chemistry – Pigments For Paints uploaded by Giovanni Casati which can be found here:

http://independent.academia.edu/GiovanniCasati

(I have to confess to being terribly interested in the chemical features of paint… When I was researching using Silicate Mineral Paints I spent about six months reading and researching!)

Anyway, back to the making your own watercolours..

I chose to use gum arabic for my binder, which was easy to get on the internet.  I purchased it in a powdered form which was quick and easy to use.  I added acacia honey and used oil of cloves (I put more in than the recipe below, as I like the smell and some pigments, particularly earth ones, do tend towards getting mouldy quite easily!)

I dissolved one part of gum arabic powder in three parts of boiling water.  I used my slow cooker as the container for this.  You pour in the boiling water and still for a good ten minutes.  It looks like it won’t work out, getting gloopy and very lumpy!

I didn’t need to sieve my water and gum arabic mixture, as unlike  maybe when one is using solid gum arabic, there were no bits of bark or other impurities, or not any that I could see!

I added the honey, which draws in more of the water.  The honey helps the watercolour (if you put it in pans afterwards) to wetten and release colour onto the brush.  The recipe I used suggested four parts of solution to one part honey, which is what I choose to use, though I am sure the ratios could be different.

I left my solution in the slow cooker on a low heat which really helped the whole mixture to mix!  Stirring occasionally!

As I said before, I didn’t grind the pigment into the mixture, I simply added it.  I used small plastic lidded containers.  I put my pre wetted (the proper  term is slaked) pigment into the bottom of the containers and poured the gum arabic solution on top.   Apparently the general guide is to use slightly more of the gum solution than the pigment.  I stuck to about half and half.  The earth pigments need more….they really suck it up!   I decided to keep some of my paint wet, ie I just let it cool and sealed up the containers, and some of it I put into ice cube trays and let it dry, effectively therefore making little pans of watercolour.  My pans took a long time to dry (even in the hot Summer) and they did crack a lot.  However, they were still very usable.  I think if you want less cracking it would be best to increase the strength of the gum arabic solution and this would also reduce the drying time considerably.

I also added some extra oil of cloves, because of the delightful smell, and because of wanting to avoid any mould growth.  I had put about ten drops into the slow cooker, but added a few drops more to some of the paints.  Mmmmm!

The whole thing was a success!  It was quick, easy, enjoyable, suits my method of working, and enables me to work with top quality paints without being unable to feed the family!  I know 100 percent that there are no fillers in my watercolour paints, and when I chose to add body colour, I knew exactly how much I was working with.  I think making ones own paints gives one an essential dimension to ones watercolour painting, and a lot of pleasure.  I like the texture and consistency of them, and I have plenty of pre made gum arabic in the fridge, which I use to adjust the colours as I wish when I am painting with them.

PS..addition,  This is the recipe I based  my watercolour paint making experiments on which is quoted from http://www.earthpigments.com/artists-watercolor-and-gouache/:     I did add some glycerin also, as I had it to hand.

Gum Arabic Preparation
Ingredients
By Weight:
100 grams (3.5 oz) Gum Arabic
333g (11.75oz) boiled, distilled water
130g Glycerin (optional)
By Volume:
2 parts Gum Arabic
4 parts boiled, distilled water
1 part Glycerin (optional)
Boil water and pour over the powdered gum, stirring to make sure there are no lumps. Add the Glycerin if desired, stirring well. It is advisable to strain this mixture through cheesecloth when pouring it into your storage jar, then putting on the lid. Allow the mixture to soak 24-48 hours for full absorption. If desired, you can add drops of Clove Oil to extend shelf life. Prepared Gum Arabic Solution must be stored in the refrigerator to deter mold growth. It may be advisable to make small batches so the solution will be fresh rather than storing larger quantities for an extended period of time.
Watercolor Preparation
Ingredients
Prepared Gum solution
Pigments (premixed into a paste with water is preferable)
Honey in a 10% proportion to the weight of Gum solution used
Honey is used to help the pigments mix smoothly into the formula. Here it is calculated based on the weight of your Gum Solution rather than a volume mix. For example, if creating the Gum Solution with 100g of Gum Arabic, use 55g of Honey (2.6 tablespoons.) Honey weighs 21.25g per level Tablespoon.
The amount of pigment to use will vary depending upon the color. Start with a ratio of 1 part Gum/Honey to 1 part pigment paste and adjust as necessary. Mix all the ingredients and work them on a glass plate using a paint spatula. Your goal is to obtain a paste with a thick, creamy consistency. Some pigments will incorporate easier than others.” 

 

 

And something else to skim over!

 

What an interesting article, wonderfully written, and I rather like the painting too!

http://www.thenation.com/article/is-serious-landscape-painting-still-possible/

 

I look back fondly at my work with light, but no colour!  Those hours of looking for light and looking for how it works with surfaces resulted in a lot of photographs of shiny metal!

 

 

 west sussex mini owners club steyne gardens, wes sussex mini event minis by the sea, jenny meehan jamartlondon photography monochrome, mini revolution wheel, polished chrome mini part,shiny metal car part,

jenny meehan jamartlondon photography monochrome west sussex mini owners club steyne gardens

 

The photo above is one I took of several wonderfully shiny car parts!   I have always had a “thing” for metal, and shiny metal pulls the eye something rotten!  The photo was taken at West Sussex Mini Owners Club event “Minis by the Sea”  at Steyne Gardens, Worthing, West Sussex.   I am not sure where I put the images I had of engines, but I took a few, and they were equally shiny!

mini headlight from west sussex mini owners club minis by the sea at steyne gardens worthing west sussex

mini headlight from west sussex mini owners club minis by the sea at steyne gardens worthing west sussex

 

west sussex mini owners club minis by the sea at steyne gardens worthing west sussex image by jenny meehan all rights reserved

wes sussex mini owners club minis by the sea at steyne gardens worthing west sussex image by jenny meehan all rights reserved

 

 

 

Information Sheet for Workshops 2015/16.
General “Drop In Drawing/Painting” (Monthly, on a Friday or Wednesday Afternoon, for 2 hours) All abilities.
If you are interested in coming along to this regular small group from time to time contact me via the contact for on my website:

www.jamartlondon.com
This is not a pre-planned, structured teaching environment with specific defined learning objectives, but involves me opening my house to a maximum of three people, and making myself available to you. People let me know the week before (or earlier) if they will be coming, on a one-off basis. As a trained teacher and experienced artist I am in a good position to mentor you and assist you in developing your own creative direction. Individual attention not possible in larger teaching situations make this a golden opportunity for personal creative development. It is friendly and supportive group, and offers you sensitive feedback, engaging activity, elements of challenge, and most importantly the emphasis is on you developing your own personal direction with your art working. My suggested donation is £10 – £15 per person. This enables me to invest my time in this way.  The group number is kept small, with 3 or less participants.

 

 

 

 

Art Fund Raising for Straight Talking…

 

Gala Night Tuesday 8th December 7-9pm.  All Welcome!

Exhibition runs from then until 3rd January 2016.

 

http://www.straighttalking.org/

I’m donating another one of the “My Patch/Cat Print” digital prints.

my patch/cat print digital print jenny meehan jamartlondon copyright jenny meehan DACS all rights reserved

my patch/cat print digital print jenny meehan jamartlondon copyright jenny meehan DACS all rights reserved

 

‘Straight Talking Peer Education employs teenage parents to run courses in secondary schools about the realities of early parenthood. This achieves a reduction in teenage pregnancy rates and allows teenage parents to access employment.’ For further details please see their website  www.straighttalking.org   Hilary Pannack, the CEO,  will come on the Gala night with some of the peer educators and talk about their work.
http://www.thecornerhouse.org/

The cornerHOUSE runs in an old Church Hall at the junction of Douglas Road and Ravenscar Road. The postal address is:

116 Douglas Road
Surbiton
Surrey
KT6 7SB

It is best to use public transport to get to the cornerHOUSE. Buses 281, 406 and 418 stop regularly at the end of Douglas Road (ask for the police station), bus K1 stops near the end of Ravenscar Road (ask for Tolworth Hospital) and bus 71 stops in the Hook Road (ask for Thornhill Road).

Please note that if you use your own car there is no dedicated parking at the cornerHOUSE and it is usually difficult to park nearby. The cornerHOUSE is in a residential area so please allow enough time to find a safe and sensible parking space which may be some distance away. Please park with consideration for our neighbours and avoid obstructing their access ways.

 

Court Farm Cafe

I also have several digital prints up at the Court Farm Cafe,  Court Farm Garden Centre, Tolworth for a couple of months.  These are reasonably priced at just £35 and £40 so would make great Christmas presents.  Having a bit of a sort out at home, as I need more space, so effectively selling these off at a rather reduced amount!

 

jenny meehan artwork court farm cafe at chessington court farm garden centre tolworth surrey

jenny meehan artwork court farm cafe at  court farm garden centre tolworth surrey

 

jenny meehan artwork court farm cafe at chessington court farm garden centre tolworth surrey

jenny meehan artwork court farm cafe at court farm garden centre tolworth surrey

 

http://www.courtfarm.uk.com/  Old Kingston Road, Worcester Park, Surrey… It’s not far from Tolworth Rail Station.

Old Kingston Road, Worcester Park, Surrey, KT4 7QH020 8012 8626  admin@gardencare.uk.com

Hopefully it will be nice and busy, with folks getting their Christmas Trees, etc.  I could do with selling some things to help with the expenses of Christmas!

Singing in the Rain

Lyrical abstract painting… This is the final…

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

Singing in the Rain Images taken when 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

Yeah,  I like taking pictures of my paintings!

You might notice that it hasn’t changed that much, if at all!  The reason for this is that when I talk about a painting being “In Progress”  I consider the time I spend in contemplation/reflection/meditation (whatever your preferred word!) part of the process of the painting…Time spent waiting for paint to dry with acrylics is too, too short, and so I spend a lot of time looking at the paintings when they are dry.  I sometimes think that something is not finished when it ends up telling me that it is.  I sometimes find the opposite, and something calls out for attention several months later.  After about six months I can be more certain.  This painting lurked around and I thought it wasn’t finished, but it was.  The taking of close up images is helpful to me as it helps to freshen up my eyes and seeing of what is going on.  It sometimes helps me appreciate what a painting has to give me as it stands, which can be helpful, as it is very easy to rush forwards in a painting pushing it on to new things, when you haven’t actually seen what is there properly.

 

Resurrection Two –  Painting in Progress

Unlike the other, these image show a bit more visible development!

Resurrection Two Painting:

 

resurrection two, lyrical abstract painting jenny meehan, religious spirituality christian painting, contemporary christian fine artist, christian painter, british women artists 21st century

british collectable abstract paintings

I have colour corrected the image above so it is more like the original.  Images below haven’t had that treatment, and are therefore rather blue!

 

 

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

 

Yoga Inhale and Yoga Exhale paintings.

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 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

I am particularly pleased with the Yoga ones; very exciting to be able to use all the years of experimenting with acrylic paints, pigments and various mediums.   The right way up is as follows:

chakra colours painting, chakra colours art, chakra movement opening, yoga inhale yoga breathing inspired abstract painting by jenny meehan

yoga inhale yoga breathing inspired abstract painting by jenny meehan

 

yoga chakra colours opening painting art, chakra art, chakra dance, yoga exhale yoga breathing inspired abstract painting by jenny meehan

yoga exhale yoga breathing inspired abstract painting by jenny meehan

 

I posted these only a short while ago, I know, but I am VERY pleased with them!

 

November Thoughts

We should all be hibernating!

I’ve been to an excellent one day course at the Mount Street Jesuit Centre on “Spirituality and Chronic Illness”.  It was very good and will add to my training in the art of spiritual direction no doubt.   Here are the details taken from the Mount Street Jesuit Centre website.

 

Chronic illnesses – conditions which are long term and for which there is no obvious cure, affect almost half the population. Including arthritis, COPD, depression, ME, fibromyalgia and many others, these conditions often leave us tongue-tied and frustrated, struggling to find a language of faith in which to respond.

This workshop seeks to create a space for exploration of the ways in which we can encounter God in the midst of long-term physical and emotional pain. We will explore the spiritual impact of chronic illness, ways of listening to the reality of the experience, and ask how we can engage with God in the midst of pain.

This interactive day is aimed at those with chronic illness, those who live alongside them, and those involved in spiritual direction and pastoral care of people impacted by these conditions.

About Edel McClean

Edel McClean is a trainer, facilitator and spiritual director. She currently works as a learning and development officer with the Methodist Church in the North West. She was previously a team member at Loyola Hall for almost seven years. She has a commitment to Ignatian spirituality, to demystifying prayer and to empowering people to embody change within the Church. She has been living with chronic illness for 15 years.”

It was a fun, lively and interesting day, which helped us to examine the way that we communicate and also to recognise some of the theological beliefs that we sometimes hold which, often distorted and mis-applied, can make offering deep, understanding and compassionate relations with those who experience chronic pain/illness less possible. There’s a lot more I could say about it, but rather pressed for time at this point!  I met some lovely people… I always enjoy my times at Mount Street Jesuit Centre!

Go to the following, for information on Saturday Workshops coming up next year.

http://www.msjc.org.uk/events/categories/saturday-workshop/

Back to the hibernating…

I’m not currently painting, but organising and tidying.  Thinking ahead to next year, yes, already, as I mentally prepare for some future directions.  A lot of time spent reviewing the year’s work, and the directions that seemed to be indicating.

 

General Information on Jenny Meehan:

Artist’s Statement (sketchy overview, rather!)

Art, in my experience, is about exploration. I view mine as a natural and evolving process which is primarily to do with the emotions and spirit, though I do enjoy playing with concepts too. My Christian faith, relationships, and artistic contemplation and production are the main driving forces in my life.

Trees and plants, metal objects, the human figure, and many different types of man- made constructions, are subject matter I favour. I like to explore different styles of expression using a range of media; primarily paint, but also photography, poetry, and some sculpture. The brokenness of human experience fascinates me, but also the potential for growth and renewal. My work has a positive outlook, as I think that it is often through suffering, touched by God’s grace, that the beauty of the human soul is revealed. The idea of strength combined with vulnerability is particularly attractive to me.

My art is a sacramental practice, and the mystery of faith and its reality, which stretches beyond our human rational capacities, is something which interests me. I also see my work as an articulation of fragmentary experience; it’s how I make sense of the world.  Since 2010 I have put most of my creative energies into developing my skills with paint, which I love. Intensely.

 

See my website, jamartlondon.com, for more!    www.jamartlondon.com

 

 

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