Art at the Bridge #7 Photographs and Visit

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

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


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

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

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

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

jenny meehan drawn together art tower bridge

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

For sales and artist enquiries contact:

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


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


British Female Contemporary Artists – Painter Rose Wylie

Very interesting read.

My particular favourite quotes:

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

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

Something to remember next time someone slags off your painting!

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

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

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

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

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

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


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


Very interesting read here also:

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Nice quote:


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

Creativity and Divergent Thinking…

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

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


Feeling Foremost…

Just stumbled across this:

All hearty.

Thinking of feeling…

Feeling nostalgic, looking through my website blog from around a year and a half ago I found this:

“I’m busy priming boards at the moment and stepping out with a little painting on a slightly bigger scale. Experimenting with colours generally and enjoying the freedom of not working so much with depicting recognisable objects. It’s a necessary phase, and enables me to increase my sensitivity to paint which is important. If I want a picture which looks like whatever, I can always work on a photographic image for a few hours. Though I inwardly stress a little about if I will lose my skill with drawing, (my sketchbook has more text and paint in it than drawing) I feel I have to go in this direction for a while…
The sad thing is, maybe, that this kind of painting I am embarking on may not be thought of as being as clever as something which folk (who cannot draw) esteem? A person who cannot draw (I mean, duplicate and copy something exactly, not in the wider sense of drawing) will always be impressed by a painting which looks very close to the reality they see in their everyday life. And how common the mistake is, to see an artist’s work and think that because they have not chosen a strictly representational route, that they do not possess the skill to produce such an image? Yet for me, delighting in the beauty of the paint I see all around me, in the billions of possibilities, (by me,so far unexplored), wanting to discover, experiment, and create new images which don’t have to stick to external reality with superglue, but rather hover, at various distances in the area between the imagination and the natural world…Does it seem right to bother about this? It is far more important for me to develop my skill with paint…craftsmanship…practical skill…knowledge, and establish a good foundation in working with the material I have chosen to concentrate on, than to bother about how accessible this might be to other people. Once I have allowed myself the freedom to explore, I can then return if I wish to using what I have learnt in a more familiar dialect!”

Or maybe not return? I think now, I may have changed my view, for this abstraction is not apart from nature, it is simply a sharing in the processes of creation. But people do like to look at objects.  So do I sometimes.  But I love the freedom to do whatever, regardless.  And the subjects do tend to push through by the end of the painting, emotive and buried, as they are at first.  They want a body, a material, a place in the outside world.  It maybe is just a matter of order.  I can start to paint with no conscious thought of a subject, but I always arrive at one by the end of the painting.  Or I could start knowing, and have more drawn out at the start.  I plan to do some of that next, and see how it feels.

I’m feeling rather happy with the freedom of starting from nothing though, and increasingly more content to surrender the need to depict from the outset of a painting, in a pre determined way.   I like the uncertainty, and its nice to get a surprise at the end of it.   I also recognise drawing and painting are quite different practices, and it is quite good to develop them apart for a while.  No harm done I don’t think.   Looking at the paintings of Claude Venard (1913-1999) has been immensely helpful to me because I can see that there is plenty of potential for the direction I am going in right now, and also I don’t need to be “clever” about my painting, intellectually.  If a painting is good, it can stand on its own two feet (or four corners) and instead of needing to explain itself to its viewer, it will be simply seen.  Anything else is interesting, maybe, might help make a sale (or not) might provide some food for thought, but however, is an added bonus, and nothing more than that.  If the painting has to clutch onto words around it to work, then something is not right.

What I do value, and wish I had more of, is constructive critique and I was so grateful recently to have a dear painter friend view my Alliance Healthcare work and offer her insights and observations, ALL without fail, were helpful and incisive in a way which helped me over a few hurdles I was encountering.   The rather Claude Venard style painting below (I mean, because of the chunky areas of paint) I am happy with right now, but there is a need for linear elements to come into such a piece of painting to increase the interest.  I want to leave this one as it is, because I think for this one, its state is right for it, but looking at “Trees with Sacre Coeur in the Distance” oil on canvas by Claude Venard I rather like the way that he has used lines to build the area in the top left corner and I love his post cubist composition which however holds a very interesting and strong tension between flatness and form, definition and lack of clarity.

claude venard french painting,trees with sacre coeur in the distance detail colourist post cubist composition expressionist painting,landscape buildings trees subject

Making a big impact, and adding a comforting reassurance to me in terms of my own painting direction, the paintings of Claude Venard are an inspiration. Claude Venard, Matisse, Ivon Hitchens and Turner, all influential.

claude venard french painting,trees with sacre coeur in the distance detail colourist post cubist composition expressionist painting,landscape buildings trees subject

Claude Venard Painting Trees with Sacre Coeur in the Distance

What seems to be happening now in some of the Allied Healthcare paintings I am still working on,  is that FORM is emerging as a natural urge, even though I like working on one plane there seems to be something which pushes against this for me.  I see the painting process very much like sculpture and maybe it is this feeling which tends to bend the singular plane into an illusion of three-dimensional space.  I’ve taken a couple of paintings too far in this directon, and had to flatten them and block them down.  Cylinders and cubes have appeared, but I don’t like them just appearing with no job to do!  I think if I am going to have more form in the work I would prefer it to relate to objects rather than just appear! Maybe next after this Alliance Healthcare project I will indulge myself in some paintings with a more definate starting point and clearly defined subject matter and see if what I have been doing lately has proved to be useful for that approach.

More paintings are just reaching that point where they are resolved, or certainly resolved enough to be able to show them.  However, I don’t line working to a deadline, not with this type of painting work, because I don’t know the target I am trying to hit until very near the end, and, if the end is actually coming towards you, rather than you towards it, there is a certain pressure.  In a painting I think the way forward must always come from your centre and outward, yes, with limitations and constraints, maybe from subject matter or a  known idea, and subject to constant reappraisal.  There needs to be willingness to be flexible, but TIME is just deathly.

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Above some details from some of the Alliance Healthcare paintings.  “Sorrow for Myself”  “Deluge” and “Cove” (Though I have just added a very important mark to “Cove” so it looks a little more resolved right now).

I love taking these images of the paintings after painting as  looking through the camera lens is an excellent way of isolating areas of a painting and looking at the relationships between different marks, colours and textures.

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/House Flood”  Acrylic painting.  It was cathartic, but not in a “let it rip” kind of way, because I work very firmly within formal considerations as well as following my own instincts with respect to what I should paint next.  It started with no obvious subject matter but through the painting process, water came in and what for me is a house form.  I related this to a past dream referring back to my childhood home environment, hence the title.

The other paintings in the slide show are “Sorrow for Myself” (and Cove I will post later once I have retaken a full size image with the additional mark. ) “Sorrow for Myself” ended up showing a figure watching broken pieces being pulled downstream by a small stream of water.  More water!  More rocks!  You cannot see the textures too well, or the pearlescent quality of the stream.  Also the way that the cobalt blue (always resonates of the spirit, for me)  is changed in intensity, not by a change of shade, but by the application of varnish.  The pigment load was so high because I made my own paint,  (for that part of the painting) and this is very, very useful.  I focused on texture and marks mainly, wanting to explore the relationships between texture, mark and emotion.  The setting sun colours have been used in past work, I realise.  The landscape is quite bright, though the figure subdued.  The iron oxide red, I love.  There is bleeding, there is pain. But also water flowing (many glass beads used here, with the white).  Interested, as I am, in psychoanalytical theory I think there is some emotional freezing going on, and maybe this is something I like in using the glass beads, because they are very ice like, and yet, beautiful too.  So reflective and, as I found out with the black area of “The Upper Room” it is very possible for them to convey warmth too, not only coldness.  I hope I haven’t ruined my painting too much by writing about it, however, it is helpful to be able to look at it in this analytical way, because there is something interesting going on.

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

A lot of my oil paintings from the most excellent “Landscape and Figure Painting in Oils –  The British Tradition” course by John T Freeman are not finished but there are a few I have finished mulling over, so here is one of them which has undergone the necessary process of being sent through the computer for viewing over the internet.  John T Freeman is one of the most gifted teachers I have had the good privilege to have stumbled upon.  West Dean College and Gardens is  a great place, and I love meeting people dearly, and there are so many people who love artistic expression, it’s all a bit heavenly.  Yes, I am missing it.   It is a privilege to go there too.

My photographic work has over the course of time lent further and further in the direction of blocks of rich colour and I would like to explore this direction using a different printing process to that of photographic reproduction. One that opens up some new possibilities.   And ink… I did try it out this year at the West Dean Summer School in a taster session, and it was POWERFUL stuff! I did not like the smell or the consistency, so maybe that does not bode well, but the COLOUR!  I do feel I want to continue the strands which have emerged from my photographic art, and this is certainly one of them.  I think it’s going to be a useful tool for some interesting work in the future.

One of my experiments carried out at West Dean College, 2010

I am exploring many exciting and interesting ways of manipulating paint and it is opening up lots of expressive opportunities.


Take a look at Jenny Meehan’s website jamartlondon  to see some of her more recent work!

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