Kingston Artists’ Open Studios 2020

 

 

 

jenny meehan painting lyrical abstract floral promised land/break out painting

jenny meehan painting lyrical abstract floral promised land/break out painting

Needing some glimpses of colour at the moment, because it is a somewhat grey January day today!  Above a painting which sold a few years back.

spring will come digital image jenny meehan

spring will come digital image jenny meehan ©jenny meehan

And this, because Spring Will Come!  ©jenny meehan

 

 

 

 

jenny meehan surrey artist london contemporary female artist

jenny meehan surrey artist london contemporary female artist

 

It is very casual, but I find posting screenshots very convenient! Here’s a photo of me at last year’s Kingston Artists’ Open Studios.  Which reminds me to flag up we now have the dates for this year’s Kingston Artists’ Open Studios! The 2020 Kingston Artist’s Open Studios with be on June 6/7th and 13/14th! Kingston Upon Thames artists open their homes and studios.  Open to all.  Come and meet us!

More info on the Kingston Artists’ Open Studios website here;  http://www.kingstonartistsopenstudios.co.uk/open-studios/

The catalogue is not out yet… too early, but you can see previous Kingston Artists’ Open Studios Catalogues on the Kingston Artists’ Open Studios website and also sign up to receive more detailed information for this year’s Kingston Artists’ Open Studios when it comes out.

 

Time Table

At the end of last year I was experimenting with making short video clips, just for a change.  My very short piece “Time Table” was selected for screening at an event in Manchester. Info below:

screening shown on 3rd December 2019 at STRETCH – Reel Time event. Held at Mirabel Studios 14 -20 Mirabel Street Manchester M31PJ

My statement:

“As an artist, writer, and home-maker, I manage my time by working in a completely piecemeal, and often spontaneous, way. I integrate my creative practice within my domestic life and utilise the flexibility inherent in this way of life. I used my work space, (AKA kitchen) as the setting for the film “Time Table”. I often produce work on my kitchen table is the object in the room which best represents the interrelationship between my artistic work and the other work I’m involved in.

Both forms of work are mostly unpaid, and it becomes a challenge to maintain a sense of self and a sense of value in our capitalist society which measures value by status and money.

The planner in the film has blank pages but rapid movement, because in both dimensions of my work sphere; the domestic and the artistic; I’m extremely busy. However, I find the reality of my work is non existent in many people’s perceptions; it’s blank; because they do not recognise what I do as being work. In our culture activities which take place in the domestic sphere are often side-lined and artistic creation is at risk as being thought as being a “free time” pursuit. I frequently get asked “What do you do all day?”

In reality, “work” reflects more to purpose and perception, than a context.

Like the table, the water in the film is a crossover subject too; from the water in the kettle (tea for a break time), the repetition and rhythm of a dripping tap (associated with labour and maybe monotony) and the water of a swimming pool (swimming being a “free time” activity for me). The pool is also a place for reflection: interestingly contemplative space for an artist swiftly re-orientates itself into a place of purpose for a reflective art practitioner.”

Jenny Meehan is a London based artist working with painting, writing, digital media and contemplative practices.
jamartlondon.com

I don’t have much to add to the text I submitted. An interesting development was that I was able to finance just one month of studio space last November, and this made an interesting contrast to my usual working routine. I found that having the more clearly defined boundaries between my different roles does make things much easier in some ways, so I think in terms of the tangible nature of time…how it is seen, and recognised, or not seen and invisible, having a physical space matters a great deal for an artist, not only in terms of practical matters but also in terms of being a helpful contribution to a stronger sense of self/self-definition. I have found it makes a huge difference on how other people recognise my time as an artist…hence the activities which I carry out within that time/space… I know they matter, but its much easier for other people, particularly those who are not creatives, to recognise that my work is indeed not a sideline/hobby!

In other ways having a physical dedicated space has been restrictive, which I did not expect. There is a kind of pressure… because the time has boundaries, I found that there is this need to fill it in a way which I am normally free of. So not having a dedicated physical space, rather surprisingly, can be a liberty, which I didn’t expect at all. However, as you can see from my work Time Table, there is a big interplay between the blank, empty space in the diary, and the full physical space (I need to leave a lot of piles of domestic clutter around me, because of the need to redirect my energy and time into creating art works! Definitely a balancing act!)

The human being in Time Table is actually my daughter, though she is playing me! So credit to Charis Meehan for playing the part so well!

Time Table isn’t on You Tube at the moment.  I think I will wait till I have sorted out my new website and put it on there.

 

New Website for Jenny Meehan

I am going to create a new website which will be a little more broad in the mediums it shows.  The existing one has it’s main focus on paintings and some digital prints, but I find that my practice is far more eclectic now as time has gone on.  Now I am on instagram too, and my writing focus rests a little more securely on this Artist’s Journal, I think I can make the website a little more compact.

 

Coventry Cathedral

There was a very interesting “Open Call” for the commissioning of new vestments and a banner for Coventry Cathedral before Christmas, but the practicalities of it didn’t seem realistic to me in terms of financial recompense.  I think if I was both a designer and maker of banners and vestments then it wouldn’t be  such an issue, but for someone like me, who is a designer more than a maker (well, of vestments and banners, at least!) the making would need to be contracted out to someone else, with massive financial implications…at least, if it was to be done to a high professional standard, for sure.  The actual banner design has significant value, and the copyright matter wasn’t touched on at all.  I did contact the relevant person and put my view/perspective forward, but haven’t heard anything back.  The value of the actual design, and subsequent images of it, is very important, as is the project management, (time wise) and I had an excellent idea to explore with it, but I simply cannot afford to spend hours on something which is basically speculative.  It’s certainly speculative if I wouldn’t consider carrying out the project due to insufficient funds if I was fortunate enough to be selected, so I have just left it.

It is often quite a problem with design competitions and copyright.  If the copyright of the banner design image had to be assigned, and that was part of the arrangement, then it needs to be clearly stated.  I personally don’t assign copyrights ever, and so to need to do so would also be a reason not to enter such a competition.  I always retain copyright for my art and design and for it to be used there would need to be a suitable licence in place.  The value of such of licence agreement, needs to be factored in when establishing the value of the artist’s work, and this affects what can be considered a realistic payment in financial terms.

I am normally pretty flexible, and open to negotiation of licensing fees.  As a member of DACS, there are the industry standard fees which are of course recommended, but it is the artist who has the final say, and for projects with limited budgets, charitable, religious organisations,  particular uses which I have a particular interest and passion about, then flexibility is appropriate.   Something like a banner for Coventry Cathedral would be exactly the kind of thing I would be flexible about, but I do value my work and though I try not to, I cannot help but feel irritated by no mention of copyright and of a task of such massive scale with insufficient funds to cover the costs.  I could be wrong…It’s been known…but we will see.  Someone will do it, possibly very happily.  It doesn’t fit in with the way I value my work to ignore copyright matters and while it would have been a nice project to submit something to, what is the point, when I wouldn’t deliver for the money offered?

Coventry Cathedral

Some comfort to me, bearing in mind the above, was that I was able to offer an animation for showing at Coventry Cathedral on my birthday!  This did make me most happy, and it was fortunate that I had been experimenting with animation a little at the end of last year.  I had something emergent conceptually and the Open Call at Coventry Cathedral for one of their events on New Year’s Eve was very timely, as it gave me the additional impetus to continue working on something which I had started.  Some things are just providential, I have decided.  Timing is often everything.  The Open Call at Coventry Cathedral was perfect timing and I worked obsessively on producing the work which was a duo of a poem and also the animation.  Again, I will put this up on my new website when I sort that out.

The animation was rather more fast than I ideally wanted but I am going to make a slower version.  It needed to be short for the screening, so I went with it moving very fast, rather than somewhere in between.  Both the poem in written form and as word and image animation are titled: “Wonder”.   The poem is below.

 

Wonder

 

Both soft and clear

Beautiful and broken

 

Light is transformation

Colouring the soul

Endless pattern

Radiating

 

Ever differing

Yet completely

Whole

 

by Jenny Meehan 2019

 

This  is a silent video of word and image. 2.26 duration, in this version. In square aspect ratio.  No punctuation in this version.

Wonder was selected to be shown as part of the Open Projections: Digital Art Exhibition NYE@Coventry Cathedral on 31st December 2019.

Text from the Artist’s Call Out:

Open Projections is a series of digital and moving image projection exhibitions hosted by Coventry Cathedral. The series is hosted by guest curators and arts organisations. Art on show features digital and photographic work created by local, national and international artists. For the latest edition of Open Projections, on New Year’s Eve, We will be projecting onto the ceiling of Coventry Cathedral, using the design of the roof as a screen for each work. We will be inviting guests to lay on the floor and stare upwards (Don’t worry, bean bags and underfloor heating provided).

The brief is for this edition of Open Projections is ‘Spectacle’A visually striking performance or display, or An event or scene regarded in terms of its visual impact.

We are interested in showing work which explores the idea of spectacle and a visually stimulating display inside the cathedral. We have intentionally made the brief for this exhibition open to interpretation as we want to embrace the Cathedral’s space for New Year’s Eve. “

 

Coventry Cathedral became a major tourist attraction as soon as it was opened in 1962.  It is a very interesting building, and the ruins of the old Coventry Cathedral are also beautiful.

The Blitz of 1940 saw Coventry city centre devastated by enemy bombing and, today, only the shell of the old cathedral still stands.

A new cathedral was built on the site of the ruins and the two stand side by side providing a stark but beautiful reminder of the city’s tragic history and inspiring resilience. The new cathedral would be a sign of faith and hope for the future, and the decision led to the cathedral’s Ministry of Peace and Reconciliation, which has provided spiritual and practical support in areas of conflict throughout the world.

It’s a very inspiring place and I was delighted to have some of my work there, even though briefly.  It’s just the kind of place I like my work to be enjoyed in!

 

Kalos – Jenny Meehan

 

Before Christmas I created a few more in my “Kalo” series.  The idea for creating these came initially from a dream/vision.  I think I have written previously about this, so I won’t go into it again.  Having an instagram account is very good for me as it encourages me to post online regularly and it makes me share my work in an quick and accessible form, which is great!

 

https://www.instagram.com/jamartlondon_jennymeehan/

 

 

jenny meehan jamartlondon Kalo Kaleidoscope art design geometric abstract surface pattern on redbubble to buy affordable british contemporary artist

jenny meehan jamartlondon Kalo Kaleidoscope art design geometric abstract surface pattern on redbubble to buy affordable british contemporary artist

 

 

Poetry and Traumatic Brain Injury

I like using my own poetry with my work because it suggests what the work is about but does not dictate precisely to the person responding to it: their interpretation is valued by implication because the meaning is not made explicit. Poetry is an abstracted form of communication and often leaves many gaps or blanks in our understanding; these unfilled areas are just as valuable and are as much a part of the expression as what is written. It is like this in life I think: sometimes there are no words to say; a silence can speak volumes; it can allow understanding, and communicate a depth of feeling not possible with words.

I write poetry from time to time, alongside other types of writing.  I wrote a lot of poetry between the years of 2008 and 2010, when I was having real struggles coming to terms with the changes in a close relative which they experienced as a result of a TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury).  Because it was such a difficult time, and emotionally and mentally I was quite literally “all over the place” writing poetry was extremely helpful as it enabled me to attempt (attempt!) to put into words very difficult and conflicting emotions.  At least with poems, the words which couldn’t be written (and couldn’t even have any presence), still existed and were there, invisible and not logically or rationally understood, but emotively just there…in their absence. That’s how it felt. The unsaid didn’t have to be taboo.

That sound’s a bit odd, I think but what I mean is, there was so much for me for which there were no words, and which there could never be any words sufficient to express.  That’s how it felt. The horror and the complete senselessness, the total insanity, that anyone could do what they did to my relative, was simply beyond comprehension.  And human minds like things neatly packaged in understanding.  We like to have things contained in knowledge and have things which we can hold onto.  It’s not an easy experience to describe.

I experienced much complex traumatic stress myself, partly as a result of my family member’s brain injury. This was, I think, accentuated because I had many early life adverse childhood experiences, and the experience of having the one relationship which previously brought some sense of sanity into my early years of life, torn apart and altered by such an injury, was beyond my own capacity to cope with.

Well, I did carry on with life, thankfully, and there were many helpful practical reasons which made life worth living, even if it seemed overwhelming and I had a lot of fear and pain to contend with. A big part of the positive move forward was to cease attempting to cope with the pain by self-medicating with alcohol and also to start a process of healing from the trauma through psychotherapy.  It really doesn’t help when some senseless violence is the cause of your relatives TBI. It added another layer of  trauma to the situation, because having experienced in earlier life myself various forms of violence, it simply feels like one thing too much.  I think the total conviction that something is too much to bear pretty much sums thing up quite succinctly.

I’m immensely grateful for the help and support I have received, and continue to receive, from various people around me. I’m still working through so much, and that’s the way life goes… Things sometimes come up which plunge you into a difficult place, but there’s no doubt that having faith in a compassionate Creator God, having relationships and connections with others, having creativity and the means to express so much both in words and images; all these things work for good and prove healing and restorative in many ways.  I have found yoga, drumming, and contemplative spirituality, mindfulness, prayer and enjoyment of the natural world all amazingly useful.

Having my life orientated, ultimately, towards Christ, (for my faith tradition is Christian) and trying to walk in the ways Christ taught, is for me the way forward.  The recovery road is endless, because learning and changing are endless and we are never “all sorted”.  It would be unwise not to embrace our brokenness.  However,  even when at times things are hard, that’s OK, for seeking truth and understanding, making healthy connections and aiming to live in love in the best way we can, is liberating (certainly is so far!) and that’s all good.

Sometimes I think I have had a silly amount of trauma in my life, but it’s not a competition, this stress and suffering matter.  We just cannot judge what people go through and don’t go through.  Often it’s mostly unseen.  I’m glad I can touch on some of mine a bit from time to time. I do this because I am able to articulate it and it’s helpful to me to do so sometimes.  I have been surprised at what I have learnt through my experiences of being a relative of a person with a traumatic brain injury. I would never have appreciated previously how much and to what extent one person’s injury can also affect another person.  There is a corporate damage which happens when one person is hurt, and often the relatives and others around a person with a traumatic brain injury need help and support in a way which is easy to under appreciate. Survivor’s guilt is complicated. 

I found the charity Headway exceptionally helpful to me.  Getting good, helpful, informed information and getting educated about certain things can help one retain ones own sanity at difficult times, because it can be very isolating and it’s totally common to feel completely alone.

https://www.headway.org.uk/

 

I found the following a very heartening read:

https://www.baat.org/About-BAAT/Blog/124/Life-After-Brain-Injury-The-Role-of-Art-in-Rehabilitation

I think for myself, (though I haven’t previously put the two together), that my increased involvement in visual arts and writing which started to emerge initially from around 2005, may well have begun as a helpful coping mechanism.  I know it was the case a bit later on; It was immensely beneficial for me… just the physicality of it, the contact with materials, and the way it helped me to be in the present moment. My earlier life aspirations of being an artist were something I had left behind years back; I wasn’t in a position to put my energies into the visual arts direction in the first half of my life.  That’s not a bad thing.  I think it was good to have the maturity I had later on.  It’s important to have a sense of direction as a fine artist.  It can’t come from anywhere but yourself.  It means facing yourself, and that’s not an easy thing to do.

Below a bit of blossom.  Hopefully soon I will see some in Chessington and enjoy the colour and scent. Time spent looking at nature is very well spent.

 

 

jenny meehan jamartlondon.com photography

jenny meehan jamartlondon.com photography

jenny meehan jamartlondon.com photography

jenny meehan jamartlondon.com photography

jenny meehan jamartlondon.com photography

jenny meehan jamartlondon.com photography

jenny meehan jamartlondon.com photography

jenny meehan jamartlondon.com photography

jenny meehan jamartlondon.com photography

jenny meehan jamartlondon.com photography

jenny meehan jamartlondon.com photography

jenny meehan jamartlondon.com photography

jenny meehan jamartlondon.com photography

jenny meehan jamartlondon.com photography

jenny meehan jamartlondon.com photography

jenny meehan jamartlondon.com photography

jenny meehan jamartlondon.com photography

jenny meehan jamartlondon.com photography

jenny meehan jamartlondon.com photography

jenny meehan jamartlondon.com photography

jenny meehan jamartlondon.com photography

jenny meehan jamartlondon.com photography

jenny meehan jamartlondon.com photography

jenny meehan jamartlondon.com photography

jenny meehan jamartlondon.com photography

jenny meehan jamartlondon.com photography

jenny meehan jamartlondon.com photography

jenny meehan jamartlondon.com photography

jenny meehan jamartlondon.com photography

jenny meehan jamartlondon.com photography

 

Knee Replacement Surgery

As you can see from a couple of the pages of this Artist’s Journal/Blog which are titled “The Very Patient Knee Replacement Story by Jenny Meehan” I enjoy writing at length, and my knee replacement surgery in 2017 at South West London Orthopaedic Centre, or SWLEOC, for short was a very significant life event for me.   I had become increasingly disabled, and the experience both before, during and after the knee replacement surgery inspired me to write my story, or at least that chapter of it, for other people to read.  I hoped that it might prove informative and helpful.

My knee was in a very bad state and the recovery was hard work, but well worth it.  I now enjoy walking and being able to live my life.  I’m able to carry on my artistic and creative activities much more easily than I had done for the years running up to the knee replacement surgery.  The enforced rest was very good for me.  It was hard work recovering in many respects, but it also forced me to reflect on many things, and writing about the experience was something I found helpful in the recovery process.  It became a focus for my mind, which is very important, because after a major surgery your whole body and mind and emotions are affected, and it’s vital to have focus….Both on your recovery but also on things apart from it. It can be a disorientating experience to be flung out of your usual routine into a completely new one.

Well, the knee is still going strong.  I did fall on it rather hard on the way home from yoga one day but it’s still working so no worries.  I am just loving being fully mobile and being able to walk around without any restriction at all. If I ever get to the point of needing a knee replacement revision surgery, I guess things may well be quite different in a few years time.  I found this which was of interest:

“17 Jan 2019

Robot revolution for knee replacement patients
Surgeons performing knee replacements at the South West London Orthopaedic Centre (SWLEOC), which is based at Epsom Hospital, have a new cutting edge assistant in the operating theatre – a robotics-assisted surgical system called NAVIO that helps improve accuracy during surgery.

The NAVIO surgical system (which is a hand held tool attached to a computer) uses infrared signals to produce a detailed computer model of the patient’s knee before and during the procedure. The software also helps the surgical team to work out how the knee will move after surgery, and gives real time feedback on alignment and positioning of the implants. The system can also show the surgeon a 3D image of how much bone needs to be removed before the implant is put in and improves the overall accuracy of the position.

Chief Executive Daniel Elkeles, who was given the chance to trial the new tool on a prosthetic femur bone, said: “The NAVIO surgical system is a fantastic piece of equipment and will have huge benefits for our patients. It will assist our surgeons with further improving the accuracy of placement of knee replacements, with the aim of improving their recovery. In fact, with NAVIO, we expect that patients who do not have any complications or other health conditions should be well enough to go home the day after their surgery.

“Nationally, 20% of patients are dissatisfied following their knee replacement surgery, which can often be attributed to the alignment of the replacement joint. Our SWLEOC surgeons and the theatre teams are some of the best in the world, but our new NAVIO will make this process even better, and every new knee joint will be aligned to each individual.”

Mr Feroz Dinah, Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon at SWLEOC, who has been leading the introduction of the NAVIO robot to the teams, said: “This is an exciting development for us. The surgeon still does the operation, but the robotic-assisted technology is a reliable way of getting the cuts to the bone exactly to where the surgeon intends. Using infra-red tracking technology, the computer creates a virtual 3-D model of the patient’s knee on the computer screen in front of the surgeon. Although the operation takes a bit longer initially as we get used to the system, early experience has shown that some patients are able to go home the following day due to reduced pain and swelling. This is a team effort, with everyone from pre-op assessment to theatre and recovery staff, as well as physiotherapy playing essential parts in this improved patient experience.”

 

Quoted from: https://www.epsom-sthelier.nhs.uk/news-and-events/robot-revolution-for-knee-replacement-patients-2436

 

WOW!  That’s amazing!

If you are in need of a knee replacement it is really important to be well prepared for how it can impact your life.  It is a surgery which requires a lot of work from the patient afterwards to really maximise the potential positive effects.  Do take a look at my knee replacement recovery pages if you are interested in gaining a patient’s perspective and experience of knee replacement surgery in the UK.  It is going to be different for everyone, but I found it helpful reading around a bit beforehand, as it helped me to appreciate the importance of the rehabilitation process afterwards, and also to not be completely shocked by the challenges which normally follow a TKR.

I’m just grateful I can walk around… I will never take that for granted again!  I had many intentions of continuing to work on my writing from the knee replacement time of my life, hoping to narrow things down and bit, cutting it down to size and maybe making some kind of e-book or similar, but I don’t have the time to do that at the moment.  However, it’s on the internet so it’s nice to know it might prove useful to people even if it is in rather a massive textual glob!

 

January 2020 marks the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau.

In commemoration of this major anniversary, London Borough of Richmond Upon Thames, working with the Landmark Arts Centre, will be showcasing artwork, poetry and prose submitted by schools, community groups and individuals from across the borough. This exhibition will be a moving commemoration of the Holocaust and, by featuring work from many different areas of our community, a fitting reflection on the national theme for the 2020 Holocaust Memorial Day: Stand Together.”

 

 

holocaust memorial jenny meehan

Image above is “Lasting Stones” an acrylic painting by Jenny Meehan ©jenny meehan

The painting is part of my painting-poem piece; the poem being titled “Tiny Bones”

So glad to be part of this exhibition.  Such terrible genocides which have happened, and still happen, have been something I have touched on in my artwork before. The senseless violence and hatred which happens in our world demands awareness and I think it’s very important never to forget how extreme things can get, if allowed and encouraged.

https://www.thejc.com/comment/comment/the-importance-of-remembering-the-holocaust-1.59585

Quoted from above:

“Why is it so important that we remember the Holocaust and how can we make sure future generations never forget?

The Holocaust is a contemporary issue. It cannot, and should not, be an event consigned to history.

Paradoxically, the reasons for this lie in its ancient roots. The Holocaust is not bound by a few years in the mid-20th century; instead, it stretches back, past the parameters of the modern era, into the medieval age and beyond to the inception of antisemitism.

Would the Holocaust have been possible without the Protocols of the Elders of Zion? Without Dreyfus? Without the Spanish Inquisition? Antisemitism, discrimination against Jews of all walks of life, was not a new concept in 1933, but was widespread and prevalent in many countries. It is therefore incorrect to let the Holocaust be consigned to the period of the Third Reich; the Nazi regime manipulated and amplified the latent prejudices of its citizens. It did not create them.

This makes the Holocaust a contemporary issue because it demonstrates the atmosphere in which genocide can take place. How many people pertain to prejudices which are unfounded and illogical, but which are unconsciously adhered to? These beliefs survive both because they are socially acceptable and because they remain unchallenged.

There remains in our society a degree of antisemitism, but furthermore levels of xenophobia, Islamophobia, a fear of the travelling community, of black and Asian communities. Indeed a recent survey has shown these prejudices to be on the rise.

It is therefore important to remember the Holocaust because it is an example of how these trends could evolve into something far more threatening.”

It is vital to remember the Holocaust. Vital.

Here is a good site on genocide today:  https://www.genocidewatch.com/

 

My own mother, a Catholic, was born in Villingen in Germany, but immigrated with her mother to Switzerland just before the Second World War. Unfortunately she is long dead now, so I cannot ask her questions about it, and she was only a few years old, but I understand that Catholics were also in the ranks of the persecuted, which I had not realised until recently.  I will never know why they left Villingen, it may not have been related to any persecution, but somehow, for me, with so little factual knowledge about my own history, due to very little being said when it could be said, the possibility remains.

 

Well, that’s it for this part of my Artist’s Journal.  It has been hard to get around to writing it… Rather late in the month for it to come out.  However I find the process of writing it helpful.

Finally found a title for this painting!

Image above: Road to Recovery ©jenny meehan   Early oil painting by Jenny Meehan

 

Jenny Meehan – General Information

 

My original artwork has two main strands: Lyrical Abstraction, painterly, fluid, with a lot of focus on light, how it bounces off the surface, textures and finishes, and Geometric Abstraction (created through digital imaging software) in which I focus on flat areas of smooth, solid, and translucent colour; ideally intended to be printed on even, matt or semi-mat surfaces.

While I’m experimenting with the overlap between the two, and make it my practice to regularly try out new mediums, in order to keep my artwork fresh and steadily evolving, identifying the strands in this way is helpful for clarity.  I use writing and poetry in my art working and now prefer to use sol-silica paint over acrylics or oils, though I am still known to dabble in many different types of paint, due to their particular material and visual qualities!

If you would like to give money to help support my creative practice, I can accept it quickly and easily through the Paypal.me process. Simply put the following in your browser:
paypal.me/jennymeehan
and follow the prompts. Please consider supporting my work in this way if it strikes a chord with you and you are able to do so. I do need support in order to continue my artworking.

 

Signing up as a follower on my WordPress blog ( https://jennymeehan.wordpress.com) also helps, as does sharing the posts when you receive them.  Anything you can do to help me is much appreciated!

My artwork is particularly suitable for themes of: faith, religion, philosophy, Christian, church, all faith traditions, inter-faith, spirituality, the subconscious, psychoanalytic themes, mindfulness, contemplative practices, healing, health, both physical and mental, trauma recovery, metaphysical and psychological focused writings, the devotional life, and many other subjects.

All my images are licensable and this is arranged through the Designer and Artists’ Copyright Socitety (DACS). If you wish to use my artwork, please contact me in the first instance.

 

Alongside my mainly lyrical abstract paintings, there is another important strand in my work which includes more of a narrative.  Well, some kind of narrative. Through my writing, and my participation in ongoing psychotherapy, I draw on my subconscious.  It’s this process of self reflection, examination, and other contemplative practices which are rooted in my own faith tradition as a Christian, alongside a good dose of yoga and West African drumming, which have created an exciting way ahead for my work with visual art.  I think it’s the relationship between my writing and visual work, particularly through poetry, which helps determine the direction in my art practice.

 

 

As per usual, skimming is order of the moment…because the writing just goes on!   I have a new camera which is very exciting and will be better for cataloguing my work.  I am rather behind on this, and have quite a lot of photography to get done.  But with the knee replacement operation very soon here, I have to keep lowering my expectations of what I will achieve in the next few months.   I have various things in the pipe line as  per normal.  And the Kingston Artists Open Studios is coming up in a few months:

KAOS OPEN STUDIOS 10th/11th and 17th/18th June 2017

Our 7th Open Studios Event will feature over 80 artists in studios across Kingston!

It’s no time at all!  So pop this in your diary and make yourself a nice day out.   Walk by the river in Kingston, Stroll in the park, walk along the studio trail, pop into a little cafe!  Meet KAOS (we are a lovely bunch of creatives) and take a look at what we love investing ourselves into!  And if you are someone who does collect art, be it just a few pieces or many,  make a good choice and visit the artists direct…You can talk with us and find out more about the work in a way that you wouldn’t be able to do in a different context.   I will be showing a mixture, including a recent series of paintings which are 20 x 16 inches on hardboard.  The look deceptively simple.  But they are the fruit of many dedicated years of working with paint non objectively and have a level of refinement that is characteristic of my expressionistic paintings and an attention to surface and light which has taken years to develop.

Here is one, actually my personal favourite!   I have it facing me right now in the living room.

abstract lyrical expressionist british paintings jenny meehan

abstract lyrical expressionist british paintings jenny meehan

Painting by Jenny Meehan “Simple Piece – Crossing Over” © Jenny Meehan DACS All Rights Reserved

“Is Art Just Rip Off?” written by Roger Lewis

(Roger Lewis writes this article in response to the “Rogues’ Gallery: A History of Art and Its Dealers ” by Philip Hook)

In my various ramblings over the internet I often research things about the value of art, because what people understand as “value” is a very interesting matter.  And as an artist I am interested in why one person will consider art worthwhile and another not.  Value is an elusive thing.  How surprised I was to find this article on the internet.  It’s written by Roger Lewis, who brought some happiness into my life by purchasing one of my paintings a few years ago to add to his collection.   This was a good encouragement to me, as it always is, when another person sees, responds, and wants your work to the extent that they decide to buy it.  The joy in this for me is not the money paid (though obviously needed) but it’s the faith placed in the work you have done.  That someone has recognised a value in it is the most precious transaction.  Because how ever good I believe my work, and however much faith I have in the purpose of it, I want it to to have a purpose far beyond the perimeters of my studio space.  The main value in people buying my paintings, if they should ask to do such a thing, is that they relieve me of an item which is taking space up needed for another painting.  Not just that, of course. I jest.  It is that they bring the work into another context, for encounters hopefully with other people, (Oh, please, never buy a painting and put it in a cupboard). (Of if you do, never tell me about it, because you have imprisoned any life that might be experienced by the work’s existence). Value is the meeting of artist and buyer, in discovering that something worthwhile has been done, and that the experience of it can be shared and enjoyed.  Value is the recognition that there is another dimension to life and experience which lies far beyond the business of buying and selling art.  And it’s the desire that investing in that is worthwhile simply for that.

Yes, I am romantic at heart.  Much too much, but that is how it is for me.  But success as I define it is based on what I have written above.  It is nothing to do with profit in the money sense of the word.  It’s a about enlarging our souls and if someone relates to a painting in such a way as they want an ongoing encounter with the work, then this is an amazing and wonderful thing to happen.  Both people are happy.

Er, they may go off it, yes.  But that happens with all things in life.  But anything good and offering sustenance in life is a good thing.

My romantic aspirations are one thing.  But I don’t want other people taking the words from my lips on the eternal virtues of a painting and then demanding a ridiculous amount of money for it. So it was with great pleasure that I enjoyed reading Roger Lewis’ article.  He has articulated several things I have not been able to but have wanted to.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/home/books/article-4185476/Is-art-just-rip-off.html

“On the face of it, art ought to be the cheapest thing going, as the outlay is minimal: pens, pencils, paint — or, in this day and age, unmade beds and pickled fish. 
What makes it desirable, though, what creates the eye-watering price tag, is the compelling sales pitch of the dealer.”

Indeed, so there is some sense in heading  to your local artists’ Open Studios Events or arrange to visit their studios, if you want to collect art!  The dealer may not have your best interests at heart.  They are running a business, after all.  Yet the country is full of self representing artists who need more space to make more work.  And need sufficient money for their materials.  Don’t let illusions of relative status affect your desire, or let anyone fabricate them for you.  Because what makes something desirable in the truest sense of the word comes right from you very own heart.  And that desire will stick with you, and not be a passing fad or temporary creation which someone else has created for you in order to release you of some cash.  So, again I say, pop that KAOS Kingston Artists Open Studios in your diary!

Another related read:

https://www.theguardian.com/books/2017/feb/06/rogues-gallery-review-history-of-art-and-its-dealers-philip-hook

 

Imagined Worlds Exhibition

This fantastic  touring exhibition is now at its second venue http://artatruh.org/exhibitions/temporary-programme/:

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

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

The work above “Alph the Sacred River” was selected as part of this art exhibition. More information:

 

IMAGINED WORLDS ‘IN XANADU DID KUBLA KHAN…’

Event Date and Time:
Monday, 30 January 2017 – 8:00am to Thursday, 27 April 2017 – 8:00am

Event Description:
Imagined Worlds’ features the work of twenty contemporary artists inspired by Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s visionary poem Kubla Khan. The exhibition curated by Somerset Art Works on behalf of The Friends of Coleridge Society is part of a programme of events timed to coincide with the bicentenary of the poem’s first publication.

The artists have drawn upon different facets of Coleridge’s or their own imagination to create a diverse array of works including painting, drawing, printmaking, collage and photography as well as film which is available to view online at http://artatruh.org/exhibitions/temporary-programme/central-exhibition/

The Friends of Coleridge Society is grateful to the Arts Council England, Somerset Art Works, Somerset Film, Sedgemoor District Council, and many other supporters for their help in enabling the celebrations to take place.

Event Location:
RUH Central Gallery, Ground Floor (Zone B)
Royal United Hospitals Bath NHS Foundation Trust, Combe Park
BA1 3NG Bath
United Kingdom

I cannot remember if I put these images up on here before but better late than never!  These were from the previous venue. Exhibition was curated by Jon England in collaboration with Somerset Art Works.  All the following images of the exhibition: Photo: Jon England

imagined worlds coleridge kubla khan inspired art exhibition somerset

imagined worlds coleridge kubla khan inspired art exhibition somerset

imagined worlds coleridge kubla khan inspired art exhibition somerset

imagined worlds coleridge kubla khan inspired art exhibition somerset

imagined worlds coleridge kubla khan inspired art exhibition somerset

imagined worlds coleridge kubla khan inspired art exhibition somerset

imagined worlds coleridge kubla khan inspired art exhibition somerset

imagined worlds coleridge kubla khan inspired art exhibition somerset

imagined worlds coleridge kubla khan inspired art exhibition somerset

imagined worlds coleridge kubla khan inspired art exhibition somerset

imagined worlds coleridge kubla khan inspired art exhibition somerset

imagined worlds coleridge kubla khan inspired art exhibition somerset

What do artist’s do all day?

Maybe paintings like this one? !

 

dark night of the soul abstract painting jenny meehan jamartlondon

dark night of the soul abstract painting jenny meehan jamartlondon© Jenny Meehan DACS All Rights Reserved

I titled this painting “Dark Night/noche oscura” primarily because things have been harder for me since the condition of my knee deteriorated, and that experience of deterioration,  (while certainly not an experience of depression, but rather of desperation and challenge), has been a path of uncertainty, and of not knowing the way ahead.  Maybe an amount of not understanding what is going on, and a difficulty in getting to grips with the reality of my situation. Some times in life, things seem more predictable and we feel more secure.  Other times we are thrown all over the place.  So when I looked at this painting, having worked my way with tenacity through the process of it’s evolution, a fight into the face of darkness and unknowing seemed to be it’s main root.

Dark Night of the Soul (Spanish: La noche oscura del alma) is the title given  (though not by the poet himself) to a poem  by 16th-century Spanish poet and Roman Catholic mystic Saint John of the Cross. Saint John of the Cross’ poem narrates the journey of the soul from its bodily home to its union with God. The journey is called “The Dark Night” in part because darkness represents the fact that the destination, God, is unknowable.  The “dark night of the soul” does not refer to the hardships and difficulties of life in general, although the phrase has generally been taken to refer to such trials. The nights which the soul experiences are the necessary purgations on the path to divine union. There are several steps in this night, which are related in successive stanzas. The main idea of the poem can be seen as the joyful experience of being guided to God. The only light in this dark night is that which burns in the soul. And that is a guide more certain than the mid-day sun. This light leads the soul engaged in the mystic journey to divine union. ( text adapted from Wiki…https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dark_Night_of_the_Soul

“Dark Night” is often used as a way of referring to a person’s spiritual crisis.

 

 

Debris painting by Jenny Meehan

Debris Painting by Jenny Meehan © Jenny Meehan DACS All Rights Reserved

Not much to say about this one, except that the interest with solidity and fluidity, continues.  While debris is often used to refer to rubbish or waste material, I titled this painting more thinking along the lines of loose natural material, breaking and being scratched into, with varying degrees of solidity.  My interest was to create something which had a feeling of brokenness, but also conveyed suspension and holding together. The disintegration of the solid matter having a kind of dynamic and positive feeling to it, rather than being a simple matter of decay.

 

waterfall abstract painting jenny meehan

waterfall painting jenny meehan© Jenny Meehan DACS All Rights Reserved

“Waterfall” by Jenny Meehan © Jenny Meehan DACS All Rights Reserved

Sharing this, for I have just cut it into two pieces.   It is now “Waterfall One” and “Waterfall Two”.  I need to now frame it.  I will make a few adjustments.  This painting was somewhat inspired by my looking at the “Waterfall” painting by Arshile Gorky at Tate Modern.  

http://www.tate.org.uk/art/artworks/gorky-waterfall-t01319       take a look.

“Gorky was born in Armenia, but was forced to flee Turkish persecution, and in 1920 settled in the USA. His early work was strongly influenced by Pablo Picasso and the European Surrealists. In the summer of 1942, Gorky spent three weeks in Connecticut making drawings from nature. He went on to produce a series of paintings that refer to natural forms. In this painting, amorphous shapes and drips of liquid paint suggest the fluidity of the waterfall.

Gallery label, August 2004″

Mine is a somewhat more blocky type matter, but I kept the whole things quite loose.  This was a discovery for me, that I did not need to hold everything neatly together.

“Gorky was a quite well known but rather derivative painter for 15 years before he found himself in about 1943,” wrote Alfred Barr, founder-director of the Museum of Modern Art. That small waterfall he found on the Housatonic River, New Milford, Connnecticut, and the flowers and insects he came upon at Crooked Run Farm, Virginia, fed Gorky’s appetite for animation within ground cover. Suddenly he flourished.”

https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2010/feb/06/arshile-gorky-painting-william-feaver

Nice quote from Arshile Gorky:

“Abstraction allows man to see with his mind what he cannot physically see with his eyes… Abstract art enables the artist to perceive beyond the tangible, to extract the infinite out of the finite. It is the emancipation of the mind. It is an explosion into unknown areas.”

Read more about Arshile Gorky here:  http://www.theartstory.org/artist-gorky-arshile.htm

 

So What Does “Asana” Really Mean?

I found the following text here:  https://www.yogatraveltree.com/blog/article/sanskrit-101-real-meaning-asana

and was very pleased, as I had been playing with the idea of titling some of my paintings with the word “Asana”.

“We’ll start with the term “asana” which is part of most of the Sanskrit pose names. “Asana” is defined as any of the yogic postures or movements, but literally translates to “seat.” It’s said that originally the only posture in yoga was a comfortable seat taken for long periods of mediation. Eventually the other postures were developed to help find ease in sitting for so long, and to assist with opening the mind to a meditative state. The postures are used to increase hip flexibility so one can sit crosslegged, and to stimulate the chakras and nadis (allowing for energy body throughout the body). “Asana” is a very thought-provoking term, since thinking of each posture as a place to find the meditative “seat” or state of mind brings the practice away from just the physical movement and begins the journey of the mind looking inward. It also reinforces the idea that a practitioner should try seated meditation in addition to practising postures.”

Each painting may also be an opportunity to find a meditative “seat” or state of mind.  I have several earlier paintings which I called “Resting Place” and they featured a block/still area which served as a point of resting the eye…or seating the eye maybe, in one (normally fairly central) area.   I very much like this idea of the painting, as a whole, as an “asana” or point of entry to a journey of the mind, as it looks inwards.   So the looking ourwards bears a kind of inner reflection, a reflective state.   A painting, while it does contain dynamic movement in the way that it stimulates the eye and mind, is also beautifully still.  For looking at a painting to be appreciated as a kind of meditative pose being taken by the viewer has a lot of appeal to me.

Boat House - Romantic Expressive Abstract Lyrical acrylic painting by surrey south west london painter artist jenny meehan imaginative internal landscape

 

The painting above “Boat House”  was for a considerable time also titled “Resting Place”.  In the end I settled with the “Boat House” because of the strong aspect of reflection in water which really makes it stand apart from the other similar experiments I did at the time.  Around 2012 ish.  This painting is ready to find a new home I think.  We are now five years down the line.  Because of what happens when you take photographs of paintings the blue looks much stronger than it is in the flesh.  The red is also a little more prominent.  The playing around with more solid areas and then areas of fluidity turned out to be a feature which continues to fascinate me.

So What DO Artist’s Do All Day?

Well, if they are mothers and housekeepers, domestic bliss will keep them busy. (!!!!) They do all that they can to avoid their domestic tasks, and spend as much possible time as they can developing their art working!  But, other work cannot be avoided.  Indeed,  the challenges of balancing one’s time between the work of an “artist”  and the work of “everything else” is a healthy tension.  It’s helpful to keep perspective, and also distance, in any creative activity, is a great blessing.  It is very convenient for me that my work base is also my home.  I  can flit between the intensely creative, to the simplest mundane tasks, and both contribute to the other in some way.  The constant effort of letting go is a good one to employ. In order to paint, I need to somehow ignore the piles of domestic tasks which surround me.  It is hard, takes will power, and a very  focused attitude of mind.  On the other hand, to be able to release myself from the intense involvement in a painting, and do a bit of washing up, or work in the garden for a while is also very helpful.  There is always a certain frustration with respect to limitations on time, however this is less of a problem now the children are older.

So, for a start, throw out the impression (possibly) given by the title “So What DO Artist’s Do all Day?” that they might be wondering what to do. For a large number of artists, the time they invest in their art working is hard won, in one way or another.  It is pressed between the other demands of life.  Unless on a creative retreat or residency maybe.  Many artists have multiple roles in life…Artist is just one of them.  And art working is just one strand.  But they may still choose to define themselves primarily as an artist. And the greater or lesser amount of their time spent on their work in no way makes them less or more of an artist. What an artist does “all day” may be for a small part of the day, among all the other “normal” things (!!!!!) that occupy people.  While some artists may pride themselves when they reach of point of describing themselves as a “Full Time Artist”, there is no real merit in that description, I don’t think, because defining yourself as “an artist” is more about an ongoing mission/vocation.

So, don’t worry about dreaming or wishing you could be a “full time artist”.  If you are an artist, every part of  your  being abides in the whole of your life, and in every little thing you do.  Your whole life and all you do in it,  is essentially the raw material of your art working, and will influence what you create, if you let it.  The way your time is allocated, is the way your time is allocated, and no more or no less than that.  You are not more or less of an artist if you need to spend more time doing things which seem less related to your art work creation/activities.   You will call yourself an artist, if you decide that this definition is something which most aptly describes what matters to you.

Here a another read on the topic.  The Myth of the Full Time Creative Artist!  

http://skinnyartist.com/myth-of-the-full-time-creative-artist/

This is a very good read.

This “Don’t Fall For The Part-time Artist Versus Full-Time Artist Trap”.was also a good read:

http://theartedge.faso.com/blog/94055/dont-fall-for-the-part-time-artist-vs-full-time-artist-trap

Adds another dimension that I had not thought through with regard to the whole “art business” model.

A Reflection

I realised recently, that from an external perspective, unless one already knows a professional artist,  it might be hard to appreciate the nature of “work” for a fine artist.  This is the only explanation I can come to as I mull over the words “But it doesn’t affect your work” (with reference to the state of my knee) which was applied to me a while back.  I may have misunderstood.  I will get over the shock of hearing this, I am sure. Though how a lack of mobility cannot affect every single area of a person’s life, I am not sure.  And how some areas might be considered more worthy or less worthy of attention, I am not sure either. And how anyone could say that to someone else, when they do not know the person, or know nothing about what they spend their time doing, I do not know either.  It was a mistaken assumption, for sure.  (I have ranted!)

But we all make mistakes. Sometimes ones which cause annoyance!  And it makes me remember the look of bewilderment on a young lady’s face at a recent art networking event I went to.  Myself and another Mother-Artist were talking about the challenges of balancing the domestic sphere of activity, child rearing, and our art practice, and in the conversation we referred to “Keeping the house”.  This phrase was a complete mystery to the younger lady…She said “What do you mean? Keeping the house?”.  She looked bemused and confused and said “What is there to do?”.  It’s amazing, but I shouldn’t be surprised because I think thirty years earlier in my life I would have had no idea or no appreciation of what household management and housekeeping involved.  The whole idea would have been alien to me. We are often very lacking in awareness of the work which our mothers (usually mothers) do because we take them for granted.  And also, probably, I would have had no appreciation of the way that the person who spends more time based in the home often tends, by natural default, to then take over the main responsibility of running the show. Which, depending on their partners occupation, and various other factors, can mean running everything. We slip into roles.  They just happen.

But I don’t think what is happening with the whole matter of women being strongly encouraged/expected to enter, (even when their children are very young),  into external workplaces, at the expense of the work which happens in the home, really helps younger people, or anyone, gain an appreciation of either the importance, nature, or value of work done in the home/stemming from the home base. The implication is that home based work is something that is easily left, and of lesser importance, when in reality they are of equal value to society.  The only difference between work done in the home and work done elsewhere is that they are carried out in different locations, and one tends to be paid and the other not. (Well, there are other differences, depending on the job titles which might be coming to mind, but potentially there are also no differences, just a merging of potential job titles!). The actual activity varies from person to person, depending on their situation, but there is a lot of overlap in terms of what is actually done/the effect on society.  Investment is a word we tend to associate with money, but time and effort are the material of investment.

I reflect, then, that there are many people who are not part of the labour market, but who do “work” very hard, and with a sense of purpose and drive, which is the very same purpose and drive, which might fire them ahead in any paid career. Many people in this category might be termed “retired”, I guess, but may have nothing retiring about themselves and their outlook or their manner of going about their lives. Or they may be caregivers of various kinds, or just be pursuing a vocation which doesn’t fit neatly into a box or is slightly unconventional. The main thing is that voluntary work, or activities which do not profit in the financial sense, (or aim to in any way), are still work. And profitable work.  But the profit is not monetary.  It’s not spiritualistic. It is not materialistic either.  It is to do with the soul, the heart, the centre of being, and those experiences and moments in life which touch us to the core, and ultimately make us who we are.

Passion and involvement are what is needed to “work” in the truest sense of the word. To coin that familiar phrase “It’s not what you do, it’s the way that you do it” Maybe “work” is, ultimately,  those activities we do in life which are rooted in love, passion and maybe even a sense of mission.  So “work” may weave it’s way through our many aspects of life…it is not limited to a single compartment of someone’s life.  It is, maybe that which we apply ourselves to in a dedicated and determined manner, in order to reap benefit, for oneself and for others.  In order to contribute to our society in some form or other.

Basically, work is life!

Consider also the words of the Lord Jesus Christ

Mark 8:36 King James Version (KJV)

36 “For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?”

As a mother, I can also testify that the unpaid work of mothering (fathering and indeed, parenting roles by any person…gender regardless, but I have to speak as I am) is extremely important for the soul of our society, and is horrifically and destructively attacked by the capitalist and materialist systems/prevailing consciousness we are subject to, in my opinion.

The whole trend of equating money with value is pretty gross basically.  Thankfully a lot of people do see this, recognise it, and speak about it.  We kind of know it, deep down I think.   But the currents are strong, and pull us sometimes away from our very selves, and away from the source of our being.  A person, whatever their occupation, and regardless of what they do or do not do,  is no less valuable than any other human being.  We work at life, and do not understand or fully appreciate each other, or our own unique trials and triumphs. Though we work at doing so, hopefully.  It is not for us to judge…Though we tend to, by habit.  We judge ourselves and others.

It’s worth adding, also, that if someone is free to involve and invest themselves in unpaid work, this should not stand against them either.  The assumption that because someone is presently at liberty not to need to earn any money, and that this state will go on forever, is also mistaken. We all need to work, and our work is what we work at.  It is the matter of life which matters to us.  What we invest ourselves into.  Our mission.  Sometimes the activities people do “for a living” are that which provide them the financial resources they need.  But sometimes the activities people do “for a living” are not related to the financial resources they need but are still none the less related to their living, their experience of living, and the quality of life. What IS work and what is not work?   In the end, work is what matters to a person and what they invest themselves into.

I think I have digressed rather, as is my habit.  For I did start with “What do Artists Do all Day”. So I had better get back to that.  One thing did lead to another! I am still slightly reeling, but it is an overreaction on my part.  I do realise this.  An artist’s work is not a conventional “job” in the way that so many peoples work activities are.   I am in charge of my own work schedule in a way which is very helpful when disabled with knee osteoarthritis. There is some flexibility there.  However, in so many respects, the effects of a lack of mobility have the potential to be just as destructive for someone in my position as  for someone who is employed in a more conventional work context.  In terms of one’s future, one’s potential. one’s personal development, and basically one’s fulfilment in life, if your mobility is affected, then your opportunities in life ARE drastically restricted.  Every thing is impacted.  Don’t worry.  I’ll get over it!

Back once more to “What do Artists Do all Day”.  Well, away from the emotional and into the practical.  While clearly there is a lot of variation, and this variation is wonderfully interesting, some of the practical tasks which are carried out by artists of a similar type to me, might include:

Creating original work, and also prints and reproductions of their work.

Carrying out commissioned work

Being involved in selling their work, as much as time allows.  This may be through Open Studios events or Studio visits.  Artists need to sell their work because if they don’t, then end up having no room to live in anymore! They need room to create more work!  And money for resources. (Some might be in a position of having someone to do this for them.  Most don’t though!)

Involvement in community art projects and sometimes teaching and education.

Maintaining a website and creating an internet presence.

Researching and planning art works.

Sourcing materials and developing relationships with suppliers

Keeping in touch with what is happening creatively around them. This includes seeing exhibitions, meeting other artists, and keeping eyes out for future opportunities for good working relationships and interesting projects.

Networking, through private views, and other events

Administration, correspondence, and creating publicity

Project planning

Writing proposals for galleries, competitions or artist residencies.

Writing funding applications (public and private)

Applying for residencies, competitions and other opportunities.

Liaising with contacts, gallery owners, curators and other artists

Curating individual and group shows

Writing press releases, and writing/speaking about your work

Maintaining a portfolio

Documenting your work

Skills needed are (as well as artistic talent/ability)

determination and commitment, with passion
self-belief, without an over active ego, but with a good dose of humility
good writing, verbal communications skills and presentation skills
self-promotion skills and confidence
technical ability and interest in materials and experimentation
an ongoing orientation toward professional development
organisation skills and the ability to meet deadlines
research skills
ability to work independently and with others
stamina and a willingness to put in long hours
flexibility and a constant attitude of readiness to learn
a lot of self motivation!
ability to grow and develop your work and practice through increased self-awareness
curiosity and interest in what is happening in the world around  you
Self motivation, determination, discipline, and perseverance are very important.

 

Have I written enough for March?  Yes.

I need to go into the garden and look at the shooting shoots shooting up into the air.

Do a last tiny bit of gardening before my knee replacement operation, being VERY careful not to cut or damage my legs in any way.

And I need to pray.

“By prayer I mean not that which is only in the mouth,
but that which springs up from the bottom of the heart”

John Chrysostom

 

Knee Replacement Operation Coming Up Soon!

Ah, it is coming up soon.

It is major surgery.  It is routine surgery.  I try to keep the two thoughts in balance!

And how interesting this journey towards surgery has been for me.

How grateful I am for the understanding and care I have had from the professionals I have been involved with.  Yet how aware I have also been of the influences which have been at play. Influences which constrain people, however understanding they might be.  Think…FUNDING and CCG.  Influences which affect all concerned, and subtly affect (I found in my experience) a patients belief, faith and understanding with respect to knee replacement surgery and how realistic an option that might be for them. Think…IS THIS AN OPTION FOR ME AT ALL? I am a sensitive soul. This may not have helped me in some ways, and I may have been better off oblivious.  But it is not my style.  Artists’ do tend to be rather sensitive to the currents of cultures they inhibit.  And I cannot help thinking that if I had not been so persistent, I would have been deterred by many factors,  and chosen to delay knee replacement surgery. But I had a pretty big sneaky feeling, which as time progressed grew less sneaky and far more obviously sensible, that for me personally, it would be insane to delay knee replacement surgery bearing in mind the disability and pain which have now become part of my life. The experience has inspired me to such an extent, that I plan to write another page on my blog completely dedicated to my knee journey story.  But as I am not ready to do that quite yet, then I share this little finding with you…  It is from the BOA, see   https://www.boa.ac.uk/publications/boa-letter-to-the-times-rationing-of-hip-knee-replacements-30-01-17/

The Times
1 London Bridge Street
SE1 9GF
Dear Sir,
I read with interest your article on rationing by CCG’s of hip and knee replacements – an issue which is so
important to many of our patients. It is unfortunate that a number of myths continue to be perpetuated in this
debate, some of which you have focused upon in your article. There are many further pieces of information which
support your comments.
Firstly there is robust evidence that having a BMI between 30 and 40 does not increase your risk of a poor
outcome following either hip or knee replacement. Indeed there is some evidence that this group of patients is
actually the ‘happiest’ with their outcome. If your BMI is over 40 your complication risk goes up marginally, but if
you have an uncomplicated outcome you are as happy with the outcome as thinner patients.
A hip replacement costs £7.50 a week and 90% of hip replacements will still be in place having required no further
treatment (beyond 15 years in many cases) at the end of a patient’s life. Patients prior to a major joint
replacement will attend their GPs, on average, a couple of times a month. Post joint replacement they need to do
so only a couple of times a year.
The Oxford hip and knee scores were not designed as a pre-op screening tool to eliminate large sections of the
population from a qualitative life improving procedure: they were designed as a tool to measure outcomes in
large populations and not in individuals. There is evidence that timely surgery has the best effect on patients’
general health, the implication being that if you wait, their general health deteriorates. There is also good
evidence that although patients with a very bad score pre-operatively may make greater improvements in some
respects, they tend not to reach such a high level of functioning or such a low level of disability after their
operation as those who start off with a lower level of disability.
Using the well-intentioned aim of an overall improvement of the populations’ general health as a justification for
limiting access to very effective treatment is neither acceptable nor ultimately cheaper. In an era where patients
should be fully advised as to their options and choice of treatment, this stance will inevitably lead to endless
appeals and a further waste of resources to deal with them.
The Department of Health says there is no more money. This is an assertion which can easily be challenged as in
the UK we spend much less of our money on health care than do most of the developed western nations.
However, if the government is absolutely adamant that they will provide no more funding, there are two things
that should be considered before such arbitrary rationing. Firstly, the enormous increase in NHS management
costs, which have at least tripled in terms of percentage spend over the last two decades, needs to be cut
radically. Secondly, if some form of rationing is deemed essential, it should not be targeted at treatments that
are cost effective and will help maintain the fitness and independence of patients. This clearly applies to total hip
and knee replacement as two of the most cost effective treatments available across the whole of health care.
Preventing patients accessing these life enhancing treatments smacks of moral bankruptcy.
Yours sincerely
Ian Winson FRCS
BOA President

 

Well said!

I personally thank the wake up call of knee pain due to post traumatic osteoarthritis in my right knee.  Yes, I really do, because it has provided a reality check in terms of me recognising how damaging being obese can be for me.  It is very true though, (with respect to my obese status …and I am still just above 30 BMI! Nearly under!)  I was, with various modes of support, able to utilise my experience of pain and disability pre-operatively but I am highly aware that this would not be the case for a lot of people.  Being overweight or obese isn’t good for the body in many respects, and the little bit of lay person’s research I did on the recovery from TKR did reflect this general principle, but it is interesting that the letter above references a BMI of 40…Much greater than the BMI of 30 which seems to feature in the CCG’s I looked at.

Indeed, when I look at my still just over 30 BMI body, which is several stone lighter than it was, I think most people seeing it would not realise that I am technically obese.  And, when it comes down to it, loosing weight HAS NOT reduced the pain and disability I experience.  My knee has had phases of being better and worse, but the general trend has been a steady but gradual deterioration.  Weight loss may have helped a bit, and lessened the load, quite literally.  I am certainly going to keep the weight off to make sure my knee replacement has the maximum chances of a long life.  And I plan to loose a couple more stone in addition, to keep up the good work.  Exercise is now a way of life for me.

NHS Financial Crisis

Here is the “NHS Financial Crisis” art work I came up with, as part of this experience.  It’s important to me that the load is seen to be born by both clinicians and patients, and not just one or the other.

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

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

 

Love my painting, but love a bit of graphic art from time to time.

 

 

On the matter of artist’s being sensitive:

“Sensitive people often pick up on the little things in the environment that others miss, see patterns where others see randomness, and find meaning and metaphor in the minutiae of everyday life. It’s no wonder this type of personality would be driven to creative expression. If we think of creativity as “connecting the dots” in some way, then sensitive people experience a world in which there are both more dots and more opportunities for connection.”

This excerpt is from the new book Wired to Create: Unravelling the Mysteries of the Creative Mind, by psychologist Scott Barry Kaufman and HuffPost Senior Writer Carolyn Gregoire.

Nice quote:

“The truly creative mind in any field is no more than this: A human creature born abnormally, inhumanly sensitive.”

— Pearl S. Buck

Read the article here:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/artists-sensitive-creative_us_567f02dee4b0b958f6598764

 

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

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

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

Contact Jenny via her website: 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Note About Following Jenny Meehan Contemporary Artist’s Journal 

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

Website Link for jamartlondon:  www.jamartlondon.com 

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

Help me continue my practice/art working:

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

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

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

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

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

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

COPYRIGHT INFORMATION

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

Copyright and Licensing Digital Images Information – Jenny Meehan

www.jamartlondon.com

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

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

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

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

About Jenny Meehan (Jennifer Meehan) 

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

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

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

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