Austin/Desmond Fine Art

A few weeks back I  visited the Francis Davison: Collages 1976 – 1983 exhibition at Austin/Desmond Fine Art.

Some of the small studies had something to teach me, and I found myself wishing that my experiments sold at a couple of thousand pounds, but as I am not Francis Davison, it might be worth settling for a little less in the way of financial benefit.    The larger work on show revealed the fruit of many hours experimentation, and it was a rich experience to view the work.  “Orange Arc and Spot in Turquoise & Brown”  “Egypt” “Blass Mass, Blue Angle, White Background”  “Disintergrating Black, Green, Blue Fields”  “Sand Ground with Black,Red,White and Green”.  Say it how it is.  Titles to the point.  I was good, I am glad I made the effort to see this exhibition.

What most struck me was how much like paint the way Francis Davison uses some of the paper.  I was convinced that some of the paper was paint, until I took a closer look.  This is interesting to me because I have thought about using collage in my own paintings and I have been put off mostly because of not mixing the paint with the paper, but  what I saw done here was inspiring.  Not a drop of paint in sight, but very, very painterly collage.  And the contrast between the dissolved type edges with those of jagged cut paper, which spoke sharper than sharp, was delightful.

My words don’t articulate visual things well, but all I can say is if you give this kind of work the time it deserves, then it will teach you a lot.  As I looked at the work I looked for the decision-making process, I looked for the junctures and the points at which I might agree or disagree with decisions made.  This navigational process of working my way through any visual expression has become much more obvious to me recently, so much so that the lack of overt subject matter worries me less and less.  To see an exhibition like this at this particular time, when I am experimenting in a very free manner has proved very fruitful.  I find that I need to remind myself of restraint with colour and never forget the importance of edges, as well as the effect of different sized masses and some of the interesting relationships which can be so easily overlooked.

In Alon Zakaim Fine Art,    I found three paintings which I certainly will be paying attention to.  The first which took my eye was “Le Bal (1976) Acrylic on canvas by Charles Lapicque.  This reminds me again of the beauty of boldness with colour.   The painting by Claude Venard “Le Phare” is a new discovery for me, as I have not come across this painter before, and I like, like, like!  I am experiencing a tension inside myself right now, with respect to painting completely non objective paintings and yet also feeling the pull of a recognisable image, and this painting is very satisfying to see, because it holds both so well together.  I think it holds an answer to one of the problems I have been tossing around in my head for a while. It’s funny how sometimes you just need to see something for a problem to be resolved. I have spent a little time looking at the  Alon Zakaim website, and the page with an exhibition on Claude Venard included a painting “Composition” painted in 1970 and I practically had kittens looking at this one.  I am so excited to find some painting like this.  It is like looking at the ground in front of me, and seeing, that though I thought I was travelling an unknown path, there is someone before me who has trodden the same path, and has left the grass and foliage pushed back a little which makes my journey a little easier.  I have never felt I was doing anything “new” because I don’t think there is anything “new” under the sun, (as it says in Ecclesiastes,) however, it is very helpful to see another painter grappling with the same issues as I am, and it is heartening too, because I unfortunately do not have the level of critical input into my work as maybe some people participating in a Fine Art Painting degree or similar might receive.  I value the lessons learnt  by those who have walked before me.  There is no need to do a degree, masters, or whatever, if you can attend to the work of others and learn from that.  You don’t need to put into words what the marks of a paintbrush put onto the canvas. But you do need to ask what is happening here? And what does this mean TO ME.

I am so in love with “Trees with Sacre Coeur in the Distance” by Claude Venard that I have printed out a small print which I now carry  around in my purse so I can look at it whenever I want to.  It gives me a tangible lift of heart, and so why not?

Here is some of my own painting, IN PROGRESS,  I must say.  And progress is a little slow right now, as having started around 20 paintings I now find myself at the most demanding stage with all of them at the same time.  I have started to stick little pieces of masking tape on the parts which I am thinking about, because otherwise I forget what I was thinking.  If I can locate easily the areas which I am concerned with, it is much easier to come into the painting after a period of a few days away from it, and I find that with so many other things demanding my attention, this helps a lot.

These examples are not necessarily shown the correct way up,  (or in the right order!) but I am now wanting to spend less time fiddling around with digital images.  Some have masking tape on them right now and many have subsequently changed direction quite significantly.  Other I reckon are nearly finished but I am not rushing anything and want time to think them through. The images are only here to give a little idea of what I working on right now.


Digital C Print of Lino Print produced at West Dean College in January as part of a relief printmaking course led by Dale Deveraux Barker.  Great course, highly recommended!  I used a mixture of lino, rollers and paper cut outs for the work I carried out on this course. 

Artist?  Female?  Small Budget?

For some companies, this spells bad news, not worth bothering with, etc.  I’ll resist the temptation to name and shame, it doesn’t appeal to me.  Still fuming, and keen to let off steam, I’ve decided though to focus on the positive.  In this economic climate, good customer service is important and when it’s good it’s worth shouting about.  So buying supplies for the mural project has been an education in itself in some ways, and I’d like to take this opportunity to pass on some recommendations for anyone who might be thinking of buying natural or mineral based paints.  Thankfully I have more positives to report than negatives.   So I’ll start with Mike Wye and Associates.

Helpful, prompt, great range of products and excellent information.   Keen to help, interested, understanding the value of a school mural project with ecologically friendly paint,  demonstrating good customer service and a friendly and helpful manner.  Much appreciated.


It’s convinced me that next time I decorate I need to change my paint!  Trouble is I’m so busy right now that decorating my own house doesn’t come into it.  It’ very important for companies to be female friendly I think, and also to give prompt responses to enquiries and such like, and my experiences with this company have been very positive indeed.

experimental drawing

going with the flow

“A person who has the vision of God is not devoted to a cause or to any particular issue – he is devoted to God Himself.  You always know when the vision is of God because of the inspiration that comes with it.  Things come to you with greatness and add vitality to your life because everything is energized by God.”  Oswald Chambers ((excerps from the devotional My Utmost for His Highest)

I do think people with vision do also have specific areas which they are passionate about, and that devotion to a particular cause or issue is a good thing, but it is true that the main orientation which keeps us going is towards our Creator.

Just put together a little video of a selection of my drawings from 2008 – 2010.  Do take a look:

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

Take a look at my website!

While pushing ahead with paintings, there is always plenty of tidying up to be done, and that means not only housework type chores but computer based ones….making images of paintings in progress (which I find a helpful practice) and also preparing past photographic work for display.  Part of this involves trying to get work out there, so that other people can enjoy it if they like it…Hence the title “Purchase Poster Prints of Imagery by Fine Artist Jenny Meehan” !

I spent a lot of time from around 2006 to 2009 on my photographic work, and still fall for the odd photographic image from time to time.  I don’t want to spend lots of time producing it as some do as  “limited edition” prints though…When I do produce it for specific people or events I number and sign the work, but I don’t limit it in an artificial way.  I don’t see the point…it’s not limited…there is no plate to wear out, there is no natural process of disintergration of the image.  Isn’t that whole idea just a marketing strategy?   Maybe if you are very famous for your photography and it actually means something it might serve some purpose, but for most of us, living in a world which suffers from an excess of images, the idea of limiting does not sit so well with me.

See also the “Photography” section on my website for more information on editions and print types if you would like to know more.

Jenny Meehan Photographic Imagery


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