Jenny Meehan:  Romantic, Expressionist, Abstract, and Lyrical Paintings

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

deluge painting jenny meehan copyright DACS all rights reserved

“Deluge” Painting by Jenny Meehan referencing water,flood,deluge,catastrophe,disaster,trauma,house,home,wind,air.    I don’t paint to commission at all, but I do sell my old paintings when no longer needed for exhibitions, study, contemplation, etc.  This one I am happy to say “bye bye” to.   It has certainly stood the test of time, but needs another set of eyes to appreciate it I think.   It’s been exhibited a couple of times in the UK.


jenny meehan well spring rethinkyourmind NHS mental health resource art book selected jenny meehan

Well Spring painting by Jenny Meehan used on the cover of The Recovery of Hope by Naomi Starkey


The above painting “Well Spring” by Jenny Meehan.  This painting is referencing; spring, well, water,water spring,rocks,quarry,underground streams,recovery,spiritual and emotional renewal,sunlight,rays,beams,mist,water spray,evaporation.    Very strong painting, which cannot fully be appreciated on screen as there are glass beads used on the surface which bring a lot of added dimension.  This painting was used by designer Alison Beeck very skillfully and to great effect on the book cover of “Recovery of Hope” by Naomi Starkey.  You can take a look at the book cover here:

Synopsis: We live in the hope of experiencing first-hand the all-sufficient grace, love and forgiveness which are God’s alone, a hope that we may know with our heads long before we feel it in our hearts. Such hope may mean encountering God as consoling presence in the darkness, as well as one who challenges us to respond to his call. That call may prove to be costly but, in responding, we are transformed by discovering and rediscovering that we are known exactly as we are, yet still loved beyond understanding, as God’s precious children. In a series of Bible reflections – and some poems – this hope is explored in different ways, from the yearning of the psalmist to walking the gentle journey of the Good Shepherd’s leading.
Publisher: BRF (The Bible Reading Fellowship)
ISBN: 9780857464170

I have read the book (of course!) and it is very good.  Like a well, it is something I keep dipping into now and again.  Just right.  So glad the painting has served so well for a book cover.  Even better that the book is about something I care about!!!

I am willing to let this painting go also, so contact me if you are interested in it.  I have space problems here, and new paintings are being painted all the time.  So while I would retain this one for personal reasons on the one hand, I don’t think it possible to hold onto for much longer.


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

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

Above we have a painting titled “The Comforter/St Julian”  This painting is referencing the  Holy Spirit, comforter, counsellor, human intervention, divine intervention, figures, help, psychotherapy and painting, past and present, container, emotional container, catastrophe, smoke,fire ,anger, emotional landscape, freezing, burning, meeting.  This painting marks the beginning of a more contemplative path for me in my life and also an embracing of psychotherapy as part of that process of self-development, bound intimately with spirituality, in particular Christ-centred spirituality, which is where my own heart lies most happily.

This painting is also one I am happy to let go of.  It has an interesting surface and is a good example of one of my paintings with a more subtle and restrained use of colour, yet with a strong and dynamic mark making element.


47 nelson square surviving houses,jenny meehan psychotherapy art post traumatic stress, painting modernist 21st century female british fine artist. house mind process led painting,guild of psychotherapists art,therapy painting,

Final version of Surviving Houses/47 Nelson Square

“Surviving Houses/47 Nelson Square” is a painting firmly rooted in my early experiences of participating in a psychoanalytic/psycho dynamic process in order to re establish my own foundations which were certainly bomb hit.

This painting is referencing 47 Nelson square, Lambeth, Southwark, London, trauma recovery,Guild of Psychotherapists, Psychotherapy,survival,house,rooms,hope,sun,windows,light sources, insight,mental and emotional ordering,fear,anxiety,safe place, security,warmth home,construction,reconstruction,mind as a building.

This painting is not available.  It’s interesting for me to compare this with recent work which also uses very bold brush work. (See below!!)

Good Read on Copyright Infringement|For%20Licensing%20Customers|Latest%20News&title=N

Small quote here:

An infringement can occur when someone directly copies one of your works in its entirety or if they use substantial elements of your work without your permission.

What is determined by ‘substantial’ is not necessarily about proportion or size. A small but distinct element of your work can be copied and this could still amount to an infringement.

In previous UK court cases – for example, where an artist has been accused of infringing another artist’s work, or where a company has used parts of an artist’s work on a product they are selling – the assessment for copyright infringement has been made by looking at the similarities, rather than differences.

For copyright infringement to be determined there must be a connection between the infringing work and the original work – the infringement has to be derived from the original. There are ways of establishing the connection by looking at surrounding circumstances, such as availability. For example, the original work could be easily accessed online or in public exhibitions. Additionally, any contact with the infringing party such as discussions to use the work, or even engagement on social media, will help establish that they were aware of your work before making the infringing version.

The test for infringement is done on a case by case basis. If you claim your work has been infringed, you will have to prove this. Once it has been established, it will be for the person potentially infringing the work to prove they have a defence, for example that their work was their independent creation. Copyright infringement is known as a ‘strict liability’ offence, which means that it is irrelevant whether or not the infringer knew or wanted to infringe copyright.
– See more at:|For%20Licensing%20Customers|Latest%20News&title=N#sthash.QixIArcE.dpuf

It’s a very important matter, and artists who are professional in approach should certainly ensure they understand how it works.  I am a member of DACS and find it a very helpful and important organisation.

Busy Paintings

I have been feeling that my recent very full and rather busy paintings, lovely as they are, need a little respite and so have been working the tail end of this year on some which are far less crowded and more simple.  With my usual attention to surface, and working with the pigments which I am particularly fond of, I have sought to obtain a balance between dynamic energy and restfulness.


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“No Fear” painting by jenny meehan abstract lyrical expressionist british paintings jenny meehan


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“The Realm of Between/Pushing it a bit” abstract lyrical expressionist british paintings jenny meehan

It has been interesting to experiment with the relationship between quite delicate and intricate variations in perceived and actual texture along  broad and very matt, almost sheaths, of paint, laid down on unprimed hardboard.


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“Crossing Over/Simple Piece” abstract lyrical expressionist british paintings jenny meehan

Some time of  “less is more” to challenge that part of me which last year was placing daub upon daub of colour.  I am not unhappy with those paintings… not at all, but need to balance out that experience of painting with something different.

Helpful quotes, and my comments,  from “The Art of Buying Art” by Alan Bamberger. The section entitled “How to Look”.
“How to Look
“Looking at art means more than giving casual glances as you pass it by. You’ve got to spend time studying individual pieces.

Indeed… There is too much casual glancing going on nowadays.  We are bombarded with some much imagery.  I also believe just focusing on one small part of an art work is beneficial.  This is partly why I plan to start another blog soon focusing on passages of my paintings.  To immerse oneself needs time.
“Stand up close and focus on small areas of the art. Stand back and look at the whole thing. Stick your nose right up to the canvas or wood or paper or bronze and study the minutest details. Back away slowly and watch how the art changes. Move so far away that the art fades into its surroundings.”

What comes to mind now is the frustration of paying to see an exhibition and then not being able to view the work properly due to too many other people, distractions and also, because one is paying for a single visit, the pressure of seeing everything in one go.  How much better it is then to see exhibitions which do not charge, for then you can go back as many times as you want!

Looking at every element and aspect of a work, and giving it time is essential.

This is helpful:

“If you happen to see something you really like, note what it is, where you saw it, how it looks, and why it attracts you – nothing more. You’ll have plenty of opportunity to return and learn more about it later. By experiencing a little bit of everything that’s out there and taking some time to study it in detail, you begin to acquire strength of conviction and begin to define what really thrills you.”

Strength of conviction is kind of related to confidence.  Confidence that your own experience matters and that that experience is the most important thing about the art work you are viewing.  I had an interesting conversation recently with someone unfamiliar with appreciating non-objective paintings.  I simply said “Don’t worry about what it is meant to be.  What it is to me is of interest, but it is not that that matters.  You have your own experience of this painting and that is what matters.  She was worried that I would be offended if my painting was not what it was for me.  I explained that if it mattered to me I would paint more representational paintings which gave the viewer more direction and prescribed more what the subject matter was.  It would then be rather offensive if they thought my, horse, for example, was actually a man.

But with a completely abstract painting, though I will have my own personal interpretation,  for the viewing, this does not matter to the extent that it should dictate their experience of the painting.  They may find it of interest, and they may ask me what the painting is to me.  But it is what the painting is to them which matters.  They have a huge part to play in the experience of viewing the paintings.  Once they have the assurance that there isn’t some hidden, strange, meaning or concept that they have to “get” in order to access the work, they suddenly find that the freedom to experience it in their own way is quite a liberating and enjoyable matter.  Well, some people do.  Others find they want and need to be told “What it is”.  This is fine, of course.  However, they may have to accept that it is not definable in the way that they would like it to be!!!

I have now settled on the practice of including references (as I have done in this post) for those who are interested in the relationship between my abstract paintings and their significance/meaning for me.  But I would never feel upset if someone did not see what I see.  We all have valid perceptions and what we see is influenced by ourselves, our experience, and our emotions.

Alan continues:
Out of all the millions of art pieces that have ever been and have yet to be created, you will choose to own maybe one, maybe five, maybe one hundred. And you’ll choose them because they mean something special to you and you alone. Now is the time to acquire a feel for where that special meaning lies, and to identify what qualities in art attract you the most.”

Perfectly put.   “Something special to you and you alone”.

I like this advice very much. For those wanting to get into collecting art, it is probably the most important piece of advice to heed. The book  has a lot of advice, and quite a lot of it focuses on art which no doubt considerably more expensive than my own, however, there are many key points and while not a recent book, being published in 2007, I still found it an interesting read.
I have not considered myself how much of a mine field it must be for some people who want to collect art but are not familiar with the various systems (ie galleries, dealers). I think the chapter on buying directly from the artist of most use and of relevance to my own experience. Indeed, the way people buy art has changed a lot. For the majority, I think, it is much easier, more accessible and pretty straightforward. The book includes chapters on buying directly from artists, and also buying art over the internet. I cannot be done with all the speculative buying, “art world” and dealer dealing matters personally. But there are chapters which offer very interesting insights into a realm which lies well outside my own remit. And I cannot help feeling rather thankful that my own work is not being handled by dealers!!!

The so called “Art World”

With no aspirations towards business, profit, fame or financial success, I have mercifully relieved myself of the whole so called “art world”; that world of art, which I have no desire to enter. I am not sure where the boundaries of this mysterious “art world” lie, but I suspect they lie in the imaginations of those who consider themselves part of it.  And if the determining factor of being in or out of it,  is money and status driven, and to do with who you know, then it may be best that I do consider myself an “outsider artist”…if that is what that term means.  (I am sure I have rambled on about outsider art before in this journal.) But I don’t like the whole insider/outsider definition.  We are all inhabiting the same world, in truth.  The aim for the artist could be to see ourselves as continual welcomers…with the aim of continually inviting people in to an experience of our artistic practice which aims to educate and enlighten, enrich and nourish the imagination and hearts of all. Fame and fortune will just be for the very few. And this may be good for them in many ways.  But it is not a good hope.  I focus on people, relationships, and creativity.

I have been thinking about what a “professional” artist is.  I consider myself one. As a professional artist, the idea that in order to be professional, ones activities should be financially profitable, is a huge mistake in my opinion. Professionalism is an attitude and an approach that does not need too be qualified with monetary gain. It’s more about how you go about what you do, and how you think of it.   Things such as exhibiting your work, cataloguing it, having faith in what you are doing, and having collectors and followers who engage with your work are important. Taking it seriously and investing in it in a professional manner. Engaging in training and development.  Being part of groups of artists and networking.  Looking for new projects and opportunities.  Being open minded and receptive to whatever creative currents are weaving their way about the age in which you live in.  Being professional is an attitude and approach more than anything else.  A way of thinking about what you do and understanding the value of it. An attitude of rigour to ones work.  And discipline.

The fact that some activities in life are not termed a “job”, and are rather a vocation, (and caring for others, raising children, plus many voluntary activities come under this banner) does not mean that they are either hobbies, optional for the person doing them, or of lesser importance.  A vocation may not count officially in respect of it not being counted in the “labour market”,  but this does not mean that that it is not work, and should not therefore be valued. Thankfully there are plenty of people who do recognise that vocation in life is sometimes expressed in part through paid employment, be it self-employment or as an employee, but that this is only the case for some, and there are millions of other people who fulfil their calling in life through other avenues.  Vocation can be:

a particular occupation, business, or profession; calling.
a strong impulse or inclination to follow a particular activity or career.
a divine call to God’s service or to the Christian life.
a function or station in life to which one is called by God.

Indeed, we are not singular in purpose or vocation.  We have many strands running through us.  At different times they will be developed and come into being and we will be active to a greater and lesser degree.  Sometimes circumstances help, and other times they hinder.  What I was involved in ten years ago is different to what I am involved in now.  But all the strands of my life contribute to who I am, to my art working, and to how I see what I do.

As far as I can see, the majority of artists I have come across are not financially “successful” in the sense that they do not generate an income, from the sale of their work, which is anything near capable of meeting their most basic human needs. They rely on other, often related activities, to help sustain them in life, normally in employment of some kind or being part of a partnership or community which helps them financially. This is one of the reasons I get cross about ridiculous submission fees for artists wanting to exhibit their work.  To treat artists showing their work as some kind of business venture for the artist, which therefore they should be prepared to pay for, it just not the case. (I read this recently, I cannot remember where, and was furious.) The chances of selling your work at an exhibition are pretty low.  There are thousands of wonderful artists, for which I am glad, but even the good ones don’t necessarily sell much work.  It does happen, but only occasionally, for the majority.  And it costs money to take part, even without submission fees. Time, travel, framing… all that kind of thing.  This is not a moan, by the way. That is just the way it is. If I wanted money and that was my aim, then I would do something else with my life.

I have realised that I personally am not able to mix painting with any aspirations of business or profit making.  I have thought about it in the past, but other time commitments have pretty much nipped that in the bud before the bud even appeared!  And I have questioned myself, and sifted out what I really want, from what I do.  A little bit of occasional recompense here and there is always welcome, and helps towards material costs in some small way. (It certainly is occasional! But good when it happens.)  I consider a professional approach from myself in all that I do, as essential to the value I hold in what I do, yet this is simply as far as it goes.  I think what I do is more of a creative mission.  It’s something about me simply being in the world what I feel I am meant to be.  Something which is like breathing and serves the same purpose.  Which comes out with no external aim in mind but the mere act/material of being.  I can accept that, and I like it.  I don’t need anything else to validate it.

But still, it is lovely when someone decides to collect your art.  I am delighted when the chord is struck, and I wave bye bye to one of my paintings.  So much of what artists do (fine artists, I mean) is speculative.  It is a hit and miss matter.  Once in a blue moon you sell something.   That’s always nice.  But certainly not dependable!  Artists should technically  be paid if their work is shown in an exhibition. They provide the material substance of an art exhibition.   I have little hope of this happening, as it is  not the way the system works at all, but when you provide part of the material for an exhibition, you are offering your work for a use, of sorts.  People come to see the art work.  What would the exhibition be without it?

Thankfully, we at least have some options for exhibiting art work with no submission fees, or very low ones.  Unless exhibitions are very big/renowned, charges are not made to people viewing the work, and people don’t consider paying to see an art exhibition as something that they would need to do, unless the artists were famous.  I am all for people seeing art exhibitions for free.  But not so keen on the idea of artists paying for them to do so!  Artists bear many costs when exhibiting work.  We don’t need any more costs!  Artists desire to show and share our work, which is a vital part of what we do.  It’s not about showing what we can do. (Well, I speak personally, but I am not alone in this respect) It’s about opening eyes to new possibilities.  Creative energy.  Visual education.  Opening up the mind and spirit.  Emotionally connecting.  There are some opportunities which don’t have submission fees. Always grateful for those.

Sadly, artists are sometimes used by organisations and individuals as a way of generating money. It is not surprising, and not always the case, but it is good to be aware of it.  It is something to do with some strange idea that having work in an exhibition makes an artist more successful, (in the public perception) I think. It is always nice to have your work  selected for exhibition, of course.  Yet it is simply fortunate if your work gets shown. Nice.  Pleasing.  After all, we want it to be viewed!!!!  But the cost of doing so must be counted, as all costs need to be.  Juried exhibitions generally come down to what the taste of the jury is.  And not a lot more than that, in the end.  Why would it be anything more? It may sometimes be a case of who know’s who, and existing links.  That just happens.  Some themed exhibitions can be more of a quest… and can be interesting in this respect. There is satisfaction in exploring a theme or concept and coming up with something very apt and fitting.  There is a challenge which makes selection more rewarding if your work hits the core of some issue or theme.  Exhibitions for charities are rewarding, in that it is a great way to give to charity and show work.  Artists can bear some costs, but the addition of a submission fee is quite frankly annoying.  Minimal, it must be, if it is made at all.  Certainly under a tenner!  “Admin Fee”… but no more.  And one fee, however many works.

It is a fundamental error, I think, to equate success as a fine artist, with money. With fame, or fortune.   If you are able to invest your time into art working, then you are fortunate even in that. There are many people in the world who have to spend all of their time simply fetching water.  I am highly aware of the blessings and benefits of my own situation in life. I am fortunate to be able to do what I do, and I thrive in it. I overheard an interesting conversation on the train recently.  And it was in this conversation the nail was hit on the head.  “Money is not the same as Value”.  Thank you, to the person who said that.

I value my work.

But as is the case with homemaking, and/or domestic and caring work carried out by people (who happen to be related to those they care for), or who work in many fields voluntarily, fine artists too find themselves in the realms of those who do work, but who are not part of the labour market.  But my main point is, if you are an artist, don’t believe that your only option is to sign up for the “starving artist” or the “financially successful artist”.  The success of what you do can be judged by other criteria.  It is my opinion that success is to do with connection, growth and development.  Success for me is when a painting is done and I look at it, and see it is finished.  When I learn and progress.  When research, training, and education are part of what I do. When my work develops and resonates with a sense of integrity and truthfulness to experience and life.  When someone relates to it, uses it, connects with it, responds to it.  When it’s relevance is something felt by them.  Which brings us neatly back to the earlier quote:

“Something special to you and you alone”.

“Out of all the millions of art pieces that have ever been and have yet to be created, you will choose to own maybe one, maybe five, maybe one hundred. And you’ll choose them because they mean something special to you and you alone. Now is the time to acquire a feel for where that special meaning lies, and to identify what qualities in art attract you the most.”

And I think the artist creator themselves also needs to have this either as their sole focus,or certainly main focus, and preoccupation.  There must be nothing else in the way.  This does not make paintings done for other people any less worthy, but somewhere in the centre of the process there must be a connection which is not comprised.  It doesn’t make anything more art or less art, but, if you want to be a successful fine artist who gets a real sense of reward from what you do, then do what you do in your way, and stick to that. All the time seek to learn and develop.  If you sell and your work is useful to others that is a great bonus.  If it matters to you (and/ or you need it),  that  you have some kind of business/monetary success and you want to develop what you do in that way, then of course,  there is nothing wrong with that at all.  It is an exciting and challenging aim, and many artists want to be self employed as artists.  Often doing something for someone else’s criteria and requirements can open up new and exciting avenues.  It is one path. But just one.

Commercially viable art working is the aim of some artists, and there are plenty of online courses and programmes to follow for those who want to try it out. But being commercially viable is not the same thing as successful.

I like this:

“Society needs artists, just as it needs scientists, technicians, workers, professional people, witnesses of the faith, teacher, fathers and mothers, who ensure the growth of the person and the development of the community by means of that supreme art form which is “the art of education.” Within the vast cultural panorama of each nation, artists have their unique place… The particular vocation of individual artists decides the arena in which they serve and points to the tasks they must assume, the hard work they must endure and the responsibility they must accept… There is therefore an ethic, even a spirituality of artistic service, which contributes in its way to the life and renewal of a people.”

(From the Letter of His Holiness Pope John Paul II “To Artists.”)

“There is therefore an ethic, even a spirituality of artistic service, which contributes in its way to the life and renewal of a people.”


Found this, and will make it some reading:


Ahh, Blow!  Sandra Blow! 

I am unable to walk very far at present… and this means that I cannot pop along and see the exhibition of eleven late works of the British abstract painting Sandra Blow, which is being presented by The Fine Art Society.  I have to keep my walking to the most essential, and while I would like to see this exhibition, it would involve a lot of walking.

The British abstract painter Sandra Blow (1925-2006) was influenced by Italian post-war art and by the American Abstract Expressionists.  I was very delighted to find that the collector who purchased my “London Downpour” also had a work by Sandra Blow, and it was, I have to confess, pleasing to think my work would be hung in a collection which included a piece by Sandra Blow.  There were other names of works mentioned, but only Sandra Blow stood out for me, because I have encountered her painting “Space and Matter” at the Tate, and admired it. Sandra Blow was very occupied with the material of her paintings, and “Space and Matter” involves the use of liquid cement, chaff and charcoal.  She worked in a process led and  intuitive way which I always find interesting.   The term sometimes used is “Art Informel” which was a term coined by the French critic Michel Tapié.  Sandra Blow spent time at “Eagles Nest” which was Patrick Heron’s home and then she rented a cottage at Tregerthen.   She enjoyed the encouragement and patronage of Heron, Roger Hilton, and Peter Lanyon.   (Peter Lanyon’s paintings have had a significant influence on my own approach.)

St. Ives and the sea were great sources of inspiration to Sandra Blow in the end phase of her career.


Sandra Blow said “Now I have more enjoyment, and knowledge of what happens when I do what I do. The pressures have gone, the striving to find something. I do work I know is good, and I know how to do it.”

The exhibition at The Fine Art Society is at 148, New Bond Street, London, W1S 2JT.  It runs until 30th January 2017

On the Knee …

I now have a pre-op assessment appointment…  Going round the house putting up unfinished paintings everywhere so I can work on them.  “Work on them” in this case will mean looking at them.  I have a tablet and I am going to experiment with using it to help me explore options.  I normally need to stand and walk a lot, applying paint, and then taking it off.  I am hoping that by taking an image and making visual notes I might make some progress on some of the paintings which are nearly done.  However, this won’t be sufficient, as I need to see the actual pigment on the painting, the texture, the exact brush stroke.  But it may help with some decisions.  I will wait and see.

I also have a lot of books I plan to read and look at.

Seems like life will be a mixture of pain management, exercises, some resting and recovery.  Challenging.

“Angles and Edges”  Experiment below, inspired by the whole knee journey!

"Angles and Edges" Knee Replacement inspired art work image by Jenny Meehan. © Jenny Meehan DACS All Rights Reserved

“Angles and Edges” Knee Replacement inspired art work image by Jenny Meehan. © Jenny Meehan DACS All Rights Reserved


I read there are seven key cuts in a knee replacement operation:


Seven cuts to the perfect total knee.
Brooks P1.
Author information
There are a total of 7 bone cuts in a typical total knee replacement (TKR): distal femur, anterior femur, posterior femur, anterior chamfer, posterior chamfer, tibia, and patella. Each of these cuts has its own special science, and each cut can affect the other cuts and potentially the outcome of the TKR. The distal femoral cut starts the overall alignment of the leg. Five degrees of valgus is cosmetically appealing, avoids excessive valgus, and prevents thighs from rubbing together. The anterior femoral cut sets femoral component rotation, which has effects on patellar tracking and gap balancing. In most knees, correct rotation is approximately 3 degrees of external rotation compared to the posterior condylar axis. An important exception is in valgus knees, where this could lead to accidental internal rotation. The posterior condyle cuts, with the tibial cut, determine the flexion gap. Injury to the medial collateral and posterior cruciate ligaments should be avoided. Anterior and posterior chamfer cuts must avoid these ligaments as well. The tibial cut is challenging. A 3 degrees posterior slope is most typical, and rotation is crucial. Internal rotation is a common error, affecting patellar tracking. Changing rotation on a sloped cut also adds varus or valgus. The patella cut should not be too deep. Component placement should tend medial and superior. If a lateral release is necessary, it should be done from inside-out, with preservation of the blood supply.

This is of interest to me, in appreciation of the art of surgery!  My image has rather random cuts pretty much everywhere; “Angles and Edges” seemed apt though, for this image.   I liked the suggestion of shine in the image.  Light bounces off objects,  and light of course is a natural preoccupation!  So it is an image which alludes to the importance of precision, mathematics and the surgeon’s skill, but rather plays around with the actual object with that joyous and wonderful “Art licenselo” or Artistic License. An image which relates to face, but denotes the distortion of fact.  My fictional image for my real situation!   However, I hope my own knee is very factual indeed!!!!!!!!

I continued to work on the image and then came up with the “Cutting Edge” design, which has a more abstract reference to the figure of a knee replacement but I think retains enough of the structure.  You can see that here;


About Jenny Meehan

I am a painter/visual artist/contemplative/poet/writer and mother, based in Surrey/South West London, UK.
Interested in spirituality (particularly Christ centred spirituality), creativity, emotional and psychological well-being.

I exhibit mainly in the UK, and am a member of Kingston Artists’ Open Studios. I have  trained  with SPIDIR as a spiritual guide/mentor. I am a qualified teacher and hold occasional small groups in developing painting and drawing skills, and general visual creative expression.

Contact me via the contact form on my website if you would like more information with respect to art tuition, and/or if you wish to receive my my bi-annual newsletter.

My artistic training has been through the Short Course programme at West Dean College, Surrey and through local adult art education classes. Professional in approach, I exhibit widely over the UK.

Please note that all images of my artwork are subject to copyright law: All rights reserved: Jenny Meehan DACS (Designer and Artist Copyright Society). In the first instance, contact me, and I will refer, as/if appropriate.



I am not sure if I have posted this up already.. Had a few problems once when writing a post, and got muddled with the different versions, so if this is a repeat, well.  Don’t worry, it’s me, not you, who has gone double!


Memo for June:  Baker Tilly in Guildford

Four of Jenny Meehan’s prints and four of her original paintings can be seen at Baker Tilly’s  offices in Guildford between July – September 2013. To make an appointment to view please contact Sue Dragon at Guildford Arts on
Email: or Phone: 01483 573 538

texture acrylic filler pigments, imaginative internal landscapes,memory based painting abstract expressionist, lyrical abstraction,romantict british art,romanticism expressionism 21st century,british uk female painter fine artist meehan,Cove - Jenny Meehan Acrylic Painting

Cove – Jenny Meehan Acrylic Painting
Very textural…which you cannot see too well here!


Above is “Cove”… I think childhood memory plays it’s part, once more, as it nearly always does!  I loved Combe Martin in North Devon, and there are wonderful rocks, crevices, caves, and other places of shelter.  The three little finger marks I placed near the end…I was thinking then of my  family members, both birth family and family now.  I think many people have treasured memories from their times by the sea…  I cannot imagine living somewhere without a coastline!    Cove is one of four paintings which will be on show at Baker Tilly in June

Artists Beware!  Amusement and Depression!

We simply don’t command what we are worth.  Well, maybe toned down a little into “It is easy to undervalue art working”.

This is the conclusion I have come to regarding art working in all its forms.

This article below, by Alistair Gentry is highly amusing, sobering, and maybe slightly depressing!

While amusingly extreme, it’s wise to take note of  what the situation often is…Not always, not necessarily so extreme, but  I have suspected much of this for a while.  I have very limited experience and Alistair Gentry has a lot.  So I do mark his words!

I think the “answer” is to simply make sure that what you do does work for you in the way you want it to.  Our reasons for doing things are many, and the bottom line is that the reason you ultimately choose to do something is because it means something to YOU.  How you go about getting it around, how you use  your skills, how you choose to invest your time and money…  Make your choices but whatever you do, don’t delude yourself that the substance of what you do is going to be realised in recognition, status,  or money.  It might be, but this is a side issue.   Put your heart into your art working and do it for the value it brings to your life and try to educate others as much as you can as to why art working is valuable, and exactly how it is.  Think  about it for a start… Why do you bother then?   How do you show this?  How do you talk about it?  What difference can it make to someone’s life?  Why does it matter?

“We simply don’t command what we are worth.”  Is me quoting myself!  I had better listen!

It is not rooted in a sense of self importance or inflated idea of the value of my own work, but more the conclusion I have come to through thinking about why art does matter in society and culture.   We have to have useful, transferable, competent skills and be willing to share them.  Useful, interesting, and thoughtfully reflective insights into the human condition which come from time invested into what is,  at it’s root, a contemplative practice.   And the value of the practice and it’s produce needs to be encouraged,  not exploited, by the way things work in the “art world”  (whatever that really is!).  I think it quite possibly nothing to do with art.  In my realistic moments I also conclude that business will always be business, and this is a ruthless and money minded matter.

I’ve resolved myself to continue to re-think and review what I do and why.  How I invest my time and money.  I’ve built up a bit of an exhibition history now, which can have it’s uses, but my heart is not in it.  As a trail or path in itself, it does not lead anywhere.  It is more what happens inside of us, and with our relationships and connections which matters, not some illusory idea of recognition or value based on ever shifting sand of whim, personal taste, or an idea or relative importance and value.   Only history holds the real answer to what ends up having stood the test of time, and even that is selective and not entirely reliable as a gauge of value, though it certainly indicates impact.  Many wonderful women have sadly been left out of the big art history trail!

On an optimistic note,  just to balance out the extreme despair that could easily assail one if only thinking down certain lines,   I have also  found that, as well as many rather dry experiences in my efforts to share my own work with others,  there are very many exciting, interesting and worthwhile artistic ventures happening.  People researching certain themes,  for example,  the wonderful “Speaking Out – Women Healing from the Trauma of Violence”  by Dr Nicole Fayard (University of Leicester 2014).  This project was a fantastic example of art working being explored in a very interesting and positive way, and for good end too,  raising awareness of trauma recovery and art,  bringing insight and information regarding social issues, sparking off discussion and establishing connections between people with common interests and passions.  Being part of that project has given me far more than I expected it to.  Not only has the process of working through some of my own tangled thoughts been  quite helpful,  but it has been inspiring and motivating to understand and recognise the value of art working in relation to trauma recovery, and this pushed me along a path I had started to walk on just that little bit further.


A Quote From “Going Slow” by Michael Sadgrove

“I am trying to learn, late in life, that the race is not always to the swift nor the battle to the strong.  Ours is an age where speed is everything.  Wherever you turn, in business, in industry, in education, even in the church, success is measured by this: that you fill your diary, work every hour God sends, work both smart and fast.  When I was in Sheffield and trying to raise funds for the Cathedral, I asked a wealthy businessman to help.  As he wrote out the cheque, he said to me: ‘Michael, it’s really important that the church models something different from the hectic pace at which we in the public and private sectors expect to see results.  The cathedral has been here for centuries. It has a perspective sub specie aeternitatis: it looks at things from the vantage point of eternity. It can help us take the long view, learn the meaning of patience.’  Perhaps this is what St Benedict meant by stability in his rule for monks: not running feverishly from place to place either physically or metaphorically, but being committed to the present where God has placed us, living according to that long view. ”

The above extract is from “Going Slow” a sermon preached by Michael Sadgrove on 10th February 2013  for the whole sermon, which is a good read.

As someone who often, for some odd reason, sometimes makes life much harder than it needs to be by overreaching, in terms of giving myself unrealistic targets, the sermon “Going Slow” is a timely reminder that a hectic pace is not the way I want to live my life deep down, and not the way to position myself to my best advantage I don’t think either.   Thankfully I tend to recognise fairly quickly when I make my schedule unrealistic, and manage to adjust things accordingly by making a reassessment of priorities…it hasn’t got me into any trouble yet and I hope will not in the future, but it has caused me unnecessary stress at times.   I think that one of the reasons I find the contemplative way of life a great aspiration and the way forward for me is probably in that it counteracts my natural tendency to associate achievement and doing with being worthwhile as a person.  I continue to shake this delusion off, and it will be a long term task, I am certain!

Good Article on Oil Paints and Acrylic Paints

This article on Oil and Acrylic Paints is one of the most thorough I have come across, and I do just love my paint research.  I have such an interest in it, I know for sure I am obsessed with paint, because it defies all reason.  I could quite happily spend an hour a day reading about technical matters regarding the use and qualities of different paints.  Well, there have been some days when I have done this…  Finding an in depth article like this one from Golden Paints “Just Paint” publication does save a lot of time though, so I hope it is useful to you if your interests lie in that direction!   If not, there is no doubt something else that you would happily spend an hour reading about!


Clyde Hopkins’ Paintings Continued…

I used to love getting plasticine and putting all the colours together, then slicing through them.  Clyde Hopkins’ paintings make me think of this memory, and so comes another of those internal connections that draw us one way or another when we look at paintings which excite us more than some others. “About the Orinoco” 2013   Oil on linen 105 x 90 cm

Copyright Clyde Hopkins.  Permission to use has been granted by the artist.

Oh, this one, yes.  This may be my favourite.  ( I can see my plasticine cut well).  What is more, there is an egg which lies waiting underneath the ground.  I am slightly concerned at this point that my comments and response are rather simplistic.  However, who cares but me, and only for a moment. Plus, this is probably a good thing.  My logical and intellectual  brain, while useful, sometimes robs me of a lot of pleasure. I love allusions to growth and the organic, and find them here in this painting, with a sense of being below ground level, which is also something which has held an interest to me for many years.  It was the only part of geography I enjoyed…rock formations, glaciers, volcanoes, different types of layers on the earth’s surface.  All so much better than towns, houses and populations.

“The Orinoco is one of the longest rivers in South America at 2,140 km (1,330 mi). Its drainage basin, sometimes called the Orinoquia, covers 880,000 square kilometres (340,000 sq mi).”

There you are.  Your intellect is now satisfied a little.   There is certainly a feeling of drainage in the painting.  And of forest.  And of roots. It’s kind of odd, that part in the painting at the near top right, with it’s concentric circles rippling together, bringing it away from the flat surface into a space beyond the picture plane.  But it doesn’t disturb me, and I think there is a patch of what I will call  “mystic light” just where those light purple/lilac seed type patches are falling.    So there is movement, light, and what looks like  a fair amount of texture in the bottom right hand side of the painting (looking face on).  Those things build an area which has pulled away from  the flatness of the strata/cross section side, and so, all does look in accord.  It works.  The computer screen will be playing its part in distorting what the reality of the reflected light is,  and so I am feeling  deprived.  But something like that is happening.

It’s a joyous painting, and seeps a sense of experience, and experienced use of colour, which is delightful to me.  I like organic forms in paintings and while I can appreciate paintings of geometric composition, and can imagine the freedom to explore various colours and paint applications within them, my eyes need the relief of a bit of undulation!   I like paintings which are a pleasure to the eye…No shame in that.   But ones which also challenge and stimulate.  These paintings do all three, and, like all paintings, all kinds of other things which we have not a clue about, no doubt. I want to look at some more in future posts. On the “Will Do” list!


Signs of  The Times

I hold a preference for  strictly geometric designs just being printed and flat.  And no more.  I found this out through my own “Signs of the Times” series.  I was thinking about maybe  translating some of them into paint, but couldn’t really conjure up the will to tear them away from their printed expressions, which were far truer to my intentions at the outset.  Behind each one,  there stood the thought that I had started working on them because I was sick to the core of advertising… sick of seeing all around me images which had the sole intention of pointing out some need and proposing the answer to it, all for commercial and business gain.  And so I took the sign part seriously.  I wondered how the world would look with, instead of adverts for products and services everywhere, it had simple statements of being or small phrases which simply hit you with no ulterior motive.  Things like “Quick Dip”  and “Putting Your Point Across” just expressed with no more message than that.  No more meaning or intent than the fruit of me grappling with how best I could express inner movements of the mind and heart.  Simple symbolic communication, which one could respond to without pressure.  You could emotionally agree, or not.   Simple as that.  Inner experiencing.  No demands.  No pointing out of anything you may be lacking, may need, should have etc. etc.

So I like the simple and the straightforward, and I like geometric design and paint encountering it.  I like them apart and I like them together.  But in my own painting I want the challenge of the relationship between the geometric and the organic/lyrical.   There is something which is more “giving” about it.  My mind just doesn’t respond to straight lines that well, maybe.  It is interesting for me to take note of others work and I don’t have the time to put everything which strikes a chord in this Journal, but hopefully I will have some trace over time, of things which have helped me to discern my own creative path.  It is though recognising something you like in others work that you get some sense of what your inner interests might be.   I think it possible that seeing what you like around you, you see it with eyes fresher than you could have for your own work and that this can encourage you and validate the little stirrings which you are starting to feel inside yourself.  I still remember wandering round some art fair (I cannot remember which it was) and finding my eyes only resting on Ivon Hitchens’ and Alan Davie’s paintings…everything else just seems to sink into the abyss!  It was their painting alone which caught me completely…  Nothing else seemed significant. We search for significant form, and I don’t mean significant form in the Bell sense, but in the poetic.  Something which calls back to us, like an echo, of what resounds within.

Back to the “Signs of the Times”… Here is another one which will be on show at Baker Tilly this year… Title is “No Cares”

No Cares print from Signs of the Times series by Jenny Meehan

No Cares print from Signs of the Times series by Jenny Meehan


Chance Encounter on the South bank with Nigel Fountain interviewing for  “The Oldie”

As I make my way back from my psychotherapy session I often stop to sit by the Thames.  Anywhere by water is my favourite place in London.  I have rather “a thing” about water… and find myself drawn to it in both in the ways it is used symbolically,  and as a real substance.  I’ve always loved water…Been a bit of a “water baby”!    I had only been sitting down for a short while when a man approached me, explaining that he was from “The Oldie” Magazine, and asking “Would I be willing to be interviewed?”  Well, I had, as it happens, heard of  The Oldie Magazine, but only because a writer  who brought “London Downpour” from me last year happened to be attending one of their events in London, and I needed to drop the painting off there for collection.   This was just as well, as I don’t think I would have said  yes if I had  not recognised the name of the magazine.

Nigel Fountain…What a great name… For me to be interviewed by Nigel Fountain on the edge of the Thames, and to have the painting “London Downpour” connected in my mind with The Oldie Magazine, is something which makes my heart smile a little… I am a great believer in taking the time both to talk and to listen, and so this was handy for him, as I gave him a great deal of my time.  It was so nice to be interviewed by someone so good at doing it well, and I feel very grateful for the opportunity to share some of my life experiences with him.  I was very open about my life experiences, which I am not always… but I follow my instincts in matters such as these, and I feel in a place myself where the traumatic nature of quite a lot of my earlier life really does seem a very long way away.  Though I work through some of the issues in psychotherapy/psychoanalysis,  the fact that I have been able to work my way through them is starting to pay dividends in my ability to talk about them in a reflective and thought out way.  It helps me to appreciate other people too.

Surprisingly, I find,  engaging in psychotherapy  is not a selfish endeavour.  It is self focused,  but time invested in listening to one’s self is probably something we should all do a great deal more of.   Being able to see yourself compassionately yet also critically, in a constructive way,  can be also a way to allow more compassion into your heart when looking at other people’s life experiences.    Why do we shy away from others pain and suffering?  Why do we fear the vulnerability in each other, and make so many efforts to hide our common tears?  Maybe because we have not faced our own pains and sorrows?

I am writing this now very deliberately having not seen yet what Nigel Fountain has written!  This is important to me because as a writer myself, I am interested to see how what I write now relates to what he writes when I get hold of it  in just over a month (today as I write this   is 22nd March). It is rather risky to talk very freely to journalists.  Having had three other local paper journalists write articles on me over the last few years,   I am very aware indeed of how their individual perspectives colour their work.  You trust them to re form what you give them, and  you do not know if their own distortions, which are bound to be there, are going to give a likeness which you feel ok about.   But I was so impressed with his interview technique I am quite confident he will do an excellent job, and if I don’t like it, it is his work, not mine.

I also really like the whole idea of what he does…Going around and interviewing random people…listening to their stories and making a piece of writing out of them.   These chance encounters happen to us all the time in life.  Just investing that little bit more time to find out about someone and to somehow allow them to open up a little more than they might do in a rushed interaction.  Making time to make a connection with someone else, simply by showing an interest.    It is much easier to flick on your mobile phone or tablet and interact with that.  How many opportunities to communicate will our gadgets and technology close down for us, I wonder?

Note:  Since writing the above, the article has been published, and it is a most excellent piece of writing.  I am delighted, and it is by far the most accomplished piece of writing about me I have experienced so far.    I feel rather privileged to have met the man and been interviewed, and also to have his writing skill used in sketching an impression of my life with such a perceptive and acute penning!  My most favourite bit…Will need to do a painting in response to it, I think:

“I contemplate the north bank of the Thames and Jenny, scratching her chin, avoids looking born-again”  Quote from “Brief Encounters – Nigel Fountain looks at the lives of others” published in The Oldie magazine, June, 2014

I looked into “The Oldie” which has been described as the spiritual successor to Punch and was set up in 1992 by Richard Ingrams.  It’s aim was ” to “produce an antidote to youth culture but, more importantly, a magazine with emphasis on good writing, humour and quality illustration.”   I want to get hold of a copy now, this sounds very good!   This quote in particular about The Oldie is very enticing: “The most original magazine in the country…..their eclectic embrace of human variety is a monthly rebuke to the formulaic, celebrity led concept of features in our newspapers and magazines.”  The Independent.

St Julian of Norwich/The Comforter Painting

Researching Julian of Norwich a while back  led me to the final title of the painting below, which was first called “The Comforter” referencing Christ’s words regarding the Holy Spirit in the New Testament books of John: “Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.”  I then expanded the title to include the reference to St Julian of Norwich, because my research and thinking, along with the writing of the poem, made me feel that the two works, though in different mediums, were one.

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

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

Above “The Comforter/St Julian of Norwich”  Painting by Jenny Meehan  

I entered this in the Womens’ Interfaith Network exhibition submission process this year, but it did not get in,  so I am taking this opportunity to show it for now!   I would also like to include the poem I wrote in response to my studies of St Julian of Norwich and also another poem which I found later on by someone called Venetia Carse.

Firstly then, my poem on St Julian of Norwich, which is called “To Saint Julian”

To Saint Julian


I had not heard of you,

I had not seen you

Within your four walls

The small rectangle looks out


You look within

The walls of your cell rough marked and mottled

Play with the light which moving across the day

Casts itself into interplay with your mind and thinking

On the source of our reason to live

Our reason to live, even within the pain

The darkness we fear around us

Theblackness we all must face when

Forced into our own heart cell

The confines of our place.


It is not the now, the then, the will be

It is all three in one small speck

Which running down, splatters, splinters the hardness

Catastrophe brought us a gift in one falling

One who was God, and also was man

And woman? Is this so? If so,my heart cries childishly

For that warm embrace.

the hug, and the softness

The cover, white on your arm , ready to wrap round me.


I need the way forward.

In the indistinct marks of the wall which surrounds me

gentle ring, containing all which first took joy

Fear which raged spitting brimstones not from

another world, but from ours

iface the trauma

Know the grief, see the hurt, in the living of life

Is a heart of pain.

Being  wounded is not hard.

All enter into  our own cell.


How far I have fallen!

Yet, there is the always the holding.

You are holding,

You circle me.

Containment  of our being.

Able to be as  we are in you.

And not despised.

Light changes, it changes everything

Every image alters,

In the light.

I look back to you , St Julian, in the refuge you took

Because life is not easy.

“All is well”  your voice comes to me

Not as platitude, nor  peace,

Rather as hope, because His love is better than life

We look beyond, look through, and look within.

Our search is not in vain.

life hits hard each tender soul that struggles forward,

Clothed in the flesh that does not cover

Our multitude of sins.

see the blows of life on our bodies

But see too

God’s covering.

Within the blood of my new birth

“All IS well”



And the poem by Venetia Carse:


Let me live beyond the limits of my Self,

still in the ‘now’, yet on the edge of time;

eye looking inward, forward, down and through,

seeing always God’s radiance coloured

in the mist, rime, blackthorn, shine.


Let me live where Christ, my faith, begins,

where love, confronting fear,

holds candle to the dark;

rejection, rape – bitterness and pain

by this most holy Cross

so forgivingly redeemed.

Should we be asked to travel some dark road,

bruised, disillusioned, life meaningless,

it seems,

may openness to God’s all-giving

grace guide our blind eyes … through.



And shall we see once more

and sense the joy

in small and patient things;

soft mist, sun warmth

and blackthorn bud;

or glory in a cloud of swallows wings.

Then let us cease to strive

beyond ourselves and live,

content to be, aware

of God’s compassion … and His Love, which sets us free’

with prayer and reverence prepared

to care for Earth’s sad frailty.


Venetia Carse – A POEM inspired by Dame Julian of Norwich.   This was published in one of the Julian Magazines, but I cannot remember which one, so apologies for the vague source reference.  I normally ensure I give publication details, but this is the best I can do for this one, for now. 


Poetry and Painting

I will post up some of my recent work very soon.  I am enjoying writing some more poetry right now, and also experimenting with painting in response to the poetry.  This seems to be a fitting approach…I feel released from the need to define objects or have explicit pictorial content in the painting,  as can rest, relaxed and chilled, that I have said what I want to say (in language) in the poem.  I can then simply express in visual language the feeling with no obligation to define anything more than my instincts are leading me to.  This is great fun!    I still enjoy painting pictures, and I still enjoy drawing from life, and I still enjoy paintings which have a recognisable subject matter, but I do not feel bound by this.  What  I am doing with my painting is sticking to the heart of what I enjoy the most about it, which is creating significant emotional form, and experimenting with materials, techniques, colours and composition.    I don’t need to do any more than this in one painting.  Drawing IS fundamentally important.  I love it dearly.  Sometimes it meets the painting and sometimes it doesn’t.  I don’t have to prove a thing, just paint.   If someone sees my painting and thinks I cannot draw, so be it.  Not my problem!  (Gosh, I do angst over this matter, again and again!)

I think I probably just need to sit down, look at the strands in my work, identify them and develop them.  At present I have:

Spiritual, poetic, personal painting type work.  Experimenting with the relationships between image and word.  An interest in the spiritual direction and creativity interface, mental health and well being, and trauma recovery.  Using the psychoanalytic approach generally to increase self awareness in my own life and work, and the extremely delightful, wonderful liberating experience of living a life which is as Christ-centred as I can possible make it.

Drawings (mostly life drawing), which I would like to take into painting also.  Just started going along to the Dulwich Art Group about once a month.  Very exciting to paint the figure from life.  Colour, if used will be expressionistic.  Black and white is more appealing initially, as it is the marks I am interested in right now.

Rambling, on this blog.  On and on and on and on.  As long as I can.  Free to do, because of the joy of skimming over the surface, which we are all very good at.  I write, I like to write.  Poet seems too grand a word, but I lean into that direction rather than other genres.  Writing this journal is an indulgence.

An interest in producing and developing/marketing a commercial strand, but one which I still feel has roots I can feel at least a little bit connected to.  This might happen later, as my time is tight with household and family matters.  I make little attempts here and there, but the reality is, other things are more important right now.

A photographic strand, which has completely become black and white, and small, rather than big, both in terms of print size and time spent on it.   I really need to put all my images from the past to good use… I have a lot of work I could use potentially.

And other things too…  I expect.



Excellent article by Mark Stone at Abstract Critical…

A possible response might be … Sort out why you are doing what you are doing for yourself.



Jenny Meehan is a painter and designer based in East Surrey/South West London. Her website is  ( replaces the older now deceased website

Jenny Meehan BA Hons (Lit.) PGCE also offers occasional  art tuition.  Please contact Jenny at or through the contact form at for further details.  

Jenny Meehan works mainly with either oils or acrylics  creating both abstract/non-objective paintings  and also semi-abstract work.  She also produces representational/figurative artwork,  mostly using digital photography/image manipulation software, painting and  drawing.  Both original fine paintings and other artwork forms (prices ranging from between £60 and £700) and affordable photo-mechanically produced prints are available to purchase. Enquiries welcome.  I have more artwork than I can display on the internet, so let me know if you are looking for something specific in terms of style, function, or subject matter. 

Jenny Meehan exhibits around the United Kingdom.  To be placed on Jenny Meehan’s bi-annual  mailing list please email requesting to be kept up to date. Also, you could follow the Jenny Meehan Contemporary Artist’s Journal at WordPress and keep informed that way.

You tube video with examples of photography, drawing and painting by Jenny Meehan

Website Link for jamartlondon:

Digital photography can be viewed on

Here is the link to my Photobox Gallery:


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