November and December!

December 11, 2018

©jenny meehan contemporary female abstract artist kingston upon thames surrey art culture

jenny meehan prints ©jenny meehan

November and December are when I tend to turn my attention to updating my website and various other computer based tasks.  A good time for more socialising too!  While I love and need much time in solitude, I am an extrovert by nature and there are so many fun things to do at this time of year! I have packed my studio tent away for this year.  It’s too cold now, and the days are shorter anyway.

Above you see, along with my feet, some prints which were printed for me as part of a prize awarded!  It was the 2nd Prize in Digital Art Category of Chester Art Centre Open Exhibition 2017.  One hundred pounds worth of digital printing!  What a useful prize!  I have put them in frames and prepared them ready for next years Kingston Artists’ Open Studios. They are archival quality prints, and look fantastic.  I am very pleased with them. Though I won’t label them limited edition,  because I feel that is somewhat irrelevant in today’s digital age, (with so many printing options available), because I don’t print and sign much work nowadays, they should probably be labelled 1/1….    for it is very unlikely I will produce anymore.  But I don’t know what I may want to do in the future with them.  For this reason, I tend to just sign and number my prints without specifying how many I will or won’t make.  As said, the reality is that I don’t spend much time on printing my work now or getting it printed.  Too busy creating, innovating, and experimenting!

I have made several visits to the British Museum in the later part of this year.  Glad of it.  Great place to wander through and appreciate the wealth of historical artefacts; all in one place.  I love looking at historical artefacts and discovering more about the past. I admire craftsmanship and find religious beliefs and learning about different cultures very helpful.  Kind of liberating.  The focus of so much creation is bound up in religious belief.  I find this helpful to bear in mind.

Ritual. Remembrance. Death.  Eternity.

These were the words I left with.

And a focus on the art working I do, which is purely focused on what I am doing.  Yes, it’s hard…Because there is a need to share, promote, and put things on the internet.  But as the years go by, I am learning to focus more, and in a more refined manner, on the work itself.  What it means.  What it says.  Why it matters.


We have so much.  It can get confusing!


Looking Back

Looking back, though not very far, here are a couple of images of my paintings from this year’s Kingston Artists’ Open Studios event.  If you like visiting Artists, seeing their work, and getting a chance to ask the questions you want, as well as maybe having the opportunity to buy an original piece of fine art much cheaper than you would probably be able to get it at a gallery, then an Open Studios event is just the thing for you.

Contact me via my website and ask to be placed on my mailing list and I will send you information on the Kingston Artist’s Open Studios event in 2019.  Surrey artists open their studios each year, and Kingston has a wealth of artistic talent just waiting to be explored.


kingston artists open studios jenny meehan paintings in situ

KAOS open studios jenny meehan paintings

On the left “Joy and Pain” and on the right (face on view) “Father, Son and Holy Spirit/Trinity”.

The latter painting has been licensed for use on one of the Bible Reading Fellowship’s publications, on the cover of a book by Nigel G. Wright titled “How to be a Church Minister”.  I am always very pleased when images of my paintings are licensed for use.  It’s great when they can be of practical use, and particularly, as a bit of a writer myself, I am pleased when they are employed in the service of writings relating to faith and spirituality. It’s wonderful to see my paintings used in design…As long as a licence has been issued!  Being a member of DACS (Design and Artists Copyright Society) has been one of the best moves I have made.

If you want to use any of my paintings, and are looking for something specific, do contact me, because the vast majority of my work is not shown on the internet.  I really do work hard, and produce quite an array.  It’s quick and easy to purchase a licence through DACS.  My paintings have graced many book covers.


©jenny meehan

waterloo clock ©jenny meehan

Love this clock!

In 2010 the specialist clock maker Smith of Derby removed the hands and many of the internal workings of the clock so they could be re-engineered to work with the latest technology. The  clock’s historic exterior was also  cleaned and decorated as part of the project.  The clock has been a central feature of Waterloo Station since the early part of the 20th century.  The clock was made by Gents of Leicester and is believed to date back to the 1920s.  My photography now is pretty much limited to the occasional snap here and there, such as this one.  I have a huge archive of the years I spent focused primarily on photography but I tend to use it for reference mostly.


under pressure©jenny meehan

under pressure ©jenny meehan

Yes, well, we all feel like this sometimes.  An example of some early experiments with Photoshop.  The image was based on a cut out and stencil mono type  I made at West Dean one year.  We live in a society and culture which exerts an awful lot of pressure on us, in a relentless manner.  What a challenge it is to even just BE.  How do we define ourselves from the inside out, in a strong and certain manner, in the face of all the media? What masks do we adopt and what happens when they fail and we fall? What happens when our vulnerability and fragility need to be faced, our self encountered, and avoidance and repression, distraction and entertainment, fail to keep us afloat?


Jenny Meehan on

Redbubble is a great “print on demand” website and I have some of my images there.  The world is full of fabulous artists and Redbubble is a good place for buying merchandise which is original, exciting and contemporary.  The artists on Redbubble get a royalty payment from any items that you purchase there, so it is one way to support the creative community and help artists gain a little bit of income from their work.  Do take a look!

I only get a small royalty percentage, but it’s lovely to know someone has chosen something with my design/artwork on it.  It’s one of those welcome emails…And a small, but vital encouragement to me!   I don’t print very much of my own artwork anymore, as I prefer to focus on painting and poetry, but using a company like does mean if people want to buy something printed they can quickly and easily, and it doesn’t take my time up in order to produce the item.


Follow the link above to see one of my patterns.  Using the “Spring Will Come” image.  Now the patterns I make tend to be with pieces of stone and glass, as my new venture into mosaic continues.  But however they are made, there is something very satisfying about making patterns.




jenny meehan jamartlondon photography monochrome jenny meehan jamartlondon photography monochrome ©jenny meehan west dean college time enjoying the garden

jenny meehan jamartlondon photography monochrome ©jenny meehan west dean college time enjoying the garden

An early photograph of mine taken at West Dean Gardens.   I am posting up rather random images, because I have spent time looking through my archives.  Pathways of various kinds have always held my interest.  Way forward. Need to move forward.  Sense of direction.

jenny meehan jamartlondon photography monochrome

jenny meehan jamartlondon photography monochrome ©jenny meehan west dean college time enjoying the garden

This little decking area is no more in West Dean Gardens.  They have removed it.  The pond area has changed a lot. This is such an elegant bench. I have so many photos and drawings of seats, benches, chairs…resting places.  The need to stop. Dwell. Cease moving. Contemplate.

jenny meehan jamartlondon photography monochrome jenny meehan jamartlondon photography monochrome ©jenny meehan west dean college time enjoying the garden

jenny meehan jamartlondon photography monochrome ©jenny meehan west dean college time enjoying the garden

And so many photographs of plants, trees, vegetation, and all growing things!  Growth, natural form, being essentials for the eye, in appreciation of variety, vast variety, endless variety, of God’s amazing ongoing creative power and endless inspiration to be found by looking at it!

I continue my professional development in the visual arts through the short course programme at West Dean College when I can.  It works very well for me, and I find it has been far more useful to me than a fine art degree.  My degree is in Literature, and I also studied a substantial number of modules in History as part of my degree at Kingston University.

jenny meehan jamartlondon photography monochrome

jenny meehan jamartlondon photography monochrome ©jenny meehan west dean college time enjoying the garden

Another sweet West Dean moment!  And yet another of numerous images of water.  Water.  Sea. Rivers. All things watery. I love water and rocks, and all the images I have taken, while I don’t tend to refer to them directly, feed into my consciousness and inform my paintings.  I think the years I spent taking pictures were a good training in terms of composition particularly.  I also reached the point where I had so many pictures they did not interest me so much, and this may be one of the reasons I jumped into abstraction!

jenny meehan jamartlondon photography monochrome jenny meehan jamartlondon photography monochrome ©jenny meehan west dean college time enjoying the garden

jenny meehan jamartlondon photography monochrome ©jenny meehan west dean college time enjoying the garden


Lovely light.

jenny meehan jamartlondon photography monochrome

jenny meehan jamartlondon photography monochrome ©jenny meehan west dean college time enjoying the garden

On my most recent course at West Dean College, the box needed a tidy up, but in this image the rounded shapes are very neat and tidy!


black and white landscapes jenny meehan jamartlondon photography monochrome

jenny meehan jamartlondon photography landscapes in uk ©jenny meehan west dean college time enjoying the garden

Another West Dean Gardens delight.


It’s a bit of a brief journal entry, I know. But I am so much absorbed in my work at the moment.  There’s some great relief for me at the present time in not writing so much.  Just being totally immersed in experimenting doesn’t seem to need any kind of documentary.  I am almost tempted to stop writing this journal.  I won’t do that, but it may be shorter and sharper.

Many years ago I used to enjoy the Abstract Critical website.

There were some interesting discussions… It helped me put my brain into action, and introduced me to thinking about abstraction at a time when I was still battling internally with if I should really let myself go down the abyss!

Reading what Alan Gouk had to say was exceptionally helpful to me.


Happy Christmas!

Now I must go.  As said, I think it likely that I will now continue just to post once every two months.

angel print for all saints church of england kingston upon thames angel campaign submission by jenny meehan

Angel print for All Saints church of england CofE Kingston parish church kingston upon thames angel campaign submission by jenny meehan

You can purchase a print of the above art work by me on Redbubble!

Rain, Rain,Rain.

I just want to put the final coating of Keim 694 Waterbased semi-permanent anti-graffiticoating ON THE MURAL.  It’s sitting here in front of me, but cannot be used “if rain could fall within 5 to 6 hours”.  The way the last few days have been going, all my expected times and days have melted into the ground and evaporated!  I haven’t even seen the mural since John last came in to finish the cartoons, so I haven’t even seen it finished yet!  Hopefully one day next week….

Once I have coated the mural with the anti-graffiticoating, I will be working on a presentation on the whole process for the school.  And then the work really will be finished.  I have to say a really big thank you to Keim Mineral Paints again for their part in the project, which in the end turned out to be very significant, because I found their silica-sol paint “Soldalit” of great use for the linear parts of the painting, and John used this for the cartoons too.   I now intend to continue to use Soldalit for other exterior murals I paint, as the colour range is fantastic, and though I like to mix up my own colours, (as I did for the colour areas of the Trafalgar Mural, using the Beeck Full Colour mineral paints), it does save a lot of time if the colours are already mixed.

I’ve learnt a lot from this project….

1.  I love and hate the weather, but it’s kind of nice to be subject to it.

2. Some companies have great customer service, and others need to improve.  However great, you can only build on the foundations below you.  That means, every little person matters.

3.When you paint murals on party walls, it can take a long time and a lot of effort to get permission to do so, but if you use a porus silicate mineral paint, there is no good reason for refusal, as the wall can “breath”, so no damp issues arise.

4. Don’t assume anything

5. Children are worth working with.  My thanks to the lovely children who painted with me, and to all those wonderful artists who produced such amazing cartoons under the expert and sensitive guidance of John T Freeman.  If the mural was bigger, all the cartoons would be in the mural…every single one.

6. It will ALWAYS take longer than you think, and extensive preparation, including research, is always worth it.

7.  The composition has to be right.  If it’s not, don’t bother.

8.  Silicate Mineral Paint offers the best colour quality possible, far superior to acrylic paint in terms of its ability to reflect light.   Having spent hours looking at the difference, I have no doubt in my mind about this matter. It’s beautiful.  It is more demanding to use, but it’s worth it. And Keim Soldalit, their sol-silicate paint is much easier to use than the Beeck.

9. Take the rough with the smooth…In this case, quite literally.  The wall surface was rough!  Painting straight lines on such a surface doesn’t make much sense, but as they say, “where there’s a will, there’s a way” and nothing’s impossible.

10. Give generously, receive generously.

It might seem a bit early to put this down, but as the rain is stopping me from going any further, I might as well do this now.  I would like in the future to put together something on practical techniques for mural painting with silicate mineral paints to help others who might consider using this type of paint for exterior or interior murals, but to be honest, I have so much happening right now I cannot see myself being able to do this for sometime.

The Keim website is worth a look.

They have been stellar in their customer service, and helped immensely.  I’m very grateful.

I now have work to sort out for exhibition at the Rose Theatre in October, Gallery 63 in September, The CornerHOUSE in December and later on Leatherhead theatre in May 2012, which is great, but means the mural work has to stop for a while.  I am working on a mural in a garden, just a simple grey and white one  .I would like to do another exterior mural at the school later next year.  I’m also in the process of applying for the Artists Access to University Scheme, at Kingston University in order to develop my practice.  That should be enough for now,  plus running the house, and all that domestic bliss!

By way of a little deviation, some images of other things I have been creating!




I can’t resist the odd photograph now and again.

Pencil sketch done at West Dean College during last stay recently

Another part of the journey….


Look at the mess, beautiful, isn't it!

This is the kind of studio space I would like to have all the time!


I’m back from a most excellent course at West Dean College in Sussex once more.  The short courses there enable me to introduce new elements to my practice and though I can only afford to take part in very short courses at the moment – Summer School is now completely out of the question – I still find even a course of two days duration is enough to effectively act as a kind of trampoline from which I can throw myself on and bounce off into new directions.   I sometimes wonder if I need any new directions, as I hardly have time to develop the ones I am already exploring, but I trust in the knowledge,( which does seem to be the case), that because my work is based on a foundation of truth and an honesty of expression, that even in the midst of apparent chaos, of diverse experimentation and of sometimes very different “styles”, there is a constant about it which roots it into the earth and prevents it from blowing away completely.

This course “Fantastical Painting Using The Dynamics Of The Imagination” tutored by Christopher Gilvan Cartwright was very helpful to me indeed, most particularly in the respect of me understanding and developing the ability to critique my own work.  It is a great pain to me that I work in such an isolated situation most of the time, and this of course denies me the opportunity to exercise in a more conscious way the thought processes, which while they are a by product of the work, and certainly not the centre of it,  still provide much interest ,and sometimes useful pointers, when I am considering where to take a particular piece of painting or sculpture.  So this was very useful indeed, and not the usual type of input gained from very short courses, more the type of thing I would engage in on a degree course or similar.  I needed this level of input, and it was very timely indeed.  The tutor was very good at giving focused feedback and suggestions to all members on the course with  a very well differentiated approach which was much appreciated by all. 


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

Thankfully, next year, though I will not be able to attend the Summer School at West Dean (It is a hefty chunk of cash!) I have £100 off voucher due to the West Dean College “Loyal Lobster Scheme”.  I am saving a bit each month and along with that I will be able to participate in another course next year.  I have wanted to work with lino printing for a couple of years.  My photographic work has over the course of time leant further and further in the direction of blocks of rich colour and I would like to explore this direction using a different printing process to that of photographic reproduction. One that opens up some new possibilities.   And ink… I did try it out this year at the West Dean Summer School in a taster session, and it was POWERFUL stuff! I did not like the smell or the consistency, so maybe that does not bode well, but the COLOUR!  I do feel I want to continue the strands which have emerged from my photographic art, and this is certainly one of them.  I think it’s going to be a useful tool for some interesting work in the future.

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

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


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

Back from West Dean, and other holiday trips here and there, to find the publicity information for “Muybridge In Kingston” on my doorstep.  Very glad to see it too, as I had no knowledge of the “John Lewis Art Prize Photography Competition” which is one of many events going on as part of this focus on one of Kingston’s most innovative people.  Events at the Stanley Picker Gallery, Kingston Museum and the Tate Britain, look very interesting and varied, and I will certainly be going to some of them. 

I also just had to enter the “John Lewis Art Prize Photography Competition”.  Though I am focusing on my painting, I do periodically return to my camera and computer, and as the John Lewis competition has its focus around the John Lewis building in Kingston, how could I resist?  My “John Lewis Partnership Foundations 1987  inkjet artwork (which was displayed at the Stanley Picker Gallery “Kingston Contemporary Open” Exhibition in 2007) beckoned me once more.  But to use something I have worked on in the past in a new way is much more exciting, and it’s one of the joys of being an artist…taking something old and making it new in some way. 

But time!  It’s so tight!  A bit like last time around…inspiration comes fast and thick…sometimes pressure can help things along a bit.  I started working today at around 12 noon and now the print is delivered to the Gift List Department at John Lewis, Kingston.  I am very grateful for the fact that I invested in a printer recently, and also that I had some inkjet paper to hand.  It’s hard financially, and always a struggle to work out what is a worthwhile investment…one which will be useful…but looks like past purchases have come into their own this time around, as I would not have had time to get the image printed elsewhere…not exactly as I required it.

The image is called “Years Go By – John Lewis Partnership Foundations 2010” and gets its title from one of many thoughts I had while creating the piece.  Because it contains parts of the previous “John Lewis Partnership Foundations” image  (in the picture frame and the screen) I felt I had to include this in the title.  My awareness of the rapid passing of time as I worked on it, especially with the deadline date being tommorrow, was something I wanted to include, and the passing of  time is also referenced in the image through the text in the store about beds! 

Because the events going on focus on the work of Muybridge, a figure from the past, and a creator of images (both still and moving) with the camera,  and the competition has its focus on the John Lewis Kingston Store,  to use my own past photographic work by bringing it forward in time and setting it within the John Lewis Furniture Department seemed like an interesting way to set up lots of new visual and conceptual  relationships.  I was thinking about people planning the interior of their homes, thinking about the planning involved right from the outset of creating  a new building, (even so far back as the first lines drawn by an architect), thinking about a blank piece of paper…the problems we all have with dimensions….(mine was the my image looked great square, but I wanted it to work on A3, as that was the format for the competition).  People choosing furniture also have to think about how objects fit into physical spaces.  I gave the figure from the 1987 image of the building’s foundations a prominent place in the image…I quite like the relationship between him and the lady at the top right who is looking at a selection of pictures and wondering no doubt which to choose.  I guess I am also hoping that my image will be chosen as part of the John Lewis Art Prize Exhibition which runs from the 8th September at “The Place To Eat” in John Lewis Kingston.  Only time will tell!!!

More information on Events which are part of the “Muybridge In Kingston” 2010

Here is my entry…

Entry by Jenny Meehan for the "John Lewis Art Prize" 2010, part of the Muybridge In Kingston events

This is another chapter in the story started by my first image of the foundations of the John Lewis building in Kingston. First image 1987, this one created in 2010. Interior of furniture department was taken last year I think from memory.

And here was the image which was shown at the Stanley Picker Gallery in 2007 as part of the Kingston Contemporary Open Exhibition…

Image of 2007 artwork "John Lewis Foundations Partnership" Jenny Meehan

Ah yes, it is my favourite place.  West Dean College is where it all started for me in 2005 when I attended the “Sculpture with Wire”  Course tutored by David Farrer.   My sculpture “Articulation” hangs in my studio as a beautiful reminder of a kind of birth… I nearly sold it a couple of years ago, but I am quite glad I still have it for now. I may well continue working on it in the future.  That course worked as a kind of take-off pad for me I think… to suddenly have a whole week to be creative made me realise how fundamental my creativity is to my existence.  And one course turned into several more over the years, mostly involving working with metal, but two in painting.  Short but sweet.

I am playing it safe this year and attending an excellent course by John T Freeman.  I know it’s excellent because I did it a couple of years ago.  (I say “playing it safe”  because I have attended a course which just wasn’t the right kind of thing for me before, and this is a very discouraging experience.)  The painting course is only for a week,  but I just cannot wait.

Image is one taken at West Dean Gardens in the Spring.  My heart’s gone out of making photographic images right now, but I take a little time now and again to fiddle around with past images with Adobe Photoshop.   And it is a very handy skill to have as an artist.  Good for putting work up on the internet, sending it here and there, entering competitions and all that stuff.  However, I worry at times that there may be glue on the stool that I sit on in front of the computer.  You sit down, thinking you are just going to check your emails, and then look up one hour later, and realise you are still there!  So I presently work as little as I can on the computer, and as much as I can with paint.

Having said that, occasionally I am tempted to play around on screen.  Hence  “Morning River, West Dean”, which was an image originally taken in 2007.   It’s a nice little game, but I would not claim that my current photographic images are anything special in themselves.  They are an artistic product without any great craftsmanship.  Some knowledge, a limited tool in the shape of my  distinctly unprofessional camera, and the computer magic of software.  Yet there is value in it for me all the same.  But I am not a photographer, no, I am not.  The beauty of it, for me, has all drained dry.  I am pleased with what I have done in the past, and I am keen to continue some threads started in the past,  but I don’t see much future in it for me.

This type of black and white image ” Morning River, West Dean”  IS something I will continue with, and rather interestingly, it is something in the vein of which I started with. Stuck all over my “Articulation” sculpture (2005) are black and white photocopied images of the branches of a tree in my garden.   I was struck so by the patterns of the branches of different trees, by the whole system of a tree, by the relationship between the overarching pattern or design and that of each unique individual tree.  So it appears I have come full circle!

Take a look at my website and see some examples of my current art working.

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!

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