Mindfulness and art come hand in hand. They cross beautifully. Most artists experience this beautiful connection during the creative process – constantly listening to the quiet voice, responding, and making marks from the hand of intuition. There’s nothing more delightful than that creative pop when a new idea explodes into life.
You might have heard of ‘mindfulness’. It’s the new buzzword. But what, exactly, does it mean? And can we really be mindful in this new digital world where everything moves so fast we don’t have time to eat, sleep or notice? Sometimes it’s hard even to notice our loved ones.
Mindfulness is a practice. It’s a discipline similar to meditation where we focus on our inner world – becoming aware and conscious of our thoughts. By practicing mindfulness we become immersed in our everyday lives without judgement and allow life to flow harmoniously.
How do we stay in this unique state when the world is bombarding us? We turn our awareness inwards creating space, so we can function in the outside world but with a more centred approach.
Once we understand that the only permanent thing in life is change, we learn that everything will soon pass. Whether it’s good or bad. This comes as a relief because we know we have the power to move forward.
Awareness like this cannot be learned overnight. Like most disciplines it takes practice – especially when life is not going our way. And with practice we eventually begin to see results.
So how do you feel now? Is it empowering to realise that situations can’t control you? If the answer is ‘yes’ you have finally become aligned with your happier true self – a side of you that isn’t controlled by external circumstances.
Mindful drawing workshops offer guided meditations that open up your intuition and help you practice mindfulness. Using drawing techniques the workshop gives you the tools to harness your power within.
Can anyone draw? Yes of course. You just need to take the thinking mind out of the way and ignore your inner critic. It’s about realising the difference between SEEING and looking, and learning how artists perceive a subject and become inspired. The workshop will help you to do these things.
No drawing experience is necessary – only an interest in meditation. The goal is to help you combat your inner critic, enjoy the art of drawing, and bring harmony, flow, awareness, and inner stillness to your life.
To sign up for our spring workshops in 2017 please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Where you hang your art is extremely important. Otherwise it feels uncomfortable – a bit like a shoe that doesn’t fit. Every piece has to blend with its surroundings and the spacing has to be just right. Here’s some helpful advice to help each painting work in harmony with your home or office.
Not many people realise that curating art in your personal space is just as important as where you place furniture. I see so many living rooms and offices where badly hung art stands out like a pair of ill fitted curtains. Fortunately though, most problems can be sorted out with little tweaks.
I remember the time when I walked into a client’s apartment in London. The first thing I noticed was that two huge paintings on opposites walls looked out of place. I immediately suggested swapping the paintings around.
At first my client was unconvinced because the paintings matched the colour of the furniture underneath. However because the paintings were the wrong proportions, I persuaded her that the colours were irrelevant. We swapped the paintings around and boy did it make a difference!
Suddenly there was a shift in the room and the energy just flowed. The eye was able to follow the line of colour through the room – which now emanated balance and harmony – and we were able to find space for another painting that had been lying on the floor. My client and her husband were absolutely delighted.
Sometimes something this simple can really complete a room. Because we purchase art with out hearts, it will often fit into our homes automatically. But this isn’t always the case. You must hang art where it fits, so it sinks into the wall and doesn’t scream at the other things around it. It mustn’t be either overpowering or, for that matter, underwhelming.
If you fall in love with a piece, don’t automatically give it pride of place above the sofa. If it’s a relatively small painting, the large space around it might make it harder to appreciate. Instead hang it in a beautiful space.
Creating balance and flow in the home isn’t simply a matter of symmetry. Here are some basic tips to gets things right:
Hang art approx 25cm above sofa and keep it 1/2 or 2/3 of the sofa length.
Try hanging a cluster of smaller paintings if you don’t have a large focal piece. It’s good to start in the middle and then work outward with the largest one in the middle.
Remember that bigger is always better than too small. Find the right wall for your small artwork.
Keep paintings at eye level.
Natural light is best but take care when hanging watercolours. And remember that prints in direct sunlight can fade pretty quickly.
If you’d like more advice don’t hesitate to give me a call on 07876 253324 or email email@example.com. It’s a particularly good time to call me if you’re moving home or office. I can tell you exactly where to place your collection in your new surroundings.
Transported by art: how buying art can take you on a truly personal journey
Art is a powerful force. Accepting its beauty with no intellectual understanding can be challenging but it allows us to simply feel and explore our own emotions on a deeper level. This makes the process of buying art completely personal. Logic is not always at the fore, but learning to appreciate, love and feel these creations should be at the forefront of any purchase.
This connection often resonates on a hidden, deeper level. A beautiful landscape might represent a place we possibly would like to escape to. An abstract piece might allow you to lose yourself without trying to work it out. A cow cut in half could be inspiring to a person who is exploring their relationship with death.
How an art consultant helps
An art consultant will connect with your desires and passions to guide you through the infinite choices of the art world to find the piece that you connect with. As a consultant my job is not to tell the client what they should be buying, but to guide them on their personal journey. People are often confused by the choice or unsure where to look. If that sounds familiar, I can help make the journey easier for you by finding the right piece of art to adorn your walls that will inspire you, or allow you to lose yourself or just make your heart sing.
Magnificent Obsessions: The Artist as Collector, The Barbican Art Gallery, 12 February – 25 May.
I had an amazing time at this exhibition and really recommend you go and see it. It is the first major exhibition in the UK to present the fascinating personal collections of post-war and contemporary artists and it is like stepping into the eclectic mind of each artist.
There is an obsession with most creative people to collect things, especially object d’art. The collections range from mass-produced memorabilia and popular collectibles to one-of-a-kind curiosities, rarefied artefacts, and specimens. In themselves, they are fascinating: the exhibition seems to be bursting at the seams. But even more interesting is the opportunity they provide to enter into the minds and psyche of these artists.
Martin Parr’s collection was one of the highlights for me. His postcard collection dates back to the early 1900s, where each card was used as a news items of what was happening at the time, such as the collapse of a mine or horrific storms. But it also reveals the transition of the postcards from factual updates through to kitsch 1950’s advertising. These cards for me were mesmerising.
Peter Blake’s weird collection of puppets and dolls gives glimpse into the Pop Art supremo’s fascination with the eccentric, while Damien Hirst’s obsession with skulls and dead animals clearly informs his work.
While some artists are connoisseurs, others accumulate hoards of objects, never letting anything go. Among those also featured are Edmund Waal, Howard Hodgkin, Arman and Andy Warhol. Each of their collections is unique and says a lot about their interests, inspirations and completely personal interpretation of the world. You will not tire at the vast array of objects.
Transmitting Warhol – Tate Liverpool
If you’re suffering from the January Blues, why not treat yourself to a weekend away to discover the man who transformed the modern art world and catch Transmitting Andy Warhol at Tate Liverpool. Bold, bright and quintessentially Pop Art, it is guaranteed to inject colour back into your life.
I loved the exhibition for a number of reasons. The diversity of the 100 artworks shows Warhol’s full range, with everything from his most iconic screen prints to film clips, TV commercials, album covers and graphic illustrations for Harpers Magazine and Vogue. One of the most influential, controversial and notorious artists of the twentieth century, it also shows you how ahead of his time he really was. Plus you can see how he still continues to influence trends today in fashion, media and the arts.
The exhibition is called Transmitting Andy Warhol because it explores how he attacked the mass media of his time to make his artwork accessible to all, one of his fundamental beliefs. His use of publishing, film, music and broadcasting redefined access to culture and art.
If you’re free on the first Saturday of February, Warhol’s fusion of art and music will be celebrated in a one-off opportunity to view the exhibition after gallery hours, with an evening of live performances in celebration of Transmitting Andy Warhol.
But whenever you go, the exhibition is bound to lift the late winter gloom. And with more galleries and national museums than anywhere else outside of the capital, there will be plenty for you to make a weekend in Liverpool a whirlwind of cultural exploration. And with trains from London Euston taking you there in around 150 minutes, it makes the perfect easy winter get away.
What: Transmitting Andy Warhol
Where: Tate Liverpool
When: until 8 February
To discuss how art could bring colour into your life, call Iaysha on 07876 253324.
THE BLACK SQUARE- MALEVICH (1879 -1935) AT THE TATE MODERN
Malevich is one of the pioneers of Modern abstract art, so I was really pleased to finally see a retrospective of this Ukrainian-born painter at the Tate Modern. The exhibition takes you on a fascinating journey from early cubism and futurism through his suprematist period, ending with his figurative works, which are influenced by folklore.
The works on show are colourful and dynamic. Malevich experiments with the idea of pure shape forms, which led to the beginning of modern abstract art. Suprematism, a word I had not heard before, was coined by Malevich. It was a new system of art using geometric shapes (squares, triangles and circles) free from political or social meaning – simplistic and clutter free.
This is epitomised by The Black Square, which was originally exhibited in 1915. This simple black square painted on a white canvas changed the course of art history.
Looking at the black square, Malevich liberated us from the clutter and constraints of the real world, raising art to a new platform. You have nowhere to go but just to experience and feel the piece. Can we define it? Do we need to? After all, it allows us to get out of our heads.
This iconic piece of art is hung in the top corner of the room, usually left for icons in Russian homes. The positioning is not coincidental: the work was seen as blasphemy when it was first exhibited.
I found the exhibition rewarding and a relief to see someone painting a hundred years ago still makes us stop and think. In the absence of anything, we still have ourselves.
To discuss how Modern art can change the way you view things
call Iaysha on 07876 253324
Love at first sight is an amazing feeling. And it happened to me in the Metropolitan Museum of Modern Art in New York.
I was 21 at the time when I decided to visit the Met. And that was when it happened.
The work was Eve by Barnett Newman. It blew me away: I loved the composition and the whole feeling of the piece. There is something very powerful in the silence of this work – it had so much going on and resonated with the core of my inner being.
I subsequently found out that Barnett Newman was one of the major figures in abstract impressionism and one of the foremost of the colour field painters. Now owned by the Tate Gallery, Eve was one of two paintings undertaken by Barnett before his second one-man exhibition in New York in 1951, the other painting being called Adam. The colour field style, with flat fields of colour separated and united by thin lines or ‘zips’, is what Barnett himself considered to be his mature style.
I didn’t know this as I stood in front of Eve. I only knew that this painting had changed forever how I viewed art and that my love affair with Modern Art had begun. And I could feel how powerful and transformational art can be!
One of the most rewarding things in my art consultancy, is when I get to deliver a similar moment for a client. A moment when their world shifts and a work makes them look at things with fresh eyes.
To discuss how Modern Art could change the way you see things
call Iaysha on 07876 253324
Modern Art is not really all that modern. It dates from the end of the 19th century until the 1960s.
Modern Art is also not one coherent style. It’s a loose term for the succession of styles that dominated Western art and architecture for much of the twentieth century.
Despite the loose nature of the umbrella term of Modern Art, there are common themes and ambitions that unite the various styles:
- It grew out of the Impressionists’ rejection of the ‘imitation of life’ school of art
- It rejected the past as a model for the art of the present
- It is characterised by constant innovation
- It was fuelled by various social and political agendas
- It is associated with ideal visions of human life and society, underpinned by a belief in progress, stemming from the often utopian philosophies that inspired it
The desire for constant innovation led to a number of spin-off movements associated with modern art, including:
- Pop Art
As with all things fashionable, the winds change, and what was once all the rage begins to fall out of favour. Time was called on Modernism in the 1970s, when artists began to react against it and post-modernism was formed.
But although Modern Art became consigned to history in the 1970s, the works are still exciting, challenging and inspirational. They call upon us to re-examine the world around us and how we view them. And they continue to influence many of today’s influential and up-and-coming artists.
To discuss how Modern Art could transform your space call Iaysha on 07876 253324