Finding the hidden art in nature

One of the negative things about living in London is that it’s very easy to feel trapped in the city. 

I find that more often than not I tend to get a flight out of London to another European city instead of going to the countryside to visit places in England. This weekend I was reminded of the beauty of the English countryside as I finally managed to get out of the city and go to North Devon. 

While I was away something hit me – I rediscovered the rich beauty and inspiration that can be found in nature.  Be that the curls of a tree trunk, the beautiful patterns of a fern or the constellations of stars in the sky. 

I love zooming in and taking photos on my camera that capture the texture of a slice of nature. I can then use these shapes, lines or even colours to help weave into the fabric of my paintings. 

Even though a lot of the paintings are architectural pieces it can be really good for me to draw what I can from these different elements and weave it into my artwork. 

For example, recently I have started going back to life drawing classes. Even though my speciality is not really drawing people, studying the form of the body opens out a different way of thinking for me. This is turn trains me to think about things like lines, form and shapes in a different way. These skills definitely seep back into my art and help develop my skills. 

Personally, I think whatever your creative discipline, looking at, studying and experimenting with colour, texture and lines that can be found in nature can really influence your creative work – feeding your creative mind and developing your skills in a very special way. 

Here are some snaps from my recent trip to the wonderful Exmoor area: 

Have you been inspired by the hidden art within nature? If so, I would love to see your snaps or hear about your projects that nature has inspired! 

Love, 
Natasha Jade x

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The Amazing Benefits of Working on a Commission Abroad

Over the past few years, I’ve started to become known for creating large, mixed media, mosaic pieces featuring areas that have personal significance to clients. Be that the area they work in, live in or have a specific special connection with.

Over the last few weeks, I have been lucky enough to work on a commission abroad.  Here are a few points about why this commission was particularly special for me as an artist!

– It has been an amazing experience to have the opportunity to pack up everything here in London and work intensely for a couple of weeks on an exciting project. For the last month, my home was in the center of Tel Aviv.

One of the best things about living in the place that I was painting was that I was able to cycle through the area every day on my way home. This was a real added bonus for me as an artist. In this way, I felt like I could really feel the neighborhood I was capturing in a very profound way and experience it in a way completely different to the way a photo would allow. It was funny because I did always find myself going back to the same streets as if I was being called by certain buildings.

– I met amazing people who were doing all sorts of interesting things. In fact it was much easier then you would think to find a temporary studio. Before this trip, I had no idea that there are so many websites that are basically like Airbnb, but for studios – it’s amazing. One of my favourites is Stusu. This website is amazing. You can go anywhere in the world and sublet an artist’s studio for a few weeks – who knew!

In the studio next to me there was a local ceramicist. I was able to use some of her bowls as the tiles for the rooftops in my paintings. Again an amazing special touch that I was able to add to the piece.

After I have decided the outline, in every painting I always cover the canvas with sand. This is because I find that the oil paint mixes with sand very well and provides a textured feel.  In this case, I could also go down to the beach and collect sand local to the city. I would then use this sand to mix with the painting and provide the first layer of the painting. These sort of experiences are unique and really add another touch as an artist.

Here are a few close-ups of the piece…. stay tuned as the final piece will be revealed in due course! Keep an eye on my instagram for updates. 

To enquire about commissions please contact me at natasha@artbynatashajade.com. 

Love, 
Natasha Jade x

From The Team: Ideas for a healthy summer in the city!

Summer is here and everything is looking so lush and green it makes us want to take heed of the plants and take the time to listen to and pay attention to our bodies as well. I’m sure you’ll all agree your body is your temple and we know that eating well and exercising leads to healthy minds and happy people. Here at Natasha Jade HQ we have been experimenting with different ways to exercise and eat healthier this summer and we wanted to share some ideas for a healthy and happy summer with you.

The Grocery

The Grocery is the perfect place for the health-conscious consumer. This little independent grocery store on Kingsland High Street has everything you need with quality you can trust, at reasonable prices. Everything is carefully selected and caters for all dietary needs. Two members of our team are gluten free and we know we can rely on The Grocery for fantastic takeaway meals and even healthy guilt-free sweet treats. I am a huge fan of their tea collection and natural beauty products. Everything is beautifully laid out and the staff are friendly and knowledgeable.

Not only is the shop brilliant but they also have a café with yummy food and a bar to unwind in at the end of the day.

The Grocery is our most recent stockist and we are excited to announce that they now stock Natasha Jade greeting cards. You can pick up a beautiful fairtrade gift and a Natasha Jade card while you do your healthy shop!

The Place

Talking of gifts, we recently celebrated Natasha’s birthday at The Place – a dance studio in Euston. I wanted to give Natasha the gift of dance as it’s a shared passion of ours, so treated her to a contemporary dance class.

The studios are bright and open and they always have fantastic live music to dance to. The class we took was with Adrian Look who teaches in the style of Pina Bausch’s Tanztheater, aiming to express an emotional state through movement. The class is partly improvised and partly choreographed. It was the perfect movement class to help us connect with our bodies and express ourselves artistically. We can’t recommend it enough!

We would love to hear from you. Do share your tips for staying healthy in London this summer with us.

Spend your money well, invest in your health, and make it last.

Written by Leanna Wigginton – Head of Sales at Natasha Jade 

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Review: Picasso 1932 at the Tate Modern

Living in a big city such as London comes with many difficulties and downsides but there are also some amazing upsides and perks to living in this crazy, big, expressive city.  For me, one of the things that really reminds me how great it is to live in a big city such as London, is going to fantastic exhibitions in London’s iconic galleries. 

My most recent visit took me to the Picasso exhibition at the Tate Modern. If you haven’t been you really should. But  don’t worry you have time, it’s on until 9th September!

The exhibition shows work purely from one year of Picasso’s life – 1932. This particular year was very important for Picasso and was marked by many social, romantic and political events. 

I think it’s safe to say that Picasso was prolific in the amount of work he produced in this year.  Room after room you can see how his style changed, adapted and developed within a year.  For me, it’s a rare privilege to be able to see such a concise collection of an artists’ work carried out in only one year. It’s also amazing to see an example of the journey one can go through in such a short time in terms of relative process and style.

On a personal note, I left the exhibition inspired by the way that Picasso was able to produce so much work in a short time and wanted to see if I could achieve the same. The exhibition showed me that sometimes the most simple of sketches and ideas can turn into great masterpieces. That even a sketch is important and nothing ever should be thrown away or treated as if it’s not worthy of praise. 

 

Have you attended Picasso’s exhibition at the Tate Modern? What were your thoughts? I’d love to hear from you if there were aspects of the exhibition that resonated with you!

 

Love, 
Natasha Jade x

How Visualisation Helps Me Achieve My Goals

I often find myself feeling stuck when I think about what I want to achieve or which direction I should take. For times like these, I find the art of visualisation to be extremely useful.

During my yoga teacher training back in 2013, I remember being asked to draw where I wanted to be in the next year. I drew a girl (me) near some water surrounded by lots of green trees, a big wooden house and people doing yoga. A while later when I was in Brazil, I looked around and realised I was exactly where I had drawn. There I was living in a community right by this big, beautiful river. I was surrounded by trees, the jungle and the houses were all made out of beautiful wooden structures. Right in the middle was a big yoga shala. I realized this was my drawing.

A few years ago I drew my perfect studio situation. It had a mezzanine with all my stuff upstairs, a big open floor at the bottom and a big table for me to work on. Sure enough when I walked into my new studio in December. I was slightly taken aback as I remembered my drawing and thought wow now that is strange. It was exactly like my drawing. Another example of the effectiveness of visualisation!

So the point of this really is, when I feel down or slightly at a loss as to which direction I should take, I sit down and draw what I would like my future to look like. I think this is super helpful and can be quite cathartic at times. I know if I just relax and let myself draw whatever comes to my mind, it can be quite awe-inspiring and the image I create can show me a path that I maybe hadn’t thought of before.

Another way in which I find visualisation to be helpful is in my yoga practice. I am often stuck in a yoga posture, thinking to myself there is no way in hell I will be able to master this posture. If I spend time just visualising myself in the posture it’s amazing to see what happens. I know I am able to master the posture more quickly and with more ease when I visualise myself in the position. I know it sounds like magic but I am now truly astonished by the power of our minds. If we think it, believe it, visualise it, it really can happen!!!

I hope by sharing my experiences of visualisation it might inspire you to try it out and see what happens. If you have had a similar experience, please get in touch or comment below. I’d love to chat more about the amazing power of visualisation!

Love, 

Natasha Jade x

Review: Andreas Gursky at the Hayward Gallery

It’s not often that I go to an exhibition and leave absolutely blown away to the point where I am left almost speechless! As I stood in front of one of Andreas Gursky’s photographs at the Hayward Gallery last Friday, I could almost feel the tears running down my face.

I hadn’t actually been to the Hayward Gallery on the South Bank for a long time.  In fact, I was unaware that the Hayward Gallery had recently been renovated. The building itself is a superb place to check out exhibitions and definitely a gallery I would now highly recommend. Before I visited the exhibition I also wasn’t familiar with the Photographer Andreas Gursky’s work, so I really didn’t know what to expect!

One of the things I found so inspiring about his exhibition was that many of the subject matters he was inspired by are things that would also inspire me to paint. For example, one of my favourite pieces of his features two different photos of a block of flats joined together and altered using digital post-production. This grand piece, in my opinion, is extremely inspiring and profound. Many times I have looked at or even photographed similar looking apartment blocks whilst thinking, this could be the source of inspiration for a painting one day.

Many of his wonderful photographs are densely patterned and sometimes they even strained my eyes (in a good way) as there is so much to look at and take in. As an artist I love shape, pattern and colour. Gursky managed to create amazing patterns just by photographing crowds in different world situations; such as capturing hundreds of people at a rave, working woman weaving in a factory, or a big crowd of people in a stock exchange.

For the people in the photograph, they are just going about their normal daily lives. But photographed in this way and then viewed from an outside perspective, these crowds form patterns which are beautiful and present an image that may be quite different to the reality of the situation.

I could go on writing about the exhibition for hours but I really don’t want to give too much away as I think that the magic of an exhibition is to draw your own private experience and perspective.

The exhibition finishes on 22nd April so I highly recommend going before then!

Find out more information about the exhibition here.

Have you been blown away by an exhibition? Has Andreas Gursky’s work moved you in a different way? If so, comment below or get in touch, I’d love to hear from you and open a discussion on the impact of exhibitions like Andreas Gursky’s!

Love,
Natasha Jade x

Solving problems on the yoga mat

Often it feels as if the same problems are repeating themselves over and over again in different ways. I find myself stuck in repetitive behavioural patterns unable to break the cycle with the same thoughts coming up time and time again. I understand clearer now more than ever that if I deal with my issues on the yoga mat, by focusing on where the blocks are in my practice, the difficulties and issues I am experiencing in my day to day life are somehow ironed out.

I believe from the bottom of my heart that everything is connected to the physical body. When we address issues that are manifesting physically and try to unblock them, we can shift things emotionally and mentally.

Often various issues arise in my daily yoga practice. Sometimes it can be that I am really unfocused and the difficulty is to stay focused. So that is really where I need to shift focus when I set my intention during my practice. 

Sometimes I notice that I am extremely tight in the hips so I set my intention to loosen up my hips and allow the energy to flow properly through my body. Sometimes the difficulty is just getting out of bed to get there in the first place. In which case that is where I focus my attention.

A while ago I was stuck on a posture that was really difficult for me – one that I never in a million years thought I would ever be able to master. It was funny because at the same time it mirrored a tight spot in my business that I was stuck in. I remember thinking to myself, you know what, instead of focusing on where I am in my business I am going to focus on the posture that is holding up my yoga practice. So every day I focused my energy on learning that tricky posture. And it was amazing because when I finally mastered the posture, the difficulties I was experiencing in my business shifted. 

I do believe that if we put more energy into our practices – be that yoga, meditation, chi gong, gong fo tea drinking, mindfulness or anything else, then the difficulties we are experiencing on a day to day basis can be ironed out naturally. If we look at the areas within our practice where we experience blockages and focus our energy there, huge shifts can occur in our day to day lives.

I believe that everything that is happening on the outside is a mirror of what is happening on the inside. I believe 100 percent that how you feel in your mind is mirrored in your body and how you feel in your body manifests in your life outside…. and the other way round of course!

I hope you have enjoyed reading this post – I’d love to hear from you if you have experienced a similar breakthrough with your yoga or meditation practice. Please comment below or get in touch

As well as teaching yoga, I am an artist who creates vibrant bespoke paintings and eco gifts featuring my artwork! Learn more here

Love, 

Natasha Jade  x