Some personal thoughts on events of the past week

Following the horrific fire in West London that happened last week, I was left feeling extremely sad. In fact, I was so upset that I couldn’t even concentrate on my work. So last Thursday morning, I got on the overground and headed over to Notting Hill where I endeavored to see what help was needed
 
I had read online that there were plenty of volunteers and that nothing else was needed.  So I was a little unsure about going. But after going through the options, I decided to go and see if there really were plenty of volunteers. If I found that to be the case then I would just come back, but at least I would have tried. As it happened, I am glad I ignored the information online because help was most definitely needed. 
 
I went straight to a donation center in a local church and immediately I got stuck into a job, as it was very apparent that plenty of volunteers were needed. 
 
But what I really want to highlight in this blog is how amazing it was to see everyone working together. Despite the most awful of circumstances, I felt I was witnessing the very best of humanity. 
 
While I was quickly packing up food boxes for the victims of the fire, I noticed that I was surrounded by people from different ethnic backgrounds and ages. It seemed that they felt like me – like they couldn’t just look at images on TV and do nothing. Even just being there, with people from all walks of life, was a way of showing the victims that we cared. It was really soothing for the local people who were just unbelievably sad. 

Being there that day, I felt in my heart that humans are fundamentally good. The sheer number of people who had come to volunteer at various centers, highlighted to me that most people just want to help and care for other people. This is a thought I endeavor to hold onto whenever I next hear about a horrific event or a selfish individual – only interested in themselves and their own gains. This isn’t what most people are like. Most people care, are kind and want to do the right thing! 

During my time volunteering in West London, I witnessed how just giving someone a hug or a smile, can make them feel happier. And I do believe that one happier person does make the world a better place. 

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Things to consider when commissioning a painting.

People often ask me what needs to be considered before commissioning a painting. I realise I speak about this all the time but I don’t think I have ever written it down in an article! So here it is. Here are some things I think it’s important to think about when looking to buy or commission a piece of bespoke art. 

Photo taken by Estila Magazine

1) The location of the painting. It’s important to take note of the colour scheme in the room where the painting will hang. I like to look at the colour of the cushions, curtains, floorboards and any other features.  If it’s in an office, then I like to look at the office colours and company branding. I also check with the client to see if they would like me to highlight any particular colours that feature in the room. 

2) Where the light is. As I use a lot of mirrors, gold and other light-catching mediums, it’s important to look at the places where the light enters the room. This helps to highlight certain aspects of the painting and use light to my advantage. 

3) The size of the painting. It’s important with big paintings not to overcrowd the space. The painting needs space to breathe. With my standard painting size of 100 x 150 cm, quite a bit of space is required. But I would rather a painting be slightly too small for space than the other way round. When paintings hang in cluttered spaces, it’s hard for the eye to isolate the paintings from the surroundings. 

Some people have quite a large space but do not necessarily want a really big painting. In these situations, the use of Triptychs and diptychs can be important. Personally, I love to work in a triptych. I find it exciting and very pleasing to work in threes. Plus I love the continuation of a piece from one canvas to the next. I find it interesting looking at the space in between the canvases and using this to my advantage.

4) Use of sentimental material. Often in my pieces, I like to use material that means something to the person I am to create the work for. For example, I once had a client who loved the metro. So in his painting of a Tuscan village,  I used bits of old vintage metro maps for the basis of the windows. I then painted over them. The effect was very subtle but profound for the client. See the finished piece here!

If you would like to see more examples of my work and find out more about the process, please visit my commission page. I hope you’ve enjoyed reading this guide, and please do get in touch if you have any questions! 

Natasha Jade x

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4 simple things that will make your day a little better!

Recently I introduced a few different elements into my day. They are all quite simple, requiring not too much effort. A few weeks ago I tore the ligaments in my ankle, so I had to find other ways to help me feel good in my body and energized – something I usually gain from my morning yoga practice.

So, here are 5 things that generally make me feel better!

1) Water therapy. My boyfriend recently visited a medicinal mushroom doctor out in Hong Kong a few months ago. The doctor said that one of the healthiest things we can do for our bodies is to drink a litre of water as soon as we wake up in the morning. I have been doing this for a few weeks and I have noticed a big difference.  I feel less dehydrated, I feel clearer, more focused and more energised.

2) No processed sugar. On days when I don’t eat any processed sugar, I feel so much better. I really notice that I have more energy during the day and feel much more tired when I go to bed (which is a good thing because then I sleep better!) My skin feels clearer and I often receive compliments from people on how well I look! All from not eating processed sugar which is amazing!

3) No TV in the evening. When I stop myself from looking at any screens for at least the last few hours before I go to bed, my sleep is much better. This actually makes my whole day better as I am more rested and my brain has had a chance to properly switch off. That way I am more inclined to read a book and nurture my imagination more! Which makes me feel more inspired and uplifted. 

4) Have a mantra. Sometimes when I need to shift my way of thinking, I find it very helpful to have a mantra which I repeat to myself as often as I can during the day. If I am feeling a bit down about work maybe I choose the words: ‘I am a successful artist.’ If I am worried about money I choose the words: ‘I am abundant’. Repeating these little phrases over and over again actually changes they way I think and makes me feel much more relaxed about things. This then changes our vibration and allows us to attract more positivity into our life. It’s such a simple little thing but it works so so well for me almost instantly. 

So, there are my tips to improve your day! I hope you find them helpful. Feel free to comment if you have any more tips!

Natasha x

Mercury Retrograde: Learning to deal with challenging times…

On 3rd May I called my Mums’ good friend to ask her about something. She asked me how I was and I told her that things had been a bit crazy for the last few weeks. I’d been dealing with a lot of miscommunication and various other issues that had stemmed from misunderstandings. She then tells me that we have just come out of Mercury retrograde and that it has just gone direct. This means for the past three weeks Mercury has appeared to be going backwards, but what this means for me (and possibly even some of you) is that everything that could have gone wrong  – has gone wrong. 

So I started to look into it more and apparently the last few weeks have been connected to issues around money, miscommunication, technical issues with computers etc – all of which I have been lucky enough to have been dealing with in abundance these last few weeks.  

I found it funny that the day after we come out of this astrologically turbulent time,  I then learn about all the things not to do in this period. For example, one is advised not to start something new until the to-do list is finished – I wish I had known that before. Another piece of advice is not to start a project without proper solid instructions. The list goes on!

Fundamentally, looking back on the last three weeks – maybe all these things were meant to happen. Maybe I wasn’t meant to find out what I should do and what I should not do because I needed to make those mistakes in order to assess the way I do things and ask myself how I can do better; how can I develop my business in a way that I am being true to myself and also making money and growing my business at the same time?

These are really hard questions for me. Yes, quite often I feel like quitting and going to pick grapes in a community somewhere on the other side of the world. I care so much about what I am doing and work so hard that sometimes I wonder if I lose myself and what really is important. I have to ask myself why am I doing this? What are the reasons that I choose to do what I do? Am I living a life true to myself? Am I am doing what makes me happy? Am I combining business and creativity? Am I finding a way where I can live a life that is balanced? Am I realising a way to make a life out of something I love? Am I growing and changing myself? Am I finding the positive in every hard situation? 

Maybe when I am much older I will look back at this completely crazy journey and feel that I want to thank the gods for everything that went wrong. We shall see…

But I guess what I am learning now is that it’s really important for me to chill out and take stock of everything that I have achieved – so that I am not stressed out and can take each situation in my stride and deal with it in the least reactive way possible.  So that I can allow situations in life to arise and see them as a learning curve. I know now that the real test isn’t when things are going swimmingly, but when something happens that really tries us. That tests our ability to stay centred, helping us to not react to the situations that come up in life. I think if there was only one thing I could take from my yoga practice –  it would be the gift to be able to stay equanimous when things happen which we can’t control. It’s hard and I am yet to master it but I am trying my best. So that when challenging situations arise, for example, Mercury retrograde happens, and everything goes wrong I can allow these situations to happen without letting them affect my physical emotional and mental health. I guess it’s not about stopping issues arising, we can never stop a Mercury retrograde, but we can learn not to react so much so that these things can happen and pass us by without causing us too much distress or pain.

My thoughts for today…

I can’t exactly say I have had the best week this week. I’ve had tough decisions to make, had to deal with fussy clients, creative doubt, the list goes on! But then I got a WhatsApp message from a friend of mine bringing my attention to what is happening in Chechnya. Now, I am not highly political and very rarely write anything political on my blog, but today I just couldn’t help but think about the situation out there and how little it is being reported about on mainstream news. 

I have been so frustrated this week – beating myself up about work, stressing out about clients… the works!  This got me thinking. Is it worth it? Are all the little daily stresses and upsets really worth getting so worked up about? I realise now how lucky I am to be able to live in a place where I am able to be who I want to be, eat food on a daily basis and have a loving family who care for and support me, to be allowed to thrive as a woman!  

I think sometimes I take it for granted that I live in a place of relative freedom compared to many others and actually there are so many people out there that do not have these luxuries. So today on the way home from yoga, I managed to put everything back into perspective a little. Deep down, I really felt very grateful for the people around me – the people who help on a daily basis, my family who are forever behind me,  picking me up when I feel low or upset. My business team who are always there driving us on with their positive and upbeat outlook. SO I guess what I am trying to say is that when things get too much and the little things are driving me down, maybe  I just need to remember how lucky I am and keep that in my heart! 

Introducing… our new stockists!

We have been really busy here at the Natasha Jade Studio with lots of interesting new projects following a knock out show at Top Drawer SS17. We have some exciting new stockists that we would like to introduce you to. Of course we are thrilled that they now stock Natasha Jade products, but they also house so many other great products making them great destinations to visit! 

 

 

 

Mi Vida

Natasha met Catherine who runs Mi Vida at Top Drawer 2017 and they got on very well! Mi Vida (who are based in Liverpool and also have an online shop), have always been passionate about the latest trends, homewares and fashion. Over the years they have become expert shoppers for special gifts they’ve discovered from their world travels. We are thrilled to have our cards, prints and mugs for sale within this great mix of products from around the world. 

 

Amanda Hanley

If you want to escape the hustle and bustle of the city like we all do from time to time then why not head over to the Cotswolds where our brilliant social media savvy lady Jess grew up. You can pop by and see the friendly and knowledgeable Amanda Hanley – an interior designer with a classical style. You can visit the welcoming studio space stocked with beautiful home furnishings fabrics, wallpaper, and pillowcases in Burford, Oxfordshire. Perfect for new décor ideas.

 

Moyses Stevens

If you don’t have time to run off to the country and bathe in a pool of flowers, then go for the next best thing and treat yourself to a gorgeous bouquet from Moyses Stevens. They use British flowers in their world famous flower arrangements wherever they can from the stunning countryside of Dartmoor. Their bouquets are bursting with colour and dreamy scents. Go and ponder the day away in their store in Hampstead Garden Suburb and then head over for a walk in Hampstead heath for a wholesome day out in London. 

Rebel Rebel

Rebel Rebel in Hackney, East London is another floral gem which we are thrilled to have as our stockist! The independent and experimental florist is a feast for the eyes with their beautiful display which features a floral arch. Located on Brooksby’s Walk, drop in, pick up some beautiful flowers and enjoy a great day out at  Chatsworth Road market!

 

 

 

Palm 2 and Organic and Natural

As our local deli, Palm 2/Organic and Natural is close to our hearts – they source the best fair trade and organic products. Situated in Clapton Pond it’s the perfect place to stop by and grab delicious fresh produce made daily by chefs. You can sit in or take a yummy box of goodness away to eat al fresco while enjoying the sunshine in Hackney Downs.

 

Smoke on the Water 

If you’re feeling creative then why not head to Kent and visit Smoke on the Water in Deal where you can partake in a workshop and learn how to transform old furniture using chalk paints – for a shabby chic new look. They also supply French-inspired hand painted vintage furniture and a unique range of decorative items household accessories, soft furnishings, gifts and greeting cards.

 

 

 

 


Violet Hill 

Violet Hill Studios is very close to our hearts. This beautiful centre for natural healing is a little piece of joy in the heart of London.  With an extensive selection of natural healing disciplines, ranging from yoga to family consultations, you can also find a selection of Natasha Jade cards. Natasha has a special personal connection to the beautiful studio so it’s with great pleasure that our cards are now stocked there. 

We hope you enjoyed reading about our fabulous new stockists! To find your nearest Natasha Jade stockist, visit our stockists page. 

Natasha Jade + Team  x

 

How I have learned to trust my Business and Creative instincts

I have had to remind myself recently to have faith in the way things are, with the knowledge that everything happens for a reason.

In business and creativity, I find myself asking questions like – why am I doing this? Should I have made that decision? Is this piece of work good enough? The list goes on! These questions come up time and time again for me in my business and creative life. But the real question is – how do I deal with them? I believe the answer is to trust in the way things are.

When creating a painting I am slowly learning to trust the decisions I make. Maybe it doesn’t make sense to use a certain colour, or to use a certain technique in a painting. But within my creative process, I realize it’s important to trust my instincts and do what feels right, not what my mind is telling me I should do. This is when I create my best work.

This also applies to times when I have to make a decision. I know that when I make a decision I endeavor to make the best move that I can in that moment. Things may change but in that moment I make the best possible decision I can. Again this is where I need to hold onto everything I have learned in the last few years and come to trust in myself and believe in my decisions.

Sometimes in my business and creative life, undesirable situations inevitably arise. These situations can be tricky, unplanned or just massively inconvenient! I realise now that we never really know why we are presented with certain situations in life, but we can look positively at the situation at hand and trust that everything happens for a reason. And in hindsight, what seems like a big problem at the time can turn out to be a blessing in disguise. This serves as a reminder to trust that everything will turn out to be OK in the end.