Today is Blue Monday, one of the most depressing days of the whole year. You can read about it here or just take my word for it.
How about combating it with your artwork? I often turn to my paint brushes and bright colours when I need to focus on something other than the reality I am presented with.
I choose to spend my time doing things which bring me happiness and joy as there are far too many tasks, people and tv shows that want to rob you of your time and your positivity.
Put pencil to paper, sketch something from life and then change it into something magical.
For example, my salt and pepper-mill cats and the bull door-stop are a sweet collection of useful animals. I find it easier to draw from a photo sometimes so I placed my friends together, took a photo and started sketching in my book with a 2B pencil.
Step by Step Illustration
As always, any mistakes, I leave them in as a reminder that we all fail sometimes and it’s not actually a big deal in the end. Notice the bull has two tails from where I had to move it.
After I’m happy with the composition, I start to add the colour, in this instance with water colours.
Layers and panels help to bring the painting to life and slowly but surely my focus becomes clearer on the present moment and the practise of creating.
Adding a background can be one of the most imaginative aspects of a painting. Often people start with a back ground however I don’t often know when I want to place my subjects until I meet them in colour. I also want my subject in the foreground to be free from pencil marks of the landscape.
Inspired by the friend that gave me the bull, I chose to place my painted friends in a the desert. Looking at a few images on Google helped me to add the Hand of the Desert in Chile to the background and I chose the time of day to depict. apparently it’s most beautiful there at night time when you can see the stars.
The reason I’m sharing this illustration technique with you is to offer you a way out of the Blue Monday of January, a way to banish any negative fogginess with your brushes.
Happy Arting. xx
I will be having an exposition of my work in the next few months, please follow me on Facebook and Instagram here for more news.
If you would like to attend one of my art classes you can find me on Eventbrite and Meetup.
Due to the success and positive feedback from the vision board classes held in January, I thought you might like to know a little bit more about what it was all about! I will be holding one of these workshops every month from now on. If you have already been to a Four Houses Technique Workshop, please comment on this post with your thoughts and feel free to come back to a class, to update your board in good company any time you like!
I did a vision board workshop with Aliya which was fantastic. Aliya is absolutely lovely and I look forward to participating in more of her workshop. 1000% recommendable 😍💖😊
Charlotte Cotton – World Champion Mountain Runner 2019
2020 – it begins!
January was host to a fantastic run of three workshops for The Amazing Art Society’s unique vision board technique called The Four Houses.
Based on a way to compartmentalise the four aspects of a balanced life: Health, Connections, Career and Energy Charge, we saw our students plan their boards using their cognitive skills and then furnish their vision board with their creative skills!
Anyone that has ever wondered how to bring more focus and clarity to their life would benefit from spending a few hours with this technique of therapeutic art.
PROUD OF MY STUDENTS:
The workshop includes the learning of the concept of The Four Houses and a start on arranging and attaching images to the vision board. There is a week allocated to keep working on the boards and then encouragement to share the final board created for 2020, 7 days after the workshop took place. I am so proud of my students! Success has already occurred for a few with dance classes, new romantic partners and work opportunities already showing up in my students lives!
Here are some of the completed boards!
Imagine you have four houses in your life. Each house is where you go to spend your time when you want different things. For example, when you want to relax on the beach, you go to your house on the coast. Or when you want to complete lots of work, you go to your private office building. Imagine what impact you could create in your life if you could use this compartmentalisation technique to make your vision board true to your life goals.
THE HOUSES EXPLAINED:
Health:You go to this imaginary house when you want to focus on your health. Filled with your favourite gym equipment, maybe a pool because you love to swim, a spinning studio or a steam room and hot tub, this imaginary palace will have everything you enjoy in it, keeping you in good physical and metal health. This house will have a kitchen with the most delicious food you love to eat and that you know is good for you. It is important to focus on healthy options that you enjoy so that you like to visit this house. Furnish it with good habits, good choices and think about who you would like to invite to spend time with you here. In your vision board make sure to use images that reflect these choices.
Career:Firstly, ask yourself, are you happy with your industry and your current projected career? If yes, then the next question is: What do you need to do to be seen as an expert in your field? How can you progress and what steps do you need to take in order to feel like an expert? In other words, how can you be the best example to someone new coming into your work place or industry? If you answered ‘no’ to the ‘are you happy’ question, then start to think about why you don’t enjoy the work anymore. Think about if it is the people around you that have caused this feeling (you could keep the same job but work for another company) or, if it is time to move into a different industry that you feel will be better suited to your new goals for the future. Ask yourself what your career options are. Can you transfer your skills to something else you could enjoy? Use images on your board that display the actions you need to take as well as images that capture what it would be to have achieved these goals.
Connections:This house is your social house, this is where your best friends, family, peers, mentors and trusted confidants live or visit you. What kind of people do you want to be connected with and supported by? It is very important to be open to understanding that you may need to shed some relationships that no longer benefit you. This will make space for the new people that you want to come into your life and for existing relationships to deepen in the way you want. For example, if you want to make friends who are energetic and love nature, then you are likely to meet them in hiking groups. If you want to meet people who enjoy playing video games, you are more likely to meet them online. Go where these people are and you will make these new connections Think about where these types of people are and make sure to focus on using images that capture this in your vision board.
Energy Charge:This is the house you visit when you want to recharge your batteries. This is your play house! Not only when you want to take a break from your career, connections or health, this house has been created in your mind for you to enjoy being you. The question is: What do you do that is not for money, not for status, not because of obligation, not for any purpose or reason, apart from, it makes you happy? This house is to be full of your favourite toys, hobbies and past times. When you spend time in this house, you get to rest your brain from the other parts of your life that require effort into the external environment. This is very important to keep your brain happy and healthy!
If you have any questions or would like more clarification, please get in touch.
Take an A4 piece of paper and quarter it. Label each quarter with a house name: health, career, connections and energy charge. Ask yourself the questions in each explanation above. Take your time to use your imagination to create the best possible outcome. Play with your imaginary lottery winnings and really explore the positive options in order to shed your inhibitions and break out a version of your self, free from doubts and with a free spirit. You are invited to imagine anything you want!
When you have completed your written plan, start searching through the images you have collected and make sure to match words and ideas to the images you want to place on your vision board. This is where you may notice how easy it is to be attracted to images that are nothing to do with your plan! Stay on track and set aside any images that do not appear to correspond to your plan, you can do something different with these in the future.
When you’ve collected around half the images you think you will need, take a larger piece of paper to make your vision board on, I use A3 tracing paper. Start to arrange the images that are in line with words and ideas on the plan, onto the second piece of paper to make a nice layout.
When you are sure every concept written on the plan has a corresponding image on the vision board, stick everything to the second page, NOT ON THE PLAN ITSELF. At the end of the exercise, you will have an image vision board which reflects the plans for your Four Houses that is bursting with the energy you want to have in the coming year as well as your written plan to keep on the back side of your board.
Tape the written plan to the back of your board so when you want reminding of what each image represents to you, it is close to hand. Place your vision board somewhere you can see it everyday.
The beginning of a year is always a good time to make plans. Whenever the seasons change is a good time to make plans. Whenever you have a really bad day is probably the most brilliant time to sit down and plan a better future for yourself. Basically any time you really want to take control of your life, do this exercise.
I will be holding a Four Houses Vision Board class every month. You can see the most up to date news on events here.
If you would like to know more about me, have a look at my bio.
Thank you to everyone over the past few months who have made the group such a fantastic place for me to be. I love teaching art, I love helping people find their artistic character and helping people flow into what they feel is the right way of doing things, for them!
Thank you very much to The James Joyce Irish Pub for hosting our last class of the year and providing an awesome space for us to party afterwards.
Thank you to Kushuro for the space we have been holding our classes in since October.
In THREE MONTHS we have gone from 0 to:
over 370 members across the groups
12 events (classes and parties)
made 3 new models in Madrid
helped 2 new artists exhibit their work for the first time
sold artwork, never exhibited before
featured over 50 artists in Madrid on the website
Next year I have some plans for us to grow, to change and to evolve our group into something even more special, but I can’t do it on my own! I need your help to do this!
Here’s what you can do if you want to help The Amazing Art Society grow:
Share your artwork on social media using the hashtag #AmazingArtSociety
MOST IMPORTANTLY: Can you think of someone that would benefit from having their artwork featured on this website or might enjoy coming to an art class, please tell them about us!
The Amazing Art Society has worked purely on word of mouth, help us grow and make a difference to peoples lives. Thank you so much for your time and see you in 2020.
AND NOW FOR THE PARTY!
To round up the year, The Amazing Art Society had their last class of 2019 and our first ever Christmas Party on the 15th of December!
Special guests for the class were the students themselves! A portraiture class, complete with home made ruff (fluffy collar) completely exhausted our drawing skills for two hours and then we got to wind down and get into the festive spirit with a glass of wine, nachos and a few special guest artists!
The Class Photos!
Happy Christmas and wishing you a colourful and creative 2020!!
Javier contacted me after I put a post on Facebook asking for guidance on where I could find more venues to feature on this website. He asked for a collaboration, my most favourite type of request! He asked if he could write an article for me. We brainstormed a way we could both work on the mission of this website: How do you support and empower local artists?
The answer we came up with: How about an informative and practical guide on how to support the artists that contribute to one of the most distinguishable types of art: Madrid Street Art?
I hope you enjoy reading the article and I really hope you visit these places with Javier. If you visit without the tour, it would mean the world to us both if you could tell the places you visit that you discovered them on this website so that we can continue to realise that this site really does work by connecting people!
How to purchase street art in Madrid at an affordable price?
Walking around the city center, you will observe that Lavapiés district probably features the biggest number of street art instances in Madrid.
Metal shutters, public parks and building facades are decorated in a multicolor way by local, national and international street art artists and graffiti writers.
The urban art scene in town is very active and here is a brief guide on how to discover the best street art in Madrid and where to buy local emergent art:
A street art tour in Madrid to discover the hidden artworks
Javier, a young local entrepreneur decided three years ago to change his stressful job as an English language educator for the position of a modern art guide.
His graffiti tours in Madrid will not only tell you insider stories about artists and their artworks, but he will also point out to you where to purchase emergent art in town.
Mr. Garcia’s connections will greatly appreciate you, as his mission is to help the art community in Madrid.
La Tabacalera, contemporary art everywhere!
A former tobacco factory from the XIX century currently hosts what Javier defines as probably the coolest spot in town for street art.
La Tabacalera is located in Calle Embajadores, right next to the metro station that holds the same name. It’s a 16,000 square meters, both indoors and outdoors area, which walls are completely covered with street art.
El Keller, (underground in German language) is the street art workshop located in the underground tunnels of this huge warehouse. It’s here where you will be able to meet and greet some of the most talented Spanish young artists:
What’s really interesting about this association is that they organize events where the local artists’ studios are opened for the general public to come in & see or buy.
The first edition was organized in 2014 and since then, they have been contributing to the modern art scene in town.
Last time we bought a print, we purchased it from NSN997, an Italian street art crew based in Madrid.
Are there any street art galleries in Madrid?
Yes, there are and we would you like to know where they are, so that our contribution to the community is completed!
La Causa galería, close to Tribunal metro station
This modern art gallery promotes emerging national and international artistic creations.
Designed as a meeting point around young contemporary art in Madrid, La Causa is the cornerstone of a diverse exhibition program where artists from the worlds of urban art, illustration, drawing, and other disciplines meet.
It is organized into two spaces: an exhibition space and a shop of original and serial graphic work by contemporary artists.
IMON Boy, a famous Spanish graffiti illustrator is currently on exhibition with a solo-show entitled Cosas de casa (translated name from “Family matters”, a famous American TV Show).
Gviiie was the last urban artist from Madrid on show.
Delimbo and Swinton & Grant
These two art galleries focus on post-graffiti and contemporary art. First of them is located in Calle Doctor Fourquet, Madrid’s most famous street for modern art galleries.
Calle Miguel Servet also hosts a indie art venue. Swinton and Grant is both a book store and urban art gallery. We are proud to say that they feature local artists’ artworks, among them Dingo Perro Mudo or Dos Jotas.
Javier García Colomo
Photo Credits go to Oscar Guerra and Javier Garcia Colomo
A note from Aliya:
Again, I hope you enjoyed reading the article and I really hope you visit these places with Javier. If you visit without the tour, it would mean the world to us both if you could tell the places you visit that you discovered them on this website so that we can continue to realise that this site really does work by connecting people!
Went to draw at Circulo Bellas Artes yesterday as was having one of those days. Didn’t want the pressure of a life art class so sat in the room with the still life objects. Chose a pot and a jug to draw and paint.
The comments I got from the artists sat in the same room were that I work really quickly and that I have an interesting interpretation of what I saw on the table.
I do work quickly, sometimes I want to sit for a couple of hours and finish a piece in that time. Often I start a piece and then I struggle to get back to the way I felt if I come back to it a day later or more. Some pieces are still unfinished because the moment has passed.
Artists that can spend months on a painting have, in my opinion, a strong work ethic rather than something they want to express without words.
November 5th 2019
I’m an artist. I always loved drawing. I remember when I was abut 5 or 6, I drew a life size man on pieces of paper stuck to my wall. I would draw animals all the time. I have a few of my childhood drawings still, of which you can see below, I’ll add more as I find them!
The first time art really helped me with real life was when I was about 15 years old. I was lucky enough to have art therapy classes when I was hospitalised for depression. Encouraged to be able to channel my feelings into a piece of art I created my mermaid.
Taking an image I found on the internet and then painting her in oils over a period of about two weeks, I still have her with me, even after 17 years of moving house and country.
Abstract art also helps to focus the mind and use your hands for a good use. Sometimes trying to draw a real thing is frustrating. Abstract art with colours and shapes is a healthy way to play with what is going on inside us, without having to assign it meaning, words or labels. Doodling, sketching random shapes and layering colours is something that can help pass bad times in a productive way.
Lucky for me my hospitalisation ended soon after I completed my GSCEs. I came off the antidepressants when I left home at 17 and thankfully I started work which kept me busy!
The next time I needed my paintbrushes was when I getting divorced. Another huge amount of stress and desperate not to be on drugs (prescribed or otherwise!) to cope with real life – I was able to channel my feelings into my watercolour animals. You can see them below. I’ve given most of them away to friends.
I have a few images and videos on my instagram, here is my bronze zebra and here is a pour painting a bit more abstract.
I like illustrating so I take a real life subject, either an animal (usually a photo from the internet) or a composition of items (taking a photo helps to put it into a 2D format). Then I draw the outlines and fill in with watercolour. The photo below is of my door stop bull gift from a friend and my salt and pepper mills.
Since moving to Madrid in May 2019, I have a few pieces I have brought with me for sentimental reasons. Some of them I am happy to sell, others I keep to remind me of what has happened and how I feel I can survive anything.
Listen to yourself – Canvas
This canvas took a few months to create. Most days I would choose a pink or a blue sharpie. Pink for a bad day, Blue for a good day. Then I would write a message to myself , trying to look after for my future self. There are a couple guest appearances from friends that I trust and I gave permission to write on my Daily Practise. I have this is in my office/studio now and every so often I glance at it to remind myself that every day is different, bad ones follow good ones and good ones follow bad ones. Sometime all I need is a rest, or a break. Change is good. The best things take time to create. Decisions can happen in an instance. Nothing is a waste of time. A beautiful thing is never perfect.
Now I teach art. I want to be able to help people us their unwanted energy states by channeling that energy into something that can hold that pain and upset in a way that allows that person to live on. You can find out about my classes here.
The sales of my pieces fund my lifestyle where I can focus on helping others, if you would like to see any pieces in person, please send me a message so we can set up an appointment. email@example.com , call 695272159 or whatsapp 00447826520059.