but the line “like moths among the whisperings” made me think of how it feels to live with anxiety disorders whilst among others who don’t. It conjured up this image of anxious people as moths and non-anxious people as butterflies.
The irony is that most of the people who visited the parties in The Great Gatsby were probably butterflies. However even there I am sure a few moths anxiously found there way around , maybe with some dutch courage to aid their cause.
For any further information on my art or poetry lease fill in the form below:
As the Managing Director of ART SAVES LIVES INTERNATIONAL creating merchandise for our new online store (which will be launched early next year) is a fun project for me to take on.
We shall be selling posters, postcards, greeting cards, art prints, music, arts and crafts, T-shirts, stationery, books, online-courses and we hope to stoke items from artists around the world, so you can by from the artist through us! So as this is my baby, I decided to take the plunge and start creating.
Here are 3 NEW posters I have created the artwork for:
Music is the movement of sound to reach the soul for the education of its virtue.
“We should consider every day lost on which we have not danced at least once.”
“The animated bug has bitten pop culture. It makes me feel happy and free. When you don’t act seriously, you can make up your own rules.”
More artworks to come very soon…
We will also be doing competitions for artists to enter their designs to be featured on our merchandise.
Remember when we at ASLI talk about artists we are talking about all disciplines within the arts…
Such as: visual artists, photographers, writers, poets, dancers, performance artists, thespians, graphic designers, crafters and artisans, musicians, singers, cartoonists, fashion designers, film and documentary makers, journalists, bloggers… basically if you are using your artistic and creative self to make a difference we are talking to you!
If you have any questions about ASLI or wish to get involved please fill in the form below or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Cats have been of extreme importance to me throughout my life of 31 years. Having reared kittens, rescued cats and met many along my journey, these majestic and complicated feline friends are to me more than beautiful creature but are inspiring and have become my best friends and even family.
I decided to start painting cats when I realised how important they were to my artistic process. My three cat progenies who my husband and I treat as our offspring (not as human babies) but as the wonderful species that they are, are called Omar (our 10 year old moggy), Isabella (our 8 year old Burmese) and our youngest Logan (a 5 year old Bengal).
They rush to greet us as we arrive home, they speak to us in a language which we have adapted to best understand one another, they are attached to us as we are them and require constant attention and care, which we are more than happy to give. We feel privileged to share our lives with our fury brood and at times when I am unable to leave my home or am so overwhelmed by sadness or trauma my phenomenal little ones comfort me and lick my tears away.
So I shall continue to honour the species I feel akin to by painting them and creating lasting impressions of them.
Here is my latest called “Lucy Loves Laziness”
Lucy was my Mothers cat when I was little, she was a wise cat, full of neurosis, who did not particularly like me, but I shall always remember her curled up in the flower beds, whilst keeping a watch out for small insects to eat.
Here is a look at the other cat portraits in my collection, most have been sold, prints available and greeting cards coming soon.
If you are interested in one of these or have a feline friend you wish me to do a portrait of please fill in the form below for further details.
Original paintings cost £55.00
Prints cost £25.00
Commissioned Cat Portraits cost £45.00
All images are 10″ x 12″ x 1″ and are on box canvas or high quality printing paper.
In the past 2 weeks I experienced a relapse and have been struggling with day to day life. Being so overwhelmed by emotion, feeling unable to move or speak. My ability to self analyse had gone, my perspective skewed and my continuous questioning of reality was a preoccupation.
Unable to take my own advice and “paint my feelings”, not able to put pen to paper to explore the thoughts swimming around my head. So I lay there watching time do its thing, with every tick tock acting as a reminder of my own failings and stagnant mood.
So a few days ago I slowly moved towards my paint brushes… Inspecting paints, finding colours and tools, making sure I did not invest too much energy for the fear of disappointment.
A blank canvas stared up toward me? Begging me to surrender myself, asking me a million questions at once. The void of white seemed oppressive and scared me back into submission.
I decided to go to my art room and look through my paintings in search of a connection to something, which I felt had seemed to have been lost. However I did not get to do this as I was distracted by a stack of unfinished paintings. Looking sad and abandoned, five paintings waiting to be brought to life but like me were stuck.
So I bundle the paintings into my arms and scurried towards my sofa, I got water and a large palette on the way. Managing to create a fort of warmth was my only real concern on such a frosty January night, determined I got the biggest blanket I could find (that I did not mind splashing paint on, as this was an inevitability with me) and I arranged the cushions into a area of ease and comfort.
Then in pure bliss I began to paint, not with any particular emotion but more a sense of ease and fluidity. I found that by concentrating on the colours and strokes of the brush I was “in the moment” being mindful and able to focus on everything I was doing as if I were in a trance or meditative state. As I was working on 5 paintings at once I did not even get to break my concentration as I had organised myself into a conveyer belt of art, continuously creating…
This is not always a possibility with my conditions but when it is there is this feeling that I am complete when creating art. As well as reaffirming that there is meaning in the action and doing of art. In the application of creativity you can arrive to conclusions and acquire clarity without any of this being involved in the image you create. This session which I managed to self medicate with in my hour of need was cathartic, the reality I was so unsure of became less important and the moments of focused clarity became the ideal and the goal which my mind has set its sights on.
My advice to everyone is that in order to silence the negative thoughts you must become proactive. Allowing the intrusive thoughts to swallow you whole will only lead to an immobile mind and body. This is not to be confused with the “autopilot” mind set, this does not lead to clarity and release, in fact it can be even more dangerous as it allows the mind to go through the motions without any awareness. Which some may argue sounds wonderful, but it gets you no where.
This is not a post to tell you all your problems can be fixed by art or painting specifically. This post is to tell you, I am struggling with it all, life in general but I am a fighter and sometimes a begrudging survivor but one all the same. There is no option but to keep going against the odds and for me sometimes picking up my paintbrush is all I can do to survive these cruel mental fragilities.
Here are the 5 paintings…
Isabella No2 – By Charlotte Farhan
Hiding Beneath the Flowers – By Charlotte Farhan
Isabella No3 – By Charlotte Farhan
The Poetry of Flowers – By Charlotte Farhan
Omar No2 – By Charlotte Farhan
If interested in my art please visit my official website
So it is a new year and with this comes the assumption of an internal reset button which one can press and start again. As far as notions go this is not a bad one if approached correctly with a positive attitude and an openness to whatever lays ahead.
I do not make resolutions as this kind of fait accompli put upon oneself is a recipe for disaster and failure. It does not allow for the mystery of the upcoming 12 months and what life has planned. So instead I set goals which do not have to be finished by 2016 but have to be started in 2015. I move forward with dreams and ambitions and make sure I do at least one thing I have never accomplished before. You may think I am just rewriting the new year resolution mantra and that it is not much different, however the difference is I do not “expect” things from myself, instead I imagine my future and am lead by my dreams and encouraged by my fears.
Last year was great. I became a published illustrator with The Wishing Machine which I am very proud of. Also I had 2 exhibitions one in Portsmouth and one in London, after 2013 I decided I would take a step back from exhibitions and concentrate on new collections. Myself and Sadie Kaye decided to take over the old ART SAVES LIVES and renamed it ART SAVES LIVES INTERNATIONAL. This meant I was Artistic Director and Co-Founder with Sadie.
I also joined forces with the talented Lisa Reeve and we are working together on a new book, a new online boutique selling handmade and recycled items as well as art from ourselves and selected artisans.
In late 2014 ART SAVES LIVES INTERNATIONAL was handed over to me and I became Managing Director along with my husband Mohammed Farhan and Lisa Reeve. Sadie Kaye remains Artistic Director but has taken a small step back whilst she concentrates on many other personal projects as well as her beautiful expanding family. We have decided to reinvent ASLI, with a new mission and plan. With ASLI set to become a registered Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO) in early 2015 and already with a calendar booked up with exciting events, we are excited with our new venture.
“Painting is a means of self-enlightenment.” John Olsen
Today I want to discuss the physical benefits to art and having a creative outlet. I was diagnosed with Diabetes and Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome at the end of 2012 which turned my world upside down. Now, over half a year on and I am back to having doctors appointments and tests, as I have a condition affecting my legs and joints which should be diagnosed next week.
As one can imagine having these problems on top of my mental illness has been a struggle and challenge. Especially as this has been my busiest year to date for my art. With five solo exhibitions, several group shows, being in The Portsmouth News and becoming an artist in residence at ART SAVES LIVES, it has been wonderful. Not to forget the amazing support I have received from happy customers, gallery owners, mentors and my wonderful little creative army of fans on my social media sites, reaching over 31,000 likes and followers!!
During this whirlwind of excitement, success and gratitude I have been healing myself. I have lost 4 stone and dropped 4 dress sizes as well as many inches all over. I now have a clean living approach and try and eat organic, unrefined, unprocessed, fair trade whole foods. I exercise and concentrate on my therapy for my Personality disorder, Post traumatic stress and anxiety disorder as well as targeted exposure work for my agoraphobia. My husband and I are also trying for a baby, which due to my Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome is a struggle.
All these things can bog a person down and make the “need” to create art seem an irrelevant task and one which should be put on hold!
This is not correct!!!
When feeling unwell, mentally or physically, when life causes undue stress and anxiety or when caring for others in these situations means your self care goes out the window.
THIS IS WHEN WE SHOULD CREATE!!
Current research is following a number of paths. Scientists measure the natural substances your body produces when you’re exposed to the arts. Others look at what happens when you are active in the creative process. Researchers are now investigating how the arts can help us recover from disease, injury and psychological trauma.
Art therapy can help improve various mental and physical symptoms including, reducing pain, anxiety, and tension. It can be beneficial to those who have mental disorders, cancer, post traumatic stress disorders (PTSD), people who are bipolar, and a variety of other serious ailments.
Megan Robb, a certified art therapist at NIH’s Clinical Centre, says, “When traumatic memories are stored in the brain, they’re not stored as words but as images. Art therapy is uniquely suited to access these memories.”
For people with physical disorders art adds meaning to life.
Art is especially important for people with physical challenges as they may not be able to participate in activities as they had in the past. It keeps the mind engaged and lowers stress and pain levels. A recent report from Finnish scientists showed that listening to music helps stroke patients recover both memory and focused attention.
It has also been studied and concluded that there are benefits to cardiovascular, stroke and diabetic patients. Art can reduce blood pressure and music can help irregular heart beats and creative writing can allow people to understand and face their life challenges better.
“By engaging in art, dance, poetry or music, people are likely to initiate processes that help them manage stress, reduce negative mood states and perhaps change behaviour that we know impacts cardiovascular risk and recovery,” ( Joshua Smyth, a psychologist at Syracuse University)
So my point is this, art can be a positive new direction which everyone can do a little more of in their lives. Be creative in whatever you wish, engage your inner artist, musician, poet, whatever you decide will only enrich your life as it has done mine.
I may get bad news with my biopsy next week, I may have good and bad days with my long list of ailments, but I assure you the one thing which shall never change is my need to create and my need to inspire you all to do the same.
I not only believe in the healing powers of art I also believe in the healing power of positive energy. I feel with all the challenges life throws at you, you have a choice in which to find a silver lining, a positive over the negative, a way to turn pain, fear and loss into an energy which is filled with positivity which you can pass on throughout your family, friends and community.
For all of you which may be suffering or caring for those who do, I send you all my love and support. You are all in my thoughts whilst I create my art.
A not-for-profit arts organisation dedicated to providing free inspirational and inclusive arts experiences to engage disadvantaged and marginalised artists in the UK. Please visit the website and help us to improve peoples lives through art.
“There is no must in art because art is free.” Wassily Kandinsky
If you are interested in knowing more about my art, upcoming exhibitions or wish to know more about me please visit my website http://www.charlottefarhanart.com/ and if you would like to contact me please email email@example.com
A week ago today I was half way through my first solo two day exhibition at NSH Arts in London, Mile End. I was feeling very excited and felt very blessed that the evening before had gone so well and how wonderfully I had been received. My exhibition was organised by Art Saves Lives an organisation which I am a resident artist for in London. The exhibition was my largest yet with 26 paintings.
The Venue – NSH Arts – London
“A classic Georgian House the east end of London, 439 Mile End Road has been refurbished to offer a versatile set of spaces intended for exhibition of 2D and 3D installations, music, theatre and study. The scale is defined by the domestic setting – but the possibilities are dramatic – including opera and indoor/outdoor exhibitions.”
Nick Hugh the director was so helpful and operates his venue and organisation with a relaxed professionalism which is calming for the artist and audience.
“Art Saves Lives is a not-for-profit arts organisation dedicated to providing inspirational and inclusive arts experiences to engage marginalised and underprivileged young artists in the UK. We offer our artists a plethora of multi-media visual arts, performing arts and film opportunities to unleash their artistic potential and transform their lives.”
Mr Dean Stalham – Company Director, organised my exhibition and promoted it. Dean was amazing and I am very grateful for his help and dedication.
Exhibition Poster – created by Art Saves Lives
Here is my exhibition for all those who could not attend and for those who are just finding out about my art. I hope you will feel as if you were there.
Breaking Through During Waking – An Exhibition by Charlotte Farhan
My vision for this exhibition was a collection of my best work which represented my journey so far. From childhood memories, life stories and events, with political and religious comments and parts of my inner self which begged to be exposed and exploded from my mind on to canvas. My work is always reflective and is meant to provoke discussion and to reflect positive energy from colour.
Rainbow Street (Amman) & Amman at Dusk – By Charlotte Farhan
Amman at Dusk – By Charlotte Farhan
Amman, is a city which reminds me of how strong I am and reminds me of the adventure and diversity which exists on our planet. I have faced many fears to visit this amazing city in Jordan where my husband is from. It is a spiritual home where I found an inner peace on my second visit in 2011.
Amman, Rainbow Street – By Charlotte Farhan
“Rainbow Street” is in the historic area of Jabal Amman, Jordan. This is the home of the artistic community located at the heart of Amman’s oldest neighbourhood. An inspirational and energetic vibe is felt here.
PTSD – By Charlotte Farhan
This is a reflective piece. It is painted in a naïve style. This represents the image my inner child would paint to explain the emotions attached to this condition. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a severe condition that may develop after a person is exposed to one or more traumatic events.
During my exhibition the fabulously talented pianist Fabio Tedde played his music. Fabio’s music set the scene for a relaxed evening. Pleasure for the ears and the eyes was our collaboration.
Here are some videos of Fabio Tedde for you to listen to
The Wonderful singer/songwriter Lánre also sang three amazing songs and the one she picked especially for my exhibition, was this song called “inspiration”
Lánre – Inspiration
Lánre is a beautiful women with true soul which runs deep and pleases the ears with a delightful ease and passion. A rising star who has a long and bright future ahead, watch this space because Lánre is coming!!
We also had inspiring guest speakers and were supported by Community Options with Ian bland, speaking about the organisation and who runs a creativity project for Art Saves Lives called Credo.
The Service User Network (S.U.N) is a group peer support service which helps people cope with personality disorder and emotional/behavioural difficulties.
It aims to help service users feel more supported, less excluded and more empowered. This is achieved through learning new coping strategies, which can help people have fewer crises, and be able to access other services more simply when needed.
S.U.N works alongside mainstream services
Inspiring and informative talks – Thank you
Exhibition Photos – By Mohammed Farhan & Edited By Charlotte Farhan
I hope you have enjoyed my exhibition
Thank you for visiting – your support is gratefully received
If you are interested in my work please visit my website
On Thursday the 25th of July and Friday the 26th of July, this week! I am having my first ever London exhibition and you are invited to attend. It is organised by Art Saves Lives as I am a resident artist of theirs, here is what they said on the invitation “Brilliant young artist Charlotte Farhan is having her first London exhibition showcasing her wonderful talents at the sublime NSH ARTS gallery in MIle End”.
My art is inspired by my inner world. I explore different themes in my work such as Women & Femininity, Religion, Politics and Nature and it’s beauty. I have also started a new collection which I shall be showcasing in this exhibition and it is exploring my mental illness and the mind in general from an art therapy point of view. Plus there is at least one or two from all my previous collections.
Please come to view original visual art at a brilliant venue.
PLEASE SUPPORT! On for two nights only- one not to be missed.
We are supported by Community Options and have two wonderful guest speakers confirmed for the 25th- Ian bland, who runs a creativity project for Art Saves Lives called Credo and Philip Singh, who runs a council funded user led mental health support group… Part of a network of 33 groups in tower hamlets called SUN.
There will also be live music played by The Piano Man himself- Pianist-Composer Fabio Tedde and a Special guest Singer-Songwriter Lánre