Blue Monday – which falls on Monday 17th January 2022 – may be just around the corner but there’s no need to accept the gloomiest day of the year for what it is.
The festive season may have been and gone, and January’s cold, dark days may be particularly tiresome. But with the right mindset and a touch of creativity, you can quash those dreary feelings and emerge from the other side a more positive and happier you.
One way to beat Blue Monday is by using art to lighten and lift the mood, and as Elephant Stock reveals, its effects can be pretty powerful:
“If you’re feeling down, indulge in art! Art is an immediate mood-booster, and it fosters feelings of relaxation, creativity, and inspiration. Many studies have shown that both creating and looking at art can support mental wellbeing. Any form of art can help reduce stress hormones, while increasing endorphins and dopamine in our brain. It’s a win-win!”
Here in Gloucestershire, we have a fantastic art scene just waiting to be explored. Read on to discover the local artists to watch and how you can admire their works to brighten your Blue Monday.
As an artist and illustrator of fine art, Chepstow based Ray Taylor is renowned for his inspired, visionary and unbelievably realistic works.
He uses a number of mediums to create his pieces, and is regularly commissioned for his original oil, pen and ink, acrylic, and watercolour paintings and drawings. A traditionalist at heart, the former Army Engineer’s precise and intricate style is well known throughout the region.
His works have recently been exhibited at Westminster Abbey’s ‘Going to War’ Exhibition. Ray also runs regular art classes and courses to help everyone tap into their inner artist.
Gloucestershire artist Ben Bishop uses various media to showcase his distinctive style. His works are extremely topical, with his recent collections documenting refugees and migrants, and the pandemic revered. Ben also paints and draws local landmarks.
Ben is currently studying Fine Arts at Stroud and South Gloucestershire College, all we can say is “watch this space”!
If ceramic sculptures are more your thing, you’ll want to check out Peter Garrard. His functional, hand built ceramic sculptures for the home and garden are particularly popular.
Peter’s expertise extends beyond ceramic sculpture and pottery, with painting, drawing and watercolours featuring heavily in his portfolio.
Taking inspiration from the world around him, he creates a plethora of bespoke pieces from his studio in Gloucester. Alongside his work as a professional tutor, Peter regularly exhibits and creates commissioned pieces.
Jamaica Street Studios
Visitors looking to escape to the city of Bristol should visit Jamaica Street Studios. It’s one of the largest artist-led studios in the country outside of the capital and has been an exciting creative hub for the past 20 years.
The studio is a working place for more than 30 local, national and international artists. You can attend various events, meet their resident artists and view their creations in person.
The Forest of Dean Sculpture Trail
Sculpture spotting in the Forest of Dean is a must for all visitors to The Wyndham and the wider area.
The Forest of Dean Sculpture Trust has hosted the trail since 1986 and it makes for a fascinating visit for art enthusiasts as well as people of all ages and interests. The trail recently introduced 8 new installations to celebrate its 35th anniversary, so you’ll find plenty to explore.