Little Artworks

Little Artworks © Angela Porter |

Little artworks.

Earlier last week, I spent a couple of hours colouring some pieces of Bristol Board and Mixed Media Paper with either Distress Inks or Distress Oxide Inks.

I brayered the Distress Oxide inks onto a small Gelli Plate and then sprayed them with a mixture of Perfect Pearls and water. Then, I used a piece of paper to take a print and let it dry. Once dry, I used a rectangular die and a Sizzix Big Shot machine to cut out rectangles from the print. The panels are 4.25″ x 2.5″ in size.

For the Distress Inks, I used mini foam blending tools to achieve a pleasing colour gradient. I then sprayed them with a mixture of Perfect Pearls and water. These panels, not shown here, are larger at 4″ x 5.5″.

Last night I got around to drawing on a couple of these panels. I chose some of the smaller, Distress Oxide background panels for this as well as some Faber Castell Pitt Artist Pens. 

The first panel I drew is on the top left. I didn’t leave much blank space in this one! It’s much more my typical kind of entangled art. I did use a white coloured pencil to lighten some parts of the design to help them stand out a little more.

In the other two, I left a lot more blank space, and added a simple hand-drawn border, though in the top right panel I just had to add some embellishment to the right side.

I couldn’t resist using a gold glitter gel pen from Uniball to add some shiny highlights to the panels.

I’m quite pleased with each panel. I do like my entangled art at the top left. However, I’m surprised at how much I like the floral panels, particularly the top right one. The one on the bottom left needs something to be done to the petals. I don’t know if shading with coloured pencils will help to add some depth and dimension to them. I may come back to them in a day or two.

What am I going to do with these panels? Well, I most probably will mount them on card blanks and make some coordinating envelopes to send out as mail art at some point in time. There’s undoubtedly space on the floral panels to add a sentiment or a quote. For the more detailed panel, I could add a sentiment to the card blank, or use a ribbon banner.

The best-laid plans.

This seems to be a recurring theme in life at the moment for me. I plan what I’d like to do on a given day, and then life goes on a crazy roller-coaster ride.

Maybe I’m over-dramatising, but unexpected things came along that meant I had to put those plans aside, and that’s included my blog posts.

Today, I hope that life will take a diversion around my house during the day so that I can settle to work. I need a few hours of uninterrupted focus time to get most of a project completed before I venture out early evening to an event.

So, with that, I should get on to work asap.

So, Angela, how are you today?

I’m feeling fine and tickety-boo. I had a disturbing dream which is still haunting me a little. That will pass.

My unexpected break from ‘work’ has refreshed me somewhat. I have the oompf and focus I need to complete a project, and I’m looking forward to it.

In previous days, I had felt totally overwhelmed by the project. Today, I think I can manage it, and do it well.

So, despite it being Sunday and a gloriously sunny day outside, I will turn today into a working day. Not that any creative/artistic activities ever feel like work to me. However, this one needs some particular focus from me as I have to use Affinity Publisher to create materials to go to print. 

It’s not that I haven’t done things like this before – I have. I’ve just not done them for a very long time, and I used Microsoft Publisher previously. These types of materials are new to me too. I’m doing the artwork and typography for the CD for a prog-metal band called Anubis Gate, who hail from Denmark.

This is an exciting commission for me, but also overwhelming as I so want to make sure I get things just right. And that is where the focus comes in! I usually find myself in a flow state when creating art. However, I have to focus so much when laying out images and text, setting up templates, checking my typing, and so on, that I have to pay close attention to what I’m doing.

So, I have to be kind to myself and recognise that if I’m not in the right place to do this kind of work I give myself a break from it. I end up making mistakes and getting more and more frustrated with myself. As I get frustrated with myself, the inner critics wake up and start telling me how useless I am. They take their opportunity to attack me.

Fortunately, the days when they do this are fewer and further between them. However, there are still days when they fill their lungs and scream at me and get to me.

Today is a day where I feel strong enough to forge ahead with this project, a day where I feel stronger than the inner critics.

So, I’d better finish all my social media stuff and knuckle down to the CD designs!

What are your favourite quotes?

What are your favourite quotes ©Angela Porter |
What are your favourite quotes ©Angela Porter |

A request from me to you.

I enjoy using quote and adding artwork around them. So, I thought I’d ask, “What are your favourite quotes?”. Leave a comment with them – you never know I may illustrate them!

Reflecting on today’s artwork.

I have finished the illustration above; I just wanted to try some ideas out where I combine more realistic (ermm, probably stylised realistic) motifs along with some of my signature style entangled art. It’s been an interesting experiment and I quite like the results.

I have no idea how the flower at the bottom left ended up so huge in comparison to the others! Having said that, it’s most probably my favourite as I love the depth of colour in the petals.

I also like the line-art in grey. It’s subtle, adds a background to the flower without being overpowering like black line art can be.

I certainly have some things to think about here.

This is digital art, created using my usual trio of Microsoft Surface Studio, Microsoft Surface Pen and Autodesk Sketchbook Pro.

The best laid plans of mice and Angelas.

Today is one of those frustrating days where I had planned to settle down to work on a commission and then life happens.

First, I slept longer than I usually do in the morning and it also took longer for my eyes, brain and body to wake up properly and work.

I knew I needed a few hours to myself to focus and concentrate on searching out the artwork I need, organising it, setting up templates, and getting everything clear in my head.

Well, with the unplanned sleep-in, having to deal with various other stuff it’s just not going to happen today as I have something to do this evening.

This frustrates me as I had got myself sorted to get it done. However, I do know how I work best, and my next opportunity for an uninterrupted day is Saturday as I have things to do tomorrow.

Ho hum. It means I’ll work on a dangle design for tomorrow’s blog instead. Perhaps a couple so I have at least one ready for next week.

So, Angela, how are you today?

Despite sleeping in this morning, I am feeling tired. I’m also frustrated that my plans have been waylaid by circumstances beyond my control.

Once all the circumstances have been dealt with, I may just return to bed to sleep for a while. That may clear my head.

I’m doing my best not to be hard on myself, beating myself up by telling myself I’m lazy. That’s how it feels on one level, but that harks right back to childhood where I was told that’s what I was no matter what I did.

It’s a false belief that’s followed me through life. Even when I was a workaholic, I thought myself lazy for having to sleep or eat or do other things.

In hindsight, I can see I was going above and beyond what I needed to do. I can also see that the busy-ness was all about avoiding difficult emotions and thoughts. It was a coping mechanism, an unhealthy one.
I am better at self-care and understanding why it so important.

However, I still find I tell myself I’m lazy and useless when another self-care day is needed. Today that’s partly through circumstances that have developed that need dealing with. It’s also party through me feeling emotionally exhausted once again.

Hang on. I shouldn’t say, “once again”. It’s a continuation of the exhaustion I felt after therapy on Monday. I’ve had a busy time since then, with little chance to catch my proverbial breath. Yesterday, I had an appointment that I got very anxious about, anxious to the point of cold, sweaty palms and enlarged pupils and on the verge of hyper-vigilance.

That rise in anxiety drained me. However, there was little chance to calm and settle as I had other things to do soon after.

So, even though I have things going on today that I didn’t expect, I think it’s a good thing as it gives me some periods of time to do some self-care. I could’ve ended up pushing myself to work on the commission and get more and more frustrated with myself as I made mistake after mistake, lost my train of thought again and again, and lost confidence in myself and gave the inner critics a chance to get their loud-hailers out and scream at me that I’m useless, pathetic, a failure.

I’ve yet to learn it’s OK to err on the side of caution. I’ve learned that a day of self-care can make all the difference for the next day and how I feel about a project.

Taking time out means that when I turn to the project, I can feel excited, optimistic, creative, focused.

In contrast, today, I feel overwhelmed, dim-witted, lacking energy and would have to force myself to work when I know I’d mess up and have to do it all over again.

So, I’m trying to work out how to give myself permission to take some more self-care time yet again. It seems that’s all I’ve been doing lately. I’m putting myself under pressure to get projects done when I’m not in the right kind of place to work on them to a good enough standard.

Today, I’m a good lesson in how to tie yourself in knots when overwhelmed and emotionally fragile!

Be kind …

Be Kind © Angela Porter |
Be Kind ©Angela Porter |

This morning, I finally finished the drawing that’s the background for one of my favourite quotes.

I printed the quote and it’s border and then I used Uniball Unipin pens to draw the design. After scanning in to Autodesk Sketchbook Pro, I cleaned the artwork up. I then used the software to colour the line art and typography.

This was definitely a piece of ‘comfort art’ – it’s a style I slip back into when I need to focus on self-care. That doesn’t mean I consider this art less than my other art. It’s pretty, intricate and I actually love the way the colour softens the lines. Soft colours, soft lines, soft and loving quote, yet a powerful quote. It’s kindness and compassion towards all others and all living things that will change the world for the better.

So, Angela, how are you?

I’m OK, but still rather tired. Not physically but emotionally. Between therapy and then a rather emotionally difficult blog entry yesterday it’s wiped me out a bit.

I woke to a grey, wet day. However, there’s now some sunshine brightening the world and making the rain shine. It’s also brightening my mood a little, not that it was dark, just a little matte or flat.

I do need to turn my attention to some commissions and projects, however my emotions aren’t feeling all that stable today. I know I have an appointment in a couple of hours so perhaps rather than trying to make a start on the project work I’ll spend some time self-soothing and then focus on the projects when I return home.

World Suicide Prevention Day 2019

World Suicide Prevention Day 2019 © Angela Porter |

The artwork.

I wanted to try to create a series of templates that could be used as frames for quotes. This is my first one. I remembered to save it as tiff file in layers so that I can easily change the background.

I didn’t start with the intention of creating waves filled with zentangle-type patterns, but that’s how it intuitively flowed from the tip of my Surface Pen onto the screen of my Surface Studio. So, I went with it.

It’s a very comfortable kind of art to create, whether you call it zentangle, zentangle inspired, entangled artwork, line art, doodled art. It’s just about filling space with patterns and lines, using them to add depth and dimension.

It was an enjoyable process that I could complete in a few sessions in-between a hectic few days.

The saga of the keyboard.

Saturday my Bluetooth keyboard decided to not connect to the Surface Studio. It had been finicky for a few days. I changed batteries, I tried disconnecting it and reconnecting it and following all the trouble-shooting processes I could find. All to no avail. This is why I’ve not done any blogs and been quiet around social media, along with life being a bit busy too.

It also worked out that the warranty on my Surface Studio and all it’s attendant bits and bobs had run out just over three weeks ago. Yes, I do have software I can use the Surface Pen with or a keyboard that pops up on the screen that I can tap with my fingers or mouse or pen, but they are so slow and frustrating to use in comparison to the speed at which I can type. I do love to handwrite, even on the screen. However, as I can’t turn the ‘paper’ or ‘writing window’ to an angle that makes it comfortable for me to write at I don’t do as much as I could.

Of course, I’d forgotten I still have, and use my Surface Book. However, when something goes wrong, my mind goes into instant ‘oh my gosh, I’ve got to sort that out as there’s no other way to get things done’ overwhelmed and panic mode. It’s only after I have solved the problem and calm down that I can see that I had alternatives open to me.

So, my brain told me my only option was to buy a new keyboard. Then I had a decision to make. Should I go for a wireless one or a wired one?
I decided on a wired one as that should always connect to the ‘puter. I also was beguiled by a keyboard that has pretty rainbow lights beneath the keys. Sparkly and colourful always attracts me.

So, I now have a keyboard and can email and write and do everything else that requires words from me quickly once again.

World Suicide Prevention Day 2019

Warning – this may contain emotional and mental health triggers.

The World Health Organisation says that one person dies by suicide every 40 seconds. 

In the UK, two people take their own lives every day.

In the UK, men account for approximately 75% of all suicides.

In the UK, suicide is the most common cause of death for men aged 20 to 49.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) says suicides are a serious public health problem. They also say that suicides are preventable and give a list of some of the measures that can be taken on their webpage about suicide –

They also say that one of the biggest obstacles to overcome in suicide prevention is the stigma and taboo that surrounds suicide and mental health problems.

The stigma and taboos that surround talking openly about suicide leads to a lack of awareness about suicide, and also about mental illness.

I am a champion for Time To Change Wales, a campaign whose aim is to get people talking about mental illness to break down the stigma that surrounds it. This also includes suicide.

As a champion, one of the things I do is to go to organisations and other groups to talk about my experience of mental illness and the stigma and discrimination I have faced. This includes self-stigma. 

Thanks to self-stigma, I was in denial that I was experiencing mental and emotional ill-health for many years. It led to me not seeking help until I had nearly broken my mind. I ended up being off work as a teacher for almost a year. I went back to work for just eight months before I had another ‘breakdown’ for want of another word. 

What I don’t often mention, and what I think also needs to be discussed here, is suicidal ideation or suicidal thoughts. These are thoughts about wishing to die, wanting life to stop, hoping that one would not wake up in the morning. Not actively planning suicide, but wishing that life would end to bring the mental and emotional pain to an end.

For a long as I can remember, right back to being young, I can remember wishing this upon myself. I often wanted to die in my sleep and not have to face another day like the one I just had. I didn’t feel loved or valued in any way, and the constant bullying, name-calling, being ignored and neglected. I felt a burden, a bother, a nuisance, an irritation, a problem to my family. I thought they would be happier without me. That the world would be a better place without me. I never thought of actively taking my own life, but I certainly wished to die.

That belief about myself has followed me throughout my life. Sometimes it would be quiet, at other times it would be shouting through a megaphone in my head.

I remember driving to work most days in the last few years of my teaching career wanting to just keep driving and never come back to my life as it had become so very, very painful for me and I could see no way out of the pain.

I never did drive off towards the horizon as I didn’t actually know what I would do. Also, the thought of my cat and how he’d not cope without me would pop into my head. And so I would get myself to work so I could look after my cat.

At the time, it felt my cat was the only living thing that was consistently and unconditionally there for me, sharing love and affection with me. I still miss him now, a bit more than a year when I had to say goodbye to him.

I owe my life to my cat, and to the one friend (now my brother of the heart/choice) who kept nagging me about getting help, and the GP who knew the right words to say to me to get me to understand I needed help and a break from work and also from my mind. Now, I am also so grateful to my EMDR therapist for persisting with me.

I have tears flowing down my face as I write about this. The tears represent the sadness that I feel that I was ignorant of what good mental and emotional health is and of the stigma I held about it in regards to myself. Oddly, I never had those thoughts about others who were experiencing mental illness, having helped others during their own crises. I feel sad that I have lived most of my life with poor mental and emotional health, thinking that was how everyone else was. I feel sad that only now am I learning what it is like to have a touchstone of contentment and optimism to hold onto when times get tough.

The tears are also ones of gratitude that I’m still here. I have come through the darkest days of my life. My career has changed, and my life is gradually changing for the better, as is my mental and emotional health.

I rarely have suicidal thoughts now. In fact, I can’t remember the last time I did. That says something about how far along my healing journey I have come.

If someone had told me in my darkest days that my life would be as it is now, with that contentment within me, an optimism for my future, I might not have believed them. In fact, I most probably wouldn’t have.

However, I am here to say that I made it through it all. Through my childhood and adulthood and now into middle age. 

I wish I’d known what I know now as a child. Maybe I would’ve sought help sooner in my life.

What I wish for everyone is that every person on this planet is given the information about what good mental and emotional health is. I want mental and emotional health to be seen as important as physical health with the links between them fully recognised, and support is available to all who need it.

No matter how bad life seems, there are always options to improve it. This is something I’ve had to learn. In fact, I’m still learning about it. When I get overwhelmed, or something goes wrong, I tend to slip into the black and white thinking mode.

That’s what the black and white borders to today’s art is about. The complexity shows just how crazily my mind was working during the darkest days.

For the space between them, the background on which the quote sits, I chose colours that remind me of a sunrise. A new day, with a fresh mind and eyes always comes with new options, if only we can see them.

My story has not ended. It will not end until my life is naturally completed. For the first time in my life, I have a feeling of optimism for my future. It may have taken me two severe episodes of mental ill-health and several years of EMDR therapy and counselling to get to this point. But I’ve got there. 

No matter how much of my life I have left, it will be lived with some contentment, peace and hope for my future. I wish the same for each and every person.

Just because – Autumnal Dangle design mail art

Just because - Autumn dangle design greeting card © Angela Porter |
Just because – Autumnal Dangle Design mail art © Angela Porter |

Making coloured backgrounds.

Yesterday evening I had a pleasant hour or so using Distress Oxide and Distress inks to make some backgrounds for future card projects.

I used a soft rubber Brayer roller to add distress oxides to a small Gelli Plate. I then spritzed the Gelli plate with water containing either pearl, copper or gold Perfect Pearls before lifting the print with some Claire Fontaine Mixed Media paper. The water in the spray reacts with the inks to give an oxidised look. The Perfect Pearls in the spray add some subtle shimmer to the finished background.

Once the Distress Oxide background layers were dry, I used a rectangular die to cut a section from them.

To create backgrounds with Distress Inks, I used a mini foam blending tool to cover the card with colour. I then sprayed the card with some water containing pearl, copper or gold Perfect Pearls. Again, the water reacts with the Distress Inks, but this time creating small watermarks. The Perfect Pearls again add shimmer.

Making the card.

I chose a background coloured with Wild Honey, Tea Dye, Old Linen and Walnut Stain Distress Inks which were then spritzed with pearl Perfect Pearls infused water.

I wanted to create a dangle design card. From experience, I know that drawing on backgrounds with added Perfect pearls that my fine-liner Uniball Unipin pens can become clogged by the tiny flakes of mica that comprise Perfect Pearls.

So, I tried using a Uniball Vision Elite rollerball pen. The ink in it is supposed to be water-resistant, tamper-proof, fade-proof. It’s also very black, which suits me just fine.

 I was surprised at how well the pen wrote on the background – not just because of the Perfect Pearls and Distress Ink, but also because the mixed media paper is lightly textured. 

Once I’d completed the design, I used a needle=tip Pentel Energel Liquid Ink Gel pen to add smaller details.

While the plain black line on the coloured background looked OK, I thought it needed some colour to help lift it from the background.

I launched myself into using Copic markers, using somewhat darker colours than I usually would. That meant it wasn’t until I was adding some colour to the ribbon banner that I discovered that the Copic reacts with the inks in the pens and smears them. I was so disappointed in myself for not checking the pens were Copic safe. Oh well, you live and learn!

Rather than start again, I carried on with the card. I wanted to add some clear embossing powder to help the colours of the Copic markers stand out even more. So, I used a Versamark pen to colour over the designs, and then I sprinkled on the clear Wow Embossing Powder. I used a heat tool to melt the Embossing powder and achieve a glossy, dimensional finish on the dangle design.

The final step was to adhere the dangle design to a card blank, after adding some gold dots with a Uniball Signo glitter gel pen.

Fancy having a go at drawing your own dangle designs and not sure where to start? Well, you could start with my book “A Dangle A Day” where I lead you through the process. I have over 100 designs in the book where I take you step by step through drawing them. I have also included ideas for where you can use them including as cards, bookmarks, in BuJos, journals, scrapbooks and more.

Making the envelope.

I used the pre-made envelope that came with the card blank. I decided to keep the envelope white and add a border using some of the motifs from the dangle design.

I did use the Uniball Vision Elite gel pen and Pentel needlepoint pen to draw the design. This time, I coloured the design with some Mitsubishi Uni coloured pencils. 

The low quality of the paper envelope wasn’t conducive to really amazing colouring, but it worked well enough.

Reflecting on the card and envelope.

I could’ve kicked myself for not testing the pens to see if they were Copic friendly. I don’t think I could send this card to anyone as it just isn’t up to scratch. I need to remember this in future projects.

Also, the Versamark pen smeared the ink a little too, but nowhere as much as the Copics did.

I used much darker Copic colours than I usually would without thinking that heat embossing them would intensify the colours even more. The colours aren’t as dark as in the photo, but they are still darker than I would like.

The coloured pencils colouring worked much better and perhaps I would’ve been better off using them on the card panel. Again, something to remember for the future.

I also noticed that the anti-static powder I used before using the Versamark and embossing powder has either removed or covered the Perfect pearls. I used the anti-static powder so prevent the embossing powder sticking to places it didn’t belong. This is always a possibility, especially when using Distress Inks to colour the background.

In hindsight, I may have been better drawing, colouring and heat embossing the design before colouring the background. However, I do like to have pre-coloured backgrounds to use for arty projects.

So, Angela, how are you? 

I’m OK, still tired from a busy few days at the weekend and start of the week. I also have a flare-up of an ovarian cyst which is rather painful and achy. I’m feeling content and optimistic otherwise, though still tired even though I slept well last night. The exhaustion that comes with interacting with people, therapy and not enough me-time can linger for a good while — the joys of having CPTSD and being an introvert.

Yesterday, I was fatigued, and the flare-up ramped up in intensity as the day progressed. I wasn’t in the right place to create art or focus on work. I needed to practice self-care.

I chose to do some crochet after hearing about Crochyay, the online presence of a young woman called Olivia who makes flowers and leaves them with a little message tag for people to find and keep – random acts of kindness. She uses crochet to help manage her anxiety and depression as well.

I thought it was a beautiful idea and I thought flowers or little amigurumi hearts or similar would be lovely to make. Small, quick to finish projects that I feel I could manage. I’ve lost the oompf to do larger crochet projects such as shawls and blankets, but some little ones would be lovely to do. 

I do find crochet and other crafts quite soothing and calming. I also feel I’m doing something, and they can stop me from just sleeping my day away. Little projects like flowers are fab for me when the thought of anything bigger fills me with procrastination and disinterest. Also, I find it much more motivating to do projects for other people than for myself, even if I don’t know those people.

So I managed to make quite a few flowers yesterday. I now need to make leaves and assemble them into little posies. Then, there are tags to make.

I’m also looking forward to making the tags as I can draw and decorate them too! So, little projects in their own right.

Finally, I’ll need to overcome my self-consciousness and anxiety about leaving them for people to find them.

Hope is rekindled – mandala WIP

Hope is rekindled Mandala WIP ©Angela Porter |
Hope is rekindled Mandala WIP ©Angela Porter |

I need some quietly creative, self-care, self-comforting time today. What is more perfect for doing this than creating a mandala?

I turned to my digital tools to do this – Autodesk Sketchbook Pro, Microsoft Surface Pen and Microsoft Surface Studio. I also wanted to work with just colour – no black outlines and no sketches to start me off. I just wanted to let the design flow and unfold as it needed to. And it did.

This mandala isn’t finished, it is a work in progress. The outer ring may disappear as I work on it more; it seems to help to create a finished mandala at this point in time.

I knew the mandala needed to titled ‘Hope is rekindled’. That seems to be quite apt for me at the moment.

So, Angela, how are you feeling today?

I’ve had a heck of a busy couple of days. Monday I popped in to see Russell at the Time to Change Wales offices to pick up some resources for an upcoming stand. Then, I had therapy followed by an extremely late lunch and a slightly late tea before going to something in the evening. I eventually got home less than an hour before midnight feeling exhausted.

Tuesday was an early start to get myself to Llantrisant Leisure Centre by 9:30am to set up a Time to Change Wales stand at Rhondda Cynon Taff Council’s corporate induction day. That lasted until nearly 4pm, so it was a mad dash home to get something to eat and to warm up. I was cold and chilly. I was also feeling quite low – mental exhaustion does not help with my emotional resilience. I’d not had time to recover from therapy on Monday nor the rest of the busy day.

I was glad to look after the stand, but interacting with strangers, as lovely as that was, took it’s toll on me emotionally and energetically. Not only do I have CPTSD but I’m also an introvert so a double whammy! My protective mask of jolly, happy, extrovert Angela during the stand; keeping that mask in place is exhausting. Yesterday I got a glimpse of just how exhausting it is to keep the mask raised.

Yesterday, I also realised how I don’t raise that mask too often nowadays.

After something to eat and a hot drink, I had a meeting to go. The meeting had some parts that had me quite fraught. I was glad to come home, deal with bits and bobs of emails and then go to bed, snuggled up under the comforting weight of my weighted blanket.

I’m tired today. However, later this afternoon I’m on the go yet again. My sister has asked me to accompany her to an appointment. I then have something on this evening too, if I have the energy to go there!

Time to get another big mug of tea and start to get myself ready for this afternoons outings.

September Colouring Template

 Template for the Angela Porter's Coloring Book Fans facebook group, September 2019
Template for the Angela Porter’s Coloring Book Fans facebook group, September 2019

The first day of a new month means I add a colouring template to the “Angela Porter’s Coloring Book Fans” Facebook group. I make the template an exclusive freebie for members of the group. The group is free to join. Why not pop over get access to this and all other group templates.

I drew the template on Winsor and Newton Bristol Board using a couple of Uniball Unipin pens. I scanned it in, cleaned up some smudges overruns.

As it’s September, my mind is on the changing seasons; we’re heading into autumn here in the UK. The rowan and hawthorn trees are laden with red berries already. The sycamore helicopters and ash keys are turning golden and are visible amongst the still-green foliage.

It is my favourite time of year. I love the comfortably warm days and the chilly nights. It’s a delight to snuggle down in bed with a warm body and a cool head. I sleep so much better too. Mind you, I think my weighted blanket is helping with that.

I love the change in the colour and quality of light – the golden hue delights me. I’m also looking forward to seeing the relatively rapid colour-changes that happen as the dull, dark greens of summer give way to the fiery conflagration of autumn.

So, my September template has autumnal motifs in it, though they’d work for any season no matter where you are in the world.

I will continue to add colour to this template throughout the month, hopefully. Then, at the close of September, I’ll show the finished coloured version.

I always look forward to seeing how different people colour the drawing. I love to see the different colours, media and techniques they use.