This has taken me a couple of days to complete, mainly because of appointments but also a big need for some self-care.
I don’t get to create many mandalas at times. So, On Sunday, after creating the cute angel kitty dangle design, I put my creative energy into drawing and starting to colour a mandala.
I worked directly on my Surface Studio screen with the Surface pen using Autodesk Sketchbook Pro and it’s fab symmetry tool to outline the the design in black ink.
Next, I used a marker brush and a blender brush to colour the design.
It’s the colouring that takes a lot of time.
I wanted to keep the colour scheme fairly simple, so I chose some vibrant shades of blue, green, yellow, orange and red.
Finally, I added a beautiful blue background and texture to the finished artwork.
On the whole, I’m quite pleased with it. The bright colours have been needed today as it’s a rather grey and damp day here in the Valleys of South Wales. Someone has a bonfire burning on the hillside opposite my home and the smoke is floating down the valley. There’s a temperature inversion that’s trapping the smoke quite low.
Add to that all the smoke and particulates from the plethora of fireworks that have been set off in the past few days and the air is rather fuggy, hazy.
However, the golden hues of the autumn trees glow all the more brightly against the grey skies, especially with a dusting of rain on them.
What I absolutely love to see are the dark trunks and branches becoming more visible as the leaves fall from the trees. The architectural contrast fascinates me; it’s being able to clearly see the skeleton that gives the tree form.
I didn’t have autumn in my mind when I was drawing or coloring this mandala, even though autumn is my favourite season. However, the jewel tones and the gradual predominance of the autumnal golds, oranges and reds on the outside of the mandala give it that kind of autumnal feel. The greens gradually change from blue-greens to more yellow-greens from the centre out, adding to that sense of a seasonal progression.
The coloured mandala also has a feeling of stained glass. I love stained glass windows and this one would make a very interesting ‘rose’ window! That I adhere to using black lines to delineate my design only reinforces the suggestion of stained glass.
What I haven’t done is add detailed patterns to the mandala. I don’t think this one needs it, though the leaves may need a bit of shadow and highlight to make them feel less ‘flat’.
On the whole, I’m quite pleased with this one. I think I’ve manged to get enough contrast from dark to light in each section to give that sense of dimension – something else I like to incorporate into my artwork.
The need for self-care
I’ve been rather emotional over the past few days. The post about remembrance and my Dad tapped into some grief, a door that had never opened before I had to say goodbye to my beautiful white cat Cuffs back in May.
I took time out of things to watch some Harry Potter films. I do get emotional when I watch them (or read the books) even though I know what’s going to happen. However, this weekend I was more emotional than I’ve been before.
Yesterday, was EMDR therapy day, and various memories had cropped up and one we worked with yesterday. That left me absolutely pole-axed, emotionally that is.
Part of my mental health – the CPTSD – is that I avoid emotions and when I get emotional I have shoved it aside and locked the emotions in a box, symbolically. I also shove the memories away, something referred to as dissociation.
I have very few memories of my childhood, adolescence or even adulthood. That’s because many of them are painful in some way or another and they have been locked away.
Locking them away means I have never worked through, processed, them and the trauma or emotions that go with them. The trauma is still there and is still hurting my emotional and mental health.
EMDR is helping to unlock memories, sometimes very painful memories I don’t want to believe happened or believe certain things about people. I always want to see the best and believe the best in people, except when it comes to myself; then, it’s always the worst possible.
I’ve been experiencing some cognitive dissonance and some very uncomfortable times as I try to come to terms with various realisations.
Add into the mix a busy week or so with appointments and events and I’m emotionally tired. Oh, not to mention the constant jumpiness with all the fireworks going off.
So, self-care is important. I watch films. Knit. Drink lots of tea. Snuggle up under a cosy throw. Nap if I need to. Eat healthily, when I can. Create art that I want to create rather than any that I feel I have to to meet a contract or some deadline or other, either real or self-imposed. Have some alone time – being an introvert beneath the face I present to the world I need alone time to recharge.
I know I’m on a jolly tomorrow with my pal Liz, so it’s even more important I recharge before that day out.
So, that’s why I’ve needed some self-care time.