Saturday small art

Here’s a plethora of small drawings I’ve done over the past couple of days when I’ve woken up repeatedly through the night and needed to cool down before I could sleep again..

The various sizes are :
circles – 8.5 cm and 10.5 cm diameter
squares – 7 cm x 7 cm and 7.5 cm x 7.5 cm
rectangles – 12.7 cm x 7.7 cm

Media used :
Sakura pigma micron and sensei pens
Distress Inks to colour the backgrounds
Inktense pencils and Kuretake Zig Clean Colour Real Brush pens – colour spread with a damp brush
Claire Fontaine Mixed Media Paper and St Cuthbert’s Mill Bockingford watercolour paper.

I sure do have a lot of colour, shadow and light to add to these! It takes me a lot longer to add colour and so on than it does to draw them!

Also, I have a larger drawing that is a work in progress. I think I’ll turn my attention to that one for a while.

Template Thursday

It’s Thursday again, and that makes it #TemplateThursday.

Each Thursday throughout the pandemic, I’ve created a coloring page / coloring template for the members of the Angela Porter’s Coloring Book Fans facebook group.

This week’s offering, is a geometric pattern, which reflects how drawing more geometric, structured work this week has helped me be contented with my artistic efforts. Something in my heart and soul needed the comfort of the repetition and the delight of symmetry. That led me to really feel the touchstone of contentment within me once again.

So, I thought that others might like such a geometric design.

And there’s so much that can be done with it. Color it as it is. Divide some of the smaller spaces with doodles or zentangle patterns. Look for what hidden patterns you can bring out. Play with light and shadow to add dimension to the design.

I’ve deliberately coloured my version in flat, spring-like colours. Maybe I’ll find time over the week to add more detail to it, and to play with shadow and light as I love to do!

Oh, I drew this on dot grid paper with an 05 Sakura Pigma Micron Pen before scanning in, cleaning up and coloring digitally.

In the pink

It’s funny how colours seem just right one day, and the next day I wonder what on earth I was thinking at the time.

Yesterday’s mandala, with it’s kind of yellow-brown background just doesn’t seem ‘right’ today.

I often mention about how I feel I really struggle with colour at times, but feel much better if I stick with simple color palettes, even monochrome ones, more or less.

So, this morning I wanted to draw a mandala, as is so often the case. They give me a chance to practice drawing digitally and using pattern and texture within them too.

The drawing was just fine and dandy, nearly always a pleasurable experience and I end up with a design I like well enough.

Then, there’s the coloured background. Today I wanted a soft pink colour. I like the colour I’ve chosen. Black lineart would look start on it, to my mind, but a soft, warm, cream was just perfect. It looks almost like lace.

And I can breathe a sigh of relief as my faith in my colour sense is restored somewhat. Monochrome is the way to go, unless it’s coloring templates. Though perhaps I should try a monochrome colour scheme for them, or at least analogous colours with a pop of complementary here and there. I’ll see what happens.

For the rest of my day, I’m going to be gathering sketches of ideas and elements for the coloring book I’m working on, and creating a mandala has got me somewhat in the right frame of mind to do this.

Coloring Page / Template

Colouring page / template

It’s Thursday. The pandemic is still in action. That means it’s time for a new coloring page or template for members of the Angela Porter’s Coloring Book Fans facebook group.

It’s free to join the group, and the template is a freebie for members of the group.

This week, I created a mandala design with a background of geometric, repeating patterns.

I’m still recovering from the stress of my first trip out since March 2020. Drawing (and colouring) mandalas is an incredibly peaceful, relaxing and mindful activity. So, it was natural that I drew one.

The mandala design is based on some of the abstract art I’ve been doing of late. It’s a bit unusual for my mandalas, but I really do like the organic flow of the lines.

Even though the design is abstract, the repeating symmetry of a mandala bring some structure to the design. I am looking forward to seeing how members of the group add colour to the design.

The geometric patterns in the background also result in a soothing, repetitive rhythm for colouring; a rhythm that results in soothing and calming ones mind and emotions.

De-stressing

I have been totally shaken by the level of anxiety/stress that resulted from my trip out on Tuesday. I am beginning to feel more my contented and calm self. However, I find I’m still irritable and grumpy and have withdrawn from social media and the like for most of the day.

It was a sobering thought when I realised I’d lived most of my life constantly at elevated stress levels, often as higher than what I experienced in the past couple of days.

It’s also a wonderful realisation that I can recognise this now, and I also am able to allow myself self-care time to let all the stress hormones leach from my body. It’s been a long time since they peaked in this way.

It makes me extremely grateful to my therapist for her years of patient work with me. Experiences like the Tuesday Trip remind me of how I used to be and show me how far I have come in recovery from cPTSD.

Yesterday, after my social media post, I binged watched the Harry Potter films from The Order of the Phoenix. I found I was irritated by crochet. I tried cross-stitch, which irritated me too. Eventually, I settled on knitting, which, oddly, soothed me. I think it’s because I could knit and watch the film. Knitting allowed me to channel my irritability into something creative. As I can knit without looking at the knitting, I could also watch and immerse myself in the films at the same time.

My fingers are itching to knit again, now I’ve thought about it.

Even though I slept well last night, I’m still feeling really tired today. This happens as part of the post-stress come-down. It can last a few days. I’ll not be rushing to nap, however. Napping has a knock-on effect on my ability to sleep at night when I’m like this. My naps tend to end up as periods of deep sleep, so I try not to take them unless it’s absolutely necessary.

Metamorphosis I and II

Metamorphosis II

Last night, I had a play around with one of my latest watercolours in an app that creates patterns from your artwork. The process was mesmerising. I didn’t realise that they now do metamorphosing patterns like these two!

The top image is directly from the artwork, the bottom one has been lightened, the colours more saturated and adjusted slightly.

I fell in love with metamorphosing tessellations thanks to the works of M C Escher, like so many other people. I love the detail, observational skills and the way he plays with the illusion of space.

Anyways, creating these patterns, albeit digitally, was fascinating and something I can definitely lose myself in for hours! Being able to adjust colours in Autodesk Sketchbook Pro or Affinity Photo is an added fascination too.

I like both colour variations of the same metamorphosis above.

I have made both available in my RedBubble Shop on a wide range of quality products. Please take a look and support my art by sharing with others. #findyourthing

Pretty flowers

Pretty flowers © Angela Porter | Artwyrd.com

This was a nice one to do. There seems to be a bit of a theme with my colour palettes lately though. Another theme is stylised, abstract flowers. Overall, I am pretty happy with this particular design.

Flowers, foliage, mandalas, geometric repeating patterns – all my favourite things!

A favourite pattern

A favourite pattern ©Angela Porter | Artwyrd.com

Today, I thought I’d share one of my favourite geometrical patterns. You may have noticed it often appears in my entangled art, as well as in dangle designs.

I’ve included the steps I use to draw the pattern, along with some variations and different ways I use the patterns.

I used a 05 Unipin pen, a pencil, a couple of coloured pencils and dot grid paper.

Mandala

Mandala 9 Nov 2019 ©Angela Porter |Artwyrd.com

This morning, I needed the calming and soothing process of drawing a mandala.

The last few days have been manic, tiring and emotional. I’ve also had to use a lot of mental concentration on a project that involves me. All this has resulted in evenings filled with headaches and emotional vulnerability.

I’m aware of what’s happening to me, and I do take steps to make sure that I practice self-care and self-soothing.

Drawing mandalas is always self-soothing for me. The abstract nature of them means anything goes, within the foundation of rings and angles. Drawing repeating patterns and shapes is also a soothing activity.

Today, I chose to draw in black and white and add a grey, textured background. Some subtle shading in greys helps to add the illusion of dimension to the mandala.

I drew this mandala digitally, using my favourite tool triad of Autodesk Sketchbook Pro, Microsoft Surface Pen and Microsoft Surface Studio. This made it easy to alter what I wasn’t happy with as I worked on the mandala. This removed a source of potential stress and upset and allowed the perfectionist in me to smile.

That doesn’t mean there aren’t any imperfections in the design; there are plenty of them! It just means I can fix the big mistakes quickly. I wish it were as easy to do that in life, for myself but also for others.

I enjoyed drawing the mandala. It has helped to soothe my fragile head and heart and has set me up for the rest of my arty, creative day.

So, Angela, how are you feeling today?

I’ve not written much about my mental and emotional health lately. It’s mostly been good. However, I’ve had some challenges with it and have had some weepy, teary times.

Previously, I’ve mentioned that I was looking at leaving therapy soon. I still think that will be the case, but these challenges have caused some flotsam and jetsam from my past to surface. They need to be processed and released before I consider leaving therapy.

I have so much to do in terms of work and other commitments that I really do need to schedule in that self-care time. Also, I’m aware that the challenges I’m currently facing could, potentially, harm my mental and emotional health. All the work of the past five years in therapy could, possibly, be undone. I can’t allow that to happen.

During the recent difficulties, I’ve found my emotions and thoughts harking back to the dark days of my poor mental and emotional health. I managed to stop myself falling into the bottomless, dark pit of despair and anguish. I recognised it was happening. Also, I recognised the trigger for this. It was strong enough to breathe some life into the pale ghosts of my past. Those ghosts have now been dispelled, but I know they can rise to haunt me at my vulnerable moments.

What scared me most was that I lost that awareness of inner contentment that has been present for many months now. It’s now back, once the ghosts had been returned to their realm – the past.

I’ve said it before, and no doubt I’ll say it again – emotions are the weather of my inner being. Things happen or are said that can stir up a storm. The storm opens a portal to the past and ghosts can find their way to trouble my mind and feelings. I’m now more aware of myself, my emotions, and how to cope with this weather. I’m back to a calm sea where the contentment isn’t shrouded by the shades of the past.

Being able to banish these ghosts myself shows how far I’ve come since my darkest days.

Terracotta mandala

Terracotta Mandala © Angela Porter | Artwyrd.com

This morning I awoke with a pounding headache, an introvert’s hangover from a therapy session and a busy meeting in the evening with lots of people and noise. A big mug of tea, a couple of Anadin Extra and the head has cleared somewhat, though I still feel quite fuzzy-headed and tired.

Despite the headache, or perhaps because of it, I slipped into mandala mode to start my day. I had wanted to include some wise words in it, but my mind just wasn’t functioning clearly enough.

Unusually for me, I chose a terracotta-coloured kraft paper background to draw with a creamy coloured ink. I added some shading behind the design in places, just to try to increase the depth and dimension. I’m not sure I’ve achieved it well this time, however. Once my head fully clears, I may do the shading afresh.

The resulting mandala is far more geometric and structured than is often the case with me, especially the outside ring. However, I’m quite pleased with it, especially given the state of my head!

I do like the warm, earthy tones of paper and ink in this design. The colours have been quite comforting and soothing to work with.

I drew this digitally, using my favourite combination of Autodesk Sketchbook Pro along with my Microsoft Surface Pen and Microsoft Surface Studio (which are the digital analogues of pen and paper).

Repeating patterns, my first experiment

Pattern 18 coloured v01 watermarked

Over the past few weeks, I’ve been thinking about and looking at how to make repeating patterns.

I’ve tried the old fashioned way of working on paper and cutting the paper and so on, and not found the results at all satisfactory.

I’ve had a bit of a go in Adobe Illustrator, but I find Illustrator so confusing and frustrating to use.  There seems to be a total disconnect between my brain and the software architecture of Illustrator, and other similar pieces of software.

A day or two ago I found a little app in the Microsoft Store called Amaziograph that lets me create repeating patterns in sheet form, which is great if I want a sheet of black and white repeating, entangled line art, but not what I want if I want a coloured repeating pattern.  Oh, the app is a lot of fun to mess around with for sure and no doubt I will use it to generate patterns.

Looking around at software today, a lot of it either works in Illustrator or is prohibitively expensive given that I just want to have a play, see what I can come up with and see if it’s something that I’d like to spend more time with.  Where they offer free trials, I know they’re not going to be a long enough trial for me to get to grips with Illustrator and the software/plugins, so I’d not be able to make my mind up.

So, on a wander around the corners of Google, I found a lovely little program called Repper. It had an online trial version that I could play with quite happily, and I decided to purchase it afterwards.

In Repper, you open your own artwork and use parts of it to create repeating patterns.  The pattern above is an example of that, kind of.

What I did was to take one of my coloured mandala patterns and use that to create a pattern that was pleasing to me.  Actually, I had many, many patterns that were pleasing to me, and I saved them as tiles that would form a repeating pattern.  With some, I saved them as a surface pattern, where the tiles were already repeated.

What is nice is that the program lets me set both the size and quality of the tile or surface image.

Next, I put the  tile I particularly liked into GiMP (GNU image Manipulation Program, open source software) to copy the black lines and create a new, uncoloured tile with a transparent background.

Autodesk Sketchbook Pro was my next destination so that I could colour the tile as I liked.  Not so easy where the edges of the tiles will meet  and to have no edges showing up.

The tile is partly finished in terms of colour, but I wanted to see how it would look tiled.  Go, back to GiMP I went and the above was the result!

My head now hurts a little after this, which means I need more tea, LOTS more tea and a bit of a break.

I absolutely love that I can take my artwork and use it to create more interesting designs and patterns with.  It’s absolutely fascinating, very easy to get lost in it all.

Definitely a very nice way to spend a few hours on a chilly and very rainy afternoon!  My Surface Book and Surface Pen have had a good workout in the process too!