My artistic mood today was for another mandala. Again, I’ve used vintage colours to complete this one. I realised, once I’d collapsed all the layers and saved it, that the outer pattern ring is ‘off’ from vertical/horizontal. Blooming typical! Oh well.
Mind you, in my defence, I was also ‘adulting’ at the same time, so wasn’t quite paying the attention I usually would.
All the same I’m quite pleased with this one, though that central space may need something. I don’t know at the moment. I need tea and some lunch!
Yet again, a lovely way to start a Monday. Mandalas are always a pleasure to draw/paint/create. I particularly love creating them digitally for many reasons, not least is the opportunity to experiment and learn new skills. It removes the worry of making a ‘mistake’ on paper and either having to start again or try to make that ‘mistake’ a part of the work. Often, that ‘mistake’ will be worked into the drawing, but not always and if I know it’s there, it bothers me, even if no one else can see it. The perfectionist in me gets a tad upset at it.
Having said that, there are a couple of things I’m not happy with in this mandala, but I can live with them.
One thing I do like is the colour palette of copper/bronze colours and that steely blue-grey. Vintage colours seem to be my thing at the moment for sure.
Finished! The addition of coppery tones was a bit of a surprise, even to me. But it seemed the right thing to do. I do like the combination of copper and the verdigris tones of teals, greens and blues.
I spent some time darkening the shadows in the inner rings of the mandala, as well as adding some depth of colour. They looked so washed out against today’s additions.
Also, I changed the colour of the background. Everything was so lost against the teal background.
Digital art – Autodesk Sketchbook Pro – Microsoft Surface Studio and Surface Slim Pen.
Monday dawns and along with it is the desire to create a mandala.
This one is a work in progress for sure. I’m still playing around with various brush settings to get the depth of contrast I desire. It’s working out fairly well so far, especially as I’ve chosen a limited palette of blue, teal and green. Also, my favourite seedpod, leaf and arch shapes are very much in evidence here. There’s also lots of little orbs. It never ceases to amaze me how such a simple collection of shapes can result in a fairly complex design.
What is unusual for me, like last week’s mandala, is the lack of black lines in the design. I think that’s a bit of a rebellion by me to all the pen drawing I’ve been doing of late. Also, I love colour, but find it so frustrating to add to my pen drawings.
When I work digitally, colour seems to work differently for me. I think it may be the ability to work and rework the colour endlessly until I get something that suits me. Maybe it’s the ability to get the depth of contrast I like. Or maybe it’s something else entirely, I really don’t know.
This part of the mandala, about a quarter to a third, has taken me around three hours to do so far, thanks to the symmetry tools available to me in Autodesk Sketchbook Pro.
What a couple of days, weeks, months it’s been while I wrangled with a difficult decision I needed to make. Actually, it wasn’t making the decision, it was acting on it by overcoming the uncomfortable feelings of guilt and giving up that were the hardest things to do. But yesterday, I acted. Decisively for me.
A weight was lifted off my shoulders, but there was also the stress-comedown ‘hangover’ of extreme fatigue, spaced-outness, but no headache (thankgoodness!).
I’m still tired today, but that’s to be expected as the stress has been growing and growing. I think that’s been reflected in my dark, dingy, incohesive art of late.
So, when I woke this morning, I really wanted to create a mandala. And this is a mandala that is so different for me. But perhaps it represents what is happening inside me. Carl Jung believed mandalas, when created intuitively, reveal what is going on in our subconscious mind, things we’re not yet aware of, changes that are occuring, emotions we’re suppressing or ignoring.
It has been an enjoyable way to spend a couple of hours this morning. It’s just the art I needed to do after days, a couple of weeks even, pottering around with pen on paper doing zentangle-style drawings. Comfort art in the extreme.
Mandalas are comfort art for me, they do soothe my soul, but sometimes I do ones that break the ‘comfort’ mould a bit. This may be one of them. I’m fairly happy with it for sure, especially using a limited colour palette.
This week’s offering is a mandala. I always find mandalas soothing to draw and colour. The circular form and repetitive nature are beguiling, relaxing, soothing and magical in some way.
This week’s is quite simple, as colouring templates need to be. It’s also quite botanical in nature. The colour palette I’ve chosen is full of sunshine, growth, peace, harmony and self-care. I haven’t quite finished colouring it, but that’s fine. It did what it needed to do for me.
I’m well out of sorts today. I really didn’t want to get out of bed. But I did, and showered.
I know what’s causing my emotional and mental turmoil at the moment. I just can’t seem to actually act to bring that to an end. Guilt, grief, and other emotions are causing me problems. I know I’ll act when I’m ready to do so, but it’s so difficult to let go. But I need to do so for my own emotional and mental well being.
Talking of emotional and mental well being, today is Time to Talk Day. It’s a day where Time to Talk Wales, along with sister organisations, encourage everyone to have a conversation about mental and emotional health. All to help to end the stigma and discrimination that exists around mental health.
This year’s theme is ‘Small things’. I’ve written on facebook about three small conversations I had that have led to me healing from complex post traumatic stress disorder. Not completely. I’m not sure you can completely heal as part of surviving complex trauma is hiding that trauma deep inside. I am, however, healed enough. I’m just waiting for the lockdown to end so I can start pushing my boundaries a bit.
Anyway, I’m going to finish all the social media stuff now and then I’ll be returning to arty pursuits. Maybe a nap too as I’m feeling so tired today. Emotional turmoil exhausts me. Also, sleep is one of my coping strategies when I’m stressed out in some way.
Today’s mandala includes a couple of Zentangle patterns – Taiga by Tomas Padros and a variation on Fescue, an original Zentangle pattern. Plus some ‘orbs’.
This was fun to do. It’s not often I use such a large area of a pattern, but Taiga is such a lovely pattern and it’s taken me a long time to work out how to do it well. I didn’t think I’d managed it this time, until I added shadow and highlight. Then, it just became so dimensional and, to use the crafty vernacular, ‘popped’.
Today, I just wanted a mossy, spring-like green. There’s still snow lying on roofs and hilltops, cars and shaded pavements. The days are noticeably growing longer, and the bright sunlight today is most welcome after the fog of yesterday.
It won’t be long until I see brave snowdrops and crocuses breaking the winter-hard ground. They herald that the return of spring is nigh!
I’ll be waiting until the snow has mostly disappeared before I go and take a walk.
After doing some admin work this morning, I felt the need to create a mandala.
I decided to use one of the stylised bird heads from my recent drawings as a starting point, and, well, the design just grew from that.
There’s some zentangle-style patterns, and some that seem to be inspired by Meso-American architecture.
I think the drawing is done, just the shadow/highlight work to be continued with and completed. The small area I’ve done really lifts the design. It’s just working out how to get the digital brush settings just right!
I’m quietly pleased with it, so far, but I need to put it to one side for a while. This afternoon I need to work on the cover for my next colouring book for Creative Haven. The one thing both projects have in common is that they make me smile. And that is a good thing, a very good thing!
What isn’t typical is, perhaps, the colour palette. I chose the colours rather intuitively, letting my emotions guide me. I started with cool, calming blues and greens in the centre. All the colours are quite soft and gentle, until I got to the outside border where I used brighter yellows and oranges and complementary blues and purples. The brighter colours appeared as my anxiety ebbed and the clouds parted to let some sunshine through.
I had a weird night’s sleep with both hot flashes and disturbing dreams. I often feel out of sorts for a long while after such dreams and they may be the source of my anxiety. I’m feeling calmer now though. Art has worked it’s magic, and the intermittent sunshine is helping.
I think it’s forecast to be cloudy with sunny breaks for the rest of the daylight hours, so I may very well get myself out for a walk in a short while.