Inktober 2018 Day 13 ‘Guarded’

Angela Porter Inktober Day 13 Guarded final

I like to have a hunt around for quotes that go with the Inktober prompt of the day if I’m stumped for artistic inspiration.

I like Carl Jung’s work, what I’ve read of it that is, which most probably isn’t much in the grand scheme of things. I do know how he used mandalas in therapy, both for himself and with patients. He believed they represented what was going on in our unconscious minds and so could reveal things to us about ourselves that we are unaware of, that are otherwise hidden, guarded.

I happen to like mandalas, a lot. So, today I thought I’d incorporate this quote from the man himself into a mandala and just let my creativity flow as unconsciously as I could.

I must admit, the colour choices I made aren’t ones I would ordinarily choose to plonk together, but I went with them.

I did create the lettering in Publisher and import the file into Autodesk Sketchbook Pro. My hand lettering skills aren’t, I feel, up to lettering in a circle; also, I’m very tired this morning and I think I’ll soon be back abed to continue to sleep.

I did draw and colour the mandala digitally. My past artistic records show that I am more than capable of creating mandalas on paper with the use of compasses, protractors and rulers, but the tools available digitally open up a whole new realm of possibility in creating mandalas by me.

What excites me about it is that I can draw the mandala as if I was using a pen on paper by using the Surface Pen on the screen of my Surface Studio. I still get human imperfections in my drawings – slightly wobbly lines, imperfect repetition of lines and so on.  I choose to use a pen ‘brush’ that isn’t perfectly smooth in the line it draws on my digital paper. This time, I coloured the mandala as if I was using coloured pencils and a blender pencil on paper, but did this digitally.

It does save an awful lot of time too. If I were to draw and colour this traditionally it would take me at least a whole day. It’s taken me around 3 hours to do this small mandala.

So, it’s odd that a rather more traditional mandala was created today. The simpler patterns and lines perhaps reflecting how tired I am feeling at present. It is a struggle to keep my eyes open. It was really difficult to even do the simple steps involved in watermarking, resizing and saving the finished mandala.

Autumn Equinox 2018

Angela Porter Autumn Equinox 23 September 2018 coloured

I’m a day early as tomorrow is the Autumn Equinox (Spring Equinox in the Southern Hemisphere), but here’s my mandala for this year’s equinox.

I’ve made the uncoloured template an exclusive ‘freebie’ for members of the Angela Porter’s Coloring Book Fans facebook group. Terms and conditions apply to it’s use, so please make sure you read them if you choose to wander over and join in.

Drawn and coloured in Autodesk Sketchbook Pro using a Microsoft Surface Pen and Microsoft Surface Studio.

Hello September!

Angela Porter September Template 2018 small

September 2018’s coloring template

A new month begins and a coloring template for September 2018(above) for the Angela Porter’s Coloring Book Fans facebook group is now available.

If you’d like to access to September 2018’s uncoloured template, which is exclusive to members of the group, just wander over to the group, join and download. Please note, that terms and conditions do apply.

I drew this in Autodesk Sketchbook Pro on my Microsoft Surface Studio using my Microsoft Surface Pen.

Autumn is a-coming!

With the calendar turning to September, my heart lifts with the expectation of the glory of nature as autumn asserts it’s influence.

It’s my favourite season of the year. I love the bright, vivid colours that replace the darker, duller greens of summer. Nature’s picks out it’s most glorious paintbox and sets the world alight in fiery autumnal hues.

I also luxuriate in the cooler evenings and mornings and look forward to waking up to see dew, or even frost, on Binky, my Smartcar.

The fresh, clean, clear air that the turning season brings blows away the dustiness of the hot, dry summer.

There’s also the return of the pleasure and comfort of snuggling up under a duvet as night time is cooler. Not to mention the relief of sleeping well throughout the night.

There are other things I’m looking forward to this year too.

It’s hard to remember now the fear and trepidation that the return to school as a teacher that would come with the start of this month as the new school year starts.

Now, I look forward to the start of the new school year as the world is calmer, quieter during the school day and I can begin to venture forth from my home without my CPTSD panic kicking in when I hear the sound of teenagers shouting and arguing and swearing and being belligerent, just them being themselves really.

It’s not their fault, I know, but their sounds are triggers for my fear, anxiety, panic and cause me to want to hide in a quiet dark corner of my safe home. So much so, that I find it so difficult to venture out of my front door during daytime during the school holidays.

Through therapy, I will overcome this, but the reaction is so ingrained in me and goes right back to my earliest years; teaching, dealing with the dramas of teens on a daily basis as well as being the focus for some to vent their anger, just reinforced these automatic responses. This means not just unraveling the web of trauma that resulted in the panic response, it means learning a healthy response to such triggers, one that I’ve never, ever had in the first place.

Now, with the start of the school year, and a daytime world that is quieter, I’ll be able to find my courage to venture forth during the day once again. Maybe not often, but from time to time.

With it being my favourite season, with the theme of my next book being forests, to sketch and find inspiration in woods and forests during autumn is something I want to do this year.

It’s all part of my road to recovery from CPTSD. Autumn always feels like a time of new starts, more so than New Year. As nature begins to shed what is unnecessary so survival through winter is possible, so I work on shedding the trauma that has kept me in a metaphorical winter in terms of my mental and emotional health for a very, very long time.

 

 

mhaw18

Angela Porter mhaw18 17 May 2018

Today I’m feeling tickettyboo, a little tired, but definitely only a teeny tiny bit emotionally drained.  I think that some lovely icecream on a toasted waffle after my talk yesterday, in the company of a lovely friend, seriously helped, as did time with other friends in the evening and a serious dose of meditation.

Of course, my morning drawing helps me, and today it’s a mandala.

The perfect kind of relaxation to do before I head out later to do my fourth anti-stigma talk of the week, this time at Companies House.

This morning it’s time for some self-care, and for learning how to create amigurumi critters.  Crocheting is always a challenge for me, but I had an overwhelming desire to create a cuddly cuttlefish, all rainbow colours.  However, I think I bit off more than I could chew by starting on something so big without practicing and figuring out how amigurumi works and how to avoid increasing the number of stitches when they’re supposed to remain the same number, and how to know when the next ‘row’ starts when you’re essentially working in a spiral, and and and …

So, I finished the body and ears of a simple bear yesterday and started on a little mouse. I’ve still not figured out fully how it works, but I may be getting there, and smaller projects are definitely the way to go to learn and understand the techniques needed.

Mental Health Awareness Week 2018

Angela Porter mhaw18 14 May 2018

This year, in my role as a champion for Time to Change Wales, I’m giving (at the moment!) four anti-stigma talks to various organisations this week.

The aim of the Time to Change Wales campaign is to help to bring about an end to the stigma and discrimination that surrounds mental health.  In my anti-stigma talk, I talk about the campaign and tell my own story of my mental health issues.

It’s not a secret, I have complex post-traumatic stress disorder (cptsd) that has resulted from constant trauma from emotional neglect, emotional and mental abuse from a very young age and that persisted throughout my life until the past two or three years.

EMDR therapy with a fabulous therapist is really helping me and my mental health is so much better than it used to be.

If I help just one person through my talks, then it’s a worthwhile exercise.

For myself, it’s helping me to ‘own’ my own story and to not minimise the effect the traumas of my life have had on me, on the way I think about myself, about how I behave to avoid triggers or more trauma, and to begin to live a healthier more rewarding life.

Art is not only how I make a living now, but it is also my therapy, my way of helping myself when I’m anxious or depressed or stressed. It helps me to find my balance again, even if temporarily.