Monday Mindfulness

It’s such a beautifully, sunshiny, glorious spring day here in the Valleys of South Wales. The sunshine, especially when I’m at home for the foreseeable future, is most welcome and lifts my spirits greatly.

It also frustrates me a little that I want to be out and about, sun on my face and wind in my hair. However, I do understand and accept the need to be at home. Understanding doesn’t remove the frustration.

I was also at a loss at how to be arty this morning. I decided to use one of the ’tiles’ I’d coloured with Distress Inks on Saturday. I also stumbled across a zentangle pattern randomiser and gave it a click.

The pattern that popped up was ‘Ravel’, and so I filled the tile with it. I used 05 and 02 Unpin pens from Uniball. When I was done, I decided I needed a bit of shimmer and shine, so I added some metallic gold dots.

I could add water to ‘bleach’ out high spots on the design. Maybe I’ll do that later.

Drawing a repeating pattern as well as drawing intuitively and deliberately is a very mindful activity for me. It helps calm my mind and emotions. It brings meditative peace and contentment to me. All art does that, but there’s something particularly satisfying about a small project that can be completed in a sensible amount of time; a project with the goals of calm and relaxation.

Warm sunshine pouring in the window beside me as I mindfully zentangle has helped me find contentment. That gentle inner smile that has been hiding behind the clouds of worry and fear has returned.

During this pandemic, this global health and societal crisis, it’s more important to find the contentment, peace and inner smile.

Mindfulness helps with acceptance of a situation as it is. Not fretting about what has been done already. Not worrying about the what ifs. It’s about being present in the here and now. It’s learning to accept that there are circumstances that are beyond our control, and working with the things we can control – our reactions to them and the way we think and feel. To not become the slave to fear, panic, alarm, to recognise they are rational emotions to feel. Still, it’s how we act upon them that’s important. 

It’s also important to recognise that the pandemic will come to an end at some point in time in the future. This will have changed us all, probably society too, hopefully for the better.

So, what can we do in the meantime?

Well, we’re not in a dystopian, post-apocalyptic world yet, nor are we likely to be. Farmers will continue to farm. Food and essentials will still be produced. Delivery drivers will deliver. Food shops will be open.

There will be a lag in stocks of some things being restocked as it takes time for the producers to produce more to fill the gaps created by the panic buyers and hoarders. And of course, once the panic has subsided and people stop panicking, those gaps will be filled a lot quicker.

There will be plenty for all, so long as people stop panic buying and hoarding, particularly here in the UK.

Even if society is put into a lock-down, which seems likely here in the UK, then we’ll still be allowed to go out and shop for essentials.

Mind you, for the more vulnerable members of society that means that we’ll have to shop online and have our groceries delivered, or have volunteers, friends, family to help out. I’m expecting a letter soon to tell me that the advice is I stay indoors for twelve weeks – not leaving home to even get some shopping.

So, practice social isolation. It really does make a difference, even if you don’t think it does.

Social distancing and isolation really will slow down the spread of the virus. Then the NHS can cope with the number of people who need hospital care. This way, people won’t needlessly die because the medical care they need just isn’t available as the system is totally overwhelmed.

For each of us that stays home, avoids social contact, we put a break in the chain of how the disease is transmitted. The more gaps in the chain, the slower the virus can spread through society.

Be brave, be a break in the chain. Help to slow down the spread of the virus. 

Help to spread the cases out over time so that the NHS can cope so that all who contract the disease have the best chance of survival.

In this way, each and every one of us can be a hero to help protect those that need protecting.

Each and every one of us.

Dydd Gwyl Dewi Hapus! Happy St David’s Day!

March 2020 Coloring template for Angela Porter’s Coloring Book Fans facebook group
© Angela Porter | Artwyrd.com

A new month means a new coloring template exclusive to members of the Angela Porter’s Coloring Book Fans facebook group.

March the 1st is St David’s Day, the patron saint of Wales, which is where I live. The daffodil is one of his emblems and so it was fitting I included some in this month’s template. As we are heading towards the spring equinox and the official start of spring here in the Northern Hemisphere, I’ve also included plenty of flowers that would be lovely coloured in spring colours. They’d be lovely in colours of all the seasons, however. Flowers are beautiful no matter what season we’re in.

The template is drawn in my signature ‘Entangled’ style of line art, with very stylised flowers, foliage, and even butterflies and shells, along with patterns derived from architecture, sculpture, pottery, and more. Lots of my favourite things all in one abstract image.

If you’d like to print and colour this template, then please pop along to the facebook group where the members, and I, would love to see how you bring it to life with your own kind of colour magic.

Golden Mandala

Golden Mandala © Angela Porter | Artwyrd@aol.com

This morning, the rain has finally stopped once again, albeit for a short while no doubt. Blue skies and sunlight shine betwixt the broken clouds. Yesterday and last night the rain was relentless, including high winds at times, thanks to Storm Jorge.

I thought I’d do a golden mandala this morning, while I come around. A simple line-art drawing.

Art Quote

Artwork (c) Angela Porter | Artwyrd.com

This is a drawing I did late last night as I settled down to sleep. It feels quite disjointed in places, which was how my mind felt in it’s state of tiredness. Even though I was tired, I wasn’t ready to sleep.

I thought I’d work with it, adding a background and colour to it. I wonder if adding colour will resolve the disjointed areas as it breathes life into the design.

I’ve only taken a short time this morning to ad some colour. I do have to do other things today. The colour certainly helps to lift it from the background, as well as adding dimension to the design.

I’ve chosen fairly dusky, dusty, pastel colours which seem to glow against the darker background. The pinks remind me of faded Victorian velvets.

I drew the design traditionally, using a Tombow Fudenosuke pen and ClaireFontaine dot grid paper. The flexible nib of the fudenosuke pen results in lines of varying thicknesses, and a drawing that reminds me of linocuts or woodcuts.

After scanning the drawing, I removed the dot grids and cleaned up the drawing digitally before adding a background.

I felt this needed quote to go with it, and this one spoke to me today. For the typography, I used Affinity Publisher. The rest of the digital work is being done in Autodesk Sketchbook Pro, using a Surface Pen and Surface Studio from Microsoft.

My art is always ‘pretty’, it’s how I express myself artistically. Some of my inspiration for patterns and motifs comes from things that other smay not consider ‘pretty’, such as rust, run down old industrial machines, ruined buildings.

My art does, I think, speak of who I am. It shows what I’m interested in, what patterns, motifs, shapes, textures, colours, and so on that I find aesthetically pleasing. It also shows, to those who look and think a bit deeper, what things interest me, from prehistoric art to Romanesque architecture to La Tene and Celtic art to Illuminated Manuscripts to flora, foliage, fungi, and lichen to fossils and shells to nature in general, and more besides.

I work very intuitively. It’s when I think too hard about what I want to do that things go to wrack and ruin.

By letting my intuition flow, then drawings have a way of coming together in a way that expresses how I’m feeling and what is fascinating me or soothing me at that time.

This drawing is an example of how my feelings come out. It’s only now I can recognise how disjointed I was feeling within myself last night, how I was out of sorts. I think that’s why the art jars with me today as that feeling has now passed by, like clouds in the wind. It’s a drawing that shows the weather my emotions were experiencing yesterday, weather that just happened and has no real source for it.

Flowery

Flowery© Angela Porter | Artwyrd.com

Today, I’ve been drawing little flower motifs and borders to go along with a lovely quote about flowers and hope.

The line art was drawn using Tombow Fudenosuke pens on ClaireFontaine dot grid paper. Colour, typography and background texture have been added digitally using Autodesk Sketchbook Pro, Microsoft Surface Pen and Microsoft Surface Studio.

Flowers are some of my favourite things to draw, whether they be highly stylised or more realistic.

My snowdrops and crocus have the feel of being wood cut or lino cut and printed, that kind of vintage feel. The flexible nibs on the Fudenosuke pens help me achieve this look. Also, the fairly simple colouring and addition of texture help too.

I’ve left the colouring as is, maybe for now. However, I now have these motifs ready to use in other projects, as they occur to me. Colour certainly helps to lift them off the background and bring them to life.

Entangled Frame – WIP

Entangled Frame WIP ©Angela Porter | Artwyrd.com

I wanted a circular frame in which to put quotes. So, I started by drawing some pencil guidelines for the circle and the outer borders on some dot grid paper.

I used 08 and 02 Uniball Unipin pens to draw the circle of flowers and foliage. Then, to start filling the space around the flowers with entangled designs.

It’s very much a work in progress. Part of me thinks I could’ve left an empty border around the circular flower and foliage arrangement to separate it from the background. The other part of me likes it as it is.

I want to try to get a balance of less detailed areas with the more densely detailed sections so that there’s space for the eye to rest.

I also suspect I’ll be adding colour or, at the very least, shadow and highlights to the design to bring it to life.

“Shadow” – Inktober52

“Shadow” #Inktober 52, week 2
Artwork © Angela Porter | Artwyrd.com

I finished this artwork off this morning, finding a perfect quote about shadow, this week’s prompt for #inktober52.

Border design drawn using Unipin pens on dot grid paper. Typography was done using Affinity Publisher. Colour, background and composition were achieved in Autodesk Sketchbook Pro using a Surface Pen and Surface Studio by Microsoft.