Season’s Greetings!

Here is my Christmas Mandala for 2020.

I’d like to wish all of you the very best that this season promises, not just for the few short days of this celebration, but for each and every day ahead of you.

May each of those days be filled with joy and wonder, good memories, contentment, peace, creative inspiration, and health.

May you have all that you need.

Template Thursday

If you popped along here for this week’s coloring template, I was a day early! Just click on the link to see it.

Template Thursday (on a Wednesday)!

The template

I’ve created this week’s template for the Angela Porter’s Coloring Book Fans facebook group a day early this week.

This has been drawn with a Sakura Micron 05 pen on smooth, heavyweight cartridge paper (acid-free of course). I’ve added the background and colour digitally, keeping to a wintry, night-time kind of theme. Of course, this will work for any season at all, and any time of day.

As always, I look forward to seeing all the amazing, colourful interpretations of this template.

Taking a big of a break

I may not be as active on social media over the next few days. Christmas and New Year are difficult times of year for me emotionally and mentally and I know taking myself off into a largely Christmas-free bubble helps me drift through this time, as well as deal with anything that may creep in and cause some upset in me.

I know I’m not the only person who has difficulties with their emotional and mental health this year. Given all that has happened in the world this year, the huge number of people who have passed away during the pandemic and measures taken for people to keep themselves and their families free of Covid at this time, many more than usual will be struggling.

Being by myself at this time of year is not new to me, nor is withdrawing from the world at this time. I find it exhausting to keep up a mask of seasonal jollity when I feel anything but that. I find it easier to deal with whatever finds its way into my safe-bubble. It’s easier to deal with being alone if I do my best to carry on as normal.

I’m aware of what things I can do to self-care and self-soothe. Art. Music. Books, Films. TV. Naps. Nice food. Meditation.

Do you have a list? Have you learned to give yourself permission to take care of yourself, give yourself time and space to self-soothe?

Learning to give yourself permission to look after yourself, even if it means saying ‘no’ or setting limits, is one of the hardest things to do. And it takes a lot of practice. But it is one of the most important things we can learn to do.

I remind myself this is for just a few days a year, and that soon after the celebrations are done, life returns to ‘normal’, whatever that is in these pandemic times.

Winter Solstice 2020

All the best of the blessings of the season to you one and all!

Today, the Sun passes into Capricorn, marking the astronomical start of winter. It’s one of the shortest days of the year as well, and so it seems right that as the days get longer, the intensity of sunlight that reaches the Earth in the Northern Hemisphere strengthens, that it is seen as the ending of one orbit around the Sun, and the start of a new one.

Of course, if you’re in the Southern Hemisphere, Happy Summer Solstice!

Template Thursday

It’s that day again – Template Thursday!

Each Thursday throughout the pandemic I’ve designed a colouring template for the members of the Angela Porter’s Coloring Book Fans facebook group.

This week, the design has one big focal point motif of a zentangle-inspired Christmas Tree. It’s cute and whimsical, and is surrounded by holly, mistletoe, gifts, stars and baubles. Of course there’s some hearts there too.

Although the drawing is quite detailed, it’s split into smaller sections. This is great if you only have a bit of time or feel overwhelmed by the whole image. This way you can do one section at a time.

There’s a couple of reasons I usually only colour part of the template. One is a question of time when I have other things that have to be done. The other is that it shows the difference colour makes to the drawing, how it brings it to life.

I love to see how colourists bring my drawings to life with colour and how unique each person’s approach to colouring is. Every time I see one coloured it brings a smile to my face. I have so many colouring books published, so many templates drawn that I don’t have time to colour them all myself.

But when I see a template I wasn’t happy with all coloured in and how wonderful it looks, it not only makes me smile, but it gives me a little confidence boost that my drawings may be just good enough after all.

Yes, I suffer with imposter syndrome and a lack of self-confidence still.

For the rest of the day I really do need to get on with my Christmas card design for this year and get the moonpig ones sorted out and sent off.

Monday afternoon

Yesterday I had a godawful migraine-y headache. I managed to get some drawing done for Entangled Starry Skies. However the headache scuppered my plans to complete the templates.

I woke this morning, after a broken night’s sleep due to overheating and some hot ‘flashes’, my first night time ones. So, though I’m a bit tired, the headache has, thankfully, gone and I was able to focus on work. All the templates are complete, apart from any edits on the new ones and a couple of the very first ones drawn. So, the next job will be to colour in three of the templates that the editorial team will choose. I let them have that difficult job as I find it so hard to choose just three out of the thirty-one templates.

So, to celebrate I turned my attention to my Christmas ‘card’ for this year. I do need to get a design done sooner rather than later for the cards that need printing and posting. I suspect that Moonpig will be used this year for those.

The design above is the next iteration of the Christmas/winter tree idea I have. I’ve got as far as trying out some color palettes for the final design. Green would be traditional, but I rather like the opalescent colours at the top right of the test area.

After doing my social media posts, I’m going to go and sort a late lunch/early tea out for myself. It’s a tad late to organise myself to go out for a walk – with the skies growing darker with clouds dusk will fall early. Ho hum, perhaps tomorrow!

Template Thursday

It’s Thursday so that means it’s time for a new colouring template / colouring page for the members of the Angela Porter’s Coloring Book Fans facebook group!

This week’s template is a combination of dangle designs and little pictures. Not one large and often intricate image to colour this week, but a series of little ones so that the template can be coloured in one little bit at a time. This is great for people who get overwhelmed by large, overly-complex colouring pages.

Just as a note, my book “A Dangle A Day” is available. It’s a tutorial book showing how you too can create your own cute and whimsical dangle designs. The dangle designs in the book are a lot smaller than this template!

This design was drawn on Rhodia Dot grid paper using a “F” Faber-Castell Pitt Artist Pen and then cleaned up digitally. I then added a wintry background and added some colour to some of the motifs.

I always love to see the many different and unique ways colorists bring my designs to life. Colour really does make all the difference to the templates.

Template Thursday

It’s template Thursday! As it’s December, my templates will have wintry, themes, all with the emphasis on bringing light and colour into our lives during the last weeks of the year.

As I live in the Northern Hemisphere, we’re in the last few days of autumn. However, no matter where you live in the world, there are always starry night skies, and I suspect stars will feature a lot in the templates. Not just because I love stars, but because I’m working on Entangled Starry Skies.

This template is available to members of the Angela Porter’s Coloring Book fans facebook group.

Friday Warm-up Drawing

This is just the start of what will be a bigger drawing. It’s my way of warming-up, artistically, this morning. Rotring Rapidograph pens on bristol paper.

Warm-up is something that is appropriate again this morning as it’s a cold start to the day. A hard frost greeted me as I opened the curtains, glittering in the dawn light. The sun is now well up, and there’s a haze in the air. Frost lingers on the north-facing roofs and shadowed pavements. Properly autumnal morning.

The sunshine is making my heart and soul smile gently. Solar energy always lifts my spirits, my mood, which is most welcome after a series of days filled with fatigue and brain-fog once again.

I did get out for a walk yesterday, and it was lovely to be walking in the chill air and sunshine. I twisted my knees, however. Age doesn’t come by itself and arthritis in my knees is causing me some issues. My plan is to look after my knees, take it easy at home and focus on getting work done. Mind you, the pull of a sunny afternoon, the need to be out and moving around may make me get out for a short and easy walk on the flat. I’ll see how i get on.

Happy Thanksgiving! Template Thursday

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you
who are celebrating it today.

This week’s template for members of the Angela Porter’s Coloring Book Fans facebook group is a thanksgiving themed mandala, along with some simple hand-drawn typography.

I create templates for the members of the group as my way of saying ‘thank you’ for supporting my work. I am thankful that I am able to bring some joy and peace into others’ lives through my colouring books and my art.

If you’d like to download and print the template for personal use, head on over to the facebook group. Some simple terms and conditions of use apply.

I’ve chosen warm, autumn colours for my version of the template. How would you bring yours to life with colour? I love to see how people colour my templates, and I can be tagged on twitter and instagram as @artwyrd.

Today in South Wales

It’s a beautiful late autumn day. A hard frost this morning has now melted. The dragons-breath mist flowing down the valley has dissipated leaving the air filled with a silvery mist that diffuses the bright sunlight beaming from the pale blue sky. Trails of smoke and steam trickle through the fairly still atmosphere, making a statement that the colder months are now upon us.

Once I’ve completed all my social media posts, I’m going to put some sunblock and boots on, wrap up warm, and go for a much needed and long-put off walk. It’s time for me to face some of the social anxiety that has built up in me during another lockdown.

Then, it’ll be settling down to ink in some coloring templates for Entangled Starry Skies. I was going to do some yesterday. Unfortunately, I was overcome by the intense fatigue that plagues me from time to time, which hasn’t been helped by a few insomniac nights. I slept lots yesterday, and fairly well last night, so feel better today than I have done for a while.

World Kindness Day

Art and health

My day so far has not gone to plan! Do they ever?

I didn’t sleep all that well last night. I’m still not feeling quite right. My abdomen is still uncomfortable, though I have eaten. I’m still tired and I can feel my brain starting to get a bit fuzzy.

I had wanted to settle to drawing for the next colouring book, but other things happened and my mind is a bit scattered. I thought some art for the sake of art may help and this mandala was the result.

I had no idea what I was going to create, but warm, autumnal colours were calling to me, along with evergreen leaves and bright red berries.

It’s simple, stylised and I’ve not spent a lot of time adding shadow/highlight. It is really just a play around before I do my best to settle to drawing. It’s achieved a bit of calming and focus, though I could go back to bed.

World Kindness Day

Kindness is the thread that connects all sizes and types of communities and families. It’s what connects us all, one to each other.

This year has been a difficult one and kindness has helped people through it.

A big shout out to all those who have made the world a nicer, kinder place in such a time.

Thank you.