In today’s #DrawWithMe video on YouTube, I recreated some of the patterns and motifs I’d drawn for the title page of Entangled Samplers. With some variations! As I work on the top page, I’ll include some of these filler patterns! The idea for each page is to have a drawing that has examples of motifs and patterns with variations, all to spark creativity by being a source of inspiration and ideas.
My hand-lettering isn’t perfect; the letter sizes diminish towards the end of each line. But it may probably be good enough.
I like the bold shading in the recreation at the bottom of the image. I’ve yet to add any shading to the title page; first, I’ll finish drawing it.
I decided today to get all the pages done in a discbound format, hence the little mushroom shapes to the left of each sheet!
I’m rapidly filling up an A5 sketchbook with drawings like this. Some have hand lettering in them, while others do not. This style of illustration is familiar to me. It comes naturally, and so is something I can cope with now. The familiarity and repetitive nature of the motifs and patterns are soothing. As I’m working in a sketchbook, there is no pressure on me for things to be perfect. And that is what I need at this time. I just need to create for the sheer enjoyment of creating. Then, there will be enough time to continue exploring other things when I’m back on form.
Mental and Emotional Well-being…
I’m often told that trust is a more positive word than hope when used in conjunction with wanting things to improve. So, I am doing my best to trust that my emotions and thoughts will improve and I won’t feel so darned sleepy and tired all the time.
I suspect I’ve been trying too hard for too long to keep up a mask of contentedness, and all is fine with me when interacting with others. But, unfortunately, it’s something I’ve done for as long as I can remember. It probably contributed to my two intense and lengthy bouts of anxiety and depression, eventually leading to me leaving teaching around 9 or 10 years ago.
After years of EMDR therapy and reflecting on the past, I thought I’d learned my lesson about not letting things get worse and worse and refusing to admit to myself I’m struggling with my mood and thoughts.
It seems that isn’t so.
However, I did reach out for help last week. So now, I have to give myself permission to ease off and give the meds a chance to work.
I had tried so hard to help myself lift my mood and dispel the dark thoughts. They wouldn’t go. Waking up in the night with my mind racing and catastrophising wasn’t good. I couldn’t do this by myself this time.
I know what has led to this state of affairs, and it’s not just one thing.
So, eventually, I worked out I needed help before I ended up in a state similar to how I was all that time ago when my Doctor told me, ‘You’ve nearly broken your mind. It needs a rest. A long rest. And these little pills will help, honestly.’
Those words got through to me. And soon after taking the first dose, my mind was magically quiet, and no longer was I being mean to myself.
There should be no stigma or discrimination about medication to help with mental and emotional ill-health. However, there is none if you need antibiotics for an infection or a plaster-cast to help heal a broken bone.
So, I’m in the process of getting the level of medication to a steady level and the side effects to subside. But, until that happens, I have no choice but to be kind and gentle to myself and not push myself to do more than I’m capable of doing.
I have had a little period of using hand lettering along with my style of entangled drawing. I love words, and aliferous is a word new to me. It comes from the Latin ‘ala’, meaning wing, and the word’s first known use was around 1726.
Over the past week or so, I’ve been losing myself in A5-ish-sized drawings, all Entangled art. The peaceful, quiet time has been and continues to be what I need. I’m sure I’ll find a new equilibrium point regarding focus, a clear mind, and calm emotions and mind. How long that will take… I don’t yet know.
Until that point is reached, I’ll be doing what I can to be gentle and kind to myself. As we all need to be.
Today was a day to just draw for the pleasure, joy and contentment the process of creativity brings.
I knew I wanted to include some hand lettering in the design, and that’s where I started. The rest just flowed from there as it needed to. I put no pressure on myself to be perfect, nor did I have a design in mind. It was pure, intuitive art.
And that intuitive process let me relax and enjoy being able to just create for the sake of it.
I’m really enjoying creating pages in what I had been calling an illustrated journal. But, in today’s video, it came to me that they are akin to a needlework sampler, so Entangled Samplers the collection will be called!
In the video, I drew a couple of elements but focused on using texture patterns to fill the spaces. And that was when the idea of a sampler came to mind.
I’ve yet to decide what goes in that awkward central space. Journaling? More patterns or motifs? I really don’t know at the moment. I will figure it out though!
It’s a gloomy, wet Saturday here in the Valleys of South Wales, and the weather matches my mood. My inner sun touchstone of contentment is still there; I can sense it as a constant beneath the clouds and know that it is there the same way I know the Sun is behind the clouds (or the Earth at night). All storms, or successions of storms, eventually pass, and I know that the stormy inner weather is related to something(s) I’m having to work through and sort out. I will get there. I was reminded today that I’ve got myself through such times in the past and that I’m quite capable of doing so again (thanks to my friend for reminding me!).
To use my metaphor, I’ll weather the storms that come and go, and art will help me do so.
When I sit and draw, my mind empties of all the thoughts the negative self-talk likes to shout at me, the sunny touchstone shines through the clouds a little more and the contentment increases. For a while, I have a break from it all. And when I stop drawing, I feel better, even if the storm starts up again.
I will be fine; I am in many ways. And there’s always art. And writing. And music. And Star Wars!
Oh, the page above. I worked on it last night and today. I’ve done as much as I want on the page. Partly coloured or shaded, and some areas with a darker background. It is, to me, a way to suggest what I could do. That’s why I like pages like this. Unfinished, or inconsistently finished, with possibilities and potential and inspiration.
I used 05 and 01 Sakura Pigma Micron Pens to draw the design. To add some shade and the background, a Warm Grey III Pitt Artist Brush pen was used. And various Graphitint pencils and a water brush added colour to other motifs.
Given how unsettled my maelstrom and tsunami stricken inner being is, I really needed to draw a mandala.
I love the soothing creativity that drawing a mandala brings. This one, partly coloured in monochrome greens with those little dashes of purple-ruby, looks like some weird succulent or an alien sea creature of some kind. Maybe a jellyfish.
I have decided to keep an illustrated journal full of my favourite patterns and motifs, accompanied by some words of encouragement and, perhaps, advice.
I’ve kept a collection in a dot grid notebook for a few years. However, some people have asked if I’d share it. I thought it was high time to create something similar instead of sharing a battered and dog-eared book. So, that’s precisely what I started in today’s video.
So, I purchased a Talens Art Creation A5 landscape sketchbook for this purpose. I like the paper in it; it’s creamy in colour, so it’s more soothing on my eyes. The scanned page in the image above doesn’t show the cream colour; the struggle with scanners is real! The paper is 140gsm (90lb). It will take a very light wash of water, but I like the fairly smooth surface to draw upon.
For this page, I used a selection of pens: A micro Uniball Eye for most of the drawing 01 and 03 Sakura Pigma Microns for details 0.38 Uniball Signo DX for the writing. Faber-Castell Pitt Artist Brush Pens in Cold Grey 1 and Cold Grey III
I’m fairly happy with how the page looks. However, my handwritten notes are a bit … untidy. Hey ho, they’ll do!
I only drew the flower on the left in today’s YouTube video. I couldn’t find the first drawing for this new journal. Stupidly, I’d done that on a loose sheet of A5 dot grid paper and didn’t put it into a folder for safe keeping. I have no idea where I’ve put it. So, that was another good reason to get a sketchbook; it’s harder for me to misplace a sketchbook, though it has been known to happen. So the arrangement from the centre to the right is a replication of the motifs from the lost page.
As I typed that, my mind thought of the Moody Blues album title “In search of the lost chord”. I’m forever in search of my lost artwork!
This is going to be another interesting project. I do seem to pick up and drop projects a lot. The reason is I need variety in what I’m focusing on. Sometimes, I need a bit of a break from a particular project or focus. At other times, I’m just not well enough to do anything more than some challenging ‘comfort art’.
I now need to decide if I’m going to add some colour to this page. I have shadows in place, so transparent/transluscent media will work with that. I’ll think on it. For now, I need tea and something to eat!
I’ve been asked several times if I’d make my visual dictionary, pattern and motif collection, journal or art zibaldone available for others. I’ve shown it a few times in videos. It’s my go-to reference when I need some inspiration for my art.
So, today, I thought I’d take some elements from a current WIP and start to put a page together.
I used a piece of A5 dot grid paper with holes punched in it for a six-ring binder. However, I may use an A5 dot grid notebook. To draw the design, I used an 05 Sakura Pigma Micron Pen. Shade was added with a 2B matt Pitt graphite pencil and paper stump/tortillon.
I enjoyed doing this. It was fun to add alternative ways of approaching various elements. That’s how I like to work in my visual zibaldone. And, of course, the variations are not exhaustive! No doubt more will appear in time, either in the zibaldone or in some artwork.
That is what I love doing. Varying and shifting the pattern or motif into something new and different.
Of course, I have filmed myself drawing this page so far, and you can draw along with me by clicking this YouTube video link.