Insomnia

Two drawings I did last night when insomnia hit.

The blue one I drew while trying to settle to sleep in the first place. I was still stressed and wound up after a meeting earlier in the evening. I used light and dark ball point pens as well as a light blue metallic Sakura Gelly Roll pen. It’s an odd kind of drawing for me, but it helped to settle me so I could sleep.

The other one was done between 4:30am and 6:30am when I woke up ruminating about what I said, could’ve said and what others said at the meeting. A sure sign that anxiety reigned, even if I didn’t already recognise it at the time with flushed face, cold sweaty hands and that feeling of being a rabbit caught in the headlights.

Anyway, I picked up the same A5 sketchbook and a kind of pinky-red metallic Sakura Gelly roll pen and just drew. A bit more like my usual kind of abstract art – swirls, curves, circles and teardrop shapes.

Eventually, I got back to sleep for another hour or so. This is nowhere enough for me, so I suspect I’ll want to sleep this afternoon. I’ll try to resist the urge so that I’m really tired when I go to bed tonight.

Even though I’m feeling the knock on effects of the anxiety at the meeting, and the introvert hangover from being with people (yes, it even happens when it’s done via Zoom!), it was worth it.

Sketchbook Page

Over the past few days I’ve been sketching in a black paper sketchbook. I’ve been indulging myself in sparkle and glitter, as well as using Derwent Colorsoft pencils, a Derwent blending pencil and a white Sakura Gelly Roll pen for these particular sketches.

In both cases, I started using coloured pencils. Only when I had finished the design did I add the white pen work to see how it would look.

I also enjoy the contrast between the sharp, bright white pen work and the softer, more fuzzy and hazy coloured pencil areas of the designs.

There is also something fascinating and enjoyable about bringing pattern, form and light into to the dark. Which works well as a metaphor for abstract art bubbling up out of the depths of my unconscious mind.

I enjoy creating abstract patterns. Like all my art, it brings peace, contentment and joy to my creative heart. By manifesting these designs on a page, I bring further ideas for art in the future.

Template Thursday

Thursday again, and as I’m feeling better and able to focus more on work each day, I managed to create a colouring template for members of the Angela Porter’s Coloring Book Fans facebook group. It’s free to members and free to join – just a few, reasonable terms and conditions are attached to use of the template.

I am feeling better today. Yesterday, the day took unexpected twists and turns that meant I just wasn’t able to write a blog or do social media posts. I do need to get focused on work today – once I’ve had breakfast that is. But it’s nice to be feeling more my usual self after the latest bout of recurrent illness.

When we dream…

Another ‘pen went for a walk drawing’ along with a quote today.

After I’d exhausted my creativity for coloring templates yesterday, I switched to playing around with digital art for a short while to create this border.

To go with it, I chose a quote from Hundertwasser.

I remember reading somewhere, somewhen, that the intricate swirls and abstract patterns of prehistoric rock art may have been representations of those shapes and patterns we see when we close our eyes, when we fall asleep. Or even what is seen in psychedelic visions.

So, this quote about dreams seemed to fit just nicely with the design I created yesterday.

The colour I chose for the artwork reminds me of verdigris – the dusty surface that copper or bronze gets when it’s weathered and aged. It’s a calming, soothing, peaceful kind of colour, and that is the mood I am reflecting through my art at the moment.

In the evening, I sat with sketchbook and pens/pencils and just drew abstract patterns. I really enjoyed using pencil to draw with. I all too often draw directly with pen and I forget how pleasant and ‘soft’ working with pencil feels.

Sketchbook Musings

Over the past week or so I’ve been gradually adding to this sketchbook page. It is entirely what a sketchbook should be, in my opinion. Pages full of ideas, sketches, unfinished drawings, practice of techniques, written notes… a visual zibladone for the creative soul!

It is a reflection of what is catching my attention in my world. That world encompasses the inner worlds of imagination and emotion, as well as the outer world of books, nature, architecture, photographs, and so on.

This page includes inspiration from Mayan glyphs/sculpture, rocks, nature, mushrooms, magic wands/staves/sceptres, pen textures and some inspiration from Hundertwasser.

Everything on the page is a bit wonky (not perpendicular), and I’m OK about that – it’s a sketchbook! But then wonky art, particularly colouring pages, seems to be part of my signature style. Perfectly straight lines just don’t look right to me, nor do sharp corners. Perhaps that’s why I like Hundertwasser so much.

The English gardener William Kent said, “Nature abhors a straight line”. Hundertwasser said, ” The straight line is godless and immoral.”

A sketchbook is always a work in progress (WIP), even when every page is full, it’s full of incomplete drawings and ideas, sketches and notes, jottings and doodlings. Nothing has to be perfect. Not a single thing.

A sketchbook is a place to try things out, experiment, just see what happens. With that comes an acceptance that not everything will work out, and where surprising things happen and discoveries are made that may otherwise never happen.

Sometimes the gems of ideas and colour combinations and ways of using media remain hidden until much later. A sketchbook is a place to practice and learn, to note down what is of interest at this time, what needs to be expressed, without any pressure to produce a finished, polished artwork.

That doesn’t mean, however, that a sketchbook can’t be something interesting to look at, even with it’s own kind of beauty. They are a reflection of the artist that creates them and so is a window into their arty heart and feelings. They are very personal things.

A sketchbook encourages me to use media that are gathering dust because I do so much art digitally. In a physical sketchbook, if I want any colour, then I have to use some of these media.

On this one page I’ve used Pilot Hi-Tec C4, Pilot Maica, Rotring Rapidograph and Uniball Unipin pens. To add colour, watercolours, Tombow Dual Brush pens, Derwent ColorSoft pencils, Derwent Procolour pencils, Derwent Inktense pencils have been used.

Saturday Mandala

It’s Saturday. I woke early and got to work in one of my sketchbooks where I’m drawing thumbnails and design elements with a focus on things starry. I needed a break from that, so turned my attention to creating a mandala.

Pink seems to be a bit of a thing at the moment, today it being a dusky shade of pink.

Oddly, the mandala has a star-shaped motif in the centre. That was not a conscious decision!

Anyway, it’s been a nice way to spend an hour or two while listening to podcasts. But, after another mug of mocha, I’ll be going back to work in my sketchbook. Which is also pleasurable, but in a different kind of way. My drawings are definitely sketchy, but that’s the whole point! Just getting ideas down. A nice way to spend a lockdown day.

Template Thursday

I was in the mood for a mandala this sunshiny morning in the Valleys of South Wales, so that’s what I created for this week’s coloring template for the Angela Porter’s Coloring Book Fans facebook group.

Some Mayan-style glyphs have been appearing in my sketchbook lately, and I felt I needed to incorporate them into a mandala design. So I did.

I also chose colours that reminded me of golden stone and primary coloured gems/paints/inks, including the golden-sand coloured kraft paper background. It has lovely warm, desert feel to it.

As usual, the uncoloured template is available to members of the facebook group. Membership is free, as are the pandemic templates, just some simple terms and conditions of use need to be adhered to.

Sunday Morning Art

This was a lovely way to spend the first three hours or so of Sunday morning. Abstract digital painting. Chilled out music playing on Spotify. A slow sunrise behind the grey, rain-dropping clouds.

Again, the pattern was inspired by rocks and geology. Some of the patterns I’ve added remind me of rocks and shells, others are a bit too geometric.

It’s always nice to play around with pattern, texture and colour. And when I limit my palette to just a couple of colour families I get much better results. Today, I used the B and YR Copic colour families from the Copic palette included with Autodesk Sketchbook Pro.

While not reminiscent of rocks, the colours remind me of sea and sand. This year, I’ve not been able to get to the coast, other than once way back in February. The colour choice is a subconscious desire for the sea and shore, a liminal place, a boundary between one element and another.

The coast is a place where I feel my whole body exhale and relax. Sadly, it’s not possible to visit at this time, maybe not for a long while. However, the pandemic won’t last forever and the coastline will still be there.

Anyways, creating this artwork was a lovely way of spending some time on a Sunday morning. I can see where I’ve been clumsy with the patterns, making the layers look flatter than I wanted them to.

Strata 02

I had so much fun making an abstract design based on strata yesterday, I thought I’d do another today, this time adding a quote.

I’m not so sure I’ve done a good job on either the typography, the background or the artwork. I may have too much contrast, but also shrinking the size of the image for posting to social media along with the games WordPress plays with colours has affected how it looks here.

No matter, I enjoyed the process of creation, so that’s all that matters. It’s all about experimenting, trying things out.

It was a quick bit of art as I was up early for my weekly organic food delivery, to find it was already delivered. So, after breakfast, I went back to bed.

I have other things that I need to focus on today, so a quick project was in order.