Another new facebook banner

Facebook banner ©Angela Porter

This morning, I thought I’d play around with some digital art, and this is the result.

I drew the motif on the left entirely in grey-scale. I then went to create the background before adding colour to the grey-scale design. I had a chance to play with different types of layers, brushes and effects too.

I got to the point where the design was enough as it was and I knew some words were needed. So, I chose two important messages for people during the coronavirus crisis.

Today, I started to create with just the idea of trying out greyscale and adding colour, with no idea where it would lead me. I’m quite pleased with the result, though I may have been heavy handed with the contrast and not lightened it where highlights would be needed.

The background I am pleased with. It has that grungy, distressed feel to it, yet the colours and nice and ‘clean’. I’ll definitely be doing more backgrounds like this one. In fact, I think I’ll spend some time today doing just that! I can never have enough backgrounds to draw upon – figuratively and literally! It’ll be a nice way to spend some time on what is a somewhat overcast and cooler day today.

Digital art resources : Autodesk Sketchbook Pro, Microsoft Surface Studio, Microsoft Surface Slim Pen.

Floral Mandala

Floral Mandala ©Angela Porter | Artwyrd.com

The art

I’ve finally finished this mandala. I like the design and patterns, but I wish I’d not used the yellowy greens and teals. There’s no much I can do now, however, as I collapsed all the layers as I went. Something to try to remember not to do in future. I also need to try an even more limited palette, maybe monochrome in my next mandala.

Digital art created using Autodesk Sketchbook Pro along with a Microsoft Surface Slim Pen and a Microsoft Surface Studio.

So, how are you doing today Angela?

I’m doing just fine today. I slept fairly well last night and the sun is shining once more today. I have windows open upstairs to let some cooler, fresher air into the home (of course everyone’s more than six feet away from the, apart from birds and the odd cat who wanders onto my windowsills at the back of the house).

It’s lovely to feel both the warmth of the radiant infrared light from the sun and coolness of the gentle air flow on my skin. Definitely one of life’s little pleasures!

Creating art is also another pleasure, which I have done this morning with my mandala. Something else that lifts my heart. And while I was finishing this mandala, I was listening to ‘The Rise of Skywalker’ audiobook on Audible. Again, something that I really enjoy – listening to a story.

My first mug of tea has been had and it was a satisfyingly comforting experience, as always. I had some dried cranberries in my delivery yesterday, so I had a sprinkling of them in my morning porridge, along with some golden sultanas. The cranberries glowed like jewels in the porridge, which was lovely to see.

I’m not quite sure what I’ll do after I’ve finished my social media posting today. I could do with another mug of tea. Maybe I’ll draw or colour some more paper to draw on. I have crocheting, cross-stitching and knitting to do. And of course there’s plenty of books I’ve yet to read, or listen to. And I’ve got a few seasons of Criminal Minds left to watch too!

As long as I’m purposefully busy, often creatively, I can keep the anxiety and fear of Covid19 at bay. As soon as I start thinking about the pandemic, the uncertainty of the present time, and of the future, anxiety and fear starts to well up again. Healthy distractions are needed to cope with the overwhelming nature of it all.

I am trying to notice all the little things in each day I take for granted – both those that I can still do, and the things that are missing from my life at the moment, such as walking in the park or countryside, day trips and cake runs, popping to the shop, going out for a meal, attending meetings with like-minded souls, being able to just go out for a drive, visiting the museum or churches and abbeys…

I know that each day we go through this pandemic we are one day closer to it’s end. Life will return to some normalcy, but I think it will also be changed in many ways too, hopefully for the better.

Coloring Template 24 Mar 20

©Angela Porter | Artwyrd.com

About the art.

Yesterday, I spent some time drawing with a Tombow Fudenosuke pen on ClaireFontaine mixed media paper. The result was this coloring template for the Angela Porter’s Coloring Book Fans facebook group.

Last week, I said I’d do a template a week during the Covid-19 crisis to help people take some time out of worrying and fretting to relax with coloring.

If you’d like to grab the template, just pop along to the group, join, and it’s completely free! All I ask is you follow the terms and conditions of use.

The Fudenosuke pen has a flexible brush nib so I can produce lines of varying thickness. This isn’t something I do often for coloring templates. However, I do like the effect that I get. It’s so easy to give an illusion of depth and dimension.

Of course the template has a white background, but the version I’m sharing has a blueish-grey background which helps the colours to glow against it.

The design is typically my ‘entangled’ style. Abstract but with stylised motifs from nature and architecture and more.

So, how are you doing Angela?

I’m OK. The sun is shining. I have windows open to let some fresh air into the home, but they’re upstairs windows so no one can get within six feet of them! I also live in a very quiet, small, dead-end street (cul-de-sac if you want to be posh) so there’s very little foot fall here.

Reports are that people aren’t heeding the instructions to stay home here in the UK. That makes me fearful that the NHS will soon be overwhelmed by their selfishness and thoughtlessness.

The situation is surreal and feels unreal to people who’ve not had Covid-19 touch them personally – someone developing the disease, being hospitalised, or, sadly, dying. I hope that’s the reason that they’re playing russian roulette with everyone else’s health and well-being. I hope they don’t think that it’s a hoax, or that they’re invulnerable because of whatever reason they think they are.

Sadly, these people are helping to spread the virus. There’s sound reasons to follow the advice, instructions, orders to stay home.

Anyway… I’ve not yet had a text, email or snail-mail to tell me I’m counted as ‘vulnerable’ and will need to ‘shield’ for at least twelve weeks. I don’t know if I shall get one, but it will be in the next day or two if I do. Even if I don’t get one, I’m staying at home, as frustrating as it is on gloriously sunny spring days like this one here in the Welsh Valleys.

Please, all of you stay home and stay safe.

Coloring template

Here in the UK, along with many other countries around the globe, the hatches are being battened down in response to the COVID-19 crisis.

I thought people might like some colouring templates to download, print, and colour for relaxation, stress-relief and mindfulness.

So, via the Angela Porter’s Coloring Book Fans facebook group, I’m going to make one new template available a week, in addition to the many that are already available.

You do need to be a member of the facebook group (it’s free to join) to get the template, and there are some terms and conditions about how the template can be used, but otherwise they are free for purely personal use.

If my creating some coloring templates to help people during this worrying time, then it’s worth it.

This particular drawing harks back to early days of entangled drawings. It’s purely abstract, but with some design elements taken from architecture and nature.

If you do download and colour, I’d love to see the results of your work. Post them in the Angela Porter’s Coloring Book Fans facebook group, or tag me on social media.

Happy coloring!

Mandala 05 March 2020

Mandala 05 March 2020 ©Angela Porter | Artwyrd.com

Today has been a funny day so far. I have, however, managed to get this little mandala done.

The runes represent growth (the rune looks like a B), joy (looks like a P), flow (half an arrow) and strength (a bit like an n), and you are welcome to read into that what you wish.

When I started this I had no idea at all what I was going to create. All I knew was that I wanted to end up with a mandala and try out some techniques to get things to appear to glow.

The artwork started with me creating a series of my own texture backgrounds, and this was the last one I created. I then created the ring of glowing runes, then worked inward. This is an unusual direction for me to work when creating mandalas; usually I work from the centre out. I did, however, add the final ring of the mandala last.

For some reason I needed to add arrows into the design; it was just an instinctive, intuitive kind of knowing. In the same way I knew that runes needed to be incorporated into the design. Spirals are one of my favourite design motifs and they made an appearance too.

The colour palette is quite a simple one, mostly cool tones of blue, purple, teal and greys, but with a little splash of warm pink and mauve.

I do like the illusion of dimension that I’ve achieved in this mandala by using high contrast. I’ve also enjoyed using texture brushes to help with the sense of dimension too.

This is digital art, created in Autodesk Sketchbook Pro and using a Microsoft Surface Slim Pen along with a Microsoft Surface Studio.

Mandala 04 March 2020

Mandala 04 March 2020 ©Angela Porter | Artwyrd.com

Finally! I have this mandala finished. Life events conspired over the past couple of days to keep me from paper and pen (digital or traditional) and the aftermath left me with a blinding headache and bone-deep tiredness this morning. Still, I did what I’d arranged to do today, and when I came home I had a late lunch and retired to bed to sleep the lingering effects of the extreme stress/introvert hangover off.

Before I left home this morning, I managed to get a little more of this mandala coloured. I’ve now finished it this evening.

The colours took an unexpected turn in places, as did the contrast betwixt light and shadow. The resulted in the outer rings of the mandala being more dimensional in appearance than the inner rings, less like decorative mosaic in a grand entrance hall and more organic, alive, vibrant.

I’m also glad that I’ve changed the background. The darker, richer colours really help the mandala to glow.

The colours aren’t my usual kinds of colour choice, that’s for sure. If I were to re-work this mandala, I’d most probably use a different palette. However, the colours kind of work.

Although I like the more mosaic forms of the inner rings, the dimensional nature of the outer rings really makes my arty heart smile.

I remember when I did my A level art and I produced three oil paintings, the only three oil paintings I’ve ever done and will ever do. I really disliked working with the slimy paints, despite the vibrance of the colours. These paintings were three abstracts – one from the folds in a Romanesque sculpture, another from some kind of worm screws from a steam locomotive, and the last from rusty gears from a diesel locomotive. Each was a monochrome study, focusing on highlights and shadow.

At the exhibition of students’ work (mine included), I was puzzled why people kept touching my oil paintings. I eventually asked someone why they’d done that. The answer was that they looked so three-dimensional they just wanted to touch them and were surprised that they were flat. I hadn’t seen the paintings that way myself, but when it was pointed out to me I could see the illusion I’d created.

Part of me would love to see mandalas of mine created as mosaics, to see people surprised that they’re not dimensional as they appear.

Working on this mandala today has reminded me of how much I love to create this kind of illusion. It may be stylised, not realistic, but it’s part of my artistic melody, a theme deeply embedded in my heartsong.

I created this mandala in Autodesk Sketchbook Pro running on my Microsoft Surface Studio and with a Microsoft Surface Slim Pen.

Mandala 26 Feb 2020

Mandala © Angela Porter | Artwyrd.com

About the mandala

This morning, after a couple of topsy turvy days, I managed to get some art done before I get sorted for the day.

It’s always lovely to return to art after a little break from it. Today, I used a photograph I took last August while visiting the National Botanic Gardens of Wales. Gorgeously coloured flowers were blooming in the great glasshouse, and this stylised flower is based on some of them, including the colour palette.

A bright, sunshiny, warmly glowing flower is just what I needed to paint this morning. I think I’ve chosen a background colour/texture that allows those colours to shine too.

Digital art created with Autodesk Sketchbook Pro, Microsoft Surface Studio and Microsoft Surface Slim Pen.

Leaving therapy…

Monday was a crazy kind of day. In the morning I got sidetracked by a friend, all while I was trying to pack gifts up for my therapist before I headed to my last appointment, for the foreseeable future anyway.

That’s right. I’ve finished with EMDR therapy, for now. I feel I’m good enough learn to fly through life without the support net of my therapist. My wings haven’t spread much, and though weak, they’re strong enough for me to take my first bumbling, solo flights in life (solo as in not with therapy). I’m going to crash onto the ground, bump into trees and obstacles, even get tangled up from time to time in branches and brambles. I do feel, however, that I can cope with the bumps of my flight through my post-therapy life.

Getting tangled up may result in me needing help to untangle myself as something happens in life that triggers a part of the cPTSD that is still hidden and causes it to rise up to the conscious mind where it can be dealt with. This may mean a return to EMDR to deal with that particular set of traumas.

It was both a little sad and a fairly exciting and happy time too. My therapist and friends are proud of me for the work I’ve put in, as well as the perseverance and courage I’ve shown in facing some of the traumas that have resulted in the cPTSD.

New Camera!

I’ve had a need floating around my head for a little while – to buy a DSLR camera. I’ve looked at them, read about them, tried to decode the technical blurb, and finally found myself drawn to one particular model time and time again.

Rather than purchase it online, I steeled myself yesterday to take a trip into Cardiff to visit Cameraland. I’d looked at various shops where you can buy cameras, but this one really ‘felt’ right. And I have to say, it was the right choice.

So, after breakfast, I headed off to Cardiff, parked up, and walked from the Museum to Cameraland through the town. For many years I’ve not been able to go into Cardiff. Loud voices, noises and the high number of people ramp anxiety in me up to a level of startle and hyper-vigilance. So, I used noise-cancelling earphones and upbeat music to help me cope.

And I did! This wouldn’t be possible to do if I was with someone or people, but on my own it’s completely do-able.

Anyways, the chap I talked to in Cameraland was very helpful, knowledgeable. I explained what I’d like a camera for, my experience with SLRs in the past, and the model I’d had my eyes on. He did say there were other options, but none as good as the one I’d chosen.

He showed me around the camera, let me hold it, use it, and then when I’d decided it was the one for me helped me with a uv lens filter, memory card and a camera bag that is spacious enough for me to use as a handbag too.

This camera is a celebration gift to myself for completing therapy, to mark a kind of rite of passage for me. It’s also a way for me to encourage myself to explore the world a bit more. I’ve invested a fair bit of money in the camera and I really don’t want to see it sitting in the bag, being unused.

I still can’t just go out because I’d like to go out. I still need a reason to leave my home. Going out to use my camera is a good reason in my mind.

It also means that when I’m with Liz, or others, on days out, I can record things that catch my attention that I’d usually sit and draw. Yes, I can use the camera on my phone, which is a good phone camera. However, the images aren’t as clear or colour-faithful as I’d like.

So, I may be sharing particularly nice photos I’ve taken too, of all kinds of things that I find interesting, fascinating.