Amazing Mandala WIP

Amazing Mandala © Angela Porter 2019 Artwyrd.com
Amazing Mandala © Angela Porter 2019 Artwyrd.com

This mandala is coming along slowly, but surely.

I’m definitely learning new ways to work digitally, but also new ways to express my creativity as well.

I’ve said it before and I’m amazed at what I’m creating. I never, ever thought that I’d be able to create anything like this, but I have and am doing so.

As usual, I’ve used Autodesk Sketchbook Pro along with a Microsoft Surface Pen and Microsoft Surface Studio to express my creativity.

The colours are bright and bold, which seems to be my signature style. They’re quite psychedelic too – all due to my love of playing with complementary colours.

I am child of the 60s in the respect I was born then and have some early memories of the music and art of that period thanks to my older half-sister who is 10 years my senior.

Perhaps I’m expressing my inner hippy. Or maybe I’m just expressing me, Angela.

I’ve said it before that I like to create things that are pretty, beautiful even. I don’t always get it right, but the more I do, the more I learn. I find my confidence little by little.

So, how are you today Angela?

I’m tired but content. My stomach still isn’t right and it’s pulling my energy levels and my ability to concentrate on my art down.

I’ve had my moments of tears in the past day or so when I have been so tired once again. I’m not very resilient to the inner critic when I’m over tired or run down that’s for sure.

When I’m tired the inner critic seems to want to convince me I’m lonely, unloveable and unloved, worthless, useless.

I know when I feel this way to do anything artsy can be a self-defeating task as I’m never satisfied with what what I do and this feeds the inner critic who becomes nastier and nastier.

So, I don’t feed the inner critic and do other things until I find the energy I need to be stronger than the inner critic.

Today I did a little more on this mandala and I’m now doubting it greatly, even though I’m really pleased with it. I can feel the pressure bearing down on me to believe that this is horrible, it’s not as good as I’d like to think it is, that it’s ugly, it doesn’t work, that the black was a huge mistake and I’ll never get it right.

So, instead of sitting and worrying about it I shall go and do something else that the critic could have plenty to say about but it doesn’t bother me all that much. So, I’m working on crocheting a blanket for a friend. I’m not at all sure it’s going to work out; I’m doing a ‘scrap’ blanket to use up yarn from my stash so it’s not going to be planned out and that causes me some concern. However, I shall keep going.

Mandala WIP

Mandala WIP 12 June 2019 © Angela Porter - Artwyrd.com
Mandala WIP 12 June 2019 © Angela Porter – Artwyrd.com

My current work in progress is a mandala. Also, I’m using my line art as a guide for the coloured areas which is quite different for me to do. No black lines in the finished design. Not a one will there be.

I’m working digitally using my trusty trio of Autodesk Sketchbook Pro, Microsoft Surface Pen and Microsoft Surface Studio. I have also chosen a coloured, texture background for the design to sit/float upon.

Just as a guide, it took me an hour or so to draw out the mandala design. So far I’ve spent around 6 hours on adding the colour and so on – and that’s with the help of the symmetry tool in Autodesk Sketchbook Pro. If I’d had to do each section individually it would’ve taken me eight times as long!

You can see I still have a lot to do, so it’s going to be a long term project for sure.

I’m actually enjoying this one. It’s been rather soothing to do given that I’ve not been feeling too well with some kind of upset tummy. I’m still not fully well today but I am feeling a fair bit better than I did yesterday, thank goodness.

So, how are you feeling today Angela?

Other than still feeling not too well physically with some kind of dodgy tummy, I’m quite contented.

Contented is good enough I think. I’m being creative, quietly so. I’m enjoying listening to Audible (currently it’s “Fatal Alliance” the first in the Star Wars Old Republic series of books. This one is authored by Sean Williams) as I’m being artsy. However, as I type I’m listening to the Maroon 5 station on Amazon Music. I can’t write and listen to a book!

To go back to my mental and emotional health, I feel quite content and my anxiety levels are at the manageable background levels, which is barely noticeable unless I focus on them. That is good enough for me, though I do know that it doesn’t take much for them to be triggered.

The CPTSD hair triggers that lead to emotional flashbacks. Not clear memories of a traumatic event, the emotional memories of a series of similar events that tapped into the stored trauma of the first traumatic event, reinforcing the trauma again and again and again.

That’s one way in which CPTSD is different to PTSD.

As I become more aware of my emotions and what can trigger an emotional response I’m more able to manage how I interact (or not) with the world until that trigger no longer affects me.

All part of self care which is so important.

My recovery from CPTSD is a work in progress, something I won’t stop until I’m good enough in terms of my mental and emotional wellbeing as well as my relationship with myself.

Happy Birthday Brett – all coloured

Happy Birthday Brett © Angela Porter 2019 Artwyrd.com
Happy Birthday Brett © Angela Porter 2019 Artwyrd.com

I finally got round to finishing colouring the Happy Birthday coloring template I created for Brett, the lovely person who runs the Angela Porter’s Coloring Book Fans facebook group.

I drew the design on Winsor and Newton Bristol Board using Unipin pens and then I’ve added colour digitally, as well as a rose gold coloured and textured background.

I chose pink as a fairly dominant colour as Brett loves pink so much.

Oh, to colour I used Autodesk Sketchbook Pro, Microsoft Surface Pen and Microsoft Surface Studio.

So Angela, how have you been?

I’ve been quiet on social media over the past few days. I’ve needed some quiet time to myself, which has involved an awful lot of crocheting. I’ve not even done anything much that has been arty either.

The reason for this is that I’ve not been feeling all that well. Nothing serious. just not well. I had a migraine on Sunday that took all day to go and left me exhausted.

Also, I’ve not been feeling right in my digestive system/stomach for a few days. This happens on a fairly regular basis (monthly) but this time it was rather unpleasant.

Last night, it hit new highs as I woke hot, sweaty, nauseous and headachy. Thank goodness it was rather chilly here in the UK and I had the windows open. The cool air was pleasant as I lay uncovered. It all passed eventually without me being sick, however I still feel yeuchy today and very, very tired.

Yesterday I had EMDR and that was an interesting session that left me rather tired later in the day. Another inner child made their presence known and I had help to communicate with them, which was so much easier after last weeks session. This child was all to do with loud voices, arguing voices and being startled and upset by them. So, we did some EMDR work with the emotions that came up from that child. A lot of body work was being done with pains around my body as the trauma was being processed with EMDR. Also, lots of memories of raised voices, harsh voices, argumentative voices…and just noisy environments.

I’ve known for a long while that I can be triggered into startle or panic mode when I hear a sudden loud voice or noise around me. I try to remember to take noise cancelling headphones or earphones with me so I can listen to music and not hear such sounds when I’m out and about, especially when I’m feeling rather fragile.

Saturday I flinched and became a bit panicked as I was talking to someone while waiting for a meeting outside a building in my local town. Sunday evening someone spoke quite harshly to me. I don’t think they realised it, but the response in me was one of upset and to withdraw from the situation, permanently.

So, we work with this in EMDR to heal those traumatised parts of me represented by these children.

Hmm, I wonder if these different aspects of me from times when I’ve been traumatised are coming forward so easily because I have so few concrete memories of events.

Either way, as crazy as it may seem to you, it seems to be helping me, and that is all that matters as far as I’m concerned.

Entangled Inspiration – WIP

Entangled Inspiration 25 May 2019 © Angela Porter - Artwyrd.com
Entangled Inspiration 25 May 2019 © Angela Porter – Artwyrd.com

I’ve been working on this one over the past couple of days, when I’ve felt up to it.

I’m fairly pleased with it, though I’m not sure I should’ve added the upside down mushrooms. I guess if they really don’t work with fresh eyes then I can always remove them using some digital wizardry.

I wanted to use the words ‘The magic of colour’ as a nod towards my coloring books and the people who bring my drawings to life by adding colour; they really do work some magic!

As lovely as the black and white line drawings are, even with shadows added, it is colour that really brings them to life for sure.

But there’s another kind of magic that goes on when people lose themselves in coloring or creating, and that’s the magic of relaxing and giving the brain a break from thinking.

I get that when I draw or colour.

My challenge to myself in this one is again to leave some white space.

The drawing and hand lettering has been done with Uniball Unipin pens on Winsor and Newton Bristol Board (A4 in size, roughly US letter size).

There’s more to be done with this drawing yet; I particularly want to incorporate some of the patterns and textures I’ve observed and recorded during my visits to the National Museum of Wales in Cardiff and Kilpeck Church near Hereford.

How am I feeling today?

I’m flat. Tired. Lacking oompf. Part of me is content enough but part of me is sad. It’s weird, but that’s how it feels.

I’m still experiencing the ripples/waves from the tsunamis of therapy and the person trying to tell me I don’t need therapy last Sunday. I really don’t want to leave my home today.

If that’s what I need to do to look after myself, then I need to accept it’s ok to stay at home.

I am tired as well as I had an evening out with some friends – a pub meal and chitter chatter until nearly midnight. Even though it was with a small group of people and it was a nice evening I’m absolutely drained today.

So, to take care of my emotions and mental health I need that quiet time again. I may play my flute, crochet, draw, read. I may also nap later on as I’m so tired. I’ll see. Napping may make me be up until the wee small hours.

So that’s how I am this day. A weird mixture of contentedness and sadness. This healing journey from CPTSD is full of weird twists and turns, ups and downs, but on the whole it’s definitely moving forwards and upwards. EMDR is really my panacea for CPTSD.

Hidden letter?

Hidden letter? ©Angela Porter 2019 - Artwyrd.com
Hidden letter? ©Angela Porter 2019 – Artwyrd.com

I spent some time drawing this design yesterday (around 4 hours) and didn’t finish it. This morning I woke up wondering if I could tuck a letter away in the design, making it part of the design rather than putting the design around the letter, kind of.

So, I looked at the small-ish space I had left to the right of the design and managed to, rather clumsily, tuck a capital A in amongst the design.

The A is a bit more obvious than I’d wanted, but I worked with what I’d already done to see how it could work, or how I’d mess it up and learn from it.

Yes, I know, another A. There are letters of the alphabet I’ve never either done as a monogram or used in a design of some kind.

I quite like the idea of adding letters as part of the design, either as one occurrence of the letter or by creating a motif of some kind that contains the letter which can then be repeated as part of the overall design.

My mind is ticking over on this one…I definitely need at least one more, if not several more, cuppas before I get my head around my own idea!

I’m positive that this idea is not likely to be unique in the realms of creativity, but it is a new idea for me. Now all I have to do is to follow through with it and see where it leads.

The original drawing is approx 6″ x 6″ (15.5cm x 15.5cm) in size. I used Tombow Fudenosuke, Sakura Pigma Sensei 04, Unball Unipin 0.1 and Pentel Sign pens to draw the design on Daler Rowney Simply… Sketch extra white paper. The paper isn’t as smooth as I usually like and it tends to ‘grab’ pencil lines, even in soft 2B, but it did the job.

Digitally all I did was to clean up the image and create a transparent background and then add a coloured, textured watercolour paper as a background to the drawing before adding my watermarks.

I do want to do some shading on this drawing, but I also have hankering to draw a mandala. Which will win out with me?

I definitely need another big cuppa!

Work in progress

Work In Progress ©Angela Porter 2019 - Artwyrd.com
Work In Progress ©Angela Porter 2019 – Artwyrd.com

It’s a new month so that means a new coloring template is available to members of the Angela Porter’s Coloring Book Fans facebook group, and this is the template! I thought I’d add some colour to it before I head out for the rest of the day.

I drew the template with Fudenosuke pens from Tombow on Bristol Board from Winsor and Newton. The paper is A4 in size (that’s approx. US letter size).

I’ve started coloring it digitally (Autodesk Sketchbook Pro, Microsoft Surface Pen, Microsoft Surface Studio), as that’s what I’m enjoying at the moment.

This month I’ve gone for my signature entangled style of art, but using the Fudenosuke pens, which I’m really enjoying using, gives varying linewidths and heavier lines and a more graphic feel to the art.

It’s free to join the group, there are some terms and conditions attached to the template use. If you’d like to download and colour the image then pop along to the group and you’d be made most welcome!

I’d also love to see how you colour this template. Yes, really, I would!

May – entangled hand lettering

May ©Angela Porter 2019 Artwyrd.com
May ©Angela Porter 2019 Artwyrd.com

BuJo Cover for May

This morning, I’ve spent a pleasant four hours or so drawing this A5 design for the month of May.

It combines some hand lettering along with my signature style of entangled art. I’ve included plenty of floral motifs as here in the Northern Hemisphere the world is filled with flowers, especially on the trees.

Of course I’ve included more abstract motifs that are inspired by seedpods and patterns found in nature and architecture and so on.

I drew the design on white Bristol Board by Winsor and Newton. My pens of choice today were Tombow Fudenosuke, Sakura Pigma Sensei 04 and 0.1 Unball Unipin. Also, I’ve used some digital wizardry to add coloured paper as the background, along with my watermarks.

This would be lovely in a BuJo I think. I think it would be lovely in a planner, a journal or diary.

It’s perfect for colouring, as long as you’d be happy to colour across sections that have fine lines in them.

I think if I was more confident with metallic inks and either dip nib pens or fine brushes I’d’ve liked to do the lettering in metallic gold or copper. Of course, I could’ve done the lettering, scanned, laser printed it and then added the patterns around the lettering. I didn’t think of that until now though! Duh!

I’m fairly happy with adding ‘auras’ around the lettering to separate it from the entangled design around/below it.

I’m not sure I’m happy with the design spilling out over the edge as it has done; it doesn’t feel balanced to me, but other than that I’m quite happy with the design. Of course I could edit the image to even up the edges, but it is what it is for now.

Post EMDR

EMDR was quite gentle yesterday but lots of body work occurring. During EMDR stored trauma is released through pains and other sensations in the body. Yesterday I had eyes that hurt, part of my head, my throat, my thumbs and wrists. I had a lot of pain where I broke my leg when I was six. Lots of prickling as well as electric shocks in various parts of my body.

I actually felt quite upbeat, if a little tired, when I left the session. But by late evening I was really tired and feeling a bit teary and lonely.

I’m tired today. I didn’t sleep too well last night. I had hoped to go out for the day today, but I really wanted to stay home and draw and I think I’ll be back in bed before too much longer. I really am tired.

One thing that I was asked about, without me mentioning it first, was what I was going to do about getting out and about a bit more! I’m sure my therapist must read my blog. Just joking, I know she doesn’t!

I need to make a list of places I’d like to visit. Familiar places to revisit to ease me back into getting out and about by myself. Then ones not so familiar that could involve some time away from home too.

I will be going out later this week. I have something to do this evening and tomorrow, however. Another reason I am having a quiet day today. I’m not just tired; I know that I’m also emotionally fragile still.

I am determined to heal as much as I can from the CPTSD and to do the things I’d like to do that the inner critic sabotages way too often.