Abstract flowers with a simple mandala/wreath in the background. Created digitally using Autodesk Sketchbook Pro, Microsoft Surface Studio and Microsoft Surface Pen. Simple. Stylised. Satisfying to create.
I’ve been awake since way before dawn drawing this mandala to celebrate the Winter Solstice. I’m looking forward to the increased hours of daylight, though it will be a couple of weeks, or so, before there’s any noticeable difference in the length of day.
It’s been a lovely way to spend the hours as night gradually gives way to the sun. Not that I can see the Sun itself; grey skies and patches of rain obscure the golden wonder of that glowing ball of nuclear fusion.
I created the mandala using Autodesk Sketchbook Pro, Microsoft Surface Pen and Microsoft Surface Studio.
Seven plane symmetry, using a flexible nib pen to carve through black to reveal the design in copper. Done digitally using Autodesk Sketchbook Pro, Microsoft Surface Pen and Surface Studio.
I really have been enjoying creating this kind of design lately and I make no apologies for showing so many that seem to be similar. I find creating these so soothing and calming.
Here, I wanted to see how a metallic background texture would work, and it does really well, just not on WordPress and how the website shows images. The colours never seem to be as vibrant as they do elsewhere.
What I love about this process is that I have no idea of what the end product will be. It’s all about being in the flow, working intuitively, and trusting my skills and creativity.
Often, I’m so zoomed in to the section I’m drawing I’m not aware of how the overall design is looking and working. That means I really do have to trust my instincts, and trust that it will all fit together to create a satisfying end result, and I am happy with it.
Today’s mandala is another white on red one. Drawn digitally using Autodesk Sketchbook Pro.
I really am enjoying white on darker coloured backgrounds, particularly red at this time for some reason. The white gives a lacy, delicate feel to the design. It also gives the illusion of the white pushing the darkness away in the background, making the red appear to start to glow. I like that metaphor, very much.
I’m aching today. Yesterday I tumbled down the stairs, clonking my elbow, butt and bending my left foot under itself. My foot is very painful and stiff today. I can stand and limp around on it so it’s not broken, just soft tissue damage. That’s the second time in a couple of weeks that I’ve fallen over and hurt my foot; last time, it was my right foot that was hurt. My hands and fingers are also sore from reaching out to try to stop my fall. That hasn’t stopped me doing some art, though. I don’t think I’ll be going out and about today either. I’ll be trying to keep my foot up! Bit of a shame, really, as it’s a lovely, sunny day outside.
I’ve always been such a clumsy person; I can trip over thin air. However, it’s been many, many years since I fell down the stairs. The last time must’ve been nearly 20 years ago. That time I pulled some ligaments behind my knee. That made it difficult for me to climb to the Cerrig Duon stone circle and standing stone on the edge of the Afon Tawe. I also had to cross the river by stepping over the natural, uneven stones in the river channel.
I was absolutely exhausted yesterday evening. Thankfully, I had a long, deep sleep last night and have woken feeling more alert but still fuzzy headed.
Between going to the dentist, sorting out other stuff, I finally managed to get a little drawing for my social media done, along with a quote that I think is most appropriate at the moment.
I used Autodesk Sketchbook Pro, Microsoft Surface Pen and Microsoft Surface Studio to complete the artwork, along with Affinity Publisher to do the typography.
It’s good enough for now. I would’ve liked to have added colour the flowers, but that would’ve taken me quite a few hours I think. Still, it’s there, lurking in my digital art folders for the future.
I wanted to draw simple, flowers, and chose to draw them mandala style. They’re cute and naive enough to work, I think.
So, it’s now some lunch for me and then to turn my attention to the Sea-life colouring book I’m working on!
This morning, I needed the calming and soothing process of drawing a mandala.
The last few days have been manic, tiring and emotional. I’ve also had to use a lot of mental concentration on a project that involves me. All this has resulted in evenings filled with headaches and emotional vulnerability.
I’m aware of what’s happening to me, and I do take steps to make sure that I practice self-care and self-soothing.
Drawing mandalas is always self-soothing for me. The abstract nature of them means anything goes, within the foundation of rings and angles. Drawing repeating patterns and shapes is also a soothing activity.
Today, I chose to draw in black and white and add a grey, textured background. Some subtle shading in greys helps to add the illusion of dimension to the mandala.
I drew this mandala digitally, using my favourite tool triad of Autodesk Sketchbook Pro, Microsoft Surface Pen and Microsoft Surface Studio. This made it easy to alter what I wasn’t happy with as I worked on the mandala. This removed a source of potential stress and upset and allowed the perfectionist in me to smile.
That doesn’t mean there aren’t any imperfections in the design; there are plenty of them! It just means I can fix the big mistakes quickly. I wish it were as easy to do that in life, for myself but also for others.
I enjoyed drawing the mandala. It has helped to soothe my fragile head and heart and has set me up for the rest of my arty, creative day.
So, Angela, how are you feeling today?
I’ve not written much about my mental and emotional health lately. It’s mostly been good. However, I’ve had some challenges with it and have had some weepy, teary times.
Previously, I’ve mentioned that I was looking at leaving therapy soon. I still think that will be the case, but these challenges have caused some flotsam and jetsam from my past to surface. They need to be processed and released before I consider leaving therapy.
I have so much to do in terms of work and other commitments that I really do need to schedule in that self-care time. Also, I’m aware that the challenges I’m currently facing could, potentially, harm my mental and emotional health. All the work of the past five years in therapy could, possibly, be undone. I can’t allow that to happen.
During the recent difficulties, I’ve found my emotions and thoughts harking back to the dark days of my poor mental and emotional health. I managed to stop myself falling into the bottomless, dark pit of despair and anguish. I recognised it was happening. Also, I recognised the trigger for this. It was strong enough to breathe some life into the pale ghosts of my past. Those ghosts have now been dispelled, but I know they can rise to haunt me at my vulnerable moments.
What scared me most was that I lost that awareness of inner contentment that has been present for many months now. It’s now back, once the ghosts had been returned to their realm – the past.
I’ve said it before, and no doubt I’ll say it again – emotions are the weather of my inner being. Things happen or are said that can stir up a storm. The storm opens a portal to the past and ghosts can find their way to trouble my mind and feelings. I’m now more aware of myself, my emotions, and how to cope with this weather. I’m back to a calm sea where the contentment isn’t shrouded by the shades of the past.
Being able to banish these ghosts myself shows how far I’ve come since my darkest days.
My life has suddenly gotten busier than I expected. I’m having to juggle a new challenge over the next few weeks with existing commitments, appointments and life in general.
So, as it’s #throwbackthursday around the interwebs I thought I’d post the mandala I created last year for Remembrance Sunday.
A year ago, I was starting to get to grips with digital art. I can see how far I’ve come in developing my own digital art ‘voice’. This mandala, however, is still lovely.
I used Autodesk Sketchbook Pro along with a Microsoft Surface Pen and Microsoft Surface Studio.