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.
This morning I awoke with a pounding headache, an introvert’s hangover from a therapy session and a busy meeting in the evening with lots of people and noise. A big mug of tea, a couple of Anadin Extra and the head has cleared somewhat, though I still feel quite fuzzy-headed and tired.
Despite the headache, or perhaps because of it, I slipped into mandala mode to start my day. I had wanted to include some wise words in it, but my mind just wasn’t functioning clearly enough.
Unusually for me, I chose a terracotta-coloured kraft paper background to draw with a creamy coloured ink. I added some shading behind the design in places, just to try to increase the depth and dimension. I’m not sure I’ve achieved it well this time, however. Once my head fully clears, I may do the shading afresh.
The resulting mandala is far more geometric and structured than is often the case with me, especially the outside ring. However, I’m quite pleased with it, especially given the state of my head!
I do like the warm, earthy tones of paper and ink in this design. The colours have been quite comforting and soothing to work with.
I drew this digitally, using my favourite combination of Autodesk Sketchbook Pro along with my Microsoft Surface Pen and Microsoft Surface Studio (which are the digital analogues of pen and paper).
A few, simple terms and conditions apply. All I ask is that you follow them and mention myself and the facebook group when you share the coloured template on social media. Tag me in your posts and I’ll definitely get to see them!
Autumn is well established here in the UK, so I wanted to combine leaves, berries and some acorns in a mandala.
I used an autumnal colour palette to bring the template to life. I think mine looks like a rich, decorative rug. However, I love to see how creative you people are with your colour schemes, particularly those of you who are heading into Spring or who don’t really experience Autumn in your part of the world.
I did draw and colour this mandala digitally, using Autodesk Sketchbook Pro along with my Microsoft Surface pen and the paper that is the screen of my Microsoft Surface Studio.
It’s the penultimate day of Inktober 2019 and today’s drawing features a whale skull, a bowhead whale skull to be precise, complete with baleen.
The mandala in the background has the Nik tangle pattern forming the wider geometric patterned ring. The outer ring is a line drawing of Xanthoria elegans – the sunburst lichen.
I wanted the skull to stand out, so I coloured the mandala in a softer, paler version of the background colour.
I felt quite teary as I was looking at whale skulls and skeletons. They reminded me of the last time I visited the whale skeleton and leatherback turtle in the National Museum and Galleries of Wales, Cardiff. I was overwhelmed with sadness then too. This is a sure sign that I’m emotionally vulnerable once again and that I need to take a lot of care of myself, my emotions in particular.
This is digital art, drawn using my Microsoft Surface Pen and Surface Studio as the digital analogues of pen and paper, and Autodesk Sketchbook Pro, which allows me to do this.
Armadillo skull flower? I thought I’d try a different number of skulls arranged around a mandala. They sure do look like petals of a flower. Armadillo skull is the prompt for today’s Inktober drawing from a list by Instagrammer @book_polygamist. I’ve also used the tangle pattern crescent moon from the list by @havepen_willdraw.
I used Autodesk Sketchbook Pro along with a Microsoft Surface Pen and Surface Studio as my tools.
I’m also enjoying using these grungy texture backgrounds, of which I am altering the colours as needed.
I can’t believe that Inktober is nearly over; just four more days remain. I’ll reflect on this year’s experience with my last Inktober drawing.