My colouring day coloured design!

11800358_1105879986108609_4919163736933435955_n

Admittedly not the best photo, but this was drawn yesterday.  I started to colour it yesterday, using various brands of coloured pencils, and completed it today.  An hour or so to draw, 10 hours to colour is my estimate!

I have also realised why I tend to use paints and markers and inks for colours so much these days – these media are kinder to my arthritic-y finger and thumb joints!  I do love coloured pencils, the intensity of colour you can achieve, but needs must.

I have ordered various designs of cushioned pencil grips to see if they help with keeping my joints ache-free in the future.

In the meantime, I return to designing and drawing colouring templates with drawing pencil and pens, which seem to cause very few problems with the old joints.

Half-term at last…pheweee!

It’s been a long half-term at school; eight weeks to be precise.  In that time there’s been two training days, a twilight training session. a memorial walk to raise money for school funds and the Senghenydd Mining Disaster Memorial, almost daily incidents of poor behaviour/attitude to deal with, lessons observations, book reviews (as in how well and regularly work is being marked), a consultation with my union representative, a stress-meltdown and hopefully the end of three year period of what feels like persecution/bullying in a particular situation at work (culminating in the union consultation and the stress meltdown).

I still have a pupil to be dealt with who has been making threats to physically attack me because I apparently ‘start on him’ by asking him to do his work.  How shocking is that, that I should request he stop shouting around the class, distracting others and to do his work?

Oh the joys of being a teacher.

Having said that, there are joys.  The shared smiles and laughter with pupils enjoying the lessons.  The ones whose faces light up when they see me and who never exhibit poor behaviour in my class, even though they may do in other lessons), the shared laughter with colleagues, morning breakfast with ‘the girls’, the helpfulness of the lab tech, the enthusiasm and questioning of pupils because they are interested in something, their kindness and thoughtfulness.  And so much more that it’s a shame it can become dominated by the negative things that occur and dominate my ruminating, over-analysing, over-thinking brain.

It’s been really busy for me with having to prepare work for a new course I’m running with my special needs classes, as well as teaching mainstream classes that I’ve not done for years.  It’s meant late nights at work and even bringing work home – something I avoid doing as I do not want to go down the route of being a workaholic as I was in the first decade or so of my teaching career.

This busy-ness has really eaten into my creative time.  Little art has been done, and I’m am doing my best to settle back into it in this half-term, especially as I have two contracts to create artwork for two books, though I have been waiting for direction for what the artwork is to be for a long while now.

I’ve barely stopped in the first four day so of the half-term.  I seem to be running away from time with myself.  I can struggle with being alone, feeling lonely and end up keeping moving, moving, moving to avoid it.  Today I am remaining at home and trying to get things out of the way so that I will settle to some arty pursuits, or de-stressing after the last half-term.

I do seem to be a lot more resilient than I was a year ago.  Though things can get to me (such as loneliness, lack of a sense of belonging, the constant worry I’m doing things wrong that have precipitated the situation at work that led to a stress-meltdown), I often find there’s a content ‘centre’ in me that I can access when I do things of a creative nature or things that focus my mind away from it’s rumination and negative thinking.  It’s a little easier to spot when this is happening, though I don’t always catch it in time to stop the tears, the self-loathing and the comfort eating.

I rejoined a choir I’ve been a member of since I was in school myself.  Sadly, I had to leave again once the stress levels rose as my voice was, and still is, affected by the stress.

Out of all of this, and at odd times during the last couple of months, I have managed to do some arty things.  Here’s two mandalas of mine.

Calmly Does It © Angela Porter 2013

Autumn Splendour ©Angela Porter 2013d

A different kind of mandala from me

August Mandala 9 © Angela Porter 2013

This one is a little different for me.  The colours are rather subdued for a start.  It shows the influence of my love of Romanesque architectural details, geometric patterns, natural patterns, doodly patterns, and, dare I say it, zentangles, though I do have to say the use of repeated patterns and doodly patterns has been around for thousands and thousands of years not just through the cleverly packaged and marketed brand of Zentangle!  I’ve used patterns like this in my art for a very long time, drawing on my own observations as well as those of others…

Anyway, this mandala has been created using Unipin pens, coloured pencils, a Pentel white hybrid gel pen, and gold and silver Sakura pens.  Yes, there are some very subtle metallic highlights on this one that don’t really show up in the scan.

Yet another mandala…number 6 of the month!

August Mandala 6 © Angela Porter 2013

This is approx. 17.5 x 17.5cm and was created by me using UniPin pens, Zig Art and Graphic Twin pens with water as a wash, coloured fineliner pens and coloured pencils on acid-free bristol board.

Art is my solace, even though at times I’m doing the work through tears.  Today was one of those days.  I’m really struggling with the inner critics who are beating me up so badly at the moment, and despite me trying my best to quell them, to soothe them, they are currently stronger than I am and are winning.  Art has soothed them a tad…just a tad.

Some days it’s hard to find anything to be proud of about myself, to feel I am as important and matter as much as every other person on this planet, that I’m a good person, a kind person, a caring person and so on.

On days like these, days like today, creating something pretty through my art reminds me that there is something in me, about me, that appreciates pretty things and can create pretty things and so there must be something pretty or even beautiful within me.

This one is ‘pretty’.

Astrologically pinks and greens belong to Venus, the planet of love, beauty and harmony, romance, relationships the urge to empathise and unite with others, pleasure, joy and sensuality.

The lilacs and sea-greens belong to Neptune, the planet of dreams and fantasies and helps to dissolve boundaries and change existing rules.  Neptune can also result in confusion, and confusion is often experienced during profound and/or subtle changes in thinking, rules, beliefs.  Change is never easy.

Interestingly, both planets are related to artistic pursuits and aesthetics and our own personal tastes.

Now, I’m a scientist as well as an artist and all round oddbod, so why the astrological meanings of the colours?  I find it helps me to understand the art that I create intuitively, especially the colours.  Perhaps the colours are telling me to allow the old rules of the inner critics to go and to change them, to let the boundaries they have created dissolve and in so doing let love into myself, first for myself …

Maybe … or maybe it’s just pretty!

August Mandala 4

I have just finished this.

It’s 18cm x 18cm and I used Unipin pens and coloured pencils on heavy, smooth acid-free cartridge paper.

I assert my rights as creator of this art; it may not be used or altered in any way without written permission from me.

August Mandala 4 © Angela Porter 2013

 

In creating a mandala we open ourselves to all the possibilities that exist inside and outside of us.

Carl Gustav Jung is credited with introducing the Eastern concept of the mandala to Western thought and believed this symbol represented the total personality, aka the Self. Jung noted that when a mandala image suddenly turned up in dreams or art, it was usually an indication of movement toward a new self-knowledge.

Within everyone’s psyche, to one degree or another, can be found a seed-center of the self surrounded by a chaotic maelstrom of issues, fears, passions and countless other psychological elements. It is the very disordered state of these elements that creates the discord and emotional imbalances from which too many of us suffer on a regular basis.

[From various comments on mandala’s pinned on Pinterest].