Template Thursday

Another week of the pandemic

How are you all doing and coping with the continuing pandemic and the public health restrictions in place?

Here in Wales, our Senedd (Welsh Parliament) has been slowly easing the restrictions, pausing after each one to see how it affects the rate of transmission before easing more restrictions.

I, like many others, don’t leave my home often. I did go out for a walk in the fresh, sunshiny and windy morning. It was so nice out and moving my body around. I am still very nervous of being around people, so I go to a big cemetery near me where I know I will encounter few people. It’s a very quiet, serene space too, and nature flourishes quite wonderfully there as well.

Template Thursday

Each Thursday marks another week of the continuing Covid19 crisis, and so I make a new freebie colouring template available in the Angela Porter’s Coloring Book Fans facebook group. There are some terms and conditions relating to the use of the template.

This week, I have a typically ‘entangled’ style of template for people to colour. As well as some cute winged stars, botanicals, arches, spirals, feathers, crystals and clouds, I’ve also included some hand drawn typography. Let me know what you think of using typography as a way of adding pattern to the arches.

If you download the template and colour it, don’t forget to tag me in your coloured version if you share it on social media! I always love to see how people colour my templates and bring them to life.

Above all else, take care of yourselves.

Sunday tangling

Sunday Tangling ©Angela Porter | Artwyrd.com

This morning, I was in the mood to do a bit of tangling/zentangling. I used a random tangle pattern generator to choose the main pattern for my design and it threw ‘Purk’ at me.

Yesterday, I spent some time creating some backgrounds digitally. So, I decided to use one of those and to tangle digitally too. This is the result.

It took me a lot longer to finish than if I’d drawn with pen on paper. Mainly because I spent time adding shading and highlights to the image. That let me play around with different kinds of layers and brush effects yet again. Bit by bit I’m learning how I can make them work for me.

I need a break from this for a while. But I can see how I need to add more shadow/depth to the background patterns.

So, Angela, how’re you doing today?

I’ve suddenly come over all tired. My sleep is all over the place. Despite me feeling content, there’s still a deep seated anxiety about the pandemic and how life is at the moment. That anxiety is draining me emotionally. I feel emotionally out of sorts today, even though I can still feel that contented touchstone inside me.

I’m surprised I settled to do some drawing this morning. Yesterday, I had trouble settling to anything to the point I was going to throw out my yarn stash. Whatever I’ve tried in terms of knitting or crochet has just frustrated the heck out of me rather than settled me down.

I found myself swearing at my phone yesterday as it pinged with alerts. I’ve now put my phone on silent. I will check in on messages etc in a short while, but they are going to be silenced until I am no longer getting so angry I’m swearing and shouting at the phone. I’ve never done that before and it’s a sign of how much on edge I am, even though I feel content.

Yesterday and today I’ve not known what to do with myself. I’ve not felt that way for a long while for such an extended period of time. There was a time when I’d be like this for days or months. I’ve not often felt this way in the past year or two as my healing from cPTSD has really kicked in.

Still, I will be kind to myself about this as these are unusual times; unfamiliar with increased fear, anxiety and uncertainty. The last day or two my usual coping strategies haven’t helped me to distance myself from the overwhelming pervasiveness of constant news and articles, posts and memes about the Covid-19 pandemic.

It’s not just a break from my phone I need; it’s a break from the news and views too. A retreat from the world and everything is needed. For a while at least.

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.

Mandala and musings

I love being by myself, having solitude, not having the pressure to be ‘social’. That part is natural for me.

Oddly, I miss the option of just popping out for a short while unless it’s absolutely necessary. I will need some time in nature soon, with my camera, unless we’re denied that bit of freedom.

The freedom to choose what to do without feeling guilty or worrying about my choice is what I’m missing.

The artist/creative in me will always have things to do – drawing, digital art, crochet, needle felting, cross stitching and more.

As well as being an artist, I am also a scientist. So having reliable facts can help me understand this disease and its effects.

I’m also curious, so I will always find things to read or watch that satisfy my curiosity.

The part of me that still has cPTSD tends towards anxiety and depression is much smaller and has less of a hold on me and most of the time, I am content.

Today, for the first time in this crisis, I’ve felt weepy, sad, worried for the various layers of society, occupations and the world itself. For those who are scared of how people are reacting. For those who are scared of contracting CoViD-19, and scared that their loved ones may. For those who are suffering the illness, struggling to live, and for those who are losing that fight. For those who are scared because there’s no clear direction being given by our leaders. For those who are scared that because they are vulnerable or old they may just be allowed to die as if their lives, their presence in the lives of others, is of no value.

I can’t even find the words to express my feelings and abstract thoughts/images that I have about this. I want to be eloquent, expressive, and can’t find a way to do so with words. The curse of one with introverted feelings, as well as feelings and thoughts that can be very abstract too.

I feel so sorry that there is so little I can do personally, other than not be a panic buyer, to avoid social contact, to be responsible, so I don’t put a strain on resources and services.

I am but one person and one counted as ‘vulnerable’; I have underlying chronic health conditions. So, I feel helpless to help more, and that increases my sense of guilt and helplessness.

One thing I do know that helps me manage my emotions, my thoughts is art. So, I will try to help others through my art. Through creating pretty things to bring a smile and warmth to people’s hearts. Through finding ways to encourage their own creativity. By producing more frequent coloring templates for people to download and color via a Facebook group for ‘fans’ of my coloring books.

Perhaps this is a bit more than very little, I don’t know. Maybe by us all doing a little to help, it adds up collectively to a lot to help those who have more significant roles to play in this crisis – doctors, nurses, porters, cleaners, shop workers, delivery drivers, farmers, emergency services, and so many more – and I thank each and every one of you more than you will ever know.