Calming Mandala

Calming Mandala ©Angela Porter | Artwyrd

A bit of a calming time was needed this morning before attending to my business of the day. I thought a mandala in blues, greens and purples would hit the mark.

I enjoy using a flexible ink pen ‘brush’ to achieve the varying line widths. This allows me to build up abstract patterns and textures quite nicely I think. I have a way to go to find my ‘voice’ with this style of art. The more I do, the more will become clear to me I’m sure.

I’m not sure that the design flows as much as in yesterday’s mandala. I wonder if that’s because I only put one rather geometric series of rings in the centre of the design.

So, Angela, how are you feeling today?

I had a tough EMDR session yesterday. Today, I feel content and upbeat but I’m realising just how tired I am mentally, despite 10 hours sleep. Yesterday’s session had a lot of body processing going on. That means stored trauma is processed via physical sensations. Yesterday those included electric shocks in my leg/foot, side, arm, pains like hooks in my shoulders, a blunt pushing/stabbing force from my stomach up towards my heart, pain in my eye. Those are just a few I remember. The pain/sensations weren’t more than I could bear, though some came close to it!

30 or 40 minutes of this is enough in a session I find, and that little amount of time out of my day is worth it for the long term benefits it brings of helping me recover from CPTSD. The tiredness I feel will pass in a day or so.

Monday Mandala

Monday Mandala ©Angela Porter | Artwyrd.com

I actually drew this one last night. My emotions were overwrought and I needed something that was calming and relaxing.

I used a digital equivalent to scratchboard art. I used my digital brushes to remove areas from the upper black layer to reveal the lower, coloured layer.

To create the more geometric areas I used the digital equivalent of fineliner pens. For the more organic lines, I used a flexible nib digital brush.

There is a kind of magic in revealing the colour hidden by the black darkness. I found myself working in a quite different way to recent mandalas; it’s going to be a technique I return to again and again I’m sure.

Digitally created using Autodesk Sketchbook Pro, Microsoft Surface Pen and Microsoft Surface Studio.

Monday musings

Monday is still EMDR therapy day for me. My emotional and mental health is generally the best it’s ever been. However, I’ve discovered that I’m still a bit too close to the edge of the abyss within which I was trapped for most of my life. I wore a well practiced mask so that few people really knew the inner struggles I had on a daily basis.

It was such a good mask that I mostly fooled myself, until I could no longer do so around ten or twelve years ago.

I thought everybody thought and felt the same way I did; I never knew any different. Now, however, I know what contentment is and what feeling happy is too.

Last week’s EMDR session floored me for around three days. I didn’t expect it to do so. Memories surfaced that I’d pushed away and they distressed me greatly. The emotional exhaustion was intense; all I wanted to do was sleep. That wasn’t possible – as well as having the Spectacular Sea Life colouring book to finish I’m involved in an intense project which requires a lot of focus and concentration of a different kind. It’s also provoking emotional responses in me that are causing me some difficulties. One of those emotional responses resulted in me running away from the internet to watch Star Wars and then to create this mandala.

I have learned how to self-soothe!

The realm of emotions is really tricky for me. For most of my life I numbed my emotions. It was a strategy that helped me to survive as a child and the unhealthy strategy continued into my adult life.

Through EMDR, I’ve discovered that I have emotions, some I never knew existed in me and I had no names for them. Which is odd, as I could always recognise those emotions in others!

Anyway, by becoming more self-aware of my body and emotions and dropping the protective mask I’m having to learn to put boundaries and barriers in place to protect myself. Learning to say no, or the clear equivalent of that little word, is not an easy task. However, I am learning.

Healing from CPTSD is a tricky process, but it really is possible! It takes time though. Well, in my case it has.

Sunday Morning Mandala

Sunday Morning Mandala ©Angela Porter | Artwyrd.com

Another day and another arty start to it! That means a quick mandala, just to get the creative juices flowing, my hand-eye coordination warmed up, and my mind and emotions gently soothed too.

There’s definitely a colour theme going on – red and white. However, this background is darker than the previous two days. It does make for a more dramatic mandala.

Now that’s done, I need to turn my attention to the Sea-Life colouring book. Yesterday, I got three templates done! I’m aiming to get the same number done today!

Saturday Morning Mandala

Saturday Morning Mandala © Angela Porter|Artwyrd.com

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.

Red and White Mandala

Red and White Mandala ©Angela Porter | Artwyrd.com

It has been so lovely to be able to draw this morning. A mandala is a lovely way to warm up my hand-eye coordination and wake up my creativity.

This is an unusual colour combination for me. The bold red contrasts so well with the white line art of the mandala. I think it creates quite a startling design.

I also like the way the beads and teardrops make the mandala seem to shine. I also like the way the fresh, new white is pushing the darkness away to reveal the brighter, vibrant red.

That’s somewhat symbolic for my challenges in life at the moment it seems. My mental and emotional health is good; the contentedness is there. I have some new challenges in life that are engaging my mind in a different kind of focus and concentration. These challenges are, symbolically, to make the world a brighter, more hopeful place.

Yesterday, my day was taken up with meetings and planning. By the time I’d done that I was too exhausted to do any art.

Today, I had a clear plan of what needed to do so I have most of the day to focus on art, starting with this mandala.

I’ll need to get a big mug of tea before I start to ‘art’!

Flowers

Flowers, Art ©Angela Porter | Artwyrd.com

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!

Monday evening

Mandala 11 November 2019 ©Angela Porter | Artwyrd.com

It’s been a bit of a crazy day. Between trying to sort out things for a project I’m involved in, some deeply tiring and seemingly powerful EMDR therapy, and a meeting to round off the day, I’ve not had much time for art. I did manage to get one template done for my ‘Splendid Sea Life’ colouring book for the Creative Haven series from Dover Publications Inc. I have also spent some self-care and self-soothing time this evening creating this relatively simple mandala.

Mandalas are incredibly soothing to draw, especially black and white line art ones with a fair amount of repeating patterns.

Digital work using Autodesk Sketchbook Pro, Microsoft Surface Pen and Microsoft Surface Studio.

I’m so tired I can barely type correctly!