Digital doodlies

Digital Doodlies ©Angela Porter 2019
Digital Doodlies ©Angela Porter 2019

I had a little bit of fun this morning after watching a video by creationsceecee on YouTube.

Rather than using traditional watercolours, I thought I’d try the idea out digitally.

I’m still very much learning and finding my ‘style’ when it comes to digital art. I haven’t really done much with watercolour brushes, so thought this a brilliant idea to try some watercolour brushes out as well as to practice drawing digitally.

Yes, practice digital drawing. Although it is almost exactly like drawing on paper it’s also slightly different, different enough that it’s good to draw regularly using digital media.

Anyway. I started with water colour ‘blobs’, trying out different watercolour brushes in Autodesk Sketchbook Pro. The colours came from the blue-violet Copic colour palette.

Finally, I drew patterns on top of the blobs using a fine watercolour brush with black and white paints.

I said I had a bit of fun, and it was fun. I’m not so sure I like all of the results. the ones I don’t like are where smooth black outlines have resulted. All the same, it was fun to do and to try something new out too.

My tools for this artwork were Autodesk Sketchbook Pro, Microsoft Surface Pen and Microsoft Surface Studio.

I know Friday is usually dangle day and there’s still time in the day for me to get a dangle design done.

So Angela, how are you today?

Tired, but content enough. At this moment, I’d like to go back to bed and sleep some more. However, that’s not possible as I’m taking my younger sister out for a couple of hours.

I’m finding it hard to wend my way to the shower and get myself tidied up to pop out. That’s me just feeling tired, I think. But there may be something else going on with me too. Perhaps some anxiety about going out for lunch.

Hmm. Yes, there’s anxiety. Even though I know it will be just fine, I’m still all anxious about leaving the safety of my home and venturing out into the big, wide, people-y world.

Damn you CPTSD and the inner critic. I wish I could catch what you’re speaking to me at the moment so I can work on disempowering you.

There’s a ‘well done, Angela’ for me too for spotting that I’m feeling this way and for noticing how strong it is as I spot it. Yes, it’s intensified and is making me feel sick.

Oh, the joys of anxiety. Still, I won’t let it stop me going out for lunch with my sister, so it’s time to go shower and stuff.

Relax. Slow down. WIP

Relax. Slow down © Angela Porter 2019 - Artwyrd.com
Relax. Slow down © Angela Porter 2019 – Artwyrd.com

I think I’ve finished the line art for this one, and it’s definitely a work in progress. I need to erase the pencil guidelines, scan in edit any smudges out and then think about adding colour.

It seems I have a kind of series going on here – words/phrases added to my drawings.

Entangled Inspiration – WIP

Entangled Inspiration 25 May 2019 © Angela Porter - Artwyrd.com
Entangled Inspiration 25 May 2019 © Angela Porter – Artwyrd.com

I’ve been working on this one over the past couple of days, when I’ve felt up to it.

I’m fairly pleased with it, though I’m not sure I should’ve added the upside down mushrooms. I guess if they really don’t work with fresh eyes then I can always remove them using some digital wizardry.

I wanted to use the words ‘The magic of colour’ as a nod towards my coloring books and the people who bring my drawings to life by adding colour; they really do work some magic!

As lovely as the black and white line drawings are, even with shadows added, it is colour that really brings them to life for sure.

But there’s another kind of magic that goes on when people lose themselves in coloring or creating, and that’s the magic of relaxing and giving the brain a break from thinking.

I get that when I draw or colour.

My challenge to myself in this one is again to leave some white space.

The drawing and hand lettering has been done with Uniball Unipin pens on Winsor and Newton Bristol Board (A4 in size, roughly US letter size).

There’s more to be done with this drawing yet; I particularly want to incorporate some of the patterns and textures I’ve observed and recorded during my visits to the National Museum of Wales in Cardiff and Kilpeck Church near Hereford.

How am I feeling today?

I’m flat. Tired. Lacking oompf. Part of me is content enough but part of me is sad. It’s weird, but that’s how it feels.

I’m still experiencing the ripples/waves from the tsunamis of therapy and the person trying to tell me I don’t need therapy last Sunday. I really don’t want to leave my home today.

If that’s what I need to do to look after myself, then I need to accept it’s ok to stay at home.

I am tired as well as I had an evening out with some friends – a pub meal and chitter chatter until nearly midnight. Even though it was with a small group of people and it was a nice evening I’m absolutely drained today.

So, to take care of my emotions and mental health I need that quiet time again. I may play my flute, crochet, draw, read. I may also nap later on as I’m so tired. I’ll see. Napping may make me be up until the wee small hours.

So that’s how I am this day. A weird mixture of contentedness and sadness. This healing journey from CPTSD is full of weird twists and turns, ups and downs, but on the whole it’s definitely moving forwards and upwards. EMDR is really my panacea for CPTSD.

June dangle design

June Dangle Design © Angela Porter 2019 - Artwyrd.com
June Dangle Design © Angela Porter 2019 – Artwyrd.com

It’s dangle day Friday!

Elsewhere on the interwebs it’s #furbabyfriday, but here, in the tiny corner of the web that is Artwyrd.com it’s dangle day.

It’s getting close to the end of May, so I thought today I’d create a dangle design for June. This would work really well as the monthly cover page for a BuJo or in a scrapbook, journal, planner, diary, greeting card, or anything else you can image it being used.

I did sketch this out in pencil on paper, but then I re-drew, hand lettered and coloured digitally using my usual trifecta of Microsoft Surface Pen, Microsoft Surface Studio and Autodesk Sketchbook Pro.

On Wednesday I had a trip to Hereford for a meeting in the evening. On the way I stopped at my most favourite Romanesque church in Kilpeck to do some drawing. I included some patterns based on this visit in the charms and also the border under the plant pots.

As the Summer Solstice occurs in June, I wanted to include a lovely golden Sun, as well as plenty of golden tones. Also, the clear blues of summer skies and the aquas of sea and lake were a must as well. Cacti, succulents and flowering plants reside in the simple plant pots, with simple monograms on each pot. Of course I have beads and a heart as part of the design too.

I added a textured background upon which I layered a drop shadow for the dangle design.

So many ways that this design could be coloured. I’m quite happy with my design. I’m certainly happy with the line art, but I’m really not confident about my choices of colours. I do feel I’m struggling with colour at the moment.

A Dangle A Day” is my tutorial book that shows you how, step by step, to create dangle designs.

My CPTSD healing journey

Wednesday I was surprisingly content and managed to stop at Kilepeck Church, just outside Hereford. I usually visit the church once a year to soak up the awe and wonder and joy I feel looking at the Romanesque sculpture of this tiny three celled church.

I had my Dingbats quadrille A5 notebook with me, which is my current sketchbook. I spent a happy or or so inside the church taking my time to look at patterns and textures and to deconstruct then reconstruct them in thumbnail sketches.

It was really quiet and serene there; just what I needed.

Also, I’d packed up a light meal in a cool bag so I could have a late tea before going on to my meeting in the evening. I thought this was wise as the problems I have eating out when on my own could preclude me getting something to eat/drink. I found somewhere quiet with lovely views to park up and enjoy my light meal and some more quiet time.

My evening was long and I didn’t return home until nearly midnight. The stress being around people I don’t know also took its toll on me. So yesterday I was wiped out yet again.

I had to find my strength to get out to go and vote in the EU elections and to do some shopping, but this absolutely drained me.

When I’m this tired it is all too easy for me to be emotionally fragile and for this to impact on my mental health.

I caught myself having thoughts that were very unkind and hateful towards myself at times yesterday.

I’m still tired today, but feeling a bit more emotionally resilient. I’ve found the confidence to create art, something I didn’t have yesterday.

The ripples from EMDR and other stuff over the past couple of weeks still have energy, sometimes they’re more like storm waves. Storms pass. Waters calm eventually, with ripples that are easy to ride.

I think I’ve had a couple of storm waves approaching the size of tsunamis in the past couple of weeks and they’ve really drained me.

However, it’s all part of the healing journey. After all, I am a lot better now than I was a few weeks ago, a few months ago, a year ago, a few years ago …

“I can do this” – finished drawing

"I can do this" finished drawing © Angela Porter 2019 - Artwyrd.com
“I can do this” finished drawing © Angela Porter 2019 – Artwyrd.com

Drawing finished

I have, finally, finished this particular drawing. I managed to keep to my challenge of leaving some white space in the design. I did let the design spill over the pencil guidelines I’d drawn for the size of artwork. I then digitally trimmed it within those lines before applying the black and white borders. I do like to define the space within which my drawings and designs reside, that’s for sure. It’s like a window into my imagination, my mind, my intuitive creativity, how all the little things I have observed and imagine just blend and meld into a crazily layered, intricately pattern and yet flowing design that is always quite pretty.

You can’t have too much pretty patterns in this world I think.

I think it’s too detailed and fussy as a coloring template, though I may add some colour to it at some point in time. Before I think about doing that, though, I have an idea for another drawing with some hand lettering on it.

The drawing is a little less than A4 in size (US letter). It has been drawn with Tombow Fudenosuke and Uniball Unipin pens on Winsor and Newton Bristol Board.

My mental and emotional health

Monday I spent mostly in tears after the busy week and the emotional upsets of Sunday. In therapy we just talked about what happened and how I was feeling and thinking about myself and that I need to be a lot kinder to and caring of myself. It was also suggested I need to be a lot more accepting of where I am on my healing journey and not beat myself up for not being able to get out and about much by myself, even when I may want to.

I came home and slept until 2am, then went back to sleep a couple of hours later and slept through until mid morning yesterday, which was then followed by a very quiet day at home crocheting and drawing before yet another nap in the afternoon.

I slept for many hours last night too, and I’m still feeling exhausted. With exhaustion I am emotionally fragile and vulnerable too.

So, much of today will be spent quietly. I do have to head up to Hereford this evening, however. I’m debating whether to go a little early so I can spend a little time at Kilpeck church – my favourite church in the whole wide world. A tiny two celled Romanesque church, almost untouched by time. I’ll see how I feel as the day progresses and whether I manage to find a little oompf. After all, the church has been there for nearly one thousand years, I don’t think it’s going to go anywhere soon!

Entangled Art and World Mental Health Awareness Week 2019

Entangled Art 14 May 2019 © Angela Porter - Artwyrd.com
Entangled Art 14 May 2019 © Angela Porter – Artwyrd.com

Entangled Art

Another drawing today. Approx 6″ x 6″ (15cm x 15cm) drawn with Tombow Fudenosuke and Uniball Unipin pens.

Therapy day today

I’ve been struggling a little the past couple of days. I’m feeling quite emotional and I’m rather anxious about being out where there are people.

It’s World Mental Health Awareness Week and this year’s theme is body image. That theme is provoking some emotional upset with me.

Or maybe it’s that we started working on a situation when I was visiting somewhere and I ended up in full flight mode.

It was late lunch-time and I was really hungry. So, I went to cafe I’ve been to in the past. When I got there I couldn’t go in the door. I was convinced I was so fat that I’d not fit and if I did I’d not manage to anywhere in there.

I turned tail and dashed back to my car and drove nearly 100 miles home without stopping for a drink or food. Luckily I had a bottle of water in the car as I was really thirsty.

Since I was six years old and I broke my leg I’ve been overweight ever since. I’m the best part of 6″ tall and I’m uncertain of my dress size as I tend to buy clothes that are a bit too big for me in the belief they’d hide me. I’m probably somewhere between a UK size 18 and 22 – it depends on the style of clothes and the type of clothing.

Any ways, I was horribly bullied as a child – about my weight, about my appearance, about me being me. I was an easy target for bullies, they sniff out a victim and it matters not how old you are. I’ve been bullied throughout my adult life by people of all ages, genders and backgrounds.

These people included my mother, her father and other family members. I grew up believing I was stupid, fat, ugly and that no one loves me or would love me, that I’d never have friends and I was never as good as anyone else, just to name a few of the negative beliefs I still carry about myself, even if there is evidence to the contrary.

So, it was quite natural that I developed a lot of social anxiety and would hide myself away even as a child.

There were times when I was put on diets. My mother forced me to go to weight watchers when I was about 9 or 10 years old. Every fad diet that came along, she put me on it. I remember one which involved an inch of cucumber and one hard boiled egg three times a day. I was handed these things, told to eat them and then go up to my bedroom while everyone else had a proper meal.

It felt like a punishment not love. I was excluded, yet again, from the family, and when the diets didn’t work or I ‘cheated’ due to gnawing hunger and the need to emotionally feed myself something, I was yet again a failure, useless, good for nothing, and embarrassment.

At the same time, everyone else in the family was praised for having good appetites and eating huge meals, and I was given completely the opposite message.

I have always been an emotional eater. There was never love and affection for me, only loathing and ridicule and scapegoating and negative messages. Food would help me swallow down the emotions so I could keep a happy smile on my face, even though inside I was crying and screaming and wishing myself dead.

I grew up believing I was ugly. I grew up hating my body. I grew up unable to do anything about my emotional eating, my weight as whenever I did I felt like I was punishing myself again and again and again. I tried diet after diet after diet. About the only thing that has worked was finishing with the long ago ex! Without him my weight plummeted quite naturally and I eventually was at the thinnest I ever have been in my adult life, around a UK size 16 to 18.

I am often ashamed of myself, of being overweight that I avoid leaving my home, going out where there are people, scared of what people might think or say to me.

I’m embarrassed to eat in public when I’m by myself often. Even if I’m hungry I can find it really hard to go into a cafe that is really familiar to me. I may be brave enough to pick up something I can eat while sat in my car or driving.

The odd thing is that if I’m with a friend or my sister I can manage to go out and eat, even somewhere that’s not familiar. I find some bravery.

But when I’m by myself the story can be very different. At it’s best I’m able to venture into a new cafe in a new place and have something to eat. At it’s worst I end up in full flight mode and cut my visit short to head back to my car and then home – both safe places for me.

I rarely have ever spoken about this to anyone. In this day of ‘fat shaming’ and the hyper-judgemental face of society projected in the tabloid press, TV, the media in general and social media in particular it is very difficult to speak out,, especially seeing the way people who do speak out against the stereotypes and stigma and discrimination that abounds.

You see, there’s a story behind each person. You have no idea why they are overweight. It’s rarely as simple as eating too much and not being active enough. You have no idea what inner battles that person is having with themselves, what they believe about themselves, why they’re unable to change things because are other more painful things that are being buried by literally swallowing them down with food.

Perhaps this is why it’s so important to speak out. To try to change the tendency to make a sweeping judgement about someone and to try to see past that and try to understand that they are fighting battles you know nothing about, how hard it is to put a brave face on and step out into the world and act with confidence even though, in my case, I just want to run back to my safe home.

It tires me out everytime I go out into the world, even when I’m with people I love, as I battle to keep my smiling face, to hold back the tears and the anxiety, to do the things that so many people take for granted.

It’s only in the last week or so I’ve recognised a bit of the depth of my issues with my body and how I see myself. It’s the focus of EMDR therapy at the moment, and it’s not likely to be an easy one to do. I was shocked last week at the number of memories that have come back relating to the one episode of flight mode that cover not just recent times but right back to my early years.

My goals for this phase of EMDR are that I can view myself a bit more kindly, with some more compassion and understanding for myself. I can show other people this, always have done. However, showing the same for myself is a whole different kettle of fish.

I don’t judge other people by their appearance, but self-judgement is sometimes crippling. An internal struggle, battle that is invisible to others.

I’ve only touched the surface here of how I’m affected by this. I have a lot more to uncover and release and to change how I think and feel about myself. I think I can do enough so I think I’m good enough as a person.

Good enough. That’s my main goal. To view myself as a good enough human being and to have a good enough life full of rich experience, whether that is being able to leave my home to have a cuppa in a familiar cafe or to travel to further afield places that are new to me and to be able to leave my car and explore them.

To undo some if not most or even all of the damage to my mental and emotional health throughout my life that has led to me developing CPTSD (complex post traumatic stress disorder).

Monogram I – 13/05/19


Monogram I © Angela Porter 2019 – Artwyrd.com

Tombow Fudenosuke and Uniball Unipin pens on Bristol Board.

Approx 6″ x 6″ (15cm x 15cm) in size.

I think this one is my favourite so far. I feel almost like I’m finding my feet with them. I suppose time will tell with that though, like everything I guess.