Zentangle Cartouches

Over the past two or so days, I’ve not been feeling quite right. I’ve spent a lot of time cwtched up in bed, and about the only art I’ve felt like doing is small projects that I don’t feel overwhelmed by.

Zentangle Cartouches

I saw the idea of zentangle cartouches on the Zentangle YouTube channel a little while back and wanted to give them a go. I’d done one a little while ago where I’d used some vintage rose ephemera from a set of Tim Holtz’s Field Notes ephemera on a piece of natural coloured mixed media paper. I wasn’t at all sure with what I’d ended up with. However, I did want to revisit this idea once again.

So, I decided to explore the idea of cartouches once again. This time, I used smaller pieces of creamy Fabriano Medioevalis paper, which comes sized to 3.3″ x 5.2″ (85mm x 132mm), with lovely rough edges. This is really soft paper, the surface is easily damaged by using a tortillon too roughly.

I added the focal points, again from the Field Notes ephemera by Tim Holtz, along with some little quotes. The quotes are from the sets of ‘chit chat’ stickers, again by Tim Holtz. These items are in my stash from the days I messed around with mixed media, before I realised it really wasn’t quite for me. I admire what people can do with mixed media, but I just never seem to have found my way with it in a way that I’m happy with. I’m much happier wielding a pen (on paper or digitally) with love and a creative heart, than getting rather messy and frustrated with mixed media.

My Reflections on these Cartouches

Anyways, I’ve had mixed results with these experiments in cartouches. My favourite is ‘trust your crazy ideas’, closely followed by ‘be you, bravely’, then ‘treasure. ‘stay curious’ and ‘don’t forget to fly’ are very close to these in how much I like them.

‘trust your crazy ideas’ just seems to have colours and patterns that work harmoniously both with each other and with the mushrooms. Perhaps I got a little close to the motif with the pen work, something for me to consider with future projects of this ilk.

‘trust your crazy ideas and ‘be you, bravely’ are both designs that have a small number of different patterns on them.

‘treasure’ is similar in that respect, but it feels unbalanced. I think I need to consider where I put the central motif; more centrally may work in my favour. ‘stay curious’ is a much more balanced design than ‘treasure’, because I consciously decided to mirror the patterns used, even though the motif was not placed centrally.

‘don’t forget to fly’ is just not a coherent design at all. I like the borders and the seed pods around the motif, but then it all goes weird.

However, I’m really not at all pleased with ‘live gently upon this earth’. It’s incoherent, too many colours, and the words and motif are just not balanced at all. I would’ve been better with not adding the words to this one in the first place.

Actually. It may be that I don’t add the words until the design is finished, at the bottom as a kind of plaque or border, or floating over an area of the cartouche with a border around them, or just not use them at all. I need to experiment with these.

My own ephemera designs?

I also know I’m quite capable, I think, of drawing my own ‘epehemera’ to add as focal points. However, as I tend to draw at a much bigger scale, I’d either need to scan my drawing in, or draw digitally, and reduce the scale before printing them out. At this time, I have a laser printer, which is great for printing documents and so on but not so much for artwork. It changes the surface properties of the paper used. Also, I can’t use specialist art paper with the printer. If I’m going to go down this route of arty expression I think I need to consider changing this printer for an inkjet printer again, especially one that has waterproof, or at least water resistant, ink.

What to do with my artwork?

My home is increasingly becoming filled with my artwork. Most of it I have digital versions of them – either scans or photographs. I do need to decide what to do with my artwork as I really do need to let it go to new homes. Any suggestions, drop me a comment!

Also, I have a problem with putting a price on my artwork, if I were to sell it. I have absolutely no idea of what it’s value could be to other people, or even if anyone would want to purchase it. Again, any suggestions, drop me a comment! Any help or advice would be much appreciated.

Remembrance Mandala

In Flanders Fields – John McCrae

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
  That mark our place; and in the sky
  The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
  Loved and were loved, and now we lie
      In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
  The torch; be yours to hold it high.
  If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
      In Flanders fields.

Today is Remembrance Sunday, the closest Sunday to Armistice Day, 11 November 1918.

Armistice Day marks the end of World War I, at eleven minutes of the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month, 1918.

In the UK it is held to commemorate the contributions of British and Commonwealth military and civilian service men and women during both World Wars, as well as in later conflicts.

Watercolor Greeting Cards

About the artwork

I needed a quiet morning, again, today. So, I thought I’d dig out my Caran D’Ache Supracolor Soft watercolour pencils and try some stuff with them.

I wanted to use them to draw a flower, or two, and then use water to create a watercolour effect. The result you can see on the left-hand side card. I’ve left loads of white space on this card, which is unusual for me. I couldn’t resist, however, adding some gold dots around the flowers. The colour of the petals was so delicate that I used a 2H 3mm pencil to outline them and the leaves. Just for info, the piece of watercolour paper measures 4″ x 4″.

For the other cards, I just wanted to work with the pencils to create gradients and abstract patterns in colour. I drew on the little panels using a 0.25 Copic Multiliner SP pen and added some lines and details with metallic gold watercolour. These cards are approx 3″ x 4″ in size.

Watercolor pencils are nice to use when it comes to drawing in colour with them, then activiating the colour with water. They really glow on 100% cotton rag paper (bottom right) compared to the other cellulose papers.

Cute and whimsical cards, some very detailed, one not quite so. But a nice way to spend my morning.

Self-care time, again.

There’s a situation going on around me that is draining my emotions greatly at this time. I’m doing my best to not become overly emotionally involved in it, but it’s difficult when it’s to do with people you care about.

It all has a knock on effect with me. I’m anxious, tired verging on exhausted, really grumpy, irritable, and lacking patience at this time. I’m also not able to concentrate too well. These are all behaviours I could do without in dealing with this situation. Yet I’m exhausted by it.

I have been meditating, making sure I take time to do self-calming and self-soothing activities, such as my morning art, Though I have work to do for contracts, I need to take a day away from everything, if I can.

I know there are lessons for me to learn about myself in how I’m reacting ot the situation, stuff from my past that wasn’t processed during my EMDR therapy. If I can work out what it is, I can work through it myself now. Organising EMDR therapy isn’t possible at this time, with lockdown still very much in operation and me being very nervous of going out into the world as well.

So, I’m going to make time today to drink tea, meditate, journal and try to get to the bottom of my own issues and start doing what I can to work through them and heal the past traumas that are causing my reactions at this time.

I think I’ll also take time to crochet (I started a mosaic blanket earlier this week) and watch films or crafting shows on the TV. Eat healthily – I have a yearning for brussel sprouts, of all things! And take time away from social media and news. I may even pick up my flute and play it, for the first time in months and months.

Flower?

I’ve spent several hours exploring and trying ideas out in the realms of both digital and abstract art, and this is the result.

I’m really not at all sure about it in any shape or form. I think I was influenced by watching a few YouTube videos about mixed media and abstract art.

It’s been an “interesting” time, as well as a frustrating time in some ways. I also have a bit issue with choice of colours.

I’m pleased to say that I’ve calmed down an awful lot from the stresses of the last week or so. I actually slept for nearly 12 hours last night, which happens once all the adrenaline/cortisol have left my body. It’s nice to be back to my ‘normal’ state of contentment.

Template Thursday

Coloring Template ©Angela Porter | Artwyrd.com

It’s Thursday again, and one more week of quarantine is behind us. That means one week of lockdown ahead of us. Feeling sad about all those who are sick or who have died as as a result of the sanctions, but the sanctions have kept others safe from Covid-19, thus reducing serious illness from the virus, or death.

As another week has gone by, it’s time for another template for the members of the Angela Porter’s Coloring Book Fans facebook group.

As always, the template is available free to members of the group, which is also free to join. So, if you would like to colour it, meet some like-minded people, and share your colourings with us, pop over the the group and join in!

I drew and partially coloured today’s template digitally using Autodesk Sketchbook Pro. I needed to draw a mandala to soothe me. I’m tired today and feeling ‘meh’. That is reflected in my colour choices.

Sunday morning mandala

Mandala © Angela Porter | Artwyrd.com

It’s a sunshiny morning in South Wales. A welcome respite from the rain we’ve experienced most of the week. The cleanup and return to ‘normal’ continue after the flooding that occurred just one week ago.

I had no idea what I would create this morning, other it would be a mandala.

I drew and painted the design digitally using Autodesk Sketchbook Pro along with a Surface Slim Pen and Surface Studio, both from Microsoft.

This one has the floral centrepiece with a zentangle-style background. The flower is an unusual colour choice for me; I tend not to use corals and red tones much. It’s easy enough to change colours digitally, but I went with it, knowing that my colour choice reflects how I’m feeling at this point in time.

Yes, I do tend to create rather intuitively. This design didn’t start with a sketch, but with the first shape to be drawn, which was reminiscent of a petal. The rest of the design grew from there.

I’m surprising myself with how I’m able to ‘paint’ digitally. I enjoy creating more stylised forms, but with added texture and contrast to bring them to life. I know I’m not an expert at this; however, each time I work in this way, I learn more.

Today’s big lesson was how to save a brush style I’d edited and liked as a new brush for my brush library.

I’m glad I’m learning and developing my digital art voices and styles and that it’s happening slowly over time and as my needs demand. I know if I watched videos or followed tutorials on how all this worked, I would become incredibly overwhelmed and frustrated.

I also know that by watching what others do, I would likely be tempted to emulate their style and way of working.

I need to work out my own style/voice and be comfortable with it.
So, I’m not putting any pressure on myself to do something that I’m not yet ready for or haven’t had an awareness of what I could do.

Lalochezia

Lalochezia © Angela Porter | Artwyrd.com

I have a life-long fascination with words and facts that appeal to my curious, squirrel-y mind. I like unusual words. I also like etymology – the origins of words.

Since my first episode of severe mental ill-health due to burnout and cPTSD, I’ve found it difficult to read and retain information as I once used to as well as to recall information that was once on the tips of my neurons.

I’m finding it much easier to read and retain some of what I’ve read, thank goodness! And with that comes a desire to seek out interesting words and facts once again.

Lalochezia comes from the Greek ‘lalia’, meaning speech, and the Latin ‘chezo’, meaning to relieve oneself.

I admit, quite freely, to lalochezia. Not just for physical pain, but emotional pain too. There’s nothing quite like a swear word full of hard consonants to express the pain, frustration or upset verbally.

A friend of mine is constantly amused by my use of swear words even though I sound ‘quite posh’, according to her anyway. I thought of her when I found this particular word and just knew I had to use it for one of my ‘quote’ artworks.

The floral motif is influenced by Art Nouveau. It is highly stylised but there’s also the influence of Celtic knotwork in the way the foliage intertwines and overlaps.

The typography was completed using Affinity Publisher. The artwork was completed in Autodesk Sketchbook Pro. In both cases I used a Microsoft Surface Studio and Microsoft Surface Pen.

Flower Mandala

Flower Mandala © Angela Porter | Artwyrd.com

This morning’s warm up art is this mandala featuring some flowers as well as some zentangle and geometric patterns.

I’m not entirely sure this works, but sometimes an idea just has to be tried out. The flowers are a bit ‘flat’. The zendala/mandala background may be a bit too busy or just not the right colour. I’m really not at all sure.

However, whether it’s worked out or not, it’s been a relaxing process. It’s always pleasant to create for the sake of creating, and also working digitally too.

I used Autodesk Sketchbook Pro, Microsoft Surface Pen and Microsoft Surface Studio to create this design.

Mandala – WIP

Mandala WIP ©Angela Porter | Artwyrd.com

This is the centre ring of a mandala I’m working on. I have no idea how the rest of it will turn out, but I’m quite happy with this first part, though I may add some bits and bobs to it, or maybe not.

I really do enjoy creating mandalas. The symmetry and rhythm of the designs that result appeal to heart and soul.

I love mandalas made out of geometric patterns, but I also like to create ones made from organic motifs and lines too. This mandala is likely to be one of the latter, though I suspect I’ll be trying out some more geometric patterns here and there through the design. Whether they remain in the finished piece is a different matter!

I’m working digitally using my preferred trifecta of Autodesk Sketchbook Pro, Microsoft Surface Pen and Microsoft Surface Studio.

As always, it’s a soothing process to create art. And I need some soothing today. A people-y evening last night has left me with an ‘introvert hangover’, and some quiet, self-care time is needed. Along with some painkillers to deal with the headache!

Flower quote #2

Flower Quote #2. Artwork © Angela Porter | Artwyrd.com

I just had to rework the flower from yesterday, and this is what I came up with. I’m much happier with it for sure. I like the soft, almost velvety texture I’ve achieved with the flower.

Looking at it this morning, with fresh eyes, I think the typography could be a little smaller. However, I’m much happier with this one.