Template Thursday (…on a Saturday?)

I was without broadband from early Thursday morning until late yesterday afternoon. Hence the reason why this is late and I’ve not posted for a couple of days.

I did have internet access via my mobile phone and I used a mobile-hotspot so I could get online on my ‘puter. But, even on 4G, it was a tad slow on uploading and I have no idea if it would have coped with Zoom.

So, after a couple of meetings since it has been fixed, I’ve been able to finally scan and partly colour and post this week’s coloring template for the Angela Porter’s Coloring Book Fans facebook group.

This week it’s another typically ‘Angela’ entangled style of drawing. I used a Sakura Pigma Sensei 04 pen and A4 Bristol paper to draw this. After scanning, I added the background and some shadow and highlight.

Zentangle – y art

The result of a duvet day…zentangle entangled type of art. Lots of botanics and abstract patterns.

Materials:
6″ square Strathmore Artists Tile – Smooth Bristol Vellum coloured with Distress Inks
05 and 01 Sakura Pigma Micron pens
Sanguine, light sepia and white Daler-Rowney Artists Sketching pencils and some tortillons.

Template Thursday (on a Wednesday)!

The template

I’ve created this week’s template for the Angela Porter’s Coloring Book Fans facebook group a day early this week.

This has been drawn with a Sakura Micron 05 pen on smooth, heavyweight cartridge paper (acid-free of course). I’ve added the background and colour digitally, keeping to a wintry, night-time kind of theme. Of course, this will work for any season at all, and any time of day.

As always, I look forward to seeing all the amazing, colourful interpretations of this template.

Taking a big of a break

I may not be as active on social media over the next few days. Christmas and New Year are difficult times of year for me emotionally and mentally and I know taking myself off into a largely Christmas-free bubble helps me drift through this time, as well as deal with anything that may creep in and cause some upset in me.

I know I’m not the only person who has difficulties with their emotional and mental health this year. Given all that has happened in the world this year, the huge number of people who have passed away during the pandemic and measures taken for people to keep themselves and their families free of Covid at this time, many more than usual will be struggling.

Being by myself at this time of year is not new to me, nor is withdrawing from the world at this time. I find it exhausting to keep up a mask of seasonal jollity when I feel anything but that. I find it easier to deal with whatever finds its way into my safe-bubble. It’s easier to deal with being alone if I do my best to carry on as normal.

I’m aware of what things I can do to self-care and self-soothe. Art. Music. Books, Films. TV. Naps. Nice food. Meditation.

Do you have a list? Have you learned to give yourself permission to take care of yourself, give yourself time and space to self-soothe?

Learning to give yourself permission to look after yourself, even if it means saying ‘no’ or setting limits, is one of the hardest things to do. And it takes a lot of practice. But it is one of the most important things we can learn to do.

I remind myself this is for just a few days a year, and that soon after the celebrations are done, life returns to ‘normal’, whatever that is in these pandemic times.

Saturday morning art

A different work in progress today. I started this one late last night and continued for a while after breakfast this morning. I used a Pilot G-Tec C4 pen, which has a very fine tip, on white acid-free cartridge paper (the camera flash has turned it a creamy colour, I have no idea why!).

It is always a pleasurable experience to draw with such a fine pen and to created such detailed and intricate designs. No real thought or planning, just trusting my intuitive creative instincts.

Purely abstract drawing, using my favourite shapes, motifs and texture patterns, along with a few new motifs that have developed as I’ve drawn this. It looks like a weird assemblage of bits and pieces, mechanical and sculptural, botanical and textural.

Assemblage is a fairly good way to describe my signature style of drawing. There are layers of all kinds of bits and pieces – flowers, mechanical tubes and pieces, textural areas, pipes, sculptural bits and bobs, seeds or berries and curls.

What is hidden beneath the various layers? Where did all the bits and pieces come from? What was disassembled or broken to liberate the pieces? Who or what did the disassembling, and why? What new things could they be assembled into? What dream fragments, story parts of my unconscious mind do they represent?

I can spot various influences in the bits and bobs present in the drawing – Mayan sculpture, dials and mechanical levers, pipes and conduits, discs and berry lights, flowers and seeds, textures and patterns, arches and columns, rocks and strata.

What do you see in this drawing? Leave me a comment, I would be intrigued to know!

Starry Skies

This morning I woke and picked up the workload for the latest colouring book I’m working on. I completed drawing one template – first a sketch on paper, then inked digitally. After that, I thought it would be fun to colour a section in and share. So I’ve done so.

I’ll be quietly arting for the rest of the day. I had a broken night’s sleep back and forth to the toilet to either vomit or …well, I don’t need to detail that! My tummy feels better at the moment, but I’m tired.

Having quiet time is not a problem. I live alone. We’re on lockdown here in Wales, so staying home as much as possible is a requirement. I tend to stay home as much as possible anyway.

Anyway, I’ll be quietly researching references for the templates for the next book and creating my own reference sketches, as well as writing down ideas as they occur to me, and, hopefully, thumbnail sketches of ideas for templates, for as long as I can keep awake, anyway.

Template Thursday

Thursdays seem to cycle round fairly quickly at this time. And as it’s Thursday, there’s a new template for members of the Angela Porter’s Coloring Book Fans facebook group.

Here, in the Valleys of South Wales, the sun is shining, autumn is gradually taking over the land and Hallowe’en is fast approaching. So, this week’s template has some Hallowe’en elements to it. It’s also a cute and whimsical template for people to have fun with colour.

Tuesday Mandala

Another day, and the inner need to create a mandala. I’m not entirely sure about this one. Whether it’s the red colour I’ve chosen, or the dense texture of the widest ring, or something else.

It may not be the mandala itself, but how I’m feeling today and how the mandala is, perhaps, a reflection of that.

Perhaps I’m just trying to read too much into it.

Though I’m not too sure about the finished mandala, the process of creating it was pleasant, calming, satisfying in it’s own right. Maybe as the day goes on the mandala will reveal more about myself today.

Weekend WIP

This drawing is very much a work in progress. It’s being worked with black Unipin and Sakura Micron pens. When it’s complete, I will scan it in again, add a background, along with shading and highlights.

There’s some motifs in here inspired by fossils, others by flora and nature, and others that are purely abstract in nature.

Art is one of my self-care activities that help me manage my mental and emotional wellbeing. I mention this as it is World Mental Health Day #WMHD #WMHD2020 and, ironically, I need to do a fair amount of self-care today.

There’s plenty of information and advice out there on the internet. If you are struggling with your mental or emotional wellbeing, or if you just want to learn more about good mental and emotional health, ideas for how to look after it, then I’d encourage you to do a google and/or seek professional help.

We all have physical health and if something goes wrong with us physically, we don’t think twice about seeking out medical help and advice.

We all have mental and emotional health too. Yet too few of us will seek out help and advice when we need it due to the stigma and/or discrimination that cloud mental and emotional health.

It is high time that seeking help and advice for mental and emotional ill health was as natural and normal as seeking help for physical ill-health.

Paleotober 2020 – Fossils

An entangled smorgasbord of fossils, stylised fossils, and some of my favourite patterns and motifs.

I enjoyed creating this one, though I feel I rushed the highlights and shadows a bit. However, I can always go back and edit or re-work them. I’m so much happier adding those highlights and shadows digitally than I am with Copics or other media.

Today, my colour scheme is monochrome, with many shades of grey, along with black and white. Those colours echo a conversation I’ve been having about how life isn’t always black and white, that sometimes no matter how you try to find the right path, make the right decisions, not everyone will agree, either totally or in part.

Art is something I do mainly for my own pleasure. Yes, I do work on adult colouring books, but within the broad topic it’s up to me what I create. I guess enough people like my art as I’m asked time and again to create another book and another.

My biggest problem is believing in myself, recognising that what I do is good enough, and that my own way of expressing myself, in drawings like this one, is good enough too. This way of drawing comes all too easy to me, and that lack of struggle makes me think it’s not worthy of consideration.

That is why I end up experimenting with different media, different ways of creating art, of expressing myself. Yet I always return to this style.

In the past, I’ve described it as my ‘comfort art’. I’m beginning to understand that it is my main artistic voice, the tune. Everything else is me just trying to find harmonies that add to that voice. Perhaps the voice itself is enough, as with Gregorian chants.

That is an insight that I need to dwell upon for a while, but it feels right to me.

Drawn with Unipin pens on marker paper. Background, highlights and shadows added digitally.

Entangled Art

I finally have this particular drawing finished.

It was drawn on marker paper using Unipin pens. Shadows were added using cool grey Copic markers. Next, it was scanned in and a kraft paper background added. Finally, highlights were added digitally to help bring out some sense of dimensionality.

I like the way the highlights and shadows work. However, in future I need to add the shadows digitally along with the highlights.

It’s a very typically “Angela” style of art – intricate, detailed, and full of botanical motifs, arches and geometric patterns that I enjoy using so much. I even managed to leave some areas that are not so busy with line and pattern!

So, it’s on to the next one, once I’ve designed the coloring template for Template Thursday!