Today’s art is a simple mandala. A cool grey, black and white colour scheme on a soft, calming green background.
Drawn in Autodesk Sketchbook Pro using a Microsoft Surface Slim Pen and Microsoft Surface Studio.
I am emotionally drained, confused and overwhelmed again today. I don’t have much in the way of focus. I was surprised I could complete even this quick and simple mandala.
I don’t have the focus or energy to reflect on the choices of colours and symbols in the mandala and how they relate to messages bubbling up from my unconscious mind.
I feel trapped, caught between a rock and a hard place. I’m damned if I do, damned if I don’t. The stress of it all is giving me a migraine, upset digestive system and is dragging my mood downwards.
Heck, even the mandala looks like it is either sinking down, pulling itself up or hanging on by the chains of teardrops. That is how I feel, and I had no idea that was how the mandala would appear when finished.
I had a hankering to create a dragonfly this morning, and this how far I’ve got after 4 hours of work.
I’m fairly happy with the colours I’ve chosen; teals and purples are a favourite combination of mine. I do like the areas of green, magenta and blue in the background.
I’m not sure if the spiral bits work – they look a bit clunky to me. I will, however, let the artwork sit quietly for some time until I work out what to do to improve, or rework it. I may carve out some shapes to lighten the spirals. I don’t know for sure yet.
It’s very stylised, and I’d like to add some details to the wings in particular. I’m not sure what though. Again, I need a break from this particular artwork and come back to it with fresh eyes and a fresh mind.
One of the best things about digital art is the ability to edit work, to make changes without having to re-work everything.
I’m trying to work more without the black line art being visible in my finished work. It’s taken me a long time and lots of trials and errors to become comfortable with work that hasn’t got those outlines. I love to work with light and shadow, and learning how to use these instead of line art is a slow but enjoyable process.
This doesn’t mean I’m turning my back on line art, far from it. I do love to draw with pens on paper (either traditional or digital media). However, digital art is allowing me to explore different ways of expressing myself artistically, ways I’d never manage with traditional media. I think I’ve said that often, but it’s still as valid now as ever.
My digital media are, as usual, Autodesk Sketchbook Pro, Microsoft Surface Studio and a Microsoft Surface Slim Pen.
I now really do need a bit of a break from art and computers and I really do need some tea. I’ve not yet managed to shower and dress and I think I may go out this afternoon with my camera, maybe, if it stays dry.
Yesterday, I was out with the DSLR and my friend Liz. We had a need to visit the sea. As we live in the Valleys of South Wales in the UK, we’re not far from either the sea or mountains, towns or country. So, we paid a visit to The Glamorgan Heritage Coast, specifically Southerndown and Newton in Porthcawl. If you’d like to read more about our day out and see some of my photos, visit Curious Stops and Tea Shops.
Today, after a busy week with people and errands, I need a day at home. I also needed some time to just create.
I turned to my folder of photos from my trip to the National Botanic Gardens of Wales last August and found a picture of flowers that inspired me to create this floral design.
I started with the line art with the intention of using it as a guide for painting each petal. However, once I’d completed the line art and added the base colour and some of the brighter tones, I realised I wanted to keep the white lines because it was reminding me of batik or silk painting, particularly as I’d chosen a black background to work against.
I love the vibrance of the colours against the dark background, again very reminiscent of silk painting/batik.
I reined in my usual inclination to intricate, detailed mandalas and kept this particular one quite simple. I decided to echo the golden tones of the stamens in the centre of the flower, and I think that has worked out really, really well.
If I were to try to change something in this artwork, I may try a gold outline – metallic gold. But I like it very much, just as it is.
My tools were Autodesk Sketchbook Pro, Microsoft Surface Studio and Microsoft Surface Slim Pen.
I’ve had a busy day learning new things to do with video and so on. The concentration has taxed my brain just a bit, and I needed some time in an arty happy place.
My first task was to find a quote that appealed to me today. This one is quite apt I think, for many reasons. I’m not entirely sure my typography is right for the quote, but it will do for now.
I then knew I wanted to do a mandala as a background. I find this style of mandala very soothing to draw, and soothing was just what I needed today.
Once I’d finished the mandala, I added colour in greens and teal. Calming, soothing, balancing colours for today. Colours of calm contentment, which is just how I feel at the moment. Also hopeful colours. That green reminds me a lot like the first leaves showing themselves at the tail end of winter, spreading hope that the warmer, lighter days will soon be here.
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.
Given my experiments with thermal foiling this week, today’s dangle had to be foiled, in gold this time.
As I enjoyed creating a dangle design inspired by Art Nouveau last week I thought I’d like to do that again this week, and this is the result.
I drew the design digitally, using my usual tools of choice viz. Autodesk Sketchbook Pro, Microsoft Surface Pen and Microsoft Surface Studio.
I coloured the design in using Chameleon Markers. Then I added the blue background with Distress Inks, followed by a pink edge to the card. Not sure pink was the right choice, but it’s ok I suppose.
I mounted the design on an A5 card blank and drew a glittery gold line around it with a Uniball Signo gel pen. I also added some small groups of glittery gold drops to the design.
Overall, I’m quite pleased with this one. I like the combination of the more geometric designs with the more organic motifs.
I didn’t add any hand lettering or a sentiment so it makes it perfect for any occasion or as a note card. It would also make a fantastic page design for a BuJo (bullet journal) or as part of a scrapbook, journal, diary or notebook spread.
If you’d like to try your hand at creating your own dangle design but don’t think you could, well you could find my book ‘A Dangle A Day’ helpful. Not only are well over 100 different monograms and dangle designs included that you can use, but help and advice is given for creating your own, as well as plenty of words of encouragement. I’d love to see your dangle designs too.
I really needed some quiet, creative time this morning. Some time without any pressure on me in terms of requirements from publishers and others. Dangle designs are simple to draw, and there is a soothing quality in simplicity. Colouring is also a very soothing activity and the magic of hot foiling always makes me smile.
I’m feeling a bit below par in terms of my mental and emotional wellbeing. I have a stinking headache, which isn’t helping, and I’m feeling exhausted again. That’s all to do with emotional exhaustion.
Fortunately, I can take time today to just do what I need to do in terms of self-care. I managed to get three and a half out of the four edits for my next coloring book done. I have until Monday to get the other half finished, so that’s definitely do-able, either later today when the headache subsides or tomorrow.
My emotional and mental sea has some smooth waves on it, not stormy, not choppy, just swells that come and go. I may be in a bit of a trough at the moment, but I’ll soon be heading back up to the crest of the gentle swells.
Yesterday I had some fun drawing some postcard sized pieces of Entangled art. Especially fun as I stumbled across a book I’d bought some years ago and had forgotten about. The book is “Zibu – The power of angelic symbology” by Debbie Zylstra Almstedt.
As it says, the book contains loads of symbols with different meanings and I think that’s what drew me to the book in the first place. It was nice to stumble upon it and it seemed to be a moment of synchronicity as I was thinking about what I could put on the postcards, so this was perfect!
Transition was the first symbol I turned to, particularly symbolic for me as I’m going through a transition via my CPTSD healing journey. And in the book, the author suggests aquamarine and green are colours that go with this particular symbol, so that’s the choice of my colour scheme.
I drew the design on an A6 sized piece of Bristol Board using Sheaffer and Pilot medium point pens. After scanning the design in I coloured it digitally using Autodesk Sketchbook Pro, a Microsoft Surface Pen and a Microsoft Surface Studio.
I found both the drawing and colouring rather peaceful processes, the colouring made more so as I wanted to stick to the green and aquamarine colour scheme, though I did sneak in some greyish blue and greenish yellow.
It won’t be long before I head off to Neath for my weekly EMDR session. The day is gloriously sunny and is due to be rather warm for a late winter day. I’ve a window or two open to let the fresh but cool air into my home. This weather certainly does lift my spirits somewhat. I plan to go early so I can have a walk around before my appointment later this afternoon, as well as a leisurely lunch with some journaling and drawing too.
I love the combination of teals and coppery tones so I chose to use them as part of the colour scheme in this mandala. A simple black outline mandala with no crazily intricate detailed patterns included. I’m not so sure about the purple-ish I used for the ‘crystals’ in the other most rings of the mandala though.
Drawn and coloured in Autodesk Sketchbook Pro using a Microsoft Surface Pen on the screen of a Microsoft Surface Studio very, very late last night and into the wee small hours of this morning.
Today is likely to be another self-care day. I thought I was in a place where I could do loving kindness meditations again this morning. I’m not. So much emotional distress and even physical pain during the part of the meditation that involves bringing loving kindness to myself. I have no problem sending loving kindness to another being I feel love for. I have no problem sending it out to all of the Earth. Still, the nasty messages of the inner critic are fodder for EMDR. And it’s such a lovely sunny, late winter day here in the Welsh Valleys.
Yesterday was very much a quiet, self-care day. Today, I’m feeling better in terms of energy and concentration.
This mandala was a product of yesterday’s quiet downtime doing art for arts sake. Though it was this morning I thought I’d like golden outlines to the design rather than the usual black. It took me a while to get my head around doing that!
I like the way I’ve repeated the simple spiral pattern in three layers. Keeping the colour palette simple has also worked nicely for me, even though the combination of colours is an unusual one for me. The colours remind me of cacti with flowers and a soft, golden sun.
I could mention that green is about achieving balance, the red is the energy I need to stoke up on, but a softer, more gentle kind of motivational energy. Golden sunshine is the healing I see. The way the spirals flow outwards and are unfurling suggests growth , springing forth from seeds long lain dormant in the ground of my soul. There’s hints of buds ready to bloom there too. Maybe the golden background and lines are suggesting that I am worth more than I think I am, that I do deserve better.
Oops, I have mentioned that! But somehow this mandala seems to show how I’m progressing in my recovery from cPTSD.
Now how’s that for an insightful piece of art?
No matter whether you agree with the interpretation of the mandala or not, it was definitely a calming and soothing experience, both the drawing and colouring.
It is a piece of digital art. I used my usual Microsoft Surface Pen, Microsoft Surface Studio and Autodesk Sketchbook Pro to create this mandala.
I’ve spent another quiet, calm and contented few hours drawing this mandala. Admittedly some of the shapes look a bit weird around the edges. However, it’s all about me learning and embedding new skills when it comes to drawing digital art.
Microsoft Surface Pen, Microsoft Surface Studio and Autodesk Sketchbook Pro were my tools for this one.
Some of the areas have patterns in them that remind me of Celtic, La Tene art, or of illuminated manuscripts such as the Book of Kells. These are art forms I’ve loved for as long as I remember and I think there are times when those patterns bubble up to the surface of my mind and find their way out through the tip of my pen! It’s nice when that happens and it surprises me!