This was a fun ‘Draw With Me’ drawing tutorial on YouTube. Unusually, I used a lot of Zentangle tangle patterns – Arukas variation, Crescent Moon variation, Tipple variation, Quabog, Sez and Mooka. Plus a couple I like to draw – the flowers within circles and the mechanical kind of things under the hand lettering.
It is a work in progress, however. I have no idea what will appear next on it…intuitive art is a wonderful thing to do!
In today’s #DrawWithMe video on YouTube, I recreated some of the patterns and motifs I’d drawn for the title page of Entangled Samplers. With some variations! As I work on the top page, I’ll include some of these filler patterns! The idea for each page is to have a drawing that has examples of motifs and patterns with variations, all to spark creativity by being a source of inspiration and ideas.
My hand-lettering isn’t perfect; the letter sizes diminish towards the end of each line. But it may probably be good enough.
I like the bold shading in the recreation at the bottom of the image. I’ve yet to add any shading to the title page; first, I’ll finish drawing it.
I decided today to get all the pages done in a discbound format, hence the little mushroom shapes to the left of each sheet!
I’m rapidly filling up an A5 sketchbook with drawings like this. Some have hand lettering in them, while others do not. This style of illustration is familiar to me. It comes naturally, and so is something I can cope with now. The familiarity and repetitive nature of the motifs and patterns are soothing. As I’m working in a sketchbook, there is no pressure on me for things to be perfect. And that is what I need at this time. I just need to create for the sheer enjoyment of creating. Then, there will be enough time to continue exploring other things when I’m back on form.
Mental and Emotional Well-being…
I’m often told that trust is a more positive word than hope when used in conjunction with wanting things to improve. So, I am doing my best to trust that my emotions and thoughts will improve and I won’t feel so darned sleepy and tired all the time.
I suspect I’ve been trying too hard for too long to keep up a mask of contentedness, and all is fine with me when interacting with others. But, unfortunately, it’s something I’ve done for as long as I can remember. It probably contributed to my two intense and lengthy bouts of anxiety and depression, eventually leading to me leaving teaching around 9 or 10 years ago.
After years of EMDR therapy and reflecting on the past, I thought I’d learned my lesson about not letting things get worse and worse and refusing to admit to myself I’m struggling with my mood and thoughts.
It seems that isn’t so.
However, I did reach out for help last week. So now, I have to give myself permission to ease off and give the meds a chance to work.
I had tried so hard to help myself lift my mood and dispel the dark thoughts. They wouldn’t go. Waking up in the night with my mind racing and catastrophising wasn’t good. I couldn’t do this by myself this time.
I know what has led to this state of affairs, and it’s not just one thing.
So, eventually, I worked out I needed help before I ended up in a state similar to how I was all that time ago when my Doctor told me, ‘You’ve nearly broken your mind. It needs a rest. A long rest. And these little pills will help, honestly.’
Those words got through to me. And soon after taking the first dose, my mind was magically quiet, and no longer was I being mean to myself.
There should be no stigma or discrimination about medication to help with mental and emotional ill-health. However, there is none if you need antibiotics for an infection or a plaster-cast to help heal a broken bone.
So, I’m in the process of getting the level of medication to a steady level and the side effects to subside. But, until that happens, I have no choice but to be kind and gentle to myself and not push myself to do more than I’m capable of doing.
I have had a little period of using hand lettering along with my style of entangled drawing. I love words, and aliferous is a word new to me. It comes from the Latin ‘ala’, meaning wing, and the word’s first known use was around 1726.
Over the past week or so, I’ve been losing myself in A5-ish-sized drawings, all Entangled art. The peaceful, quiet time has been and continues to be what I need. I’m sure I’ll find a new equilibrium point regarding focus, a clear mind, and calm emotions and mind. How long that will take… I don’t yet know.
Until that point is reached, I’ll be doing what I can to be gentle and kind to myself. As we all need to be.
For a long while, I’ve been playing around with hand lettering, using my writing in art, and the idea of marrying together writing and drawing. Today, I started a new sketchbook dedicated to this idea and exploration. I woke up this morning with the concept clear in my head, and so I did!
A sketchbook is a perfect place to experiment and try things out. I’ve already got various notes on this page reflecting on what is working and what isn’t. And there’s some reflective journaling too. My handwriting is a mess. That Distress Ink-ed dot grid paper looks really grubby. The Inktense pencils and the use of a water brush may not have been a good idea on the sketchbook paper. However, it is a sketchbook. It’s not meant to be anything other than a place to explore, experiment, and unearth hidden thoughts and ideas.
The last paragraph had a lot of negatives in it. I do like the border, and this is something I’ll continue to do. The idea of collating notes onto a page intrigues me; even adding pockets and other things from junk journaling could be an idea. Places to store notes about ingredients and so on. I enjoy researching all kinds of things, including foods, ingredients, spices and condiments.
What is new is me drawing food! I don’t know if I’ll ever draw a plate or bowl of food, but the ingredients or various elements interest me. So I’ve written a note to myself to see if I can make patterns or motifs for my more abstract, non-representational work from them.
I also must learn that colours can be imperfect; close enough is good enough! The ginger jam (more correctly, ginger preserve) was troublesome. But it’s good enough for now.
Soothing fraught emotions and thoughts
I’ve been relatively open with my mental and emotional health challenges, to a degree at least. And I thought it would be an excellent idea to combine that with food, and maybe more.
Art and food are two ways I can soothe and comfort myself. On good days, I’ll be adventurous with cooking. It may be a takeaway delivery or something quick and easy on bad days. On the in-between days, comforting food is the go-to, often more traditional recipes.
Cooking is always a challenge as a singleton. However, the motivation to cook and feed me wholesome and healthy food can be a considerable challenge, especially on my fraught and frazzled days.
Where will this lead?
I don’t know. I know it’s a personal project, but a friend and I have talked about collaborating on a project about cooking. So this may be a way of kicking the project off, even though I am still determining where it will go. If nothing else, it will give me a way to draw new and different things, explore various techniques, both in art and cooking, and reflect on all kinds of things. I’ll get to practice my handwriting and hand lettering as well. And perhaps work out how to create a pleasing layout!
This will, I trust, encourage me to take more care of myself in terms of nutrition. In addition, adding daily entries for at least one meal will hold me accountable.
A variety of meals/dishes will be required too and so will stop me from eating the same old things again and again! That’s a rut I can get stuck in. Also, if I find something I enjoy, I will eat it again and again, day after day, until I become sickened by it! That is not good either!
Am I overloading myself with projects?
I have a book to do for Creative Haven by the end of June. There are some self-published colouring books that I’d like to do too. Then there’s my creepy-cute monsters project. YouTube. Writing. And more!
I often can’t see the wood for the trees. Being able to prioritise has never been a strong skill of mine. However, I do need variety and options of what to work on. Otherwise, the work can become stale and uninspiring to me. And I can so easily get overwhelmed by the enormity of the task, or tasks, to be done. And then there’s the fear of failure, of not being good enough, that results in procrastination.
Also, I know that at the moment, my emotions and, thus, my mental state isn’t the best; new challenges in life outside of art and creativity. But that means that art and creativity are more important to me to help me calm, relax, get in the flow and give my mind and emotions a break!
I’m sure I’ll figure it out. I’m not one for schedules of work day by day and hour by hour. That may be something I need to look into.
But not now. Now I need a mega-big mug of good strong tea! I’m British (Welsh), and we think tea will solve everything!
After a day of focusing on inking in colouring pages, I needed something a little familiar and soothing to calm some overwhelmed emotions. So, I chose to make a little tag for my accordion journal. To decorate the tag, I created a monogram, a Zentangle style embedded letter A.
As I was drawing it, It struck me how much the folded patterns remind me of metamorphic rocks. That made me smile for sure!
I enjoyed the graphic black and white of the finished design, so I chose not to add any shade.
I had an idea. It may not be a great idea. It may not be executed in the best way today. But it’s a start, but first, some background as to how this idea came about before I explain myself.
Last week, I went to a local café for a late lunch. So late that it was almost tea time! The first time I’ve been out for lunch by myself since the start of the Covid pandemic. I’ve had lunch out three times with a friend in this time, but I still rarely leave my home for such things.
It was a lovely lunch, broccoli and stilton soup with a large pot of tea. The people working in the cafe were lovely and helpful. The food was delicious and beautifully presented. I was made to feel very welcome there.
So, it took a few days, but yesterday I woke with an idea. Why don’t I do some tiny artworks to leave for people to discover. Little notes to thank those who run a café or restaurant. Little notes of kindness, inspiration, or compassion are on the back for strangers who may need to read them. Little notes to brighten up someone’s day. And maybe put my email address/blog address on there. Maybe. I’ve not decided if that will be a thing, yet.
So, the first step was to see what sizes of little envelopes I could buy. I really wanted glassine ones, so the tile is protected but visible. But the only tiny ones I could find were 6.5cm square (that’s 2.5″). So some have been ordered, and some watercolour card has been cut into pieces 6cm square, ready to use! The tiles in the image are 6cm square in size. So quite tiny!
The others I found are so sweet. They have a heart fastening on the rear flap and are made of kraft paper. Perfect! That way, what’s inside will be a surprise and, hopefully, a pleasant one for those who find it. These are a bit bigger at 10.5cm x 7 cm (approx 4.13″ x 2.75″), which is about the size of a gift card, business card or credit card. So, I cut paper to 10cm x 6.5 cm to fit these envelopes.
For this morning’s video, I decided to use two of the small squares. I started by colouring one side with Distress Inks. Then I drew the designs with various black fineliner pens. Next, I added more colour with Inktense pencils and a water-brush. Finally, highlights were added with white gel pens and a gold gel pen on the Aquafleur design. Not sure the gold pen was a good idea; I might have been better off using a dip pen and gold ink. It’s all a learning process!
Then, it was time to hand-letter a message on the back and decorate. This is where I think things went a tad to pot. In hindsight, I wish I’d coloured the reverse of the tile too, as, the white looks so stark. But they’ll do. My hand-lettering isn’t the best, but again it will do. My biggest problem is not letting the ink dry fully before erasing pencil lines and/or adding Inktense pencils. But they’re not too shabby…possibly.
What I may try doing, as these are test pieces, is using some Microglaze to seal them. Not only will it seal the Distress Ink, but will give a glossy finish that will bring out the colours more. The problem with Micro glaze is that it smears the black pen lines. But as these are test pieces, if that happens, I’ll learn not to do it again in the future, or use different kinds of pens. I wonder how the Dokumentas in the Twisbi’s will react to Micro glaze? That is an experiment I need to try out!
My only problem once I’m happy with this, apart from learning how to take better photographs of my work, is finding the courage to leave these things. The intense embarrassment and shame I know I’ll feel will be great. That will come out of the old fear that no one will like what I do or appreciate it or understand that it comes from a place of unconditional love and gratitude for our connections. And this is the reason why I’m dithering about whether or not to include my email.
I’ll work it out. I usually do, eventually! Until then, I have a small pile of tiles to decorate, Micro glaze and different pens to experiment with, and how to put messages on the back… part of me thinks printing them out and glueing them on could be a way to go. I have actually turned one of my hand-lettering styles into a font! Something else for me to think about.
I’m continuing with my exploration of monograms and patterns. This one is a bit odd with the ba sitting above a pool or pebble..or something. But I quite like the patterns I’ve used to embellish it. I’m also rather fond of the background patterns, especially the very faint ones to the bottom right.
I’m not too fussed about the greens, yellows and the colours I used for the flowers. Pretty much every colour apart from the background colours and the colours of the patterns around the b!
Must write a HUGE reminder and stick it where I can see it “WORK IN MONOCHROME!”
All the same, it’s a learning exercise for me, as drawing always is. The ones that turn out not quite to my liking at the ones I learn most from. Having said that, I still haven’t learned that ‘work in monochrome’ thing yet! One day, maybe, I will.
Apart from completing the colour, I coloured over the brown section in the bottom right. I used dark and light grey Gellyroll Moonlight pens to add the crazy ‘N’Zppel’ Zentangle pattern. It needs tidying up and perhaps some highlight within the inner black spaces.
But for now, it will do. I think I need a break from it to eat and do other things for a while.
This morning, I thought I’d share how I’m exploring creating some Entangled art, particularly monograms, via YouTube.
This little drawing is 11cm by 11cm, which is approximately 3.5″ square – took about an hour or so to get to this point. I wasn’t sure of the green, but I think it’ll work out just fine. There’s quite a way to go yet, but that will have to wait for another time.
The materials I used are: * 03 black Sakura Pigma Micron * Various Arteza Everblend marker pens * Various fineliners in grey and green * A white Sakura Gellyroll pen * A metallic gold Uniball Signo pen