I need soothing, calming art today. One day I may share why I’m so topsy-turvy emotionally and mentally. But not now.
For now, I’m being creative in a way that soothes my inner maelstrom. It’s a mini maelstrom, but still enough to provoke unease, fear, and unsettling emotions. Still, these things pass in time. And I have a lot to experience and learn connected to this unease and fear. I just don’t know the timescale and that kind of makes it worse!
But art is always my solace, though I need to find others too. There’s my illustrated journal – writing and, erm, art! It’s been a long while since I played my flute. Nearly a week since I went out for a walk. I still have an electric folk harp I’ve not learned how to play! And there’s plenty of tea to drink.
Tea! Twice, thrice and twice-twice blessed! Tea is always soothing, especially at that magic temperature where it just feels like every part of you relaxes, and a sigh of relief and pleasure is released!
So, once I’ve finished all my social media stuff, I’ll get another mug of tea and get a YouTube video done. Yes, more art. But I love drawing!
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!
This design was inspired by a Zentangle Tile I did in the Tea and Tangle session organised and run by Tracy Hough CZT.
I wanted to do a design that was simple (ish?) and didn’t use too many patterns. This will form a page in my accordion journal.
The paper is Clay toned paper from Fabriano. The pens I use are an 0.3 Unipin fine liner and a Tombow Fudenosuke. To add colour, I used some Derwent Drawing Pencils in Chinese White, Pale Cedar and Olive Earth. White dots were added with a white Sakura Gelly Roll pen. Gold details added using a gold glitter Unball Signo gel pen.
Another daily creepy cute critter. Well, almost daily. I’ll explain more in a moment, first to this lovely bunch of pals, or not lovely, depending on your interpretation.
I’m not sure what the possible story is or what stories are here. But that’s part of the fun. I suspect we’ll each see what makes sense to us, given where we are at any particular moment. I feel the tall one is having an aww shucks moment, especially as the ears are blushing (not the cheeks!). Is it a celebration? Or surprised someone would think of them, and the little one is rolling their eyes… again! Is tall always blue in colour, or is it a sign of their low mood and the others have thought to cheer them up?
But, of course, that is just one interpretation. It’s fun to muse about what’s going on for sure.
I’ve been missing from blog posts, social media and YouTube for a few days thanks to some computer problems. But all seems to be fine now, and I have a shiny new laptop that will function as a backup for digital art should my main computer have problems again. I have no idea what went wrong, but I went into full flap and panic mode. Or, an enormous flap and panic mode as I was already overwhelmed with a second deadline looming at the end of this week. The only problem with the new one is the pen on the screen is not as good as my main puter. So, I see a drawing tablet in the future, just in case…
I still have a lot of anxiety left over from this flap and panic, which is tiring me out. But that will fade. Tea will definitely help this morning! As will some art just for art’s sake too.
But who is leading, and who is doing the trusting? Little, big, bird or balloonist?
And how many times have we all heard that particular statement, only to find out they didn’t know where they were going. Sometimes that ends in disaster, but sometimes it results in a fantastic adventure!
All I know is there are multiple possible tales to be told from this illustration. And that kind of excites me!
Drawn with a Tombow Fudenosuke pen on paper. Colour added using Clip Studio Paint. Tradigital art.
Where has this monstrous mushroom been? And why has the raven accompanied him? The sun has set on the day, and the stars twinkle in an alien sky. Yet the mushroom has managed to acquire a cute heart balloon and a rainbow lollipop, and a bit of a sickly complexion too. Where in the galaxy have these companions been and what have they been up to?
I’m sure there’s a story to tell, but if there is, these unlikely companions are keeping it to themselves… for now. And if I know the tale, and I’m not saying I do, then I will have been sworn to secrecy too!
I could be accused of having too much fun with my creepy cuties (Kreepy Kuties?). Does that bother me? Not one tiny bit! I’m enjoying drawing, exploring a new kind of style to add to my toolbox, and just plain indulging myself in some creepy, crazy, cute, critter-y, klutzy monsters!
I finally turned to digital art to colour in my pen drawing. What a sigh of relief I gave as I did so. Yes, it’s fun to add colour with traditional media, to a degree in my case. But it’s so much more satisfying for me to add colour and texture digitally.
Traditional pen drawing on paper combined with the addition of digital colour makes it tradigital art!
You can tell I love autumn! I just couldn’t resist another drawing with pumpkins and assorted autumnal motifs. In the video accompanying this picture, I get all the drawing done and start adding colour. This photo is of the completed drawing so far. There’s plenty of space for some more autumnal goodies!
As I worked on some warm, grey paper (‘Clay’ Toned Paper from Fabriano), the colours are muted and feel a bit washed out. Usually, Inktense pencils with a light wash of water are bright and vibrant, but the grey tones mute them somewhat. But I like that. It gives a vintage and nostalgic air to the artwork.
From time to time, I can circle back to drawing styles that I’ve not done for a long time. This kind of drawing, which has an etched ‘feel’ to it, is an example of something I’ve not done for what seems an age. I am, however, enjoying it very much. Exploring working on toned paper with various colouring media is fascinating for sure.
It’s blessedly cooler this morning as I write this blog. There’s been a little rain, but not enough to help out nature. We have the potential of thunderstorms and torrential rain at some point today. I do hope we get some thunderstorms – I love nature’s fireworks and drama! Rain is fine, but torrential rain can cause huge problems.
Anyhoo, to arty things. There are two drawings in the photo. I completed the one on the right on Sunday and filmed a video tutorial. It explores a new fragment shared on day one of Zentangle Project Pack 18. It’s always fun to explore patterns; I get to understand the pattern more and discover variations.
One of those variations came out in my sketchbook on Sunday evening. I used the ideas of the fragment as a way of filling space. What resulted looked a lot like the tangle pattern Diva Dance. you can see this in the drawing to the right in the image above.
It never ceases to amaze me how patterns can segue one into another as variations are explored. Everything, even tangle patterns, is interconnected and related by not that many degrees of variation!
Of course, I filmed the drawing of the flower and tangle pattern tile as a video tutorial. Hopefully, slowly and clearly enough that it’s easy to draw along with me. I hope you give it a go!
I absolutely love drawing Doodleworlds style colouring pages/colouring templates.
The cute critters, the whimsical world where landscapes have their own rules and birds can have ridiculously long legs and flowers can float without stems or leaves. Planets can be cute critters too. There are flowers, foliage, mushrooms, bottles, stars, moon stars, crystals, rocks, birds … well some of my favourite things to draw!
Oh, and a cupcake. Cake is always welcome, especially with a glacé cherry on top. And ice cream, though I think all the ice cream has been eaten by that happy bunch of critters in the bottom right, hence none of it in the picture! I think the grumpy one missed out on it.
I say this so often, but I really do believe that we all need a lot of whimsy in our lives as a break from the things going on in the news. I avoid the news as much as possible as it upsets and distresses me way too much. Just the headlines are enough for me. That also means more time to draw!
This was drawn with a fudenosuke pen on paper. Colour added digitally in Clip Studio Paint.
Creativity of any kind, including colouring, is a great way to take a break from life’s stresses and strains and to relax and de-stress. I absolutely love to see the creativity with which folks add colour to my colouring templates and bring them to life!
Oh, if you like this Doodleworlds style of template that I often draw, then I do have a colouring book available on Amazon called “Doodleworlds”. If you prefer a pdf file that you can download and print, then this is available from my Etsy shop.