World Art Day 2020

Poppy Mandala ©Angela Porter | Artwyrd.com

The aim of art is to represent not the outward appearance of things, but their inward significance.

-Aristotle

Today is World Art Day.  It is meant to be an international celebration of the fine arts which was declared by the International Association of Art (IAA) in order to promote awareness of creative activity worldwide.

Each year, on 15 April (Leonardo da Vinci’s birthday), World Art Day celebrations help reinforce the links between artistic creations and society, encourage greater awareness of the diversity of artistic expressions and highlight the contribution of artists to sustainable development. (UNESCO)

“Our Organization would thus like to pay tribute to the solidarity shown by artists and institutions at a time when art is suffering the full force of the effects of a global health, economic and social crisis.”

— Audrey Azoulay, Director General of UNESCO

About today’s art

I started by choosing one of my Distress Oxide backgrounds to use for today’s art.

I woke knowing I wanted to do an arrangement of stylised poppies with a mandala for a background, and this is the result.

Poppies symbolise, among other things, a lively imagination, messages delivered in dreams, beauty and success, as well as remembrance. They, along with their seed heads, often appear in my art.

It took me many iterations of colour, shadow and highlight to get the mandala appearing as I wanted it to – lacy, light, in the background but still standing out. I think I’ve managed to achieve that fairly well.

Overall, I’m pleased with the finished artwork. I do think the poppies and mandala could be moved towards the top of the background, something that is easy enough to do as I have the layers saved. However, the artwork is good enough for now.

I suspect I’ll be creating more art using a couple of the backgrounds I’ve created through the day. It’s a satisfying process to use backgrounds I’ve created myself rather than using ones that I have purchased.

It’s time to make art.

I had the need to draw, just for the pleasure, comfort, and soothing that creating art brings. This quote perfectly expresses that need in me.

I drew the artwork with a Pigma Sensei 04 and Pigma Micron 005 pens from Sakura on ClaireFontaine dot grid paper. Pure intuitive art. I didn’t think about it, I just let it flow as it needed to do so. Working this way always soothes my soul, but it also usually works out really well. It’s when I over-think my art that things go wrong.

I digitally removed the dot grid and cleaned up a couple of smudges. I also make the centre and edge or the artwork transparent so that a pink ombre background would show through.

I have an introvert ‘hangover’ today after a get together last night. It’s not as bad as I expected it to be, but I still need a quiet, soothing time today.

Tuesday Thoughts

Tuesday Thoughts 5 November 2019 ©Angela Porter | Artwyrd.com

Another mandala today, this time with my favourite Hafiz quote in the centre.

I wanted a mandala that seemed to be almost glowing for this quote. Also, I added a very subtle rainbow colouring to it too. I’m quite happy with this mandala, though some darker shading behind some of the parts, along with some subtle highlights, would’ve helped with the dimensionality of the design.

I didn’t hand-letter the quote; instead I used a clear and simple pair of fonts. I do want to learn how to create circles of typography; I think the quotes would then be more sympathetic to the circular geometry of mandalas. I’ll need a bit of time to play around in Affinity Publisher and Affinity Designer to see if I can achieve this. Mind you, I do need to practice my hand lettering a lot more too.

All the same, I’m still happy with this design. The lettering will do – for now.

I always enjoy drawing mandalas, and it’s nice to revisit the line-art style of mandalas with lots of intricate patterns in them once again. They are so delicate, airy, lacy in feel compared to my more arty, abstract, coloured mandalas. They’re also a lot quicker to create!

Inktober 2019 – Day 18

Inktober 2019 – Day 18 ©Angela Porter | Artwyrd.com

Something a bit different from me today. It took me a lot of fiddling and faffing around to decide on the blue colour scheme for the intricate drawing that envelopes the crocodile skull.

My natural instinct is to use black for such drawings. However, black looked a bit too stark and dominant; the skull felt lost amongst the drawing. So, I tried out shades of blue and white, making the fill colours transparent so that they faded into the background a little and giving the ‘feel’ of water plants.

Overall I’m pleased with this, though I’m not sure I’ve got the colours for the line art right. Still, I’ve not really done anything quite like this before and it is something I want to do again in the future. Maybe with tomorrows Inktober prompts.

Today’s prompts were a crocodile skull and slime mould from Inktober lists by Instagrammers @book_polygamist and @nyan_sun respective.

Some More Reef Illustrations

More Reef Illustrations ©Angela Porter - Artwyrd.com
More Reef Illustrations ©Angela Porter – Artwyrd.com

Reef Illustrations

Yesterday, I had an interesting day. I did manage to get these two illustrations done in between listening to a friend in need and taking care of a very upset tummy along with quite painful cramps.

I used 5″ x 7″ pieces of Winsor and Newton Bristol board along with some Uniball Unipin pens to draw the designs. This time, I didn’t add any grey shading. I will scan then print if I decide to colour them with traditional media.

The drawings turned out well, I think. I chose the size of paper for a reason, which I’m not about to divulge! It’s just an idea rattling around my noggin.

It’s Monday, so that means it’s EMDR therapy day.

I know on a Monday that my day can be broken up with a 3 hour or so trip to Neath and back for EMDR.

Today, I’m feeling more like I did last Monday before I received some post that threw me a curveball. I am tired as rather painful tummy cramps woke me from time to time through the night. I’m still getting them now, but a couple of Anadin Extra has taken the edge off them. I must leave early enough to pick up some more painkillers on my way to therapy.

I’ve had some flashbacks this week to events I thought I’d put to bed via EMDR. It seems that these events have several facets to them. Each of these facets relates to a negative belief I hold about myself, so each will need to be processed separately.

I’ve been trying to keep a record of the insights I gain from these flashbacks, and also any other negative beliefs that crop up from them. However, they often happen when I don’t have my BuJo to hand, and by the time I do, they’ve evaporated from my mind.

Hmm. Not really evaporated, the flashbacks have just been automatically shut away in their box once again.

I’ve learned not to try to second-guess what is going to happen in therapy each week. Whatever I have thought may happen rarely if ever happens. So I try to go with an open mind unless something has cropped up in the week that needs discussing.

A little reef tangle

A little reef tangle ©Angela Porter | Artwyrd.com
A little reef tangle ©Angela Porter | Artwyrd.com

I’ve had a quietly arty morning today. I’ve been adding to my visual zibladone (journal, reference book).

Then, I had the urge to create a little tangled, entangled drawing. So I did.

I cut up some Winsor and Newton Bristol Board into 4″ squares (approx. 10cm squares) and used some Uniball Unipin pens to do the drawing and shading.

I’m quite happy with the result. I may add some colour, perhaps with my Chameleon pens and pencils; I may need the sharp point of a pencil to get into some of the small spaces to add some shadow.

I do need to get out for a walk today. I’ve been letting myself stay in the safety of my home. Mind you, and I think that’s what I’ve needed this week as part of my self-care.

However, I now am feeling a lot less anxious than at the start of the week. So, it’s time to venture forth for more than just a quick trip out for vittles.

Maybe. I do need to have breakfast first. Oh, I’ve just seen the time. I need lunch first!

Mandala

Mandala © Angela Porter 2019 Artwyrd.com
Mandala © Angela Porter 2019 Artwyrd.com

I worked on this mandala over a couple of days. it has a whole range of new motifs in it and is rather organic in nature, with plenty of pods and seeds included. I’m quite happy with it. I think there’s a kind of flow of design and the colours are vibrant enough to please me.

I really wasn’t at all sure about my colour choices as I added colour to the mandala. The beauty of digital art is that it’s much easier to change the colour, which I did do in just a couple of sections. The colour changes means I’m a lot happier with it.

It has no name as I’m not very good at thinking up names for my artwork. Perhaps I should just find some kind of quirky way of lettering or numbering the designs in future.

Drawn and coloured using Autodesk Sketchbook Pro, Microsoft Surface Pen and Microsoft Surface Studio.

Mental Wellbeing

Today I’m feeling really tired and I don’t feel I have many words at the moment – despite what my blog may suggest.

My fingers, hands and wrists are also rather achy which is making typing or drawing (either digitally or traditionally) rather painful. I don’t know what’s caused that. Yesterday I did do a lot of drawing with pencil on paper – sketches for my new book – and a lot of digital art too. No more than I often do though.

I suspect a bit of self-care is needed. I am feeling a bit low. Tiredness doesn’t help, but I’ve slept really well the last couple of days.

Maybe it’s the grey, wet, windy day.

Maybe it’s just emotional weather with no real cause.

Maybe it’s the start of the buildup to EMDR on Monday.

I just know that like the weather my mood will change and brighten.

Friday Flutterby

© Angela Porter 2019 - Artwyrd.com
© Angela Porter 2019 – Artwyrd.com

I thought I’d dig through my image archives today and I found this charming butterfly, or flutterby as I sometimes refer to them.

It’s one of my early pieces of digital drawing that I was happy with and it was done on my first Surface – a Surface Book – back in 2016, I think it was.

I drew the flutterby using a Microsoft Surface Pen and Autodesk Sketchbook Pro and the original image is black and white with some greyscale shading. Today, I thought it would be nice to add some rainbow colours to the butterfly and a textured background too. So I have done.

I also have realised that this flutterby would make a nice focal point for a dangle design. Maybe I’ll have a go at doing that later on.

I’m still reeling from EMDR on Monday, still not found my balance point. It’s been a week of self-care. I am getting better, bit by bit, but this was a surprisingly tough session.

As I reflect on it, it’s interesting that I chose to post a butterfly today as butterflies are seen symbolic of transformation. But it’s also interesting that I chose to take a greyscale drawing and add a brightly coloured rainbow to it, as well as adding a textured and slightly coloured background.

I think I’ve lived my life mostly in greyscale. Not my art, though I do tend to enjoy drawing black and white line art a lot, but when I do use colour I do tend to go for really bright colours.

No, I mean my life, my emotional life particularly. All shades of grey and black.

I am in my fifties now and I’d like to think that I’ll be able to live a more colourful life for the rest of my human existence.

Perhaps this butterfly is one of those intuitive messages that’s telling me I am transforming into someone who does have a rainbow of emotions, is able to see them now. Maybe it’s telling me I’m transforming as I heal from cPTSD too.

EMDR does turn me into a chrysalis from the caterpillar I’ve been in life – a chrysalis that needs rest and time to complete that transformation, and when ready, the butterfly emerges, colourfully resplendent, able to fly and soar… the potential that was inside the caterpillar all the time now realised.

Entangled Quote

©Angela Porter 2019 - Artwyrd.com
©Angela Porter 2019 – Artwyrd.com

I stumbled across this quote from Albert Einstein yesterday. It sums up how I feel about my art and how I create art. I work very intuitively, generally. I choose one place to start, with one motif and I just let everything else flow from that point. If I am thinking about what I’m doing, I’m not aware of those thoughts. In this way, drawing is, for me, a rather mindful activity where I can lose myself in the flow.

My art tends to go wrong if I over-think or try to over-plan it, as I’ve found out recently as I did the first sketches for the coloring book I’m working on.

For this drawing, I printed out the quote and borders on an A4 sheet of Bristol Board. I then used various sizes of Uniball Unipin pens to draw the designs in. If you’re interested, I started at the top left corner of the quote box and it is from this point that the rest of the design flowed out from, sort of.

I’m actually quite pleased with this one. I actually like use of thicker lines to delineate the individual motifs and to give a more structured, layered feel.

I also dug into my visual reference libraries to revisit patterns and motifs I’ve not used in a while, as well as using some of my most favourite ones.

I like the stark, graphic nature of the pure black and white, but I may very well add colour to this one in a way similar to yesterday’s quote. I haven’t finished colouring that one yet, but it is something I will return to later today, though I may not finish it today.

Entangled Quote

©Angela Porter 2019

I’ve worked on this design over the past three days. I wanted to do another version of this particular quote in my more characteristic pen and ink, intricate, entangled style of art.

I used various pens to draw this on recycled copy paper (I know, but it’s preserved for posterity as a digital file now). The quote and the boundary lines were printed out on a laser printer. I could have hand lettered it, but I wanted a typewritten look for the quote.

I did add colour and texture to the background using Autodesk Sketchbook Pro along with a Microsoft Surface Pen and Microsoft Surface Studio, but the drawing was all done traditionally with various black pens.

This is so characteristic of my work from quite a few years ago, before I worked on colouring books. I think last week’s stresses and strains – EMDR, Time to Talk Day – had me wanting to escape into the familiar, the comforting, the easy (for me at least) which is why I defaulted to this style of art.

I do have to push myself out of this very comfortable art zone to work on templates for my next coloring book, one which could have an added bit of stress for me concerning its theme. I’m determined to do it though!

It’s taken me until today to fully recover from all of last week’s emotionally tiring events, just in time for my weekly EMDR session! So, I plan to get some drawings done for the book this morning before I head to Neath in what looks like it’s going to be a sunny late winter day. I also really need to get a brisk walk in nature in today. My fragile state has had me remaining in the safety of my home or car. Today, I feel the need to move my body a bit more.