It’s taken me a couple of days to complete this small watercolour. The paper is approx 5¼” x 3¼”. So, it’s tiny and rather detailed.
I stuck to my intention of using blues, teals, greens and purples. This palette gives a rather calming and tranquil feel to the artwork. That was also the mood I was doing my best to create for myself.
I’m usually calm, content when I create. However, events in life can disrupt that to some degree, mainly my ability to relax and settle into my artistic or creative pursuits.
I do enjoy doing these abstract watercolours; the lack of black lines is a change for me, but something I’m learning to be comfortable with. It’s taken me a long time and many, many trials with that. Digital art has been the medium that has helped me find that sense of comfort at leaving out the black lines.
It’s nice that I’m able to translate those skills into more traditional media, particularly watercolours. I love the way watercolours work, but I’ve never found a way for them to work for me. I’ve struggled with them time and time again. However, I think that these abstract watercolour art experiments have helped me.
I love to see people create beautiful botanical watercolours, especially the looser kinds. Whenever I try it, as successful as I may be, it never seems right to me. It never sits ‘right’ in my creative soul. It’s another case of finding out what isn’t me to help me discover, or accept, what is me.
In that vein, my sketchbook is gaining small drawings of abstract designs. Whether I use all of them for paintings is a moot point at the moment. Making use of a sketchbook again is something that seems important at this time. In some ways it’s nice as there is no pressure to get something right or perfect. There’s still quite a bit of the hyper-perfectionist in me, though I’m better at recognising when something is ‘good enough’ to be finished.
Just a little message to say I have a RedBubble shop – there’s a link to it in the sidebar to the right. Please take a look, and a share of the shop would be most appreciated. There’s a wide range of quality products available at prices to suit all budgets.
Last night, I had a play around with one of my latest watercolours in an app that creates patterns from your artwork. The process was mesmerising. I didn’t realise that they now do metamorphosing patterns like these two!
The top image is directly from the artwork, the bottom one has been lightened, the colours more saturated and adjusted slightly.
I fell in love with metamorphosing tessellations thanks to the works of M C Escher, like so many other people. I love the detail, observational skills and the way he plays with the illusion of space.
Anyways, creating these patterns, albeit digitally, was fascinating and something I can definitely lose myself in for hours! Being able to adjust colours in Autodesk Sketchbook Pro or Affinity Photo is an added fascination too.
I like both colour variations of the same metamorphosis above.
I have made both available in my RedBubble Shop on a wide range of quality products. Please take a look and support my art by sharing with others. #findyourthing
I started drawing this one fairly late last night and completed it just now. The tools I used were a soft Fudenosuke pen by Tombow, a 0.4 Sakura Pigma Sensei pen on white mixed media paper from Claire Fontaine.
I then scanned the drawing into the Surface Studio and used Autodesk Pro and a Surface Pen to clean up the image and then add a few details and some shading to it.
The original drawing is approx. 5″ x 6″ in size.
I’m quite pleased with this one as it’s not my usual ‘lets see how much space we can fill with line and pattern’ kind of drawing. The design has a kind of leaf shape to it in outline, and I’ve let white space exist in the design, which is really unusual for me.
Working in monotone is also unusual for me, but the grey shading certainly adds depth and dimension to the design, brings it to life.
I also have some brushes in Autodesk Sketchbook Pro that I can use to mimic graphite pencil shading, which I did here.
I started with the flower motif in the middle and let the design flow out from that point. Of course my design motifs had to include foliage, seedpods and some abstract/geometrical patterns too. Oh and some fungi/mushrooms too. And orbs/spheres.
I really like my circular arches of a pattern inspired by Early Celtic/La Tene art. The shading really helped to define this pattern.
I’m going to make this one available for purchase from my RedBubble shop.
Still emotionally exhausted…
I slept so much yesterday and last night. I’m still emotionally exhausted after my trip out on Thursday. I’m still finding it hard to believe how much something so simple exhausted me so much in terms of emotion particularly. I didn’t think I was any more anxious than usual, or stressed than usual. Seems I was oblivious to my own body.
I do feel a bit better today, but I could just curl up and sleep again now and I’ve only been awake for 4 hours.
I won’t go to sleep this afternoon though. I’m going to keep myself awake somehow. Maybe with art. Maybe with some books I bought on Thursday. Maybe with crochet. Maybe with all of them, but not at the same time!
Even though I’m exhausted I do feel quite content within myself. However, even though it’s a lovely sunny day, if rather windy, here in Welsh Wales, I don’t think I’ll venture out into the realms of peopledom. It’s another Bank Holiday weekend here in the UK so the world tends to be more people-y than usual. I think that could overwhelm me again and I’m better off just remaining where I feel safe and calm.
The more aware I am of my emotions and my self, the more aware I am of how much CPTSD has affected me, of how it limits my life, and of how much work I still have to do. Mind you, that self awareness is showing me as well the progress I have made and how I make decisions based around self care too. Like today, knowing the world is too people-y and somethings can be left until the world is a little less people-y.
I recommend the article. It’s simple and clear and the quote above makes it very plain and clear that just because something is on the internet doesn’t mean it has no copyright. That includes Pinterest.
The only things that have no copyright are things that are in the public domain and/or declared copyright free.
Public domain is NOT the same as the internet. Public domain is another way of saying the images or content are without copyright or the originators of the images or content have waived their right to copyright.
Reputable websites, companies, people will give the source of an image, credit the artist/creator with it and won’t remove any signatures, copyright statements, watermarks or change the website address.
Reputable companies and people are proud to name the artists/creatives whose work they are placing on product or showcasing. They approach the owners of the work for permission to use the work, seeking a license and are willing to pay for this.
Disreputable companies make no effort to find out who the original creator was, even though it’s easy to drag and drop an image into the search bar of google images to find websites where the artwork has been shown. Yes, it might take a little effort to find the artist/creative, but not as much effort and time as it’s taken the artist/creative to create their work.
Disreputable companies and people usually remove any references to the original artist/creative and make no mention of who they are. They don’t sing their praises.
Disreputable companies and people make no effort to contact the original artist/creative in order to gain permission to use the work.
Now, we artists and creatives are more than happy for our work to be shared with proper credit being given and links back to the original source of the work. It’s always nice when people share our work as it shows it’s liked and appreciated and we’ve made someone happy for a while. It’s even nicer when someone leaves a comment; that always lifts the heart. Of course, it’s even nicer when someone wants to purchase our work.
It doesn’t take much to see if companies are proud of their artists or hiding that information. If they hide that information or don’t bother to find it then you can bet your bottom dollar (or any other currency of choice) that they aren’t working with the artist who created the work.
Many artists have their own shops online where you can buy original artwork, prints or products with their art on. I have anEtsy shop (though it’s been very much neglected lately) and a shop at RedBubble.
It is through these official outlets that you can purchase high quality products with really good resolution artwork prints on at affordable prices, and by doing so you can be sure the artist themselves is getting some monetary return for their efforts.
Of course, it can be hard to do this if you don’t know the name of the artist and you’ve seen their art on a facebook shop or similar. But use the drag and drop trick into google images to do what you can to find who they are. It takes a short amount of time for sure.
If we all did this these companies that use copyrighted work without permission (a licence) would soon have no one buying from them and they’d not profit from someone else’s hard work and creativity without even mentioning the original artist/creative.
It would be lovely if this blog post was shared far and wide (properly credited of course) to try to get people to understand what copyright and the internet is all about and how important it is to creatives who make their living through their creativity.
I’m going to make the black and white version of this artwork available as a coloring template for the members of the Angela Porter’s Coloring Book Fans facebook group. It’s free to join, and I try to add one template for members to colour each month. Some months, like this one, I add more.
It would be lovely if people would colour the template and share, properly credited, to try to get the message out.
About my illustration of the day
I must admit I didn’t handletter this quote, I used Microsoft Publisher to set the quote on the page and then printed it out on Winsor and Newton Bristol Board.
I then set about adding some artwork around the quote using a soft Tombow Fudenosuke pen. This has resulted in much bolder pen lines as well as variable width lines in my drawing. The motifs are also a little bigger than I’d usually draw.
I like the more graphic nature of my penwork; it gives it a bit of the feel of being linocut. It also adds plenty of depth and dimension to the artwork.
I will be colouring this one myself. Not quite sure if I’ll do it digitally or whether I’ll use my Chameleon markers. I need a break for some tea first.
It’s been an *interesting* couple of days to say the least, and the root cause of the *interesting times* was the discovery of my dragonfly drawing entitled ‘Fly Away’ from back in 2012 (which you can see in my deviantART account).
I re-imagined it digitally, using my Microsoft Surface Studio and Surface Pen along with Autodesk Sketchbook Pro. It’s obviously hand drawn – I left lots of little imperfections in the drawing, including wobbly lines in places. I wanted it to have the human touch, not the slick perfection that can result from digital art. It took me around 12 hours or so to re-draw. That’s more than one day’s work.
Complaints, complaints and a heartwarming tale
I sent a message to the owners of the ‘Dragonfly Lovers’ facebook page explaining that they were using my artwork without my permission, effectively stealing my work for their own profit. Surprisingly I’ve not had a reply. My messages on their page have been deleted and I’ve been blocked too.
I have also submitted an official complaint of infringement of copyright/intellectual property to teespring.com, which is the website where they are selling merchandise with my dragonfly art on.
In the midst of this, with family and friends seeing what was going on and getting a good sense of righteous indignation, a woman from Texas sent me a message saying she’d seen the comments on the facebook page mentioned above and she’d decided to approach me directly. She was going to buy the dragonfly art from that page for her daughter’s birthday party. Instead, she asked if I would sell her a print so she’s supporting the artist who created the art.
I was touched. When people approach me I always try to help. Sometimes I waive my fees, such as when someone wants permission to use a design of mine to cover up a mastectomy scar.
Anyways, back to the tale. I told the texas lady that I’d have to re-draw the image as the original had been sold years ago via Etsy and I didn’t have a high resolution image of it.
More about the drawing
So, I got to drawing it again. The image above is the result of some 12 hours work.
I used a low resolution image of the original artwork as a guide and I worked digitally. I was quite keen to do this. I wanted to try out my new skills with brushes that change width with pressure, as well as showcase how my skills have developed in the 7 years since the original was drawn.
The drawing is NOT an exact copy at all. The dragonfly itself is pretty much similar, but the flowers are different as are the spirally branches in the background. I also added tiny seed pods and flourishes to add interest.
I let the varying line weight add depth and dimension to the elements of the image. Overall, I think it’s a more balanced design. Some of the branches look a little ‘flat’ and maybe would benefit from some grey shadows. But it’s good enough I think.
Did something good come from this debacle?
The intellectual property thieves did something good – they spurred me into action in terms of reworking an old image, using my new skills, the way my art has developed.
I also now have a very high resolution image which will print beautifully on many products – it’s up in my RedBubble Shop!
They’ve also made me realise that if my art is good enough for them to steal and use to profit from then my art must be good enough for me to sell.
My problem is promoting myself and getting word out there that I have stuff available to buy with my art on it, officially! I’ve given myself permission to put my artwork on products to sell.
A never ending battle…
I know I’m never going to stop the thieves. There are always unscrupulous people out there, willing to use anything or anyone for their own profit. But when I find them I will challenge them. What they are doing is wrong – WRONG I tell you!
The only way to defeat them in some ways is not to join them, it’s not to let it all slide, but it’s to offer my art with really good quality images on good quality products at a reasonable price.
It’s also getting the word out that this kind of thing is unacceptable, and to challenge the myth that just because an image is on the internet it’s free for anyone to use, even to make money for themselves.
So, from now on, I will be adding more prominent watermarks to my art and making sure it’s at a low resolution that will not print well. I’ll do what I can to make it more difficult for them to steal, to remove my signature or symbol and watermarks and so on.
I also have a plan to add a notice to my art warning people that it is copyrighted and it’s use without permission is illegal. Well, not quite those words, but that kind of meaning.
The easiest way to stop the unscrupulous out there would be to stop sharing my art. However, there’s been people saying they hope it doesn’t stop me as they like to see what I’m up to…so I’m going to have to learn how to protect my images, my art more and more. And if I find someone using my artwork for their own gain without my permission then I will do what I can to stop them.
I have just two images up there at the moment – the recent Daffodil Mandala and the Dragon with Daffodils. Both are available on a range of quality products including wall art and stationery.
My Journey to cPTSD Recovery
Today, I’m feeling more content and settled than I have for a number of weeks. Even though EMDR floored me on Monday, I seem to have been able to find my balance faster than previously. This is a good thing as I do have a contract to fulfil by the end of the month.
I am writing in a journal most days, particularly any insights I have through the day. They seem to be coming more quickly now I’m working on seeing where I’ve told myself a story to avoid any emotional or mental pain. I know this is a coping strategy that people with CPTSD use to protect themselves. However realising this, that I may have avoided the truth of a difficult, traumatic experience or situation makes me feel really stupid. Realising that this is a coping strategy I learned at a very, very young age doesn’t help stop me feeling stupid. There’s also a lot of guilt too as I’m stuck between the story I want to believe, the one that is nice and pleasant, and the truth of the emotional and mental distress I was experiencing and denying I was experiencing. It’s not an easy place to be in. It also makes me quite sad and teary that I’ve done this all my life.
Realising these kinds of things, no matter how painful they are, is part of my journey to recovery from CPTSD. I won’t stop though. To do so would mean I would have to live with the pain the realisation has caused me without any way of dealing with that pain. So the only way is to face up to these things, process them in EMDR and find a way to a healthier relationship with myself, to find a way to become a friend to myself.