Tuesday Tangles

A pair of tangled drawings today.

The tall, thin one is approx 10.5 cm x 29.7 cm in size – a piece of smooth, heavyweight cartridge paper. Colour has been added with a mixture of fineliner pens and graphitint pencils with a damp brush.

The smaller tile is 4″ x 4″ (10cm x 10cm) piece of the same paper. Again, I’ve used graphitint pencils and a damp brush to add colour. A white gelly roll pen has been used to add highlights to the image.

Both drawings have also had shadow added with a graphite pencil and paper tortillon.

I love the graphic nature of a pure black and white drawing. However, there is something almost magical in the way that colour and shadow/highlights can bring a drawing to a lucious 3-D appearing work of art.

I’m also loving the softer tones of the graphitint pencils with a damp brush. The water activates the colour a little and allows me to drag it out to create a gradation of colour, along with a darker, shadowed area.

The cartridge paper is not the best for using damp brushes on, but the texture that results actually isn’t all that bad.

My mind is wandering to the square tile, and wondering if I could create it in polymer clay … a thought to try out at a later time, maybe.

Dragonfly Mandala

I woke this morning knowing I needed to draw a mandala and dragonflies. Sometimes I have no idea why, but this is what flowed from my pen.

Soft teals and lavenders colour the dragonflies and mandala. Calming, restful, meditative. The bodies of the dragonflies are ornate, but the wings are not so, which is unusual for me. Perhaps because I feel I’ve lost my ability to fly at this time, I’m doubting myself an awful lot.

Carl Jung used mandala drawing to help inform him, and his clients, about what was going on in the unconscious and needed to be brought into the conscious mind to be processed. The unconscious mind works through symbols and metaphors. So, what do dragonflies (four in number), teal and lavender symbolise?

Dragonflies are said to symbolise wisdom, change, transformation, light and adaptability in life. They are also a symbol of the realm of emotions and so invite you to dive deeper into your feelings. They also symbolise a change in perspective of oneself by removing the doubts that we cast on our own sense of identity in order to reveal our authentic self.

When they appear to you, they are a reminder that there is a need for lightness and joy in your life.

As I’m delving into the realms of symbolism, what about the colours?

Teals are calming and emotionally healing. They also represent self-awareness. This colour promotes an open communication between the heart and spoken word, in both directions.

Lavender represents gracefulness, calmness and creativity. There is also a sense of fragility, sensitivity and vulnerability connected to this colour. It is also considered a grown-up pink.

The teals and lavenders I’ve used in this artwork are both quite subdued, which actually does describe how I am feeling at this time.

And what about my choice of four dragonflies? What does the number four symbolise?

Four symbolises what is solid, what can be touched and felt. It also represents the justice and stability that you need in your life. It also resonates with loyalty, trust, wisdom, determination and patience. It is a reminder not to give up on your goals and to reflect on your passions and aspirations. Believe in yourself, your abilities, your talents and show them to the world. It is also a number that symbolises the protection and guidance of angels.

It seems my mandala has drawn concerns from my unconscious mind into the light of day. I find it interesting how the symbols and colours I used relate to what I am working with on a personal level at this time.

It is said that all artists reveal a lot about themselves in their artwork. I think I do that a lot more than I realise.