Inktober 2018 Day 10 ‘Flowing’ and World Mental Health Day 2018 #wmhd

Angela Porter Inktober 2018 Day 10 Flowing watermarked

Today’s #inktober2018 prompt is ‘Flowing’, so I knew I had to incorporate ripples into my art for today. I also wanted a blue-green colour scheme, so I used Distress Inks and an ink blending tool to colour an A4 piece of Bristol Board from Frisk.

After drawing pencil lines to allow me margins, I set to work with a range of Uniball Unipin pens to draw my design.

I started with the wavy lines in the bottom left corner and just let everything flow out from there quite intuitively, as is usual for myself.

It’s taken me quite a while to do; I think I started it around 7:30am and it’s now nearly 3pm. Sheesh, that’s nearly 8 hours!  Here was me at the beginning of Inktober stating I was going to do little drawings and so on.

However, there’s a dual purpose in today’s art.

Although I’m not doing anything specific for World Mental Health Day (#wmhd #worldmentalhealthday #wmhd2018) I am taking care of my own mental and emotional health by creating this drawing.

Yesterday was a tough day for me emotionally. In my role as a champion for Time to Change Wales (#ttcw) I gave an anti-stigma talk to HR people in a college, both of which triggered some quite strong emotional flashbacks for me.

A couple of hours after that talk ended, I had my weekly EMDR therapy session which resulted in some strong and painful releases of trauma stored in my body as well as some emotional flashbacks of trauma in my childhood that I’d dissociated from.

So between the two, I was emotionally exhausted yesterday evening and night and I woke up headachy and tired today.

Part of my self-care for my emotional and mental well-being is being creative and it just so happens that Inktober’s prompt was a perfect one for today, yet again.

When I get lost in my artwork I enter a state called ‘flow’. It’s a kind of meditative state of calm, peacefulness. My self-talk (which is often so very negative) is either quieted or loses it’s power over me. It’s almost like I’m outside of time and space.

So, the approx 8 hours of drawing (well more like 6 or 7 as I had a break to meditate mid-morning and took a short time out to get a veggie bacon sandwich for a late lunch) had just flown by.

I’m still tired, but there’s a peace there within me that wasn’t there when I woke.

Creating a drawing that is rather intricate is something I don’t get to do often when I’m working on coloring books, but it is definitely something that soothes my sore emotions and mind.

Not only is it time that the stigma and discrimination around mental health is brought to an end, it’s time we all looked after our mental and emotional health as much as we do our physical health.

I have a couple of chronic health problems and during my regular checkups I’m asked about my mental and emotional health as it’s known that people can develop mental ill-health when they live day to day with a chronic illness.

I know from personal experience that when I don’t take care of my emotional/mental health I become physically ill, so the state of our mental health, emotional health and physical health interact with one another, of that I’m sure.

So, try everyday to take the time to do something that lets you relax and find joy and peace in doing. There are so many things that people use for this – drawing, coloring, painting, playing music, gardening, walking, cooking, exercising, dancing, singing, meditation, mindful activities, taking a relaxing bath by candle light, a massage, a cup of tea somewhere with a beautiful view, a walk in the surf’s edge on a sunset beach, yoga, tai chi….the list goes on!

What do you do for your own mental and emotional self-care? What do you love to do where you can find yourself in ‘flow state’ or a meditative state that gives your mind a rest?

 

Perfectly Imperfect and an Abstract Botanical 21 August 2018

Angela Porter 21 August 2018

My latest design. It took nearly 2 days work to complete, though I may add some metallic highlights here.

I used Inktense pencils and blocks with water brushes, Uniball Unipin pens and Daler-Rowney Aquafine smooth watercolour paper.

Black line definitely keeps my need for that high contrast work happy, but the ability to add layers of colour or create gradations in colour with the Inktense also keeps me happy. Together, they work for me.

I did start off the central area with shapes of colour, but then I started to draw in the designs around the edge and then add colour. Both ways work for me for sure. Also, there’s a kind of randomness to the colour and some over-spill outside the lines, and that is something I’m learning to live with and like.

Perfectly imperfect.

Just like me. Just like us all. We are all perfectly imperfect and that is OK. In fact, it’s more than ok, it’s just perfect and I think we should all embrace it. The imperfections are what contribute to our uniqueness, our individuality as much as anything else (perhaps even more). Society sends a message we all need to be perfect as people with perfect lives and perfect homes and perfect bodies and perfect smiles, hair and so on.

The reality is, however, that we aren’t.

We are all imperfect. Life is imperfect. Nature is imperfect.

But all is perfectly imperfect.

And that is good. It is. At any moment in our lives we are all doing the best we can.  Sometimes things work out perfectly. Sometimes they go wrong. The balance of it all is that it is all perfectly imperfect.

My artwork is perfectly imperfect. I do my best with digital art, but I’m not really happy with what I do often. I learn each time I do some, and move forward, improving. The same is true when I use traditional media.

The same is true of life. Of my life. Of all our lives, our perfectly imperfect lives from which we can learn and grow as people.

 

 

Dangle Day Friday – new BuJo spreads for August

August BuJo Spreads

Angela Porter 27 July 2018

The last days of July are upon us, which means it’s time for new BuJo pages.

I’ve settled into a kind of pattern for myself as far as a BuJo/Planner goes. It’s really minimalistic in terms of what I keep track of, but not so minimal in terms of artsy-ness!

I have two designs for the monthly cover page. One, a dangle design, the other one of my zentangly, entangled style drawings. Yes, I hand lettered these ones, not like the quotes where I am printing out the words before drawing on the paper.

Like my dangle designs? You can pre-order ‘A Dangle A Day’, my book where I take you through how to draw your own dangle designs!

I like both of my monthly cover spreads, but I know the more complex one may never get completely coloured in – it would need a lot of time invested in it.

I like to have a monthly overview page for my events and appointments, and I’ve added dangle elements to that, though I do like a simple layout for the days.

The final planned-out page I like to have is a mood tracker. As you may be aware if you’ve been following my blog for a while, I have CPTSD and keeping track of my mood is useful. For August, I’ve decided on some bunting. The spaces are large enough that I can, if I wish, record different moods throughout the day.  Also, I like to keep the key for my moods simple, with just five different ones.

Hearts and stars are the theme for this month, which are common with me. They are two motifs that I really, really like.

The stars this month represent the Perseid meteor shower which happens around my birthday each  year, natures own fireworks. Hopefully the skies will be clear this year so there can be a good view of them.

A little about the materials used

  • A Leuchtturm 1918 A5 dot grid notebook
  • Unipin pens from Uniball and a mechanical pencil to sketch out the letters and so on.
  • Chameleon duotone pencils for colouring
  • A metallic gold Sakura Gelly Roll pen for some metallic highlights on the cover page.

Furbaby Friday and a new facebook group

Today it’s #furbabyfriday over on the Angela Porter’s Coloring Book Fans facebook group. The members love to show their beautiful furbabies, especially when they’re ‘helping’ with their colouring! You’d be most welcome to join the group and share your beautiful furbabies.

One of the admins of this group has started a new facebook group called Pet Love, Care & Happiness. If you love pets and animals you’d be more than welcome to join in. I believe they have a competition at the moment to win some Amazon gift vouchers.

 

 

Doodle, illustration from 11 Feb 2017

angela-porter20170211_0016-watermarked

I’ve done it!  I’ve worked out how to easily add a watermark to my scanned artwork to try to protect it as I share it online.

Autodesk Sketchbook Pro made it a doddle to do and so I’ll make sure I do this in the future.

To draw this one I found, after much searching, my Rotring Rapidograph pens.  It’s been a while since we were acquainted with each other, but yesterday was the day!  I’d forgotten what a joy they can be to draw with.  Also, unlike the UniBall UniPin or Sakura Micron pens I generally favour to draw with, I don’t wreck the nibs in a short space of time. I must press a lot harder than I think I do with them…

So, onwards to more art.  A lesson learned about protecting my ownership of my art and some control of it when I release an image of it into the wilds of the world weird web.

Starting an art journal

For a long, long while I’ve wanted to keep an art journal. However, I’ve been puzzled and confused and not sure what to do with it.

Yesterday, I decided the only way to find out how to do it or what to do with it was to just do it, and to use it as a way to experiment with media/techniques I don’t usually use (certainly when I’m doing the black and white line art for the various publishers I’ve done/doing work for).

It’s actually quite fun. I’ve found a way to make use of the sheets of Gelli printed patterns which aren’t much use for anything else as I’m playing with the Gelli plate(s). I’m using Tim Holtz’s Distress inks with sponges and home-made stamps/texture plates too.

It’s also a way for me to combine words and art, something I’ve never really been happy with.

AngelaPorter_Artwyrd_Journal Page 1

AngelaPorter_Artwyrd_Journal Page 2

Yet another mandala…

AugustMandala7©AngelaPorter 2013

This is approx. 7.25″ (18.5cm) in diameter.  Black Unipin pens and polychromos pencils on heavy, acid-free cartridge paper.

It took two episodes of Criminal Minds to do the pencil pattern and then to go over it with ink.  Another three or four episodes to complete the colouring, and another one or two to complete the texture lines.

I’m enjoying doing these; they’re very calming and meditative to do as there is a lot of repetition in producing the finished piece as they are geometric in design.