Mail Art

Mail Art ©Angela Porter | Artwyrd.com

Yet again I woke with my mind swimming with an idea I wanted to try out. I’d had a problem when I was trying to add colour to drawings I’d done on distress ink backgrounds. Whether I used water and a brush or a Tombow Blender pen, the pigment from the Sakura Micron and Uniball Unipin pens bled, and I really wasn’t happy with that.

I spent some time yesterday trying different pens out, with no luck in finding any that didn’t smear/bleed. So, I put this to one side until I had a chance to think about it.

I slept on it and woke with an idea to try.

Why not use the Tombow blender to draw the basic shapes of my design in colour and then add black lines afterwards. Seed pods seem to be my default design when I’m experimenting, but I’m fine with that.

So that’s what I did. And this card is the result.

As I was starting to add the black lines to the design I thought I’d made a horrible mistake, had a bad idea. However, as I added more and more detail, I realised it would work out, and I think it did.

I added some gold to the seeds in the seed pod with a glitter gel pen. I also splattered some gold watercolour paint over the design.

The envelope is really simple; three seed pods, black line art with golden seeds.

Not a unique artistic approach, but it is something that has never worked for me before.

It’s not a dissimilar approach I take to my digital art, where I start with the basic shapes and then add shading and detail. I do use line art as a guide for my design, and that is an approach I can apply to traditional art in that I may need to pencil in the design, then colour, then add the line art.

Who would’ve thought it – working digitally is helping me develop my traditional art methods and skills.

Quote about therapy

Artwork © Angela Porter | Artwyrd.com

Trigger Warning – the following words contain some references to my past mental and emotional ill health.

I’ve begun to realise that I am as recovered from CPTSD as I’m going to be for now. So, yesterday, I made the decision, after lots of thought, that it was time to leave a month or so until my next session. The longest I’ve been without therapy is three weeks. This time it will be five weeks. It’s a test for me to see if I am as resilient as I think I am. Still, there’s also that little bit of a safety net that if I have issues I know, I’ll have a therapy session to sort out what to do next.

I know that in the future, as life experiences trigger some CPTSD reaction in me, I may need some more EMDR sessions to help me resolve the issues. Leaving therapy, for now, is necessary, but not without the possibility of returning as I need to.

How did I know I’d reached that point? Well, I recovered well from my hiccough, emotionally and mentally, over Christmas and New Year. Surprising well, actually. Even my therapist said that!

Nothing new has come up that needs to be processed it seems. I’ve had the feeling I’ve been groping around for issues to work on in therapy for a long while. Maybe I was ready a while ago but wasn’t quite prepared to leave that safety net of that one person who has always been there to listen, question me and help me to understand and heal myself. I feel I am ready to cut loose now, but suddenly, but gradually.

The soft inner smile, feeling of contentment and ease is present most days. I also have a feeling of what I can only describe as hope and optimism.
These feelings are my touchstones, the way I want to feel most of my days of the remainder of my life.

It still saddens me that it’s taken me until I’m 56 years old to discover them, to heal enough of the traumas of the past to allow them to be fully present nearly every day. I lived my life believing the way I thought and felt was ‘normal’ and that everyone was like this.

It took an emotional and mental breakdown to get me to accept that I was in a severe amount of emotional and mental pain and to seek the help I needed to heal that pain. EMDR has been that help, that therapy has allowed me to heal those wounds.

Sometimes things happen, and my emotions can overshadow the contentment and smile. However, I can still feel those touchstones, reminders that the emotional storm will pass and the smile will shine out once again. This emotional weather has happened a few times since I first discovered my touchstones, but the weather has always passed. Sometimes with the help of therapy, but more often by itself, given self-soothing, self-care and self-reflection.

I am so grateful to have had such a skilled therapist. Still, it’s now time for me to find new ways to engage with like-minded people, not in huge groups, as that would really cause problems for my introverted nature.

I’ve been having EMDR therapy for nearly five and a half years. It seems a long time, yet it’s not that long, really. A lot of commitment and work has been needed, but I’m reaping the rewards of my efforts.

The quote epitomises the way I feel about therapy now. In my darkest days, when I started EMDR. Linda, my therapist, has been that one person who has consistently been there to accompany me on this journey of healing and recovery from CPTSD. She has helped me discover that part of me that wants to experience life my own way, that part which is content, gently smiling, resilient, optimistic, more accepting of myself, kinder to myself, and much more I can’t yet put into words.

I’m not perfect; no one is. However, I’m as emotionally and mentally well as I’m going to be without living life. Only the ups and downs of life will reveal triggers for the remaining CPTSD. Some may never be revealed and not be an issue. Others I may be able to deal with myself, some I may need help from EMDR to process them and heal that still wounded part of myself.

It’s actually quite exciting. All I need to do is to transform that feeling of excitement and optimism into action such as a couple of nights away by myself and finding groups to join where there are like-minded people to begin with.

Seedpod Landscapes – Art and Card Making

I had a lovely time this morning making the card on the left. Before I started drawing, I added a moon or planet to the background. It really adds something to the card, I think. Something like this is needed on the card to the right I think. However, as I’ve assembled the card it’s not going to be easy to alter!

How I made the cards.

I used Distress Inks and a mini-foam blending tool to colour the backgrounds. I used a circle of paper as a mask for the moon/planet in the left-hand card. To create the land, I used a torn piece of paper to mask off part of the card.

Once I was pleased with the backgrounds, I sprayed the image with a mixture of Perfect Pearls and water and let it dry.

The next step was to draw the designs. I used black and grey Pitt Artist Pens by Faber Castell.

Metallic/iridescent highlights were added; I used Cosmic Shimmer watercolour paints and a fine brush.

The final steps were to adhere the top layer to a black mat, and then this to the card base. Finally, I edged the mat and the top layer with a gold glitter Uniball Signo gel pen.

I have made coordinating envelopes for each card.

My thoughts on the cards.

I think you can tell that the card on the left is the second made. I can see how I’ve learned from the first card. I do like them both.

I would, if I could, add a moon/planet to the right hand card. It would fill that space rather nicely and give a more magical, mystical, ethereal feel to the landscape.

As to the left hand card, I wish I hadn’t done the pods all in black; they appear a tad ‘flat’. In hindsight, I could have used just black outlines and then filled the pod with a colour gradient before adding the metallic highlights.

I also am glad I didn’t try to add a spine to each leaf as I did on the right hand card. However, a highlight at the top of each leaf, suggesting the moon/planet light is reflecting from them.

Oh the whole, however, I am pleased with these cards. They are a new style of working for me. leaving open space is never easy for me, but I’ve managed it with these cards.

Would you like some happy mail?

I’ve already got some recipients in mind for these cards. However, if you’d like some happy mail then send me a message.

I had a lovely time this morning making the card on the left. Before I started drawing, I added a moon or planet to the background. It really adds something to the card, I think. Something like this is needed on the card to the right, I guess. However, as I’ve assembled the card, it’s not going to be easy to alter!

How I made the cards.

I used Distress Inks and a mini-foam blending tool to colour the backgrounds. I used a circle of paper as a mask for the moon/planet in the left-hand card. To create the land, I used a torn piece of paper to mask off part of the card.

Once I was pleased with the backgrounds, I sprayed the image with a mixture of Perfect Pearls and water and let it dry.

The next step was to draw the designs. I used black and grey Pitt Artist Pens by Faber Castell.

Metallic/iridescent highlights were added; I used Cosmic Shimmer watercolour paints and a fine brush.

The final steps were to adhere the top layer to a black mat and then this to the card base. Finally, I edged the mat and the top layer with a gold glitter Uniball Signo gel pen.

I have made coordinating envelopes for each card.

My thoughts on the cards.

I think you can tell that the card on the left is the second made. I can see how I’ve learned from the first card. I do like both cards, though.

I would, if I could, add a moon/planet to the right-hand card. It would fill that space rather nicely and give a more magical, mystical, ethereal feel to the landscape.

As to the left-hand card, I wish I hadn’t done the pods all in black; they appear a tad ‘flat’. In hindsight, I could have used just black outlines and then filled the pod with a colour gradient before adding the metallic highlights.

I also am glad I didn’t try to add a spine to each leaf as I did on the right-hand card. However, a highlight at the top of each leaf, suggesting the moon/planet light is reflecting from them.

Oh the whole, however, I am pleased with these cards. They are a new style of working for me. Leaving open space is never easy for me, but I’ve managed it with these cards.

Would you like some happy mail?

I’ve already got some recipients in mind for these cards. However, if you’d like some happy mail then send me a message.

I’ve already got some recipients in mind for these cards. However, if you’d like some happy mail then send me a message.

Noel – Entangled Design

©Angela Porter, Artwyrd.com

I always have fun when drawing and creating, including this design. In it I’ve combined some of my entangled design elements along with winter/Christmas doodles. 

To start, I hand lettered ‘Noel’ using a guide for the shape of the lettering I wanted. Then, I printed it out so I could add the black and white line art using a 0.8 Uniball Unipin pen.

Once that was done, the finished lineart was scanned back into the Microsoft Surface Studio, a transparent background created and some smudges cleaned up. 

Finally, I could colour it. Today, I chose to use the color gradient tools, which does make the job of colouring a bit quicker, but it also results in a rather ‘shiny’ look too. Or perhaps that’s simply due to the colours I choose for the gradients.

I had fun adding the glowing stars and sparkles to this one, though I’m not sure I’ve got that right.A nice way to spend the morning and early afternoon as the weather has been wet and very windy at times here. 

Doodleworlds design 12 November 2018

Angela Porter 12 November 2018

After the emotions surrounding Remembrance Day and all the heart-tugging posts on social media concerning issues around veterans and families and so on, I needed to create something that was a little fun.

I drew the design yesterday and I’ve spent the past 4 hours colouring it using my set of Chameleon Color Tones and Color Tops.

Not digital art this time, just some fun doodleworlds style critters and monsters and objects, along with some geometric designs as well as my trademark arches and swirls and spirals.

I love how all my critters are different and yet close together getting along, even if some of them look a bit grumpy, fierce or angry. We all have emotions, a whole range of them from ecstatic, happy to sad, angry, miserable. It’s like a weird kind of family, friendship photo. Even the single kitty to the left of the tower is part of this group, even though it’s keeping its distance.

Sometimes I need that distance from people, even groups of people I care for. I get overwhelmed so easily. I then need some quiet alone time and space to rest, recoup and recharge. I enjoy time with people I care about; the trade off is feeling drained and tired and exhausted afterwards.

It’s the same with overly emotional days. When I need to rest, recoup and recharge sometimes drawing overly whimsical, cute, simple designs with cheesily cute critters and monsters helps to soothe what’s going on inside me.

I really need a bit of that before I head out for EMDR therapy later on today.

C is for … dangle design

Angela Porter C is for 10 Nov 2018

I don’t know what’s occurring with WordPress, but the colours of this particular dangle design aren’t quite so grey and dull. I’ve noticed over the past couple of weeks that when I upload an image the colours change. Never used to do that…

Anyways, today’s dangle design was fun to draw and I chose to use a different color palette than is usually for me. It’s not more pastel, it’s more subdued perhaps. I actually quite like it, which has surprised me!

I do tend towards bright colour palettes, bright and vibrant. For me to choose a more subdued one is very unusual, but it’s something I think I may work with more now as I rather like this one.

Also, I’ve chosen just  7 colors that I’ve used tones/shades of – cool grey, cool violet, antique pink, a blue-green, a yellow-green, soft blue-grey and old gold tones.

Again, using just a few base colors rather than a whole host of different colours is not my usual way of working. What I’m beginning to realise about this is that it gives a much more cohesive look to the finished design. With the colours being more subtle, it also gives a much more grown-up even, dare I say it, more sophisticated look to what is a rather simple and whimsical kind of design. It particularly works well with the monogram ‘C’.

In fact, the cute kitty is really the only whimsical element of this design. The others are simple, yes, but not quite so cute and whimsical. However, I wouldn’t remove the kitty-cat as cats are the theme of this series of monogram dangle designs.

I’ve said it before that I really struggle with seeing my art as others see it. I often think my art, like this, is rather childish, simple, unsophisticated, naive with no real artistic value at all.

This is part of how I think of myself and it’s part of my CPTSD. I’m working on it. For me to recognise that I’ve done nice things, things I feel proud of is a step or two forwards. However, there’s that nasty inner critic that does its best to derail any positive thoughts I may have about myself or the things I do.

Anyways, onto the nitty gritty of how I created this dangle design.

The steps I took were:

  1. sketched out the design on dot grid paper
  2. scanned the sketch into Autodesk Sketchbook Pro
  3. used a technical pen ‘brush’ to ink in the design
  4. worked out the color palette I wanted to use
  5. coloured the design, in this case using gradient fills for speed
  6. added shadows to the design
  7. created a drop shadow
  8. created a coloured background
  9. added texture to both the design and background

I sketched the design out last night, and it took me between 2 and 3 hours to complete the steps above as this is a relatively small design.

If you’d like to learn how to create your own dangle designs, then my upcoming book ‘A Dangle A Day’ is a good place to start. You can pre-order it so it’s arrives on it’s release date in January 2019.

B is for … a dangle design

Angela Porter 7 Nov 2018 B is for

B is for birthday balloons, birthday cupcakes, birthday gifts…baking … beads …beautiful cats, beautiful flowers…bullet journal (BuJo)…

It’s Friday and it’s taken me a couple or three days to get this monogram dangle design finished, mainly because yesterday was another jolly jaunty day with Liz (more of that on my other blog – Curious Stops and Tea Shops – when I get to write it, that is).

Today’s dangle design features some cute kitties, as is the theme of my current series of monogram dangle designs.

I started by sketching out my ideas in pencil on dot grid paper then scanning it into Autodesk Sketchbook Pro. The next step was digitally inking in and adjusting the design. Finally, colour and texture was added to the design before adding my watermarks. My digital tools were my trusty Microsoft Surface Pen and Microsoft Surface Studio.

I like the design, not so sure about the colour choices though. I also got a bit heavy handed with the added textures in some places.

After I’ve got my other tasks done today, I think I may print this design out and colour it with my Chameleon markers and see the difference. It looks like we’re going to have some heavy rain and some strong winds here today, so cwtching up indoors with some nice arty stuff to do could be the way to spend some of the day.

Friday means it’s #dangleday. My tutorial book about designing dangles, called ‘A Dangle A Day’ is available to preorder. In it I take you step by step through simple hand lettering, monogram dangle designs, and other kinds of dangle designs, showing how you too can draw and design your own. There’s lots and lots of examples in the book as well as suggestions of how to use them as greeting cards, notecards, bookmarks and framed pictures, as well as in BuJos, planners, diaries, scrapbooks…how to use them is limited only by your creativity!