Coloring Day – 2 August 2017

Angela Porter National Colouring Day 2018 colouredSmall

The day be soon upon us!  National Coloring day in the USA, but that can apply to the whole world!

In celebration, I’ve created a free coloring template, a partly coloured version of which you can see above.  You can get the template by visiting my facebook page, just click on this link to go directly to the post – Angela Porter Illustrator.

Have fun! I have been – lost several hours colouring in the template, and it’s only about half done, if that!  Yes, I’ve been doing this one digitally, well partly.  The mandala was drawn using Autodesk Sketchbook Pro, printed out, and then the doodles and zentangles and so on were drawn using a Sakura Micron Pen.  Scanned the finished image in, cleaned it up in Sketchbook Pro, then started to colour it digitally, and I actually like how the colouring is turning out.  I’m finally getting to a stage where I can say I like what I’m doing … for this style of drawing at least.  Somehow, I think that bold, bright colours with high contrast shadows and highlights to create a strong illusion of depth/dimension is me, and I perhaps need to forgo the desire to do ‘watercolours’…we’ll see in the fullness of time!

Butterflies

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I used Autodesk Sketchbook Pro on my Microsoft Surface Book along with my Surface Pen to add patterns and shading to two of the butterfly outline designs I drew yesterday.  I’m happy with the results.

Today I’ve also created two more dot mandalas, each around 5″ in diameter.  I added some gems to those, as well as to the small dot mandalas I created over the last couple of days.  The sparkle really adds something special to them, and helps to emphasise the circularity of mandala designs.

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Dot Mandala Cards, Butterflies and Fungi

Digital drawings

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Over the past couple of days I’ve continued working on my Microsoft Surface Book using Autodesk Sketchbook Pro to create digital images for used in card making and mixed media projects.  IFungi and butterflies have been my chosen subjects, and you can see some of them in the images above.  They’ve also been digitally coloured, though I’ve still got dots and lines to add to them to give more depth and dimension to them.

They’re all now cut out and sitting waiting to be used in various projects.  There’s still more drawings carefully filed away on the Surface Book for future uses…

Dot Mandala Cards

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I’ve also have a bit of fun creating some teeny-tiny dot mandalas.  Each card base is just 3″ x 3″ (approx. 7.5cm x 7.5cm).  The black card I used as the substrate is 2½” square (approx. 6.25cm).

The acrylic paints I used are either metallic or pearlescent, so they do catch the light rather nicely.

Art and my healing journey

 

 

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A page of floral sketches from my sketchbook.

This is a little bit of a different blog post from me.

As I’ve mentioned before, I experience CPTSD (complex post-traumatic stress disorder), which presents itself in many ways, including anxiety, depression, and a low self-esteem.

I’ve had lots of counselling over the past eight years or so, and for the last two and a half years I’ve had a lovely therapist who specialises in EMDR therapy.  It’s taken a long while for me to get to the point where I believe that such a gentle kind of therapy works, and works for me.  It’s still a slow process…but progress is being made.  A major change in employment nearly a year ago seriously helped with that.

Last week, my counsellor suggested I read a book called ‘Tapping In’ by Laurel Parnell.  In the book, Laurel Parnell describes how the process of bilateral stimulation by means of tapping the knees or outer thighs can be used to reinforce a safe place, helpful guardians and other tools to help during both therapy and everyday life.  My own therapist has successfully used it to reduce anxiety during a dental appointment as well as aiding in sleep.

She suggested I read the book and we do some work on the resources I need before continuing with EMDR as the last few sessions have left me rather upset, fragile, and, unsually for me, unable to find my ‘safe place’ at the end of a session, so that I can leave the fragile and upset state behind.

So,  yesterday we worked on my safe place, with me coming up with a new one and ‘tapping in’ the contentment, peace and safety I feel when I imagine myself there. The bilateral stimulation from alternating taps to the outer knees, helps to reinforce the feeling of the place, and actually helps to intensify it.

I have no problem imagining places I can go to in my imagination; I’ve used guided meditations over the years for various purposes.  When it comes to me coming up with my own imaginary places, it never ceases to surprise me what these places are like!

The other thing that was suggested after I’d verbally described my place, was to spend time over the week drawing/painting/creating images of this place, as well as practicing the process of tapping in my safe place and using it to help me manage my current high anxiety levels.  (My anxiety intensified greatly yesterday, not as a result of counselling, but by the decision to hold a ‘snap general election’ and my worries about what is happening in this country, in the world, which then gets transferred to worrying about finances as I’m now self-employed, and so on and the constant chatter of anxiety winds itself up if I’m not careful).

Me being me, I get to it almost straight away…starting with these mandalas

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Mandalas based on the feelings I get when I’m in my ‘safe place’.

Carl Jung used mandalas to represent/express the current state of the self:

“My mandalas were cryptograms concerning the state of the self which was presented to me anew each day…I guarded them like precious pearls….It became increasingly plain to me that the mandala is the center. It is the exponent of all paths. It is the path to the center, to individuation. ” – Carl Jung

So, I started with some abstract, intuitive mandalas to try to express the feelings I have when I think of my safe place, when I remember the feelings I have when I’m there.

Next, I wanted to draw some kind of representation of a view from one of the windows of my place.  And this is what I came up with, though the view changes all the time!

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Yes, I know water isn’t yellow, but in my inner world it can be!  It also shimmers with gold and has lots of shining gold and blue ‘dots’ in it.  Lots of happy creatures and colours there, all entertaining me … diverting my attention away from my anxiety.

Yes, I use art to help me manage my mental health.  When anxious, doing art helps me become less so; when depressed, art lifts my mood.  I’m sure the inner critic chatters away even when I’m ‘arting’, but the art takes my attention so the critic’s voice can be ignored.

Oh, before I drew anything, I took time to write a clear description of my safe place, as words are how I build up mind images.

I’m looking forward to ‘tapping in’ help for creativity, amongst other things… I’m also looking to intuitively drawing and creating some more of the living things that I can see from my safe place – all friendly and protective of course, nothing scary allowed there!  Which suits my tendency to rather whimsical, cutesy, artistic style.

So, I’ve shared a little of my ‘safe place’, but I’m keeping a lot of details to myself – no offence, but I don’t want any gate crashers there!

Fantasy fungus mixed media

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This one is mostly finished. I need to add shadows around the elements and some shiny patterns to the layers I think.  Oh, and the hole in the tag needs something added.

The fungus I drew and coloured myself.  That was enjoyable to do!  In fact, the whole thing has been satisfying.

Blooming rain

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Another mixed media piece just finished, I think. I may add glossy accents or 3D crystal lacquer to the bubbles/drops and parts of the flowers, or maybe not.

The image has been scanned so the iridescence and glimmer doesn’t show up, sadly.  Also, I’ve been a bit heavy handed with the shadows around the flowers and bubbles/raindrops.

Here’s the list of media I used:

  • PaperArtsy Fresco paints
  • Distress Oxide inks
  • Liquitex and Pebeo iridescent and metallic acrylic paints
  • Perfect Pearl spray in gold
  • Posca pens in black and white
  • Derwent’s Inktense pencils
  • Uniball Signo white gel pen

A colourful bunch

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This is just finished, though the 3D Crystal Lacquer on the flower centres hasn’t dried yet, so they’re a tad on the cloudy side.

I’m really pleased with this.  Not least of which for bravely, possibly even crazily, using some of my entangled, abstract art to make the flowers!

So, how did I do this?

Firstly, I made the background.  I used a piece of cream paper that has a texture on it that is designed for use with pastels, charcoal and coloured pencils, and I added colour using Distress Oxide inks.  I then sprayed it with a solution of gold Perfect Pearls which gave water spots and gold shimmers to the background.

Next, I’d had this crazy idea to use some of my art to create the flowers.  I chose some art that had colours that would stand out against the background and each other and I used circle punches to cut out circles of varying sizes.  I used a mini ink blending tool and sponge to add jet black Archival Ink to the edges of the circles to distress them as well as to give them a definite edge against each other.

The circles were stuck together in groups of three and then stuck onto the background in a pleasing arrangement, as if they were flowers in a bunch.

Next, came the outlining with a black Sharpie, as well as adding patterns to the circles to create petals and so on.  The white was added using a Sakura Glaze pen.  I also added gold patterns and highlights using a UniBall Signo pen.

The next step was to draw the stems and leaves, which was done with the Sharpie pen.  I used a waterbrush with paint from some of Derwent’s line painter pens.

Next, I intensified and added shadows under and around the flowers, stems and leaves using Inktense pencils and a waterbrush.

This was followed by the creation of the border using a black Posca pen.

Finally, the mixed media panel was adhered to a black background and the gold pen was used to add lines around the panel.  Oh, and then I decided to add 3D Crystal Lacquer to the flower centres.  An accidental drop of the lacquer on the background led to me adding more drops.

I’ve really surprised myself with this project.  I really enjoyed it, and even though I was wondering what on Earth I was thinking in ‘destroying’ some artwork I liked, I came to realise it was repurposing the artwork to create something new, different and allowing me to explore the world of mixed media more, particularly how it relates to myself.