Mandala 26 Feb 2020

Mandala © Angela Porter | Artwyrd.com

About the mandala

This morning, after a couple of topsy turvy days, I managed to get some art done before I get sorted for the day.

It’s always lovely to return to art after a little break from it. Today, I used a photograph I took last August while visiting the National Botanic Gardens of Wales. Gorgeously coloured flowers were blooming in the great glasshouse, and this stylised flower is based on some of them, including the colour palette.

A bright, sunshiny, warmly glowing flower is just what I needed to paint this morning. I think I’ve chosen a background colour/texture that allows those colours to shine too.

Digital art created with Autodesk Sketchbook Pro, Microsoft Surface Studio and Microsoft Surface Slim Pen.

Leaving therapy…

Monday was a crazy kind of day. In the morning I got sidetracked by a friend, all while I was trying to pack gifts up for my therapist before I headed to my last appointment, for the foreseeable future anyway.

That’s right. I’ve finished with EMDR therapy, for now. I feel I’m good enough learn to fly through life without the support net of my therapist. My wings haven’t spread much, and though weak, they’re strong enough for me to take my first bumbling, solo flights in life (solo as in not with therapy). I’m going to crash onto the ground, bump into trees and obstacles, even get tangled up from time to time in branches and brambles. I do feel, however, that I can cope with the bumps of my flight through my post-therapy life.

Getting tangled up may result in me needing help to untangle myself as something happens in life that triggers a part of the cPTSD that is still hidden and causes it to rise up to the conscious mind where it can be dealt with. This may mean a return to EMDR to deal with that particular set of traumas.

It was both a little sad and a fairly exciting and happy time too. My therapist and friends are proud of me for the work I’ve put in, as well as the perseverance and courage I’ve shown in facing some of the traumas that have resulted in the cPTSD.

New Camera!

I’ve had a need floating around my head for a little while – to buy a DSLR camera. I’ve looked at them, read about them, tried to decode the technical blurb, and finally found myself drawn to one particular model time and time again.

Rather than purchase it online, I steeled myself yesterday to take a trip into Cardiff to visit Cameraland. I’d looked at various shops where you can buy cameras, but this one really ‘felt’ right. And I have to say, it was the right choice.

So, after breakfast, I headed off to Cardiff, parked up, and walked from the Museum to Cameraland through the town. For many years I’ve not been able to go into Cardiff. Loud voices, noises and the high number of people ramp anxiety in me up to a level of startle and hyper-vigilance. So, I used noise-cancelling earphones and upbeat music to help me cope.

And I did! This wouldn’t be possible to do if I was with someone or people, but on my own it’s completely do-able.

Anyways, the chap I talked to in Cameraland was very helpful, knowledgeable. I explained what I’d like a camera for, my experience with SLRs in the past, and the model I’d had my eyes on. He did say there were other options, but none as good as the one I’d chosen.

He showed me around the camera, let me hold it, use it, and then when I’d decided it was the one for me helped me with a uv lens filter, memory card and a camera bag that is spacious enough for me to use as a handbag too.

This camera is a celebration gift to myself for completing therapy, to mark a kind of rite of passage for me. It’s also a way for me to encourage myself to explore the world a bit more. I’ve invested a fair bit of money in the camera and I really don’t want to see it sitting in the bag, being unused.

I still can’t just go out because I’d like to go out. I still need a reason to leave my home. Going out to use my camera is a good reason in my mind.

It also means that when I’m with Liz, or others, on days out, I can record things that catch my attention that I’d usually sit and draw. Yes, I can use the camera on my phone, which is a good phone camera. However, the images aren’t as clear or colour-faithful as I’d like.

So, I may be sharing particularly nice photos I’ve taken too, of all kinds of things that I find interesting, fascinating.

Monochrome Monday Mandala

Monochrome Monday Mandala © Angela Porter | Artwyrd.com

This mandala took an unexpected turn as I was adding colour. I was experimenting with brush settings in Autodesk Sketchbook Pro, particularly the ‘colour’ setting. This will change the colour of any area, but preserves the shadow/light values. I thought I’d see what happened when I used grey as the colour, and I liked the monochrome that resulted. So, I completed the mandala in a similar way.

So, quite a different kind of mandala from me, and very different from my usual bold use of colour.

Lavender Mandala – a slow time video.

It took me some time, but I got the video edited and uploaded to YouTube. I’ve left it in real-time with the hopes that people will find it relaxing to watch.

I do have some things to learn about editing still. Not so much the mechanics but the aesthetics and flow of the video. I’m trusting that as time goes on and I make more videos that I’ll get to understand this a bit more.

I also need to try to control how I move the image around as I draw, and also placement of it on the screen. I created this mandala digitally, using Autodesk Sketchbook Pro, Microsoft Surface Pen and Microsoft Surface Studio.

One advantage of recording the screen, is that my hands and pen don’t get in the way of seeing what I’m doing.

I have to say that Movavi is quite simple to use, yet has plenty of features that are quite powerful. Cutting the video, adding music, intro and outro screens, as well as fades are really easy. I can also add transitions, which will help when I can focus long enough to edit out the crazy whirling bits of the video!

As with everything in life, learning to create videos is a work in progress.

I am hoping to get one video done a week. Well, that’s my aim. Life really can get in the way at times.

Lavender Mandala

Mandala © Angela Porter | Artwyrd.com

I’ve been busy this morning, working out how to video record the screen of my computer as I draw digitally.

I found a YouTube video about using OBS Studio to do this. I followed the instructions, problem solved, and after three attempts I had a poor quality video that I wasn’t happy with.

So, I went to Movavi, a video editor I’ve used previously. It has an app that will record the screen, easily. It’s a one button click to launch. A simple, small, and minimalist control panel sits in the bottom right corner of the screen. I can record, pause, start again easily.

I recorded myself drawing the mandala above. The video is currently processing and being saved. I’ll then need to edit it. The still of the video I can see while this is happening is of a fab quality it seems. So fingers crossed the video will be too!

I didn’t think to look at Movavi before Googling for advice on recording the screen. I did have to buy the software, but it wasn’t extortionately expensive and I’m sure that it will meet my needs.

So, once the video is saved, I can spend sometime today editing it and I hope to upload it tomorrow, as long as the recording is of a good quality.

Yesterday, I had a day out with my friend Liz. We visited Hay On Wye for a walk around and lunch. It was one of those glorious winter days where the sun shines warmly and the air is crisp and cool. It was mild enough for me to walk around without a bulky coat.

Flower Mandala

Flower Mandala © Angela Porter | Artwyrd.com

This morning’s warm up art is this mandala featuring some flowers as well as some zentangle and geometric patterns.

I’m not entirely sure this works, but sometimes an idea just has to be tried out. The flowers are a bit ‘flat’. The zendala/mandala background may be a bit too busy or just not the right colour. I’m really not at all sure.

However, whether it’s worked out or not, it’s been a relaxing process. It’s always pleasant to create for the sake of creating, and also working digitally too.

I used Autodesk Sketchbook Pro, Microsoft Surface Pen and Microsoft Surface Studio to create this design.

Mandala 29 Jan 20

Mandala 29 Jan 2020 © Angela Porter | Artwyrd.com

A simple, monochrome mandala today, using some of my favourite patterns (plus a couple that are entirely mine).

Drawing mandalas is so soothing, mindful, meditative. The repetitive nature of drawing patterns is part of that relaxing experience.

It was also nice to use some of the patterns from my ‘visual dictionary‘ or ‘visual zibladone’ in some art.

I have some new patterns and motifs to add to my visual dictionary; they spontaneously appeared as I was drawing. I like when this happens, when I don’t over-think things and just go with my instincts.

I wanted to add a colour gradient to the mandala. However, when I tried to do so, it just didn’t feel right. So monochrome it is.

Drawn digitally using Autodesk Sketchbook Pro, Microsoft Surface Pen and Microsoft Surface Studio.

Pretty flowers

Pretty flowers © Angela Porter | Artwyrd.com

This was a nice one to do. There seems to be a bit of a theme with my colour palettes lately though. Another theme is stylised, abstract flowers. Overall, I am pretty happy with this particular design.

Flowers, foliage, mandalas, geometric repeating patterns – all my favourite things!