Inktober 2019 – Day 9

Swallow skull, Clathus Ruber and Lola tangle pattern.

This one is a riot of colour and I’m not entirely sure it works. However, I took my colour inspiration from the Clathus ruber fungus and thought green would play nicely against the reds, oranges and yellows. I’m not at all sure about the end result.

The swallow skull was simple to draw, so I took the opportunity to try colouring and shading with it to gain some depth and dimension. I think I achieved it, though the contrast between shadow and light could be greater.

The skull was so small so it lent itself to being drawn in a mandala-style ring; that’s how I ended up drawing another mandala today.

I definitely stylised the Clathus ruber fungus, with it ending up looking more like a holey autumnal leaf than the fungus itself. However, no one said the fungus had to be realistic!

The lola tangle pattern formed the two outer rings of foliage.

I worked digitally using Autodesk Sketchbook Pro along with a Surface Pen and Surface Studio from Microsoft.

I’m using Inktober 2019 prompts from these lovely people on Instagram – @book_polygamist (animal skulls), @nyan_sun (mushrooms) and @havepen_willdraw (tangle patterns).

Time to Change Wales Duties

A little later today I’m going to wend my way to Llandudno for an overnight stay in preparation for an event tomorrow, which is mental health day. I’m attending the Wales Health at Work Partnership Summit to set up a small stand and to take part in two ‘Open Minds’ workshops, which will focus on mental health and wellbeing in the work environment.

I’m feeling a bit anxious, which is normal. I’ve never been to Llandudno. I’ve not travelled further north than Llandridnod Wells (which is on my route). I’m travelling alone, overnight, for the first time in many, many years.

Challenges for me will be eating. I’m not good at going into unfamiliar places by myself to eat, especially at night. I’d also like to take a walk along the seafront and I’m hoping I’ll be able to manage that too. I also would like to stop along my way for a late lunch.

I’m feeling a bit tired. I had a really weird dream that relates to the anxiety I feel about the trip.

So, I’d better finish posting Inktober day 9 across my social media and then myself packed and sorted for my little trip.

Inktober 2019 – Day 8

Bat skull and Laccaria amethystina

Inktober 2019 Day 8 ©Angela Porter | Artwyrd.com Bat Skull and Laccaria amethystina
Inktober 2019 Day 8 ©Angela Porter | Artwyrd.com

I decided to colour the bat skull and mushrooms to contrast with the graphic nature of the zentangle patterns I used to draw the background mandala.

For a bit of fun, I added an eerie glow to the eye and nasal sockets of the skull. Well, bats, spooky and October-Hallowe’en just go together! Of course, black, white and purple makes for a spooky colour scheme too. I think I’ve made the purple a bit dark, but it’s good enough! I can always, always rework my design in the future if I need to.

I wanted to keep the skull and mushrooms quite stylised rather than realistic. That’s hard for me to do when I’m working from photographic references.

In the past, I have drawn objects in an almost scientifically accurate kind of way. However, I do think that one of my strengths as an artist is being able to simplify and stylise whatever motifs and design elements I’m working with.

I have used Inktober 2019 prompts on from three lists on Instagram for today’s drawing:

  • Animal Skulls by @book_polygamist
  • Mushrooms by @nyan_sun
  • Tangles by @havepen_willdraw

So, Angela, how are you feeling today?

Yesterday’s EMDR session was productive if a bit painful and distressing with the thoughts, emotions and body feelings that arose during the session. I was left feeling a bit dazed but not too bad; I even managed to stop on my way home and wander around three shops, though I did baulk at the fourth one and decided it was time to head home.

After having something to eat and a bit mug of tea I was cwtched up in bed and asleep before 8pm. I didn’t wake until past 8am this morning. Between a late night on Sunday and EMDR yesterday I must have been absolutely exhausted. I’m still feeling a bit tired now.

Although I do feel a bit tired, I’m also feeling quite content. That is helped by it being a sunshiny day and sunshine always helps my mood.

Back to EMDR. I’m working with a physical sensation in my body at the moment. There seems to be no memories of trauma associated with it. However, that may be because there’s lots and lots of similar traumas rolled into one, or I may have dissociated from the memory – the memory being too painful to remember. However, the trauma is stored in the body and emotions and it is being processed.

I’ve experienced a foul, nauseating smell, a horrible taste in my mouth, a sensation that my heart can’t ‘breathe’, a feeling of tentacles being wrapped around my heart, nausea, pains in my abdomen, back, neck, head, my face going numb, my fingers feeling as if they are being burned, electric shocks in my feet and hands, lumps in my throat, a feeling of being restrained by my upper arms, fear, disgust, overwhelming sadness, and a heavy emptiness inside me. There’s also been a an awareness that I just don’t feel right, a feeling of being out of balance, of not knowing what someone or some people expect of me, that whatever I do is never right or good enough. I haven’t experienced these things all at once as I process this particular trauma; each comes and then goes as I just let it ‘happen’. All this happens in the 25 to 45 minutes an EMDR session lasts.

So much goes on in my body, with my emotions and with distressing memories that I can be left exhausted afterwards.

Yet, I know it’s working and helping me have a healthier relationship with myself. That feeling of being content is proof of that!

Inktober 2019 – Day 7

Tiger skull and Mycena chlorophos

Inktober 2019 Day 7 © Angela Porter | Artwyrd.com
Inktober 2019 Day 7 © Angela Porter | Artwyrd.com

I realised my skull and fungi Inktober illustrations were becoming a bit samey, so I’ve tried something a bit different.

Today, I used three Inktober prompt lists – Animal Skulls from @book_polygamist and Mushrooms from @nyan_sun, both of which are on Instagram. The third is the Inktober 2019 tangle from everythingis_art.com.

I kept the tiger skull drawing very simple, but added a complex patterned mandala behind them, incorporating the Mycena chlorophos mushrooms as the final ‘ring’. I did add some very simple (and rough) shading to the skulls.

As I wanted a more graphic feel to the design, I left it in black and white, though I did place a paper texture to overlay the artwork.

Again, I worked digitally, making use of the available symmetry tools to help speed up my work. Even then it took me more than a couple of hours to complete this design.

Yesterday, I stumbled upon an Inktober 2019 tangle list on the Everything is Art blog. So, I thought that it would perfect to include the Huggins zentangle tangle pattern, along with some others from earlier on in Inktober viz. Zonked, Toodles and Tunnel Vizion.

I do like the contrast betwixt the more scientific skull illustrations and the busy background of the mandala.

So, Angela, how are you feeling today?

It’s Monday and so it’s EMDR therapy day for my CPTSD. I am tired today from a lack of sleep, but underlying that tiredness is that contentedness that now seems to be constantly present within me. When my emotions and thoughts are in turmoil, whipping up a veritable storm on the surface of the ocean that is me, I can still sense the contentedness in the ocean-depths.

I have no idea how EMDR will go today, nor do I have much of an idea of how I will feel after it. Last week’s session was so very confusing and not all that clear that I think that a new negative thought about myself may be started upon to bring EMDR back to a definite focus.

Cirque-doodle, mandala, zendala

cof

Sometimes, the simplicity of monochrome is enough!  Of course, there’s touches of gold , which don’t photograph very well.

The mandala, cirquedoodle, zendala, design was drawn using Sakura Micron and Uniball Unipin pens on a circle of mixed media paper that is approx. 4.25″ in diameter.

Cirque-doodle

AngelaPorter_17Aug2017_ZenCircle01

This is what I’ve done with one of the Distress Oxide coloured circles I blogged yesterday.

It’s essentially finished, though I may add a few metallic highlights, and maybe some drops of 3D Crystal Glaze.

The Distress Oxides give a lovely soft feel to the paper and it is lovely to draw on.  The mixed media paper on it’s own is quite hard and bumpy and not a surface I enjoy working on with pen; the Distress Oxides and water spray have changed that.

I still have a few circles to draw on, but shortly I need to turn my attention back to things of an eerie nature.

Arty busy I have been

Arty times

I really have been kind of busy with art during my long summer holiday from the madness that is teaching.  I have two more weeks until I return to that craziness, and working out how to juggle creating artworks for two books with the demands of teaching and a little bit of a social life too.  I’m sure I’ll manage it; art will be my solace at the end of a crazy day as it always has been, this time with the impetus to create to fulfil a contract too (which won’t take away my passion for my art).

Here are some of my creations over the past few weeks.

ImageTo Remember © Angela Porter 2013

 

You Are Amazing © Angela Porter 2013

 

I Love Myself Mandala © Angela Porter 2013

 

Change your thoughts © Angela Porter 2013

 

Be careful how you talk to your self © Angela Porter 2013

 

And there’s more of these at Artwyrd at deviantART.

I’ve also been busy with mandala type things too.

August Mandala 3 © Angela Porter 2013

 

August Mandala 2 © Angela Porter 2013

 

Again, there are more at Artwyrd at deviantART, as well as other pieces of art I’ve done.

Other things

I turned 50 last week.  I spent the day with a friend at the West Somerset Railway.  All too often in my life I have spent special days alone; days like birthdays, Yuletide/Christmas, New Year and so on.  This year I plucked up enough courage to ask him to join me knowing he also likes steam trains.

Yes, it took a LOT of courage.  I have a big problem in asking people to join me or help me.  I don’t like to be the centre of attention nor do I wish to be a burden to others, and I definitely don’t like the sting of rejection either.

All of that is a bit bizarre as I will help others, accompany them, accept invitations and so on if I am at all able to do so.

Yes, I have problems with self-esteem, self-image, self-confidence and a lack of social skills that others take for granted and it takes a LOT for me to do little things to learn and break down barriers that limit me in my life.

I am learning.  I am finding the courage.  Little by little.

Small chages © Angela Porter 2013

And that quote is quite apt for how life is being for me at this time.  Lots of little changes and challenges (well one rather big challenge).

All these little quotes are going into an A6 sketchbook which is for me to carry with me to remind me of the little things (or not so little things) I need to do or remember to help me change my view of myself and to change my life.

Well, that’s the plan anyway.  In itself, the writing of the little messages and the decoration of them is a pleasure.  I hope the work helps to cement them in my subconscious and to reprogramme the faulty thinking I still have, a lot of which stretches back to childhood.

I have finally found a self-help book that makes sense to me.  It’s Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy by David Burns.  In the book he makes the point that it’s your thoughts that create your feelings and not the other way around.  Many thoughts we have we aren’t even faintly conscious of, yet they still have enormous power over the way we feel, which then feed back to the thoughts producing still more feelings.  We all have inner critics, negative automatic thoughts, and we can learn to change them, or at least reduce the power they have over us.

I’ve come across this idea in counselling in the past, but it’s never made as much sense to me as it does now.  I think the counselling I had helped me heal some aspects of myself, understand others, gave me strength to continue teaching, but, more importantly, it laid some of the foundations for me continuing to heal the mis-conceptions I have about myself and the resulting limits they place upon my life (or rather the limits I allow them to place upon my life).

I have noticed a difference in myself lately.  One big difference was me inviting someone to join me.  

A second difference was the way I accepted the offer to create the artwork for two books; I did this almost unhesitatingly.  The hesitation was about the number of art works needed and the time given to do them in.  Surprisingly, the hesitation wasn’t about my ability, my self-doubt, and that was a big step forward for me too.

Yet another is that I’ve noticed I’m a lot more at ease around people.  At one time I would be fidgety and eager to keep moving to move along to the next thing. Now, I can relax.  On my darker days, the days when I’m low and in tears I do tend still to be on the move constantly, running away from myself quite figuratively, not happy to spend time in my own company.  In the past this would have involved a lot of money being spent on pointless things, trying to buy a sense of ‘value’ of myself, or trying to show others I’m valuable as a person because of these things I have.

The truth is spend, spend, spend was only ever an Elastoplast over the wound called a huge lack of self-worth.

Comfort eating is a behaviour I still indulge in.  I comfort-eating to fill the gaping wound that is a lack of people and love/affection in my life on a consistent basis.  Oddly, the days I’ve spent with friends and the day or so afterwards are days where I have no overwhelming appetite, no need to stuff myself stupid to fill the hole, to hide the emptiness inside.  Other days, I often don’t consciously realise what I’m doing until it’s done.  I then feel stuffed full, and sick.  Sick of myself, of how it makes me feel fatter than I am (I am overweight, how much so I don’t know as my inner-mirror is warped and I see myself as huge as blue whale), ugly (well if you’re overweight, you are ugly, and not just ugly on the outside but on the inside too), useless, no one will want to be my friend…these phrases are often heard in the strident, bitchy, sarcastic tones of my mother’s voice.

I’m getting better at finding evidence to refute these erroneous beliefs about myself, to understand that beauty isn’t a dress size or an age.  I haven’t quite found the key to fit the lock to allow me to change these thoughts on a consistent basis.

Creating the quote artwork has been one tool in an increasingly large toolbox to help me find or forge the key that will dis-empower the negative automatic thoughts and allow me to believe I am the good, nice, beautiful person that others seem to think I am and that I deserve more good in my life.