Something different…

Since writing my last post I decided to try something a bit different. I’ve said many times how I am drawn to drawing mandalas. I prefer using a ruler, compass and protractor when I do draw them. I started by drawing a grid for a mandala, then added some additional lines in the grid to create the square border and the inner diamond shape. Then other shapes started to emerge.

I didn’t take any pictures while creating this design, so the only pictures I have are after its completion.

Once I had the design drawn in pencil that I wanted, I went over it with Pigma Micron pen so I wouldn’t lose the design the subsequent steps. I then used Prang watercolor paint to color in the shapes and the background. I truly love working with watercolors. I love making gradients or just letting them bleed and blend together. Next, I took my spray bottle with water in it and spritzed water over the dry watercolor paint. I let it sit for a bit and then lay a clean paper towel over top of it and pressed it down with my hands, then lifted the paper towel. This created a mottled appearance to the watercolor paint. I let this dry.

I selected my one set of Tombow markers. The set I have is the primary palette which meant I didn’t have all the colors and had to select a complementary color if I didn’t have one the same color as the watercolor paint in the area I wanted to use them. I wanted to define the outlines more for the shapes so I used the markers along the edges following them with my water brush to soften the lines. I used the black around the outside edge and softened it as well.

My next choice was to use a Uni-ball Air black pen to create some patterns in some of the shapes. Then Prisma colored pencils, using black, red, yellow and white for the circles to add shading and highlights to create depth. I used white, magenta and hot pink for the leafy patterns inside the diamond shape. Using a white gel pen I added some white dots in the background and some highlights throughout the piece.

I’m thrilled with how this came out. I enjoyed working on it. I’m pleased that this is my own design. The shapes thrill my logical brain, and also please my artist’s eye, as do the colors.

The last thing I did, which was done after I took the pictures, was write in white gel pen around the black border those things I want to bring forward with me or manifest in 2018.  This then became my alternative version of the garden fairy for Week 1, Tending Your Dreams, lesson with Tamara Laporte for Life Book 2018.

I really like this version.IMG_1327

With this addition the page feels more complete than it did before adding the words. This is what I was talking about in my previous post about using Tam’s methods but altering it to fit my style or the things I love to create. I think this works well for me and I may see if this will also work for the compassionate bear bonus lesson. Of course, it won’t be a compassionate bear at least not in the way Tam created hers.

6 thoughts on “Something different…

  1. Wow, between the mood and tone of these two posts is an ocean of different approaches. This last mandala is gorgeous and reflects the different level of play. It feels spontaneous and fresh.

    My one conclusion when I try to think about art is to quit thinking about it as soon as possible. I don’t do a lot, but mine almost always begin with either a feeling of color and shade or a technique I want to try right NOW or a quote.

    Sometimes I’m motivated or prompted by my screen saver. I scan all my artwork and have it in an iPhoto album — which i then use as my screen saver, changing randomly every five minutes. So I have a constant art show going on when I’m at my desk. Often I’ll see a page I did with a favorite quote and want to see that quote again or in my My Creative Year book.

    When I get to thoughts like, ‘what will I do with this piece of paper’ or ‘what is this piece for’ I get way too analytical. Because there is never an answer to those questions. I think the same approach is good for writing, which I rarely do any of anymore. It’s one part of my brain and psyche that does the creative writing, and another part that edits it and turns it and other people’s writing into a monthly newspaper (the job I retired from in 2013).

    But now, I don’t do much free-standing or hanging artwork, mostly because I don’t want to have to store it! I prefer creating in art journals which can sit smartly on the shelf. And peek out at me one by one via my screen saver,

    I loved your mention of dreams in Saturday’s post, Patti. I work with dreams a lot, with four different groups, and we share our dreams and talk about our lives. So if I had heard that comment about the deep feeling dreams allowed the dreamer and that led into an inner struggle about techniques and style of expression, I’d be connecting those in some way. Or looking for synchronicities. How what I’m ‘forcing’ myself to do in an art lesson is like ….. whatever In my past that still haunts me through my dreams. It’s extraordinarily valuable work the psyche is doing. So some of our approach to all that would be, how is my current waking struggle with my art like something I barely remember from another time in my life? What time was that, who was I with, what doing, what wanting to do instead.

    That’s why we work on dreams in groups, because the conversation spirals out from the first thought, grabs onto the next thought, whoever says it, and leads to the next thought — and sometimes to ahas about our current waking life and issues.

    Anyway, this is probably enough for you! I’m off to do some art. Something about houses is tickling me. Then this afternoon, my Monday dream group! Life is good.

    Love, Barbara


    Liked by 1 person

    • There is so much in your comment I could respond to but the thing that sits predominantly in my thoughts right now is the dream I mentioned. I didn’t mention the details of the dream partly because by the time I sat down to write my post I had forgotten most of it and I realized I hadn’t written it down in my journal either. I knew immediately upon waking from the dream what it was connected to and what it was telling me. Though I don’t remember very much of the details now, it still resonates with me. Sometimes my dreams are that clear to me even if they are a jumble of weird situations.

      Point one from the dream was how I’ve been so focused on money, my need to feel more financially secure after having the rug pulled out from under me when I was laid off.

      Point two was how, this need overshadowed all other needs and how I was deceiving myself, if I would have just that one need for financial security resolved, it would resolve all my other needs. I was so focused on it that I was not leaving myself open to having my other needs fulfilled. I couldn’t see any possibility that having for instance the need for family fulfilled might possibly fulfill the need for financial security.

      The last point made by the dream specifically directed me to understand that I needed to keep myself open for other possibilities, specifically love, to feel loved and be loved and that it was more important than money.

      The dream had powerful emotions relating to love and money and though I used the dream as a jumping off point to discuss how disconnected I felt in my art, the dream wasn’t really connected to my art. The feelings were very similar in that I was trying to force a resolution by being focused on just one thing.

      It felt weird to wake from a dream in which I was crying in the dream and feel so drawn to return to that dream because I wanted to continue feeling those emotions. (If you knew my ancestry was German it might help you understand how my upbringing taught me to avoid emotions. This would make so much more sense to you as to why my desire to feel these emotions would be so alien to me.) I wanted to return to it because I wanted to embrace the connection I was making and the best way to do that was by allowing those emotions to continue to inform me of what I really needed in life, not what I thought I needed.

      When I wrote the post it was also weird to use the dream as a bridge to connect my tendency to AVOID or to try and FORCE what I thought should happen. Maybe I’m ready to face those emotions now that I have navigated the turbulent waters since being laid off. Now I’m ready to look at those difficult emotions and be willing to embrace them or open myself up to them to see what I will attract into my life. It is a hard thing to look at sometimes, my avoidance and how my narrow focus can have me trying to force things or can cause me to be blind to other possibilities. My mental space in regards to my art was reflecting all of this and allowing myself to accept the message from my dream, allowed understanding to flow and ripple like the water when a pebble is thrown into it.

      To help you further understand, as a child, I felt emotions, but my surroundings and people in my life set examples indicating I shouldn’t have them or shouldn’t display them. Now in my later years I’m trying to undo all of that, kind of like retracing my steps backwards through my emotional life, while also not allowing current events to halt any progress I’ve made.

      I totally get why you like creating art in a journal. I move between journals and single pages, going back and forth between them. My plan is to create a sort of book box (possibly topic related, and/or class related) to store my single pages so they too can sit on the shelf with my journals for me or others to look at when compelled to do so. I don’t have many art journals right now but of the ones I do have, I like looking back through them. I also scan my art and have a slideshow on my computer for a screen saver and/or background.

      There really is no separation between me “the artist” and me “the analytic”. They inform each other when the need arises, especially if one gets a bit off track.

      Thanks for your insights, your comments always lead me to think deeper and I like and appreciate that.

      Love, Patti


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