The artful month that’s October.

The artful month that’s October.


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October is a month I so look forward to. No, not because it’s autumn, but because I get a chance to flex my finger muscles and put my mind to good use. The arty month, as I like to call it, October hosts the Ink drawing festival– INKTOBER–a brainchild of artist, illustrator, Jake Parker.

It’s a week since artists from the world over have shared their artwork in ink based on prompts that can often leave one perplexed! You might have come across these sketches on the various social media platforms. I could scroll through the Instagram feed all day, gazing in awe at the thousands of ink drawings.

The 20 minutes I spend making a drawing are the 20 minutes that I am at peace. I admit, there are times I wonder what people will think about my work, but then, the thing called inner voice tells me to just concentrate on having a good time creating.

The prompts can, at times, seem difficult and coming up with an idea for a particular prompt takes some time for me. For example, I was stuck at EXHAUSTED. What do I draw to show exhaustion? It isn’t compulsory that one follow the prompts, but it gives the brain that much of a workout coming up with an idea for such prompts. Gives the mind some busy moments, too!

I don’t consider my figure drawing even satisfactory. So, this time, I thought of drawing human figures as much as possible so that some day I can draw it from memory. Kindly ignore the errors you come across!

So, sharing today, my ink drawings and the prompts for the first eight days of October, or, #Inktober2018.

Day 1 — POISONOUS.

DAY 2 — TRANQUIL.

DAY 3 — ROASTED.

DAY 4 — SPELL.

DAY 5 — CHICKEN.

DAY 6 — DROOLING.

DAY 7 — EXHAUSTED.

DAY 8 — STAR

It was fun drawing these pictures and the prompts did make me rack my brains. But, a busy mind is a healthy mind, is what I believe. It keeps away the negativity and makes you live in the moment.

Are you participating in Inktober? If not, you can begin now. The only rules are there are no rules. You are just supposed to enjoy the creative process.

So, are you game?

Love,

SHILPA..

The festival of Ink drawing.

The festival of Ink drawing.

What began two years ago as an exciting new journey into the world of Ink drawing for Inktober, has turned into the eagerly awaited event for me, as the year begins. Inktober is an Ink Drawing festival started by illustrator, concept artist, and animator, Jake Parker. It is held in the month of October–and thus the moniker, Inktober--and is open to everybody who wishes to indulge the artist in them.

Now, that doesn’t mean it is meant only for the “artists”, because as Liz Gilbert says in her book, ‘Big Magic’, everybody on this planet is an artist, regardless of what you create. For everything we do is art!

As part of this festival, all you need to do is make ink drawings and share them on any social media platform, or even put them up on your refrigerator door! The basic principle of this fest is to enjoy every moment you spend in making the drawings.

For me, personally, it means forgetting the world around me, banishing all the unpleasant thoughts and enjoying some moments of absolute peace; getting carried away making drawings that need my 100% attention. Believe me, the entire experience is therapeutic.

So, about the fest–every day of the month of October, you make an ink drawing and share it with the hashtag #Inktober #Inktober2018.

You may draw what you please. And, if you fail to come up with an idea, or hit an Artist’s Block, then you can refer to the list of prompts that Jake Parker releases sometime in September.

I am sharing the prompt list below and if you think you could do with some art therapy, do join in!

You can make pencil sketches and go over those with an ink pen. Any simple ink pen will work fine. You could also use water colours, or crayons or colour pencils along with the ink pens to unleash the artist within.

Just have fun, people! Do not care about what people might think, or how your art is judged. As long as you enjoy making the drawing, nothing else really matters. It is actually an exercise for the mind to fight all the distractions, focus on something that gives happiness to the soul and provides you with a few moments of relief. That’s all!

So, what do you think? Will you like to join me this month? We all could do with the encouragement. Because I know, as do you, that not every day is the same. There will be days when our creative juices will flow like the Niagara Falls and some days the mind will come to a standstill, and in spite of the prompts, you will not have the faintest idea what you would like to draw! Or, if you would even like to draw anything!

Do let me know if you will participate. I look forward to having you around.

Wishing you all the very best! Just go, have fun!

Love,

SHILPA…

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Colour your way to tranquility.

Colour your way to tranquility.

I did a post some time back–De-stress with art–where I wrote about how doodling can help one relax. I can’t stress more on how art can change one’s mood, and help one find peace and calm on a hectic day. I know how much it helps me!

Of course, there are ways to de-stress through other forms of art, like, playing a musical instrument, singing, knitting, sewing, and so many other artistic activities. But, for me, it’s art–pencil sketching, doodling, zentangle.

I hadn’t used any pencil colours in a very long time, though, and wanted to do a coloured artwork. Last week, I read a post by my blogger friend, and a very talented artist, herself, Rajlakshmi Boruah, where she shared a pencil colour drawing.

It inspired me to make one myself. So, last night after dinner, when I was fed up of gazing at the laptop and the phone screen (Yes, guilty!), I just brought out my sketch book and pens and got down to work. My bestie gifted me a fantastic art set some time back which needed to be inaugurated. So, out came the vibrant colour pencils, too.

For some more inspiration, I looked up Pinterest for some adult colouring activity. I took some ideas but the rest of it I drew what came to my mind.

Flowers , leaves, butterflies, paisleys and shapes are, generally, the easiest to draw and colour for beginners. You can use any colour you wish to. This is an activity that you are doing just for yourself, so, it becomes easier to go crazy with the colouring part. Just draw any and every kind of design that comes to your mind. Arrange them as best as you feel and go, colour to your heart’s desire! Trust me, you will forget the world and your worries in no time.

You will also find yourself refreshed and calmer. Like I did last night.

So, sharing with you all today, my drawing and colouring work…in stages.

My hand was a bit unsteady last night, as I drew after quite a long time. And, if such a thing happens, worry not. Once you fill in the colours, the unsteady outline will disappear! ūüėõ

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I picked the idea for the bottom left corner pattern from Pinterest. The rest of the designs are so like my childhood art ideas!

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It really isn’t a perfect work of art. I crammed a lot of Zentangle patterns, the colouring needs a lot of improvement, as does the drawing. But, the activity helped me achieve my objective: Of finding some peace and calm. And that, for me, matters most! As it does to each one of us.

These are the colour pencils my bestie gifted me when she flew in from the US of A. Must say, it helps having such large-hearted besties! ūüėõ

Thank you so much, Priya! Love you! ‚̧ The rest of the material will be used, too.

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And, these are my Snowman Drawing Pens, which I found on Amazon last year. I had taken part in the Inktober 2017 Ink drawing challenge and these pens helped me complete the drawings, beautifully. It’s a set of 6 pens with line widths of different thickness. There’s 0.05, 0.1, 0.2, 0.3, 0.5, and 0.8, which is the thickest and helps in filling up colour. The ink used is waterproof, smudge-proof and lightfast.

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Life can be chaotic all the time. Taking care of ourselves in this chaos with the help of activities that distract our mind is a simple way to attain a sense of calm.

All you need is a colouring book and a few colour pencils and you are good to go!

Happy colouring!

‚ô•

Love,

SHILPA…

Colour your way to tranquility

Z – Zentangle — Meditation through art. #AtoZ

Z – Zentangle — Meditation through art. #AtoZ

 

Practicing mindfulness through art.Since some time now, practicing mindfulness, Yoga, and meditation have become the in-thing. In search of peace of mind, we turn to these for help. But, practicing meditation, as well as being mindful, can get rather difficult thanks to the thousand thoughts that swim in our minds, all day long.

Giving the mind a much-needed break becomes necessary, but looking for the tools that will help achieve that break can often lead to frustration. I mean, sitting in the lotus pose, with hands on the knees and eyes closed often gets you nowhere.

It is at such times that attempting an art form helps in finding that elusive focus. It was in 2016 that I discovered Zentangle. I would wonder about the name but it was only after practicing it that I understood the reason behind the name.

The few minutes when you are focused on making the drawing are the few minutes when your mind is oblivious to all that’s going on around you. However small or complicated the drawing may be, unbeknownst to you, it forces you to push out every thought from your mind and concentrate on the job at hand.

What you draw may not appear artistic, but the peace of mind you attain is something you revel in.

So, as always, I would suggest you pick up your pen–any pen– grab a notepad and get going! You may doodle, or draw a flower, or draw some pattern that mesmerises¬†you as you make it. The choice is all yours.

There are no rules in Zentangle. You only need to remember to focus. 

Sharing with you a few drawings you could try making, especially if you think you were born without any artistic genes. For as Elizabeth Gilbert says in, ‘Big Magic’,

Everyone is a born artist, a creative being!

So, do away with the nervousness, the diffidence and just create some art. Let your mind guide your hand and provide you with the necessary motivation.

My friend Rajlakshmi Boruah inspired me to take up Zentangle. She shared this link to¬†‘Tangle Patterns’ to help with the designs. And, I am trying to inspire you, in return, ¬†to let go of your inhibitions and learn some mindfulness techniques!

Wish you all the very best!

Happy creating!

 

Starting with the easiest doodles…just let your hand move of its own accord.

 

 

Zentangle X'Mas Tree

These were just some examples of how and what you can do. Basically, you can do whatever you wish. Just remember to focus!

Visit Tangle Designs for patterns and designs, or play around with whatever comes to your mind.

You only need to remember to…ENJOY!

Love,

SHILPA.

April 2018 A to Z blogging Challenge

My theme for the A to Z Blogging Challenge is all about my blog, Metanoia, and my blogging journey from the time  I started, 5 years ago. The lessons I learned, the tips and tricks I picked up from fellow bloggers and the guidelines I could have used back when I began.

You will find all of my A to Z posts here.

 

Art — Therapy for your mind.

Art — Therapy for your mind.

 

A to Z

 

More than a decade ago, I quit my job at the school where I taught kindergarten, to stay at home and care for my mom-in-law and my pet dog. MIL suffered from schizophrenia and my pet dog was one hyperactive little guy who needed constant attention, and of course, MIL couldn’t manage him.

Staying at home can take its toll for someone who is used to working a 9 to 5 job. It keeps the mind that much more busier and you get a break from your domestic life, mingle with your colleagues and experience life outside the four walls of your house.

So, yes, I did begin losing my mind. Caring for a mental illness patient is, as it is, a tough job and it can have its effect on the caregiver if the caregiver has no source of recreation or entertainment. And, so I took up drawing to fill in those hours and keep my mind occupied.

Initially, it was just scribbling and doodling, but then one fine day, as I  wondered what to draw, my eyes fell on my pet Chikoo, who was sitting beside me, staring into nothingness.  I decided to sketch him.

Of course, he would never have posed for me for as long as it would take me to sketch. So, with the help of his photo, I made a pencil sketch. My very first dog sketch, which I felt, came out almost perfect!

I was ecstatic!

And, thus began the artful journey of this eccentric artist! Being a crazy dog lover, I sketched almost every dog breed I could find, with black and white pictures from Google. There are also other animal sketches in my drawing book, but I will always be partial towards my dog sketches. Those I love the most!

I love sketching their eyes – those are their best feature!

Some years ago, my mother encouraged dad to start drawing as he had now retired and was wondering how to keep himself occupied.

So, dad took up drawing and created some really beautiful artwork. I did a post on his art journey some time back and received an encouraging response to it.

WHY ART?

The reason I am doing this post is to encourage people to take up art – in any form – especially if you think you are not a “born artist”. ¬†For each one of us has an artist hidden within. All we need to do is give him/her a nudge, and some encouragement.

Also, art is therapy. It can take your mind away from the world and refresh you just the way books do.

Art helps you focus on the work at hand, forget your worries and manage your stress better.

It helps your restless mind relax as you draw and helps keep your anxieties at bay.

You never know what you are capable of unless you try!

So, if you think you don’t have it in you to draw even a straight line, then I suggest you go ahead and¬†draw¬†that line!

Begin with something simple, like a glass placed on your table, or even a flower.

Look at it closely and draw it. 

it will not come out perfect,  I promise you. But, at least you will have made an attempt.

Your kids’ storybooks will have many cute pictures to draw. Copy those in your books. Draw an easy picture every day, and at the end of the week/month, you will definitely notice a difference.¬†

Most importantly, you will notice how your mind will be focused on the activity. The hundred ugly thoughts that cause you distress will vanish as you work on your picture. 

Visit this link to learn simple exercises for beginners.

 

Any art form helps us achieve mindfulness – a state of being present in the moment, being fully aware of it, which, in turn, helps relieve us of our stress. Our everyday battles with Life leave us exhausted, our peace of mind ruined. If we are to survive in spite of it all, we need to find ways to restore our peace of mind.

And, what better way to do that if not through art? Any kind of art.

So,  go ahead and give it a try.

And, do share with me your experience, I am waiting to hear from you!

Love,

SHILPA…

 

 

 

April 2018 A to Z blogging Challenge

 

My theme for the A to Z Blogging Challenge is all about my blog, Metanoia, and my blogging journey from the time  I started, 5 years ago. The lessons I learnt, the tips and tricks I picked up from fellow bloggers and the guidelines I could have used back when I began. 

You will find all of my A to Z posts here.

 

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