My Zen Butterfly

I’m finding painting and drawing so therapeutic that I’ve been developing it further by being inspired by artists like Tracy Verdugo and Tamara Laporte who encourage art as a form of personal growth. It’s so true how creativity is sublimely triggered by our psyche. I bought a book called Create Your Life Book by Tamara Laporte and have been meaning to follow it. At the time, though, I was building up my art materials and had no access to certain media. But now over time I’ve been accumulating them as I get more familiar with painting, Today was the first chapter and I created a Zen Butterfly!

The butterfly represents flying away from the things you want to let go of, i.e. negative thoughts or influences in your life. So as per the book, I began by spraying some ink over a stencil on my paper. Here I used the fireworks stencil and sprayed Dylusions shimmer ink spray in Bubblegum Pink.

Then I added another colour of ink (Perriwinkle Blue) and spritzed some water on the paper and let the ink run whilst wiping up the excess. Repeated this with two more layers of ink in London Blue and Rose Quartz.

After that, I added a few drops of ecoline ink in two different shades of yellow, although the book says to add acrylic ink instead. I didn’t want to overdo it and make mud so I just added a few strokes of it and as the paper was still soaking wet, I let the colours drip randomly as well.

So time to draw the butterfly! After making a template on scrap paper, I traced the outline in permanent black felt pen. And I recommend the pens by Fabre-Castell which come in different nib sizes. Besides that, it is India Ink and hence non-toxic!

The outlines were drawn in 1.5 mm sized ink with the little details in M (0.7 mm) or F (0.5 mm). These little details are called Zentangles which, when drawing them, first appear rather tedious but turn out to be meditative. As such they help one to become more aware and focus on positive intentions. This was certainly true for me too. Especially when I played some mediation music in the background, I was miraculously brought into paradise. . My mind kept continuously finding various cute shapes to doodle such as tiny circles, hearts, flowers, etc. I felt as if I were in some sort of trance!

Once happy with the butterfly, the important stuff follows. We take some white marker or pen and draw a flight trail underneath the butterfly, and along this trail we jot down what we want to leave behind. It’s not fully legible or even visible but that’s good because symbolically the stuff we want to let go must fade away. Above this butterfly is the sun. The butterfly is flying towards it to let go of the past and move forward. Hence, a brighter colour (in my case, gold) was used, and along the spiral of sun, I scribbled on in red gel pen my goals. hopes and dreams.

To “lift” the butterfly off the ground, I proceeded in brushing a little ink around the butterfly as shadows. Then as suggested by Tamara, I thought I would add some white dots around the background to complete the painting. And now:

I certainly felt more in tune with myself after finishing this painting. Had this been a simple painting, though, I would’ve done something more about the butterfly shape and perhaps add more yellow or add some green to the background. However, the point of today’s artwork was an exercise was for self-healing and I was not going to sweat the details too much. What’s important now is that I feel good about myself now!

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