Ardent Shadows

Gothic Fantasy paintings by Jemima Mantle


black and white

Mindfulness Monday #34

I love my mindfulness drawing this week. I feel like it ticks all the boxes for me. It’s serene, beautiful and quirky enough that it still feels like something that belongs to me.

The face is probably the most successful so far being simple and attractive. My biggest love this week has got to be the peonys though. The little black heart-filled centres just give it a little hint of something girly and gothic. They’re also an example of where I have been able to create something using some very loose flowing lines whilst having some fun giving them a more stylised twist. The stripes in the background also make it feel very much part of me. Sometimes there’s nothing more beautiful than some simple black and white stripes.

At several points in the creation I felt that the outline of the composition was creating something beautiful in the negative space of the white page. The beautiful empty shapes and balanced perfectly across the page. The striped areas have done a nice job of keeping a sense of what I loved about the negative space but everything considered I feel that I could have left these white areas blank. So far I have been stuck in the concept of completing a full double page each week. Perhaps it’s only natural that the parameters of this self-directed project will continue to developing as I move through the weeks?


Mindfulness Monday #33

The problem with drawing mice is that whilst I know what they look like, and had some experience of drawing them before, knowing how to stylise something in an attractive way is an art in itself. I feel like this week’s drawing waould be a lot more successful if I felt the mice were cuter, more attractive. It’s a drawing to me which encapsulates a huge variation in success. To put it plainly parts of it look great and others do not.

Subject wise, I’ve continued to indulge my most recent themes; creating images which are more entire pictures which present a particular idea to the audience. I like the balance of the composition, particularly having a huge sun front and centre. I feel that similarly to last week’s drawing I have created somewhere you could travel to in your dreams.

Mindfulness Monday #6

This week’s pages were started in a different way. The binding shows on these pages and I thought that instead of trying to hide them or work round them, that it would be interesting to highlight them using negative space. I then used these shapes as the starting point for the whole design. It was fun to work on something that grew from the central point of the double page. I always try to start in a different place so that I vary the experience I get from the exercise. I’m very keen to avoid these drawings becoming in anyway planned or predictable. I want to ensure that they continue to demand my full attention. I feel that if my approach becomes systematic, I will lose a lot of the freedom and mindfulness which I’m currently enjoying.

The choice to draw more hearts is something that I think has come out of allowing myself to add my husband’s name last week. It’s always something I’ve doodled absent minded in notebooks but it was lovely to incorporate it into a mindfulness drawing and reconnect with what it really symbolises. If mindfulness is about calm and focus, shouldn’t we also find a way of celebrating love and happiness. I don’t know why it’s only just occurred to me. Of course these things go hand in hand. Is there anything in this world which makes us feel more calm, and more ‘in the moment’ than love. Whether that’s love for a partner, your family, your pets or just looking at a stunning view and connecting with how that makes you feel. I certainly feel that love is something I will be connecting with a lot more in my mindfulness drawings from now on.


Custom Print – Ardent Shadows giclee print to fit 11 x 14 frame

by ArdentShadows (30.00 GBP)

Passion – iPhone 4 hard case by Ardent Shadows

by ArdentShadows (15.00 GBP)

Persuasion – giclee print with charcoal mount to fit 11 x 14 frame by Ardent Shadows

by ArdentShadows (25.00 GBP)

Ardent Shadows giclee print with black mount to fit 11 x 14 frame

by ArdentShadows (25.00 GBP)

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