Prepping Fabric for an Art Journal Spread
Welcome back to Beginnings, where we talk about Fresh Starts, New Cycles, Exploration, Experimentation and Creativity! This particular post is in two parts. The first part is focused on my Illustration Pic of the Week. The Second part is focused on the video content above and what I am sharing with you from my studio space. If you're interested in my illustrations from my personal journal and/or you would enjoy an inside look at my art journal process, then this post is for you!
Now on to the Illustration Pic of the Week. I create an illustration in my personal journal each evening as part of my daily journaling practice. So that's 7 illustrations to choose from for the Pic of the Week. This week I'm sharing "Prepping," an illustration to highlights the time I spent in my art journal, using a new tool for cutting fabric! I'm excited to experiment with using something other than a regular scissor to create a new design in my art journal.
In the Studio with Dawn: Art Tools of the Trade
For this Part 2 segment, I am sharing a video of my behind-the-scenes activity in my Art Studio space, and I am showing some new cutting tools, my experience with each one, and I demonstrate how I am building a design for a new art journal spread. I'm excited to try new tools that might make my work with fabric easier, since I love using fabric as collage material, which I discuss in detail and show in the video.
I decided since the Illustration and the video cover the same topic, I thought it would work well together to put them in the same post, so you can see the process of my art journaling and how it translates into something worth remembering from my day!
My goal and my delight is for you to be inspired by what you see that will lead to your own creative pursuits! It can be exciting to find a tool that really works to make creating easier and more fulfilling. I wish the same for you in whatever creative activity you enjoy engaging in. If you have recently found a tool in your creative trade that has made a difference for you, you are welcome to share in the comments below! I love celebrating with you in community!
What makes keeping your journaling practice easier? Is there a particular tool such as type of pen, journal or other accessory that you especially enjoy using? Why? Is there something you would like to experiment with that you have yet to try? How do you think it will enhance your experience?
Thank you for being a part of my artistic journey. I appreciate your presence here.
And I wish you the Very Best of Beginnings!
Blooming in 2024: My First Art Journal Spread
Hello and Welcome Back to Beginnings, where we talk about Fresh Starts, New Cycles, Experimentation, Exploration and Creativity. And this is my first blog post for the New Year of 2024, and I'm excited to bring you my first completed art journal spread, which I have titled: Falling Apart in Order to Bloom. I did the majority of this spread in 2023, starting back in July, when I was in the throws of grieving my father's passing in January (1/8/23 will be a year).
Now, what does that mean exactly? As of this writing, (1/5/24), I'm still contemplating. But in reflection, I think it speaks to the "falling apart," or breaking down phase when you are reckoning with a life changing event that correlates with some very deep rooted parts of your life experience that are foundational to who you are. And my father's passing certainly contributed to that experience. Somewhat of a metamorphosis, which entails a breaking in order to re-build and bloom. And this takes courage! And discernment of how to get from the beginning of this process to the beauty of transformation.
So here is my art journal tool and supply list used in this spread:
water soluble pastel
colored pencil, both water soluble and non water soluble
fabric in various prints
leaf stamps in various types and sizes
Have you experienced a "falling apart" in order to bloom in a new place? What was that like for you? What did you learn from it? What new undrstanding do you have of yourself now that you didn't have before as a result? How did you take care of yourself in the process?
Thank you so much for being a part of my journey as artist and creative.
Your presence is greatly appreciated. <3
I wish you the Happiest of New Years in 2024 and the very Best of Beginnings!
Let's Celebrate 2023 Together!
Welcome back to Beginnings, where we talk about fresh starts, new cycles, exploration, experimentation and creativity! And this, my friend, is my final post for 2023, which is a look back on the year with what I've accomplished and how my Beginnings highlighted my life's experiences. In the process of my sharing my story, my delight is for you to look back on yours as well, celebrating your wins, seeing what you've accomplished, and what you have learned in the process.
I will be sharing from the categories I talk about here at Beginnings which include music, journaling, art, illustration, and anything else that has inspired! Do join me as I review 2023, since, without you, there would be no blog! Right? Your readership, support and interest are an inspiration to me, and for that, I am grateful.
So let's do this, shall we? Get comfortable with a snack or beverage and read on...
This year has been quite the journey for me...it started with the passing of my father, my DAD, Daniel Bel-Tempo. You can read about that experience here. Although it was expected, it still had a strong impact on my creativity and output. So I took some time off from content creation and returned in the spring. You can view my comeback story here.
This year, my JOURNALING PRACTICE took center stage. Although I do journal daily in multiple journals for multiple purposes, I found some ways to stay connected to the inner parts of me, focusing on my Higher Self and my Inner Child, as I navigated Loss and understood myself on a whole new level. Dialoguing became a Power Tool essential to my wellness and resilience during this time. The wisdom and direction I received as a result really showed me ways to take care of myself, listening to the deepest of wisdom within. It continues to be a moment by moment process, breaking patterns that no longer serve me, and creating pathways that strengthen my faith and my determination to Keep Self Care at the top of my list, making it even more primary than ever.
This can look like taking frequent breaks during the day due to fatigue, adding new foods to my diet that enhance my well being, and taking time to be quiet and induce more calm.
I continued playing in my Art Journal, using mixed media such as inks, gouache, fabric, pastel and stamping. I have found myself spending more time on each spread, many months sometimes, taking my time and enjoying each layer of creativity it gives me. Even if it's just 5 minutes at a time. Those incremental steps build upon one another for the greater whole. Sometimes all you need is 5 minutes for yourself!
I continue to keep a bullet journal with many trackers that are helpful for easy reference, whether dreams, food and sleep patterns, music, what I watch and read, along with family updates (so important!). I also use it for business for my office work.
Speaking of journaling, This past year, I've recorded quite a few short videos for my YouTube Channel (which you can view here) for those of you who follow me for journaling purposes, (Think #JournalChat!). I've answered a lot of questions and given some fun and insightful tips you can use to get yourself going and stay journaling because it's fun and relevant for you. You're welcome to drop any questions you may have in the comments below!
In addition to journaling tips, I've also released some new MUSIC which you can view here, which includes my spiritual songs, My Choice and I Believe, plus I re-recorded the Beginnings Theme song to celebrate One Year of Beginnings Blog (which you can view here; just scroll to the bottom.) and my newly launched website. I also went Live on Facebook and Played my Piano for the first time, sharing three songs, My first recording (with updated melody) titled, Because You, and an unreleased song, It's Possible and I Believe. I had so much fun playing for you all! If you haven't already watched it, click here for that post. I anticipate composing more music for my piano in 2024 (as I enter my 4th year of playing piano in March) with over 400 songs to choose from that I've written in 2023.
As an artist, I continue to illustrate moments from my day in my sketchbook journal (you can view several here). I continue to enjoy colored pencil and pastel (some water soluable!). I've also enjoyed some pen and pencil sketching and plan to continue that experimentation in 2024. I've also enjoyed creating illustrations for our electrical safety blog at Bill's Quality Electric, LLC, which you can view here and read here. I also greatly enjoyed recording the creation of the new logo for Beginnings which I shared in Real Time, which you can view here. That was a fun experimentation. Leave a comment below if you'd like to see more In Real Time art demo videos.
One of the pleasures I have had this year has been engaging with the Stray Cats in our neighborhood, and there have been many, some who have come and gone, and some who are regulars here at The Cat's Meow (we like to call it that here when we feed them!). You can read a detailed version of our Parade of Cats here. We simply love Despi and Shadow, (the Boys as we call them) plus the Mama cats who have shared their kittens with us! So absolutely adorable!
Well that concludes my Year in Review. I trust you enjoyed this perusal down memory lane with me for 2023; I appreciate your being here and for being a part of my life journey as I share my Beginnings with you. Your comments are always welcome.
I look forward to what 2024 will hold for me. And for you too! Remember that every day is a new Beginning and worth celebrating. And I will be here to cheer you on as always.
Wishing you the Very BEST of Beginnings in the New Year!
Let Me Show You How I Made Beginnings
Welcome back to Beginnings, the place where we talk about Fresh Starts, New Cycles, Experimentation, Exploration and Creativity. And in this special post, I am sharing a behind-the-scenes view of the Creation of my brand new Header Logo, Beginnings! I'm excited to chat with you about what Beginnings is all about and why it's important to Celebrate each beginning we encounter as well as how we can be Intentional about our Beginnings. In between chatting, I also share with you my art supplies, my color choices, and the reason for the steps I take to create this piece of art.
I recorded the above video in Real Time so you can see and hear me as we create this art together...bring some of your own art to work on if that inspires you! And I'd love to hear about what you're creating. This piece of art/logo is actually a special one because I am Celebrating One Year of Beginnings, and I'd love for you to join me.
I did record the creation of Beginnings Logo in several sessions so it's a longer video of 35 minutes, which includes introduction of what we are making and the action behind-the-scenes. It is my delight to share this with you and I trust you will be inspired with your own creativity and maybe learn something along the way. You're welcome to drop a comment, either on YouTube (and subscribe!) or right here at Beginnings, to let me know what you think, what your greatest take away is and how you've been inspired.
And of course, I wish you the very Best of Beginnings!
My Creative Process with Eclipse Illustration
Hello and welcome back to Beginnings where we focus on fresh starts, new cycles, experimentation, exploration and creativity.
In my previous post which you can read here, I shared about why I’ve been absent for the past few months. I also share images from my last completed art journal spread and what it meant to me.
In this post, I’ll be sharing about the process of creating the illustration, Coming Full Circle: Eclipse.
When I broached the subject of creating an illustration, I knew exactly what I wanted to portray: Dividing the image in half darkness to represent how my heart felt eclipsed by the event of my father’s passing. Praying hands were in order since that is one of the essential pieces to processing such a loss. I also show this in how I designed the letters, partly in grey and black with dots of red for the heart centered emotion. I also drew a circle to represent coming full circle with life and death. A new cycle has begun.
There are several things I wanted to point out with the technical process of experimentation with this illustration:
First, I used a new mixed media pad by Master’s Touch, which description says can be used with wet and dry media. I experimented with this paper before and it went well. But I only used minimal water application to activate the colored pencil I was using.
With this illustration, I applied more water and more layers, and while doing so, the paper did not hold up well. As a result, I decided to acquire my go-to brand, Strathmore, for a mixed media pad for my next illustration. I have yet to activate water soluable tools with this paper, but I’ll let you know when I do.
Secondly, when I require water solubility with a larger area, a pencil tip is not the best way to go. It ends up looking uneven in coverage. Pastel was better but since the pencil was applied initially, it was difficult to eliminate the unevenness. I ended up using a charcoal pencil to fill in the areas that needed more coverage. Then I was reasonably satisfied.
Thirdly, I did enjoy the water solubility of the colored pencil and layering color for the hair giving it more texture. And it also gave the solid black of her garment more density.
In this illustration, I used Prismacolor Premiere soft core pencils. I love the smoothness of application and the density of color. I also used Caran’Dache Supracolor Aquarelle water soluable colored pencils and Neo Color ll water soluble pastels for the areas where I applied water.
Again, this was fully experimental and I’m always learning about what each supply can do and what paper works well with them. I have supplied an art demo video which you can view above where I share most of my process in creating this illustration, Coming Full Circle: Eclipse.
I also include the theme song to this blog, Beginnings, to inspire you in your own creativity.
Where are you giving yourself space to experiment, whether creatively or simply in life? Where do you experience the most resistance when considering the possibilities? You can ask yourself the question: What am I afraid of, to help unpack that resistance and see what you discover.
I want to sum up this post with a word about this day: June 8, 2023 marks the 5th month since my father passed from this world. So I find the timing of this post serendipitous to honoring his life and his death with creativity and appreciation. My father was always giving me encouragement concerning my art; he was always ready with a critique when I asked for it growing up in his house. He was very proud of my skill and told me so, often. I wanted to share that with you, my friend and reader.
Thank you for being a part of my creative and life journey.
May you have blessed Beginnings!
Beginnings Illustration: Art Demo Video
Welcome back to Beginnings, Where we talk about Fresh Starts, New Cycles, Exploration, Experimentation and Creativity! Yes!
For this blog post, I wanted to share with you how I determined the design for my Beginnings Illustration (which you can see above). I was excited to consider how best I could represent the Idea of Beginnings as the new theme for my website and blog, as well as show the topics that are closest to my heart that I love to share with my friends which include Art, Illustration, Music and Journaling.
The initial idea was to use new leaf growth as a motif, the freshness of the start of what could potentially become a full grown beautiful plant benefiting the caretaker of such a delight. Then I considered how I present them, on their own as well as in pots with soil.
The leaf motif is full of vibrant color, that new yellow green that happens to be one of my favorites! I find this color so inspiring and I’m very attracted to it, whether it’s a plant or tree with the sun shining upon the leaves, really enhancing the beauty of such life.
It also represents to me possibility: we can really use our imaginations of where this new growth can go. What does that represent to me as an artist, an aspiring musician, and journal keeper?
It also represents to me new cycles. Each new plant begins as a seed and then this fresh new life reveals itself as it pokes through the soil, as if saying, celebrate with me! It encourages me as I make my way into a new project, new song, new art, new love, new discoveries, new curiosities!
It all takes action, persistence, devotion, decisiveness and even confidence and courage! Yes!
The figure holds in her hand this newness and is ready to see what it will grow into. She is optimistic and ready to move step by step into what this moment holds.
And I think that’s the key to Starting Anew, to Beginnings in themselves.
Instead of looking too far ahead, we can stay in this Present Moment and relish this New Start, this New Season, this New Cycle and what it may contain. One step is all it takes.
One note is the start of a new melody. One pencil mark is the start of a new illustration. One word is the start of a new journal entry. One seed is the start to a new garden. One tap of a key on the typewriter or keyboard is the start of a new story.
It all starts with that first step. And an idea or a concept or a plan…
So what are you starting today? Every thing you do each day is a new start. Think of all the Fresh possibilities that await you! Or maybe just think about one. And focus on that next step, putting your whole heart into it. Fully present, ready to take on what’s next.
Feel the excitement, the pleasure, the satisfying sensation of moving forward.
And if you feel a little unsure, that’s ok too. Step into that Courage that is available in your heart and go for it anyway. Your intuition will guide you.
Hold the possibilities in your hand and smile.
Because this is just the Beginning!
(and I’m Cheering You on!)
Here’s to beginning anew!
Dawn Herrings is an Artist, Illustrator, Aspiring Musician, and Avid Journal Keeper. She enjoys spending time writing songs, composing for the piano, playing with all kinds of art media, including colored pencils for illustrating, exploring design and textures, having fun creating spreads in her art journal and writing about her day, her dreams and her vision in her journals. Dawn is also Office Manager and partner in business with her husband, Bill, of 33 years.