When Something (or Someone) Comes to an End
I had an idea for this spread before I even started, which is not usually the way I go about things in my art journal. And even with an idea or a simple plan, it often doesn't go as expected.
Although I have shared a list of materials below, I will give you a brief overview of the process. I started with india ink as first layer, pulled out some leave stamps and planned out what I would use where. I used 2 of those stamps to create "blooms" which ended up with many layers of pencil, pastel, gouache paint, plus collage elements of magazine paper and fabric, along with some embellishments.
This whole process was very slow going, but it began to pick of speed during the holidays and now it is complete.
I didn't know what the message would be until the very end, which is unusual for me. I often receive its meaning within a short time of beginning.
But alas, 2023 was a complicated year for me, to put it mildly. So it doesn't surprise me that the message came in the last few sessions in January of 2024.
Once I did, it all made sense to me: Falling Apart in Order to Bloom.
I am grateful to have experienced what I have as an individual, as a woman, a family member, an artist, a creative. This is why I say that my creative practices, are a necessity, rather than a nicety. (You can view and listen to that topic here.) My art is my way of processing deep, life changing events that impact all of me in one way or another.
My love of this process is what keeps me coming back to the page again and again, to see what my heart and Spirit is speaking to me that words might not capture initially. Image, color, texture, raw expression, the whole intuitive process is foundation to Deep Listening. It keeps me wide open to receive what I need in my core. So I can Bloom.
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!
My Song: I Believe
In this post, I will be sharing with you some Music I’ve released, including lyrics and my reflections on what the song means to me, as well as some journaling prompts for further reflection.
I always get excited when I’m ready to release new music so I can share my joy with you, with the intention and hope of your spirit being lifted in some meaningful way as we traverse this world at the same time in history.
The new song I’ve recorded is titled, I Believe.
I wrote this song several years ago (I’m not exactly certain when, but it was within the past 4 years since I’ve been writing music for about 5 years, just to give you an idea.) I’ve had this song in my piano book for a long time, but recently it has really been speaking to me, and I’ve been playing it with a new cadence that is deeply meditative, with a supplications vibe toward Spirit, and for me, it is a deeply empowering message.
Here are the lyrics below:
by Dawn Herring
KEEP ME SAFE
I AM SET FREE
IT IS ALL
DONE FOR ME
I CAN SEE
WHEN YOU SEE
THE TRUTH IN ME
YOU WILL BE
(Words and music copyrighted to Dawn Herring 2023)
When I wrote this song, it was in response to my scripture study and prayers in connection to my song writing, which is a natural outpouring of what Spirit speaks to me in the moment.
In the process of writing the words, stanza by stanza, I sensed a supplicating essence that I could feel within myself. My desire to feel safe, secure, loved and heard was deeply resonant. And as I made my requests, I could feel my faith rising up, knowing I was heard and was not alone. Then a deep realization of what I actually truly have in Spirit came upon me, I felt more awake to what was alive inside.
Then, in response to my faith and supplication, I sensed a reply and directive coming from a deeply loving essence of Spirit that shared the importance of vision, clarity and truth and how Waking UP to this reality brings Freedom. Yes! What a victorious response that lifts my spirit, bringing me hope that I AM FREE.
In this world filled with so much uncertainty, we all feel the need to be protected and loved; we need that assurance that we will be ok. That we are not alone. That we can see. And with what we can see, we are Free. Free to be Who We Are. Not bound by societal standards but only the boundaries we set for ourselves, for protection and care.
Spirit is there for us when we need Spirit most, during those moments of the deepest fears, doubts, insecurities, overwhelm, and uncertainty.
As we reach out for what we need, as we seek, we will find.
And when we seek together, we can support each other through the toughest of times.
And experience freedom in community!
Sounds like the Best of Beginnings to me! How about you?
Below I provide some journaling prompts for further reflection. I trust they will help bring clarity, focus and freedom to your life in this moment. ❤️
Make a list of the times when you have felt most free, whether in childhood or whatever time comes to mind naturally. What is the common thread that you can see on this list? People? Places? Activities? Pick one from the list and detail it as much as possible, reliving that sense of freedom you felt.
Do you feel that way now? What has changed or what is different?
When have you felt the most protected? Was there someone who came to your aid, such as a good friend or mentor or a family member who really gets you?
List times when you felt the most heard. What was the conversation about? Who was listening? How did this impact and change you for the better?
What is your truth right now? What can you come back to again and again that grounds and centers you no matter what you’re facing?
Write this down on an index card and keep it in a place where you can be reminded of this central truth. ❤️?
A Parade of Cats: Sharing Our Delight with You!
Well, I have a treat for you today! Below I share a story of the furry variety and what we can learn even from the beloved animals among us.
Since coming to a new neighborhood in recent months, we have had the pleasure of making acquaintance with the furry felines that stray about the ‘hood. And it didn’t take long for that to happen. No. As soon as we made our first appearance, so did they. It’s like they owned the place…and I suppose they really believe they do! Ha!
Well, I decided that I just had to share this experience with you, my dear friend and reader! Why keep the delight to myself, right?
Now, below I have shared a summary of sorts of each furry feline we have become acquainted with through conversation, observation and of course, tasty meals of the cat variety plus a bit of human delight as well. Let’s just say that when the communal bowls are filled, we like to refer to our place as The Cat’s Meow where we feature the tasty "fast food" of dry bits in the bowl (or two…), plus some gourmet options of the fish, chicken and beef variety that just hits the kitty spot! (It’s so much fun watching them devour the goodies!)
Due to the nature of the feline stray, it has taken some time to build human-cat trust, so they can be very skittish and run off if we’re not careful. (But they always manage to make their way back…)
I like to talk gently and ask if they’re hungry and looking for some nibble and assure them it’s alright. We’re just here to make sure they have full bellies!
Since they do run off, it has been difficult to visually capture them on camera. We’ve managed to get some video here and there and some photos through the window blind, so if the images aren’t the clearest, you now know why!
I will introduce you to each feline in the order we have come to their acquaintance:
Desperado (Despi for short)
What we can learn from Despi: Stay in your own lane and don't try to usurp someone else's spot if you can help it! (and be more civil, especially towards those who help take care of you.)
Mama Oreo with Dancer, Prancer and Vixen
One day she brought up a small rat ? she killed and brought up to the porch to train her little ones. We got to see them pounce and learn how to handle their prey. She disposed of it later herself.
Her three little ones:
Prancer is a mini me, looking just like Mama Oreo, and the way she walked around, she looked like she was prancing!
Vixen and Dancer were both grey and white, Vixen being much rounder in shape, and Dancer being the runt of the litter with a stub of a tail. Whenever Dancer would walk, he appeared to be dancing. Thus his name.
The little ones are no longer in our vicinity. We hope they went to good homes.
What we can learn from Mama Oreo: You can be Queen and stately in your approach to life, even if you meet with the unexpected.
What we can learn from Shadow: Seek and you will find. And don't be afraid to assert yourself even if you meet with resistance. Enjoy life to the fullest and have fun!
Princess (Mama) and Precious
It is so much fun watching Precious and Shadow play together. (You can see on the video!) Pouncing, Peek-a-boo, and chasing. Precious is always curious about what Shadow is up to and often follows him, if at a distance.
What we can learn from Princess: Even if you're shy or insecure, you can still get what you need with courage.
What we can learn from Precious: It's fun to make friends and see what they're up to! Seize the moment and don't be afraid to go after what you want.
A Very Pregnant Snow White
What we can learn from Snow White: Don't have all your eggs in one basket. Sometimes you have to look for what you need.
Interestingly enough, Shadow has been in the process of taking Despi’s place, so he is attempting to assert himself with Big Tom, who actually puts up with a lot of pushing and shoving as Shadow tries to get him away from the feeding dish! (You can watch on the video!)
We gotta give it to Shadow for trying to assert himself and only being a kitten!
What we can learn from Big Tom: Sometimes you have to fight to keep your place and sometimes you give a little, especially with a new comer!
Smokey & Midnight
Smokey has been here before when she wasn’t pregnant; gorgeous shiny smoky grey fur with green eyes. Since she’s been back, we’ve noticed her looking heavier, thus suspicions she’ll be Mama Smokey with kitties soon!
Midnight is a very recent arrival, with inky black fur and yellow eyes. We think she might be nursing kittens due to how dominant her feeding area is underneath.
They are both cautious but not overtly skittish, probably because they need to eat for the little ones they carry or they are feeding as well. We always try to put out extra nibbles for the ones with littles! We have a soft spot for the Mama cats around here at The Cat’s Meow!
What we can learn from Smokey: You gotta do what you gotta do!
What we can learn from Midnight: You will always find what you're looking for.
Thanks for reading our fun feline story and have yourself a Furry Nice Day!
Of all the Cats featured here, which one do you identify the most with and why? Which lesson (what we can learn from) resonates most with you and why? If you were a cat, what would be your disposition and what would you look like? Describe this in detail in your journal.
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.
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