Have I ever told you how much I love Art Journaling? I'm always singing its praises since I know how rewarding the process can be. And this 2 page spread that you see in the first image is no different.
I did want to express the importance of having a good stash of art journal fodder on hand if you like the collage element of creation like I do. I recommend saving magazines, circulars, junk mail and anything that has images, text or designs that you like and pull what you're drawn to. I love doing this; sometimes when I don't want to paint but I do want to get into a creative mindset, I'll go through a magazine or two and pull what I like and stash it in my drawers for future reference.
For this particular spread, I used several things from my stash, with my current favorite color (or at least one of them!) turquoise. I decided I also wanted to lay down some newspaper and tissue paper along with the magazine fodder to create a more layered look. And I achieved just that. :)
I used gesso to prime the pages initially. Then I started to tear the newspaper in strips and adhered them with matte medium. Once I had that down, I tore bits and strips of the turquoise fodder, first one with a lighter color turquoise, then later I added the darker hues that included black from another image altogether. I added more gesso between these applications to tone down the color but to also add texture and visual interest. Gesso is great for that. I usually apply the gesso with a wide plastic palette knife initially then I switch to a more narrow palette knife when using it over layers. The second image is an up close of the left page.
Once I had all the layers and gesso down, I also added some turquoise watercolor paint from Prang and added stippling in various areas for more design and for visual interest. I also added some black in various spots to highlight some of the black on parts of collage I used. Once I had all of this complete, I began to look carefully at the composition I created and realized it reminded me of being under water with the color turquoise. Deep under water. Water can also been symbolic of emotion. And emotions are in the soul. Thus the title, Soul Deep. So I stamped the words SOUL DEEP with upper case alpha stamps and again in smaller letters. I accented the letters with black, turquoise and white to define them. The third image is an up close of the right page.
One of the things I wanted to point out with this Soul Deep spread; when we want to go deeper in learning more about ourselves, deep where those core emotions lie, it can feel a bit overwhelming, especially when we reckon with unexpected emotions of the soul. This is where we have to be nurturing with ourselves, so we don't end up feeling like we desperately need to come up for air. You know how when you go swimming and dive deep, the first thing you want to do, out of necessity, is come up for air. The same goes for emotional swimming. There's a place for seeking and splashing and discovering. But when it's time for air, we need to be flexible with ourselves, rather than exacting. Especially when we've made mistakes.
Be willing to go deep--even soul deep. But Be Gentle with what you discover. But be ready to see what needs to change too, because that will come. But you'll be ready for it.
And when you do come up for air, the air will be sweet and invigorating; and you will be changed--for the better.
Enjoy your swim!
Copyright 2015 by Dawn Herring
Copyright 2015 Images by Dawn Herring Collection
I've been wanting to show this spread to you since I completed it! This is the first spread I did since moving to my new house. So, it is truly the Start of Something New, and since it was during the holiday season, I decided to go with a red and green color theme. I had recently seen a fellow art journal artist on the Art Journal Junkies Facebook Group I'm a member of (LOVE this group!) using a stencil in the shape of flowers that were really cute and whimsical. So I thought I'd try my hand at cutting a flower stencil; I used a sheet of card stock that I had handy. I must say I love the art journal flow of moving with what's at hand. It all about experimenting to see what comes out, what works, what doesn't, and what I will try again!
You can see in the third image below a close up view of the stencil work, both with the stencil and the mask layered on the page. In addition to the stenciling, I also added some collage elements (as seen in image two). One of the images I chose was a magazine cut out of holly with berries which I tore up into small pieces for a frame work of sorts, alternating the red and the green as I went. I absolutely love ripping collage elements since this makes for a very organic process, very hands on and yes, messy, as I glue down my elements with matte medium, but I don't mind, since I'm having so much fun in my ART ZONE. :)
Once I had my stenciling done and my collage elements down, I decided to add some watercolor paint edges from the black sponge I had been using which gave it some visual interest and texture along the way still leaving a lot of white but just enough color to be pleasing. :)
Then it was time for some stamping for the message. I did not plan out ahead of time what it would say. I find this the most organic part of all; it's that's listening I always talk about with an intuitive process, Honoring the Voice within that guides. As I thought about beginning in a new house (built in 1972) and in a new neighborhood, I decided to honor that passage by stamping out with watercolor paint, "The Start of Something New" with a set of lower case alpha stamps (my favorite size). The final image shows an up-close of the message. The placement and spacing of the letters is fun to Play with, whether vertical, horizontal or a mix of both.
Art Journal Tip: I don't recommend using card stock for making stencils due to its absorbency. This was on a whim and I made the BEST of it. :)
Art Journal/Journal Prompt:
Have you started something new recently? How About a New Year? Just a couple of weeks into it, huh? Do you have any new friendships, new projects, new opportunities to look forward to, to develop, in Honoring Who You Are?
Go into detail on anything new on your horizon or that you've recently delved into; mention what you love about it and what you're not so thrilled with, to keep it balanced and true. It's okay to feel any disappointment with something new you're experiencing since what we have in our head doesn't always work out the way we expect. But maybe it's even better, hmm? Also include images, if you'd like, that represents this newness in your life.
How about starting an art journal? I started my art journaling 5 years ago on January 1, 2010 and I've loved every page creation process.
Starting a written journal is something I highly recommend as a refreshing practice for the soul. Or you could combine the two if that's you're preference.
Listen to your heart and be sure to keep life fresh and pay close attention to what really matters to you. Watch what inspires you, what you want to learn more about, and see what you start up that's New to You.
@Copyright 2015 by Dawn Herring
@Copyright 2015 Images Dawn Herring Collection
HAPPY NEW YEAR!! WELCOME TO 2015!
I wanted to share with you my art journal spread for the New Year. I had been thinking about what to do with it for several days. I considered cutting out whole numbers from a green background, but that simply didn't suit me. I also considered painting numbers but that didn't feel right either. So I let it sit for a couple of days. Then the idea of creating numbers from torn paper in collage style came to mind. Ah, eureka!
So I went into my stash of collage materials (mostly pulled from magazines) and found a recently pulled full page of a green-faced watch. Hmmm. I've been loving the color green lately, drawn to it for a myriad of reasons, so green certainly seemed the way to go. Plus, a watch represents time, and with a New Year as the theme, well, it just kind of went hand in hand, right?
So I tore away, putting bits of green and silver color together and formed 2015 across the spread. Plus various bit of paper in the rest of the space.
Once I had that down, I added some green paint that I randomly dabbled on directly from the tube, then scraped with an old credit card.
In another sitting, I added more paint with a small circle sponge, highlighting with black and then more green. Then I added some green oil pastel to highlight various spots.
As the final layer, I stamped HAPPY NEW YEAR with upper case alpha stamps, adding two layers of New Year so you get a double view randomly placed.
I stamped it with Jan 1 15 this morning to show it completed and then signed my Dawn Herring signature in the top left area with a green pen.
That was my actual artistic process with this spread.
Art journaling, to me, is a multi-dimensional approach to using my creativity, giving me opportunity to listen to my intuition by going with what feels right, and just having fun with color, texture, mixed media, and expressing myself in Who I Am.
I highly recommend art journaling as a creative process for folks with this New Year or at least some kind of creative expression that helps you Honor Who You Are very directly and even indirectly. Sometimes those subtle impressions speak volumes.
Oh, and of course, I journaled my way through the process as well, talking about what I felt about my decisions and how happy I was once I figured out what I wanted to do with it to start.
Sometimes the starting is the hardest.
But it pays off when you listen carefully.
And the more you practice listening, the better you'll get at hearing the inner wisdom we essentially need for every day of the year.
I'll leave you with a journal prompt:
How can I best listen to my Intuition in this New Year, and what creative way can I express myself to Honor Who I Am?
(If you're already keeping an art journal, use this prompt for your next spread.)
Enjoy your first day of 2015 and beyond...Honoring Your Personality, Your Preferences and Your Purpose in Life.
Copyright 2015 by Dawn Herring
Dawn engages in many roles: As Writer/Blogger and Artist/Creative and Founder of Refresh with Dawn Herring: Where Art and JOY Align, She enjoys sharing from her vast experience as award-winning, life-long artist and leader in the field of written journaling, offering encouragement and proven tips to other journal keepers. Dawn's focus is on written journal keeping, artistic expression and finding your Creative Voice, and positive change that leads personal empowerment, encouraging you to leave your authentic and positive mark in the world. Dawn is a Commercial artist, hand letterer/illustrator and writer/blogger and enjoys sharing insights, humor, and encouragement as she shares from her life experiences as a woman, wife, mother of two grown daughters and as a Grandparent to a special needs grandson. She enjoys keeping a journal and reading spiritual texts to help keep the light on. May JOY Align with Your Creative Heart.