My Sketchbook. I've been using these types of sketchbooks for my personal journaling after many years of writing in smaller lined journals with ribbons for book marks. But a couple of years ago, they were starting to feel too small.
So I decided to start writing in an unlined sketchbook which gives me a way to doodle, draw mind maps, write lists and all sorts of fun stuff like that, where lines would be prohibitive or hindering.
But recently, I decided I needed to use a sketchbook for just my ART. This one you see on the left is for just that purpose.
Sketching, which is basically rough drawing, has never been my forte; I love to draw fully detailed, no rough. Rough sketches don't feel natural to me.
So I was reluctant to start a sketchbook for my art.
BUT I had an epiphany of sorts, after reading and watching other artists with their sketchbooks. I realized I don't have to necessarily Sketch in my Sketchbook if I don't want to. I can draw whatever I want. I can do more doodles in addition to my daily doodle that I do in my evening entry in my personal journal. I can practice my lettering skills to create more graphic headers for my blog posts, which I have SO MUCH FUN with! (The above graphic header was originally created in my new sketchbook. :) )
I also use this sketchbook to take notes on what I'm up to with my current watercolor-in-progress, with any plans for other projects, my artistic goals, dreams and lists. So, yes, I journal in my artist sketchbook!
One of the issues I've come across since I started it is whether I should be separating my art from other life issues when in my art-focused sketchbook...since I'm already journaling otherwise. But it's really hard to keep it separate, because, in reality, my art influences and affects all other areas of my life. But HOW MUCH to include is the challenge.
I suppose if I just determine that Anything Goes with it, I can just relax and not concern myself about doing it Wrong or wondering if having an art sketchbook is worth the bother. I do have many journals that I keep, but I have looked forward to writing and experimenting with this one.
I will admit to repeating myself a lot between my art and my personal sketchbooks, But my art bears repeating! That's how important it is to me. And No one else is reading it so I don't have to concern myself about boring anyone or having someone say, you already wrote about this. I can repeat myself as many times as I'd like with no harm done.
I think the fact that I HAVE an artist's sketch book to play in is a great cathartic catalyst for ideas, for messing around, for playing with my Winsor Newton Watercolor markers, and just having FUN. Who knows what may result from what comes up in my creativity and in my thoughts and intuition s a result of giving myself more artistic space?
Is there something that you have given to yourself recently that you may feel is a bit over the top or unnecessary but you really want to try this new thing and see what comes of it? Detail this in your journal and express how you feel about this new thing and if you feel indulgent and why. Give yourself space to validate your emotion and feelings about this new thing and be your own cheerleader!
Art Journal prompt:
Make a page or spread in your art journal to express how you feel about doing something for yourself that you may feel like you need permission to do. Use text, color and stamping/stenciling to create layers of meaning for that permission granted!
Copyright 2015 by Dawn Herring
Copyright 2015 Graphic Header by Dawn Herring Collection
Welcome back to my art journal pages! This particular spread, Forge Ahead, is unique for several reasons.
First of all, it took a total of six weeks to complete due to delays, blocks and lack of energy/inspiration. With the recent changes I made to my studio (which I detail here in A Creative Experiment), the energy wasn't flowing quite as well as usual. And I'm still working out the logistics of where everything should go as far as my three work spaces, but at least I made progress! I had no idea that this spread was open on my desk for so long. I looked at the date of my previous spread and was very surprised at this discovery. I thought it was at most, three weeks.
Another way this spread, Forge Ahead, is unique is the way I started it. Usually I put down color first, but this time, I started with the words, Forge Ahead, stamping out the letters with a new ink pad I recently purchased, another new approach. I usually stamp with watercolor. So with two new approaches to this spread, the words and falling letters stayed that way for a while. I had to think out what would come next.
Collage is always a welcome addition to my journal spreads, but the first time I thought about it, I wasn't sure what colors I wanted to use so I put it off for a bit. Eventually I did come back to it and chose earthy tones from my magazine stash. I started with the darkest hue, then on to orange and then the skin tones. I liked the way the color scheme came together. (I also had a later thought when this spread was complete that the lightest colored collage pieces reminded me of sustaining bread when you're in need of nourishment during hard times.)
The other way this Forge Ahead spread is unique is it includes my first attempt at working with a homemade modeling paste using gesso and...baby powder? ;) It did do the job as you can see below with the close up of using a stencil in between the letters, but I must say that I won't plan to use baby powder for this job again. The smell from the talc was too overpowering to make it workable. (I did look up other possibilities and plan to try baking soda next time.) Once I had the modeling paste installed, it was time to decorate with color. The thought that came to mind was Forge being a source of Fire, so the color scheme between the letters and around the collage pieces is associated with fire. Once I added watercolor as fire based hues, I also added a bit of oil pastel to give it a bit more texture.
Once I had this done, I really took a good look at the texture from the modeling paste and the long thin shape of the stencil, and realized it reminded me of bones. When that came to mind, I was like, Yikes! Bones? Yes, bones. And with the color scheme of fire, it could appear to be like a war zone. I found this to be somewhat disturbing. (This is what I often refer to as the subconscious coming to the fore!) So I began to think about Forging Ahead and what that can sometimes look like. Life is not all sweetness and roses. As a matter of fact, it can sometimes be downright difficult! Like you're in a war zone.
We don't often like to think about the challenges and difficulties of life but sometimes there's a time and a place for it; and for me, with this spread, it was a time and place. When I forge ahead, do I sometimes feel like I'm wounded from various life experiences? If so, what kind? That really got me to thinking and journaling too!
When have you recently found yourself feeling "bloody" or wounded by a life experience? Has this situation happened before, just in a different context? Honor that experience by validating whatever you have felt and may still be feeling from this. You may want to use a fire colored pen or marker or crayon (red, orange, yellow) to express your deepest feelings.
Art Journal Prompt**:
Using the colors of fire, Red, orange and yellow, using wet media, oil pastel, or using collage materials, create an art journal spread to express any woundings you have experienced, whether recently or from a memory that comes to the fore.
Using the word Forge, do a mind map, writing down any associative words or phrases that come to mind. See if any repeating words/phrases show up and use them in an art journal spread.
When we honor our life experiences by either writing about them or create visuals to commemorate them, we give space to validate how we feel and how we would like these wounding experiences to be resolved.
By the way, as an end note on this Forge Ahead Spread, I wanted to share that I did not find this particular spread to be visually attractive. I wasn't even sure if I would share it publicly, but I decided to share this experience with you all so we can see the benefits of working in our art journal and listening to our hearts. <3
Copyright 2015 by Dawn Herring
Copyright 2015 Art Images by Dawn Herring
**This prompt is not meant to be a substitute for counseling.
Welcome back to another Pattern Juxtaposition blog post on Refresh Daily, where I share different combinations of fabrics that I think are FUN when put together. As the combining of patterns continues to be a trend, I am having a great time mixing and matching different pieces in my wardrobe for some fashion outside the box!
I don't know if you're into this trend yourself or not, but maybe you might just see something when you shop that catches your eye that you might not have tried before, and it may be time for you to try something New!
The image to the left is the combination of three pieces: a blouse and tank purchased at Cynthia Elliot Boutique and patterned jeggings purchased at Khol's.
I love how the rich reds and browns from the jeggings and the blouse complement each other as well as the V formation in the design pattern in both pieces. These are one of my favorite pairs of pants, not only for the pattern on the fabric, but they are super comfy and RED, one of my favorite colors to wear.
In the image at right, I'm showing an up close of a larger view of the blouse pattern. I just love all the layering effects in this design with the gold dots over the turquoise pattern and the white dots over another pattern. It's very busy visually but not in an overwhelming sort of way.
In the image to the left, I have pictured the three- strand necklace recently purchased at Stein Mart, featuring round stone-type colorful beads in greens and blues, which I just love as well as sheer acrylic-type square beads in greens and golds. I have found these shades to work with many of my wardrobe choices so this was a great find!
What patterns do you enjoy wearing? Do you prefer stripes, Vs, polka dots or over-sized elements? Do you have these in your wardrobe now? If not, record what you would like to add to enhance your collection of pieces to showcase your current fashion preferences. Perhaps you can sketch a pattern in a your journal or sketch book, something that interests you and catches your eye. It's well worth paying attention to what you are drawn to!
Art Journal Prompt:
Peruse a fashion magazine or one that shows the style of someone you admire and use it as a focal point for an art journal spread and write a small entry about why you love it. What kind of essence does it exude? How would that make you feel wearing it?
Have FUN with your Fashion choices and don't forget to try something new. You may be surprised how much FUN you have when you're wearing it!
Copyright 2015 by Dawn Herring
Copyright 2015 Images 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.