Hello, Art Journal Friends. Today's featured spread, Follow the Yellow Brick Road, had an interesting start. I recently got my hands on a different kind of bubble wrap from a package containing a book that I used. I applied watercolor to one side and then applied the paint on the wrap to the page with a brayer. And--whalla! Lovely, colorful texture! I applied this on repeat with several colors: red violet, yellow, and violet.
Once I had those layers down, I found some magazine pages with yellow and violet colors, tore them in bits and adhered them with matte medium. Once I had that down, I had to give this beginning some serious thought. I didn't have a "message" come to me right away. But once I came back to it, I eyed the "path of yellow" created by the torn bits of collage and it reminded me of the Yellow Brick Road in the Wizard of Oz. Aha!
I now had my message: Follow the Yellow Brick Road!
Once I knew this, I went to work/play on how I would display each word. The words, Follow and Yellow, I cut out free hand from colored construction paper. I love the long, exaggerated letters. I then adhered them with matte medium in a random fashion. Once the letters were down, I used oil pastel to bring out the edges and highlight them. I also cut out rectangles of purple and stamped each one with a letter to spell "the." I also highlighted the letters with pen.
Then I got to work on the words Brick Road, and I knew I wanted to do my own lettering with Uniball Pen. I love doodling in my evening journal entry, so I applied my same lettering techniques here, adding lines to each letter and alternating the colors. I added black dots to every other space to create bricks in the letters. I also accented the letters with a black brush pen to give them a bit of shadow for more pop on the page. I added musical notes and other stamped words to enhance to purpose of the spread.
I did want to say a word about the message behind, Follow the Yellow Brick Road. The thing that stood out to me the most about it was the difference between when being able to recognize when the road you are traveling leads to HOME or if it's a situation where you feel you've been confused by an illusion. And when you realize it was an illusion, it's as if you've seen behind the "curtain" to what's really there, and it's a true disappointment. Yet, the silver lining is what Glenda the Good Witch told Dorothy, "You've had what you needed all along." What I say is this: The Truth Comes From Within. And you will always find the Truth if you are seeking it, even if you have to get past Illusion to find it.
Can you remember a time where you felt like you were on a yellow brick road and how what you thought it would lead you to was an Illusion? How did you reckon with this discovery? Were you disappointed? Where you relieved to discover it when you did so you could get past it? How has it impacted you in your life today?
Art Journal Prompt:
Create Your Own Yellow Brick Road and show where it led you and where you are now. Honor your path by validating how you felt at that time and how you have responded to the Truth you have discovered since. You can use map pieces to create a travel perspective as a background visual.
It's time for some Doodle Dynamics! I have such fun creating doodles each evening as a way of Honoring My Day and recognizing the themes of what I experience. These visuals are a type of "encapsulating" with my viewpoint on my daily life.
With this one, Schedule Shift, it was a reflection of what my whole day looked like just as a result of doing something in the morning that I normally don't do, so that pushed off everything else, thus the Shift.
Sometimes when we have a shift in our schedule, it can leave us feeling all discombobulated since it's not what we're used to; but when we choose to go with the flow instead of viewing it as an interruption, we can really see good things happen. Thus I used bright colors to convey my day.
To create this doodle, I started with letters fully recognizable, but sort of compressed together, like there's no breathing room to speak of, with one thing right after the other. Yet there were good points to the day, so I wanted the visual to reflect the fun element of spontaneity that is often unexpected. So I added polka dot circles to enhance the gold tone. Then I decided to add balls, with that association of having too many balls to keep in the air to make sure everything happens when it's supposed to. I also added movement lines to create that bouncy look.
For the Shift word, the letters looked like they're all lined up and working together as they move ahead to get the job done. I added stripes to convey that forward movement plus using those stripes to added more color changes for visual interest. Then I added movement lines.
The arrow helps to convey that movement forward. I've been really loving arrows lately and have been adding them frequently to my doodles. I also filled the arrow with stippled dots for a fun visual effect.
All the letters are defined/accentuated with shadow lines to give them dimension and a unified look.
Have you experienced a day with unexpected shifts in what you had planned, thus moving things in a forward direction? What kind of a day did it turn out to be? Were you frustrated or did you simply run with the spontenaity and enjoy the ride, trusting the process? How did you best benefit from this schedule shift?
Art Journal Prompt:
Create a visual of your usual schedule that you follow, then cut them out and mix them all up! Note any changes you may want to make as a result from any insights you gained.
I am an avid nature observer, and my walks are the perfect place for nature-based adventure. I recently went on a walk, and as I trod the sidewalk, I noticed a vast amount of bird song; it was as if the whole neighborhood had gathered to talk about the delightful weather. It was such a pleasure to notice all the beautiful sound (it was like surround sound at its best!) that practically enveloped me and drew me in.
But it wasn't just the birds I heard that made that day such a delight. I also saw several butterflies along my path. You know, sometimes I honestly feel as if these butterflies come flitting about me to say hello, and that they don't just happen to be there when I arrive. And of course, I always return the greeting with great admiration, thus the photo above in the first image.
And I was lucky enough to get a good shot of my beloved mocking bird amidst all that delightful and joyful bird song, which you can see in the second image.
As I walked about listening and enjoying my surrounds, slowing down to take it all in, I managed to capture one of those birds in flight. As I considered my experience of walking in my neighborhood that day, it literally felt as if I was being invited into this intense energy of Rejoicing, like they simply could not contain themselves for their JOY of this beautiful day.
And dare I say, it felt Sacred to me. I do so love the birds and squirrels and butterflies and all the nature-based delight around me. It's so full of LIFE. And, really, there's nothing better than Life, is there? PURE, GROWING, LIVELY ENERGY that just fills the heart to overflowing with gratitude and appreciation for THIS DAY.
Yes, I found Myself Rejoicing right along with those wonderful birds; and I think that made them happy too somehow.
I also captured some of this delightful sound on video which you can listen to below. So, now, you can rejoice with us!
Have you ever found yourself being drawn into something delightful that just lifted your spirit and brought joy to your heart? If so, detail it in your journal, including the when, where, and who you were with if you weren't alone. Share how that made a difference in your day afterwards. Did it change your perspective?
Art Journal Prompt:
Using the word prompt, Rejoicing, create a visual to honor a time when something delightfully surprising crossed your path, using colors that rekindle that delight visually. Use photos/images if you have them to commemorate such an occasion.
This is my first Periscope broadcast where I share a sneak peek of my current watercolor painting and discuss dry brush technique. (The Periscope broadcast on Periscopetv cuts out some of the footage, but this video was what was saved to my phone and its intact.)
The purpose of this video, Creative Curiosity, is to encourage the pursuit of curiosity paths to enhance your creative practice. I include journaling and art journaling prompts. I'm coming from my Dawn Herring Collection Art Studio where I sit to paint with watercolor to share with you my thoughts on curiosity and where it can lead to help us build a Creative Practice worth keeping.
A Total Eclipse. A Recent event with the blood moon, starting late in the evening. When my husband, Bill, mentioned its occurrence, we decided to check it out. We tried the back yard, but with too many trees, we had no visibility. So I suggested we try the front yard.
Much to our pleasure, we had a good view standing in just the right spot between our live oaks. The eclipse was well under way but we saw just a sliver of the moon still visible so we were just in time. That was a memorable moment as we saw a rare event in progress, just the two of us relishing our time together.
Although blood moons are rare, and so are total ecliipses, this one happening together was a true anomaly.
But what about life eclipses...eclipses of the Heart?
When we feel overwhelmed or are in a dark or uneasy or unsure place. When we're off our center and need to get back.
When we face life challenges, especially those kind that persist, bringing chronic trouble to our weary souls.
These are emotional eclipses.
And what do they accomplish?
They leave us feeling joyless, disheartened, and maybe, sometimes, resentful or bitter. Yuk. Doesn't sound like much fun, does it?
No, I didn't think so either.
So how do we prevent or reduce eclipses of our hearts? In other words, how do we manage challenging situations without losing our joy and enjoyment of life on a daily basis?
Well, that's where daily refreshment comes in...and a refreshed mindset.
How we view our challenge can make a difference in how we respond to it. If we see the situation as out of our control, it can be hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel. So we need to get a fresh view and transform those dark spaces into areas of clarity, truth and light.
Sometimes this takes time in our journals, expressing just exactly what is bothering us so we can figure out our eclipsing triggers and their source. Getting it down on paper can make all the difference in gaining clarity and figuring out our most effective and authentic action steps toward healing and well being.
When we can get to a place where we have a clearer view and a greater understanding of how we can respond, taking care of ourselves and still being responsible, caring individuals, we can experience, once again, inner joy, gratitude and that sense of being Aligned with Who We Are, back to center.
This is where we feel relief, release, and rest for our souls and healing to our minds and hearts.
And when we take the time to engage in those refreshing activities that speak to our hearts, we can create a place of comfort, of relishment, of honoring Who We Are, which can really enhance our daily experience and, perhaps, even minimize the effects of those eclipses, so they don't have a chance to completely extinguish our joy, but simply initiate more time to care for ourselves more deeply.
Perhaps that can be the silver lining, like the silver of the moon, which shines once the eclipse is over. In all of its beautiful glory.
Shine on, dear one, and feel that fulness of joy deep in your soul.
Have you experienced a Total Eclipse of your heart with a disheartening or challenging situation? Detail your eclipsing triggers with the intent of getting to the heart of the matter. **Describe your emotions and record any resonating situations that you may recall in connection with your current situation. Then detail how you can take action to transform this dark spot into a place of clarity and light.
Art Journaling Prompt:
Find images of an eclipse to Honor your Challenge, validating your emotions but also with the visual purpose of gaining clarity, with whatever colors, textures and text that resonates most powerfully for you. Let this be a healing process that brings you to where you feel you can shine once again.
**Please note: If you find this activity too overwhelming, you may want to speak to a trusted friend or therapist if necessary.
Copyright 2015 by Dawn Herring
Copyright 2015 Graphic Header 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.