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
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.