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.
Art Journal: PathwaysRead Now
This art journal spread, Pathways, took me on a colorful pathway with reds and purples. Since my previous spread worked out so well with using a brayer to apply watercolor paint to the page, I decided to continue this trend yet again, applying layers of red washes. When I applied the purple hues, I used a palette knife for more focused areas and controlled application. Once I had that done, I accentuated the areas of paint with torn bits of magazine paper in red I had stashed and applied them with matte medium. This created areas or sections on each side, and they reminded me of pathways that lead to different places. Thus, Pathways, became my focus. That's when I determined to stamp out the word pathways along two of those sections, one on each side, using red and purple paint.
As I considered the issue of Pathways and what ones are in my life right now, (this is what happens as I'm creating an art journal spread: it opens pathways of thought and brings subconscious ideas to the fore and that's when I learn something about myself; always worth the time invested). As I considered my next step in this spread, I began to think about what this message could be teaching me right now. In this process, I determined to stamp out the question: Where will they lead? I used my Uniball white pen on stamped letters and the wrote the word, Lead, with Uniball pens in different colors. I also outlined the white letters with red pen.
Once I had the question down, I knew I needed a conclusive message to sort of answer it...What I determined was...The Aligned Path Always Leads Home. Aha! (Pause for a Epiphany moment). It's funny. My word for 2015 has been Aligned. (Yes, I'm sharing a secret here.) So naturally the word came to mind in conjunction with pathways. And that was my concluding answer...and you know how I determined that? Due to life experience. When I'm aligned, I'm HOME. Everything just FEELS right. And I know when I'm not. And want to get realigned as soon as possible!!
So I stamped out the "the" in white Uniball pen, then stamped Aligned with large alpha stamps in red watercolor and highlighted them with white pen. I then hand drew letters for PATH with white pen and filled them with red pen. I hand wrote "always leads" and highlighted with white pen. Then I stamped "home" with ink and alpha letters. I also had some fun cutting out Arrows from colored construction paper and adhered them in various spots around the Pathways showing different directions. But the concluding "Story" behind this spread is I always want to be Aligned becomes that's where I'm home. And it's very good.
Do you know where your Aligned Path to HOME is? If so, detail what it feels like and looks like when you are there. Also describe when you know you're NOT aligned and the process you use to get realigned.
Art Journal Prompt:
Honor your HOME place in your art journal through images, text and maybe even colored arrows pointing to home using your favorite or associative colors that remind you of HOME. You can also use the word Aligned as a focal point.
Copyright 2015 by Dawn Herring
Copyright 2015 Art Journal Images by Dawn Herring
Copyright 2015 Art by Dawn Herring
Art Journal: The Dividing LineRead Now
Welcome, Art Journal Enthusiasts! I have a new Art Journal Spread to share with you; I've titled it, The Dividing Line. This particular spread features Modeling Paste, home-made by me. I used a mix of gesso and baking soda, which can be really crumbly and messy if you don't use enough gesso to make it look like cement. This takes practice, messy practice. *wink*
My goal with this spread was to test out this home made-modeling paste to see how well it would work with a stencil, and this time I made a stencil of my own with long dividing lines. I knew pretty quickly I was going to use them across the top of the page, but I also decided ahead of time that I wanted to put some color down first since when I used modeling paste before without color on the background, I didn't like it as much. I used a brayer to lay down watercolor paint; this is the FIRST time I've used a brayer to lay down color. I have used brushes, sponges and even my fingers, but not a brayer.
First tip with a brayer: always make sure it's clean before you use it! I had to put down many layers of watercolor before I was satisfied with the coverage. Plus the color was very washy, not thick and dry. (This is not acrylic paint, so there's a bit more effort put in since watercolor isn't opaque and takes more applications for good coverage.) But once I used the brayer, I found that I LOVED the textured look I got from using it, versus laying down color with a brush. Once I had the color down, then I applied the modeling paste with my hand-made stencil. Very messy procedure but I loved the result. That's when the name of this spread came to me, since the lines were creating divided space. So I decided to tear some good 'ole colored construction paper into pieces and stamped out the letters individually, then adhered them with matte medium. I later edged them with more watercolor; love that look.
As I filled in more of the space, It almost felt like a cliff with a dam of water both visually and viscerally, so I decided to emphasize a separation between the top of the page and the bottom. I tore some gold colored magazine pages into pieces and used those to create a division. I also used a small round sponge on a wooden stick to add more watercolor after I used the brayer and created lines of "water" coming down in a circular motion; as I did this, the idea of a turning came to mind. Then I realized the connection: The Dividing Line Becomes a Turning Point! Wow.
I absolutely love it when this happens; do you know why? Because when I play in my art journal, I gain understanding of myself and my life experiences, bringing the subconscious to the fore. The realization with this spread is a perfect example of what I mean. Once I had this idea solidly in mind, the rest of the spread just fell into place. From the application of the words "Becomes a" to the words, "Turning Point." For "becomes a", I used a white Uniball pen on stamps for the letters, reinforcing the letters with pen directly on the page for solid coverage. I LOVE the contrast of white on the darker bluish hue. It really POPS.
For the "turning" word, I wanted it to express itself with its meaning, so I stamped it out in a turning manner. And for "Point," I wanted it to have a directness to it, so I included an arrow pointing at the end and highlighted the letters with my white Uniball pen. I also painted the dividing lines with a gold color. I love the contrast of the gold with the bluish hue.
I really enjoyed the process of creating this spread, the realization of learning more about myself, about making decisions and how those decisions can become turning points toward authenticity. We all want to be authentic, don't we? Each decision we make can help us be more authentic than ever.
Sometimes when we face a life challenge, it can feel like a dividing line, especially when we determine to say NO to something we were once saying Yes to. But once we make that decision, knowing it brings us into our authentic path when we do, it becomes a turning point of truth in our lives. When we know the truth and live it, we are free, aren't we?
Have you recently experienced something that felt like a division or a change of direction for you? If so, detail it in your journal, including how you felt and responded to the realization that you needed to make a change of direction toward authenticity. Affirm your choice to Stay Aligned with Who You Are.
Art Journal Prompt:
Dedicate a page or spread to a recent decision you made, changing from YES to NO or from NO to YES; you may want to use the NO or YES as your starting point and stamp out the meaning behind the decision.
Copyright 2015 by Dawn Herring
Copyright 2015 Art Journal 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.