As an artist and creative, I’m always looking to stretch myself and try new things, sort of change things up to keep me on my creative toes but not so much that I feel strained or burdened.
JOY is what drives me to pursue different paths. My curiosity gets initiated and then I eventually just MUST make space to try out what’s been in my heart and desire to do.
One of the issues I face as a artist is putting myself in a creative box, one I invent for myself, sometimes, without even realizing it. Then I begin to feel the confinement of that box, like something doesn’t feel quite right. Like my creative freedom is being minimized somehow.
We all put ourselves in boxes of one sort or another, don’t we? And often, we have no idea that we have done so.
We just start to feel restless, like something has to change, or we might just get a little annoyed!
As a painter, for the past several years, I’m delved into intuitive transparent watercolor, both on canvas and on watercolor paper.
I built myself a portfolio, both for public viewing as well as some personal paintings I have tucked away.
But, alas, I have still felt other artistic urgings begging for attention, and I think they were starting to feel forlorn that I hadn’t done something about it already!
Well, it was just a matter of time before I broke out of my transparent watercolor box and decided to try some mixed media, often a combination of transparent watercolor and gouache paint (which is more opaque in nature), as well as adding pen work with india ink.
Plus the subject matter that has been pining after me has been fashion focused whether garments, jewelry, or handbags and shoes, etc.
In the past year, I did do several pen renderings of my own jewelry and then I added a bit of watercolor marker for a colorful flair.
But recently, I decided to make space for a fashion rendering of a colorful fur jacket that I’ve had pinned to my inspiration wall for some time now.
Out came my gouache paints and my sketchbook, and I finally went to town with a paintbrush. I didn’t do any sketching ahead of time for structure or for figure work. I just started applying paint and ran with it.
After the initial gouache groundwork, the next day I used my Winsor Newton watercolor markers and Faber Castell Artist Pitt Pens for added depth and texture.
So this is basically my first attempt at rendering a fashion piece with paint and pen after many years of sketching/drawing fashions with pencil in my youth.
I was quite delighted with the result.
No, it isn’t perfect and I see my flaws. But it was a complicated piece and I’m satisfied with how it came together.
I’m sharing this with you, dear reader and friend, to show you the importance of making space for what is calling to you. Whatever it may be.
I know we all have busy lives. And we all fall into our ruts of sorts that we just naturally follow, until we feel that pining inside and finally decide to do something about it.
I’m glad I did. Yes, it took me a while from the time I pinned that image. But timing is everything.
And I did this rendering on the heels of another painting I just completed, that is a combination of transparent watercolor, gouache, and collage with card stock, which is another creative goal I have met.
Yes, in a sense, I feel like I'm on a roll with breaking out of the boxes I was in for a long time and really making space for the new.
It doesn’t mean I’m going to donate all of my time to those new ventures. I like dabbling. And I still have my go-to stippled watercolor painting I so love to do and have from the beginning of my watercolor journey that started almost 7 years ago.
My aim is to follow my intuitive heart wherever it may lead and indulge in what brings me the most creative JOY for my path.
What will your Creative Path pine for next?
Make a list of 10 ideas you want to follow. Which one is pining most for your attention right now? Start making plans to open up space for one or two ideas that you feel the most drawn to. Remember to keep it simple so it’s do-able and brings the most JOY.
Art Journaling Prompt:
Break out of your art journaling “box” and try a new approach to a spread that you’ve been wanting to try but simply haven’t made time for. See what this new approach opens up for you!
Draw a box and items in the box that that have been your go-tos, things you’ve been doing for a long time or using that you want to put aside for now.
Draw another box with the items that you are pining for or that are pining for your attention!
Subscribe to The JOY Finder here!
Get Creative with Dawn's Directives and Life Affirmations Coloring Pages with Prompts here!
Copyright 2017 Art Rendering by Dawn Herring
Copyright 2017 Blog Text by Dawn Herring
Note: The image to the left is from Elle magazine and is copyright to them. Thanks for the inspiration, Elle!
I've been having some fun coming up with acronyms for the months of the year. I find them to be insightful into what really matters to me. Today I'm excited to share with you my new Acronym for September here at Refresh Daily.
The more often we take moments to be really Present, the more rest we will create for ourselves (instead of worry and fear playing games with our thoughts!), and perhaps, activate more daily JOY in our lives.
What does the word Rest mean to you right now? What does it look like? What are three things you can do to implement being more present and restful in your days.
Art Journaling Prompt:
Create a spread that really shows REST both with color, image, text or whatever feels the most restful to you. Be very aware of the moments as you create this spread, honoring where you need rest in your body, mind, heart, soul.
Create a doodle with the word Rest or Present and incorporate what they mean to you in the way you draw your letters.
Copyright 2017 Dawn Herring
I so enjoyed a Facebook Live today as we shared what is creatively inspiring us! I share about my creative practice, my painting, my music, plus news! I trust you will be inspired, and you're welcome to leave a comment on what is creatively inspiring you right now!
May JOY Find You in the Most Unexpected Places.
I am back with another fun #WearyourjoySpring hosted by @kellyraeroberts . I really had fun with this one since I recorded it outside! I share my jewelry choices my favorite color red orange and my funky socks.
I decided to try taking part in a @KellyRaeRoberts #WearyourjoySPRING event where we're supposed to wear that brings us joy and post a selfie. I am a huge advocate for wearing what brings you joy, I call it wardrobe joy. So I thought I would take part in this event and I decided to create a video for it instead of taking a selfie. Hope you enjoy when I share about what I'm wearing with what brings me joy.
Dawn's Facebook Live from April 26, 2017: What is Creatively Inspiring You and Me?
I am excited to share with you my Facebook Live video recorded on April 26, 2017. I am joined by several Facebook Friends as we share what is creatively inspiring us. I talk about my FB Groups, Pages, my 21 Day Refresh Intensive Course, and I show my new painting, Phases, as well as some art supplies I use for my doodles, plus more! Thank you for watching; I hope you get inspired in your Creative Practice, whatever that looks like for you!
Here are some links for things I mentioned on the video broadcast:
21 Day Refresh Intensive Course
Dawn Herring Collection Art Gallery Fine Art Page
Your Refreshment Connection that provides links to my FB Pages/Groups and IG
My Dawn's Life Directives blog post with Audio
May JOY Find You in the Most Unexpected Places.
Hello dear Refresh Daily friends! This is my first post of 2017 after the relaunch of my new website.
Today I did my first Facebook Live video (after working with Periscope late 2015 and early 2016.) What is Creatively Inspiring You and Me? was our topic and we had a wonderful time sharing on both sides! I talk several times about our new Private Facebook Group, Your Path to Joy, plus other specific things that I've been excited about in my creative life.
The original video in it's entirety can be viewed on my Facebook profile as well.
I hope you get inspired to initiate more JOY in your life as a result of tuning in.
What is creatively inspiring you right now? Has this been repeated or is it something new? Write an entry to whatever it is, telling it what you love about it and why you want to do it again.
Art Journaling/Doodling prompt:
Use Creative Inspiration as your word prompt for an art journal spread or doodle the name of what is creatively inspiring you right now using the colors that bring you the most joy!
May JOY Find You in the Most Unexpected Places!
Copyright 2017 Dawn Herring
As the creator of a 21 Day Refresh Intensive Course, I wanted to get a Fresh Perspective on the course content and decided to engage with it once again. One of the things I appreciate about Refresh Intensive is the fact that it's evergreen, so it never grows old. We change every day, so each time we engage with questions we can answer or an activity that can show us something about ourselves, we can learn something new and profound.
I wasn't disappointed! I was quite amazed with the discoveries I made throughout the course; it really did reveal things to me I was unaware of and it also clarified and affirmed some things I've experienced before.
I don't mean to make this post an info-mercial for my course. My purpose is to simply share with you how I benefited from the journaling and other activities I engaged in and why I think it was a good investment of my time.
First, I determined to do each day's Journaling either before or after my usual personal journaling since it seemed to fit and resonate with that time the best. I was fresh and ready to dig in at that time, so I could get the most out of it.
One of the things I really love about each day's content/engagement are the options for further reflection and activity, such as art journal prompts, poetry ideas and more, and I felt like I could just run with something that really resonated and not feel obligated to do something that didn't interest me.
I think the use of COLOR was the most FUN element in whatever context it was contained in. I found the music topic to be revealing and even profound as I worked through the questions.
I think really focusing on my preferences and why I loved what I was drawn to so much helped me appreciate my own personality on a deeper level because of what I learned about myself in the process.
I've shared an image of items I found during two of my "Field Trips" I did for those portions of the course.
I had a great time following the directions and questions about my Field Trip experiences and what they had to teach me on a deeper level. I was surprised by how much I learned from these activities.
Journaling is a powerful tool that I use daily, and yet, engaging in the journaling exercises in this course showed me things I might not have otherwise discovered if I hadn't worked through those specific processes. I answered the questions as honestly as I could and I think that really initiated a more profound and enlightening "opening up" to Who I Am in the process.
Each activity truly gave me food for thought. And as I looked back on each one during my Wrap Up time, I was freshly appreciative of what I learned and look forward to going even deeper in the days ahead.
There are suggested ways to extend each activity, if it especially resonated with you. I found this especially helpful in the EMOTION days and the DECISION MAKING activities.
Of course, COLOR is a part of my daily life as a watercolor painter, so using it in a fresh context really made it fun and insightful and revealing into deeper dimensions of Who I Am.
I really look forward to more insights, reveals and fun fabulousness as I engage once again with a Refresh Intensive, with the purpose of always Activating My Intuition, Honoring My Preferences and Listening to my Life Messages. I always want to know what my Life has to say to me!
Creating Awareness and Appreciating Myself For Who I Am are key elements to Refresh Intensive, not to mention being personally empowered by recognizing things that I didn't realize before where positive change can be initiated toward a more refreshed life.
What specific choice can you make for yourself right now that will create more awareness of your preferences? How can you celebrate specific elements of your personality? What there something you did today especially that you can celebrate as a direct result of a choice you made today to honor your preferences?
Art Journal Prompt:
Create an art journal spread to show appreciate for a specific aspect of your personality that you don't normally like to pay attention to and give it homage. Do this from the heart without hesitation.
You're welcome to check out my 21 Day Refresh Intensive Course to see how it might benefit you.
I have some exciting news to share! But first, a little background. I have always loved dress forms. Whether I see them in magazines, in boutiques, in fashion in general locations, or in books where creativity is focused. And I've always wanted one of my own. (I think they inspire the designer in me.) They've always been on the pricey side so I've always put off the purchase, wondering if it would be worth it...and what would I do with it?
I recently started taking a fashion design and illustration course with Laura Volpintesta, founder of Fashion Illustration Tribe, and teacher at Parson's School of Design in NYC. Part of what we are learning is drawing fashion flats. So I decided to use some of my own wardrobe pieces to learn how the fashion I am wearing is constructed. That's where the dress form would be useful!
So I did some shopping around and Joann's was having a half price sale on dress forms! Woot! So I shimmied my way over and got me one, in leopard print, my favorite animal print. Soooo excited!
But, of course, once I did my flats for my fashion course, I decided I would use my dress form as my very own mannequin and dress it up with my daily wardrobe choices! I've even used it to see how well things would look layered, including the jewelry choices. I've been having a lot of fun dressing up my dress form! (I've called her Angela, just for the fun of it.)
So I decided, since I'm on Snapchat, to take some OOTD snaps and post them on IG and then I figured I'd share them here at Refresh Daily. Now these are not 8 days in a row choices, but close enough. There were a few days I didn't have time to dress up Angela to show them, so there are a few I left out. But I had fun doing these!
If you'd like to see my regular OOTDs on social media, you're welcome to follow me on Instagram at @RefreshwithDawnHerring and on Snapchat at @DawnHerring.
I'm so thrilled that I finally found my dress form after all these years. It makes me smile when I look at it since it's been something I've been drawn to creatively and now I've got it! Sometimes when you follow your creative curiosity, it takes time to fulfill a passion or dream you have. But persist and don't give up. You never know when an opportunity will come along to make it possible.
Is there something that has inspired you creatively from a distance and now you have it in your possession? What was it like to finally have it in hand? What dream does it fulfill in your life? Do you have ideas for its use? What do you hope for the most with it creatively?
Art Journal Prompt:
Using an image of something you desire, create a spread showing why you love it so much and why it would have great meaning for you if you were to acquire it. If you have the item already, share what makes it so special. And have a special enjoyment for it right now as if you just purchased or acquired it!
The doodles I feature here at Refresh Daily are ones taken directly from my personal journal that I record in daily. I do a doodle every evening to honor my daily experience. I choose a word or phrase that encapsulates my day and then design a doodle to showcase it with fun, fabulous color and design, which I greatly enjoy doing.
For this doodle, Totally Unexpected, I determined the words themselves based on what came into my path that day. Most of what I experienced I didn't see coming, both negative and positive. I was challenged with some situations and yet pleasantly surprised with others at the same time. You know how life can be truly dichomatic, where on one hand, you're totally excited about one thing and on the other, you feel thrown off your feet due to circumstances not in your control.
That day was one of those days. And you know what's amazing? As I realized how tough and yet successful my day was, I was thankful to be sitting and doodling, having made my way through!
The word, Totally, was drawn with letters compressed together, with arrows aiming toward the center, to emphasize the contraction of experience. The word, unexpected, also has letters that overlap, as if to present one thing after the other, and the sense of responsibility that comes with taking care of business.
The emphasizing marks in yellow and red show the excitement of something good that I didn't see coming at all and was very glad for it.
I filled the letters in with watercolor markers, with base color and several colors for shading to give the letter space dimension.
I really like using arrows for emphasis and often fill them with stippled, colored dots for fun visual interest.
Have you ever had a day that seems totally overwhelming from unexpected responsibility and yet you had a totally surprising experience that you didn't see coming that made you elated at the same time? Describe this dichotomy in detail and perhaps, share anything you would have done differently and what you would do the same. Congratulate yourself for having successfully dealt with the challenges and for your wins too!
Art Journal Prompt:
Using Dichotomy or Totally Unexpected, as word prompts, create a spread that honors how you handle difficulty and showcase your successes at the same time.
Dawn engages in many roles, from Writer and Artist to Creative Visionary and Strategist as well as Social Media Director, basing her Strategies from her vast experience as award-winning, life-long artist and Host of #JournalChat Live for all things journaling on social media, offering encouragement and information to other journal keepers. Dawn's focus is on journal keeping, artistic expression, positive change, and personal empowerment leading you to leave your authentic and positive mark in the world. Dawn is a watercolor and collage artist, daily doodler/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 Skip-Generation Grandparent to a special needs grandson. She enjoys keeping a journal and reading spiritual texts to help keep the light on. Have a fab day and may joy find you in the most unexpected places.
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