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 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.
We have arrived at the end of yet another year. It's amazing to me how quickly 2016 has flown by. And the dimensions of my life are just as interesting and fascinating and challenging as they ever were. And it's that time of year to share with you some of what I have experienced so I can share my gratitude, my perspective and my refreshment, of course!
So, where shall I begin?
With Journaling, of course. Journaling continues to be a mainstay in my life, with am and pm entries and visual doodling, some of which I have shared with you here at Refresh Daily. My favorite techniques have been doing mind maps, dialogue (which I talk about here), list making and some stream of consciousness (where you just write whatever comes to mind without much concern if it makes sense.)
Most of my journaling has taken place in my personal journal, and some of it has been in a separate sketchbook which you can read about the beginnings of here. In this separate sketchbook, I've mainly focused on mind maps, list making, creating doodle headers for this blog, Refresh Daily, and making creative future plans.
I also discovered a book this year, The Creative License, by Danny Gregory, which actually gave me the nudge I needed to actually draw like I had planned to do in my initial sketchbook in a way that was more for drawing/studying objects and places with pen and watercolor. I share a book review with several sketches here. I'm so pleased to have found just the right resource to get me headed in this direction.
In continuing the #JournalChat tradition, I decided to create an ongoing #JournalChat OPEN HOUSE with the evergreen topic, Your Journaling: The Greatest Relevance. Here is my final 2016 contribution, Making Conversation. I also wrote one earlier this year titled, Creative Clarity. If you desire to make your Journaling Voice Heard, here are the refreshing guidelines. Also, if you'd like to join our #JournalChat Live Facebook Group, here's the link.
In other New News, I added an Instagram account to my social media and have enjoyed sharing images and video clips to share with you. I'm RefreshwithDawnHerring on IG if you'd like to follow me there.
I also added a new Your Life Refreshed! Private Facebook Group for folks to share, ask questions and give encouragement to others seeking to increase JOY and REFRESHMENT in their daily lives.
For the Art Side of things with my Creative Practice, I made two custom rubber stamps, one with my first name signature and one with my Dawn Herring Collection initials. I found creating rubber stamps a lot of hard work even with the right tools, so I haven't continued making more. I also made several of my own stencils, but again, I found it to be too much work. It's all about experimenting and seeing what you enjoy.
I also expanded the size of my intuitive watercolor paintings. I've done as small as 5x8 inch and actually went up to 24 x 30 inch, but my favorite size seems to be 18 x 24, which for me is not too big or too small. I tried a new brand of watercolor paper that was recommended to me, Fabriano, but I think I still prefer Strathmore for its durability with lifting and scrubbing off paint.
I also tried my hand at combining watercolor and gouache. The painting titled, Transition, is the result, in a 5 x 8 size. I also added another mixed media canvas with hand lettering titled, Glimpses. (You can view these below from the links provided.)
I also tried using gesso on both canvas and watercolor paper which I have found keeps the colors more vibrant. I still enjoy creating layers of paint with my intuitive watercolor paintings. You can view a sampling at the Dawn Herring Collection Art Gallery.
I've also added a new page to my website that focuses on my Doodle Designs and Hand Lettering which you can view here.
Earlier this year, I dove into a Fashion Illustration and Design Course with my teacher and good friend, Laura Volpintesta. I have enjoyed learning how to build the body through form and create my own designs.
As an artist, doodler and hand letterer, I have enjoyed listening to and reading many podcasts/interviews from Jamie Ridler to Meighan O'Toole to Lisa Congdon and Danny Gregory; they have all inspired me and given me encouragment in my artistic pursuits.
A special thanks to Jamie Ridler of Jamie Ridler Studios, for featuring my Creative Living Tip in one of her podcasts this year!
I also want to thank YOU, Dear Reader/Subscriber, for taking the time to read Refresh Daily blog posts and leave comments and feedback on topics I have covered and insights I have shared along the way in 2016. You continue to inspire me as I engage in my Creative Practice elements of journaling, mixed media, watercolor painting, doodling, drawing and hand lettering. I also continue to enjoy staying connected to Spirit through prayer, study and meditation.
I trust that 2016 has been a year of inspiration and refreshment for you in Your Creative Practice. I'd love to hear how what I have shared here at Refresh Daily has inspired you in your creative journey. You can contact me direct at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I wish you the very best 2017 where you find JOY and REFRESHMENT every day!
Journaling Prompt: Record three things you enjoyed most in 2016, especially ones that have had the most impact concerning creating positive change in your life.
Art Journaling Prompt: Using the word, REVIEW, or 2016, use an image that has had the most profound influence on how you see yourself now versus at the beginnig of the year. Doodle how you appreciate who you have become. You can also use this prompt as a starter for a mind map, recording any association you have with 2016. This can be a great way to review your year. You may be surprised as to what you remember. Have fun!
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!
I always love it when I find something unexpected when I shop at my favorite stores. Several months ago I ran into some sock wear at Target that really caught my eye: Vibrant Colors and Patterns reigned! My artist self was gleeful at such inspiring accessories, I just Had to check them out. I decided to get just one pair just to see if I liked them and if they fit well. The orange slices was my first choice. What fun fabrics to add to my already-colorful wardrobe! I couldn't wait to find an outfit that would suit these socks just right.
It didn't take long for me to find an appropriate day to wear them with my sneakers for my morning walk. Although it's hard to see them when I'm wearing long pants, when I take my shoes off, they are all in their colorful glory. But just knowing I had them on made me happy since I knew I was wearing my favorite colors, and I happen to have a painting I did with watercolors my first year of keeping an art journal and it features orange slices! (See image below!)
After several wears, with these socks that are mostly polyester with a bit of stretch, I did notice a bit of pilling when they came out of the dryer. I think they do better when hung to dry. I also noticed that the top band that really holds the sock up is a bit tight and leaves an indention in the skin, but I found this to be a minimal issue.
Several months after I purchased my first pair, I was back at Target and I saw that socks were on clearance, so I checked to see if those vibrant patterns were in the mix, and to my pleasant surprise, they were! And at a bargain price!
Here was one pair I purchased that remind me of a patchwork quilt. The image above is the full sock and the one on the left is a bit larger for detail. Cute, huh? I love the designs all mixed up and with some of my favorite colors! These would probably fall into my "crazy wear" category of wardrobe finds which is just fine by me! I love the zig zag patterns and the flowers and the stripes, oh my!
The socks featuring the leaves pattern to the left and below were also in the mix and I was really happy they were, since they would have been my second choice after the orange slices. I just love all the greens and the layers of leaves and it looks like the sun is shining through in parts. I love the way that looks on the trees in my front yard. That's probably why I like these so much.
I couldn't wait to share with you these Fabulous Finds with vibrant colors that I love to wear and to paint with! It's so much fun to incorporate what I love into many dimensions of my life, honoring Who I Am as an Artist and Lover of Color.
Do you find yourself purchasing items that inspire you in some way due to a feature that draws you and makes you happy even if all the elements of that certain something aren't perfect? Detail you latest find that fits this description and share why you choose to get this item even with its imperfections and how that makes you feel. Would you purchase that item again, knowing what you know about it?
Art Journal Prompt:
Use a page or spread in your art journal to showcase a recent purchase of something that truly honors Who You Are in any life dimension and include detail as to how it honors you and why you purchased it. You may want to mention any imperfections it may have.
Copyright 2015 by Dawn Herring
Copyright 2015 Header Image by Dawn Herring
Copyright 2015 Photos by Dawn Herring
Note: Fabric design is not my own. Special Thanks to the artist who created this design! The brand of socks featured in the post are Photoreal by Xhilaration.
I wanted to share a Fabulous Find of mine that I had been looking for in the last couple of years. Yes, it took that long, considering how picky I am about design, color/fabric and price. For the past few years, I used a tote I purchased at Walmart for $10. You can see it at the left. It has a couple of pockets and a zippered section and the rest is all open. It worked well for me until I added a journal to the mix. Then it felt like chaos reigned in my purse! I seriously needed some organization.
So I was on the lookout for a new handbag that would help me get organized--you know, a place for everything. I would notice handbags that stood out to me which pretty fabrics and larger sizes when out and about. I noticed the ones I liked the most were Vera Bradley bags. Then a friend recommended I sign up for Zulilly which hosts fabulous finds for great prices. So I signed up and waited patiently for Vera Bradely to be featured.
Well, I FINALLY found what I was looking for! Yay!
Again, I was picky about design, structure and price. I got this bargain for $30; it has sections to keep everything organized with zippered and pocket areas. It's absolutely perfect.
I wanted to emphasize to you the importance of honoring your preferences (based on whatever budget you follow, of course). I saw many bags with colors and patterns that didn't suit me.
Here's a list of what I didn't want:
No organizing sections
Too small or too large
Here's a list of what I DID want:
Vibrant colors like turquoise, gold, orange, and reds
Organizing sections with pockets
It does take patience to find what you want when you're picky like me, but I still found it and now that I have it, it was worth the wait. Honoring your preferences is a way of appreciating yourself for Who You Are and What You Love. And not thinking you should like what everyone else is buying. Sometimes what you love may be hard to find. Keep looking until you hit the jackpot! Then Celebrate!
List the qualities of something you really like that you've been looking for. Get as detailed as possible and express why these qualities are important to you. No detail is too silly or minor or dismissed. The more, the better! This is a way to see deeper into who you are and why you like what you like.
Art Journal Prompt:
Get an image or draw an image of what you are looking for right now and use it as a focal point in a journal spread. Cut out words or doodle the qualities you love about what you want. And when you get it, celebrate with another spread focusing on your happiness and how you feel now that your desire has been met.
Copyright 2015 Dawn Herring
Copyright 2015 Images by Dawn Herring
As you may already know, Refresh Daily is my artistic blog showcasing my artsy point of view in every life dimension that I enjoy sharing. So I've decided to share some of my wardrobe choices, which will, of course, include some of what I call my "Crazy Wear," which pertains to some of the wardrobe pieces I love that have lots of vibrant color and fun fabric choices when put together.
So this is my first blog post featuring my Fun Fabrics and today's Juxtaposition features four layers. (My idea of juxtaposition is when I put two elements together that seem to contrast each other and yet, at the same time, seem to compliment each other uncannily.) Just a note: There has been a fabric trend going on in the fashion industry for several years now where seemingly contrasting patterns are being put together, so I saw that as permission to try stuff that might not be typical, sort of like an outside-the-box wardrobe choice. And, boy, am I having FUN with this!
The top layer that's a bit darker so you may not see it clearly is the dark brown jacket I'm wearing to top of the wardrobe choices. (You can also see a smidge of it in the second image on the left side.) Got this jacket at Cynthia Elliot Boutique several years ago.
The next layer is the one with orange as the predominant color. It's a sleeveless tank with several layered frills which you can see more clearly in the image below. I think this is my favorite sleeveless dressy top since it contains many of my favorite colors, orange, yellow, brown and tan and the design element is simply fab. I got this piece at Khol's several years ago.
But what I love about this piece is how it contrasts in a fun way to the bottom layer of the pants I'm wearing, which features Vera Wang's Princess Collection which I also purchased at Khol's a couple of years ago. I am a huge fan of print pants. I love the possibilities of what I can do with print on print.
I think the tie-in of design visually for me with the sleeveless top and the print pants is the predominant design with the brown hue. They somehow seem to go together for me. I think this combo is one of my favorites. (You can see this most clearly in the first image.)
The layer between them is a tan tank I purchased at Cynthia Elliot Boutique about a year ago. The tank gives a reprieve of sorts from the juxtaposition of fabric designs between the sleeveless blouse and the pants. Sort of like a tie-in, if you will, that pulls it all together without visual overwhelm.
I also wanted to share a visual of the necklace I often wear with this top, also a piece I purchased at Kohl's many years ago. I love this necklace since it combines wood, metal and beads in very cool earthy colors. I can wear it long, like I'm doing here, or I can wrap it twice for wearing just on the neck. I think it also ties in the fabrics with the color scheme for one fab look.
Do you enjoy mixing and matching fabrics for a fun combination? Do you have any Crazy Wear pieces that make you feel fun and fab?
I think the element I love the most about my wardrobe choices is that I can wear my favorite colors and honor myself as Artist in what I choose to wear. Folks often tell me that I dress like an Artist. I see that as a huge compliment!
So, don't be afraid to mix things up a bit, try something new that just looks and feels good to you. Honor Who You Are by referring to your preferences. Take a pic to commemorate the occasion.
(I did want to mention that my 21 Day Refresh Intensive includes a Wardrobe Element that is just plain fun!)
I always find myself inspired when I see other folks dressing in Fun Fabrics and vibrant colors, both women and men! So perhaps what I've shared here will inspire YOU.
@Copyright 2015 Dawn Herring
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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