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!
It's time for more Acronym fun, isn't it? I shared my September Acronym late in the month (better late than never, right?) so I'm back at it (albeit, late again...sometimes it take me over a week to remember we're in a new month!) with October's rendition, all with the purpose of initiating more JOY and Creativity in our daily lives.
Here is the acronym for October:
Make a list of the "creative" activities you have engaged in recently, wether in the last few days, weeks, or month. Note which activity you recall most clearly and the positive impact it had on your well being, bringing "restoration." Record it in detail.
Art Journaling Prompt:
Create a spread that shows what restoration or "rest" means to you and honor your creative space to reflect that essence.
Using your favorite doodle pen or other implement, create a doodle that focuses on the word "Restoration." and reflect on what that means to you. You may want to put the doodle in a frame to remind you of how your creativity enhances your well being.
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
In the throws of Hurricane Harvey, with catastrophic flooding causing many to lose their homes and their belongings, I observed the difficulties and challenges laid before so many.
Without their own space, running water, and just having what they brought with them, if anything, in the face of such a daunting storm, my heart broke for these folks.
So what does JOY have to do with such heart ache and loss? Is that even possible?
As I considered their circumstances and prayed for their recovery, I realize a-new the importance of seeing what I have Right in Front of Me with renewed gratitude and appreciation.
Like water in my kitchen sink.
My own restroom.
A comfortable bed.
All of my clothes dry and ready to wear.
Electricity where needed.
I began to see these Basic Necessities as Gifts. Because, in essence, that's what they are.
And as I looked at these basics and experienced this deep gratitude for what I have, JOY made its presence known.
When we see what we enJOY daily a-new, it can change how we see and experience life completely.
Just paying attention to that running water in whatever capacity we are using it for. Or those lights that illumine our space.
The comforts of home can bring us New JOY as we take a moment to appreciate what we have.
It's really about being mindful. That word Mindful has become so popular, as I read recent headlines on magazine covers.
But mindfulness can be a true source of JOY.
Just taking that moment to say Thank YOU to the Universe for giving what is needed.
Here at Refresh with Dawn Herring, Finding JOY Takes Center Stage.
And as the evacuees exited the Houston area as well as Floridians leaving in the face of Hurricane Irma, the Basics have taken center stage.
May we never see them in quite the same way again.
Take a moment in your journal to really pay attention to one thing you have that makes you really happy, realizing gratitude a-new. What would it be like if you lost that one thing? If it was no longer available to you? Detail how you feel in your journal.
Art Journal Prompt:
Create a spread that invokes gratitude for the simple things you use every day. You can use images of these simple things collage style to be focal points of appreciation.
Using a writing implement you truly value for its performance, color or comfort in your hand, create a doodle that initiates an attitude of Joy and Gratitude, keeping the design as simple as possible showing that just basic design can also be meaningful.
To get more JOY in your inbox, subscribe to The JOY Finder to stay abreast of happenings here at Refresh with Dawn Herring plus get quality content to help initiate more JOY in your daily experience.
Follow this link to listen to my first Refresh Daily podcast episode titled, Observation is a Key to JOY.
Copyright 2017 Dawn Herring
Copyright 2017 Header Art by Dawn Herring
Here at Refresh with Dawn Herring my goal is to give you as many ideas to initiate more JOY in your daily life, whether it's your personal or professional journey. In this video I share an encouraging word about Celebrating Your Wins in your personal or work life.
Record the last time you celebrated a win, whether personally or professionally. Has it been a while? If so, celebrate your last task fulfilled, no matter how small. How did you feel when you were finished? Relieved? Satisfied? Didn't pay attention? (Next time, do so, and feel more JOY.)
Art Journaling Prompt:
Create a spread to celebrate your latest win. Perhaps choose one that seems insignificant or small and make a Really Big Deal out of it.
Describe your latest win using your favorite font styles in your doodle practice. Really give it glory! Don't be shy. Bold colors galore!
If you'd like to also check out my new podcast, Refresh Daily, follow this link. This first episode is titled, Observation is a Key to JOY.
If you'd like to sign up for The JOY Finder, my email communication, you're welcome to follow this link, where you can read my offerings and watch my welcome message! Come be a JOY Finder today!
I am sitting across a restaurant table from my grandson. He is deeply in the midst of JOY with his meal which consists of white rice, chicken, and pico in a bowl. I watch him in between my own bites of JOY as he exercises coordination with his plastic black fork to grab another piece of chicken to enjoy. I notice how intent he is and how singular his focus on the meal in front of him. I almost let out a chuckle as I observe this Zen moment in a restaurant.
Isn't it lovely when you can Observe one you love and care about enjoying the simple things in life?
Or how about just taking in the present moment and realize how blessed you are?
Or savoring the morsels of your favorite meal, almost like a cat does when sipping real milk or salmon?
We can experience more JOY when we take the moments one at a time, ones that truly resonate, satiate our palette and just make us feel good because we appreciate all there is right in front of us.
Remember, these moments are just a moment...meaning they won't last forever.
So capture it...in your mind, in your heart, in your soul. And EnJOY.
In detail, recall a moment in your day that you would like to savor with all of your senses, one at a time, of course. Does it take you back right to where you first relished this experience?
Write a list of other moments you can detail that truly resonated with you, especially on an emotional level. Think FUN and JOY as you consider this opportunity.
Art Journaling Prompt:
Plan a spread that honors your favorite moment of the past week, one that made you laugh, appreciate, or just plain surprised you. You can use images or simply detail with fun fonts and embellishments using the colors that bring this memory to life!
Use your favorite writing implement and the word Observe and draw little simple pictures of subject matter that you encountered in your moments of JOY as a momento.
Copyright 2017 Dawn Herring
Note: If you are interested in listening to the audio of Self Care: Optional or Essential, please click here.
Here at Refresh with Dawn Herring, Self Care is at the TOP of our Priority List every day. That means, you're engaging in something you love every day, initiating your spirit being lifted, leaving you feeling fabulous, full of energy and ready to roll with your daily life tasks because you're taken care of yourself.
But the question is, are you making self-care a priority? Do you still see time for yourself doing what you love as optional rather than essential, vital, and necessary for your well being?
I would like to share with you my Top Ten Reasons to Make Self-Care Daily (and without guilt!!)
1. Self Care Boosts Your Immune System. Yes! You will actually benefit from greater health on all levels as a result of making Self Care a Priority. I know that motivates me to keep it going!
2. Self Care Gives Energy. Obviously a healthier immune system will initiate more energy in your body. And the more energy you have, the better you enjoy life.
3. Self Care Aids in Appreciation of Self. Do you appreciate yourself for Who You Are? When you engage in any kind of self care, it gives you the impetus toward really seeing yourself and appreciating what you see (perhaps instead of beating yourself up, comparing yourself to others, etc.)
4. Self Care Helps you see your Value. This goes hand in hand with self-appreciation. It can be easy to overlook what you contribute to your immediate environment of family, friends and outwardly to your community. Taking this step can initiate prevention of undervaluing yourself and what you do every day.
5. Self Care Enhances your Physical Well Being. With your immune system boosted, and your energy lifted, you're enabled to boost your physical activity, doing what you enjoy to get your blood moving and those endorphins activated to make you feel fabulous! Not to mention the health benefits of being active!
6. Self Care Initiates Stress Relief. When you engage in what you love, often what is currently on your stress radar fades into the distance as you enter the "Zone." And the more often you engage in self care, the less stress you have. Motivating, isn't it?
7. Self Care Enables Self Expression. Being able to express yourself and use your "creative voice" in whatever way lifts your spirit can really give you new ways of enjoying how you see life and how you like to share that view. And your unique "take" is different from anyone else's. And that's what the world needs!
8. Self Care Opens your Creative Flow. As you make self care a daily priority, you will see an increase in your creative ideas which can really activate some fun, inspiring action! Who wouldn't want to tap into all of that? I know I do!
9. Self Care Makes a Way to Give to Yourself. When you care for yourself regularly, you are essentially giving to yourself what you deserve: Time, creative impetus, greater value of what you contribute. You really begin to see what you've been missing and can feel like you've hit the jackpot! And when you give to yourself, then you have more to give to others. See self care as oxygen to your life dimensions. You will see growth, positive change and all kinds of good things!
10. Self Care Helps you Learn to Love Yourself. You begin to see all the ways you benefit from putting yourself first as you're feeling good, you're looking good, you're experiencing more JOY, more Happiness, a greater sense of well being and value, and your soul feels nurtured and alive.
And here's a bonus one for ya!
11. Self Care Reduces Depletion. Instead of ending up exhausted, irritable, and even resentful and angry that you have nothing left to give since you haven't given to yourself, you make way for rejuvenation, which re-energizes you. Don't wait till your depleted. Make it a daily priority so you can experience all the goodness Self Care brings to your life table.
Journaling Prompt: What does Self Care mean to you? What is the first thing that comes to mind that really showcases self care from your point of view? Let your Intuition guide you as you make a list of at least 10 ways you can initiate self care in your every day life. Start today with your favorite one!
Art Journaling Prompt: Create a Spread using Self Care as your prompt and use the colors that inspire you toward loving and caring for yourself. You can use images as collage pieces that show specific self care actions to inspire you.
Doodle Prompt: Create a fun visual using Self Care as your starting point, making fun and spontaneous marks on the page and see where it takes you.
I want to leave you with this song, The Greatest Love Of All by Whitney Houston, that is kind of an anthem here at Refresh with Dawn Herring since it truly shows the value of Loving Yourself and why it's so important to take care of yourself. Truly, when you do, it leads to positive change and opens up your Personal Empowerment like never before. (See? Two more reasons right there!) Listen and Enjoy. And then go do something right now that makes you feel fabulous!
Copyright Text 2017 Dawn Herring
I have a lot of fun with Acronyms! I created one for the Month of May in an earlier post, and now I've created a new one for July. Above you will see the video I posted on IG to share my acronym, plus I've included it below in text format so you can use it as a journaling prompt or simply a reminder to initiate more JOY.
Here's my Acronym for JULY:
See what you can do with this acronym! You can get creative in your journal, art journal, or sketchbook and/or create a doodle for it! Just have fun reminding yourself to initiate more JOY on a daily basis.
How can you unearth more JOY today? This Month? All summer?
May JOY Find You in the Most Unexpected Places.
Copyright 2017 Dawn Herring
Here is the video replay from my first #JournalChat Live Facebook Video in our private group. I share how my journaling practice is relevant for me in my intuitive watercolor painting practice as well as in discovering life patterns where I want to create positive change. Plus I share news about my website, my blog, and social media and the ongoing #JournalChat OPEN HOUSE which you can contribute to right now.
Here are some links in connection with what I shared in the video:
JournalChat Live OPEN HOUSE
21 Day Refresh Intensive
My post on Dialogue called Making Conversation
Record any life patterns that are making you feel stuck and use dialogue to ask questions and get answers. Use alternating hands: dominant for the question and non dominant for the answer.
Art Journaling/ Doodle Prompt:
Use a page or spread in your art journal or create a doodle that emphasizes a life pattern you want to change and what you want it to look like in your re-alignment.
Here is the audio version of my book review for Creative Revolution by Flora Bowley.
Dawn's Great Reads: Creative Revolution by Flora Bowley
I discovered Flora Bowley through her first book, Brave Intuitive Painting, which I adored. Being an intuitive watercolor painter, I was immediately drawn to Flora's approach to painting and also to life.
So, when I heard that she had a new book out, Creative Revolution, I decided to check it out and see what else she had to share about this intuitive painting process and intuitive life in general.
And I am so glad I did!
Flora's zest for an authentic creative life is very inspiring to begin with. And her intuitive painting process really resonates with me as an artist. So I thought I would share my thoughts with you concerning her book, Creative Revolution, which I thoroughly enjoyed reading and digesting.
Flora breaks the book down into three parts reflecting the dimensions of life concerning mind, body, and spirit and how each of those dimensions directly impacts the creative process and the creative life.
She shares insightful parts of her own creative story, and she generously shows her painting process from start to finish.
She has provided many insightful and eye opening exercises to help you get in a better frame of mind as you ready yourself for the creative process.
She addresses the mind, the body and the spirit and shows how they complement each other and how they influence each other in a very positive way. And she also explains the importance of paying attention to each of those dimensions and addresses issues that you may find yourself facing that create challenges for your creative process.
I find her unique approach to the actual painting of the canvas to be interesting, fun, and eye-opening. Her primary medium is acrylic paint which makes the layering process very spontaneous and has ease of use. It's amazing to see how complex and dynamic her paintings develop through this many layered process.
I also like the fact that she turns the painting in order to provide a fresh perspective on what's already there on the canvas. It can help with the problem of painting yourself into a box!
As an intuitive watercolor painter, I am more deeply experiencing a new approach with gouache, and since it has a more opaque application versus transparent watercolor, it would be interesting and fun to try this layering process with gouache and see where it might lead!
I highly recommend this book due to Flora's deep insight into the creative process with mind, body and spirit.
I'm sure that it will encourage you, inspire you, and give you some new ideas to run with in your creative process. Flora also includes many images from her live workshops and from her personal painting practice, which is beautifully done.
What brave step are you eager to take in your creative practice to enhance your every day life? What does that look like for you? Detail this in a journal entry and determine what small step you can take that will open up new pathways for you.
Art journaling/Doodle prompt:
Using images that inspire your creative mind and heart or/and using brave as a word prompt, create an journal spread or doodle that showcases your dreams in your creative life.
Copyright 2017 Dawn Herring
Copyright 2017 Book review Header by Dawn Herring
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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.