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.
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
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 email@example.com.
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!
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.
I had so much fun with this art journal spread, Bloom. I started the process by putting on my finger cuffs and finger painting with blues (unusual for me), purples and reds. I love doing finger painting because it gives me a very visceral experience with body to art which is highly enjoyable, dare I say, even blissful!
Once I had the finger painting part down, I decided to use some flower stencils to highlight various parts. Some I did removing the paint leaving it white for contrast. Others I used blue and red, sometimes layered over each other in different sizes. It was fun to determine where to put the flowers and where to layer them.
Once I had those down, I added bits of watercolor to add more definition where I felt it would be appropriate. I also highlighted the flowers with white Uniball pen and with red pen as well. I highlighted some of the finger prints with the white pen to give them more pop. I painted in a wash of red for a background color and I drew a red pen line all around the circumference of the fingerprinted area.
I decided to call the spread, BLOOM, since flowers were featured. So I cut out letters from colored construction paper to spell, Bloom, very organically. I did not use a stencil for the letters. I adhered them with matte medium, then I highlighted them with white Uniball pen and some purple oil pastel, and then outlined the letters on the background with white pen.
For the final application, I decided to write my insight from this spread in white pen which reads: Life happens in layers. Sometimes it's hard to see them all. It takes some excavating to discover the beauty within but it's there if you take the time to discover what lies beneath, and when you do, you will see that you're always in bloom.
Sometimes it may be hard to imagine when you don't feel like you're blooming, but I think that's where faith and trust in the process comes in. We are all beautiful inside; we just have to find that beauty, and it may come in ways we least expect. But when it comes, we KNOW. And it's a beautiful thing.
Describe a recent time when you really felt like you were blooming. What was the situation or occasion that prompted you feeling that way? Now describe a time when you felt like you weren't blooming. What did that feel like for you? What was the trigger of not feeling it? Now determine if this trigger came from within and if it's based in truth or a misconception of some kind. See what TRUTH you can reveal about yourself through this new understanding.
Art Journal Prompt:
Using Flowers as an image or using Bloom as a word prompt, do an art journal spread to honor the beauty within you. What makes you feel beautiful? You can commemorate a most recent experience that made you feel fully flowered. Recognize the beauty, whether it's obvious or not.
I want to ask you a question now that we're already in the month of February in this delightful year of 2016. Are you investing at least 5 minutes of time in yourself? How is that going?
I've been doing Live Periscope broadcasts and one of the issues I've been addressing is taking just 5 minutes daily to invest in yourself and do something that lifts your spirit and makes you feel fabulous!
Then someone said to me, but you can't really get anything done in five minutes. That can sound like a true fact. But, I am on a mission to show YOU that you can refresh yourself in five minutes. And, what I've recognized, is that, some activities don't require physical exertion on your part. We're talking relaxation and enjoyment on tap.
Are you puzzled? Wonder, what is this all about? Well, here are a few ideas!
I thought about different ways I refresh myself that don't take very much time but really refresh and inspire me. So, here is my list (and I'm sure I'll be adding more as I continue to experience refreshment and may not even be actively looking for it! That can happen, you know. What you focus on grows!).
Call these my Five Minute Refresh ideas.
My ways to refresh:
bird watching and listening (one of my favorites!)
squirrel watching right outside my window (super cute!)
watching a vocal audition (I see these linked on Yahoo or in YouTube emails or in my FB feed) (totally inspiring most of the time)
listening to a great song on my Spotify list
talking to my grandson
watching some Periscope broadcasts (some are short enough) (inspiring or informative or both)
reading a magazine article
doodling (although most of my doodles take longer than five minutes but you can doodle something in five minutes, right?)
adding one element to an art journal spread
adding another watercolor layer to an area of a watercolor painting
choosing an outfit that makes me feel fabulous
Quite the list, huh? I'm sure if you really give it some thought, you could come up with things you love you can do in five minutes and you might not even realize what you are already doing (and what you want more of!).
Of course, the goal is the find something simple that refreshes you that is easy to incorporate into your daily experience and expand on it...in whatever way suits you.
Once you get started, you'll be amazed how to how easy it is to get refreshed and no longer have any excuse not to...or have any guilt with it whatsoever. And It's all good!!
Take five minutes and enjoy...to the full!
PS. I am looking for 5 Minute Refresh Ideas from you, my dear readers! You can either leave a comment below with what you do to refresh in 5 minutes or email me direct at firstname.lastname@example.org. I plan to share these ideas on a Live Periscope broadcast in the near future, giving YOU a shout out! Do join me at @DawnHerring on Periscope and be a part of the refreshing fun!
Write a list of things you already do or that you want to do that only takes five minutes. You can choose to categorize them to get even more ideas. You can also do a mind map to expand your ideas and see what comes up naturally. Then go do one! :)
Art Journal Prompt:
Take one or two 5 minute refresh ideas and create a visual to showcases how they refresh you and why you enjoy these activities so much. Honor your value and your desire to refresh yourself and love yourself from the inside out.
I've been wanting to share with you something I've been experiencing in my creative practice that has given me some serious food for thought.
My Creative Practice consists of journaling, art journaling, doodling, intuitive watercolor painting, walks, and reading inspiring books as well as a deep spiritual practice that directly impacts all the other elements.
I've been keeping an art journal for five years (since 2011). I started with collage elements and watercolor, moved into stamping and a bit of stenciling, a dabble in transfers, then mostly just layering with watercolor and bit of collage to create fun, vibrant pages that speak directly to my heart.
In January of 2014, I started doodling a word or phrase that summarized my day in my evening journal entry and in November of that year, I started filling my doodles with watercolor markers.
I'm still trying to determine a shift I have felt in the frequency of my art journal time versus my daily doodling. I've tried to figure out if the energy I put in to my night doodles is "taking away" from my time at my art journal table.
I have noticed that my art journal spreads have been taking a lot longer to come together. Sometimes I'm simply not sure what the next step is or I don't have the energy/time to sit and do. I do still love to art journal, but I have noted this change in the frequency of my spreads. But another thought also occurred to me that the change I'm noticing in my art journal practice may simply be a reflection of how I am Processing what I am learning As I Create and that's why I'm not doing it as quickly. Some of my spreads have taken 3-6 weeks to complete, which has really surprised me. I still find my art journaling practice enjoyable and a great way to listen to my heart, so that's not the issue. But why the spread in time frames and lack of frequency?
So that's why I started looking at my daily doodle in the evening and how I've been making that a priority rather than my art journal practice being in its usual prominent space.
I have wondered and pondered about this for the past several months, have journaled about my thoughts on this matter, and thought I would share was seems like an apparent shift taking place in my creative practice.
So, it has given me some food for thought about the possible Shifts that can take place in our creative practice without our even realizing it at first. And how we might respond to such changes. Do we question it? Do we wonder, is this not working for me as well as it used to? Am I overloading myself? Expecting too much of myself? What's the deal?
Yes, I have asked all of these questions. And I think I've determined that it doesn't really matter how frequently I do any of my creative practices. (Although I did create a goal to paint with watercolor daily.) As long as I'm honoring Who I Am creatively every day, I'd doing good. As long as I'm listening to my heart, I'm on the right track.
These shifts may even reflect changes deep down on the inside of us, in the core of our being, showing us how we are growing and what is working for us. And that IT'S OKAY to let something we've been doing for a while not be as prominent as it once was while something else we are enjoying takes more center stage.
It's funny: I actually thought about my art journaling and my doodling competing with each other and vying for my attention. So, I suppose that's why it was sort of bothering me once I saw the change taking place. But, again, I realized, IT'S OKAY.
Our creative practice will have shifts that we create simply by following what interests us the most and what is speaking to our heart Right Now. And as we go deeper with what we are experiencing as we activate our creative center, we will notice growth and change naturally.
So, if you experience a shift in how you choose to be creative, simply see it as a reflection of Who You Are right now and just enjoy every minute of creating.
Have you ever experienced a creative shift and saw yourself doing less of one thing and more of another? How did that shift feel to you? Did it disturb or were you simply delighted with how you were spending your time? Why do you think this change took place, and were you happy with the shift?
Art Journal Prompt:
Using the words, Creative Shift, create a visual that shows any changes you have experienced in your creative practice and honor those stages to show what they have meant to you over time. You can also make a spread that showcases your favorite creative practice element right now and why you love it so much.
Copyright 2016 by Dawn Herring
Copyright 2016 Header by Dawn Herring
I am excited to share with you my contribution to our January/February #JournalChat Live OPEN HOUSE (see link for details!) with our focused topic, Your Journaling: The Greatest Investment.
I will share with you why journaling and art journaling have been 2 of the greatest investments in my life and what these practices have led me to as one of the Greatest Investments in my life, especially in the past five years.
As an avid written journal keeper, I have found numerous benefits in my daily entries as I've discovered more about myself, my life, my world.
But one of the biggest Investments my journaling practice has been for me is in direct connection with my creativity: It has been directly influential in giving me creative clarity and direction (combined with prayer/meditation) toward building my creative practice, which is essentially regularly engaging in journaling, art journaling, doodling, intuitive watercolor painting and other creativity-based activities that keep me connected with my creative flow and light.
Journaling has enabled me to hash out what works for me creatively and what doesn't. I can be honest with myself and determine what I love and what doesn't float my boat.
One of the Greatest Investments I have discovered as a RESULT of my journaling practice has been my Intuitive Watercolor Painting. I decided to start using watercolor 5 years ago when I first began working in a sketchbook/mixed media book to create visuals with paint, image and text, what I now call my Art Journaling practice.
Watercolor and Art Journaling came into my life at the same time and both of those practices have become essential in my creative life. With both activities, I can listen carefully to my intuition and to my heart, which enables me to understand myself better, on a deeper subconscious level, which is incredibly powerful. I have been amazed with what comes out sometimes.
My watercolor painting that I do daily has become a way to play with color and apply it in my own artistic approach, both using the stippling method (essentially, dots of color in layers) as well as other paintbrush applications. This process for me is relaxing, refreshing, revitalizing and FUN. I have found my artistic style using the watercolor medium and that makes me very happy.
Journaling, both written and visual, have been conduits of wisdom, deep understanding, insight, and help with making decisions, including investing time in myself every day, even if it's just 5 minutes.
I highly recommend a written journal keeping practice as well as a visual one to invest time in yourself this year. But one of my greatest wishes is for you to discover what makes you happy and practice it every day. YOU WILL BE GLAD YOU DID.
How has your journaling practice been a wise and beneficial investment in your life? Detail how your life has changed for the better as a result of keeping a written journal.
Also, detail how your journaling practice has led you to the greatest benefit of your life. How did you discover it and how often do you engage in it? How do you feel about it afterwards?
Art Journaling Prompt:
Using the Greatest Investment as a prompt, create an authentic visual that honors what you love about art journaling or another activity that lifts your spirit and leaves you feeling fabulous. What do you love about it so much? Relish the process!
Here is my recent Refresh Daily Periscope Broadcast where I share 2 Reasons to Invest Time in Yourself in 2016, plus I discuss the #JournalChat Live OPEN HOUSE invite and then I give a Close Up View of my Intuitive Watercolor Painting, Flourish. Due to the video being based in Periscope, there are spots throughout where what I'm saying is cut out and it skips, but the message is still there! Enjoy.
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.
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.
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