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
I always love it when I find a resource that just hits the spot for me as an artist and creative. And Danny Gregory's book, The Creative License, is just such an example. I discovered Danny Gregory through a Creative Living with Jamie Podcast on Jamie Ridler's website. I was so inspired and impressed with the interview, I decided to check out Danny's website and books.
I saw that he had several, one of which I wanted to read right away, a memoir called, Every Day Matters, but I decided to check out his book, The Creative License too. I'm so glad I did.
There are several reasons why I enjoyed and found myself inspired by this book. Danny has a way of presenting the act of drawing from a totally refreshed and relaxed approach, a way of observing your life and the many things and people around you, but in an almost Zen-like quality, totally focused, totally in the flow.
This approach really opened me up to the possibilities of where I could go with my Creative Practice, adding to it in a way I hadn't done before. I did contour and detail drawing in my youth, and did faces for a long time, but all basically from images. Danny's approach to drawing what you see from objects right in front of you intrigued me. I love his step by step narrative for those who have never drawn before or think they can't.
Another thing I loved about this book was Danny's voice: his attitude, his personality, his authenticity and his laugh-out-loud sense of humor. Even if you have never drawn anything before, just the read is worth it because Danny makes the whole explanation of why drawing can benefit you so much fun, entertaining and insightful.
This book is full of full color and black and white illustrations and Danny's no-nonsense attitude about getting a daily sketchbook practice going, with no concern for what it looks like, if it's any "good" artistically speaking, and seeing the whole experience as learning more about yourself and your world.
Danny inspired me so much through The Creative License, I decided to start a drawing practice in addition to my daily journaling, watercolor painting and doodling. I've presented several of these drawings just to give you an idea of how I've approached it, with no concern for how "artistic" it looks.
He does recommend starting with just black pen (no pencil, no erasing or correcting--just draw and don't worry about it!) so these drawings are just that.
As an artist, I've always had admiration for folks who keep a sketchbook full of pen and watercolor drawings, and Danny is one of those people. Thanks, Danny, for being a source of inspiration for me as an artist and observer of life.
Write down a way that you are an observer of your own life. Also, write down a way you would like to be an observer that you haven't tried before and what you can do to get started.
Using the word, Observe, create a spread that pays homage to how you view your world. How does your point of view enhance to the way you see life?
I've been having some fun connecting with new people, with a special focus on artists and art related folks who have something engaging, inspiring and informative to offer artists who are looking for new opportunities. Periscope has been a great place to discover folks who are artistically focused and I have been following my creative curiosity!
In my perusing and watching scopes, I stumbled upon an art agent named Lilla Rogers. I watched a scope of hers recently, and she mentioned her book title while she asked questions and shared some encouraging words with artists.
Her book is titled, I Just Like to Make Things: Learn the Secret to Making Money While Staying Passionate About Your Art and Craft. It sounded like a fun and informative read so I decided to check it out.
I was delighted with the colorful page layouts full of artsy crafty focus along with a generous dose of artwork featured by many of Lilla's artists who she represents and what successes they have acquired.
One of the great features of I Just Like to Make Things is the purpose of helping artists discover what commercial markets they might want to investigate for possible career connections and work with commercial companies looking for new artists and art work. Lilla offers interviews throughout that reveal the ins and outs of what some art directors are looking for in their field of expertise and markets. Some markets she covers include bolt fabric, greeting cards, and home decor.
Lilla offers some fun, colorful creative exercises to help you access yourself as a artist to help you determine what markets might work for you. She includes many journal prompts as well to help you reflect more deeply on the result of the exercises. She also explains licensing in the art market and shares some valuable words of advice.
Lilla comes from a place of experience both as an artist herself and as an agent of many years and shares her inspiring, personal artistic career story.
I'm glad I followed my creative curiosity on Periscope and found Lilla and her book, I Just Like to Make Things. If you are an artist looking for career opportunities, I would recommend Lilla's book. She has the voice of experience and she shares an encouraging vibe to all artists who want to stay true to themselves and be successful at the same time.
Copyright 2016 by Dawn Herring
I read the book, Eat, Pray, Love, several years ago, and I've watched Elizabeth Gilbert speak several times. I find her sense of humor, her forthrightness and her honesty refreshing, so when I found out she came out with a new book, AND it was about CREATIVITY, which is one of my favorite subjects--well, you know I just had to get my hands on it and see what all the hubbub was about!
Her new title, BIG MAGIC: Creative Living Beyond Fear, is a BIG PERMISSION SLIP to have Fun, Follow Your Curiosity (which I talk about here in my video, Creative Curiosity), not to take yourself so seriously (martyr syndrome) but to go about pursuing creativity from the perspective of PLAY, taking it light, and why not dress up for the occasion to keep inspiration fresh? Showing up because you want to because you like it.
Elizabeth sprinkles stories, anecdotes, and relevant words of wisdom, sometimes on the humorous side, to prove her specific points on being brave (because being creative takes guts, folks!), on the amazing experience of when inspiration comes at you and even through you like a creative force, and the issue of not giving up and learning to trust yourself and the process of letting your creative expression flow.
I laughed aloud several times during this insightful and interesting read. I think one of my favorite parts is when she describes dressing up for a refreshed inspiration session. I also enjoyed her inside track on writing several of her other books (it helps to see what others experience in the writing process). And I appreciation her revelations about her parent's influence on her while growing up and how those values have stayed with her over time.
Inspiration, laughter, permission and going about your play with curiosity just because you like it.
That's BIG MAGIC.
Copyright 2015 by Dawn Herring
Copyright 2015 Header image by Dawn Herring
As a watercolor artist, I am always thrilled to find books with watercolor as the focal point, ready to learn, find insightful tips and travels in the wonderful world of this vibrant and fun medium. So when I ran across Watercolor From the Heart by Barbara Nechis, I thought it would be a great read...and it was!
The title drew me in with a focus on the Heart since I know from personal experience how valuable expressing yourself from the heart can be. (You can view my Refresh Daily Rewind Video on this subject.)
In Watercolor from the Heart, Barbara shares her thoughts on her watercolor journey, including her past teachers, the rules she learned and finding her authentic watercolor path. I really enjoyed diving into her past experiences and into what she thought was valuable experience for her as an artist.
She also shares about the watercolor techniques she found fascinating that enabled her to find her signature style of sorts: using water to create shapes and edges that are the foundation of her fabulous layered paintings, which often feature soft edges of flowers, landscapes and still lifes.
Many images she takes for reference are also highlighted as she talks about the importance of observing and taking photos of places and things that fascinate and fill the creative well.
She touches a bit on using other media with watercolor, such as gouache, crayon and pencil and offers some fascinating design elements as well.
There are step by step examples of her watercolor techniques and also ways to take advantage of watercolor issues that arise and make the best of challenges.
I really enjoyed the journey with Barbara and I admire her authentic path as a watercolor artist.
Copyright 2015 by Dawn Herring
Copyright 2015 Header by Dawn Herring
I had the pure pleasure of reading Gretchen Rubin's latest book, Better Than Before: Mastering the Habits of Our Everyday Lives. I found this book to be informative, thought provoking and humorous.
I love Gretchen's voice, her style and her sharing of her thoughts and examples from her own life as well as from other family members, friends and fans of her blog and other books. Her whole process of determining to write about habits and how they are connected to happiness as well as the questions she had and the conclusions she came to are simply fascinating. It showed her brilliance as a researcher, writer, and expert in the areas of happiness and how what we do daily affects our lives for the better--or for the worse.
She gives a structured framework starting with our Tendencies, which include Upholders, Obligers, Questioners and Rebels and then proceeds to talk strategy and how each one would work for those tendencies, giving lots of informative and relevant examples, and many of them humorous, especially from her own life.
I had so much FUN reading this book; you might expect a book about habits to be a bit dry or just full of boring statistics, but I already knew how much I loved Gretchen's previous books, Happier at Home and The Happiness Project, so I wasn't disappointed with this read at all.
She takes the understanding of habits and how they are formed and how we can take better control of making or breaking habits based on our Tendencies and following the strategies that really work with our temperaments and preferences. This approach makes the whole process easier and even fun, which you wouldn't think possible, especially when it comes to those tougher habits we find hard to break or those Life Practices we really want to Instill but don't know how to.
One of the many benefits of reading Better Than Before was not only for my own habit formations and recognizing the strategies I've used that she offers, but it also helped me recognize the habits and tendencies of others, especially in my own family, which actually helped me appreciate them more for Who They Are and understand what works and doesn't work for them. This prompted me to make some changes in my interactions with them, which promoted positive change on my end!
I'm always looking for great reads that enhance my well being, that are meaningful to me on many levels, and that help me stay Aligned with Who I Am, and Gretchen's book, Better Than Before, does this in such a way that I highly recommend it to anyone who is looking for some fresh strategies to get those bad habits undone and instill some new, enhancing life practices that can actually change your life for the better.
Copyright 2015 by Dawn Herring
Copyright 2015 Header by Dawn Herring
Dawn engages in many roles: As Writer/Blogger and Artist/Creative and Founder of Refresh with Dawn Herring: Where Art and JOY Align, She enjoys sharing from her vast experience as award-winning, life-long artist and leader in the field of written journaling, offering encouragement and proven tips to other journal keepers. Dawn's focus is on written journal keeping, artistic expression and finding your Creative Voice, and positive change that leads personal empowerment, encouraging you to leave your authentic and positive mark in the world. Dawn is a Commercial artist, hand letterer/illustrator and writer/blogger and enjoys sharing insights, humor, and encouragement as she shares from her life experiences as a woman, wife, mother of two grown daughters and as a Grandparent to a special needs grandson. She enjoys keeping a journal and reading spiritual texts to help keep the light on. May JOY Align with Your Creative Heart.
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