I'm excited to share with you another episode (11) of Refresh Daily Podcast titled, Heart and Home, with special guest, Annie Morgan Preece, Artist, Vocalist, and creative in the home, with a special emphasis on the heart when it comes to creative expression. Annie shares her full artistic and musical history, as well as her cooking dynamic, journaling and mothering. I trust whether you choose to listen (on the left) or watch (on the right), that you will come away inspired to Find Your Creative Voice as Artist of Your Life. Annie was funny, informative and shares from her heart in a way that is sure to touch yours. EnJOY.
Annie Morgan Preece is an oil painter. She grew up watching Bob Ross rather than cartoons on Saturday mornings and spent a lot of time drawing as a kid. She took art classes in school and played with various mediums. As she grew older she became more involved in music and eventually set art aside completely at the beginning of high school to focus on singing. After pursuing music and family through college and her twenties, she finally rediscovered art in her early thirties, giving oil paints a try for the first time, and fell in love with their buttery richness. Annie spends her time caring for her children, making a home, and creating art. She believes art influences the family dynamic in unique ways and creates art that helps families feel connected to each other and their home. She resides in Salt Lake City, Utah with her husband and four children.
You can find her on Instragram at @AnnieMorganPreece
You can find Dawn on Instagram at @RefreshwithDawnHerring
If you're looking for some inspiration and fun ways to write your next journal entry, just click on either image above and get The Art of Journaling Toolbox and The Art of Journaling Prompt PLAY Book, filled with 7 Power Tools to keep your journaling fun, fresh and fabulous, along with 31 prompts, questions and image suggests so you can PLAY!
If you'd like to read previous blog posts:
What's Worth Celebrating
Your Journaling "Why" (1st part of a series, The Art of Journaling)
Hello friends, creatives, journal keepers, small business owners and those looking to Find Their Creative Voice. Today I would like to share some tips on Journaling, especially for those who are just starting or want to start a journaling practice. What I share here is intended to help you build a strong, empowering foundation from the very beginning so that you'll want to come back to your journal again and again because you enJOY it so much!
This post, Your Journaling "Why" is the first in a series I plan to share here at Refresh Daily, with the aim and goal of giving you a step by step guide toward personal empowerment with journal keeping.
Today I would like to ask the question: Why do you want to keep a journal?
There can be a myriad of reasons:
1. You have heard that journaling can be beneficial for well being, for personal and emotional expression on the page.
2. You have seen others keep journals, whether through text, image or a mix of both, and you are curious about starting one of your own.
3. You enJOY writing and thought journaling would give you a similar benefit.
4. You've had other friends encourage you to try journal writing even though you have no idea where to start.
5. You think it might be fun.
Now all of these reasons can be completely legitimate and true. It can be truly inspiring to see others using their journals, to hear about the benefits of journaling and to use writing as a way to express yourself.
My goal and aim is to encourage you to reflect on the deeper "why" of this desire to record your thoughts in a book for safe keeping. When we determine what we hope to derive from such a practice, it can help us determine how to go about it so we can experience more longevity.
To help you get started and inspired, you are more than welcome to click on either image below and receive my 2 resources, The Art of Journaling Toolbox that contains 7 Power Tools for journal writing and The ART of Journaling Prompt PLAY Book, which contains 31 prompts, questions and image suggestions to bring more PLAY into your day!
Let me share with you my "Whys" for Journaling.
Journaling, for me, gives a place to express my Creative Voice, to record my intuitive hits (for a written track record when my intuition hits the bulls eye!), to hash out what is working for me creatively, to express my angst when boundaries are necessary for my well being, and to have a written record of my life insights and happenings, which are extremely important to me. Other reasons are for Clarity, Fun, Connection with Spirit, and a place to practice my doodling/hand lettering fun each evening. (Purchase the current journal/sketchbook that I'm using right now.)
So, what do You have in mind for the reason you would like to start one? How about recognizing patterns, especially ones that are no longer serving you, so you can create new ones that will enhance your well being and self-care? This ultimately initiates positive change that leads to personal empowerment.
Are you looking for something specific? Do you just want to have fun and see how it goes? Do you want to dive deeper into Who You Are and take a listen to The Higher Voice inside you that can tell you what you want to know?
I encourage you to give journaling a try. Use the resources, The ART of Journaling Tool Box and Prompt PLAY Book, that I have for you so you can get a jumpstart and not lose momentum. The 7 Power Tools keep things fresh so you don't have to do the same thing on repeat (unless you want to). Sometimes, folks get bored just writing down the same thoughts every day. These power tools will help you keep it fresh, fun and fabulous. Just click on either image above.
My aim and desire for you is to find your perfect sweet spot when it comes to journaling, and determining Why is a great first step toward getting a strong start that can make all the difference between journaling regularly with JOY and getting stuck and bored and forgetting about it altogether.
Start this entry by writing down three reasons you want to keep a journal. Be completely honest even if you think your reason is silly or outside the box. Determine which reason most resonates with you and go deeper with it in your journal, beyond Scratching the Surface.
Art Journal Prompt:
Using the word WHY in your spread, cut out letters or words to express your biggest reason to keep a visual journal.
"Why" can be a starting point word plus using Question Marks to highlight your reason.
Read these blog posts for more inspiration:
Scratching the Surface with Sketchbooks
Book Review on Joyful by Ingrid Fetell Lee
Copyright Text 2019 Dawn Herring
Copyright Header 2019 Dawn Herring
Hello friends, journal keepers, creatives, artists and small business owners. I am excited to share with you the replay of The ART of JOY with Dawn Herring interview hosted by Andrea Lewis, from her live Radio Show, Heal Past Wounds and Bring JOY Back, which took place on March 7. We chatted about how journaling is a power tool for personal empowerment, my artistic and journaling practices and how JOY can be simple to incorporate into day to day life.
I thoroughly enJOYed our conversation and trust that you will be inspired and get motivated to start your journaling practice or to take it to the next level, as well as have impetus to Find Your Creative Voice. EnJOY and do leave a comment below with your feedback. We'd love to hear from you!
Hello friends, artists, creatives, journal keepers and small business owners. This post I'm sharing is focused on art supplies and specifically on sketchbooks. But before I get into the specifics with my recent experience, I wanted to share with you my sketchbook story.
I've been hearing for years that every artist should have a sketchbook. And I have often seen sketches as examples from those given where I have run into this subject matter. I have never done much sketching, the type of drawing that is rough, with no erasing, etc. That approach, to me, has always felt awkward and pointless, like, what am I going to do with this now that I've sketched it?
Of course, as I have grown as an Artist and have seen work over the years, I understand that sketching is like studying for the Artist. It helps the artist become familiar with the subject matter they are working with. Going from finding the subject, to experimenting with different compositions, and then planning the colors, medium and approach for a final work of art.
This has not been my experience until recently. Up to that point, I always replicated from images with my pencil, colored pencil and other mediums I've learned and worked with. Then, once I discovered watercolor, my approach has always been intuitive, rather than planning the composition ahead of time. This intuitive process requires a lot of trust in my own instincts and being willing to take risks when feeling uncertain.
In my recent Artistic work, I have had several focal points and mediums I've tapped into: fashion illustration, hand lettering and illustration, and creating designs based on subject matter important to me.
So, I have come to appreciate the essence and purpose of a sketchbook as I tap into different possibilities with fashion sketching, determining the subject matter in a new design that I'm now sketching to see where the different parts will fit together, as well as making decisions about what type of lettering to use when crafting a header for my blog or creating a new design for a new series in my art store.
Sketching has become a more primary focal point for me as an Artist and Designer to help me work out the essence of what I want to create as well as the specifics of how I want my design to look aesthetically.
In my recent Artistic journey, I completed a previous sketchbook that I've used for a couple of years, filled with headers and hand lettered artwork that I have used and continue to use on my website/blog, in my marketing on social media representing my products and services plus the JOY Design Series that are now available in my Art Store. (I now offer that same service to small business owners with Dawn's Dynamic Designs: Hand Lettering and Illustration.)
Since I completed the sketchbook recently (see image on the right below), I decided to pull out the next sketchbook that I had stocked in my studio. I sketched out my 2nd design in my Lyric Line Series and began to fill it with color. But unfortunately, the quality of the paper in this other sketchbook was thinner and did not produce the smooth look once the color was applied. Of course, since this design would be scanned, I tested it out and I wasn't pleased with the result. So, what to do?
Should I look for another sketchbook that would match the quality of the previous one or try something totally different? I decided to look for the UPC code on the sketchbook I had filled and found it on Amazon. Yay! I ordered another one right away. But I also ventured out to an art supply store and picked up a set of marker paper from Strathmore (my favorite brand for creating watercolor paintings), since it was markers I've been working with to create my Hand Lettering and Illustration.
This past week, after getting the marker paper and ordering a new sketchbook identical to the one I just filled, I decided to start with the marker paper for my next Lyric Line design (a series of art I'm creating based on lyrics I've written over the past few months).
I'm excited to try this new product of marker paper to see what the difference is with the medium I use to create Hand Lettering and Illustration, whether the color is more vibrant, how smooth the application is, and if I'm pleased with the final result, as much if not more so, than previously. (I also decided that the other sketchbook will work great for writing and pencil work.)
It sometimes takes experimentation to determine what works for us as Artists of our Lives. When something doesn't work, we can appreciate even more what does work and relish the qualities of what we love as we determine our next steps, our steps toward creativity and JOY.
Have you experienced using one product, switching to something else and then deciding to get the original product again since you liked it so much? Detail this experience, comparing the two, and relish your appreciation for what does work for you.
Art Journal Prompt:
Create a spread showcasing the aesthetic of something you really love that you use all the time. Try to get below the surface and tap into how it makes you feel.
Using your favorite writing implement, doodle the words that describe why you love this item so much and why you keep using it.
If you would like to read previous blog posts:
Catch the replay of Andrea Lewis interviewing me for Heal Past Wounds and Get JOY Back
Book Review on JOYFul by Ingrid Fetell Lee
Copyright 2019 text and header by Dawn Herring
Hello friends, creatives, journal keepers, artists and small business owners! It's great to be back to share more of my life behind the scenes as Artist, Illustrator and avid Journal Keeper.
If you have read my previous posts, My Visual View and Going Back and Going Deeper, you will already know that I've been doing a series of dress illustrations, drawing and creating renderings of ones that inspire me, sharing on Instagram, here on my blog and in The ART of JOY newsletter. (If you're not already subscribed, do click on the image above! Then you'll also receive The ART of Journaling ToolBox, filled with 7 Power Tools for your journaling practice to keep it relevant, revealing and renewing!)
After doing six illustrations in a row, including two that took 3 sessions to complete due to their complexity, I decided to Pause and take a rest for a time. Yes. Sometimes it's Perfectly Appropriate to Pause when you've put out and you need to replenish as a Creative and Artist. (You are the Artist of Your Life--just a JOY-filled reminder!)
Of course, I also have another project I've been working on, the first of my Lyric Line Design Series, based on Lyrics I've written in Connection with Spirit, and creating Art to inspire.
So, with both of those going at the same time, I really needed to take a breather.
I get so inspired, that sometimes, it's hard to stop, especially once I get a rhythm and momentum going!
But if we don't take a rest when we need it, if we're not mindful enough to know when we need a rest, we end up burning out. Of course, I wouldn't expect to burn out in less than 3 weeks time, but I must listen to my intuition, my body and my heart when it's time for a Pause. And not feel guilty that I'm not producing as much as I'd like.
If we don't Pause when it's Perfectly Appropriate, we may also find our enthusiasm waning for those things we were once thoroughly enJOYing.
It's time to Fill Up the Well! Pause and Make Space for inspiration and re-invigoration. Yes, that aligns perfectly with my Word for 2019, SPACE. It keeps coming back again and again, and I'm glad it does, since it resonates so deeply and is speaking to me in such a Relevant way. I know I picked the right word, that's for sure!
Are you in need of a Rest from your Creative Output? Don't hesitate to Pause if that's what your body, mind, heart and intuition are telling you. You may find it's the perfect way to keep a balance, to keep the creative energy from being depleted so when you get back, you're ready to roll and experience the JOY of being the Artist of Your Life. (Of course, everything you do reflects your creativity in some way; don't discount or forget that! Count everything as a part of Who You Are.)
What would a Pause look like to you? When you take one, detail how you feel about it, whether you feel relief or guilt. Reflect on why Pausing is essential to your creativity.
Art Journaling Prompt:
Show visually what a Pause looks like, or simply create words that express how you feel about what you are creating and what it means to replenish when you feel depleted. Use colors that revive you.
Either Draw the word Pause with separation between the letters or draw a button that means Pause. You may want to write associative words that reflect a Pause or what you need to pause in your life.
Copyright 2019 Dawn Herring
Copyright 2019 Images by Dawn Herring
Our Creative Energy can be a power house for expression and leaving our meaningful mark in the world, but sometimes we may find ourselves using that energy in too many places at once. We may want to go after this project and that activity and end up feeling pulled into too many directions. When that happens, we can lack direction which is a good time to get back to center.
I find that when I look at all the different things I'm doing, it's helpful to ask the question: What is Bringing Me the Most JOY? Once I determine what that is, that's where I choose to put my energy. Yes! (Of course I continue to fulfill needed responsibilities.)
When we spread ourselves too thin, it can actually be a deterrent to our creative growth and to expanding on the very thing that brings us the most JOY.
When we engage with too many things in our creative space, it can sometimes be disorienting, leaving us feeling misaligned, not in our creative flow. When we feel that way, we can take a closer look at where we might be putting our energy that may be making us feel like we're just spinning our wheels and not really getting anywhere.
I want to give you Permission today for releasing your Self from working on something that just isn't working right now, especially if you feel like your energy is being wasted. It's okay to let it go for a time or for all time, if that's what it takes to get you back to center.
When we align and center ourselves with what brings us the most JOY, we create a shift in our energy, getting back to Who We Are creatively.
Looking at the contrast of feeling not as happy, too heavy, overwhelmed and disheartened and feeling like maybe we shouldn't even bother, it pays to give ourselves space so we can regroup and figure out what exactly we want to accomplish, where we want to go from here, how we want to grow as a creative being.
It can help to dissect how we are feeling and where we are putting our energies as we detail our current place in our journal, helping us determine where the JOY resides in our creative path.
Trust yourself as you look a little closer and make some choices that will lead you into a better place. Pay attention to your intuitive voice, especially if it's telling you to let go of something, if it's leading you in a different direction or showing you to expand on something you're already tapping into and it just needs a fresh approach to get where you want to go. It may just leads you to a place that lights you up, lifts your spirit and leaves you feeling fabulous!
Find that place that feels expansive, fun and vibrant and aligns you with Who You Are Creatively.**
Make a list of all the activities you are currently engaged with. Note each one singly and see how your body responds as you read it out loud. Record your discoveries and nudges in those JOYful Directions. Then pick your favorite and go do it!
Art Journaling Prompt:
Using JOY as your starting place, use visuals and your favorite colors to showcase how you feel right now in your creative space, giving honor to what is bringing you the most JOY right now.
Create the word SHIFT in doodle form and see how your lettering can look shifty as you use your favorite pens, markers and colors to honor your creative experience. Note any associations that come to mind in your journal.
**If you would like to schedule The JOY Appointment: The One Appointment You'll Want to Keep! in get some guidance on where you want to go creatively, click here.
If you'd like to have a connection call with me, click here.
If you'd like to check out my course, 7 Steps to Creative Clarity, click here.
If you'd like to subscribe to The JOY Finder and receive 3 Secret Keys to a More JOY-filled Life mini course, click here.
Copyright 2018 Dawn Herring
Hello folks! I was thinking about sharing some things that you, my dear readers, creatives, journal keepers and friends, may not already know about me that might surprise you.
Are you ready? Okay, here goes.
1. I was an early reader at the age of 4. Mom used to tell me that I was reading out of encyclopedias at that age even though I don't remember that part. I am an avid reader to this day.
2. When they did a scoliosis screening at my school when I was 12, they discovered that I had "uneven" shoulders. Later, when I went to a chiropractor for an exam at 16, Dr. Cantor (now deceased, but so kind and generous when he was present in this world) determined I had double curved scoliosis with an upper curve between my shoulder blades and a curve in my lower back which causes my hips area to be uneven. I am highly functional but I'm not one to go hiking or for long walks. And, of course, it would go without saying that I'm not athletic either (my sister fills that role as previous cheerleader in high school) although I have enjoyed games of badminton, ping pong and miniature hockey in game rooms!
3. I had the dream from the time I was 12 years old to be a recording artist, song writer and guitar player. I wanted to be in a live band as lead singer. I did go on to sing in two different worship teams and even played tambourine in one of them. And I also wrote enough songs for an album. And now I'm back to my music roots once again, singing and enjoying myself. I don't think I have a big voice by any stretch, but it does bring me JOY. (And I'm still waiting for a guitar player to offer to play my songs for me since I never did master the guitar myself. *wink*)
4. I used to copy my sister's homework when I was in elementary school and wanted "homework" like she had. I guess you could say I started "writing" at a young age. And of course, I still take notes on books I read and write reviews on ones that really hit the spot for me. And yes, I am one of those writers who has a novel written but not revised tucked away in a magazine box.
5. When I was in high school and early twenties, I sang solos and duets with my sister and another friend in a church setting (before my worship team experience). Whenever I would finish my one song, I was always raring to go to do a full concert of all my favorite songs.
6. My favorite color is orange red. I also love turquoise, lime green and mustard (or what I refer to as gold). I think my first favorite color was purple, then on to gray, and then khaki green. Now I love vibrant colors (as you may notice in my wardrobe pieces on Instagram!)
7. I absolutely LOVE Miniature Schnauzer dogs. Every time I see one, I get animated and point it out if I'm with others. I think they are so adorable with their cute furry faces! No, I would never want one of my own. I just admire them from afar.
8. I remember meeting an artist one day when I was a youth as I was taking a walk around the block where I grew up. She was drawing a female on sketch paper and the detail was intense and I loved it. I watched her draw a little bit of it as we both sat on a sidewalk bench. She saw how much I adored it and she gave it to me! I was so excited. I took it home and copied it as best as I could. I still have that treasure in my artist portfolio.
9. I was a member at Terrace Lake, a place I grew up at during the summers. They had three different slides, one in the kiddie area, one in the deeper section and one next to the diving boards where it was very deep. The highest slide was 25 feet. After being too frightened to go down that slide at 15 and 16, with the help of two friends (who I still care about deeply), I went down that slide when I was 17! I was elated! (and I enjoyed it on repeat all that summer.)
10. I do NOT like roller coasters, haunted houses or horror movies.
And here's an extra one that applies to my eating habits and my physical well being:
11. I went Gluten Free about 10 years ago due to an issue with iron absorption. I'm always pleased with new gluten free products when they become available for me to try, like mac and cheese, spaghetti, crackers, chips, and cereal. Most of them are either rice based or corn based with either flour or sprouted grain options. I have found the gluten free foods to be easier to digest and I love the taste of the corn and brown rice products.
So, there you go! Now you know a bit more about me! You're welcome to leave a comment below about things I may not know about you! Have fun with it.
And if you'd like to subscribe to get more blog posts in your email, simply sign up! And you will receive 3 Secret Keys to a More JOY-filled Life*!
*you will also receive The JOY Finder and 10 Steps into JOY.
For those of you who prefer to listen to my Joy Filled Content, I have created Refresh Daily Podcast. This is audio with visuals for those who like to watch as well. For this Episode Two, the topic is Present JOY, both for the holiday season and every day. I originally recorded to main audio from a video greeting I included in my Christmas Edition of The JOY Finder, my newsletter, but I wanted to make it available to all for your creative and joy-filled benefit. EnJOY!
You're welcome to subscribe to my YouTube Channel for future Episodes of Refresh Daily Podcast.
You're welcome to subscribe to The JOY Finder.
You're welcome to view 7 Steps to Creative Clarity to see if it might be the perfect Holiday Gift for YOU or someone you love.
You're welcome to view Dawn's Life Directives and Affirmations Coloring Pages with Prompts and see if it might be the perfect Holiday Gift for YOU or someone you love.
I can't believe it's that time again: My year in review with 2017! Where did this year go?? I have no idea. Time stands still for no one, as my Mom used to say. Now I clearly see why she said that. And then some.
Of course when you have responsibilities and others to care for and connect with plus staying busy with creating and finding joy, time sure does fly by!
And this year has been eventful, and I have lots to share. So I Shall. Ready?
Where shall I begin? Usually, Journaling comes to mind first. So I'll start there.
I am an avid written journal keeper and have been for many a year (30? I'm not sure; I think I lost count, as well as with how many filled journals I have. *wink*)
This year I continued my daily written journal entries. Up until September, I was doing a.m. and p.m. entries. Once the new school year started up and I had an earlier wake up time, I found myself forgetting to write in my journal since my a.m. responsibilities side tracked me. I was shocked I had let it slip! So I took a closer look at my practice, and after engaging with a live journaling event hosted by another avid journal keeper, I determined to ONLY JOURNAL in the a.m. if I really want to, like if I have something I want to say.
One thing I learned in taking a closer look at my a.m. journaling practice was my redundancy (which I spoke about during our JournalChat Live in November). I found myself repeating things from the night before that weren't necessary. Why do this? I asked myself. So I gave myself permission to let go of the a.m. entry unless I felt drawn to write. And so far, I've only indulged once or twice in the a.m. and most times, it's been on the weekend, when I'm relaxed and not in a hurry. Lesson: let go of what is extraneous or what isn't working. No need to feel obligated! (This is HUGE for me as a journal keeper.)
I do continue to create evening doodles every day to honor my day's experience and still find it engaging, fun, and relaxing, giving myself space to play with design, color and texture with my watercolor markers and artist pens. You can view many of my doodles on my Instagram account and here.
Also, I created my own designed Planner Pages to change things up with my journaling practice, but I found that printing them out, hole punching them and using them became more of a chore rather than a JOY. OY. So, I continue to write in my blank journals as always and plan to get more. My goal is to always have a quality white blank paper to create my doodles on; that's one of my reasons for loyalty to the empty sketchbook as my primary journaling tool for entries.
As for JournalChat Live for all things journaling of which I host on Social Media, I decided to change things up and go LIVE ON VIDEO in our JournalChat Live Facebook Group which went from Public to Private this year! Yes! We had a delightful time in November as we talked about How to Keep Things Fresh with our Journaling Practice; I also provided special prompts for us to play with during our time together, which made it even more special and fun! I plan to host JournalChat Live in this group in the coming year of 2018! Do join us if you haven't already!
Speaking of going LIVE on social media, Next up I will share with you something New I started on Facebook called JOYFest, where we gather together to share our JOYS with one another, thus making the World a Better Place. We had our Christmas Edition on 12/7 and had a blast sharing our Greatest JOYS of 2017! You can catch the replay here.
Our next JOYFest will take place in our new Private JOYFest Facebook Group! I decided it would be fun and organized to hold and host LIVE VIDEO events in private Group Settings to create a comfortable and affirming place to share our JOYS together! I so look forward to having YOU join us to share Your Joys in 2018!
To backtrack just a bit, I wanted to share with you the new focus I created with my website and message here at Refresh with Dawn Herring. I realized that most of the engagement I experience that refreshes me brings me JOY as I get refreshed. So...in January, I went live with a completely new website with JOY as my focus, and I have had so much fun since! So now my brand reads, Refresh with Dawn Herring: Where Finding JOY Takes Center Stage! I do hope you enjoy perusing all the JOY focused content and navigation as I share my JOY with you. And you can create your Own Path to JOY, which is my greatest aim for you!
Which leads me right into some new offerings here at Refresh with Dawn Herring...ready?
First up, Dawn's Life Directives and Affirmations Coloring Pages with Prompts! YAY!
Since I am an avid doodler and have so much fun creating doodles and coloring them in, I thought it would be fun to Create Doodles for YOU to color in! Using the tenants that I hold to and look to live by, such as Appreciate Your Self for Who You Are, Recognize Your Value and other self care initiating directives, I created Coloring Pages, with a word from me about each tenant and prompts for your journaling, art journaling and doodle practices...and if you don't already practice, this is a perfect place to start! :)
And if you're looking for even more prompts with a self care focus, plus some video and audio from me along the way, then my new course, 7 Steps to Creative Clarity, is perfect for you! If you ever feel blocked, bored or uninspired or maybe you don't know where to start in building a thriving, fun Creative Practice, this is why I created this course, so you can find the JOY of creating!
So this year of 2017 has been an important year for me as Creative Visionary and Guide for those who need some encouragement and feel they could use a little bit of permission to create!
And for those who like to LISTEN and be inspired, I launched my Refresh Daily with Dawn Herring Podcast! Yay! So far I've created one episode that you can listen to or watch, whatever your preference, both here on my website and on YouTube. I plan to create more episodes next year (including some interviews with others who share about their creative practice!) My purpose in creating a podcast is for those who are looking for tips and inspiration toward building an authentic Creative Practice that brings them great JOY.
Also, this year, I launched my new newsletter called The JOY Finder! I share tips and inspiring stories about how I am Finding More JOY so you can too, plus I keep you up to date on what's happening here at Refresh with Dawn Herring, including when I'll be hosting Live Events you don't want to miss. You can subscribe here and receive a gift from me, 10 Steps into JOY!
To conclude this 2017 Year in Review, I thought I would share a bit of what I've been doing in my art studio. I did take some time off this past summer, breaking the creative mold I had been in with painting with watercolor every day for three years. Once I got back into studio space, I decided to try some new things (with more new stuff planned for 2018...). I did my first fashion gouache and pen rendering of a gorgeous faux fur jacket which you can view here. Plus I did some drawings in a sketchbook of some of my jewelry. (There is one post on my Instagram in the early part of 2017 you can view.) I plan to indulge a bit more in this type of art since I enJOY it so much. I continue to paint with watercolor, working on watercolor paper at this time. Plus playing with designers gouache as well.
So there you have it! It's been a busy and exciting year for me at Refresh with Dawn Herring, and of course, it would not have been the same without YOU, my dear readers and friends. Thanks so much for joining me during my Live events and sharing your journaling and creative lives with me. It brings me true JOY in sharing with you.
I wish you the greatest and most JOY-Filled New Year of 2018; and I look forward to having Fun and Engaging with YOU in all of our creative energy together in community, thus making the World a Better Place!
May Joy Find YOU in the Most Unexpected Places!
Copyright 2017 Dawn Herring
Copyright 2017 Dawn Herring for Art Header
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!
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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!
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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