Saturday, 8 May 2010

Guest: Dina Wakley

Dina Wakley is a mixed media artist who regularly shares her talents by teaching highly respected art journaling workshops both in person and online.
I asked Dina to give us an insight into how her role as an art musuem tour guide inspires her own work.

I'm Dina. I'm an artist.

Well, sort of.

It's hard for me to call myself an artist because I am so unschooled, untrained, you know how self-doubt goes. But art fills me and inspires me and fuels me!

One of the things that I do to keep the artistic fire burning is volunteer at the Phoenix Art Museum as a docent. [The word "docent" comes from Latin and means "to teach" or "to guide"]. To become a docent, I had to go through a 2-year training program, write papers (eek!), and learn lots and lots about art history and about the mechanics of giving a good tour. My true joy as a docent comes when I am touring school kids. I love it when kids come to the museum! They're always full of anticipation, and as you introduce them to art, their eyes light up and they start thinking and having a personal response to what they're seeing. It's a miraculous thing, introducing kids to art and watching it take root inside their soul.

And, I'm a docent for selfish reasons, too. I love to be around art. It's just plain fun to be in the art museum all the time, to stand in front of the art and let it affect me. One piece that our museum owns is "Lush Spring" by Helen Frankenthaler:


Frankenthaler is a color-field painter--meaning she puts her canvas on the floor and spills paint onto it, guiding the paint with her hands (or maybe a squeegee, or a brush) and letting the paint pool and flow. I find her paintings to be very visceral and inspiring.

"Lush Spring" and Frankenthaler's methods inspired my "Graffiti of My Life" journal (and later the online class that I wrote based on that journal...the class can be found at Get It Scrapped).


After studying the painting at the museum, I sat down to create and found myself making backgrounds with watery paint, letting it pool and run and drip.

I added stenciling and writing and some collage elements over the flowy backgrounds, and the journal turned into a meaningful piece of art.
I would have never done that journal had I not been moved by "Lush Spring."

I am constantly looking to art at the museum for inspiration. And, when I travel, I *always* visit art museums. My "Masterful Art Journaling" online class (also available at Get It Scrapped) came about after I had visited the Picasso museum in Barcelona.

If you're ever feeling stuck, bored, and just mojo-less, I highly suggest getting into a museum and experiencing art. Let it affect you, and it will fill you up!

Dina Wakley

Thank you so much Dina.

If you'd like to read more from Dina and keep up-to-date with her latest projects then make sure to visit her 'Ponderings' blog. Plus, if you'd like to try one of her classes you can read more information on them here.

After that, join me in the next post where I'll be sharing some of the work I created when I took one of Dina's art journaling classes earlier this year.

6 comments:

Sam (Hatster) said...

Oh goodness, that's beautiful & very inspiring . Straight off to check out Dina's blog.

Clair said...

Definitely on my way to check out Dina's work. It's just amazing.

Erin Bassett said...

Love Dina's work!!!

Emily Pitts said...

dina is one of my favorite artists out there. this is a great post!

Arnold said...

I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.

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Christiane said...

dinas art is on such a high level. i'm her fan!!
thanks for the interview!!

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