In Class With Dina Wakley

This past Saturday I spent a wonderful day with Dina Wakley in her Random By Design class at Studio CRESCENDOh. We made several different backgrounds, some I managed to complete as art journal pages. We threw string, painted with our eyes closed, painted with our non-dominant hand, learned about grounding, and composition, did some collaging and even worked on large 18×24 substrates. Oh, and I also learned that the illegible scribbly writing that so many of us do in our journals is called asemic writing!

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It was a fantastic day of learning to just Let Go, make a mess and create pages that are very free and open, with lots of yummy white space.

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A couple of journal pages that I completed in class.

The premise of the class was to create pages, through a series of techniques, that looked random. To help achieve this, we worked on multiple backgrounds simultaneously.

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Not all of my backgrounds resulted in completed pages, and that’s ok. It’s nice to have backgrounds to work from when I don’t have a lot of time to play. I’m really liking the way this second background turned out and will likely take Dina’s suggestion, to just add a quote or some journaling and call it done.

2015-07-25 16.00.49If you’ve ever had the pleasure of attending a Dina Wakley class, then you know what a joy it is to what her work. Her style is organic, open and carefree because that truly is how she creates. Her catchphrase “oops, oh well” really is something she lives by and preaches in her classes. She shares some good techniques on grounding your layers from edge to edge, choosing a color pallet that will pop off your page, how to add depth and texture, then she encourages you to make a mess, have fun, and just go with it.

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I’ve never worked on a substrate larger than my art journal, so working on 18 x 24 sheets of watercolor paper was a bit scary at first. I found that venturing outside of my comfort zone is exactly what I needed to shake things up a bit and get that creative energy flowing.

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As focal points for these larger pieces, Dina encouraged us to scribble sketch some faces. Working to this scale, the scribbly hair was a bit of a challenge for me, but it was a fun. During our show and tell time, the class decided that this sketch resembled Nicole Kidman… giggle.

2015-07-26 10.02.22Once home, in my own studio, Loki decided to cover up his and my least favorite. #EveryonesaCritic

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Dina had some of her products available for purchase, and I couldn’t resist because… ART SUPPLIES!!

I couldn’t finish this blog post without a great big thank you to Jenny Doh for having the class at her studio. Attending a Dina Wakley class was at the top of my bucket list, and Jenny’s art filled studio space, warm nature and positive energy only served to make this experience all the more memorable.

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While I was at Studio Crescendoh, I picked up this wonderful book that I have not been able to put down since. It’s pages are filled with beautiful images and bite-sized inspiration, from many of our favorite artists, and is sure to feed your creative spirit. You can find it on her site HERE or on Amazon, in kindle and paperback versions HERE.

If you get the opportunity to take an art class, I highly recommend checking out her studio in Santa Ana. Her calendar can be found HERE. There’s already a couple of more classes that I have my eye on.

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Dina was sweet enough to add her own words of inspiration to my book.

PicMonkey Collage

A little selfie fun with Dina Wakley??… Heck YES, thank you very much!


Thanks for reading and I wish you all a beautiful, art filled week!



6 Comments on In Class With Dina Wakley

  1. Skye
    July 26, 2015 at 1:03 pm (3 years ago)

    I love it all, Dina’s classes always crack open a part of me I didn’t know I had. The Art Saves book, is a standard in my library and I refer to it often.

  2. Susan Berkowitz
    July 26, 2015 at 1:08 pm (3 years ago)

    Beautiful pages! I’m jealous. I like Jenny’s studio, too, but haven’t been able to get up there for a class again 🙁

  3. Laura (PA Pict)
    July 26, 2015 at 3:04 pm (3 years ago)

    It looks like you had a very inspirational time, Belen. I love what you created as a result. How cool that you got to check off such a great item on your bucket list too.

  4. Dina
    July 26, 2015 at 6:23 pm (3 years ago)

    It was so wonderful to have you in class and to read your kind words. So glad you enjoyed it!!

  5. Anna
    July 26, 2015 at 8:06 pm (3 years ago)

    Your pages are gorgeous and the colors are so luscious! Looks like it was a lot of fun. I was just looking at a pad of large watercolor sheets yesterday…but decided I didn’t have the room to work on them. After seeing your pages, I may just have to make some room cause now I want to paint BIG!! Thanks for sharing with us.

  6. Iris
    July 27, 2015 at 8:21 am (3 years ago)

    Thank you for sharing your experience Belen. This looks like so much fun! I’m really impressed with the white space, I sooo love that look but I find it really hard to do myself. I’d love to take a class with Dina Wakley. From what I can see I actually really love that piece that your cat is covering up!


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