Impressionist Landscape Color Studies

I love the free loose boldness that comes when I create my impressionist landscapes. Especially as color studies.

There seems to be a fresh sense of Life to them that the other ‘worked’ images usually lack.


impressionist landscape watercolor, color study, prussian blue pb27, ultramarine blue pb29, loose landscapes,
Impressionist Watercolor Landscape, color study


Watercolor  Color Studies

And perhaps its the colors, that seem to shimmer in the light.  Or the mood was fully captured in that split second.

But I do know, that I always receive more satisfaction, more joy, more LOVE – from my color studies.


Fresh and free.    Calm, and energized simultaneously.   Every brush stroke filled with purpose.   I love that, when it happens.  As I’ve stated in prior posts, this doesn’t occur 24-7 every time I pick up the brush! But,  it does happen more often, with my impressionist landscape color studies.


Mastering Color

This image was done in conjunction to my Atwell Gallery course,  “Mastering Color.”   We are focusing on Blue watercolors this term.

Right now we are up to Prussian blue, Phalo blue, Ultramarine blue.  With 2 yellows.  Winsor Lemon.  And the Daniel Smith watercolor Naples Yellow.


My Color Study Steps  

1. In the color study, the sky has a lovely warm clear wash of Naples Yellow.  Yes,  it is an Opaque.

2. But,  the secret of this color, is that if I dilute it enough it will thin down beautifully.

3. While the sky area was damp, the Granulating Ultramarine blue was applied. Not too wet, not too dry.

4.Next the Prussian blue mixed with a bit of Naples yellow for a hint of dark, blue green.

5. A couple of dashes of deep dark Phalo blue at the bottom of the tree shrubbery shapes,            helped to “anchor” the trees down. ie  not to ‘float.’

6. The foreground was a warmer, darker version of Naples yellow, leaving gaps of white                  paper!!

7. Then some pretty little hints of minty moss green for some lively variations.



Impressions of Place

I can’t say that this was a ‘planned’ painting.  Nor was I looking at a photo.

I was however, step by step, retrieving memories of places I’ve been.  It just happened the area turned out to be the Hunter Valley, NSW   where my good friend lives. Good times!


Without a Photo 

I find, that not having a photo is a liberating thing.

Trying to paint from a photo often confines me. It Is very arbitrary.

It causes me to feel,  as if,  I  MUST Obey  IT.

(and I know, invariably ….. students also usually will feel that very same compulsion.)



I’m an artist.

Why, would I want to obey it? (a photo)

Why, would I want to stay in a box?

Why, would I want to color within the lines?


We’re all different and unique. We paint and create, for our own reasons.


But if, you’re like me. And paint for that lovely sense of freedom and boldness, for the adventure of stepping out of the ordinary routine box, and the joy of painting the colors as you like ………..


You may like to begin some wonderful watercolor color studies, in your own way and voice.   I think, you’ll Love it!





Love Leaves a Legacy

Once again, Love leads the way in a week long flurry of ‘Love themed’ posts.

Love leaves a legacy and love leads by example. How so?


love, love is greater, heirlooms, legacy,
Love, is a Legacy



So, how… does an old battered book leave a legacy? How does it lead?  How is this, Love?


It begins perhaps with where the book came from.  And, how and why it has been used over the decades.



Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary

Webster’s was in our family’s little library as I grew up. It came to be a book I considered my very close friend.  Webster and I would usually have a quick dialogue just about every day.

I’d turn its see through pages over, wondering what was around the next corner.

Wondering what new word, world, language or bit of history I might learn today. I was excited by the thought of learning ….More.

In my eyes, it was the most beautiful of books. A treasure chest ….. for me. 




I have to tell you, it was my father’s special book.

His gilt lettered, leather bound, decades old dictionary.

To be honest,  no one else ever got the book out of the library.  They left it alone.  On the shelf.



The CALL of a Book 

But I’d always felt its call to me.

Its age and wisdom seemed to beckon me to come and pick it up!  I couldn’t resist. When I’d asked my father, he was more than happy to let me read Webster’s.


It really was a bit advanced for my age at the time.

My father did not say, nor infer that. Ever.

I felt his love and trust each time I opened the pages.  He trusted me to treat the parchment fine pages delicately, with care. So I did.

I thought it was pretty wonderful, special.  I was a kid, maybe not as rough as some…but still. You know how kids are!  Accidents, happen.  Luckily, never with Webster’s though.



Legacy of Love

I loved Webster’s while growing up, for all the amazing worlds and the knowledge it provided me.

I love the book now, for the legacy of love my father gifted me with.

And the book, is a symbol.


antique leather book, love, family,
Antique Aged Leather Book


Asian Influence of Wabi Sabi 

There is a subtle hint of wabi sabi beauty in this old torn book.

Worn by time and hands that loved it.


It has none of the glossy table top  flash of those  ‘pretty’ books.



It has of course something far more powerful and meaningful.




Color is a Lure

A week of Love. Its nearly over. But Perhaps I may continue with a few more with this “Love theme.”  I certainly haven’t exhausted the possibilities that reside within my mind’s eye.

Love can be wrapped in so many different, creative beautiful ways.

I’m finding this week a joyful challenge.


bright colorful impressionist landscapes, color as a lure, watercolor clouds, painting what you love,
The Lovely Lure of Color



Color is a Lovely Lure

The lure of color for me is always present.  Shamelessly, my eyes always scan…. for color. You know and I know,  I’m in love with color.

My love should be, of course Tonal Values.



In the early days of my painting journey, my worst downfall was color.

Every time, color was ‘caked on’ to the watercolor paper.



“Because the colors were Pretty.

Because the colors Really were there.”

Because I had no idea that I was mucking the painting up by going in willy nilly with my circus of colors.



Colors lured me in.  My love of color, unrestrained and uncontrolled, set me up for non successful paintings.



I had a high percentage of paintings that were merely “mid tone, mid tone, mid tone…. throw in a dark tone.”

Sad as this makes a ‘colorist’ ……this does not work out well.



Tonal Values  ie ‘shading’

Paintings and drawings need an adequate range of tones, ie shading, in order for the image to come to life.  Without tonal values it will look flat. Shapes will look like they’re ‘floating.’  There will be no depth or perspective, unless I ensure plenty of tonal values.


I’m still learning.

Over time, it gets easier.

But, I still struggle to make certain that “Tone” gets it fair share too.  It is still, a challenge for those drawn in to the lure of color.






Watercolor Love …..

This little beauty simply fell into my lap. I was  ‘in the zone.’  Lucky me, that day!

The paints were out.

My 5 small sheets of paper were laid out as well. Waiting.


Why 5, you may inquire.

I’ve always worked on the premise that if I do several, then surely at least ONE of those will be OK, will be alright.

As well as:   The More I paint and practice – the better I will get.

Both ideas resonate quite strongly within me.



Watercolor Paints Used

My watercolor paints consisted of my 3 Basic colors:

pb28 cobalt blue, py175 winsor lemon, pv19 permanent rose.

And for a unique,  special twist……  pg18  viridian green.



Yes.  Just Because. I felt like it that day.




My watercolor painting is nearly semi abstract.

Loose. Joyful. Full of freedom.


Undeniably, the color lures you in.




Watercolor Fresh Start Tomorrow – Love It!

When it all falls apart. The watercolors have gone 20 different ways.

And none of them were your way.

“What a lovely feeling to know, that I’ll wake up and have a fresh start tomorrow!”



watercolor, mistakes, tomorrow is a fresh start, love,
Watercolor Fresh Start



Fresh Start with Watercolors


I was working in my visual journal, the one that isn’t on watercolor paper.

But it has such lovely, encouraging quotes I decided to use it anyway.

I thought, I was up to handle a challenge!  I’d put up with thin cartridge like paper.  Deal with it, work with it.  “Partner with it.”

Not today.


Start Over

The first painting was shocking. You don’t see it do you!  No.

But I’m not going to beat myself up either. These things happen.



Drawing The Jungle Leaves

Right now, my new drawing is done at least.

And I like it. I used a big bold black permanent marker to draw with while looking out at my back garden.

We have a giant strelitzia nicolai growing and I love its massive, jungle like leaves.

This plant grows super tall 15 – 20 feet or more. About 6 meters.   It has delicate pale butter cream blooms not orange. With lovely lilac purple accents and pod.

It was a gorgeous Mother’s Day gift from my family a couple years ago. They had no idea I’ve been wanting one for 15 years. It was a great surprise. …. Gift giving. Love, in another form.



Back to my watercolor mess.

I had to read the quote below…. many times.


I think it is strange. Some days I pick up the brush and presto! Its like magic and I’m in the zone and I’m loving the feeling.

Other days. Its about as productive as collecting unicorns.


I’m just being frank.





So then, I read the quote.


The quote by Elizabeth David reads:

 Tomorrow was invented

to give you a fresh start

on whatever doesn’t go well today.



I hope you love this quote as much as I do!



Watercolor – Joy and Love

Atwell Gallery has provided myself and thousands of people with fresh new creative discoveries. It was here, while teaching class at Atwell this joyful, sparkling watercolor was created.

Like many other absolute beginners, the person was uncertain and just a little apprehensive. Maybe more so.

I can only imagine.


watercolor beginner, Atwell Gallery art, help beginner artists, encouragement, flower art, teaching watercolors,
“Joys” gorgeous color pairing watercolor,  Penny –

It makes me think of the wonderful colors and patterns of Matisse and Gauguin.

I love this painting with its beautiful colors, movement and pattern. I couldn’t resist including it in my week dedicated to ….LOVE.



Watercolor  Joy

I can only imagine, if I was in her shoes.  Coming into a class midterm, a complete beginner amongst the others who have all been painting awhile.

To top it off… the teacher was her sister. Talk about ‘pressure’ right from the get go.


We all have expectations.

We all have standards and criteria in our heads that we strive to meet.

The worry many also have is “What will my family say? My friends? Will they poke fun, laugh? ….Will they be encouraging and positive or will their words  eat away at my joy?”

“Am I brave enough to allow myself the Freedom to release my inner creativity as it wills? Come what may!?”



A Form, of Love

Dear Family and Friends

Friends and Family,  I have noted over many years,  you play a major role in the continuation of your Loved ones creative outlets.

Yes, we all should be, strong and self reliant enough to plunge ahead disregarding the mockery and laughter. (“WHAT is That?!”   “Is THAT Abstract?!”)


But do we? Most can’t. Many creatives, are also sensitives.  It cripples many and prevents the gates of creativity from ever, opening.  Lets not shut the doors upon someone else’s Joy.

Lets be joyful and inspire those we love. Lets find the positives.  Lets imagine ourselves in their shoes.  Lets be Encouraging to those we love, so that we assist them in their art journey.

Artists… we can tell our family to be and find the positive.  To use different words.



What I love most about teaching is the sense of satisfaction and wonder instilled in those starting off on their journeys.  It is Joyful. It is lovely.





What I love about the Painting:

#1 Vibrancy

It is a Vibrant design, with colors that dance and a lovely feeling of movement within.  A delightful patterned watercolor painting.


#2 Turquoise and Orange Pairing

Straight away, my eyes go to the palette she chose. Lush dynamic turquoise-green with its complement orange.  Complementary pairing make eye grabbing art images, every time. Something to remember!


#3 Movement and Rhythm

Movement.  The flower shapes ‘revolve’ and swirl down and towards the viewer.  This is an excellent design idea to guide viewers’ eyes.


#4 Sparkle!

Sparkle.  She allowed…. bits of white paper to remain! This trick gives the illusion of much more depth, more life and energy than if it was “all colored in.”  You know how that looks, dulled.


#5 Edges

Hard Edges. In this image, having all hard edges works for this specific design. It is a very graphic style, very pattern like.  In fact – this would be a prime candidate for products.  I can so easily see this pattern on fabrics.  Dresses, leggings, tote bags.



I would Love, to see this happen!



You. Can. Do. It. Too.

go to  and check it out to get the details on how easy it is to get set up.


Open the Gates of Creativity

You’ll love it. It is fun. Exciting. Satisfying.





My Love

A week filled with Love.

Every post this week will focus on some aspect of this most miraculous of human emotions.

Love:  It’s a Beautiful thing.


Love, valentines day, photography,
My Love, it was You ……  (c)




The Art of Caring for other human beings.

Created living beings.



it is, an art form of the highest achievement.

Love builds up and love






LOVE  –   5 more

for love of color 

touching hands 

love cobalt teal blue 

scarlet love 

love, we don’t need another gadget 




Love, its a powerful, beautiful thing.


for Love …of Color!

Every post, this week will have Love as the major theme. Yes, tomorrow is Valentine’s Day. Its only one day though.

So, maybe a week long visit with Love, in its many beautiful and elegant forms will stir our imaginations,  hearts and our souls.


watercolor techniques, color mixing Daniel Smith paints, love of color, impressionist flower painting,
for Love, of Color!



Starting with…

for Love of Color.

Of course!  And you aren’t surprised are you?!  I didn’t think so.




What did I do and what did I use?


I had a visual diary with quotes that I’ve been saving. Its not for watercolors. Really its only a drawing journal. But, I’m not much of a drawing type artist, and by now, you’re aware I’m much more of a ‘colorist.’

Having a play with some color mixes, a bit of fun, splashing out using my standard – Impressionist approach – is always my creative zone.



Colors Used

Daniel Smith Watercolors.

I’ve loved them since the mid ’90s when I first was introduced to them. Especially the Lunar Black and Quinacridone Sienna have entranced me.


In todays images I’ve used 5 DS watercolors:

Quinacridone Rose;  Naples Yellow (love); Indanthrone blue (love);  Aureolin; Green Apatite Genuine.

There is no other Naples Yellow, that I have yet found, that can do what the Daniel Smith Naples Yellow does. The ingredients that are used to create it, provide me a sensational Opaque warm yellow that I truly love.


Test Strips of Color

The first thing I did was lay test strips of the colors out on a page. “Testing”  is a wise policy. Try before you commit, kind of thing.  I always test drive a car for a good long drive, before I buy.  I know painting isn’t as serious, but still.  I like to be aware of what may or may not happen.

Especially! If I am taking on a challenge like painting on plain journal paper that is going to blot and soak right through. Who knows what else the paper might do?!!

But, the challenge is on.

And, I do Love a Challenge!



Impressionist Flowers

Once I’d investigated the response of the paper and paints, I made my choice to create a floral scene using only those colors to mix with.


Why Impressionist?

I love color, and a sense of freedom in my painting approach.

It provides a sense of movement and life and energy.

Of being Alive.

If the image was   “Abstract”   I’d lose my flowers.

It was key that the flowers be seen as flowers.  It is not important though, What Type of flowers! That is irrelevant. I’m not, doing ‘botanical.


My Flowers are alive, growing.  I did not place them in a vase this time.



Journal Quote

The quote reads,

“You are alive

and that is the only place

you need to be

to start.”

author – Carrie Rainey



I read this and paused. And thought, wow.

Because we place so many unneeded criteria, conditions, guidelines, expectations upon a thing…… before we think we can even start.   But, no.


We are alive.

Start now.




I am inspired.

I do Love this!




Saturdays Silly Transformations

It is fun, isn’t it to watch things transform?!

Sometimes the final result goes beyond all our hopes and expectations. Other times, well.

We learn.



watercolor tree, impressionist landscapes,
Same WatercolorTree, new format #3


And Learning, is just as important as “getting that super, wow, great result.”

Probably more so. When you pause, and  think, about it, yes?



Versatile Watercolor



The first watercolor effort was featured in Spectacle of trees 

In this post I have shown several differing types and styles of trees…. done, my way!, watercolor landscape, #world watercolor month, watercolors, tree paintings
#1  Tree in The Glade,


The next time you saw the image was after it went through a makeover with oil pastels in Woodlands Watercolors.       Below.



watercolor woodland forest, oil pastel textures,
#2  Woodlands watercolor,



Today’s post shows the original watercolor, cropped of superfluous ‘rubbish.’

Then I’ve set it into a midnight black matt for a maximum of contrast.

I don’t mind the result of #3 image, at all.





The Fine ART of …Thinking (Rodin)

Rodin what iconic sculptures he created. Sheer Beauty.

He thought. He envisioned. He created.

I’d like to learn the fine art of thinking, from him!!


The Thinker, Rodin, the fine art of thinking! art and censorship,
the THINKER, Rodin

I don’t generally, request things from my wonderful readers. But I am requesting, for today’s post The Art of Thinking… please Share it, via FB, IG, or your own sites. I hope you will! Thank You, Debi



LEarning About  Rodin, Dante, About History


My father was a fan of Rodin, of Dante, indeed of books in general. We had a fairly decent little library.

I always had my nose stuck, in a book of some description.

It often was an encyclopedia!!  The dictionary was one of my closest friends, I admit.  I loved learning.

My father encouraged me.


He never, indicated nor said the books I chose were unfitting for an 8 year old…girl.  He smiled instead.


I grew up thinking.

Thinking about life, about … history.  About historical figures and events.

About the world.

What the peoples of times past, went through. And why.

I wanted to know WHY!!!


So I read historical books.  I read voraciously any autobiography I could.

Strange, for a young girl.

I was enchanted! I loved it.



Where there are books, there are bullies! 

I read, I learned. And, I thought. I was a quiet child. But my mind was very busy!

My grandmother smiled as she told me,  “still waters run deep.”  Spot on.


Yes. People  ie  Bullies,  would laugh at my reading choices. It happens.

Yes. Those same blinded bullies would say I was “too serious”  as they pulled my hair, or threw my books.   Bullies… will do that.

Because they do not THINK. They merely react. In fear.



I gathered information from many sources.

(I say this, lest some suggest again, that I only read from 1 side of things.)  Just saying…..


I’m so grateful to my father.  For encouraging me  to think for my self. For having books like Dante and Rodin available for me.


I’m grateful that my Father encouraged me to develop skills in The Fine ART of Thinking.    




The Words of Rodin


Rodin’s  own words below, describe his creation.

Not someone else’s theory of what he might have been feeling or thinking; but completely his.

His words, provide a clarion ring of truth,  that shine.


“Gaunt, ascetic in his straight robe, my Dante, separated from the ensemble, would have no meaning,” he stated.

Accordingly, Le Poète became Le Penseur:

“I conceived of another thinker, a naked man crouched on a rock against which his feet are clenched.

Fist pressed against his teeth, he thinks.

The fertile thought develops slowly in his brain.

He is no longer a dreamer, but a creator.”


How stirring!  Inspires me even now.


Rodin also explains another time,

“What makes my Thinker think is that he thinks not only with his brain, with his knitted brow, his distended nostrils and compressed lips, but with every muscle of his arms, back, and legs, with his clenched fist and gripping toes.”



When I read, the words of Rodin – I find them just as inspiring

as uplifting, as encouraging – as his work of exceeding excellence, The Thinker.








conceptual art


lifelong learner







political artwork






self expression


silenced art