Express Your Self With Paints

winter mountain acrylics
winter mountain acrylics
Winter Dawn Mountain Acrylics

Paints are the artist’s words.  Express your Self!   Yesterday, it was brought home to me just how desperate we are to paint like someone who is ‘famous and well regarded.’  Halfway through teaching my class, a man pops into my classroom out of the blue and asks me where he can go to learn to paint “Just like” …. the well known Australian artist (name kept anonymous here.)

This is the opposite of how I teach, how I feel, what my philosophy is.  So, What did I tell the man? Simply,  if he felt that strongly,  to travel to the city the artist resides in for a workshop or private tuition.  Of course, he wanted someone ‘local’  who painted just like that artist instead.   I cringed inside.  But smiled and carried on with my class.

Paints are the artist’s words.

Brown watercolour mix
Ultramarine burnt sienna on beaten Schoellerhammer paper


I’m sure that in this forum,  I’m most likely ‘preaching to the choir’  but seeing how I feel so passionately about the matter  this is a great post topic!

We often hear young parents now say to their little ones,  “Use your words.”  As artists,  our words are the paints. The Brushstrokes. The tonal nuances. The hard or soft edges we use.  All these and more makeup our Words,  our method of expressing ourselves.

Why bother day in day out, to repeat other people’s quotes?  Even if they are famous and well deserved quotes.   If I have nothing more to say than repeat what someone else has said, every time I open my mouth – that’s  a problem.

But I am convinced that not only do I have something original and unique to say,  but that each one of us called to paint and create, has something special and worthwhile to share as well.

indigo and quinacridone sienna watercolours
Brown mix Indigo and quinacridone sienna watercolours



Indigo Burnt Umber watercolour painting
Indigo Burnt Umber Mt watercolours


Express your Self – with your paints!    Today I may be chirpy, tomorrow I might be tired, or dancing,  or nostalgic. Fine.   I will  ‘allow’  those  emotions, feelings to be expressed. Believe it or not,  most of the time we can not hide the inner emotions from the canvas anyway!   It leaks out.

Better to acknowledge it  and just go with how I am in that moment.   Its better to Be Me,  to paint like Me,  than to try to paint like my favourite artists.  And to always come up short.

For I can Never “paint just like”  someone else.    I can’t  BE  Them.


I enjoy the use of my words.  My words are my paints, my colours, my brushstrokes, my edges, the lines I create, the paper choices I make.   I love my words!

Winter Dawn Mountain acrylic painting was done a few days ago, I love how well it speaks of relaxation and restfulness.   And Today I’ve  expressed myself with an assorted palette of browns, siennas and umbers with ultramarine and deep indigo.  Why Brown, you might ask?  Quite possibly, I may be just a wee bit   tired.

burnt umber indigo watercolour landscape
Burnt Umber Indigo Landscape watercolours

“hushed and somber.   winter storm nears.  the stillness speaks.”

The Burnt Umber Indigo Landscape

Published by debiriley

The act of creation, in any media is a fascinating and magical process. I simply love to create. Expressing in color, line, tone, texture - as if, they were words upon a page. Creating a uniquely me, interpretation. Enjoy More of my "one-of-a-kind" expressive art at and,

10 thoughts on “Express Your Self With Paints

  1. Love the umber and indigo combination producing such dramatic and gorgeous images. I often use a combination of ultramarine, raw umber and paynes grey to produce an alternative to black. I hope your students realize how lucky they are 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. ultramarine is definitely a fav colour of mine as well! student wise – and some do, some will, and some aren’t ready…. 🙂


    1. I almost hit the cancel button on this post. It was one of my more heart felt ones that is for certain. Very relieved that I’ve gotten some positive feedback from this specific post, as I was thinking I may have to go back to no text, just pics. lol Thank you for taking the time to comment. cheers, Debi

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Well said. There is no doubt there is a world of difference between being influenced by and trying to be like another artist. I feel a work dies if it copied – it loses some intrinsic quality somehow.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re right – its dead, with no Life in it. Thank you for your vote of support on this post, I nearly deleted it unpublished. So, thank you!!


Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: