Winter’s Glow: Watercolor Reflections

Winters Glow, watercolor landscape, reflections,

Small, delicate. A little miniature watercolor painting created with Amethyst and Sodalite. Just 2 colors. But she hints at mystery and night.


Winters Glow, watercolor landscape, reflections,
Winter’s Glow


Wabi Sabi  in Winter

To hint, to infer and to suggest at the deeper mysteries, at the beauty of nature is very Zen,  very Wabi Sabi.

It is probably, I’d say,  one of my top creative assets that I employ frequently.

Foregoing photographic tight,  realism for the Wabi Sabi feeling of ‘Yugen’    ie to suggest, to evoke, to allude to something.

That is,  what I love to do!




This painting was created based on wonderful memories of a very dear friend’s house near Offutt Lake, Washington that overlooked a magical little pond filled with wildlife.


It always was a delight going to her house for a cup of tea and then sitting to watch nature from the veranda. And enjoy her lovely company.





A late winter’s afternoon

The sun’s warmth has gone


The evening chill stirs

Fog and mist come from the north


The winter pond aglow with lavender light

Casting reflections, smooth and soft

And silent


Night comes

The owls will hunt





In this painting I’ve used a limited palette, nearly monochromatic. This creates calmness and serenity.


I chose the amethyst and sodalite from Daniel Smith watercolors, for their textural granulating properties. There’s also a subtle, shimmer in them as well, perfect for this scene.


My light and shade, tonal values,  were clarified. Evident. Not jumbled or muddled around. I painted it as if I was speaking.  I Said it like I Meant It.  And then I Stopped.   No Fiddling.


You notice that there is a strip of white paper along the embankment area, in a horizontal line. I needed to create a horizontal within this vertical format,  I also needed a Diagonal.

I had to ‘infer’ a Diagonal directional line.  I did this by  signing my name right hand side bottom area.  And what happens,  or is meant to,  the eye looks from the signature diagonally side and up to the left towards the trees’  reflections.    It is a Suggested Diagonal.




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,

43 thoughts on “Winter’s Glow: Watercolor Reflections

  1. okay – you have me swooning again. Artistic GENIUS! Thank you Debi – for sharing – and explaining – for us amateurs that aspire to be YOU! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. thank you thank you Jodi!! maybe I will nickname myself…. something like ….. hmm debi-zen. rename the whole website debi-zen. LOL I’m laughing so hard.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. yes In class, I usually suggest students begin with a warm up, say using indigo to get the hang of the process. Then do 1-2. next have them proceed to the colours duet of their choice to try 2 more practice runs. the last one, is the ‘real’ one!

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      1. sometimes I feel like you talk another language – LOL! for example …. “then do 1-2” no clue Debi-zen what you mean…. :\ what does 1-2 have to do with wet on wet??

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  2. Ah amethyst, sensei Debi Zen that is one of my favorites, has such a Zen vibe for me, always loved it!
    Love the mystery you brought out on this one, makes me wonder and ponder if any wildlife is looking back at me from the other side, an owl perhaps.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Eva, I’d love to sit and chat to you! love your humor! So sad I’m at the other end of the globe.
      one of my Chinese/ Australian friends says I must have Asian grandparents somewhere, as my thinking is so much more eastern than western esp. art wise. now with my new 🙂 nickname, I’ll have to check out the grandparent further. LOL
      I did pick the amethyst for the mystery and the zen – ness.


      1. And I love yours Debi Zen, so the feeling is mutual.We would totally have a blast and lots of laughs together, you would teach me and I would make you shoes. LOL.
        Seriously your life and art philosophy is so very inspiring and just pure joy not to mention beautiful, so I say cheerz to our Asian heritage ( my eyes aren’t straight so I guess that can qualify me as such). 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Wow! I liked the painting and then I read through all the links in the page, too. I learned so much that I’d never heard about. It made me want to try it as well and see what I could do. It kind of opens the windows and let even the quick sketches and paintings fly because there isn’t really any wrong to it. Excited now! Thanks so much!🙌🙌🙌

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    1. yay! thank you! made me smile that I inspired you 🙂
      I’m tickled you checked out all the links too…. I think each post has a strong message and good tips for people. another Yay!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Your lessons always set free rather than inhibit. They are a bunch of rules and being told if you follow these rules you’ll do good work. While there’s a lot to learn from rules when you’re learning how to use a medium, sometimes you can feel like if you don’t follow the rules you can’t make good art. You inspire us to just let go and see what happens sometimes. At least that’s what I got from learning what Wabi Sabi is. You rock!

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      2. I could hug you that was such a wonderful comment!
        Its always my goal to give some ‘guideposts, but then not to be weighed down by Expectations.
        so thank you for your confirmation 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  4. how wonderful these words are from the poem: The winter pond aglow with lavender light, Casting reflections, smooth and soft, And silent- I can really feel this atmosphere, Debi and your painting fits perfectly is very calm, too. Have a nice day, cheers Mitza

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks for your virtual hugs, which I would like to return. I’m glad you are also “friends” with Eva Marks. We exchanged some hugs already, too. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  5. This is wonderful, Debi, and lately I’ve been drooling over the Daniel smith line woo. Really gorgeous colors you chose and I love the use again of white, perhaps in this case the paper sparkling through. Just love the mystery, it definitely conveys and always appreciate the lesson. Thank you for your generous wisdom. And love your verse too! I hope you post more poetry with your artwork. 💜😎🎨🖌

    Liked by 1 person

    1. thank you – thank you ! it was the paper that was White in this image, yes. I like to include the prose with an image, when it fits ie when it pours forth like water. So thank you, glad to know someone out there…. actually reads it. LOL 🙂

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