Abstract Art: Bones and Truth

strelitzia blue, oil painting abstract in blue and orange, debi riley art

This is quite long. I hope you stay with me to the finish. Its worth it!

As I see it,  the legacy of creating a body of abstract work  is bones and truth.

It is in the glorious Freedom the Abstract genre allows us, the inner artist can be fully revealed.

strelitzia blue, oil painting abstract in blue and orange, debi riley art
Strelitzia-Blue, oil painting abstract, debiriley.com


We are stripped bare.

Right back to bare bones.  To the hidden Truths that lie within.

Truth is freedom.




Abstracts, a Legacy


Dance, like you really mean it.

Sing, as if you are Adele.

Leap, convinced that you will make it!

abstract oil painting, prussian blue pb27, debi riley art paintings
A Leap of Faith, painting in prussian blue


Why are Abstracts so difficult?  

What holds us back?


As I mentioned previously,  Abstract art is Non – Representational.  There are no trees, boats, faces, flowers to copy from.

We are out there, in the forest…. alone!

With ourselves.



Nothing To Look At!

We have nothing to use, to draw upon, but our innate feelings, thoughts, knowledge and our own unique persona.  Whatever makes us,  US.

That is what we have, to use to create our Abstract art.

Perhaps that is what intimidates us about Abstracts.


oil painting abstracts and brushstrokes, prussian blue pb27, debi riley art abstract tips
The closer view, brushstroke



We want to be understood  

Nearly every artist I’ve met, is sensitive.

We have to be.  We scan, we intake from all the sights and sounds around us.

We synthesise from our surroundings non stop.   That takes enormous sensitivity to do so. It also requires vast amounts of energy others do not consider that we are using.


We artists do want to be understood.  Yet, we’re so sensitive to so many layers and nuances around us, bombarding us.

Perhaps its a slight glance away, or a subtle downshift in tone upon one single word. We take note.

That is how sensitive artists generally are….. so I have noticed.


abstract oil painting, cobalt teal blue, debiriley.com
Abstract Oil painting, cobalt teal blue, debiriley.com


Being so sensitive,  we are apprehensive of being misunderstood.

Often therefore, we think if we paint a photographic representational image,  we know, we will be clearly understood. That message rings…. loud and clear.

It is safer.    And known.  By all.

And  yet we still yearn…… to be understood.




Abstract art more so than the other genres,  is so revealing.

Each color.  Each brush stroke.

Every tonal nuance and gestural direction you create,  leaves an echo of what is in your soul.


We shy from revealing too much.

Therefore,  we may just shy away from painting in those wonderful, wild, rampant freedoms of Abstracts.    Continuing perhaps to paint the photo. In safety.


painting in blue, color conveys mood, cobalt teal blue, oil abstract painting, debi riley art, debiriley.com
Cobalt Teal OIl Abstract, color to convey mood




But,  I want to fly.

I want to own the sky.

And so I shall.

……in my paintings

and in their legacy




Transitory Moments in Time 

Abstracts are like deep reflections.

Of the emotions and moods, colors, textures, layers, scars, tones,  the person is experiencing at that very moment in time.

Fleeting as they may be.

Transitory…… like smoke swirls and wisps in a storm.



Self Discovery 

Abstract Painting  –   it is a journey of Self Discovery,  self understanding.  self acceptance.

It is that, much more than gaining the acceptance, approval and understanding of the public, of our friends, of our family.




colors of the ocean, abstract oil painting, debi riley
Ocean Colors, Oil Abstract



Born To Create 


I embrace the freedom.

I own the sky.  I walk through The door.

When I shut the outside off and create from within.



I believe we are all born to create. Something.

in some way.


Some are poets, some are musicians, some are painters….

but none of us can release the true glory within and leave our own legacy behind.


we embrace the freedom.  own the sky.  walk through the door.



abstract oil painting, sunflower yellow and prussian blue paint, debi riley art
Oil Painting, Sunflower Sky, debiriley.com



Lest We Forget 

It is the  – revealing-  of the artist within that truly captures the hearts and minds of others.

Its not  that we reveal and capture the minute precise details of a scene on canvas, paper, text or photograph.

(We don’t really need to be able to identify the 258 year old oak tree next to Brown’s Butchers, on the corner of Iron Street and Elk Avenue, in Cincinnati, on July 17, 1996.)

Sometimes, details are boring.   Inferences, insinuations, suggestions can be much more…. intriguing, yes?




The Paintings Below 

Each one of these abstract images below, I’ve chosen because they continue to deeply resonate within me.  They remain,  part of me.


The collection is a good, but brief,  overall summation.


Every creation reflects a piece, a glimmer of what resides within.  The truth of me is uncovered in these images and paintings.



A part of myself is revealed in each.

This is what it means –  to be an artist.






Still Life pink coral, patterned bowls, graphic design, debi riley art, debiriley.com
Its Still Life



Blue Waters Inspires, photo art, debiriley.com
Blue Waters Inspires


contemporary art for offices, abstract art painting, acrylics, debiriley.com
Abstract in Green debi riley


abstract tropical waters, debi riley, cobalt teal blue, emerald green, contemporary watercolor painting, debiriley.com
Reef in Teal debi riley


watercolor Staining paints, debiriley.com
Watercolor Stainers


Resolving and fixing your paintings, debiriley.com
Cobalt Teal Blue resolutions


Ocean, oil painting, cobalt teal blue pg50, cobalt blue pb28, indanthrone pb60, debiriley.com
Cobalt Teal Blue pb50, Indanthrone pb60, cobalt pb28




watercolour with knife using cerulean and cobalt teal debiriley.com
Watercolour with Knife using cerulean, cobalt teal, umber debiriley.com


glorious Perth Wa sky photo debiriley.com
Glorious Perth Sky photo debiriley.com


Excitement in brushstroke debiriley.com
Excitement in Brushstroke Acrylics debiriley.com



indigo, cerulean, cobalt vase abstract debiriley.com
Indigo, Cobalt, Cerulean Vase abstract debiriley.com


Heavy Body Acrylics, buttery impasto debiriley.com
Buttery Impasto debiriley.com




car reflections, abstract images in chrome and car finishes, debi riley art
Your Beauty, I Reflect



Painting representational things, flowers and skies, earth and sea…..  I love doing these.

And I will always paint them.




I want to fly.

I want to own the sky.

And so I shall.

……in my abstract paintings


in their legacy          






This is the final in the Abstract series!


If you haven’t had a chance to see the others,  they are

Abstracts  Own the Sky 

Abstracts A Definition 

Colors I Love 

The Door,  Sharon Stackpole



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 society6.com/debiriley and, redbubble.com/people/debijriley/shop

48 thoughts on “Abstract Art: Bones and Truth

  1. Wonderful, I love it when you dig deep and discuss the inner workings of being an artist, I think that you hit it on the nail, artists want to be understood. I definitely relate to that sentiment.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. my thanks Margaret.
      I do dig. much to the chagrin of some in my family. lol
      I know, that not every artist has the same inner workings that I do. But, many do. Many Beginners I teach, do. I do write for my classes, what I don’t have time to share in class. and, dig way deeper, than I would in class as well.
      Thank you Margaret, I’m pleased this post resonated. And I hope, it can be of use as well.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Maureen, I’d say…. you do a bang up job of it right now !! I always like reading what you write, I can feel… the spirit in your words. 🙂 cheers, Debi

      Liked by 1 person

  2. You have just taken us on a beautiful magical journey. Thank you Debi, every painting is thrilling. I would love to be walking through your gallery show and be able to witness the color and brush strokes in person.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’d love to have you by my side walking along, chatting away with you Sharon! that would be amazingly fun!
      Thank you, Sharon, that is such a lovely comment 🙂


  3. wonderful post, dear Debi, speaking right out of my soul about the sensitivity of artists and being myself highly sensitive, which makes life a bit difficult sometimes but allows me to see a lot of things that others don’t see. And – as you say – it takes a lot of energy to be bombarded by so many impressions every day. Besides your words, I like your paintings and photographs from which I can see that you see a lot of things, too. Cheers Mitza

    Liked by 2 people

    1. thank you dear Mitza! its true, about the artists’ sensitivities and sometimes how tired we get as the mind, is ever ‘scouting’ the horizons. I’ve been pretty sure, from the jewelry, to flowers, Doors, to Greece…. you too do a Lot of Looking. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Oh Debi! Wow…. This is my all time favorite post of yours. So deep. So touching. So revealing yet leaving so many questions. So much to think about. Thank you. Thank you so much. You are such an amazing teacher. Such a generous artist to share Such an inspiration. Such a wonderful human being. Thank YOU!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. ahhh…. my work is done!! I’m very very happy that this post moved you. I’m glad I was able to inspire encourage and enthuse you. its really awesome that this one, is your FAV post. That makes me smile. Can you see it?! 🙂 cheers, and hugs! debi

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Beautiful post, and beautiful art! I enjoyed your insights into what it means to be an artist. I’ve always loved “collecting” things that have special meaning for me, surrounding myself with things that in some way represent a part of who I am. Doing that with art we create for ourselves is a very special form of self-expression. Thank you for sharing these things that are so much a part of you.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. A wonderful meditation on abstraction, Debi. I’m going to bookmark this post to return to later. By the way, I hope you don’t mind my nominating you for a Liebster award on my blog this week. I know that not everyone likes them but I really wanted to flag up your inspiring and thoughtful posts.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Michael, and a big Thank YOU!!! I’m so glad that this was a good article that you enjoyed.
      Thank you for thinking of me for the award! I’m not sure what is involved in this….. if anything!
      to be honest, (believe or not) I’m pretty behind everyone at computer things. So, there could be things I may not be able to accomplish. Like installing award button in. silly, but true. And no, I don’t mind! Cheers, Debi


  7. Very inspiring post Debi, I can see a lot of myself in your words. We do want to be understood on a deeper level and I believe we also want acceptance of the feelings expressed in our work. For me it is so satisfying to have someone connect with a painting of mine and tell me what it brings to them. Abstract art is a revealing of our soul as artists or as a viewer.

    You can learn a lot about people when they speak about art and your beauty shines through your work bright and clear!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. thank you Willena! that is a great comment, and really very kind of you 🙂
      Doing this short series, I knew Abstract work is not everyone’s cup of tea…. but I wanted to try to make it just a little bit More Understandable, to everyone. I think it did.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Beautiful post, Debi and so true. Boy, don’t we all just seek to be understood? And as you say, I think artists, even moreso. The sensitivity at times is difficult. My mom used to tell me that I take the bad times harder but the good times, I soar higher. So you do get both ends of the spectrum. But the energy expended in the absorption of the nuances…….yes, it is significant. Thank you for your wonderful posts and your exploration and explanations of abstract art. (((((((3d))))))) 💜💜💜

    Liked by 1 person

    1. so interesting Laura that you too have that HSP thing going on. I used to wish I was like everyone else and not Feel everything so much! esp being called “Too sensitive, Too Serious” so many times as an insult. now I think perhaps, they were just a wee bit shallow.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Amen sista! I actually got started in art due to an anxiety issue, went to a therapist and she said I was HSP at our first session. Wound up discovering art which did more for my mental health than the therapist (and she was good)! It is interesting, and both of us with the food sensitivities too. 💜💛

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Lucky ie “Blessed”…. she sounds very nice, on the ball, and a real good health care provider! I found out via a book, called, The Highly Sensitive Person. A gut lining dysfunction from antibiotics has affected many areas, and still working on fine tuning things. a big LOL.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Boy those Rx. Don’t get me going. Yes, she recommended the book to me. I had never heard of HSP’s! First time in my life I didn’t feel like a weirdo. 💜 isn’t it amazing how the gut affects our health. I have leaky gut. We are two.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. the body, works in mysterious ways. it just dawns on me, Laura! like watercolor – we don’t ‘master’ it. we work with its quirks, and channel its known issues. and avoid ‘fiddling’.. ie poking the bear. hmmm! I like this analogy 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  9. This is such a thoughtful post, and the beautiful pieces included with it make this a very valuable inspiration source. Thank you so much for posting this.


  10. Wow ! What a beautiful post!Your paintings are very expressive and beautifully touch ones soul. And your words are like an arrow flying to its target. Yes I really do like your work. Thank you for taking us this wonderful journey. 😉 please don’t stop!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. that is awesome – Thank You, so much for your comments!!! I’m so rewarded, that the article was useful. Abstracts… certainly are not everyone’s first love, lol. But, to help inspire people to make them more understandable and enjoyable – was what was in my heart to do. Thank you again. –
      Not Stopping my journey yet. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank You Beth! My computer skills aren’t behaving, so what I wanted… is not coming together. alas!
      the old fashioned brush and pen are so dependable. well, almost. lol

      Liked by 1 person

  11. A long post indeed and a fascinating journey! This really resonated with me Debi – well said. Your work is beautiful and full of EXPRESSION. Now… If I could only sing like Adele…..

    Liked by 1 person

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