Watercolor: It Doesn’t Have To Be…complicated

keep it simple with watercolors, flower painting, debiriley.com

If I can’t get to the Yuba River, or Diablo Lake or even King’s Park for a bit of peace and serenity – where can I go?

My garden.

It doesn’t have to be complicated.



keep it simple with watercolors, flower painting, debiriley.com
Not Complicated, watercolors



Watercolors Uncomplicated


If I want to simply relax.

If I want a nice and easy, kicked back kind of feeling to the painting, then I’m going to keep it simple.

Keep it brief. No clutter. No frou frou.




This little pert flower says “July” to me,  yet without the gold and embellishments of Her Name Was July.     Perfect for  Day 15 of  #worldwatercolormonth, I thought!





White Space


The White Space around the flower,   creates just about the right ratio.

A balance of color, of busy, of things ‘happening’  yet, with a  loveliness of Space. Of serenity. Calmness. Zen.

I think of Toko Shinoda when…. I think of balanced use of white space.




I See


I may not be able to get to the Yuba, the Diablo, the Cascades or Kangaroo Valley.



But, I can paint what is right here,  in front of my eyes now.

I have beauty here, in my own house and in my own garden.

I see them.



Watercolor.   It doesn’t have to be …..complicated.






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

38 thoughts on “Watercolor: It Doesn’t Have To Be…complicated

  1. I agree, Debi! It doesn’t have to be complicated! The more I paint in watercolors, the more simple my designs become.. it just feels good to move the paint around! I love your flower’s color and the beauty in your brush strokes! YAYZA!! :-)))

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  2. Boy, amen and howdy doody to you, Miss Debi. You are so right. I needed this post hours ago! lol I have since thrown in the towel. Almost literally. 🙂 Oh well, the sun shall rise on the morrow. I can always count on you to lift my spirits on any given day. I love the CBT I see peeking out of your flower! Do you really have blooming flowers in what must be the dead of winter for you there now? If so, that is really cool! ❤

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    1. sorry I didn’t get it out earlier…. the precioussss, wasn’t out and about yet. lol Oh Dear!! after your spectacular painting and sky yesterday it would be a let down, but… its ‘right there’ and tomorrow the sun does rise again 🙂 yes, Perth/Sydney have year round blooms of something! even if it gets chilly. loved your opening line. ((LL)) 3d

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      1. Oh yes. Kindred spirits. I have a sister Debbie, she is an artist too and a soul sister too. I’m the youngest of nine and she is one of the oldest…..I bet you two are about the same age. But yes…..you have a friend in Gollum! And meeeeee ! 😃

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      2. NINE! I can’t imagine that many running around the house! Christmas must have been crazy fun 🙂 I’m so glad to have you as a friend (((((LL))))) I do feel like I know you – well, more than from just (www land) LOL one day in an email I’ll share my Gollum story. he was naughty!

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  3. Your post is a reminder to me….oh I needed that reminder today. I walked on the intricate side of wc today and it is sooo exhausting when little ole me would rather re-visit the river or play with color….painting madrones. I was thinking just because I started a large painting that I would have to be more careful (and not so loose) but I rather remain playful and stay true to my artist self. Who cares if I am not Nita Engel or some other highfalutin “get it just so” painter….so boring to make paintings like that, at least for me it is. Pray, tell…..how and when did you discover your style? 🙂 my enquiring mind wants to know.

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    1. your own Voice, emerges. bit by bit. I think its a little shy, Margaret. afraid we are going to be mean to it!! Who we are, is reflected in our art. our colors, our beloved subjects, our preferred edges.
      We, ‘me’ do not want you to be any body, but glorious Margaret!
      who loves the wild outdoors, the river, colors cascading down the page like a waterfall!!!!!

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  4. beautiful in color and composition, dear Debi. Sometimes things that look so easy aren’t that easy. When you create art for 25 or more years and do this water color painting in 5 minutes it looks so easy but you shouldn’t forget the 25 years you tried to do it. Cheers Mitza

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    1. I agree!! Beginners need all processes broken down, simplified. ….that is totally correct Mitza.
      I still remember my own sheer bewilderment, as a new beginner in class!
      Now, I do my best to break art into segments…when students will allow it! some are so impatient, they have, left. yes!

      In essence for the post, I think what I was wanting most, for people to understand – was that we do not need to go anywhere else.
      Don’t need to Create a huge fanfare. Nor Build a elaborate scene with hundreds of details, and intricacies. no…. we don’t to have it be that complicated.
      the subject can be a simple, clean, elegant one – right in our own back yard.
      and with measured, counted, brushstrokes, we can keep it uncomplicated. That, was my theme. Oddly, It really wasn’t to show a painting. But to show a Message. sorry this was so long. cheers, 🙂

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      1. I think watercolor is a technique that allows to paint in a simple way because it is easy to create effects. My problem is that I cannot paint simple. Must learn that, too, and further I’m very much in love with details if it’s in my photos, my jewelry and paintings and even in the literature I read I love detailed descriptions of Russian authors. Well, good that mankind is different. Cheers Mitza


      2. the weather still nice there?…. sunny? and your jewelry… Mitza is Exquisite! we are all so different, and are Drawn to things that- call to us. what one is called to, the other is not. How cool is that! cheers Debi 🙂

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      3. The weather here since weeks cannot be described with decent words, dear Debi. I can swear in 7 languages and I need all these swearwords for a summer that is too cold and where it rains every day.
        Just finished a piece of jewelry today and have an order to make a pendant. Cheers Mitza

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