Ferns are so fresh, lovely, lively and earthy.

They Grow.

With greens in every shade and hue, they’re absolutely refreshing.

I’ve recently painted a series of ferns in remembrance of my grandmother.



fern design watercolor, fern abstract art, zen painting, debiriley.com
MaryEllen Fern    debiriley.com



Mary Ellen Fern


I’ve decided to honor her memory and the name the collection The Mary Ellen Fern Collection.


In past posts I mentioned my grandmother and her love of the outdoors. She loved hiking in the woods and would take me with her every chance she could.


Picking ferns was one of her favorite hobbies, and it gave her a bit of ‘pocket money’ for herself too.

A girl has her needs, you know!



Mary Ellen Fern (c) debiriley.com Redbubble.com
Pocket Money… Mary Ellen Fern design




Fern Color and Light


I couldn’t resist my favorite color:  Cobalt Teal Blue pg50

Nor could I resist the influence of Toko Shinodo and her stunning sense of Light and Space. Shinodo’s use of White space, is divine.   (This linked image was Shinodo inspired.)

Incredibly,  Inspirationally, Shinodo still paints. At 103.




My grandmother was like that.

In her 80’s …. she hopped on a Greyhound bus and travelled from the West coast to the East coast.  (“Back East,” she’d say.)

She wanted to see her family back East. This was back in the early 70’s and it was a long journey across the States, by bus!

(Would I,  do That?!    would…you?   Who is smiling Now!)



Well, my grandmother had set her mind to going.

So….She DID!  She didn’t wait around for somebody else to take her.

Or “To do it for her.” Or go with her.

She’d never go,  if she did that.


A real go getter, strong and determined. Putting action to her resolve.

I admire those qualities.




fern pattern dress, white and cobalt teal fern pattern, debiriley.com
‘mary ellen fern’ design ….  dress


Fern Design and Prints

The clean,  elegance of  Light – and-  the crisp cobalt teal blue ……

sing of light in the forest.


There is a wonderful and refreshing feeling of Joy in this.

I can feel it and am refreshed,  Inspired from this simple design.




The Simplicity. 


There is a Walt Whitman  quote I’d like to share,

“The art of Art,

the glory of expression and the sunshine

of the light of letters









Learning  Points 

What I Learned From My Grandmother:

Inner Strength.  Resolve. Resilience.

Patience and Persistence. Til…it is Done!

Self Reliance.  Independent Spirit.

Listening to the Self.


  • The qualities she exhibited- are the same qualities artists (I) need to succeed.
  • Strength, resolve, and being a ‘Go-Getter’   are needed for us to improve our skills.
  • Quality of Self Reliance.  (I) we need that. In order to carry on … regardless.
  • We must follow our own path. To do our (MY) own thing.
  • We (I) need to clearly define, and set a goal and make it happen.





So, yes.  I am a Fan of Ferns.

That’s another way of saying, I’m a fan of my Grandmother!