What Would Michelangelo, Say?

watercolor abstract in lavender and blue, creative experimental watercolor techniques, debiriley.com

I’ve been reading a couple books… well, several actually at the same time. Very unusual for me.

Multi-tasking is so not, my forte.

My preference is to fully engage, to finish something completely, before beginning any new project or story.

Exception. Somehow paintings are different.

Having 5-10 on the go at the same time, works beautifully for me.




Books and Quotes


The two books, The Art of Peace by Morihei Ueshiba  and   The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron –  partner up very well.

And so far, reading both of them, its going well. Slow, Though.



“The greater danger

for most of us lies not in setting our aim too high

and falling short,

but in setting our aim too low

and achieving our mark.”


The words of Michelangelo




Thinking on this, perhaps failing, falling, doing poorly, mucking things up …. is not,  “a major” problem. Its not going to be the end of the world.

For that is surely our fear, when we deliberately, set our aims well below what we could achieve.


watercolor abstract in lavender and blue, Michelango quote, creative experimental watercolor techniques, debiriley.com
Ice Falls



The Art of Peace was brought to my attention by Val Boyko over at findyourmiddleground.com

Val has a wonderfully inviting, calm and accepting way about her that transfers to her website blog in a refreshing way.

As you all can tell by now, with my art I lean towards the zen minimalist style.

That   “Less is More”   and for my guys here at home,  the word “judicious”  will spring to mind I’m sure.



I’m reading The Art of Peace as an ebook, as I was too impatient to order it and wait for it to arrive from overseas in the mail.

It was a question of,  “Have it Now,  or in 3-4 weeks.”

Only a few pages in, but love the calm, peaceful philosophy and the calligraphy!

oh. that is ART!


Ueshiba explains to us about shapes.

“The triangle represents energy, initiative. It is the most stable physical posture.

The circle symbolises unification. Serenity. Perfection. It is the source of unlimited techniques.

The square stands for form, for Solidity. The basis for applied control.”



Ueshiba does not attempt to teach how to move or work the body, it is the mind… he wants us to work on.

To master the art of governing our mind. hmmm.  lots of fresh air, nature, outdoors, discipline, practice, and more practice…. and practice within our minds,   and good old fashioned labor.

This sounds hauntingly familiar to me. That discipline thing.  That ‘homework’ thing,  practicing.    And, like I said I’m only into it by just a few pages.   Lots more to go.





The Artist’s Way


The other book,   The Artist’s Way   A Course in Discovering and recovering Your Creative Self ….by Julia Cameron.   I’ve had it for ages and did read through it over 20 years ago.

This one is a real book, not an ebook.

I picked it up again recently to try to determine if it was a keeper.  If it was going to be finally discarded or given away along with so many other books just sitting unused, on the shelf.


Two paragraphs in.

Thats all it took, to hook me.

I’m not only keeping it “for later”  but starting it right now.

Brilliant quotes.   Thought provoking ideas.  Creative approaches to art, life, imagination and all forms of creative expression.


I’m not too far into this book either, but I’m thoroughly enjoying each page. Each new idea.





Quote from The Artist’s Way


Only when

he no longer knows

what he is doing

does the painter do good things.

Edgar Degas





The featured painting

I chose to sort through my older artworks and demos to find an image that I felt would fit. I needed a Goldilocks, for the post.


Ice Falls stood out from the rest.



Strong. Cool and calm, with a sense of a ‘climb’ to it.

Delicate patterns created by the plastic glad wrap provides just enough visual interest to hold the eye.

The use of cartridge paper, non-sized, allowed for the greater amount of ‘bleed-through’ that is seen. A lovely contrast to the harder, sharper edges.

A simple palette just permanent rose and cobalt blue mixed. Create soft warm lavenders and the chilled blues. Nice contrast of warm and cool.

White space. Think – Toko Shinoda!   That is who I think of, anyway.




What would Michelangelo say?  

I saw the angel in the marble
until I set him free.







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

19 thoughts on “What Would Michelangelo, Say?

    1. Thanks, Margaret. I seem to say so much more in every post than what I had planned on doing! Short posts…nope!!do let me know how you get on, with the book as you read 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I love this post..ICE FALLS..is beautiful, lovely colour.!!..I am sure I owned The Artist’s Way..by Julia (and I thought there was another/ companion about working d
    Through depression, etc. For artist..Anyway great book..* glad for the Reminders..
    Minimalistic art seems dear to my heart also..I’ ve really, caught myself admiring your work I. This medium..
    So, feel encouraged to reading of your pursuits, Debi!!.
    Very Cathartic ..and intriguing..Yes, I,think Very much so 🌺..Can you suggest what ” name” ACRYLICS, are
    Good to start with? .probably just a Michele’s store here..Not familiar with on- line store..Yet..any suggestions appreciated! ..much ❤️ Joanne..

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I do love Golden. And shops like Jerrys artarama, Cheap Joes, Dick Blick could get you started online. Less. Is more. Buy a few, but good quality paints. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Super post! Really interesting! Thinking about that first Michaelangelo quote, it reminds me of a sign on our headteacher’s door which I periodically take the children to see. It says something like ‘If you want to succeed, double your failure rate’. I see so many little people who are hesitant to try anything in case they fail. So we encourage them to live adventurously and know that making mistakes means you’re learning and isn’t a bad thing. Loved the ice waterfall!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. A follow more than a few blogs. But a handful make me slow down, breathe, and pause. And with your posts, I frequently tend to say, wow, this woman has talent. I am grateful for you and your work. You make a difference.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I really do appreciate your comments, David. It is, a very gratifying thing, to hear that one makes a difference in the world. Thank you.
      and may we all – pause and Breathe! Cheers, Debi

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Wonderful post Debi. Just what I need this week. Reminds me of one of my favourite books The Zen of Drawing by Frederick Franck. (Can’t remember whether I have mentioned this before) Have a great week 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. thank you, and quite some time ago you mentioned the book. I’d gone to the library and checked it out. I enjoyed it, but have forgotten so much. I may get an ebook 🙂

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