Abstraction: Sand, Sea, Sun and Surf

abstract on the beach oil painting, cobalt teal blue pg50, debiriley.com

Nothing but Fun today.  And,  Look at those shapes and textures!

The subject in mind –  the beach, sun and sand, waves and water.

Absolutely Abstract.


abstract on the beach acrylics painting, cobalt teal blue pg50, debiriley.com
Surf Sand cobalt teal blue acrylics and collage





Cool and inviting,   Cobalt Teal Blue beguiles, again.


Cobalt Teal Blue pg50 is an Opaque category pigment. Its not translucent or one of the paints that make a wonderful clear ‘glazer.’

Such as the Staining pigments: Permanent Alizarin Crimson, or Quinacridone Sienna, or that lovely versatile Prussian Blue pb27.   Nor is it one that is in my ‘go to’  list, for super easy paints to mix with either.


But it has its charms.


Cobalt Teal Blue in its watercolor form,  dilutes down (ie heaps of water) really well.  At its palest, CTB can be a fine and delicate blush of fresh, minty green.   In acrylics, mixed with white, it then becomes a nice pale minty green too.


cobalt blue teal pb50 debiriley.com
ultramarine, cobalt teal blue


Ocean ultramarine blue, cobalt teal, debiriley.com
Oceana in Cobalt Teal Blue





Ocean, oil painting, cobalt teal blue pg50, cobalt blue pb28, indanthrone pb60, debiriley.com
Inlets and Calm



Cobalt Teal Blue’s best asset, in my opinion,  is its amazing ability to evoke immediate, emotional responses.


watercolor ocean plein air, cobalt teal blue sea art, debiriley.com
The Seaside  …cobalt teal blue





CTB creates beautiful atmosphere, mood and feeling.


Prussian blue teal abstract watercolor painting, debiriley.com
CTB, Prussian & Gold

Cobalt Teal Blue makes it nearly impossible not to feel it.

Cool, calm, relaxing and Refreshing. Inviting.


This is an interesting thing:

On one hand,   It is a cool color.

As a cool, it is calming, serene,  relaxing, etc.



But…. unique to this color, is that sense of playful invitation within the color waves and vibrations.

This is really why I use it.

For that unique quality that provides such a duality  to the viewer.



beguilingcobalt teal blue pg50, beach photo, debiriley.com
Cobalt Teal Beach





Ideas From Your Surroundings


One of the ways I paint abstracts is simply  gathering ideas from the surroundings.


I look around a couple minutes,  and there they are.

I see my supply of shapes, textures, colors.


But, you ask,   “What am I Looking For?!”  




Look for Geometric Shapes

Shapes rise up as circles, spheres, or squares, rectangles.

Industrial sites are really great for this.

So too are houses.



inspiration ideas for abstract paintings, geometric shapes, design ideas, debiriley.com
looking for geometric shapes, windows doors


Relax, cobalt teal blue pg50, watercolor painting, daniel smith paints, debi riley art, debiriley.com
Cobalt Teal Blue


Look for Color that Grabs you

Find the colors that jump out, to you.  That shout out.

Color,  for me…. always,  leaps out.




Look Closely, for Textures

The textures of surfaces – must be ‘inspected’  though.

At first glance, we’ll all assume and assign in our minds,  the shapes a flatter,  more even and uniform appearance.

Translate this, to “boring.”

why?…..  its easier for our minds to file and catalogue these things quickly that way.




In order to make our paintings have a bit of interest and vitality to them –

We need to look further, deeper,  into things.

We need to make ‘observations.’


We learn to delve into the textures, the intersections, the patterns, the variations, the gradations, the transitions – so much more –  leisurely.

A lovely word, “Leisurely.”

Harmonious, Contentedness, Relaxed.


A purpose is there.

It  is simply not fulfilled in a   “I’m juggling 59 balls at one time,”   hurried fashion.

And while in this Leisurely Mode,  we become more present in the moment.

So that our eyes don’t overlook what’s right before us.



The aim of art I think, is to create a thing that has some life force energy in it.

Imparting bits of our own energy into the creation is all part and parcel of being an artist.

And then hopefully, this will be enough to inspire the viewer to give the image a real look.

Not just a passing nod.



earth tones, abstract art geometrics, brown bronze, debiriley.com
circular forms ….   textures, layers, depth



To Inspire:  is to breathe life into.  

The viewer must be inspired by the life force energy within the art,  in order to feel compelled to reach out, connect, to touch the art.


A creation filled and layered with emotion, mood, textures, color, tones, nuances…. has a vigor and energy we all want to get closer to, to connect with.

To Touch.


Originals hum with a spark of life energy that replications, duplications, copies don’t.

We have to impart our own life force energy into each of our creations, for the viewers.

To inspire.



“Its true,  sometimes, we won’t win

when we are creating our Original artworks.

That is quite alright too.

We Learn, instead.

Which is,  of even more value, truly.”







Featured Painting

While at Scarborough Beach,  my eye caught on this unpaved sphere.

A ’round a bout’ that’s not quite finished.

I loved the shape,  I loved the tonal values within.

I absconded with the shape to use in my Featured Abstract painting.

The sandy beige of the inner circle was so pretty,  I thought.

A warm against the cool grey concrete, lovely Contrast.



being inspired by art ideas, design shapes in landscapes, debiriley.com
getting art ideas – shapes



using the colors of nature, painting abstracts, acrylic paintings in abstract shapes, debiriley.com
using the colors, of Nature


The ocean teal water was so beguiling… So cobalt teal blue.  The white and buff of the sand and surf looked gorgeous as well.

It doesn’t matter in an abstract ‘how’ the shapes or colors are used in the sense of them looking like a car, person, tree, roof, etc.   The point is using the surroundings as inspiration for the abstract to get you going.


The Featured Abstract painting was enjoyable; it was pretty simple and fast in execution;  and I used color and design ideas gathered from the beach trip.

I don’t mind at all, that it is not,  “The Masterpiece.”  (maybe next time!)

It is a quirky piece, unique and was certainly fun to do.





Partner Learning Posts

Tips on getting Contrasts …. watercolor 

Abstracts A Definition 

Staining Paints  

Creativity    10 Faces 

Cobalt Teal Blue 




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

14 thoughts on “Abstraction: Sand, Sea, Sun and Surf

  1. You captured a tiny octopus in mid action in the first painting. He’s the one on the left. He must have heard about kids making snow angels and since he has no snow, he’s making sand angels.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I do see it! Creativity is such a wonderful thing. I adore yours. I’m so glad yours never, got packed up into the attic! gosh, we need you in our class – they look at me, like ” Really?” LOL

      Liked by 1 person

    1. thank you so much for that Nico, I really appreciate it!! many times I DO work harder, on the post when I’ve done an abstract. I want, people to be able to understand abstracts. Or even glimmers of understanding into the processes. Anyway, thank you! cheers, peace and blessings

      Liked by 1 person

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