How Much Do You Paint?

watercolors the impressionist approach, painting day, debiriley.com

“No, I don’t really paint, as much as I used to do, ”  was my response the other day.

I wished I’d had a camera to capture all those expressions from my group, right then!   You could see a million things running through their minds.

Shock.  Say it isn’t so. How is that, possible?   But….

 

Paint Time

It is true.  I don’t “paint”  anywhere near the amount like I did 10, 20 years ago.

Or even 5-6 years ago.

I was insanely prolific.

 

watercolors the impressionist approach, painting day, debiriley.com
fun, free, Letting Go painting day:   several “on the go”

I’d get my paints out and think nothing about whacking out 5, 10, 15 images in one sitting.

There could be 100 images in a week.

No,  definitely not all of them worked out.

That’s alright.

 

I learned things.

 

 

 

When I step back after a painting day, I think about the numbers,  the percentages.

What %  of 100  is an acceptable number for me?

I liken it to baseball stats.  Or to  photography stats, or even … to sales. How many times must I do something before I hit a home run?

Why should I think, to hold myself to an even higher standard,  than say,  those big hitters …. Babe Ruth – Hank Aaron – Ken Griffey?

 

It was and is  about the process.

Expressing the moods and emotions,  that which was within,  and externalising it.

 

And if one of those images was presentable, as a whole, I’d smile.  Even if none of them, were fantastic, I’d still smile.

As the process was and is what  drives me.

 

The need to communicate, to externalise,  the primary driver.    (Most of the time.)

I just enjoy paint, color, the physical act of creating.

 

 

Art Definitions

What changed?

Why am I not painting 100 per week now?

 

I have slowly changed my ideas about art, about what ‘art’ means to me.

 

What defines art, to me?

Art now means much more than just a paint brush and paints.

 

 

Art takes so many forms.

And I enjoy art every day. In one form, or another.

 

Sometimes I go into my garden to pause and reflect on the colors, aromas, the sounds that it brings.

creative photography, nature flower abstract photo, debiriley.com
dreams in the garden – just sitting

 

 

Other times I write.  Or photograph, or draw or, doodle.

This. Is art.

 

I’ve come to think of my art classes, the curriculum and lessons as a form of art in itself as well.  It often involves research of new methods and new tools; of the masters that are relevant to the specific group I’m currently teaching.

iphone 5 photos, glass bottles mini minarets, debiriley.com
glass minarets …class subject to paint        “at work”

My work… has become,  in a sense another form of art.

 

 

A Changed Lane

I could, indeed feel bad or guilty about not painting like I used to.

But I am,  still creating.

 

Still Inventing.

Looking around the corners for new shapes, subjects, colors, ideas.

I haven’t stopped, nor has this slowed down one bit.

Not at all.

 

It merely has changed lanes.

I’m Still going in the same direction….

The laneway is slightly different.  Thats all.

 

 

I think we are quick to judge ourselves many times too harshly, without need.

When asked that question about not painting as much now….  at first, I mentally was judging myself.

 

But I like to take the time to discover the  ‘why’  of a thing.

To dig for the answers.

Because I find in most cases, the root truthful answer, is far less troublesome than the surface answer, the one we assume to be the case.

 

 

 

So even though I’m not putting out 20- 50-100 images a week now;  I am still just as active, just as creatively engaged as I have been at any time in the past.

Its good that I took the time to dig.

Finding the answers to nagging ‘background’ questions –  sets us free to Create.

 

Releasing constraints and criticisms, ie  negativity  that would impinge upon our  future creative endeavors.

 

 

 

Art, is funny like that.

Most of us work better, do better, Create better,  in a positive, uplifting, and free environment.

 

 

Fun and Fast  Watercolor  Landscape

A Simple Impressionist Landscape created from a positive and free mindspace.

Done directly upon coming in from my Garden sitting. I felt positive, uplifted,  liberated….

 

True, it was on not nice,  cartridge paper that soaked in the paint and left marks of the brushstrokes visible.

Unliftable. Permanent marks upon the surface.

 

But this made it,  liberating.

It was either going to work or … not.  So why bother to over think it?!

 

I felt free to do what was needed, to put down,  what needed to be expressed.

 

Faint pale hints of sky, then several strokes of blue for hills and mountains.

Ooops…  oh well!     hmmmm   – boo boos there.

 

Next,  went in some gentler  cool browns to serve as a transition area, just dashed in, real quick.

 

And then,

the super fun part.

 

Splattering warm siennas, moss greens, golden umbers across the stark white foreground.

Now, that was fun.

 

mountain landscape easy and fun for beginner painters, watercolor beginner techniques, hills, mountains foreground watercolour, splatter, debiriley.com
blue mt splatter foreground   –   cropped  section

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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13 Comments

  1. An interesting post Debi – lots for me to take in here. Your title question caught my attention straight away and my answer would be “not as often as I would like to”!

    It’s interesting that you’ve “changed lanes” artistically speaking and now express yourself creatively in different ways, other than painting. Thinking about it I’ve done the same thing as you but in reverse – I’ve spent years expressing myself creatively through photography and later mixed media art but now I’m concentrating mainly on watercolour painting and drawing (as they are closely linked).

    I like your comment that it’s about the process – that is so true. We need to enjoy the actual process of creating, as well as the end result. Finally I love your blurry garden image – the colours and shapes are wonderful, it would be a lovely image to create a watercolour from…

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    1. thank you Evelyn 🙂 and its true, we all express, just in differing forms. I still love watercolors. just not exclusively, nor as prolifically. Everything you have done before, shows in what you create E! ps, you are welcome, to use that image as reference if you would like. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Lovely Debi, like you I see art everywhere, I’m inspired by the smallest arrangement of leaves or a crumpled piece of paper. Thank you for sharing your post today.

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    1. smiling…. good morning! yes, all the time! we are exploring the palette knife this week Diane. Wishing, you were there. I know, you’d love it. And I’d love your company 🙂 Debi

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  3. So much to think about and so much to agree with. Love this post as it reassures us all. Art is an approach to life whether it’s nature, emotion, family, love, travel and especially the mundane. We are all on our own journeys but what joy to learn from the journeys of others and of those we love and admire. Thanks for always continuing to inspire us with your words and images Debi 🙂

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  4. To everything there is a season…these words come to mind after reading your blog post. Yes, art comes in many forms. Simply stopping to appreciate those lovely glass bottles and then taking a photograph of them is an artistically endeavour in itself. It doesn’t need to be taken any further to feel a sense of satisfaction. And even if the photograph had not been taken, but the moment itself was appreciated, then this is nourishment for the soul. In today’s world where we are too rushed to really observe the most mundane objects, your post speaks the truth. Cheers from Canada, Debi.

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    1. wow, absolutely….. everyone, is way too rushed.
      and what you said, thats really what I try to do and to show others too. That art is life, and vice versa, they are – entwined.

      Like

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