Watercolors Rescued… from the bin

watercolor rescues, beginner basic tips, debiriley.com

A moment of despair.  It didn’t go as planned. The result was not what was expected, wanted, desired.

And so, it was crumpled. Torn. Thrown away.  Discarded.

How many times, how many ways, how many things does this relate to? I wonder.

We often panic too soon it seems.


watercolor rescues, beginner painting tips, debiriley.com
Rescuing a palette knife painting from out of the bin  (mine)



Both of these images were “rescues.”

One  was from a student below, and one was mine.

Both show evidence of impatience, of frustration, with damage done to the papers.


The damage…. we can view as being like scars upon the landscape of the painting.


Without such scars, without the etched in grooves and lines and evidence of its character layered deep…. we might,  merely skim along the surface shallows.



Precision. Perfection.

Doesn’t quite have… the richness, the elegance, the depth of character that time, weather, and those storms  have created.


In other words, the compulsion…. to Get It Right, should be a low priority  and the higher priority should be on Expression.


How does it feel, to be in the moment, creating this?

Did you enjoy the moment?  Were you ‘in the creative zone’?

Did you  express your own interpretation of  the mood, the feeling,  emotion  of the subject?

Those, take precedence.


watercolor rescues, beginner basic tips, debiriley.com
another rescue- student’s work


The wrinkles and crumples (from the unhappy creator)  do not concern me. I like them.

It is a wonderful technique, creative and fun,  to crumple your watercolor paper before you begin!

Smooth it out best you can,  and carry on with painting.   Try it, and see.


This abstract image, I rescued is filled with lively, loveliness of color.

Such luminosity and movement.   Such spirited transitions of tone, textures.

I could not,  allow this to remain in the bin.   It needed, saving.


And,  that hint of cobalt teal blue along the bottom edge  made sure that this watercolor ink piece was rescued!





Yes… I suppose that Sometimes, a piece truly needs to be retired to the bin.

But  not nearly as often as many of us opt to do as first response.


So many of these pieces can be wonderful Rescues.

Not throw aways.


I need to alter my pattern of thinking:  to believe  I can find ways, of making use of products,  images, and things.

To be less hasty in ‘simply discarding’  anything that is frustrating and disagrees. That doesn’t work or fit into my mental vision planned.




Partner Posts

Taming the Dragon- perfection 

Wabi Sabi the art of Zen!             look for all 7,   its  a great series

Resolve Fix Paintings 

Palette Knife  landscapes 

Palette Knife creative Abstract  technique 

Using your Imagination   

Inviting Imagination 

Abstracts,  a definition … 

Beginner Watercolor BASICS Page 

Watercolor Beginners,  helpful tips and guides   


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

17 thoughts on “Watercolors Rescued… from the bin

  1. love this and seems right for the way I feel these days. We view beauty as perfection but forget that what truly makes for beauty is the imperfections that are perfect if that makes sense. I think these imperfections make my work so much better.

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  2. I love both these pieces of art. I’m glad they were rescued. The pursuit of precision and perfection is negative – how much better to embrace the imperfections, they are what make our art unique and individual, they are expressions of us as an individual! You are so right Debi – our priority should be on expressing ourselves and feeling good in the process…

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    1. good evening Evelyn, thank you very much for your wonderfully expressed thoughts on the post. ps I haven’t forgotten you… I’ve had to limit my sitting time ie not much computer lately. you know, i do love your work and will get over there, when I can! cheers, Debi

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      1. I totally understand about having limited time for the computer. I know you’ll visit when you can. I always look forward to your posts – I get all excited when I see your appear in my blog reader!


      2. I’m so glad E you understand. lately even driving is not, so good. But, I sit down to do some posts, when I can. will have a summer off tho, as I’m visiting sister in Seattle. should be relaxing 🙂

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  3. Oh yes, I like your thoughts on the creative process, I can relate on so many levels . I like the outcome of that discarded piece of watercolor paper, so much interest and depth. Sometimes I toss aside art and come back to it, cut up and or re-use to make something new.


    1. thanks! I think with more time and experience we finally figure out, ways to use just about everything…. the cutting up the image is especially fun, isn’t it?! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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