Making Magic

Making Magic

We all, can make Magic.

One way, or in another. In some measure. It doesn’t have to be “Art” nor music, nor even in the sciences.

Maybe you are one of the generous ones, the kind and thoughtful ones. Sharing your enthusiasm and your knowledge freely.

That. Is a special kind of magic. People don’t forget it. I certainly don’t.

It really doesn’t matter what your job title is, your career, vocation, etc. A convenience store clerk, recently showed me…. how skilful he was at making magic. Just by being himself. Being generous. When he did not have to be.

magic of watercolor, abstract art, debi Riley art, palette knife paintings, cobalt teal blue.
Making Magic, Debi Riley & Palette Knife

Magic is Seeing, What You’ve Never Truly Seen Before

On the Art side of things, there is a kind of magic I find easy when I teach or coach a group of new artists. The kind of magic, that illustrates for them a variety of pathways and perspectives on how to see what they’ve never truly seen before.

“Is Graffiti, art?” was one question for the group. At first, many didn’t see the art in any graffiti. But, some graffiti is so breathtaking, it defies any to not call it Art.

graffiti is art, cobalt teal blue design, new perspectives in art, debi Riley art
Graffiti in Cobalt Teal Blue

I also am inspired when finally, I have been able to get an individual to feel, the art. Wow. Yes. Magical indeed the sharing of methods, techniques, thoughts, of ways how they can Feel it, and become aware of things they’d never felt, before. I do find it easy. Fun. Inspiring. Challenging. Magical.

Yes. I guess that is a type of magic that I do.

Making Magic applies to the practical side of creativity, the nuts and bolts ie the tools and materials, as well as the philosophical side.

creating landscape watercolors with a knife, Debi Riley art, abstract watercolor landscapes, hills in watercolours
Palette Knife Miniature, Debi Riley

The Magical Palette Knife PK 1008

There is a Magical tool I love.

It is the PK 1008. A very sensitive, versatile palette knife that responds perfectly. Fluidly. There is no stiff rigidity of stroke inherent to this palette knife whatsoever. It is far too sensitive for that!

Watercolour Landscape with Palette Knife, on Indian Village handmade paper 22x30"
Mountain Landscape – Indian Village watercolour paper with Indigo and Indanthrone paints debiriley.com

The Mountain Landscape is a Palette Knife painting, a bit wild and rebellious…. that I’ve mounted on my last sheet of handmade Indian Village paper.

I pre painted this in Indanthrone with Indigo for a velvety blue black to contrast my image. It worked.

With the PK 1008 the sharp angle and width allow for a myriad of very expressive movements and technical applications.

Double or triple loading the knife with a few watercolors, then boldly …. sliding it across the predampened paper – oh, my. That absolutely creates Magic!

Making Magic with the Palette Knife is most likely my top favourite technique in creating art. Nothing else quite works outs like it does. Full of unexpected delights and color melting together. Beautiful and strange pairings that should not work, but Do.

And even when the image isn’t doing so well in ‘your’ intended direction; turn it around. Maybe that palette knife, does have some mysterious magic in it after all. Many times, not only my work, but students’ as well, when reassessed in the upside down mode – it is stunningly Perfect! Amazing.

Palette Knife Magic Tips:

My Tips for those wanting to use a palette knife with Watercolors, ie not impasto style, are as follows:

Be Bold! Decisive. No fiddling, nagging, etc. Speak UP. Say it like you mean it, then leave it be.

Review your Art Basics quickly. Tonal Values, Edges, Aerial Perspective, Focal Point, Details/contrasts. Then try to stick to most, of those.

Most Importantly, use your artistic drive to make the audience FEEL Something! Don’t be content with recording the facts, the details, the accuracies.

Go MAKE MAGIC!

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10 thoughts on “Making Magic

  1. You indeed created magic with your palette knife! I hadn’t thought to use one with watercolor, I will have to try this! Thanks Debi for the inspiration! 🎨✨

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  2. Hi Debi, Great blog – you inspired me to go try the palette knife method myself – I need some playtime in my studio after being busy finishing a bunch of little watercolors for the summer tourists here at Lake Tahoe, California! I cannot find the particular palette knife you mention PK 1008? Could you either tell me what company makes it, or maybe post a photo of what it looks like? Wishing you a great day and thanks for sharing! Eva

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