Author: debiriley

Expressionist Creative Perth Artist

Expressionist Creative Perth Artist

The Arts in Perth: nurturing the self to foster creative identity and confidence.

What do I do? I teach art? perhaps. But at the core, the reality is I am sharing something far more important. I’m more of an encouraging ‘creativity mentor.’ A coach. I love to share artistic pathways that help the individual reclaim their innate identity, power and confidence. Balance through the arts.

Once in a while, I come across a client who has an ease within themselves straight off the bat.

This is not the typical beginner response. But their comfort at communicating, at expressing in paint playfully, in pure joyful Freedom – is Different.

It sets them apart.

They already are absorbed in the process. Totally engaged with the physicality of the action. In the act of painting all on its own, with no thought of reward or product or result.

That in all my experience is so, unique.

It is, in my opinion the highest benchmark of An Artist.

Today, for my first true, post back… I’ve featured Paola (a client) and each of the art works seen belong to her.

Paola hasn’t been with me for long period of time, a couple of terms is all. She first came to my course “Draw, Print, Paint.”

This was an intermediate to advanced level course. Not specifically designed for a brand new Beginner!

We drew…..in a loose, bold, super fast and free approach.

Extremely Non traditional.

No – straight lines! No – rigidity.

No – erasers. Are, your eyes open yet?!

No – concern over flaws, imperfections, wrong angles, etc.

Simply, drawing big and bold with a fat black Sharpie marker! The concept was to have Fun and to play.

On cheap papers. This diminishes fears “of wasting money.”

Loose, and easy…. watercolor painting

Paola next booked into Watercolors: Loose and Easy.

abstract expressionist watercolor l Paola

Once again, the course was not specifically designed for complete beginners.

But once again what Paola envisioned and created, was captivating. Her extraordinary absorption in the process is fascinating to see.

Each brush stroke, deliberate and meaningful.

The color was stroked upon the paper, and left. Alone.

Where it melted and merged and vibrated with its fellow notes.

There was no fiddling. No over working. No excess concern over flaws and imperfections in paper, paint, or marks made.

They were made, and then… let go.

She has a wonderful ability to find her own place of safety and security within herself enabling her to simply respond in creative liberation. Without a lot of coaching, coaxing, guidance from myself.

I’d like us all, to be able to feel that free to express our own voice, in our own words, without fear of reprisals. Of being called out for some perceived small imperfection or ‘mistake.’

Flaws.

Well….. we are, Human!

Wabi Sabi

One of my personal, favourite words and philosophies over the past couple years has been, and is – Wabi Sabi.

If, you look it up you’ll discover lovely beautiful things about it.

The concept is that there is beauty to be seen and found, in the Imperfect. In the unfinished. And in the Impermanent.

It can be a game changing discovery for some of us, former “perfectionists.”

I’ve done several series and posts on The 7 Days of Zen, and wabi sabi elements you might have a read on if you’d like.

Creative Freedom, abstract expressionism – Paola

Creativity

Creativity requires a sense of ‘safety.’ Our creative imagination will refuse to come out to play, until it feels secure. Safe. When it knows it has the utter freedom to be authentic, its own self, imperfect and flawed as it is!

We will not, see fresh new inventions, new medical, tech, science breakthroughs – in environments of stress, fear, negativity. The fear of being vulnerable to attack, causes the creative side, our clever side to stay hidden. Buried.

Trying to excavate the hidden creative buried far beneath the layers, deep in the crevices, that almost nothing can pry out – can be exhausting work. It takes immense patience. Time.

And sometimes, someone else’s eyes to see that gem and make mention of it, softly and kindly. Repeatedly.

Authentically.

At work, what I really do, is: I campaign against fear.

It is Fear, that so often leads many to replicate someone else’s words. Or their looks. Or opinion. Or someone else’s painting. There is No need!

abstract still life indigo and orange Paola

My philosophy is:

“YOU, Are absolutely every bit – just as interesting, good, valuable and faceted – as Monet/Madonna/Oprah or whoever it is that is being copied.”

Probably more so. Please let us in, tell us your story.

Thank you Paola,, for so kindly and with courage, allowing me to feature your work on my first post back. I am grateful. Debi

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Creative Art Inspirations

Creative Art Inspirations

Inspirations

Stella Terrill Mann,

“Every time we say, Let there be! in any form,

something happens.”

I’ve been away.

Not literally, but figuratively. Taking a …. Pause. Reflecting.

Many of you, readers, customers, students and friends ask with increasing frequency, “When, are you going to post again?!”

“Soon, When it is Time.” Has been my response.

Artists, creative people in general go through cycles, and bursts of productivity.

Then, seemingly endless – long empty dry, droughts.

Where nothing is happening. So it seems on the surface.

But look deeper. And you discover all the myriad ingredients simmering and merging together quietly.

They just aren’t ready yet.

We have to learn patience.

It will happen. We will not be stuck in the drought or winter, forever!

Winter isn’t really a time of sleeping. Its a very busy time. Underneath the layers of earth, major preparations are being done.

Side note…..

I have been away for quite some time, so I decided to freshen the blog up a little.

I’m testing out a new WP format, and I will just have to press publish to see how it all goes. I like experiments!

I hope you like the change.

Thanks for your patience and continuing to ‘check in’ while I have been on pause and reflecting.

Cheers, Debi

Sketching, Life and Nature

Sketching, Life and Nature

What is she  gazing down upon?

What is she,  thinking and what is she feeling?

By inferring, or hinting at things  just outside their view,   my objective is to engage the viewer more.

 

sketches pastel, natural poses, soft portrait drawing, limit palette for impact, debiriley.com
Sketches natural life poses … 5 minute fast and loose

 

 

Sketches Fast and Loose

Photographs often, though not always,  spell out a subject with exact precision.  Recording textures, veins, size, color, width, weight. Documenting location, species and the individual. And some types… of art styles do as well.

Which is great, when that is what is called for.  When that is the feeling you are wanting to convey.

A cataloguing of the details.

 

However,  its different with fast,  five or ten minute sketches.

Sketches done on the fly, capture the mood and essence of the thing.

Conveying the ‘feeling.’

Impressionistic.  Interpretive.

 

Embracing  Simplicity.

Rather than struggling to achieve 5 star wonders with  ‘complexities.’

 

 

 

Natural Poses

I feel,  Subjects are more authentic, truer to their essence,  when at rest.  At ease.

When allowed to be in a natural setting.

In nature.  Out in the forest,  sitting amongst the rocks and logs.  Being at home upon the banks of the river.

These poses,  can give the viewer  more.   Whether its in the form of photography, sketches, drawings, paintings, or other art forms.

 

This sketch, reflects this.

The limited palette of earthy browns and forest green, simple yet sufficient.  Hinting at woodland themes.   My subject sat leaned up against the tree logs and branches, head tucked.

Maybe she was the young mother, or older sister, or aunt. Who knows?   But she kept an eye on the child in pink.    An active one at that.

The hike there,  to the bridge was fun.  OK  a challenge!  But obviously, the child in pink still had plenty of go.  Her watcher…. not so much.  I smiled.

 

pastel portrait sketch, 5 minute portrait pastel, debiriley.com
Matted Pastel    –         “downward  gaze”

 

Using this format, and this pose as well  “downward gaze”   shifts the viewers minds.   To make them, ponder a bit.

 

Make the Viewer … Wonder

Take the viewer out of the little box where it is all explained already and nothing has been left unsaid.  Take them out the world they are currently in,  and help them to imagine the world this subject resides in.

Allude to mysteries and things around the corner.

Hint of magic yet to come.

 

Contemplations  of the River

 

 

If a book has been so well explained and summarized, there is nothing new or exciting left to be revealed by looking further in the book,  we will not.

So too with our art.

With our paintings, sketches, drawings, photographs.  We will look for the exact time that it takes to define the plot.

And then, we move on. Period.

 

I think,  as an artist,  I prefer to try to keep the viewer wondering. Just a bit.

Wandering through the scene, through the book… looking for, more.

 

 

 

 

Riverside… child at play

 

aspirations

I do not, want my art to be ‘all spelled out’ and perfectly revealed in every fine detail.

No.  I’d like there to be a lovely fusion of lots of soft edges tempered with just the right balance of  crisp edges to draw the eye.   With warm colors telling you what is front, and cool paler colors speaking of far distant things.  Lines that are curved to soften  the mood,  with diagonal directionals for subtle hints of movements.

I’d like my sketches to be authentic.  My art to be original, and real. And me.

 

I aspire to keep my viewers, wandering through my artwork.

Imagining.

Realising,  of course,  not all are going to be lovely frame worthy pieces. Thats ok.

 

I’d much rather you, let your imagination free and loose;  than for me to have a frame worthy work every time.

 

 

 

 

Summer Retreat

Summer Retreat

Good Morning!

With so much news to share, its been really challenging for me to choose which topic to begin with since my return from summer break.

 

Summer

Summer?  Yes, well,  it is a wild and wet, brisk, winter here in Perth.

Refreshing, shall we say.

But it is summer, in Seattle.

summer, pacific northwest, forest, sunlight
Summer, conveyed through art

 

The summer retreat at my sister’s was an opportunity,  I couldn’t waste.

We don’t see each other often. Living across the pond, as we do.

I wanted to spend her birthday with her.

 

It was a shorter holiday than planned.

But we can infuse lifetimes, into an hour, if needs be, can’t we?

 

We both made  the time count. 

Moment by moment.  Mindfully.

35 days.  To fill a well.

And so we did.

 

    LIFE  Is Art.   and,  Art… is Life. 

As an artist, and an instructor, this is  a message that is important for me to share.

The two, are one.  All of us, seem to be forgetting this.  (more on this, in upcoming posts!)

 

Most of the time, we had a fabulous summer retreat vibe going on, keeping it low key, staying in her lush green gardens.

The lawns and gardens were filled with ponds, flowers and trees.

 

Oh!  and the most delicious raspberries, that I pilfered early each morning. Yum.

Flowers… blooming right beneath my window. Incredible!

summer hydrangea, purple flower macro, flower photography, summer Seattle, debiriley.com
Below my Window …. copyright debiriley

 

 

 

Mornings –   Dawn Breaks

My mornings were…  oh wait,   I’ll take you there!

 

 

 

macro floral dew drop, purple flower bokeh,zen photography, debiriley.com
first light, early morning dew

Before the sun arose, I watched  the night fall away sliver by sliver, through my bedroom window.

Until the light came streaming across the dew kissed lawn for a magical few seconds, and leaving me little time to snap a photo.

I think I was more focused on the experience, than the ‘capture’ on those mornings.

yes… more on the Process;  less on the Product.

 

I was mesmerised with the peek through view of looming ranges of the Cascade Mountains, that I could get by standing on my tip toes and looking east.

For me, it seemed to add a touch of morning zen.

Thoughts of,  “oh yeah….  I remember now,  the way it was in those early summer days in the Pacific Northwest!”

 

 

 

Sunshine and Roses

Sometimes in blogs,  we get carried away.

Making it seem as if we’re living the life of Riley.

No pun intended.

 

But,  I’m going to admit…. that,  “No. Not All,  was not sunshine and roses on my summer retreat!”

It never is.

 

Dilemmas, injuries, interrogations, all the usual suspects and then some, came out to try to cause mayhem.

 

But the overriding fact is   “Love does, leave a memory  No one can steal.”

 

love quote, memory of love, debiriley.com
Love  sign from my sister’s  garden

 

A Rose for Love

Below a rose.

Lisa’s Rose  just outside my bedroom window

 

rose soft focus, orange purple color floral, photo rose bokeh, debiriley.com
Rose given in love

 

Hints of subtle context, perhaps so.

Only the tips of the closest leaves are clearly seen, visible and identifiable.

The rest of the rose is so softly diffused and dissolving.

 

What mysteries the artist, could…. infer if we were,

to pause and reflect a moment?

Perhaps about the person who gave, or the person viewing, or even as a metaphor for some other and deeper things?

Who knows?

 

 

 

Summary on Summer Retreat

As artists,  we dig and delve.

We think.

We retreat.

We fill our wells so that we may create with restored vitality, fresh imagination, wild creativity once  again.

 

 

There is of course more to come about this summer trek, including cobalt teal rivers, rainbow waterfalls, and demon hordes of thirsty mozzies set to drain us within 5 minutes of reaching our destination.  Should be entertaining.  Cheers.

 

 

Revealing Brushstrokes, Blue and Orange

Revealing Brushstrokes, Blue and Orange

Bold blue, outspoken orange.  What drama and action is going on here.

Every brushstroke reveals to us …. more.

More depth, more energy, more movement.

 

 

Brushstrokes

 

They are a Language.

Words unspoken.

 

 

They’re a unique tool,  we artists can use to communicative… something.

Anything!

 

 

 

revealing brushstrokes, dynamic abstract paintings in blue and orange, how one stroke can tell us so much, debiriley.com
revealing brushstrokes, acrylics

 

Blue and Orange

 

Each stroke laden with paint,  is telling.

 

Nature inspired,  this  painting is made more effective with its use of the minimalist color palette.

Blue and Orange.

This Complementary Pairing is my favorite of the three pairs:  Red/Green   Yellow/Purple  Blue/Orange

 

 

 

 

Inspired by the Western Australian landscape,  I wanted to impart the subject essence the colors on the brush would provide.

Not the rocks, nor the trees.

Or even the stark cobalt blue sky we see so often.

 

It was intended to be,  abstract.

 

 

 

Distilling a Vision

One could imagine,  the true masters,   the likes of Fred Williams, John Olsen or Robert Juniper, perhaps Pro Hart.

Taking in the land, and then distilling it.

 

 

 

Laying it out before us, on their canvases,  in wide swathes of brushstrokes, dollops and smearings of paint.

 

Utterly and completely their’s alone.

Their interpretation of what they heard and saw and felt.

 

Out there, amongst the silence  – that is not silent-  of the bushland wilds.

 

 

 

 

Blue and Orange Complements

Blue and Orange Complements

In landscapes, paints, flowers….

my eye is always drawn to the blue/orange complement combination.

The land around Perth, up north near Kalbarri has beautiful and rich terracotta tones.

Perfect, inspirations.

 

rocks of Kalbarri, photographs of Western Australia, debiriley.com
sizzling orange red rocks

 

Land and Sea Complements

 

The boulders and escarpments…..

Fiery orange.

That ignites the earth when the last light of the sun touches the boulders.

 

In the above boulder image,   looking past  all that dominating rich earthy orange color… we can see the nuances of its complement, blue.

Whispering in ribbons throughout the rock.

What an inspiration!

 

 

The sea ranges from cobalt teal blue, to phalo blue and indigo.

Depending upon the mood of the sea that day.

 

complementary pairs in the landscape, Kalbarri WA, debiriley.com
orange and blue, land and sea

 

 

 

The next post,

I’ll show a little more with these two color complements.

 

 

 

 

Sunshine and Roses

Sunshine and Roses

Bright and Summery.

Who can resist roses with their beguiling perfume and lovely colored petals?

 

sunlit pale pink rose photograph, canon camera, debiriley.com
sunlit pale rose

 

They have a way about them, don’t they?

With them…. its all sunshine and roses.

 

garden roses in pink lavenders, purple rose photographs, debiriley.com
Riley’s Roses

 

 

 

 

deep red rose photograph, canon macro 100mm lens, debiriley.com
irresistible

 

 

 

Even though I now have a most delightful rose garden, I still get ‘inspiration’ elsewhere.

I do the zen strolls around the bushlands and the neighborhood,  finding new treasures to admire.

 

On the odd occasion.

I still, peer over into the neighbor’s garden.