Author: debiriley

Pretty Little Inspirations, The Rose

Pretty Little Inspirations, The Rose

garden rose, deep pink rose photo, debiriley.com
garden rose

Inspirations

 

Flowers,  roses can be such a magical source of daily inspiration. To enjoy their beauty, their aroma, and their form.

They also,  serve as fabulous and colorful sources to paint very personal and expressionist paintings from.

When you have a bouquet in the studio, its as if they are singing and you …. are listening.

 

Roses,  can teach beginning artists to ‘listen’ to their subject more intently.

Like having the radio on,  but the volume is turned on  low.

So that you really must, tune in,  to hear it play.

 

 

rose petals in warm yellow spirals, rose photo, debiriley.com
rose petal spirals

Each flower is unique.

Every rose has its own shape, form, scent, and song.

It makes its own music.

 

And we need to interpret, each flower,  as separate entities.  Deserving of being heard.

 

 

 

scarlet rose inside, photo of rose, debiriley.com
inside a rose

 

 

abstract inspirations, floral wall art contemporary palette knife, debiriley.com
inspired…by the rose

 

 

I’ve painted lots of roses, and lots of flower paintings.

Many were very tight. Very botanical. Very ‘realistic.’   But no.

 

This, remains my favorite rose painting.

 

It carries within it, the feeling of the roses in that bouquet…. the day I’d brought them in to the studio.

A huge mass of tangled yellow golds, warm sunflower oranges,  scarlet red petals – all bursting at the seams.

 

It was lovely.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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From The Sea to Watercolors and, Beyond

From The Sea to Watercolors and, Beyond

The Sea and its aqua tinted beaches, is a place of inspiration for most of us.  And whether we are physically there or not, we can enjoy the sense of  ‘being’ there.

We can go  beyond the limitations of having to actually be somewhere to reap the benefits.

 

watercolors and the sea, abstract sea paintings, blue watercolors, ocean theme art, debiriley.com
from The Sea, watercolors and Beyond

The Sea

From the beaches south, down near Albany,  Western Australia.

 

The sea colors are magical.

The red orange terracotta boulders give it warmth and life.

The buff titanium sands shimmer in the sunlight.

 

I adore this place, this photo.

I ‘feel’ it, every time.  I’m re-Inspired by its memory every time I look at it.

 

What’s not to love?… and how could it not be etched into my memory?

 

 

I was there for awhile.  Taking it all in.  Taking hundreds of snippets and snapshots.

Becoming immersed.

So even if,  I lost the photos,  even if I no longer had tangible references to look at my mind … remembers.

All the feelings.

The colors.  The wind.  The textures. The sand shimmering and the sun sparking on the water.

 

 

 

Watercolors of the Sea

It is all those things,  that is what I most need in order to convey the feeling of the Sea to Watercolors.

 

Thats all I need,  to communicate the message I felt while walking along the shores and climbing the dunes and rocks.

 

Its about….  feeling.

Not documenting or recording detail.

 

Its about the Heart of the place for me.

Not dotting the i  nor crossing the t.

 

 

 

Beyond

We can travel in our minds, or perhaps through past memories of the location.

We can travel using our wonderful imaginations and yes,  we’re still getting the benefits of the journey.

Of being inspired.

 

Its true too, I believe that as we watch the news, television, or read travel magazines, look at Pinterest travel shots, and of course  Google ….  we can become enthused.

Eager and keen to create,  to communicate that feeling of joy or relaxation we may have felt as we looked at a place.

 

I’ve mentioned before, I’m a firm believer in painting plein air.

Nothing can convey the spirit, the essence of that place and your joy,  like this approach.

 

However, not all of us, are able to hike up into the high Rockies. I certainly am not able.

Nor drive to the eastern seaboard to paint along the stunning autumn colored shores of Maine.

Let alone fly to Australia to paint the colors of the The Indian Ocean, or the Great Barrier Reef.

 

We do have finite resources and limitations at times.

I think if,  I fell in love with a location I could never go to but was compelled to paint  –   I’d research it.

I’d study up and learn all I could about the location and its history,  culture,  people.

In this way, there would be some,  sense of connection  that transferred over into the painting as I worked.

 

 

 

Watercolor art

Wild and so unruly.

 

The Sea Foam photograph below the watercolor,   proves to be a great inspirational resource.

Something to refer to.

To look at the warm rocks, and the white foam as it swirls in intriguing patterns.

To note the deep dark patch of blue, then see how it fades into paler softer blues.

 

To figure out ways, we might choose to do some of those things in watercolor…. in a creatively similar fashion.

 

 

Finally

As artists what we do is important.

We travel and journey.

We see.

We feel.

We communicate to others the wonderment  of what we felt as we paused and  ‘saw.’

 

It is a fascinating way to create.

Its personal.

The artist reveals his soul in his art, in this fashion.

 

To interpret the scene in its complexities of feeling, emotive qualities.

This is something we all too often, forget to do in our bid to ensure the details are   just right.   

 

Remember…. if we get the feeling right,   hardly anyone is going to care about some minor details!

 

 

watercolor sea inspired abstracts, using nature to paint from creatively, paint with passion and color, debiriley.com
watercolor students – sea inspired

 

sea foam turquoise photograph, water photo, debiriley.com
from the sea, inspirations  to  get ideas from….    and go Beyond!

 

 

Take your images, your inspirations and memories from the sea … and then,   go  Beyond!  

 

 

 

 

Fred Williams   master 

John Olsen a timeless land

Imagination 

Sea and Ocean 

 

 

 

 

 

 

…a few of my favorite things (palette knife & cobalt teal)

…a few of my favorite things (palette knife & cobalt teal)

I don’t think it comes as a big surprise.

Most of you,  probably felt certain you’d see cobalt teal blue pop up here!

As well as,  my handy PK1008 palette knife.

 

 

painting cobalt teal blue waters, impressionist palette knife technique, creative colorful seascapes, debiriley.com
palette knife and cobalt teal

 

Favorite Things in Art

 

For me,  both the palette knife and Cobalt Teal Blue …. are pure delight.

 

Providing such fun,  such joy in their use, that even if the painting doesn’t make the grade;  it doesn’t matter really, that much to me.

The simple pleasure of creating and using either one of them, often feels worth  more than what finishing off 20 paintings would.

 

We pay,

for enjoyment like that…..

We go to concerts, to the movies, go skiing.

 

Painting.

Its on the least expensive side of Entertainment.

I think its  a relatively cost effective form of amusement that provides hours, of fun.

 

 

Cobalt Teal Blue –  CTB

The first image is a ‘bonus’  having used both the palette knife and CTB.

 

The process was fun, loose, easy.

 

Palette Knife

Dampening my paper prepared it perfectly for the knife loaded with color.

The paper,  was small.

 

Minimalist.

Just  a  4 x 4 inch size.

 

And discretion is used.

Applying merely 3 paints with the knife.

 

With forethought;  and then complete commitment to the execution.

 

 

Minimalism

Admittedly,  often these days, I find my images are on the smaller side.

There are reasons for this.

They are easy for me to manage.

To pack  around. Easy to frame up.  Easy to mail off.

 

 

But I do seriously love to create on the large scale paintings….  6 foot and larger.

I itch to get the mural size canvases out.

And just let fly!

 

 

Maybe in Term 4,  if our Atwell Gallery group wants to have a bash, we will bring in 6 foot loose canvas to paint on.

That. Should be Fun!

 

cobalt teal abstract, debiriley.com
teal dreaming

Digital with Cobalt Teal Blue

This second image is a cropped version of a watercolor pastel abstract.

I have gone on to do some creative digital work on.

I  copied and mirrored this image.

I placed it into a large  window like matt to enhance a feeling of looking out a window, perhaps in a winter’s dream.

 

 

 

watercolor abstract, expressing feeling in art, debiriley.com
Solace… forms connecting

Solace in Watercolors

The third image, also has Cobalt Teal Blue splashed about!

With a wide ribbon of CTB  cruising through the back.

 

What I love about this watercolor painting, is the connection of shapes.

 

The sense of belonging they seem to create together,  a beautiful feeling of  Solace.

 

The bright white of the paper keeps the overall ‘tone’ from being dismal and dark.

And, thus it creates a warmer, more congenial sensibility to it that I quite enjoy.

 

 

 

 

I hope you enjoyed viewing some of my favorite things,  in art!

 

 

 

Cereal Boxes and Printmaking Landscape Collagraphs

Cereal Boxes and Printmaking Landscape Collagraphs

I created a random design,  using a discarded cereal box to cut shapes from.

Then … I thought I’d try to be clever.  Tricky.  Try something new.

Instead of doing the normal thing, I chose to try a new path.  I used small foam sticky pads to adhere those shapes to my base plate.

You never know. Until you try.

 

 

Collagraph Print

It didn’t work properly.

It would’ve been better had I used my regular glue  ie (acrylic matte medium) to glue the cut cardboard shapes onto the base plate.

 

The Problem:

The sticky foam pads,  allowed the cut out shapes to fall and sink unevenly.  Which meant that the ink being rolled on the plate from the brayer, wouldn’t be level and smooth. The ink would be a hit and miss affair…….oh dear.

 

Oh well.

Too late. I needed to try, to make it work.

I was in class, it was a demo for Atwell Gallery class.

 

What. do you do?

You get on with it.

 

printmaking collagraphs, beginner printing paper and glue, oil based printing inks, debiriley.com
collagraph from cereal box cut outs

 

Printing Processes

I gave up trying to continue on with the normal hand printing process with barren and wooden spoon to get the ink onto the paper.

The shapes were too uneven and the ink wasn’t ‘catching.’   Wasn’t getting onto the paper.

 

I used Masa paper a very versatile paper great for lots of media.  And my hand,  mainly my thumb to press the ink onto the paper from the shapes.

 

 

This last print,  I think is rather nice. Not as solid dark as the others, it has more feeling in it.

There is some lovely texture, tonal variations.

It seems to have a mood to it.

 

The other collograph I constructed not using the foam tabs, was a much better plate.

It provided a far superior printing experience that I let a student borrow for class.

 

Still,  I do enjoy this one featured.

It was a challenge.

Its kind of cool.

 

 

Materials

I used a wonderful ink, not available now.

A professional grade, gorgeous velvety black Daniel Smith oil based printing ink.

I had some saved from about 15 years ago.

It Still,  is still great to use.

It rolls out perfectly. Even after all these years.

 

In class I demonstrated soaking a variety of good printmaking papers, including Rives.

This process worked out nicely. whew.

 

I love doing this,  with the oil ink and using better quality print papers which provides such a beautiful professional finish for even beginners.

Spendy… but hey, once in awhile  its a fabulous pleasure.  And, bear in mind, it can last decades.

 

 

 

Learning Points

experiments,  may not  go the way you expect

stay cool

back up plans,  creative thinking go a long way to making even those work out ok

buying good quality materials, though more money,  usually proves to be more cost effective in the long run

 

 

Summer

Summer

The word, “Summer” conjures up a myriad of thoughts, ideas, feelings.

Fun.

 

Summer Days, memories and feelings of summers past, debiriley.com
Summer Days

“Summer”

It might evoke thoughts of ……

 

By gone days.

Picnics in the past, spent under a shady tree while the warm breeze rustles the sun dappled leaves. Or in the cool peaceful breeze of the patio.

 

For the under 20’s  perhaps Summer brings the more ‘urgent and now’  feelings of where to go,  Right Now!

Perhaps water skiing around a 15 mile island in the bracing waters off the Canadian shores,

or for some the challenge of hiking in the Cascades or Rockies is a great Summer pastime.

 

But if you’re in the midst of winter, as we are in the Southern Hemisphere, then Summer  might just be a tantalizing lure.

 

As artists,   to paint Summer scenes with authenticity, we need to fully immerse ourselves in that place.  To be in that moment.  So that the viewer, might also feel the Summer warmth shine upon them as well.

 

watercolour flowers debiriley.com
Summer Patio Flowers with Soft Edges receding….

 

Patio in Summer Watercolor

This Impressionist watercolor painting, (not new)   was painted for a class demo.

I’d painted it to show how to simplify and create soft dreamy edges.

 

It was painted one sunny day in Summer on my patio.

I was there, completely immersed in the shimmer of light, the sun’s warmth, and the wonderful peace.

 

Watercolor does have a magical  quality I think for conveying light and sun, color and Summer.

When I paint plein air, it is  my preferred medium. It responds truthfully, beautifully when I ask it to  convey something needed for the image.

 

 

Commit to the Creation

When we create, write, sing, paint, whatever…. commit,  with your truth.

Be authentic, be real.

Be bold.  Make each and every brush stroke mean something.

The viewers, the audience, will appreciate your authenticity.

 

“Sing it,  Your Way!”

 

 

 

 

 

 

Impressionist’s Approach …painting water

Impressionist’s Approach …painting water

Rules. Basics. Secrets. More rules…..

For the beginner watercolorist, it can be, all very overwhelming to try to remember it all!

You don’t have to.

 

 

Painting Water

My thoughts on painting water.

 

Keep it super simple.

For Beginners:  Short easy sessions,  that you focus on just one technique at a time are the key.

 

Just one process you want to get down.

Not the  whole shebang at once. 

You can have a lot of fun, keeping it simple,  learning to paint water. 

 

 

 

Impressionist Approach

Keep it nice and loose.

Carefree.  Fun.

In an   Impressionist’s approach. 

 

 

 

impressionist approach painting water, watercolor land and water easy techniques, debiriley.com
Impressionist Moods of Water

 

Its really about Your impression of the subject you paint.

Its more about how you are feeling about the subject that makes the difference.

Its how you personally are interpreting it, what dialogue you have between the two of you… that counts most.

Just let us know,  show us.

 

 

paint emotion, impressionist watercolor, mist on water, Northwest inlet watercolor landscape, debiriley.com
paint emotion

 

 

Sometimes the water appears bright and tropical,  fun and summery. Light and easy.

So.  Paint it that way.

Utilise white sparkles of the paper shining through,  to accent and highlight this point.

Don’t allow it or yourself, to get all bogged down and tight; the work filled with hard edges won’t capture the fun loose and carefree vibe.

 

 

 

Sometimes the water appears dark.  Choppy.  Moody and Sullen.

Well,  paint that feeling!  cool, stormy colors with short choppy strokes will evoke this sensation.

 

beginners impressionist watercolors, painting water in watercolours for novice painters, debiriley.com
practice…water techniques

 

 

 

Leaving white of the paper is a big help.

Painting a few squiggled lines for ‘ripples’ is another fast and simple method that works quite well many times.

Graded washes,  light -mid – dark tones in your water,  is another key factor to remember.

 

The other thing to remember about water, is that the farther away it is –   white waves will be ‘greyed off’ not stark white,   and the less detail, the less color intensity,  the less contrast,  the less strong dark deep tones it will have.

That right there,  is worth jotting down!

 

 

beginners watercolors painting water techniques and ideas, debiriley.com
water techniques

 

Beginners Watercolors

Beginners at watercolor,  may find it useful and easier,  to begin with simpler designs.

Simple basic easy shapes.

Starting right at the beginning.

 

Nothing too complicated or complex, no matter how much our minds are leaping to do so.

I know.

We are yearning to…. paint that busy harbour scene filled with action.

Boats, sailors, shipping lines, cargo carriers, seagulls in flight, reflections shimmering, sailboats flying in the wind.

 

 

But,  I have discovered, small steps.

One thing at a time, works.

Sinks in.

 

So that week by week,  month by month we do see incremental improvements.

Then, we can paint the more involved scene.

Such as the shadowed fir trees reflected in the misty early morning waters of the Pacific Northwest.

 

 

 

 

follow on posts….

Watercolor water 

Watercolor loose and free and easy 

Watercolor Impressionist  –   John Peter Russell    

 

 

 

 

Watercolor Techniques: painting water

Watercolor Techniques: painting water

Short and quick today.

Observing how water can be painted using watercolors.

 

 

Painting Water

In the samples shown,  I’ve created the impression, the illusion of water on paper.

Cobalt teal blue in watercolor helps, of course.

But, so does understanding the tones, the feeling, mood, and which of the common techniques to use.

 

 

watercolor techniques for water, beginners watercolour secrets for water, debiriley.com
Techniques for painting water: watercolors

 

 

We learn as we go.

Practice… repetition until a technique process becomes second nature, was the secret key to my own improvement.

 

 

Using dry brush, washes, charging, splatter, leaving White of the paper… they all combine to help with the illusion.

In the first demo,  you see a background a mid ground and foreground, along with a focal point.  These help guide the viewer and make the image understandable.

 

Whereas in the second demo, a mere wash of a couple colors,  we must engage more.  There is still enough information, but its less tight and structured.

More free flowing and carefree.  Perhaps, in holiday mode!   But you will observe more warmth in front, the White cresting wave in nearby, and there isn’t much action in the back.

Our minds, have decided yes, it is water we are looking at. And,  Most likely, the beach.

We’re good to go.

 

 

follow up posts

watercolor beginner basics 

11 fun water techniques 

watercolor easy techniques 

depth   via splatter

depth 

tonal value   Into the Light