Category: art

Art – Acts of Creation

Art – Acts of Creation

To Create

What is it ‘to create?’

Why  might this interpretive definition be important to you?

While I’m specifically  writing this article for the current participants of my courses in Perth, I feel it is  relevant for many others who’d like to be encouraged,  as they create.

watercolor painting techniques
Acts of Creation, palette knife & watercolor

People who create things – ‘Creators’

We do not, need to be  painters,  to be considered creators of art.

If you make things, build things, develop things – you are a creator.

 

We have been led, to believe only a select rare few, are artists. Are deserving to be named art creators.  Not so. We are all, born to create. In some form.

Art, takes an infinity of forms: Music, photography, dance, building & bridge design, digital apps., surgery,  interior design, fashion design, coding, cooking, sculpture, writing, martial arts….  We can make anything an ‘art form’  if that is our desire.

To take something to an ‘art form,’  we must truly love the subject.

Become partners with it. At ease and in tune with how it looks, moves, feels, sounds, responds.  The beginning of artistry is love, time, connectedness.

Whether we’re painters, teachers, computer app designers,  composers, surgeons, city planners – we all can enhance our work when we “feel” the situation, the surroundings, immersing ourselves in the subject. Being connected.

Its this way we can best share the excellence of creation we have  envisioned with the world.

 

palette knife in blue
Knife’s Edge A Dance in Blue

Acts of Creation:  All In

We use, channel, harness all of our senses in order to create the art.  

But, we must do so opened up.  All In.

To be All In,  means you’ve put everything on the line.

Wabi Sabi, tears and tears

You are Vulnerable.

Stripped down to your core. And must engage the process  with sensitivity, with feeling.  Being attuned to,  in time with our chosen partner,  i.e. subject.

What is your subject – Is it the Mountain? The ocean? The forest?  The dancers at the ballet?   The little rose bush, that the frost of autumn has  aged overnight?

 

Those cool professional walls, barriers, and that distance put into place to keep us “safe” and protected from feeling hurt, or embarrassed?

They don’t help us.

What they do is  negate the power of creation we  could have  infused our art with.

 

Why do we copy?

Replicate Joe Smith’s painting?  What ‘risk’ are we taking in doing that?  If it is mocked and we are embarrassed, we can always say, “Oh well, I only copied Joe. Its not mine. Not really.”  And, no. It’s not.

When we open up, we then are so vulnerable. And this is the  scary thing.

It is an uncertain thing.  

We do not like the fact that we don’t know for certain if  our creation,  will work or not.

IF, it will be ok.  Be ‘good enough.’ Or not.

To have family, a friend, a mentor … “approve.”

Get “likes” or not.  Get followers or not.

Life is way too short, for us to make those approvals of monumental significance.

Your own opinion, that’s the one that is of monumental significance.

 

And, yes. It is a struggle.

Every time we pick up the pen, the brush, the mouse, the knife, we hear the voice in our head tell us to  do it better this time.

 (Silence that voice each time.  It knows nothing.  Nothing…. of relevance to the act of creation.)

 

It is the Uncertainty,of not getting it right, that stops us.  It is what blocks us, chains us, ties our hands from trying.  

It is the Uncertainly that stops us from being  ‘ALL In.’   Prevents us from  giving it every thing we have to give.

But if we never try, never summon the courage, (in some cases we must  invent it if that is what is required)  then the world, misses out on what we alone have to give.

 

monotype in blue
Fallen upon my knees, failing

Yes.  We will stumble.

We will fall to our knees.

We will fail.

Its ok.  I repeat, it is ok that we make mistakes, stumble, fail.

*side note,  if you are a bridge engineer, aircraft mechanic, heart surgeon, airport traffic controller…. its ok,  if you have a little higher standards than what I’ve just mentioned.  In fact, thanking you in advance for it.  cheers!

 

For too long we have all been told, trained and conditioned, to believe in the god of perfection.

“Get It Right.”

No errors. No flaws.

No scars.

No visible signs of cracks, age, wear or tear.

In other words, absolutely no signs that we are, after all,  Human.

How sad.

Because, being human is the greatest asset we have. Flaws and all.

 

 

Acrylic Creations

I’m currently mentoring privately a beautiful person, with acrylics. We are working on a helpful approach to lessen the fear of mistakes, flaws.  We’re developing a program with Multiple creative  resolution methods, imaginative  solutions, thinking outside the box.

Addressing –  Society’s obsession with imperfections.

It is a challenge to go against our training.  But, we can do it.  We simply repeat, the acts of creation we desire. Over and over, and over.

In the mentoring sessions,  we are repurposing used acrylic canvases. They already have  colors and textures on them,  in abundance.   But, they were not quite working.

The next step is to brush over, in selected areas large swaths of contrasting paint.

We used White. Brilliant!   This creates a lovely and lively sensation of vibration and contrast. The underlying base comes through in places  with the white, skimming along the surface to create fascinating patterns suggesting of bark, trees, foliage shapes.

This Technique clearly demonstrates that the underlying “Imperfect” canvas, with its scars, its hard edges, its yucky bits…. actually was the perfect substrata for the project.

I like how this art creation process can also be interpreted through the lens of life as well.

An Act of Creation, Victoria Jane 2019
This is one of the pieces, my friend created using the acrylic methods described above.   A Wonderful, act of creation.

Art of Connection

I am in fact, expressing in paint, my world. Not yours. Not Joe’s. Mine. This is a very important distinction artists, creators need to make.

When I create a painting, or photographic art image,  I am primarily attempting to convey the dialogue.  In other words,  the  dialogue that is going on between the subject and myself.

 

That simply can not occur if I refuse to spend alone time with it.

If I treat it callously, abruptly,  with little regard, and simply want to “use it” to make a pretty little picture to boost my ego – then, no, I can’t expect its true beauty to shine through.

Its more effective to become friends with the subject.

To learn about it. To immerse oneself into its world.

 

Then…. Maybe I can create art that has a beautiful life energy within it.

What I hope to create, is to convey the essence of what  I myself connect to and  “feel.”

To define this. I think of it in these terms:  of having the emotion of Love of life,  emanate from my creation.  Just as a warm fire in winter compels and draws people closer.

I know.  That is,  a lofty goal. And one I often stumble, fall and abjectly fail at.  That’s ok.  I’m All In.   I’ll keep trying.  Some, do work quite well.  I’m happy with that.

 

In whatever form,  the art chooses to take for each individual, we want to strive to impart a piece of our selves,  into our  “Acts of Creation.” 

 

 

partner posts

Imagination,  Needs an Invitation  

Creativity,  threads of creativity  

Acrylics  Scorched Wings of Icarus 

Palette Knife  a delight 

Resolving Paintings

Expressionist 

Toko Shinodo,  the power of creating with less  

Unbounded  –  The 7 Days of Zen 

Bones of Time – The 7 Days of Zen 

 

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A Timeless Echo

A Timeless Echo

oil abstract, topographical, gold leaf textured painting, debiriley.com
Hibiki

Favorite Paintings

 

I have discovered a new word, I thought I’d pass it along to you.

Its filled.  

And rich, with layers of meanings.

 I love it! 

It fits perfectly in describing a few select pieces of my art. 

I thought you too, might like to know about this word I’ll share it with you.

 Along with a mini collection of my favourite art works I’ve created. 

 

“Hibiki”    Japanese  meaning ……… Echo,   Resonance.   

 

mountain in blue, watercolor mountain, semi abstract landscape, debiriley.com
Mountain in Blues

 

 

abstract watercolor, creative beginner art, blue paintings, ocean waves, debiriley.com
Sea Inspired

This is a collection of my own paintings created either on location, an echo of a memory,    or from a compilation of my own photos that I have taken myself on site.    

Just to let you know, none of them are particularly recent.

But older. 

For me, I feel they have,  by virtue of their age, stood the test of time.

They still give me Joy. 

 

abstract expressionist acrylic painting, orange red scarlet, bright color art paintings, debiriley.com
Expressionist in Pink and Scarlet

Each one, still resonates deep within.

Reminding me of how I want to paint.

How I wish to create.

Reminding me that  if I did it once,   (that is if I created a painting I genuinely can  feel the magic  echo within me years later,)  then yes, I can repeat that again.  

And again. And again.  

Success can be echoed. 

 

watercolor abstract simplicity, light red, debiriley.com
Simplicity Wc Light Red

Though, indeed, it might take time.

Persistence. And countless more paint tubes. 

But in the end, it is worth it.

 

watercolor gold abstract, cobalt teal blue, pools of turquoise, abstract painting, debiriley.com
Resonance

All that time, energy, effort is worth it –  to have even a small collection that is Timeless.  

That continue,  to echo in my soul.

cobalt teal and rose watercolor abstract, creative texture techniques, watercolor lesson for beginners, debiriley.com
let the dust settle, teal and rose
acrylic landscape, simplicity in paint, debiriley.com
Simplicity

 

peace, joy, love oil painting in blue debiriley.com
Love. peace, joy, love
debiriley.com

 

More

More

Zen Brushstrokes I
Zen Brushstrokes II
Veiled

The Art of More with Less

Three paintings, on the surface they appear simple. Easy.

Maybe without the studied and contrived perfection we’re used to.

They have a type of non conformity that is in direct opposition to what “art is supposed to” look like. Or so, what many of us may have been told.

They are Abstracts.

Blurred, veiled and vague.

With many abstracts, we’re left uncertain as to the precise, exact subject. There is no definitive object… leaving some of us a little bit uncomfortable.

It’s the guessing. The wondering. Being in the dark, that we’re really uncomfortable with.

We like it all spelled out. Clear.

We are perhaps uneasy with the thought of guessing incorrectly.

Nor are we comfortable with the huge margin for error that these nonrepresentational paintings provide.

We are forced to use our intuition. To ‘feel’ the emotions from the painting and from ourselves. Once again, things many aren’t completely at ease with.

A little secret, a painting can be likened to a person. It should emote. You should, be able to sense what the prevailing mood is. It shouldn’t be as if it were a flat empty face/space.

 

Depth and Layers

The first image.

The brush was fully loaded with three colors and brazenly, swiftly, applied. The colors merge together and yet, we see each individual.

Connected, yet their own, individual entity.

I love that philosophy.

The remembered scene, a waterfall on the edges of Mount Rainier National Parks in Washington. The emerald and pine greens with the with frosted froth of the falls…. left an indelible impression.

So even though this painting is an abstract, it’s been distilled from my reality. My depth of experience.

 

Blue Lined Road

This second was such fun! Another acrylic, it had a bright neon orange base. Quite vibrating.

I’d decided to overpaint to neutralise the shocking orange to a low and subtle level. I used a four inch old house paint brush to apply the blue and buff in five brushstrokes.

Ie less is MORE.

I paused, considering colors, tones, and the placement of those five strokes. I wanted to convey depth, texture.

But also the feeling, the sense of “going” somewhere. That there was a path, a direction in which we could follow in our travels in this painting.

I think that was accomplished.

 

Inferred

The third image.

The subtle hints, the mystery of the layerings and veiled coloured edges – is beautiful.

I want to paint More,like this.

 

Looking at this last image Veiled, there really is a lot of movement and texture and topographic work going on.

One might need to look, that is to search into the crevices filled with the gold leaf dust, before the image’s true self starts to reveal itself as : the landscape.

The landscape, Australia.

On the surface, it appears flat.

Empty even. But when you dig deeper, and look closer, you discover it’s immense resources. And beauty.

 

That too is part of the More….. that I’m referring to.

 

 

 

 

Queen’s Gardens: Sculptural Surprise

Queen’s Gardens: Sculptural Surprise

The “Part II” of Saturday’s Work Excursions

Education. When I present skills, concepts and new techniques, I also learn. I learned …. a LOT, from my venture To Queen’s Gardens in Perth.

On the job, on going education. Perfect.

Ok.

Yes. There have been days, of ‘not so’ perfect. And I most definitely will not share those with the public. But overall, it is a great gig.


Sculpture Close up…. Sir George Frampton’s “Peter Pan” @ Queen’s Gardens, Perth

Sculpture: Peter Pan

I left the green shaded groves, of the UWA Sunken Gardens. Leaving the calm, zen there.

I drove off, into the city. Clearly following my well researched and diagrammed directions. I had studied this. I knew the route.

Detours.

In the city. Gosh. Who, would have suspected?

Where was my Plan B?

Needless to say, the first attempt to arrive at Queen’s Garden was met with Strike One.

I ended up, very close to my original starting point. Oops.

Do I give up and go home? Do I allow the city, and detours, to be victorious? I sighed. It WAS HOT. 90+ degrees. How bad, did I really want to go?

But, you know, I am Determined.

Someone just recently, made that comment – that I was very determined. I’m not certain if it that was a polite way of just saying, ‘Stubborn.’ I’m thinking it was though!

My “Stubbornness” won out.

I continued on my target goal to the Queen’s Gardens. Finally, 55 minutes later – I arrived! It should have taken 20, tops.

Victory. Ok I met some more road closures, detours. And had to walk from the river to the Gardens. (Bonus, more exercise for me!) The point is, I achieved my destination point.

I had a nice pleasant stroll around.

Relaxing. Taking photos of turtles, black swans, golden breasted waterfowl, massive ivory waterlilies on the deep blue ponds, wooden bridges, and the famous bench from the movie “Notting Hill.”

Queens Garden Perth, Peter Pan statue by Sir George Frampton

Towards the end of my stroll I came closer to the large statue that had caught my eye earlier. It had looked like a Pied Piper of sorts.

Peter Pan statue, Queen's Gardens Perth

I was so immersed in the faces and features, the transcendent expressions the artist brought to life, I didn’t look first at the title or description.

Instead I engaged with the art. Section by section.

I loved the ‘rabbit’ like ears upon some of the figures.

Queens Garden, Perth Peter Pan statue close up details  Sir George Frampton. JM Barrie Peter Pan
close up section of Peter Pan statue… Queen’s Gardens Perth

Once I was finished with taking the photos, then I read.

I discovered the statue was based on JM Barrie’s story of Peter Pan.

The sculptor was Sir George Frampton. This was one of his 6 replicas he cast from his original mould. This sculpture was erected in Queens Garden in June 1929.

The original is in London, the Kensington Gardens.

Apparently with the original statue, Sir George…. acted without authorisation.

Overnight, without prior permission, he erected his Peter Pan statue unbeknownst to anyone.

He did get chastised…. however in his defense he stated that he’d simply wanted the children to be surprised. To awaken and see the ‘Peter Pan’ in the gardens ‘as if the fairies had done so overnight.’

I can just imagine how this explanation went over!

But, I think, he may have had a smidgen of ‘determination’ within himself. I don’t think he was going to allow anything to dissuade him from his goal. He knew what he wanted to accomplish.

And he did so.

Finally…

Artists need to have this quality of Determination.

This almost wilful, stubbornness.

It is this, that enables them to overcome the 1001 odds that are stacked against them.

The challenges of the city proved to be an excellent educational tool. We can choose to give up too soon, or choose to be Determined.

Is It, Art?

Is It, Art?

What defines … ART?

In the words of Thomas Merton,

 “Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time.”

With this philosophy as our main criteria of how we define and perceive Art, much of what we do in our everyday lives could quite possibly, be seen as a form of artistic expression.

And if we began viewing these common things in such a light, then in so doing, we are are led towards living each day…… artistically.

Artfully.

Gardens of Perth Western Australia. UWA Sunken Gardens is a delightful and romantic tucked away space near the CBD. Magical. Calming and inspiring. debiriley.com

Zen Stroll

Yesterday’s adventures included a work related excursion first, to the UWA campus Sunken Gardens in the morning. Later on in the afternoon, a visit to Queen’s Garden was fun.

While in the Sunken Gardens, the small group and I sat under the shaded canopy of a large flourishing, grove of trees. It was, Lovely.

The concepts presented to the group had three major points.

  1. The subduing of stress and fear of working ‘outdoors.’
  2. Moving towards peace and harmony with the surroundings and self.
  3. The patient, listening and sensing the specific ‘mood’ of the space/place we had chosen as our subjects.

As we progressively lose these fears, finding more peace and harmony – we are in essence doing what Thomas Merton stated… finding ourselves and losing ourselves in the most wonderful ways.

Perth Gardens, UWA Sunken Gardens an oasis of lush foliage and pools, waterlilies and sparking jade emerald greens.

Pause ; …. and Reflect

While in the gardens the thought crossed my mind about having preconceived ideas. Its so easy.

In my mind, I may have muttered, “ALL these greens!”

I realised I was closing my mind off to the possibilities, that ALL those greens could present.

I concluded that I was being … ‘judgemental’ in my own way, of what I will or will not accept. As art.

And that maybe, by being more open….I could find an infinity of possibilities waiting for me that I’d never suspected, within The Greens.

I should at least, try.

I think, in the photo image below of the pond, I managed to capture some of the many possibilities of All Those Greens.

I lose myself, and find myself…Within The Greens.

Pausing to reflect, by the waterlily pond - Perth UWA Sunken Gardens. Beautifully calm, transcendent. These gardens are a hidden treasure!
Within – The Greens

Yes, Its Art

Art has thousands of variations, nuances.

Flavors, if you will.

As individuals we each have our own particular preferences. One person’s preferring vanilla ice cream over strawberry ice cream doesn’t nullify that the vanilla is still … ice cream.

Isn’t it odd how we never think to debate about someone else’s different food preferences?

Art may be rock n roll to some, opera to another. Some may view Andy Warhol as THE Definition of Art; another rave Rembrant.

It is all art, in every one of the myriad forms it takes. Cooking, music, writing, video, screenwriting, hospitality, textiles….

And, we actually require the seemingly, chaotic diversity of each and every one of these forms.

It stretches us. We grow. We learn.

We. better. ourselves.

SOLD Abstract Landscape Watercolor

2019 I’m conducting a year long course with the title “Watercolor, Loose and Easy.” It sounds like A Plain, Ordinary, Watercolor class.

Doesn’t it?

However, I’m enthusiastically passing along information on 3D, sculpture, and any other art form that presents itself, as an opportunity for the group to expand their knowledge base.

UWA Sunken Gardens, Perth W.A.

This month has been busy. Leading excursions to galleries and venues with various art forms: video, sculpture, ceramics.

The last week’s course home project…. was the creation of a 3d sculpture, in yellow.

Yes, I know.

The course title, is Watercolor. Loose and Easy.

Yet, I strongly feel that now is the time for us to try on a new pair of glasses. It’s time.

We need to expand our world.

Our perceptions. Our vision.

forest grove in watercolor, using Daniel Smith zoisite and cobalt teal blue. Zen like, calm and peace filled.  debiriley.com
Forest Grove – zen

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

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