Category: art

Cold Wax …. travel to a new place

Cold Wax …. travel to a new place

 

Inspiration 1:  The Book

cold wax painting, great art books, wabi sabi art books, art and travel, debiriley.com
Cold Wax Painting  – The Book

Anything with “Wabi Sabi” has my immediate attention, as many of you have guessed by now.  Wabi-wabi Painting with Cold Wax by Serena Barton  is on my list of Great Art Books to read. Beautifully laid out, logically presented and is easy to follow along and ‘ad lib.

 

 

cold wax oils
Cold Wax, Oils on Wood

Cold wax is a wax medium primarily used with oil paints to extend, increase thickness, to create added depth, transparency to the painting.  With hot wax, ie encaustics, you need to heat the wax. Which is sometimes a logistical issue.

 

I have, used cold wax over both acrylics and watercolours.

It worked fine for me.

Resolving and fixing your paintings, debiriley.com
Cobalt Teal Blue …cold wax glaze

 

Cold wax is easier, than how wax encaustics.

Its ready all the time. It doesn’t give precisely the same results as hot wax encaustics, it is different. In a good way.

I have experimented with both, and love both.

Wax, either cold wax or encaustic,  have a certain quality to them, an otherworldliness. This makes them perfect for paintings denoting depth, space, antiquity,  and distant lands. 

Its this unique quality the wax provides, that I love.

The aspect of travel of Other Lands,  suits cold wax application beautifully.

 

Golden wax encaustic debiriley.com
Shimmering… hot wax encaustic

 

Travel Inspiration… through Art

printmaking paper, Sennelier oil pastel, print plates, wax sticks, naples yellow, debiriley.com
Inspiring  world, through Art –   Encaustic Sticks, Chinese paper, pastels

Art is a form of travel.

 

Why do I say that?

Art is able to transport you in time and place.

I suppose, its almost like a magic carpet. In a way.

Art is able to transcend the barriers of the present moment – to project us forward, backward, or perhaps into alternate and magical,  realms.

 

If, the art is convincing enough.

If we are fortunate to have a Muse, to help us!

 

 

The Art Muse

Art in all its forms,  needs some type of a muse.

Something to breathe  the breath of life into the art. 

Something to spark the ember into a fire.

We need a Muse, that  Adds To   the world of art we wish to create.

The Muse shares with us, shows us:  different approaches, fresh ideas. With the help of our Muse,  we  use all our senses as we go about our everyday living.

Daily life, has been enriched.

That, is what the Muse does for the artist.

 

 

Expressive Art Creations  can’t  flourish,  in  conditions of rigid conformity.

The Muse,  works best in a free unbound environment.   In utter authenticity.

The Muse relies upon individualist creativity. That which can not be replicated,  mass produced.

The Muse is no Lemming.  What is being created are  things of unique and rare merit.

Imagination comes without an On – Off switch.  Sometimes its ON. Sometimes, its Off.

 

 

Travel to new lands –  Breaking Out

Creativity isn’t   free to express its  voice,  if its   shackled to the same four walls.

Art needs to be let out of the room, to go explore.

Some  Where.

Once in awhile.

 

These 3 Mountain paintings, are from 3 completely different geographical areas.

The exploring, the wandering, the travel …. it continues to  Add To  my daily life.

winter mountain acrylics debiriley.com
Winter Dawn Mountain Acrylics

 

color on the mountain, landscape painting, emerald, jade, debiriley.com
Color On The Mountain with cold wax added

 

We travel to new places,  To See.

Discovering different pathways.

To hear the songs from all across the earth.

Ultramarine Mountain landscape debiriley.com
Ultramarine Mountain

Travel allows us to discover.

Whether we are  walking a new street, seeing a new country, a new city.

Using a new color, a new medium, a different paper.  Or a different brush.

Without a bit of travel,  we become insular.

We become wrapped within our own habits, routines, becoming slaves to our own Selves.

Not noticing the treasures surrounding us.

 

So.  By the occasion foray to a new land, a new media,  a different place,   we become more aware of our local  daily environment as well.  Interesting.

 

I’d always longed to travel the entire globe.

Spinning the school’s world globe, studying maps of other lands.

Dreaming of being a pioneer, of discovering  unknown places.

 

While there may not be, many of those wild places left to discover and my days of scaling the rugged mountain peaks may have  finished…..  I still can hike (stroll)  and explore and conquer new lands.

I can still travel.

 In many different ways.

 

So can you.

We may not all be able to jet off to New York City, Seattle, London, Tokyo,  Madrid, Singapore. 

But we can use Art,  as our vehicle, to  transport us wherever we wish to go.

Any new place we go, adds to us.  We become more, Inside.

 

Cold Wax is another way to travel to new places –  in your art.

It has an adventurous, unknown, feeling to it.    It feels wonderful buffed and polished when dry. The layerings will create a sense of smoothed-over scarring;  with a dimension and depth that is irresistible.

 

cold wax medium, watercolor abstracts, cobalt teal blue, ocean theme, debiriley.com
Resolving old works… with Cold Wax Medium

Cold Wax Mediums

I have used all three of the brands.  Each are quite good.  I do like Dorlands.

Dorlands

Gamblins

Art Spectrum

 

 

 

 

 

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Playing In Perth: Palette Knife Painting

Playing In Perth: Palette Knife Painting

Palette Knife Painting and Workshops

What a wonderful creative combination: the natural environment rocky escarpments and brilliant skies! Add the magical Palette Knife PK1008 and its a perfect recipe for fun.

palette knife painting workshops, Debi Riley art, nature as inspiration, Perth art classes, debiriley.com
Perfect Palette Knife Playing in Perth, workshop August 31, 2019

 

 

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!

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 

 

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.