Category: abstract

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

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.

 

 

 

 

Cobalt Teal Blue: Stages of Art

Cobalt Teal Blue: Stages of Art

 

“We arrive totally new

at the various stages of life and

there we often lack experience

despite the number of our years.”

Francoise de La Rochefoucauld VI  1613  French writer

 

cobalt teal blue abstract, la rochefoucauld quote, debiriley.com
Stage One  Cobalt Teal Blue Abstract

 

In Stages

I think his quote sums up our experience with painting, art, as well.

 

Every time we think we attain a new level, get to the next stage, we discover ourselves beginners all over again.

 

Beginners don’t realise that this is ‘just what happens.’

Often as Beginners, we believe the journey will be smooth sailing, once we learn the basics.

That the there won’t be much more mystery, or challenges, or setbacks after that.

 

 

Those who have been at it longer, know differently.  Know the drill.

Because, as long as our innate artistic curiosity remains,  there will be challenges.

 

We have been down the path enough times before not to be overly discouraged.

 

We know…. to wait it out.

To work it out.

abstract blues, cobalt teal blue painting, debiriley.com
Stage Two

 

 

La Rochefoucauld

I chose La Rochefoucauld to quote from today, for two reasons.

The quote content suited the post and image, firstly.

 

Secondly, he isn’t one of the most well known writers people have read about.

But, he has so many quotes, maxims that are valuable gems.

Just as applicable in 2018 as they were in the 1600’s.

 

And Art, is about discoveries.

About curiosity that is never ending.

 

 

reference for painting abstract of water, debiriley.com
original reference photo

 

The springboard, the origins of the painting came from the photo of water in green blue.

Not really a magnificent specimen on its own.

However, it does not need to be.

 

The reference sources only need to Inspire.

To ignite within the artist a desire to create something more, something going Beyond that initial photo.

 

 

Abstract Art

As an abstract, it need not Be anything.

It doesn’t have to represent a boat, house, flower, lake, ocean, etc.

Its non-representational.

 

abstract expressionism, acrylic painting on canvas, debiriley.com
The Pond,  Abstract 

 

If,  a painting was Semi-Abstract then,  we would be able to discern perhaps that an area might be a sky shape.

Another shape, could infer a shrouded figure, or a boat out upon misty waters.  This, is what a Semi Abstract painting is.

 

Lunar Black, Quincacridone Sienna, Daniel Smith watercolors, debiriley.com
Smoke and Fire  – semi abstraction

 

Impressionist, we can detect straight away that something is a flower, a tree, car, cup, etc.

Maybe not, the exact precise street address of the place.

More the mood and feeling of the place or person though.

Autumn Color watercolor landscape, how to fix a watercolor painting, fall tree colors, debiriley.com
moods of autumn watercolor & pastel landscape:  Society6 shop

 

Botanical art is very precise.  We will know what type of flower it is, the species, etc.

The measurements, the ratios, will all be correct.

Everything leaves, petals, stamens, roots, etc. will be exact in their detail.

 

 

 

Abstract cobalt teal #9 

Abstract art  – A Definition 

Cobalt Teal Sea Sirens 

 

 

 

 

Splash, Spray, Create … in watercolors

Splash, Spray, Create … in watercolors

Deep ultramarine and hints of violet.

The explosions of light and color from stars and galaxies we will never see. Except, perhaps in our imaginations.

 

ultramarine blue pb29 watercolor, watercolor creative techniques, easy beginner watercolor ideas, texture in watercolor, debiriley.com
watercolor creative techniques

 

Ways With Watercolor

The magic of watercolor for me, is its ability to adhere so well to its specific pigment properties. It is obedient, reliable, consistent in the following of its nature.

Lending the artist a helping hand, with this knowledge.

 

A Granulator such as Ultramarine stays true to itself and creates wonderful textures upon the paper’s surface.

Stainers, like ….Permanent Alizarin Crimson will follow its nature. To run, explode outside the barriers.

 

I know what these ingredients, these pigments will do.  So then I combine them to do a job. To help me say what needs saying.

 

You could, in a way think of them as you do your cooking ingredients. Flour, sugar, honey, molasses, salt, vinegar, baking soda, milk, cream, lard, olive oil, coconut oil. Many times you could use any old oil or butter and it makes no difference.

But, there are times when the ingredient must be pure butter for the recipe to work.

For the result to turn out…. delicious.

 

Not just – passe.

Heaven forbid…  inedible.

 

 

It is the same with paints.

Many ultramarines are fairly exchangeable. No worries.  So too with phalo blue.  And quinacridone rose, phalo green, quinacridone gold, burnt umber.

I normally,  don’t specify a particular Brand for most,  routine colors.

 

 

Critical Importance to success

Unless it is crucial.

…..   like  it is with Indigo and Naples Yellow.

(Daniel Smith’s are successful.)

Its all in “the ingredients!”

 

 

I mention this today, as I’d talked about it a little last week in class.

I often try make do, make something  I have on hand, work.

 

Why go and buy something…. if I have a product that will do the job?

Many of us might have ended up with 3 crockpots, 2 types of knife sharpeners and have learned our lesson!

I’m with you on that, definitely.

 

Having said that, I’ve also spent 25 years buying thousands of tubes of paints.

Experimenting. Testing. Researching.   Every single one.

So, my hope is always, that you let all my “losses”  be your gain!   That you  learn from my mistakes and save yourself time and money.

 

 

 

 

Process of Splash and Spray

This was done on dry Arches 100%  cotton paper rough.

The paint colors used were burnt umber (Maimeriblu)     Permanent Alizarin Crimson (Winsor Newton)  mixed with Ultramarine (Art Spectrum)

So that is limiting the palette to 3 paints.    And,  I’ve used a  Cool Palette.   Doing both  of these are great tips to avoid, mud.

 

Spray

I used a spray mister to lightly mist the paper surface.  Choosing to ‘miss’ some areas.

Then loading brushes and flicking the paints on.  Misting again, as needed.

The Darker Ultramarine and Burnt Umber, I used an old toothbrush to scoop up paint and flicker it on as the paper was drying.

This allowed for the darker tones I was hoping for, to create more depth.

 

This is a fast, fun, easy, loose watercolor technique.   

Perfect to release tension, have some fun, create some exciting work and some of these can also be used later as backgrounds for other works.

The soft edges are particularily good for depth.

 

 

 

This is a non representational image, abstract.

It simply is a  watercolor technique.

An exercise to demonstrate limited palette using cool colors; and how using a Spray Mister can be an effective way to add depth in your future works.

 

 

Hints, of blue….. its ‘key’

Hints, of blue….. its ‘key’

Four acrylic mixed media abstracts; all with the power of blue.

Harnessed together with opposing forces of tonal values.

Discover how you can effectively use these intriguing differences: high key and low key.

 

 

 

Light and Shade

Light and shade, or as I term it, Tonal Values.

 

 

High Key

With a “high key” painting, the prevailing dominant ratio of tones will be on the Lighter end of the scale.

Perhaps, about   75% – 80% Light Tones.

 

Tips for  High Key Watercolor: you would use more water with your paints and, leave a lot more of your paper – White.

High Key Acrylics and Oils:  you would increase the amount of white to all the paints you use, and in many places use nearly straight White out of the tube.

 

Second Tip:

when we are trying to learn and cement a specific skill, we really will learn it faster, if we focus on that skill.

And lessen the pressure to ‘do well’  with the all  rest of the skills.

 

By limiting my colors ie to blue and focusing on the Key, I’ll increase my speed of learning and proficiency.

And thats what we all want to see.

Evidence… of Progress!

 

 

 

A High Key painting creates the feeling of space.

Of Freedom, movement, breath, light, air, action.

 

It is lighter, breezier, cheerier.

It uplifts, and is much more joyous.

 

hints of blue, high key painting, bleu ocean beach abstract acrylics, debiriley.com
High Key, hints of the blue

 

 

high key blue abstract painting, using texture tone and color in art, debiriley.com
High Key, in blue

 

In both of the above images, the Light and Mid tone percentages are greater than the much smaller percentage of Darker tones.

This is what gives the paintings the ‘airier’ lighter feel compared to the paintings below.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Low Key

These paintings below, have a higher percentage of darker and mid tones.

The mid tones and dark tones dominate the image.

Rough estimate 75% or so.   Give or take.

 

The Low Key paintings create a more somber feeling to viewers.

There is a sensation of being more contained,  but it also can have nuances of foreboding at times as well.

 

abstract acrylic on board, low key painting, diagonal patterns, debiriley.com
Low Key painting, Cerulean with black,  abstract on board panel

 

 

 

blue abstract on board, heavy texture, darkness to light painting, debiriley.com
Illusion of the darkness of space, A low key painting  in blue

 

 

 

When you wish to convey summer, celebrations, joy, movement, spaciousness, etc.  you now have a definite tool to rely on.

Simply ‘High Key.’

 

Same thing when painting to express the opposite.   Use,  ‘Low Key.’

 

Awareness of our options, gives us the strategies and the power to execute them –  as the subject and mood dictates.

 

 

 

 

High Key  –  Watercolor Mountain

This is my rough estimate of  the painting’s tonal value ratios….

Light tones 40%

Mid tones  50%

Dark tones 10%

 

Additionally…. with a Vertical, format rather than a traditional horizontal, it provides us with an increased sensation of movement, of implied action.

Of Space and of Depth.

 

Staining watercolor paints, prussian blue pb27, Impressionist watercolor landscape mountain, granulating paint manganese blue, cerulean blue, debi riley watercolor, debiriley.com
Mountain Prussian Blue watercolors, full sheet 22×30 

 

I included this at the last minute, because it illustrates nicely the ‘sensation’ of high key using vertical format.

And to show you how you can ADD Light Tones (white,)  by using light white matts to increase the light ratios, if, that is what is required.

 

 

 

 

3 Fun Textures in Acrylics

3 Fun Textures in Acrylics

Texture and Color are always fun.

Relaxing and exciting, at the same time.

Gorgeous aquamarines with copper and gold and a deep prussian blue in the first image were beautiful to work with.  The Naples Yellow, Cobalt Teal Blue and the soft neutral greys  in the next two were ….. Super fun!

3 fun acrylics

blue shimmering pools in acrylics, abstract textures in paints, fun textures, debiriley.com
blue shimmering pools

 

 

crackle with cobalt teal blue acrylic, fun and easy abstract texture effects, debiriley.com
crackle and cobalt teal

 

 

naples yellow and cobalt teal blue crackle and torn, abstract landscape grey background, debiriley.com
boulders…torn edges naples yellow + cobalt teal

 

 

Textures #6 color filled textures 

Add Excitement with Texture 

Acrylic Ocean Blue 

Naples Yellow

Torn Paper – Tearing It Up  

Fun and Creative Techniques