Tag: acrylics

Peaceful Places …cobalt teal blue

Peaceful Places …cobalt teal blue

Sometimes, the peaceful places may only be found where we ourselves deliberately, create it.

I’ve turned the news, off.  I’ve turned “realism” off.

For a moment.

And reached for my Cobalt Teal Blue.


cobalt teal blue pg50, painting the colors of the ocean, acrylic beach painting abstract, debiriley.com
Beachside with cobalt teal pg50



Relax With Cobalt Teal Blue pg50

Let color, Let Cobalt Teal Blue soothe and rest your mind….. for A Moment.    


I don’t want realism.

I don’t want that Tightness.

I don’t want Anything that makes me think I’m not getting it


‘just right’  or

‘just like The Photo.’


I want to relax in Peace with cobalt teal blue.


Give me a moment, will you?

The news, the realism, its all going to be waiting regardless.





Soft Edges

The painting is full of soft gentle edges.  

Probably about 90%  of this image is soft and blurred edges.


That is the key.

Those soft and gently blurred edges.

They are Restful.


They Give Peace. 




Broken Edges

A few rough and broken edges.

Perhaps, 2%  I’d  guess.

Broken edges aren’t really soft blurry edges, yet they do provide some ‘definition.’  Its not as clear, as defined of course as the super sharp edges and so the broken edges serve as that ‘in between’ edge.  A transitional edge.  Very useful to know and to use.




Sharp Edges

The image has barely any hard, sharp shards of pointy edges to poke me with.

The hard edges that do exist, serve a function.

To bring the viewer in, to that focal area.


Those hard edges take up maybe 1% of the image.

Enough.  But not too much.

Additionally,  you might note… that the hard edges are set and used amongst   curved lines and forms.

Not stiff tight angles and rigid straight lines.

(Those, lead many beginners –  to be even more rigid and tight, and less relaxed.)




Color and Edges

So it was primarily with color and edges I was able to create an atmosphere of relaxation.

Simplicity of design, helped as well.





I’ve created several more acrylic abstracts with  cobalt teal blue pg50 that I’ll post later in the week.

A week of cool and inviting, relaxing and peacefulness in cobalt teal blue will be lovely.





Abstraction:  Sand, Sea, Sun and Surf

Abstraction: Sand, Sea, Sun and Surf

Nothing but Fun today.  And,  Look at those shapes and textures!

The subject in mind –  the beach, sun and sand, waves and water.

Absolutely Abstract.


abstract on the beach acrylics painting, cobalt teal blue pg50, debiriley.com
Surf Sand cobalt teal blue acrylics and collage





Cool and inviting,   Cobalt Teal Blue beguiles, again.


Cobalt Teal Blue pg50 is an Opaque category pigment. Its not translucent or one of the paints that make a wonderful clear ‘glazer.’

Such as the Staining pigments: Permanent Alizarin Crimson, or Quinacridone Sienna, or that lovely versatile Prussian Blue pb27.   Nor is it one that is in my ‘go to’  list, for super easy paints to mix with either.


But it has its charms.


Cobalt Teal Blue in its watercolor form,  dilutes down (ie heaps of water) really well.  At its palest, CTB can be a fine and delicate blush of fresh, minty green.   In acrylics, mixed with white, it then becomes a nice pale minty green too.


cobalt blue teal pb50 debiriley.com
ultramarine, cobalt teal blue


Ocean ultramarine blue, cobalt teal, debiriley.com
Oceana in Cobalt Teal Blue





Ocean, oil painting, cobalt teal blue pg50, cobalt blue pb28, indanthrone pb60, debiriley.com
Inlets and Calm



Cobalt Teal Blue’s best asset, in my opinion,  is its amazing ability to evoke immediate, emotional responses.


watercolor ocean plein air, cobalt teal blue sea art, debiriley.com
The Seaside  …cobalt teal blue





CTB creates beautiful atmosphere, mood and feeling.


Prussian blue teal abstract watercolor painting, debiriley.com
CTB, Prussian & Gold

Cobalt Teal Blue makes it nearly impossible not to feel it.

Cool, calm, relaxing and Refreshing. Inviting.


This is an interesting thing:

On one hand,   It is a cool color.

As a cool, it is calming, serene,  relaxing, etc.



But…. unique to this color, is that sense of playful invitation within the color waves and vibrations.

This is really why I use it.

For that unique quality that provides such a duality  to the viewer.



beguilingcobalt teal blue pg50, beach photo, debiriley.com
Cobalt Teal Beach





Ideas From Your Surroundings


One of the ways I paint abstracts is simply  gathering ideas from the surroundings.


I look around a couple minutes,  and there they are.

I see my supply of shapes, textures, colors.


But, you ask,   “What am I Looking For?!”  




Look for Geometric Shapes

Shapes rise up as circles, spheres, or squares, rectangles.

Industrial sites are really great for this.

So too are houses.



inspiration ideas for abstract paintings, geometric shapes, design ideas, debiriley.com
looking for geometric shapes, windows doors


Relax, cobalt teal blue pg50, watercolor painting, daniel smith paints, debi riley art, debiriley.com
Cobalt Teal Blue


Look for Color that Grabs you

Find the colors that jump out, to you.  That shout out.

Color,  for me…. always,  leaps out.




Look Closely, for Textures

The textures of surfaces – must be ‘inspected’  though.

At first glance, we’ll all assume and assign in our minds,  the shapes a flatter,  more even and uniform appearance.

Translate this, to “boring.”

why?…..  its easier for our minds to file and catalogue these things quickly that way.




In order to make our paintings have a bit of interest and vitality to them –

We need to look further, deeper,  into things.

We need to make ‘observations.’


We learn to delve into the textures, the intersections, the patterns, the variations, the gradations, the transitions – so much more –  leisurely.

A lovely word, “Leisurely.”

Harmonious, Contentedness, Relaxed.


A purpose is there.

It  is simply not fulfilled in a   “I’m juggling 59 balls at one time,”   hurried fashion.

And while in this Leisurely Mode,  we become more present in the moment.

So that our eyes don’t overlook what’s right before us.



The aim of art I think, is to create a thing that has some life force energy in it.

Imparting bits of our own energy into the creation is all part and parcel of being an artist.

And then hopefully, this will be enough to inspire the viewer to give the image a real look.

Not just a passing nod.



earth tones, abstract art geometrics, brown bronze, debiriley.com
circular forms ….   textures, layers, depth



To Inspire:  is to breathe life into.  

The viewer must be inspired by the life force energy within the art,  in order to feel compelled to reach out, connect, to touch the art.


A creation filled and layered with emotion, mood, textures, color, tones, nuances…. has a vigor and energy we all want to get closer to, to connect with.

To Touch.


Originals hum with a spark of life energy that replications, duplications, copies don’t.

We have to impart our own life force energy into each of our creations, for the viewers.

To inspire.



“Its true,  sometimes, we won’t win

when we are creating our Original artworks.

That is quite alright too.

We Learn, instead.

Which is,  of even more value, truly.”







Featured Painting

While at Scarborough Beach,  my eye caught on this unpaved sphere.

A ’round a bout’ that’s not quite finished.

I loved the shape,  I loved the tonal values within.

I absconded with the shape to use in my Featured Abstract painting.

The sandy beige of the inner circle was so pretty,  I thought.

A warm against the cool grey concrete, lovely Contrast.



being inspired by art ideas, design shapes in landscapes, debiriley.com
getting art ideas – shapes



using the colors of nature, painting abstracts, acrylic paintings in abstract shapes, debiriley.com
using the colors, of Nature


The ocean teal water was so beguiling… So cobalt teal blue.  The white and buff of the sand and surf looked gorgeous as well.

It doesn’t matter in an abstract ‘how’ the shapes or colors are used in the sense of them looking like a car, person, tree, roof, etc.   The point is using the surroundings as inspiration for the abstract to get you going.


The Featured Abstract painting was enjoyable; it was pretty simple and fast in execution;  and I used color and design ideas gathered from the beach trip.

I don’t mind at all, that it is not,  “The Masterpiece.”  (maybe next time!)

It is a quirky piece, unique and was certainly fun to do.





Partner Learning Posts

Tips on getting Contrasts …. watercolor 

Abstracts A Definition 

Staining Paints  

Creativity    10 Faces 

Cobalt Teal Blue 




Tearing It Up…collage

Tearing It Up…collage

Wabi Sabi:  (1) Imperfect  (2)  Unfinished  (3)  Impermanent

Wonderfully, Yes.

Each of those three, sum up the Tearing It Up collage in blue!


tearing papers, collage, mixed media, work in progress, wabi sabi imperfections, debiriley.com
Tearing It Up, collage

Collage WIP

So much patience is needed.

This collage has been an ongoing work in progress for 10 months.

That. Is a long time for me, to still be unfinished.


I’ve only shown you a small portion of the image in the post. The latest part I’ve worked on.

Overall, its quite a large piece.  And intricate.

Did I, perhaps bite off more than I could chew?  I’d have to say yes.  Especially, if… I’d intended to have this done in my usual time frame.  One day. Two at the most. That’s the normal way I work.



Resisting Temptations…

I’m tempted to gesso over the whole thing.

I’m tempted to quit.

I’m tempted to cut the canvas up into sections.


My oh my. I don’t think this will ever, be finished.  

Its certainly, Imperfect.   

And if I keep tearing it up – the impermanence part, well… that is going to be hastened along much sooner!




Persist.. for the Promise

But I persist. In increments.


I see the underlying ‘promise’ within the whole piece.


It may not, be ready yet.

I may not be ready yet.

But  there will come a time when  everything falls beautifully into place.




How do I know?

By experience.

I can and do, trust in myself in this.

By the feeling I get when I look at it.


It holds promise.  



So, its safe.

From gesso. From the scissors and knives.  From the trash bin.




I tell you these things, to encourage you.

To let you see, that you can too can use a similar attitude, a similar approach to thinking about art.

That even when its taking too long, or  its not ‘perfect’ and you are getting frustrated, that there are ways … to navigate around those obstacles.




Another…. snippet,  seen Previously.

creative collage, blue and purple papers, debiriley.com
Creative Collage, debiriley.com



Wabi Sabi is just a word

Its just struck me … I don’t think many readers out there like, the word Wabi Sabi.

Is it because it sounds too much like the ‘Burn Your Tongue,’  ultra hot,  “Wasabi?”

Or sounds like, Khemosabi?


But really,  Wabi Sabi  is just a word that explains and describes something useful to us.

That something is –  a different way of perceiving art. 

Looking at things in ways we’d not imagined them before.

That beauty…. can be discovered in a so many more forms than what we have ever, in the past,  limited our minds to.


Beauty can be found in an unfinished line drawing;  or the rough broken ragged torn edges of papers.

It can be in the impermanence of melting ice sculpture or the crumbling turrets of the sand castle.


In the very imperfections we groan about… there, we find Beauty.




Wabi Sabi.  IT so eloquently describes the grace and beauty of everyday life.    

And thats an amazing thing.




Tearing it up, ripping and shredding papers, art paintings, old poems, and books.

Layer by layer by layer.  Month after month it goes.

So slowly, we create a loved and aged work of art.





Great Partner Posts

Collage in watercolor strips of green 

Canvas Collage 

Collage Saturday 


Bones of Time Zen Wabi Sabi    

this is part of my 7 Days of Zen Series



Turquoise and Aquamarine Seaside Abstracts

Turquoise and Aquamarine Seaside Abstracts

At the Sea, relaxing in the warm gentle breeze.

Bare feet playing in the soft white sand.

Watching the waves advance and retreat, an endless meditational loop.


acrylic abstract seashore, turquoise waters abstract, debiriley.com


Creative Pursuits

OK. I admit I wasn’t there this week!!

I’ve been occupied with other forms of creative endeavors.  Taking in… and storing up colors, shapes and forms from my drives, my zen strolls, formulating lesson plans.

And  “painting hair.”


We were planning to paint on canvas this weekend. I had several brilliant ideas lined up.

I thought we could each use 5-6 large canvases and splash, pour, splatter and throw the paints on.


Yellow would be a feature color, with a pop of magenta and pink.

Maybe CTB.  For that hint of green.




Plans change.

As they do with an 11 year old girl.  Anyone else relate to that?!



So instead,  we all enjoyed the creativity that magenta-pink hair painting offered us.

Using the ‘canvas’ of her long blonde hair.

With the 3 of us involved, it was great fun.

More fun, I’m quite sure thank if we’d gone ahead and painted on the canvases!





Sea Painting

I was however, determined to use a painting for Monday’s post.


Awhile ago, I’d gone to the beach overnight and really had a wonderful time.

Immersing myself in the water, the mood, the ‘feeling’ of the place in order to better convey its unique character, and essence.

I’d taken hundreds of snapshots, as you do.


beach photographs, waves rising, tropical beach, debiriley.com
at the beach




surf and Sand at the beach, photographs of Perth beaches, debiriley.com
Surf and Sand



And being inspired by the mood of the sea I had painted on a large canvas ….just the waves coming in.

You can check that earlier post Sea Salt, Surf   showing you this painting.


It has needed more fine tuning.


Some additional resolutions to the old   image would be great as it is on quite a big canvas that I’d rather not waste.

I do like most of the image and think it has ‘potential.’


This morning I’ve played around with seeing how it would look cropped and turned around in several different formats.

These 2 were the better of the lot.



I’d used a monochromatic palette while painting this.

 Its easy, fast, less hassle.  Less likely to get muddy.  Better chance of getting my tonal values right.


But maybe next time, my palette might be:  buff titanium, white,  cobalt,  cobalt teal blue CTB,  cerulean and ultramarine blue.   They would all harmonise really well together and fit into the sea surf theme perfectly too.


seaside abstract in acrylic, debiriley.com
Changed Up, new format




By turning it over upside down and around, cropping the sides, turning it into a long vertical, etc.  creates improved designs.


And while, I still might repaint over this at some stage … for now, I can leave it.

Let it rest. While I think about it.


I’m not in a big hurry.

The waves are pleasant and breeze is warm, the sand feels so lovely and soft.





The Pond: abstract expressionism

The Pond: abstract expressionism

The Pond,  an acrylic on canvas.

Definitely a painting that reflects the water theme you’ve been seeing me post so much about in recent weeks.


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


Abstract Art

I consider this painting approach “Abstract Expressionism.”  It is  the one that best describes the art style here.

Below, is one of the many many,  photos I’d taken of the swamp and the pond on my zen stroll.



Take the photos.


Turn your imaginations loose.



nature photography, zen stroll with debiriley, water reflections, debiriley.com
Zen Stroll, The Pond




For your imaginations…..

Get lost in the dapples, the patterns, the cobalt washes and smears across the water.

In the entwined, interconnecting shapes.

The pop of greens and lovely deep near black shadows.

abstract expressionism



Express,  your SELF.    








The corresponding posts to go along with  The Pond….  are:

Dancing in the water fountain 

Water Lily   

Blue Skies and Sea   textures and patterns

Abstracts… a Definition    





Blue Skies and Sea: in acrylics

Blue Skies and Sea: in acrylics

Time was a definite factor in this Impressionist Seascape in Acrylics.

Yesterday’s post, Sea Sensations inspired me and I really couldn’t forego art altogether. I decided regardless of time issues,  I would paint Something!

I didn’t get my oils out,  nor that massive roll of  lovely linen canvas.

However, I did take a quick 10 minutes to paint up a storm. So to speak.

acrylic impressionist seascape painting, palette knife art, debiriley.com
Blue Skies and Sea


The Painting

We don’t always have 2 hours or half the day to play around with our paints. Don’t let that. Stop us!


I’ve learned to take the minutes….. and make each of them count.


Disregard all thoughts of the final outcome.  What I produce,  is in fact, immaterial.

To Paint  – is the relevant thing.

So I did.




Acrylic paints:  lots of white,  ultramarine blue, cerulean, a tiny dash of naples yellow.


The canvas was a medium small one I’d already textured with a lot of gesso.   It had had an old painting on it, that I’d covered up.

That’s a great thing with acrylics on sturdy canvas. The previous “oops” is a bonus texture for the upcoming next painting. That, is just so handy!


The size is  5×7″   which makes it very easy to do in 10 minutes.

Thats what I needed.

Easy…… And Quick.


I used a combination of palette knife, brush and my fingers (to smooth areas out.)



References and ‘Helpers’

Before I started, I had a quick look at my Molding Paste sample here.

It gave me hints and suggestions of  color and tone that I might use in my painting.


I wasn’t going to look at any of my sea photos at all, just rely on my ‘sea shore memories’  to provide me with what I needed.

Obviously, my final image looks nothing like the molding paste sample, but I was influenced by its textural, sculptural qualities.

cobalt teal blue pg50, textural effects and techniques, cobalt teal painting, debiriley.com
Molding Paste textural effects, debiriley.com



The Blue Wild Sky

The wildness of the sky brings the emphasis towards it and away from the sea.

I didn’t intentionally do this.  Thats  simply the direction the painting wanted to go in.

I allowed it to do so.



I was on the clock.

No time to fight, argue, or stress with it!  I went with the flow to get her done.




Final Thoughts

It may not be the most sensational piece I’ve done in my life; its an alright image.



I like to remind myself of something.


As creative Artists we don’t paint  to create Masterpieces.

We paint to express…

To communicate.  To let go.



In that, I am content.

That, is  my ‘happiness.’





Stories …. told, through art

Stories …. told, through art

Say it, like you mean it.  Art that speaks a message stays longer with us than ‘pretty.’

Creating art rich in symbolic meaning, in content, in depth has always intrigued me.

Layering textures, colors, brushstrokes, with meaning that will remain with the viewer has always been my driving purpose.

Its like a little siren call.

Inspiring me to dig deeper. Stretch a bit further.

Communicate more, through my art imagery.



acrylic abstracts, symbolic art with a message, debiriley.com


Favorite Art

I’ve held onto this acrylic abstract for some time.

It is a personal favorite of mine.


Even though,  its not bright or ‘pretty’ or soft.

No. Quite the opposite.

Its deep and strong.   With every brushstroke loaded as if it was a meaningful whispered word.


And no matter how you look at it, no matter how you present it…. there is more to see within its depths.

abstract acrylic painting in neutrals, painting symbolic images, debiriley.com
Vertical, Caught



Typically, I don’t “do” black.

Indigo yes, absolutely.

But Black, hasn’t been on my regular palette. It does, have its place on occasion.

It worked well for this image.


abstract acrylic painting, communicating messages in art, debiriley.com
Square, solidity




The Neutral colors in a Limited palette of just white, black, buff titanium and quinacridone sienna kept the piece unified.

Keeping the lovely strong brushmarks to one area of the piece, helped to balance it out.


brushmarks in layers, acrylic abstract in neutral palette, debiriley.com
Rising and Falling … the bristled brush marks


Stories we tell

When we paint.

Every stroke, every layer is filled with some type of input from the artist.

Choices that are done even in autopilot, have their meanings woven into the image.


The easy things to look for are vertical, horizontal, diagonal movements.  Each speaks its own message.

Shapes- squares, circles, etc.  impart content as well.Textures, colors and subject matter.

When you stop and think a moment on these things you realise, they all, are as words to the subconscious mind.

Telling a Story.



Once you start looking at art this way,  you really don’t ever stop.

The mind is a very curious thing.

And it always, wants to know, to inquire. To find out.



art formats and presentation, changing the look of art, debiriley.com
The Fallen

Freeing the Imagination

Various formats have been used with my painting.

Looking at these different presentations, allows the mind to fill in gaps.

To imagine.

To look within the art perhaps a little deeper, than if just given the one option with a single format.



Abstract Art and Beginners

With abstract art, it is always more difficult for beginners to be comfortable.

To know what they ‘should’ be seeing.

To know what is ‘meant’ to be there.



In my opinion, Abstract art, can be as simple as trying to Express an emotion.

Or can be as complicated as …..a world class orchestra playing an elaborate symphony.


The viewer, simply needs to glean what they can.

This time.

Next time, they will feel more. See more.  Hear More.



The visual artist, like the musician, would like the audience to be touched by the art, to feel something.

I like the music analogy.

It comes closest to describing the experience of art for me.


Looking into a snippet of the painting is like  listening intently to the finest notes of the song being played. 


acrylic abstract, debiriley.com
unbound in time



With this image, I can easily sit and just look.

Creating stories as I do.

Unleashing my imagination.

I find it so serene. Meditational.



A very interesting thing about this painting is its size.

Its a miniature.