Tag: art

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!

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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

 

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

Where, Do You Paint?  … my kitchen counters

Where, Do You Paint? … my kitchen counters

I have a studio, with 2 art tables and easels.  I have 2 art tables set up on the patio.  And still,  many, many times I paint on the kitchen counter.

It doesn’t really make sense.

Especially to the someone who has gone above and beyond to assemble said studio, those tables and the gear for this ‘persnickety’ artist.

 

 

 

 

What is it, about the kitchen counter?

What does it have, that the other places…. don’t?

 

I’ve never paused to contemplate this until now.

Til the post of yesterday, “How much do you paint?”

This post,  it made me think, it caused me to question things.  How? Why? Where? When?

 

All great questions, insightful, if we dig our way to the bottom of them.

 

 

 

Where, do I paint?

It does have a little bit to do with Light and yes with space too;  but more than those, its about:  Feeling.  

When I’m in the art studio, I am  in isolation.

beginners watercolours getting started in the art studio debiriley.com
 art studio …. tidied up! 

 

I’m cut off from the other rooms, from whats going on elsewhere.

I’m not part of the rest of the house.

And that sensation fosters a tightening up.

 

 

 

Comfortable

When I’m in the kitchen space, I’m perfectly at ease.

All rooms connect.  I feel Free and in the zone.

 

I paint when no one is home, so there is a feeling of aloneness, but not, loneliness.

That is a huge difference to me as I create.

 

 

 

The kitchen area, its not a big space.

Nor is it infused with an abundance of natural light.

Its not the best lit room of the house.

its adequate.

But it comes down to how I feel, when I’m creating in that space  vs  when I’m in the other spaces.

I will always paint better, create better, when I am comfortable.

At ease.

 

 

Outdoors

I do love to paint and create out on the lawn; sitting near the rose garden.

I feel free and loose and at home there.

There is no sense of being cut off or isolated.

I’m part of the whole.

Thus, painting is easy there.

 

 

I guess, the bottom line is that we just need to paint, create in the space  – wherever  it may be  that makes us the most comfortable.

How many of you, paint at the kitchen table or counter?

 

 

 

Sky Fire..like JMW Turner

Sky Fire..like JMW Turner

When life mimics art.

Over the Indian Ocean the the velvet clouds cloak the sky.

No paints in hand.

 

JMW Turner skies for inspiration, sunsets of the Indian Ocean Perth, nature landscape photography, debiriley.com
photo……. “Sky Fire,”     like Turner

Sunset Skies of Fire

A camera, to capture the thoughts I had while looking for that briefest of moments upwards.

Wondering…. what Turner felt when he gazed upon the setting sun.

How his spirit lifted within.

Wondrous. I almost think we might have shared the same sense of awe. Of inspiration. Perhaps.

 

 

Turner

JMW Turner 1775-1851 a real master of both watercolors and oils.

He, is the one to emulate.

If you wish to learn oils or watercolors….. he’s your guy. 

You can’t go wrong studying Turner.

 

His quote….

“Its only when

we are no longer fearful

that we begin to create.”

 

His skies,  remain  unrivalled.

10 magnificent Turner paintings 

Turner at Tate 

A Creator of Impressionist paintings – at times so wild and free.

 

 

 

I can dream.

Of creating, of painting,  of interpreting the subject before me in such a way.

 

 

 

The prior post, All things watercolor 

featured a simple landscape, not skies, but a shoreline.

Loose and wild. Expressive.

It was done in a similar spirit as Turner.

As much as I love Turner, I must stay true to myself.

To paint, to express from within.

But

I can Learn, how to do this…. from Turner.

watercolor beginner basics, tips and techniques for starting watercolours, everything you wanted to know about watercolor, debiriley.com
watercolor beginner basics

 

Here, I am….

Here, I am….

A walk? No.

It wasn’t, what it was, was a brief 7 minute sit down.

But utterly completely, there.

3 days in a row, sneaking and stealing the time.

 

mindfulness, meditation, zen, debiriley.com, flower photos, walking in nature to relax
Mind Fully, present and here

Mind Fully There

Work, shops, tasks. Driving.

Drivers who provide an endless treasury of resource material for posts.

Deciding I need to take a recess.

 

Taking an ultra brief, stop on the way.

A pause.

Same place, roughly the same amount of time spent.

Just being.

 

 

I sit.  No walking. No talking.

Just listening.

 

I am determined that if I only have about 5 minutes to spend here,  I am going to make every second count.

And that each moment, I’ll feel, and listen, taste the air and breathe it all in.

 

As if…. they were my only 5 minutes left.
And so I do.

 

It is a magical and  illuminating way, to spend this short span of time.

 

 

 

Karen’s post at Healing your grief  recently included a quote by William Blake.

It seems to sum up what I’ve been doing in these pauses.

 

“To see a World  in a Grain of Sand

And a Heaven    in a Wild Flower,

Hold Infinity

in the palm of your hand

And

Eternity in an hour.”

William Blake

 

 

It is the holding “Eternity in an hour…”   that captivates my interest most right now.

 

 

 

Google

 

Google, as always is a wonderful delightful Friend.

I typed in Mindfulness, to see what I might come up with.  After a few scroll downs, I found something of that piqued my interest.

 

 

Mindfulness

What?   Harvard?  and mindfulness…. really?

It caught my eye.

 

 

Harvard Business Review…….    If You Aspire to be a Great Leader

 

In a survey of 2,000 employees, Bain & Company found that among 33 leadership traits — including creating compelling objectives, expressing ideas clearly, and being receptive to input — the ability to be mindfully present (also called centeredness) is the most essential of all.

 

Research also suggests that there’s a direct correlation between leaders’ mindfulness and the well-being and performance of their people.

In other words, the more a leader is present with their people, the better they will perform.

 

Every morning, Conant allocated a good chunk of his time to walking around the plant, greeting people, and getting to know them.

He would memorize their names and the names of their family members.

He would take a genuine interest in their lives.

To Conant, these behaviors were not just strategies to enhance productivity; they were heartfelt efforts to support his people.

 

 

 

As I read the HBR article, I found myself nodding in agreement.  That Conant chose to take an active interest in the lives of his employees was interesting.

It was also a sharp and vivid reminder to me of a previous long term, employer of my spouse.

He also, took an active participation in his employees’ lives.

A genuine, concerned interest.

What this did, was ensure the entire family was invested in the company and its success.

We, and even the children, were on board with travel and the long hours the job entailed.

I look back and think, what a smart man.

But also, more importantly, how truly, kind he was.

 

These leaders are fully engaged and present; and yes, they do get the most from their workforce.

 

 

Art is not in Isolation

You might think it odd, I find quotes and articles from business publications and don’t stick to  “arts and crafts.”

But, I’ve found we really can’t isolate areas so easily.  One bleeds over into the other.

 

I enjoyed the article enough to want to share it.

 

 

nature walk photography, mindfulness, debiriley.com
Here. right here, I am.