Tag: art

Palette Knife Acrylic Abstract… “Scorched Wings of Icarus”

Palette Knife Acrylic Abstract… “Scorched Wings of Icarus”

I prefer the title, “Scorched Wings of Icarus.”

How about you?



palette knife acrylic abstract, Greek mythology, Icarus, inspirations to paint, debiriley.com
Scorched Wings of Icarus,      palette knife acrylic abstract


Palette Knife Abstract

I know which title is more ‘relatable,’  more ‘informative’  to the reader.

But which one is likely to generate more,  readers’  interest?   

Readers’  Curiosity?



Scorched Wings of Icarus

How is anyone supposed to figure out what’s actually in the post with a title like that?!

Interesting, but too abstract and open ended, maybe so.

But secretly,  I like this title far better.


I know, I know!!   You’re an artist, creative, imaginative. And your mind just works that way.

I can hear you,  say these things.

As well as,  “We want to know what we’re  clicking on, First!”


I understand……….




Painting Inspirations:

This abstract was inspired and influenced by a few things, people and articles I’ve been reading recently.

As follows:


David Kanigan Miracle. All of It. 

This photograph  with the blazing scarlet sun and the excerpt from Franz Kafka speaking of  ‘flying too close.’

Yes.  They were definitely  influencers.

David Kanigan seems to always come up with some thing,  new or intriguing, or uplifting or just plain humorous for his readers.

Check out his website,  I love his writing –  he writes really well.

Anyway. Go look through his posts.

Be uplifted. Laugh. Smile. Cry. Be humbled. Breathe in Life.




Aquileana  at La Audacia de Aquiles   an  impressive website focusing on Mythology.  Making it modern, entertaining, easy to read,  and Fun!

I’ve been reading her articles for quite some time and always, look forward to the extremely comprehensive and educated efforts she puts forth.

Referenced, with photographs, art works, historical sources, collaborations,etc.,   my  5 Star website to go to for mythology info.

I’ve been especially interested most recently in The Titans.

Who they were, there origins, and who came before them.

Aquileana’s site provides revealing glimpses into the mythical lives of the Greek and Roman gods and goddesses, The Titans, Olympians, The Muses, The Furies and more.  All, richly described in intimate and living color.


A revealing  read,      Icarus’ Fall….    



Matthew Snowden, palette knife  Artist

The knife can be a blessing or … not.

Beginners often go in too heavy handed.

However that is certainly not the case with Snowden.

He uses the palette knife with sensitivity. Delicacy.

And a Bold Decisiveness where and when it it called for. I most definitely enjoyed his paintings, the slathering on of paint, the sure and swift marks made with the knife.

So strong. So beautiful.




And the last influence.

I needed a brief respite.

As I’m still  plugging away at my rather large post describing/explaining the Zen art “Enso.”


I almost, want to bin it.

But no I won’t, too much is invested now.

You’ll see it, then probably wish you hadn’t,  its way too long!




Partner Posts for   Palette Knife Abstract

palette knife      tree bark

palette knife     the Forest 

palette knife     Delightful!   

palette knife  in   Watercolors 

palette knife     Those Painted Hills 




Colors …… Move us

Colors …… Move us

Colors move us in ways we often can’t articulate.

We just can’t seem to find the right words that express how deeply we’ve been touched.


the nature of color, color theory, colorful flowers, abstracts, debiriley.com
Colors …. Move us


Inspired by Color

This morning I was inspired.

My rose garden, it had some lovely buds bursting into color.

I picked them.


My wonky abstract, warped frame and all, called out with its summer colors.

I played matchmaker.

I set the two of them up together.

It seemed to me, they belonged to each other. A perfect fit.

Then I hastily shot a few photos, in the subpar gloomy light.

I gave up at 12, the gloomy dark room was making the shots ‘too hard!’



 Love of Color

The love of color has been with me from my earliest memories as a toddler.

Mother’s bright yellow floral silk scarf,  hot pink and deep magenta sweet williams with soft sage green stems.

Glacial rivers, frosted cobalt teal blue rushing down the high mountains.


Yes. I remember.  Those colors, still move me.

I think, I’m always in tune with the colors surrounding me.

Looking. Listening.




color accents, abstracts orange and pink flowers, debiriley.com
Color accents


Colors and I


Lucky me, I am an artist.

I can play with colors as if they were musical notes.

I can see and feel the wonderful melody that we have created.

The colors and I.



colorful abstract, bold roses from the garden, colors of the rose, debiriley.com
Color Filled …abstract and roses


Aristotle and Art

Aristotle had wise words, that have resonated deeply with me.


He said,


“The aim of Art is to represent   not the outward appearance of things,

but their inward significance.”




With color as my Muse, this is easier – simpler to do than if a photograph was the Muse.

If documentation of the precise item, with all the specifications, ratios, angles, etc. were the Muse.




This Week’s Lesson in Color

Our class lesson this week focused on techniques of using Color.

On allowing  color to run free.


To permit color  – completely unforced,  organically, to   move on its own.

It moved wonderfully within the lines drawn – lines drawn simply,  “with a clean and very sloppy wet brush.”

It was fun.

It was exciting. It was Color moving!



This was one of the best lessons I’ve presented. There were a myriad of learning outcomes from this one exercise.

It was also a challenging lesson.


It is so difficult, to let go.

To restrain one’s hand from ‘stroking that Color on.’

Rather than easing, pouring, touching the colors to the paper.

Its difficult…. to allow the brush to merely ‘kiss’ the surface dampness of the paper.


I know,  it is.

But the rewards were magnificent.


And the freedom of brush, hand, arm, shoulder, mind gained by practicing this exercise can not  be undervalued.


You don’t have to be a painter, an artist, or even in an art class to try this approach.

You. Can try it at home.

With any kind of fluid liquid paint that will Move.  You could try it with food coloring. Why Not?!



The Abstract and the Rose Bouquet

The bold orange, blushing pink petals,  scarlet crimson and pale ivory white lace – aren’t they gorgeous?


Color …. moves us.



colors of the rose, abstract paintings, color moves us, debiriley.com
colors touch …the soul








Cobalt Teal Abstract #9

Cobalt Teal Abstract #9

Inspired by nature, but absolutely abstract.

I’ve had fun painting my CTB #9  using hands, fingers, brushes, fork and palette knife.

Whatever was in the studio, was fair game!


acrylic mixed media, abstract on paper, cobalt teal blue pg50, prussian blue pb27, debiriley.com
Cobalt Teal Blue abstract


Cobalt Teal Blue –   CTB

Cobalt teal blue, prussian blue, quinacridone gold and white was the color palette I chose to use.



Cropping the image

Which way?

It is so fun to play, to look at your paintings from every angle.

Upside down, from the left or the right.

They often ‘tell you which way they want to go.



I’ve cropped the image in several ways.

Its a great idea to explore the ways the image might look, if presented in differing forms.

Different formats.




We do not always have to remain locked in to a pathway that does not serve us, when another could be far better!

Be Flexible.

Be open to the possibilities your painting might point to.


acrylic mixed media abstract, cobalt teal blue, inspired by nature, art by debiriley.com
Vertically Versatile



Preconceived Rigid Ideas

That,  for me, was the struggle I had most when I first began to take my art seriously.


I’d usually set out with having one very narrow, defined idea.

It was locked rigidly in place;  in my mind of just how I wanted that image to turn out.


The problem was ….. often the painting seemingly took a life of its own.

And so I fought.

Argued, cajoled, and tried to beat it into submission.

This. Did not work.

I just ended up with lots and lots of very over worked paintings.



Listening, letting go, Fun…..

Then, the penny dropped.

I began To …listen to the painting. To the materials, to the subject, to the  feelings…. and let them make themselves be heard.


It was hard.

That is not “normal.”

We should be In Control.

In Charge.  Telling them, making them do what they are supposed to.

Do what we want. To bend to our will, as we will, and as we determine.  That should be how it goes!

That’s what I thought. And that is why letting go, was so difficult.

At first.


textures in abstract art, cobalt teal blue pg50, prussian blue pb27, debi riley art, debiriley.com
Textures with cobalt teal blue abstract


Its much less difficult now.

and…  it is

Way More FUN!!








Zoo Bird – Bright Colors

Zoo Bird – Bright Colors

The Golden Pheasant at Perth zoo was bold.

Brazenly showing off and walking right up into the cameras.

Obviously, he loved the paparazzi.

bird photography, Perth zoo, bright colored birds, debiriley.com
Bright Bold and Brazen, at Perth Zoo


Colors in The Bird

Indian Yellow. Cobalt Teal Blue. Indanthrone Blue. Scarlet Red. Black.



Ginger Color

As we walked just out of his enclosure, I saw the ginger.

With the same bright yellow and orange red colors of Mr. Pheasant.

A dash of permanent rose would do nicely for the buds, I think!


bright ginger blossom photo, debiriley.com
Yellow Orange Ginger


I may purchase some ginger.  See if it will grow… in my garden.

I’ll pass on the pheasant.

Gorgeous as he is, even with his Cobalt Teal Blue.



Is it, Spring Yet?!

Is it, Spring Yet?!

Many are silently wondering, “Is it, Spring Yet”?!   Soon……. I’m sure if you go investigate outdoors you’ll see plenty of small signs that tell you Spring has indeed begun.

Even if,  there’s been a late storm and cold snap to delay the main event another week or so.


I’m sitting in the Southern Hemisphere.

The last day of Summer has passed.  I’m so very Relieved.  The final day of TDH.

I’m sure I wouldn’t care for  the  -20 degrees and ice storms either.  But,  I assure you, I look forward  to 8 months of tolerable weather.

Which means, more Zen Strolls!



This lush lavender flower was taken on a Zen Stroll, my daughter and I. The Spring Gardens, brilliant.

I won’t take any credit for the photography. But I will take a wee bit for the wonderful daughter, of course!


soft lavender purple spring bloom, spring flowers in bloom, flower garden, flower photography, kellywalkerRedbubble.com, debiriley.com
 kellywalkerphotography @ Redbubble.com  



I absolutely adore this photo!  ….. wish I’d have taken it!   No,  I take that back!!

I’m glad someone else did  –  and will be encouraged by her beautiful image and any sales that may be.



Me.  Never really a “Purple”  fan, but this one makes me willing to broaden my horizons.






Is it, Spring Yet?!!




The Truth, in Aristotle’s Words

The Truth, in Aristotle’s Words

I went out yesterday morning meaning to go for a short, zen stroll.  Fresh air, to clear the mind and sooth and relax.  But as things progressed, thats not what happened. I had a very hard hike.

With these 3 images and their story, I’ll share how the words of Aristotle – changes our art.

nature walks, zen, choppy waters, monochrome, debiriley.com
The Winds Stir the Waters, …from a zen walk


The Hike, not a stroll

With my heart and mind on other matters, my feet took many turns – and then I ended up far, far from home. With a very sore hip.  A hike indeed. I’m sure its good old fashioned weight bearing exercise “good for the bones.”

Yes, lemonade from lemons.

Clarity,  in part has been granted. While the soreness lingers.


Aristotle, the inward significance of art, convey the mood and meaning in paintings and photos, debiriley.com
Aristotle, the inward significance of art


So the “Hike” has served a useful purpose.

You know, of course, I don’t go on strolls without my camera.  My photographs have recorded so many things from this Hike.

Not really just the outward things of nature, but a deeper inward symbolic meaning.  Especially the very last, at the park. The meaning of which must be… for another post.


creative photography, conveying the mood and feeling, deliberate camera blur, landscape summers ending, debiriley.com
The Dreamland  – soft moss lawn and gold drops of foliage



The Hike – Image #1

In the first photograph, the wild winds were hitting the water. Dashing it from one side to another. With a dark indigo blackness that seethed, the water churned and chopped. Ahhh….. you get the drift here.



Image #2

The second image with Aristotle’s words.  Isn’t there so many layers to this one?

Can you see the elements, touching and reacting. The bright yellow green leaves being touched tenuously by the withered twig. Just barely.  So nearly, not.   And looking further into the back. That shape. The sphinx-like face that gazes out, to the left, far away to somewhere else.


Image #3

The third is the Landscape of golden tipped trees.

Well, its my fav of the 3 images.  I deliberately created camera blur effects for a dreamier appearance.

A Dreamland.

Soft and golden with pale moss lawn.

The gold drops of foliage…. falling down. Like teardrops. Haunting and yet enchanting.


*also,  this image does tie in with my last color mixing post with Naples Yellow. I could so easily mix all the colors seen from the paints I’d listed.





In each of these 3 images, the inward significance is far greater than that first glance, exterior appearance of beauty or prettiness.



Most artists would not go into much detail, explaining the image or content.


Why, would I?  Only because I am a teacher.

And after all these years, I know the questions are there for so many.

And would remain unasked.  The images and artworks to remain unresolved mysteries. Or guesses.  I’ve made it my purpose, to try to take a lot of the guesswork out. To make art easier to understand.



Blurred images and abstractions do not need to remain ‘mysterious’ – I think I can explain, in part, mine at least.

  • Blurring helps to create depth, distance, perspective.
  • It helps to lead and guide the eye in.
  • Also….. it creates a soft and dreamy, welcoming mood. A Dreamscape.
  • Whereas, hard, sharp choppy edges – serve to draw the eye right there.
  • Riveting there on that spot and staying right there.
  • Not taking the viewer through the artwork.
  • Those hard sharp edges can tend to be quite  ‘pokey,’  abrasive.
  • Like swords pointed at you. Making you want to …. stay away.



Aristotle’s words about digging deep, to show the inward aspects truly resonates with me.