Tag: background

A Monet Morning: I want the unobtainable

A Monet Morning: I want the unobtainable

Morning arises, the early light so gentle, so soft with an  otherworldly kind of glow that captivates.

My post dawn zen stroll  was magnificent  –  A Monet Morning.


blue flower agapantha, Monet art, zen strolls, early morning walks, debiriley.com
Monet Morning .. photograph


Claude Monet

I want the unobtainable.

Other artists paint a bridge, a house, a boat, and that’s the end.

They are finished.

I want to paint the air which surrounds the bridge, the house, the boat,

the beauty of the air in which these objects are located, and that is nothing short of impossible.



Claude,  you say what I feel.

And This Morning…. the beauty was in the air.

How. To capture that?

How. To express that?

Like you say,  it is nothing short of impossible.

Still, with paints or with camera ….. it is the destination.



At The Edge of Summer

Right on the cusp of summer there is still time yet for a beautiful,  freshness in the morning.

A hint of warmth carries with it the scent of newly opening blooms: roses, agapanthas, jacarandas.

They fill the air with promise and mystery and love.



I paused, along the banks of the little creek.

Just to breathe.

To fill in my lungs with the aroma of the morning.

Just to Be.

Just to see.

Just to feel.

To immerse myself in all the things,  around.




Claude Monet  said,

the  Critic asks:   ‘And what, sir, is the subject matter of  that painting?’

– “The subject matter,  my dear good fellow,  is  the light.”




Morning Observations

Over to my right, open fields with long tall spent grass.

Golden, no longer a spring green.

But I can see the burnt umber, the  burnt sienna,   Daniel Smith…Naples yellow,  buff titanium,  indian yellow all making an appearance there in the field.


To the left a thicket, dense and tangled with branches and vines that were weaving upwards.

Spiralling just a bit,  like a spider’s web.  I didn’t enter.


Further to the left, a grove of pretty patterned trees leaned in towards each other.

I wondered what they might be speaking of this early morning.


Shifting, but still in place,  to the opposite side houses with their pretty little flower gardens.


The aromas of the morning blooms, teasing my nose as I inhaled deep.

And again for more.  How lovely.




More like ….  Monet

And this is why, I go for zen strolls.

Why I don’t go for a power walk;

no… not going for speed, nor for quantity either.


A Zen Stroll savors each breath.

The very air I breathe.


It reminds me,  to be  more like Monet.





Monet … Guggenheim 

Monet … Musee d’Orsay 



In Golden Ambers and Topaz

In Golden Ambers and Topaz

Such brilliant colors, my words will certainly fail to do justice.

The yellow gold raining down as I looked into the branches –

captured me.

And it was so easy to become lost within the cascade of golden ambers, citrine and topaz.


nature photography, canon 600d, relax outdoors, debiriley.com
Sun Gold autumns leaves


Finding Gold


The man watched. Surreptitiously.

I stood beneath his tree long enough. I wonder what he thought.

After the first 15 shots, he must have had some thoughts going on. Wondering about me and why I took 100+ photos.



I noticed him glancing over every so often, a curious expression on his face.

Can’t say as I blame him… I was there an awfully long time.


But he remained anchored and silent in his driveway.

And I remained under his tree.  For nearly 30 minutes.


Lost in the beauty.

Lost in the Moment.


nature photos, autumn gold leaves, yellow tree leaves, debiriley.com
Looking up

Pause and relax


I could tell you, that I needed a break from my so very strenuous hike and that’s why I paused for so long.

We know better, of course.


As mentioned in my last post  “In Fuschia”  – the walk was merely Around the block. To the local park.

So there was no aerobics going on whatsoever.


No.  It was pure relaxation.

Glorious. I should do this more often.


I’m biased, but I’m thinking that’s much better for me, than silly aerobics!!

Running by things so fast I’d never be able to properly  Look at them.  Never mind paint or photograph them.

What?  Did,  I hear … slackard?!

No!    I prefer    “thoughtful,  selective prioritisation of energies and time.”  

canon 600d macro, nature photography autumn foliage, debiriley.com
Zen Stroll, finding gold




golden yellow fall foliage photographs, walking in nature, debiriley.com
Autumn Ballet





fall foliage, golden yellow autumn tree foliage photographs, debiriley.com
Golden Sunburst, Fall Foliage





golden fall foliage, golden autumn tree color, autumn photography, debiriley.com
Gorgeous Gold


Standing beneath the tree filled with golden leaves….

Like I said,  I got lost.

Within the gold.


It was lovely.

And I was perfectly ….. Content.


That is a good place to be.

So I stayed awhile.




fall foliage in rust and reds, photography of autumn, debiriley.com
lovely and perfect,  this background





golden leaf in fall photo, nature walks, debiriley.com
Subtle Hints of light red, within the background



I hope you enjoyed my zen stroll to the park and back!


Autumn Ballet  is my favorite photograph.  There’s a sense of softness  and openness that is so very appealing.

What are your favorites…. I wonder why?




My short journey to the park and back was more rewarding than I’d expected.

I found my cascade of gold, along the way.




In Fuschia

In Fuschia

It was time.

For another pleasant stroll to the park.

It was only to my local park… and back.

All of 1 block away.

Yes, A Full cardio workout on this one.

mmhm. I see your smirks!



zen strolls and nature walks, flower photography,
Autumn Moment in the Park


Just… To The Park


We can go so very far,  further than we’d ever imagined,  even within our  fenced enclosures.



Really, it was a magical walk this time.

Amazing. For such a very short distance, to provide so much.



I’m not complaining, though,  I thought I might.

As this particular park and I have become quite close.

So close  that I’ve thought a few times I’m just about getting bored with it.


So it was rather unexpected to find several new delights there and back on my zen stroll.

I guess, that goes to show me …. I too, can overlook a good many things along the way.




Fuschia and Green Duet


Today its about Fuschia.  

The last of Autumn’s warm light flickering upon the park flowers.

The old sturdy Canon 600d did a fairly nice job in creating a magical background.


Soft.  Peaceful.  Quiet.

Quietly inviting.

But, not too quiet.    


The tiny magenta and fuschia blossom peeps out with its white upright frills in sharp contrast.

Yellow green in the fore and bluer greens in the back provided the balance needed.

These greens were the perfect complement to the lovely fuschia.   A delightful duet.




Intentions and Wants and Plans

I do like this image quite a bit.

Even if –  it was not,  what I originally had in mind.


Funny about that.

Its probably a better image than if it had done exactly as I’d wanted!







The next post will be about the ‘gold’ I found along the way.

Below is a nugget, a  “preview”  of some of the gold I discovered.


canon 600d macro, nature photography autumn foliage, debiriley.com
Zen Stroll, finding gold





Canon 600d Images

canon  macro  –  Sugar and Spice 

canon flowers  –  The Faces of Yellow 

canon  The rose’s  tears 

canon   My Neighbors garden at daybreak 



Colorful Brushstrokes

Colorful Brushstrokes

Breaking the rules.

With decisive,  powerful brushstrokes. Colorful brushstrokes.


colorful abstract acrylic, prussian blue pb27, warm and cool colors, debiriley.com
Colorful Powerful Brushstrokes in Acrylics


A Bridge of Prussian Blue

These two big sweeping strokes of Prussian blue unite the image.


The background was quite jarring, overly full of lively textures.  And, it was so warm.

This is generally not in keeping with a balanced sense of harmony and unification, that I’m looking for in a painting.


The ‘rules’  …. say warmer colors in front and cooler in back; textures and details in front, less in the back.

The orange and yellow normally would belong in the foreground area of a painting.

The lively textures also, usually are placed in the foreground and the focal point area.


I resolved the dilemma.

With 2 strokes.





But, I had to pause. And think about it.

I needed to allow my mind to sort through ideas.


Such as:  How can I balance all that texture?  All that warmth?  What about using the complement of the orange? Well, then… which Blue would work best? Which Brush, do I want to use?  Which direction to move it in? Go bold, go lyrical, go with curves, go with angles?

You see, I needed to ponder a moment.




My Choices

I chose Prussian Blue pb27, a favorite.

It is Bold. Decisive!


I chose an old stiff, housepaint brush, which would leave strong bristle marks.


I chose to limit drastically my brushstrokes. “Less, is more” is a great motto.

I chose to unite these two strokes, bridge-like.


An Embrace.

To create a sense of harmony, unity.  I think it worked.




You Pretty Thing, You!

You Pretty Thing, You!

Pretty things, these pea blossoms.

They weren’t mine.

Once again, I’ve taken the shots from my neighbor’s garden while on a zen stroll.



pea blossom photograph, canon 600d, zen stroll, debiriley.com
Sweet and Pretty Pea blossoms


Pretty Does the Garden Grow

Its fabulous to go round the neighborhood and see what pretty things grow.


I meet some really lovely people.

As I ….edge closer to their flowers.

For those that know me now, you can’t imagine just how shy I used to be.



These days….

Sitting upon the sidewalk right in front of their homes, steadying my camera on a post or pole.

Believe me, I’d come out to see what someone was taking photos of too!



nature walks, flower photos, zen stroll, debiriley.com
Love Embrace, peas

What’s There?!!

While taking shots of fallen berries, gorgeous fat purple lillipillies strewn upon the sidewalk….. one neighbor looked decidedly, confused.

She had to inquire “What, are you photographing?”  For she saw nothing.




bokeh, soft blur background, flower photography, zen stroll, debiriley.com
Intwined, pea blossoms


Most of my neighbors are great.

They have such lovely gardens and kind enough to ‘share’  all that prettiness.

Thoughtful, aren’t they?




bokeh, canon 600d, macro lens, photography flowers, debiriley.com
dappled, days of summer


I included this last one, simply because of its background.

I love it.

The background is what makes it, “so Pretty.”




Out of the garden…..

Pea blossoms.


Pretty little things. 





Speaking, with softness

Speaking, with softness

In life, so it is in art.  The loud, the shouting, the bright, the brazen are often who are heard.  The only ones heard, listened to.

They trumpet their wares with sharp edged precision.

Those that speak in softer tones without the sharp, hard edges often become the wallflowers.

In life, so it is in art.

conveying emotion in media, expressing mood in art and photography, soft edges for depth, debiriley.com
Threads of jade silence


Soft Spoken Art

But can I turn that around? I’ll do my best.

Come, see these subjects that speak deeply, thoughtfully, with Feeling…. in their soft spoken, abstracted like beauty.


canon 600d, macro 100mm, nature photography, pictures of zen, soft edges in art, debiriley.com
Early Dawn, dollars in the sun
Where the images came from

I’ve been on a quite a few short zen strolls, those were lovely.   And a some hard, strenuous hikes recently.

With camera and lenses in hand, I’ve been hard at work! 

From – surfers gliding the transparent cobalt teal sea, to the glorious Indian Ocean sunsets, to the zen hike at the zoo.

And of course, my yesterday’s zen stroll around the block, finding  a myriad of surprises.



My activities have accumulated 5000 photos in just a couple weeks.

From the many,  there may be a few that speak in the tones I wish.


Now,  for the culling. Not. As fun.

But now I DO have ample material with soft edges for today.



canon 600d photographs, canon 100mm nature photos, water reflections in macro, debiriley.com
Emerald and Jade, ripples



Fear of Soft Edges

Soft edges are hints, suggestions and nuances.

Blurred lines and shapes, that open and envelop.  Soft edges are not defined.


They allow the melding of ideas, of tones, of colors, of movements to blend together – whether in song, or in dance, in poetry or in painting.


Soft edges allow our imaginations to soar and our intellect to query.




Many modern artists, those just starting out, may have a fear and an apprehension with softness of edges. I did too! 


Perhaps, there is a misunderstanding.

Perhaps there is an uncertainty in the use, in the placement, in the application and techniques.

Perhaps softness does not resonate within some….. and their unique personal art style is a harder style.

Maybe more like Ellsworth Kelly, Escher or Mondrian. It could well be.


But for the rest of us,  this apprehension of those  Soft and ill defined edges,  is there.  In masse.



We don’t have to be afraid of soft edges.

Whether we dance, cook, paint, draw, sing, or write.

We don’t  need to have it all spelled out, leaving nothing for the imagination, for the intellect.

We may tell ourselves we need it.



But isn’t it really, truly, because it is Faster.


To have the thing already defined for us?

Already spelled and mapped out.

A  premade item all we need to do is pop it in the microwave to consume?

…. for the most part,  I’m thinking, yes.



This,  is a major part of our Fear of soft edges and ill defined things.

Just the realisation that our compulsion for Faster, for Easier –  is all the fear is,  goes far to ease much of that fear from us.

In truth, many times, we simply create our own fear because we want something …. Immediately.



Hold on, Not so fast!

It takes, on average about 10,000 hours.

To become skilled and master a subject.

We do  need to want this skill passionately enough to do the time.



depth and perspective with soft edges, macro flower photography, canon 600d, speaking softly with soft edges in art, debiriley.com
Beauty in Edges, depth



Inspired by Subtleties

Let me show you, why many times I am so much more inspired and awed by the background of an image, when it is so with excellence.

When the background – becomes the piece de resistance.  




composition, design tips, focal point in art is in focus, sharp edged, background is soft edged, depth in landscapes, debiriley.com
Focal Point, Is in focus, is sharp edged



For maximum depth, we need a Sliding scale of blurred and sharp edges.

Variations and progressive gradations in those edges.

Smooth and Seamless is my ideal.


The Focal Point, most always needs the hardest and sharpest edges to draw the eye to it.

The middle ground is less sharp.  The background – can be a wide range of blurred edges.

A sea of melting, merging colors, shapes and tones.





macro flower photography, spring violet bud, canon 600d, canon 100mm macro lens, speaking softly with soft blurred edges, art tips for beginners, debiriley.com
Shy: its all about the soft edges


Soft Edges

Soft edges are a perfect backdrop to create more depth, more distance, recession and perspective.

They also hint at open windows, doors and open arms. Open minds.




woodland violets, macro flowers, canon 600d, soft edges in art, purple flowers, zen stroll, nature walks, debiriley.com
Woodland violets

Cool greens, greys, lilac purples look charming.  Woodland violets’  blurred softness throughout evokes a clear mood, a feeling.

We have such an abundance of soft edges here,  it denotes perhaps a forest dreamscape.



nature walks, nature photography, canon 600d, canon macro 100mm lens, creating soft blurred backgrounds for mood and depth, debiriley.com
Another Realm, in greens


Soft, as

This has a very high ratio of soft edges to sharp,  about … 96% soft blurred to maybe 4% sharp/harder edges.


pink rose petal, macro flower photo, canon 600d, debiriley.com
Soft, as



Back in the studio, glancing from the vase to outdoors – we get another perspective.


still life photo, soft blurred edges, canon 600d, soft focus background, debiriley.com
inside looking out



Speaking with softness, doesn’t mean to go unheard.

But to choose, with care where the tones, lines, and edges go.

Sharp and soft.  Those edges,  they are as if they were your words.