Tag: creative drawing

A New Innocence

A New Innocence

The Sleepwalkers.

Its an old book, really old, 1959.

Yet, I find it immensely compelling.

The author, Arthur Koestler.   Who? …. nope, never heard of him.

That’s alright, neither had I.  But, just read this:


“Every Creative Act involves

a new innocence

of perception

liberated from

the cataract of

accepted belief.”

Arthur Koestler,    The Sleepwalkers  




arthur koestler quote from The Sleepwalkers, a new innocence, every creative act, debiriley.com
new innocence

A New Innocence in the way we see….


I’m reading Julia Cameron, The Artists Way  and Betty Edwards book, Drawing on the Right Side of The Brain.

Switching it up, and comparing both of their insights on drawing, on art, on filling lives with Creativity.


And that’s how I stumbled upon Koestler’s words, in Betty Edwards’ book.



I think, its fairly irrelevant the type of art, the type of Creative act we do, it could be writing, dancing, singing, but his message is true for all.

We need to let go the old, “thats the way its been done”  belief system.

And come to the studio with Innocence.


What Koestler is saying, I believe is this.

We do not have to rely upon what we were told to do years ago, just because.  Just because is never,  a valid reason.

Neither is, because its easier for me to deal with it done this way, so you need to learn to do it like this.




Arthur Koestler book

This quote of his has replayed in my mind for weeks.

Until I set about doing a bit of research.

And this week, went to Amazon to buy his book.

I haven’t begun to even scratch its surface.

But I’m excited to keep reading more.


The Sleepwalkers: A History of Man’s  Changing Vision  of the Universe   at Amazon.




With a New Innocence,

of perception.

yes, I do like the sound of that!


Fun at the Art Shop

Fun at the Art Shop

I’m back from the art shop.

Why, is this news?

Well…. you can save money from what I learned there, for starters!  $100 savings in paper….


encaustic sticks, fun art materials, buying art supplies on sale, debiriley.com
Fun, Creative art supplies encaustic color sticks


The Art… of  Shopping


I went up to the Oxlades Art Supply shop in the northern suburbs of Perth.

There I found some decent sales items.

First was the good, artist quality 100% cotton rag watercolor paper on sale.

Saunders cold press 300 gsm 10 pack for $70 (Australian)

Saunders cold press works brilliantly.

That was purchase #1


Saunders watercolor paper cold press, watercolour paper great for students, fun art supplies, making the most of art sales, debiriley.com
Saunders 100% cotton rag watercolor paper Cold Press


I love Arches paper… BUT

The importers of Arches paper into Australia, sadly have marked up the costs.

It has risen so high now, its beyond feasible,  for many of my students.

I understand.


And  I can’t honestly say  that the Arches at $17.50 per watercolor sheet 300gsm

is really worth $10 more,   than the Saunders at $7 per sheet!


That is $100 savings if you purchased this pack of 10 vs buying  10 Arches at $17.50 per sheet.



Purchase #2

20 meter roll of Sumi paper which will come in handy in Term 1 Atwell art course “Expressive: Drawing- Printmaking- Painting.”

I’ve used it before, its sturdy enough for light washes and for printmaking techniques.

It was about $19 or so.


printmaking paper, Sennelier oil pastel, print plates, wax sticks, naples yellow, debiriley.com
Creative fun art supplies, color, pastels, papers


Purchase #3

I couldn’t resist some  Color.


And as we will be doing various drawing and printmaking techniques I chose the Sennelier oil pastels.

Ultra buttery soft, melting onto what ever surface they are applied to.

Superior quality, good price.

Just under $5  Australian.



The Wax encaustic sticks… a bit of an indulgence?

Naples Yellow.  Indanthrone blue.  Sage green.  White.  Quinacridone Gold.

Turquoise (or in my mind… cobalt teal)


These colors combine to make a gorgeous palette full of harmony.

As a bonus,  they mix together well, to create dozens more color blends.

The series 6 colors were spendy $15   –  an indulgence, yes.


Purchase #4

Magnani Pescia is an Italian mouldmade 100% cotton printmaking paper.

My purchase:  3  sheets,  tucked into the Saunders bag.


The Magnani  is a soft paper, smooth and creamy.  Great surface, lovely for lino prints, gelli prints, lithography, woodcuts.

Its fantastic for drawings.  For charcoal, pastels, inks.

I was able to buy these for about $7 each.



Purchase #5

The Encaustic metal printing plate.  $20.28 purchase price.

I heat it up, then melt the wax sticks on it in whatever design I wish.  Place my chosen printmaking paper down on the plate, lift off and voila!

A monoprint is created.





All in all, I left the shop spending just a tad over $150.00

I’m sure that’s close to a record low for me, going to a proper art store.  


That was a lot of judicious selecting I have to say.

The selecting,  is a large part of my enjoyment.


There are so many new items to look at.

So many brilliant colors, papers, pastels, inks.

My eyes seemed to want so much more.

I didn’t  need,  more though.


It was fun, I  had fun.  I’m pretty content with what I have.



Hope you enjoyed my trip to the art store,   Cheers!





Oxlades Art Supplies  Perth  Facebook 

Oxlades Art Supplies 



Cheap Joes Art Supplies 

USA  Arches paper 300gsm 10 pack $54.50      $5.40 each



Creative Art ; gelli prints 


Art Materials Supplies

Trees: ink, light and feeling

Trees: ink, light and feeling

Feeling the trees with ink and light.

Brushes and skewers, are used lightly softly.

The black ink diluted in many tones, plays upon the dampened paper.



ink trees in black, tree reflections, inktober, debiriley.com
Ink Trees


Trees in Ink


You never know, just what may come about, what may emerge.

A surprise each time.


Many surprises are wonderful.

And many are also oops and border right on the cusp of utter disaster.


But I try to give the positive experience, that creative moment at hand,  my entire focus.

And disregard the negatives.




inked up trees, debiriley.com
inked up trees



black and white ink, ink chop carved, debiriley.com
Ink chop Black and White








Inking Up in October

Inking Up in October

Inks on trend….

not that I  ever ‘do what I’m told, or supposed to do.’

But,  I am in the process of “inking up.”


inking up, inktober, october ink, chinese paper brushes with inks, debiriley.com
Inking Up



That’s the start of the process.



Materials for Inking Up


I can’t help but love all my gorgeous papers, inks and brushes and stones. They’re just so lovely!


The  Feel of them, is fabulous.


Slate grey, the ink stone is cool and smooth to the touch.


My Masa papers are slightly velvety, not rough, but with a gentle raspy surface. Which is perfect for the ink. It will absorb, but not act like blotting paper. Nor will it run off, unabsorbed.  I’ve been happy with this paper and its sensitive, versatility.


An old weathered stick gathered from the Pacific NW shores, is worn smooth with the point bluntly tapered. Its not as sharply pointed as my new, fresh skewer.

The first provides a wider, broader line and mark. Perhaps for larger items or things less important.

But the thin, super sharp tipped skewer… it is meant for details. To pull the eye to something important. A focal point.


The chinese brushes, my hakes, and the flat Davinci brush with its silky bristles … lie in wait.

I don’t know yet, what they will be needed for.  I’m sure they will let me know, when the time comes.

Time. Experience. Practice. Mistakes.

With these, you develop that kind of sensitivity to your materials.  And to your subjects.



The stunningly carved head and face of the dragon – lion, really inspires me all on its own.



lion dragon chop, chinese ink chop carved, debiriley.com


Contemplation,   inked up

Every aspect, is considered.

Reflected upon.


I do immerse myself in the process, in the way of the brush.

In the way of the inks. In the way of the materials.


In the Feeling of the subject and materials.

It is, a very non Western way.


It is so much more in tune with the Eastern way of art.

This feels to me,  more liberating.

Expressive.  Expansive.

It works, for me.


Looking forward to inking up, tomorrow!




enso, ink drawing, debiriley.com
enso   and the resting dragon




Under the Influence – of Matisse

Under the Influence – of Matisse

For Inspiration, you never can go wrong with the Masters.

Anytime my classes need a bit of visual ‘help’  I always like to mention “Go To The Masters!”

They have decades of experience just waiting for us to learn from.


painting the nude, cobalt teal blue pg50, impressionist watercolor nude, figure after Matisse, creative life drawing, debiriley.com
After Matisse, in watercolors


Matisse Like Impressionist Nude


To be under the influence of one of The Masters means you’ve chosen for yourself a world famous teacher.

You’re in a classroom of pure excellence.



My reference material

Whilst in a life drawing class I’d made some rapid studies of the model for later use. These I redrew several times at home, looking for a suitable design.

I had the idea of using charcoal to accent watercolors as well as popping in CTB cobalt teal blue for a Splash of color.

Also…. the idea of being  influenced by the style and approach of Matisse, with his colorful nudes and curved figures.


I’ve titled this, “After Matisse”  even though I wasn’t actually looking at one of his works at the time.

I was remembering how Matisse works. His lines, colors, his feeling he puts into the painting.


I Deliberately – was being influenced by the Matisse style.



The Masters

There are many, many other great Masters to learn from.

To be influenced by. Rothko,  John Singer Sargent, Edward Seago,  Clarice Beckett,  JW Turner,  Monet, Pissarro, Corot, Seurat, Picasso…..


The Masters teach us, show us the relevance of conveying emotion in the painting.


While we learn, while we are being influenced, we also are gaining skills and confidence.

We’re learning the Masters’ secrets and then weaving them, into our own unique approach. As it should be!



Drawing… upon the child within

Drawing… upon the child within


Maybe its as easy, as simple as drawing like a child again.  The pure unfettered self expressive freedom a child unleashes while drawing and creating is a joy to watch.

I believe I received just as much happiness from the watching as my granddaughter did as she created this.

Unfettered by rules, by expectations, by popular demands.

Yes, that is what art means….. for me.  And is what I encourage with such enthusiasm.



draw like a child, creative drawing, drawing with creativity and imagination, debiriley.com
Draw Like A Child…. free, expressive. happy!



Draw Like A Child

Draw like a child…. free of fear.


Picasso knew a bit about returning to the enchantment of childhood in order to create from within.


Every child is an artist.  The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.



Its this,  drawing like a child, creating from within,  that is our True North.



The Story Line


once upon a time, when we first beheld the world

through our childhood eyes –


and the world was lovely

and we were happy


with the joy of a crayon in hand

we scrawled big splashes across the pages

as our mothers

proudly smiled with encouragement

and enthusiasm



but then we went to school

we learned to stay in the lines


we learned that the sky


the grass WAS GREEN


we learned there were

no dragons, no easter bunnies, no santas, no angels, no knights


we learned our ABC’s

and about those frightening  F’s



we went to work

and learned to toe the line


to cease our daydreaming,

to always pay attention

to The Bottom Line



we learned there were bills to pay,

family to feed,

and there was never enough  time



then if we were fortunate,

we retired



we dusted off the old brushes,

took out the faded paints and charcoals


and wondered….


did all our freedom go,

what happened to our creativity



why did the magic disappear?



The Artist Within – Hope, Encouragement, Freedom

This is the story line, over and over, of so many people who come to art classes.

I felt compelled to try to put their stories into words for all of us. To examine the issue closer.


It is not a case of “not being talented” or gifted.

It is not about “being no good”  as I’ve heard as well.


It is I think,  more like we need some word of hope, of encouragement from someone to get us started on our journeys.

Plus,  we Do need to throw out ‘perfection’ and return to a more childlike creative state.



See – Burn – Free 

When we return to looking, to seeing with our child’s eye, our imaginations and creativity will be restored to us.

When we toss away the school master’s lecture notes and burn them for the illusion they are;

we free our Imaginations.


“perfection is an illusion.”

Merely …..  a convenient measuring stick which others can be graded by,  judged by, monitored, labelled and dismissed by.



I so agree.

(Unless…..  you are a surgeon. or in another life and death profession.  then I advocate as much perfection as is possible. please.)

The world doesn’t require abstract expressionist surgeons.




But I believe it does need us to once again see the magic.

To see the dragons, santas, angels, bunnies and knights.

Even if they are only within our enchanted imaginations.




A warm thank you to  Andrew Seal at  thechangingpalette.com  for his humorous  “abstract expressionist surgeon”  phrase.  I found it wonderful, funny & handy!  Plus, if you check out his website – you’ll discover not only humor in his posts, but some of the most expressive work with ink, pen and brush.  Ink work that is not tight,  nor stiff at all.  But very free and gestural, with lovely rhythm.   the changingpalette.com

Love Touch Create: With These Hands

Love Touch Create: With These Hands

With these hands.  The World is held within our hands.

tough create hands, photos, debiriley.com

We express, we touch, we love, we create, we share, we build.

With these hands.


What,  can these hands create……….


Building with these hands, photo, debiriley.com
Building With These Hands

We can move mountains.



We can Build bridges.

Create hope.  Instill trust.   Share imagination.  Lend a helping hand.

loving hands, with these hands, debiriley.com
Loving Hands


with these hands, love, touch, create, debiriley.com
With These Hands


So uniquely expressive, these hands.

expressive hands, photograph debiriley.com
The Hand



hands in repose, debiriley.com



With These Hands……….


sorrow of hands, debiriley.com
Sorrow of Hands



embrace of hands, love, debiriley.com
Embrace of Joy
love holds hands, debiriley.com
Love Holds Hands




With these hands.

love, hope, joy, imagination, art, a better future.


hands of the future, debiriley.com
hands of the future