Tag: creativity

Cold Wax …. travel to a new place

Cold Wax …. travel to a new place

 

Inspiration 1:  The Book

cold wax painting, great art books, wabi sabi art books, art and travel, debiriley.com
Cold Wax Painting  – The Book

Anything with “Wabi Sabi” has my immediate attention, as many of you have guessed by now.  Wabi-wabi Painting with Cold Wax by Serena Barton  is on my list of Great Art Books to read. Beautifully laid out, logically presented and is easy to follow along and ‘ad lib.

 

 

cold wax oils
Cold Wax, Oils on Wood

Cold wax is a wax medium primarily used with oil paints to extend, increase thickness, to create added depth, transparency to the painting.  With hot wax, ie encaustics, you need to heat the wax. Which is sometimes a logistical issue.

 

I have, used cold wax over both acrylics and watercolours.

It worked fine for me.

Resolving and fixing your paintings, debiriley.com
Cobalt Teal Blue …cold wax glaze

 

Cold wax is easier, than how wax encaustics.

Its ready all the time. It doesn’t give precisely the same results as hot wax encaustics, it is different. In a good way.

I have experimented with both, and love both.

Wax, either cold wax or encaustic,  have a certain quality to them, an otherworldliness. This makes them perfect for paintings denoting depth, space, antiquity,  and distant lands. 

Its this unique quality the wax provides, that I love.

The aspect of travel of Other Lands,  suits cold wax application beautifully.

 

Golden wax encaustic debiriley.com
Shimmering… hot wax encaustic

 

Travel Inspiration… through Art

printmaking paper, Sennelier oil pastel, print plates, wax sticks, naples yellow, debiriley.com
Inspiring  world, through Art –   Encaustic Sticks, Chinese paper, pastels

Art is a form of travel.

 

Why do I say that?

Art is able to transport you in time and place.

I suppose, its almost like a magic carpet. In a way.

Art is able to transcend the barriers of the present moment – to project us forward, backward, or perhaps into alternate and magical,  realms.

 

If, the art is convincing enough.

If we are fortunate to have a Muse, to help us!

 

 

The Art Muse

Art in all its forms,  needs some type of a muse.

Something to breathe  the breath of life into the art. 

Something to spark the ember into a fire.

We need a Muse, that  Adds To   the world of art we wish to create.

The Muse shares with us, shows us:  different approaches, fresh ideas. With the help of our Muse,  we  use all our senses as we go about our everyday living.

Daily life, has been enriched.

That, is what the Muse does for the artist.

 

 

Expressive Art Creations  can’t  flourish,  in  conditions of rigid conformity.

The Muse,  works best in a free unbound environment.   In utter authenticity.

The Muse relies upon individualist creativity. That which can not be replicated,  mass produced.

The Muse is no Lemming.  What is being created are  things of unique and rare merit.

Imagination comes without an On – Off switch.  Sometimes its ON. Sometimes, its Off.

 

 

Travel to new lands –  Breaking Out

Creativity isn’t   free to express its  voice,  if its   shackled to the same four walls.

Art needs to be let out of the room, to go explore.

Some  Where.

Once in awhile.

 

These 3 Mountain paintings, are from 3 completely different geographical areas.

The exploring, the wandering, the travel …. it continues to  Add To  my daily life.

winter mountain acrylics debiriley.com
Winter Dawn Mountain Acrylics

 

color on the mountain, landscape painting, emerald, jade, debiriley.com
Color On The Mountain with cold wax added

 

We travel to new places,  To See.

Discovering different pathways.

To hear the songs from all across the earth.

Ultramarine Mountain landscape debiriley.com
Ultramarine Mountain

Travel allows us to discover.

Whether we are  walking a new street, seeing a new country, a new city.

Using a new color, a new medium, a different paper.  Or a different brush.

Without a bit of travel,  we become insular.

We become wrapped within our own habits, routines, becoming slaves to our own Selves.

Not noticing the treasures surrounding us.

 

So.  By the occasion foray to a new land, a new media,  a different place,   we become more aware of our local  daily environment as well.  Interesting.

 

I’d always longed to travel the entire globe.

Spinning the school’s world globe, studying maps of other lands.

Dreaming of being a pioneer, of discovering  unknown places.

 

While there may not be, many of those wild places left to discover and my days of scaling the rugged mountain peaks may have  finished…..  I still can hike (stroll)  and explore and conquer new lands.

I can still travel.

 In many different ways.

 

So can you.

We may not all be able to jet off to New York City, Seattle, London, Tokyo,  Madrid, Singapore. 

But we can use Art,  as our vehicle, to  transport us wherever we wish to go.

Any new place we go, adds to us.  We become more, Inside.

 

Cold Wax is another way to travel to new places –  in your art.

It has an adventurous, unknown, feeling to it.    It feels wonderful buffed and polished when dry. The layerings will create a sense of smoothed-over scarring;  with a dimension and depth that is irresistible.

 

cold wax medium, watercolor abstracts, cobalt teal blue, ocean theme, debiriley.com
Resolving old works… with Cold Wax Medium

Cold Wax Mediums

I have used all three of the brands.  Each are quite good.  I do like Dorlands.

Dorlands

Gamblins

Art Spectrum

 

 

 

 

 

Playing In Perth: Palette Knife Painting

Playing In Perth: Palette Knife Painting

Palette Knife Painting and Workshops

What a wonderful creative combination: the natural environment rocky escarpments and brilliant skies! Add the magical Palette Knife PK1008 and its a perfect recipe for fun.

palette knife painting workshops, Debi Riley art, nature as inspiration, Perth art classes, debiriley.com
Perfect Palette Knife Playing in Perth, workshop August 31, 2019

 

 

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!

Art – Acts of Creation

Art – Acts of Creation

To Create

What is it ‘to create?’

Why  might this interpretive definition be important to you?

While I’m specifically  writing this article for the current participants of my courses in Perth, I feel it is  relevant for many others who’d like to be encouraged,  as they create.

watercolor painting techniques
Acts of Creation, palette knife & watercolor

People who create things – ‘Creators’

We do not, need to be  painters,  to be considered creators of art.

If you make things, build things, develop things – you are a creator.

 

We have been led, to believe only a select rare few, are artists. Are deserving to be named art creators.  Not so. We are all, born to create. In some form.

Art, takes an infinity of forms: Music, photography, dance, building & bridge design, digital apps., surgery,  interior design, fashion design, coding, cooking, sculpture, writing, martial arts….  We can make anything an ‘art form’  if that is our desire.

To take something to an ‘art form,’  we must truly love the subject.

Become partners with it. At ease and in tune with how it looks, moves, feels, sounds, responds.  The beginning of artistry is love, time, connectedness.

Whether we’re painters, teachers, computer app designers,  composers, surgeons, city planners – we all can enhance our work when we “feel” the situation, the surroundings, immersing ourselves in the subject. Being connected.

Its this way we can best share the excellence of creation we have  envisioned with the world.

 

palette knife in blue
Knife’s Edge A Dance in Blue

Acts of Creation:  All In

We use, channel, harness all of our senses in order to create the art.  

But, we must do so opened up.  All In.

To be All In,  means you’ve put everything on the line.

Wabi Sabi, tears and tears

You are Vulnerable.

Stripped down to your core. And must engage the process  with sensitivity, with feeling.  Being attuned to,  in time with our chosen partner,  i.e. subject.

What is your subject – Is it the Mountain? The ocean? The forest?  The dancers at the ballet?   The little rose bush, that the frost of autumn has  aged overnight?

 

Those cool professional walls, barriers, and that distance put into place to keep us “safe” and protected from feeling hurt, or embarrassed?

They don’t help us.

What they do is  negate the power of creation we  could have  infused our art with.

 

Why do we copy?

Replicate Joe Smith’s painting?  What ‘risk’ are we taking in doing that?  If it is mocked and we are embarrassed, we can always say, “Oh well, I only copied Joe. Its not mine. Not really.”  And, no. It’s not.

When we open up, we then are so vulnerable. And this is the  scary thing.

It is an uncertain thing.  

We do not like the fact that we don’t know for certain if  our creation,  will work or not.

IF, it will be ok.  Be ‘good enough.’ Or not.

To have family, a friend, a mentor … “approve.”

Get “likes” or not.  Get followers or not.

Life is way too short, for us to make those approvals of monumental significance.

Your own opinion, that’s the one that is of monumental significance.

 

And, yes. It is a struggle.

Every time we pick up the pen, the brush, the mouse, the knife, we hear the voice in our head tell us to  do it better this time.

 (Silence that voice each time.  It knows nothing.  Nothing…. of relevance to the act of creation.)

 

It is the Uncertainty,of not getting it right, that stops us.  It is what blocks us, chains us, ties our hands from trying.  

It is the Uncertainly that stops us from being  ‘ALL In.’   Prevents us from  giving it every thing we have to give.

But if we never try, never summon the courage, (in some cases we must  invent it if that is what is required)  then the world, misses out on what we alone have to give.

 

monotype in blue
Fallen upon my knees, failing

Yes.  We will stumble.

We will fall to our knees.

We will fail.

Its ok.  I repeat, it is ok that we make mistakes, stumble, fail.

*side note,  if you are a bridge engineer, aircraft mechanic, heart surgeon, airport traffic controller…. its ok,  if you have a little higher standards than what I’ve just mentioned.  In fact, thanking you in advance for it.  cheers!

 

For too long we have all been told, trained and conditioned, to believe in the god of perfection.

“Get It Right.”

No errors. No flaws.

No scars.

No visible signs of cracks, age, wear or tear.

In other words, absolutely no signs that we are, after all,  Human.

How sad.

Because, being human is the greatest asset we have. Flaws and all.

 

 

Acrylic Creations

I’m currently mentoring privately a beautiful person, with acrylics. We are working on a helpful approach to lessen the fear of mistakes, flaws.  We’re developing a program with Multiple creative  resolution methods, imaginative  solutions, thinking outside the box.

Addressing –  Society’s obsession with imperfections.

It is a challenge to go against our training.  But, we can do it.  We simply repeat, the acts of creation we desire. Over and over, and over.

In the mentoring sessions,  we are repurposing used acrylic canvases. They already have  colors and textures on them,  in abundance.   But, they were not quite working.

The next step is to brush over, in selected areas large swaths of contrasting paint.

We used White. Brilliant!   This creates a lovely and lively sensation of vibration and contrast. The underlying base comes through in places  with the white, skimming along the surface to create fascinating patterns suggesting of bark, trees, foliage shapes.

This Technique clearly demonstrates that the underlying “Imperfect” canvas, with its scars, its hard edges, its yucky bits…. actually was the perfect substrata for the project.

I like how this art creation process can also be interpreted through the lens of life as well.

An Act of Creation, Victoria Jane 2019

This is one of the pieces, my friend created using the acrylic methods described above.   A Wonderful, act of creation.

Art of Connection

I am in fact, expressing in paint, my world. Not yours. Not Joe’s. Mine. This is a very important distinction artists, creators need to make.

When I create a painting, or photographic art image,  I am primarily attempting to convey the dialogue.  In other words,  the  dialogue that is going on between the subject and myself.

 

That simply can not occur if I refuse to spend alone time with it.

If I treat it callously, abruptly,  with little regard, and simply want to “use it” to make a pretty little picture to boost my ego – then, no, I can’t expect its true beauty to shine through.

Its more effective to become friends with the subject.

To learn about it. To immerse oneself into its world.

 

Then…. Maybe I can create art that has a beautiful life energy within it.

What I hope to create, is to convey the essence of what  I myself connect to and  “feel.”

To define this. I think of it in these terms:  of having the emotion of Love of life,  emanate from my creation.  Just as a warm fire in winter compels and draws people closer.

I know.  That is,  a lofty goal. And one I often stumble, fall and abjectly fail at.  That’s ok.  I’m All In.   I’ll keep trying.  Some, do work quite well.  I’m happy with that.

 

In whatever form,  the art chooses to take for each individual, we want to strive to impart a piece of our selves,  into our  “Acts of Creation.” 

 

 

partner posts

Imagination,  Needs an Invitation  

Creativity,  threads of creativity  

Acrylics  Scorched Wings of Icarus 

Palette Knife  a delight 

Resolving Paintings

Expressionist 

Toko Shinodo,  the power of creating with less  

Unbounded  –  The 7 Days of Zen 

Bones of Time – The 7 Days of Zen 

 

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

 

Expressionist Creative Perth Artist

Expressionist Creative Perth Artist

The Arts in Perth: nurturing the self to foster creative identity and confidence.

What do I do? I teach art? perhaps. But at the core, the reality is I am sharing something far more important. I’m more of an encouraging ‘creativity mentor.’ A coach. I love to share artistic pathways that help the individual reclaim their innate identity, power and confidence. Balance through the arts.

Once in a while, I come across a client who has an ease within themselves straight off the bat.

This is not the typical beginner response. But their comfort at communicating, at expressing in paint playfully, in pure joyful Freedom – is Different.

It sets them apart.

They already are absorbed in the process. Totally engaged with the physicality of the action. In the act of painting all on its own, with no thought of reward or product or result.

That in all my experience is so, unique.

It is, in my opinion the highest benchmark of An Artist.

Today, for my first true, post back… I’ve featured Paola (a client) and each of the art works seen belong to her.

Paola hasn’t been with me for long period of time, a couple of terms is all. She first came to my course “Draw, Print, Paint.”

This was an intermediate to advanced level course. Not specifically designed for a brand new Beginner!

We drew…..in a loose, bold, super fast and free approach.

Extremely Non traditional.

No – straight lines! No – rigidity.

No – erasers. Are, your eyes open yet?!

No – concern over flaws, imperfections, wrong angles, etc.

Simply, drawing big and bold with a fat black Sharpie marker! The concept was to have Fun and to play.

On cheap papers. This diminishes fears “of wasting money.”

Loose, and easy…. watercolor painting

Paola next booked into Watercolors: Loose and Easy.

abstract expressionist watercolor l Paola

Once again, the course was not specifically designed for complete beginners.

But once again what Paola envisioned and created, was captivating. Her extraordinary absorption in the process is fascinating to see.

Each brush stroke, deliberate and meaningful.

The color was stroked upon the paper, and left. Alone.

Where it melted and merged and vibrated with its fellow notes.

There was no fiddling. No over working. No excess concern over flaws and imperfections in paper, paint, or marks made.

They were made, and then… let go.

She has a wonderful ability to find her own place of safety and security within herself enabling her to simply respond in creative liberation. Without a lot of coaching, coaxing, guidance from myself.

I’d like us all, to be able to feel that free to express our own voice, in our own words, without fear of reprisals. Of being called out for some perceived small imperfection or ‘mistake.’

Flaws.

Well….. we are, Human!

Wabi Sabi

One of my personal, favourite words and philosophies over the past couple years has been, and is – Wabi Sabi.

If, you look it up you’ll discover lovely beautiful things about it.

The concept is that there is beauty to be seen and found, in the Imperfect. In the unfinished. And in the Impermanent.

It can be a game changing discovery for some of us, former “perfectionists.”

I’ve done several series and posts on The 7 Days of Zen, and wabi sabi elements you might have a read on if you’d like.

Creative Freedom, abstract expressionism – Paola

Creativity

Creativity requires a sense of ‘safety.’ Our creative imagination will refuse to come out to play, until it feels secure. Safe. When it knows it has the utter freedom to be authentic, its own self, imperfect and flawed as it is!

We will not, see fresh new inventions, new medical, tech, science breakthroughs – in environments of stress, fear, negativity. The fear of being vulnerable to attack, causes the creative side, our clever side to stay hidden. Buried.

Trying to excavate the hidden creative buried far beneath the layers, deep in the crevices, that almost nothing can pry out – can be exhausting work. It takes immense patience. Time.

And sometimes, someone else’s eyes to see that gem and make mention of it, softly and kindly. Repeatedly.

Authentically.

At work, what I really do, is: I campaign against fear.

It is Fear, that so often leads many to replicate someone else’s words. Or their looks. Or opinion. Or someone else’s painting. There is No need!

abstract still life indigo and orange Paola

My philosophy is:

“YOU, Are absolutely every bit – just as interesting, good, valuable and faceted – as Monet/Madonna/Oprah or whoever it is that is being copied.”

Probably more so. Please let us in, tell us your story.

Thank you Paola,, for so kindly and with courage, allowing me to feature your work on my first post back. I am grateful. Debi

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