Tag: flowers

Summer Retreat

Summer Retreat

Good Morning!

With so much news to share, its been really challenging for me to choose which topic to begin with since my return from summer break.

 

Summer

Summer?  Yes, well,  it is a wild and wet, brisk, winter here in Perth.

Refreshing, shall we say.

But it is summer, in Seattle.

summer, pacific northwest, forest, sunlight
Summer, conveyed through art

 

The summer retreat at my sister’s was an opportunity,  I couldn’t waste.

We don’t see each other often. Living across the pond, as we do.

I wanted to spend her birthday with her.

 

It was a shorter holiday than planned.

But we can infuse lifetimes, into an hour, if needs be, can’t we?

 

We both made  the time count. 

Moment by moment.  Mindfully.

35 days.  To fill a well.

And so we did.

 

    LIFE  Is Art.   and,  Art… is Life. 

As an artist, and an instructor, this is  a message that is important for me to share.

The two, are one.  All of us, seem to be forgetting this.  (more on this, in upcoming posts!)

 

Most of the time, we had a fabulous summer retreat vibe going on, keeping it low key, staying in her lush green gardens.

The lawns and gardens were filled with ponds, flowers and trees.

 

Oh!  and the most delicious raspberries, that I pilfered early each morning. Yum.

Flowers… blooming right beneath my window. Incredible!

summer hydrangea, purple flower macro, flower photography, summer Seattle, debiriley.com
Below my Window …. copyright debiriley

 

 

 

Mornings –   Dawn Breaks

My mornings were…  oh wait,   I’ll take you there!

 

 

 

macro floral dew drop, purple flower bokeh,zen photography, debiriley.com
first light, early morning dew

Before the sun arose, I watched  the night fall away sliver by sliver, through my bedroom window.

Until the light came streaming across the dew kissed lawn for a magical few seconds, and leaving me little time to snap a photo.

I think I was more focused on the experience, than the ‘capture’ on those mornings.

yes… more on the Process;  less on the Product.

 

I was mesmerised with the peek through view of looming ranges of the Cascade Mountains, that I could get by standing on my tip toes and looking east.

For me, it seemed to add a touch of morning zen.

Thoughts of,  “oh yeah….  I remember now,  the way it was in those early summer days in the Pacific Northwest!”

 

 

 

Sunshine and Roses

Sometimes in blogs,  we get carried away.

Making it seem as if we’re living the life of Riley.

No pun intended.

 

But,  I’m going to admit…. that,  “No. Not All,  was not sunshine and roses on my summer retreat!”

It never is.

 

Dilemmas, injuries, interrogations, all the usual suspects and then some, came out to try to cause mayhem.

 

But the overriding fact is   “Love does, leave a memory  No one can steal.”

 

love quote, memory of love, debiriley.com
Love  sign from my sister’s  garden

 

A Rose for Love

Below a rose.

Lisa’s Rose  just outside my bedroom window

 

rose soft focus, orange purple color floral, photo rose bokeh, debiriley.com
Rose given in love

 

Hints of subtle context, perhaps so.

Only the tips of the closest leaves are clearly seen, visible and identifiable.

The rest of the rose is so softly diffused and dissolving.

 

What mysteries the artist, could…. infer if we were,

to pause and reflect a moment?

Perhaps about the person who gave, or the person viewing, or even as a metaphor for some other and deeper things?

Who knows?

 

 

 

Summary on Summer Retreat

As artists,  we dig and delve.

We think.

We retreat.

We fill our wells so that we may create with restored vitality, fresh imagination, wild creativity once  again.

 

 

There is of course more to come about this summer trek, including cobalt teal rivers, rainbow waterfalls, and demon hordes of thirsty mozzies set to drain us within 5 minutes of reaching our destination.  Should be entertaining.  Cheers.

 

 

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Sunshine and Roses

Sunshine and Roses

Bright and Summery.

Who can resist roses with their beguiling perfume and lovely colored petals?

 

sunlit pale pink rose photograph, canon camera, debiriley.com
sunlit pale rose

 

They have a way about them, don’t they?

With them…. its all sunshine and roses.

 

garden roses in pink lavenders, purple rose photographs, debiriley.com
Riley’s Roses

 

 

 

 

deep red rose photograph, canon macro 100mm lens, debiriley.com
irresistible

 

 

 

Even though I now have a most delightful rose garden, I still get ‘inspiration’ elsewhere.

I do the zen strolls around the bushlands and the neighborhood,  finding new treasures to admire.

 

On the odd occasion.

I still, peer over into the neighbor’s garden. 

 

 

 

 

Summer

Summer

The word, “Summer” conjures up a myriad of thoughts, ideas, feelings.

Fun.

 

Summer Days, memories and feelings of summers past, debiriley.com
Summer Days

“Summer”

It might evoke thoughts of ……

 

By gone days.

Picnics in the past, spent under a shady tree while the warm breeze rustles the sun dappled leaves. Or in the cool peaceful breeze of the patio.

 

For the under 20’s  perhaps Summer brings the more ‘urgent and now’  feelings of where to go,  Right Now!

Perhaps water skiing around a 15 mile island in the bracing waters off the Canadian shores,

or for some the challenge of hiking in the Cascades or Rockies is a great Summer pastime.

 

But if you’re in the midst of winter, as we are in the Southern Hemisphere, then Summer  might just be a tantalizing lure.

 

As artists,   to paint Summer scenes with authenticity, we need to fully immerse ourselves in that place.  To be in that moment.  So that the viewer, might also feel the Summer warmth shine upon them as well.

 

watercolour flowers debiriley.com
Summer Patio Flowers with Soft Edges receding….

 

Patio in Summer Watercolor

This Impressionist watercolor painting, (not new)   was painted for a class demo.

I’d painted it to show how to simplify and create soft dreamy edges.

 

It was painted one sunny day in Summer on my patio.

I was there, completely immersed in the shimmer of light, the sun’s warmth, and the wonderful peace.

 

Watercolor does have a magical  quality I think for conveying light and sun, color and Summer.

When I paint plein air, it is  my preferred medium. It responds truthfully, beautifully when I ask it to  convey something needed for the image.

 

 

Commit to the Creation

When we create, write, sing, paint, whatever…. commit,  with your truth.

Be authentic, be real.

Be bold.  Make each and every brush stroke mean something.

The viewers, the audience, will appreciate your authenticity.

 

“Sing it,  Your Way!”

 

 

 

 

 

 

How Much Do You Paint?

How Much Do You Paint?

“No, I don’t really paint, as much as I used to do, ”  was my response the other day.

I wished I’d had a camera to capture all those expressions from my group, right then!   You could see a million things running through their minds.

Shock.  Say it isn’t so. How is that, possible?   But….

 

Paint Time

It is true.  I don’t “paint”  anywhere near the amount like I did 10, 20 years ago.

Or even 5-6 years ago.

I was insanely prolific.

 

watercolors the impressionist approach, painting day, debiriley.com
fun, free, Letting Go painting day:   several “on the go”

I’d get my paints out and think nothing about whacking out 5, 10, 15 images in one sitting.

There could be 100 images in a week.

No,  definitely not all of them worked out.

That’s alright.

 

I learned things.

 

 

 

When I step back after a painting day, I think about the numbers,  the percentages.

What %  of 100  is an acceptable number for me?

I liken it to baseball stats.  Or to  photography stats, or even … to sales. How many times must I do something before I hit a home run?

Why should I think, to hold myself to an even higher standard,  than say,  those big hitters …. Babe Ruth – Hank Aaron – Ken Griffey?

 

It was and is  about the process.

Expressing the moods and emotions,  that which was within,  and externalising it.

 

And if one of those images was presentable, as a whole, I’d smile.  Even if none of them, were fantastic, I’d still smile.

As the process was and is what  drives me.

 

The need to communicate, to externalise,  the primary driver.    (Most of the time.)

I just enjoy paint, color, the physical act of creating.

 

 

Art Definitions

What changed?

Why am I not painting 100 per week now?

 

I have slowly changed my ideas about art, about what ‘art’ means to me.

 

What defines art, to me?

Art now means much more than just a paint brush and paints.

 

 

Art takes so many forms.

And I enjoy art every day. In one form, or another.

 

Sometimes I go into my garden to pause and reflect on the colors, aromas, the sounds that it brings.

creative photography, nature flower abstract photo, debiriley.com
dreams in the garden – just sitting

 

 

Other times I write.  Or photograph, or draw or, doodle.

This. Is art.

 

I’ve come to think of my art classes, the curriculum and lessons as a form of art in itself as well.  It often involves research of new methods and new tools; of the masters that are relevant to the specific group I’m currently teaching.

iphone 5 photos, glass bottles mini minarets, debiriley.com
glass minarets …class subject to paint        “at work”

My work… has become,  in a sense another form of art.

 

 

A Changed Lane

I could, indeed feel bad or guilty about not painting like I used to.

But I am,  still creating.

 

Still Inventing.

Looking around the corners for new shapes, subjects, colors, ideas.

I haven’t stopped, nor has this slowed down one bit.

Not at all.

 

It merely has changed lanes.

I’m Still going in the same direction….

The laneway is slightly different.  Thats all.

 

 

I think we are quick to judge ourselves many times too harshly, without need.

When asked that question about not painting as much now….  at first, I mentally was judging myself.

 

But I like to take the time to discover the  ‘why’  of a thing.

To dig for the answers.

Because I find in most cases, the root truthful answer, is far less troublesome than the surface answer, the one we assume to be the case.

 

 

 

So even though I’m not putting out 20- 50-100 images a week now;  I am still just as active, just as creatively engaged as I have been at any time in the past.

Its good that I took the time to dig.

Finding the answers to nagging ‘background’ questions –  sets us free to Create.

 

Releasing constraints and criticisms, ie  negativity  that would impinge upon our  future creative endeavors.

 

 

 

Art, is funny like that.

Most of us work better, do better, Create better,  in a positive, uplifting, and free environment.

 

 

Fun and Fast  Watercolor  Landscape

A Simple Impressionist Landscape created from a positive and free mindspace.

Done directly upon coming in from my Garden sitting. I felt positive, uplifted,  liberated….

 

True, it was on not nice,  cartridge paper that soaked in the paint and left marks of the brushstrokes visible.

Unliftable. Permanent marks upon the surface.

 

But this made it,  liberating.

It was either going to work or … not.  So why bother to over think it?!

 

I felt free to do what was needed, to put down,  what needed to be expressed.

 

Faint pale hints of sky, then several strokes of blue for hills and mountains.

Ooops…  oh well!     hmmmm   – boo boos there.

 

Next,  went in some gentler  cool browns to serve as a transition area, just dashed in, real quick.

 

And then,

the super fun part.

 

Splattering warm siennas, moss greens, golden umbers across the stark white foreground.

Now, that was fun.

 

mountain landscape easy and fun for beginner painters, watercolor beginner techniques, hills, mountains foreground watercolour, splatter, debiriley.com
blue mt splatter foreground   –   cropped  section

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Florals for May Day

Florals for May Day

The first day of May  always brings a smile to my face!

As a kid, in the green but rainy Pacific NW, that was the day that heralded …. Spring.

 

 

Florals

May 1…..  It was my non-official day to get outside and find Spring flowers around the gardens.

I’d dash out in between the rain showers to pick a bouquet for my mom and grandmother.

Well, and a couple of nice neighbor ladies as well.

It was fun.

 

purple flower macro, floral photography, May day blooms, debiriley.com
May Day floral

Colors of May

Lilacs, iris, violets, hydrangea, azalea, were my usual Spring favorites.

I always thought the flowers seemed to lean to lavenders early in Spring.

 

 

hydrangea macro photography in spring, florals in lavender, spring in the pacific northwest, debiriley.com
Hydrangea Spring

 

 

But Sometimes, in a pinch, I had to resort to a gorgeous summery golden yellow blossom…. the lowly dandelion.

 

But, I’d tell myself that it adds more color and a nice warm brightness.

I wasn’t going to it call it just a weed.

I had an obstacle with the lack of flowers in our storm damaged gardens.

‘Golden dandelions,’  were my Plan B solution.  I’m kind of a fan of Plan B. Backup plans for those times  “just in case something goes awry.”

 

May Day, still decades later,  makes me smile.

 

vibrant spring blooms, macro flower photography, debiriley.com
vibrant blooms in Spring 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Simple Pleasure, the flower

A Simple Pleasure, the flower

The taste of a petal upon the morning breeze.

A simple pleasure, really.

 

flower photography, simplicity and minimalism, zen, Singapore Cloud Dome flowers, debiriley.com
Pleasures of the lovely flower ….  strolling Singapore Cloud Dome

 

 

Change of Plans

I’d planned to write up a post on cold wax today; showing you a fantastic book I’ve read.  Plus a few art samples.

My heart just wasn’t there.

 

I needed a zen stroll.  But, I have class and time isn’t in my favor.

However…. the next best thing, is right at my fingertips.

 

I strolled through my garden, of photographs.

Specifically, the pathways I walked while in the Singapore Cloud Dome.

Often, I’m not exactly certain of the precise details of what I’m searching for; but, I know that I will ‘recognise it’ when I see it.

And so it was.

 

The perfect flower was right there…..

 

Flowers speaking, whispering

These flowers, whisper out in soft serenity.

And for just that moment, I am right back there breathing in their delicate fine scent.

Nearly imperceptible.

 

Subtle.

A small note one might have to hunt for,  to realise it is there.

But when it is discovered, its unmistakeable.

Unforgettable.

 

 

You know,  so many things, besides “flowers”  could create a similar response.

Maybe rivers, reflections, snow, the touch of an elderly person as they wave, and say goodbye.

 

 

Loveliness

I simply wanted  ‘something lovely’ today.

Not something Busy, Busy, Busy.

 

Not work.

Not a full 10 point list of do and don’t (s)  or lessons, 15 tips and step by step pointers.

 

 

 

As I was looking at the flower photograph, I thought:

These petals

whisper their silent poetry

and we will only ever hear them –

when we permit

simple pleasures,

an equal measure of time with the complexities.

 

 

Yes.

I enjoyed my change of plans.

 

 

Lovely Orchid Art

Lovely Orchid Art

The colors of an orchid, delighting the artist within.

The lasting after effects of Valentine’s Day.

Its color, that touches the artist’s soul… more so, than chocolates.

 

 

yellow and purple orchid, orchid information, debiriley.com
Bold colors of the orchid

 

 

In Love With Orchids

 

Orchids represent: beauty, peace, strength, elegance, perfection.

Due to their symmetry, and the straight lines on their petals, orchids represent beauty in symmetry, and considered epitomes of rare beauty.
In ancient Japan, orchids were royal treasures and considered symbols of wealth.
People of ancient China thought orchids were the epitome of human perfection….. ‘Lan Hua.’
In Victorian England, these lovely flowers were likened to a beautiful woman.
pale orchid beauty, canon macro flower orchid photo, debiriley.com
orchid in pale butter yellow

 

into the orchid debiriley.com
Into the Orchid
Luxurious.
Orchids are considered to be symbolic of love.
During the Victorian era, it was a custom to gift rare, exotic flowers to show love and affection.
The more rare the flower, the deeper your love… so it was believed.
Some areas, used parts of the orchids in special “love potions.”

 

carousel spider orchid, Perth WA, photo debiriley.com
Wild Beauty –  Carousel Spider Orchid, in Perth W.A.

 

symbolism of the orchid flower

 

Yellow orchids stands for friendship and new beginnings.

Blue orchids are quite rare.  Blue orchids represent uniqueness, luxury, meditation, spirituality.

White orchids: innocence, beauty.

Pink can symbolise innocence, femininity, joy. (Also used to celebrate the 14th and 28th wedding anniversary.)

Purple orchids represent royalty, dignity.

Red the universal colour of passion and desire. Red orchids also symbolise strength and courage.

 

 

cobalt watercolour flowers debiriley.com
Impressionist Watercolor Bush Orchids

 

 

orchid in morning debiriley.com
Orchid bright fuschia  pink and bits of yellow gold

 

fuchsia magenta DIY gelli print, debiriley.com
Magic of Color… Magenta Fuchsia.     gelli print, fun process