Tag: holidays

Angels, Feathers: Art Subjects….. open for interpretation

Angels, Feathers: Art Subjects….. open for interpretation

Silver glittering angel. Flecks of violet, jade, topaz sparkle.

Set against that dark rich and warm Light Red background.

The Photographer, Kelly Walker, was busy around here.

With her permission, I’ve used her images.



angel in the wings, silver holiday christmas angel, debiriley.com
Angel in the wings



The Art of the Holidays

Truly…. there isn’t much, in the way of drawing, painting, creating at the moment.

A tiny bit.  Some.


But truly,   the art of the holidays is to go with the flow.



A Tree



The white Christmas tree…. a reminder of snow that will never fall upon the hot sands of W.A.

Yet somehow,  the camera has caught a  loveliness of spirit  that sets it back to right.



white plastic tree, simplicity and minimal decor, christmas decorations minimalist, debiriley.com
White Tree



A fallen feather

A fallen feather; but from where we may wonder.


A mingling of purest white and ebony black; with all the subtle beautiful tones of greys that stirs my artist’s mind.

Leaping to thoughts of which paints and pigments might be used to create all these splendid variations.


The delicate blush of sandstone cream, soft and pale, blurred like a dream into the background – captivates doesn’t it?


Once again, the camera has captured something that is,  magical.

It pulls the eye, the heart, in.


I must say though….. Its not, the camera that did this magic.

No.  Rather it is the person behind the camera who created this. Who was able to capture and convey these feelings of magic.


fallen feather photo, soft grey and white tones, debiriley.com
a Fallen feather




And Lastly.

A monoprint.

Open for interpretation.


I have assembled and used as inspiration these holiday photographs taken by another, but from my home.

They have then been used to form to shape – first within my imagination and then with paper and paints, an image that I have interpreted from those photos.



The monoprint.

The outspread form. a tree shape?

Could it be an angel’s wing?

A feather?

Is that snow in the foreground?  A blizzard in the clouds?

Or perhaps it is the rays of the sun as it shimmers down right at dusk?



art needs to be open for interpretation, monoprint blue and light red, wing shapes, sun ray shapes, debiriley.com
Open… for interpretation



This is the pure beauty of the abstract: it is meant to engage.

It is open,  for interpretation. 



Sparkle! and Shine!

Sparkle! and Shine!

How did she know?

holiday card, joyful tree, debiriley.com


Gift Filled with Sparkle

For a month, I thought about getting myself an advent calendar.

My friend must have read my mind.


Her holiday card full of Sparkle and Shine was more than perfect.




And now, I am having so much fun with this card.

Each day a tightly shut window, gets opened.

Something Beautiful, gets revealed.



It is a beautiful gift, thoughtfully given.

What a joyful tree.


Full of Sparkle!

Full of Shine!



Version 2



Its lovely to have friends like that.

Full of Sparkle!

Full of Shine!


Season of Love

Season of Love


It makes the world go round….

in every season.

peace, joy, love oil painting in blue debiriley.com
Love…..peace, joy, love     debiriley.com (c)


The Season



It is the spirit of peace that calls out to be heard and shared.



It is simply sharing a moment of goodness,  of something ‘lovely and precious.’




It is the Light that keeps us going, dark the night may be.







This is the 3rd year I’ve posted this oil painting during the Christmas Season.

I love the colors, the feeling, the Message!

Its great to start fun new traditions. Sharing this lovely blue oil painting each holiday seems like a wonderful one to continue.






A Way With Oils

  1. Painting with oils on a lovely rich and sturdy canvas is a delight.

2. The good canvas has a certain Responsiveness, a give, a ‘spring’ to it that those cheaper panels… don’t even come close to.


3. The Canvas grips and holds, your brushstroke.

4. Freezing in time, the feeling, the expression the artist was experiencing.


5. When I’ve used the panels they feel harsh, hard. There is no give, no spring. No responsiveness.   They feel slick, slippery.  Resistant. As if they’re made one way and will adamantly resist this freedom of expression.  This, is of course,  my own personal experience and thoughts.


6. I love the way good canvas feels, it is such a Joy!

7. It seems to respond and dialogue with the artist with each brush stroke. Expressing the mood and essence of the artist and subject – with greater ease.


8. The Materials we choose, should ‘help’ the artist. Not create battles and hindrances.


9. This particular canvas featured, I primed and stretched myself.

I don’t do that as a rule though! I normally am time poor, so will buy the professional grade wrap around edge canvas. (Knowing it Can be painted over, In OILS,  which makes the budget minded me, quite happy!)


10. My monochromatic and limited palette of colors used for this painting:  cobalt blue, indigo, white, cobalt teal blue




Brands of Oil Paints I like 


Old Holland

Winsor and Newton



Winsor and Newton Alkyds

The one I’d love to try, is Vasari. With its smooth, buttery softness. Sadly, its not available in Australia yet.


Sophie Ploeg’s post on oil paint brands makes a great read. Its very informative, listing several brands and their attributes.




I hope you have enjoyed The Season of Love with these snippets of oil painting information.

Cheers, Debi


Wabi Sabi Watercolor – Winter’s Tree

Wabi Sabi Watercolor – Winter’s Tree

My Wabi Sabi Winter Tree!

Watercolor…. wonderfully zen.



watercolor winter tree, wabi sabi painting, holiday art, debiriley.com
Watercolor Winter Wabi Sabi Tree



Wabi Sabi Art

What, is this ‘wabi sabi’  I keep writing about?!   Its simply a way of looking at art, of creating art that helps me get rid of the negative critic and helps broadens my views.

For me its like ‘clean art.’  Simplicity. Pure.

Back to nature, back to the core essence.  Back to basics, really.  (I can liken it to food… eating a clean diet of pure and simple foods.)


Wabi Sabi is a Japanese Asian approach to finding beauty in things that are imperfect, impermanent, and unfinished.

Thats a  really, super brief summary.

To help give you more insight and understanding about Wabi Sabi, you can check out these posts:  7 Days of Zen   # 1 – 7



Thin Red Line

In the spirit of the holidays, I chose to add the thin red line in a vertical rectangle around my tree.   One of my earlier posts,  titled “The Thin Red Line” was,  a bit of an inspiration.

Red, even a sliver…… has a great deal of Power.




Daniel Smith watercolors -Prussian blue pb27 and a whisper… of Hansa Yellow Light py3 created my blue green for the tree.

  • I wanted a (Wintery) cool blue green, not a Yellow green!
  • So I was super ‘Judicious’  with the yellow.
  • Limiting my palette, to 2-4 colors,  always is one of my main goals.
  • Its the secret to great transparency, clarity, wonderful watercolor mixes.
  • And is a great way in  avoiding mud!


Once again, the watercolor brush I chose was the Rekab #2 320s.

The ultra Fine tip, the super sensitivity, the performance and versatility of this brush.   I haven’t used a better brush, I’ve tried hundreds of brushes.   Some  Kolinsky, Isabey, Raphael, etc.  Still,  Rekab wins.   For me.




I thought about the design for a bit.  My thoughts on what I wanted:

  • lots of stunning white space, …like Toko Shinoda
  • asymmetrical branches, staggered;  not even!
  • the trunk to gently, continue on. out of the picture
  • green-blue  with red,  For the Holiday Theme
  • keep the image clean, sharp, illustrative
  • using vertical line directionals
  • creating my signature on the side, on a vertical



Just a quick look at another painting that also has a Vertical signature:

Watercolours Wild Floral fast and loose painting debiriley.com
Wild Floral fast and loose 10 minute watercolor



Wabi Sabi Watercolor Winter’s Tree  was a lovely, fun painting.  I enjoyed the way the brush took over and expressed the wonderful holiday mood!





Love: we don’t need another gadget

Love: we don’t need another gadget

The most enduring possession we have or could ask for: Love

We don’t need another gadget.  Another cup. Another ‘thing.’

What most of us seriously – really need.

Is Love.


Holiday greeting, Love Joy Peace, monotype, red flowers still life, debiriley.com
Love Joy in Red, debiriley.com



Love is, compassion. And mercy and empathy.

I often heard my father say to us, “Until you walk a mile in their shoes……”

Then, he left it right there.  He never needed to finish his sentence.


Love Speaks

So even though,  I may not understand  the present circumstance someone may be in and is feeling –  I can – hold out a hand, a thought.





About the Featured Image – Joy Peace Love


This image is a monotype using Masa paper to hand print on.

For the vase and the other hints of blue I used prussian blue pb27 watersoluble printing ink.

The red ink was a very old tube of watersoluble printing ink, the label long worn away. Its probably Speedball, I think.

The inside white matt I have used a dimpled rough paper, Fabriano rough.  The deep scarlet red outer matting was done with my photo editor.    I chose to leave quite a bit of space with this RED Scarlet matt.



I wanted the emphasis to be on RED.

Red is symbolic for many reasons – love, offerings, giving of self.  But also power, authority, rulership.

Each of us, will have slightly different interpretations of this image and its innate symbolic meanings.

We will often be completely unaware, on the surface,  how we are responding to these symbolic elements.  Until we pause. And reflect on them. Asking.





The art of giving 

Red scarlet love  

Monotypes   peace and zen

Monotypes     red roses

Love Touches 

Love  touch and create, with these Hands

Love  bright and lovely the children




Love:  we don’t NEED another gadget, do we?




Merlin’s Halloween

Merlin’s Halloween

Mama’s boy.  He’d live in my pocket, if he could.

Its October 31, Halloween in Perth and the magician thinks its time…

to say

halloween cats, merlin, cat photos, cat art, debiriley.com
happy halloween, debiriley.com


What, is Halloween …. without a cat?!  Merlin wormed his way in. Again.  He is clever like that. As though he has some magic spells he weaves, that enchants his little servants.





Halloween Theme Artworks

I’ve had time to create some other artworks for the Halloween theme.


Another stroll with the kids to the park.  We call it  “The Beyond.”  Its filled with green swamp and scary trees, its perfect.


I’ve been trying to practice with the ipad, apps, and editing programs.  And, with a bit of ‘playing’  with digital enhancements and vignettes,  I created a darker and more haunting atmosphere.

swamp photograph, haunting, dark photo halloween, debiriley.com
Dark and Lonely Swamp


Merlin, Was Over Seeing

This is a combination of a painting and photo of the swamp trees.

Just for fun.

Merlin approved.

halloween dark bayou, photograph, digital art, debiriley.com
Halloween’s Dark Bayou with Light Notes


green swamp bayou, nature reserves photograph debiriley.com
Green Swamp


Abstract Art

blue, green abstract acrylic, debiriley.com
The Beyond, in High Key  (c) debiriley.com


High key, abstract acrylic on canvas.



Blue and green swirls, drips and tangles “suggest” the the deep swamps.

Yes,  …. I’m still on my Yugen fling.

The deliberate choice to make the piece High Key, with a dominance of Lights serves to keep the image light and breezy.  Not dark and foreboding.


There’s still a hint of swamp like entanglements…. to make me think of the bayou. But just, in bright sparkling daylight.


The joy of the Light was a welcome relief, after all this dark and gloomy!


Merlin wishes all a safe and Happy Halloween.



Merlin, enchanting cat, magic, halloween cat photo, debiriley.com
Merlin, the enchanter