Tag: Light and Shade

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!”

 

 

 

 

 

 

Where, Do You Paint?  … my kitchen counters

Where, Do You Paint? … my kitchen counters

I have a studio, with 2 art tables and easels.  I have 2 art tables set up on the patio.  And still,  many, many times I paint on the kitchen counter.

It doesn’t really make sense.

Especially to the someone who has gone above and beyond to assemble said studio, those tables and the gear for this ‘persnickety’ artist.

 

 

 

 

What is it, about the kitchen counter?

What does it have, that the other places…. don’t?

 

I’ve never paused to contemplate this until now.

Til the post of yesterday, “How much do you paint?”

This post,  it made me think, it caused me to question things.  How? Why? Where? When?

 

All great questions, insightful, if we dig our way to the bottom of them.

 

 

 

Where, do I paint?

It does have a little bit to do with Light and yes with space too;  but more than those, its about:  Feeling.  

When I’m in the art studio, I am  in isolation.

beginners watercolours getting started in the art studio debiriley.com
 art studio …. tidied up! 

 

I’m cut off from the other rooms, from whats going on elsewhere.

I’m not part of the rest of the house.

And that sensation fosters a tightening up.

 

 

 

Comfortable

When I’m in the kitchen space, I’m perfectly at ease.

All rooms connect.  I feel Free and in the zone.

 

I paint when no one is home, so there is a feeling of aloneness, but not, loneliness.

That is a huge difference to me as I create.

 

 

 

The kitchen area, its not a big space.

Nor is it infused with an abundance of natural light.

Its not the best lit room of the house.

its adequate.

But it comes down to how I feel, when I’m creating in that space  vs  when I’m in the other spaces.

I will always paint better, create better, when I am comfortable.

At ease.

 

 

Outdoors

I do love to paint and create out on the lawn; sitting near the rose garden.

I feel free and loose and at home there.

There is no sense of being cut off or isolated.

I’m part of the whole.

Thus, painting is easy there.

 

 

I guess, the bottom line is that we just need to paint, create in the space  – wherever  it may be  that makes us the most comfortable.

How many of you, paint at the kitchen table or counter?

 

 

 

Hints, of blue….. its ‘key’

Hints, of blue….. its ‘key’

Four acrylic mixed media abstracts; all with the power of blue.

Harnessed together with opposing forces of tonal values.

Discover how you can effectively use these intriguing differences: high key and low key.

 

 

 

Light and Shade

Light and shade, or as I term it, Tonal Values.

 

 

High Key

With a “high key” painting, the prevailing dominant ratio of tones will be on the Lighter end of the scale.

Perhaps, about   75% – 80% Light Tones.

 

Tips for  High Key Watercolor: you would use more water with your paints and, leave a lot more of your paper – White.

High Key Acrylics and Oils:  you would increase the amount of white to all the paints you use, and in many places use nearly straight White out of the tube.

 

Second Tip:

when we are trying to learn and cement a specific skill, we really will learn it faster, if we focus on that skill.

And lessen the pressure to ‘do well’  with the all  rest of the skills.

 

By limiting my colors ie to blue and focusing on the Key, I’ll increase my speed of learning and proficiency.

And thats what we all want to see.

Evidence… of Progress!

 

 

 

A High Key painting creates the feeling of space.

Of Freedom, movement, breath, light, air, action.

 

It is lighter, breezier, cheerier.

It uplifts, and is much more joyous.

 

hints of blue, high key painting, bleu ocean beach abstract acrylics, debiriley.com
High Key, hints of the blue

 

 

high key blue abstract painting, using texture tone and color in art, debiriley.com
High Key, in blue

 

In both of the above images, the Light and Mid tone percentages are greater than the much smaller percentage of Darker tones.

This is what gives the paintings the ‘airier’ lighter feel compared to the paintings below.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Low Key

These paintings below, have a higher percentage of darker and mid tones.

The mid tones and dark tones dominate the image.

Rough estimate 75% or so.   Give or take.

 

The Low Key paintings create a more somber feeling to viewers.

There is a sensation of being more contained,  but it also can have nuances of foreboding at times as well.

 

abstract acrylic on board, low key painting, diagonal patterns, debiriley.com
Low Key painting, Cerulean with black,  abstract on board panel

 

 

 

blue abstract on board, heavy texture, darkness to light painting, debiriley.com
Illusion of the darkness of space, A low key painting  in blue

 

 

 

When you wish to convey summer, celebrations, joy, movement, spaciousness, etc.  you now have a definite tool to rely on.

Simply ‘High Key.’

 

Same thing when painting to express the opposite.   Use,  ‘Low Key.’

 

Awareness of our options, gives us the strategies and the power to execute them –  as the subject and mood dictates.

 

 

 

 

High Key  –  Watercolor Mountain

This is my rough estimate of  the painting’s tonal value ratios….

Light tones 40%

Mid tones  50%

Dark tones 10%

 

Additionally…. with a Vertical, format rather than a traditional horizontal, it provides us with an increased sensation of movement, of implied action.

Of Space and of Depth.

 

Staining watercolor paints, prussian blue pb27, Impressionist watercolor landscape mountain, granulating paint manganese blue, cerulean blue, debi riley watercolor, debiriley.com
Mountain Prussian Blue watercolors, full sheet 22×30 

 

I included this at the last minute, because it illustrates nicely the ‘sensation’ of high key using vertical format.

And to show you how you can ADD Light Tones (white,)  by using light white matts to increase the light ratios, if, that is what is required.

 

 

 

 

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.

 

 

Here, I am….

Here, I am….

A walk? No.

It wasn’t, what it was, was a brief 7 minute sit down.

But utterly completely, there.

3 days in a row, sneaking and stealing the time.

 

mindfulness, meditation, zen, debiriley.com, flower photos, walking in nature to relax
Mind Fully, present and here

Mind Fully There

Work, shops, tasks. Driving.

Drivers who provide an endless treasury of resource material for posts.

Deciding I need to take a recess.

 

Taking an ultra brief, stop on the way.

A pause.

Same place, roughly the same amount of time spent.

Just being.

 

 

I sit.  No walking. No talking.

Just listening.

 

I am determined that if I only have about 5 minutes to spend here,  I am going to make every second count.

And that each moment, I’ll feel, and listen, taste the air and breathe it all in.

 

As if…. they were my only 5 minutes left.
And so I do.

 

It is a magical and  illuminating way, to spend this short span of time.

 

 

 

Karen’s post at Healing your grief  recently included a quote by William Blake.

It seems to sum up what I’ve been doing in these pauses.

 

“To see a World  in a Grain of Sand

And a Heaven    in a Wild Flower,

Hold Infinity

in the palm of your hand

And

Eternity in an hour.”

William Blake

 

 

It is the holding “Eternity in an hour…”   that captivates my interest most right now.

 

 

 

Google

 

Google, as always is a wonderful delightful Friend.

I typed in Mindfulness, to see what I might come up with.  After a few scroll downs, I found something of that piqued my interest.

 

 

Mindfulness

What?   Harvard?  and mindfulness…. really?

It caught my eye.

 

 

Harvard Business Review…….    If You Aspire to be a Great Leader

 

In a survey of 2,000 employees, Bain & Company found that among 33 leadership traits — including creating compelling objectives, expressing ideas clearly, and being receptive to input — the ability to be mindfully present (also called centeredness) is the most essential of all.

 

Research also suggests that there’s a direct correlation between leaders’ mindfulness and the well-being and performance of their people.

In other words, the more a leader is present with their people, the better they will perform.

 

Every morning, Conant allocated a good chunk of his time to walking around the plant, greeting people, and getting to know them.

He would memorize their names and the names of their family members.

He would take a genuine interest in their lives.

To Conant, these behaviors were not just strategies to enhance productivity; they were heartfelt efforts to support his people.

 

 

 

As I read the HBR article, I found myself nodding in agreement.  That Conant chose to take an active interest in the lives of his employees was interesting.

It was also a sharp and vivid reminder to me of a previous long term, employer of my spouse.

He also, took an active participation in his employees’ lives.

A genuine, concerned interest.

What this did, was ensure the entire family was invested in the company and its success.

We, and even the children, were on board with travel and the long hours the job entailed.

I look back and think, what a smart man.

But also, more importantly, how truly, kind he was.

 

These leaders are fully engaged and present; and yes, they do get the most from their workforce.

 

 

Art is not in Isolation

You might think it odd, I find quotes and articles from business publications and don’t stick to  “arts and crafts.”

But, I’ve found we really can’t isolate areas so easily.  One bleeds over into the other.

 

I enjoyed the article enough to want to share it.

 

 

nature walk photography, mindfulness, debiriley.com
Here. right here, I am.