Tag: nature

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

 

Is It, Art?

Is It, Art?

What defines … ART?

In the words of Thomas Merton,

 “Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time.”

With this philosophy as our main criteria of how we define and perceive Art, much of what we do in our everyday lives could quite possibly, be seen as a form of artistic expression.

And if we began viewing these common things in such a light, then in so doing, we are are led towards living each day…… artistically.

Artfully.

Gardens of Perth Western Australia. UWA Sunken Gardens is a delightful and romantic tucked away space near the CBD. Magical. Calming and inspiring. debiriley.com

Zen Stroll

Yesterday’s adventures included a work related excursion first, to the UWA campus Sunken Gardens in the morning. Later on in the afternoon, a visit to Queen’s Garden was fun.

While in the Sunken Gardens, the small group and I sat under the shaded canopy of a large flourishing, grove of trees. It was, Lovely.

The concepts presented to the group had three major points.

  1. The subduing of stress and fear of working ‘outdoors.’
  2. Moving towards peace and harmony with the surroundings and self.
  3. The patient, listening and sensing the specific ‘mood’ of the space/place we had chosen as our subjects.

As we progressively lose these fears, finding more peace and harmony – we are in essence doing what Thomas Merton stated… finding ourselves and losing ourselves in the most wonderful ways.

Perth Gardens, UWA Sunken Gardens an oasis of lush foliage and pools, waterlilies and sparking jade emerald greens.

Pause ; …. and Reflect

While in the gardens the thought crossed my mind about having preconceived ideas. Its so easy.

In my mind, I may have muttered, “ALL these greens!”

I realised I was closing my mind off to the possibilities, that ALL those greens could present.

I concluded that I was being … ‘judgemental’ in my own way, of what I will or will not accept. As art.

And that maybe, by being more open….I could find an infinity of possibilities waiting for me that I’d never suspected, within The Greens.

I should at least, try.

I think, in the photo image below of the pond, I managed to capture some of the many possibilities of All Those Greens.

I lose myself, and find myself…Within The Greens.

Pausing to reflect, by the waterlily pond - Perth UWA Sunken Gardens. Beautifully calm, transcendent. These gardens are a hidden treasure!
Within – The Greens

Yes, Its Art

Art has thousands of variations, nuances.

Flavors, if you will.

As individuals we each have our own particular preferences. One person’s preferring vanilla ice cream over strawberry ice cream doesn’t nullify that the vanilla is still … ice cream.

Isn’t it odd how we never think to debate about someone else’s different food preferences?

Art may be rock n roll to some, opera to another. Some may view Andy Warhol as THE Definition of Art; another rave Rembrant.

It is all art, in every one of the myriad forms it takes. Cooking, music, writing, video, screenwriting, hospitality, textiles….

And, we actually require the seemingly, chaotic diversity of each and every one of these forms.

It stretches us. We grow. We learn.

We. better. ourselves.

SOLD Abstract Landscape Watercolor

2019 I’m conducting a year long course with the title “Watercolor, Loose and Easy.” It sounds like A Plain, Ordinary, Watercolor class.

Doesn’t it?

However, I’m enthusiastically passing along information on 3D, sculpture, and any other art form that presents itself, as an opportunity for the group to expand their knowledge base.

UWA Sunken Gardens, Perth W.A.

This month has been busy. Leading excursions to galleries and venues with various art forms: video, sculpture, ceramics.

The last week’s course home project…. was the creation of a 3d sculpture, in yellow.

Yes, I know.

The course title, is Watercolor. Loose and Easy.

Yet, I strongly feel that now is the time for us to try on a new pair of glasses. It’s time.

We need to expand our world.

Our perceptions. Our vision.

forest grove in watercolor, using Daniel Smith zoisite and cobalt teal blue. Zen like, calm and peace filled.  debiriley.com
Forest Grove – zen

Revealing Brushstrokes, Blue and Orange

Revealing Brushstrokes, Blue and Orange

Bold blue, outspoken orange.  What drama and action is going on here.

Every brushstroke reveals to us …. more.

More depth, more energy, more movement.

 

 

Brushstrokes

 

They are a Language.

Words unspoken.

 

 

They’re a unique tool,  we artists can use to communicative… something.

Anything!

 

 

 

revealing brushstrokes, dynamic abstract paintings in blue and orange, how one stroke can tell us so much, debiriley.com
revealing brushstrokes, acrylics

 

Blue and Orange

 

Each stroke laden with paint,  is telling.

 

Nature inspired,  this  painting is made more effective with its use of the minimalist color palette.

Blue and Orange.

This Complementary Pairing is my favorite of the three pairs:  Red/Green   Yellow/Purple  Blue/Orange

 

 

 

 

Inspired by the Western Australian landscape,  I wanted to impart the subject essence the colors on the brush would provide.

Not the rocks, nor the trees.

Or even the stark cobalt blue sky we see so often.

 

It was intended to be,  abstract.

 

 

 

Distilling a Vision

One could imagine,  the true masters,   the likes of Fred Williams, John Olsen or Robert Juniper, perhaps Pro Hart.

Taking in the land, and then distilling it.

 

 

 

Laying it out before us, on their canvases,  in wide swathes of brushstrokes, dollops and smearings of paint.

 

Utterly and completely their’s alone.

Their interpretation of what they heard and saw and felt.

 

Out there, amongst the silence  – that is not silent-  of the bushland wilds.

 

 

 

 

Blue and Orange Complements

Blue and Orange Complements

In landscapes, paints, flowers….

my eye is always drawn to the blue/orange complement combination.

The land around Perth, up north near Kalbarri has beautiful and rich terracotta tones.

Perfect, inspirations.

 

rocks of Kalbarri, photographs of Western Australia, debiriley.com
sizzling orange red rocks

 

Land and Sea Complements

 

The boulders and escarpments…..

Fiery orange.

That ignites the earth when the last light of the sun touches the boulders.

 

In the above boulder image,   looking past  all that dominating rich earthy orange color… we can see the nuances of its complement, blue.

Whispering in ribbons throughout the rock.

What an inspiration!

 

 

The sea ranges from cobalt teal blue, to phalo blue and indigo.

Depending upon the mood of the sea that day.

 

complementary pairs in the landscape, Kalbarri WA, debiriley.com
orange and blue, land and sea

 

 

 

The next post,

I’ll show a little more with these two color complements.

 

 

 

 

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!”

 

 

 

 

 

 

Watercolor Techniques: painting water

Watercolor Techniques: painting water

Short and quick today.

Observing how water can be painted using watercolors.

 

 

Painting Water

In the samples shown,  I’ve created the impression, the illusion of water on paper.

Cobalt teal blue in watercolor helps, of course.

But, so does understanding the tones, the feeling, mood, and which of the common techniques to use.

 

 

watercolor techniques for water, beginners watercolour secrets for water, debiriley.com
Techniques for painting water: watercolors

 

 

We learn as we go.

Practice… repetition until a technique process becomes second nature, was the secret key to my own improvement.

 

 

Using dry brush, washes, charging, splatter, leaving White of the paper… they all combine to help with the illusion.

In the first demo,  you see a background a mid ground and foreground, along with a focal point.  These help guide the viewer and make the image understandable.

 

Whereas in the second demo, a mere wash of a couple colors,  we must engage more.  There is still enough information, but its less tight and structured.

More free flowing and carefree.  Perhaps, in holiday mode!   But you will observe more warmth in front, the White cresting wave in nearby, and there isn’t much action in the back.

Our minds, have decided yes, it is water we are looking at. And,  Most likely, the beach.

We’re good to go.

 

 

follow up posts

watercolor beginner basics 

11 fun water techniques 

watercolor easy techniques 

depth   via splatter

depth 

tonal value   Into the Light