Tag: #worldwatercolorgroup

From The Sea to Watercolors and, Beyond

From The Sea to Watercolors and, Beyond

The Sea and its aqua tinted beaches, is a place of inspiration for most of us.  And whether we are physically there or not, we can enjoy the sense of  ‘being’ there.

We can go  beyond the limitations of having to actually be somewhere to reap the benefits.

 

watercolors and the sea, abstract sea paintings, blue watercolors, ocean theme art, debiriley.com
from The Sea, watercolors and Beyond

The Sea

From the beaches south, down near Albany,  Western Australia.

 

The sea colors are magical.

The red orange terracotta boulders give it warmth and life.

The buff titanium sands shimmer in the sunlight.

 

I adore this place, this photo.

I ‘feel’ it, every time.  I’m re-Inspired by its memory every time I look at it.

 

What’s not to love?… and how could it not be etched into my memory?

 

 

I was there for awhile.  Taking it all in.  Taking hundreds of snippets and snapshots.

Becoming immersed.

So even if,  I lost the photos,  even if I no longer had tangible references to look at my mind … remembers.

All the feelings.

The colors.  The wind.  The textures. The sand shimmering and the sun sparking on the water.

 

 

 

Watercolors of the Sea

It is all those things,  that is what I most need in order to convey the feeling of the Sea to Watercolors.

 

Thats all I need,  to communicate the message I felt while walking along the shores and climbing the dunes and rocks.

 

Its about….  feeling.

Not documenting or recording detail.

 

Its about the Heart of the place for me.

Not dotting the i  nor crossing the t.

 

 

 

Beyond

We can travel in our minds, or perhaps through past memories of the location.

We can travel using our wonderful imaginations and yes,  we’re still getting the benefits of the journey.

Of being inspired.

 

Its true too, I believe that as we watch the news, television, or read travel magazines, look at Pinterest travel shots, and of course  Google ….  we can become enthused.

Eager and keen to create,  to communicate that feeling of joy or relaxation we may have felt as we looked at a place.

 

I’ve mentioned before, I’m a firm believer in painting plein air.

Nothing can convey the spirit, the essence of that place and your joy,  like this approach.

 

However, not all of us, are able to hike up into the high Rockies. I certainly am not able.

Nor drive to the eastern seaboard to paint along the stunning autumn colored shores of Maine.

Let alone fly to Australia to paint the colors of the The Indian Ocean, or the Great Barrier Reef.

 

We do have finite resources and limitations at times.

I think if,  I fell in love with a location I could never go to but was compelled to paint  –   I’d research it.

I’d study up and learn all I could about the location and its history,  culture,  people.

In this way, there would be some,  sense of connection  that transferred over into the painting as I worked.

 

 

 

Watercolor art

Wild and so unruly.

 

The Sea Foam photograph below the watercolor,   proves to be a great inspirational resource.

Something to refer to.

To look at the warm rocks, and the white foam as it swirls in intriguing patterns.

To note the deep dark patch of blue, then see how it fades into paler softer blues.

 

To figure out ways, we might choose to do some of those things in watercolor…. in a creatively similar fashion.

 

 

Finally

As artists what we do is important.

We travel and journey.

We see.

We feel.

We communicate to others the wonderment  of what we felt as we paused and  ‘saw.’

 

It is a fascinating way to create.

Its personal.

The artist reveals his soul in his art, in this fashion.

 

To interpret the scene in its complexities of feeling, emotive qualities.

This is something we all too often, forget to do in our bid to ensure the details are   just right.   

 

Remember…. if we get the feeling right,   hardly anyone is going to care about some minor details!

 

 

watercolor sea inspired abstracts, using nature to paint from creatively, paint with passion and color, debiriley.com
watercolor students – sea inspired

 

sea foam turquoise photograph, water photo, debiriley.com
from the sea, inspirations  to  get ideas from….    and go Beyond!

 

 

Take your images, your inspirations and memories from the sea … and then,   go  Beyond!  

 

 

 

 

Fred Williams   master 

John Olsen a timeless land

Imagination 

Sea and Ocean 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Watercolors Rescued… from the bin

Watercolors Rescued… from the bin

A moment of despair.  It didn’t go as planned. The result was not what was expected, wanted, desired.

And so, it was crumpled. Torn. Thrown away.  Discarded.

How many times, how many ways, how many things does this relate to? I wonder.

We often panic too soon it seems.

 

watercolor rescues, beginner painting tips, debiriley.com
Rescuing a palette knife painting from out of the bin  (mine)

 

Rescues

Both of these images were “rescues.”

One  was from a student below, and one was mine.

Both show evidence of impatience, of frustration, with damage done to the papers.

 

The damage…. we can view as being like scars upon the landscape of the painting.

 

Without such scars, without the etched in grooves and lines and evidence of its character layered deep…. we might,  merely skim along the surface shallows.

 

 

Precision. Perfection.

Doesn’t quite have… the richness, the elegance, the depth of character that time, weather, and those storms  have created.

 

In other words, the compulsion…. to Get It Right, should be a low priority  and the higher priority should be on Expression.

ie…

How does it feel, to be in the moment, creating this?

Did you enjoy the moment?  Were you ‘in the creative zone’?

Did you  express your own interpretation of  the mood, the feeling,  emotion  of the subject?

Those, take precedence.

 

watercolor rescues, beginner basic tips, debiriley.com
another rescue- student’s work

 

The wrinkles and crumples (from the unhappy creator)  do not concern me. I like them.

It is a wonderful technique, creative and fun,  to crumple your watercolor paper before you begin!

Smooth it out best you can,  and carry on with painting.   Try it, and see.

 

This abstract image, I rescued is filled with lively, loveliness of color.

Such luminosity and movement.   Such spirited transitions of tone, textures.

I could not,  allow this to remain in the bin.   It needed, saving.

 

And,  that hint of cobalt teal blue along the bottom edge  made sure that this watercolor ink piece was rescued!

 

 

 

 

Yes… I suppose that Sometimes, a piece truly needs to be retired to the bin.

But  not nearly as often as many of us opt to do as first response.

 

So many of these pieces can be wonderful Rescues.

Not throw aways.

 

I need to alter my pattern of thinking:  to believe  I can find ways, of making use of products,  images, and things.

To be less hasty in ‘simply discarding’  anything that is frustrating and disagrees. That doesn’t work or fit into my mental vision planned.

 

 

 

Partner Posts

Taming the Dragon- perfection 

Wabi Sabi the art of Zen!             look for all 7,   its  a great series

Resolve Fix Paintings 

Palette Knife  landscapes 

Palette Knife creative Abstract  technique 

Using your Imagination   

Inviting Imagination 

Abstracts,  a definition … 

Beginner Watercolor BASICS Page 

Watercolor Beginners,  helpful tips and guides   

Impressionist Watercolor Landscape (artistic license)

Impressionist Watercolor Landscape (artistic license)

Its about artistic freedom, artist license.

The joy of expressing in paints, brushstrokes, color, the things you’d like to say with words… but can’t.

 

artistic license, impressionist watercolor landscape, Daniel Smith watercolors, limited palette, debiriley.com
Artistic License Impressionist Landscape

Communicate Through the Arts

 

Perfect

If I was a singer, maybe the words would be clear and perfect.

And elegant, eloquent, full ranged.  Sounding lovely and lyrical.

But then, maybe not.

 

 

Bruce Springsteen

” A great singer has to learn how to  Inhabit a song. 

You may not be able to hit all the notes.    That’s OK.

You may not have the clearest Tone.   You may not have the greatest range.

But if, you can Inhabit a song,  you can communicate.”

 

This is a quote from Springsteen’s December 19, 2016  PBS interview.

 

 

 

 

As artists, in any profession, in any media….. that, is a very fine goal to take to heart.

 

 

 

Inhabiting

(Living, Abiding in the place)

 

I feel that in this landscape watercolor I do inhabit the painting.

It typifies me.  It is a signature Debi Riley artwork. Unique to me.  Created from my memories.

 

As I paint, I remember…. the Pages River in Murrurrundi.

The tall vertical poplar trees that dot the area.

 

I recall, the hill across from the Emirates thoroughbred stud farm, paddocks filled with gleaming broodmares.

The many times I’ve visited there and the soft spot it holds in my heart.

 

 

This location means something to me.

This subject –  has meaning.

And so, it is easy for me to inhabit the artwork as I create.

 

 

We can All… do this. 

Beginners, yes,  right on to the advanced.

Singers, chefs, writers, composers, painters, whatever.

 

But,  what we must do, however, is dare to

be our own selves,

to inhabit our songs… our creations.

 

 

John Olsen

Fred Williams 

Watercolor Hills 

Watercolor Landscapes and textures in color …. 

Gardens in Color!

Gardens in Color!

Gorgeous rich ruby red stalks splaying out in verticals and diagonals.

The reds, a perfect foil to the citrine green foliage.

Delightful Colors found in the garden.

 

delicious garden colors, ruby red, citrine yellow green palette, colors in the garden, debiriley.com
Garden Colors, ruby and citrine green

 

Illustrations….

This photograph, is one of the few, I would use as a direct source to paint from.

It would (and will)  make a lovely illustration,  for my Society 6  and Redbubble shops.

 

Generally, I’m not so keen to use one photo as a painting source.

But,  there’s always exceptions.

 

This I think would be brilliant on pure white hot pressed paper with no background whatsoever.

Or,  it might make a very strong design as a linoprint. 

 

 

Zen Strolls

Strolling about,  does, have plenty of rewards.

Had I been ‘power walking’ I’d have missed out on this beauty.

 

 

Design

The composition is especially interesting, with the verticals and diagonals.

The textural patterns within the leaf foliage, create added interest.

Leaves and stalks going gently out of the picture frame assist the design.

Making it seem less ‘crammed in.’

More open, more …. real.

 

 

 

 

Zen Stroll: Watercolor Tree Inspirations

Zen Stroll: Watercolor Tree Inspirations

Can we lower blood pressure in under 5 minutes?  A soft smile upon our faces?

And, can we  be Ready for the day? 

Calm morning strolls, no matter how short, are perfect.  Perfect for refreshing, for inspiring.

For gaining new insights.

 

forest stroll zen meditation, nature inspirations, watercolor lessons, debiriley.com
Zen Stroll –  so inspiring

The Zen Strolls

My Zen Strolls began a few years ago, with the instructions “get some exercise.”

The idea was for me to jog or something like that.

The traditional idea of exercise.

 

I thought I’d walk. Cheap, handy, etc.

 

An incentive.

I needed a reward.

So I took my camera, thus my “prescribed” program of exercise morphed into a meditational zen stroll.

Something I enjoy.

Look forward to. And will do as often as I can.

 

I had to look at this exercise thing a little differently, than the standard way of thinking about it.

With new fresh eyes.

No. I do not actually do aerobic exercise. At all.

But, my blood pressure is lower. Enjoyment is higher. And some days,  I end up walking 2 hours.

Works for me.

 

 

 

The Difficult Questions

 

Approach it all, with a New Innocence.

Yes.

Whatever it is, whether its ‘exercise’  or if its Art.

 

Those ….. ingrained traditions.

Those old accepted beliefs.

 

Question them.

 

 

Why do we need to skimp on paint?

Why do we need to use Just Beginner quality products?

Why do we need to paint tiny, shrinking inwards, rather than Bold & Outwards!?

Why do we need to parrot the exact scene, line for line, word for word, without expressing our own selves?

 

 

Do you pause, and wonder about

HOW are these actions, serving us, in the  Long Term?

 

These are the hard questions, we need to ask of ourselves, in order for the doors of creativity to fully open.

 

 

 

Good Advice

 

“What purpose is this thought or action serving?”

This was what one of my professors, demanded of me, in the nicest way possible.

 

 

It stopped me, in my tracks.

And made me think.

 

She was a great one for doing her own thing, her way.

And making certain that others found their own voice.

It was years ago, and I’ve not forgotten her words.

 

 

 

zen nature stroll, meditational walk, reflecting in nature, debiriley.com
stillness and serenity   –  a zen stroll

 

 

Art is Feeling

I explore in many posts, ideas about feelings, thoughts and emotions in this Art website.

Not just the mechanics, the step by step techniques.

Basics are good, needed, but without the spirit and imagination to spur us on, we falter.

 

One can not divide the two…. Art and Feelings.

 

The artist’s feelings, emotions, are what breathes Life into the art work.

Without that vulnerability, ‘risk’ taking,  the resulting product is bland and flat.

Its an empty product without taste, not many would be interested in tasting.

 

rough bark photograph, canon eos, debi riley art, art basics
Bark    Rough,  but soft in the back.  how it looks, feels

 

 

 

I’m working on some watercolor color charts.

watercolor mixing chart, landscape colors, debiriley.com
Palette  I   for Tree  Bark

 

Plus, a  quick tree or two… these will go into Part 2 of Zen Strolls, my upcoming next post.

 

 

 

 

The World of Watercolor: Loose And Free!

The World of Watercolor: Loose And Free!

Do you love watercolor?  Love its translucency, its soft melting edges?

Love Colors that seemingly flow together to create something that the hand, the brush could not quite have dobbed or dabbed into being?

I do.

 

watercolor techniques loose and free, beginners fun painting, debiriley.com
world of watercolor loose and free

 

Impressionist watercolor flowers, bright colored flower painting, debiriley.com
Loose Colorful  Patio Flowers

Watercolor Loose and Free

Freedom of Expression

What purpose such looseness and freedom serve, we may wonder.

Wouldn’t crisp, tight, defined, “control” over the entire process be much better?

Maybe. Or maybe not.

Wouldn’t it better … “to bend; not break?”

 

My privilege as a teacher, while adhering to the described course title, theme topic,  is to overview the group’s needs and then tailor the agenda to that.

Diversity within the group, of course means we will all take in the skills, the information at varying rates, the different things presented.

Its just like here, in these posts.  At different times, we will be ready. For new information.

 

I liked the concept of Loose and Easy, as I believe its one of the most effective ways to  become confident and successful with watercolors.

 

Scary at first, yes,  I do remember being a ‘beginner.’

But we ease in. Bit by bit we let go.

Step by step we open the doors.

 

watercolors, bright colors of natures, wet in wet watercolor technique, debiriley.com
Glorious Colors

 

Ways… to let go

Trying any of these, better still – making up your own ways, is a step towards free & loose expression in art.

 

Ultramarine acts as a dark anchor while Lemon blends with Cobalt Teal blue as they fall together.

The explosion of shapes created with Cadmium Scarlet eased into Indanthrone blue, Prussian blue.

Or maybe the sedimentation and speckling patterns made by mixing Lunar Black with Quinacridone Sienna.

Cobalt Teal blue finding its way downwards, as gravity controls its descent in a lovely scene, reflections along the water.

 

creativity includes cropping an image, debiriley.com
Cadmium Scarlet on Blue

 

 

 

There is a time and place for all types, all styles, genres of painting approaches.

Botanical, Impressionist, Surrealism, Illustrative, Cubist, PhotoRealism, etc.

 

bright bird of paradise greeting cards, debi riley art, flower cards for Mothers day, Society 6, debiriley.com
Bird of Paradise Greeting Cards

 

Each artist, will have their own unique personality.

With specific preferences.

 

These preferences,   evolve with time.

Our tastes, change, as we gain more experience.

 

As we gain confidence, step by step, we put our ‘stamp’ upon the things we do.

Just like our clothing, our home decor, our landscaping, our favorite cooking recipes.

And this, is exactly what we are aiming for!

 

 

zen of colour: forest in cobalt teal blue pg50, debiriley.com
‘Zen in the Forest,’    …. a loose interpretative approach

 

 

 

Tips & ‘Guide Posts’  to Painting Loose!

For us to be able to paint and create Loose and Free,  there are some helpful ideas that make it easier for us.

These guide posts serve to inspire us, to lead us in the direction of our goal.

 

 

viridian green watercolor, viridian green pg18, watercolor mixing greens, debi riley watercolors, debiriley.com
Loose and Free!!    Viridian green and Ultramarine  22×30  Abstract

If you like, you could replace the words need and must, with “suggest”  it does, sound nicer on the ears.

 

  • we must be willing to paint loose
  • we have to….  Want It!

 

  • we need to practice,  frequently
  • practice with such repetition, that it might annoy us at times

 

  • we need to Think differently
  • think thoughts of big bold, loose! Free!

 

  • we need to let go
  • we need to open the closed doors

 

  • we need to stop,  all,  miserly thoughts
  • penny pinching  defeats,   Loose & Free

 

  • we need to think laterally
  • creative problem solving  for such issues, IS Possible

 

watercolor beginner flowers, easy purple iris bud, step by step, debiriley.com
Control –  serves a purpose, at times.

 

 

The World of Watercolor Loose and Free, though, is one where we can relax.  Let go.

Enjoy the colors, the music, the tones, the movement.

 

 

watercolor abstract simplicity, light red, debiriley.com
Simplicity Wc Light Red

 

 

bold colorful impressionist landscape, loose and free landscape paintings, debiriley.com
Loose and Free,  interpretation of  W.A.  landscape.      “uncontrolled  ill defined”

 

 

 

 

Watercolor Basics 

 

 

 

 

Splash, Spray, Create … in watercolors

Splash, Spray, Create … in watercolors

Deep ultramarine and hints of violet.

The explosions of light and color from stars and galaxies we will never see. Except, perhaps in our imaginations.

 

ultramarine blue pb29 watercolor, watercolor creative techniques, easy beginner watercolor ideas, texture in watercolor, debiriley.com
watercolor creative techniques

 

Ways With Watercolor

The magic of watercolor for me, is its ability to adhere so well to its specific pigment properties. It is obedient, reliable, consistent in the following of its nature.

Lending the artist a helping hand, with this knowledge.

 

A Granulator such as Ultramarine stays true to itself and creates wonderful textures upon the paper’s surface.

Stainers, like ….Permanent Alizarin Crimson will follow its nature. To run, explode outside the barriers.

 

I know what these ingredients, these pigments will do.  So then I combine them to do a job. To help me say what needs saying.

 

You could, in a way think of them as you do your cooking ingredients. Flour, sugar, honey, molasses, salt, vinegar, baking soda, milk, cream, lard, olive oil, coconut oil. Many times you could use any old oil or butter and it makes no difference.

But, there are times when the ingredient must be pure butter for the recipe to work.

For the result to turn out…. delicious.

 

Not just – passe.

Heaven forbid…  inedible.

 

 

It is the same with paints.

Many ultramarines are fairly exchangeable. No worries.  So too with phalo blue.  And quinacridone rose, phalo green, quinacridone gold, burnt umber.

I normally,  don’t specify a particular Brand for most,  routine colors.

 

 

Critical Importance to success

Unless it is crucial.

…..   like  it is with Indigo and Naples Yellow.

(Daniel Smith’s are successful.)

Its all in “the ingredients!”

 

 

I mention this today, as I’d talked about it a little last week in class.

I often try make do, make something  I have on hand, work.

 

Why go and buy something…. if I have a product that will do the job?

Many of us might have ended up with 3 crockpots, 2 types of knife sharpeners and have learned our lesson!

I’m with you on that, definitely.

 

Having said that, I’ve also spent 25 years buying thousands of tubes of paints.

Experimenting. Testing. Researching.   Every single one.

So, my hope is always, that you let all my “losses”  be your gain!   That you  learn from my mistakes and save yourself time and money.

 

 

 

 

Process of Splash and Spray

This was done on dry Arches 100%  cotton paper rough.

The paint colors used were burnt umber (Maimeriblu)     Permanent Alizarin Crimson (Winsor Newton)  mixed with Ultramarine (Art Spectrum)

So that is limiting the palette to 3 paints.    And,  I’ve used a  Cool Palette.   Doing both  of these are great tips to avoid, mud.

 

Spray

I used a spray mister to lightly mist the paper surface.  Choosing to ‘miss’ some areas.

Then loading brushes and flicking the paints on.  Misting again, as needed.

The Darker Ultramarine and Burnt Umber, I used an old toothbrush to scoop up paint and flicker it on as the paper was drying.

This allowed for the darker tones I was hoping for, to create more depth.

 

This is a fast, fun, easy, loose watercolor technique.   

Perfect to release tension, have some fun, create some exciting work and some of these can also be used later as backgrounds for other works.

The soft edges are particularily good for depth.

 

 

 

This is a non representational image, abstract.

It simply is a  watercolor technique.

An exercise to demonstrate limited palette using cool colors; and how using a Spray Mister can be an effective way to add depth in your future works.