Tag: 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

Sketching, Life and Nature

Sketching, Life and Nature

What is she  gazing down upon?

What is she,  thinking and what is she feeling?

By inferring, or hinting at things  just outside their view,   my objective is to engage the viewer more.

 

sketches pastel, natural poses, soft portrait drawing, limit palette for impact, debiriley.com
Sketches natural life poses … 5 minute fast and loose

 

 

Sketches Fast and Loose

Photographs often, though not always,  spell out a subject with exact precision.  Recording textures, veins, size, color, width, weight. Documenting location, species and the individual. And some types… of art styles do as well.

Which is great, when that is what is called for.  When that is the feeling you are wanting to convey.

A cataloguing of the details.

 

However,  its different with fast,  five or ten minute sketches.

Sketches done on the fly, capture the mood and essence of the thing.

Conveying the ‘feeling.’

Impressionistic.  Interpretive.

 

Embracing  Simplicity.

Rather than struggling to achieve 5 star wonders with  ‘complexities.’

 

 

 

Natural Poses

I feel,  Subjects are more authentic, truer to their essence,  when at rest.  At ease.

When allowed to be in a natural setting.

In nature.  Out in the forest,  sitting amongst the rocks and logs.  Being at home upon the banks of the river.

These poses,  can give the viewer  more.   Whether its in the form of photography, sketches, drawings, paintings, or other art forms.

 

This sketch, reflects this.

The limited palette of earthy browns and forest green, simple yet sufficient.  Hinting at woodland themes.   My subject sat leaned up against the tree logs and branches, head tucked.

Maybe she was the young mother, or older sister, or aunt. Who knows?   But she kept an eye on the child in pink.    An active one at that.

The hike there,  to the bridge was fun.  OK  a challenge!  But obviously, the child in pink still had plenty of go.  Her watcher…. not so much.  I smiled.

 

pastel portrait sketch, 5 minute portrait pastel, debiriley.com
Matted Pastel    –         “downward  gaze”

 

Using this format, and this pose as well  “downward gaze”   shifts the viewers minds.   To make them, ponder a bit.

 

Make the Viewer … Wonder

Take the viewer out of the little box where it is all explained already and nothing has been left unsaid.  Take them out the world they are currently in,  and help them to imagine the world this subject resides in.

Allude to mysteries and things around the corner.

Hint of magic yet to come.

 

Contemplations  of the River

 

 

If a book has been so well explained and summarized, there is nothing new or exciting left to be revealed by looking further in the book,  we will not.

So too with our art.

With our paintings, sketches, drawings, photographs.  We will look for the exact time that it takes to define the plot.

And then, we move on. Period.

 

I think,  as an artist,  I prefer to try to keep the viewer wondering. Just a bit.

Wandering through the scene, through the book… looking for, more.

 

 

 

 

Riverside… child at play

 

aspirations

I do not, want my art to be ‘all spelled out’ and perfectly revealed in every fine detail.

No.  I’d like there to be a lovely fusion of lots of soft edges tempered with just the right balance of  crisp edges to draw the eye.   With warm colors telling you what is front, and cool paler colors speaking of far distant things.  Lines that are curved to soften  the mood,  with diagonal directionals for subtle hints of movements.

I’d like my sketches to be authentic.  My art to be original, and real. And me.

 

I aspire to keep my viewers, wandering through my artwork.

Imagining.

Realising,  of course,  not all are going to be lovely frame worthy pieces. Thats ok.

 

I’d much rather you, let your imagination free and loose;  than for me to have a frame worthy work every time.

 

 

 

 

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.

 

 

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!”

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

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Abstracts,  a definition … 

Beginner Watercolor BASICS Page 

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