Writings & Musings by Debbra; Theme is Life & Art
January 27,2020
Late January

The past week has been a dreary one, cold and wet.  The rain has set in and the dampness along with it.  Sometimes it was on and off, but mostly it rained and a few days it stormed.   But, it is better for getting around than the snow of the previous week.  I do feel that rain can be inspiring, though and with less outdoor activities to do, I did get more opportunity to paint. 

So, as you can see, I have completed and included a picture of “Ravine Tree”.  A larger version can also be viewed in my Studio 1 page.  I have already previously outlined my inspiration for and my process of painting “Ravine Tree”.  But, I neglected to say that this composition was also derived from a neighbourhood in Coquitlam, BC.  It’s a place with an ethereal sense that conjured up in my mind many parallel thoughts.

While painting “Ravine Tree”, I’ll say it seemed a chore, for me, to keep the colors properly neutral.  I set out to paint in neutrals; however, sometimes colorless neutrals can seem blasé.   So, half-way through, I began blending in a little pink, blue and green hue mostly in the big sky and the smaller forest.  In life color is everywhere and I felt this color gave my painting more values, and I do love color.  I would still consider “Ravine Tree” as monochromatic neutral, but with variations one might call quasi-neutral.   

 Now, “Ravine Tree” is finished, and I hope viewers can connect with it.

Signing off….Stay creative!

Ravine Tree



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January 21,2020
Snowed In

We were snowed in for the week until the weekend, when it finally warmed up a bit.  It was a beautiful white, winter wonderland, but unforgiving if you were a motorist.  Consequently, for the most part, I stayed hunkered down and decided to cook-up some comfort food.  During evenings, I binge watched some TV series and indulged in popcorn while doing so, I admit.  In addition, I had some long talks on the phone with some friends and family.

Mostly when I wasn’t doing the things I noted above, I painted on my new year piece.  So, at this time, I am about half way through creating “Ravine Tree”.  This is the one where the central subject is a giant, old tree set in a big, overcast sky and a lower, diminutive forest.  In some past blogs, I discuss my concept and context of “Ravine Tree”.   Features on this composition relate to my analogy of the past year and new year.

Although I used this medium many times before, it feels fantastic to be using acrylics again.  As my last few works were in watercolor on paper, I am also enjoying painting on a canvas.   It is exciting mixing and applying paint of monochromatic neutrals, which I’ve chosen.   Along with a achieving this neutral palette, I have included some color hues in this work.  I think this creates interest and an overall, natural look that compliments the earth tones.

I believe I’ll be able to add a picture of a completed version of “Ravine Tree” next time I blog.  Stay tuned, and stay creative!

Posted by Debbra (Debbie) L. Halyk at 05:06 0 Comments
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January 14,2020
Early-mid January...

Colder weather and longer nights of early-mid January and winter feel different than other seasons.  It makes me want to hunker down, and hibernate like the bears.  Must be the circadian rhythms, or something?  Or maybe after the busyness of Christmas and the New Year, we need a reprieve?  Anyways, lately I settled into a few long winter naps.  

Also, since the New Year and January began, I am pursuing and have continued with a few new things.  In fact, now I can mark off some items on my resolution list.  Firstly, I am attempting to eat better and healthier and it helps that there are fewer goodies around than at Christmas time.  Next, despite a few longer sleeps, I got moving and participated in several activities that include swimming, walking and Tai Chi.  Plus, I am creating and painting an acrylic piece called “Ravine Tree” which I’ll blog about later.   

To be continued....Bye for now.  Stay creative!

Posted by Debbra (Debbie) L. Halyk at 06:05 0 Comments
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January 06,2020
Happy New Year, once again!

The old year is gone and a new year is here and I’m confident and positive that it will be a good one.  This past week has been a busy one, enjoying the festivities and now the task of untrimming happens. 

I’ve been working on my mindset to keep focused on old and new year’s resolutions.  But, resolutions sometimes prove to become a balancing act with life, especially when it throws in extra “balls”.  When this happens, all you can do is play the game and work either at catching, juggling or tossing every “ball”.  That being said and as for my art, in between the holidays and “balls” I did get a bit done to a new acrylic painting.

I think I will call my new work “Ravine Tree II” and I sense in it I am creating an analogy for the old and new year.  Although it will be somewhat an edition of a smaller pastel I have done, its composition tells this story.  That is, a silhouette of a large tree with shadows of smaller trees below.  The old year’s impact is reflected in the giant, old tree which is still standing grandly and the new year’s effect is reflected in a flourishing, diminutive ravine forest.  Just like last year’s great influence on me and this year’s unwavering anticipations.

Next, I move forward with more forethought about my work, all the while contemplating my analogy.  This concept of old year and new year came to me a few weeks ago and again now I think of other various factors.  In fact, after a few days of contemplation on canvas size, I use bigger than originally thought – 24 by 20 inches.   As well, some weeks prior I decided to paint this new work in all neutrals.  I consider this too, that I will keep features in monochromatic shades of browns and greys.

Continuing on, I blend my white gesso with some burnt umber and begin my painting by applying this on my canvas.  This subdued gesso, made a complimentary antique beige or buff background for my work.  Although it will be mostly hidden eventually, I believe this will ultimately harmonize the scene.   Carrying on after the gesso is fully dry a day or so later, I begin by roughly sketching my subject matter on my canvas.  Using a sepia colored crayon, I draw an outline of my intended painting.    

Lastly, I mix harmonious neutral colors until I produce a palette I’m content with.  Then, I pick up the brush to paint my piece in my contemporary, impressionistic style.  I move forward for a while, with cumulative markings, lines and shading, until I need to stop.  I’m good with it, except more work needs to be done.  I resolve to paint again, as soon as I can; however, right now another “ball” has come my way!

I’ll sign off now.  Stay creative in this New Year…New Decade!

Posted by Debbra (Debbie) L. Halyk at 07:14 0 Comments
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May, 2021
April, 2021
February, 2021
January, 2021
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Wildfire Sunrise

Studio One - "Trees for Eternity"
Vintage Ride

Studio Two - "A Variety of Life"
Crimson Bouquet

Studio Three - "Mixed Media"
Rain Just Stopped

Studio Four - "Creatures Great and Small"
Winter's Snowfall

Studio Five - "OMG...."
Passage Lookout

Studio 6 - "Water, Water Everywhere"
Pillow Talk

Studio 7 - "Shades of Grey"
Rue de Paris

Studio 8 - "Gay Paree"
Fruit with Coffee (Van Goghesque)

Studio 9 - "Atelier, seriously?"
Late Summer Leaves

Studio 10 - "A Few Pics"