“Eye on the Prize”  watercolor landscape of a hidden forest pond.  Where and How did I find this place?


#worldwatercolorgroup, watercolor landscape, debiriley.com
Eye on the Prize, watercolor landscape, debiriley.com


The Story of  “Eye On The Prize”


On a dark and gloomy day I stopped my car alongside the road in Kitsap County, Washington. It was very early spring, but cold and rainy.  Dark.


I had been… ‘meaning to’   go take some photos of a forested pond for quite some time. But, always was in too big a hurry.  Always too busy.  Always kept saying,  “one day, I’ve got to take this photo!”

3 years went by.  Yes, I’d  been going by this spot twice daily to work and back.



Its Time!

So, quite late one afternoon after teaching, I finally pulled over.


Got out with my camera.

In my work clothes, not my hiking clothes.  And traipsed through the mud.



Under an old barb wire fence.

Through the wet and dirty underbrush to the edge of the deep dark pond.

Trees lined the edges, thick and dense. Adding to the gloom.



Its late. I now can barely see my car through all this brush.

I’m not scared.  I’m going on a photo hunt.   Got my camera at my side.

Its darker now.




Photos Taken

I shoot my photos and scamper back to my car.


and…..sigh as I turn the keys and the car  lights on.


Just a wee little excursion.  A fair bit of effort.

I had a goal. A destination.




I  Really, wanted that specific shot of that place.

Silly, to have waited though.

However,  I did manage to get several shots. Most as you might imagine, were a tad blurry. One was usable.


Yay, Debi!

I kept my eye on the prize.





What I Learned


Don’t wait.   Do  ‘It’  NOW



 Effort Is Rewarded!   

Be willing to expend a lot of Effort to get what I really want.

My ‘Prize.’



Over hill, over dale,   contortions required

Be it photography,   sketching,  or  outdoor painting

The Effort = results


Have my mind  settled on what I want.

The mud,  the rocks, the jungle, the forest, the creek, the hills,  the climb are irrelevant.



My destination calls

I will. get there.

I know, there will be obstacles.

But in my mind –  I can make them small.



The giants become as tiny grasshoppers.

I don’t care that they exist.

I only care that I reach my destination.




The  EFFORT  is worth it to me.

I can convey mood.

Feeling. Depth.  Nostalgia.  Joy.  Light.

Shadows. and Gloom.

Things can sing, things can shout,

things can whisper so soft one must stop to hear.


I can only accomplish these things by Effort.  By resolve.

I need to want that destination above all else.



This painting, It is my  reminder. To  keep my eye on the prize.





Margaret at yubagold.wordpress.com   quite often, goes painting outdoors.

Hikes and climbs and fends off the biting bugs. That is effort. resolve.

She wants to reach a destination regardless of the ‘obstacles.’

She will,  get there.


There is an aliveness, an energy,  to her paintings AND her photographs – that I am enraptured with.


I see living energy, the spark and breath of life within these images.

I am inspired!