What Makes The Artist Tick?

collage blue, green purple, work in progress, what makes an artist tick, persistence, debiriley.com

The artist’s creativity is inspired. By What?

Everyone is different, we like different things. You might have a preference for food art, or animal portraits… I may enjoy nature themes or abstracts.


collage blue, green purple, work in progress, what makes an artist tick, persistence, debiriley.com



fern design watercolor, fern abstract art, zen painting, debiriley.com
MaryEllen Fern, cobalt teal design (c) 2016 debiriley.com



Hope Shining


But,  we all want to feel that we can reach ‘the goal.’

That we can improve.

We Need, to see the Evidence of Improvements month by month.




We need to see light around the corner.

Hope shining.


soft pretty pink flowers, delicate spring blossoms, flower photography, artistic inspirations, debiriley.com
Hope Shining, debiriley.com



An Intangible that makes many artists tick… is vision.

We are able to envision something being transformed, something being created, from out of chaos or emotions or shadowed dreams.



I call it hope.  Faith and Belief.

The ability to hunt, search and find things that Inspire.

To be receptive. Willing to see and to willing to

feel the inspiration in the most imperfect of things.   


trees reflections debiriley.com
imperfect, the first version 



Autumn Color watercolor landscape, how to fix a watercolor painting, fall tree colors, debiriley.com
Autumn reflections…. Recolored and Enhanced. 3rd version 



The vision to create, first within our hearts, then our minds. Finally our hands follow. Clumsily, perhaps.








But, still we  Persist.

We artists are resilient like that.

We have an inner Tenacity that absolutely refuses to give up.


And That, is what really makes us ‘tick.’





in this world can take the place of  – Persistence.


Talent will not: nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with Talent.


Genius will not: unrewarded genius is almost a proverb.

Education will not: the world is full of educated derelicts.


Persistence and Determination  alone are omnipotent.”


Calvin Coolidge




Each of these images involved, time and effort.

And multiple throw away discards.

My Vision for each, progressed.  It grew.  The evolution of the portrait and the cadmium abstract was intriguing.  And Then… it became really exciting to merge the two.  Discards abounded, yes.

But the vision and persistence kept me going.

self portraits, photo, debiriley.com
bright blue  #1


abstract watercolor cadmium red with prussian blue, abstract on board, creativity, debiriley.com
Burning Scarlet Cadmium Red,      #2


bright fun digital portraits, debiriley.com
Bold fun red and blue   #3   finished




I believe,  that ….. Persistence fuels the flame that lights Hope.






Published by debiriley

The act of creation, in any media is a fascinating and magical process. I simply love to create. Expressing in color, line, tone, texture - as if, they were words upon a page. Creating a uniquely me, interpretation. Enjoy More of my "one-of-a-kind" expressive art at society6.com/debiriley and, redbubble.com/people/debijriley/shop

29 thoughts on “What Makes The Artist Tick?

  1. I needed to hear this so much today….persistence! I got really bummed out today and wanted to throw the towel in but I do have a glimmer of hope and that is all it takes to fuel that persistence…right? thank you for a timely reminder Debi 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

    1. whew – good timing then, my Friend!! I’d be seriously – Sad. If you did that. YOU have the heart and soul of the artist within you. it. is. there.
      I truly feel that we, in Him, have hope and he shares limitlessly. no limit. we may have to hunt and peck around some weeks to find it though! anytime you want a ‘cheerleader’ email, fb, me. I am so, on your team Margaret; you are a inspired artist. i see it. 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Aww….your comment truly warms my heart! You are a dollop of pure medicine 🙂 I went for a good hike yesterday, had a good cry. Now I am over my artist brat attack…lol…..and then today got back in my art room and painted like no tomorrow and felt the artist vibe. 🙂 so funny! but not so funny when it goes the other direction. Thank you for your kind words Debi and your encouragement. I will call on you if I have a brat attack again…. 😉

        Liked by 1 person

    1. thank you. I truly appreciate your feedback Nico. Its wonderful to know that the message and intent, was conveyed. … that its not always just about “the pretty picture.” thank you! peace, cheers, good tidings!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Jodi, thank you. Very much. for letting me know the message was conveyed and heard! I do, appreciate your feedback 🙂 cheers, have a most wonderful weekend. Debi

      Liked by 1 person

    1. my pleasure. I’m glad to hear you enjoyed this!!
      it is so wonderful to know, that the message, the content has been heard. And, appreciated.
      Thank you for taking the time, to let me know.
      cheers, Debi 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Denise, thank you so much for your comment. I’m happy you enjoyed this post and the message !
      hope – keeps me positive, keeps me trying, keeps me going even through the shadows. Hope tells me… There IS A Way!
      thank you
      and wishing you a lovely, weekend. cheers, Debi

      Liked by 1 person

  2. It’s am Sunday, here in Canada. I’ve been digesting your lovely post all weekend, Debi! How encouraging and thoughtful are Your inspirations and ARTWORKS, ALWAYS.!!. I am really partial to your ‘MaryEllen Fern’, honouring your Grandmother..Perfect!!..
    ‘Hope Shines’ .. Says it all, in the lovliest shades of pink..
    🌺 Joanne

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Wonderful post Debi. It reminds me of something a teacher wrote in my little notebook when I was only 8. He was Welsh and wrote: a dafyl dong a dere yagarig (or something to that effect), which translated means “constant striking breaks the stone.” Your “persistence fuels the flame” has the same feeling to it but the addition of “that lights the hope” makes this truly memorable. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Andrew, What an interesting teacher he must have been! I like him!
      my phrase … esp. “that lights the hope” …. yes. I’m in the midst of rereading that line just now.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m glad too! Its wonderful that you found some things you enjoyed here, and thank you for taking the time to pause … and look, likes, comment and follow. That is so very lovely. 🙂 Cheers, Debi

      Liked by 1 person

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