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Walk away

Updated: Oct 17, 2022

I like to paint subjects from a different perspective, one that makes your brain work a bit, to translate what it's looking at and from where.

Mabie Baby was one of those. As we wandered around the Scottish forest the most impressive thing about these majestic beauties were their sheer height.

Standing right up close to the base of a huge tree and looking up the trunk was quite an experience and immediately inspired me to create, to try to recreate that feeling.

Painting teaches me new things all the time. Creating perspective is one of them but also getting perspective, as well as preserving it.

The creating process is gradually teaching me to recognise when to walk away and refocus, to sense the right time to down tools and take a break.

And still you will often find me slogging away at something, usually late at night, even though I know no good can come of it and that my tiredness and frustration has got the better of me.

I know full well that a fresh pair of eyes will see that key detail I've missed or observe it in a better way. But it's having that discipline to desist.

Seeking advice and feedback can work wonders when I need to reset my perspective. The different ways different people have different reactions to the different things they see in the same subject is a great resource.

When I have the same thought processes on repeat going round my head getting me nowhere, I'm so grateful for someone else's input to breathe some honesty and fresh air on the matter. A chance encounter or comment can often provide a breakthrough.

Feedback is so crucial to the process, positive and negative. You can't argue with a genuine first reaction and it gives you the opportunity to see the situation from where someone else is standing.

Sometimes it's as simple as a good night's sleep or just switching to an alternative task for a while. When I stop obsessing about the thing that's consuming me, the answer is obvious.

So much of painting for me is about having the confidence to make bold decisions and stand by them. But it's so easy to distort to negative effect without realising. I'm trying to become more aware when it does occur and learn from it. Easier said than done mind you!

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