As I shared a few weeks ago, I have been taking a break from my usual routines.
As suspected, it is much easier to stop a routine than to restart it. The autopilot has switched off, so tasks take much longer than I am used to. However, I also notice the benefits of an extended break. Distance has allowed me to look at my work and practice with fresh eyes.
Take my oil painting course: I now realize that I had tried to execute each exercise as quickly as possible because it was a means to an end - I saw the end of my training as the summit to reach. Whenever I got feedback, I solely focussed on the areas I needed to improve.
A few days ago, a friend helped me to see my current portfolio through someone else’s eyes. She could envisage what I dismissed as flawed practice pieces in someone’s home. I began to see the bigger picture.
This week I set myself the task to produce a piece that could brighten up someone’s kitchen rather than putting together a random selection of objects to quickly get through the next painting exercise.
Drawing from life is still a painfully slow process and may never be my strength. Colour mixing is also a lot more challenging than I expected – so many nuances to capture. I can see where I could have applied my paint a little more carefully and maybe chosen different colours, but I do like the summery, Mediterranean feel of my latest painting. It reminds me of the joy of biting into a juicy pear or apricot on a sweltering summer day.