Lesson From a Recent Painting

I just put the finishing touches on New Zealand, Stroll In the Park. New Zealand is such a colorful place. A landscape painter’s dream.

There’s an important lesson in this painting.

I was about 90% complete and for some reason, I didn’t like what I saw. Something wasn’t right but I had no idea what or how to fix it.

I took the painting off the easel and put it in storage. The sight of it frustrated me. It reminded me of the hours lost and problems I couldn’t solve.

A few days later, I confronted the painting again to see if I could salvage it with fresh eyes and a reinvigorated spirit. I had already deemed the painting a loss so I had nothing to lose.

To my surprise, the road ahead to the finished painting was now clear. I made a few strokes, fixed some colors, and signed in the bottom left corner. The painting went from the discard pile to something I’m proud to bear my signature. All I needed was fresh eyes.

Keep this in mind with your own paintings. Sometimes, after working on a painting for long periods of time, your eyes grow tired of what’s in front of you. Take a break and return with fresh eyes. You might be surprised how your perception changes and solutions become clear. Whatever you do, don’t work in frustration. That usually leads to a muddy mess on the canvas.

Happy painting!

Kind regards

Dan Scott