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Monday, March 21, 2016

Take A Step Back

See The Big Picture

. . .and what is the big picture?

I'm not sure what everyone's big picture is,
but, I am pretty sure you can't see it if you don't step back.

Let me give you an example.

What it's like to be beautiful but without enough light and out of focus. 
Not very interesting is it?
How can anyone see its beauty?
Artists are always talking about getting natural light to paint in and to photograph in.  
How do you get more light in your life?
I think we can increase light by surrounding ourselves with things we love, like family and friends, soft sheets, colors that sing to us, items we love and great music.
Another thing artists do, is when they are painting something,
especially en plein air, (outside) or a still life set up in the studio is squint.  Believe it or not, artists aren't always painting the object they see, they are painting the shapes they see and the best way to separate the two is to squint.
Squinting is great if you want that painterly effect, but if you want something to be crystal clear,
you have to focus.
 This is better because I corrected the amount of light getting into my lens, and I focused.

And then,
I stepped back.
Look at everything I can see now, just by backing up a bit.

And another step back

 And finally,
we see the whole subject.
But are we really?

 I stepped just outside my door near where this fabulous array of flowers was sitting, 
and this is what I saw.

And then,
I took another step back.
I'll bet you know what's coming next! 

 You're right!
I took another step back.
How do we take a step back in our lives to see better?
I'm not sure how it works for everyone,
but for me, I have to turn off all the distractions.
Yes, no netflix,
no pandora,
no ball game playing,
not three devices going at the same time.
I need a blank canvas to see better.
I need quiet and calm and be able to think.
I have brain storming sessions with myself
where I write out the problem,
then write everything about the problem.
What needs to be done,
What I can do immediately,
What I can't do immediately but would like to do,
What is so far out there,
What I'm receiving as inspiration during this process.
This part takes some time,
but it will put you farther along the trail of accomplishing what you want, than just being disappointed in your efforts, or lack of effort.
Once I've done that, then I see if a plan doesn't sort of just show up on my paper.  Often times it does!  Sometimes I have to look at all the pieces of the puzzle and try to put them together, but I usually get an answer in this part of my thinking.
Next comes the action plan.
Here I have to decide do I really want to solve this problem, plan this event, paint this series, or whatever the problem is.  And if I do, I have to put a plan into action to accomplish the thing.  I set some realistic goals, put things on my calendar, and set some deadlines.
Once that is all done, I usually can accomplish just about anything. 
Learning to think and plan and organize those thoughts is a process, but it brings so many benefits into your life
that I know it is worth the effort it takes.
Happy thinking! 
 If you want to learn to paint,
don't put it off another day.
At the top of this blog is a tab for some free painting lessons that I am always adding to.
And if that's not enough for you
Click HERE to view my online beginning painting course. 
While you're scrolling to the top of my blog,
on the right hand side is a place to signup to get in on the free painting I give away every month.
Sign Up and you're in.
Thanks again. 


  1. Great post - from one planner to another! I do 5 years ones.
    Yep - solitude and quiet works best for me too.
    Seriously, Sharon, you have some really solid guidance in this could hang out a shingle!

  2. Thanks Julie. That's why I started Motivation Monday, so I and others would be motivated and/or inspired to make some course corrections in our lives. You don't get to be my age without learning a few things along the way. Always so appreciate your support.


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About Me

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Ghent, Kentucky, United States
I'm a nature artist and I love to paint old barns, rivers and lakes, trees and fence rows and flowers. I work almost daily. You can purchase paintings by contacting me at and there is also a tab across the top of my blog for available paintings and one for small paintings with buy now buttons. You can also purchase through my Etsy shop using the name of Fine Nature Art. . Thank you so much for stopping by.