The love-hate polarity with one’s creations

I have been noticing my changing relationship to my paintings throughout their creation. So often I will work on a painting for hours and at the end become increasingly irritated with it and leave it be. I am so absorbed in it all I notice is every individual fault; I can’t extract myself from it and view it in an objective manner. The next day usually brings the same obsession with each specific problem. I find it incredibly difficult to appreciate the piece as a whole. I then leave the piece for a few days and suddenly my perception shifts; I begin to admire it, even love it. It is as if I am seeing the piece for the first time. And this shifting love-hate polarity is not only in my painting; I notice it throughout my life, in all of my creations, whether they be artistic or otherwise.

To me this changing perception highlights a number of things. Firstly that space and time is incredibly important in the creative process. One must remove oneself from one’s creations to gain fresh insight and inspiration. It is sometimes hard to know if a piece is complete until one has had space to contemplate. This shifting perception also highlights the obsessive analytical and critical tendencies of the human mind. It becomes so obsessed with the intricate details of the creation (or life in general) that it loses its connection with the grand picture. We become so trapped within the mundane we lose our connection to the absolute.

One of the techniques I use whilst painting is that of reversing the piece by flipping it upside down, or even just tilting my head and viewing it from below. This reversal seems to trick the mind; it can no longer only see the faults but can see the overall creation.

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