When you’ve been painting for a few years, you start to see patterns forming. Cycles of interest, that keep coming back around. What at first seems like a linear path through various adventures and obsessions, one subject to another, soon ends up with you back where you started, albeit a little bit wiser and more skilful.
Ideas and processes long abandoned suddenly have relevance again – a bizarre thing to experience, especially after they were unequivocally denounced, 12 months prior. It seems that we have a sphere of interest that we explore through our lives and the only way to eke out every last drop from each area is to visit them multiple times over many years. What you learn in one place can lift you over the block you stumbled against in another, and when you realise this for the first time, it’s both baffling and comforting. “We’ve been here before…” you say to yourself, as you finish another lap of the globe.
Initially, I found this process disheartening. After the first lap, it really did feel like I was back where I’d started. “If only I’d just stayed put and thrashed it out longer, I’d not have wasted my time trying all those other things” But that’s the wrong way to look at it. Sometimes you have to hang out with a different friend to shed light on the behaviour of another, or leave a place you’ve had enough of, to appreciate it’s glory when you return.
Perspective, in all things, is good.