It's All About Perspective

One technique that artists, particularly painters, employ is to step back from the art frequently to gain a different perspective on the work. By doing this, we can see the work within a greater context. Often, this perspective uncovers clues that help direct us to where we want to take the work.

As I paint, for example, I am only working at an arm's length, away from canvas. If it is a larger piece, more than say 12" in any direction, because of my close proximity to the canvas, my attention is focused only on the passage I am working on. Yet, there is still a larger area of the canvas I am consequently ignoring from this intimate view. In order to find harmony within the painting, I therefore need to step back to make sure the passage I am working on works within the larger composition. Additionally, stepping back enables me to more clearly see how the painting as a whole works.

By stepping back, I am providing myself opportunities to see things from a broader perspective and make changes that serve to unite the work, making it stronger. I believe this is a metaphor for looking at life beyond art.