I wasn’t happy. I wasn’t happy at all. The painting lacked life. It was dull; not in colour, so much, but in spirit. It was big and, dare I say it, boring. I couldn’t imagine passing on this painting to the recipient with any sort of pride. I moved it aside and painted another one, aiming for greater energy in the work. I was even more embarrassed by this second effort. ‘Amateurish’ and ‘clumsy’ were my descriptors. Now I was in a bind.
The paintings were large so were laid out on the lounge room floor. In the confusion of moving them from the studio, I had inadvertently unrolled the first painting upside down. Standing at the foot, I was now viewing it entirely differently. Suddenly, and unexpectedly, I liked it. Suddenly, and somehow, it had found those elements that had been missing. It was a new painting. It was the right painting.
In our big world, the ubiquitous ‘they’ say that one’s perspective can determine the way we view events, or react to them, or enjoy them, or are affected by them. Perspective is born out of context, personality and experience. Our perspectives change with age, situation, expectations, aspirations or knowledge. Our perspectives can differ from those of others, or align, or both. The almost infinite number of perspectives across the population seem to weave themselves into the shifting fabric of our lives.
Inverting a painting gave me a new perspective and a new reaction. It isn’t always so easy to find a new way to look at life matters, and perhaps it is ourselves that we need to turn upside down. The view may be interesting, though.