We think in pictures, then we make sense of those pictures by turning them into a story in our mind. We store memories of those pictures and stories so we can refer to them in the future. If I asked you to think of a horse, your mind might throw up a picture of a horse running in a field or in a stable, whatever the image it will be unique to you. We become so familiar with our images that often we can’t see past them and just accept them at face value.

If I were to paint a picture of a horse, I too have stock images and would create the painting to suit. However, in the painting above I tried something different. I normally prefer to paint in a realistic fashion, not abstract at all, however this time I tried an alternative perspective and painted right up close uncovering more abstract possibilities. This took me out of my painting comfort zone and forced me to focus intently, enabling me to think and see more clearly.

I think this is a great metaphor for life in general. During the process of creating an oil painting you are faced with various problems to solve. By abstracting the images and thinking I would normally have considered, it enabled me see beyond the obvious and hopefully create a piece of art that is unique and advances my knowledge and skill as an artist.

Today I’m going to apply this approach in my daily work and see what happens. Why not join me on this artistic adventure into the abstract?