Recently I found this quote.
We don't see things as they are.
We see things as we are.
I painted some orange geraniums around it and pinned it to the bulletin board over my computer. I really need to remember this because so many of my so called bad or "lemony" days start in my head. Look at the case of my cat's "hurt" paw in this past post
. Even in painting, I often am hardest on my work when I'm hardest on myself. Seeing has so many layers. As we travel through life we learn that our vision can change and will. And as an artist I know that if I sit still long enough and see what I'm painting. I can see layers of color and light that I've never noticed before. Last year when I was teaching a friend to watercolor paint, I emphasized to her how important it was to look at the subject matter and notice, see. There are various shades of color in something that looks solid. Shadows are like that too. Colors reflect on to each other, and when you see dark shadows they aren't necessarily black, but full of dark color. My girlfriend told me that after that lesson, she saw things around her differently because she was paying attention.
Like I've been saying from the beginning, painting can teach us so much more than how to put a pretty picture on paper.