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I work standing up as I find it not only energising but better for my back health and fluidity. It cannot be overstated how valuable it is though to sit way back from a work and just look at it for some time. One of my teachers used to say step back at least every 15 minutes when painting. It is really difficult sometimes to stop and do that when you are in the flow or wrestling a picture to the ground, but as your focus reorients to the whole, you see what you cannot see when you are up close and buried in a work.

When I take a break in the studio I either sit in silence or put on music and take a good 20 minutes to look at work that is on the go. There’s a lot to be said for day dreaming or musing on things and many leading edge thinkers agree that relaxed and clear focus is the doorway to flow and the wellspring of creativity and it certainly works for me. At any rate when you look at things without any real agenda but to simply observe, you do notice things that need attention or are not harmonious to the whole. Even better take work home so it is in a different context and in different light. It will reveal much when your gaze falls on it. It takes time to make a good picture, get a comfortable chair a lovely cup of tea and most of all get a sense of perspective.

my studio chair in Paris

‘The Total Perspective Vortex derives its picture of the whole Universe on the principle of extrapolated matter analyses. To explain - since every piece of matter in the Universe is in some way affected by every other piece of matter in the Universe, it is in theory possible to extrapolate the whole of creation - every sun, every planet, their orbits, their composition and their economic and social history from, say, one small piece of fairy cake. The man who invented the Total Perspective Vortex did so basically to annoy his wife. Trin Tragula, for that was his name. was a dreamer, a thinker, a speculative philosopher or, as his wife would have it, an idiot. And she would nag him incessantly about the utterly inordinate amount of time he spent staring out into space, or mulling over the mechanics of safety pins, or doing spectrographic amalyses of pieces of fairy cake. "Have some sense of proportion!" she would say, sometimes as often as 38 times in a single day. And so he built the Total Perspective Vortex, just to show her, and in one end he plugged he whole of reality as extrapolated from a single piece of fairy cake, and into the other end he plugged his wife: so that when he turned it on she saw in one instant the whole infinity of creation and herself in relation to it. To Trin Tragula's horror, the shock completely annihilated her brain; but to his satisfaction he realised that he had proved conclusively that if life is going to exist in a Universe of this size then the one thing it cannot afford to have is a sense of proportion.’ 
- The Hitchikers Guide To The Galaxy

Paris at night from space


Now the shadow of the column — the column which supports the southwest corner of the roof — divides the corresponding corner of the veranda into two equal parts. This veranda is a wide, covered gallery surrounding the house on three sides. Since its width is the same for the central portion as for the sides, the line of shadow cast by the column extends precisely to the corner of the house; but it stops there, for only the veranda flagstones are reached by the sun, which is still too high in the sky.
The wooden walls of the house — that is, its front and west gable-end — are still protected from the sun by the rof (common to the house proper and the terrace). So at this moment the shadow of the outer edge of the roof coincides exactly with the right angle formed by the terrace and the two vertical surfaces of the corner of the house.

Now A... has com into the bedroom by the inside door opening onto the central hallway. She does not look at the wide open window through which — from the door —  she would see this corner of the terrace.
Now she has turned back toward the door to close it behind her. She still has on the light-colored, close-fitting dress with the high collar that she was wearing at lunch when Christiane reminded her again that loose-fitting clothes make the heat easier to bear. But A... merely smiled: she never suffered from the heat, she had known much worse climates than this — in Africa, for instance — and had always felt fine there. Besides, she desn’t feel the cold either. Wherever she is, she keeps quite comfortable.