I remember a workshop I attended several years ago after a dry spell from painting. The class was painting a still life. It was a fun class on many levels; 1) because I was thrilled to be painting again, and 2) because I saw many past artist friends also attending - so it was a great reunion time too.
I happily went about painting the setup arranged by the instructor on my "homemade" stretched linen 12x12 birch stretcher bars for the time remaining in the morning after the teacher demos in such a workshop, and then it was time for the lunch break. Upon going to the sink to clean my brushes before leaving the studio for lunch, I turned around to look at all the student's work and asked "who did that one?" No reply, so I turned back around finished cleaning my brushes, and went back to my spot. OMG!! I had to do a double take because it was my own painting; I had not recognized it! How can this be??
Frye Workshop Still Life-Block In
12 x 12 Stretched LinenCirca 1980's
Looking now of course I can see things I'd change in the arrangement. but thinking back on this experience, I still have to chuckle a little. The lesson back then - as most of us learn eventually - was it is sometimes helpful to work on a painting looking with fresh eyes from another angle (the mirror trick) or sometimes just setting it aside; it truly does give us a chance to see what the wonderful right brained genius living inside our heads can do when given the freedom to enjoy creating with complete delight - no pressure.
I know this may sound a little strange, but since this experience when I catch myself being too critical while painting, I tell left brain (LB is very dominant sometimes) to be patient for the painting that right brain is doing because RB needs to build confidence - and LB can write an interesting story about it later. It seems to be helping with much less frustration around my studio. ;o)