Most days I take a walk in the late afternoon to clear my head and stretch my legs. Sometimes I come across trash thrown in a field or left in a parking lot and I get annoyed thinking about how thoughtless people can be. Before I know it, my mood has spiraled into a negative worldview and I come home more stressed than when I left. At some point I said to myself, "Wait a minute. What am I doing? I'm taking a walk to get some exercise and reset my mind, but I'm defeating my purpose if I end up exasperated.
Of course there are slobs and uncaring people all around us, that's not news. If I don't want to bring those negatives back to the studio, then it's up to me to decide what to focus on when I am taking my walks." I could look down and focus on the negatives or raise my head and open myself up to the unsullied sky, the beauty of nature always above me. It's up to me to mold the experience into a positive one.
This simple but significant observation, so easy to lose track of, is what originally inspired this painting. After some reflection, I realized I left out a third alternative: turning one's attention inward and into the realms of imagination and dreams. The figure in this picture seems to have chosen that avenue, for her eyes are closed.