Saturday, January 3, 2015

What's Reality Between A Couple of Friends…And a Bunny? Part 1


One might think the issue of reality is rather self–evident when working in realism. Indeed, it should barely beg mentioning, right? “Realistic” equine sculpture is literally descriptive; neither metaphor nor allusion, it’s exactly as described. Reality is reality, and that’s plainly clear.

But what if I told you that reality was just an illusion? That there’s nothing self–evident or plain about it? That reality is just a deceptive veneer over a mad wonderland of unfathomable potentiality, and that all we believe to be true is actually just one of life’s many long cons? And what if some put–out proverbial coney held the secret to what’s really going on? Faced with the ramifications of those ideas, would you really want to chase that cute bunneh down that rabbit hole?

If you don’t—hey—that's okay! We all decide to race after lunatic lagomorphs in our own time. Here's the thing though: if we want to learn the true nature of what we’re doing to gain meaningful control over it, we gotta chase dat bunny! So let’s go git 'im!

Ah–HA! Gotcha!

But wait…well, this is curious. Having caught the feisty, little fuzzball, we now realize he's led us smack dab into the middle of our mental mind–scape. A place that just gets “curioser and curioser,” it roils with our creativity, our reason, our psyche—all that we are, chock full of nooks and crannies crammed with our eccentricities and individuality. This madcap hare brought us here because he knows that our willingness to explore this place will determine the nature of our development long into the future. Strange how such a seemingly straightforward art form could be so complicated at its core. 

But how could this be? Realism is simple! We’re just duplicating what’s there for goshsakes. Simply sculpting what we see is as plain as the nose on our face. It’s all just a matter of getting the facts right. Right?


Wrong?! How could that be wrong? I call shenanigans! Facts are facts. Either a sculpture is faithful to equine structure and behavior, or it isn’t. It’s black and white. Heck, sculpting according to anatomy charts alone guarantees success. It's just that simple.

Ah…yep, yep…there he is…that wascally wabbit is giggling now. Oh, and hey—he just winked at us! Cheeky bunny! Why? Because he knows there’s nothing simple about any of it! And he knows this idea is exactly the wrong way to approach equine realism. Even more, he’s got a big secret he’s dying to share with us!

Okay, then…some long–eared, nose–wigglin' gremlin lords over some fancy shmancy super secret. Big whoop. [rolling eyes] I know I’ve got it right! I’m doing just fine. I don’t need to listen to some wacko rodent.

Are we really so sure about that? 

See, the ticklish secret our cottontail pixie clutches in his little velvet paws is one so pivotal it has the power to change not only the way we look at our work and our subject, but also the way we look at ourselves. This secret is so monumental, in fact, that it can both unlock and generate our ever–expanding potential, so should we really dismiss that fuzzy bun so quickly?

In the spirit of discovery then, this six–part series will explore just that—The Big Bunny Secret. And I'm calling it that because I like it. It’s snappy. It also involves a rodent, and cool stuff always involves a rodent. Fact.


Each new piece is a testing ground for our applied skills, so our process isn’t just a means to an end, but a form of training as well. And just as our technique needs training, so does our psyche. This mental training prepares our mind to work, and whether newbie or established, an unassuming “learner” attitude is a helpful headspace for realistic equine sculpture.

Because here’s the thing: what goes on in our heads is far more influential than what goes on with our hands. That may seem an unconventional idea, but the conflux of our nature and nurture produces a cumulative effect that overrides any given resource, instruction, technique, medium, or tool. Our design as homo sapien plus the sum of our life experiences combine into a complex mix of what’s preprogrammed, what’s tendency, and what’s potential.

That means inside each of us there exists a singular, unfolding universe, governed by an exclusive set of advantages, neutrals, and limitations that leverages our reactions. But that doesn’t mean they’re absolutes. Some are manageable, even malleable, and it’s targeting this flexibility that unlocks our dormant potential.

Because here’s a critical clue—some may think that sculpting equines realistically is simply a matter of duplicating what we see. That we just look at a horse and recreate it and, therefore, the more observation we do, the more correct our sculpture. If we have a problem then, more observation solves it, as though hours translated into progress. The assumption here is that our task is a process of default, that progress is merely a matter of applying more of the same. 

Yet this concept is so flawed, it's fundamentally responsible for every mistake we’re ever going to make. This is because simply sculpting what we see is exactly what we should not be doing. That may seem ridiculous, but observation is only one component to a much bigger puzzle, one that not only doesn’t respond to more of the same, but can actually regress. For instance, we could do hours of intent life study and still not convey our observations accurately in our clay, right? We could have a pile of resources at our disposal, yet they can still confuse us, yes? Heck, we could be around horses every day, and still goof when sculpting.

And innate talent can only take us so far. In the same way, our tools, media, training, popularity, experience, and style will all fail us at some point only because they aren’t the reasons for our progress either, only the incidental outcomes. It’s all about the bunny. Believe it or not, every aspect of our efforts is only as useful as that bunny allows it to be. What the bunny commands, we must do—not the other way around.

So this six–part series will explore this elusive Big Bunny Secret, taking a more philosophical lead rather than a how–to. It’s not often such things are discussed in realistic equine sculpture, but they’re critical topics to consider nonetheless. Take from it what you will, and a list of recommended reading is provided with each installment for further investigation. So let’s get to it!


Our giggling, squee sage already understands that it's not enough to know—we must also do. That means it’s not so much the what, but the how—in how we observe, how we interpret, how we translate, and how we utilize. How we understand information and how we apply it is what counts. That means knowing and doing are two entirely different things when it comes to sculpting equines realistically. We can know a thing, for instance, but still get it wrong in clay, right? Knowledge is only as useful as how we use it, and our work is only as good as our applied knowledge base. This brings us to our first important point: 

What’s actually true and what we interpret to be true are two entirely different things.

And there it is, one of the many paradoxical dualities in this art form. Is it such a surprise though? The equine is probably one of the most difficult subjects to sculpt, especially with any degree of technical prowess. With so much complexity wrapped up in one dynamic, sensitive, nuanced, holistic package on the hoof, is it any wonder why this beast has confounded artists for centuries? Even masters like Degas never thought he got this animal quite right! We're in very good company. 

Even so, this duality is a clue to what that bitty bunny clutches in his kissable little paws, it being the single most important concept for our progress. But let’s first talk about how we do what we do when we mush around clay. We need a bit of backstory to better understand what the bunny is guarding so adorably. 

So…what’s directly governing the shaping of our sculptures?

Our hands,” you say. “Duur–hay! That was too easy.”

Okay, then…what’s governing them?

“My mind, of course, you silly!” 

Wrong—on both counts! The truth is our paws are only incidental. There just happens to be at the end of each arm a bony meat–pad with five pointy bits sticking out. We could just as easily be missing fingers or be fitted with a prosthetic. And we use tools, right? Our mind is also incidental, more like a conduit rather than the generator itself, more the engine than the driver. So what then?…

“Of course! Our knowledge base. What we know directs our hands.”

Well, no—not really. Sure, there’s a connection, but only as matter of course. Like our hands, our knowledge base is incidental. Again, for instance, we could know a great deal but fail to adequately express those insights in our clay.

“Ah ha! It’s our natural talent! Hey—some people are just naturally better at this than others, so it has to be a special gift.”

Sorry—wrong again! Sure, natural talent may make sculpting easier for some, but it’s by no means the crux of the issue. Even gifted people make mistakes and get stuck like everyone else.

“Well then, it has to be training—what classes and instruction we’ve taken…right?” 

Nope! Educational opportunities are certainly invaluable, but we can misstep despite them. Instruction is only another tool, not the source.

“It’s gotta be our media and tools then—the clay and gizmos we use to shape the clay. That has to be it! If I get the right ones, I’m home free!” 

Again, sorry, no. Our tools are simply that—tools. Despite them we can still get things wrong or, on the other hand, we could use a stick to create a masterpiece. Tools are just extensions of our hands, a means to an end and nothing more. Similarly, our media is just the vessel, the passive substance we alter into the form we wish. 

“Our experience—it’s gotta be our experience then, how long we’ve been at this!” 

Negatory. Sure, the number of years we’ve been at this provides certain benefits, but time itself doesn’t equate to skill. We’ve all seen a brilliant newb come onto the scene, for instance. Time is simply a clock ticking on a wall, nothing more.

 So let’s keep cogitating…hmmm…if it’s not our knowledge, talents, tools, media, training, or experience then, and it’s not our minds or hands either…what’s really smooshing the clay around? And what’s smooshing it around in that distinctive, individual style that only we can produce? What in the world could possibly have such influence, dictating and predetermining all these important attributes? 

“Hey—wait a minute…does that mean this hidden force also directs how we interpret the living subject? Whoa…could that also mean it determines what we absorb from instruction, critique, photos, field study, and other resources? Even what we learn from studying the work of others? Good gravy—that would mean it dictates our every thought and decision, our every action and reaction, our every undertaking and goal, our every interpretation and assumption! Holy smokes—it’s the root of everything!

Go on…dig deep. Still stuck? No worries—it’s really not so obvious. What operates inside our head and under our radar? What compels our behaviors and tendencies? What’s the one thing that every living thing has, yet makes each of us unique and special? What is it that actually shapes our clay? Think.

Yep—there! You got it! Bingo! Through our mind, soul, heart, and gut, and right down to our fingertips and into our tools and our waiting clay, then back again in an infinite Ouroboros loop…there’s only one thing, isn't there? The only Boss Mare in the band, it could only be this one thing, couldn’t it? All along…yes…

Our perception.


Now wait a minute…perception? What in the world does perception have to do with realistic equine sculpture? C’mon! I call bogus!

Ho...ho...hoooooold on there, Tex! Ease down, thundercloud. Don't be so quick to dismiss it. There's definitely nothing simple about it. In fact, it’s probably the most complicated facet of ourselves. It also happens to have everything to do with realistic equine sculpture. Heck, one could easily argue that our perception is the entire keg o’ shoes!

So ta–da! It’s our perception that’s the big secret Mr. Fluffy Tail is guarding so sweetly! He knows perception dictates everything, and being so, sets the very foundation of all our efforts. So now that we know, let’s find out how…


Evolution has outfitted our brain with a hardwired “reality filter” that sifts through all stimuli according to our unique constellation of nature vs. nurture. Connected directly to the Self, this filter then tints all that stimuli with it so, in a sense, we can think of our perception as our own custom–made pair of “Self–colored glasses” we use to interpret our experiences, both external and internal.

So what is the Self? It can mean different things to each of us, but for this series we can think of the "Self" as:

The culmination of our hardwiring as homo sapien paired with our ego, insecurities, strengths, defenses, emotions, motivations, personality, reasoning, hopes, values, beliefs, and judgements—all that we are as individuals. 

It’s purpose is to engineer our own individual interpretation of reality in order to interact with it. To do this, our perception is a powerful editing tool, screening input and output with the ability to deny, cherry–pick, or change data to best synch with the Self. It’s not passive, but aggressively proactive. That’s because its interpretation of reality is designed to protect the Self, and it reinforces itself by convincing us that our take on reality is the only truthful and reliable version; it’s self–validating. But there’s a problem in this, isn’t there? Yep…you nailed it again…

Our perception is a conflict of interest loop, being
inherently prejudiced and based on
agendized, edited information. 

The human animal has a profound, instinctive need to have a handle on reality, and so our perception won’t just engineer a self–validated reality, it’ll also only expose the Self to what it can handle at that moment. And we don’t even know this is happening. We simply believe our interpretation of reality to be unquestionable and absolute, and this effect takes hold despite our skill, training, success, talent, or experience…even before we touch clay! Here we are, tasked with the job of recreating a living subject with technical objectivity, yet the very conduit we drawn upon to do this is designed specifically to be subjective. Clearly we’re operating within a pickle of a problem, aren’t we? No wonder sculpting realism is so hard!

But this is the reason why we each respond to different things when observing the very same subject. For instance, we could sculpt the very same Thoroughbred mare in the very same pose, but each of us would sculpt her quite differently, even despite the degree of technical prowess we infuse. That’s because each of our perceptions would identify and interpret not only different qualities, but those qualities differently. Because think about it: if we were all 100% objectively technical, not only would our sculptures look exactly like the subject, they’d look exactly alike, too, right? But they don’t. This is perception at work.

By actively selecting information to create a unique set of criterion, each of our perceptions is absolutely unique, too. Moreover, it edits not only when we’re looking at our sculpture, but when we’re looking at the living subject, and when we compare our sculpture against the living subject. Our perception also changes throughout the sculpting process, progressing or regressing, depending on how carefully we’re attending to it. It also dictates our interaction with our knowledge base, tools, references, critiques, and even instruction, since each entails its own comparative interpretation. It just keeps stacking up!

"Perception is demonstrably an active rather than a passive process; it constructs rather than records 'reality.'" 
~ Michael Michalko

Altogether then, it means that we each have a different set of predetermining selective priorities based on what our perception filters in or out, or alters outright. That also means our style, values, and goals along with our blindspots, trouble areas, unconscious tendencies, and defaults all originate in our perception as well. This is why a sculpture can meet with different opinions, as everyone is applying their different unconscious criterion to it. It’s also why everyone thinks their interpretation is the only correct one. 

Consequently, the unique characteristics of our perception reveal much about our Self; our creative choices reflect who we are. So when we interpret our subject, our work, our resources, our knowledge base, and even the work of others, we’re unconsciously working from a biased point of view derived from our individuality. 

This brings us to a critical idea embedded in the Big Bunny Secret, one easily forgotten, but oh–so essential to keep close to heart:

 We each interpret reality differently and so each of our realities is different.

This effect is attached to some quips we’ll likely encounter throughout our career. What's art without the critic, eh? For instance, we may hear the comment, "Hasn't she ever actually looked at a real horse before?" Well…perhaps she has, only she perceives horses differently than we do because her reality is different from ours.

We may also hear, "Is that artist blind? Can she not see the [insert error] she sculpted?" No, perhaps not, but only because her perception is different. And is her perception any less valid than ours? How are we so sure our reality is provably more correct? It's just as probable we’re the one in error. Where's the empirical evidence? The comparative examples? The research? If all we have is our intangible opinion, that's fine—we're all allowed to have one. But that's not enough for equine realism. An opinion isn’t a fact, and when regarding this complex, technical art form, we’re asked to do better than that.

So what’s perception exactly? It’s not so easy to define and can actually be framed many different ways. Over time, we’ll each come to our own idea of it, but for this series let's go with this…

Perception is the progressive ability to See, to comprehend on a deeper, more integrated, and more expansive level so as to observe, envision, and translate more actual reality between the living subject, our resources, and our media.

Note the capital "S" in “See,” distinguishing it from seeing, the casual interpretation of non–artists. We all start out seeing, and have to work for Sight only because it necessitates specialized, rigorous training, and in peculiar ways. Also note “progressive.” The implication here being this: Sight isn’t static, but constantly evolving towards more refinement and potency. This specialized training begins with one powerful idea: 

Our perception is the crux of all our efforts, with everything else its byproduct. 

Our talents, schooling, opportunities, awards, contracts, grants, and everything else are only the outcomes of our perception, and its keenness determines their nature. This being so, improving our perception automatically improves these conditions, not the other way round. That is to say advancement always originates in our perception, and the more our perception improves, the more our work does so in kind. When we learn to See differently, we’ll begin to sculpt differently since our mind and hands follow our perception like baby ducks scrambling behind mama duck. Quack quack!

Why is that? Think about it…the more developed our perception, the more we See, right? So the more information we can absorb, process, and apply, the more creative options we provide for our clay or our career. And if our perception is well–schooled, it can even select out those options not aligned to our values.

"All our knowledge has its origin in our perceptions."
~ Leonardo da Vinci

This mechanism makes a great deal of evolutionary sense on many levels. For one, it allows a group of people to approach a single problem from multiple angles. No wonder we're such an inventive, adaptable species! But for us, it lends diversity to equine realism by allowing multiple minds to interpret the same subject in different ways, keeping the art form vital and lively.

And for that, the benefits of an ever–expanding menu of options cannot be overstated—choice is empowering! Indeed, our work improves in direct relation to how many creative choices are available to us, resulting in many welcome benefits. For one, it revs up our enthusiasm with the spilling cornucopia of new ideas to explore. Our body of work then diversifies and expands, deepening in appeal and meaning. Even more, we now have the welcome opportunity to make conscious decisions about our work rather than just duplicating, defaulting to convention or habit, or perhaps resorting to guesstimates. Better still, we’re given the means to identify our blindspots and trouble spots with greater clarity, and that generates tangible, sustained progress. Making confident, deliberate choices gives our body of work authority and creative honesty, too, and takes our work beyond clinical representation. As if that wasn’t enough, we’re also afforded the privilege of advocating for this animal instead of just parroting what we see. And last but not least, we can wring the most our of every moment, giving us more bang for our buck in education or field study, and that’s always a plus! 

We can liken the potentiality of options to a grocery store, with the creation of our sculpture much like making a salad. If all our grocery has is iceberg lettuce, carrots, and Ranch dressing, our salads are going to be pretty limited, aren’t they? Mealtime will become a homogenized routine, and we may get bored or frustrated. There’s also artifice involved here since there’s way more to salad than just these three ingredients.

So now let’s add options. Let’s throw in a plethora of cheeses, different lettuces, kale, broccoli, spinach, mushrooms, sprouts, onions, cucumbers, bell peppers, various beans, tofu, corn, avocado, all kinds of seeds, tomatoes, dried fruits, fresh fruits, all sorts of dressings and whatever else we can think up. Our salad just got a whole lot more interesting, didn’t it? It's exactly like that. Plus, our salad creations became much more illustrative of all that is “salad,” too, with no two salads alike, just like our subject in life, just like each passing moment. Having more information at our disposal simply means we can do more with our clay, and in ways that better capture the varied, mercurial nature of our subject. 

So when it comes to growth, like everything else, “sculpting better” is only a byproduct of our perception’s growth. What’s really happening is that our perception is becoming better at allowing more unfiltered reality to enter our clay. Think about it—we can sculpt a foreleg any way we like, but when we improve, it’s because we’re applying new, better choices to shape it, right? That’s how it works. But that’s another conflict of interest complicating our efforts, isn't it? Another pickle, in that:

The very same pathway we use to objectively interpret both our subject and our sculpture is the very one designed to be subjective and biased.

Left to its own devices, our perception can only offer us subjective reality. It just doesn’t know how to do otherwise unless we show it how. We have to school it, train it, coax it, guide and stewart it; it’s a learned skill. Think about every trouble spot we’ve ever had—we can trace it back to a blip in our perception, can’t we? This conundrum is so fundamental in equine realism that it’s essentially all we’ll ever wrestle with, in all its myriad forms.

Being so, our perception can alternately accelerate our growth or stall it out, so the real trick is learning how to proactively change our perception at will, and in ways that promote our goals. To do that, we have to persuade our perception to let in more options for one simple reason:

When our perception changes, everything else changes automatically. 

Think about it…how do we make mistakes? How do we get off–track? How do we miss important clues? How do our blindspots form and persist? All so unintentionally, too. It’s all in how we perceive reality, in our subject and in our clay. Learn to perceive things differently, and we discover new options beyond our old ones, and perhaps even things previously invisible to us will start to pop out, too. It just takes is a shift in our view, a creative parallax.

"If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change."
~ Wayne Dyer

All this means something else, too, doesn’t it? Yep—our perception also doesn’t necessarily tell us the truth. It’s easy to forget that our perception feeds us edited, even false information because to us, our reality is simply self–apparent. It’s undeniable to us, and that’s a problem. To get it to tell us the truth, our perception has to be specifically schooled and kept in check with such things as calipers, measurements, references, and artistic exercises. 

It’s not all that surprising though, is it? We may have the smarts, talent, drive, and resources to create great art, but these things could never hold us back, could they? They’re creative rocket fuel, not a wet towel! So it's in how we use those fuel canisters that determines our progress, and that alchemy only ignites in our perception.

This is exactly why we may use different tools, methods, or materials, but still make the same mistakes. It’s why we may know key concepts, but still fail to demonstrate them our clay. We can be provided with clear visuals, but still blunder instruction. Or on the flip side, we can sculpt a wonderful piece out of butter or soap! Again, knowing and doing are two very different things, particularly when it comes to translating what we think is reality in our clay. 

Because that's all we ever work with, isn't it? What we think is reality? Everything, right down to picking our favorite tools, is a manifestation of what we perceive reality to be. All we’ll ever have at our disposal, instill in our clay, glean from references, detect in our subject, impart to one another, deduce and absorb…everything…it all derives only from our perception.

That may seem a bit unnerving at first, but never fear! This one tiny insight lets us jumpstart any number of breakthroughs at any time! How? Well, it tells us that all our undermining problems have nothing to do with our knowledge base, experience, talents, achievements, assets, or skillset. How could they? If they did, we would’ve rooted them out in short order, right? No, they exist only in our perception—and that’s good news! It means we aren’t inadequate, incapable, or untalented. We simply have a way of seeing things that needs a bit of adjustment, and that’s totally doable. So let’s explore the nature of our perception a bit so we can learn how to retrain it, starting with this: 

Our perception operates in a vacuum, the hard–wired, closed feedback loop of our own headspace. 

That’s a biggie! Our perception is unable to perceive any other reality other than its own. Training can make it more open and absorbing, but ultimately it exists within its own reality bubble. What tells us the nature of things? What tells us what’s worthwhile and what’s dismissible? What convinces us our version of reality is right? What tells us that others are wrong? What decides the improvement we need, or whether we need improvement at all? Our perception. It’s the root of everything we do, think and feel, simultaneously pulling our strings while convincing us they’re the best strings ever.

"I used to think that the brain was the most wonderful organ in my body. Then I realized what was telling me this."
~ Emo Phillips

This you–colored world inside your head and this me–colored world inside my head are the only way we interpret the world around us. We each represent a self–reinforcing, complete universe, a unique convincing reality. And that’s a lot of realities!

For these reasons, altering our perception takes hard work. Our chosen art form asks for as much objective reality as we can muster, and make no mistake—objective reality exists. We can take measurements and run comparative tests. Don't we compare our work to the real thing to determine its believability? And the more objective our work, the more of a direct comparison we can make. This brings us to another critical insight: 

When we compare our work to reality, what we’re really doing is comparing our perception of reality to our work. 

Consider that for a moment. At the very least, it means we can’t take anything for granted. Yet, by definition, everything we apply to our sculpture is subjective, gleaned from an edited interpretation of reality. Just another Catch–22! But the handy thing about realism is that we can compare our work against the living animal, thanks to field study, reference photos, calipers, rulers, protractors, diagrams, and sketches. These help us get our work closer to reality, and they help train our perception to key in on more realistic characteristics. The more we engage these resources then, the better we train our perception.

It’s also useful to ponder what our perception is processing. What aspects come to the fore, what grabs our eye, or stirs our inspiration? What fades into the background? What do we gloss over? When we consciously think about what we’re doing, we can reveal unconscious tendencies. For instance, turning references and charts upside down can produce a “fresh” view. Or we can look at our sculpture “backwards” in a mirror, or the cold objectivity of a camera lens can give us a new view as well. It’s also a helpful exercise to use many reference photos of the same movement and angle to discover what’s different between them as well as what’s the same. In doing this, we find the anatomical patterns, but also glean individual eccentricities of flesh and hide that could add interest to our sculpture.

On that note, an untrained perception does bear some key traits, and keeping a lookout for them can help us gain traction in our own development. For example, an unschooled perception is often unevenly developed, perhaps adept at one aspect of the body, but less careful in others. In other words, the attention and skill exhibited in the piece isn’t consistent throughout. For instance, the head can be more often the focus of attention whereas portions of the body are less carefully executed.

There can also be an abundance of blindspots and self–sabotaging habits. These can manifest as anatomical or proportional errors, or sometimes the technique used isn’t finessed enough to produce good results. For instance, a disproportionally large head may be present, or body parts aren't sculpted with the accurate “equine–ness” required. Workmanship hiccups are common, too, since the forest tends to get lost with the trees. For instance, prepping relics are still present, or “pilling” can occur in manes and tails. More often than not, errors occur as a constellation rather than just as one problem. 

An untrained perception often falls into regimentation, as the pattern recognition response has been allowed to take over (which we’ll talk about later). Nature is messy and spontaneous, and as an untrained perception tries to make sense of it, it can unconsciously fall into habit and formula. For example, muscling can take on a habitual, clinical look, like it was lifted directly from an anatomy chart. Or the sculpting of manes and tails lacks the necessary serendipity, looking more like contrived crop rows.

Additionally, an untrained perception can only see what it expects to see, and nothing more. In a sense then, it gets stuck in a rut. This will make a body of work homogenized and repetitive as the same habits and formulas are reapplied to every piece, despite what the individual sculpture may actually require.

In contrast, however, a trained perception will mediate all these tendencies to allow novel information into the equation, making each sculpture singular and fresh within a body of work. The portfolio is varied, demonstrating a firm grasp of equine structure, and a firmer grasp of serendipity. The quality, style, and skill exhibited in each piece is consistent throughout, too, with every inch given the same careful attention. Overall, the collection demonstrates how the artist “went the extra mile,” having been pulled into a positive feedback loop of discovery and exploration by a perception enthusiastically fed by curiosity and novelty.


Let’s sip on these ideas and consider how they apply to our work then next time we’ll discuss three facets of perception that work in tandem to open it up to new possibilities. Developing an inclusive perception, rather than an exclusive one, isn’t as hard as one may think. It just takes some simple shifts in how we look at things, and anyone can learn how to do this at will.

So until next time…drink up!

“Learn to poke around. Take your time. Go slow. Get down on your hands and knees and dig around. Sit in one place for an hour at a time and let the world come to you.”
~ John Bates

Recommended Resources
PERCEPTION IS REALITY, Dr. Jennifer Paweleck-Bellingrodt
THE METHOD, THE MADNESS AND THE MYSTERY, ongoing blog series, Sarah Minkiewicz-Breunig

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