On my last day in the French alps, there was low cloud covering the peaks and some rain in the air. Instead of going higher, I drove down into the valley and parked by the stream. A dog watched quietly. A man continued repairing his car. I started walking up the path alongside the stream.
And a small despair crept into me. I didn't actually want to be doing this damp walk on a grey path alongside grey water. It was too reminiscent of walks with parents as an unwilling 11 year old - I had always found more pleasure in staying at the bottom of the hill with my book.
It was a change of scale that shifted my mood after I took out my camera and started looking more closely. Then I could see the bright splashes of colour in berries and hips, and notice the peculiar colourings of leaves,
The feeling of despair was dispelled by giving my attention on this smaller scale. I recognise it as the scale of many of my paintings; a scale that speaks to my soul.