4 August 2013

Can't see the wood for the Trees


I have been on a big downer, ever since the mini stroke damaged my eyes. It affected me, more and more, as some of you may have noticed I have not produced a figure in weeks. Why? Well everyday things had begun to annoy me, such as not being able to read the newspaper without glasses. Even using the laptop required glasses, just lots of little things, but these were all changes that I have had to adapt to and accept. Not an easy thing at times, like most humans I don't easily accept these changes especially when they just happen and don't gradually deteriorate. My eyes just did not feel right "yes I am aware how daft that sounds". However this is compounded by the fact I suffer from severe depression so therefore I was on the slippery staircase, I know only to well.

The biggest problem was I had become reluctant even fearful to paint anything in case I could not produce work to my normal standard. Now I realise I am not the greatest painter, but I have a style and standard that I work to and just cant accept anything less than that. The heat gave me an extra excuse not to paint and therefore risk disappointing myself. However, I had made commitments to paint some figures for fellow bloggers, and I could not avoid the issue for ever, my own pride won't let that happen as I hate letting anyone down.

So to pull myself together I took a couple of afternoons off work this week and sat at the painting desk. I could not risk screwing somebody else's figures up so needed something to paint, that would not matter. Now I should say my good buddy Kev, also delivered a kick up the rear as he has been nagging me constantly to get back at the painting, to see how my eyes had adjusted. So having decided what we were doing in regard to Black powder, this meant I had some figures that needed a repaint. The perfect solution as I could test my eyes on repainting them and if it went well I could finally accept the situation.

So I put on my new spectacles and set to a session of painting. Here is what I achieved, working on my own figures. 3 skirmishers of the 1st Battalion/ 2nd Legere for our version of Black powder.


This gave me the confidence to steam ahead with Ray's Vikings all I have to complete now is the shields, and then varnish as Ray wants to base the figures.

This leaves me some serious work to do on Francis's monster sized figures, and here's a couple of W.I.P shots.



32 comments:

  1. You don't say whether you're happy with them, but they look pretty damn good to me.

    Think of all the great artists whose eyes deteriorated. Their painting wasn't the same as it had been in their youth; it developed and they kept their own individuality.

    I know what it's like to put off doing something because you're afraid that the results might not be right. It sounds like you did the brave thing and squared up to them. Well done!

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    1. I think I am reasonably content with the results. The real problem was accepting that the deterioration was much worse than I thought it would be, and kept thinking it would improve if given a little more time.

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  2. Looking realy good to me !!!

    Keep up the painting, so we Will have a chanse to see more of your greate paint work!

    Best regards Michael

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  3. Well done! I'm totally with Edwin, about you doing the right thing.

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  4. These look great. As the others said, your are doing well.

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  5. Great work

    In 2007, I had a pair of small strokes that impact my mobility and motor control. The healing process can be very frustrating as one struggles with a simple task that was done without thought in the pre-stroke times. I can remember a comic-like struggle with a bottle of beer and once I managed to open it all I got was a beer shower because I had been constantly shaking the bottle!

    I took to miniature painting as a form of therapy and all I can tell you is to keep at it. Your painting might not be what you remember it as (although the examples above are pretty damn good) but you can re-train yourself with practice.

    On the bright side, you can call your hobby time "medically required therapy"!!

    Good luck with your recovery.

    Miles

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    1. Wise words, many thanks, it is the struggles that do frustrate most.

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  6. Hey Andrew, I'm sorry to hear you've been feeling down. I've worn glasses for everything since I was ten, so I can assure you that you will be fine with glasses. As to the deteriorating eye sight, all of a sudden can be quite hard. Mine has been stable for some time. My last eye appointment they asked me if I was having difficulty with near vision. They said it happens as we age. I said no, of course not. About a week later I noticed that I can't see the damn figures up close and need a magnifying glass. I'm about to buy a magnifying visor for myself as I find my brush or knife knocking about on the magnifier I currently have.

    As for fear keeping you from painting. I totally get it. I read these blogs by prolific painters that look like masters to me and I can barely bring myself to choose a color, let alone actually paint. In my mind I felt I was pretty good 20+ years ago, but I had nothing but White Dwarf for comparison back then and I certainly was not up to Eavy Metal standards.

    To me your figures look good. Perhaps your style will change as you adapt to your new reality. But I am positive it will still be quality work.

    Cheers.

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    1. The wearing of glasses is not so much a problem as I have worn them to paint before, its more the sudden big deterioration that has occurred that has rendered me needing them more and more. The confidence has taken a big knock, I always considered my self fit even though I am 46 so did b=not expect such an illness and the after effects.

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  7. They are wonderfully painted figures, sir. I think you need only to adapt to a new situation and not fight against it, "young padawan".

    Cheers!!!

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  8. They look pretty darn good to me Andrew! It's a good thing you faced your fears and went at. It will just get easier. At 44 I'm not exactly old, but nor am I young and I need to wear glasses when I paint nowadays as the eyes just are not the same. Besides they make magnifiers for us gents getting on in years to keep us painting well into our dotage. So smile you will be able to maintain a standard you can accept for many years to come.:-)

    Christopher

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    1. I'm only 46 myself Christopher. I have new prescription glasses now and they give me better visibility, just my confidence that took a bit of a knock. Though all these comments have made me realise that perhaps things are not as bad as I had feared.

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    2. Then good news Andrew you have many years yet to look forward to painting!:-)

      Christopher

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  9. If I can be so bold to say this...you're good to go! I lose confidence fairly regularly that a set of figs is going to come out looking "right". As you've demonstrated, pushing on and building/rebuilding confidence is key. Keep up your good work Andrew and it's good to see you painting again!

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  10. They look great to me chap and I know the fear of slowly deteriorating eyes. Still with glasses etc things start to look better than they did before

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  11. Stroke is a pretty scary thing to deal with, and depression on top of that is no laughing matter, but if we can all get you back on track, then please keep posting more photos like the ones you've just posted.

    Keep up the good work and here's to better days in the future!

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  12. Sorry to hear about your mini stroke. Your painting of these figures look superb to me, keep it going.
    Cheers,
    Pat.

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  13. Great to see you back at the Brushes Buddy, I know I nagged at you a bit, but looking at what you have done here, need I say more.
    Great painting as always.
    I know this has been difficult for you, but you have new specs and you can still borrow my optivisor if you want.
    Now get some bloody Celts painted.

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  14. A brave and honest post Andrew and a predicament that all of us, if we are honest fear. To your very great credit you are still producing a stunning standard of work and remain an inspiration to many of us - keep going old chap.

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  15. Your paintwork is still stunning Andrew! You are an inspiration!

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  16. I think they look great. It is difficult to face a big change in vision, or any change that results in deteriorating health. Hang in there.

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  17. Hi Andrew,

    don't worry about your abilities. Those miniatures look absolutely excellent. To be honest I wasn't able to recognize any mistake worth mentioning.

    I know how hard it is to put away an event like a stroke since three years ago my father suffered one. But you have to live with it. That's the way the cookie crumbles. Stay with your hobby and do the things that prepossess you. And don't agonize too much about potential inadequacy. Don't make it a self-fulfilling prophecy!

    All the best !
    Stefan

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  18. Thank you all for the kind words, I shall take it all on board.

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  19. The work is solid, no worries. It's just a matter, as you note, of adjusting to the new realities.

    FMB

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  20. Thank you for the honest and revealing post. I agree with what the others have said already. Your painting looks great.

    But stay encouraged and keep letting us know of your struggles and successes.

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  21. B*gger me mate, my eyesight is 20/20 and I can't paint half as well as you can wearing specs! Don't sell yourself short.

    Regards how you feel, well, I'm in no way religious but I was once shown the serenity prayer. Some of the most astute advice I've ever been given. It seems more and more apt the older I get...

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  22. Just found this post!!! How did I miss this one???? Great figures!!!

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    1. At this point I could fire so ridicule about you being a blind Fecker but that would be pot calling kettle black!!

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