I paint most days but every few months there are times when it seems a challenge. Normally it is not because I don’t want to, but because I convince myself that I cannot do it. I should prehaps let you be the judge of that. I have two strategies to get going again that tend to work. One is to go for a walk along our local river during the evening Golden Hour before sunset, the other being to pick up my copy of John Carlson’s excellent book, Guide to Landscape Painting . Recently doing the latter I noticed his comments regarding the importance of shapes and edges when conveying the nature of objects. Whilst not claiming to reach his standard I decided to try painting some tree without thinking or painting any leaves – just thinking about Carlson’s advice. I was pleased with the result, and the speed at which the painting progressed. I notice in the photo that some of the dark shapes appear to “jump-out” which may the the photography, or may be something for me to review. I am now keen to get outside and try the same when plein air painting.