• Karen Lembo

Change Your Perspective (Torrey Pines, 2021)


I live on the east coast, where the highest vantage point you'll have looking out towards the ocean is a sand dune. I was so intrigued by the perspective offered from Torrey Pines State Park in La Jolla, CA because it made me see the beach and water in a whole new way.


Rather than a wide open vista to the horizon, the perspective created by peering over the cliffs emphasized diagonal bands of gently rolling waves. The contrast between the texture of the cliff's wild grasses, the beach and the water compelled me to capture this view in a painting last fall.


In creating this painting, I often thought about the advantage of seeing things from a new perspective. This can really be challenging, especially since we tend to surround ourselves by those who share our perspective. It's comfortable and comforting. Why rock the boat?


But did you ever stop to think how much this might limit our vision and creativity? While I appreciate the oft repeated sentiment, "you're so talented," I'll be the first to tell you that I've actually worked hard to become a "good looker." What sets artists apart is that we spend hours training ourselves to see what's really there before we can present it either accurately, or in a new way, to help others see what we have long studied and contemplated.


Changing perspectives helps us to see better, and seeing better helps us to be thoughtful and creative. The world is desperate for creative thinking that blends different perspectives in order to present new solutions to old problems or to help people come together in appreciation for different, yet not necessarily incompatible, perspectives.



Are you a good looker? Did you notice the people on the beach in my painting? Here, I'll give you some close ups in closing. And I hope I've inspired you to take a few moments each day to take a fresh look at the ordinary world around you. Then tell us about it in the comments--I'd love to hear your perspective!

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