A Pivotal Moment: Painting a waterbucket?

Now I know this isn't the masterpiece of the modern world (far, far from it...) but I felt something "shift" while I was doing this painting. Like everything changed in an instant, possibly forever.

As is often the case, when helping students, someone else understand painting, you learn so much yourself.  One of my students was having a miserable time with these constantly moving Norwejian Fjords (they must have been self-conscious of all the strange, oily-smelling predators lined up at the fence line).  I encouraged the student to relax, to paint literally 'everything' from the greyish hill behind, stubby trees, fence, two Fresians looking over the fence (yes....that's what they are... Rubbish isn't it?)  I remember saying "Yes, even the red and yellow plastic water bucket!"  And I did.  And I loved it... And I realized, from that moment on, something "clicked".

I would never sell this little 5 min. painting.  In fact, I've glued it into my art sketchbook (so there).  All the funky, bright, contemporary-looking paintings that are showing up now have been because of this "shift" and the little painting journal I showed you before.  The following painting was the first on stretched canvas.  I think I did it the week I came back from Kentucky...

My beloved mentor, Dick Turner, in his studio smoking a cigarette. KINDLY OLD TEACHER. 18 x 14 acrylic on canvas. November, 2008.