I've just finished this my first lion painting. The process of creating realistic animals in an unreal or abstract background has been really thrilling to accomplish. It marks a definite turning point for me as an artist, a stage I've been working towards for a long time that at times I've struggled to achieve. So often I've finished a painting and felt a vague disappointment that I hadn't quite got the look I wanted but this one really has nailed it. I love the marks of the stencil and realised just how creative you can be with something so simple. Instead of labouring over realistic landscape features that frankly bore me the stencil gives a lovely patterning and relief to the rest of the piece thereby creating contrasts of texture and shapes. It's exciting to make such a successful leap and opens all sorts of other creative possibilities for future paintings.