They say that you can't teach old dogs new tricks, but I don't think that is true - the motivation just has to be strong enough!
In any case I have always liked a challenge and gone into it with a sense of adventure and the thought that this might be interesting, I wonder where it will take me, can I do it and what will the result be? And usually it works out well - as long as it is within my abilities - and in this case it is really not new for me to use brushes; but using - GASP - an easel and sitting down for much of the time certainly is, and I can't say that I like it - it feels incredibly restrictive and I keep feeling the need to stand up to be able to move around freely.
The painting you see above (30 x 40") as well as this one below (36 x 36"):
are both new and have started out horizontal on my table as usual for the first few stages with the result that several days of rest were needed to undo the damage before I was able to continue. But I am very encouraged and pleased that after that, it actually worked out quite well with mostly shorter sessions in sitting and just a few using the wall and walking around a bit; the last is pretty crucial towards the end when you have to be able to judge the overall result and you absolutely have to be able to switch from being a distance away to moving up close.
Another thing I am getting better at is being more deliberate so that I use more time evaluating the work in progress and thinking about what to do next - and then waiting until the right moment to proceed - before throwing myself into another frenzied work session while using trial and error to let things work themselves out intuitively during the process itself, as I have a habit of doing.
So all in all I am very pleased with the fact that these two good sized canvasses fell into place as well as they did, so that I don't have to be limited to small ones in the foreseeable future due to my lousy back; I just have to continue working on changing my long established habits - and who knows, maybe my work will be better for it??
In the mean time a few smaller pieces will be next before I tackle larger ones again - why tempt fate? - but I do have some larger canvasses waiting for me which is what I much prefer; but at least it should be possible and I can't wait!
And little by little hopefully the new ways of working will seem more natural and less awkward.