Perception, in the world of art, is a fascinating subject. Everyone 'sees' differently therefore everyone's perception varies. Artists who know their trade well understand their own personal perception and how to accurately translate it into their works. Not all artists are grounded well enough to translate what they see to the depth or degree they desire. So lost, huh?
An artists' ability to translate the world around them isn't always as perfect as one may think it to be. Whoa, slow down how does that work out? Okay, an artist's perception may be advanced, as compared to those who aren't but going from an envisioned concept to canvas or paper isn't the same thing. Perception and translation are two separate abilities. How an artist perceives their surroundings may be nearly perfect in every detail but that doesn't necessarily mean the same is true of their translation. Unlike perception, translation usually needs some refining through practice. It's more of a skill rather than a talent. Not to misunderstand, translation can manifest as a talent in some artists. Generally speaking it is a skill. Like every other skill it takes work to establish it and become grounded in it. This is where practice becomes a necessity. It's how an artist gains the 'feel' for which translation works best with what media and which form of expression. The more the artist practices the skills or translation that they know well, experiments with what they wish to gain in talent and skill and push the boundaries of what they haven't fully grasped in terms of perception the further their understanding of how it all fits together is deepened. Once an artist develops a specific skill and becomes grounded in it then they can use that know how and apply it to learning the next skill set. Every skill, talent, perception and translation are interconnected. Understanding one will help you understand another. Perception is a complicated thing. It's more than simply accurately seeing one's surroundings, it's seeing how everything that is art comes together to create breath taking works of art. Perception is refined through experience. It also happens to be like a fine wine, it gets better as time goes by.
Perception varies from person to person from artist to artist. Artists who are grounded in their skills and talents have a firm grasp of the link between perception and experience. Knowing this should motivate you to get back at it and practice everything you've learned as an artist. Go ahead pull out those unfinished works, hit the canvas and see what becomes of it. What you've learned in this time may surprise you.