Mistake or yet to be seen success
In works on un-primed canvas, in which much of the surface area is left unpainted, provides little ability to hide from your mistakes, or rather an image of a radiator painted slightly too small for scale and in a blue dark enough that it would be challenging to cover, is not about covering over with paint and starting again, but rather embracing the oddities of a part of a painting that doesn’t quite seem to fit quite as you had hoped,and making it work within the composition. A painter’s example of ‘fake it until you make it’ use your mistakes as an opportunity to experiment and explore what is successful and what is not. One area out of place for the artist could be enough to remove the painting to a pile of failures, but when the painter puts themselves in the eyes of the viewer, who sees the composition as a whole and not as the part that repeatedly draws your eye to, suddenly, the radiator is a point for conversation, as much or as little as the rest of the painting.
The first option is to leave the area in question and to hope that others do not focus on it. This is the easiest option and one that remains a constant debate for the artist through the need to cover up what could be deemed a mistake. The next option is to cover it up with an area of paint or another painted object, but the question comes as to what if the eyes of the artists likes the covered area less than the original mistake. This could be a constant debate for the artist but here they begin to lose their spontaneity, and their approach to their process of making is distorted through the worry of making mistakes. When one begins to think in such a way, they begin to lose everything they have gained in making a process for themselves that was free from the constraints put upon yourself. This also leads to the notion of over-working a painting, in which there is no undo button metaphorical or otherwise to remove the paint from the surface. Of course,there are some opportunities in which this is appropriate but in the most part the paint applied to surface cannot be removed in the way an artist may sometimes hope. Overworking a painting in the process of covering a mistake is often frustrating and presents the same issue discussed earlier, in which the mistake may have been more applicable than attempting to cover it. On the other hand, sometimes the act of covering, distorting or partially covering part of a painting opens opportunities for new experimentation into layer, painting application and colour interaction. This is when the artist gains from the initial mistake that they made and complete the painting but also successfully learn something new about how they approach their process of painting and what they can achieve through it.
When a mistake is seen not as a negative but a potential success with possibilities beyond that which they had previously, the artist learns far more from the process of spontaneity than they would have if they had deemed an entire painting a failure. This is not to say that this approach results in every painting being a success, that would be entirely impossible and would lead the artist to question their own ability to self-critique. This is to say however, that the ability to overcome a mistake through a process of problem solving would provide the artist which a much greater learning curve from beginning to end. Therefore, when an object, space,shape or form falls from the aesthetic level that you hoped to achieve, it is more beneficial to consider how this could interact with additions to the painting that may move away from your initial plan but end up in a place entirely unexpected and more interesting than before. To switch your mindset through the process of painting to this appreciation of freedom and spontaneity towards making, is to allow yourself the space for the creative flow to be free from the worry concerned with mistakes. When a mistake is no longer considered a mistake, rather an opportunity for a new idea to form, the freedom that will be felt through the making of a painting will result hopefully in a process more experimental and spontaneous than before.