The success of sudden changes
I have found through the process of painting that it is best and most successful to make a sudden and often dramatic change to your work in order to develop to a new stage. When your work plateaus at a good level but fails to develop through each painting, making a significant and potentially risky change to your process succeeds in offering you new opportunities for experimentation through your practice in reaction to materials and their interactions. Cutting into unstretched canvas already painting upon may seem like the most dramatic of example for change, but it does provide with a moment for consolidation through the process of your practice in a direction you had not anticipated. Directions not anticipated and following the notion of not knowing through making develops a far more spontaneous and potentially challenging process that is epitomised by chance and risk, being playful with the process makes playful paintings but also leaves far more space for directions which may not be greeted positively. These moments of change could provoke fear in the mind of the artist, but when you swap the feelings of fear for feelings of positive anticipation, working through not knowing becomes a positive and exciting process, you walk into the studio without knowing what you are going to make that day or the direction your work is going to go in. The resulting opportunities and possibilities for making expands beyond what you could have previously achieved, suddenly you are pushing the potential for your chosen materials further than ever before. In being able to explore materials through such a process, provides you with an approach and attitude which is spontaneous and experimental, the options available to you dance around each other, for they could be surprising or challenging and will direct your practice from now on.
Balancing this approach with previous knowledge of your own process is also significant, as I feel it would be possible to runaway with an entirely and potentially destructive approach to making, which could be counterproductive. Discovering how your process develops through making constantly refers to past and future work, especially if process is at the forefront of your practice. While each new painting develops from the last,the fear of enforcing a stagnating or plateauing process through a lack of risk associated to making ensures an innate balance between impulsive actions and thoughtful decision making. Is there ever a point at which a painting achieves the painter’s long-term goal, even though the image of the painting exists so far into their subconscious that it is not visually plausible, but instead you have to rely on an innate commentary between yourself and the work. This commentary works both as a critique and conversation for the successes of the painting and which elements have developed towards the intrinsic long-term goal. When following the need for a long-term intrinsic goal and intersecting this with a sudden and impulsive changes such as large areas of paint or cutting into the surface the direction that you are following through your mind is altered, and should you feel such a decision was successful, your work and mind is skewed to a new realisation. This constant shifting of the goals for your practice ensures you are continuously inspired and influenced with new ideas that develop from within a spontaneous process. Therefore, the success of sudden changes within the processes of your practice provides opportunities that would not otherwise be made available.
Dancing between notions of change, when it may or may not be appropriate to initiate such an action falls to the decision of the artist, and the more time that is spend considering when or how to go about such an action deters the creative from making such a decision. Therefore, the epitome of this process is the notion of the suddenness of the action, how willing is the artist to potentially risk the success of an individual piece of work for their future ideas? As well as this, the riskier the approach is in the short term, the more successful it may be in the future, but again falls to the artist’s own knowledge of their process and their hopes for their future work.