Pictures as they progress tend to generate rules; rules of inclusion and rules of avoidance. Abstraction has the problem it sets itself of shunning representation or likeness. As the work develops, a deliberate and authentic breaking of such a rule can be a daring and stimulating manoeuvre, whereas an accidental infringement (a sudden unintended face-like image in a non-referential picture, for example) is merely bathetic.
While I was in Princeton my painting was in Peckham. I did however take with me a print-out of the state I left it in. I pinned this on the wall as soon as I arrived and looked at it every day. I saw that something was wrong but resisted the thought that the part I held most precious was now it's chief impediment.... how often and sorrowfully this turns out to be the case.
The top left hand corner panel, the little painting that had seeded the whole enterprise, was behinning to stick out like... but what if the rest of the hand was sore and the thumb quite healthy? Somehow it seemed now an anomaly in the dance of signs that the work had become.
I made some tests by cutting that segment out of the copy and supplying other marks on a piece of paper pasted in the space. This appeared to help the rhythm of the other elements in their spatial movement.
The little rectangle (1 1/4" x 1 1/2" approx) I pasted on to another sheet of stretched paper and surrounded it with eight equal spaces. I found that it naturally generated pictorial matter around itself as in the watercolour sketch below.
Perhaps it might go on forever serving to seed paintings from which it would have eventually to be itself banished....
Returning to Peckham I start to feel my way back into the picture. For the moment I have not renewed the panel in question, but, as a gesture have turned it upside down as a reminder of what to tackle soon.