Speed and Quality. There are surely too many examples to cite which could prove or, indeed, confound the idea that speed = the inspired red-hot-heat of creativity or, conversely, speed = suffused high-minded contemplative reflective craftsmanship. I used to think that the reason I painted too slowly was not the latter of those two equations, but rather that I was stumbling around in the dark seeking excellence without knowing how to get to it directly.
I now think that, at times (not always), I paint too quickly: when an image appears before me as if intuitively. This suggests I know what I'm doing before I start - seldom, if ever, the case. Painting is a microcosm of nature - a germ which evolves slowly. The DNA exists in the germ (of an idea) but it's the inter-relations and complexity of evolution that bring it to fruition, if the environment is sufficiently fertile. As the practitioner, it is I who endeavours to control and nurture that environment. It would help if I knew how.
Maybe thirty years experience of painting and studying fine art and, before that, many years of studying nature and animal behaviour have helped me resolve the issue of time in the equation of bringing a piece of work off. I really don't know but I don't really think of it any more, and perhaps that in itself is a clue: things take the time they take. The danger, as I see it, always, is the trap of slickness that so many artists fall into. You see it all the time, all over the place. Just because you know a way of doing something doesn't mean that you have to go on doing it. If Picasso taught us nothing else, he taught us to fear it like a Guillemot would an oil slick.