"I have forced myself to contradict myself in order to avoid conforming
to my own taste." - Marcel Duchamp
I love this quote. It epitomizes a large aspect of my creative practice. That is, I'm constantly challenging myself to push ahead with my work. The reason I do so is to keep from feeling like I'm repeating myself and allowing my painting to become too 'easy'. The moment I find myself not being challenged somehow by an idea or series I'm working on, I'm off trying to find some way to throw a monkey wrench in the works. Not to mess things up just for the sake of it, but to see what else I can do to keep my art relevant and meaningful to me.
One of the things I like to do while painting is to turn it over so that the image that was right-side up is now reversed. That, or I'll rotate it and look at it from all four sides to see if there is a more interesting composition emerging. I'll do this several times, even after I've 'finished' the piece, just to make sure it feels right in it's final orientation.