As an artist, how do you correct course when you discover a painting is not obeying the final vision as pictured in your mind?
Unless I'm working on a painting as part of a series and I know the formula I need to follow, this happens quite a lot. If I insist on chasing the picture in my head, even if it's only vague, things don't usually go well. So either I just go with what's on the canvas, forget about the "picture" and trust myself to bring it round and make something of it, or if I'm really at a dead-end, I gesso over the canvas and start again. It's no big deal and in any event, some mistakes can turn into something worthwhile. It's all a learning experience.
How do you motivate yourself when you just don't feel the creative spark?
It's sometimes possible to paint myself into the right frame of mind and find that spark of motivation. At other times it just doesn't happen, especially if I'm tired, have something on my mind, or I'm putting myself under pressure. I think motivation is an ebb and flow kind of thing. I need a calm mind to paint. If I'm feeling otherwise for any reason, than I know I'll be dissatisfied with any attempt at painting, so I do something else – or nothing at all – for a few hours to regain my equilibrium.