The eighth process of Sublimation consists of the purging of the detrimental elements.

   This process encompasses getting rid of the detrimental elements which should have been accomplished when the supporting surface was first prepared, but which, for one reason or another, still came to exist in the work. It encompasses a more thorough critique of the work in progress with the purpose of eliminating any element which does not contribute to a successful product.

   It also represents a process in which attitudes and knowledge must be critiqued and reevaluated. It is essential that this process of reevaluation take place at this time, while the work is still in progress, in order that necessary changes can be executed more easily and effectively.

   Very rarely does the situation exist wherein an artist can create a work in which there are no errors or detrimental aspects at all in its first stages of development. A work, in its initial stages, may possess particular elements and imagery which appear complete and advantageous to the work. During subsequent addition of other elements and imagery the completeness of the initial imagery is affected. Unless the artist is infallible in all things and at all times, there is a chance that the initial imagery may be adversely affected by the subsequent additions. (I do not intend to refute the fact that there indeed are certain artists whose first and every marks upon their surfaces are complete and perfect. It is by this very fact that these artists are considered by all to be true masters of their craft.)

   It is because of the fact that most humans are not perfectly infallible that there is an urgent need for the artist to make a critically thorough review of the work in progress after a substantial quantity of additions have been made to the original work. This critique must of necessity be unbiased by emotional attachment to the work. The artist must divorce himself from the personal prejudices which will have developed during the arduous course of the work’s production.

   The critique should be aimed at determining whether the existing design elements comprising the work are impeccable in both choice and execution and whether their placement and arrangement are in accordance with impeccable composition elements. In such a critique there is no room for personal prejudices. A personal prejudice such as a fascination with a particular image might shield from view the fact that the image itself restricts visual flow, causing the whole work to appear unbalanced or any other such detrimental aspect might exist.

   The repeated vaporization and condensation of the alchemical act can be translated in art terms as a series of critiques with ensuing corrective measures separated in time for the purpose of accomplishing a dissolution of emotional ties with the work in progress. Setting aside a work of art for a short while and then going back to it is an effective means to ensure an unbiased critique. By separating oneself from the work both physically and mentally the artist has better chances of detecting weak points in the overall structure when he does confront it again.

   Any detrimental elements found in the work as a result of such critique should at this point be corrected either by their removal or by the addition of other elements which would compensate for the detriment.