I'm a sucker for process. How does a piece of art work get completed? What were the steps? What was rejected? What was the "ah ha" moment? All the fussiness and frustration of decision making and ideation fascinates me: notes, sketches, scribbles, rejects, over painting, ripping, cutting. The ephemeral stuff involved in creation is often my favorite part of my own work. (And in others–Bruce Nauman immediately comes to mind as a favorite process-as-art artist I admire. Man I love that guy's work.)
Although it was not intended to be art, the piece of cardboard I use as a mat when I'm painting has become a bright, layered painting in its own right–and one that is explicitly process.
I hunted through some pictures and found some steps of the mat's evolution. If you follow me on Tumblr, Facebook, and/or have browsed my Etsy store and online gallery you will have seen some of these images before--but the mat was never the focus (at least not intentionally).
I'm loving the way it has morphed. I plan to keep using it as a protective surface while I'm painting at my table, but eventually I might just stop and declare the painting mat done.