Well, E6 is a PIA to run, and the problem with control strips is that they aren't the same as the film you run. The strip reflects the process--so you need to use a little of both. A one-shot E6 will almost never be as good as a replenished line. What's good for one film is not always good for another. Fuji and Kodak have slightly different tastes for E6, so keep this in mind--like I was saying above--everyone blames the lab in the end, right or wrong. I'm not so quick to judge....) To be in-control, is to be within a certain amount of fudge room either side of the aim. It's usually about 10 pts CC and up to a half stop for speed. Not every film type is going to run exactly the same, if you only run a couple of types, you're better off than running a gazillion different emulsions. Then you have the whole other side of color that deals with film emulsions, viewing conditions etc. Everything needs to be calibrated or else looked at in context. If you run enough film, you'll eventually see this, even with b&w....the control strips eventually help you avert some sort of disaster or help you troubleshoot your way by process of elimination. They're the only diagnostic tool that the manufacturers can help you with. They assume that you're trying to meet their specs--in reality not many labs actually can do this. It's like a daily struggle....

Then with paintings and artwork--this stuff is hard to reproduce accurately anyways because of the way emulsions see color and the way pigments reflect & absorb light as well. There are colors that you'll almost never be able to accurately reproduce on film.

Oh yeah--think about this though. You say it's "too boring"--well, this is process control. The purpose is to save you the time and headaches in trying to get accurate reproduction and quality control. It's the same thing as shooting with color bars & grayscales and then correcting back to them. I'm not working in a fine-art or commercial photo studio either--we do studio/technical documentation of objects--artifacts. They need to be accurate and on a stable medium because we're basically an archive and our mission is to use this material as a historical record. So, yeah it may sound boring, but it needs to be right. The perfect neg or print to me is the one that comes off effortlessly because of good technique...I kinda take pride in the fact that we can pull out negs or chromes from our files from years ago, and they will print with the same times etc as the ones we shot yesterday. Our system is in-tune and it helps with the workflow....I was taught that this was what being a professional was all about, and it's what is expected of me on the job.

Good luck, KT