Creativity is terrifying. It’s a lonely place, not a soft, fluffy, familiar bed, but a big dark forest, with no friends and a lot of monsters. Your lizard brain wants to keep you safe and it’s done that job very well for tens of thousands of years. It doesn’t want you to take risks, stray out of your comfort zone or challenge any preconceived notions, but we must do all these things if we are to move forward. And if we’re not moving forward, if we are stationary, then in reality we are falling behind.

Stay too long out of the comfort zone and we become traumatised, paralysed and useless. But if we never leave it, we shrink, stagnate and become weak. Striking that balance is a big part of the work we are doing on a daily basis. Push and rest. Strive and recover. Reach and recuperate. The longer we spend out there in forest, the scarier it becomes, the higher the sunk cost and the more depleted our resources, but there’s gold in them trees. In them caves, in all the really dark places. We stay fit and capable by running regular sorties to search for it and claim it.

Balancing order and chaos is a theme that runs through many aspect of our lives, but it seems to be specially relevant to painting. if every mark is deliberate, and obviously so, then the piece looses humanity. The accidental scuff however, can speak to our subconscious in ways that defy explanation. Too many accidents though, and the signal can get lost in the noise. The intention can get murky and simply looking at it can become stressful. Deciding what that balance is and controlling it, that is the Art.