Knowing the “right” thing to do can be the exactly the wrong thing if your goal is to create something new. Despite strong intention to be innovative and experimental the urge to repeat what has worked in the past is often stronger. It is a cruel irony that years, or decades, of study and practice can sabotage the ability to be truly creative. To the outsider this is difficult to understand. They look at the painting and are impressed. They recognize it as the type of thing they understand to be successful. They may even be envious of the ability to execute it. So how can I be disappointed in a painting that is, by several objective criteria, “good”? The reason is because the surprise of creating something new is so extremely satisfying. Going through the motions and repeating the same old thing just doesn’t cut it. Every time I draw or paint I’m chasing the experience of creative discovery I felt in my earliest memories of art making. I am not interested in demonstrating what I can do. I want to find out what else can be done. Creativity is hard. And it remains hard no matter how much technical experience is gained. Art requires discovery. Beware of complacency. When you know what you’re doing you have never been more lost.