Clouds are not spheres, mountains are not cones, coastlines are not circles, and bark is not smooth, nor does lightning travel in a straight line.

— BenoÎt Mandelbrot

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Nature’s patterns are unified, repetitive, yet somehow also spontaneous. Our thoughts tend to repeat in patterns as well. Just as a tree’s essence shapes its branches, these patterns of thought shape our identities, our future, and even our reality. Spontaneity is constant yet decisions are always made in response to prior decisions.

Life seems to branch unexpectedly no matter how well we try to control its course. I suggest control is often confused by aimless or misguided action. True control is not merely outwardly manipulation of our surroundings but instead deliberate mental focus. Our thoughts, much like my paintings, build in layers and are guided by previous thoughts. For true control or success, a state of joyful equanimity is required. The state itself is success. Painting has become a vehicle for me to achieve that inspired state.

With emotion as my guide, and using spatula instead of brush, paint is deposited across the canvas to be then buried under new paint with sections left revealed. Patterns of form and color arise out of the seeming randomness. With each layer, like our memories, the present state informs the next subsequent gesture. In this present is where all our power lies.