Chaos Theory

Chaos, for me, breeds images.

— Francis Bacon


I’ve always been an über-neatnik.

My studio—kept neat, clean, and in apple-pie order—reflects that.

I worry sometimes my innate tidiness hampers me.

Compare the condition of my studio to that of the great British painter Francis Bacon.

Besides paint tubes, Bacon kept over 7,000 objects in the place, including thousands of brushes, hundreds of books, thousands of photographs and tear-sheets, hundreds of drawings and slashed canvases, and a towering stack of empty champagne cartons.

Bacon used the door and walls of his studio to mix colors and sketch drawings and left trails of paint across the ceiling when throwing it on his canvases.

“It’s kind of a dump that nobody else would want,” Bacon once told a journalist.

“I’ve tried to clean it up, but I work much better in chaos. I couldn’t work if it was a beautifully tidy studio. It would be absolutely impossible for me. Chaos, for me, breeds images. This mess is rather like my mind.”

Would a shot of chaos improve my paintings?

I’ll probably never know, because I’m allergic to chaos.

Clutter in my studio would drive me to lunacy.

NOTE: Learn more about Francis Bacon and his wonderfully messy studio here.