I must say I am never bored when I paint. In the first place, the world is very interesting, life is interesting and seems an unearned gift; perhaps one wants to give something back. In addition, painting is a wonderful game. One has little power over the crises in life, or in friends’ lives. One cannot control wealth or poverty, happiness or misery. I am only in control when I am in the studio. Then I am close to life.
It would be more daring to be a bullfighter, or a stunt pilot or an acrobat! The daring I’m talking about is simple daring in painting … I’m naturally timid. I’m frightened of heights, I can’t swim, I can’t drive, I’m afraid of large dogs. It seems to me sensible to avoid the seaside, bridges and Alsatians. Painting is a relatively safe way of being courageous.
from Frank Auerbach: Speaking and Painting – Catherine Lampert.