Is there a connection between the nature and quality of visual thinking in creative practice and the artistic merit or aesthetic value of what comes from it? Some refuse to accept that visual appearance has any special significance or status in art. Others reject the whole idea of artistic or aesthetic merit, or feel that the radical heterogeneity of approaches and outlooks precludes any substantive, useful generalisations. Yet almost everyone constantly makes critical judgements about what they see; practitioners do so rigorously in respect of both their own work and that of others, behaviour that suggests belief in a connection of some sort between the quality of thinking embedded in a practice and the quality of what arises from it, however understood. Hence, while inherently controversial the issue of the intelligence of visual practice on the one hand and the merit or value of its products on the other, remains a very important one.