For the past 25 years, the core principle and process encoded in my work is automatism. My introduction to this method of working was through Robert Motherwell’s art. Motherwell took the Surrealist writers’ interest in Psychic Automatism and applied it to visual art working a priori. He used the technique to create preliminary studies for more finished work and in pieces meant to stand independently without further editing.
Those familiar with the automatism may call it improvisatory or intuitive. While there are certainly elements of both, for me, the process seems more profound, perhaps closer to Zen meditation. I attempt to shut out all distractions and work quickly to keep my hand moving ahead of any thought. This, I find, brings me closer to my true self in painting.
A further thought on improvisation. Since being introduced to jazz, I have been influenced by its improvisatory nature. While I do not listen to music while, preferring quiet when I work, there can be a musical flavor to some of my pieces.