When painting, it is the surprise that excites. I think that this is what I like most about paining. The surprise. This happens when working in improvise mode…. like a jazz musician. Just paint. Grab a color, a certain size paint brush (both at random), a clean canvas (primed or unprimed) (on a stretcher or off) and go with the first impulse. Make the move and go from there. As the color and strokes are applied, I react to what is there and make the next move….all automatically. It works best when I don't think about it. When I think about what I am doing, I freeze up and can't act. Or I don't like or know what the marks mean, really, when they are applied outside this trance-like experience. When I think about what I am doing, or about to do, the next move to make in a painting - the surprise dies. And for me, at this level, the painting dies too.
On the other side of this equation - the observer (audience) (one or more people). Stand in front of the painting. Make no noises outword. If you have to talk about the painting (or paintings) simply describe in words what you see. Talk about the direct observation. It is best if the observer (audience) (one or more people) also go with the flow. React internally to what is there without any judgements or preconceived decisions or ideas on what you are seeing and feeling. Don't let the outside world or your prejudices get in the way. Free wheel. Oberserve. See. Feel. Allow all of this to exist and be. Accept the feeling. Accept the visual as your eyes and mind does. Leave the narrative stories out of the experience. If you bring to this experience a very strong need to find narrative or story in the observing/seeing, then the surprise is dead for you. The painting is dead for you. You might as well go get a hamberger at this point.
This isn't a rational experience from either end… the artist or the observer. It is a visit to the surreal, the dream, the void, the complex, the spiritual (religious and secular). It is an experience as us being a part of nature. It can be casual. It can be complicated. It can be formal. Just let it be.
This is my automatism. This is my automatism in its most base form. 'Cause it can get much more complicated in the making. To me everything that I use to make a painting can become a part of the improvisation process. Hard to describe, but easy to do. For me.