Some things in painting happen unconsciously. “I copy the reality, but I also change and compose it,” he said. I make decisions of which I’m aware, but I also do many things without knowing I do them. You learn after a while to let go and not insist too much on understanding every move. There are too many variables. Painting involves a leap of faith.
But many artists don’t know what they do, and their not-knowing is ignorance rather than unconscious thinking.
“How do we discern the difference?” I asked.
When the results are disappointing we say the artist is ignorant, and with a happy result we credit the artist with an unusual visual intelligence! Ah ha. All I say is that you don’t fight what you are doing, that sometimes the answer is just to work.
The same is undoubtedly true in real life, where the motives of actions are likewise very elusive and complicated.