Listened to an interview with Sonny Rollins tonight. What he said below is what I'd say about painting too ...
“What happens when I perform … what I do is actually what I don’t do. I don’t think about the music. I just get into the moment and the music sort of plays itself … so the secret to improvisation … the kind of music that we play … is not to think about what you’re doing. The music plays itself. You just want to reach a subconscious level where things happen much much better … much more than I can think about it.”
Sonny Rollins was responding to the question: " [on stage] … what’s going through your mind?”