“Stevens likes to compare his creative process to that of a jazz musician: He thrives on improvisation.Rick Stevens, A Cosmic Dance, Southwest Art magazine 8 January 2020
“I make a mark, a shape, or an application and then respond to it, like how a jazz trio might improvise and respond to each other … I look for ways to repeat or vary the elements, gestures, patterns, or rhythms in the marks and textures.’”
Being able to improvise requires you to have a repertoire of marks and materials to pull from. Options, to put it succinctly.
It may appear to be pulled from thin air or imagination, but it’s acquired knowledge and experience mixed with impulse and openness to possibilities. Sometimes is discordant, sometimes harmonious. You’ve got to play to see where you allow yourself to be taken.