The artistic process as seen by a scientist
My training is in the sciences and engineering, but I also have a great background in the arts. I am a photographer, I like to sketch and I have been trying my hand at watercolors. Years ago I read The Art of Genes by Enrico Coen. Instead of relying on the metaphor that development of a fertilized egg has an embedded list of instructions that govern its development, he uses the metaphor of an artist’s creative process. This is a fascinating book that deserves a read by any individual with curiosity about creativity in nature.
I find it interesting that Coen describes the creative process of visual artists as a prelude to his discussion of biological development of plants and animals. He sees the artist as having a vision in mind and using tools of the trade and skill to realize it, without going through a list of instructions to accomplish the finished product. This is what Coen says:
“As soon as some paint is mixed and put on the canvas, the artist sees a new splash of color that wasn’t there before. This is bound to produce a reaction in the artist who will interpret the effect in a particular way. … The next action of the artist will be influenced by what is seen….” 
Of course the story of the gene is utterly interesting, but I wont go into that here.
The artistic process as seen by an art historian
E. H. Gombrich, Art Historian says virtually the same thing in Art and Illusion:. He talks about the artist’s intention, which I equate with the mental vision of the artist as articulated by Coen.
“In a way, perhaps, we always control and adjust our movements by observing their effects, similar to those self-regulating mechanisms that engineers call ‘feedback.’ … [B]ut not even the most skillful artist should claim to be able to plan a single stroke with the pen in all its details. What he can do is adjust the subsequent stroke to the effect observed tin the previous one…” 
Linkage, always linkage
There you have it, from a scientist and an art historian: the creative process dependent on visual feedback from the work in progress. The artist’s next step is linked to the previous one.
I would like to read about expressive art that breaks the linkage to intellect. Does this mean eliminating feedback? Maybe it means feedback is to a non-intellectually engaged part of the mind that can dictate the next move. When an artist steps away from the canvas and ponders, I wonder what kind of conversation she has with the canvas.
What does it mean when a gene expresses itself?