According to one definition an abstract artist is someone whose art 'departs in varying degrees from representational accuracy'. My own paintings are not normally abstracted from a physical motive at all. Instead they are mental constructs resulting from an interplay between my experience of contemporary life and the painting process itself.
To me as an abstract artist, all the formal aspects of painting, brush marks, colours, tones, layers of paint, surface texture, become means of addressing my experiecne of contemporary life. Painting means participating in a happening; it involves trying to surprise and surpass myself while being open to the unexpected. Memories and previous experiences become fused with ever new questions that arise during the process.
When looking at non figurative abstract art, the viewer needs to lay aside all preconceived ideas of what a painting should be. Instead of trying to determine what the artwork represents he needs to simply let himself be stirred by the movement of ideas in his unconscious mind even as he thinks he is merely looking at colours, abstract shapes, texture.