On Making Paintings

There is something about the wild oscillations and corrective balances that nature contains and colours as they are revealed in light that become qualities for reflection and comparison.

More than a hundred years ago, the painter Paul Cezanne envisaged the picture plane as a flowing process surface where the colours penetrate each other, extending into a single, unified field.  Making paintings about the natural world, he realised that to submit to experiences of the fugitive or fleeting aspects of nature meant being subsumed by the totality of nature‚s complexity that would forever elude vision. So it was necessary to devise an organising structure appropriate to the physical painting plane that included visual access to an experience of deep and active space.

My painting practice has been informed by colour-structural approaches that separate from direct adherence to nature and representation of solid objects.  Simple consecutive decisions build into complexity, relying on the guiding structures established at the beginning of the process to balance fluctuations and volatility in the colour sequences.  Seeing colours in light is inherently spatial. Surrounding nature provides an intuitive reading of structural space and the intensity of light within and around the studio affects the selection of colours.

Combinations of pre-planning and Œin the moment‚ activity are accentuated as I have moved from inner city warehouse/studio living to a rather wild coastal town with extreme weather fluctuations.  Within this now familiar environment, I am made acutely aware of the temperatures of the day, growth patterns in vegetation and time passing with the seasons. Out of that recognition, some understanding of a beautiful continuity beyond one's self is apparent.  Those intangible moments of recognition enter into the activity of painting, bringing animation into the work.

Liz Coats

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