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Why is my process important to me and my practice?

Updated: Mar 3, 2020

I've only recently begun to consider my process and practice when it comes to painting; how different routines might affect the outcome of my work. Removing the pressure of coming up with a concept has been liberating, my studio has become my laboratory, a space where I can experiment and discover. I think that, as artists, it is important to allow ourselves this pressure-free time within our practice in order to grow as individual creators.

I often work on two canvases at once, moving between one and the other, allowing myself to create prolifically. During one of my tutorials, my tutor said something that really resonated with me and helped encourage me to paint for the joy of it; when working on multiple canvases I need to accept that at least one of the canvases will 'die'. It won't be resolved and I may not even learn anything from it. By removing the pressure to create a perfect image I've really been able to explore myself as a painter as well as what paint can do for me.

My second year began with a project title set by my tutors: 'Looking into Landscape'. At first glance this title didn't strike much creativity in me; I needed to think outside the box. Thus began 'Organic Forms', a short series comprised of paintings focussed on natural shapes and forms found in the natural landscape that surrounds me in Aberystwyth.

Scarlet Mayer-Payne



The image above, 'Concealed', was the first image produced in this series. It is incredibly graphic and very constrained when compared to my more recent work. But it was a turning point, the first image that I had created, in a long time, that didn't represent the figure and didn't carry a big conceptual meaning behind it. A breakthrough. After creating a few more paintings with a similar style, I began to feel that I needed to develop this further, so I began pouring, layering, glazing, scratching and removing the paint on the canvases. Taking the time to explore and expand on different ways I can apply paint.

Once I felt I had exhausted this small series of work, I moved away from the base idea of organic froms and focused more on discovering paint. Why am I so drawn to painting? Which brings me to where I am now, after creating a few canvases just exploring all the different ways I can apply the paint I reached a wall, I had lost sight of a concept, my paintings were becoming repetitive and weren't saying much about me as a painter.

Why do we paint? My current project. I'm creating response paintings to a short survey I created and handed out to some of my fellow female painters at university. The survey asks them about their studio space, their process and why they paint. I'm going to delve into the relationship between oneself (the artist) and their creative space. What their work says about them as well as what they say about their work. This project is in the early stages but so far I'm enjoying it and I am excited to see where its going to take me.

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