Patt Scrivener, AFCA
In 2003 I took a week long workshop with renowned experimental artist Maxine Masterfield that changed my life. The freedom of allowing myself to experiment was all that was needed to set me on a new path.
Before I start my painting I gather all the tools I want to work with and select my palette. I use many unorthodox painting tools found in my kitchen, the hardware store or my husband’s shop! Putting myself in a “container” and not having too many choices at hand helps with the cohesiveness of my work. I may have a vague idea before I start adding colours, shapes, doodles and marks to the canvas. These become the understory and are a common thread in my work. It is when I step back and look at the fun I have had that the images start to appear. It might be buildings, figures or landscapes. Sometimes it is an emotion like rhythm. Nothing is precious only part of the process. At this point I sketch what I see on the painting with white chalk. I start to enhance the shapes by adding more transparent colours to let the understory show through and opaque colours to calm some areas down. I make further adjustments that solidify the composition – I may add texture, collage elements or photo transfer to the piece. Often I add line work or handwritten words into my piece – I do this with a squeeze bottle. It is the process of adding and subtracting that brings my work to completion. When I am nearing the finish line I slow down and really listen to the painting. I often take an image and use Photoshop to try some things before committing on the painting. I rely heavily on my intuition to guide me through the process and to do this I paint alone, often meditating before I start and listening to music that inspires me. I know the piece is finished when it feels complete.