Amy Olds


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Amy Olds
About the author

My inspiration when making a painting is in the process itself. I see the painting as the outcome of a performance—one in which I’m acting within opposing attitudes of freedom and discipline and changing my pace from fast to slow mark-making. The end result is an ambiguous surface where energetic and calm actions push and pull against one another. Working with poured acrylic or thinned oil in the initial layer, I manipulate the wet paint using squeegees and tilting the canvas to encourage the direction of flow, but allowing accident to reign. I then return to the canvas once it’s dry and, with thick oil paint, create blocks of pattern or texture that enclose the shape, acting both as background and foreground, and continuing around the edges of the stretcher. The painting is at once a solid 3-dimensional object and a fluid, moving pictorial space. Despite being process based these paintings are not entirely free of decorative manipulation. My use of repetition and pattern derives from my interest in creating a different pace within the work for viewers to engage with and different focal points for them to discover. The choices I make about the colours and shapes are purely aesthetic but at the same time a tool with which to slow down the speed of perception and create optical challenges. Texture and colour relationships become tactile elements that contribute to the overall feeling of the painting while the patterns refer to the canvas fabric upon which the painting sits. The substance of the paint itself and the rawness of the mark-making form the textural variations that add to the visual depth of the work.