F: Describe your process.
LA: I have certain rituals, if you will, and one would be to lay down a bright pink under ground and thats going to start to dictate the palette. And then, if I like something I saw that I did in an earlier painting, I tend to keep doing that. I create my own rules over time, based on what I did before.
I want to shy away from perfecting my system too much, then it becomes about something totally different. I don’t want everything to be too involved. I like a little bit of chance and intuitive play.
F: One thing I noticed, is that this feels like an under coat, and its coming through versus this [thickly applied oil paint] being painted over. Does that have something to do with the space or is it a conscientious decision?
LA: That can be this strange battle that I have where if something is too much on top, then I don’t like that. So then I will paint another layer next to it, to put it further back and then, maybe scrape it away if it comes too forward, or it goes back too much. Its this constant ‘drawing the line, removing the line.’ So sometimes, I scratch this [the paint] away and that sort of underpainting looks great and makes this whole form kind of sit further back and that works.
F: Do you look at the architecture of spaces when you’re painting or are you looking strictly at the palette and the canvas?
LA: Im pretty invested in just the palette of the canvas and my sort of structure that I’ve developed but I do think that my memory of images of things i see is definitely forming my painting.
F: Do you ever find that once you’ve painted something, you’ve realized where its coming from?
LA: Yeah, especially with color. I look at some things, i think “that’s my toys when i was 10″ or “that’s this furniture that I liked in a catalog.” It could be anything but it usually tends to be beautiful things…something that strikes me, either beautiful or strange. A lot of the times, strange.
F: Do you title your paintings?
LA: Lately, I’ve been choosing a group name. The ones with the lines are the ‘Stick Lines.’ The ones like that, with the box shapes are ‘Slices’.
You can find more of Liz Ainsley’s work at http://lizainslie.com/.