The Latent Series
All images and works © Ashley Payne 2013
When an action or response is done out of spontaneity and impulse, it tends to be more honest and less censored; nothing is held back. The action is both ugly and beautiful in its own existence. This act can be raw and primal, graceful and clumsy. This is why the surface ground in my paintings is so important.
On a large-scale sheet of watercolor paper, I use different mediums, such as crayons, markers and pastels to build up a multilayer surface.
With the energy of whatever mood I am in, I create the ground using semi-continuous gestural marks that look like scribbles.
In order to make these lines purely spontaneous and uncensored, and to create an honest path of expression for the unconscious mind, I blindfold myself.
I allow myself a limited amount of time (5-15 minutes) to make these lines. As a result, what is produced becomes a visual map of my subconscious.
After the ground is created, I remove the blindfold and “respond” (with paint, pencil, ink, etc.) as impulsively and instinctively as I can.
Images appear and develop in the order that my conscious and subconscious respond to each new line and shape that appears on the paper.
When an idea comes to me, I do my best to respond immediately in order not to allow time to question or doubt it. If I consciously identify the new idea or ‘response’, I try it out. This action forces the painting to evolve and grow organically.
In my work, there is a constant struggle to trust my instincts, impulses, and initial responses. There is also a constant struggle to be genuinely honest. As a result, the process reflects most of my daily life, and I believe, the lives of most human beings. The images that appear become a sort of metaphysical conversation between the conscious and subconscious mind. In the end, whatever exists on the paper is a manifestation of what is going on within my psyche. The finished painting is left to inform both the viewer and myself.