The titles of my paintings are taken from ambiguous moments in speech. I listen to the radio or conversations I hear in public, extracting phrases and separating the words from their original context. This process mimics my painting process. My abstractions are formed from abbreviations, clipped motion, and interrupted horizons.

In the summer I make small drawings of the upstate New York landscape. There is something about the hiccup in translation from my eye to my hand to the paper that captures my attention. This attempt to put down a record is forever flawed, and this imperfection is the seed of my work.

My visual vocabulary is derived from the memory of my perceptions. I mix grey, mauve and brown paint because these are nuanced colors of fleeting natural light. Loops and lines borrow from own handwriting and automatic drawing. Orbs and oval forms are akin to moons, eggs, and faces. Empty spaces between these forms open out to fields, oceans, and skies.

I once walked into a room at a museum with three ancient Roman fresco walls surrounding me. The illusionistic columns, windows, and doors opened out on tiny rectangles of the bright landscape. The imagery was derived partly from observation, but also from fantasy. The wall angles were impossible, the distances compressed, but I still believed this architecture enough to enter the picture. Through the work of translated memory, the painting took on a new set of rules, a skewed environment that I momentarily accepted. This is the space in which I work, an arena of impossible perspective.

Interviews with the Artist

Amato, Delphine, And Freedom For, Liz Ainslie, May 1, 2014 -


Calandra, Maria, Pencil in the Studio, “Liz Ainslie” August, 2011

Chapline, Jonathan, #ffffff Walls, “Liz Ainslie-Bushwick” April, 2012

Standard Interview, “Liz Ainslie” March, 2011