My painting titles are extracted from ambiguous snippets of found 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 practice where abstractions are formed from abbreviations, clipped motion, and interrupted horizons.

Every summer I make small observational drawings while immersed in the upstate New York landscape. A hiccup in the translation from eye to hand to paper captures my attention. The act is a flawed means for recording the moment. This curious imperfection is the seed of my work.

My visual vocabulary is derived from the memory of momentary perceptions. The greys, mauves, and browns I mix are the nuanced colors of fleeting natural light. Loops and lines borrow from my 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 fantasy. Walls angled to impossible degrees, distances became compressed, but my eyes found faith in this architectural structure, allowing my mind to enter the picture. Through the painter’s work of transmuting memory into vision, the picture took on a new set of rules, a skewed environment that I momentarily accepted. This is the space I aim to explore, an arena of impossibly situated items.

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