About My Process

The Tiles, The Squares and The Compositions:

 

At the beginning of 2019, I spent several months painting over four hundred 6” square bisque tiles with ceramic glazes for a bathroom remodel. 

 

I loved the spontaneity, the looseness, and the freedom of the process, as well as the freshness and the square format.

 

Inspired by that, I began to translate the process into paint and began creating 12” x 12” and 24”  x 24” square paintings on both canvas and gessoed wood panels, some of which I then joined into larger compositions to mimic the tiled walls. 

The “Silver Linings”:

 

I am drawn to silver and other metallic paints that sometimes produce an almost mirror-like effect that is meant to allow for, and evoke, the process of introspection and self-examination.

I first began using it during a particular personally reflective time, and I saw it as quite symbolic--literally a reflection of myself and what I was experiencing, as well as symbolic of aging and a desire to recognize the gifts--and silver linings--of experience.  Now I use silver paint because I think it's gorgeous.

The Mixed Media:

 

This work on paper, wood panels or canvas, is built up, layer, after layer with a range of materials and mediums.  Many of them begin with graphite rubbings, and some of the rubbings are taken from the highly textured surfaces of previous paintings that were themselves built up with acrylic mediums or reworked from even older paintings. 

 

I then cover (or partially cover) the graphite with encaustic medium.  After fusing with heat, I apply oil stick, oil paint, and/or acrylic and latex.  I continue to look for interesting surfaces to create the initial rubbings—sometimes using the rough texture of the canvas or the wood panels themselves, sometimes using found objects.   A few of the smaller pieces began with rubbings from lava rock on the Big Island of Hawaii. 

 

Just as I believe that each painting I make could not have been done without the one before it, I see each of these as directly related to, and a product of, the past.

maryann@maryannleff.art

510-219-3767 | Berkeley, CA