Artist Interview, Anne Harris
I’m really interested in the sense that substances can shift their weight–that flesh can be air, that air can be liquid, that density shifts. I love it that you say you can see this, as it isn’t often discussed in relationship to my work. There’s an assumption that I must intend to paint a conventional description of 3-D form and weight, but really I’m trying to do something that can’t be nailed down.
I tend to think metaphorically when I paint–I’m at my best when I do. So, I might imagine that the figure is being poured into her container, that the ground surrounding her is some denser stuff, holding her in place (like a mold), or that the painting itself is a slice of air and everything in it is just slightly shifting, like condensation, or everything is skin, pushing against the membrane of the picture plane.
As to your second question: I usually have a starting point, at least a simple compositional idea (some would say I really only have one idea!), but the painting changes a lot over the course of things. I might use a drawing as a starting point for a painting. In that case I might trace the drawing and transfer a simple outline to set up placement and proportion. more