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A Patch of Paints By Aurelie Nottelet

My name is Aurélie, I am a French amateur artist living in Leeds. My passion for visual art started at high school when I was studying art 5 hours per week. As a teenage girl, I was a very creative person and succeeded to obtain the exceptional score of 20/20 in visual art for my A-level (Baccalauréat). After high school I stopped producing artistically, instead I studied clinical psychology and graduated. I started my artwork again in 2017, after a difficult time in my life. Even though I am an amateur, I consider myself an artist as I feel the urge to produce artistically otherwise, I don’t feel good and, I feel that I am missing something in my life. My own definition of an artist is related to someone who needs to create to live. If I could create all day every day I would be the happiest person in the world! In 2017, I started producing mixed-media abstract paintings on paper, using acrylic paint and markers, sometimes inks as well. Let me tell you a bit more about how I perform my artistic productions. I like creating instinctively, without planning what I am going to do or thinking about it. This process is very much linked to my state of mind, as first of all I concentrate on the process and not on the result. Once my work is completed, I then analyse what I painted and the emotions that come to my mind. I am trying to access parts of my unconscious by doing so, as I believe that both the process of creation and the final result of the artistic work are the reflection of the artist’s unconscious at the time that the production was made. Each artist’s technique and creation process is expressing “un je ne sais quoi” , something about himself or herself. My technique is simple and quick. First of all, I start pouring paint (and sometimes ink) on a piece of white paper, usually A2 or A3. Then I apply another piece of paper on top of the other one to ''print'' the patchy paint. I then have two (almost) identical patchy paints on two different pieces of paper. Finally, I use alcohol-based markers to create two different productions, using different colours for each “paintings”. This technique of pouring the paint without using brushes is an adaptation to my environment as in 2017 I had a very restricted space to do my artwork and not much material. Also, no possibility to clean the brushes easily. So, my technique follows these original constraints. I create on formats A2 or A3 because of the lack of space, I have to work around in my place. Indeed, If I had more space and money, I would definitely work in a different manner and probably on a bigger scale, using bigger canvases and using different techniques. When I analyse my paintings I can notice that I am doing the same process each time. Everytime I tried to do other techniques, I am not quite happy with the result, most of the time. So why that? I think that this technique gives me freedom because there is a huge part that is unintentional/random: when I apply the paint on paper and print the paint on another piece of paper, I never know what the result will be. It is like when you print a photograph in a dark room, and the photograph reveals itself in front of you. This is the exciting part of the process. Also, this first mark on the paper allows me to create around this patchy paint. First I encircle the patchy paint with a marker and then I fill the blanks of the “canvas” with colors, always markers, creating small shapes into the big shape. This technique also gives me control, as I am in control of the colors I choose and the final result is always quite neat, tidy and to me esthetic. Nothing loose here or untamed! When I analyze the result and process, I can say that I am taking back control in my life through producing these paintings. Control that we lose when we have hard times in our lives. That is why, I guess, art is part of my life now. I need it to feel good. Also, filling the blank space of the “canvas” with markers is something that is quite revealing: I absolutely need to fill the space, the gap, the white, the emptiness, the nothingness with something. That is why you won’t find a large white area inside the big

shape created by the patch of paint. Instead you will find a lot of different colours. I need colours in my life! And I need to fill my life with joy. Colours are associated with joy for me. Also, I like taking photographs, proceeding the same way I produce mixed-media paintings: naturally and instinctively. Usually, I do not stop until I reach what I think is the perfect photograph. I work with a basic digital camera because I am not really interested in understanding the numerous photography techniques. I always keep it simple and when I see something that attracts my attention (it is usually based on the combination of colours), only then I can take the photographs. Because I am so captivated by taking the pictures, I don’t even think about anything, therefore I can take several photographs of the same thing until I am satisfied with the result. The best part is when I download my work on my laptop, the pleasure and the surprise I get when I visualize the photographs and choosing the best shots.

I think, I imagine myself in the category of (amateur) fine artist because the photographs I take and, the paintings I produce are the reflection of my own and unique state of mind, personality, unconscious etc. Best wishes, Aurélie Nottelet