Lucy du Sautoy paints undefined everyday views through rainy or misty windows as if they are being stared at while daydreaming or distracted. She explores that moment when you don’t feel any emotion, that almost meditative, in-between state that sometimes occurs during moments of routine or boredom, when the mind wanders and you can become focused on tiny details on the glass.
Lucy aims to give her paintings a universal quality so they trigger recognition in her viewers, creating a personal space for their hazy reminiscences, generating their daydreams. For Lucy, hearing someone say “that reminds me of” when looking at her work is a sign of its success.
In her paintings, Lucy seeks to bridge the gap between the outer world (portrayed through two planes – the view itself and the detail we focus on) and our inner world (the plane where we put ourselves). The painted ‘blurriness’ serves as a link, hovering between the two.
Lucy generally uses two formats: landscape for her more ‘serious’ and traditional raindrop paintings; and square – a nod to Instagram – for her more playful, light-hearted subjects (drawings on windows) in which she records a fleeting moment forever. In both she hopes the viewer will appreciate the different planes of vision and the layers of the pictorial space.
The artist works either from photos she has taken, having hand-drawn an image into a window with condensation, for example, or from freeze-framed videos. She manipulates the photos digitally, cropping them and blurring areas to bring other details forward, and altering colour saturations. This enables Lucy to work out the composition and see whether what she has in mind can work as a painting.
Colours are often lost in photos when there is condensation, so Lucy gives her paintings more intense and luminous colour, playing with it until she has achieved the right balance between the foreground and background. She never uses black or grey; instead she creates dullness using combinations of pigment. Lucy always paints on a white ground to emphasize lightness. She finds that coloured grounds drag the top layers down.
Lucy loves creating the abstract shapes seen through condensation. Once she has achieved the desired background colours and detail, Lucy drags a blender brush dipped in linseed oil over the still wet top layer to blur them out and create movement or condensation. Clear places become anonymous.
Finally Lucy meticulously paints the all-important raindrops or hand-drawn figures or words over the blurred-out background. Her immense talent lies in creating a photograph-like image, when viewed from a distance, out of seemingly random abstract shapes, when viewed close-up.