Emma Mortier

My work process starts with observations, and my work is built upon it. In other words, my work is about observing a context. For example, when I look at the sea I observe all possible color representations that may occur. The constant motion of the water and other natural elements make it almost impossible for a painter to capture the sea, this is one of the reasons I am attracted to the challenge of painting this scene. The sea is a natural given that the elements always influence. It is also constantly in motion, making it almost impossible for a painter to capture it. As I said, my works are observations of reality. I make sketches, which later lead to paintings, on the beaches of the various seas that I have studied so far (Koksijde, Cap Blanc-nez, Britany, Russia, Rio de Janeiro). In these sketches is where color and shape take precedence.

They are representations of the fleeting reality that is the sea and where I always seem to be lagging behind while painting, without being able to catch up. There is also an impossibility ofrepresentation in my paintings, which means that there is a great need to represent a painterly sea with the raw materials and elements that I collect. In this way they are also representations of what has been, snapshots in which I collect raw materials for my paintings. When I get back to my studio the sketches are transformed into collages. I choose different portions from these sketches and bring them all together in one collage. These are then translated into a larger painting format. As a painter I constantly look at this reality and transform what the sea or a natural area has to offer, this observation is processed and displayed on the canvas. Now the sea has a new form of life on a canvas, the oil painting took over from the endlessly moving water.

Emma Mortier, August 2020