Naomi Van Holbutt

Painting with Paper

Paper is a fascinating medium in its own right and I often work with paper to further explore compositional ideas for oil paintings on linen.

The oil paintings begin and are concluded in a kind of slow motion, they take time to develop and the end result comprises of an overlapping of many veil like layers of paint, applied with a brush.

Working with paper is more immediate. Building up a composition by tearing or cutting into paper shapes and adding or subtracting them on a paper ground is a method I use in tandem with painting. Sometimes I cut out specific shapes though often I use the paper I have to hand. As with painting, this is an unpredictable process and the possibilities are endless.

Shakkei (借景)

Shakkei (Borrowed Landscape) is one of a new series of works made entirely of torn, cut and folded papers. The work revisits the many notes I recorded over a period of 13 years whilst living and studying in Tokyo at The National University of Fine Arts and Music. This new work describes observations of space within traditional Japanese gardens and in particular the Japanese tea garden.

Imperfect Geometry No. 1

In 2019 I was introduced to Master Print Maker, Sally Gimson of Artizan Editions and a series of original serigraphs in limited editions entitled Imperfect Geometry was made.

Fine art printing on paper is a new process for me and Sally has spent many hours mixing the greys; the ‘nothing colours’, I find both fascinating to use and elemental to the making of my work.

Fine art printing combines the permanence of a painted mark with the immediacy of collage: shape and line appear in an instant. However, it is the fusing of the paint with paper, the pressing of a composition into rather than onto the surface that I have found the most intriguing. The Imperfect Geometry series further explores my interest in abstraction which questions more and more how one shape or line affects the balance of another.

Naomi Van Holbutt, April 2020