Debbie Ayles

I work in water-based paint, liking the transparency and opaqueness that can be achieved in the washes I lay down. This allows me to represent the subject matter as a new world of imagination and memory.


A creative tension is generated by initially allowing the materials to work together on the paper, almost at will. Then I work carefully and methodically on the surface. Shape-seeking and the apparent lack of three-dimensionality is influenced by memories of migraine aura I used to experience.


Researching the built environment, I record it initially through photography and then drawings. I focus on shapes that appear through this process, often distorted due to atmospheric conditions and reflections. Architecture provides ample opportunity to find an unpredictable interplay of the organic and the geometric.


The transient nature of the glimpsed scene I record is at odds with the apparent intransience of the constructions. Adding figures to some work gives a different feel to landscapes. An implication of movement and activity both in the street and behind the multifaceted windows. However, the stillness that is conveyed in the paintings and the choice near-white for the detail of the ‘scape freezes the scene into a captured moment of time, at once figurative and abstract.


My research images, drawings and photos are developing onto ongoing series of metamorphic architecture and landscape collages.


I am an East Anglian artist whose paintings have been selected for the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition, Sunday Times Watercolour Competition, The Royal Watercolour Society, The Society of Women Artists, ING Discerning Eye, Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colour, Lynn Painter-Stainers Prize, New English Art Club and The London Group competitions. Winning the Daily Telegraph/Novartis Art Meets Science Prize with ‘Jesmond Barn’, my image travelled the UK and on to Barcelona.