We take a tour of Scott Sueme’s Vancouver studio to take a closer look at how his graphic, abstract paintings come together.
“With my last series I focused more on color schemes - I would create an overall palette for the entire series and stick to it. This allowed me to find harmonies in color through a carefully predetermined scheme, or color harmony. In my new series I made an effort to slow down and mix colors one by one, wiping my glass palette clean before mixing the next, and moving through shape and compositions one color at a time. This opened up more opportunities for chance in my process which I wasn't really expecting.”
“I would get more nuances in colors when they were mixed on separate days while working on one piece. I started to think of this as an advantage rather than a crutch, knowing that mixing the same color on separate occasions is quite difficult to get them to match identically. Once I decided that this wasn't as important as I might think, I started to feel like I was getting somewhere. So now that I was working in this way, when I felt a painting was coming close to feeling done, I would still refine colors by re-painting, tweaking the hue, tint, or shade just slightly.”
“What I find most engaging about painting a composition is when something goes from being chaotic or random to settling in rhythm, a lot like the difference between composed music and jazz. I feel when it comes to dealing with abstraction, as artists we romanticize about the unknown or being able to 'let go' entirely when we ultimately have to deal with judgement as the makers of something abstract. I think the idea of taste has a larger role than we might want to believe. However in the process there are things that will always remain fleeting, and beyond our control.”