Doveton applies (mostly) oil-based pigments using washes, rubbings, impasto, scratches, and brushstrokes. The physicality of the final painting arises as an essential element to its viewing. These facts of paint and canvas, however, are unsettled by optical illusions—foregrounds shift to backgrounds. The painter’s presence remains, as though she will return and add one more brushstroke, which will change everything. These paintings bring viewers into the studio as the process continues.
“While You Were Sleeping,” a small painting (8” by 8”) on canvas, suggests fieldrows, which could also be waves or terraces. Horizontal lines scratched midpoint hint at a sky. An overlay of white spotting could be snow or not—and references Van Gogh’s “Starry Night” very obliquely. The title frames the work as sleep time—but is it night, a cloudy day, or dawn? This is a meditative painting, but not one that is quiescent. The second day of creation was one of movement, not stasis. Doveton’s work challenges viewers to share her agitation.