Many of the recent works created by Liz Tran (IG: @liztranstudios) revolve around the notion of heartbeat. She calls them “Heart Map” paintings, and to make them she tracks her own pulse as it responds to favorite songs she’s listening to while painting—tracks such as Bjork’s Violently Happy, I’ll Be Your Mirror by Velvet Underground, and Sade’s Babyfather. The resulting undulating streaks and bursts of layered color are a delight at first glance, but contain intensively personal content beneath the surface. Her sketches reveal an even more concentrated sense of personal immediacy—a different kind of urgency and expression—through use of text.
“I don’t keep a traditional sketchbook,” says Tran, “but if I feel the need to jot something down, I’ll grab a sheet of paper and do a quick painting. These ‘sketches’ are often words, lyrics, a test or a fleeting vision. They typically live happily in my flat files, though occasionally they’ll make an escape.”