William Scott used the traditional subject of a table-top still-life as the starting point for his paintings. The subject becomes deliberately ambiguous, however, as the composition could be seen to suggest a landscape or a figure just as much as a still life. His primary concern appears to be with the material of the paint itself. Scott saw himself as close to painting in France where, in the 1950s, there was emphasis on the materiality of the paint and the importance of the individual brushmarks. One movement of painting was called Tachisme, from tache meaning a stain or splash.