Friday, 29 June 2012

Working together with Adventure Temples

We are delighted to tell you about some exciting developments with our Painting Workshops and Painting Holidays. We are now working closely with Adventure Temples, specialists in sourcing a host of high quality and specialist activities for people holidaying in Cornwall. Rest assured this will not have any affect on us looking after our  local people who attend Ashley's workshops, as they will be helping us to support our local courses. If anything they will help us to extend what we already do, by enabling us to offer a wider range of workshop options for the future with Ashley, offering his wealth of knowledge and experience in painting, as always, at excellent value. For more information and a wider insight into Adventure Temples see

Our next workshop 'Colour & Coast,' Sat 28th July & Sat 4th Aug is very much connected to Ashley's own art practice, his love of colour and inspiration from the coastal landscape. Come and join us in a friendly, relaxed and informal setting.

Using the 'Coast' as our theme, students will explore the principles of colour- mixing and how to use colour effectively amd creatively. Other areas covered during the workshop  include composition and oil/acrylic painting application. Ashley will be hands on demonstrating and sharing many tips and techniques. This workshop is suitable for all abilities and Ashley will introduce some new exercises and surprises for those of you who have taken part before.

Monday, 25 June 2012

New Painting- 'City of Glass 8 (The Red Notebook)'

'City of Glass 8 (The Red Notebook)'    150x120cms

I keep returning to red but there are a multitude of new reds in this painting.   The outsize notebook subverts the scale of Manhattan in the previous paintings.  Manhattan is transparent, is a window, is a city of glass. Through the window is a boiling sea or the inside of the detective's head. 

I think now is the time to introduce the New York series to the author of 'The New York Trilogy', Paul Auster. 

Saturday, 16 June 2012

Last Week to Catch Ashley & Janie at the Shire Hall

Ashley & Janie McDonald have been enjoying their new studio space and working hard at the Shire Hall, Bodmin. During the first week of 'Open Studios', Ashley hosted a very well received workshop, 'Learn to Paint in Oils' and last week St Petroc's Primary School children enjoyed a visit and were fascinated with the exhibition and Ashley's oil painting demonstrations. Year 12 students at Bodmin College are looking forward to a 'Colour' workshop with him next week at the venue.

Ashley has been focusing on work for his 'City of Glass ' series which is now really taking shape and will be shown later on in the year at the prizewinning show at 'Canvas & Cream' in London. (Scroll down to view more images and info on Ashley's new work.) The 'Open Studios' exhibition runs until Sat 23rd June,  so come along for a last chance to preview the work and meet up with both artists.

Next Workshop -  'Colour & Coast' Sat 28 July & Sat 4 Aug
10am - 4.30pm, St Breward Village Hall

We are now taking bookings for our next workshop.
'Colour & Coast' is very much connected to Ashley's own art practice, his love of colour and inspiration from the coastal landscape.

Using the 'Coast' as our theme, students will explore the principles of colour- mixing and how to use colour effectively amd creatively. Ashley will be hands on demonstrating and sharing many tips and techniques. This workshop is suitable for all abilities and Ashley will introduce some new exercises and surprises for those of you who have taken part before.

Cost £30 for 1 Saturday or £55 for both Saturdays.
Limited space available , early booking recommended.

To Book: Contact or call 01208 77656 

Honeycomb Studios Group Exhibition
Sat 23rd June Private View 11am- 5pm
Also open Sun 24th Jun 11am-5pm

Sara Bor who runs Honeycomb Studios is hosting an exhibition for students who have taken part in workshops she runs at her studios. There is an intersting mix of work on show, including several of Ashley's paintings from his Cornish series.
Honeycomb Studios can be found in a beautiful rural location in Devon.
The Hansons will be going along on Saturday, hope to see you there! See for more information.

The Gallery Exhibition,
Mon 25th- Sat 7th July 2012
The Old Threshers Shop
Fore Street

Local artists will once again be supporting 'The Friends of St Petroc's' in helping to raise money for St Petroc's Church and improve the facilities for the local community.
There will be a wide selection of paintings and ceramics on show at the exhibiton and Ashley will be supporting this event and exhibiting several pieces.
Come along and have a look and enjoy the delightful refreshments in the cafe during the exhibition. For more information see

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Thursday, 14 June 2012

New painting- 'City of Glass 7'

A looser painting- at first the black building dominates, with Manhattan more hidden, then the purity of the blood-reds and the angle of left lower Manhattan and the straightness of the avenues come to the fore, which in turn connect to the softer straight edges on the right side of the painting. 

This painting is raw and exciting- its innards are exposed and it shows how my paintings are made. Below is a studio shot at the Shire Hall in Bodmin with City of Glass 2,7 & 6. I will be there until Saturday 23 June if you would like to see the paintings.  The Canvas & Cream show in November is coming together- hope these 3 paintings can hang together like this.

'City of Glass 2,7 & 6'   

Sunday, 10 June 2012

New painting- 'City of Glass 6: Pages 106-112' finished during Open Studios

'City of Glass 6: Pages 106-112'    150x120cms

I'm enjoying working in the new (temporary) studio at the Shire Hall and the dialogue with Janie (M Mcdonald). 

In 'The New York Trilogy',  Auster's explores layers of reality and truth and identity and this painting is about the very first idea I had for the series. Just as Quinn, the writer of detective-stories, who becomes a detective, transcribes the movements of his quarry onto a New York street map, I too have been become a detective, extracting clues from the text and transcribing Quinn's walk from his home to his clients apartment, described on pages 106-112. In turn, the viewer too becomes a detective, following my clues with their eyes.

Paradoxically, the facts, and the truth of the detailed translation of the walk held back the truth of the painting;it was only when I allowed the line to be broken up and disguised that the painting came alive again. Like the letters of the Tower of Babel in the novel, invisibly written in the streets, my line is there but not there.

Below is the painting at at earlier stage, where my gut feeling was that Manhattan was too 'cut-out' and the blue too cold.  In the finished piece, the yellow is 'something' and flows through the island and the yellow splashes imply shipping and define scale. Within the order of the grid-pattern, the painting now pulsates with the energy and chaos of the city.  Underneath is the painting in the studio with some very special visitors, my children!

Ollie & Faye with 'City of Glass 6'