Thursday, 14 November 2013

Chance to Win a Place on Our Sept 2014 Painting Holiday

We are very excited to bring you news that in collaboration with the new magazine, Discover Art and the art materials specialist Great Art there is an opportunity for you to win a place on our September 2014 painting holiday, along with lots of other fantastic art prizes. To enter you will need to design and create a single postcard using a media and technique of your choice. For full details of the competition pick up a copy of the magazine at your WH Smith's High Street branch or most local newsagents.

Here is a bit more information about the painting holiday prize to whet your appetite!
Taking inspiration from 4 stunning locations on the north and south coast, (Port Isaac, Trebarwith Strand, Charlestown and Polruan) Ashley will encourage you to create your own personal vision of the landscape.  You will spend 2 days on location followed by 2 full days in the studio under Ashley’s expert guidance.
Ashley will demonstrate and share many of his tips and techniques and artists will explore colour, composition, mark-making and abstraction. Included are 5 night’s accommodation, 4 full day’s tuition, all lunches and a 3 course celebratory evening meal.

Your artist tutor Ashley has a wide experience of teaching including Visiting Lecturer at Canterbury Christchurch University and has shown his work both nationally and internationally. More details can be found on Pages 48/49 about the competition. Ashley is also one of the featured artists on pages 96-98 of the magazine.
Painting holiday dates for 2014 dates are :
12th  -17th  May & 22nd - 27th  September
We are currently working on the full details for our 2014 painting holidays, watch this space for their release date. For more information about Ashley and our painting holidays visit

Saturday, 9 November 2013

New Painting -'City of Glass 13- (Entrance)'

'City of Glass 13- (Entrance)'    120x150cms     oil on canvas

This painting began in June with three Manhattans side by side (of increasing scale from left to right). In COG 2 & 9 I had two Manhattans in the same piece so why not three? A New York Trilogy? The idea was to explore space by moving the Manhattans around, touching or tucked behind each other or placed apart to see what works best.  The three shapes were connected visually by each having 42ndSt on the same long horizontal. Once again the idea was stronger than the execution - there was no space, the painting was cramped and claustrophobic so I made the decision to keep the strongest, the Manhattan on the right. There are ghostly traces of the other two in the swirling paint on the left side. I'll go back to the idea again with a wider canvas.
A friend described the shape of Manhattan as ugly - can't argue with that!- but throughout the series I have made a point of isolating and highlighting the island-shape and seeing in it the curves and proportions of the human figure.
In this painting, Grand Central Station is a door, the entrance to the implied tower in the surrounding streets, emphasised by shape and a narrower grid, with fake streets and false avenues.  I toyed with the idea of calling the painting 'False Avenues' - I love the dual meaning of 'false avenues', avenues that don't exist, out there, and the false avenues we find ourselves travelling down, in life, as artists, as detectives.......I'll save the title for another painting. The almost-solid orange Hudson River also suggests architecture, a building 'there but not there', the top cut-off and open and the left-side deliberately straight. The colour, flatness and physicality of the paint all help create space, with the purple tucked in behind, and the large curve leaving the canvas and popping up as a purple stripe in the bottom right corner.

The earliest sighting of City of Glass 13- never make an orange with Light Red!


Monday, 4 November 2013

December 'Freedom in Painting' Canterbury Workshop

We are now taking booking for Ashley's much anticipated 'Freedom in Painting' workshop Monday 16 and Tuesday 17 December at Canterbury Christchurch University.

As always Ashley will be exploring new possibilities in painting and the focus of this workshop will be the 'circle' and how you might use it in connection with your ideas and art practice. Ashley will endeavour to challenge and inspire you with his expertise of colour, oil paints, technique, mark-making and composition. Suitable for students and artists with some experience in painting.

Some comments from Ashley's last Canterbury workshop in June 2013

Ashley is always so generous with his time and knowledge, he is a refreshing and inspiring tutor.
Shona McGovern

Always good to get me painting, to be encouraged to take risks and to really look at what you are doing.
Jo Dunlop

A lively and fun course. Thank-you Ashley, most enjoyable. Re-kindles enthusiasm every time!
Tanya Remon

The New York Trilogy Exhibition continues....

Ashley's latest series of paintings inspired by Paul Auster's novel 'The New York Trilogy' continues until 25 November at The Castle, Bude, Cornwall. You can visit him as Artist in Residence at The Castle until this Friday 8 November, where he will be working on the next piece in the series.

Open Mon - Fri & Sun, 10am -4pm.
For more information see here