In a recent trip to Holkham Beach, I found footprint patterns littering the sand. I was followed the path of the beach-skittering birds had taken, enamored with the simplicity and beauty of their print. After photographing a number of them, I have recreated these prints into shapes with watercolor. I plan to create a new pattern design for my product shops.
My photo library is filled with bits and pieces of inspiration. These photos are taken of landscapes, a quirky position of colorful umbrellas, scraps of broken plate on the ground, patterns in brick lines – anything that catches my eye by marking the checkboxes of shape, form, color, function, balance, so on and so forth. Each of these photos is kept until used, though some have been neglected for years. But all this to say, process is not instantaneous. It takes time and consideration, needs to be true to the world at that time.
Each person has their way of using inspiration. What's yours? Comment below.
My finger hovered over the ‘return’ button, ready to send the email where I explain to my awesome boss at my awesome job that I was leaving. My daughter Emerson was 10 months old, trying desperately to walk but falling instead, clinging while wanting independence … you might know the stage. I hovered and hesitated because I had already given so much of myself to creating, birthing, and caring for this little human. How could I possibly give up this, too?
As hard as it was and as many feelings as I felt, I did. And I’m glad. Now, once again, it’s time to update my resume. My girls have grown to school-age leaving me more time to myself. Now, nearly one year has passed since opening my online art shop, my life-long dream. But a small worry is nagging me: How do I explain my absence of a “steady work history" after leaving my career to care for my daughters?
I researched but most of the articles I found were largely unhelpful for my experience and situation. They were directed more so to those laid-off, or changing careers, or quitting and traveling, or similar. None about motherhood. This position is not often referred to as a "job" so upon reflection why did it sound like one? What exactly did I do doing those years? Turns out, I did a lot. Too much at times while always thinking it was too little. I never had a lack of steady work; I was tasked with increased responsibility and I adapted in kind. I am a boss girl to the max.
My resume has now been updated, the creation and the raising of these little humans now humorously reflected in my work history.
I'm pleased to reveal the final 2020 commission piece. It was the sole project for the last two months and I'm so incredibly pleased and proud of how it has come to life.
I have to be honest – it was incredibly difficult to keep this commission a secret for so long. The piece was a Christmas gift and it had to be kept a secret as its for one of my amazing friends. During our last catch-up he mentioned wanting something for his house and I had to steer him into not buying something until "after Christmas". I'm not one to be devious so this was terribly difficult!
Time to spread some merry cheer! Join The Collector to get access to the 2021 new year sale. All artwork will be up to 40% off for Collectors only until January 15, 2021. The shop is otherwise closed until after the sale. Happy browsing!
My third painting for the City Gallery art exhibition was inspired by autumnal views from Collyweston. I adore this village. Ancient stones, grand houses, quaint cottages, and the best scenic views. Above is a detail image of the autumnal landscape painting. You can view more images of the painting on Instagram. I will also be releasing the paintings in my next email to The Collectors.
Another great Monday at Gallery Stamford watercolor class. Practiced clouds today as they are ever-so troublesome. One could think, "Clouds are white, sky is blue," but if you really look closely, clouds are a rainbow of colors in all shades and tints. And it's important to mention they are always moving so some sort of brushstroke or technique is required to get that feeling. Best piece of advice for creating these clouds: what you do not paint is equally as important as what you do paint. Above are the two pieces completed today, I hope you enjoy.
We visited Belvoir Castle this past weekend. It is a family favorite. The home is so lovely and who doesn't love visiting a film set? (The Crown was filmed here!) We always end up with an arm load of future presents for the girls, goodies for a delicious meal, and one-of-a-kind loose leaf tea from the Engine Yard. As we drove into the car park, there is a rolling view of the fields below the castle that are magnificent. In an artist daze, I left my family and wandered towards the view snapping photos as I traveled. Don't worry, my husband is used to this by now :) Below is the first painting created the day afterwards.
A sunrise and sunset landscape duo will be entered into the Peterborough City Gallery exhibition. I love watching the watercolor washes interact. New colors emerge and shapes are defined by saturation and transparency. One more painting to make for the exhibition and then will be submitting the last week of October. Exciting!!
A lovely note from a Collector yesterday and it absolutely made me tingle with joy. The connections I make with each Collector is very important to me. It's an incredible part of what I do as an artist! Over the last few months, people from all over the world have taken the time to write me an email or two and it really warms my heart. A huge thank you to all of you.
Much like a screen print process, I used only Ultramarine, Lemon Yellow, and Cadmium Red, layering in that order on the paper. The secondary and tertiary colors created were very fun to uncover. I focused on the tints and shades of each hue and applied the paint appropriately, leaving white space as the main highlights (very important). Overall I think I prefer the monotone blue best, but the end result is also beautiful. Now available in the Shop.
In addition to my paintings and collections, my watercolors can be found on fabrics, where you can make what you'd like, or homewares, decor, and wallpaper. I'll be updating this shop frequently and will release new patterns within The Collector community.
Images are ©Ashley Stuart. All reproduction or use of images is prohibited without written consent. If you see an artwork that you would like to own, but it's not in the shop, get in touch and I'll try to make it happen!