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!
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!!
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.
The inspiration for this collection surfaced during an introspective journey following the death of George Floyd. The educational materials gratefully thrust into view regarding systemic racism made me feel empowered to help and support with my entire being. I was reading late into the night, watching documentaries, attached to the stream of social media posts all within a matter of days. This passion then became anger and I felt an intense mother's desire to take away the bad and replace with good, but could not. My need for instant gratification stunned me.
So I began to think, "Well, what can I change? Where do I start? What do I know? I know women. I know motherhood. I have felt the struggles. I'll start there." So by combining my fervor for the BIPOC community with that of women's struggles, the Beach Women collection was born.
Upon further reflection of the initial collection, I realized that I did not include any variations of skin tones for the women. Amidst the chaos of life, I became wrapped up in using the knowledge of my self that I neglected to really embrace all women. So I am rectifying this and will have updates to the collection soon.
Beach Women observes insightful women at a shoreline.
A mini collection of original watercolors will be listed this weekend. I'm seriously in love with each of these ladies and am excited to see where this mini collection takes us.
If you are a Collector, you will receive 10% off.
On our way to Titchmarsh Nature Reserve, we drove through Lilford and found the gates to Lilford Hall estate open. Unsure what to expect, we were graced with a beautiful drive. Set upon a rolling green backdrop is Lilford Hall, initially built in Tudor style in 1495 with a Jacobean extension built in the 1740s. It is majestic even though empty since the 1950s. The drive goes around the entirety of the house and past a few working houses. It is currently being renovated.
Trying something a bit new. Combining my love for typography and my love of watercolor. Et voilá, see below. Thoughts? Explore more? Add to the shop? Throw 'em in the bin?
Happy Mother’s Day to my Mama and all the mamas, mamas-to-be and carers in the world 🧡You may not always feel it but you are loved, appreciated, strong, beautiful, and overall awesome.
This illustration is from the viewpoint of my kids. They have been seeing a lot of this view lately, from behind the green tape, as I work on the 2020 collection, a commission piece, developing the shop, creating doodles and so forth. I have that heavy mother’s guilt some days when I explain I need to work instead of play, a new concept for them. I’ve been with them nearly everyday of their lives.
But also from this view, they see their Mommy creating her dream, fulfilling the “When I grow up I want to be...” question (answer: artist), struggling and persevering, learning, figuring, succeeding....
It eases the worry I have just a bit 😊
I'm not crazy about sneaking out, but it's the only way I'm able to get a run in these days. Otherwise, it's "I want to go! I want to go!" followed by tantrums unimaginable prior to COVID 19.
Getting my yoga and meditation practice in during COVID-19 armageddon has been interesting. My eldest is home from school and is a constant noise maker. She can actually hum loudly while she eats, it's fascinating. My youngest is a copy-catter (word?) in the cutest sense of the word but I often find her crawling under my down dogs. And the dog is so enamored by my use of his kind's positions that he sits nearby wagging his tail, waiting for the opportune moment to lick my feet or sniff my bum. Any guru would probably say this is the perfect way to practice but I'm not so sure.... Maybe it'll be quieter tomorrow.
How is your practice coming along at this time? Any issues to relate?
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!