I'm pushing around thoughts regarding the complex relationship between mother and child. The first shape to come to mind was a circle as it is feminine and maternal in its roundness, and the overlap of the circle would create something of interest. What? I don't quite know yet. The first colors I imagined were black and white, simplistic, uninterrupted, stark. But the relationship isn't that so not sure what colors will work yet.
However, all that being said, I have been looking back in my archives and found this screen print from my days at university. Created with canary paper and conté crayon, the piece displays a struggle of two selves contained in one body. It seems internal struggles have always peaked my interest! I am thinking of taking this piece and using it as a baseline for my next fourth trimester series.
As always, would love your thoughts.
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.
As I prepare my first collection for launch, I noticed the name given the figures, either in product descriptions or hashtags posted on social media, often described them as girls or ladies. But as I wrote descriptions of each piece, I realized my language muzzled the power she holds.
Names are very, very strong. These paintings are most decidedly women of unnoticeable class but noticeable age. I have changed my language and used the correct term to reflect this finding. In correcting this error, I'm now interested to find the definitions of nouns given to adult human females and help others identify the correct terms to use when regarding an adult human female. Below is a list that will be updated throughout time.
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.
With the brutality and oppression of BIPOC (black, indigenous, people of color) in America and across the world, my words are just not forming and the overwhelming feelings of sadness, regret, and pressure are mounting.
If you were to ask me if I am a racist I would give a whole-hearted "NO." I have been reading resources being posted since the death of George Floyd and it would appear that I have been indirectly in the past. There were so many times in my youth that I did not stop others from speaking hateful words. I should have. I feel ashamed. Name calling, jokes, hateful speech, discrimination, profiling – I experienced all of this and did nothing. I got nervous, couldn't find the words. Silence is compliance.
Moving forward I will find the words, even if they come out wrong the first time, the second time, the third time. I will fight those hateful words with you. It's time for me to show that I am antiracist.
We are stronger together. The time is NOW to step up and do something, anything, to end racism. This illustration depicts people coming together to fight for justice, to protect and support one another. There is anger, grief, and sadness. But there is also hope, motivation, and love.
Anyone else experience this?? The thrill of dipping your hands into the bath after reading in the tub? I always have a book in the tub with me and the delicate maneuvers to make sure the book doesn’t get wet but I have maximum coverage has become an art form. Also, can I have that rug??
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.
Coloring with my children has become a part of every day life. Whether we are using coloring pages or blank sheets, art is always a given in our daily schedule. I've realized that over time, especially throughout lockdown, their confidence in creating has grown solid and this, I think, will translate well into other things as they enter school age years. Let's face it, I love the creativity as well. It's a bit different than I'm used to! Yay for coloring!
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 😊
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!