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.
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.
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!
I write "Who cares?" in the title with an authority that doesn't really exist. To keep the peace, I have kept my cleaning and organization ticks under restraint. As I apologized to a contractor for the mess he was having to navigate, he casually said to me, "Don't worry, I live in my home, too." We are in week seven of lock-down and I'm starting to enjoy the benefits of more free time, more brain space, and less worry. Throughout the past two months my husband and I have chatted about how COVID-19 will change the world, from major changes like the instant launch of a worldwide mobile, digital workforce to smaller things like what actually living in your home looks like.
Are there things you have enjoyed about lock-down? Are there things you intend to keep within your schedule, mindset, or otherwise? Maybe develop COVID-19 resolutions?
I've entered my bad logo into the Fuzzco's How Low Can Your Logo? challenge. So much fun to create – it gave me the heebie-jeebies the entire time. But now, it's time to VOTE! Check out the entries and vote for the best worst logo. I hope it's mine :)
UGH, seriously ugh.
Free download for all my girl bosses, women's rights activists, and supporters of equal rights.
Not to be used for re-sale. If posted to social media, please attribute to @AshleyStuartArt.
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!