About Me

Dipping a brush into paint and applying that paint to a surface to create energy and movement and form, adding collage using paper or other objects and weaving through realism and abstraction to create the images emerging from my soul … Working in mixed media collage offers an open-endedness of creativity that is at once liberating and challenging. Painting is my greatest joy! It is a way for me to share beauty, positive energy and hope with my community.

While creating a piece of art I try to use colour, shape and images to create literal and metaphorical meaning. I try to create meaning within meaning and provide viewers with a space for introspection and contemplation. Prior to attending art school my process for painting involved waiting for images to present themselves to me and then giving them form on canvas. This meant that I worked on an intuitive level most of the time. Now that I have completed my studies, I have returned to using the same process and combined it with the skills and knowledge I learned in art courses. Working in this way means that I must allow each painting to evolve while being more critical in terms of use of colour, composition and technique.

My paintings express ideas about family, gender, spirituality and history. Some of my paintings come from deep within my soul and some are born from external influences like novels or world events. I prefer to make paintings that present a positive, or uplifting view of a particular topic. While it is important to look at the problems inside us and around us, it is now even more important to suggest solutions. Working in this way also pays homage to the ability of all people to rise above and reach beyond tremendous challenges to create goodness in our lives and in our communities. I use bold colours in my work because I paint from a place of strength and power inside myself and that ‘place’ demands the use of bold colours. I also use bold colours because I like them. Red is definitely a favourite colour. At times I use it to represent blood – the blood that sustains life, other times I use it for its passion and strength. I usually feel when it is time to stop painting a piece - then I am satisfied that I have made the statement in the best way possible in that moment. However, I am always amazed at my work when I see it in a show because I begin to see new images within the image and I also experience the intensity of the energy in the painting. Ultimately, I hope that viewers have a positive experience when viewing my paintings and if they do then I know if the piece has turned out well.

I am presently focusing on acrylic and mixed media collage paintings in which I continue to explore and develop my skill in the use of symbols in my work. Why use symbols? Symbolism is not new to art. In fact, one could say that much of art embodies symbols of colour, of shape and of form – much of art is metaphor. As a person of African heritage I am most interested in researching and using the symbols from my own heritage. All cultures have their own set of ancient symbols that communicate concepts and beliefs. I have been researching symbols from many cultures, finding commonalities between them and using them in my work. I believe that these ancient symbols connect to the subconscious of all people. So when people look at the paintings, they feel and remember themselves and not just that, but the best of themselves. This is how I can help to heal my SELF and my world and bring us all forward into a more harmonious relationship with our environment and ourselves.

For me, each piece of art I complete is a challenge, a birthing, a joy!

The journey continues!

Ashe!

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