gallery new thurscrop Copy


'Do you have a special tree? A 2 day ZOOM workshop painting your tree: real or imagined, magical, spiritual, symbolic, totemic, in bloom or bare and linear. In terms of painting, the motif of the tree presents opportunities to explore narrative and structure, strength and delicacy, expressive mark-making and abstraction'


The selection of paintings above above shows the exceptional response to the motif of 'TREE' in our latest online 'Freedom in Painting' workshop. The artists were asked to bring along studies and ideas to the workshop which began with a comprehensive slideshow of trees in art history from Durer to Auerbach. For me, the highlight of the research was the full-blown visceral expressionism of Joan Mitchell and Chaim Soutine.


twin crop Copy


The talk was followed by a demonstration and group exercise, where I showed how to make further linear studies from the studies, exploring possibilities of composition, strength, delicacy and mark-making with a single brush. Surrounded by studies we made our choices of design and colour for the morning painting session. Luckily, Denise was on hand to take photos during the day, as my own 'Tree' painting developed.


X42CROP Copy



The afternoon was taken up with individual tutorials, with each artist emailing me an image off their painting before we discussed their ideas and paintings. There were also further demonstrations mid-afternoon and first thing on Friday before the morning tutorials. Things were happening, studies transforming into paintings, those first thoughts and marks leading to others...

On Friday, some of the artists took up the option to start a second painting. After lunch, we had the final painting session, silent working time as the artists pushed their paintings further.  We finished the workshop with a Group Critique, after I put together a Powerpoint of the latest versions of the paintings. It was a revelation, how far the paintings had come in 2 days concentrated working. A real treat for us all, and instructive too, to see the work of the artists and to give and receive comment. Below, you can see the how a couple of the paintings developed in the workshop and afterwards.

Hats off to all the artists!

x53crop Copy


'I want to reach the state of condensation of sensations which constitutes a picture. Perhaps I might be satisfied momentarily with a work finished at one sitting, but I would soon get bored looking at it; therefore, I prefer to continue working on it so that later I may recognize it as a work of my mind'  MATISSE 


x42crop CopyCarol Hayslip


 Artist Testimonials

I think your method of running the workshops must be unique. You put so much effort and time into the preparation and give so much attention and interaction with participants individually. We learn so much from sharing your decision making, courage to experiment and change things, choices of colour palette, composition etc with your own painting.  You have an amazing way of teaching which is by inspiration rather than prescription. Beryl Hawker

Ashley has become expert in presenting a two-day online painting workshop, with a packed timetable including tutorials, demonstrations, plenty of painting time, information, inspiration and group comment.  And a friendly atmosphere! Jan Bunyan

I really loved the workshop. Ashley is a brilliant teacher and always encouraging. I thought the slide show was particularly good and really well researched. I have started a series on trees as he recommended. Barry Kellington

I always enjoy Ashley’s intro and slide show from the historical up to sometimes unexpected contemporary art. Ashley doesn’t dictate, he suggests the possibilities in your painting keeping you positive. You may not always agree but to have someone really look at your work and discuss what is working or not is a privilege. Carol Hayslip