By Lucy Ash

I have paintings showing at the Affordable Art Fair in Battersea with ‘The Art Movement’ and a one-woman show running in Oxfordshire so it feels like the right time to reflect.

I’ve had an intense period of hard work over the past year that came to a head a few weeks ago. Now I need to make sense of it. It’s a really interesting experience seeing a show (34 pieces) hung in a gallery with the paintings relating to each other in a new way. I know these paintings individually very well and each one has a life of it’s own, but collectively they seem different. It feels as if something bigger has been going on but at the same time it’s a way of understanding more clearly what it is I am doing and where I am going.

What I do know is that for me painting is all about stepping into the unknown and seeing where I land. It’s about experimenting, improvising, taking risks and exploring materials. The creation of my paintings is a performance in itself, with the painting always changing and shifting until finally it settles into place. I have worked in different mediums but the freedom of paint is a really exciting medium to communicate through.
Lucy Ash in her studio

When I have finished a painting I want it to show something of the process. I believe Picasso was right when he said that it’s good to stop before you’re finished.

The creation of a painting is not only between the painters and their materials but when the work’s done, between the viewers and the work, the artwork needs interaction, not a quick walk by.
Gallery patrons at Lucy's show ‘Pieces of Eight’ at the West Ox Art Gallery, Bampton, Oxfordshire

Last week my one-woman show ‘Pieces of Eight’ opened in Bampton, Oxfordshire in the West Ox Art Gallery. The show puts together recurring themes of injustice, love, time, rhythm and dimensions that are constant in my work. The painting that gives the show its name physically suggests time with its narrative format and timeline.

‘Pieces of Eight’ Oil & Spray Paint on linen, 60 cm x 150 cm, 2016
In this piece I have taken eight significant periods of time in my life and used them as building blocks to create the painting. I worked them over and over again with oil and spray-paint to achieve the depth of colour and depth of feeling I was after. Layering the materials again and again to create tension and mystery through the intensity of paint, it’s texture, colour and form and to give the work it’s emotional weight.

There were also poems displayed by Amanda Oosthuizen, a poet and writer based in Winchester, and a triptych film ‘Sum of Parts’ by the artist Kathy Oldridge (made in response to my triptych painting of the same name).

Left, ‘Calendar 2013’, Oil on Linen, 130cm x 170cm, 2013 Right, ‘Sum of Parts’ triptych 2015, Oil & Spray Paint on linen, each panel 168cm x 76.2cm Laptop, ‘Sum of Parts’ triptych film 2015

The various mediums – poetry, paint and film – work well together and it was good to have people I admire working along side me. Artists need all the support they can get and I feel very lucky in this respect.  I belong to ‘What is the Point’ founded by the dynamic Kate Enters. Kate and her team work tirelessly to promote and support fellow artists with a creative global platform that encourages personal connections, engages new audiences and promotes fair payment of artists.

With the support of ‘What is the Point’ the step into the unknown becomes much more exciting. ‘What is the Point’ is constantly bringing new opportunities for fellow members to show together.

‘The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and all science’ – Albert Einstein