Photos by: India Hartford Davis
Opening the doors to Ash Holmes’ Sydney based studio, we stepped into a colour haven. Walls were adorned with WIP artworks, painted canvas and the floor unintentionally decorated with colourful paint markings - which contributed to the effortless character of this light filled artist studio.
Ash is down to earth with a radiant energy as she gracefully moves around her studio introducing us to her work. Our photographer Indy snaps away capturing her in moments while she explains her pieces and does a few touch ups on her works.
With her new art series “Let nature see within” released on 6th of October we chat with Ash about this new collection, her thoughts on colour psychology and a painter’s wardrobe.
Where did you grow up?
I grew up on the Northern Beaches, Sydney, Australia.
When did you first pick up a paint brush?
3 years old, that was the first time!
What influences your creative process and work?
I’ve always felt connected with colour. The first time I saw Mark Rothko’s work I was mesmerised, I really felt what he was saying through the use of block colour. I was so curious as to why we’re drawn in by certain colour schemes and repelled by others. I’m inspired by the natural landscape and utilise the combination of colour psychology and nature to create large scale abstract works. I like to create pieces that change our mood and perspective.
On set you mentioned you studied colour psychology. How do you think colour influences people’s emotions?
Yes, that’s correct. It’s interesting when reading into the sensory effect colour has on us. I think it subconsciously changes us in our everyday life. I’m really drawn to using muted and soft tones because of the way they make me feel. There’s a correlation between the tones I use and the tones in nature, the background behind this is the sense of balance and calm we have in Nature, that’s what I’m looking to achieve in my pieces. The most interesting colour to learn deeply about was Pink, it’s calming properties and ability to soothe the nervous system. I tent to use Pink and Green together because I love the contrast of conflicting tones coming into harmony.
What is the importance of colour to you?
It’s speaking for the composition of my work. It sets the tone and is communicating what I wish the Artwork to portray.
What is your process of creating a particular colour palette?
Lots of mixing colour and experimenting with layering and the building of tones.
How do you come up with a narrative in your work?
I listen to what I’m trying to make that feel like and then begin to conceptualise the pieces together, so they speak as a story.
Being a fourth-generation artist, is your style similar to your family? And what would you say influences your style today?
I would say it’s very different to my family’s style but perhaps know we have all been intrigued with nature and use that as a reference point. My style today is influenced by everything I’m interested in from music to places and everything in between!
Can you share with us the thoughts behind your latest series “let nature see within”?
It’s to think about how particular places make us feel, and what that feeling looks like when translated into colour. It’s looking within rather than out on the world. The pieces in the collection hold names like ‘Hope Hillier Lake’, ‘Scribbly Gum’, ‘Empathising with the Land’ and ‘Fields Of Triumph’ which are referring to places.
A wardrobe question, when does a piece of clothing transition into your painting uniform?
Once I’ve worn it for 10 minutes painting it will by this stage by covered in Acrylic and Oil paint which doesn’t come out easy! It’s the items of clothing that are loose and comfortable that will find their way into the studio wardrobe.
Shot in Ash’s studio by India Hartford Davis
If you’re in the mood for some tunes, listen to Ash’s in studio playlist she created especially for our team at State of Escape.