The Heroine’s Journey of Michele Ashby

What is the best thing that I love about my work?
I love the freedom of choices this creative life provides; the feeling that I am in control of what, when, and for how long I choose to work. The cathartic feeling and realization that all my efforts have culminated at this moment in time allows immersion into the artistic process void of impediments and encourages my obsessive work habits. I cannot separate my life and my work and they have melded into who I am.
What is my idea of perfect happiness?
Where I am and how I feel at the present! Being in the zone—thinking, planning, creating. Waking up early and asking: “What shall I do today?” Then my mind is off and running; veering in all directions chasing thoughts, and shaping ideas for future projects and painting. I enjoy my inner conversations. My dearest Paul brings me tea and off he goes to work and I am left with my private thoughts and expectations for the next 12 hours with my dog by my side. This for me is true happiness!What is my greatest fear?
To wake one morning and discover my passion and present state of happiness and well-being have abandoned me and emptiness and lack of inspiration have taken its place.What is the trait that I most deplore in myself?
The feeling that I am still chasing this dream as a full-time artist and have not given myself credit for the safety of my chosen profession. Also, I am impatient and intolerant of anyone who does not try to be their best self.

Which living persons in my profession do I most admire?
I admire many artists particularly Ruben Belloso Adorna, David Kassan, Kathrin Longhurst, Miriam Escofet, Emma-Leone Palmer, Taimeng Lim, Kit King, Ali Cavanaugh

What is my greatest extravagance?
To be a professional artist certainly feels like an extravagance! Oh, and insisting on Chanel perfume for Birthdays and Christmas!

On what occasion would I lie?
Regarding my work I do not lie! I stay true to myself and work hard to allow my artistic style evolve naturally. Regarding other artists’ work, I prefer to remain silent if it is not my taste.

What is the thing that I dislike the most in my work?
Sometimes I wish I could let go of the tight, realistic nature of my style and try to work more loosely (but it would be wrong to expect to become proficient in a variety of styles). Instead I would rather hone my skill in my drawing ability and evolve into a more abstract style if that is the natural way I will develop. Better that than being lost in the quagmire of being all things to all tastes.

When and where was the happiest, in my work?
I am the happiest right now! Life is full of great expectations, a sense of excitement, and excitement for the future.

If I could, what would I change about myself?
Nothing. There is absolutely no point wasting time even thinking about that question.

What is my greatest achievement in work?
Having been acknowledged with the many artists’ societies for my work—especially the Pastel Society of America. I have been juried in as a Signature member as well as having the honour of exhibiting this year in my first, Enduring Brilliance! Exhibition, New York City, New York, USA. I am 1 of 180 accepted entries and the only artist representing the UK!

Where would I most like to live?
Wherever my heart feels like home that is where I would like to be.

What is my most treasured possession?
The ability to have given birth to my two amazing, beautiful children.

What is my most marked characteristic?
To be able to see someone else’s point of view.

What is the most inspirational location in my city?
The peace and tranquility of my local parks on my daily dog walks.

What is my favorite place to eat and drink in the city?
Apart from long, lazy evenings spent in my back garden eating al fresco, I guess my favorite pub would be, The White Hart Pub, Margaretting Tye.

What books influenced my life and how?
As a youngster and right up until my mid-twenties I kept sketchbooks. I found them to be an exciting way of capturing the moment as well as a report of chronological events and developments.

Who are my favourite writers?
Maya Angelou.

You Only Die Once. What music would I listen to on my last day?
Ludovico Einauldi.

Who is my heroine in fiction?
Tess from Tess of the d’Urbervilles.

Who is my heroine in real life?
My mum is my true heroine! I cannot begin to even quantify how much she means to me.

What role does art play in my life and work?
Art is my inner peace. It is something I am so grateful to have found. Even though it took many years to take the leap of faith, I feel I have much to say. As a relative newcomer to this profession I will strive to find the truth through my inner voice.

Who is my greatest fan, sponsor, partner in crime?
My incredible family are my greatest fans; they are a constant source of inspiration as well as a complete understanding of my passion.

Whom would I like to work with in 2018?
I would like to work with a gallery to fulfill my dream of having a solo exhibition.

Which people in my profession would I love to meet in 2018?
I am lucky to have been selected for the Enduring Brilliance! Exhibition for the Pastel Society of America in New York City this September and will meet so many artists I admire through mutual connections on social media.

What project in 2018 am I looking forward to working on?
I am currently working on a series of monochrome portraits using pastels and liquid metallic acrylics.

Where can you see my work in 2018?
The Society of Women Artists, Mall Galleries, London.
Holly Bush Emerging Woman Painters Prize, Hampstead, London.
The Artists’ Exhibition, Patchings, Nottingham.
CONNECTION: Open 2018 exhibition, Wells Maltings, Norfolk.
HUMAN, Espacio Gallery, London.
Summer Exhibition, Russell Gallery, Putney, London.
Enduring Brilliance!, Pastel Society of America, New York City.

What do the words “Passion Never Retires” mean to me?
That is difficult to answer, but I guess as an artist I will always look up, take in things that maybe others do not see then working out in what capacity I can use this new information and make it work in a new piece of art.

Which creative heroines should Peter invite to tell their story?
Emma-Leone Palmer, Pirkko Makela-Haapalinna, Daggi Wallace, Tara Will.

How can you contact me?

https://www.micheleashby.co.uk/

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