"Ashleigh hopes that his paintings bring a closer awareness of the glories of beauty in the world as opposed to the ugly aspects of life. In doing so he is not denying the profundity of pain and injustice in the world, but is defying its power. He is a resurrection painter - a celebrant of life!"
Dawn Mendham, "The Refining Fire".
Well, I'd clocked out 50 years last year, painting. So I took it up when I was 19.
So we love this space. We've been here 8 years. So we just love it. It's been terrific. A lot of people say that the atmosphere is really good. And that's what we're hoping for. I'm painting work that's positive, hopefully, uplifting. Good to wake up to.
So this is where I paint. Especially some big stuff. It's quite surprising how much I've painted in here that is quite big.
People do want something local content. And even if they're visiting, they might like to take it away, or they've got parents living here, or whatever. But sometimes it's putting two totally different things together makes an interesting work.
Well, I just think you keep your eyes open. There's so much beauty in the world, really, and just different places that we've been to.
I've done a lot of blossom trees and things. Not just from Japan. This could have a bit of a Japanese influence. But we're from Adelaide originally, and they had rows of Prunus blossom, bright pink blossoms. So you're reflecting what you're seeing. And trying to do it in an interesting way, hopefully. That's the aim.
Well, they sometimes see something in it that I might not, which is always interesting. Especially some of the pieces that are a bit more abstract. And a lot of people walking around and they say, oh, no, when it jumps off the wall. And what can I say? I just hope something jumps off. But people see that there's two figures in here. And I had absolutely no idea that there's two people, looks like, in there. And I went, oh, I didn't see that, or I just flicked it like that.
I keep trying, keep experimenting, keep practising.
I've got a big one of a marathon race over there and it's quite big. And it's just very abstract. Grey road. And it's got these little flecks of colour. And there's three people racing in this marathon. So you go, wow, where was that from? But that was from 1982, art school. So it's a long... So there's that sort of range of things you don't get by just taking it up.
It's kept me interested for that long. And that's a blessing. Not being bored is a pretty important thing. And to me, I can't wait to get up and paint and produce something. And that energy just has been amazing, really. It's a blessing.