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Colour – An artist’s ambition

August 27, 2014 / By: Katherine Bryan-Merrett No Comments.

Colour is one of the world’s most fascinating things with many artists and scientists dedicating their lives to unwrapping it’s secrets. So many elements to uncover and question; 

  • How do we see colour?
  • How do certains colours make us feel?
  • How do we recognise colour?
  • How is it constructed?
  • What if we were to change it?
  • How do others see colour?
'Padstow 3' Ashley Hanson

‘Padstow 3′ Ashley Hanson

I find it mind boggling to think about all the possibilities of colour and unlocking the potential in certain shades. Have you ever considered how animals see colour? or Insects? There’s an interesting article on the BBC website about how bees see colour;

“Much of the coloured world that’s accessible to bees and other animals with UV receptors is entirely invisible to us. In order to see that invisible part of the works, we need special machinery”

It really does make me question how we see colour and if everyone sees colour the same?

One artist who has dedicated his life to colour is Cornwall based Ashley Hanson, who’s bold, vibrant paintings have a powerful and assertive presence that only few dare to attempt.

'Lights ot the West 1' 60 x 80cms

‘Lights ot the West 1′ 60 x 80cms

Inspired by Cornish painter Peter Layon, who’s mastery of colour and form was revolutionary in it’s time, Ashley lives and works in Cornwall surrounded by constant inspiration. 

“I feel it was inevitable that I would eventually settle there: it was after seeing a Peter Lanyon exhibition in Manchester in 1978, that I decided to be a painter.’’ 

Like Lanyon, Ashley is particularly drawn to the unique shapes and imagery of coastal towns with their mix of the natural and man-made. Using complimentary colours his vibrant paintings are both powerful and refined. His paintings have been accurately described as ‘a harmony of opposites‘. Since moving to Cornwall he has made series about Porthleven, Padstow and the Fowey River.

Ashley fearlessly tackles bold, intense colours and seems to go beyond our comfort zone into a dream world that demands attention.

For those of us that would love the opportunity to meet Ashley and learn about his techniques, style and unique approach to painting we are pleased to announce that there are still some available spaces on his next Painting Holiday  this September 22nd-27th but you need to book now as spaces are filling up fast! Prices start from just £395 for 5 days tuition and board a real steel for a break like this. You can find out more here: 

Painting at Port Quinn


We also have workshops with Ashley available to hire (Ashley will come to you/your organisation/group) including; Abstraction Colour Painting Workshop and Colour and Coast Painting Workshop

Be bold, be brave and go beyond your comfort zone. It truly is amazing the possibilities of colour and how we relate, communicate, perceive and explore it.

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