Fun with acrylics, quirky is good & thank you to my teacher!

Thinking back, my favourite subjects at school were always PE and Art, with teachers encouraging and supporting my enthusiasm for both. Teachers can play an enormous role and have a big influence on young people; I firmly believe that without the confidence and belief from my Art teacher urging me to go on to Art College, I would not have studied and taken the route to Art and Graphic Design. I remember the happiness of my portfolio getting me in (despite having my art folder stolen 2 weeks before my interview!). Now, many years later, still just as passionate about art, I enjoy working as a freelance artist so much and it is also wonderful to bring joy to others through my art. So, I begin this month's blog by saying a huge thank you to all the teachers out there who encourage, support and foster a belief in their pupils to help them make good choices and follow their dreams!

What a busy and exciting start to 2017 it's been, with lots of new beginnings and invitations!

Exploring a new medium..

I recently attended my first acrylics workshop run by the acclaimed artist Hashim Akib who recently demonstrated his unique style at the Chelmsford Art Society. I came to this as an artist who loves the mediums of pastels, chalk and charcoal so acrylics is a new and by comparison, an unexplored path for me. I absolutely loved it and discovered I can paint! The workshop involved a completely different approach with no pre-drawing at all – it was straight to paint strokes! This was a both a refreshing and liberating learning experience for me and I sense my journey with acrylics has only just begun, so watch this space……

Exhibition in support of the Marie Curie Nurses Trust

Through my involvement with the Chelmsford Arts Society, I have been invited to exhibit 10 paintings, along with 5 other artists, for a London Exhibition to help raise funds and awareness of the special work of these dedicated nurses. The exhibition which takes place on the 13th April in Houndsditch, is by invitation to art supporters and gallery owners. I feel honoured to be supporting such a good cause and look forward to selecting my pieces for the exhibition.I will be showing previews and progress with this project via my Facebook links as we get closer to the date.

Wish me luck with Duck!

I am entering the Royal Academy of Arts Summer Exhibition which is an open exhibition to all artists. The 12,000 entry pieces will be shortlisted down to 1200, so there is huge competition for inclusion and all forms and mediums of art will be represented. My chosen piece is Duck which was inspired by another much loved artist of mine – the late and brilliant Georgia O'Keefe. You can view Duck from the link below. I have purposely selected a quirky piece for entry as art critics seem to admire this aspect and focus of my work.It's a close up of a pastel drawing of folded paper

Workshops Announcement!

I am excited to announce that I am now offering regular workshops to small groups of people; to both novices and experienced artists who might want to refresh their knowledge of pastels, try this medium for the first time or just indulge themselves in creative activity for a few hours. I really enjoyed delivering the first workshop recently and am looking forward to sharing my passion for creating art with others. All participants found the workshop a great escapism, as they were totally engaged in doing something just for themselves which they found relaxing, fun and energising all at the same time!For details of forthcoming spring workshops please get in touch.

Limited Edition Prints now available!

Along with my beloved Pawtraits, I am building a varied portfolio of pieces including landscapes, portraits and abstract. In each one I aim to be just that bit different and quirky, either through my unique composition choice, the angle, time of day or the colours I've used and I hope that shines out from my work.To enable more people to access my work and enjoy art, I am now offering limited edition prints of my entire portfolio.To view the collection please see the Fine Art page of my website or click on the link

So be inspired, get creative and why not have a go? Come and join me for an informal day of art at one of my workshops – you never know you might just surprise yourself! But most of all, I promise you it will be a fun and enjoyable experience!

Until next time,


Michele Ashby, Essex Artist - Specializing in Pastels

Introductory blog – Michele Ashby artist