Behind the Brush with Ashley Marie Hunt

This week, we welcome Ashley Marie Hunt to the Calgary Art Market roster. Hunt is an abstract expressionist artist in Calgary, Alberta, Canada inspired by Canadian landscapes. In this post, we ask Hunt a few questions about her technique and approach as an emerging Calgary artist. 

Let’s start with that basics: how does your inspiration meet your technique?

I am really interested in the juxtaposition of human influence in the natural space, as well as how we interact with nature in this age of digital media. I work with saturated colours in a style that is reminiscent of the abstract expressionist movement. Focusing on light and colour I work to create a feeling of a space, as opposed to a strict representation. I alternate between a variety of techniques, textural impasto elements are side by side with airy glazes and translucent layers. Working with a variety of media my paintings balance the push/pull to engage the viewer.

What challenges have evolved your style?

Working in abstract while trying to keep control of the image with limited representational markers is my favourite artistic challenge. IE: How far can I push this and have it still read as a tree/mountain/horizon etc? Over the years, I have also developed a more sophisticated touch with my materials. I have created more personal boundaries which has narrowed my focus into a more streamlined aesthetic. By limiting my pallet and focusing my technique I feel I was able to be more authentic to my practice.

What is the piece of art you are most proud of and why?

As an artist I think we should always be striving for personal growth. I am currently most proud of my piece “Counting Clouds”. Experimenting with a new media and technique really forced me to push my skill set. I also enjoyed working with a more traditional imagery. I love how it feels light and bright like spring, with a deep layered sky.

How do you know when a work is finished?

My signature style includes graphic line work. It is applied in the final stage of each painting. After the painting has rested for several days I go back and add in this detail. Allowing myself to step back from each painting I am able to revisit it with fresh eyes. After the final line is drawn I set it aside once more before finally signing. These breaks allow me to reset my mind and critically examine composition and colour, to ensure that I am able to step out of the role of the artist and into the role of the viewer.

What is your most important tool in your studio?

Paper towels! I am a messy person by nature and as I work on multiple pieces at once it is crucial to ensure that I am able to reset between each piece.

We’ll end this interview, with a question to help our audience get to know you outside of being an artist. What useless skill do you have and when do you whip it out?

I was a competitive Irish dancer for 15 years and it comes out once every year on St. Patrick’s day when the whisky starts flowing.

Instagram did not return a 200.

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