Art of Balance: Australian Artist Ashleigh Holmes of Ash Holmes Art Shares How She Manages Life as an Artist and Entrepreneur
As a fourth-generation artist, Ashleigh Holmes is no stranger to the world of art. Holmes grew up immersed in an artist environment and has continued to thrive while developing and refining her individual style of abstract, oil, and acrylic paintings. “Mixing medium creates more interest in the piece, it breaks up the flow of one medium and interrupts another. This kind of push and pull between mediums combining I find really interesting” says the founder of Ash Holmes Art.
Inside the World of Ashleigh Holmes
Holmes’ dreamy, mixed-medium paintings have been featured in several group exhibitions throughout Australia and Spain over the past few years. She paints commission and non-commission pieces, both of which have been purchased for private collections worldwide. When asked about her design process between the two she explained, “The process between the two starts quite differently, with a commission piece I know the direction of the piece before I start putting paint to canvas. With a non-commission, I usually dream up or conceptualize the idea in my mind and ponder on the direction for weeks or months before going into action with it! Once paint is to canvas the process and techniques, I use are similar. Both processes at the end stages is a matter of me intuitively knowing when the piece is at completion.”
Most recently, Ashleigh presented three sold-out, solo shows including CLOUDS (2019), IMMERSE (2020), and THIS MUST BE THE PLACE (2020). Her newest collection, THIS MUST BE THE PLACE, serves as a reflection of the world since being in isolation due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Holmes cites the Talking Heads song, “This Must Be The Place,” as a source of inspiration. In particular, the lyric, “home, is where I want to be”. The collection symbolizes the sense of gratitude Holmes feels for the opportunity to have time to focus on producing art.
Ash Holmes Art
It is certainly a balancing act for Holmes to find time to grow her business, “Ash Holmes Art,” while maintaining a steady production of pieces, but she has managed to find ways to dedicate time to both. “I enjoy using both sides of my brain and balancing that feels very satisfying. I enjoy taking a break from both to reflect on that particular side. If I did too much of either it would perhaps lose the ‘absence makes the heart grow fonder’ feeling.”
When asked what the tipping point was which allowed her to pursue her passion full-time, Holmes said, “When I had the space to do so, both physically and mentally. Once I had gone down to part-time in my job in fashion, I was able to hand more attention over to my practise. From there it slowly went from part-time to full-time and since that moment it’s been that way.”
Just from admiring her work it’s obvious why physical space would be important. Her largest piece from her most recent collection this year, “Watergate at Dawn” stands at an impressive 9.84ft x 6.56ft (300cm x 200cm). When asked about the piece Holmes said, “I really enjoyed the journey of the piece and the memories it brought back.”
More to Love:
Looking back on her journey to becoming an artist and entrepreneur, Holmes recognized her growth over the years. “To be able to trust my own judgement and not look for acceptance from other people. I feel that I trust my own intuition and vision enough for my practise to be authentic and that is how I feel I’ve grown most. In my confidence to create from the heart.”
When asked if there was anything she wished she has learned sooner, she said, “…I feel the whole journey takes place as it’s meant to and time and learning is an important part of the process.”
Explore more of Ashleigh Holmes’s beautiful work at www.ashleighholmes.com.
Words by Chloe Grewe