Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Just Released - Our Painting Holidays in Cornwall - 2015

5 Day Painting Holidays in Cornwall

11 - 16 May & 21 - 26 September

We are celebrating our 5th successful year of running our 'Freedom in Painting' holidays in Cornwall this year, and as a way of sharing our celebrations with you, we are offering everyone a £30 discount - if you book by 28th February. So if you've ever thought about coming along - this is definitely the year to do it!

Our holidays are a wonderful opportunity to spend 2 days working in 4 stunning locations on Cornwall's north and south coast followed by 2 full days developing the paintings and ideas in our village studio, high on Bodmin Moor.

Prices from £420 include:

  • 5 nights accommodation
  • 4 full days tuition
  • 1 to 1 tuition
  • Group critiques
  • All lunches
  • Ferry trip to Polruan (Sep Hol)
  • Celebratory last night evening meal 

There are lots of accommodation options available depending on your budget and requirements -  you can hire a cottage on your own, share a cottage with friends or make new friends sharing a cottage. You can even book the holiday as a course only for £360 or come along as a non-participant at a special rate.

In collaboration with Great Art and Discover Art magazine, we offered a free place on our September holiday  in a competition last year and the winner Nicola McLean was asked by Discover Art magazine to write about her experiences with us. You can read Nicola's write up here.

You can be assured of the highest level of teaching throughout the course. Ashley has a wealth of experience both as an artist and tutor. He has been a Visiting Lecturer at Canterbury Christchurch University and the National Academy of Art, Bergen, Norway and has shown at many galleries nationally and internationally including selection for the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition, the National Open art Competition and the Discerning Eye. Ashley has recently been elected a member of the Newlyn Arts Society.

We feel very privileged to have made so many great friends on our holidays along the way, with many of them returning year after year. We often here how Ashley's tutoring continues to inspire and benefit artists long after the course.

I had some really good feedback from the new work I produced after my course last year - have really tried to introduce Ashley's brighter colour palette to my paintings.
Debbie Zoutewelle 2014

My course with Ashley has moved my art work in a different direction. I have happy memories of my Cornwall week.
Fiona Robertson 2014

I'm impatient to have time to explore working now loosely on landscapes - Ashley's workshop has potentially set me on a new road artistically.
Nicola McLean 2014

I always love to see how your work is shaping, and the pics from each course you run. When I can , I'd love to come back again, as your ways are so inspiring and I can see how they are there in my work now, methodology and language.
Phil Longhurst 2014

Penzance 4 - Ashley Hanson

To Book

To find out more about this year's holidays and prices see here or email

Remember - don't leave it too late! Book before 28th February and get a £30 discount.

You can find lots more information about Ashley's art practice at
For write ups on previous holidays, courses, art and exhibitions see also

Thanks to artist Heather Rachel Johnston for the use of selective photos.

Tuesday, 23 December 2014

Canterbury Workshop - 'The Space Between'

Katrina Dallamore's painting

Ashley's  much anticipated 'Freedom in Painting' workshop at Canterbury Christchurch University was yet again another full house. This time the theme was 'The Space Between' and in advance of the course the artists were encouraged to look at two paintings by Matisse, 'Open Window, Collioure' (1905) and 'Window at Collioure (1914)

Ashley with the groups drawings
Bridget Thompson & David Carnegie's paintings

The workshop started with a simple still life and the group were asked to do 10 - 12 drawings of different arrangements and view points of the 2 objects, concentrating on the space between them. These studies became the basis of the first painting.

Laurie Porter's Painting
Everyone brought along a second canvas and with this painting, the artists had the option to switch to a view through an open window, concentrating on the idea of the space between.

On the morning of the second day Ashley demonstrated the idea of 'freedom' and exploration of the subject, which the group seemed to enjoy and gave them something to think about.

Kate Sexton's painting

A lot of ground was covered but the artists all rose to the challenge and as always, some very exciting, highly individualistic work was produced - some figurative, some abstract, some in the space between.....

The workshop had strong links with his own work. Ashley has been exploring this theme himself in his recent paintings see recent Blog post & November post

Kat Wiles painting

Most of the group had 2 paintings to discuss and so the group critique took a bit longer than anticipated. Ashley would like to apologies for over running - given the chance Ashley would talk all day about the paintings, but he has promised to improve his time keeping for the next workshop! He really enjoyed working with you all and came back exhausted and exhilarated! 

Sarah Stokes painting

Thank-you to everyone who attended and for all your very useful feed back. Special thanks to Antonia and Sarah for allowing me to use their photographs. We haven't been able to include everyone's paintings in this blog post - and they were all so good it was impossible to choose, so there are lots more on this link to facebook. 

Antonia Glynne Jones painting

Teddy Kempster's painting
Ashley went on the next day to give a talk and demonstration at the Weald of Kent Art Group. Thank-you to John and the rest of the group for your wonderful hospitality.

We do hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and a successful, creative New Year and hope to see you again next year!

Best wishes

Denise & Ashley

Some comments from the workshop:

Very supportive approach and good teaching style. Feel more confident
Katrina Dallamore

Ashley's very approachable, gentle and sensitive while being a clear dynamic tutor and workshop leader. Big thank-you, thoroughly enjoyed my journey!
Selina Firth

As always, stimulating, challenging, exhausting! I look forward to more.
Teddy Kempster

Useful drawing, fantastic subject, title/brief and great enthusiasm.
Antonia Glynne Jones

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

'City of Glass 28- (The Space Between)'

'City of Glass 28 - (The Space Between)'  60x50cms

The space between left-side and right-side, between West Side and East Side. The space between the front and back of the painting, between interior and horizon. The space between shifting planes of colour and between lines. The space between figurative and abstract, fact and fiction, between map-truth and painting truth.
I have been working on this painting for the fast few days and it is directty connected to the forthcoming Canterbury workshop 'The Space Between.. and the ideas from the last painting in the series, 'The Stillman Apartment'. Once again 'the space between' is Central Park and I have been exploring ways to make it dominant, the subject of the painting. The link to the novel* is obscured: the proportions of city blocks and the park with Columbus Circle anchoring the painting on the bottom edge. But these 'facts' are ambiguous and subservient to the painting. The black/violet space is deep and seductive.  I spent an hour staring into that space late last night. Ceramic artist Paul Jackson saw the painting today and posed a question about the grey/green shape hanging in the violet from the horizon/69th St.  The comment made me look hard again but I decided the shape must stay: it is an escape, a way out and is where the eye comes to rest,
A breakthrough piece.

in progress
in progress

* 'The New York Trilogy', a novel by Paul Auster