Pigments: the work of Sara Ashford

Sat, Jun 11-July 16; Reception, Sat, Jun 11, 4-8pm, 2016

CG_Sara Ashford Artist Sara Ashford will present drawings and paintings created with natural earth pigments and botanical dyes in a solo exhibit from June 11 – July 16.

Sara has become well-known for her expertise using the alchemy of natural color for her unique paintings and textile art. Her creative process begins with color and reflects her thoughtful nature. Sara lets shapes and color inform the work and she follows and builds the art upon that foundation. She finds great excitement in the way color will open up an artwork in surprising ways. Once the natural colors are applied, Sara will overlay refined and detailed drawings. These drawings tap into a very quiet and still place within and let Sara’s feelings out onto the canvas.

“Give me some mud off a city crossing, some ochre out
of a gravel pit and a little whitening
and some coal dust and I will paint you a luminous
picture if you give me time to graduate
my mud and subdue my dust “
-John Ruskin

Colored minerals have been used throughout history by all civilizations. Sara finds these colors captivating and declares she is quitesara ashford addicted to them as her primary medium. She describes pigments as pure colors in powder form that become stable once suspended in a medium or binder. She uses homemade soy milk to bind both Earth pigments, which come from muds, ochres and mineral deposits, as well as, brightly saturated Mineral pigments which come from finely ground gemstones. Earth pigments and mixtures of Iron and Manganese Oxides give Sara’s work beautiful warm earth tones in an array of oranges and red browns.

Sara has become infatuated with creating natural and affordable blue colors which are hard to find in the dye and pigment world. She created a process to make her own beautiful midnight blue from the oxidized scum on top of the hot liquid in her Indigo Vat dying. She dries the material, bakes it and grinds it to become a one-of-a-kind pigment.

Also featured in Sara Ashford’s paintings are botanical dyes which are plant based dyes thickened with a natural plant mordant to bond the color to canvas. Sara grows many of these botanicals in her Culler Studio garden on the Twispworks campus. An informative display of these plant materials will be presented with the Pigments exhibit.

Sara Ashford was drawn to art from the time she was a little girl and pursued higher education in the arts. It was not until after college that Sara discovered and fell in love with textiles. Sara began learning all she could about textiles and working with natural fiber. This led to her discovery of natural dyes and now she paints exclusively with natural dyes and earth pigments on all kinds of fabric, from wall hangings to wearable art.


DATES: Exhibit, Jun 11-Jul 16, Opening reception, Jun 11, 4-8pm. LOCATION: Confluence Gallery 104 Glover St Twisp, WA. FREE. CONTACT: Salyna Gracie, Confluence Gallery, 509.997.ARTS, info@confluencegallery.com