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Charles Ash

I love working quickly using a calligraphy brush on rough paper, going for the zen of the moment.  I keep the colors pure while at the same time letting the paper do the work; looking for happy accidents that I can exploit.   Many times I will take a scene and modify the composition to minimize the basic elements to maintain a deceptively simple beauty.

The subjects I choose to paint tend to have an interesting massing, a layering of elements and a quality of light and shadow.   I am always looking for new views and experiences.  As I travel, should I come across a striking scene I may simply take a picture for future reference, draw a quick sketch or paint on site.  Many times I will remember scenes and sketch from memory while I have an idle moment.   My work draws from the forms, colors and experiences of the desert Southwest; an enjoyment in the act of painting expressing a simpler, more casual approach to life.

Open skies, storms coming in, sweeping vistas, mountains and grasslands all call for broad strokes and bold light and shadows.  I strive for an economy of color and execution that can bring a landscape to life.  These, I bring together with the Japanese aesthetic of "Bokusho", the art of abstract expressionism through the medium of Japanese calligraphy. While the forms are not intended to be 'writing' the expressive marks produced retain all the power and fluid grace that Shodo (Japanese Calligraphy) exhibits.

If I can capture the shadows, forms, space at a given moment with the flow of line and color, then I can start to feel that I have succeeded.  Working in such a quick, expressive manner can be like playing a jazz riff, improvising with the moment.  I start with the basic composition, placing elements as needed, some planning on where I want light and shadow.  Then I throw away the sketch, the photograph, look away from the reality and let the paint, the brush and the water flow.

Haw River
Large Paintings

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Updated March 15
ittle Aspen Grove 2
Small Paintings

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Updated April 10
Taos Masses
Santa Fe

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Updated March 28
Winter Aspen
Galleries of Previous Work
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Architectural Design
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Saatchi Art

By Appointment Only   2095  S. Pacheco Street  B21   Santa Fe   New  Mexico   87505  Phone: 505 438 8568