Ashley Clayton

arclayton90@gmail.com   

As a self-taught creator of images, my work has always been less about outcomes and more about allowing ample space for the process of creating. Every muddied mix of paint, every quavering line in my sketchbook, every slipped gouge on a linoleum block is representative of going beyond my Self—communing with the mystery of the unknown. The outcomes, the images themselves, are subsequent symptoms of my curiosity. The play between inspiration and result compels me to experiment with different mediums, processes and ideas until something resounds in me. Art is what reverberates.

Presently, I find the echo of my interest pulling me to linocut printmaking. The act of carving proves soothing and meditative. One must be mindful of the whole operation: from the initial sketch (mirrored from the intended image), the actual carving (which is often delicate and where each stroke is final) to the eventual printing (a finicky labor of love). A dozen prints pulled from a single block will all have their own unique characteristics—too much ink on one, uneven pressure on another, my own inky fingerprints in the margins of the paper. No two will turn out exactly the same, and I find this to be an apt and lovely metaphor for trusting the process and leaning in to the mystery.

1995
2019, linocut

Roots & Branches II
2019, linocut

Thinker of Tender Thoughts
2019, linocut