About Agnes

‘Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.’

In these few, but often quoted words William Morris has encapsulated an entire approach to living.

Hello, I am Agnes Ashe and I try to live by this sentiment on a daily basis, bit of an uphill struggle, but you can but try.

talking to someone

Like many people I have found the immediate environment in which I live significantly influences my energy levels and how I feel about my everyday living and breathing. As a child I grew up in a house where all the walls were white. For some unknown reason to me my father didn’t like coloured walls and hated patterned wallpaper. When I was 18 years old I left home and the company I worked for arranged accommodation for their young employees with local landladies. The room I was assigned was very small and painted acid yellow. It was extremely bright yet claustrophobic and made you look ill. Fortunately, all the communal rooms in the house were covered in original artworks.

Peacock Blue Wall with art

Watercolours and oil paintings, charcoal sketches and delicate pencil studies literally covered every inch of available wall space. Contemporary work was squeezed next to 19th and early 20th century pictures. I was fascinated and I loved it. It was the complete opposite to my childhood home. I didn’t live there long as I changed jobs and had to move back home for a while, but it had a lasting influence on my approach to my living space – as you can see. I also went on to study Art History, sadly giving up my research during the course of my PhD due to family circumstances.

Now I spend most of my time wrapped up in my business daily looking and re-looking at our visual environment, collecting images and reinterpreting them to capture shapes, colours, proportions and juxtapositions on to a silk scarf.

Work in progress . . .

Fennel-Indigo-25secs from Agnes Ashe on Vimeo.

And more work in progress . . .



And finally, my finished work is on display and available from my online shop Agnes Ashe


40 thoughts on “About Agnes”

  1. Very, very interesting site Agnes. Apologies if I seem incredibly slow in coming back to you to thank you for the ‘follow’ that you have bestowed on my blog and glad that you liked the follow up post of “Fair Faces” and that it brought a smile to your face. Hopefully there will be more to come. MM 🍀

  2. Hello Agnes, Thank you for the like on my post on Ljubljana. It is so rewarding when people stumble across and like what I have to say/photograph. I just had a good look around your blog and love the style, and you know your garden so well. Garrulous Gwendoline, The Reluctant Retiree

    1. Thank you for your kind words. I have enjoyed reading about your time travelling and have particularly appreciated your photos of architectural detail. I am always on the look out for interesting patterns often found in bas relief sculpture. Keep up the excellent snapping and posting! Thank you.

  3. Thanks Agnes. I imagined you had a love of colour and pattern from the information on your blog. Just today I noticed an interesting mosaic above the doorway to a hotel in Prague. I will see how it comes up when I download it from the camera. So hard to choose what to put on the blog each day. GG

  4. Wise words and a very inspiring blog! I look forward to see more of fine work in the future, Agnes.
    Greetings from the Far North

  5. Dear Agnes, I have just seen your comments on my painting, “The Long List, You’re on it Too” which was at the RA summer exhibition, Thank you so much, its lovely to hear that apart from the buyer you liked it as well, and if only I had read this before I would have invited you to my big solo exhibition at the House of Commons from the 9th to 12 of September, what a shame as I would have loved to hear your critique on the many unusual works I had created, and the private view was a wonderful event on the evening of the 9th with a high turn out of lovely people, including Animal Asia Foundation, IFAW , some MP’s and even the buyer of that painting of vultures, if you look at the blog on events of IFAW you will see a picture of me with the head of finance, John and the elephant tusk I had created to bring awareness to ivory poaching and the cruelty that goes on around the world, I had 3 exhibitions this year, and the last one is on at the moment in Myplace, Harold Hill Essex until the 4th of October and although I have enjoyed all the hard work of organizing them, its left me in financial ruin, but it was all fantastic and I don’t regret any of it, and I do have the photo of that painting archived with the intention of producing some prints later, if I can.
    Kind regards

    1. Dear Gul
      I was very taken with your painting and I admire your talent as well as your energy and commitment to such an important charity. I really hope that you continue to get wider interest in your work following your selection for the RA Summer Exhibition. Thank you so much for telling me about your House of Commons exhibition – it takes a lot effort to get our MPs to take notice of international wildlife problems especially as animals can’t vote! The great thing about blogging on the Internet is that it reaches all round the world and we can all communally share our worries about what is happening to our planet.

      Wishing you all the best for your current show and hoping you sell many paintings,
      Kindest regards
      PS Limited print runs sounds like a good idea.

  6. You have a wonderful blog. I think it could be accessed more easily by the visitors if you share the blog address in your profile on Gravatar page.

    1. Thank you for your compliment and thank you very much for your helpful advice. I have taken it and I’ve updated my Gravatar page. It’s one of those things I looked at when I first started blogging and then forgot all about. It’s good to be prodded into action – thanks!

  7. This blogging thing gets a bit incestuous, but in a good way. I have come across you via the ‘Woman’s eye view’ blog, and very much enjoy another blog of an Etsy user, ‘Love those hands at home’. Looking forward to reading future posts!

    1. Thank you for your comment. Yes, it’s fascinating to click and link around the blogging world and always interesting to see and read about other people’s lives, their diverse thoughts and passions.

  8. I’ve just realised that I’ve been missing out on your posts, as I’m not very good at keeping up with my WordPress reader. I hope I’ve got the right box ticked to get email notification of your new posts now.

    1. I know that experience – it’s very easy to miss people’s posts especially if their posting in different time zones. And, some of the people I follow that get referred from other platforms into the WP reader seem to get squashed in between WP posts that I know I’ve already seen!! Thanks for having a look and commenting.

    1. Thank you for your kind compliment. I’ve visited your charming blog and delighted in your poem about ‘blue’, particularly as I’ve been painting with blues all this afternoon!

      1. You are welcome Agnes. Thank you for visiting my blog. Painting, indeed wonderful to paint. I can only imagine what it is like when one’s art comes alive in textile, in a dress. Work made with love. Enjoy your evening. 🙂

  9. When I made the comment in my message this morning I was ignorant of this Morris quotation actually on your website. You definitely do live by that ‘strapline’. Barbara

    1. Well, I like to think I live by that (am a huge fan of Morris), but at the moment I have just moved to a wreck of a house and my new studio space has much to be desired. It is cluttered with stuff that ‘c o u l d’ be useful, but is certainly not beautiful. Agnes

  10. You are lucky to have dahlias left. They are my favourite flowers, rich,colorful forms and patterns .i even like their special smell that indicates the end of summer all through september. But there aren’t any left in my garden by the snails. They eat every single leaf in spring, a battle I ve lost

    1. Oh that is so annoying isn’t it? I keep all mine in pots, but it is a continuous battle. I don’t use slug pellets etc, but have tried nematodes in the past and they do seem to work. They hold back the population explosion in slugs and snails if the weather conditions are favourable.

  11. HI Agnes, I was looking around for the post you did where Boris was asleep, mask less, next to David Attenborough at COP26 as I felt I hadn’t commented. I was still coming to terms with the image, and just didn’t know what else to say, except… huh?
    Anyway, I ended up at your About Agnes page which I hadn’t visited for so many years and I wanted to share that it made me think of a book I recently read by fellow Australian author, Kate Forsyth, called Beauty in Thorns, where she tracked the life story of the Pre-Raphaelites and really brought that to life for me. I knew of William Morris, as I have a friend I Kent who lived in an Arts and Craft house (I had to come up to speed on what that meant when she first told me). Kate loves to write books re-interpreting the fairy stories we were raised on, so the theme in this is Sleeping Beauty, and Edward Burne-Jones, his wife, and all of that set. Wow! So fascinating, that I have based the looks of one of my current characters on his wife, Georgiana. What a tangled webs that group did weave.

    1. Oh the whole set were indeed entangled and a true bunch of dreamers. Morris wrote ‘News from Nowhere’ relating his vision for a more egalitarian, fairer society. It’s a strange read kind of a socialist utopia meets science fiction from a Victorian artist/craftsman.

      1. Oh I didn’t know that. That’s interesting with Shaw’s political views at some points aligning with Morris’s, but it seems a strange compliment to either William Morris or Jane Burden. For 21st-century us, I think it’s difficult to imagine how a Victorian woman like Jane would have felt about it.

      2. Apparently, having been raised the daughter of a stablehand in Oxford, she wished to improve her speech to fit in more with the elevated status of marriage to a gentleman brought her. Other “improvements” followed, foreign languages, etiquette, manners, piano playing, etc etc. A gripping tale don’t you think?
        Shaw also received a passing reference in Beauty in Thorns from memory. His secretary, Blanche Patch, wrote a memoir titled ‘Thirty Years with G.B.S.’ which I read some ten or so years ago, as her nephew was one of the residents in this over55s complex.
        How the wheels of life spin.

  12. Dear Agnes, I just came across your piece on my work at Christchurch Mansion, thank you so much for such an interesting response to my work – much appreciated.

    1. Hello Hayley, you are most welcome and may I say again what a pleasure it was to see/engage with your work. It was both expansive yet elegantly detailed and I don’t think my photographs truly captured that. Like so much art it really is better in real life.
      I do hope your studio is a cool place to be working during this hot summer. All the best, Agnes.

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