Kay Ashton is married with a teenage son. She was born in 1967 in Salford but has lived for most of her life in Warrington, Cheshire, although she lived in Normandy, France for five years before the birth of her son when she then divided her time between the UK and France, before settling full time in the UK in 2010.
She has had no formal art training to speak of and is mostly self taught. Kay has always had a flair for drawing but never really took it up until 2011, when she enrolled in watercolour leisure classes when her young son was in primary school. She enjoyed the lessons but was never satisfied with what she was producing. Her tutor suggested painting in oils as he felt she would be suited to it, which she did - he was not wrong- and Kay knew instantly that this was the medium for her. Incidentally, she also discovered that she had an eye for colour, too. Her artistic journey had begun and she has never looked back.
Kay posted her paintings on social media, just for the enjoyment at first, then friends and family began asking to purchase them; and so it grew from there. The first painting that she sold was to her oil painting tutor (yes, really), then commissions followed along with the website and social media pages where her current following is over two thousand across Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, going from strength to strength and growing all the time.
October 2014 - At a local art exhibition set up to raise money for a local hospice, “Elodie African Lady” was voted most favourite in-house painting. Her other painting, “Cute Baby Cougar” came second!
July 2015 - “Ena Harkness” oil painting WON the SAA Artist Of The Year (Flowers and Gardens) category in their annual competition, and was exhibited at their annual show in London. Lachlan Goudie presented the prizes (see image gallery below).
September 2015 – ‘Ena Harkness’ featured in the SAA monthly magazine ‘Paint’ along with other artworks from July’s exhibition in London.
October 2015 - “Hot Toddy” although was not shortlisted, this oil painting was selected as one of the favourites by Artist & Illustrator Magazine’s editor to appear in their magazine gallery (see image gallery below).
October 2015 - approached by a fund raiser for Help For Heroes’ Heroes Art; a charity ball that is held annually to help raise funds. They use art as therapy for military veterans. “Elodie African Lady” and “Pink Winter Rose” were both auctioned to help raise funds the charity.
March 2016 – nine pieces of Kay's small food daily paintings were purchased by the celebrity chef Aiden Byrnes's wife as a wedding anniversary gift for him. One of the pieces was a surprise commission for him of his favourite food combination parmesan and white onion. These hang in their kitchen at home.
2017 – Took an artistic break due to personal reasons and began painting again around October when pieces went into a local art gallery in Warrington where sales were brisk.
2018 - Commissioned to paint three separate pieces for the internationally renowned UK floral textural artist Clare Sykes. See Feedback and Testimonial page. July 2018 - "Make Mine A Large One" and "After The Show" both accepted into the Liverpool Art Fair 2018 at the Pier Head near the iconic Albert Docks and Liver Building where they were exhibited from 26th July to 9th September.
January 2019 - "Gotcha!" small fun painting featured in the SAA's Paint magazine. July 2019 - "Magic Moment" selected to feature in the Member's Gallery in Paint magazine.
2019 for a limited time, selection of gin realism paintings exhibited at LumiArts Gallery in Pimlico, London
Nov to Dec 2019 - 'Bellini, Baby' and 'Tulip Fever' both exhibited at Technically Brilliant Art in Warrington, Cheshire.
Kay's stunning artworks are currently dotted around the UK in private collections from Cumbria and Newcastle to London and Dorset. Internationally, her artwork is homed in Portugal, Tenerife, Australia, the US and Canada in private collections.
As an amateur turned professional in a short space of time, Kay is constantly learning, improving and evolving as an artist. In between commission work, her current focus is the sumptuous impasto florals she creates with palette knives which have proved incredibly popular.