Frances B. Ashforth’s spare paintings, drawings and unique waterbase monotypes reflect the authentic approach she brings to her work. The geography and geology of intersecting habitats surrounding land, water, mountains and deserts are what inspires Ashforth. Her passion for fly-‐fishing and time spent in remote places has allowed her to experience sparsely populated and wild lands across the United States.
Ashforth has exhibited internationally, in the UK, Ireland, Denmark & Canada, at venues including: McMaster Museum of Art, Ontario. Federation Gallery, Vancouver, BC. Pendle Print Biennial, Lancashire, UK. Cork Printmakers, Cork, Ireland and Fyns Grafiske Vaerksted in Odense, Denmark. Her waterbase monotypes have been included in US print biennials in Boston, Atlanta, Wisconsin and Minneapolis as well as The Print Center of Philadelphia , IPCNY (NYC) , IFPDA/Printfair (NYC), University Galleries, University of S Illinois, The Katonah Museum, Katonah, NY, The Painting Center in Chelsea, NYC and Apartment 38 in Chelsea, NYC. Her paintings, drawings and prints have been shown at numerous galleries across New England and at the Elizabeth Leach Gallery, Portland, OR. Ashforth received a BS in Fine Art from Skidmore College, with a focus on Printmaking & Drawing and a minor in Art & Architectural History. She also studied Printmaking at the Sir John Cass School of Art in London.
My unique monotypes are composed of a series of layers of akua ink rolled out and then brushed through with various viscosities of blending medium. I work in both additive and reductive manners and use brushes of all sizes, from 1" wide to 8" wide. I also use a form of cotton batting to wipe away the ink and add back as well. Almost all of my prints are "brushed" through over and over to get the level of smoothness and detail I am hoping for. I always print on Arches 88 as its smooth finish allows for clarity and seems to have a nice balance in absorbing the blending medium. Akua blending medium is my go to product. I love all of the intaglio inks, particularly the blacks, paynes grey and the blues. I use many inks to mix a black or a blue, I never use ink straight from the container, it is always a slightly new recipe I mix for any given series of prints.