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Talented local artist’s dreams come true

04 Apr Talented local artist’s dreams come true

Dreams can come true and they certainly have been for one talented local artist who left her job as a Learning Support Assistant to launch Michele Ashby Art just eight months ago.

Michele’s pastel paintings are so true to life they are often mistaken for photographs. Her new career as a successful artist is all thanks to her beloved Labradoodle Bobby. Two years ago this month, Michele drew a picture of her pet as a gift for her mum and posted it on social media. The drawing attracted such an audience and comment that Michele soon had commissions to draw other people’s pets and so Michele’s Pet Pawtraits was born.

Michele’s art is going from strength to strength; her most recent invitation is to exhibit 10 paintings to help raise awareness and funds for the Marie Curie Nurses Trust in London’s Financial District on 13th April. “The invitation only exhibition is being aimed at art collectorsandgalleryowners”, explained Susan Claire of the Chelmsford Art Society.

“We have chosen Michele along with 5 other artists for this prestigious art exhibition as her work is of an award- winning standard.“

Michele, who is still flying high with how quickly her newly launched independent career has taken off, feels both honoured to be supporting such a worthwhile cause and flattered to have been handpicked for this event.

Michele may be the new artist on the block but She was recently commissioned to produce 9 original canvases for a luxury newly built development at Sandbanks, Dorset; an area known as the millionaire’s playground on the south coast.

It’s clear to see Michele loves ‘giving back’ and is passionate about sharing her love of art with anyone wishing to explore their creative side. She also runs art workshops for small groups of people where she gives direction and teaching in pastel or charcoal drawing for a few hours. “Participants find the workshops a great escapism; they totally engage themselves for a few hours in drawing their chosen subject which can be anything they wish.”

Since posting the picture of Bobby on Facebook, Michele hasn’t looked back; she now not only paints pets but business has grown to include portraits, landscapes and still life paintings too. Michele is always overwhelmed by the feedback and emotional reaction from recipients of her commissions, “It’s wonderful being able to bring so much joy by doing something I love.”