2021 Margaret River Region Open Studios | Gerald Ashcroft

Impressionist and abstract artist Gerald Ashcroft has been working away in his studio at the ArtGeo Complex in Busselton to have a range of work prepared for Margaret River Region Open Studios.

The event takes places from Saturday, September 11 and will be running throughout the month until September 26.

This year will see a record number of artists located from Busselton to Witchcliffe participating in the event.

Mr Ashcroft has been involved in similar events in Perth, but this will be the first time he will part of the South West event.

"I used to live in Kalamunda and a few of us would go in an open studios event in the Perth Hills, down here I realised it was really big," he said.

"I am really looking forward to it and being able to dedicate more time to my work."

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Mr Ashcroft has been in his studio at ArtGeo since May, giving him an opportunity to work on his craft.

"The impressionist types paintings are done with a pallet knife, because I do not do detail, I like to do more impressionist type landscapes and abstracts," he said.

"I do a lot of plein air painting out in the open and go out on the spot to paint, I spend no longer than an hour and a half on the smaller paintings.

"I try to capture the essence of the light, contrast and colour as spontaneously as I can, I do not labour over it and don't like to labour over it."

Mr Ashcroft has worked with lighting throughout his career working as a cameraman in media.

"I would go and light a film set, interior or exterior, and would go into a lot of corporate and industrial environments to do instructional training programs or documentaries," he said.

"I wish I could have painted full time, but bringing up a family and paying a mortgage like everyone does, I am now really only able to dedicate my time to painting.

"I went to Bridgetown and did a lot of plain air painting and since coming here it has given me a chance to work on my abstracts.

"I love abstracts because it is intuitive. I don't paint off any theme or shapes, but a colour theme and just go for it.

"Some of my paintings have about eight lives and each layer has a different story.

"The danger is knowing when to stop, it is all a great experience because you have to be careful not to go over and give the viewer too much information.

"This is what I love about abstract because the viewer can see things you cannot. That is the whole point, you let the viewer become part of the painting."

To find out what's happening during this year's Margaret River Region Open Studios please visit mrropenstudios.com.au/.