By: Parker Davis

Within the practice of painting, physicality and mental strain takes form through routine. Consistent stances, gripped utensils, constant creative thought, etc.

As an abstract painter, Hunter Ash’s hands are her most valuable physical tool. With ownership over her schedule and routine, Hunter heavily emphasizes the importance of mindfully starting her day and preparing herself for a day of physical work. 

What are your favorite MINERAL products?

MAISON is my favorite product for addressing inflammation and dry, tired skin on my hands after work. HYDRATE is my favorite product for my face. It's a great addition to my morning and evening skin routine, and makes my skin feel so dewy and moisturized! The scents are amazing. 

Tell us about the physicality of your work.

I love the physicality of painting - the act of moving my body and using tools to create something visual is invigorating. My process involves lots of movement. I’m either standing or crouching over a canvas laid on the ground or I’m stretching & reaching toward a canvas or the edge of a wall to create various elements in a work of art.

My hands are my most precious and utilized tool - I use them to hold, grip, and work my tools as well as press, scrape and blend my paint in many different ways. Gripping brushes and maneuvering my body to create different pools or strokes can be taxing on my joints, my skin and my muscles. I often rely on meditation, exercise and stretches to reset and rejuvenate my body and my mind.

How have you incorporated MINERAL’s products into your routine after additional time with them?

I start every morning with a cup of coffee and spend some time writing and reading to clear my head and find my focus for the day. Slow mornings help me ease into my day and find energy for my work; once I'm up and going, I wash my face and apply oil (HYDRATE/RELIEF) before using an SPF lotion to moisturize and protect my skin. Taking time for myself before I start my day is critical to me staying grounded and feeling like my best self. I also apply HYDRATE in the evenings especially after exfoliating or using harsher products on my skin because it’s so soothing.   

I use MAISON almost every day and up the usage on days I put more wear and tear on my hands, for ex. when I'm building canvases, framing paintings, moving lots of heavy objects or holding brushes for a long period of time. My hands get tired as the day goes on, so I reapply often. 

At which points during your process do you find MAISON to be helpful?

Today, I used MAISON before assembling canvases in anticipation of my tired hands. I used it once more after working on some paintings and I'll reapply again right before bed. 

Before trying MAISON, how’d you handle the tiredness felt in your hands?

Before trying MAISON, it wasn’t something that I viewed as a need for my routine. I figured soreness and dry skin were just part of the process, and I didn’t do much to address it. Since trying it, I've found I can work without worrying about how my hands will feel afterwards, and I no longer feel guilty for asking so much of my body in the process of creating. The act of applying MAISON has become not only refreshing to my body, but also my mind as a nice reset and refresh throughout my work day.

What’s something about you that most people don’t know?

Being an artist can be so isolating and solitary. Despite being surrounded by a great community and having a wonderful support system, it’s often difficult to push through moments of isolation and find energy to create! It’s difficult to prioritize my own needs in general, but I find myself constantly learning how to better fight for myself as an artist. Because I’m so people-oriented, I sometimes feel depleted and worn out when I have to focus so much energy on making decisions that are best for myself and my business.

I must constantly affirm myself in my lifestyle and my chosen career. I’ve discovered that I need to surround myself with people and routines that fill me up and support my “artist-self” in order to feel rejuvenated, since I can easily get worn out. Time spent with close friends, simple self-care routines, outdoor activities, and exercise are all things I’ve found to be really helpful in my journey, so I rely heavily on those things! 

Who do you look up to within your world?

The list is endless...but a few of my favorite artists include Helen Frankenthaler, Clyfford Still, Cy Twombly, Elaine De Kooning, Cecily Brown, Heather Day, RF Alverez, Winter Russiloski, Tyler Guinn...

How does your personal experience influence your work, if at all?

My personal life experience is heavily reflected in my work. I try to tap into emotions that certain seasons of life bring and use painting to process the various unknowns that life throws at us. When doing a commission for others, I try to listen to their life experiences, relating it to mine to better understand. Tapping into the lives of others and being able to share my experiences with others through paintings is such a gift.

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