Born in York, the son of James Ashton, drawing master, Ashton grew up in Australia then settled in St Ives in 1902 (Address c/o Jas Garnham) to study under Julius OLSSON and Algernon Mayow TALMAGE.
Active and well-liked in his new home in St Ives, Will (as he was known) was a cricket organiser along with Richard Hayley LEVER in their matches with the artists of Newlyn. He continued his studies at Juliens' Atelier in Paris under Professors Baschet and Schommer.
Ashton established a name as a painter of impressionist seascapes. Having worked around the Cornish coast, he returned to Australia in 1905. In 1913, he was elected ROI, and continued to exhibit in Britain using Olsson's London studio and the Connaught Club as his exhibiting addresses. In 1926 he lived and worked in Egypt.
Appointed Director of the National Art Gallery of New South Wales 1937, and knighted in 1960.
Landscape and sea painter
works and access
Works Include:Cornwall Marine (1906); Le Soir (1913)
Access to work: Adelaide; Auckland; Melbourne; Perth; Sydney
RA (35); ROI (35); RWA; RBA (1)
PS 1906, 1913
misc further info
Buckman (2006) Dictionary of Artists in Britain since 1945
Hardie (2009) Artists in Newlyn and West Cornwall (pp120-3 [repr of Marriott article (1950) included])
Johnson & Greutzner (1975) Dictionary of British Artists
Marriott (1950) 'Memories of Cornwall's Art Colonies', Cornish Review Vol IV
Tovey (2003) Creating a Splash; (2008) St Ives Pioneers; (2009) St Ives: A Social History; (2010) Sea Change
Whybrow (1994) St Ives
Wormleighton (1998) Painters of Light: Morning Tide;
Whitechapel Exhibition catalogue (See Hardie 2009 for Cat reprint)