I am Ashley, the Seattle Artist behind Paintings by Ashley!  When I was young I had no artistic talent.  I appreciated a good painting, loved color and bright landscapes, but I had never picked up a paint brush. 

I was 16 when I was driving through my neighborhood with my mom.  A lady who lived down the block had 4 beautiful yellow labs, at the time I had a business walking dogs.  So they drew my attention.  Then I looked at what was happening in the garage.  Teri was giving art lessons!!

My mom said, “For your birthday let’s get you some painting lessons.” 

“That sounds great” (with the usual teenage enthusiasm.) I responded.

A few weeks later I walked down the street to Teri’s garage.  I was so impressed with everything, she had beautiful easels, lots of brushes, binders and binders of “models” she called them.  They were about 10 different binders full of different scenes to paint.  Beautiful cliffs, clouds, farms, trees, and basically anything you can think about.  I almost died! There were so many choices.

The first few I choose were too advanced for me to start with.  So I settled with my first painting, Seaside Breeze.  It was an ocean, with a huge purple cloud.  I sat down to start and was overwhelmed with excitement and nervousness.  I learned some tips and tricks and other know how. 

What I learned most, however, was that you don’t need to be an artist to be an artist.  That sounds weird but its true.  There are some aspects of painting that it really helps to have formal training, but painting is expression.

My first few paintings were photos.  I wanted my art to be so perfect that it looked like a photo.  Recently, however, I took my husband’s advice and tried to branch out, to try some different styles.  I did my first impressionist painting, before I decided on the name L'arbre de couleurs foncées, (the tree of light colors). I just called it the purple tree, and  I loved it!

I decided to switch my focus from rigid photo-like paintings to me.  I am not rigid.  I am more fluid.  I am a happy medium.  I love being able to sit down, have a rough idea of what I want to paint, and then go to town and accomplish it. 

Painting for these last 7 years has done quite a bit for me.  I see my world differently, which sounds cheesy, but it’s true.  I see color instead of just green, I see lights and darks, and I see deep and just color. 

When I look at every scene, I see the potential to make a painting, with variations of color and objects.  Most of all I feel accomplished, I can look at my art room and feel like I, a single person, am contributing to the world!! It may be small, and I may have only sold a few, but it’s mine and I love it!

This blog will serve a few purposes, I think. 

1.    To teach people some fundamental tips and tricks.
2.    To impart my love of painting and color
3.    To show people that art is fun and you don’t have to be a professional to enjoy it!!
4.    To explore my paintings as the personal and meaningful expressions they are.

I will have a lot of fun with this blog because art and expression is something I enjoy.  I hope that everyone else will enjoy it as well.  Please, explore my Utah Art Gallery online, as well as my current Paintings for Sale.  Please feel free to comment and express yourself to!!

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