“Every child is an artist, the problem is how to remain one after you

grow up.”


-Pablo Picasso

Ashley2(3).jpg

From a young age, I was recognized as artistically gifted and received supplementary services through the public education system where I was introduced to choreography and film photography and all in between. At home my parents, both of whom are creatives in their own right, offered countless support and outlets for my creativity.

Nevertheless, as I grew up, I developed the sense that while art was a worthwhile hobby, it was not a passable career choice. With that in mind, I entered into the field of education. This satisfied a lifelong love of learning, a passion for helping, and the promise of summers and breaks free to create.

I specialized in Montessori education, as the philosophy’s emphasis on social, emotional, and physical competencies resonated with my humanistic worldview. I spent five years at a local Montessori school guiding children toward their interests and using those interests as a catalyst for their holistic growth.

All the while, every ounce of free time that did not go to lesson planning or curriculum development went to my creative pursuits. I sent poems out for publication and paintings to exhibits. I participated in local poetry workshops, public readings, and took classes with The Porch Writer’s collective. I was burning the candle at both ends and over time, felt it reflected in my mental health. With the help of older teachers, I learned about the Highly Sensitive Person and realized the way I was living was not sustainable for my growth and well-being.

I worked through The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron which helped me to re-prioritize what added the most value to my life. I realized that in a dream world, I would work for myself and generate income from my creative outlets. In a dream world, my life would have space for rest, reflection, exercise, and friends. Slowly I transitioned out of the classroom and began taking steps to make my dream a reality. Welcome to this leg of my journey — I’m so grateful to be here with you.

IMG_4259 2.JPG

As both a highly-sensitive and sensory-seeking person, navigating life can sometimes feel like driving with one foot on the gas and the other foot on the brake. I have strong moods, whims, and appetites and am deeply impacted by my environment. Creating art is an essential piece of my self-care, giving me the space to explore my sensory needs and process each day's stimulation.

When I paint, the process is intuitive, physical, wildly expressive, and cathartic.
 

I work on multiple pieces at once, usually from the same palette, and in this way, I am able to pause and respond in between layers. The process is akin to the way relationships develop over time—an accumulation of intimacy, experience, and trust. Never exact or perfect but fumbling through it together. Working toward shared balance and joy.

I spend time with my practice each day, working in chunks of uninterrupted time. Some days I put in long hours while others include more time for recharging activities—hiking, reading, visiting art exhibits, baking, dancing, and gardening.

Inspiration for my work comes from a fascination of human behavior, neurological processes, and the natural world.

IMG_4324.JPG
 

Exhibitions

 

2018 The Essence of Form, St. Louis Artists’ Guild, Clayton, MO
2018 Artists’ for AWAKE, Nashville, TN
2018 Horizon: Contemporary Landscapes, Community Arts Center, Danville, KY
2018   July featured Artist Outdoor Classic Structures, Franklin Art Scene, TN
2018   May Featured Artist, Frothy Monkey, Franklin, TN
2018   Group exhibit, domestic environment, Nashville, TN
2017   Art Comes Alive, Art Design Consultants, Cincinnati, OH
2016   Horizon: Contemporary Landscapes, Community Arts Center, Danville, KY

 

collections
Works held in private collections throughout the United States


Education

2014 American Montessori Society 3-6 certification
2014 North American Montessori Educational Institute, emphasis in art curriculum
2012 Belmont University, Bachelor of Arts in English, Elementary Ed, and Painting