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Biography
Growing up on a small farm in picturesque Northeast Iowa, Ashley has had a desire to create since she can remember. She took advantage of every opportunity to develop her talent, and by age nine had her first piece of artwork on public display. The beauty of nature that surrounded Ashley while growing up inspired many of her first works of art, and still serves as a basis for detail in many of her paintings. Knowing in her heart what her calling was, Ashley earned her Bachelors of Arts degree in Fine Arts from Luther College in Decorah, IA. Working today as a young and emerging artist, Ashley is located in the Twin Cities area. She is currently showing her art at local and out of state galleries, and gave her first solo art show Fall 2007.

Artist Statement
Touching the lives of others through my paintings brings me a sense of peace that I can find nowhere else. Somewhere between my head and my hand, the feeling of a connection to the earth and the images in my paintings come alive. I have a love for nature and all that it represents – calm, peace, joy, beauty, change, and new life. I hope to channel these feelings into all who view my work.

We live in such a busy world where few places of simplicity and serenity seem to exist. Often we forget to slow down, step back, and enjoy the simple pleasures we are surrounded by each day. I want to be able to give people inspiration and a sense of reassurance that, as we are all rooted in nature and part of a bigger thing, faith will follow through in the end.

As I escape into painting and let my passion to help others come forth, I am always drawn back to the connection we, as humans, have to nature and the power it holds. As you will notice in many of my paintings, trees and light fascinate me and have become a huge part of how I paint and how I feel when I paint. The strength of a tree is amazingly similar to the strength of the human spirit and the constancy of God. Trees are always changing through seasons and through the cycles of life – they must adapt, heal, grow, sing and dance. Yet, each day, they remain a sky-reaching pillar of strength. The light in my paintings represents a holy spirit I feel connected to while I paint. The feelings that this gives me: peace, vigor, and new hope are what I wish to give to audiences. If I can help someone feel a connection to the world around us and a sense of purpose in this life, then I know I have done right by my talent.


The Process
When viewing my paintings at first glance, many people think they are looking at a photograph. However, upon getting a few steps closer, one can see the thick paint covering the canvas, and it becomes clear that these are indeed paintings. With my primary work consisting of realist, yet textured paintings, people are often curious how I create these works of art.

It starts in the heart of nature. When I am outside, I am constantly assembling paintings in my head. If I see something that inspires me, I take photos of it while mentally adding or subtracting images and colors to create the perfect composition. I’ll take these thoughts with me back to my studio and re-create the scene, or parts of a scene that intrigue me. When painting, I start with a thin layer of color. Then throughout the process I build upon many, many layers of paint, ending with a bold texture that symbolizes the leaves of a tree, blades of grass or the petals of flowers.

With each painting I create, there is always more meaning present beyond what one may see. I wish to send a message with each painting – a message of hope and a simple reminder of life’s goodness.

 


Copyright © 2015 Ashley Dull. All rights reserved.