Artist Cookie Ashton presents a collection of spontaneous abstract paintings. See more of her colorful portfolio by visiting her website.
I was twelve years old the first time I was introduced to any type of professional art. We moved from a small Texas town to Caracas, Venezuela—a beautiful, cosmopolitan city. I was so impressed with the architecture, statues, fountains and artworks everywhere.
I was alone much of the time at first. Painting became by best friend, thanks to my mother who had purchased several paint-by-number sets for my entertainment. I was immediately hooked, and began teaching myself to paint by making color charts, copying other artists and using any media available to me.
There were many interruptions along my artistic path, such as boarding school, university, marriage and children. I never really stopped studying and painting, taking courses in the evenings in watercolor, drawing, oil painting, paper making and ceramics. I had found my passion!
My work has changed many times throughout the years. I began with the academic fundamentals. Over time, I have sought to break away from the rigidity and formality of those early lessons, continually embracing the freedom to explore while maintaining the basic principles.
I would describe my current body of works as abstract, organic, transparent and totally spontaneous. It is also decorative, colorful, sometimes bold and both thick and thin. My goal is to engage the viewer to continually discover new imagery, feelings and emotions that my work may impart.
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By using acrylics, charcoals and shades of white juxtaposed against intense color, I work in layers, allowing the past and present to become one.
Abstraction, representation, palettes of all varieties and even wide-ranging subject matter, concepts and materials are simply tools for me. What makes my work uniquely mine is not any one of these things, but instead, a complex signature and layered character. Organic forms are used as a metaphor to describe the human life cycle and the ties that bind us together.
I feel that in today’s world, with all the interaction, continuous new ideas, new products and computer technology, we have learned to love and appreciate unpredictability. We are encouraged to understand our world through a multiplicity of lenses and perspectives.
Currently, and for the past eighteen years, I have exhibited in my studio and at galleries, art fairs and juried shows. Commissions comprise a major part of my work. These include installations in universities, hospitals, corporate offices, hotels and private residences.
I am hopeful that my work will continue to change, to inspire, be provocative and give pleasure. It is the most honest and revealing thing I do.
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