Susan Ashley was born in 1982 in Coronado, California. She spent 18 years living in Northern California before joining the military as a weather forecaster. She traveled the United States before settling down in Alabama where she found deep interest in photography. Susan took a course from Shaw Academy and became hooked. For a while, she worked as digital retouch artist for Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep, a wonderful organization but man.

During the Covid-19 pandemic, Susan was unable to go out and photograph anything, and lost interest in a lot of photography because people were showing the worst of themselves.

“I’m all for embracing all parts of a person, but I don’t embrace hate.”

“I picked up a paintbrush, turned on some Bob Ross videos, a glass of wine, and just lost myself for a while. It was wonderful. I could make my own happy little place and either paint through my emotions or just avoid them altogether!”

So, I guess I paint to make my world happier. It’s my happy little hippie life when I’m painting. For a while I deleted all social media, avoided the news, and just threw some paint on a canvas. It was ugly but I purged all their negativity I was taking in. Now when I paint, I try to bring that inner peace to a new level. I’m hoping someone can look at my art and relate to it, so they can say: “I feel this, and I’m not alone!”

Isle of Skye, acrylic on canvas, Susan Ashley, 2020, photo reference by izkierka11 (Instagram)

Susan still take photos here and there. But now she prefers to take her experience as a photographer and make a new picture on canvas: idealistic images… unrealistic paintings, and a few paintings from actual places she have been, or plan on seeing one day.

By Joseph LEANDRE

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