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Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Emerging Artist features Ashley Wachal

Artist Biography

Ashley Pfanner Wachal grew up in Bossier City, Louisiana in a loving, traditional southern home. She remembers discovering her true artistic talent in her middle school art class. Ashley pursued art throughout high school and was known for herartistic talent. Despite pursuing different fields of study while in college at Louisiana Tech University, she always remained devoted to what she was most passionate about: art. Ashley grew as an artist throughout her undergraduate career in Studio Art and continued to be successful. She continued to further her education in graduate school at Louisiana Tech University in Art Education. Ashley spent four years teaching high school art in Caddo Parish, but has now since dedicated her career to being a professional artist. As an artist, Ashley has created work using various forms of media; including sculpture, clay, printmaking, charcoal, pencil sketch, acrylic, and her preferred medium of choice, oil painting. Ashley resides in the Shreveport-Bossier area with her husband, Jason, and their three dogs.

Artist Statement

I create art because creativity has the need to escape. I constantly have new ideas that need to be expressed and shown. For the past 18 years, I have been pursuing my passion of creating art. Since developing my professional art career in recent years, I have established a series of artwork in oil painting.

Throughout the years, I have always found myself drawn to certain aspects of beauty; these traits are what inspire my work. In the past, I have found such inspiration found in nature and in the art form of architecture. What currently inspires me is the uniqueness in the traditional shotgun house; more specifically, the shotgun houses found among the streets of New Orleans, Louisiana.

My first exposure to this idea first came to me while studying visual arts intensely as a high school student in the first summer session student art program at the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts (NOCCA). I developed new ways to challenge myself and how to expand my creativity in order to grow as an artist. In that time spent studying at NOCCA, I fell in love with the individuality and culture of the city of New Orleans. On excursions throughout the city I frequently found myself lost in admiration of the unique architecture of the bright-colored shotgun-style homes. Even more so, the individual story behind each one. It was not until years later that Iwas reacquainted and reminded of my appreciation for this style of distinctive structural design.

With my series of the Nola Shotgun House paintings, my objective is simply to convey the sheer beauty of architecture. On canvas, I build the structure of the house up using my brush with the oil paint until I see the house as complete. Every house has a story. The setting, the home itself, the colors, the richness, the texture, the space, the composition—it all has value and meaning.

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