Artist Statement

I paint to explore dynamic environments: the emotional, mental, energetic, physical, and relational spaces that shape us individually and collectively. My interest in these environments developed as a by-product of my background in education and my own healing journey. I’m especially drawn to understand and reimagine ways these environments can support humans growing together toward greater self-connection, emotional intelligence, and delight.

With the concept of dynamic environments as my foundation, I allow my natural curiosity to take precedent over past work, exploring a variety of subject matter—abstracts, figures, landscapes, and interiors—which allows me to examine the elements of dynamic environments from multiple vantage points.

Across subjects, I utilize expressionist principles that embody the tenets of a more nurturing world: delight over shame, curiosity over control, and the present moment over past concerns. Centering delight throughout the process, I often use my hands as much as my brushes and tools, and work with fast-drying materials like acrylic paint and pastels which tether me to the present moment and allow for intuitive layering. I add colors and mixed media elements in spontaneous ways that mirror the organic interplay of our dynamic environments.

Ashley grew up tinkering in her grandfather’s painting studio and unknowingly internalizing the story that while art could be a lovely hobby, it couldn’t pay the bills. With that in the back of her mind, Ashley went into the field of Montessori education, specializing in creative curriculums to “pay the bills” while using nights, weekends, and summer breaks to create for herself and others.

It wasn’t until autumn 2017, while reading The Artist’s Way that Ashley dared to ask for more. Burnt out from the 9-5 shuffle, she began reimagining her life entirely. The following year she took the courageous leap to found Ashley Trabue Studio and began working for herself full-time.

Ashley believes embracing a more radically loving world begins by embracing a more radically loving self, meeting ourselves right where we’re at and gently expanding from there. Through her work, Ashley connects, embraces, and supports her community by sharing her art as a vessel for delight, self-connection, and spontaneous growth.

What she seeks to create is not just art but a way of living that centers our humanity.

Brand Story

"We are all born into our stories, but where we take them next is up to us."

interviews & press

Dancing Girl Press, Vertebrae, poetry chapbook, 2019

Versify #31: Before Bukowski, 2019

Rebelle Society, Blueprint of a Buried Voice, 2018

Hobart, Murmuration 2017

Rockvale Review, three poems 2017

Ekphrastic Poetry Project, What if the Children are Not Spoiled 2017

Nashville Review, two poems 2015

publications

2014, Montessori Educational Institute of North America, Jackson, TN

2012, B.A. in English, Elementary Education and Painting from Belmont University, Nashville, TN

education

2020, Stay Home, Paris, TN

2019, Rockvale Writers’ Colony, Rockvale, TN

residencies

2021, She is, Nashville, TN

2021, She is, Richmond, VA

2019, Skyn, Nashville, TN

2019, AWAKE: Rooted in Change, Nashville, TN

2019, Art Comes Alive, Cincinnati, OH

2018, Essence of Form, St. Louis, MO

2018, Horizon: Contemporary Landscapes, Danville, KY

2016, Art Comes Alive, purchase award, Cincinnati, OH

2016, Horizon: Contemporary Landscapes, Danville, KY


group exhibitions

2019, Body as Landscape, 21c Museum Hotel, Elevate artist, Nashville, TN

2018, Cognitive Landscapes, Franklin, TN

solo exhibitions

CV

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