Artist Profile: Erin Ashley and the Art of Timeworn Masterpieces

When it comes to giving rustic pieces a fresh look, artist Erin Ashley knows what she’s doing. Her works, while looking vibrant, also pay homage to timeworn pieces. Find out more about this emerging artist and how she creates incredible works of art.


Surround Yourself: Before becoming a fulltime artist, you modeled, acted, owned your own agency, and worked as a photographer. What made you decide to change paths and move into painting?
Erin Ashley: My career as an artist was unexpected and surprising. I never thought I could paint, never even thought about becoming an artist, but when I tried painting for the very first time, I was hooked. It was one of those things that felt so right and so natural that I knew this was what I was meant to do in life and I love it.

1 Erin Ashley

SY: Tell us a bit about your family. Do they share your passion for creativity?
EA: I grew up with a mother who was and is still a wonderful oil painter I remember coming home from school seeing her at her easel. Now in her 70s, she attends art classes regularly and has found a love for drawing. Her pieces are remarkable.
My husband of 17 years, the most amazing artist, is an entrepreneur and creative director at his own company that works with ad agencies from all over the world, creating storyboards and animations. My son the trueborn artist, such an artist in his thinking and in his drawings currently attends one of the top art schools around.

2 Urban Block

SY: How do you know when a painting is finished?
EA: Sometimes I will know right away when a piece is complete, other times I have to step away from the painting and not look at it for a few hours or sometimes the following day. I find by looking at it with fresh eyes I have a fresher outlook and can better evaluate what needs to be improved. Sometimes I’ll completely redo a painting if it doesn’t feel right to me.
SY: What’s the best compliment you’ve received about your work?
EA: I received a very personal touching letter once from woman telling me how my painting had helped her a through and very trying time in her life. I never realized my work could have such an impact on people. I also received an email from an art professor at a university telling me that I was their art subject.

3 Mystical Beauty

SY: Your paintings always have the most striking color combinations. Are there any colors you won’t use in your paintings?
EA: I try experimenting with all types of color combinations. I never studied color theory out of books but often find myself studying color found in my surrounding, rusty old trains, the sidewalk or even the beauty found in a butterfly’s wings.
SY: Has your method for creating art changed since you began painting? Can you tell any big differences between your paintings when you first began versus what you’re creating now?
EA: Oh my yes! When I first started painting I taught myself. I learned to paint by looking at pictures, portraits, still life’s, you name it and I would paint it. Then over time I stopped looking at photos and started looking within myself. What attracted me what I loved, that is when I came into my own – creating a style that I can call my own. I encourage artist to look beyond what everyone else is doing and dig deep within themselves because we all have our own beautiful personal style within us.

4 City By the Bay


SY: What do you do when you feel burned out or are lacking in inspiration? How do you find inspiration when you’re not feeling creative?
EA: Painting is great at times but also can be very trying at times. When I feel burnt out I try to get out of town for a few days. NYC always refreshes me and brings me new ideas, after a trip there I can’t wait to get back in the studio again.
SY: Where do you do most of your painting?

EA: I do most of my painting in my studio where I can be as messy as I want!


5 Erin Ashley

SY: What’s been the most rewarding part of your career so far?

EA: Being able to have the freedom to do this everyday is my reward. Painting is my passion, that is my freedom, and the freedom is my voice that shows through my work.

SY: How would you describe your style at home?

EA: My style at home is a revolving art gallery – always a new painting on the walls. I like a mix of rustic reclaimed woods mixed in with white comfy relaxing modern pieces.

6 Erin Ashley


SY: What do you surround yourself with?

EA: One thing I do each day when I get in my car, I listen to Joel Osteen on the radio. His messages are so uplifting and positive it sets my day in the right direction. I am a 100% believer in God. God is responsible for everything around us and I owe my talent and success to him. When you surround yourself with God everyday amazing things happen–trust and believe!


Thanks so much, Erin! Shop Erin’s entire collection on Great BIG Canvas and Imagekind.