I had the opportunity to interview Paint Love artist Corrie Ladd. We sat on a leather couch in a Java Monkey coffee shop, and chatted, wearing casual summer attire. Corrie's beautiful tattoos revealed her creative persona before we even began speaking, and a small necklace hanging around her neck exemplified her delicate jewelry work.
I had the opportunity to interview Paint Love artist Rebecca Carmen. We sat at a picnic table outside on a warm Georgia evening, flies buzzing about as we chatted. Rebecca wore adorable, brightly-colored clothing as she enthusiastically shared her passion for art, specifically surface pattern design.
In the suburbs of Cumming, Ashley Hizer resides in a house that resembles those seen Better Homes and Gardens magazine and the like. Upon walking in to the house, the rooms consists mainly of neutral tones with pops of color in the throw pillows and house plants. Lit candles give the living space a comfortable yet tasteful ambience. The modern interiors of the house along with her even her minimalistic yet chic outfit attests to her nuanced artistic sense before one even has a conversation with her.
For Ashley as a child, art was only a hobby, an inconspicuous companion that has accompanied her through her studies and various jobs as she grew older. However, after several years of work related to language arts ranging from journalism to teaching, not only did Ashley find painting to be a good release from her busy schedule, but also people actually began to show interest in her work. So after some experimentation, she decided to put art into limelight of her life and do it full time. Although the transition between to fields can be daunting, Ashley faced the challenge with determination and soon became accustomed to the daily pace of her new artistic career.
Now, as a mother with six-month-old son, Ashley comfortably works at home. With her studio in the basement and the office on the first floor, her son Oliver is only a flight or two of stairs away. She usually paints whenever she gets the chance while Oliver is napping in between feedings and spends also a few days a week working in the office, developing the business side of her work.
Ashley’s abstract style of painting is created with primarily colorful acrylics on stretched canvas. With the safety of her baby in mind, acrylics prove a safe yet effective medium to work with. She had been experimenting with oils a year ago up until her pregnancy since the strong chemicals in oil paints are potentially harmful to young children. But Ashley still hopes to branch out into new media, such as graphite, charcoal, and pastels, to supplement her current repertoire.
For now, she enjoys using Liquitex’s BASICS and Golden’s line of acrylic paints which she finds at Binders. In particular, she suggests Sam Flax and Binders as a go-tos for canvases since the two stores typically have fantastic canvas pricing. When buying brushes and other tools, Ashley heads to Hobby Lobby which usually offers decent deals.
What is to come
The Californian-born abstract painter hopes to continue developing her own technique while also acquiring a firmer grasp on the business administration aspect of her career. Next on her list of things to do for expanding her business is renovating her studio space with perhaps a consultation area and a mini gallery built into the side of her house. With her acute understanding and appreciation of color and style, she also anticipates to bring her paintings further into the realm of interior design. Currently, some of Ashley’s pieces can be found at the Balance Design Atlanta storefront in Candler Park. An upcoming show called the Abstract Invitational at Shain Gallery in Charlotte, NC will be displaying five of her paintings as well on August 13th.
After resolving to pursue an artistic career two years ago, Ashley has noted that she does miss the teaching part and children from her previous job. Being an artist at Paint Love provides her the opportunity to reengage with youth and pedagogy while also sharing her skills and talents as means of giving back to the community.
Ashley is a prime example of someone who follows her passions, whether it is in her interest in interior design or love for children. We at Paint Love can’t wait to see what has yet to come from her.