The story behind Houston-based artist Cookie Ashton reveals a passionate desire to continually explore, learn, and express her creativity.
Her artistic interest was initiated as a child growing up in Venezuela. Her mother bought her a "paint by numbers" kit and she was instantly hooked. Although there were many interruptions over the years, including boarding school, college, marriage and raising three children, Ashton managed to continue to work and study art.
Ashton earned a bachelor's degree in marketing. Upon graduation, however, she was gifted with a set of oil paints - and it was inevitable which direction she would follow. She initially began by teaching herself from art books, copying the old masters, doing color charts, sketching and stretching. Over the years, her education continued.
Ashton was able to study at many prestigious schools, including The Instituto Allende in San Miguel, Mexico, Glassell School of Art in Houston, Parsons School of Design in Paris, the University of London, Chelsea and University of London Slade School.
Ashton has also attended private classes and workshops with various artists, including Charles Schorre, Arthur Turner, Quang Ho, Daniel Gerhartz and Charles Reid -- all with completely different styles and talents. "I'm very selective now," Ashton said. "My evolution as an artist has taken many forms, but I always take a workshop or class from artists I respect and feel there is something about them that can help me grow. Constant experimenting and learning keeps my enthusiasm alive."
Ashton's unique style incorporates all she has learned whether it be in painting, printmaking, ceramics, watercolor or assemblage. Her organic approach continues to expand and keeps her works from ever becoming static. Her work can be found in the Stafford Center for the Performing Arts, the Administration building for Texas State University, the Texas State Nursing School in Round Rock, Memorial Hermann Breast Care Center and Texas A&M University among many other personal and commercial collections.
Ashton is represented by Laura Rathe Fine Art - and her work is on display in both its Houston and Dallas galleries. To learn more, visit cookiesfineart.com.