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Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Ashton Hall: Down and Dirty

 Ashton Hall is a rare package in the art world. She is young, quite aggressive in her business strategies, very talented in her field, and blessed with super-model good looks. My conclusions after our interview were that she should go far. Maybe even television. She will get interviews, contracts, and other opportunities because of her appearance, but unlike many, she will be able to capitalize on them because she is as fierce as she is beautiful.

I would love for P.C. correctness-sake to ignore the issues of superficial qualities which should not matter. But I am an artist, and visuals are everything. And they do matter and we know they do. But as Jesus quipped, “To whom much is given, much is expected.” It will be up to Ashton not to mess it all up. And there is the rub.

"The Wheel of Fortune"
Ashton is kind of... complicated. In a good way!

Can a lovely young person with her life in front of her, with so much going for her, instinctively make those correct choices and decisions which could take her to the “top”? They often do not.

It is not usually the “blessed,” artistic savants who make it. Things come too easily for them. The real artists I know achieved decent careers with tough persistence and the ability to ignore and overcome adversity. I know plenty of artists, making it as such, who had the gift of determination, but were perhaps less talented than some of the fabulously gifted students I have taught who lacked personal drive or inspiration. Those who lack discipline, motivation or self-direction fall by the wayside like mud off of a four-wheeler in the Brazos bottom.

 Ashton Hall: "I'm good at design... can I say that?"

So let me introduce you to another artist you wish you had met. Her mud will stick. Ashton Hall grew up in a “blue-collar” home, with small-town values and exposure to traditional Midwestern American culture. She is energetic and passionate about her art, and has a hungry soul. A conversation with her reveals many hours of thought and investigation in our world... and beyond. And she has gained a wisdom beyond her years.

Ashton pursued a career in graphic design, and found that she could do it, but it did not begin to utilize all of her talents. It was, as she says (and take no offense ), a “normal person job.” Still it was a very beneficial training, giving her skills she will always utilize, as artists today are forced to implement technology to be competitive. She has tried many jobs in fact, but she has always been brought back to pushing around pigments. Painting is what she was born to do.

She came to Navasota to get away from the hometown where she grew up, to discover herself beyond the boundaries which have always contained her. And she came with few expectations, and mostly just a sense of adventure. Ashton had decided to try to make it as an artist. 

Horlock House Study

The completely restored Victorian house built in 1892, home of R. A. Horlock and his family for over seventy years... Now the home to resident artists, like Ashton.

Here Ashton explains how she painted the house on a hot day
 with oil pastels. A freezer was involved!

Here in Navasota, at the Horlock Art Center, she found an environment to begin a foothold in her life-choice. Free rent, for six months, bills paid, adequate space to create large works... peace and quiet... removal from the tyranny of the urgent. To a large degree she found what she was looking for, because Ashton will make the best of any situation.

 Ashton Hall painting "plein air" near huntsville.  It's just a fancy French term for out-of-doors.

Ashton promotes herself as a “plein air” artist, which suggests the interpretation of her subjects firsthand... without photography, studying and translating her subjects directly onto canvas from life. But she adds an infusion of other “isms.” She fearlessly utilizes her experience with stagecraft, abstract expressionism, fauvism, and modern color therapy to dazzle her audience. She might be called a disciple of color. Her art “is all about the color.” Ashton believes that color, and especially color used effectively by an artist has powerful effects on people. She believes people have no idea how important color is in creating a positive environment... or a negative one. Thankfully, she said “people gravitate to the colors they need.”

These are actually scientifically proven facts about the psychology of color. This young artist is starting out with that kind of savvy. Ashton harbors many edgy paradigms, some of which might make the average person nervous. She believes in heady concepts of “Divine right timing,” and the “law of attraction”; things, people, events that are supposed to meet or happen cannot avoid collision. We used to call that fate. She is committed to follow the path of her fate to what she calls the “highest excitement.” None of us should pursue careers, hobbies or relationships which do not hold a significant degree of excitement for us. If we do, it will not work... and our culture is full of people in denial of this law... and miserable for it. She explains that “Life is as exciting as the degree that you challenge yourself.”

 A delightful study in color therapy by Hall is the centerpiece in one of the Victorian parlors. 

Ashton loves the art part of art, and gets down and dirty. But she does not shrink from the business end, understanding one supports the other. Her paintings are instinctively designed by a mind that automatically balances self-expression with the science of subliminal appeal. She is having a wonderful time working her magic, exercising her freedom, and making contact with numerous fans. Her regular sales reflect her remarkable gift of positive energy, where her artistic journey always attracts hitchhikers. Her works are affordable, soulful, and... dare I say it, mentally healing.

Mental health is essential to physical healing. Ashton takes stock in that. We all need art, even though most people have no appreciation for it. Thus it is a no-brainer to say, you need your vitamins and you need art. And hers is an excellent place to start your collection.

 Ashton takes a break from a small mural commission.

Ashton is optimistic about art and her future in it, as she has observed the historic cycles in the economy and the evolution of artistic tastes. She believes they will improve. She is presently planning her next exhibit in the Trout Art Museum in Appleton, Wisconsin. And she is contemplating starting a mural painting service, where she can most logically achieve basic financial survival. Ashton is willing to do whatever it takes. That, for her, will be the key to success.

You have less than a week to catch her and her colors in Navasota. Jump aboard. Be careful where you sit... it may be muddy in here. 

You can see more of her art at:

her blog:

OR (temporarily out of order) artist/

OR (also out of order!) artist/sets/72157630980012966/ 


find her on facebook at:


  1. Wow what an article! What an artist !, so sorry I will miss seeing her and meeting her. I'm so happy she had a fantastic opportunity in the city or Navasota! Color is happy and so important thank you so much for sharing her, her art, her information, her character and her talents! Very inspiring .

    1. Last day to see us is this weekend the 12th dear!

  2. I love this article on the very talented Ashton Hall. I love her art, just magical. Best wishes for a colorful future!