Ashley Wiltshire Spotswood’s artistic journey began in her hometown of Pensacola, Florida, at the tender age of 4. When she saw a plain brown paper package ready to send to her cousins, she decorated it with nudes of men and women. Following that precocious start, her mother enrolled her in art classes.
In addition to her landscapes in oil, Spotswood has engaged in several artistic avenues. Once, a wrong turn in Birmingham landed her in a neighborhood with lots of barred windows. The ironwork sparked an idea to create a table inspired by an antique French one she had seen. So she hired a blacksmith to produce the piece and other designs, which found their way to High Point Market in North Carolina.
Now she is exploring encaustic painting (using hot beeswax and colored pigments) and dabbles in printmaking. “It’s necessary for me to experiment,” she explains. “And to lose control, because oil painting is so controlled.” Her depictions of streams, ponds, oceans, forests, skies, and even tornados are dynamic and a bit mysterious.
“I am always chasing chiaroscuro—the contrast between light and dark,” says Spotswood. Art consultant Antoinette Spanos Nordan describes Spotswood’s work this way: “In her representational paintings, one sees nature as powerful and sublime. One finds unsettling dualities of calm and disquiet and the private and the commonplace.”
See Spotswood’s Birmingham home flowered for the holidays by designer Holly Carlisle.
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