Self-trained artist elevates women through her multi-dimensional paintings

The problem of identification has long been troublesome Ashley Mudge, “Because my sister and I both have half-brothers and are the only people of color in my family.”

When Mudge was 26 years old, she set out to find her biological father. When she met the man she thought was him, his reaction hurt her. “He told me he knew the day I was born that I wasn’t his daughter.”

Mudge, now 35, says: “Art was the only thing that took me away from myself and my business, Ash’s Art allowing me to quiet the noise and transfer all that I feel and think from my head and heart to my canvas. ”

Mudge, who lives with his mate, Kimberly Mazzochi, in Silver Spring, Maryland, spoke with Zenger about her catalytic journey in which creativity has led to a profitable and therapeutic business.

Zenger: What is your origin and name? business?

Ashley Mudge: Art by Ash is my business name. Originally, I was going to call it Ashley’s Splash Of Color. I started by painting the house. I have been doing all of this work alone. There weren’t many women in the business, so I decided to make my name public.

When house painting turns into oil painting, Splash Of Color By Ashley becomes Art by Ash. I had never drawn or painted artistically until I entered an alcohol and drug addiction program. It was there that I found this gift three years ago.

During the Black Lives Matter movement, Ashley Mudge painted this piece. “I decided to leave the work untitled,” says Mudge. “It speaks for itself.” (Courtesy of Ashley Mudge)

Zenger: What exactly does Art by Ash entail?

Mudge: I am a self-taught artist. I draw and paint mostly pictures of women. I have been commissioned for murals, tattoo drawings, animal portraits and collages.

I am extremely passionate about creating multi-dimensional texture paintings to celebrate women’s liberation. I feel each woman is a unique picture of her own.

I love being able to recreate the beauty of women through my own senses.

Zenger: Is there a project you are most proud of?

Mudge: I’m so proud of The Art of Healing Exhibition … Until the end of January 8, 2022…. in Washington, DC, as well as a gig I did in Brooklyn, New York…. Heal Art Exhibition curated by Marlon Powell … And the exhibition is open to the public. Private tours are also offered.

Zenger: What activities did you participate in growing up?

Mud: Growing up, I was always involved in sports. I jog, join the community swim team, ride horses, play basketball, and do kung fu. My mother and sister, Shannon, have always been supportive and influential.

My mother used to sit by her easel and draw when Shannon and I were little. Shannon went to art school and started sculpting. Used to have great influence and great support. My mother and her husband, Joe Spanolo, helped me drive a collection of mine from Maryland to New York over the weekend of September 29.

Zenger: Would you like to discuss your ethnicity?

Mudge: I have resolved identity issues, as my sister and I have half-brothers and are the only people of color in my family.

Growing up as a teenager, I was supposed to be part Native American and that’s why my skin darkens in the sun and why my hair is curly. My mother, Liz, is of Caucasian descent.

My biological father was unknown for most of my life. At the age of 26, in the hope of finding him, I searched for him and found him. I talked to him, and he told me that he knew the day I was born that I was not his daughter. He told me that my father was a black man and that he was a good white boy. His exact words. This was the catalyst that made me decide to discover my ancestors at the age of 29.

When my results came back, I found out I was 47% African and 52% European. There is no trace of Native Americans. I’m still on a quest to find my biological father.

Zenger: Was this what prompted you to start painting, and did your work act as a therapy toward your inner peace and serenity?

Mudge: Art is the only thing that keeps me out of myself. I can soften the noise and transfer everything I feel and think from my head and heart into my canvas. Art is a form of expression. I try not to make it a form of opinion.

The tree painting represents my bloodline – and our voices are finally being heard regarding violence perpetrated by law enforcement. I decided to leave the work untitled. It speaks for itself.

Ashley Mudge said: Diana Ross’ painting is “close and dear to my heart. (Courtesy of Ashley Mudge)

Another work close and dear to my heart is the painting I did of Dianna Ross. Everyone has their icon – Marilyn Monroe and Audrey Hepburn. They are mostly white women. So where is my color icon? Diana Ross. I actually started styling and styling her hair her way. I really appreciate her beauty. I really admire her creativity and her impact.

Zenger: How has your spiritual background influenced your decision to become an entrepreneur?

Mudge: Mentally, I want to do what I love and get paid for it – and that’s an artist. Get paid because I need to make a living to survive. However, art to me is not about money.

Drawing on my experiences and connecting with others through art has allowed me to discover who I am and what I want to be in my career. Spiritual healing is the benefit of the work I do.

Zenger: Is Kimberly supportive?

Mudge: I cannot begin to tell you the limitless inspiration and support of my life partner, Kimberly. Kimberly is the voice of reason. Whenever I get defeated or think I should give up, she steps in, tells me it takes work to make my dreams come true and to keep moving forward.

Kimberly has been by my side all this time. To be the sole breadwinner in my family, so that I can pursue my dreams. I wouldn’t be here without Kimberly.

Mudge can be contacted on , Instagram @ ashm118 and Tik Tok @ artbyash7. She also has a store on Etsy: BloodlineArtStudio.

Edited by Judith Isacoff and Fern Siegel

This story first appeared on Zenger news Self-trained artist elevates women through her multi-dimensional paintings


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