INTERVIEW WITH THE ARTIST
Every artist has a unique style and approach to creating new works of art. In order to know more about my creative process, I answered a few common questions posed by curious viewers.
WHERE DOES YOUR INSPIRATION COME FROM?
When it comes to painting, I was very inspired during my studies at Roberts Wesleyan College by the colorful movement found in Impressionist Period painters, such as Cezanne, and with the popular 16-17th Century technique of chiaroscuro that was widely implemented by artists, such as Georges de La Tour. I enjoy the more dramatic contrasts of lights and darks while using distinctive brushstrokes to keep the eye moving across the canvas. My main focus and source of inspiration however, always comes from the Lord.
WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO CREATE CHRISTIAN ARTWORK?
I believe now more than ever that God wants to speak powerfully through visual art. While everyone has something they contribute to the world, I believe creating artwork that points back to God is my unique calling. The first picture He gave me, “In Remembrance of Me,” was not an image that I came up with. It was as if the Lord dropped a picture into my mind and left me with the choice to run with it or not. Without hesitation, I immediately started to paint and ever since then the Lord has been dropping more images to create. From the beginning, I have been inspired by Him and I am constantly moved by His artistic direction.
WHAT WAS THE MOTIVATION BEHIND YOUR BOOK?
When I was in 3rd grade, I drew characters like the ones found in “The Love Story of Jesus.” One day I said to myself, “one day I want to write a children’s book with characters just like these,” and God made that desire possible. When I finally had the skills to write and illustrate a book on my own, I decided to write a book about the Gospel because that is most important to me- for kids to know Jesus and be free from a young age.
WHAT IS YOUR MAIN CHALLENGE AS AN ARTIST?
My main challenge as an artist, and as a creative in general, is to keep creating, even when I don’t feel like
it. I used to think that artists must always be inspired to create first, but that is not always the case. When I take time out of my day to be diligent and paint even when I don’t want to, I usually discover that excitement starts to bubble up again. I learned not to follow feelings when it comes to art and to set aside specific time for painting. For me, art is a joy as much as it is a commitment, and I am committed to making and sharing my art with the world.
WHAT WOULD YOU SAY TO THOSE ASPIRING TO BECOME AN ARTIST?
Just do it! You never know what might happen until you put yourself out there and give it your all! I started creating at a young age and would spend hours pouring over art books and YouTube videos trying to understand light, shadow, depth, perspective etc. I really listened to my teachers and challenged myself to be the best that I could be. While people gave direction, I stayed true to my style and refined it. What I learned seems to be universally true: work hard, receive correction well, and keep to your convictions. In the end, I painted what I love and I love what I paint, and for me, that has made all the difference.
Ashley Henry Artist offers prints of art available for purchase here.
To request an original work of art, send an email here.