Ashley Collins’s mixed media portraits defy convention. Choosing animals as her subjects, she seeks a purity of emotional expression. Each portrait is a silhouetted impression of the animal – a black flash of oil paint, which often resembles a grainy photograph. Every piece is coated with resin, providing both a protective sheath and a resiliency befitting her subjects. Her backgrounds are artfully collaged with
antique-hued book pages, scraps of paper, encaustic, and thick paint, suggesting the passage of time and personal history. Collins’s painting process has evolved during her twenty-three years as an artist. The paper aged in her studios, the process of application, the hidden or obscured imagery, and the figurative incorporation of animals, humans, and invocation of text, collectively evoke a sense of calmness. The resin which Collins moves across the work, with fire from an acetylene torch, aids in revealing the depth of layers. Many works have in excess of thirty such layers.