We have long admired the work of New Orleans-based artist Ashton Shaw Despot. Ashton is known for painting loose, impressionistic landscapes and scenes inspired by nature. Her hope is that through her methodology, of working quickly to capture a mood rather than a scene, she can evoke within the viewer a sense of childlike discovery and uncover an underlying passion for nature. We cannot say enough good things about this artist which is why we are beyond thrilled to announce that Ashton is now a part of Well + Wonder collective! As we prepare for Ashton to join the W+W team we wanted to get to know her more professionally and personally. So, on the eve of her Well + Wonder release, we sat down with Ashton to chat and learn a little more about this talented artist…
What is currently on your nightstand?
My white ceramic lamp sits in the middle of my nightstand. If you are looking at the nightstand on the right closest to my side of the bed sits a black square alarm clock, a light blush linen napkin with a cold cup of water, and a circular Waterford ring holder. To the left of the lamp are two picture frames. One includes a picture of my best friend Amanda who passed away when we were in college and the other is a collage of pressed flowers from Amanda’s bouquet.
Who is your biggest influence as an artist and why?
Michael Carson. I absolutely adore this work. I don’t know much about him personally but I find his work to evoke emotion and carry an enormous about of weight.
Tell us about your childhood. What is the most memorable moment as a young person?
I loved my childhood. It was full or exploring and adventure. Tons of memorable moments, but one that sticks out to me most is simple and lovely… On Saturdays growing up we would open all the door and windows of our house and blare music while playing/working in the yard. My love for nature blossomed at a young age.
If you could only have one supply in your art studio, what would it be and why?
Paint. Can’t quite get much accomplished without it honestly.
What is your favorite room in your house? Describe it.
I love my porch. It looks out to a beautiful little yard with a white picket fence. My porch has a beautiful gray floor and a sky blue ceiling. But the best part about it is the rocking chair and swing. I can sit on my porch for hours. In the corner is a thriving fiddle fig plant and near the door is a bucket of oyster shells that we use for a doorstop. Beer and cocktails always taste better on the porch, especially when shared with friends or family. I love watching the sunsets after work and seeing neighbors walking their dogs.
What is your biggest score online?
A plane ticket to Ireland. The trip changed my life. Score!
What is the benefit of buying art through a collective? What do you recommend for those that are new to buying original art?
Buying through a collective is a great way to support local makers. I recommend not over thinking when buying art. How does it make you feel and would you enjoy seeing it again? Easy as that.
If you have the entire day to spend in an art museum, which one and why?
The Whitney in New York. Just go you will know why after. LOVE
What is your favorite hotel and what makes it special?
The Southern Hotel in Covington, Louisiana. The following weekend after getting engaged Sam and I spent a few days here and had the most lovely time. It was quiet quaint and perfect.
If you were a lipstick color would you be red, pink, or clear and why?
I would be red!! It’s classic, bold, doesn’t apologize and always out to have fun.
I can never get on a plane without….
A deck of cards.
How did you get into the world of art?
Just jumped right in.
What do you do to relax?
I take a bath with lavender bath salts. Works like a charm!
When do you get the biggest surge of inspiration?
I love the morning light and afternoon light. It’s a magical time to see the world opening and closing each day.
Prediction for the Color of 2018?
What is your idea of a date night? Dinner and a movie or dancing all night?
I love going out for cocktails early and then continuing into a lovely dinner out together.
Tell us about your favorite painting that you have created.
My favorite painting I have ever created came out of a hard time in my life. I had an incredibly inspiring teacher that pushed me to dig deep and express myself with out worrying where this painting might take me. The painting’s composition is a zoomed in view of things that made me feel safe, comfortable, and ok.
One piece of advice for buying original art?
Follow your gut and collect pieces that make your heart sing. Move your art around often and let it live in different rooms of your house.