This local artist uses alcohol inks to help children move and flow through life.
BY HAILEY MINTON
Creating art with alcohol inks involves embracing the lack of control by moving and flowing with the medium. Beginning with a pool of 91% alcohol, Ashley Moore adds colors to it and watches them spread across different types of canvases. “You don’t have a ton of control like you would with a paintbrush…You can use a heat gun to blow the air the direction you want the colors to move, or you can pick up your board or tile and move it around.” She guides the alcohol but is not in complete control.
Ashley found this medium when she was looking for art projects to bring to a kids’ camp in Colorado. She tested it beforehand and enjoyed it so much that she didn’t give it up after the camp. The camp Ashley has volunteered at for the last 11 years is specifically for children who are burn victims. Ashley’s grandmother-in-law was the one who originally organized this camp. She is a social worker who has helped people who suffered from burns, and she saw the need to help children meet others with similar burn injuries. “They’ve gone through these really traumatic experiences, and this camp helps them connect with each other,” explained Ashley. Today, there are camps for burned children all over the world because of what her grandmother-in-law started.
“It always fascinates me to see a child sit down and think about what they want to do and watch the colors blend together and do something unexpected.” Sometimes, a child gets really excited with the results, and other times, the child gets frustrated that it didn’t turn out the way they wanted or expected. When this happens, it initiates a conversation about how, sometimes, life doesn’t go as you anticipate it should. “You have to say ‘ok what am I going to do about this? Am I going to let it be frustrating? Am I going to start over? Or am I going to embrace it and work with what I have?’” Ashley loves giving those opportunities for growth and conversation through art. She loves seeing children experiment in their way, “Sometimes, the kids just want to try things on their own. It’s so pleasing to me to see that growth.”
Ashley’s fondness for art began when she, herself, was a child. One day, her kindergarten teacher noticed Ashley was taking a really long time to write her ABCs as she came over to check on her work and saw that Ashley had made all her ABCs into characters with eyes and arms. She later learned to crochet, sculpt, paint, and draw. When she entered college, Ashley pursued an education to become a children’s illustrator. Right now, she is working on a children’s ABCs book, and last year, she created ’Sketch and chat’ videos to teach scripture stories to children during the pandemic. Two of her alcohol ink pieces were recently a part of Hogle Zoo’s “The World of the Wild” art show and sold within the first couple of days of the exhibit.
Working at the kids camp inspired Ashley to become a child’s life advocate. For now, she is placing that facet of her life on hold to focus on her art career and raise her three kids. She and her husband, Scott, live in Riverdale with their three children, Evie and Benson who are five-year-old twins, and Aria who is three. During this season of her life, her art creation takes the stage late at night after the kids are in bed.
Her children’s illustrations Instagram: @artwithashley
Alcohol ink artwork Instagram: @elmandink