I went to the McColl Center for the Visual Arts in Charlotte, NC on Saturday and met Ashley Lathe, an artist who produces works on paper.
Primarily working in oils, watercolor, drawing, and printmaking, Ashley builds layers of values, colors, and textures to realize the image. His compositional choices are influenced by his experience as a graphic designer; clean and simple for immediate impact, yet composed to invite consideration and interpretation. He is an Affiliate Artist and has studio space at McColl for four months.
I was drawn into Ashley’s studio by his watercolors of buildings in Charlotte. The little one story convenience stores, dry cleaners and laundromats that will probably not be around in the next five years.
Ford’s Used Tires
Famous Kitchen – sketch
Famous Kitchen – watercolor
Corner Barbershop #2
Ashley is a fan of the hand drawn animated cartoons from the 1930’s and 1940’s. Especially the work of an unsung hero: the background artist and layout designer Maurice Noble, a longtime associate of Animation Director, Chuck Jones. Cartoon quirkiness is reflected in Ashley’s cityscapes in the angles and juxtapositions of the buildings and telephone poles and in the color palette.
Sketching grids for ‘Construction’ series
Construction # ? – work in progress
“The focus of my work is the recognition and celebration of the banal and overlooked in everyday life; bricks, garbage cans, food, warehouses, sidewalks, and other common objects and places which lack their own drama. As works of art, they are acknowledged and given meaning. I hope to invite the viewer to see the ordinary around them as expressive and engaging”.
Ashley’s blog: http://www.ashleylathe.com/wordpress/