Artist and Architect

Charles Ash

Watercolors of the Southwest

Artist Type: Painter

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Contact: Charles Ash at 505 438 8568


I am a native of the desert southwest from Phoenix, Arizona.  I have been living in Santa Fe, New Mexico for the past 30 years. In addition to my artwork, I am a practicing Architect with my firm Allied Arts. I studied architecture at the University of Arizona; a curriculum that heavily emphasized sketching, drawing and presenting ideas in an expressive manner.  During my studies I was introduced to watercolors which have become a lifelong pursuit and pleasure.
I developed my art work by traveling around Southern Arizona painting and sketching landscapes, old mining towns, ranch buildings and the like and have been painting professionally since 1987.   My work draws from the Southwest forms, colors and experiences of Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado and Utah; an enjoyment in the act of painting expressing a simpler, more casual approach to life.

I love working quickly with the paint, looking for the spontaneity and the “happy accidents” that occur with a rough watercolor paper. My watercolors range from landscapes that expresses the beauty and quiet enjoyment of  the Southwest  to figurative works that express a dynamic quality; using the figure as an opportunity to introduce color and motion. The lack of faces in my figurative pieces has developed into a signature feature of my work.   I soon realized that I was more interested with the form, color and motion in the composition rather than capturing realism, which led me to ignoring the face altogether. In each approach I rely on the quality of light and shadow to give a bold quality to my work.