Step Into the Studio with Ally Sheppard

Ally Sheppard is a Nashville native having earned her BA from Vanderbilt University in Art History and an MFA from the Smithsonian-Corcoran Graduate Program in Decorative Arts.  With a career split between museum curation and auction houses, she has always had a passion for fine craftsmanship and good design. She turned to painting to further her creative expression, bringing the passions developed over the course of her career to her artwork.

Ally Sheppard launches her first collection with us Tuesday, February 2nd and we could not be more excited. Her collection includes a total of 15 figures on paper that come both framed and unframed. We were fortunate enough to get an inside look our newest artist's process, inspiration and more.

Shop Ally's new collection here

Ally Sheppard in her Art Studio

When did you first discover your love of art?

I honestly can’t think of time when I didn’t love art. My maternal grandmother was an artist, my family has always been avid collectors and supporters of the arts. There was never a time when art wasn’t a part of my life.

How would you describe your artistic style?

I use a balance of color, texture, light and shadow to create abstract pieces reminiscent of landscapes, waterscapes or sometimes purely abstract compositions.
Figure painting by Ally Sheppard

What inspired you to become an artist?

It was a natural evolution over time. Going from treating my talent as a “Hobby”, to turning it into a career.

What is the inspiration behind your figure collection?

I spent most of my twenties working part time with Nashville sculptor, Alan LeQuire. He believes that the human figure is the single artistic subject to which all viewers inevitably respond. Working with him, I developed a great appreciation and love of the human figure in all forms. These ladies are an extension of that experience and appreciation.

Agatha Painting by Ally Sheppard

How do you stay inspired?

Inspiration is everywhere, we just have to see. It’s easy to move through the world looking where we are going, but not really seeing. We tend to be hurried and constantly moving with purpose to our destination- often, not enjoying the journey. Let that brightly painted door distract you, look twice at the way light filters between ginkgo leaves in the fall or stop and appreciate the fog settling over a field. It’s easy to notice, but not fully appreciate these things, but when you really look and see- inspiration is everywhere.

Describe your process.

Hang canvas on wall, start painting... not really, but my process is very organic. Especially when I’m painting for myself. I may be working off of an emotion, something I’m feeling that might inspire a composition or have me reaching for a certain colored tube of paint. It could be something I saw from the day before. A pink door on a blue house, light filtering through trees, or a yearning for the
 ocean that inspires a painting. One day it was the hues in the fur of my Siamese cat and the deep blue of his eyes. It changes day to day.
Ally Sheppard painting

Do you have a favorite artist?

J.M.W Turner. I will never forget the first time I saw his work. It took my breath away, and still does. I also love Ashley Longshore, she is bold and unapologetic. Kent Youngstrom is doing some wonderful work with such a good powerful message that this world needs more of.

If you could describe yourself in 3 words what would they be?

Tenacious, Loyal and Vivacious

What is a fun fact or something that we might not know about you?

I absolutely love football, I am a die hard Tennessee Titans fan. I have a terrible potty mouth...if you ever tune into my stories, consider yourself warned.

Do you have any upcoming events, series ideas, or exciting news that you want to share?

I’m still working on the timing of some things this spring, the pandemic has made planning more complicated for all of us, right!?! With that said, I will be participating in the Wesleyan Virtual Artist Market April 22-29, which I am very excited about and have some fun new pieces in the works as we speak.
Have we inspired you to check out her amazing collection? Just click here!

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