Susan's artworks often reflect the diverse community of California. Her collage portraits look as if painted. As an Experimental Artist she loves the process of juxtaposing collage and images on top of watercolor, acrylic and mixed media. The unexpected results add an element of intrigue.

Historically, portrait paintings have primarily memorialized the rich and powerful. Over time, however, it became more common for middle-class patrons to commission portraits of their families and colleagues. Today, portrait paintings are still commissioned by governments, corporations, groups, clubs, and individuals. In addition to painting, portraits can also be made in other media such as etching, lithography, photography, video and digital media.

In her current work Susan creates collages from torn magazines. She often uses polypropylene, .called Yupo and mounts her art on boards.

Susan Ashley has lived in the San Francisco Bay Area most of her life. She graduated from UC Berkeley with a major in Social welfare and was awarded a scholarship to the Academy of Art in San Francisco. Her art has received international and national recognition.

She was awarded Signature Membership in the California Watercolor Association and an Artist Showcase Award from Manhattan Arts International’s “Hot Topics – Bold Expressions in Nature and Human Nature” juried exhibition. Her work has been accepted into an exhibition presented by the Audubon Artists at The Salmagundi Art Club, New York, NY. She has also exhibited at the Art Ark Gallery and the San Francisco Women Artists Gallery.

Join Susan Ashley on Social Media:
Instagram: susan.ashley.ashleyarts


I am an experimental artist. That means I introduce the unexpected into my work. Shapes, patterns and texture, plus a touch of whimsy are elements of my work. I like to find new ways to create with color, texture, and shape. I use strong color in contrasts. My work has turned to portraits in collage Acrylic and watercolor, often on canvas or polypropylene, are now integrated with mixed media using collage. The large portrait collages juxtapose images and texts from magazines. I show people who thrive on passion for art, love, duty, conviction.


Initially I studied at University of California in social sciences as my field.. Early on I found working in an art gallery in San Jose (Chabot Gallery) and working in the interior design business surrounded me with the practices of art in every day life. When I focused on my own artwork, I was awarded a scholarship to the San Francisco Academy of Art in 2007. I studied continually in workshops with nationally recognized artists such as Donna Zagotta, Mary Ann Beckwith, Derek Gores,


Art Ark Gallery in San Jose featured 6 artworks of mine with a group show to preview Open studios. My work, Gratitude, was featured on the postcard to advertise. The show ran January 27 to April 2
- SFWA, San Francisco Women Artist Gallery I am a member and displayed 5 collage portraits on the Salon Art Wall, March 6 to April 1, 2016 at 647 Irving Street San Francisco
- SFWA, Scapes show, April 21 to June 4
- SFWA, New Perspectives juror, Courtney Strimple Colman, chose 2 watermedia artworks, May 10 to June 4, 2016
- Sun Gallery show of Endangered Species displayed 3 of my artworks at 1015 E Street, Hayward, April 21 to June 4
- SVOS, Silicon Valley Open Studios May 21 and May 22 at artist: Karen Wong’s home in Los Altos with 4 other artists.
- Filoli Flower Show May 5 to May 8. I was asked to participate in a flower arrangement for Mother’s Day Flower Show at Filoli. I do not know who recommended me but I was honored to participate.
- AOTC, Arts of the Covenant, Awakenings in Darkness and Light, a faith based group of artists showing at the Twin Pines Art Center in Menlo Park, May 19 to June 30
- WVPC, West Valley Presbyterian Church, I was a curator for a smaller selection of art from the Awakenings in Darkness and Light at 6191 Pollinger Road, Cupertino, August 14 to August 31
- SDMAAG, San Diego Museum of Art Artists Guild, Member Show was held in Balboa Park at Gallery 21, May 25 to June 5, 2016 My collage portrait, New Man About Town, was selected.
- Gallery Automatic at 521 Mountain View Avenue, Belmont King City special giclees of Ready DANCE and New Man About Townl for September 8 to September 24, 2016
- Sun Gallery People, Pets and Places This show featured Selfies and I had many visitors to see Mr. Patrick's Selfies. Which was a collage and mixed media piece about our mailman.
- Filoli Estate, The Garden of Hearts Delight, August 23 to October 23, 2016 was showing the 100 years of evolution of Silicon Valley from the Garden of Hearts Delight.
- SFWA Artist's Choice juror, Matt McKinley, October 4 - November 5, 2016
- Spaces is a business. I was asked to show at the Menlo Park address for 3 separate First Fridays in October, November and December
- Audubon Artists Member Show at the Salmagundi Art Center in New York with my collage of New Man About Town.
- National Association for Women Artists, online Sight for Sore Eyes, the chosen artwork, Travels with Sigmund Freud
- Renee Phillips of Manhattan Arts awarded my art for THE HEALING POWER of ART, for one year
- SFWA Nourish: November 8 to December 3
- 17th International Collage Exhibition and Exchange, A group exhibit in the
Percy Thompson Gallery in New Zealand Online show from March to April 1.
- International Society of Experimental Artists virtual show online
from February to September.
- Sun Gallery "Troubled Waters Drought and Change" 3 artworks shown and for sale at 1505 E Street, Hayward, CA from April 22 to May 31
- The Troubled Waters show is later moved to the Hayward, City Hall, July through August.
- San Diego Museum of Art Artist's Guild, "Centennial" exhibit at the Gallery 21
in Balboa Park, San Diego, May 28 through June, 8
- Sun Gallery, "Transformations 2 Recycled and Upcycled," 1505 E. Street, Hayward
from June 18 through August. Reception July 11 from 1-4 pm,
6 artworks of Susan's in show
- Arts of the Covenant, "Visioning Hope, Art that Instills, Generates, Provokes" at the Connoisseur's Marketplace, July 18 and July 19 at 950 Santa Cruz Avenue, Menlo Park.
This is a faith-based group.
- National Association of Women Artists,"Summer Small Works Show"
at the n.a.w.a gallery, 80 Fifth Street, Ste. 1405, New York,
July 9 through July 31. Reception July 16 from 5 - 7.


Coming soon in San Diego I will exhibit at the Ashton Gallery on 30th Street . The exhibit is C-Note for "pocket-friendly prices".

- Filoli Flower Show May 5 to May 8. I was asked to participate in a flower arrangement for Mother’s Day Flower Show at Filoli. I do not know who recommended me but I was honored to participate.

I also love ikebana_ the study of Japanese Flower arranging. Many artworks reflect my love of flowers and especially a love of Asian art.

Awards and Honors

Susan has received national and international awards. In 2007, at the California Watercolor Association exhibition, she was awarded a scholarship to the San Francisco Academy of Art. She studied anatomy there.
She has received numerous watercolor awards, and now with her recent work, she was awarded the International Award at Manhattan Arts in 2015, for her self portrait, collage called, Just A Woman.