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A Digital Artist Combs The Rivertowns For Her Subjects

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May 4, 2021

By Kira Ratan–

Artist Elaine Ashburn finds beauty in other people’s trash. She recalls seeing people dump theirs at the recycling plant in Hastings, after which she would follow, find something interesting and take a picture of it.

“To me, it wasn’t trash at all. They were beautiful objects,” she said.

A resident of the Rivertowns for over 35 years, she has been working with photoshop for the same amount of time– since the software came out in 1986. Eventually, she ventured beyond the recycling centers and found more pieces locally that she could use and begin putting together her artwork.

“Forest Full of Dreams”

Ashburn’s art is unusual if not unique: she uses photoshop to blend photography, light, texture and a hint of fantasy into her work. She shoots all her own photographs; each piece uses 20 or more frames to create a single image. In her most recent collection “Remembering Ichabod,” for example, Ashburn used the Headless Horseman statue in Sleepy Hollow and its surrounding landscape as her inspiration. Using Photoshop, she “dissected the sculpture, overlapped some trees to make it look more like 1819 and played with the faux history,” to create the artwork.

“She Who Laughs Last”

Ashburn has been a working digital artist since 2009. So far, she has produced 60-to-70 pieces. Recently, Ashburn has begun to post her artwork on Instagram, sharing pieces and selling archival prints.

“I grew up in Queens and then moved to the Rivertowns when I got married,” she says. “I think the combination of the hustle of the city and the calmness of the Rivertowns really inspired me to do what I am doing.”

“Meeting in the Moonlight”

To learn more and see some of Ashburn’s work, visit

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