Odell native Ashley Spitsnogle is making waves as one of Nebraska's most renown artists. With a resume extending from live painting for numerous organizations to being licensed to sell Husker merchandise. Her talents have been recognized across the state.
Art has always been something Spitsnogle has been drawn to since she was young. 
Spitsnogle graduated in 2001 from the newly configured Diller-Odell Public Schools. While in high school, she would take small commission works. It was in college that Spitnolge truly started to explore her potential as a renown artist. 
Though college, Spitsnogle had the opportunity to study art in Florence, Italy. She spent an entire month in the Tuscany capital. In her time there she learned a lot and studied and drew everyday.
“It was nonstop, except the weekends,” Spitsnogle said. 
With being surrounded by works created by Raphael, Giotto, Michelangelo, Donatello, and Benozzo Gozzoli, Spitsnogle had plenty of inspiration and greats to look up to for creativity food, but her greatest inspiration comes from somewhere closer to home. 
“My parents have been my greatest supporters,” Spitsnogle commented. “Each one supports me in different ways.”
With her parents at her side at her live painting events, Spitsnogle finds it a lot easier to concentrate on her art whilst her parents act as her mouth piece and talk to anyone who stops by her booth. On average, depending on the event, she has very limited time to complete her live painting. Spitsnogle has completed a painting before within three hours and has taken up to five or more hours for others. 
Due to the limited time that she gets for live paintings she uses acrylic paint due to its ability to dry faster than her preferred oils. When she has the leisure of time Spitsnogle utilizes oil paints because of its quality to mix and blend easier on the canvas. A constant that she has used in both acrylic and oil paintings is the use of charcoal.
“I like the shadows I can make with it,” Spitsnogle said. 
Before jumping into a live painting, Spitsnogle thoroughly prepares with exact calculation and precision. She conducts extensive research on her subject. Spitsnogle practices by sketching out her work before putting it on the canvas and will even use Photoshop to get an idea of what the end product will look like. 
In 2016, Spitsnogle was presented with an massive opportunity. She conducted a live painting at the Cattlemen's Ball.
It was a stroke of luck that she was a distant relative of the host family and the suggestion was made to have her live paint at the ball. Once she was done, then the painting was auctioned off. 
The first year was such a success that the committee asked her back for a second year. Spitsnogle was honored to be asked back for a second time, and gladly live painted at the 2017 Cattlemen's Ball. That painting was again auctioned off and, by shear coincidence, was auctioned to the same couple as the previous winners. 
Since she has a longer period of time to work on the live paintings for the Cattlemen's Ball, usually 10:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., she is able to talk to patrons as they come up to her with questions and inquiries. For the 2016 Cattlemen's Ball, Spitsnogle created a three foot by four foot masterpiece portraying a single cattle staring out at the observer. It was affectionately titled “Black Legacy.”
To change things up for the 2017 Cattlemen's Ball Spitsnogle created a three foot by four foot portrayal of the 1947 Omaha Stockyard. Both paintings were acrylic. 
In 2017 Spitsnogle had started a live painting at a TeamMates event of Tom Osborne and Brook Berringer. Osborne signed the painting at the benefit after Spitsnogle had gotten so far with the painting process.
After she had finished the painting Spitsnogle had received a lot of positive feedback and requests for more Husker related paintings. It was then that she decided to get licensed to sell Husker merchandise. 
She went on to say that people who look into her Husker paintings are looking for something different than what they can go out and buy at the store. 
“Its something different, a little more abstract,” Spitsnogle commented. 
At the 2018 Heartfelt Hearts and Souls Gala in Seward, Spitsnogle did a live painting of Sam Foltz and Brook Berringer. Later that evening the acrylic painting was auctioned off for $10,500. 
Spitsnogle had a work in progress of Scott Frost. The original had already sold. “The Return” as she christened it, was just recently completed. The last stage of an artist's project is signing the canvas, as for earlier this week, Spitsnogle finalized that last step. 
Spitsnogle currently works at Mainstreet Studios and Gallery in downtown Elkhorn. The space is used by other artists to express themselves and display their work. 
For the 2018 Cattlemen's Ball in Hebron, Spitsnogle has been asked to return for her third year in a row to conduct another one of her famous live paintings. 
She is honored to come back and says she will add some other paintings to be auctioned off for the event. 
When asked what the subject of her painting will be for this year she giggled and said she will know when it gets closer to the event. 
In the past two years she has yielded some fantastic works of art for the Cattlemen's Ball and she is looking forward to another successful year.