Ashley Renda

At age 11, Ashley Renda of Ahwatukee is a budding artist and with a box of colored chalk  tried out a new “canvas” last week – her parent’s driveway.

Fancy garage doors are becoming the rage, but last week young Ashley Renda of Ahwatukee, had a cheaper idea with equal eye-candy value.

The 11-year-old girl decorated the driveway of her Foothills home with signed, handmade chalk illustrations.

The daughter of Melissa and Frank Renda, Ashley – along with her twin brother and a 13-year-old brother – moved a few months ago into the Foothills from Maricopa.

On Nov. 4, Ashley asked her grandfather to get her some chalk.

Then she went to work, populating the driveway with chalk drawings.

  “I wanted to try something different by using chalk, Whatever came to my mind is what I drew. I love shading, blending and rainbows,” said the Cerritos Elementary fifth-grader.

Her mother – a Queens, New York, native as is the youngster’s father – was delighted, but not especially surprised.

“Ashley loves art,” Melissa Renda said. “She has been drawing for a while now. I am going to enroll her in the art school in the Foothills but with her starting a new school this year we haven’t done that. She is a straight A student at Cerritos.”

Ashley’s artwork drew a lot of attention from her new neighbors, however her mother said, “I have a quiet street” so the compliments are low key though appreciative.

But the budding artist is getting the reaction that means the most.

“It just makes me smile to look at the pictures,” her mother said. “Maybe it’s just me because I’m her mom but I thought this was so creative and expressive.”

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