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The art of Milo and Mickey Asche can be seen at Galiano’s Antiques, Fine Arts,

and Baby Boutique, 101 N. Main St., Picayune, (601) 799-3929, or by appoint-
ment only at Asche Studios, www.aschestudios.com, (601) 799-3235.

MILO and MICKEY

M
TEXT AND PHOTOS BY LOUIE GALIANO

MICKEY ASCHE REMEMBERS THE DAY HIS LIFE CHANGED. IT HAP-


PENED WHEN HE AND A DATE WERE SITTING IN A RESTAURANT
GETTING READY TO EAT. THE WAITER CAME TO TAKE THE ORDER
AND MILO ASKED FOR THE DESSERT MENU.
“But we haven’t eaten anything yet,” Mickey said.
“I think I’ll have the chocolate pie first,” Milo said.
Enter Milo the free spirit, whom husband Mickey says has taught him that life was not structured
according to the standard methods of custom, and who gave him the courage and daring to become one of
the finest up-and-coming wildlife and landscape artists in the South.
Milo and Mickey Asche are a team, each complementing the other in ways that are subtle, unconcealed,
and endearing. Both come from different backgrounds, led different lives, and came together while surviv-
ing loss, yet turning it into a gain. Milo was born in Colorado Springs, Colo.; Mickey, in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Early on, Mickey’s family moved to Picayune, whereas Milo followed a friend to Slidell, La. They met
there in a theater production, and it was there that they decided to put down roots.
But four months later, Hurricane Katrina put an end to that prospect, totally destroying their home and
most possessions. Mickey, an aircraft mechanic with Chevron, and Milo, a self-employed massage thera-
pist, moved to higher ground in Picayune, where Mickey’s company had set up a trailer park for displaced

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ART | milo & mickey

employees. But one morning on his way to work, a recur-


ring knee injury disabled Mickey. Still, the condition allowed
him and Milo the opportunity to pursue their original aspi-
rations - painting.
Milo started in acrylics, Mickey in watercolor and for
the next few months they painted constantly.
“We had so many paintings we didn’t know what to do
with them,” Mickey said. “So we decided to walk around
the streets of Picayune and see if anyone was interested in
buying them.”
Milo sold her first painting for $40,
Luck struck when the couple walked into Galiano’s
Antiques and met Debbie Galiano, who recognized the nas-
cent talent of the blossoming artists and who began to dis-
play whatever prints and paintings Milo and Mickey deliv-
ered.
“Debbie sold many of our works and gave us encourage-
ment,” Milo said. “We’ll always have a soft spot in our
hearts for her. She started us on our way.”
After surgery and recuperation, Mickey returned to his
original job, but within a few days he realized that in the
interim his life had veered toward a different course.

“People thought that I was crazy


for leaving a great job, but painting
was all I wanted to do.”
So how do things work out when one scraps it all to

32 a cc e n t s o u t h m i s s i s s i p p i
follow the dream? Mickey’s oils now command suggested by misty angelic figures which appear
thousands of dollars. He is featured in Artists almost ephemeral in their gentle use of delicate
magazine, where he placed in the wildlife division earthy colors. Wildlife art has become Mickey’s
of a competition, and his prints are published genre. The couple recently spent three days
through Live Oak Editions which sells his work anchored in a houseboat in the Atchafalaya Basin
from the Carolinas to east Texas. Last year, he was where Mickey took more than 2,000 photographs
commissioned to do the official poster for the of wildlife and swamp scenes to be later conveyed
Madisonville Wooden Boat Festival. to canvas, although Mickey is known to stop his
“I never doubted for a minute that Mickey car upon seeing a bird beside the road in order to
Asche would be a great artist,” said Milo. take its picture for a subsequent transformation by
With her own works, Milo attained “Best in his brush.
Show” at the Slidell Arts Evening and won the “We are always growing,” Milo said, “always
“Best Landscape” division in the St. Bernard Art on the verge of something great. We are now
Guild. exhibited in eight galleries between Louisiana and
The Asches recently rented a house in which to Mississippi. We live the life we love, the way we
do nothing but paint and return to their home at want to live it. It is our own life and belongs to no
one else.
night.
“We found that there were too many distrac-
tions in our own place,” Mickey said, “particularly “And, most of all, in our
with our four dogs. It was when I was working on version of things, there’s
a painting and I noticed one of the dogs looking at
me and wagging his tail right across the wet can-
absolutely no reason why the
vas that we decided we needed a quieter spot.” chocolate pie can’t come
Milo says that her paintings range from child- before the meal.”
like whimsical images to what she calls chaos,
which is represented by the textures and structure
used in her work. Presently her mode is “softness”

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