Enriching the Arts

Featured Artist: Audrey Mabee, ASA


nonameBiography

Audrey Mabee is an alumnus of what is now called The Alberta College of Art and Design.  She was a member of the Board of Governors and has served as the Acting President of the institution. She has served on numerous boards, juries and foundations over the years and was an art teacher at Strathcona Boys school, Calgary Creative School, the City of Calgary and taught Saturday morning art classes at ACAD. For over 23 years she co-owned a small shop in Calgary that focused on the promotion and sale of Alberta pottery and other fine quality handmade Canadian items.

Audreys’ paintings, usually figurative, are all oil on canvas, the core of the work focusing on design and interesting use of negative spaces. The images develop out of the process and are not fully conceived at the outset.

Significant commissions for private and commercial corporations include Starbucks, A & W, the Calgary Foundation, Alberta Children’s Hospital and her work  is included in the collection of the Alberta Art Foundation.

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Q & A with the ASA

ASA: Can you tell us about your influences?

Audrey:  My paintings are primarily “people oriented”.  Though I am not sure where that comes from, I have done a lot of life drawing over the years, and that may have influenced me more than I realized. My figures are usually quite stylized and often exaggerated.  Negative spaces are a strong element in the design of each painting.  John Paul Lemiuex is a painter that I admire a great deal.  The works of Modigliani and to some extent, Klimt, have been an influence and inspiration for me over the years. I get my ideas, from everyday life, then usually, give them a twist.

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ASA: What do you consider your most succesful body of work to date?

Audrey: Looking back at what I have painted over the years, I would say that my best body of work was for a show that I did in 2011……”Snapshots of Forgotten Friends” The paintings were all 30″ x 36″ ……the shape of most old photographs.  The idea behind the show, was the finding a box  of old snapshots and sort of, but not quite, remembering the people in them.  The paintings were titled with things like,  “The Dancer”,  “The Art Student”,  The Veteran” …much like we do when we can’t remember someones name, but remembering something about them anyway. These paintings were more subtle in colour, than most of my work, and I maintained a soft neutral background in all of them.  I kept the same quiet colours throughout every painting supplying just one shock of colour in each, which I referred to as the “poison”.  I felt that it was my most mature and probably some of my best work. A show that I had done  a couple of years previously, “Here’s to Life…in Poppy Coloured Dancing Boots” was also one of my favourites.

ASA and TREX Address

Crossroads Art Centre
#305 - 1235 26th Avenue SE
Calgary, AB T2G 1R7
ASA Phone: (403) 265-0012
TREX Phone: (403) 262-4669

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