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In The Artist's Studio with Audrey Orosz

Visiting with someone today whose studio I have wanted to get into pretty much since I met her, which wasn't long ago, in the greater scheme of things. Nevertheless, I've been curious about her workspace because I greatly admire her work.

Do you know how you develop a picture in your mind about some things? That's how it's been for me with Audrey's studio. I saw snippets of it during an occasional Zoom meeting and that just whet my interest.

My curiosity was satisfied today - I finally got to visit Audrey's studio. I am pleased to say, it's kind of how I imagined it. Neat, tidy and precise. Light, bright and roomy. Functional, practical and efficient.

It's a space where creativity can blossom, and does.
Like this new "work in progress". She is trying something new based on an artist's constant interest in improving, growing and developing her craft.

Life-Long Learners

Lifelong learners, that's what most artists I know are. Never satisfied with the status quo. Trying new approaches and techniques. It's probably why Annie Froese's journalling classes are so popular. Audrey attributes her time with Annie to her newly developed love of making cards.

The underpainting inspires the finished piece.

With a bit of good humour thrown in.

In this case, the lips spoke to her first.

Inspiration can come from so many places - like a children's book.

Travel as an Inspiration

I learned early on that Audrey and her husband use to be regular snowbirds in Mexico. But rather than wintering in the more typical locales, they chose to get off the beaten path and preferred a more immersive experience. As she says it...

"One of my favourite Mexican scenes is the town plaza, which is often bordered by arched walkways that surround an elaborate bandstand. Imagine a warm evening, a local band playing a latino beat, couples circling as they dance, the older folk watching from wrought iron benches. The country's vibrant mix of old and new begs to be captured on paper."

Her love of the country comes through in her images loud and clearly.

Roots

Audrey came to High River from farm life in Saskatchewan via Creston B.C. I know! An interesting route. Her love of farm life is also vividly portrayed in her work with images of elevators and fields at harvest. Not to forget the icon of the prairie - the grain elevator.

Some of these pieces will arrive at the Highwood Gallery while another will be a study for future works but the combines and trucks are Not For Sale, as that is a scene from their home farm. Like so many who have made their lives off the land, harvest calls them home annually, to see the crops safely in the bins.

In addition to life on the farm, Audrey and he husband were caterers. Preparing meals for all manner of occasions large and small. Hence the cookbooks where I expected to see art books. Those books were on a different shelf.

Retirement

I use to have a concept of what that word meant but it has gone right out the window. I think Audrey would laugh at my old definition. Retirement for her meant time to pursue an interest that there were simply not enough hours in the day for before.

We can thank the Creston Art Club for nurturing this budding artist and helping her on her way in the field of watercolours. Previous university classes and many art books were also stepping stones on her path of discovery. Thanks to the internet with its many online courses and her time with Annie, Audrey has developed into an accomplished artist. And she's not finished yet!

Her Studio

As they say "a picture is worth a thousand words" so I will save typing a few words and share some pictures instead.

Through this strange time of Covid, many of the artists who work shifts at the gallery find time on their hands. But rather than let it go to waste she make good use of those "found" moments. So you may come in and find an artist "at work" in more ways than one.

Audrey carries a painting book and palette with her along with a stack of inspirational images she has collected and is working her way through. These a some of the results - time well spent I would say!

Palettes

I've thought an artist's penchant for collecting brushes a tad excessive but I now find some also have a thing about palettes. Rather like a photographer and their equipment bags, never the exact right one and you can always use another.

There is your everyday palette, your travel palette, a palette for a special set of colours and a palette that you thought would be handy and may or may not be, but you needed it.

And Brushes

There are the travel brushes, the "go to" brushes, the brushes that didn't really work out but you have to hang on to them because they may be useful but probably not and there are the brushes you definitely won't use but someone gave them to you and there is that attachment to them. Then there are the pastel crayons...

I missed taking a picture of the "go to" use everyday, couldn't live without brushes.

You can learn some interesting things about a body while you explore their studio.

For instance, Audrey is a champion polka dancer.

It's true - it says so on the picture - Jan. 2018

They have a beautiful garden too.

This and that to wind up.

A few more cards because I really like them.

A print of a commission piece that hangs in a restaurant in Creston.

And of course, the artist herself, Audrey Orosz. Saskatchewan and British Columbia's loss is our gain. So glad she found her way to High River.

Audrey's art can be found at Highwood Gallery and Gifts, Colossi's Coffee House in High River and online at www.audreysart.ca.

Until next time stay safe and stay healthy.

Created By
Cathy Bennington
Appreciate

Credits:

C.J. Bennington Fine Art Photography