Background and career
Although she has painted her whole life, Angie sought formal training from Grant MacEwan College and the University of Alberta from which she graduated with a BFA in 1990.
As her first artistic career, Angie painted theatrical sets for Alberta Theatre Projects and Theatre Calgary, and credits the experience as wonderful training for inventing processes and new paint application techniques. Years later, she also started a mural company. This, as well as teaching theatrical painting at Mount Royal University kept her busy and happy until 2014, when she decided to channel her energy into a new challenge: painting for galleries full-time. Today, Angie's work is widely collected and can be seen in galleries across Canada.
Work and art
Whimsical, playful and eccentric come to mind when describing Angie Rees's painting style. From title to technique, each smile-inducing creation delights the eye and tickles the imagination:
"[...] I think my strongest source of inspiration is humour and wordplay. I love to laugh and to make others laugh. It's so satisfying to me when people walk through the gallery looking at my work and laugh out loud as they read the titles. [...] I hope my work reaches out and tickles the viewer —provoking their inner child."
The birth of her precious boy, Jack, marked the onset of Angie's whimsical style and helped her tap into the fertile ground of imagination.
"I feed it a rich and steady diet of children's storybooks and theatre, and try to indulge its every whim. This, in turn, fuels my ability to daydream. [...] It is so liberating to paint in a world where anything goes and imagination abounds."
Angie paints animals predominately but sometimes creates fantastical landscapes. Her imaginative works are extremely well crafted with rich surface textures and a vibrant, arresting palette. In fact, the more vibrant and patterned they turn out, the better. The wit and humour of her clever titles add another dimension to these "visual puns".
"My creative process varies: sometimes it starts with a funny title or pun I've thought of; other times it's an image that captures my fancy. Either way, while painting I'm always tossing around title ideas. It's a eureka moment when the right title and image come together (I usually know that I've found it if it gives me a little chuckle). The perfect title can say just that little bit more that you can't with your brush —it's like the cherry on top of a sundae."
Work always begins with drawings, and much time is spent getting them "just right" before she ever picks up a brush. Having experimented with a wide variety of materials —oils, watercolours, chalk pastels— Angie now paints exclusively in acrylics and uses different textural grounds to establish interesting surfaces on cradled birch panel supports.
At La Galerie d'art Au P'tit Bonheur
From February 2020.