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Torquay artist gives talk about her coffee-painted pictures

Lauren Daae spoke about the ideas and the medium of her "caffeinated" art works.

WEYBURN – Torquay artist Lauren Daae gave a talk at a reception for her exhibit, “Collected and Caffeinated”, on Friday evening at the Weyburn Art Gallery, where it will be on display until Oct. 31.

Daae’s exhibit is a personal collection of western highlights, a look at the world through the wide, dreaming eyes of a Saskatchewan girl, featuring some of the iconic imagery of the western-prairie experience.

Pouring onto the canvas are coffee-coloured cowboys, pioneers, broncs, bison, and more. She noted the title of her works are a play on words, as the visuals are indeed “collected”, but the label also references specific equine terminology.

Lauren noted her sister went deeper into equestrian riding and in rodeo, and said the term “collected” refers to the posture a horse has when it’s relaxed and ready to compete.

Much of rodeo competition comes down to fractions of a second, and how a cowboy or cowgirl does also depends on the unpredictability and mindset of the horse, or in some events, on the steer, bronc or bull they are riding, she said.

With these works, Lauren wanted to relate the cowboy world to people who are living their lives and wanting to figure things out.

“I’m deeply influenced by my family roots. I don’t think of perfection, but of standing up for what you believe in,” she said, relating a story from when she was in school. A cousin of hers from Alberta gave her a blue bandanna, and she wore it as “a badge of honour” because she wanted so badly to be a cowgirl.

In spite of the comments from other kids, she kept wearing it because of what she wanted to be.

Her works feature a very unique medium: brewed coffee. As a coffee-colourist, her style flows much like watercolour and champions the contrast between refined detail and freely expressive splatter.

Asked how she is able to use coffee to paint, she noted she boils it down until it’s thick like a syrup, and she’s able to experiment with it to get the results she wants.

Recently she has turned her attention to watercolour painting, incorporating her signature loose and splashy style mixed with fine detail.

Lauren is a visual artist from Torquay, where she lives with husband Daniel and their four children. Lauren is also skilled in digital painting and illustration, diving into bright colour and pronounced strokes that reflect the traditional means of painting.

In 2016 she officially launched her fine art career and has been working to exhibit in various local galleries, as well as speak at events, host painting demonstrations and group classes. Lauren’s first solo exhibition series, titled “Common Ground”, debuted in October 2019 in Estevan.