Audrie Mergelman’s artwork focuses on horses – the animal she calls her “true muse.” She has worked with horses, both in her life and her art since her freshman year of high school when she got her first horse, Syrup. From then on, her love for horses became a lifelong passion. She’s dabbled in college rodeo, but she ultimately decided she loved art and academics more than riding professionally.
Audrie has always been an artist, and she’s grateful for all the support she’s received from a very young age. In her high school home, she had her own studio, and she shares a love of painting with her father. Although she painted all through high school, she didn’t take any technical courses. However, that didn’t stop her from getting a 4-year art scholarship to USC-Pueblo where she earned her BA in Painting.
After college, Audrie decided to continue her education by going to UNC and receiving an art education certification. Since then she’s been teaching art across Colorado, and has lived and worked in Loveland for the past 14 years. Over the course of her career, Audrie also earned her Master’s Degree from Adams State College. She was driven to continue teaching and sharing her love of art with her students, but it soon became clear to her that she needed to take a step back and focus on her painting.
Although Audrie still teaches in Loveland, she’s equally focused on her personal artwork these days. She knew she had to put in the hours to receive exposure, and so she put her work in a co-op gallery. Audrie has expanded her work to include plein air landscapes, but her true passion still lies with painting horses. She sees the way they move and work is not unlike the way a ballet dancer might move through the air. She loves that they communicate so much with their head, ears, and eyes – and works to capture that expression in her paintings and illustrations.
Audrie believes that while horses are technically the subject of her work, the paint itself is also the subject. She believes in underpainting – to do a drawing and paint over it. The drawing itself is as technical as possible. That way she can paint freely and enjoy the process more. She often works from her own photography, but is looking forward to incorporating much more abstraction in her painting work in the future.