Mairi Budreau’s oil paintings offer an intriguing combination of sensuality and reserve. In both her studies of nature and her extensive work as a portrait artist, Budreau uses the sensation of touch as her access point. In landscapes, it is the feeling of spiky oak leaves or the kiss of a salmon’s back on the surface of a lake. In figure studies, it is the movement of skin gleaming across a stretched back, or the gentleness of a hand cupping a chin. Budreau paints both commissioned portraits and a continued series of male nudes, both of which find candor in sparsity. She eliminates both background imagery and props, leaving just a figure shown at intensely close range. Budreau hints at Classicism in these set-ups, but her subjects are too dynamic to be so easily classified. They smile and speak and move around the canvas, so that what might have been a simple bust composition becomes an exercise in action and personality.
Budreau lives and works in her native Canada. In speaking of her work, she asks, "Do you see what I feel, do you feel what I see?"