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Aubrey Coffee Creates Fluid Art

A Navy brat, new Anderson Artists Guild member grew up along the East Coast of the U.S., attending 12 different schools in 12 years. “It was difficult,” she said. “I had no high school reunion, no close friends.”

But after high school, she continued to travel as a TWA flight attendant. Her goal was to go every place her dad had gone in the service and to take her parents with her on buddy passes. The three of them did just that on trips throughout Europe.

One abiding interest for Coffee has always been food. “It’s in my family history,” she said. One grandmother earned a chemistry degree and taught home economics. Another grandmother worked in food service in the school system. And her dad started in the Navy as a cook. So Coffee earned a bachelor’s degree in culinary arts and hotel management from Johnson & Wales University and ultimately a Ph.D. in food science and technology from Clemson University.

She is now retired after a long career at Clemson as a food scientist, where she focused on Culinology, the blending of food science and culinary arts. She taught introductory food science, culinary, baking, and product development. She enjoyed helping students develop a product through attention to flavor, texture, taste, and aroma. The goal was to tweak a “gold standard” item and modify it and make it available for the consumer.

Unfortunately, this food scientist has developed many allergies, so she has to be careful about the 1 percent of ingredients not specified on food labels. Everything from lemons to ginger to latex causes a reaction. Ironically, said Coffee, “the worst allergy is caffeine.”

She started painting with oils with Bob Ross 40 years ago and returned to it recently, when she took up acrylics and discovered fluid art on YouTube. The designs, which often come to her in dreams, emerge as she turns the canvas. She adds modeling paste or joint compound for definition and dimension. She describes one piece as “kind of like a 1960s tree on drugs.” When she set up her booth at Pendleton’s Fall Harvest last year, her tag line was “What do you see?”

For more information about Coffee, visit #earthlypours on Instagram.


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