Mabs became interested in art from a very early age, from as soon as she could hold a pencil, impressing teachers with her portraits, done of them. This progressed through high school.
A troubled early marriage saw her turn to art as an escape.
Remarrying, and after her third child started school, Mabs began a 4-year Associate Diploma through Wollongong TAFE. Majoring in painting, her husband Paul bought her a box of pastels and
she was hooked. So began a love affair with the medium that continues to today.
Mabs moved to the Sunshine Coast, joining Seaview Gallery in 1994 as an exhibiting member. Working alongside other pastellists she was introduced to the Pastel Society of Australia in 1996 going on to become a Master Pastellist very soon afterward.
Hervey Bay is home now and Mabs continues to paint and be inspired from this regional coastal area, while participating in shows and furthering her arts career.
I paint because I’m drawn to it, pardon the pun. Especially faces and figures. I spent a lot of time at the movies as a child, mainly watching beautiful musicals with satin, sequins and lace dancers in satin shoes with lovely lithe figures. Portraits are a serious love I’ll automatically sketch heads at any given opportunity. I also paint portraits, animals and flowers.
My art often comes from the imagination. The medium is so versatile to pick up and work and even though I work in other mediums pastel is my favourite. Pastel lets me work quickly which I am known for. I believe I have been given a gift that helps me through life
QLD Rockhampton Gallery
NSW Grafton Gallery
NSW Sydney’s Powerhouse Museum
QLD Caloundra Regional Gallery
QLD Galloways Gallery Brisbane
VIC Camberwell Art Show
QLD Nimue Gallery, Kingaroy - Joint Exhibition
QLD Caloundra Regional Gallery opening exhibition
QLD Kingaroy Regional Gallery – Joint
QLD PSA Master Pastellist Exhibition 2017 &18 GinGin- Joint
QLD PSA Master Pastellist Exhibition Redcliffe 2017 & 18 - Joint
Note: Mabs Vandenberg is an exhibiting artist with shows going back to before 1998. Not all are included in this list.
Three of Mabs Vandenberg’s original first prize portraits are held in collections around the world.
Many of her drawings and pastels are in private collections worldwide.
Some prize-winning work is in corporate collections and some in public collections within Australia.
Redcliffe QLD Landscape Prize pastel
Maleny QLD St. George Portrait Prize pastel
Maleny QLD St. George 2nd Prize Watercolour
Maleny QLD St. George Drawing Award
Sunshine Coast A& P Society Pastel Award
Maroochydore Pastel Prize
St. Peters Caboolture Numerous Awards over the years
Inaugural Pastel Society Awards 2nd Place
Australian Artist Magazine publication
PSA Country members First Prize and Commended
Hervey Bay Regional Gallery Art Awards First Prize Pastel
Note: this list is by no means comprehensive. Mabs Vandenberg is a prolific artist with awards dating back to student days.