Dean Mabe was born October 19, 1950, in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and has lived in the state all his life as a third generation native of Colorado. Having been raised on a ranch north of Colorado Springs, Dean was provided the opportunity to spend most of his life outdoors: watching the seasons change and spending time with nature and the many animals he raised. Dean’s art is culmination of years of experience of horse rides, sunsets, hunting trips, hikes into wilderness areas, climbs up 14,000-foot peaks, and hours and hours of sketching and working with acrylics and oils. Dean settled in oils to tell his story, the story of the hours in a saddle or watching the sunrise, or the moment summer turns to autumn. His work is representational and somewhat impressionistic, capturing and interpreting the moment and the detail that is the moment, almost without pause. Please read on to know Dean a little bit better.
Dean has been painting and drawing for as long as he can remember. Having grown up on a ranch and spending most of his time outdoors, the thought of being an artist was always with Dean. In high school, Mabe sold paintings to teachers and drawings of cars to friends. During his secondary education, he developed an interest in city planning and decided to pursue civil engineering in college. This led Mabe down a path into commercial artwork and owning an ad agency where his artwork, film work and ad campaigns won many awards for excellence.
As the article in Western Horseman Magazine put it, Dean’s Life has not always been an easy one. Dean was widowed four months after his first wife had their first child. He was left to raise her on his own. Ten years later Dean met Renee’ whom he married, and they live happily to this day. They have a family of five children: two step children from Dean’s first marriage, a daughter of Dean’s, and two children of Renee’s. And all the grandkids. “All one big happy family”. You can’t tell the players without a program.
After Dean got his feet under him, remarried and his career restarted, he was hit with a serious illness landing him in the hospital for five months. Following that, Dean and Renee’ decided to move to Del Norte, Colorado, to focus on his art more fully and get away from the stresses of the big city. They lived in a log house, heated with wood, and gathered firewood all summer for the long winters. The kids all worked on the ranch while pursuing their interests in school. This move allowed Dean to be immersed in western art and landscapes he has always maintained a desire to paint – landscapes which transport the viewer to simpler, more peaceful times. Dean pursued his art, showed all across the country, and studied with some of the top names in the business.
Dean and his wife, Renee’, have moved back to Colorado Springs, Colorado where Dean continues his artwork. His studio is a small museum of the trappings of his cowboy life. He still maintains interest in family, faith, horses, fly rods and paint brushes.
Thank you for taking the time to review Dean’s biography and his work.