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Monica Faith

Artist's Profile

Monica's vigilant and sometimes feverish approach to her art (and her appreciation for all things creative) is as admirable as it is irresponsible, as meticulous as it is reckless, and as faithful as it is fickle.

She can spend hours and hours on a work of art, and the day it's completed she can paint over it in seconds and start an entirely new painting. She says this habit came from days when she couldn't resist the desire to paint, but had no more canvas and no more money. That makes sense, and that explains the canvases with paintings on the back as well as the front. And the reason she didn't get her deposits back in her early years.

Although in recent years Monica has wanted to read, study, view, learn.... there was a time when Monica had little desire to be shown or taught anything. She actually believed, in sixth grade, that she'd invented mosaic art herself until her teacher set her straight. She was sorely disappointed and wanted to be the first, not be the one taught. According to her mother, that started at birth. She shares a story. In Monica's very first (and only) season of ballet lessons, after numerous complaints from the teacher, Monica's ballet lessons came to an abrupt halt after Monica made up her own "exercises" (and dance), and performed "solo" without being asked.

On the flip side, she has the patience, understanding, compassion and intuitiveness of an excellent teacher. Though she was offered the opportunity to teach mosaics at a local college, she has only wanted to teach art to children. "Long after forgetting all about a thing, you can find yourself in love with ladybugs all over again when a child reaches out to hold one for the first time." View her photograph "Experiencing the Caterpillar" to see that not only does she manage to stay tapped into that inner child of hers, but she also uses this intuitiveness to know what ordinary thing makes for a timeless photograph. I do envy her that enthusiasm, and recognize this in her art.

While trying to decide what to write in this "about the artist" piece, I asked Monica how old she was when she first started. She laughed and told me every artist says they started drawing at a young age and I better not put that in her artist statement because so does every other child in the world. "All children are creators, all children are expressive, the difference is that some of us forget it or lose it along the way to being a grown up." I disagree and tell her about the time my teacher thought the horse I drew was a dinosaur. She said the fact that I remembered how I felt and why I drew the picture thirty years later tells her that there was more art to be found in my horse drawing than in some work created by the pros. Even if it did look like a dinosaur. Cool!

I'm going to share a story. There was a photograph of someone close to her that, over several years, she'd painted from three different times. Once when that person was away and missed, again when she was angry with that person, and yet again when she was thankful for (and felt indebted to) that person. She showed me photographs of the completed pieces. In the first painting the person looked very sweet and colorful and happy; the atmosphere in the second painting gave me the impression I wouldn't want to meet them in a dark alley alone; and this same person seemed almost saintly in the third. All beautifully painted, yet they each evoked their own distinct thoughts and feelings. I was amazed.

She showed me a similar example of how she uses music in her work. She showed me the original subject for a painting, and then three different paintings of that same subject. The first she'd painted while listening to Beethoven, the second she'd painted while listening to Metallica, and the third she'd painted while listening to Irish folk music. The distinct differences in the intensity, the brush strokes, the choice of colors, the flow of the painting, the styles she chose ... it was all very intriguing.

I personally feel, where Monica's artistic talents are concerned, she's probably only absorbed a fraction of the knowledge and experience she'd like to. Life's responsibilities have taken her away from her art many times over. Starving artist that she was, she created anyway, with anything she had. I'm sure her life will only see more and more to be gained by continued years of discovering, absorbing, expressing, creating, and mastering.

Her art should be experienced and enjoyed by all walks. I'm glad the artist Monica Faith with the magnetic personality has enriched my life with her art, her soulful beauty, her thoughts, and her passion. I hope she's discovering and learning and creating for many, many years to come...

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