Lavender Field (Orcas Island) 8 x 8 x 2" ©Florence Moonan 2017
I have an intuitive approach to painting. As I begin a new work, I let my artistic process organically flow by making immediate decisions and taking advantage of chance revelations as to the direction of the piece. As I create, I am influenced by the colorful memories of performing in summer stock theater, my family, the natural world and experiences from my travels, but above all, music--especially Broadway musicals and opera. My love of performing merged into painting in adulthood after my father gave me a set of acrylic paints.
My first introduction to Venetian plaster came during a painting workshop in 2011. The effects immediately appealed to my love for abstraction. Then a uniquely personal artistic exploration emerged. My process includes building translucent and opaque layers with a metal scraper while adding to, subtracting from, and hand-sanding the surface to reveal a history of where I have been. Additional mediums, such as graphite, oil pigment stick, and Asphaltum sometimes are applied to further enhance my work, with gestural marks being my visceral reactions to whatever music I am listening to at the moment.
My current work celebrates the memory of my youngest sister, and a few cherished days three sisters reunited on her beloved home of Orcas Island — the largest of the San Juan Islands, which are located in the northwest corner of Washington State. After we lost her, I began seeing my sister in every element of nature and I started painting metaphysical landscapes. The plaster’s special qualities help me render surfaces that are to me immediately appealing and sensuous much like a beautiful aria. I am hoping each work in this series will also strike a chord with the viewer.
"Why do you try to understand art?
Do you try to understand the song of a bird?"