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Chasing the Light and Painting the Truth

Mary Monk has been an award winning professional artist for over twenty years. Her work can be found in a myriad of public and private art collections including permanent art collections belonging to St. Tammany Parish and the state of Louisiana. She has appeared in numerous magazines such as: Plein Air Magazine, Pastel Magazine, Louisiana Life Magazine, New Orleans Art Review Magazine, St. Charles Magazine and Inside Northside Magazine. She received the majority of her artistic training through classical drawing lessons but is a self taught pastelist. She is an active member of the Degas Pastel Society and the Pastel Society of America . 

Monk’s primary medium is pastel and she is mostly known for her country/urban landscapes. No matter the subject, mood and light are always the true focus of her paintings. Her choices of color and subject matter are heavily influenced by growing up in the city and moving to the country to raise her family. The transition of urban to country sparked an infinite pool of inspiration for the artist. The majority of her paintings are scenes done en plein air.

Mary Monk grew up in New Orleans but has been living in Abita Springs with her husband and four children for the past twenty years. She is represented by LeMieux Galleries in New Orleans, Rita Durio and Associates in Lafayette, Louisiana and Merchiston Hall Gallery in Biloxi, Mississippi.

"The focus of this past year has been a journey to find a resolution of truth between nature and my paintings of nature. The most difficult part of my journey has been the battle of time, light and patience. As plein air artists, we are so often racing to beat the limitations nature imposes on us. I really wanted to slow down and appreciate each experience. I wanted to savor the realization that the view before me will never be exactly the same again. I wanted to experience the truth, not just paint what I see but paint what I feel as well. I wanted to paint the truth. There is value in painting the truth. It is real and sincere and that is what I want most for my art."

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