By Bonnie Gangelhoff
What inspired your winning entry? In this painting I am looking at the way the shapes are playing back and forth with each other. I don’t probe too deeply as to why I select objects for paintings. I choose them because of their shape, color, and certainly because of their textures. I like to think that my selection of these objects at some level has some meaning. And I hope that my intuitive nature makes good decisions about where the objects should be placed. With still lifes I try to paint objects close to life-size, so when someone is standing in front of a piece it has a presence.
Why do you like working in pastel? I work in oils, too. Out for a number of reasons I am also attracted to pastels. I like the idea of not having to mix colors. I am a better editor than a creator. It’s easy to take a box of colors along with me as opposed to oils. I can look down and pick colors, and I feel confident with the materials.
Do you come from an artistic background? My sister sings, and my two brothers are drummers. I’m the only visual artist in the family.
Where did you study art? I studied the Dutch and Spanish still-life painters. For figurative painters, I have studied Caravaggio and Velázquez. And I look at Georges Braque, Odd Nerdrum, and Ben Nicholson. I love the delicacy of Nicholson’s pieces and how he uses simple shapes to make big statements.
What is your favorite subject matter, and why? The figure, but I love still life, too.
What is the one thing people will never see you paint? I hope they never see me paint badly.
Future goals? I want to do larger figurative pieces.
Representation: Miller Gallery, Cincinnati, OH; www.ronmonsma.com.
Featured in our annual “21 Over 31” competition in November 2010