Florence Moonan | Biography
Painter, and mixed media artist, Florence Moonan, was born in Trenton, New Jersey, and raised in Lambertville. Stockton has been her home for over 50 years. She received her Bachelor of Fine Arts summa cum laude from The College of New Jersey in 2002. Her paintings have been selected for numerous juried shows, solo, invited, and group exhibitions in galleries and museums throughout the United States. Her work was recently included in Studio Montclair’sViewpoints 2016 at Aljira—A Center for Contemporary Arts, Newark, New Jersey; Langhorne Council for the Arts (LCA) Sumer Speakers Series (June 2016); Ellarslie Open 33, Trenton City Museum; Sculpture New Hope 2016, New Hope Arts Center; Pennswood Art Gallery (solo), Newtown, Pennsylvania, and featured artist for discover JERSEY ARTS (February 2016). Exhibitions in 2015 include: An Opening Dialogue - the Nature of Abstraction and On Your Radar? (invitational), Trenton City Museum, Trenton, New Jersey; Creative Tension, Perkins Center for the Arts, Moorestown, New Jersey; Phillips Mill Annual, New Hope, Pennsylvania, and Aria, Kol Ami Gallery (solo), Elkins Park, Pennsylvania. Her work was selected for exhibition for Summer Solo Series 2014, at Abington Art Center Jenkintown, Pennsylvania, and The Gallery at Hillside Square (solo) in Montclair, New Jersey (2014). Other honors include: Viewpoints Invitational Art Exhibition presented by the Hunterdon County Cultural and Heritage Commission (2013); Philadelphia’s Art in City Hall 2013: Library of Life, in collaboration with the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University; Abstraction Revisited at New Hope Art Center, and In My View, a solo exhibition in the Main Gallery at Trenton City Museum. In 2012, Surface Tension: work by Ayami Aoyama and Florence Moonan at The Gallery at Mercer County Community College. Her artwork is held in the permanent collection of The College of New Jersey, Mercer County Cultural and Heritage Commission, BARC Developmental Services, and the Family Service Association of Bucks County. It has been recognized with awards from the Hunterdon County Cultural and Heritage Commission, Phillips Mill, Ellarslie Open IX, Golden Key Art International, and others. Moonan is included in Doris Brande’s book, Artists of the River Towns.
I am a painter who loves the element of surprise—the happy accident, the bold gesture, the experimental, the destruction which leads to beauty—the process! I am filled with anticipation about how the work will unfold. It is a mystery waiting to be revealed to me and to be discovered by the viewer. Concerns in my artworks spring from bits and pieces from my memories, life events, family mementos, travel, and above all, music. While listening to the music of Puccini I am transported. If I can’t sing it, I will paint it.
Abstract painting provides the freedom I need to express my internal emotions through color and texture. I paint primarily with acrylic and acrylic mediums, and in recent years have been experimenting with other media. At present, I am working with Venetian plaster. Its unique quality helps me to produce surfaces that are immediately appealing and sensuous as a beautiful aria. My process includes building layers, scraping, erasing, rubbing, and sanding through the surface to uncover buried marks and textures that create a history of where I have been. A variety of tools are used to create unique marks and patterns as I make decisions and take advantage of the unexpected. Although the texture on my artwork appears to be raised, it is carefully hand sanded to achieve a smooth finish. Each work pushes the direction of the next until I have exhausted the possibilities. I think Edward Hopper got it right when he said, “If you could say it in words there would be no reason to paint.” For me, it’s as simple as that. (florencemoonan.artspan.com)