Monica Gewurz lives and works in Vancouver, BC. Born in Peru in 1957, Monica immigrated to Canada in 1976, where she obtained both a Bachelor of Science and Master in Landscape Architecture with a focus on environmental design and land reclamation. She earned her Fine Art Certificate from Emily Carr University of Art and Design in Vancouver in 2014, and is currently enrolled in their Painting Certificate program. Monica has travelled extensively, studying different art forms throughout the world.
Influenced by Turner, “the painter of light,” and Asian traditional painting, Monica’s abstract landscapes aim to reflect truthfully the moods of Nature. Captured on canvas or in silver, her work draws on the exceptional landscape of the Pacific West Coast, and worldwide tribal symbolism.
Eliminating recognizable details in her work, Monica explores the texture of patinas, the patterns of light and wind as they travel across water and rock surfaces, and the radiance of both calm and stormy skies. She creates an expression of spirituality rather than visual accuracy. Working from memory, Monica allows her subconscious to lead the way, leaving a space for herself and the viewer to wonder, imagine and dream.
Monica’s distinctive style of textural painting, in which she applies thick layers of acrylic paint and medium with palette knives, results in a 3-D effect, suggesting organic energy, flow and movement. At the same time, she uses multiple glazes of colour to produce contrast and harmony, creating lightness, fluidity, and ephemeral atmospheric effects.
Monica is represented by Ukama Gallery in Vancouver, The Kube Gallery, Mattick’s Farm in Victoria-Vancouver Island. Her paintings have been exhibited at numerous galleries in BC’s Lower Mainland, including Federation of Canadian Artists Gallery Granville Island; Ferry Building Gallery West Vancouver, and Seymour Art Gallery North Vancouver. Her work is in private collections the US, Mexico, Australia, Japan, UK, New Zealand, Peru, China and Europe.
Monica is a Board Director of The North Vancouver Community Art Council, and has an Active juried member status from the Federation of Canadian Artists, member of the North Shore Artists Guild and the Craft Council of BC.
Monica donates part of her proceeds to the Brooke Foundation in the UK and to the SPCA in Vancouver, to assist cats, dogs, horses and donkeys in need. She donates art work to the Children’s Heart Foundation, Lions Gate Hospital, BC Cancer Society, Museum of Northwest Art, Vancouver Aquarium, among others.
2. Artist Statement
I am a mixed media artist from Vancouver, British Columbia. Drawing on my background in science, I create evocative and purposely imperfect paintings inspired by the repetitious pattern of lines and shapes, found in nature and by the time-worn layers found in archeological sites. I am fascinated with the contrasting nature of the organic and how that can provide an escape to a dream-like-place. My paintings give the impression of imagery viewed from the vastness of space or through the lens of a microscope.
I use mixed media for its capacity to reach beyond the visual, to a more tactile process and overall experience. I invite the viewer to come closer and observe the ridges, cracks, strings, textures and pigment, like books that suggest and hint at layers of meaning.
Painting in abstract form challenges me to represent reality in a veiled, mysterious and intriguing way. Abstraction allows me the freedom to change what I see and feel into my own expression. The artistic process is, for me, one of constant discovery and conversation – the painting speaks to me, telling me what it needs, and I respond.
Texture and light are two elements I incorporate into my work, with the aim of blurring the line between painting and sculpture, integrating natural and man-made materials, inviting the viewer to touch it. I apply multiple layers of paint and medium, each partially revealed, to confer a luminous quality to my paintings. The textures and layers of colour provide a visual representation and expression of emotional complexity.
I seek combinations and qualities of materials and techniques to produce an abstract of reality, one that tells a story and elicits an aesthetic/emotional response, to draw the viewer into my work.
To fully experience my work, the viewer must immerse themselves in the layers, shades and textures of the art. I aim to seduce the viewer into a visual, tactile and emotional experience, creating an encounter – a meeting of minds and souls between artist and viewer. I want the viewer to feel a sense of peace with my paintings, and to inspire self-discovery and connection.
With my recent paintings, I continue my textural exploration of patinas, and the patterns of light and wind as they travel across water and rock surfaces. They are ethereal landscapes and forms of the mind, not of specific physical places, but rather, a state of being.
“Working with texture and layers in my mixed media paintings gives me an opportunity to express nature in an abstract way, to encourage the viewer to be moved by its beauty, and to create a mood that will seduce the eye and inspire the spirit.” Monica Gewurz