Friday, September 11, 2015

Avant-Garde Art Exhibit: Reimagined

16 international artists who reuse and re-purpose unconventional materials to create art are featured in an art exhibit at the Cornell Museum of Art in Delray Beach, Florida. Reimagined is the name of the new exhibit featuring artists who  use recyclable and green materials including pill jars, credit cards, insects and scrap materials such as steel or wood and give them new life and purpose by transforming them into sculptures and portraits.

I am motivated and astonished to see the creativity these artists display in transforming everyday materials into stunning and imaginative works of art. As I travel my own journey to create green art, I appreciate the inspirations of other artists as they turn "trash" into treasures, and select materials that tell a story about their artwork.

"Landscape" by Paul Villinski
uses cans found on NYC streets to create butterflies

flying bird by Sayaka Ganz
uses plastic kitchen tools

"Lindsay Lohan" by Jason Mecier
portrait made from vodka bottles, cigarette lighters and other "hedonistic" scrap
The Details:
  • Cornell Museum of Art, 51 N. Swinton Ave, Delray Beach Florida
  • Reimagined: July 14 - October 18, 2015
  • Suggested donation: $5
I would love to hear how other artists repurpose scrap and transform it into artwork!

Shirley Monestier's online art gallery

à la prochaine,

Friday, August 28, 2015


 I'm excited to share my latest painting that I started this summer:

        Acrylic on Paper
        26” X 20”

This abstract artwork was inspired by reflection of floral colors in my garden and golden sunlight streaming through flowers.  Under-painting was accomplished with a roller (my first time using a roller).  I used eco-friendly Micro gold paint to depict golden sun rays in the garden.

I'd love this to hang in your home or office: contact me today to purchase Golden Summer Garden:

Shirley Monestier's online art gallery

à la prochaine,

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Work in Progress: Golden Summer Garden

I returned to France a few months ago feeling tired and stressed - travel today may be convenient, but it is exhausting! I visited a health clinic to re-energize, decompress and launch a healthier lifestyle. During Art Therapy at the clinic I started a new painting, and was introduced to eco-friendly paints. I spent a full month getting my strength and focus back, and am happy to report that I'm back creating art, inspired by my beautiful French garden.

I want to share with you my art work in progress, which I started during Art Therapy:
artist Shirley Monestier in her garden with work in progress -  ABSTRACT SUMMER GARDEN
artist Shirley Monestier in her garden with work in progress -

I am constantly exploring my creative side … looking for new mediums and techniques to improve my artworks.  In creating Golden Summer Garden, for the first time I am painting with a roller and using ORGANIC micro gold paint for overlay and transparency.  I have become more environment conscience and plan to use non-toxic, eco-friendly artist materials in creating future artworks.

I would love to hear from artists who are using eco-friendly art materials, your experiences in using them and where they can be purchased.

Golden Summer Garden will be finished very soon!!

Shirley Monestier's online art gallery

à la prochaine,


Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Exposition by Japanese Artist Yayoi Kusama: DOTS OBSESSION

Shirley Monestier at exhibit of Yayoi Kusama
On July 19th, I visited an amazing Exposition by Japanese Artist, YAYOI KUSAMA:  DOTS OBSESSION (INFINITED MIRRORED ROOM) at the Centre D’Art Le Lait, Albi, France.

DOTS OBSESSION is an immersive work composed of mirrors and "molecules" swollen and standing in space, in a closed world. The infinite reflection mirrors, the obsessive use of white dots applied to organic shaped balloons and the bold color red fascinate and disturb one’s perception. The dotted motif covered the entire floor and ceiling of the expo room .. . the mirrored walls gave you a sense of being in space.  I felt totally immersed in the exposition ... what an experience!

Dots Obsession by artist Yayoi Kusama
Yayoi Kusama’s conception and futuristic vision for this installation is extraordinary!

This exposition has been traveling around the world for the past year.  I missed the expo when it was at the George Pompidou Centre in Paris but, fortunately, saw it in beautiful Albi.

Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama
Avant-garde artist and writer  Yayoi Kusama as born in 1929 — an inspiration to those who think age 60 or over means going to the pastures! Kusama is making a comeback at 86 years old. After she left New York in the early 1970s to return to Japan, Kusama was nearly forgotten by the art world.

Recently major retrospectives of her work have been held:

  • Museum of Modern Art - 1998
  • Whitney Museum - 2012
  • Tate Modern - 2012
  • George Pompidou Centre - 2012
In 2008 a painting by Yayoi Kusama was sold by Christie's New York for $5.1 million, then the most expensive painting sold by a living female artist.

Kusama started to paint with polka dots at 10 years old, and has worked in a variety of media including painting, collage, and sculpture. In the 1950s in the US, Kusama began creating large sculptures incorporating mirrors and lights. On her return to Japan in the 70s, Kusama won awards for her poetry and novels. She began doing large open-air works incorporating mirrors and lights in the 1990s. Today Yoyoi Kusama's retrospective exhibit Obsession Infinita is touring the world.

Yayoi Kusama: Dots Obsession will continue at the Centre D’Art Le Lait, in Albi, France through October 25, 2015. I hope you're able to visit and are as inspired as I am!

à la prochaine,


Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Summer Activities to Nurture a Young Artist

When children are young, creating art is encouraged with abundant crayons, paper and praise. But as young children grow older, too often artistic activities are neglected in favor of academic projects. A career as an artist depends on many things, one being a nurturing environment to create art. Here are three activities you can do with your child this summer to create art and encourage creativity and expression.

3 Summer Kid's Projects to Develop Artistic Creativity

1.  Museum scavenger hunt: Take a field trip to your local art museum and hand your child a list of works or artists to find. Provide age-appropriate tips and tidbits as clues to find the artwork. For a pre-teen with a cell-phone try a clue like:

this pop artist is famous for his painting of a Campbell's soup can

2. Set up an easel in a park: Kids are used to drawing at home or 
viewfinder for outdoor drawingat school, drawing outside with an easel and pad is a totally different experience. Some children are easily distracted when asked to draw outside: a viewfinder to define the scene can be helpful.

Make your own viewfinder: a piece of 8x10 inch cardboard with a rectangle cut out as a window, about 3x4 inches. viewfinder instructions here

3. Draw a night scene: When children draw nature, they're 
typically encouraged to draw daytime scenes: flowers, sun, blue skies. Take advantage of the nice summer evening weather and (no morning school alarm) to draw night scenes, encouraging different colors and shading than daytime scenes.

For inspiration, discuss Vincent Van Gogh's Starry Night.

I'd love to hear how you encourage art in children!
à la prochaine,


Tuesday, June 9, 2015

How Jelly Roll Morton Invented Jazz - New Children's Book

Jelly Roll Morton claimed to have invented jazz - and many fans agree! A jazz pianist and composer, Jelly Roll performed across the country, but New Orleans was home to Ferdinand Joseph Lamothe.

Jelly Roll's music incorporated minstrel, ragtime, the blues and Caribbean sounds to create the sound that became known as jazz, and later performed swing. His hit recordings include:

  • King Porter Stomp
  • New Orleans Blues
  • Dead Man's Blues
  • Original Jelly Roll Blues
  • Black Bottom Stomp

A colorful and popular musician who started Jelly's Last Jam.
performing in brothels at 14 and gained fame in the 20s and 30s, Jelly Roll died at the age of 50 (or close to 50, as there are different years attributed to his birth). His story and music regained popularity in the 90's when Gregory Hines portrayed him in the Broadway musical

How Jelly Roll Morton Invented Jazz  is a new biography and children's book by Jonah Winter and beautifully illustrated by Keith Mallett (release June 16, 2015) that brings together two naturals: music and art.

Children have an innate love for both music and art, and as an artist and jazz fan I'm excited to share this new book that introduces children to the sounds and colors of jazz.

As an admirer of Keith Mallett's art, I highly recommend this book to share with a special child in your life - and you'll like it too!

à la prochaine,


Friday, May 22, 2015

Wild Noise Comes to New York City

Wild Noise: Artwork from The Bronx Museum of the Arts and El Museo Nacional des Bella Artes is a joint exhibition that features a visual arts exchange between the US and Cuba. Running from May 21 - August 16, 2015, Wild Noise is the most extensive visual arts exchange between the two countries in over 50 years. The exhibit includes:

  • an artist exchange with US artist Mary Mattingly and Cuban artist Humberto Diaz
  • a teen exchange program
  • educational and public programs
  • a dual language exhibit publication
The exhibit exchanges more than 100 art works from each country, and offers visitors to The Bronx Museum an opportunity to see contemporary Cuban artists who have long been hidden to US audiences due to political tensions between the two countries. 

Wild Noise is taken from a poem by Victor Hugo, Ma vie est déjà dans l'ombre des la mort.

click to see images from Wild Noise

For details on Wild Noise visit: The Bronx Museum of the Arts

I admire the work of Juan Antonio Picasso, a Cuban artist and distant relative of Pablo Picasso. The Havana artist enjoys being relatively unknown outside of Cuba, and his art expresses Afro-Cuban history and culture.
Blue by Juan Antonio Picasso

A 1999 Spanish documentary about The Black Picassos and his first exhibit in 2004 have put a spotlight on Juan Antonio Picasso, yet he is still able to work in his preferred anonymity.

à la prochaine,