Driving America's Art Scene - Hunterdon County, NJ USA

Florence Moonan

Florence Moonan

Painting

Music, especially Broadway musicals and opera, is a driving force in my work. This connection is rooted in my childhood performing in the Lambertville Music Circus, a local summer-stock theater. Performing evolved into painting as I discovered the ability to express inner emotions by applying color and texture to canvas or wood in an abstract manner. I have an intuitive approach to painting as I make decisions and take advantage of chance revelations. My work is also informed by travel, family history, and the natural world. I currently work with Venetian plaster on board. The plaster’s unique quality helps me produce surfaces that are immediately appealing and as sensuous as a beautiful aria.

My process includes tinting the plaster then, using a steel scraper, applying multiple coats to the board. Various materials and tools are used for rubbing, scraping, and sanding the surface to uncover buried marks and textures that create a history of where I have been. A unique exploration emerges following this process of adding and subtracting layers. At times, bold gestural marks originate from visceral reactions to music. Additional mediums such as graphite, oil stick, and Asphaltum are often employed to further enhance the work. The top layer is carefully sanded by hand to achieve a smooth finish. Each work pushes the direction of the next until all possibilities have been exhausted.