Friday, August 10, 2012

Professional Artist Magazine - Artist Spotlight - September 2012

Each month, one artist is selected to be featured in "Artist Spotlight" by Professional Artist Magazine. The upcoming September issue is now on news stands, and I'm the lucky artist. Here is the article.

By Kim Hall

Monique Straub's pastel works pulsate with the energy of a Van Gogh, while capturing a uniquely bold but feminine appreciation for nature.

"My love for color, pattern and all things botanical is a result of spending summers with my grandma. She was an incredibly talented costume designer and tailor by trade, and I was lucky to grow up surrounded by beautifully colored fabrics and bold patterns."

Straub says her "green thumb" also came from her grandmother, and eventually influenced her direction as an artist.

"I've always enjoyed creating topiary gardens and beautiful outdoor spaces. On a fluke, I answered a 'help wanted' ad for a commercial landscape estimator and landed the job. For the next 10 years, I was fully immersed in all things botanical at work, and painted in watercolor part-time. When the company was acquired and went corporate, it was just the nudge I needed to open the next chapter of my love for plants, nature and art. I joined a local artist association, picked up my watercolor brushes and set out to paint the landscape for a living."

Straub pushed herself to enter two competitions a month during that time, but an accidental introduction to pastel not long afterward provided her with the medium that would best bring her evolving vision of the landscape to life.

"My in-laws gifted me with a wonderful 180-piece set of 1965 vintage Grumbacher pastels that they had been given by a friend. I began dabbling with them over old watercolor paintings to learn the feel. My pastel skills developed over a period of years, mostly from online reference material, research and daily painting practice."

Twelve years later, Straub paints with the passion for color and boldness that was bursting to come out of her. She primarily sells her work online, in local fairs and festivals, and through her beautiful working studio in Spanish Village Art Center in San Diego, California. She uses social media to stay in touch with collectors and fans, and posts daily painting works to Due to the fragile nature of the work, she also opts to frame everything under glass prior to shipping or transportation. While managing all of the aspects of her career can be time-consuming, Straub approaches it with a surprising amount of ease; she loves being an artist, and that includes all parts of her career.

"The balance of moving from creative activity to sales and marketing just feels so natural to me. I enjoy the process of selling my work as much as I enjoy creating it."

In March 2012, Monique Straub was awarded Signature membership status with the Pastel Society of America. For more information on upcoming exhibitions and shows, visit www.

Professional Artist Magazine -- September 2012

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