In an effort to lift spirits, spread positive energy and support those around us, Artful Living has partnered with Excelsior-based artist Missy Monson to create the exclusive art print “Sweet Symphony.” A portion of proceeds from the sale of the print will benefit the Greater Minneapolis Crisis Nursery. Here, Monson discusses the inspiration behind this artwork, her creative process and more.
At what point in your life did you start making art?
I always loved art and science growing up. Premed was my initial major during college, and I became involved in cancer research. I took a couple studio art and art history classes for fun and quickly realized that art involved zero balancing of chemical equations and formaldehyde — and I switched my major to art. In doing so, I had the opportunity to intern at the Walker Art Center. In 2015, I was encouraged by good friends to start a small art business offering custom paintings and featured art collections. And now, I’m so happy to be a painter.
How would you describe the style of your work?
My hope and intent when people see my art is to convey a sense of happiness and relaxation. I think my style has a playful and light feeling that gives viewers time to ponder a good thought or memory. My paintings create a sense of familiarity like a pleasant nostalgic scene, mostly beaches or some type of nautical style. Usually abstract, but sometimes more realistic locations. Blue is probably my favorite to use because it’s the color of the sky and sea.
How has this past year influenced your creative process?
I’m a social introvert by nature. So in the beginning, it didn’t feel too different from my usual painting-from-home environment. And people were very supportive of my art. However, I had some art classes that I had to cancel. Miraculously, I was able reschedule, shape a safe environment and add new friends to the classes. I felt I was able to provide some joy and distraction in the midst of the unknown. We had fun, and everyone had a pretty, colorful painting they were proud to take home. I will treasure those moments, which have helped me appreciate what art can do for our souls.
What inspired the creation of this print?
My print “Sweet Symphony” is inspired by life itself. I love color and layering it in different compositions. It’s a happy, whimsical design that holds an emotional depth. Some colors are spread out, and some are in big clusters. Taken altogether, it’s a pretty combination of quiet and busy. Personally, I believe there are many ways to interpret art, especially the abstract. I can guide the viewer to see something, but ultimately, it’s up to them to feel a connection and make up their own narrative. As with my art classes, I hope to encourage creativity for everyone in their own way.
A portion of proceeds from this print will benefit the Greater Minneapolis Crisis Nursery. Why did you choose this organization?
I love children and have two of my own, and I have a good friend who volunteers at the Greater Minneapolis Crisis Nursery. For those reasons, I want to help the center with the proceeds from the sales of my art print and also provide art supplies to the children to provide a little comfort and imagination during a difficult time. It’s important to me to help other families.