Monte paints in oils with a unique style in which she builds up many small, colorful, transparent brush strokes. Her brushstrokes can create details in her subjects or they can blend together to give vibrancy to large fields of color. The direction and pattern of the strokes often suggest movement as well in subject such as water and branches of trees.
Before she arrived today, Monte had covered her canvas with a solid coat of light yellow. She had also created a first layer that established shape and patten in her trees and sky. Today, she continued to add paint in small strokes, using colors that further defined the trees, deepened the night sky, and created the effect of light from the moon. The yellow of the background shows through and contrasts with the colors on top, creating a feeling of energy.
Small, carefully placed brushstrokes require a steady hand. Monte uses a mahlstick to support her hand and arm as she paints. The mahlstick is not only a help in painting precise details, it is also great ergonomic device to protect the muscles from strain and fatigue.
To create vivid, transparent colors, Monte uses a medium from Gamblin (local makers of oil paints and mediums) called “Neomegilp.” This product is a modern formulation of mediums used since Renaissance times to create luminous, glowing effects.
Monte is going to continue adding some color as well as some details to the surface of the moon and her painting will be finished.
UPDATE, 4/22/09: Monte brought her completed work today to hang in the exhibit. The last image below shows the final result, with a complete transformation to night sky and moonlight.