ARTisSpectrum Vol.35, May 2016

23 ARTisSpectrum | Volume 35 | T he lush landscapes and urbanscapes of Swiss impressionist painter Marianne Monnier-Koenig are stunning both in the scope of compositional execution and in the depth of meaning derived from the artist’s masterful use of color, texture, and light. Painting in a true impressionistic tradition, Monnier-Koenig transforms natural and man-made settings into complex, idealistic terrains characterized by a strong sense of harmony and balance, and an almost idyllic approach to composition and palette. Inspired by the approach of the Impressionists and in particular the work of Claude Monet, Monnier-Koenig is driven to paint what she feels. Often working in plein air and alternating between oil paints and pastels, she delves deep within to uncover all the human emotion and feeling reflected in the natural beauty of our world. She seeks out those places that she finds most fascinating (sometimes following in the footsteps of those Impressionists who came before her) capturing and magnifying all the splendor of color and light that scene has to offer. As Monnier-Koenig explains, “To be in my own image is an enrichment for me….I communicate just what I feel and what I see.” Stars over New York Oil on Canvas 40.5” x 30.5” Marianne Monnier-Koenig B orn in Hamilton, Ontario, Nancy McLean studied Art History at McMaster University, where she became intrigued by the differences between Western and Eastern painting. After graduating, McLean studied Chinese brush painting under Leo Wong, a Toronto- based artist who taught her the methods of the Song Dynasty. Later, while working in South Korea and traveling to Japan, McLean found herself drawn to the simple contour lines prevalent in local architecture. Using these lines to depict movement in her work, McLean also incorporates knowledge gleaned from the study of European artists. The result is a unique body of work laced with iconic Canadian symbols. McLean works mainly in oils, creating worlds of earthen greens, yellows, and browns, set against occasional bright bursts of blue. While many of her fantasy landscapes are filled with woodland creatures, they are punctuated at times with soldiers, toys, and weeping leaves. Often, seemingly whimsical scenes are buttressed by a serious, nearly hidden message. Discussing these underlying themes, McLean says, “I strive to create an image of an imaginary world, almost childlike and naïve, but buried below the obvious is a hidden meaning.” 92 Hello There Oil on Canvas 36” x 48” Nancy McLean