Candidate Profile

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Art Instructing
Blending traditional watercolor technique with an informal handling of shapes, a bold use of color, and twist of spontaneity, Mary Monagle creates unique watercolors from conventional images. Nature always delivers an abundance of possibilities for painting, and the artist strives to improve on nature. The ever-changing interplay of shadow and light challenges the artist to interpret the beauty of a particular moment, and to render a unique view of the beauty of that fleeting moment.

After working for two decades as a traditional watercolorist, Mary has incorporated acrylic technique and collage elements with the watercolor process. She has enriched the spontaneity of watercolor by enhancing it with texture and dimension. Illuminating the fabric of nature by this emphasis on texture encourages us to probe the complexity of the layers to discover the underlying natural joy around us. Though her style has developed over many years, Mary credits several well-known artists for their influence. Included are Charles Reid, Mare Akana, and Jean Spicer.

Mary, a former professor on the Faculty of Arts And Science at Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey, has taught a broad variety of students. A former consultant to AT&T, she is a gifted teacher/demonstrator whose enthusiasm encourages participants to exceed their own expectations. Currently, Mary has been the ďartist in residenceĒ for Cunard, Holland America, Celebrity, and Princess cruise lines, sharing her watercolor techniques. A former member of the Somerset Art Association and the Westfield Art Association, Mary is currently a member of the Manasquan River Group of Artists, Audubon Artists, and paints with The Plein Air Painters of the Jersey Coast.

The artistís work has been juried into many exhibitions, and she has won numerous awards for her work, which is in private and corporate collections. Her work has been exhibited at The New York Mercantile Exchange, Educational Testing Corporation in Princeton, NJ, and the Salmagundi Club in New York. Mary is represented by Frederick Galleries, Spring Lake, and the Guild of Creative Art, Shrewsbury, New Jersey. She maintains a studio in Spring Lake, New Jersey.

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Generally, I begin our watercolor sessions with an abstract painting, using only the three primary colors. I favor this as a first painting because everyone, beginners as well as more experienced painters, will succeed; there is no right or wrong with an abstract, but there is an awareness of shape, color, color mixing, and line, all useful elements to master. This also allows for a very relaxed approach, so guests will enjoy the painting experience.

Let me explain my approach to our painting sessions. After handing out supplies, I will circulate the original copy of the piece we'll be working on, so that guests can begin to sketch. I will then begin the painting demonstration, showing a very minimum sketch, and explaining the colors I'm mixing, as well as the amount of water I'm using to achieve a particular result. I tend to comment all the while I'm painting, which makes the atmosphere rather informal and encourages questions. When I get about half way through the painting, I'll ask for questions, then let guests begin work on their own pieces while I circulate around the room helping individually.

Since cruise destinations vary, our selection of painting topics will vary as well. We have painted Mt. McKinley on an Alaskan cruise; painted bamboo and spirit houses in Asia; painted sunsets in the Caribbean. I try to use less challenging pieces in the first few sessions, then progress in the complexity of the pieces as we move along. For instance, we have painted sailboats, using only one color, to the subtle coloring of Cape Town's Table Mountain with vineyards in the foreground. When cruising, the possibilities for painting topics are limitless, and such fun to explore!

Recently, I have added some Mixed Media pieces to our Watercolor Program. I have incorporated handmade papers, as well as other ephemera, with watercolor and acrylic. The pieces are textured and the colors and dimension are exciting. We have also devised a Trip Collage, highlighting guests' favorite memorabilia with textured and handmade papers, producing a unique piece of art to capture the essence of their cruise.

At the end of a cruise, I like to schedule an Art Show. Initial shyness is overcome with the general enthusiasm of the group, and guests thoroughly enjoy the experience of having their fellow guests rave about their talents! The only regrets are from the guests who did not come to our sessions!
I have been fortunate to teach watercolor and mixed media over the past several years on ships throughout the world. Iíve been the watercolor instructor on Princess, Holland America, and Cunard ships over the past ten years.

January, 2019: Cunard Queen Victoria: Southampton to San Francisco; First Segment World Cruise-30 days
September, 2018: Holland America Amsterdam: San Diego to Ft. Lauderdale; Grand Asia-81 days
June, 2018: Cunard Queen Elizabeth: Roundtrip Southampton; Spain, Norwegian Fjords, British Isles-33 days
January, 2017: Holland America Prinsendam: Roundtrip Ft. Lauderdale; Antarctica-80 days
March, 2016: Cunard Queen Elizabeth: Hong Kong to Southampton; Second Half World Cruise-67 days
I have an Australian Maritime Crew Visa (subclass 988).