Florence Moonan is a New Jersey artist who is passionate about painting and music. When she was a child growing up in Lambertville, her heart was set on performing, but a set of acrylics gifted from her dad redirected her focus and she began painting at home while raising four children. Today, her home and studio are located in Stockton.
She was employed at The College of New Jersey (previously known as Trenton State College) over 30 years. During that time she began taking art courses through their tuition- waiver program. One semester she registered for a studio class with a remarkable professor who taught her to express her inner thoughts and emotions through color and texture. It was a revelation and she began working in an abstract manner. Using acrylic paints and mixed media, intuitive paintings began to spring up from bits and pieces from her memory. Family mementos, loss, travel, and above all, music, began to inform her work. It was a turning point. She was learning a new language. Today, she is known for colorful abstract venetian plaster paintings. Through this medium she learned to create bold new ways of mark making using metal scrapers and various tools. Visual surfaces of color and motion emerge after multiple layers of hand-tinted plaster were added and subtracted. The surfaces are hand burnished and the results produce a tactile texture as smooth as a stone tossed by the sea. Her paintings evoke a range of moods from playful to mysterious. A mystery waiting to be revealed to her and to be interpreted by the viewer.
Moonan advanced in her career at The College while continuing her studies and building a professional art portfolio. In December 2002 she earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts summa cum laude. She retired in 2007 and began painting full time.
Her artwork was selected for the 2017-2018 New Jersey Emerging Artists Series at Monmouth Museum. Her paintings have been selected for numerous juried shows, invitationals, and group exhibitions throughout the United States including: D & R Greenway Land Trust (First Place Award); Phillips Mill, New Hope Arts Center, Prallsville Mills; Ellarslie at Trenton City Museum; 11th GoggleWorks Center for the Arts, (First Prize Award) Reading, PA; The Center for Contemporary Art, Bedminster, NJ; Hunterdon Art Museum, NJ; Maryland Federation of Art, MD; Chautauqua Institution, NY, and the Hunterdon County Cultural and Heritage Commission’s Invitational Biennial.
MÉLANGE, a medley of art
An expressive language felt deep inside directs my work as an artist. Its song is aroused by family memories, the natural world, my travel experiences, and vivid recollections of performing in St. John Terrell’s Lambertville Music Circus a major cultural attraction in Hunterdon County from 1949 to 1970. My love of performing merged into painting in adulthood after my father gave me a set of acrylics and told me to paint. MÉLANGE includes tactile venetian plaster paintings, charcoal drawings capturing the essence of nature, and a medley of up-cycled LP records. Some disks have the appearance of ancient artifacts and others suggest connections to the song tracks beneath the newly painted surface. My paintings evoke a range of moods from playful to mysterious. The viewer need only bring his imagination.