Friday, August 23, 2013

Friday Feature: Vicki Monette

Hi Everyone,
"Greetings from Nepal" original watercolor by Vicki Monette
Today I have a fabulous Friday Feature:  Vicki Monette.  I met Vicki through the Louisiana Watercolor Society a few years ago.  I had the best time getting to know her a little and her art and story are beautiful.

To see more of Vicki's work visit her website and facebook page

How did you get your start what has been your artistic journey so far?

Art was always an important part of my life.  I grew up drawing and painting, and took art lessons when possible.  My high school had a great art program, which inspired me a lot.  I studied Art Education at Louisiana State University.  After graduation I was offered a job in retail advertising.  So for the next 7 years I drew newspaper advertisements for JC Penney, Woman's World, Godchaux's and  other clothing stores. I loved drawing in pen and ink,  loved the details an patterns of clothing.  The job was absolutely my dream job, and i loved it.   I had to leave that work when we moved to a small town.  I went back to oil painting which I had done since the age of 13.  Then I saw some big bold watercolor paintings that I couldn't get enough of, so I took a class from the artist.  Watercolor has been my first love in art ever since.  I was totally hooked because of the luminosity and beautiful textures that can be achieved with watercolors.  I bought books and DVDs and took workshops to continue learning.   I have met some wonderful artists at workshops, including Carrie.  Having artist friends is a great inspiration to continue learning and painting.

Where were you born?

I was born in Tampa, Florida.
"Massai Market" original watercolor by Vicki Monette
If you could live anywhere, where would you live?

I would live in the country, surrounded by nature.   I love the peacefulness and beauty of country living.

What has been your favorite thing to paint and why?

I like to paint whatever stirs my heart and keeps me awake at night thinking about how that paint it?  My favorite subjects include details, colors, and light and shadows.  I like to paint the people of Africa with their bright clothing and beautiful beaded jewelry.  My husband and I have been to Kenya five times.  we travel there to do Marriage Conferences for African Pastors and their wives.  After the conference, we take a few days for a photo safari.  We just returned a few days ago from our most recent trip.  I am looking through hundreds of photos to see what painting is waiting there for me?  Two of my paintings , "Massai Warrior" and "Massai Woman" were painted of the people I met in Kenya.  Another painting, "Greetings from Nepal", came from  a photo that medical missionaries showed me.  That painting is my favorite right now.  I also like to paint southern scenes.  We live about an hour from New Orleans and I am working on some paintings of the French Quarter now.
"Massai Warrior" original watercolor by Vicki Monette
Could you talk about your painting techniques?

I paint from photos that I have taken.  Sometimes I can only get one photo of a subject, but when possible I like to have many photos to look at.  I use tracing paper to work out my composition.  I cut, rearrange and redraw the picture until I get what I want.  Then I transfer to Arches 300# Cold Press Watercolor Paper.  The paper has been soaked about 5 minutes then stapled to a board.  When the paper is dry, I mask all white areas.  I begin painting from light to dark.  I work around the entire painting in many thin layers of paint, blending and softening edges.  I truly enjoy the painting part of it  so I am not in a hurry.  I love seeing the painting develop.  Most of my paintings have many glazes on them.  I build up layers of thin glazes to get subtle changes of color, depth and shape.  Sometimes I pour the paints on the paper and let the colors mingle and blend to make beautiful lights and shadows.  My "Rockers" paintings are poured.  As I paint I make notes of the colors used and where I used them. I write colors and mixes on a separate piece of watercolor paper.  Sometimes I put sticky tabs on my palette with notes like "This yellow", or "Skin Mixture".  So when my painting time gets interrupted by travel or meetings, I can pick up where I left off.
"Massai Woman" original watercolor by Vicki Monette
Do you have a favorite artist?
Who has been your biggest inspiration?

I do not have a favorite artist, however there are many artists that do gorgeous work and I love seeing their work.

My biggest inspiration has been my family, friends, and collectors who encourage me.

What have been your crowning accomplishments?

A few years ago I started entering juried competitions.  I recently got my signature membership in the Louisiana Watercolor Society.  I am hoping to receive signature memberships in a few more art organizations.
"Rockers" original watercolor by Vicki Monette
What 5 things would you like to accomplish in the next five years?  (Dream Big)

I would like to be juried into more shows and receive recognition, awards, sales.
I would like to have my paintings shown in galleries.  I have done this in the past, but in recent years, I have been slack in chasing this dream.
I would like to write a book of step-by-step art lessons.  I would like to share what I have learned with others.
I would enjoy a month to just paint.  That would be wonderful and hopefully productive.
To dream big, I would like to have a larger studio, with more room.  I guess that is every artist's dream!

What is your advice for other artists who are just getting started in their career?

My advice is to take workshops.  Learn from master painters whenever possible.  Another way to learn is to buy, rent or borrow DVS's and books by artists, and learn their techniques.  Also helpful is to have painting buddies to encourage you to paint.
"Blue Hydrangea" original watercolor by Vicki Monette
What is the best advice you received as an artist?

Paint what inspires you, and paint often.  Even if it is just an hour a day, make time to paint.  It is worth it!

Speed Round

Chocolate or Vanilla?  Chocolate
Dream vacation spot? Hawaii
Book or movie? book
Favorite author?Joel Rosenberg
Favorite movie? classics
Romance or comedy? Romance
Favorite dessert?  Chocolate cake with chocolate icing
Night owl or morning person?   morning

Thank you so much Vicki.  Can't wait to see the paintings that come from your latest adventure.

Have a great weekend everyone,



  1. Wonderful interview. Her work is beautiful.

  2. Vicki's work is beautiful! I love "Greetings from Nepal!" Thanks Carrie and Vicki!

  3. Vicki's work is so amazing! Great interview!

  4. Her work is BREATHTAKING!!!! I love Greetings from Nepal!
    A beautiful portrait!!! I will be visiting her blog!
    thank you for sharing, Carrie!!!

  5. Vicki's work is excelent, and I enjoyed reading about her travels and inspirations for her paintings!