Thursday, July 2, 2015

The Story of My Divorce, Works and Words (and some other Los Angeles related things) by artist Andrea Monroe

Andrea Monroe is a painter living and working in Los Angeles. Elements of Christian and Byzantine styles influenced her earlier work which she happily called Byzantine Pop. She looks to the color of Fauvism and energy in paintings as early on as Matisse’s or as late as Peter Max’s and has been influenced by pattern and designs of Mexico, South America, and Africa. All of her paintings develop through a solid control of her paintbrush and mix of hues. Andrea focuses on the relationships of color with concentration on shapes and lines rendering a smooth, flat finish to the final painting. 

Monroe has exhibited at Cactus Gallery, La Guitarra California Festival, and 11:11 Art Collective. She is a member of the San Fernando Valley Arts Council and Public Arts Initiative of San Fernando Valley.


The Story of My Divorce is a symbolic series painted through the emotional struggles of artist Andrea Monroe's divorce. At first she thought of these as something absolutely personal to her, but then realized there are so many women (and men) who suffer similar trauma, grief, and rejuvenation from this type of life changing event. It was after she painted the series that she then wrote poems to illustrate them and later compiled them into a book that can be treasured by all. 

Each painting inspired Andrea to write a poem. Andrea and guest readers, Dori Marler, Katie DesJardins Bull, and Lisa Bianconi, will be sharing some of these poems during the opening reception. Here is an excerpt from one:

Although I’m unaware
There is some hope dangling about me
For I’m held up by the thinnest lines 
Of my Possibilities 


Acrylic on canvas, 30" x 24"


Acrylic and paper on canvas, 24" x 24"


Acrylic and paper on canvas, 24" x 20"

In Spite of Catastrophe

Acrylic and paper on canvas, 30" x 20"

No Cicadas

Acrylic on canvas, 48" x 60"

Pain Body

Acrylic and paper on canvas, 20" x 20"

Sirf and Turf

Acrylic and paper on canvas, 30" x 30"

It Shall Remain Nameless

Acrylic and paper on canvas, 30" x 24"

The Tree of Life

Acrylic and paper on canvas, 30" x 30"

Painting and poetry which delves into the strength and insight gained as one woman emerges from what once was to the possibility of what will be. 6" x9", 48 pages, $15 each

Andrea Monroe's The LA Series visualizes the history, influence, and footprint of those who made Los Angeles what it is today and expresses her love of Southern California. When she began to research the City of Northridge, she found a significant history that is largely unknown. The historical aspect to the paintings is apparent through the renderings of the black and white figures. The symbolism is seen through the pattern, design, color, architecture and landscape of the era. The paintings combine the reality of the medium (acrylic on canvas) with the possibilities of the imagery (figures, landscape, and attributes). 

The ideas behind her paintings generally begins with a question starting with who - who was a street or place named after? After which is followed by what - what was this person’s contribution to historical LA and what was his or hers personal attribute? Then finally where - where is the location and what landmark signifies it? Their stories unfold through research, design, symbolism, color, pattern, and a smack of tongue in cheek references. The interaction between these elements as well as the methodical and tight compositions leads to a simplified yet complex narrative.

Doheny: Never Cry Over Spilt Oil

Acrylic on canvas, 30" x 30"

Edward Laurence Doheny was a U.S. oil tycoon, who in 1892 drilled the first
successful oil well in the Los Angeles City Oil Field, setting off the petroleum boom in Southern

The Halversons Were Here

Acrylic on canvas, 30" x 30"

The Halversons were the first farming family to settle in Zelzah, CA, where Cal State 
Univerisity Northridge is now located.

William Mulholland - A Cool Glass of Water

Acrylic on canvas, 30" x 24"

William Mulholland was the genius engineer who procured water
for all of Los Angeles via the L.A. Aqueduct.

Pio Pico On His Pinata

Acrylic on canvas, 30" x 24"

Pio Pico was the last governor of Alta California (now the state of California)
under Mexican rule.

Video link of the making of Pio Pico:

Will Rogers: I Never Met a Woman I Didn't Like

Acrylic on canvas, 30" x 24"


Will Rogers was a popular silent movie and motion picture actor, pundit, and honorary
mayor of Beverly Hills from 1926 to 1928.

Wilshire and His Wife

Acrylic on canvas, 30" x 24" 

Henry Gaylord Wilshire, pictured with his second wife, Mary McReynolds (the first
psychoanalyst in Los Angeles), was a land developer and outspoken socialist who gave
Wilshire Blvd. its name.

The Harlot

Acrylic on canvas, 48" x 48"


Acrylic on canvas, 4" x 4"