"Monika Kralicek is an independent artist living and working in Portland, Oregon.
Originally from Eastern Washington, I spent my early twenties traveling across the US and abroad before returning to the Pacific Northwest in 2010. Although I've fostered a passion for art my entire life, I forewent a formal education in favor of hands on experience and testing my own creative limits independently. At times, being a self taught artist presents it's challenges. But I’m learning each day to view it as an advantage as it allows me the freedom to create my own set of rules and it encourages me to work harder.
In 2016 I began a daily painting practice during which I translated small abstract sketches into larger landscapes. The intent was to renew familiar scenes, approaching each horizon based on an experience or mood. This work informed my recent explorations on the connecting line between memory and the experience of being in a place.
My landscapes are not specific locations but rather a combination of many different scenes. They are a translation of both the physical space and the experience.
Nature’s landscapes provide the lens, as I use paint to layer stories and experiences on canvas or panel. Conveying the atmosphere of a memory suggests not only the visual impression, but also the feeling of the air, the sound of the surroundings, and the individual emotional perception of that moment. I create isolated areas of texture to suggest detail and I balance color to evoke mood. There is a natural interchange between the earth's varied terrain and the impression it leaves in one’s mind, but we all experience this in different ways, my work remains open to the viewer, inviting them to create their own narrative.
As I spend most of my time in the city, I find my mind wanders to nature often. I see horizons and mountains in both memory and imagination so I tend to sketch them out, connecting impulsive, erratic lines to form an outline of a landscape. I bring these sketches back to the studio and begin layering with washes of subtle color and thick palette knife work. Each layer builds on the next, leaving a remnant of its story just beneath the surface. Ultimately, I aim to find a meeting point between the stimulation of being outdoors and the stillness of viewing art."