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Monks, Maria

Maria Monks
  • Departments:Community & Continuing Education Instructor

At 50, Maria was bored, living in a small mountain village (Ruidoso, New Mexico) when she decided to do what had been calling her for 30 years. She had time on her hands, she had retired to a beautiful place, and she had started her first drawing class. Maria studied drawing and design for two years at the local college, before beginning to paint.   

Maria remembers looking in Artist's magazine and finding someone whose work she just loved, and so she took lots of trips to California (and continues to) in order to study with Susan Sarback, whose own teacher is from the lineage of Monet. (Henry Hensche, along with his teacher, Charles Hawthorne, worked out a method early in the 20th century to make Impressionism teachable at the Cape Cod School of Art.)  

Once here in the Northwest, Maria also studied at the Emily Carr Institute in Vancouver, BC, Canada, and completed workshops with other fine artists, most notably with Heather Keenan of British Columbia, who taught Maria to incorporate lovely, soft oil stick techniques.   

Life has come full circle, and one of Maria’s biggest joys now is teaching the method of Sarback, Hensche and Hawthorne at Whatcom Community College. In class, she gets to share the vision of the impressionists with other burgeoning artists, as students paint beautiful Northwest landscapes. 

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