Thursday, January 17, 2013

Canvas & Pen...Art and Literature 2012 Spotlights

Last year our canvas & pen spotlight was on artist Monica Stewart and writer Tia McCollors.  Stay tuned to our Canvas & Pen tab for this spring's spotlight on artist Jacob Lawrence and author, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.  We'll have a book club schedule for a couple of Adichie's books as well as a teaching guide for some of Lawrence's art.  Can't wait!

But for now, here's a bit about Monica Stewart and Tia McCollors:

Monica Stewart's "Flow"
Flow by Monica Stewart

I came across Monica Stewart's art a few years ago and "Flow" is my favorite.  This piece seems to echo an ongoing celebration of the beauty of women of color.  Here's a little more about the artist:

Monica Stewart is an African-American artist who resides in Northern California's Bay Area. She has a number of fine art originals, open edition and limited editions prints available. Her work can be seen on television and is also featured on the 1998 Bank of America Commemorative Calendar. Monica is known for her unique use of pastels, brilliant colors and sensitive interpretations of people of color. Monica has recently changed her style and explains,
"My earlier work was predominately rendered with vibrant pastels. As a challenge for myself I decided to reduce my palette to a limited amount of color. Over the last two years I have been working on a material made from Egyptian palm fronds. This material with its natural textures and rich tan and brown colors makes an art statement of its own. It lends itself nicely to the ethnic feel of my latest work. On the Egyptian palm fronds I paint using a combination of mediums, which include India ink, acrylic paint and opaque watercolor. I really enjoy painting positive imagery of people. This can be seen in the majority of my work. In particular Rejoice and Whisper. I look forward to experimenting with other mediums and textures and I will continue to express and share my joy of living through my artwork".

Monica Stewart's paintings reflect a natural ability that was noticed by others quite early in her life. Throughout her school years she was encouraged by her parents and teachers to pursue a career in the art field.
Monica has become a nationally recognized artist. Her work has been seen in various movies and TV programs such as : "Waiting to Exhale, "Romeo Must Die," and the sitcom "Living Single." Monica's artwork has been featured on the California State Lottery and Bank of America calendars. Her images are also featured on a line of family record books, journals, and photo albums. Monica's paintings and prints can be found in many galleries and stores across the country.
Monica enjoys working in various mediums. Through her work Monica says that she enjoys exploring typical human experiences. She feels that she has obtained her goal when the viewer can enjoy her work and find a meaning that is both unique and personal.

Of her work, and the predominance of women in her paintings, Stewart says:
“I have a good understanding of myself as a woman, so I do tend to paint a lot of women. I have a lot of girlfriends, and we talk a lot. So in my work you’ll see a lot of women interchanging, talking, doing whatever.”

To find more about Monica Stewart's art, visit her website:

"Steppin Into The Good Life"
by Tia McCollars

Steppin Into The Good Life tells the story of Sheila who discovers that with faith, tough love, and some tough decisions, Shelia realizes that the life she'd been praying for she could have for herself is actually attainable.
Bestselling author Tia McCollors entices the taste buds of her readers with a sweet blend of faith and fiction in her inspirational novels. After leaving a 10-year career in the corporate arena as a public relations professional, Tia has emerged as a steadfast author of faith-based books.
In addition to being a novelist, Tia is an inspirational speaker and instructor for writing workshops. In 2006, Tia was voted as the Breakout Author of the Year by the Open Book Awards of the African American Literary Awards Show and was honored to be featured in the 2006 edition of Who’s Who In Black Atlanta.  A native of Greensboro, NC, McCollors is a graduate of UNC Chapel Hill.
For more about McCollors, visit her website:

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EH Canvas Spotlight - Flow by Monica Stewart

EH Canvas Spotlight - Flow by Monica Stewart
Flow by Monica Stewart