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Beyond Colors:
A Journey of Monochrome Landscapes

Monica Blignaut’s landscape paintings are inspired by her experience of surviving and dealing with the 2020 global health crisis that was the COVID pandemic which resulted in the world shutting down for two years and still affects us daily. After her BA Fine Arts degree where she explored abstraction in search of meaning and the raw power of materiality in this series, she explores the materiality of painting and how layering creates form and shape.

 

Her desire to travel and connect with the world beyond the four walls she was contained within to paint meant her subject matter returned to landscapes a subject matter that fascinates the artist due to her travels. it became a means of mourning and a way of finding hope during the chaos of the world being locked down due to the coronavirus in 2020. The series has developed to explore the artist’s experience of moving across the country during the pandemic at the end of 2020 to mark her journey of moving to Hermanus in 2021 and now living in the city of Cape Town in 2023. 

Monica’s use of limited monochromatic colour palettes creates a sense of simplicity and minimalism in her work. This draws focus to her compositions and the form of the landscape, rather than being distracted by a wide range of colours.

 

In conjunction, her painting techniques of thick brushstrokes, broken colour, and loose brushwork create a sense of movement and depth in the painting. The viewer can feel the movement of elements like air and water in contrast to the layered landscapes creating a sense the depth in the architectural elements of the paintings. The nature of acrylic paint dries quickly allowing Monica to work with a sense of immediacy and spontaneity which adds energy and movement to the paintings.

 

Her techniques are further enhanced by her use of monochromatic colour schemes which allow for bold contrasts of light and dark, which give her paintings a sense of depth and movement. This is particularly effective in landscape paintings, as it can convey the ruggedness and grandeur of the natural world or heighten the dynamic nature of the sharp angles of modern skyscrapers and how the curves and arches of ancient structures convey fluidity, dynamism and unhindered movement.

 

Exploring the senses of the different cultures, locations and time periods and how they have influenced landscapes reflects the influences travel has had on the artist's personal experiences and perspectives. Her work marks as commentary on the impact of human development on the natural world and how travel influences perspective.

By being forced to stay at home in a small space this series reflects the human desire for the world and community.

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The Bixby Creek bridge, Monterey USA

Acrylic paint on Canvas

80x80cm

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Vatican City, Rome Italy

Acrylic paint on Canvas

80x80cm

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The Venice Canals

A diptych these two black and white paintings show the canals in the city of Venice in Italy.

Acrylic paint on Canvas

120x90cm each

Sydney, Australia

A monochromatic black and white painting of the skyline of Sydney Australia.

Acrylic paint on Canvas

150x50cm

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Netherlands, Holland

A monochromatic black and white painting of the Netherlands, Holland.

Acrylic paint on Canvas

150x50cm

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Bridge near Visegard, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Acrylic paint on Canvas

80x80cm

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Brooklyn Bridge, New York City, USA

Acrylic paint on Canvas

100 x 100cm

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