An expressive language felt deep inside directs New Jersey artist, Florence Moonan's artwork. Its song is aroused by family memories, the natural world, travel experiences, and vivid recollections of performing in St. John Terrell’s Lambertville Music Circus a major cultural attraction in Hunterdon County from 1949 to 1970. Her love of performing merged into painting in adulthood when her father gave her a set of acrylics and told her to paint. Following in his footsteps, she began exploring at home while raising four children. She likes to say, "If I can’t sing it, I'll paint it".
Moonan was employed full time at The College of New Jersey for over 30 years. During that time, she began taking art courses through their tuition-free employee program. A painting class with a remarkable teacher taught her how to express inner thoughts and emotions through color and texture. It was a revelation and she began working in an abstract manner using acrylic paints and mixed media. She continued to work and study at The College, while building a professional art portfolio. In December 2002, she earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts summa cum laude. After retiring in 2007 she began painting full time.
Today, she is known for colorful abstract venetian plaster paintings. Through this medium she learned to create bold new ways of mark making using metal scrapers and various tools. Visual surfaces of color, light, and motion began to emerge as she applied multiple layers of hand-tinted plaster then sanded and rubbed to reveal passages beneath. The surface is burnished by hand and the results produce a tactile texture she describes as "smooth as a stone tossed by the sea". Her paintings evoke a range of moods from playful to mysterious.
Her work was selected for the New Jersey Emerging Artists Series at Monmouth Museum in 2017-2018. Her paintings have been included in numerous juried, invitational, and group exhibitions throughout the United States including: The Monmouth Museum, Lincroft, NJ; D & R Greenway Land Trust, (First Place Award), Princeton, NJ; The Center for Contemporary Art, Bedminster, NJ; Hunterdon Art Museum, Clinton, NJ; Maryland Federation of Art, Annapolis, MD; Chautauqua Institution, Chautauqua, NY; GoggleWorks Center for the Arts, (First Prize Award), Reading, PA; Phillips' Mill, New Hope, PA; and Prallsville Mills, Stockton, NJ.Musée Picasso