#monicalloyd #illustration #abstractlandscape
It’s November in Michigan, which means crazy reds, yellows, and oranges against a whole spectrum of blues and greens, apples and cider, and the general feeling that time is slipping away more quickly than usual. For this reason, my November post is a quick, concise profile on local artist Monica Lloyd, an illustrator who composes landscape-inspired designs in vibrant pinks, teals, textures, and undulating natural forms.
Meet Monica… she works out of a bedroom studio in a house she shares with two other artists. One corner of her room is occupied by a massive drawing table, above this table on the wall hang magazine images of landscapes from around the world. She makes time for her practice along side her role as rendering specialist at Scott Group, a local custom carpet design and manufacturing company. We sat down to chat at the beginning of the month and I asked about her influences, her process, and her future goals.
Monica’s work can be described as abstract drawing in ink and acrylic. The lines, shapes, and patterns she frequently uses hint at natural landscape forms like mountains and rivers. Her attraction to vibrant colors and patterns is rooted in a desire to challenge her own instinct for neutral tones and was sparked by a study abroad experience in India while attending Grand Valley State University. I also see map-like features emerging from the webs of pencil strokes and color that characterize many of her most striking pieces.
On her bookshelves are stacks of National Geographic magazines, some of which she flips through as we talk about her interest in the natural environment.
As I look through much of her work I get a sense that, as she works through the elements of each piece, she finds a ‘sweet spot’ or a successful moment that is carried into the next piece. I tried identifying separate bodies of work within her collection but found instead this evolution of certain patterns, colors, or shapes that carry from one piece to the next. This progressive transition of work is most clearly observed in two pieces pictured below. In the first, a flowing collection of teal wave shapes, rain-like hash marks, and dense penciled textures that feel like cross-sections of cellular tissues. The second, is a simplified version of the dense pencil texture compacted into a single rock of graphite marks. Here you can see one element pulled from the first composition into the next and elaborated upon.
Curiosity drives Monica’s creative practice. Inspiration may come from elements observed in the natural environment, but her mark-making takes on a life of it’s own as she sits at her drawing table organically responding to each gesture applied to the page. There seems to be an unconscious, almost meditative force guiding each sequential piece. I'll be interested to see how the winter effects Monica's color and line-work palette.
Coming soon you’ll see Monica’s work in the UICA’s Exit Space in collaboration with artists Kate Garman and Megan Gurisko, on view in November.
You can find Monica’s work available for purchase at www.monicadlloyd.com.