Monica Adams creates oil paintings of beauty icons from the 1940s and 50s, their long hair and luscious lips layered with bold, colorful patterns. Embracing the natural weave of the canvas, the artist stretches her own canvases and uses clear gesso before layering charcoal and paints to achieve various washes and textures. The artist’s works are informed by her overseas travels to London, Paris, Venice, Umbria, Switzerland and Egypt, and indeed, the women in her paintings have a universal and timeless sense of beauty.
Adams’s Lace in Her Hair renders an idealized woman in profile modestly looking down. Her head and garment appear to be covered in an ornate lace, on top of which the artist layers floral motifs in cheery orange, pink, and yellow. Similarly Miss Lace depicts a beautiful woman, her head coquettishly covered and her gaze averted. Her pouty lips and eyelids are painted with thick swaths of peach, a stark juxtaposition to the ornate detail seen in the woman’s richly embellished dress.