I don’t know how many of you have seen Disney’s Tree of Life “It’s Tough to Be a Bug” but it was hands-down one of the best shows I saw at Disneyworld. I was utterly fascinated and learned so much, letting me know: Bugs are exciting and ever-so-interesting.
The artist who painted this boat knows about bugs, too. A friend recently sent me the link to his website, with the statement: “Check him out. I think you’ll like.”
Well, she was wrong…I LOVE this artist and his work.
When I first visited his website, I said: “Oh, wow, his artistic style is similar to that artist my husband and I saw at Grove Park Inn, a while back.”
Then I whooped it up, excitedly, as I realized: He is THAT artist.
Leo Monahan is 80 and looks spectacular, sporting a trim build and a natural shock of white hair. I just met him, personally, as a group of us enjoyed coffee, at Well-Bred Café, in Weaverville. He came up to introduce himself, after having been told that I was the writer who posted a loving comment, on his new blog (we bloggers need to stick together.)
When asked, he told us of his rich past, as a Walt Disney employee, presumably using his gifts and talents in artistic endeavors, to the delight of children everywhere (this is the connection with the opening paragraph about Disney’s “A Bug’s Life.”)
Now, Leo lives in Barnardsville. His wife came out from Los Angeles, some years ago, found the home they’d delight in, and moved Leo in….But then, she went back to LA (she’s still got a foreign correspondent/journalist.) She returns regularly, to regroup with Leo.
But here’s what I like about Leo Monahan’s art. It’s like nothing I’ve ever seen before. Yes, there are those who dabble in oil, water color, pastels, acrylics, but Leo is wildly unique:
He cuts his paper shapes out first, then paints, and then layers them.
His palette is rich and dramatic (except for one Snowy White Collection). His latest flurry of work reproduces the cicadas and emanates from the fact these bugs live underground for 17 years, then make explosive entry, up from their subterranean sojourn (they’re the ones who make that buzzing noise as mating call, and considering how long they’ve waited to do this, that noise is explosive!)
Their emergence is happening now.
Oh, they’re not going to break the sound barrier here, in Western North Carolina (some say the mountain soil isn’t conducive) and they don’t make it as far north as New England, so we won’t be hearing their exiting (no, it’s not “exciting” so I didn’t spell it wrong) rhapsody, either.
But Monahan’s managed to capture them on in gorgeous, 3-D color…
Leo is represented by another friend of mine–PR person, Nancy Swift, and together, these two are making noticeable music of their own, as Nancy utilizes her extensive IT training and interpersonal skills to get Leo bookings, readings, and seminars where he teaches his technique (he and she are in the picture, below.)
Asheville appears to be the “Land Where People Recreate Themselves” (utilizing skills of former careers.) This will be a theme in future posts, as I shine the spotlight on many.
Now, go back up and click on that word, ‘cicadas,’ to read fascinating info on these creatures that wait so very long to tunnel up, in our midst…Chefs today are even devising recipes for the crunchy darlings…”Is there nothing we don’t eat?” “Where’s the ‘Save the Cicadas’ Contingent in Asheville?”
Next post? I sing the praises of one Rhode Island lawyer and the difference he made for us..Yep, lawyers aren’t the usual folks commended, but this one went far beyond the usual. I consider him a model of excellence for his industry… wherever they practice…’Til next time, Monday, July 8th….In the meantime, enjoy Leo the Colorman’s website...and listen for the chewing of cicadas, at a territory near you.