My name is Monica Stadalski and I’m a freelance artist living in Upstate NY about 30 minutes outside the Canadian border. I grew up a military brat and spent most of my childhood and early adulthood growing up in the interior of Alaska, which is why I feel so at home when I’m surrounded by nature. ( I also love learning about the plants around me, from the folklore, symbology and how to use them medicinally, which is why you’ll see plants and art intermingled here on my site. (Plants offer their own type of magic.)
I’m a bit of a late bloomer and didn’t start exploring art until I was in my twenties although as a child my crayons and coloring book were always by my side, and in my late 40’s I’m still learning and exploring. I love trying new things and for some reason, when it came to art, I was always eager to jump right in. I’ve painted murals, entered national pastel exhibitions, participated in street painting festivals, taught workshops to adults and children and love experimenting with new mediums. (Much of my older work can be found on my Facebook page.) I attended the Academy of Art University and studied Illustration, which was a huge eye-opener for me in many ways.
Art has also been very cathartic for me after losing my oldest son Nicholas to suicide. Creating is a place for me to reconnect with my spirit and his. A lot of what I have learned spiritually during this time comes through in my current artwork and my hope is that it brings healing to anyone who needs it.
Suicide is a subject that most people are afraid to talk about and the stigma surrounding it only compounds the problem. If you suspect that someone is contemplating taking their own life, please do not be afraid to open a dialogue with them, it could save their life. If you would like to support the prevention and education of suicide please visit the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention to donate or sign up for an Out of the Darkness Walk in your area.
I believe that art can be a catalyst for more compassion, love, healing and magic in the world and I will continuously strive to represent these themes in my art.