| started painting at the ripe old/young age of 10 after an art teacher watched me drawing pictures of the flowers in my moms garden and suggested | take classes. That year | was surprised and thrilled to win a first & second at the U.P. State Fair in the students division with my oil paintings. A family pastime was also to do paint by numbers at the kitchen table. It's interesting looking back how childhood hobbies and interests sometimes lead a person into their path in life.

After high school | attended NMU with plans to become an art teacher, instead | got my Mrs degree & put my education on hold, about 10 years later my husband suggested | return to my art. | was nervous since | hadn't held a brush in years but thankfully | was able to take lesson from 2 U.P. wonderful artists Bill Hamilton & John Heath, | was hooked.

For many years | enjoyed doing oil paintings, exhibiting in local galleries & art shows. The flow of water colors caught my attention & although this is said to be the hardest medium | was determined to give it a try, took many workshops & have been enjoying it since the early 2000's. It is challenging & rewarding as all the different techniques produce a painting. In 2017 | was again intrigued when | saw the bold colors and the magical flow of alcohol inks, so different from the soft transparent water colors. It's interesting to have an idea & plan but the inks do their own thing & you learn to adapt. No matter the medium I'm working in my favorite subjects are florals and landscapes especially U.P. scenes & white birch trees.
| can't imagine not having an artist brush in my hands in the future. Painting is a "wonderful way to run away without leaving home." | enjoy getting lost in my art. Thankfully | have had many opportunities to be an art teacher, sharing my knowledge, encouraging & helping others to enjoy their talents......... paying it forward.

Monica Miller-Mortel
| include my maiden name when signing a painting to give honor to my parents.