Artist’s works speak with feelings

"Unspoken" oil on wood, 42 x 42 in.

     Just as her work was beginning to be noticed by galleries and juried exhibitions the accident happened. Monika Steiner was thrown from a horse and broke her back.

     Lying in a body cast and staring at the ceiling can be just about as bad as it can get.  Add to that a divorce and living in a different country and life can become unbearable real fast.  The mind can be an enemy or a solace in times of despair and sometimes we just need to stop and listen.  Monika chose the latter.

     “I became interested in life and the unseen aspects of life. I started to read a lot about metaphysics, meditate daily etc, and I am trying to express what can’t be seen with our eyes, but maybe felt and expressed through abstract art,” says Steiner in reliving those days only a few years ago.      

      Born in 1972, Steiner and grew up on a small farm in Bern, Switzerland where everything was real. Chores needed done, school led to a good education and you selected a straightforward skill that would concrete your future.  So Monika became a schoolteacher and a teacher she would stay because that was the way of the world.

     Moving to the US was not only an exciting transition to Steiner at the turn of the century, but also a disappointing one. Teaching credentials were different from those in Europe and she found herself out of the job market. Art had always been her hobby in Switzerland, so she enrolled at Sonoma State University in California and earned a B.F.A. degree.

     Monika was inspired by an instructor at the university to view the world in a more abstract manner instead of the figures and realism teachings that she had been taught.  Her work reflected the right balance of color, the harmony and composition needed to bring attention to the movement in and out of space.

"Reaching for the Truth" bronze, 16x8x8 in

     The artist favors a platform of birch wood prepared through rabbit skin glue to the traditional canvas for beginning her mind stimulating displays. “I love this totally smooth, hard, surface because it allows me to create texture, use sandpaper, and at the same time glaze thin layers and do drips that flow smoothly,” says Monika.

     Fascinated by spheres, Steiner has discovered an astounding shape that is as vast as the planets in the universe but as tiny to be hidden from the human eye in atoms and forms of matter.  Linked to our mind energy in mysterious ways, the sphere allows one to breed new ideas and reach new dimensions of thought. 

     Monika expresses, “I believe everything begins as simply potential, an idea that’s waiting to be born or an object that could be created if we put our intention to it, and through compounding creates the complexity of life itself with all it offers.”

     The relationship between her paintings and the simplistic awakening of the brain is evident in the major collections now seen at the Trump Hotel in Panama City, Panama, the JW Marriott Hotel Ankara, in Ankara, Turkey, and the Maturango Museum in Ridgecrest, California to name a few.  Many group and solo exhibitions are also noted with a recent show in Columbus, Ohio that opened the minds of several Midwesterners. 

     Sculpting is a secondary passion of Steiner’s.  Her bronze creations are a unique display of density and negative space, balance, and polished edges against shadow and texture.  Very difficult to achieve through a long process of modeling in wax, making molds, casting, sand blasting and grinding, Monika loves the ancient technique that was used 1000 years ago.

"Arrive" oil on wood, 46 x 58 in. “When I began working on Arrive, I was still exploring the line idea, but was noticing more and more spheres emerging in my thoughts and work. In this piece, I felt I had "arrived" at the essence of the insight I was seeking by following our "lines" that led from one state of consciousness to the next.”

     Monika lives in San Francisco, California where she continues to be a full time artist and revels in the creation of images that bring about a beauty that only the mind can mold and shape into the meaning of it all.

     Aside from her forthcoming shows this July 2 at the Janine Bean Gallery in Berlin, Germany and opening August 15 at the Muse Gallery in Columbus, Ohio, you can discover more at

Print feature: Portrait of Monika Steiner-aapj library 01-2011

Published by on February 2012. Filed under Archives, Art-to-Art Palette Journal, Cover Section, Paint Box Section. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

1 Comment for “Artist’s works speak with feelings”

  1. We are proud to have super talented Monica Steiner of San Francisco-Bern Switzerland as one of our Represented artists!

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