Fashion meets Art: Monica Lee-Henell

As December gives way to January, most of the trees are now bare and the grass has faded from green to brown. Even though winter has only just begun, I’m already dreaming of spring. 

For a taste of spring's warmth, I find myself gazing at Monica Lee-Henell's paintings like "White Blooms," shown above. I can almost smell the flowers, feel the sunshine and hear the birds chirping in these oversized paintings. Even as they seem to offer a glimpse of the season to come, there is also a resemblance to the flowers that are still blooming and the recent collection from AlbertaFerretti

"Falling in Love" 
The leaves of the evergreen trees give splashes of color to the winter horizon. And though it may seem that the garden is empty until spring, there are still a few blooms offering their petals for our enjoyment. The deep hues of green, black and brown, that act as a backdrop to blooms of white, yellow and plum in Lee-Henell’s paintings are reminiscent of the deeper colors and feelings of the winter season. There is a heavy and earthy quality of the leaves and shrubs that is offset by the lightness of the blooms that mimic nature’s display this season.   

"Forsythia Unconditional"
Even if only for a limited time, the vibrant red and bright pink of begonias add a touch of color against an often gray sky. The last of the white and fuchsia mums nod in the winter breeze. And the purple, gold and white pansies shine brightly even as snow graces their petals. 

Lee-Henell’s lush and large brushstrokes across the canvas transport us to a place of beauty, one we might not always find in the dreary months. 
Flowers like those in the "Mystique", are like a snapshot of winter's remaining flowers. There is an abstract quality to many of the blooms in her paintings, with the mere suggestion of shapes through highlights and shadows.  

The fabrics used by Ferretti are similar to the painterly approach of Lee-Henell. The gauzy fabrics move across the skin like the soft and wide brushstrokes across the canvas. The floral prints are sometimes abstract with delicate details like ruffles and pleating to mimic a flower’s petals. 
Even though it’s not always easy, and the frost might deter you, these paintings and gowns serve as a reminder to stop and smell the roses, no matter the season.

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