12th International ARC Salon Live Exhibition



Click on the image to visit the Facebook event page.

I am honored to have my painting Blowing Smoke (Portrait of Aaron Shikler) included in the 12th Annual Art Renewal Center (ARC) Salon and to have my painting hanging alongside works by some of today’s best artists in this prestigious exhibition. If you have the chance to go, you will not want to miss this outstanding show.

The Art Renewal Center (ARC), a 501(c)(3), non-profit, educational foundation, is proud to present the 12th International ARC Salon Exhibition which will consist of 82 Contemporary Realist works, selected from an original 3,100 entries from 63 countries. The most prestigious realist art competition in the Americas and perhaps the world, the International ARC Salon offers over $100,000 in cash awards and International recognition through partnerships with prestigious magazines, galleries, museum exhibitions, and a strong online presence. The ARC Salon Exhibition will be on view at the Salmagundi Club, 47 Fifth Ave., New York, NY from May 12th – June 1st, 2017. The exhibition will then travel to the MEAM Museum, Barcelona, Spain where it will be on view from September 23 – November 27, 2017. Although many of the works in the exhibition are on loan from private collections from around the world, many of the works are also available for sale. For inquires and to learn more please visit https://www.arcsalon.org ; or write to kara.ross@artrenewal.org.

N.Mone_Blowing SmokePortrait of Aaron Shikler

My painting Blowing Smoke (Portrait of Aaron Shikler) – Recipient of the Collection Magazine Publication Award and Dual Category Award.



The painting that was “gonged” off the easel… A cautionary tale.

This morning I read that Chuck Barris passed away. (I was wondering if it is possible that he timed his “gong from life’s stage” immediately after the very recent passing of music legend, Chuck Berry, just to create a little amusing confusion in this week’s conversations.)   His kooky game shows are forever engrained in memories of my youth.

So, in honor of Mr. Barris, I decided to share some photos of the destruction and transformation of a painting where his contributions to my childhood shaped my decisions at the easel. I present to you, The Unknown Artist (A Self Portrait) – Unfinished & Abandoned.  A cautionary tale of working on a painting while upset, and about knowing when to step away.

The Unknown Artist_A Self Portrait_by Nicole Moné_©2017_Unfinished

The Unknown Artist (A Self Portrait) by Nicole Moné (Unfinished) 18×24″ Oil on Linen

This painting began as a (more conventional) self portrait – the block-in started out alright.

The Block inMore work on it
And then…I made the grave error of working on a painting while streaming the 2016 election results….Election Night mistakes _The last smile you'll get for a whileIt devolved from here. I was not thinking about the painting and was adding random colors.  I completely destroyed the painting of the head in short order.
This could have easily been salvaged – but in the moment, my perception was that everything was ruined and could not be fixed. (Wine may’ve been involved.)
When I returned to the studio (with great apprehension – for I knew what was awaiting me), I sadly laughed to myself as I mused how it was time to “hit the gong” and pull this bad act off the easel…
Thinking about The Gong Show and “the Unknown Comic”, I added the bag to my head to make me The Unknown Artist – then came the gong and I drew in my mahl stick as the gong mallet. I was very disappointed that the original progress on the painting was gone – but my new self-portrait lifted my spirits. If everything is ruined – find a way to make yourself laugh.
Again, as it looked when I liberated it from the easel:
The Unknown Artist_A Self Portrait_by Nicole Moné_©2017_Unfinished
Now, with some distance from the “incident” – where I had abandoned this painting to move on from the election-night-studio-carnage, I am actually thinking this self-portrait captures me (at least a few facets of me). I just might let this canvas get back on the easel and finish its act…

Now, if only I could hit the gong and have someone pulled off the world’s stage – sent packing with the “Worst Act” award…

The take-away here is two-fold: 1.) By all means paint when you are very upset – just not on an ongoing painting for which you have a plan.  – and  – 2.) Set your destruction aside for a few months and look at it with fresh eyes and a fresh mind. You might have the beginnings of something, completely unintentional, that makes you smile.

Also, goodbye Chuck Barris. Thank you for adding to the strangeness of my childhood.



#selfportrait #gongshow #contemporaryrealism #painter #oilpainter #artist #paintanyway #nicolemone #unfinished #abandonedpainting  #dontpaintonelectionnight #theunknownartist #portraitofnicolemoné #goodbyechuckbarris #goooooong

Musings and News from the Studio

Good evening. Sitting here in my studio, surrounded by my paintings, I have been thinking a lot about my friend Aaron. Tomorrow, March 18th, would have been his 95th birthday. This week, Facebook “memories” popped up in my newsfeed with photos of Aaron, and a friend had sent me a video clip of him.

I learned this week that my painting Blowing Smoke (Portrait of Aaron Shikler) was juried into the 84th Annual Juried Exhibition of the Hudson Valley Art Association to be held at the Salmagundi Club in New York City 4/30 – 5/5.

Also, I learned just this morning that Blowing Smoke is a Finalist in the Sedona Art Prize.

It made me happy to see these things and get this news. With so many memories of Aaron appearing this week, it seemed like he was saying hello – and making sure I didn’t forget his birthday.

I will share one of my favorite photos. Here we are in Aaron’s studio in front of my painting of him. It is such a happy memory for me. Happy Birthday, Aaron!


Aaron, lighting my pipe (or, rather, his pipe that he let me borrow) in his studio – November 2014. My portrait of him is on the easel.


Prints, T-Shirts, and the Winner of the America the Beautiful Fine Art Print Random Drawing! 

When the t-shirt company, Bonfire was running a little behind on shipping the America the Beautiful t-shirts from the pre-sale (end date February 21, 2017), as a thank you for being patient, everyone who ordered was automatically entered in a random drawing for an America the Beautiful Limited Edition Fine Art Print.

The winner is Anahid U. of Forest Hills, NY! Congratulations, Anahid! Your print will be on its way to you very soon!

People who had missed the February 21st pre-sale deadline for t-shirts asked if we would sell the shirts again. America the Beautiful T-Shirts available here. They are once again on sale through Monday, March 21, 2017. After that date, the shirts will be printed. Please allow 7-14 business days after that date to receive the shirt(s).

Please note: The Women’s Slim Fit Tee runs small, size up. The shirt has a more vibrant graphic than do the Limited Edition Fine Art Prints which are color matched to the original artwork.


Limited edition fine art prints are still on sale in the Nicole Moné Fine Art website store.

Once again, 50% of the proceeds from the t-shirt sales, and 30% of the proceeds from the sale of the fine art prints, will be donated to the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and Planned Parenthood. Thank you for your support!

All good things to you!



America the Beautiful T-Shirts


Good morning!  Bonfire, the t-shirt printing company, has begun to deliver the America the Beautiful T-shirts.

I was delighted to get a photo of one of the first recipients donning his T-shirt. 

If you would like your own photo to be included in a future blog/newsletter, please share photos of you wearing  your America the Beautiful t-shirt! Send to: inqueries@nicolemone.com  

America the Beautiful shirt on man

Bonfire was running a bit behind schedule, so to thank you all for your patience, once all the shirts have been received, everyone who purchased t-shirts will be entered in a drawing (one entry for each shirt ordered) for an America the Beautiful Limited Edition fine art print!  

If you ordered a shirt(s) you needn’t do anything more – you will be automatically entered for the drawing. The winner will be announced in late March/early April 2017. 

Thank you!

New Orleans Art Association National Art Show 2017

My painting Pete was juried into the New Orleans Art Association National Exhibition which is currently on view at the New Orleans Academy of Fine Arts through March 31, 2017. New Orleans is one of my favorite cities and, with the added incentive of an art exhibit, a visit was too tempting to pass up. This past weekend I visited New Orleans to attend the exhibit reception.

We got to the lovely old building that houses the New Orleans Academy of Fine Arts to find a hugely successful event in full swing. The rooms were packed and people spilled outside onto the building steps to talk. The gallery walls were graced with some truly beautiful works. There was a vibrant energy in the galleries and I was happy that I made the trip here to see the show.

Having assumed that the award winners had been notified prior to the reception, I was more than a little surprised (and thrilled) to have my painting awarded 2nd place.


1st Place, Southern Soul – Mickey Asche / 2nd Place, Pete – Nicole Moné / 3rd Place, The Sun is New Each Day – Heraclitus – Carol Peebles

1st Place went to Mickey Asche for his beautifully painted pelican entitled, Southern Soul.

3rd Place went to Carol Peebles for her masterful pastel portrait, The Sun is New Each Day – Heraclitus.

Merit Awards went to: Georgie Dussouy, Stephen Magnum, Joan M. Garvey, Sharon Rawlins, Glinda I. Schafer, Paul Hitchen.

I regret not having more photos, but here are few additional paintings from the exhibit:


Congratulations to all the artists selected for the exhibition and to the other award winners!

The founder and director of the New Orleans Academy of Fine Arts, Auseklis Ozols, was the juror of both selection and awards for the exhibit  –  I was fortunate to get to speak with him a while and so enjoyed talking with him. He graciously shared some of his paintings with me, which were a treat to see.


With New Orleans Academy of Fine Arts Founder and Director, Auseklis Ozols

Huge thanks to the wonderful people of the New Orleans Art Association for putting on such a beautiful event and to Auseklis Ozols for selecting my painting for inclusion in the exhibit and for the award. It is a real honor to be a part of this show and to have met so many warm, lovely people.

If you’re lucky enough to be in New Orleans any time this month, do consider checking out the exhibit at the Academy of Fine Arts Gallery 5256 Magazine Street, New Orleans, LA. March 4 – March 31, 2017.


With my painting after the awards ceremony


Written by Juror Mr.Auseklis Ozols – published in NOAA National Show 2017 exhibit catalog: To be asked to intermediate, or judge an exhibition, is to assume that it is a respectful approbation of ones career. To single out some work over another is a daunting task. But there must be some standard of judgement, hopefully based on some knowledge of precedents established by art history and aesthetic precepts that we have inherited from the great teachers of the past and present.

I adhere to the classic definition of the Fine Arts where one considers the three crucial elements, The Technical, or the knowledge of the craft, The Aesthetic, or the organization of the plastic values, Line Color Texture Pattern and Form, and the third, the Emotional, or that unconscious element that imbues the work.

This exhibition is an auspicious effort by the NOAA to feature work of a variety of disciplines from a wide geographical area and it is a valuable asset to our artistic community. The New Orleans Academy of Fine Arts is pleased to host this noteworthy event.

The New Orleans Art Association History

An art group known as the “Art Association Guild” was founded on October  13, 1952, to support the work of its parent group, the Art Association of New Orleans, which dates back to 1887. By 1907, the Art Association of New Orleans’ annual exhibition attracted artists whose works are now coveted by prominent museums and collectors. Claude Monet, Childe Hassam, Winslow Homer, Mary Cassatt, George Luks, Robert Henri and others who are equally as important entered these competitions.

When Delgado Museum opened in 1911, the original Art Association was  instrumental in acquiring not only fine works for the collections, but also holding exhibitions. In 1960, the Art Association of New Orleans and Delgado Museum merged, now known as the New Orleans Art Association. Delgado created the Artists’ Biennial which was continued by the Museum (now called the New Orleans Museum of Art) until 1977. The present New Orleans Art Association has held 20 national  or international art exhibitions as of January 29, 2000, and is now endeavoring to renew this commitment with a national show in 2017.*

*History text from New Orleans Art Association website


12th International Art Renewal Center Salon Competition and Live Exhibition

The Art Renewal Center (ARC) is a highly regarded organization dedicated to the renewal of traditional art education and training. In their 12th International ARC Salon Competition, there were 1,006 finalist works (representing 32% of works submitted) by 640 artists from 63 countries. I was thrilled to be among the finalists and to have my painting, Blowing Smoke (Portrait of Aaron Shikler), awarded the Collection Magazine Award and Dual Category Award.

From the award winners and the balance of the 1,006 finalist works, ARC is in the process of selecting between 75-100 works to be included in the live exhibit of the ARC Salon that will travel from the Salmagundi Club in New York, New York to the MEAM Museum in Barcelona, Spain.

I am honored and pleased to announce that my painting Blowing Smoke (Portrait of Aaron Shikler) has been selected for inclusion in what promises to be an exceptional exhibit.


Blowing Smoke (Portrait of Aaron Shikler) 36″x24″ – Oil on Linen


The 12th International ARC Salon Exhibition will be on view at the Salmagundi Club, NYC from May 12 – June 1, with the public opening reception on Saturday, May 13th from 11am to 3pm. The works will then travel to the MEAM Museum (European Museum of Modern Art) in Barcelona, Spain, where they will be on view from September 23 – November 27, 2017.

To see more of the works included in the Live Exhibition visit artrenewalcenter.org

May 12 – June 1, 2017 – Salmagundi Club – 47 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10003  Public Opening – Saturday, May 13th, 2017 –  11am – 3pm

Sept 23 – Nov 27, 2017 – European Museum of Modern Art (MEAM), C/ Barra de Ferro 5, 08003, Barcelona, Spain

September 22nd, 2017 – ARC Award Ceremony and Figurativas Opening Ceremony Starts 7pm

September 23rd, 2017 – Artists Forum Starts 11am




America the Beautiful Drawing – Women’s March T-shirts.

Edit*: T-shirts ordered should be received approximately 7-14 business days after the February 21st sales campaign end date – shirts printed by and shipped from Bonfire. You will receive emails from Bonfire with status updates and when your order has shipped.  Thank you so much! We hope you love your shirt! 

Original Post: 

We are happy to report that t-shirts are available to order once again!  Click here to get your t-shirt!

The image America the Beautiful commemorates the Women’s March which took place on January 21, 2017. For sales made in the calendar year of 2017: 50% of the proceeds will be donated to charity, divided between the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and Planned Parenthood.

Thank you all for your continued support and interest!BLOGt-shirt-orders-being-taken

For those of you getting both the limited edition fine art print and the t-shirt, please note: Fine art prints will match the colors of the original artwork. T-shirts will be more vibrant.

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