Mona Lerch is a self-taught abstract artist based in the Czech Republic. Her painting journey began when she purchased cheap supplies and made gifts for her loved ones.
Their positive reactions enthused Lerch to continue, however she had no intention of becoming a full-time artist, that was until she developed postpartum PTSD after her son was prematurely born. She felt a different connection with her art that encouraged her to continue creating.
Lerch began playing around with oils, drawing upon her father’s sailing background and her mother’s love for the countryside as inspiration. She soon moved on to producing abstract pieces. Regarding herself as an impatient person, she used the slow process of oil painting as a way to combat this, enjoying revisiting a piece after several days and changing its character.
Trauma has had a way of weaving itself into Lerch’s life on several occasions and she regards the relief that painting provides her with as magic, embracing the privacy and the individuality that comes with it. She hopes that her pieces will also fill her audience with serenity and comfort, and aims to create a narrative that shows the importance of returning to our roots and living mindfully and consciously. She strongly believes that our minds can be so full and troubled, we can forget to appreciate life’s small pleasures, resulting in us overlooking the natural beauty of the world.
As an artist whose practice is so closely linked to her mental health, Lerch often becomes emotionally tied to her artwork. When this happens, she still shares the piece on social media and her website, but will leave a disclaimer stating it is not yet for sale. As she continues to create, producing new pieces, her attachment eventually releases as she becomes ready to part with the piece. She constantly lets her energy and emotions flow which she feeds into all of her art.
Two of Lerch’s favourite artists are Mark Rothko and Claude Monet, but her main inspiration comes from current contemporary artists she can connect with via social media. Lerch admires what social media in general has done for her passion and motivation, feeling welcomed by her fellow creatives and as though she has a family-like community around her which continues to drive her exploration and love for art. She has discovered new processes and styles that she would also like to experiment with in the future, such as creating her own pigments from natural sources.
For aspiring creatives and artists, Lerch advises to always be your authentic self and to never compare yourself to others. She also believes that if there is a block in a creative’s life, such as a traumatic event, they should address it and use it in their process. Lerch feels that sharing the pain or difficulty with others will enable artists of all kinds to make it their greatest strength.
To find out more about Lerch and to see her work, follow the links below:
All images © Mona Lerch