Monica Cardestam spent many years in the retail business world in various management roles before taking a separation package to spend more time raising her three children. Looking for a creative outlet beyond being a “soccer mom”, she signed up for a Sumi-e (ink on rice paper) art class intrigued by the catalog description of: “Paint subjects from nature using simple brush strokes…The goal of the Sumi-e painter is to use the brush with both vitality and restraint.” Her interest in this type of painting led her to become a past board member of the Sumi-e Midwest organization.
Monica has since branched out to taking classes and doing artwork in charcoal drawing, watercolor pencils, and watercolor painting as well as further developing her art skills by attending various painting workshops lead by artists such as Dongfend Li, Joan Lok, Shozo Sato, Mayee Futterman, and Andy Chan.
Monica has had her artwork displayed in a number of different venues including: AIR Studio in Glencoe, The Gorton Center “Painting in the Asian Manner” show, Highland Park’s The Festival of Fine Arts, the Northbrook YMCA Taste of Asia Festival, The Glenview Arts of Life “Square Foot” show, Heller Nature Center “A Brush with Nature” shows, The First Bank of Highland Park, Dickinson Hall of Lake Forest, Highland Park Community Center art shows, and at the Highland Park Art Center. Her artwork has also been published in the past six volumes of East on Central as well as in The Majesty of Trees: Poets Respond Root, Trunk and Branch.