top of page

Orchids on a Montreal Balcony


Orchids on a Montreal Balcony

"The beauty of these backlit orchids seems transient and fleeting, an impression of temporality enhanced by chiaroscuro and gentle movement."
Monique Westra's story is different from that of most artists. Although art had always been in her life, her passion was largely devoted to art history rather than the practice of studio art. For over thirty years, she was a well-known curator, writer, speaker and teacher in Calgary. Most recently she was a senior art curator at the Glenbow Museum. But, something was missing. As she was surrounded by art and artists all the time, she began to yearn for a creative outlet for herself. So while Monique was still a curator in her professional life, secretly she was gradually turning into an artist. For years, she spent her evenings and weekends in classes with different instructors, quietly honing her skill with oil on canvas. She has been painting professionally since 2011. Her speciality is beautifully rendered portraits of dogs and cats set against abstract and whimsical backgrounds. When she is not working on pet commissions, she loves to explore the beauty and complexity of flowers.
285 rue Laurier est: "Ironically, the only visually stable element in the composition is the cascade of vividly coloured flowers in the foreground. The background is spatially ambiguous, as it seems to be behind, beside, above and in front of the flowers at the same time; an illusion created by shifting reflections seen in the mirrored façade of this Montreal building."

For more information please visit

bottom of page