Mona was born and lived most of her life in Southern California, where she found her greatest occupation and success, raising two wonderful children. She lived a short time in Texas, Arizona, and Oregon, before finally retiring in Mariposa, California.
While living in Oregon, her neighbor happened to be Jackie Faulkner. Jackie is an alpaca rancher and the creator of this form of art. Before moving back to California, Jackie, who had wanted to pass on her art, taught Mona how to create pictures using the alpaca fiber. It was from Jackie that Mona bought her first two alpacas, to help her continue the art at her new home in Mariposa, California.
Mona made her first picture of Wahkeena Falls, Oregon while under Jackie’s supervision. After gaining some confidence in her ability with the unique art form, she did her second picture (another angle of Wahkeena Falls), but shortly after shattered her shoulder in a fall, thanks to a tricky combo of muddy ground and a willful alpaca trying to lead rather than follow. This put her artwork, among other things, on hold for a while.
Amazingly, all healed better than the doctor had expected, and in January 2013, Mona decided she needed to get back into her artwork. She had just returned from aiding family in Japan, so she thought it only fitting to do a picture of Mount Fuji. After that picture, she was addicted. Next she made works of Mt Rainier, Washington, and Yosemite, California, two other locations known for their natural beauty.
Mona wanted to donate one of her Yosemite pictures to a local charity auction, but they needed a cost for the art piece. That is when everything started falling into place as she sought guidance from local artists, and she was asked to become a member of the Sierra Artists’ Gallery in Mariposa. The Gallery has proven to be a great place to grow as an artist, show her work and to see the responses of gallery visitors and her fellow artists.
In addition to presenting her art at Sierra Artists’ Gallery, Mona has now opened her own studio and gallery in nearly Hornitos and is giving lessons in her unique art form, in addition to selling her art work and original works by other local artists and artisans. More information on Mona Jean’s Studio and Gallery can be found on Facebook under Fiber Art by Mona.