Monique and Tisha
Let us forever remember these artists in the afterglow of their time here among us.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely, the world offers itself to your imagination, calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting...over and over announcing your place in the family of things.
From Monique’s favorite poem ‘Wild Geese’ by Mary Oliver
Afterglow is our collection of art on our t-shirts, totes, aprons, and cards that was gifted to Fur Should Fly by artists facing a terminal illness. We feel it is important to continue to share their art out into the world. We were honored when Monique chose Fur Should Fly to be the way she would like her art to go on being shared.... I can imagine she took comfort in knowing that her creative work and spirit lives on to make a significant contribution, a legacy, if you will.
Monique van de Ven was always an artist from the time she was a small child. For a time in her early twenties she was a woodworker, then later, she painted watercolors. In 2001, Monique was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. She underwent surgery and follow-up treatments which put the cancer in remission. In 2008 she was diagnosed with a rare and relentless cancer in her face and sinus area. She had surgery and chemo at the time, but unfortunately it returned. In 2013, she needed complex surgery to combat the growth of this cancer. This surgery cost her her eye, however, and with the loss of depth perception Monique also lost the ability to paint watercolors. She then focused on working in clay and, in particular, developed a love for the glazing of her beautifully crafted pieces.
After a sixteen year-long battle with two different types of cancer, my very dear friend Monique van de Ven opted to end her life with dignity on January 27, 2017. Before she ended her life with dignity, Monique gifted the right to reproduce her paintings to Fur Should Fly with a focus on raising money through the sale of her art to help animals in need and assisting them to find forever homes. Monique is the first artist to gift the reproduction of her art to Fur Should Fly and the Afterglow collection.
Monique wasn’t just an artist, though. She was an avid mushroom gatherer, cross-country skier, and an essayist. She was an active contributor to cancer survivor groups as well as to the Nonviolent Communication meetings in her local area. She hosted potluck dinner parties at her artist’s gallery of a home and lit bonfires and sang songs with her many friends from a multitude of walks of life. She had a BA in psychology from the University of Groningen in her home country, the Netherlands, and an MBA from Plymouth State University in New Hampshire. Most of all she was an avid animal-lover and was a parent to many cats, dogs, sheep, horses, and most of all, frogs.