Monica Hauswald


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Monica Hauswald
About the author

Peasant Art - Romania Influence Peasant artist. That is my profession. I want my painted furniture and artwork to get a response. Color - how important it is in creating a good visual effect. I love to shop consignment and thrift stores for my furniture. My husband , Paul helps on the restoring and refinishing work. Spiritually these pieces go back in time to the arrival of my Romanian ancestors in the United States.The armoire is a tribute to my great grandparents , Mary and John Kalaman. Discovering the Miorita in an old National Geographic magazine by accident - the folklore poem stuck in my mind for years - knowing someday it would find itself on a piece of furniture. I say have to because once an artistic idea is created in my head, it must be carried out. The Miorita reads - “tells of a shepherd who is about to die.” {The shepherd painted in the armoire is my son, Stefan. By studying hundreds of Romanian costumes I created this outfit for the shepherd.}“He instructs one of his sheep to explain to his flock-{That I have married the daughter of a King, {the painted bunting with wedding rings}.”That at my wedding …I had for guests the fir and the aspens. For priests the high mountains; {top part of armoire}, for minstrels the birds - a thousand birds-{the 2 rectangles of golden birds} And the stars for torches! {The trifoil_ that to the observant onlooker will see in the stars a constellation in the shape of a heart with a flying star going through it.} The halo of the shepherd and the “dome” of the armoire are gold metal leaf. Being a spiritual piece I wanted the dome to give a feeling of a cathedral. The interior is a surprise to the viewer- like opening a Faberge egg - done in gold brocade fabric outlined in peasant embroidered ribbon that contains a thin line of gold thread. The beads of a chartreuse green mimic the trope l’oeil beads painted on the exterior of the armoire. A photograph of my Great Grandmother and Grandfather taken at Ellis Island upon their arrival and a story about my Great Grandmother written by my daughter, Brittany are presented in the back of the armoire.{I have included her story} Her story and my artwork represent through two different medias how precious and intertwined we are with our heritage. I have included paintings of Romanian women and a genealogy of names from Mary Kalaman to my children on the inside. A special thanks goes to my brother, Mark Lantz for his family archives that keep the Romanian spirit alive. The painting is of my daughter, Brittany - I call it , Romanian Peasant Girl. Color plays a vital role transcending it’s colors on the armoire. Again, the embroidery on her dress are Romanian and the belt buckle design comes from an antique belt in my collection. The Miorita measures 28” W 67” H 19 ¼” D. Painting 24 W x28H