Monaghan's paintings have always shown a sensitivity and reverence for light on the cusp of change. Says Monaghan, "Many of my paintings which depict dawn or dusk represent a special place and time when I am most compelled to reflect on nature, study its elements, and meditate on the way light and shadow interact. The process of change at these times makes me attentive."
In his current work, Monaghan investigates the effects of transitional light on water. One sees the glint of a low, strong sun bursting through trees and the heavy filter of atmosphere in these paintings. Light and wind conspire to create bold abstract designs on a lake surface.
Monaghan creates an evocative realism in his paintings, made all the more compelling by his skillful handling of paint. Textures and surfaces are built up, and the fluid application of the materials effectively embodies the qualities of water and land present in the image. Upon close inspection, realism takes a back seat to process and the physical effects of paint and glazes. All of these qualities unite to evoke memories of time and place.
Monaghan's paintings can be found in the collections of Oprah Winfrey's Harpo Studios, Walt Disney and Universal Studios, I.B.M., Baron Hilton, Helene Curtis and Fuji Corporations, The Prudential, LaSalle National Bank, The Chicago Mercantile Exchange, PMI, Advanced Micro Devices, to name just a few.