LifestylePersona March, 17th 2013 by

Mona Youssef - "Art is to Love”

Purple iris

“Art is a manifestation of love, loving the nature around us and the people we share our world with. Art reflects  a wealth of cultural, history and identity as affirmation of man for it is a self-expression of how one perceives matters. In turn, art will work as a powerful tool and a silent International language that can convey messages to the world reflecting culture, history and civilization. This language can speak up, announce, express, make known, unify, bring together, support, encourage, share, care for, show compassion and kind feelings toward all. When we truly love what we do, we do it whole-souled and become professionals at it. In two words; Art is to LOVE”

Berlin, in front of some of my Paintings

Berlin, in front of some of my Paintings

Although, I’ve a background of a warmer climate, being born in Egypt, yet, my realistic oil paintings on canvas reflect the unique characteristics of Canada. Uniquely, the four seasons have greatly, influenced me at a very young age but I did not realize why. When was very young in school, I divided a painting to four sections, each had same trees and same background but painted them in different colors of each season. I grew up and still have chosen the theme of my paintings “The four seasons”.

Canadian Constitution Acts

Canadian Constitution Acts


Of course, living in Canada has enriched my experience with my main subject as we have the most beautiful four seasons. I asked myself why this theme?  Painting the four seasons means much more to me. Having travelled around the world while perceiving the surroundings, I observe the great versatilities in the universe as there is nothing entirely, typical to the other, yet the whole creation is working together in harmonious unity, supporting its elements to presents out values, different strengths and the beauty of each subject, as individual and as a whole. Subconsciously, this what I convey in my paintings of the four seasons; as they have different colors, temperature, appearance, yet, they perform the whole year harmoniously, transiting from season to the other season that we all enjoy. So are we, all have different abilities, qualities, talents, colors, languages and cultures, nevertheless, living in one world, each one of us adds values and beauty to our civilizations and history to enjoy life.

Autumn golden light

Autumn golden light

In each of my painting has different subject, character, set of colors and feeling of its own surrounding while stands out differently from the rest, yet they all work as one body of the artwork under same theme of the four seasons.
In Canada, we enjoy watching trees change colors to embrace new temperature. Animals and birds change their homelands to find comfort, learn to adapt and enjoy new climates. So, do I believe that it should also, be part of our lives to observe, discover, learn, adjust, work in harmony, love, enjoy and admire the goodness of each one of us and of our beautiful world for we all learn from nature. Thank you for the visit and I hope that you’ll enjoy it.
Choosing to paint in the realism style is my childhood passion until today. I am proudly, love to share some of statements from admirers who see my art “Pure, reflects spirit of love, has vibes, spiritual, looks like The Golden Age-all luminous and joyful, vivid as if there was no pollution, you are a true Renaissance woman “. I would quote this expression; “It took me four years to paint like Raphael, but a lifetime to paint like a child.“ Pablo Picasso (October 1881- April 1973). I am not Raphael, neither am I Picasso, but would love to paint as that child who innocently sees only the purity of nature as is with all its richness. What is more beautiful than nature itself!

In a summer holiday- oil on canvas, 31cm x 41cm

In a summer holiday- oil on canvas, 31cm x 41cm

Mona Youssef is a Canadian and international realist fine artist with passion for art, since childhood, and with Egyptian background. Her first oil painting was sold at age of 12. Mona has exhibited her artwork locally, nationally & internationally and received numerous awards in Canada, Germany, Italy and Austria (First & Second Place Awards, Honorable Mention Awards, Viewers’ Choice Awards, Certificate of Excellence and Award of Artistic Merit. Her profile has been published in the following catalogs/publications; “The Spirit of Art” International Art Exhibition, Vienna, Austria; “Who’s is who in Visual Art”, Germany 2008-2009 & 2010 -2011; “Izmir Biennale”, Turkey, Izmir & “Images on Canvas”; Ottawa, Canada – 2011; “Art Shopping”, Carousal Du Louvre, France, Paris; “London Biennale”, London, UK, & “World-of-Art”, Berlin, Germany – 2010; “Chianciano Biennale”, Tuscany; Italy and “The Sounds of Art” Copenhagen, DK- 2009; “Florence Biennale” Florence; Italy and “Chamber of Commerce Courier”, Canada – 2007; “landscape “, Ferrara, Italy and “Gallery & Studio” magazine (The world of the Working Artist) NYC – 2005, Mona appeared as “Feature artist” in “Arteast Newsletter” by Gloucester Art Council & “Ottawa Art Association” – 2001 & 2005; Toronto Star News Papers, Toronto, Canada – 1982.

History of Mona’s exhibitions started in 1966 during schooling and received Honor Award Certificate 1967 from the former Prime minister of the high education in Cairo, Egypt. In 1982, Mona was commissioned to produce an oil painting of the “Canadian Constitution Acts” which was presented to the then, Prime Minister of Canada Mr. P. E. Trudeau and became a national landmark. In 1999, Mona had the privilege to receive a thank you letter from Mr. Trudeau expressing how proud he was to hang that beautiful painting in his home. As well several articles were written commenting on this painting:
Mrs. Youssef has one the most important private art collectors; Princess and Prince Andrea Johanna and Karl Heinz, of Sayn-Wittgenstein who is also a collector of Disney Artist: Carl Barks. Eventually, the paintings will be in his private Museum as is planned
Mona has a B.F.A Bachelor of Fine Arts (measured in Interior and Exterior designs), obtained a Commercial Arts Diploma, Certificate of Achievement in Digital Media and Desktop Publishing Diploma with Honor Award. She also, worked as an Art Jury member of several international art exhibitions.

Winter lud ride

Winter lud ride

Online Art Gallery:

Award of Excellence:

More references:
Personal Interview:
Solo TV Interview :
Press release:
Canadian Constitution acts painting story:
Radio Interview:–canadian-fine-artist
Recent interview:

Awards: 2010, “Second place Award”, Natura” Austria; 2009: “Award of Artistic Merit” Chianciano Biennale, Italy; 2008: Certificate of Excellency on the quality and originality of artwork, Germany; 2004: First Prize Award on the oil painting “Purple Iris” at The 23rd Annual Art & Photo Exhibition; Honorable Mention Award on the oil painting “White Begonia” at The 23rd Annual Art & Photo Exhibition Canada; 2003: Second Place Award on the oil painting “Inland Dynasty” at the Fall Award Show with Ottawa Art Association; First Place Award and Viewer’s Choice Award on the oil painting “Strings of Ice” at The 22nd Annual Art & Photo Exhibition, 2002: “First Place Award” on the oil painting “A Sunny Day” at The Fall Show with Ottawa Art Association, “Third Place Award” on the oil painting “Collecting Autumn Souvenirs” at The 21st Annual Art & Photo Exhibition; 2001: “Viewer’s Choice Award” on the painting “Summer is Here” at The 20th Annual Art & Photo Exhibition, “Third Place Award” on the oil painting “The Essence of The Forest” at the 20th Annual Art & Photo Exhibition; 1999: received a thank you letter from Mr. Trudeau expressing how proud he was to hang that beautiful painting in his home, 1967: Honor Award on the painting “The High Asswan Dam” Egypt
Education: Bachelor of Fine Arts, Cairo, Egypt-1973; Commercial Arts Diploma, George Brown College-1986; Certificate of Achievement-1995, Studio P (Electronic Publishing) Digital Media Studios; Desktop Publishing Certificate, with Honor Award at First Printing School, Toronto, Canada-1996.

Publications Press Release: 1982: Toronto Star News Papers; 2001& 2003 & 2005: several articles in the “Arteast Quarterly Newsletter; 2005: Gallery & Studio(The world of the Working Artist) NYC; 2007: Chamber of Commerce Courier, Ottawa;  2007: Florence Biennale Catalog, Italy; 2008-2009 & 2010-2011: “Who’s is who in visual arts” Germany; 2009: “Sounds of Art” catalog, Copenhagen; 2009: “Chianciano Biennale” catalog, Italy; 2010: “Art Shopping” catalog, Paris; 2010: “World-Of-Art” catalog, Berlin; 2011: “Izmir Biennale” catalog and 2012: ”Spirit of Art” catalog, Vienna, Austria.

2013: MOYA Museum – Moya Annual, Young Art Global 2013
2013: Chianciano Art Museum, Chianciano, Tuscany, Italy

2012: “Spirit of Art” Vienna, Austria

2011: International Izmir Biennale of Arts”, Turkey, Izmir
5th edition of “Images on canvas”, Gatineau City Hall, Canada

2010: International Art Exhibition, at Urania, Germany, Berlin
“Natura-Art”, International Exhibition, Austria, Altenmarkt
London Biennale, International exhibition, Gagliardi Gallery, London
International Exhibition “Art Shopping”, Carrousel du Louvre, Paris

2009: International Exhibition “Chianciano Biennale” Art Museum, Italy
International Art Exhibition “The Sounds of Art” Copenhagen, Dk.
The Studio Gallery at Queen’s University, Kingston, ON

2008: International Art Exhibition, Germany, Leipzig.
Art exhibition, 13th Bon Echo Art Exhibition, Cloyne, ON

2007: International Art Exhibition “Florence Biennale” Italy, Florence

2005: International Exhibition” Landscapes”, Estense Castle, Italy
Art Show, Cumberland Gallery, Centrum Boulevard, Orleans
Art Exhibition “Tulip Festival at the Westin Hotel”, Ottawa.
“Rites of Spring”, new Gloucester Gallery, Orleans. Ottawa
Art Show & Sale, Glebe Community Centre, Ottawa, Ontario

2004: 23rd Juried Annual Arteast Art & Photo Exhibition, Ottawa
23rd Rideau Valley, Juried Art Festival, Westport, Ontario.
Spring Award Show at National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa.
Art exhibition, Cumberland Art Gallery, Centrum Boulevard
Ottawa Art Festival, Aberdeen Pavilion, Lansdowne Park

2000: Art show, Gloucester Art Gallery, Orleans, Ontario.
The Ottawa Little Theatre, Ottawa Art Association, Ontario.
Juried, Ottawa Art Festival, Lansdowne Park

2002: 23rd Annual Arteast Art & Photo Exhibition, Ottawa, Orleans.
“Spring art show”, Ottawa Art Association, ON, Canada
Juried, Ottawa Art Festival, Aberdeen Pavilion, Ottawa Ontario.
Several Art displays in Foyer Gallery during one year, Nepean
The “ Fall art show”, Ottawa Art Association, ON, Canada

2001: 23rd Annual Arteast Art & Photo Exhibition, Ottawa
Solo show, Gloucester Arts Council, Ottawa, Ontario.
“Fall art show, Ottawa Art Association, ON, Canada

2000: “Spring art show”, Ottawa Art Association, ON Canada

1999: Ottawa City Hall – Municipal Art Gallery, Ottawa

1996: Art show, O’Keefe Centre, fundraiser for the Canadian Opera

1967&1965: Group & Solo exhibition, in high school, Cairo, Egypt

Mona Youssef, B.F.A.
Canadian Fine Artist 

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