Monica Kettenhofen was born in Independence, Missouri in 1978.  At age three, she moved with her mother to Brisbane, in Queensland, Australia.  She spent two years in public school on the Gold Coast, before she faced another move further inland.  She lived for nearly three years at Koonjewarre (Aborigine for "campground in the clouds), a religious establishment operated by her mother and step-father up in Springbrook Plateau in the Gold Coast Hinterland.  Monica learned much about childhood survival in this new home - she lived in a small, tin roof shack on the grounds, having to travel an hour down the mountain to a tiny school house.  Her neighbors on the left were cattle ranchers, and to the right was a small farm.  Instead of television, Monica spent her evenings helping her mother clean various wild life out of the cabins of the campgrounds, avoiding poisonous snakes while at play with her sister, and trying to ride around on her pet goat Fred.  During this time, she picked up drawing for the first time - sketching all those things around her.


Monica Kettenhofen

She was eight when she moved from the mountain rainforest of Australia back to the home of her birth in Missouri, USA.  Upon returning to the U.S., she completed her public schooling at Lee's Summit, adjusting back into life as an American girl.  All this time her passion for art grew, and she knew that she wanted to devote her life to creating all of her thoughts onto canvas.

A small look into Monica's Studio.  The skeleton is named Edgar; he is used for life drawing and to scare children on Halloween.

At seventeen, she left home to move to Warrensburg, the home of Central Missouri State University, now known as the University of Central Missouri.  It was here she saw just how far one can take art and all of the different areas under that one title of expression.  For the first two years, she divided her time equally between art and her other loves - photography, writing, and speech & debate.  But the last few years she was there, she blossomed as a painter, falling in love with the beauty of the process, and the ability to put her feelings and thoughts on a visible medium for all to see.  This is the way she found her greatest ability for expression, and has been using it ever since.
Graduating from CMSU with her BFA in studio art (2001) hasn't slowed her down much.  Though now she must devote additional time to a career outside of turpentine and paintbrushes (those bills!) she is still burning up canvas when she can, and coming up with new ideas to further express herself.

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