Whole Parenting Family

beautiful art from a beautiful artist {giveaway & interview!}

dovetail ink

I met Monica Welch at the Edel Gathering this past summer. Her beautiful art caught my eye among the many vendors and we chatted for a few minutes. Her warmth just lingered with me so I contacted her and asked if I could interview her for the blog.

For you guys. Because I love sharing about wonderful things and wonderful people!

She kindly sent me this beautiful personalized piece of art to share about with you! It’s the wedding blessing from the Book of Tobit in watercolor. Hand-drawn text. Such an artist!

You can have it personalized for you, too! Here’s the link to it on her shoppe.

The kids are obsessed and requested it be in their bathroom. Odd place for it? Why not! They talk about it every single day. And then it’s not in one of their rooms where they could fight about it! We hung it between the windows, dangling down onto the subway tiles. The purples go so well and give the room a super warm loving feel. I love it. They love it. Lots of love here.

dovetail ink

dovetail ink

She’s generously giving one lucky reader any print of their choice AND will personalize it for you. Scroll down for the rafflecopter. —>>

Now to listen in on our conversation . . . .

Find her on Etsy & Facebook.

Tell us about your background and how you came to be an artist.

My mom is an artist, and I was raised in a crafty home.  I remember doing creative projects at our dining room table – and everywhere else – throughout my childhood.  In college, I earned a minor in Studio Arts (I majored in Biology), and then put all my creative energies into a master’s degree and full-time work in the field of Occupational Therapy.  Since the birth of Benjamin (about to turn 10), I’ve been a SAHM.  A crafty one, of course!  Our kitchen cupboards are stuffed full of art supplies.  Both my kids (Elsa is almost 7) are creative and love art projects and experiments.

About 2 years ago, several factors co-incided:  1. I started doodling for fun, playing around with a book I had bought on clearance while Christmas shopping.  2. I was trying to learn the Divine Mercy Chaplet.  3.  I was unsuccessfully searching for contemporary Christian art for our home…and not finding much out there that I liked.  And then the biggie: #4. I had major surgery that incapacitated me for several months.  I was most comfortable in a sitting position, and started using that time to draw.  I decided to illustrate some phrases from the Divine Mercy Chaplet (the ones that wouldn’t stick in my head) in a style that I liked, so that I could hang them on my walls and maybe – someday – remember the prayer.  It worked!
And my friends – especially other Catholic moms – loved what I was creating.  An Etsy shop was suggested by several, and so in July of 2013 – while my kids were at a week-long morning camp – I launched my shop.  It’s been so exciting to watch my shop views accumulate, especially internationally!

Is there a theme throughout your work that inspires you?

Every drawing I do has a prayer or scripture woven through it.  My desire is to get these beautiful words, thoughts, and images in front of people’s eyeballs.  I want people to walk by, pause, and say the words of the the prayer or meditate on that particular scripture.  We can all use more prayer and meditation in our lives. My goal is to make it contemporary, bright, and accessible.

What’s your favorite medium when you’re working. Do you have a favorite subject?

All of my pieces start with an ink drawing.  I incorporate text into each piece, and I feel that the ink drawing and hand-written words flow together best when I use the same medium.

When I first started illustrating prayers, I was working fairly small (8×10) and art markers were a good fit.  They are portable and require no set-up or clean-up:  practical when life revolves around kids, playgrounds, spilled milk…  As an art minor in college, watercolors were my favorite medium.
Via Etsy, I received requests for commission pieces that were increasingly large, and – happily – watercolors became the more practical option for adding color to my drawings.

Ink and watercolor are unforgiving media.  There is no re-working or painting over.  The process takes confidence.  I learned to find this confidence in prayer.  My own, and the prayers of others.  Close friends receive texts from me: “I love this drawing and I’m about to start adding color – please pray that I don’t mess it up!”  Before I start a large piece, I spend time in Adoration.  When images start swirling around in my mind, I know the time is right to start the drawing.  And the reverse is true, as well – if I feel stuck with a drawing, it’s time to put down my pen or brush.  And toss in the next load of laundry!

Your work is beautiful and can work as home decor, special for a children’s room, or really to brighten any space. How can we find more of your work and do you do custom or commissions?

I love talking about my work, and showing my art!  One of the wondrous aspects of an Etsy shop – I named mine Dovetail Ink – is the broad national and international exposure.  The link for my shop is here.  In response to custom order requests from my customers, I’m starting to add cards, prayer cards, and canvas bags featuring my art.  I do as much as possible myself and by hand.

Some of my very favorite – and top selling – pieces were commissions.  The artistic challenge presented when a customer asks for a particular scripture and image or style has tremendous appeal for me.  A customer called with a commission request – her sister-in-law recently experienced a late term miscarriage.  Her mother had in mind an image of Jesus holding a baby with the scripture “In my Father’s house are many rooms…”  I spent time in Adoration and prayer.  I struggled with how to depict “my Father’s house.”  I read different Catholic translations of the Bible, noticing that, across translations, all used the words “In my Father’s house are many dwelling places.”  “My Father’s house” became a village on a hillside, stretching out into the distance, surrounded by golden clouds.  The drawing turned out beautifully.  When the mother-in-law came to pick it up, she got tears in her eyes.  So did I.  This is the beauty in what the Holy Spirit allows my hands to do.  I praise God for these experiences, and pray for more.

Wow. Stunning. Thank you so much. Would that we could all approach our work with this spirit and love!!

dovetail ink

Raffling off beauty.Go!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Hayley on September 29, 2014 at 7:13 am

    I love the wedding blessing from the Book of Tobit!

    • Natural Mama Nell on September 29, 2014 at 8:07 am

      Isn’t it beautiful!

  2. Cynthia Adkins on September 29, 2014 at 8:12 am

    I love the St. Augustine piece (one of my favorite saints). And I am looking at getting the “This little light of mine” piece for a dear friend who lost her baby girl 2 days after she was born. So many beautiful pieces!

    • Natural Mama Nell on September 29, 2014 at 8:14 am


  3. JoAnna on September 29, 2014 at 8:17 am

    I loved the artwork sample of hers that we got in our goody bags at Edel. And I could have stayed at her table *all day long* if I could have (plus I could have spent about $1,000 if I had the funds, lol). Awesome giveaway!

  4. Debby on September 29, 2014 at 8:21 am

    Fount of Life

  5. Sarah @ Two Os + More on September 29, 2014 at 8:25 am

    Love the Valley of Tears piece- I just saw it for the first time today, and I think that is definitely my favorite.

  6. Heather @ RealCatholicMom on September 29, 2014 at 8:51 am

    We have a gorgeous copy of Monica’s morning offering art that I purchased at Edel, and the Rejoice in The Lord Always print is amazing, as well! Thanks for the opportunity to add to our collection from Dovetail Ink!

  7. Alexis on September 29, 2014 at 8:56 am

    Monica is a beautiful woman. I was given one of her pieces – I love it!

  8. Danielle on September 29, 2014 at 9:16 am

    I love the Annunciation! Beautiful colors!

  9. Grace Beasley on September 29, 2014 at 9:38 am

    I love all these different pieces of art, especially the book of Tobit drawing!

  10. Amanda E. on September 29, 2014 at 10:05 am

    I love the wedding blessing most too – we had it read at our wedding (along with thousands of other people, probably, ha!). 🙂 GORGEOUS work, all of it.

  11. Laura Mike on September 29, 2014 at 11:14 am

    I love the Morning Offering and the Book of Tobit pieces. I’ve totally favorited her shop because it really is hard to find good Catholic prayer illustrations. *love*

  12. Jill on September 29, 2014 at 11:34 am

    This would make a third piece in my home!! My choice would be the Prayer of St. Francis… I wanted it from Monica’s booth at Edel but it sold out. 🙂

  13. Kathy H on September 29, 2014 at 12:28 pm

    My sister bought the St Francis prayer at Edel and it looks so lovely hanging in her daughter’s nursery! I’d love the “this little light of mine” print, another perfect print for a my son’s nursery!

  14. ashley.elise on September 29, 2014 at 1:43 pm

    So hard to pick a favorite! I think it’s a tie between the Russian Scripture Art and the Serenity Prayer set. Love these!

  15. Katrina on September 29, 2014 at 1:52 pm

    Great interview! How inspiring.

    I would go with the Romans 8:28 Stained Glass Watercolor.

  16. cathy on September 29, 2014 at 2:11 pm

    It’s all beautiful!! so is the artist…both inside and out! Love Breathe and Psalm 23

  17. Amanda on September 29, 2014 at 2:15 pm

    Nell! This is amazing! I love Dovetail Ink! Her work is so beautiful! I love the Catholic wedding and the St. Michael the Archangel prayer! Both are on my little wishlist for the hubby 😉 Would love to win one though! So, thank you for this opportunity!

  18. Audra on September 29, 2014 at 3:20 pm

    I like the “This little light of mine…” from the Etsy site. Monica did one for the Saint Williams Moms group with a prayer from Saint Catherine of Siena that I’m also a big fan of:)

  19. K on September 29, 2014 at 4:01 pm

    Such beautiful work! So thankful you introduced us. Love the wedding blessing. And the Sisters in Christ print. And so many others!

  20. Laurel on September 29, 2014 at 4:32 pm

    So hard to choose! They are all so gorgeous. My favorites are the Annunciation and the “This Little Light of Mine” prints. So hope to win!

  21. Annie on September 29, 2014 at 5:11 pm

    I loved “This Little Light” – so touching! She does beautiful work.

  22. Greta Bergmann on September 29, 2014 at 10:54 pm

    I am loving the St. Michael the Archangel Print!

  23. Kara on September 30, 2014 at 7:09 am

    How lovely! Especially the Rosary one. It takes great virtue to be able to create with such patience and wisdom. Thanks for sharing her beautiful work!

  24. Kim on September 30, 2014 at 3:40 pm

    The beautiful wedding piece initially caught my eye because Tobit was read at our wedding. Will always have a special place in out heart!

  25. […] a wonderful article about Monica Welch art for moms and families https://wholeparentingfamily.com/2014/09/28/beautiful-art/ This piece is a Catholic wedding gift using scripture from the book of Tobit.  You can buy a copy […]

  26. Tara on September 30, 2014 at 11:29 pm

    I have a friend who could use the Our Lady of Mental Peace print, and I love the St. Michael the Archangel (patron saint of my marriage, since we were married on Michaelmas!)

  27. Laura on October 1, 2014 at 1:55 pm

    I love the canvas bag!

  28. Katie on October 2, 2014 at 11:39 am

    Yep, I like the Tobit one. This was a reading at our wedding.

  29. Rachel @ Efficient Momma on October 2, 2014 at 12:10 pm

    These are beautiful! I’d either choose the wedding blessing OR the St Michael one 🙂

  30. Emily Barnes on October 2, 2014 at 4:28 pm

    So many beautiful pieces! Having a hard time deciding between the Annunciation Watercolor, the Thanksgiving Prayer and the Rosary Flowers. I guess that really isn’t picking a favorite, is it? 😉

  31. Tamalyn L. on October 2, 2014 at 6:26 pm

    I love “This Little Light”, but they’re all beautiful. Thanks for the opportunity and I’m thrilled to know about this for gifts in the future.

  32. Lenetta on October 3, 2014 at 2:21 pm

    How to choose?!? It would be between the Prayer of St. Francis, Rosary of Flowers, Annunciation, Hail Holy Queen, and Memorare. Lovely, lovely work – thank you for sharing it!