A Philadelphia artist who creates vibrant oil and encaustic wax paintings that express the joy found in finding the divine in everyday life.
Monique Kendikian-Sarkessian earned her bachelor of fine arts degree in painting at Temple University’s Tyler School of Art. In continuing studies she has studied 18th Century European furniture painting, art education, and traditional icon painting with a Russian master iconographer. She has also taken workshops with internationally recognized painters Stanley Bielen, Dale O. Roberts, Jeff Schaller, Jon Redmond and Moe Brooker.
Since 1984, Monique’s work has been shown and honored with awards at numerous exhibitions across the country including 2 museums.
Some of her recent awards include second place for painting out of 84 painters in the inaugural Plein Air Brandywine Valley Art Competition, 3rd place in Plein Air Brandywine Valley 2013 as well as awards by Artist’s Equity, juried shows at Harcum College, Montgomery County Community College, Main Line Art Center and Chester County Art Association.
My work has an expressive nature shown via vibrant color, bold brush stroke, and expressive lines which seek to recreate the emotion I feel as I am inspired by my subjects.
I create in oils, encaustic wax and icons using traditional egg tempera as well as a new love of welded salvage sculpture. I work mainly in oils and encaustic wax as they are best suited to my artistic temperament. I am in love with color so the expressive nature and unbeatable vibrant color of these mediums happily do my bidding. I am a prolific worker devoted to my full time art career and continued artistic growth.
I paint because I am overwhelmed by beauty and the miracle of nature. These encounters move me to see life with a brand new sense of joy and wonder. I paint to express the truth of inspired design. When I paint natural subjects in person, that truth is undeniable. The lush beauty of nature sends us on a journey every time we experience it. This is an encounter with the divine.
I often I work en plein air so I can best translate the euphoric color that I find. I battle sun, rain, wind, heat, cold, insects and no safe parking to get the best vision for my collectors. When outdoor painting is not optimal, I am in my studio working with molten pots of wax layering and scraping repeatedly. When I paint new worlds get opened to me constantly and I get a surge of energy that propels me to depict for my viewers that moment of discovery. I have an urgency to translate those awestruck moments that must be studied immediately or be lost to us all forever.
This process informs my dreamlike studio works, too. Here, I weave together symbols to create dream landscapes. Stars combine with oceans, which flow into heavenly figures and flowers. I dip my brushes into my Armenian ancestry and bring that love of color, pattern, and complexity. The innate connection with nature and the Divine truths in creation become intertwined.
My goal is to have my artwork radiate the joy of life. Like Henri Matisse whose works eventually became pure color, pure shape and pure light.
I seek transcendence- filling my viewers with a sense of wonder and enlightenment every time they see my works. My clients tell me that my artworks breathe life and joy into their lives. Admirers comment that my work urges them to see beyond the subject matter. My purpose of painting of a quince blossom is not to make an illustration or to render photographic detail. My purpose is similar to that of Asian art, to take the viewer beyond and find the essential soul in the subject which allows the viewer to find a path to meditation through the truths expressed. The way I work draws the viewer to expand in themselves their own comprehension of the subject. This is how one of my viewers explained, “when I look at your paintings I feel like I understand poppies more and I want to keep looking at the painting to keep me in that place… that is how I felt, like I could stare at it much, much longer”.