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Monique Sarkessian

Painting

I have an insatiable desire to create. Even as a child, I got huge joy from creating things whether artwork, sculpture, doll clothes, baking or toy furniture. The desire to make art started from the beginning. My earliest memory at age 4 is that I knew I wanted to be a painter. I don’t know where that came from except from a God given desire because I didn’t grow up being encouraged to make art. In fact, the people around me largely were not supportive. My family of origin is Armenian. My grandparents left Armenia as young children when their families fled the Armenian Genocide. Growing up being told of the tremendous persecutions my family and others faced made an enormous shaping of my personhood and view of the world. My culture was very different from everyone else around me. I looked different, my food was different, my customs were different. I tried hard to understand why I always felt different and had a sense of not belonging to the people or culture or community around me. I still identify with others who have gone through suffering and persecution for who they are. Luckily in pursuing art, I found acceptance, love and a universal community to belong to. Art is a place of acceptance where I can belong and be a part of the very core of life, find my place and share deep connections with people on many levels through my works without even meeting the people all over the world who see them. In making art, I am not powerless or voiceless like I was as a child! I am grateful I can speak my mind and heart to bring change and healing to myself and others through the deep contemplation of the nature of creating. I paint to explore deeper emotional experiences that may not be seen on the surface. I aim to make works that bring a sense of belonging and joy which lead people to a higher purpose and a world above this life so they can find that connection even when the subject is a still life or French dessert. The reason I paint is to preserve those moments in the present that will be lost as that moment becomes the past. I say I’m nostalgic which translates to: I struggle with mortality, loss and my identity as we all do. I've faced quite a few hardships in my life and as difficult and painful they've been, eventually the healing power of expressing creativity has helped me work through and become stronger. Recently I lost my beloved 16 year old. Her death was nearly paralyzing for me except for having the daily ability to process and work through those very complicated thoughts and emotions through the 5 senses used in making art. Despite what difficult events occur I want to express how in human experience so much richness, depth and joy can be found no matter what the circumstances are. I have learned that the harder the circumstances, the more beautiful and precious joy is when you find it. I want to make a difference in the world by bringing people joy. By working through my obstacles there’s hope that the people who connect with my paintings will be able to overcome theirs. I want this shared experience between us to invoke empathy towards the rest of the world as we see and experience the miracle of life all around us. Selling paintings that my experience and expression are poured into can touch people’s hearts and affect their lives. A client once told me that she suffered a terrible betrayal in her life and every day she would look at my paintings in her home and they would minister to her brokenness and bring her peace and comfort. My clients regularly tell me that my work brings them daily joy, calm and energetic refreshment. I find it profoundly humbling that the deeper connection which happens in art making is so sacred and boundless. I love painting and sculpting everything, anything that gives me joy. I find beauty in good design whether that is in nature, or classic architecture, French desserts, rusty metals or people. The theme is finding joy-in whatever form it takes shape. I've worked through adversity and hardships in my life so many times and found that choosing joy is the path I follow to lead me through and build enduring strength. People who buy my work always receive that, the sense of joy and peace that they get from owning and looking at them every day whether representational or abstract works. My goal is to have my artwork radiate the joy of life even when found through brokenness and be able to give that joy to others.