Art Watch: Monique Kendikian Sarkessian

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By Lele Galer, Columnist, The Times

UTColLogoGalerThis week’s local art watch focuses on expressionistic canvases of Monique Kendikian Sarkessian. Monique’s oil paintings are characterized by her vibrant color choices and expressive brush strokes.

Her brush creates shapes and lines that seem to move with a jazzy rhythm over the surface of her canvas. No matter what her subject matter, it is the dreamy dance of color and lines that stays with you. Her paintings are full of joy, and just a dab of mystery.

Monique-Painitng-Lavender-Field

Monique Kendikian Sarkessian

Monique’s mission statement is all about expressing the enormous variety and beauty in the natural world around us.  She writes that her mission in painting is ” to express the truth of God’s evidence in creation and when you paint natural subjects in person, that truth is undeniable….the variety, lushness, beauty of design and color are beyond human comprehension.”

Chanticleer Poppies and Allium-Path Of Life   II

“Chanticleer Poppies”

When I see her work, particularly her plein air paintings, I am reminded of the Gerard Manley Hopkins poem “Pied Beauty”,(one of my favorite poem)s:  “Glory be to God for dappled things —For skies of couple-colour as a brinded cow…..All things counter, original, spare, strange; Whatever is fickle, freckled (who knows how?) With swift, slow; sweet, sour; adazzle, dim; He fathers-forth whose beauty is past change: Praise him.” Hopkins and Monique seem to share a very similar artistic responsiveness  to the natural world.Glory be to God for dappled things –

  For skies of couple-colour as a brinded cow;

      For rose-moles all in stipple upon trout that swim;

Fresh-firecoal chestnut-falls; finches’ wings;

   Landscape plotted and pieced – fold, fallow, and plough;

      And áll trádes, their gear and tackle and trim.

 

All things counter, original, spare, strange;

   Whatever is fickle, freckled (who knows how?)

      With swift, slow; sweet, sour; adazzle, dim;

He fathers-forth whose beauty is past change:

                                Praise him.

Glory be to God for dappled things –

   For skies of couple-colour as a brinded cow;

      For rose-moles all in stipple upon trout that swim;

Fresh-firecoal chestnut-falls; finches’ wings;

   Landscape plotted and pieced – fold, fallow, and plough;

      And áll trádes, their gear and tackle and trim.

 

All things counter, original, spare, strange;

   Whatever is fickle, freckled (who knows how?)

      With swift, slow; sweet, sour; adazzle, dim;

He fathers-forth whose beauty is past change:

                                Praise him

Where Your Glory Dwells XIII Sargeant Cherrieswebsize

Where Your Glory Dwells XII

In Monique’s painting “Where Your Glory Dwells XIII” two strong, twisted cherry trees reach up and sway with the rhythm of the sky, and blossoms overhead. The green pasture is flattened out and provides a strong, settled foundation for the heavy trees as their branches reach up and dance. Her trees are painted with vibrant strokes of orange-reds, ultramarine blue, violet and vermillion, separated rather like a stained glass window, which is set against the curling swirls of pastels and whites of the blossoms and sky.

Her signature piece is titled “Inspiration.” It is a self portrait of a woman lying down in a flowered field where her out strewn hair becomes the heavens and mingles with the field. Her bright orange red dress reflects the passion and energy of the artistic vision. It is alive with music and motion even though the figure lies still. In “Chanticleer Poppies” her artistic use of ebullient color is matched by a confident arrangement of decorative elements and color patches.

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“Inspiration”

With a BFA from Tyler School of Art, countless classes with various artists, and a three page list citing of her most recent shows, Monique clearly knows what she is doing, but she is also not afraid to experiment with new techniques to improve her craft. One is tempted to describe Monique’s canvases as expressionistic and a bit “primitive”, but I would say that her canvases portray an immediacy of expression as opposed to a naivety. Monique writes, ” I’m very passionate about the process of painting, how the paint glides on from one color to the next, and what happens when they meet. I love color and pattern and how the brush touches the canvas. Creating is a sacred process and my aim is to invite you, as my guest, to take an intimate look at nature through my eyes and hands via my canvases.”

Please come to meet the artist and see her newest works at Galer Estate Winery for this Thursday’s Pop-up Artist Show from 5-9pm to benefit The Chester County Art Association’s New Building Fund. To see more of her works online, please visit www.MoniqueKendikianSarkessian.com.

Local Art Watch highights one local artist every week. Lele Galer is an artist who has chaired numerous art shows, taught art history and studio art, public art and has chaired, written and taught the Art in Action Art Appreciation series for the UCFD schools for the past 12 years. She worked at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and wrote for the Asociated Press in Rome.  She has been dedicated to Art History and art education for most of her adult life. Lele and her husband Brad own Galer Estate Winery in Kennett Square and she is President of the Education Foundation and co-Chairs the CCAA’s New Building Campaign.

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