Vibrant oil and encaustic wax paintings by Philadelphia Artist

Artist Statement

By the Artist about her work:

Monique Sarkessian Artist Statement


My earliest memory at four years old was of wanting to be a painter. I did not have a family or school background to support this but I loved to make things. Looking back after so many years, that memory keeps me grounded and focused as I continue the upward endurance struggle of an artist’s life. The reason I paint and sculpt is to preserve those moments in the present that will be lost as that moment becomes the past.


My work has an expressive nature shown via vibrant color, bold brush stroke, and gestural lines which seek to recreate the emotion I feel as I am inspired by my subjects. I’m after the essence, essential elements that are not the top layer of what we see as in a photographic reproduction but what really makes the subject endure creating a lasting connection with the viewer.


I am a prolific worker devoted to my full time art career and continued artistic growth. 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 with the buttery quality, vibrant color and wonderful texture ranges.


I paint because I am overwhelmed by beauty and the miracle of nature. 

I paint to explore deeper emotional experiences that require perception. I make works that bring a sense of belonging and joy which lead people to a higher purpose and a world above this life even when the subject is a still life, landscape or French desserts.


I often work en plein air so I can best experience the euphoric color that I find. When outdoor painting is not optimal, I am in my studio painting with molten pots of wax layering and scraping repeatedly. Painting opens new worlds to me constantly and I get a surge of energy that propels me to depict for my viewers that exact moment of discovery.  I have an urgency to translate those awestruck moments that must be observed immediately or be lost to us all forever. This process informs my dreamlike studio works, too. I weave together symbols of nature and human forms here too to create dream landscapes that describe universal truths of human experience.  Stars combine with oceans, which flow into heavenly figures and flowers. I dip my brushes into my Armenian ancestry and like an ancient carpet, bring in that love of color, pattern, and complexity. The innate connection with nature and the divine truths in creation become intertwined.


I’m nostalgic which translates to: I struggle with mortality, loss and my identity as we all do. The recent death of my daughter was nearly paralyzing for me except for having the daily ability to process and work through very complicated thoughts and emotions through making art. I still need this practice every day to process my thoughts and emotions to restore a grounding wholeness. I fondly refer to this as “taking out my trash”.  


It’s extremely important to me that despite what life challenges we each have, I want to express in human experience there’s so much richness, depth and joy that can be found no matter what the circumstances are. I want this shared experience of joy between us to invoke empathy towards the rest of the world as we see and experience the miracle of life all around us. Many studies have been done which prove that looking at art daily has the power to heal the body, ground your emotions, reduce your stress, increase your longevity significantly and raise your endorphins to the levels of feeling in love. Isn’t this a wonderful list of benefits?


I am so grateful and humbled to make these deeper connections with you. I paint from the center of my soul and I’m honored to be able to share that joy of life through my artworks and to bring peace into your daily world. Thank you so much for your support. I firmly believe that it is the beholder’s participation that makes my artwork complete. I find it profoundly humbling that the deeper connection which happens in art making is so sacred and boundless.