Featured Artist Caroline Z. Marcos
Featured artist Caroline Z. Marcos draws her inspiration from the spirit. Enjoy her portfolio and see more about her work by visiting her website.
I am in love with color and form. I use them to create works about meditation and introspection. For me it is an act of meditation itself to make the work. I often explore personal narratives, symbols and archetypes, much like the traditional meditative imagery of Mandalas; the ancient Sanskrit word for Circle. Some of my pieces tell a story, with the archetypal symbols, like birds, and femininity which allude to a memory or a dream, the past and present.
I incorporate text as a pictorial element that sometimes clarifies or convolutes the narrative. Text is both a visual element and an information tool. Abstracted color and natural forms are overlaid with text, collage material and encaustic wax. This approach to working in mixed media lends itself to creating a visceral world made with multiple layers, an approach that imbues the work with meaning. Therefore, it is the layering process that acts as a metaphor for the layering of the soul, the depth of the unconscious which is the well, from which my imagery is extracted.
As an Orthodox Christian born in Egypt, and as an American, two main figures have influenced my life; that of the American artist Georgia O’Keefe and the father of monasticism, St. Anthony the Great. I especially admire the quiet solitude which both of these figures spent their lives trying to capture. I believe Georgia O’Keefe couldn’t have brought the world’s attention to seemingly insignificant natural imagery, giving presence to bones, flowers and clouds, without her quiet solitude in the New Mexico desert. This quiet solitude can take one to a desert within, much like the desert of Egypt, where the first monastic, St. Anthony the Great set foot to venture the same internal terrain. There he discovered light and dark, deceptions and truth and struggled to hold onto the light and truth. The inner desert is full of rich unconscious imagery that I’m excited to elucidate everyday.
What are your goals?
My main goal that I am working on within the next 3-5 years is to have solo shows and get gallery representation. In effort to do that I’m working hard to create sold bodies of work and intermittently entering juried exhibitions that are local to where I live. I hope to eventually make a full living form my art. I believe that it’s what I was created to do. I spend much time evading this truth and not believing it for myself but I’m proud to finally own this truth for myself.
What are you working on now?
Currently, I’m working on a series about meditation and introspection, I’m considering using different types of imagery, including representation as well abstract imagery, and mainly acrylic paint with collage. I sometimes use text when it’s relevant to the work (either enhances the concept or brings in a balance in the formal element of the piece). The sources of my text vary from lyrics of inspiring music, poetry to verses from Scripture that mainly focus on praise and meditation.
What inspires you?
A lot of different things inspire me, sometimes unbeknownst to me. Mainly I would hone it down to music, nature, colors and words and other artists.
Columnist Linda aka LindaJG
“Artists should always use themselves, their own inner world, life experiences, and their lens (world view) as a resource for their expressions. I want to tell artists not to look to what others are doing or what the art market is relishing. Remember your first love, remember why you started in the first place.”
I had the pleasure of meeting this extremely talented artist because I was paired with her in thr last 2 art festivals I’ve been in! What a fascinating person she is, and since her art work is just as awesome, I felt like Caroline and her gorgeous art should be introduced!
Caroline Marcos was born in Alexandra, Egypt as a Copt (Christian Egyptian) – this has some cultural significance as they are closely linked with the Ancient Egyptians in descent before the Arabs came and islamized Egypt, stripping Egyptians from both their religions and language – Coptic. Caroline migrated to the US with her family when she was 9 years old. She is also 1/4 Greek! She currently lives in Houston, Texas with her husband, where she worships in a Coptic Orthodox church at: www.saintmaryhouston.org
Caroline’s multi achievements partly include a B.A. in Studio Art and Psychology (double major) from the University of California at Santa Cruz and a M.A. in Marriage and Family Therapy/Art Therapy Psychology.
“I don’t remember my life without art, I grew up painting, even in my coloring books with water paints as my parents told me stories about my paternal grandfather’s oil paintings. His paintings (mostly landscapes and figures) adorned our home in Alexandra, Egypt, and I always enjoyed the scent of oil paints and admired his old paint set. Ironically, I never personally used oil paints like he did.”
In high school, Caroline was part of an advanced after school Watercolor Club where she refined her talent with watercolor.
“On my own, I really enjoyed oil pastels, their tactile quality and the great renderings that I achieved with them. In college, the emphasis in my degree was conceptual and philosophical, so I didn’t get specialized training in any particular medium.”
Caroline did have some very inspiring instructors (Frank Galuszka, Tim Craighead, and Don Fritz), who worked in painting and mixed media using Mica, Acrylic get transfers, and Bees Wax.
“I think that what started in their classes, was what turned into what I do now with the encaustic painting, collage, and initiated my freedom into experimentation. Finally, when I studied art therapy, art became a vehicle for me to search my own depth, soul, psyche, and give meaning to my life experiences. This all started something for me that I still am working on today!”
Caroline traveled to London, England where she studied under the mentorship of Dr. Stephan Rene, who is a PHD student of Professor Isaac Fanous Yousef, the father of contemporary Neo-Coptic school of Iconography. She did that because she wanted to learn more about the art of her church and because she believed her spirituality is closely connected to her art. There, she learned the fundamentals of the “written” icon, including the geometry and the theology of the icon. She practiced and completed writing the face of Christ using egg tempera. (www.firstimageicons.com).
“I am inspired by nature, by color, by a text (whether it be a poem, a scriptural verse, or lyrics and of course, by archetypes (symbolic images that have layered meanings throughout culture/history and the pshyche.”
“Artists should always use themselves, their own inner world, life experiences, and their lens (world view) as a resource for their expressions. I want to tell artists not to look to what others are doing or what the art market is relishing. Remember your first love, remember why you started in the first place.
You may view more of Caroline’s art at www.carolinez.com