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The Artist

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Photo of Suzanne Zoole of Equinox Studios
Suzanne Zoole of Equinox Studios
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oole named her studios EQUINOX to reflect the two expressions of her painting. Throughout her career she has painted icons in the Byzantine style as she pursued her contemporary art at the same time.

Zoole holds degrees from Agnes Scott College, the University of Colorado and the University of North Texas. She is the recipient of a Fulbright Scholarship completing graduate work at the University at Goettingen, Germany. Zoole's serious pursuit of art followed these academic achievements with the intensive study of water media and iconography with nationally known artists. She has exhibited her work in many solo shows and been juried into many exhibitions.

Zoole's contemporary painting style is abstracted realism: It is clear what the subject matter is, but it is represented in a flat two-dimensional style with color and pattern often different from what the eye sees. “The composition of a scene—what you might see through a camera lens—is what initially catches my eye and sparks my interest,” says Zoole. After taking a photo of it, the design is transferred to paper or canvas. What is most consistent with Zoole's paintings is the dark outlining of each shape. As she states, “I cannot resist reinforcing the lines and shapes with black paint.”

Creativity with options is the core of this process with artistic decisions about composition being upper most in Zoole's mind. Artists see surfaces and then create new versions of those surfaces. Zoole says, “I hope to imbue a certain warmth and charm to these surfaces which I endeavor to be balanced and forthright.” Interiors, including chairs, tables and beds are consistent with Zoole's work. The hope is to imply social interchange and to project comfort and hospitality. And, as a lover of the deep woods, she enjoys painting large landscapes, reflecting perhaps a move to the outdoors.

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oole's iconography involves another process—one of faithfully and meditatively duplicating an age-old design. Creativity, being inventive or imaginative have no place here. Adhering to a style that has produced countless objects of devotion is the calling of an iconographer. The painting or writing of an icon goes beyond the surface design into a mystical, hidden and only partially known realm. Icons are called “windows into heaven.” Reverence of an icon can help us explore our interior worlds.

When an icon is commissioned which is not found in Orthodox iconography, Zoole prepares a custom design keeping with the Byzantine style, paying close attention to postures, drapery, architecture, etc. of existing icons, duplicating the intention and spirit of the work.

The medium used in both the contemporary work and iconography is acrylic (though different kinds of acrylic). The contemporary art is painted on paper, canvas and occasionally wood. The icons are always written on specially prepared boards. Individuals seem to gravitate to one or the other of the work--preferring either the contemporary paintings or icons. It is not expected that an individual embrace both expressions.