Colored Pencil Expert Brings Objects to Life

Tulsa artist Cynthia Marcoux


Not only is there such a thing as the Colored Pencil Society of America — complete with dues, website and magazine — Tulsa artist Cynthia Marcoux is a member and recent society prize winner for her piece "Christmas Memories." 

Anyone would swear her drawings are photographs. Crisp exposures. Well-defined details. But there’s no lens involved. Only her sharp eye, wickedly offbeat imagination and colored pencils.

Marcoux always knew she’d be an artist. "Painting was too messy," she says, so she started with photography before landing on colored pencil.

Her style? Self-described: kitschy. "I just do what I like, what makes me happy," she says.

For 28 years, Marcoux also was an exhibits tech at the Tulsa Zoo. Jack of all things creative — photographer, artist, carpenter, concrete worker. Whatever it took to make an exhibit interesting. Since 2008, she has done similar work for Philbrook, Gilcrease, Living Arts and now Gathering Place.

Her home overflows with inspiration pieces from flea markets and other haunts. In the living room alone — amid a jukebox, pinball machine and robots — is a herd of stuffed animals (think taxidermy, not fluffy), including a peacock, crow, turkey, penguin, chicken, emu and coyote.

Upstairs, Marcoux’s studio is an incubator for art in progress. In the queue is "1965," a showcase of her childhood memories. It depicts board games, beaded roller skates and their case, a trick-or-treat bag and old space-age toys. Even a Cheez Whiz after-school snack.

All are snapshots from a 9-year-old mind by someone who colors inside the lines and outside the lines and creates the lines.


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