Meditation Girl

Meditation Girl was born out of a recent Lifebook 2017 lesson.  I instantly fell in love with this little lady and I just love the way she turned out.  The lesson focused on the gifts in our stories.  What gift do we gain from negative experiences or what have we learned through the years?  MyMeditation Girl includes the Crown Chakra.

This seventh Chakra,  Sahaswara, meditates on our personal enlightenment and spiritual connection.  I’ve chosen to include this symbol in my work because of my reconnection with who I want to be and what I want to do.  Finding the connection to my higher self and always keeping my Creator deeply rooted in my soul, I have been enlightened into a brand new artistic world.

*Meditation Girl was sketched out in graphite pencil.  I used Caran D’Ache watercolors for most of the painting with some Liquitex acrylics to add stronger details.

“The Guardian”

Oh, the far reaches of the earth

past the moon and stars,

The galaxy awaits, home to none.

Oh, the far reaches of the earth

past the wind, hail, and sun,

the galaxy awaits, home to none.

Oh, there she stands,

cloaked in stars and swirling lights,

for all is watched, in a place of dark, where

The galaxy awaits, home to none.

Oh, there she hopes,

though no one knows,

she belongs nowhere,

the galaxy awaits, home to none.

Oh, look up I pray,

though you will not see,

her presence lives in a floating space, where

the galaxy awaits, home to none.

–Tamara Rokicki

Gratitude and Friendship

Hello friends! Today I bring you a short blog, sharing two of my recent works.  I’m not able to focus on one art project at a time.  I need stimulation from different works, jumping from one to the other.

The past two weeks, I’ve completed two of the four projects.  The first one is off the recent Lifebook 2017 workshop, titled “Flowers of Gratitude.”  This work was created mostly with Caran D’Ache watercolors, some cheap watercolor markers, and Liquitex acrylic.  What are flowers of gratitude?  It’s the endless beauty in our life that we are thankful for.  It comes in many forms: home, family, art, work, faith and more.  What are your flowers of gratitude?

The next one comes from Jane Davenport’s current workshop, Over the Rainbow.  I made my own version of Toto, modeled after one of my mini-schnauzers.  Paisley is my sidekick just like Toto was to Dorothy, so it seems fitting that my Wizard of Oz pal takes her form. Toto was a close friend of Dorothy.  From the beginning of the story, they shared a special bond and you could feel the love and friendship between them.  Paisley is my furry best friend and this painting below captures her personality perfectly.

I love creating furry characters because unlike the structure of faces or buildings, painting fur lets you forget about lines.  “My Toto” was done entirely out of Caran D’Ache watercolor crayons, except the golden polka dots, for which I used Liquitex acrylic.

Emerging From The Mess: The Person I Know Best

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What a week this has been. Throughout the hectic schedules and running around to a million places, I knew I had to complete this week’s Lifebook lesson. Of course, I didn’t have to, but I am at a place where I have to dig deeper within myself and pursue my passion, challenging any excuse or time stealer.

As I followed this week’s lesson, “The Person I Know Best”, taught by the talented Misty Mawn, I knew I was in for some trouble. Her lesson asked to paint a portrait of ourselves, not focusing entirely on depicting us perfectly in every feature, but bringing forth the person we are inside, or the one we want to bring to life. This portrait signifies the connection we have within ourselves, knowing we’re never alone as long as we are in tune with who we are. That itself wasn’t a huge challenge, but a task I welcomed entirely. The problem was the call to work primarily in acrylics.

Now, I love my acrylics, I really do. They are smooth, rich, and full of life…if you know how to master them. Misty worked with them in such an effortless way, merging shades and hues in harmonious connection. After my initial sketch, I selected my colors nervously. An hour into the portrait and I looked down at the paper with horror. My painting was streaky and plastic looking; graphite lines were blending with each color stroke; the entire portrait looked like a mash of shapes and blobs of paint.

IMG_4214.jpgI began resisting the process. How could I be expected to do something so advanced in only week three? I thought of my familiarity with whimsical painting, where your subject needs to look less realistic and there’s more leniency in using different mediums. I sought refuge within my art group, fellow Lifebook participants. I voiced my concerns and frustrations, which many shared as well. But there was also positive encouragement, a reminder that it’s about the process, not the result. I posted a picture of my early picture, showing them just terrible it seemed to me. Should I scrap this? I asked. The answer was a resounding no. A fellow artist told me to push through it, see where the process leads me, and learn from it no matter the outcome. I decided to listen to them, but first I needed to walk away from the project entirely.

I couldn’t stare at her, the girl who was supposed to represent me, without a pang of anxiety. I did want to scrap her; but I was also drawn to her. She looked messy, cracked, and flawed. But so was I, at so many points of my life. She was endearing, asking for help, asking me to see through all that streaky noise, where her true beauty waited. So I left her on the table, thinking of her often and wondering if she’d ever come to life.

The next day I visited my art desk again, where she waited patiently. As the streaky mess had dried into rough patches, she had a different look about her. She was still flawed, but those rough spots showed a resilient, thick skin. Where the paper had peeled and shredded while wet, it was now whole and harder. The shadow lines that lined her features seemed more like layers of years lived. The sad smile, the dull look in her eyes, somehow they seemed to reflect a certain wisdom about her, as if she held the entire meaning of life. She was still there, flawed and cracked, but beautiful nonetheless. So I went back to work.

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The next few days I worked in several layers. Coating after coating, I watched her transform. She was reddish and dark at first; then she turned a mild yellow with shades of brown; her features kept changing, her chin straightening out; her eyes growing a little more vivid with splashes of gold; her smile turning less sour and more peaceful. I watched her evolve and finally it hit me. She wasn’t always beautiful or wholesome or perfect. She kept changing, molding day by day, doing exactly what was asked of me: give life to the person I was, am, and will always be. I realized that just like my portrait, I am this strong, flawed, solitary, ever changing human being with a story to tell. So she isn’t perfect. That’s what makes her beautiful.

I have learned so much during this process. Perseverance through the dark stages of painting—or life—can show you exactly who you are. Embracing the ugly mess, loving every flaw, not giving up at the first challenge, not only makes you a better artist, but a better human being.

I started not knowing who the girl in the painting was. I thought it wasn’t me, it couldn’t be. I didn’t recognize the features or who she was trying to be. By the end of it, she told me exactly what I needed to know. She is, after all, the person I know best.

 

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An Inky Mess: Th(Ink) Positive Cards

 

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This past weekend I tackled a messy, inky, terrific project. The best part of it was that my teenage daughter joined me.

As a bonus Lifebook 2017 lesson hosted by Andrea Gomoll, we created our very own Th(ink)Positive Affirmation Cards. The scope of this assignment was to continue working on our 2017 affirmations, making this year (and hopefully many to come) a catalyst for positive change. So we sat down with pencil and paper, and thought about the way we dialogue with our inner selves. What could we use more of? What do we need to turn from negative to positive?

img_4203For me, it was easy. I am on a journey to renew myself and purse my passion in arts. The stumbling blocks have been self-doubt, fear of failure, and the overwhelming weight of the unknown. I knew that what I needed to hear were words of encouragement, an inner cheerleader telling me that I’m good enough, that I have a bright future ahead, that I should trust my instincts and give my soul what it craves.

Armed with our brand new art supplies, we started our project. We used Dr. Ph. Martin’s Bombay India Inks, something I’d never worked with before. It was a blast….messy, but that was part of the fun. My daughter was surprised at my laid back approach to the chaos, the splatter, and the splotchy ink layering all over us. But that’s what art does. As someone who is continually seeking perfection, needs to have everything in order, and not a crumb can be out of place, I’ve let art take over my life. It is a magical and shocking change, but this artistic outlet has a way to calm down my inner critic, the urge to control everything, and lets me have fun.

fullsizerender-2-copy-2The process of making this card deck was lengthy but well worth it. There’s nothing like creating your very own cards, each message carved by your and only for you. We marveled at our creations, knowing that it’s something we will cherish for the rest of our lives—especially the time we spent together creating these beautiful cards.

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As a final note, I am thrilled to share that I have been taking mixed media art classes by the wonderful Jane Davenport.   She is such an inspiring artist and I hope to learn as much as I can from her.

I am currently working on week 3 of Lifebook, an overwhelming self portrait that is pushing me way past my boundaries. Subscribe to my main website to read about my next art adventure.

Until then…..I wish you lots of love and art messes. XO

2017: Hopes, Dreams, and Art

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2017 is here and like many of you I’ve been doing a lot of thinking. What did 2016 bring me and what am I happy to leave behind? There hasn’t been an awful lot of chaos in my 2016, but many things came to surface in regards to my health, spiritual, and self care needs. Although some of those factors were incredibly challenging, they also opened a door for healing and improvement.

I’ve never been a fan of new year resolutions. They always added pressure and stress, not to mention a fear of failing even before starting. Instead, I’ve always preferred to leave behind the hurt and the difficulties of the year before, keeping an open mind and a hopeful attitude for the year to come.

This year, I’ve done the same, except I went the extra mile and signed up for something so amazing, so inspiring, and so stinkin’ colorful that I giggle when thinking about it.

LifeBook is something I stumbled on by accident. I’ve always been a fan of mixed media and whimsical art, dabbling with my own versions of it here and there. I happened to watch a video from one of my favorite mixed media artists, Leilani Joy . She shared some exciting news about Lifebook 2017, another year long program starting in 2017. Lifebook’s aim was to heal hurts, grow in may areas of your life, explore and honor yourself, while finding harmony and peace within the world. The program would be hosted by its creator, Tamara Laporte  on Willowing , with a mix of guest instructors, each bringing you different mixed media lessons to enrich your skills and take you on a personal journey.

Because this seemed like a sign from above, I decided to check out Lifebook and realized that this awesome idea has been enriching artists for quite a few years. I signed up immediately and could barely wait for the year to end so I could begin the program. And here we are, on January 4th, and I’ve already completed my first art assignment.

“Star Girl: A Journey with Light”, represents my hopes and dreams for 2017. I have left behind anything from 2016 that doesn’t serve me anymore, yet honoring each and everyone of them, as it taught me something valuable. My star girl is the first attempt at Lifebook, which by the end of the year will be bound in a journal. The process of creating her was extremely therapeutic and endearing. Most lessons are accompanied by a meditation exercise, in which Tamara gently guides you into your subconscious. It is uplifting and insightful to look into myself and wonder what exactly I am looking for this year.

img_4117So here she is, my star girl, leaving behind fears, anxiety, judgment, over thinking, and self doubt. In her basket she carries her hopes and dreams for the year ahead. She wants to create, take care of her self, believe in the magic of living in the moment.

As the year progresses and I continue to embark on an artistic and self discovery journey through Lifebook, I will update you on my progress and discoveries.

I won’t ask you to make a new year resolution, but I do ask you this:

Are you ready to embark on your own journey, aiming to discover your inner worth, the best version of yourself, and the beauty and talent you can offer the world?

What are your hopes and dreams for 2017?

To subscribe to my blog, please follow this link and subscribe to my main website.  http://tamararokicki.com/2017/01/2017-hopes-dreams-art/

The Queen of Hearts

My love for writing has always been accompanied by a passion for drawing. While writing has always come easily to me, I definitely have to work harder at any type of artwork and often end up abandoning any art project I take on.

Like this one.

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Ah, yes, I had high hopes for Miss Queen of Hearts. In my head, she had it going on. Deep, soulful stare; quirky clothes; and of course amazing details that accompanied the whole ‘off with their heads’ theme. But sadly, what turned up on the canvas was a bit (ok, a lot) downgraded than my expectations. My lack of knowledge in using the right paint, shading, layering, and proportion, turns most of my projects into something a little kid would make. Still, ‘my girl’, as I call her, sat in the art room of our old house for months, staring at me with those beady eyes, an accusatory stare every time I walked in the room. Are you going to finish me? she asked, maybe hoping that I could embellish the poor excuse of a canvas I’d given her as a home. Yes, yes, I would think. I’ll get to it one of these days.

But I never did.

And then we sold our home and prepared to move. She ended up in a trash bag destined to be picked up by the garbage man the next morning. Meanwhile, I boxed up everything else in the art room. My endless supply of oil paints, stencils, brushes, stamps, and everything I could use to make another Queen of Hearts. Maybe the next one who would sit proudly in my next art room. As I taped all the boxes, my eyes fell on the plastic bag, a hint of sadness stabbing my heart. She was in there. The girl who was nothing like I wanted her to be, but that seemed cute and quirky and childish in so many ways.

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So I fished her out of the bag and put her at the bottom of another box, telling myself I’d figure out what to do with her once we moved. And when she showed up again, weeks later, while opening many moving boxes. [Continue Reading Here…]