Diane Rakocy

ArtAscent Distinguished Artist of the 2021 Garden call for artists.

Artist Statement

I’m as surprised as anyone by the final image that shows up on the canvas.

A blue elephant, a field of flowers, a colourful bird. I never know. I step aside and let the painting emerge as it wants to.

When I paint and listen, I am led.

Painting this way is exhilarating and I feel honoured that I’m able to do it. It feels like I’m stepping aside and letting an outside force work through me, guiding my brushes and paints to bring something beautiful out into the world. I’m humbled every time.

About My Work

I start by connecting to Spirit.

I begin with the brush by painting positive words directly onto the canvas which gets the positive energy going. I write whatever energy that I want to bring out into the world through the painting.

Next, I begin to play. I drip colours, make marks with all kinds of different tools, from a paintbrush to a bottle cap or piece of bubble wrap. I write words, I change directions or colours. I let it all dry and start again. I add another layer, being careful not to cover what is already there. I do this layer after layer after layer with no particular direction or concern. It’s a really fun part of the process.

When the layering process feels finished, I take a look at the mayhem that was created. Like a Rorschach test, I step back and determine what I see is there and figure out what wants to emerge. Then I begin what I call the “excavating” process. I paint around whatever shapes or images that I see in order to bring them forward, leaving the rich layers underneath intact.

This part of the process is one movement at a time but not in any particular order. I’ll paint around a flower that I see in the corner and then move to another part of the canvas to paint around a shape that looks like a butterfly. If I’m not sure what to do next, I pause and tune in and then I’ll do something. Or I’ll sit with it and come back to it. It’s always about making just one next move and seeing where that takes me.

It’s a lot of trial and error and trusting my inner guidance. At some point along the way, I’ll know where it’s all going and then it begins to flow easily and effortlessly. When the painting is done, I often wonder how it got there. Honestly, it’s like magic to me every time.

What I want to say with my art is that beauty is always there amidst the chaos. When we follow our inner guidance, no matter who or what we are, we show up in the world in all of our beautiful radiance.

Distinguished Artist of the ArtAscent Gardens call for entry. To see the full body of work, grab a copy of the ArtAscent Art & Literature Journal Gardens issue.


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