Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Ugly? Beautiful? Bittersweet?

What makes the torn, ripped, bruised feel so comforting? Does pain sometimes remind us we are alive? Isn’t destruction part of growth? The seedling cracking it’s shell, pushing dirt aside to reach the sun. The fish swallowing the fish swallowing the fish in order to survive.

Just a quick pondering for the day.
Music: The Beat Goes On -song by Sonny & Cher

Sunday, August 19, 2018

My Mid-Year Artsy Catch Up

Laurie Anne Smith Sikorowski

Ok, you don’t know how many blog posts I’ve longhand written then promptly lost or spilt stuff on or simply found that I’m past whatever it was I started to write about. –but now as I am sitting in the airport with a seriously delayed flight and office surface on my lap, I thought I might as well type my post directly that way maybe I’ll actually get it posted. AND I’m blank. Like how can I have a million things to say then I have time to share them and ……..

Guess I’ll just start with what’s been going on lately art-wise.
Laurie Anne Smith Sikrowski

First I’ve been participating in the 100 day project. Quite simply it is picking something (creative) that you do for 100 days and post, specifically on Instagram. I chose to make 4”x4” squares of art loosely based in some way or another to music. So I’ve gotten to 43 but since have sort taken a break. I was kind of averaging 3 to 4 pieces a week, not bad for me. I think I’m going to modify the challenge to 54 (my current age) then I plan to bind them into a little journal. Above is a quick sampling of some that I’ve done so far. I’ll group them and go into their stories on future posts. (Oh nice, lots of new posts that I won’t even need to think about. Maybe it’ll get me back in the habit of posting more consistently)
Laurie Anne Smith Sikorowski

Next (yeah, these things are so not chronological and sort of overlap and such) I’ve been art journaling a good bit. I really want to complete all the journals that I have half completed. I’ve particularly enjoyed making papers. (yet another post to go into –new techniques from a local co-op called art & soul here in Nashville, gelli printing when my artfest friend Amanda came down to visit, and the ever loved kitchen sink approach with lots of luscious color –I even did my first ever youtube video. Check it out) My new obsession is creating funky collage folks. I really want to make a video of the process. Not hard at all and so much fun.
Laurie Anne Smith Sikorowski

Finally, I participated in a Facebook group lead by Misty Mawn called Portray Yourself. It has prompts such as “Adorn” or “Nature” where you create a self-portrait based on that theme. One of the things that I really liked about the group was that based on what I wanted to created I found a new (free) phone app called Fused which allows you to merge/double exposure photos. I have had so much fun playing with it both for self portraiture but also all sorts of other things.

Laurie Anne Smith SikorowskiWell, I guess I had more to say than I thought. Northing to deep or anything but more a breezy catch-up and personal push because now, goodness I’ve actually gone from …. To a crazy lot that I want to share with y’all!

Well until next time, have a wonderful life and keep on arting!!!!

Music for Today: “Leaving on a Jet Plane” song by Peter, Paul & Mary, written by John Denver (I had no idea he had written this until I went to find it on YouTube to add to my blog post. What random new tidbits we pickup ach day, lol)

Monday, January 22, 2018


HELLO 2018  -and Good Bye 2017, you sure zoomed right on past!
Laurie Anne Smith Sikorowski Art Journal Celebrate Green

I blinked and WOW, a whole year went by. That old notion of time passing in proportion to the whole of your existence, sure seems accurate to me. I have no doubt time is merely a human construct and totally relative. Hmmm…. Now can I leverage that next time I happen to be a bit late –‘cause you know that is going to happen at some point. (Aside –check out this What But Why’s post on lateness. I just adore this site)

Ok now back to my post, oh yes, 2018. I think 2018 is going to be an AMAZING year for me and to honor that exclamation, my word, drumroll please, is CELEBRATION!!! Usually I ruminate a great deal about my word. Usually there ends up being about six or seven contenders and they have to duke it out and then I am mentally and emotionally exhausted from the brain battle. But not this year!

2018 will be a yearlong celebration! We are talking P-A-R-T-Y, balloons and banners, champagne and fireworks! Well, maybe not always that literal, but it is the attitude I hope to cultivate. One of abundance and joy. I plan to reward myself for small victories and the progress I make along the way, regardless how silly or inconsequential it may seem!

What is your word for the year? How do you plan to incorporate it in to your life? I hope to share some of the ways I intend to include the concept of celebration in my life, particularly through my art in my art journal. I have several partially completed journals and my mini-goal is to complete them all before 2019 comes around. It is a rather ambitious task, but I am super excited to get started!

Music to start the new year: Can't Stop the Feeling -Justin Timberlake

Laying out my supplies and general page concept

Smooshing (I just can't keep my fingers out of the paint)

Testing out alternative layouts (It is hard to stop playing and start gluing) 

Friday, October 20, 2017

The Only Thing Constant Is Change

Hello My Darling Artlings,
I'm Sharing Big Life Changes Yet Again!
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Hurricane Irma - Art by Laurie Anne Smith Sikorowski
My Little Hurricane Girl doodled in my art journal while Irma made landfall

It is me, Laurie Anne Smith Sikorowski (Haha, being all fancy and formal-like with my whole name incase you are new to my beloved but often neglected art blurred with lots of randomn life things blog) Well let me see how to start - first a job hunt, then not one but two hurricanes. Angsty Irma, the bully, pretty much affecting all of Florida (and beyond). Nasty timing as I needed to be out of my Key West townhouse by the end of September and the mandatory evacuation made that a strategic nightmare. On the positive, it did push me on to Nashville where I interviewed (a day late, oops, seriously who does this) and seemed to land my dream job! Yay!!! 

Oh, you know those reoccurring gremlins that plague me in my art, yes, the ones that I post about ad nauseam, guess what, they are just as active with my architectural practice. Well, maybe not quite on the doing architecture, I’m pretty secure on that part, but all the people stuff -that’s so so scary. Being seen as likable and competent is surprisingly important to me and self-confidence does not come naturally -but I do feel that I am making progress in this department.

I actually found (once I’d done massive prepping) I enjoyed the interview process. The prepping made me really look at what do I want in a career, as well as who am I, and what are my strengths and weaknesses. A snapshot of what I discovered is that I am a problem solver at heart. I like for my mind to be engaged figuring out some particularly intricate puzzle. I also thrive on building and deepening relationships. Not the let's go to the party and simple start talking to people I don’t know (umm.. like no way) but finding commonality and working together towards a common goal type relationships. And finally, I am inspired by beauty. I want to be surrounded by it and a part of its creation. My definition of beauty is broad and encompasses more that the visually pleasing; it is something deeper that can include a sense of appropriateness or even decay. It is an intangible something, more a feeling. It is easier to know where it is not than to describe what it is (although almost any thing, person, or place can have beauty if you are willing to go deep -but that is a thought ripe for a much longer exploration in later post) 

Adrift - Hurricane Art Journal Page by Laurie Anne Smith Sikorowski
"Adrift" -an art journal page expressing my sense of ununcertainty as I am between homes

Needless to say, September was an emotional rollercoaster. The high of truly sensing God’s hand in my journey and profound feelings of gratitude for the opening and shutting of doors. (I feel so taken care of) I picture myself as a seedling being carefully transplanted where I get just the right amount of sunshine and shade. I am dutifully watered and carefully pruned. I am blessed! What a wonderful time to feel so supported by precious friends and family.

BUT still I struggle with the dreadful imposter syndrome. You know where you are afraid that you are putting on an illusion of being more than who you are and if someone gets to know you better they won't think you are as amazing as you have projected. My insecurities are oozing out again, darn it! Crazy life shake ups tend to bring up the best and the worst of what usually lies dormant inside of us. Change is hard and oh how I like my comfort zone. The unknown is scary. My nature likes the calm and my life is totally not even close to calm at the moment. 

Which brings me to hurricane number two, Nate. How ironic I run from a storm right into another. Luckily Nate was much less destructive. I actually had college friends staying at the house for Nate’s arrival. No, it wasn’t intentional but ended up being fun. Nine of us crazies, playing games and watching the weather channel as the colorful mass scuttled across the tv screen.

Now, I’m heading to Nashville once again. This time to find a new place to call home. All the typical moving fears are out in full force; will I find friends, will I fit in, will I do well at my new job, and so on and so on, but also that excitement and thrill of a new beginning. I got this! Exhilaration and a soaring sense of endless possibilities! Breathe, just breathe!

Sheepish -Art  by Laurie Anne Smith Sikorowski
Sheepish Detail

I thought I’d have a lot of free time to create but so far it hasn’t happened. A couple small canvases before the storms and a few jounal pages with the meager supplies I kept in my small suitcase (yes, the one, I've been living out of for about a month now) Hopefully as I get settled (& my art supplies are unpacked), I’ll be able to do some painting before my new job begins. My fingers are itching for the smooth glide of paint on paper!

Music for today: (I had to go country since I'm about to be Nashville bound)

Saturday, July 1, 2017

An Artful Summary of My Year So Far

Hi! Hola! Nameste! Bonjour! Jambo! Ciao!
Laurie Smith Sikorowski Zen Art Girl

While I've been quite quiet on my blog, it doesn't mean I haven't been playing around in paints. It has been a busy art filled year. Facebook & Instagram have been my posting spots of choice lately. They are so quick & easy. Please follow me on those platformse for more impromptu updates:

Well, let see what I've been doing lately, I've not done any art shows or festivals simply because the logistics of travel and set up (especially with a little 2 seater convertible) haven't been ideal. I do miss them though. I am hoping by this Fall to go to a few galleries and see if I can maybe get some art out there in that way. I may have mentioned this previously but, oh lazy me, hasn't actually done it yet. Wish me luck! I'm kind of nervous about doing this which is probably why I've put it off so long.

So This is going to be mostly a visual thumb through of some artsy highlights month by month:

Laurie Smith Sikorowski Key West Girl
Laurie Smith Sikorowski Art JoyIn January, I painted this girl holding a hen & yes, she has a story. On my way to church (a good 45 minutes from my house), my bug went up in smoke and these two sweet Latino men in an old pickup came to my rescue. I had to carry this big rooster in my lap as they drove on to church. Of course, I just had to incorporate this in to my artwork.

In February, I got back to a large half done canvas I've had for a long time. Well it is still not finished but one more layer added and lots of joy playing large after working on a lot of little paintings.
Delray Beach Art Retreat

Delray Beach Art Retreat Art JournalDelray Beach Art Retreat Art Journal Teesha Moore
In March, the first of two awesome art retreats. This one at Delray Beach with Dyan Reavely and Teesha Moore as the instructors. I made lots of trading cards and had a great time. I also got a great roomie and wonderful new art friend, Tina in the process.
Art Friends

In April,  the second art retreat was with the fabulous art gang that I first met at Artiest Rising last year. This was a very different kind of retreat, more "here is all my supplies, have at it" sort of thing. I had a blast. Lots of supplies, I can live without like pumice medium and tar medium but also a few new must haves, like this liquid paint squeeze pen thingy and making my own stamps.
Mixed Media Art Journal Spread

In May and June,  I mostly worked in some of my art journals. I still haven't quite finished any of them and am getting a bit impatient. with myself.  I'm playing around with some more abstract less figurative works. Lots of ideas, just got to get them down on paper!
Mixed Media Art Journal Texture Page

And now it is the first of July so who knows where the artful winds will blow! I'll try and pop in a little more often! I'm all twitchy to share a how-to artsy video soon. XOXO

Music for Today's Post: An eclectic trio, lol!
Little River Band - Reminiscing
Harry Styles - Sign of the Times
Ray Charles - Hit The Road Jack

Art Journaler Art Dork Extraordinaire Laurie
Me - Art Dork Extraordinaire 

Saturday, December 10, 2016


What is it about Frida Kahlo that resonates so? 

Frida Kahlo Quote

She was passionate, determined, and vulnerable! She managed to live a brief but amazingly bittersweet beautiful imperfect life while often in intense physical pain. A grand romance, a driving cause, a tragic turn.

I love seeing all the interpretations she has inspired. Could she be the most painted woman of this century, particularly by women artists? I would not be surprised. She holds some sort of fascination within our imaginations. 

She represents overcoming as well as succumbing. In her, we see many of our own fears and longings. It is no wonder that different diverse groups find an affinity to her art. Sure we have mythologized Frida's admittedly flawed life but because she shared her inner life so honestly, we feel that in some way we are intimate with her. That we know her. 

This represents just a few wonderful portraits from amazing artists I've found primarily through Pinterest. I've not yet painted my own portrait of Frida but I just know that I will. The pull is just too strong.

Frida Self Portrait
Frida Self Portrait

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Getting My Sketching On!

Hi sweet little neglected bloglet!  I'm b a a a c k !

Laurie Sikorowski Art

Honestly it has been awhile and lots of odds and ends have been going on.  Let's see, on the arts side, I am doing Julia Cameron's "The Artist's Way". I started an on-line group, "Exploring The Artist's Way" to go through it with (can you say accountability)  There is about 60 participants, of course realistically I'm sure much fewer will stick with it.  It has been interesting.

The Artist's Way

The primary activities are morning pages (a 3 page long brain drain each morning) and a weekly artist's date (a solo creative outing) and weekly writing tasks to go with the readings.  It has been more time intensive than I anticipated.  I'm not sure how much I've gotten out of it yet but I plan on following through as much as a tangible show of will power as creativity unblocking.

Laurie Sikorowski Art

I've also been in a major reading and sketching mode. Figured I'd share a few here. Not even Art Journal drawing, more random doodles on whatever I can get my hand on. I really should keep true drawing paper with me as usually I'm drawing on grid or lined paper but of course the advantage is it makes me stay loose and not precious which is really nice.

Laurie Sikorowski Art

Finally, the most exciting general life thing is that I just got home from Nashville for Thanksgiving! Such a wonderful time with family! It is what I miss the most about living so far away (yes, even more than my bath tub) My girls will be down in Key West for Christmas so even more wonderfulness to come. There is nothing in this world that I care for more than my kids.  I am so proud of the amazing young women my daughters have become.  Yet seeing them bloom and fly, reminds me just how fast time is zooming by and how important it is to make each moment count.  Goodness, it feels like they were my messy little munchkins only a few years ago.

Thanksgiving 2016

On the topic of time rushing past -sometimes when I see myself, I am surprised, I expect to see a face maybe 20 years younger.  I don't think you ever actually think of yourself as older (well except maybe when the aches and pains kick in) What a mixed blessing aging is.  I do think that I've finally started becoming comfortable with myself, well at least most days anyway. My next goal is to try to become more comfortable in my actual skin - my body issues are so big. Literally as well as figuratively. besides wanting to become physically smaller, I want to let it matter less.  Not judge myself so harshly.  Well, that will be an on going task but hopefully this time I'll make it stick!

Laurie Sikorowski

I'm going to try and be more regular in my posting so I'll be checking back in soon.  Of course, if you like you can catch me on Facebook as Artfulbitsandbytes and Instagram as as artfulbitsandbytes_laurieanne  -I tend to be a bit more active on these venues and would love to connect with you there.

Music for November:
Thanksgiving Song - Mary Chapin Carpenter

(Oh Yes, we went roller skating in Nashville & it was not quite as easy as I remembered but still just as fun -hence the following roller disco youtube links, lol!)

So Electric - Lifelike
Moves - Tahuna Breaks
Get Lucky - Daft Punk

Ciao Bella! Sweet Dreams!