Mel Bikowski discusses what inspires her artwork on a everyday basis and how she creates the messages behind each piece of work.Read More
Mel Bikowski discusses being interviewed and the article that is published in the Alexandria Times.Read More
Mel Bikowski discusses the reasons she is on Instagram and why it is her favorite platform to be on all the time. Follow her on Instagram at www.instagram.com/mel.bikowskiRead More
Creativity does not just have to be bright rainbows, glitter, and happiness. Although, if that is your message, then that is fine. Brightness in art and human connection tends to eclipse the darkside. That is why the moon usually has only one day in it. Either way, We must address our dark side. We are dual beings. Beings that are light, angelic, and harmonious. But we are also dark, beastly, and chaotic. We are the light and the dark. We are a little bit of human, angel, and animal.
Our fears, our worries, our anxieties, our skepticism, cynicism, lower frequency ego driven traits are also apart of us. The Yucky side. And something that I have noticed is that our fears can become us if we do not address them. If we do not face them.
So why not face them through art? Why not face the dark side of creativity?
Face your Fears.
To start, all those lower emotions are choking up your creativity. They are choking up your heart. Your divinity. Your vision. Your true potential and all that mumbo jumbo. It seems like a broken record for me to say "face your fears", right? I mean that's what A LOT of the Internet/Self Help Books are telling ya, but it is true! Facing & Expressing our Fears is the hugest part of conquering them.
So how do we express them?
First and foremost, we need to acknowledge our fear. We feel scared. We feel worried. We feel anxiety about the future. We feel depressed because how we feel on the inside doesn't match the outside. What emotion is driving you to self destruct?
Then you own it. You are in control of your life. You didn't get to this point without some action. You didn't get there because someone did it to you. You can't blame anyone else for the fear you are feeling. You have to own it.
Guilt//Shame < Humility// Compassion
Then once you own it. Give yourself some compassion. Love on yourself. Accept yourself. Maybe you are feeling undesirable, maybe you are feeling like you can never reach a goal. Whatever it is. It's just your ego, your shadow being more powerful than your light. So, take back that responsibility. Say to yourself, I love myself. I can do this. I am a magical empowering human being and I will conquer these dumbo mumbo emotions!
Then the Last Step, EXPRESS IT
Take Charge to Let it Out. Speak, Write, Move Your Body, Yell, EFT Tap, Write out Your New Moon Affirmations, or whatever it is that allows you to express your fear. Let that emotion move through you by expressing it through those creative projects. Whenever we are moving through our emotions, we are addressing them, not repressing them and that is when we can let it go!
For me, I am expressing my fears through my most recent project. I am working on animal paintings that represent our ancestral partners. Our human connection with our furry, scaly, and wild companions. We humanize our pets. Humanize our Predators. The zoological aspect of spirituality sees animals as a merely a metaphor. We don't define them as a living creature that is present on this Earth. We use them as a tool for self exploration. In the presence of the most dangerous animals of the world, we look at them and paint them in bright colors and call them our spirit animals. Many people choose their spirit animals to be that of a predator. Which, makes me question if we see ourselves in the same lens. As the most dangerous animals on the planet. It makes me question why we are putting clothes on our pets for pictures and if we are moving towards a closer world where even animals have forgotten their wild attitude.
It's scary to think about. Leaving my daughter with a world that is detached from our planet- animals and humans alike. It's a scary thought to think that we are not helping our animals, but merely catering to our dystopia.
I want to express our wild beings. I want to express our wild calling. I want to remind each of us that we are not detached from mother nature at all, but connected.
Expressing my fears is turning into a beautiful and desirable art project. I am letting go my attachment to those fears. I am delving into them and calling action to what they are. I will share this project more than likely at my next art show. I am excited, empowered, and feel as if the light is stronger than the dark. Basically, I am a glittery beary unicorn-liger octomom ready to launch ! And you know, you can make any emotion that you need to work through a creative mission statement too.
So what are you working through with your expression? What do you need to let go? You can do it.
Labels cannot be avoided. At my show recently at the Village Gallery, I came across many people that wanted to talk about who I am/ was; what my art was identified as and how I identified myself. One person that really stuck in my mind was this younger girl that interviewed me about each piece while carrying a sketchbook of her own work. Clearly, she was an artist. I asked her how she felt about the paintings and she said, "Well, they are very colorful. So I would assume that the works in this show come from extroverted artists." Interested, I asked her to expand, only for her to continue to say, "Art has much value in it, a depth and aptitude of color that creates value and expression. Most artists are introverts because they understand how to use these dark colors and balance them in their work. These artworks themselves, don't use much black, if anything they don't use value at all."
This stung me at my core. Number 1, my personality was being stigmatized by the way that I use color in my artworks and number 2, honestly, I really needed to work on value.
So how does this apply to exploring my identity? Well, I took my time to think about what she said and I questioned and explored the information.
First and foremost, I am not an extrovert. She had that wrong. By definition, I am an introvert (according to MBTI standards), but I don't define myself as one.When I am out and about (which is not very often) you won't find me in sitting in a corner mumbling to myself, "oh I'm an introvert, that's why I can't talk to you." lol. And you know, to be honest, I think a lot of introverts get really stigmatized. My closest friends will say that I am loud, talkative, and zany. Much like an extrovert would be if you were to judge someone by the textbook definition. But, my friends would also say, that I need my space. My alone time. They will say that you can certainly find me recharging or thinking about something out of this world. My mind is hyperactive. Filled with ideas and I do not really need other people around to feel energized and thought provoked. I mean, maybe if that person was Albus Dumbledore or my husband, who I am lucky to share a space with and lets me rant for days about nonsense even if he doesn't agree with anything I am saying. (An example- last week I told him all about my past life reading and how it applied to me now. With open eyes and an open heart, he just smiled and took it in. lol) & on top of that, one of my favorite mottos of all time is "Work Hard in Silence. Let your success make all the noise".
And Second, How do Bright Colors get categorized as Extroverted? Is it because they can be the life of the party, loud, in your face, sometimes zany in artwork? Is it because Introverts are stigmatized to be dark and foreboding? It's possible!
I think for the most part, we need to look at labels as we look at the light on the moon. The Moon Exists in Space. It reflects the sunlight. Much like ourselves as humans reflect information and identity. We are merely borrowing from our knowledge and reflecting it. The labels and identity traps are meant to guide you in exploration to define and see who you are. To help you gravitate towards the knowledge that will allow you seek your highest good. That is why we need to be careful with labels and as artists NEVER LET THEM DEFINE US.
So back to the girl and my artworks. I could of just stopped her right there and said, no way, jose. I am an introvert. I am on the MBTI scale as an INFJ. **BIG HMMPH** or I could of just listened to her and looked at what she was saying about my artwork and how she labeled it and decided to use it as a tool for clarifying if I am conveying the message that I am trying to convey.
As an artist, we delve in and explore identity. I find that we observe it. We see it and redefine how the world can view these perceptions. But to start, we need to see whether or not these labels are fitting for our artworks, our message, ourselves. And it's A-OK to change the way you see yourself and it's definitely A-OK to change identities. Labels and Identities do not define our work. Who we are as people and what we are interested in does. We as artists are like the moon- faithfully shining down onto Earth an expression of our Muses, which for the moon, is the Sun.
So moonchildren, what are you going to reflect outward today?
Full Moon in Taurus- November 3
Happy Full Moon to everyone reading this blog. This is my first Full Moon that has cycled around to rest. As you all know, I am taking a break from the full moon workshops, but looking forward to picking them back up when I am done with hibernation. Currently, I am swimming deep in the depth of Self Care <3
Empress/Emperor Self Care
Are you feeling anxious and sleepy? Has exhaustion taken you over? Are you worried about the New Year or are you excited for it? Are you reflecting on everything that has happened in the last few months? Well, you are not alone. The Taurus Full Moon comes at a time where we can take a moment to invoke awareness at where we are needing rest. Where do you need to be a Cosmic Parent to yourself? Accept those random hugs and gifts from the people you are connected to and remember that there is no time like the present to start a self-care practice.
And please, keep in mind that you do not have to break the bank to start a self-care practice. Most of the things that I do myself for self-care are found in my kitchen cabinets.
Before I start on my self care process, I always journal and hear the messages from the full moon, but then it is time to have some fun and relax and honor my mind, body, and spirit.
The Ritual Process goes:
- Light an Incense of my choice (some of my favorite ones are created in house at Crystal Fox in MD)
- Cook a delicious dinner (lately, I have been so busy with school, I treated me and my family to fancy homemade dinners from Green Chef!)
- Sage my Home with Flower/Sage Bundles from Aquarian Soul
- Take a bath. (my favorite for this past year and my go-to is a Salt, Basil Bath. It is easy to do- Just boil some fresh Basil from your fridge- pour the water into the bathtub and then put 1 cup of Sea Salt in there)
- Lather Up with my favorite go-to Lotion Products
- Snuggle in my favorite blanket on the couch or walk around the neighborhood moon gazing with my family and my dog
- Unplug from the internet & my cellphone (hugely important lately- I think I went almost a whole month last month without my phone in the daytime & rarely used it in the evenings)
Invoke Creative Intelligence
So, how is self care linked to creativity? It is scientifically proven that self-care, silence, and resting enhances our creativity. It gives our nervous system and our mind a moment to recharge. It also gives our energy a moment to restart and come back to the present. It refreshes and prepares us to be ready for our new projects whether that means painting, poetry, starting a new business, entering a new relationship, or creating a vision board of some sort. Creativity is the source of almost all actions that we do in this life.
I think that for me, Self Care reminds me that I am merely a medium and Creativity is the source. Much like Pen & Paper is the medium where I write down my poems or Acrylic and Canvas is the medium where I paint my paintings. I am merely a reflection of the source- Creativity. Energy. And hey, have you ever tried to paint, draw, or create with shitty mediums? It SUCKS.
So clean yourself up-rest- enjoy your time this full moon.
Love you Lots,
NOTE: 4 more open studios happening in my studio this year. Mark your Calendars and come hang out <3
The National Women of the Arts Museum hosted the #Now Be Here photo and partnered up with Los Angeles- based artist Kim Schoenstadt & DC-based artist Linn Meyers last night. Something that really stuck with me about the event is that Linn said in her speech, "Not many people think that DC really has an art scene, but this goes to prove show that they're wrong."
What an amazing event. Almost 500 artists showed up and celebrated the growing and intricate art scene that we have here in DC/Northern Virginia. After the photograph was taken, we all mingled for a while discussing life, catching up, and looking at the art resources that NMWA setup.
Events like this remind me that the work that we do as artists is inspiring. important. and beautiful. It also showed for me last night, that our community is strongly connected and supportive and that is what an art scene needs to thrive.
Thank you NWMA for hosting this event and thank you to the coordinators. It is amazing and I am so inspired and lucky to be part of this. (That's me in the front behind the lady in the pink!)
& you know what- thank you to everyone that supports all of us as artists. Look what is happening with all the love and creativity- it is just spreading. I love it.
For those of you that aren't sure about the campaign that has exploded over the internet this week. Let me just talk about it for a moment. The "Me Too" campaign is a movement started by Alyssa Milano, who is trying to bring light to all the sexual assault and harassment that women have had to endure for not just the time I am alive, but for CENTURIES.
The Truth of the Matter is Sexual, Mental, Emotional, and Physical Assault is my scar.
It's the biggest one I carry on my soul. I have been working on healing myself through art, poetry, alternative therapy, cognitive therapy, having spiritual advisers, meditation, and I have even went down the dark dreary hole of trying to heal it with alcohol. It's not a pretty scar for me.
In my youth, I was trapped in a relationship where he made everything but himself seem unsafe. He harassed me over the phone, through text messages, through friends.. He would drive up to near the end of whatever street I was at and park there. He would tell me the people I was having a good time with were out to get me. He would tell me my family was out to get me. I remember a time when I got in trouble for not paying attention to my grades, so my parents grounded me from seeing him and he came over to "help me with my homework" and tried to get me to leave and move in with him.
I didn't feel safe. Then it came to a time that I moved in with him. I had true love mixed up with horrific fear and mind control. I picked up alcohol as a habit. I was in public places all the time surrounded by friends because I only felt safe there. I remember one night, I came home to do my homework and because I didn't want to have sex, he grabbed me by my hair and dragged me down three flights of stairs. I still didn't even leave after that.
Finally, at one point, our relationship ended. He started cheating on me with other women and he wanted to take the chance with new ones. I wasn't free from his hold though. I still got harassed everyday with missed calls, emails, text messages, and etc.
I found myself sending out cries for help. I would post subliminal poems on Facebook or in a journal. I couldn't even look my mother in the eye. I was so upset at myself for allowing all this to happen.
The only thing that kept me sane through all of it was poetry.
Then I got sexually assaulted two more times by other strangers. At parties, where I thought I was surrounded by friends. I was having an enjoyable time chatting in deep philosophical conversation with some friends of mine. Then it happened and I ended up leaving the party distraught. Helpless. Again?
This led me down a path of having serious PTSD. I would spend days crawled up on a couch if I wasn't at work going through each and every scenario over and over and over again in my head trying to figure out what about me could of made the scenario different. If someone asked me to go into a neighborhood where my abuser lived, I would say no. I carried a knife in my purse and car. I puffed out my chest at anyone that thought me weak. I got triggered every time a man said "You are pretty."
I went through all the scenarios of having panic attacks. avoiding my family. hiding my scars. Thinking to myself constantly, Why was I the victim of this violence? Why couldn't I leave and why couldn't I say no?
I felt weak. afraid. unsure of myself. and hopeless.
So what helped? What Saved Me?
- I found Yoga. God did that save me from some of the PTSD. I would go into one vinyasa after another. Every time any of my abusers faces would show up in my mind, I would go and exercise.
I found Dancing. I would dance for hours. Working out any and all of my issues with emotional constraints. My chest felt free. None of it weighed me down anymore.
But that is what people with PTSD need. To restart their nervous system. Awaken the body and ground themselves into their present life.
2. I wrote poetry. So much poetry. I would journal every single emotional upheaval. I find that poetry does heal us. It might be written about a situation that is emotional and maybe not everyone will feel the way that I felt, but it connected me to something. It connected me to my senses. The good ones. The ones that made me feel more alive than I have ever felt before. I could write out those feelings, truths, and understandings without anyone saying "How dare you tell that story."
3. I painted. I am very sensitive to energy. I find myself in a room seeing and feeling all the things that aren't being said. It's hard sometimes to even get a hold of reality because I am seeing all the interactions happening. But when I paint, I can feel myself again. I wake up from the dream I am having. The horrific one & I get out all the angst. I am focused on a something larger than myself and I am safe there. NO man is going to come into my paint space and take what I have.
4. A healthy diet. It is SO important when Trauma has happened to remove yourself from anything that might have otherwise made it feel worse. Have you ever eaten a bag of chips and felt like shit the next day? Well that is how PTSD feels without the chips. You need to feed your soul. Eat those things that make you feel good. Give you energy and awaken & ground you into who you are as a person. I LOVE JUICE just for that reason. You can catch me drinking a Green Juice and smiling. Not because I am following some bullshit health trend, but because I am healing my insides to heal my soul. To heal my heart.
CREATIVE THERAPY CURED ME
I'm not saying I'm cured. I still deal with a lot of PTSD. Let's be honest. All these #METOO posts triggered me this week. I went down a path of crazy panic and needed release. I wrote 2 different FB statuses and then made them private or deleted them. I saged the whole house and I journaled and wrote poetry. I cried for a while and looked up booking an appointment with a therapist. I haven't felt that kind of panic in years.
But you know what? Art Therapy is the psychic integration of having a dialogue with your trauma. I know this because I did it. The Conscious and Unconscious mental activity, mind-body connectedness, and the use of mental & visual imagery allowed my cerebral cortex/nervous system to calm down. It illuminated what I needed to heal. It begins to change the stored images into new images.
I know that creating through art- whether it is poetry, music, or some other creative format will make trauma less powerful. And I find it to be less threatening than any verbal therapy. Sometimes we DONT want to talk about our traumas. Sometimes it triggers us to become worse.
So I urge you, if you have went through some sort of trauma to try out some poetry prompts ( I have some going on in my FB group now) or pick up a journal, dancing, music, or some sort of creative activity. You'll feel that healer inside ignite. & you will feel so much better. Trust me.
Art Is the Safe Space.
Happy Friday, Everyone! Did you feel that Full Harvest Moon last night?
Letting go on the Full Moon can be a challenge. It can be intimidating and challenging to enter a state of self awareness. It can be scary to find out that we are all connected and we are not as unique as we think we are. It can be EVEN scarier to realize that our problems aren't unique and there are thousands among thousands of people out there that are dealing with the same energy shifts that you might be feeling.
I feel you. It's scary as hell! But something I realized is, it is also empowering. You are not ALONE in this world. You are not alone EVER. And that is why I worship the rituals of Nature. Because it reminds me that these challenges, these new shifts, these obstacles are just cycles within our society collectively that we are all healing. Understanding the cycles also helps me clear up any and all emotions, thoughts, situations, or issues that might be removing me from my connection with the things that are most important to me which is creativity, connection, and family.
These Rituals bring me CLOSER to my true intentions and source. It connects my light and darkness. It allows me to be ME through and through!
The Ritual Process goes:
- Open my Full Moon Journal
- Check out The Energy of the Full Moon- some good places are Chani Nicholas or Hoodwitch if you need some assistance on this!
- Set an Intention about what I am releasing or illuminating that applies to this moon
- Reflect on my goals, my life, and make sure that everything within is in alignment with me.
- Release it- if that means dance it out, write it down, lash out paint on a canvas, or just clean my house- Vibes Be Gone!
- Do a Tarot Reading- Write down my self awareness, my creative goals, and connect with my spiritual guides through the cards.
- Share my knowledge with the community
So What Am I letting go on This Full Moon?
This past couple of weeks, I have started my last semester of school (for now) and I find myself in one of the most turbulent semesters that I have EVER experienced. It's distracted me from community, family, and creativity. It has made me feel somewhat destructive and angry and most of all stressed out! (yikes!)
So, here comes the full moon- time for journaling, tarot, and addressing my own problems. But not just my own, I needed to be social and face the community! I host Full Moon Workshops once a month in my studio and I was feeling a sense of chaos and forcefulness in my soul. I am so excited to host these workshops for everyone that it was KILLING me to not put my full attention to it. My Tiger is so close to being unleashed on all things that don't let me do what I want!!!!!!
So here we are, Full Moon in Aries.
The Full Moon for me is a ceremony to celebrate beginnings and ends. To address goals that we can illuminate and goals that we can end. I realized this full moon that I want more time for Family, School, and Creativity that I am going to put a pause on these workshops until Next year when I have graduated and have so much more time for the community.
On top of that, I have so much creative juices ready to explode on the canvas that I truly need to find more time for my Shaman Creative Thesis.
And letting go of these workshops for the year of 2017 is giving me space to shine on what matters most to me. It is also showed me how boldy and brightly and independent I am. It feels good to say that I am not honoring myself and it feels good to be heard.
This space will allow my art to grow, my school, and my family. I can't wait!
I have more space for creativity. I have more space to be myself.
But let me just say that last night at our workshop at Olly Olly. We had one of the best meditations that we have ever had. The support and vibrations from the community that we have built at Olly Olly through these workshops is amazing and I want to thank each and every one of you for supporting me on letting me pause and take some time for myself. I really look forward to coming back in full swing to help you all out and continue sharing how applicable, pratical, and mindful Astrology and Meditation can be used as a tool to ignite our creative Fires.
Love you all lots.
New Artist Statement:
“My latest body of work is a vibrant, assertive, and expressionistic terrain of imagery and symbolism that reflects my vaguely pagan cosmological system. The swirling atmospheres, symbolic shapes, and harmonizing colors hint at the emotional impact and mysterious ambiguity of the promise and pitfalls of the human journey toward self- awareness. My brighter works reflect the promise of our highest potential and my darker works honor the power of our shadow. I believe that if we accept life, death, and rebirth cycles that are within our lives, we can connect closer to our natural and creative potential. My deepest inspiration comes from long hikes in National Parks with my family. I have been lucky enough to travel all over the world and observe the transformations of people, places, and nature itself.”
These new works of art, silence, meditation, poetry, and all the things that feed my soul have been calling me this autumn. I am simplifying- focusing- and enjoying my time spent with my family. My daughter and I have been working on drawing together. She amazes me with her works of art. She amazes me everyday. And I feel as if I am awakening from a dream as I continue on this path that the universe has given me.
Now is the time. Time to pick up where I left off with my symbols. Time to pick up the paintbrush and the pen. Many signs are drawing me closer to this new creative thesis and although it might still just be adding on to the one I've been working on, I can hope that I convey my truth clearer than ever.
Delving deeper into Paint & Poetry. Remaining less distracted. Removing my Mothlike attention span from lightbulbs. I will be adding on poetry prompts in my Intentional Art FB group and doing 3 full moon meditations before the year ends. Looking forward to our community connections.
It's that time of year.
Time to bring on the End of the Year Sale! What a beautiful year of exhibits, paintings, studio time, and artwork. Thank you to all that support the arts and thank you to all the people that have become new collectors of my work!
Part of my own ritual around now is that as the trees shed their leaves, I also like to simplify and reorganize to prepare for the upcoming year ahead.
While much of the creative thesis I have worked on will continue on into the new year, I am looking to clear some space up in my studio for new works and hoping that I can offer you all some champagne for the upcoming holidays.
Paintings are now available in my shop: here
All Artwork, which is my original Paintings & Prints are going to be on sale- 10% off with the Coupon Code WILDLYMEL
You can get them online in my shop or come to my studio to scour my work new and old and see what is available for sale.
Sale goes on until January 1st
Open Studio Days
I will be in the studio from 7-10pm. All works will be available for sale and you are more than welcome to schedule a specific time to come see them if you aren't able to make it those days. I will also be open to taking on commissions for Christmas time.
Olly Olly 10417 Main St 2nd Floor Fairfax, VA 22030
Thank you to all of my collectors for supporting the arts and supporting me along my journey. I am looking forward to unveiling new works and continuing on this beautiful quest.
Happy Friday, everyone! What's your secret to your creativity? Mine is Silence.
A number of years ago, I can say that I was heartbroken, creatively broken, distracted, and confused. I lived in a perspective where I felt like everything around me was an attack on my personal life. I was a victim to my own circumstances. My life, my poetry, my artwork, personal, and professional life took hits from my perspective. I was allowing everything I was upset about to consume my energy and that left no time for creativity. I was at war with myself even though, I remained pretty positive, sparkly, and most days cheery.
Then one midnight on the beach- it hit me. Silence. A quiet stillness that I had been chasing after for sometime. I could feel the salt on the air- the magic of the stars- the calm rhythm of the ocean as I submerged into seeing the good parts of life. I saw how I was looking at all the bad parts that are apart of my life and allowing them to consume my energy and even though I sent out love into the universe, I was missing it for myself. I realized that the world was filled with triggers to allow me to grow into my higher self. Using reality as an experience for lessons.
So, I switched my perspective from broken to saying I am just growing and healing.
The growing and healing path is a long road. It can reveal massive amounts of trigger, pain, and situations where we need to remember that compassion, total forgiveness, and staying focused on our own flow is the number one priority. Everyone is working towards living a life that is closer to our own higher vibration. So for me, I turned to meditation. Meditation isn't just about calming our nerves.
Meditation and Yoga for me show that reality isn't what happens to me, but instead a tool for understanding where I am in my growth. I make reality. Not the other way around. It showed me that there is a flow in this world- a large flow and a personal flow and in order to follow that flow- I need silence.
Silence helps me Approach my Vision.
I cannot hear what is in store for me creatively, personally, or professionally if my mind is screaming at me. I cannot hear what is in store for me if I am covering it up with the loudness of lectures, music, or constant busy-ness on Social Media. We are a Busy Organism. We can get completely distracted from our higher vision.
And your creativity will show it. One day you will be writing a poem about your personal experience and you'll read something on your news feed that reminds you of something else and then all of a sudden you're writing something completely different. Your energy is scattered. You are not honoring your vision.
And you know what, it's okay to not honor that vision every now and again, but we were put on this Earth to learn the lessons we need to learn and GROW. If you are distracted, uncomfortable, triggered, now is the time to SWITCH.
Don't let anything rob you from your vision.
At least for me, I will sit down and meditate. Do some Yoga. Not create for a Month. Honor my vision by not honoring my distractions. And I will return to my own flow.
Right now- my favorite Yoga Flow is Yoga with Adrienne- Check it out. I am working with silence, yoga, and not creating because I am making the switch. I am going back to the drawing board and creating a new thesis/series of works. I am writing poetry,again.
& friends, I'll be damned if I honor distraction while swimming in the sparkle lake of higher vibrations.
So- Happy Friday, everyone. I will end this with a deep thought- What is triggering you? What's distracting you from the reality of your dreams? What creative project is calling to you from the depths of your belly?
Let's Honor our Visions, together.
Pisces Full Moon Celestial Eats Ritual
For the past couple of months, our community meets at my studio in Olly Olly to meditate and discusses astrological techniques to create routine and mindfulness in our lives. Every full moon, we gather together to share our energies together, discuss our own lives, and share different ways that we stay true to our selves. It is amazing to see the community grow. It is amazing to see the people return and continue building our intentional art community. I hope that we continue to grow and that this article helps you on your journey through the Pisces Full Moon.
I guess the question on everybody's mind is, Why Astrology and Art? For me, lifestyle is everything when it comes to constant creativity.
When we connect to a specific lifestyle and live an authentic one that is true to our spirits, we can become alchemical beings. We become empowered to create or destroy, live in harmony and remain anchored. For me, Astrology helps me remain mindfully aligned with what I need. It is special to me to share my studies with the community. Besides, why not throw themed dinner parties about the planets? hehe. That is creative on it's own!
Today for the Pisces Full Moon, I planned on having a potluck dinner and meditation to discuss the basic properties of Medical Astrology this full moon at my studio, but personal things came up and I had to cancel it. Dreamy Pisces wanted me to rest- soak in a bathe filled with lavendar- and snuggle with my little Pisces daughter.
It is important to establish routine because it allows me to dream and still live. For me, one of the best ways to ground myself is by eating. I love to eat, cook, be merry, and share dinner with my loved ones. As a dreamer, I honor my intuitive self, my fluid compassion, and my connections by coming together for a meal. Besides, Pisces rules our interconnection and there is no better way to remember that we are all connected and one than sharing a meal and laugh.
Things to Think about for Your Pisces Celestial Eats
- Energy- Pisces energy is connected to Water. How is water balanced in your body? Do you have excess water or are you dehydrated? What kind of foods do you eat that you might feel link to keeping your body hyrdrated?
- Energy Center- Pisces is connected to the Sacral Chakra- What food is connected to your desire? Are those foods comforting you? Are you avoiding an emotion because of a specific food?
- Medically/Physically- Pisces is connected to our feet, toes, lymphatic system, and adipose tissue. Are you having Sinus Trouble? Do you need to get a foot massage? Some of the biggest nerves in our body end in centers in our feet, let's honor that mindfulness.
- Food- Pisces is Fluid, Watery, and Intuitive. It is important to ground ourselves today. Eat foods that are rich in iron like kale, broccoli, lentils, quinoa, tofu, lean beef, egg yolks, whole-grain cereals, barley, dried beans, beet , spinach, onions, pumpkin seeds, etc. Eat foods that help heal your lymphatic system like lemon, lime, oranges, strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, sunflower seeds, chia seeds, seaweed, or aloe vera.
- Dreams- Pisces is connected to our Dreams, Desires, and our Karmic connections. What do you dream to one day eat? What do you desire that is lacking on your life? How can you let go of something in your life to make the shift to closer to what you dream?
- Rest- Dreamy Pisces is all about rest. desire. relaxation. When the moon is full in a water element, I always take the time to rest in a bath. One of my favorite baths to take is one that was suggested on Hoodwitch, The Basil bath.
My Ritual Today
Today, I woke up from rest and snuggled my little one. We ate Cookies and Almond Milk to honor what both she and I desire, which is sweets, of course! (hehe) I'll journal and do a Pisces Full Moon Tarot spread to check on my intuition. Then I will probably go home to enjoy some time with my family and find myself in a Lavender Bath. I'll check in on my body by wearing comfortable shoes and the color of the sea. I will drink blueberry & aloe tea. Make a salad heavy with Iron, Berries, and Vitamin C. I will enjoy some chocolate and I'll avoid anything that might make me feel more floaty and emotional than I already feel today. And I won't make it too serious of course, because nothing in this world was created to be taken to it's extreme.
I hope this all reaches you with some insight into your own lives and please, feel free to join us on October 5th for the Next Full Moon Meeting happening at Olly Olly or join us in our Facebook Group, Intentional Art Community- Full Moon Meditations.
Happy Full Moon. Wildly, Mel
Happy Friday, Everyone! What's your guilty pleasure? Mine is Coffee.
For the past month (more like 22 days) I have been on a coffee detox. When I was younger, it was no interest of mine to really drink it. I felt as if it was something that grown ups drank and I really liked tea over anything anyway (side note: BlueBerry Aloe Tea is everything right now!). But a couple years ago before I had my daughter, Cayce, I started having one cup of coffee a week.
The flavor, the warmth, and the habit of drinking it in the morning began to be this comforting feeling that I really enjoyed. I found that on rainy days it was even more special to just have a cup of coffee with my morning routine at work. So, I started drinking it every morning when I got to work. I have never really amounted to more than one cup a day, but something changed with my relationship with coffee this past year.
Sometime last year I was no longer drinking coffee because I enjoyed it. I was drinking coffee because it was comfortable.
Last year, I lost 3 people very close to my heart. I am still, right now, at this moment, devastated. Thinking about how special they were to me, thinking about the times I had with them laughing and talking about life. Two of them were my very best friends that I could count on for anything and one was my Grandma, who was very close to my whole family. My grandma was the glue and the magic of our family put into one person. An amazing and very inspiring lady. Her grace and attitude is something one day I hope to live up to.
Grief is extremely hard to address. Grief is also almost scary to even publicly share with people. As an introvert, I have no idea what to say to "I'm sorry for your loss" or "Aww, they will be missed." I just want to be left alone to cry in a corner with my favorite blanket. Grief is vulnerable, messy, painful, and also deeply healing. I mean, wow- hey- it's been a year guys- and I am still not over the fact that people passed on to another place.
So while on this coffee detox, I have been wondering to myself, why am I going to miss that one cup of coffee a day? My mood with coffee had changed. When I got a cup of coffee, it was because something is starting to irritate me or I am forcing myself to trudge through all the loads of work that I have signed myself up for and by the way, this year I signed up for a lot of it.
Work- Coffee- More Work- Sleep- Repeat- Anything but cry- Anything but address Grief.
I also feel that coffee directly affects my mood and sometimes creates illusion of anxiety, which I don't actually have, but man have I been through many a panic attack this year. It's as if my grief was trying to bubble to the surface and I was shoving breakfast blend down grief's throat instead. Besides, my body & energy just doesn't work well with stimulation. I notice that naturally, I have a great amount of energy- I process life very deeply and when I need to take something slow, I take it really slow, but I can't do that with coffee. I can't take work slow and I definitely can't even take on grief at all.
Something I noticed during this 22 days without coffee is that all the grief that I have been ignoring has bubbled to the surface at once. Lots of crying- poem writing- and just grounding into the emotions that I have been ignoring for so long. I miss my friends. I miss my family. I love them so much. Honoring a lot of grief- reflection- forgiving myself for not even addressing this until now. Working on letting go of any guilt I might have that is directly related to ways that maybe I could of been a better friend to those friends I have lost.
So, why have a cup of coffee today? (which ps. I didn't even make it through the whole cup)
For me it wasn't the coffee that created the illusion, it was the security of it and the busy-ness of my life that brought me to feel less like myself. It isn't me to be in denial about something that is going on and it certainly isn't me to not address my emotions. Even more, it certainly is not me to be a busy- little -extroverted bee. I am not a bee- I am a bear. A seeker of wisdom (or sweets) and then I hibernate and process it after I have had enough. I feel better right now as I write this. I feel more myself. I feel like now that I know what to work on- I can heal-
So- I treated myself. & that's okay.
No judgement here- just happy sparkly mermaid unicorn guardian of the galaxy vibes- and maybe hey, if I was a My Little Pony, I would say I am Twilight, but I feel a little bit like Pinkie Pie right now :P
So Happy Friday everyone- I will end this one with a deep thought-
how does certain habits disguise things that you need to heal? Is a food that you enjoy actually covering up something that you need to address? Do you not react well to specific chemicals entering your body?
Are you forgetting to address something that you need to let go of? Let's heal. Together.
Nameless, An Exploration of Form-Village Gallery- Closing Reception
August 26, 2017- Wow. Vibes. Thank you so much to everyone that was involved in our month exhibition, Nameless, An exploration of Form. Lotus and I both feel deep gratitude for all the love and support we have received while manifesting this show. A special thank you to everyone that purchased an art print, came to the workshops, or bought a painting- your support and light is the reason both Lotus and I can continue onward in our journey with art.
The closing reception closed the month with colorful and interactive painting by almost everyone that came- some real talent came into hang out with us and paint. Lotus's idea to make this an intimate space for creation manifested and it was really amazing to rest and chat with friends I had missed out on while focusing on art-school-motherhood goals.
A special thank you my husband, who was able to put up a recorded podcast of the music that happened at the opening reception while also working on his project, Hashtiv this month. You can check out the podcast, here.
As the show comes down, Art Prints & Paintings will be available in my shop.
I have truly learned so much about doing my own art exhibition. I would say that creating and forming its' own thesis, space, and events is an art on its own that really takes careful time and care to create. It is important to make sure that the truths of each event, the venue, and the words that are shared for the event align with what is happening in the show.
My biggest learning curve was talking about my art- the depth and connection of why I painted and created the work that I did.
I noticed that overall, something that really struck me is that not many people know a lot about Esoteric topics- so I need to really work on communicating the theories and forms of my truths in a more concrete way. I want to thank each and every person that discussed my artwork with me and I hope that you come back and check in- as I'll be blogging more about the inspiration behind my artwork in the future--
I look forward to seeing you all during studio visits- full moon meetings- and other art events happening in the future at my studio in Olly Olly, as well.
Until then-- Wildly, Mel
Events: Body Flow- Lovelight Festival- Beyond the Blacklight
Art Blog- August Updates
August 12- August 20, 2017- I have not had time to update you all on the events that have been happening mainly because August is a whirling wind of Art Events! It has truly been a transformational-evolving- and learning experience to be very busy and adjust to standing outside in the public beyond my little art cave and home. Lotus & I's show and workshops have been phenomenal. Pure gratitude for all of those that have supported and showed up to the events to learn something new, gain deeper knowledge, or share their energies in our intentional art community. You all inspire me and I hope that I inspire you.
August 12, 2017- An evening of colorful vibrant dancing-movement- art making- and connection. Lotus started out the workshop by leading us through an intuitive dance routine that allowed us to see shapes with our bodies. It was really cool because part of the time we were blind-folded! What an experience to share space with a group of people and be able to feel comfortable enough to dance with literally not even yourself watching!
Within both Lotus & I's abstract paintings, we can find intuitive shapes and symbols and this exercise allowed us to see that these shapes manifest and transform with every movement of our physical form.
After the dancing, I led our participants through a series of exercises that allowed them to break free of their analytical mind and enjoy the connection between paint and their bodies. We got messy- especially our feet- because we danced all over our canvas!
A special thank you to everyone that participated in the workshop. Thank you for allowing my space to honor creativity- your openness and exploratory inner child.
August 18-20, 2017- I managed to arrive at this festival with minor expectations. as an INFJ, I tend to stand in the middle between my idealistic vision of how the present should manifest and how it really does. It is a real struggle for me to just throw myself into the wind and see where I fall. But I did do just that with this festival.
Lotus had invited me along to the festival because she had been invited to be a featured artist at the festival and wanted to bring her son. She had asked me if I could come along and help watch her son while she did a couple art things, which I felt was an opportunity for Cayce and I to join in and experience a new side of our Yoga and camping lifestyle. Lovelight also took this opportunity to add me to the roster of artists that were being featured. A special thank you to the art coordinator for allowing all the artists to display their talent and works.
Lotus and I managed to get a good amount of painting in throughout the day and switch off live painting at the Main Stage at night. One of my favorite parts of having my paints with me was when I pulled out sticks and paint and 10 kids came over and did a impromptu stick painting workshop with me in the middle of the open field. It was pretty special and spectacular to share creativity with the kids. I was also glad that they were able to take their sticks with them and remember that special time creating. I taught them how to mix different colors and it amazed them that blue & yellow could make green...etc.
Something about the festival that I really enjoyed was the openness, compassion, and connection that happened almost everywhere that I went. The festival has Kirtan music, healing Workshops, Kids Yoga, Flower Crowns, Vegan Cafeteria, Artists, Concerts, shops, and just ultimate relaxing within nature. I would say probably my favorite part of the entire festival other than camping with my soul fam was the impromptu drum circle that manifested on Sunday.
Children, Parents, Young, and Old all joined in Kids songs, drumming, and dancing until we all separated and went about our ways at 11:11. I mention that time because if you follow mindful- intentional community, you would understand my amusement and excitement about the ever exceeding divine flow. 11:11 for me is always a reminder and a thank you from my intuitive self that we are flowing on high vibes.
This festival was truly a continual reminder to connect deeper with my soul community as well as the practices and places that I truly believe I should be. I can only hope for future moments and spaces where I will find myself connecting together with people closely linked to my mind and heart.
Being at the festival also reminded me that I need rest. I am personally, an extremely driven woman. My truest intention on this plane is to manifest change and healing in this world. Every part of my life whether it be peaceful parenting, studying to be a psychologist, or working hard to build an intentional art community, represents my vision of honoring the change that I seek. That being said, I cannot heal and change the world without also resting and honoring my own body. I cannot give you all the truest form of myself if I am constantly exhausted.
Some of personal synchronicity transformed my beliefs I have and I plan on honoring more personal rest and self care. One of my spirit animals is the Bear and as you all know, although, deeply wise and exploratory in the woods or the arctic, a bear still needs time for hibernation and rest. I need to honor this part of me and I am going to take an active role in honoring it and integrating it better into my life.
Beyond the Blacklight
August 19, 2017- Although, I was at the Lovelight Festival for the closing reception- 3 of my paintings were still on display in the closing of Beyond the Blacklight. They lit up the neon blacklights for one last viewing of the art exhibition before de-installation.
Three of my paintings that were installed in the show were a painting of my underwater fairdom called "Neon Reef" and two paintings of the primal creatures that I have been beginning to paint here and there. I really feel strongly connected to the primal techniques of our ancestors and sometimes just like to establish a deeper skill with those type of abstractions. I feel as if they invoke and deeper integration between our animal being and our spiritual soul.
Anyway, I am now starting to get wordy and weird (hahahaha!)
I hope that you all enjoy the Solar Eclipse today and remember to touch base with strong intentions for this next go around. I hope that all your dreams and wishes come true and I urge you to not just put faith in them, but hardwork. Just don't work yourself to hard :P
Tonight New Moon Meditation-Source Renewal with Lotus at Village Gallery- Our paintings are still on display- feel free to check out the closing reception this Saturday as well!
All of my moon collage art prints are available in my art shop- after the takedown of the Nameless Show, there will also be paintings for sale there, so please keep an eye out for art and if you are looking for something in particular, feel free to message me, so we can discuss.
Freedom in your Love-
Nameless, An Exploration of Form-Village Gallery- Opening Reception
August 5, 2017- Lotus and I did it. From idea to manifestation, this show blossomed. Massive, explosive rainbow beam love and gratitude sent to every single person that was able to come out to the opening reception! It was a night to remember with beautiful conversation, great music, and new and old connections. I cannot thank you all enough for the massive love and support that has oozed from the community!
This colorful and vibrant show is something that Lotus and I have wanted to share with you all for some time. The mere title of the show "nameless" is a larger understanding of our own friendship, energetic connection, feelings, and desires that have been manifested through the perspective of visual artists. The emotion and inspiration that has led us to this point in both of our lives has only manifested a dialogue between ourselves, the painting, and the viewer. A conscious connection. An elicit emotional wave of beauty and harmony that resides within us all. A reminder that we are all very much connected in this life and throughout all our lives. You inspire me to create and I hope that I inspire you as well.
A special thank you to the musicians that did the opening as well. Shadow Farm is an amazing intuitive band and my husband, Darius Twin, put on an amazing set. He has intentions of posting it to his podcast, DammStr8 sometime this month, so keep a look out: here.
I think I need to specifically send out a specific shout out to my dear collaborative friend Lotus Heartsong. Without her friendship and the magic of our connection, this show would not exist. Her presence in my life has been more than special to me and it holds a very special place in my heart to honor creation with her. Community blessings to all. I am still glowing from the reception and I am sure that Lotus is as well.
Nameless, An Exploration of Form will remain up for viewing from August 1-30, so if you have time and are in Fairfax, I urge you to go check it out!
Address: 3950 University Dr. Fairfax, VA 22030
Nameless: Opening Reception Photographs
My brother who so graciously came up from Norfolk to be there with us took my camera and snapped a few shots. Here are a few of the snapshots he took of the Opening Reception:
SPECIAL NOTE: There will be special events happening all month as well, which you can check out the list, here
Thank you most of all, the reader, the art lover, the vibes are more than felt of your sent love and support. <3
To keep up with other things that
have monthly meditations at my studio at Olly Olly every month. The next one will be a special workshop that I will be leading myself on my Wedding Anniversary, September 6th. You can find more information about the meditations in the FB group, here.
The main intention of these meditations will be to focus on the journey within. and continue to immerse ourselves into strengthening our community connections. As we approach the jewels within ourselves, I find it’s a really cool way for us all to raise the vibes of community in our NOVA area.
Contact me with any questions, here.
Nameless, An Exploration of Form Art Exhibition
August 1-30: It's here! The show Lotus & I have been working on and anticipating for months! I am elated to share all of our artworks both individual pieces and collaborative works with the public. It is truly a beautiful show and I am not just saying that because I am biased (hehehe)
The setup for the show has also been exhilarating. Not many people see the hard work that is put behind an event. The stretching of the canvas, the speckling and cleaning of the white walls, the hanging process, and most of all the last minute design decisions. We have spent the last three days working over 12 hour days making sure that our artworks get the walls they deserve and I have to tell you, there is nothing more magical than hanging artwork on a fresh painted white wall!
Lotus and I have had a good time stretching our canvases, laughing, eating, and drinking lots of coffee. We are really looking forward to the Art Opening that is happening on August 5th and we cannot wait to see all of your beautiful faces for our celebrARTion !
Here is a list of the events that will be happening all month.
Nameless Art Exhibition Schedule
Opening Reception: Saturday, August 5th- Village Gallery- 7-11pm Shadow Farm & Darius Twin will be providing tunes. Fresh Made hoer Doe'rves & Wine Served. Free.
Body Flow Art Workshop: Saturday, August 12th- Village Gallery- 5-9pm Lotus Heartsong & Mel Bikowski lead a workshop to get your art in touch with your body. Please RSVP, so the artist know how much materials to bring: http://evite.me/VTEU2yzfQN $8.00
New Moon Meditation: Monday, August 21st- Village Gallery- 7-9pm This event is a guided meditation and energy healing experience designed by Lotus and in partnership with Transformative Crystals. Crystals will be for sale. Free.
Closing Art Party Jam: Saturday, August 26th- Village Gallery- 7-11pm Bring artwork and join us in a relaxing closing reception, where we join together to enjoy an atmosphere of inner child play realms and love. Free.
Beyond the Blacklight-Olly Olly- Opening Reception
July 22, 2017- Can I just say, WOW! An Amazing show put on by Olly Olly! Beyond the Blacklight immersed us all into deep, dark, and wonderful lighting of the purple blacklight with beautiful glowing artwork from local artists all over the Northern Virginia Area. You can find the list on the Olly Olly website!
Before I go on to rant about my thoughts on the artwork, I have to do a shoutout to all that came out to the show! It was packed shoulder to shoulder like a rabbits den and it stayed like that well past to the end of the show! WOW! Lots of amazing conversations could be overheard, great costumes and outfits that also glowed in the black-light, and even a nice dazzling thunderstorm from mother nature herself to send us all home.
Much of the artwork that was on display reminded me sparkling dazzling luminescence of our own lights and how sometimes we can mistake our shadow selves as who we really are. But I have found on my own journey that the darkest times and darkest places will show you your truest light. There is no darkness that can shine out the light. The black-light, the caves, the depth of the deep sea itself only enhances our lights and that's just what this show did! The talent that oozes from the community around the Northern Virginia area is so incredibly inspiring. I am humbled every single day for the opportunity to connect with these amazing people. I managed to even paint and chat with some people who worked on the neon mural that happened during the reception! It was an ooey-gooey collaboration of love.
Tariq Omar& Jessica Kallista, the curators of the show truly did a fabulous job of displaying the mystical magicalness of the glowey blacklight and the community sent lightning beams of love through my soul with all the support that came through. I exude with gratitude that I was invited into the show and had three pieces of art to display! Seeing them in the blacklight was a dream come true!
Beyond the Blacklight Slide-Show of Photos
I am looking forward to more events happening at Olly Olly and as always, you can find more press on the Olly Olly Facebook like the razzle dazzle video that was made about the opening!
It truly feeds my soul to come out of my art cave and jump into a world where community, art, and raising the vibes of our world is the focus. I felt as if this exhibit brought to "blacklight" (hehe) our inner child and really illuminated our gigantic beautiful hearts. We all crave creative celebArtions such as these and really truly can't wait to dive deep into more.
Overall, it is a magical exhibition that runs from July 22- August 19 and can still be viewed by appointment. I have done a slideshow of pictures of the exhibit.
SPECIAL NOTE: There will be a closing Beyond the Blacklight closing party on August 18 and an Love Glow Art Gym happening August 8th. (Ms. Kallista must know my beautiful synchronicity love with the #8-infinity divinity!! hehe)
Thank you most of all, the reader, the art lover, the vibes are more than felt of your sent love and support. <3
To keep up with other things that are going on at Olly Olly, follow their FB page. I myself have monthly meditations at my studio at Olly Olly every month. The next one will be a special workshop with my dear friend Yuliya May on August 7th for the Full Moon in Aquarius
The main intention of these meditations will be to focus on the journey within. and continue to immerse ourselves into strengthening our community connections. As we approach the jewels within ourselves, I find it's a really cool way for us all to raise the vibes of community in our NOVA area.
Next week on August 5th, we have my opening reception for my first solo exhibition with Lotus Heartsong, where we will be showcasing our solo and collaborative works as well as the music of my husband, Darius Twin and our dear friends, Shadow Farm.
Info on the Art Reception: here
Art Show Reminder for July and August
Northern Virginia Arts- Mel Bikowski-Olly Olly-Village Gallery
Beyond the Blacklight Opening Reception at Olly Olly
July 22, 2017- Beyond the Blacklight opening reception is happening at Olly Olly where we will all celebrate the joyfulness of the night. I have been accepted into this art show to showcase three of my best artworks in the neon purple glow of the blacklight.
Looking forward to being side by side with so many talented and awesome Northern Virginian artists that are displaying works in this show.
A list of the artists that can be found are:
Diana Adams Lina Alattar Rockeats Alcoreza Pedro Arias Thalia Baez David Barr Melanie Bikowski BS Martin J. Cervantez Naomi Christianson Jason Davis Abner De Jesus Jenny Drummey MistyDawn Forester Key Han Lotus Heartsong Toni Hitchcock Jessica Kallista Zoe Kallista Jane Matricarti Emily McGrath Javier Padilla Kim Sandara Hannah Son StarMachine MG Stout
About Olly Olly
Founded in 2014 by Jessica Kallista, Olly Olly is a call for local artists to come out from their hiding places to make and show their art in a nurturing, creative, alternative art space. Olly Olly is also a call to the community to come out, support, and benefit from an art scene that helps our community prosper and helps to provide an authentic, art filled environment. Olly Olly promotes collaboration rather than competition and provides artist and writer studios, an incubator space, as well as a gallery, open studio, and VIP event space for the community.
Olly Olly, located at 10417 Main Street, 2nd Floor in Fairfax, VA, is open for special events and by appointment. Please call 703-789-6144 for more information.
Nameless an Exploration of Form Opening Reception at Village Gallery
August 5, 2017- Nameless, an Exploration of Form opening reception is happening at the Village Gallery where Lotus Heartsong and I will showcase 30+ of our best individual and collaborative works. I feel so grateful to have been blessed with the opportunity to co-create with my soul sister and plan such a beautiful event that consists of everything that wish for an event we would like to through (meaning lots of sparkley gooey higher consciousness and love)
If you all can't make it to the opening, the show will be up for the entire month of August and we have events planned for almost every weekend. (The schedule: here)
Feel free to reach out with any questions and I can't wait to CelebARTe with you :P <3
3950 University Dr. Fairfax, VA 22030
About Mel Bikowski & Lotus Heartsong
Co-creators who share a studio together at Olly Olly in Olde Town Fairfax. They believe in intuition, higher mindful living, and creating. We were placed on this Earth to enjoy the beauty of this dimension. Thank you for blessing us with this space.