Cherol Ockrassa

Hi, I’m Cherol. The artist.

It’s taken me a while to claim that I’m an artist. I’m self taught, for the most part, although I did take a bunch of courses in college. I started painting, well, like you, in kindergarten. And, I’ve eaten my fair share of paste, tasted minty. When I was very young my Grandmother took me to Saturday art classes at The De Young Museum in San Francisco. We also were fortunate to live close to the De Young and it became a place I knew I could go to to gather my thoughts and study art.  I spent my youth falling in love with art.  All kinds of art. I liked the way sound bounced off of these amazing sculptures in these otherwise empty big rooms.  I liked the way a painting and it’s colors filled a space.  I liked imagining I was interacting with the people in the paintings. I would close my eyes and listen to heels clicking on the marble floor and imagine I was holding a chisel and hammering away to uncover a statue hidden in a boulder.

Then a few decades happened, only to find myself needing a way to express how I felt in the life I was living; it was then that I found intuitive painting. I had always felt at home painting, I could do it anytime I wanted, and paint every emotion I could access.  In 2010 the downturn of the economy gave me an opportunity to start a new chapter of my life.  My kids were older, I had a support system in place, I knew how to budget, so there was nothing to stop me.   That’s when I set out to become an Expressive Arts Facilitator and established Eye Walker Studios.

Slowly, and in the background of the studio I began to paint bigger, and I felt a really strong desire to put my paintings on canvas and put them out to the world.  Like inside is this need to share my thoughts, my feelings about the world, my experiences with people and life with the viewer.

In general, I’ve held a wide variety of positions in my life. Reflecting on the diversity of my skills I can see one very strong and common thread, I listen. And that shows in my current works; many of which are allegorical.

I’m inspired by stories of life that need to be heard. I have an enormous amount of empathy for the human condition and life in general, for the struggle of those that cannot speak for themselves, and for those to come that will have to live in the world we leave them. The images I paint are bold and colorful. People often respond to my work saying that they see more and understand more, the longer they look at it. I combine listening, intuition and paint to create a rich narrative on the human condition, using a mix of bold imagery, whimsy, and juxtaposition. I work in acrylic paints and mediums on canvas. I also have been dabbling in ceramics, both of these mediums are malleable and versatile. I like that.

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