The Chakra Collection

by Vicki Milewski

Following are some glimpses into my Chakra Collection.  For more information you can download the exhibition catalog.  If interested in hosting this exhibition in part or whole feel free to contact me.

 

You can also visit my other website:

 

Bullets (detail)

Bullets (detail)

The Root Chakra

The Root Chakra

The Muladhara Chakra

Bullets

Oil on canvas, (24” X 24”)

 

Muladhara means “root base”.  I think of it as a tap root which seeks out the resources a plant needs to survive.  Sometimes survival is seen as food, water, oxygen; but I have started to see many other attributes to survival.  Life without love could be seen as not surviving.  The painting reads:

 

Bullets

 

They’re all dead

They all dead

They stood on street corners

Waiting for it

Life surrenders to well-placed bullets

Bullets leaping into my soul

I run

but not fast enough

 

The poem is from student conversation one morning before my English class started. They sat in desks with book bags, notebooks, pens looking like students on the surface; but as they discussed the recent neighborhood activities I saw how drugs, gangs, welfare and racism exerted a control over them making it difficult for them to choose their own path.  Their life experiences were like bullets shooting at me. I could never just teach them again. It began years of service to reach some end where more people could lead self-chosen lives. But now the realization gained from that service is like bullets making my soul holey because I know some people choose that way of life; I don’t know why, but they do. And I’m still running…but not fast enough.

Purple is Divine (detail)

Purple is Divine (detail)

Spleen Chakra

The Spleen Chakra

The Svadhisthana Chakra

Purple is Divine

Oil on Canvas,  (24” X 18”)

 

Svasdhisthana means “favorite resort” which always brings visions of the Black Hills in South Dakota.  I also think about the great times I’ve had with people I like as “resorts” in a relationship sense.

 

I painted this flower after having a powerful experience at the All My Relations Sundance. The heat was oppressive and had dried out everything. As I danced outside the circle, meditating on the Sundance tree, the ground beneath my feet turned to water until I was dancing in a puddle.  I saw this flower hanging in the air above the Sundance pole and the sky turned purple.  I saw how we all are related and that includes the plants, rocks and animals—we’re all in this together and need everything around us to complete all our lessons.  Even though this chakra’s lessons are about learning to live in a world of our own construction I found that construction to include others, hence the all my relations.

 

This painting has an under story to it since I painted a red flower on a grey background  before sanding that down and painting Purple is Divine. Orange is symbolic of how it feels to release lust, anger, greed, deceit, pride and envy.  Purple is symbolic of divine change a transfiguration.  It took over a year for the original painting to dry enough for me to over paint and then I painted the purple background waiting another year for that to dry before painting the flower over the course of another year keeping focused on making the flower appear to glisten as if wet.

 

 

A Different Kind of Heart (detail)

A Different Kind of Heart (detail)

The Solar Plexus Chakra

The Solar Plexus Chakra

The Manipura Chakra

Different Kind of Heart

Oil on Canvas, 24” X 20”

 

Manipura translates as “place of gems” which leads me to think about our food and water supply.  Meditating on this chakra led me to investigate organic and natural foods and the quality of water I drink.  I changed my whole diet because of this chakra.

 

A Different Kind of Heart shows flames of deep red burning against a yellow background.  This is the solar plexus chakra which is centered around the stomach area—our fire which changes food to energy.  This chakra also deals with the air we inhale and exhale since it is the respiration process that determines metabolism ie the fire within.  Although the second chakra deals with food it is more concerned with the quality of the product we intake, this chakra is concerned with how we utilize the food for our energy.  Many yogis claim to not need food for energy.  One man gave a workshop designed to teach us how to eat the sun.  I still love my broccoli and allow it to eat the sun for me.

 

This painting also has an under painting which contains flowers made out or words set against a bright yellow background similar to the current painting’s background.

Anahate Lillies (detail)

Anahate Lillies (detail)

The Heart Chakra

The Heart Chakra

The Anahata Chakra

Anahata Lilies

Oil on Canvas , (20” X 16”)

 

Anahata means to make sound without effort literally to “not hit” a bell or drum.  I found these lilies in my painting of Anahata Lilies on my family's ancestral farm in Wisconsin.  This farm always surprises me since there is a section we allow nature to plant in, so each spring we never know what might blossom.  Such was the case for these lilies that grew beside our lake.  They grew for only one year.  When I saw them during a dawn walk, the way they were swaying in a light spring morning breeze mixing shadow with new light made me cry to see such beauty and have this moment of love for this world and I knew then that these lilies were to be the subject of my painting of the Heart Chakra. 

 

Many people hear “Heart Chakra” and think of love only, but there is also the elements of respect, trust and forgiveness.  True forgiveness can only be given to ourselves; I truly cannot not forgive another person if they have not forgiven themselves, my forgiveness in this instance would be meaningless.  Trust and respect are common ideas when relating with other people but they are also necessary when we relate to ourselves.  The Heart Chakra is located between the bottom 3 chakras and the upper 3 chakras and hence is a bridge between our physical selves and our spiritual selves, much as the mythological heart is. 

 

Singing and Dancing (detail)

Singing and Dancing (detail)

The Throat Chakra

The Throat Chakra

The Visuddha Chakra

Singing and Dancing

Oil on Canvas,  (72” X 48”)

 

Visuddha means “purification”.  While working on this large painting I referred to it as “Purified” before I started to work on the canvas with my hands and sing and dance while I did so.  Once the painting was finished I knew the title was Singing and Dancing.

 

There is much underpainting here starting with a street scene with a tiny purple flower growing out of a sidewalk crack, then a medium sized purple flower, before I painted the large flower that is the current state of this canvas.  This painting has hung in many museums and galleries and has won many awards, bringing attention to The Chakra Collection as a whole and me as an artist.  Once the notoriety started, I began to sing more and I found songs I had written for many years.  To date I have written 100’s of folk songs, dozens of choral scores and am working on an orchestral setting.  Working on this chakra has helped me to trust my visions in music and in communication.

 

This 16 petal flower is a combination of 8 petals i.e. pathways discovered in ancient times:

1.         Right Mind

2.         Right Desire

3.         Right Action

4.         Right Life

5.         Right Decisions

6.         Right Thought in Speech

7.         Right Thought about Past

8.         Right Thought about Present 

 

The other 8 petals ie pathways will open when we understand our past, live within our present and know the future is eternal and never.  When this chakra is viewed as a flower growing from a seed it is known as the “blooming flower” just as our spirits bloom once we understand ourselves fully.

Blue Mountains (detail)

Blue Mountains (detail)

The Third Eye Chakra

The Third Eye Chakra

The Ajna Chakra

Blue Mountains

Oil on Canvas,  (36” X 18”)

 

 

Ajna means “Authority” and speaks to the authority our intuition and visions should be given in our lives. 

 

For many years I hung this painting “upside-down”.  It took the authority of a museum curator to show me that I had hung it upside-down.  All she had to do was hang it right side up and after my initial shock and need to change it, I saw that she was right to hang it this way!  I now understand that the chakra in this painting is the blue mountains in the distance not the red flower.  After this experience I had to go through old drawings I had done as a child and found a theme of blue hills and blue mountains in many of my drawings throughout my life.  I found I had always represented them as I do in this painting.  Then on one of my trips out west I saw actual “blue” mountains in the distance and felt as if all my drawings and paintings had been for this moment—to recognize that I had seen these actual mountains in front of me many times in my mind before actually seeing them.

 

So began a journey to understand my third eye capabilities more.  I am not a new age person, nor do I believe in many of their tenants; however, I do believe the noetic sciences have much to offer in our evolutionary explorations.  Joining the forces of scientists and metascientists could open new ways of living and thinking that we have yet to dream. 

 

 

Invisible Fruit (detail)

Invisible Fruit (detail)

The Crown Chakra

The Crown Chakra

The Shahasrara Chakra

Invisible Fruit

Oil on Canvas,  (68” X 43”)

 

Shahasrara means “thousand petals” and refers to the thousand petal lotus flower that is the traditional symbol for the crown chakra.  For 1000’s of years artists have shown a thousand petal lotus over the head of Buddha and other elevated people.  So when I first saw those tall, tall sunflowers swaying over my head I knew they were to be my crown chakra.  At the time of the painting I was reading the Nag Hammadi collection of sacred texts, like the Gospel of Mary, I saw some of the phrases running up the stems of the sunflowers and so painted it that way.

 

These two large paintings for the crown chakra show midnight and dawn since night and day show the duality life and the maya or illusions of our sensory world.  The third crown chakra I am currently working on will be for noontime.

 

I know I will be contemplating the crown chakra for the rest of my life to truly understand my purpose and how to balance living life for myself and for others

 

Sign of Life

 

Planets shift, our minds expand

Eclipsing me within a simple dance

Unperformed, spontaneous—life lived!

Enchanting me with only space—

A sign of life

No counting, no surrounding

Breaking your spell with only space

To accept a new universe absent of  you

A sign of life

Painting can show other levels of awareness and knowledge thorugh the use of color, line and meaning I can show you my chakras, my energy meridians, my metaphysical self.  --Vicki Milewski