About Roka

Inspired by nature~
~ Moved by its beauty ~
~ Fueled by the creative process

International award-winning artist—transforming nature—one image at a time.

Photo of Roka
Roka, at an art exhibit with her piece, Origins, behind her.

My artistic journey has taken me to many places and multiple disciplines.

Starting with my 2nd-grade school teacher chastising me for having the audacity to color an outline of a tiger green, which shut me down creatively for several years. Then my high school art teacher (Thank you, Mrs. Strailman) encouraged me to rediscover and cultivate my imagination and use it to move beyond the boundaries of what had been laid out for me in previous classrooms. It changed the way I viewed the world and, over the years, opened up new doors and possibilities. Although it took a while for me to delve into where my imagination would take me and allow myself to trust and appreciate those possibilities, I still attribute much of my creativity to that teacher. Art followed me, or I followed it, from then on. After finding success in my current genre of work, I decided to finish up a degree I started many years before and graduated Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Science at the age of 61 from the University of Oregon School of Architecture and Allied Arts. It was an endeavor I’m very proud of. I’ve grown into my artistic self and I continue to learn and be fascinated and inspired by the world around me. 

That fascination has caused me to experiment and work with several mediums: clay, fused glass, jewelry, photography, technical and product illustration, colored pencil, graphite and charcoal, eco-printing, printmaking, and graphic design. I honed my skills in Photoshop after I landed in the technical world professionally, as an instructor, illustrator, and graphic artist. I dabbled in photography on the side, but it wasn’t until I blended my photos with those skills, my love of the natural world, and the beauty of Oregon (my home state) that I really discovered where my imagination could go. I love to start with an image and create colors, shapes, and textures that are totally unexpected and then let it go and allow the piece to lead me to the finish line. I’ve really never been a person who likes rules or boundaries. That may be why I landed where I did, artistically. Finishing my work digitally allows me to go far beyond the expected. I just go where my art takes me.

My partner, Steve, and I, and our 17-year-old border/heeler, Lady, recently moved to a new home. Along with our household, we also moved my studio. It’s bigger and brighter than my previous one and I’ve had fun making it into a space where I can feel and act on my inspirations and experiment with an array of tools and supplies that I’ve been collecting for decades. I believe I’ve found my rhythm although I’m quite sure that the beat will change and surprise me as time goes by.

You can download my Artist Statement here.

“You have a clarity, a peace, a sense of self that is bedrock solid.” ~ R.S.