About the Artist

me and my hotel
Nicki La Rosa
About the Artist and Founder of Gratitude Tree Network

Nicki was born in St. Petersburg, FL but spent most of her adult life in California and Hawaii.  Her love of the sea, trees, mother nature and all good medicines she obtained while living “out west” ultimately guided her back home to the Tampa Bay Area. She wanted to repay her debt of gratitude to her native land as she’s meant to be rooted where her roots are.

The surrounding water and beaches here make for her stunning photography, inspire her paintings and overall do a great job soothing her Piscean soul.

It was her Pops who first encouraged her to pursue life as an artist, and to this day it’s the only area of her life where her ‘self-critic’ is silenced (at   Nicki paints to be free and it’s a constant reminder  we’re all already free.

Nicki’s ultimate dream is to manifest the “Gratitude Tree Network,” 24/7 television/media network to encourage the choice of gratitude at all times.  If you want to join the network, please feel free to ‘like’ Gratitude Tree Network on FB.  🙂

Nicki’s pieces reflect a deep love for color, her internal striving for balance, sea life and Mother Nature.

Nicki is an SGI Nichiren Buddhist and an activist for peace and justice.  She believes each of us has potential to be happy and lead a value-creating life no matter what happened, is happening or will happen to us.  Peace activist and Buddhist philosopher Dr. Daisaku Ikeda is her mentor and she shares his sincere determination for true and lasting world peace.  Nicki strives to achieve peace through dialogue, respect and profound gratitude for all humanity.

She is compelled to share the fact that for most of her life, she has experienced episodes of major depression. She is grateful for the lessons learned in those episodes, and strive to overcome the tendencies by following her heart and being grateful for her life!  Her work is an expression of her gratitude on the ‘other side’ of depression.

“The happy and grateful human being that was always in me,  even in the depths of ‘black hole’ depressive episodes is fed painting,  the ocean, trees and deep appreciation for Mother Earth.” – Nicki La Rosa

None of us are free of suffering or obstacles, but it is her hope and deep prayer to add value and bursts of love-encoded imagery to children’s playrooms and  hospital waiting rooms, living spaces, offices, hotels and any empty walls that could instead be filled with something joyful to gaze upon.  Nicki’s abstract paintings have layers of hidden imagery that are often only activated by the viewer’s imagination.  “I see a dolphin! I see a bird with angel wings!” These types of proclamations make her heart sing.

Nicki graduated with a BFA in Motion Picture Television and Recording Arts from Florida State University Film Conservatory, which led her to California and Hawaii working all manner of film and television production jobs. Her most memorable gigs were The Matrix 2 and 3 and video game, The Simpsons, The Truman Show, Disturbia, G4 Television Network and The Art Directors Guild and its fine art gallery, Gallery 800.

Nicki moved back to Florida in 2014 and lives in Ybor City, Tampa.