Doorways and Thresholds... between one year and the nextRead More
Good morning, As many of you know I own/operate two businesses. This one, as a freelance artist, book illustrator, logo designer, tattoo artist, body/face painter and muralist since way back in 1991. And Beyond Bingo, thru which I do my work with Seniors as a Senior Wellness Programming Consultant Specialist, since September of 2013. It is no question that these two businesses have come to work well together. Their combined needs feed all aspects of my interests and needed creative outlets most admirably.
Today's Sale is the ultimate expression of that connection. This album consists of all the sample paintings I have created for my specialized painting sessions with seniors and specifically with seniors who are challenged with Alzheimer's Disease and other Related Dementias (ADRD) for the last 3 years, and a few additional pieces as well that I have done for my private events and my Recreating the Masters Courses, and they are all FOR SALE.
In 2016, I completed my training as a Certified Dementia Care Practitioner and expanded my work with Seniors into Kansas, Minnesota, and on to the East Coast.
These is an additional level of training I am seeking - Certified Alzheimer's Disease and Dementia Care Trainer. This would allow me to do training onsite for my client's staff on ways to best and most successfully interact with their seniors, and with this certification I would be able to get my training sessions approved for CEUs, which is a very important final step.
I have submitted all my credentials to the governing board and been approved to take this training and complete this Trainer Certification at the next session in my area in mid May!
The training costs $2,800 dollars. Hence, the Art Sale!!! I need to raise the dollars needed for this training, and I need to do so by May 9.
There are currently 91 paintings in this album and I will be adding a few more in the next few days. Shipping is approximately $7 per painting. With a few exceptions, they are priced at $40 each, plus shipping. The exceptions will be noted.
Please feel free to share this link far and wide. Thank you for shopping and sharing and if you are so inclined, purchasing!!!
You can find all art pieces currently on display at the following location:
I am excited to announce, it is now a monthly occurrence!!!
How would you like to join us for a lovely Sunday afternoon of painting?
A different masterwork each month. Discussion of the artist, their style and our experience of recreating their works. The opportunity to mimic a favorite artist, or...make a favorite painting your own thru your own personal expression.
Hope you can join us 😊 as we create not only Art, but a community of Artists.
for details and to register:
Picasso's Repose will be our Masterwork for February
The Solstice is here. The light returns. The Earth and Sun are Reborn and reawakened from their longest night. Did you rest well? What dreams do you bring forward into the Light to be manifest?
Health is my goal this year. Good Health, Peace, Calm and Joy. Opening my heart and mind and body to Balance, and Hopefully through manifesting my own Calm Balance and Healthful ways, encouraging the same behavior around me.
May we all Enter the Light together. May attitudes of Darkness and Ignorance be overcome. May violence and hatred by undone. May Kindness and Hope prevail.
Even the Longest Night comes to an end and is overcome by the Light of the Newborn Sun. In this same way shall All darkness pass.
Its that time again. Time to make space for new inspiration and new art to arrive. Prints of old favorites, some of my most beloved originals and pieces that have never been posted anywhere before. Its all there.
Those pieces avail for purchase are listed in a FB album. Here is the link.
please contact me with any questions regarding dimensions, medium, prices and shipping.
Shop Local Artists and Artisans in 2016.
Close your eyes. Release your mind. Journey back thru all the ages and find, the image that speaks to you of the Ancients, your Ancestors and this time of Remembering.
Samhain Vision - Acrylic on Canvas 11x14
The Ancient. Whole. Beautiful. The Ages having brought Spirit and Form to the fullness of their expression. Perfection in all its most individual intricacies made manifest. The magnificence of True Beauty.
And still...we cut and trim ourselves. Trying to cram ourselves into the shapes others require, request, demand.
Rarely realizing that the Doors that lead to our dreams, and the keys to open them, lie within our very own branches.
Join Artist Colleen Koziara for a whole new approach to wine & art parties!
An Intuitive and Visionary Art Experience into the Season of Death and Rebirth
Halloween, Dia de los Muertos, Day of the Dead, Samhain, This collection of holidays and days of remembrance are the longest continually celebrated holidays in the history of humanity, and have transformed over time from their initial purpose as the ending of the agricultural year, through their place as an honoring of the ancestors, and on to Devils Night, Trick-or-Treating and Costume parties. From Ancestors, Spirits and Ancient Stone altars to Ghosts and Zombies, fires and terror, all these things speak to us of our final connection and transformation from living to dead, from body to skeleton, from birth through death and on to rebirth in whatever form we may imagine.
By providing basic instruction and guidance in use of materials and structure of the piece you will have the chance to explore your own vision of the Spirits of the Season and manifest that vision in Paint. Yes, everyone can do this!!! You will amaze yourself!
We will be working in acrylics, on canvas. All materials will be provided. All visions of the Season Welcome.
BYOBS (beverages and snacks!)
Preregistration Required $45/$55
Elmhurst Park District - October 13, 2016 6-8pm - $15 for a member! $20 for a non-Member!
Here is your chance! What do you have to lose? Enjoy a wonderful evening of painting for less than 1/2 of the usual fee for a painting party and spend your evening learning to recreate a beautiful masterpiece!
So many ideas! So many mediums to choose from, and so many images moving towards completion. The last couple weeks have been an explosion of art!! Conscious efforts made to schedule myself "Me" time have paid off huge on every level including a renewed sense of artistic-ness. (Yeah, thats a word!)
All this accompanied by a buttload of excitement to work on the next wonderful arty thing now that today has proved itself too cold, rainy and windy outside to begin putting the garde to bed.
Unfortunately, the studio can only survive unbridled creativity for a short time before unbridled Cleaning must take precedent. I can't even find the tabletop!!!
So, I have satisfied my garden vibe by harvesting the lovely gourds we grew and now I am off to make the studio useable again. What a great way to spend a day. ❤️
Come paint and dine for a great cause! We will be creating a beautiful painting that features the colors and feelings of midwest autumn in Nature to benefit the beautiful parks and natural areas of Carol Stream.
Painting and Spirits with Colleen: Creating your own Green Spirit
Date and time -Sept 27, 2016 7:30-9:30
Join Artist Colleen Koziara for a whole new approach to wine & art parties!
An Intuitive and Visionary Art Experience
We will be creating our own personal versions of the vision we each hold within our mind of The Green Spirit of Nature.
Experience your own creative capacities by enjoying a relaxing evening of painting!
By providing basic instruction and guidance in use of materials and structure of the piece you will have the chance to explore your own vision of the Face of Nature and manifest that vision. Yes, everyone can do this!!! You will amaze yourself!
We will be working in acrylics, on canvas.All materials will be provided.
BYOBS (beverages and snacks!)
Colleen Koziara (Mystical Willow Productions) grew up in northern Wisconsin on a farm, on an island. Seeing the magic of nature and the stories that it told, filled her with a childlike sense of wonder, which she strives to capture in her artwork: a moment of magic from the natural world or ancient legends or tales, the “secret” beauty within simple everyday moments and objects. Each of her works is a doorway through which the viewer may journey – a glimpse into the Spirit of Nature and the Nature of Spirit. Colleen attended the American Academy of Art in Chicago, and has illustrated more than 20 books. A Reiki Master and Ovate member of the Order of Bards, Ovates & Druids, she has been presenting, writing and providing art for Circle Sanctuary since 2002, and designed the Pagan Spirit Gathering logos for 2010-2016. Colleen has spent the past 5 years working with a South Dakota Elder and is traditionally trained. Colleen gives private art instruction from her home for all ages; creates Body Art (both temporary and permanent) and Custom Tattoo Designs; Visionary Art; and Commissioned pieces manifested from the visions and dreams of her clients. She works extensively with Elders teaching art and yoga, and has received awards from organizations such as the American Society on Aging and International Council of Active Aging for designing programs for seniors.
A new book project is in the works!!! I partnered today with the writers of a Wonderful new book!
Written by a Hospice Chaplain with 30yrs experience in family counseling, this book will be a manual for professionals and parents, to use as they work with children and young people experiencing grief. To support those adults in helping the young ones to find their words, express their feelings and allow themselves to be supported thru their grief. The book features a lovely young elephant as its main character. I am very excited about illustrating this book for many reasons, not the least of which being that I am and have always been, an elephant lover!! She first talked to me about this idea over a year ago!!
The Reset continues it seems. A month of life change, and health resets in a search for Balance, followed by September, a month that I intentionally scheduled slow and short in program billings. A month with down time, time off, time for art, time for sleep and home and most of all, time to put effort towards choosing my own direction as opposed to just scampering along, keeping up with all the wonderful opportunities that continue to present themselves!! My monetary shortfall for September got covered + with today's illustration agreement!!
I have been blessed 1000x over by a stream of neverending opportunities, and possible journeys, that the universe has for years, dropped in my lap. More importantly, I have also been gifted by that same universe with the necessary stamina, intellect, creativity and unwillingness to say "die!" that has made it possible for me to take advantage of so many of those opportunities!!! And they have absolutely Rocked!!! (Despite the exhaustion and bruises and permanent scarring they have occasionally caused!!)
But there is also a downside that must be acknowledged in this neverending stream of adventures. If a person is ALWAYS setting out to conquer the next peak, learn the next lesson, or find the next Best thing (or the next adrenaline rush, or the next brainstorming session because they are not fans of the daily followthrough phase, or the next partner, or...you get it I'm sure, insert here your own preferred escape disguised as an amazing opportunity)...then they are likely missing the opportunity to sit and be still, focus and experience the daily challenge and sense of accomplishment that comes from putting everything you've got into the one thing that makes your heart sing louder than everything else combined. And maybe, just maybe, taking an opportunity all the way not just from start to finish, but instead from imaginings to magnificence.
For as long as I can remember, back at least to age two, I have wanted to be simply an Artist. I did not ever define that anymore specifically than that (artist ya know, like to keep those doors open!), just simply an Artist with a capital A. Illustrating, and writing and illustrating, more children's books is on my bucket list. Collecting and bringing forth in word and image, the stories of our Elders is next in line. Beginning the journey to the manifestation of this lifelong dream with a book teaching our older, how to help our younger to survive through grief by acknowledging their pain and accepting support and love from the world around them to do so, seems like a most auspicious beginning.
My horoscope (still havent decided if I believe those things or not), said to move most quietly thru this week beginning on Tuesday, and on Friday something begun in the past would return again.
Tuesday I added a good measure of silence and retreat to my life by stepping back from FB. Today the past came forward. (So they got me believing this week!!! lol)
Blessings of the Harvest Moon, and the coming beauty of Autumn, the fullness of the Harvest, Equinox Balance, and most importantly, Blessings of Wisdom to know the difference between opportunity and escape when the universe again presents the choice.
A very busy August filled with some pretty crazy highs and lows of experience, and scary health challenges for those I love, which I rode allll the way Up! And alllll the way back down again! Remember the old adage of staying within the center so ya dont get spun about on the edge? Yeah, well, I forgot. See, I have this life now that isnt an incoming drama fest all the time, so I actually can choose my responses to things. Staying calm amidst chaos is possible, riding from my center thru the storm is welcome and doable, but I forgot. Too many years of doing the other. Habits. Hard things to break.
Good talks with partner, friends and son reminded me of allll this and so August ended very well and enlightening. It ended with a great talk in the park with my son and a very successful painting session with the largest group of Memorycare seniors I have ever had at one time.
September arrived in quiet beauty. The absolute beauty of the beginnings of Autumn, my favorite season. I had planned well and set time for me up at the beginning too. Time to be still, paint, plan, think, create.
Ancient - 12x15, watercolor on 300lb Arches paper
is the result of August. Life will present you with many doorways, it is always up to you which one you choose to walk through.
A vacation is not 9 days of intense physical and spiritual activity. That may be necessary and fun and beloved, but it is not a vacation. It is Service, done so that The People May Live.
A vacation is not 3 days of cooking for 160+ people. That also may be fun, and spiritual and educational, but it is not a vacation. It is Community Service, done in support of family, clan and tribe, it is vital and fulfilling, but it is not a vacation.
A Vacation (with a capital V) is unscheduled. It does not contain any hard time schedules except for arrival, and departure. All else is negotiable and fluid. All else may be altered or amended at any moment should something more enticing present itself. This is a Vacation, the ability to flow. To sit for an unspecified amount of time looking at the lake and then to wander unhurriedly to other visiting spots and stops, To leave at the last possible moment and always arrive right on time. To stop at a local watering hole for a couple minutes, which turns into an hour plus because out-of-town friends you haven't seen in five years just happened to be in town and stop in too! With their beautiful spirits and voices, and their guitar and ukelele, and a willingness to share their music immediately upon request with all.
This is A Vacation. A place where the plans of everyday life are discarded in favor of the magic of just being fully present and letting everything flow as it wishes.
At Lughnassadh this year I promised myself 2 things. It wasnt til last weekend that I realized one of those things was in reality, to consciously plan and block out on my calendar to experience, one Vacation Day each week of my life at minimum moving forward.
This might possibly be the first goal I have ever set that I can't wait to start "working" on.
This image is going to all my clients in the next two months, and onto my fridge tonight so that I do not forget.
I spent yesterday painting with folks. Midday I volunteered my time for an organization that holds monthly gatherings to encourage positive parenting. There were about 25 young parents there, including 3 dads, and lots of children, most under the age of 5. They had been told no kids, but none had childcare, because the entire group is homeless. They were all under the age of 30, a number were siblings or cousins and all their kids. The kids all got a good snack and playtime, the adults got just a little bit of downtime. This was my first time working with this group, and owing to the excitement about the painting, it was the biggest group they had ever had. Had I known about all the kids I could easily have brought tempera paints and maybe my wonderful artist goddaughter and we could have kept the little ones busy for longer so their exhausted parents could have a longer rest. I am at another session next week with another of their groups, so the tempera paints are getting packed. I cant imagine having tried to raise my son while being homeless.
Last night I was the Painting instructor for The Women of the New Zion Church in Hammond, IN. This is the third event I have done for ladies church groups, each one a referral from the last. We did a painting focused on the image of the Virtuous Woman, a new series of classes they are beginning. The painting combined the image of the cross merged with the ancient symbols for womens power and the colors black, red and white for the triple aspects of the Ancient Female Archetypes of Maiden, Mother and Crone. These womens church groups have become one of my favorite events to do. They have so much fun! There is so much laughter and joy and community connection! They are all ages and everyone works so well together focused on amd sharing their common spiritual focus. Most have never painted and it is so wonderful to see the joy in their faces when they realize their painting is beautiful and they did it!
And today, I am home. There is a huge list of things I need to do for work, (I realized the other day I cannot remember ever being fully caught up and having nothing on the "should do" list) my studio is a wasteland strewn with partially empty paint bottles (I did realize today however when I really looked, that the stack of paintings I have completed in the last year is truly monumental! No wonder I have noticed an improvement in my painting skills) and my weekend with nothing to do truly is that. I have work to do. Nothing more. All of my friends are out there busy doing things, and I am not part of any of it. They are running marathons, going riding, moving to new summer adventures, getting together and having fun.
It has been a thing for a long time for me. I provide something that is valued. My art, my efforts, but it is what I provide, not me, that is valued. The majority of phone calls I recieve are work related or bill reminders. Calls from friends just to say Hi are not a part of my reality. I make them, I rarely recieve them.
Having a community that is mostly a state away and a small business that takes all my efforts has been challenging. I truly love what I do, but I wish for stimulating conversations and hangout time, and that is rare.
In less than a month, psg will come and while my community will be gathered, I will be focused upon my duties there and partake, again, of almost none of the connection and community part of things.
I am not complaining, just comsidering. For my entire life I have known what I wanted to do, what fed my mind and heart and spirit. How to be, and feel healthy and alive. How I wanted to love and live and who I wanted to be, but life has always somehow moved all my efforts (or just my objective) just slightly off mark and despite a herculean will to overcome the obstacles and disappointments, and an unwillingness to ever give up, I find myself today to be tired and lonely and thoroughly unsure how to proceed.
In the last week, I have seen 4 different items on caretaking openings for remote farms, living off grid and raising sheep, giving it all up and heading out on the road, and a small ad for a little 12ft sailboat. They all have wakened in me again the gypsy desire to just escape into an adventure and just this once, if the universe's plan for me is to never have mind, body, spirit and soul connected and fed simultaneously, to just bend to that and at the very least, have adventure if nothing else.
So, I am going to hangout with my son, finish my Greenman painting and do my work because that it what I need to do.
As for this blog post? LOL I feel comfortable posting this here because I know no one reads it.
Tomorrow of course will be a better day.
Have you ever noticed, I mean really taken notice of a Facebook post and had it stick in your mind for weeks? This happened to me recently. It was a silly meme posted by a biker friend that asked this question. "If you had to wear a warning label, what would it be?"
I spend a TON of time driving between clients, 5-600 miles in an average week, and as I am not a fan of noise, I spend most of those driving hours just quietly thinking. Consequently, I have an inordinate amount of time to ponder (notice) "stuff". Many of my art ideas come about while driving and noticing "stuff".
Weeks after having seen that silly warning label meme, I was still considering what my warning label might be, and that led me to ponder what exactly a warning label is. Is it a notice to back away, or just a sign that tells what the situation is in this current location? or both? Would one of my paintings be appropriate as my warning notice? They certainly show the contents and potential consequences of interaction with me, a personally created notification of what I have noticed as it were. Does my art need a warning label of its own? Does it or anyone need a label of any kind at all? Do our labels (our notices) truly make our lives worse, or better? Do they create challenges or alleviate them? In the course of these ponderings I of course wandered through the territory of Grayson Perry's quote and noticed a lot of "stuff". The negative nature of the labels that are being so actively used to create an "us" vs "them" scenario in our country; the dislike I have for labels, and how that difficulty has just increased the longer I work with elders; the difficulty I have labeling even some of my own artwork because I see it as so many different things; the challenge I experience trying to label anything about myself including my warning.
And then there is this: Warning labels really tell people, not the whole truth, but just what we want others to notice. And that information is provided edited through our own prejudices and presented with all our preconceptions embedded handily within our label.
At the end of all this pondering, I did finally narrow my warning label down to two wordy possibilities and one painted one. But the topic; labels? that is still as wide open as the initial quote for this writing.. Artist's notice stuff, that is it. Then we chew through it and regurgitate a vision that may or may not aide your experience. Our vision not necessarily offering you any further clarification or understanding, but instead existing solely to satisfy our need to create from the well of feelings we hold that was created by the stuff we noticed.
Maybe that then is the label. But not one individually appropriate label, one instead for all Artists.
Be Warned: I am an Artist. I notice stuff.
or more simply Artist
It has been a very busy Spring. My Senior Programming & Consulting business is growing steadily and going smashingly well. The Art part of my life is filled to overflowing and life in general is just pretty wonderful. I am looking forward to gardening time and hangout time at home this weekend as well as time for some more painting and some research work on the computer. I am satisfied that the manner in which I have organized my life, or better stated, the manner in which my life has organized me, includes some kind of painting or creating each and every day. There is much to be said for regular payroll checks, great insurance, 401k and all that. But, the peace, calm, freedom and sense of wholeness that has come with setting my own schedule and filling my life with art, has been truly indescribable. I have no doubt that this carried me through a very painful personal time at the end of 2014. This morning, rainy and chilly and a perfect day to be inside creating, I finished two small paintings and had an opportunity to upload a few more that I had missed in recent months. I hope you enjoy!
What if the question was Art? Ritual? Play? Is there one answer to each of these? Is there one answer that fits all?
Spring Spring Spring and so, in naming this piece I used languages from the three nations that have had a profound effect on me in the last few years. Ireland, Wales and Estonia
And in the languages of those peoples, Errach-Gaeilge, Gwanwyn-Welsh, Kevad-Estonian, named this latest piece, Spring~Spring~Spring.
Please, come see the piece in person during the Next Show at Life Force Arts in Chicago, IL. The show opens during the first week of May and holds the title that inspired this piece: Art, Ritual and Play.
Special thanks go out to some very dear friends who over the years have gifted me with many of the items on this piece. Joan, Joey, Marla, Charmaine and Rich. It could not have existed without your contributions. Thank you.