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In Focus | Laurie Koss

In Focus is our gift to the community. A way for us to help show our recognition for the people, businesses and organizations that help make our city great. The team at is passionate about this community and the people that make it amazing. We want to show our friends, neighbours, family and colleagues that we notice them and the fabulous things that they do.

What is your name?
Laurie Koss

What do you always find yourself saying?
“Trust the process” and “Having rests on giving, not on getting.”

If you could spend one whole day with anyone in the world who is currently alive, who would you select and why?
I would choose Jim Carey because he is an artist, a vegetarian, very funny and spiritual.

If you were to receive any existing public award, what award would you like to win?
It would be an honour to receive an award one day that acknowledges my contribution to the arts, but I certainly have no expectations!

If you could spend a day with any historical figure, who would you choose and why?
Leonardo Da Vinci because he was absolutely brilliant, one of the best painters to have lived, diversely talented, known for his kindness, and a vegetarian.

Who inspires you?
My mother inspires me because she had the strength forty years ago to recognize she needed to make a big change in her life, which led to her completely transforming her life and ultimately our family’s lives for the better. I would not be where I am today if she had not made that fateful decision so many years ago, plus she is a successful painter, which inspired me to pursue a career in art.

What are three things on your bucket list?
Hmm…I just realized I don’t actually have a bucket list! I have no desire to sky dive or bungee jump. I’m lucky to have traveled to New York, Paris and Rome (three cities with wonderful art collections), and I achieved an early bucket list dream of marrying and having children. I suppose being recognized for my art would be on my bucket list, but I just recently received recognition for my art by having my paintings featured on Canadian stamps. So right now at this point, I don’t have a bucket list, but I will have to think about it!

If you had an enormous yacht, what would you name it?
Maybe “Art Sea” (because my user name in the digital art world is Artsy)

If you could foresee a single day of your future in its entirety, what date would you select?
In my professional life, it would be a day where my art is given some sort of recognition. In my personal life, it would be a simple day with all of my family together having fun.

What are you passionate about?
In my professional life, I am passionate about capturing the beauty of nature in my painting as expressed so perfectly through the magnificence of flowers. In my personal life, I am passionate about kindness. I believe the highest form of wisdom is kindness, and I try to live my life everyday with that in mind. It is the base of my spiritual goals; it is why I don’t eat animals; it is my goal everyday.

What has been your favourite day of your life, up to this point?
I thought about this one for a long time, and I just don’t have a favourite day. For me my favourite days are really just the simplest days when everyone is healthy and happy, as opposed to the days that something big and exciting happens.

What has been your proudest accomplishment?
Hands down, my two children. I am incredibly proud of their commitment to living their lives authentically, their commitment to kindness, and their commitment to working hard to reach their goals. (If they were more committed to doing the dishes a little more consistently, they would be practically perfect, in my opinion).

Where is your favourite place to dine in Kelowna?
What do you like about it? It’s a tie. I love Yamas Greek Taverna, because we enjoy Greek food so much. We have been going there for over twenty years, the food is consistently delicious and the owners and staff are outstanding! I also love RauDZ because their vegetarian/vegan tasting plate is the best, fresh food, uniquely presented and different every time we go. Plus no bar in town even comes close to creating fruit martinis as good as theirs. And who doesn’t love finishing their meal off with a homemade lollipop? Yum!

What is your favourite activity or event in Kelowna? Why?
I just love being outdoors. I love hiking, cycling, boating, waterskiing and snow skiing/boarding because Kelowna is just so beautiful and offers so many opportunities to get outside and be active.

What is the name of your business/organization?
I am a self-employed artist, represented by Hambleton Galleries in Kelowna and Rendezvous Gallery in Vancouver. I am also a yoga instructor on Wednesday evenings at Tandava Yoga Studio.

What does your business/organization do?
I am an artist who paints close-up images of flowers, using acrylic on canvas. I just recently had two of my paintings featured on Canada Post’s 2015 flower series stamps. Being an artist can be such a solitary profession, which is why I get out and teach yoga. It gives me a chance to connect with our community.

Where can people find you or your business online?

Where can people find your business on Facebook?
On my “Laurie Koss, artist” fan page. Please “like” my page if you are interested. I have another big announcement coming up this spring, and my FB followers will be the first to find out!

What is your Twitter account?

What is your mission?
My mission would be to continue to paint for galleries and to welcome any additional opportunities that come my way.

If you could achieve one thing within your field, what would it be?
I would love it if my work could be valued and collected by interesting people all over the world.

Where do you want your business/organization to be in five years?
I would like to be doing exactly what I am doing right now, but with a little more notoriety.

Who do you consider to be a forerunner within your field?
Even though our work is quite different, I would have to say Georgia O’Keefe, because she also painted flowers close up. She said, “When you take a flower in your hand and really look at it, it’s your world for the moment.” I get that. Nothing brings me more into the present moment than when I hold a flower and really look at it and I always do that before I paint a flower; otherwise my paintings would not be authentic.

What three qualities do you feel that your business/organization exemplifies?
My artwork exemplifies the beauty of nature, a love of painting and authenticity.

What would you like to say to your employees/volunteers?
I don’t have any employees/volunteers…at least not yet hahaha!

How does your business/organization impact the community?
My work was able to impact the community just recently when the unveiling of Canada Post’s 2015 flower series stamps happened here in Kelowna, because I am the artist and I live here. It was an exciting and well-attended community event where I was able to meet so many interesting people, many of which expressed feeling proud of me for representing our community in the art world.

If you were trapped in an elevator with several wealthy investors from any field, which field would you want them t­o be experts in? What would say to them/talk about?
I would like the wealthy investors to be philanthropists who would be willing to put their money toward saving some of the beautiful natural spaces, we have here in Kelowna, from development, turning them instead into parks and nature preserves.

If I could change one thing about Kelowna, it would be:
Less cloudy days in the winter would be the one thing I would change about Kelowna. I just love sunny days, they always inspire me to paint!

What do you think makes Kelowna great?
The people, the opportunities to enjoy our beautiful outdoors, the culture, and the wine, of course!

My choice for the Kelowna In Focus spotlight is:
Sonya and/or Jeff Thomlinson, owners of Tandava Yoga Studio. They have impacted our community in such a positive way by offering a beautiful practice of yoga in a lovely, peaceful studio as well as offering yoga teacher trainings that provide students with an opportunity for self-awareness and self-improvement.

Some general comments I would like to share are:
The only thing I would like to add is my sincere gratitude to my husband, Mike, who has been such a wonderful supporter of my art and my life journey. I wouldn’t want to have shared it with anyone else. I would have suggested him for the Kelowna in Focus spotlight, because he is such an interesting person, a very much-loved family physician in Kelowna, and the lead singer of the local band Rex, but he is just not comfortable being in the spotlight (unless it is a band spotlight, that is!)

We encourage you to leave your comments and words of support below, and submit your own nomination by clicking HERE. You are also welcome to submit a form of your own by clicking HERE. Thank you, Kelowna!

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