Art for Life

Kanta Bosniak mugs on Redbubble

Trying pull myself away from designing mugs and clock faces, so I can do some new writing and make some new paintings… whose images I can put on mugs, clocks, and use for book illustrations. There’s something so fun about making art that you can play with like this. I remember as a kid going to library class and learning about the Dewey Decimal system. There was a distinction made between the categories of Fine Art and Applied Art. The latter was considered less worthy than the former and was accorded less respect because it was made to be used by people in their actual lives.

This bothered me even back then. I loved book illustrations, folk art, and painted furniture. And I loved all the beautiful things made by artisans of different countries and times that I saw in the Philadelphia Art Museum and Penn Museum. Nobody in these museums was saying, “Well, is painting is art, but that painted blanket chest isn’t art.” Or “This sculpture is art, but that painted, beaded, feathered Native American vest is not art.” And if they had, I would have disagreed with them. Ditto if anyone had said, “This mural in Italy is art, and the hex signs on that barn in Lehigh County, Pennsylvania are not art.”

I want art on my wall and I want to drink my coffee in it. To me, both things are equally beautiful, because both things are not things so much as they are expressions of ideas and feelings mingled together that trigger ideas and feelings when seen and/or touched.

We do not decrease the value of a beautiful object by enjoying, appreciating, and using it, but rather add to it. This is why I treasure my father’s ceramic lamp. Sure, I love the workmanship and artistry. But more than that. It was his. 


Meet the Book Nerd


Photo by Always and Forever Photo

About my books
– I’m a spirituality writer with a grounded, practical side. I notice what works and then share it. I like to include humor, and offer the reader opportunities for play, imagination and creative expression. There are dual purposes here. First, to amuse the reader and set a pleasing pace. Second, to help her process and internalize the material, so it becomes a resource she owns and can draw on anytime. I’m an artist as well as a writer, and I illustrate my own books. Most of the central images in my book covers derive from original paintings. My most recent book is Bye, Bye, Mr. Malicious! How to Get Your Happy Back and be Done with Narcissists and Sociopaths.

How and when I made the decision to be a writer
-The impulse to write, make art, and focus on inspiring ideas happened all at once. I was five years old and had just learned to read when my parents gave me a copy of The Little Engine That Could. Bam! I loved that book, with those wonderful illustrations and change your thinking; change your life message. After that, I started making up stories and pictures to go with them. I guess I’m still doing this, because. I think of my books as illustrated letters to friends.

My advice for aspiring writers
-What immediately comes to mind is the advice Bucky Fuller gave to a ten-year old boy named Michael, who asked Fuller if he was a doer or a dreamer. He answered indirectly, but went right to the heart of the matter, in essence, saying, “Both. Dream it, then do it.” He wrote:

“The things to do are: the things that need doing: that you see need to be done, and no one else seems to see need to be done. Then you will conceive your own way of doing that which needs to be done -that no one else has told you to do or how to do it. This will bring out the real you that often gets buried inside a character that has acquired a superficial array of behaviors induced or imposed by others on the individual.”

In other words, start with a service mentality. How can you contribute through your writing? Give your mind these questions to work with and stay open to the answers. What needs to be said? How does your authentic voice naturally want to express it? This applies in an obvious way to non-fiction, but it also does to compelling and deeply satisfying fiction as well. Narratives in which the subtext is beautifully interwoven with the story, never overwhelming it, but rather a mostly subtle presence until the emotional climax. Read others’ work. Notice what you love and ask yourself why. Practice. To be a writer, you need to write. Stop thinking of writers as different, greater, or precious creatures. Go indie, because that’s where the energy is. And by all means, find a really good editor.

Upcoming projects
-I have some fun projects I’m working on while I promote Bye, Bye, Mr. Malicious! A book for engaged couples, a sweet little story book for kids 6-8 and another for middle readers and their parents. It’s a project close to my heart that I’ve been working on over a period of many years. It’s related to a series of paintings I’ve used as teaching, coaching, and lecture tools. It will come out on Kindle. I also have a recovery book for adults that’s been simmering for a while and that I’m excited about. I’m moving forward on these now that Mr. Malicious is launched, but I’ll still keep promoting it until women are fully respected in the home and in the culture. Or for the rest of my life, anyway. I would love to see a new normal established during my lifetime. Our world is changing and all of us have a part to play in creating a climate in which men and women are truly harmonious and equal partners. Let’s make it happen!

You can find my books on Amazon and other booksellers. Here’s a link to my books on Amazon:

When to Book a Wedding Officiant

We’re approaching the end of wedding season and the beginning of engagement season. Couples who are newly engaged usually start early booking the venue, and rightly so. The venue is the stage on which the wedding will take place. And the good venues get booked way in advance. What some couples may not be aware of is that this same thing happens with offciants. The good ones also get booked in advance, and sometimes waaay in advance.

There may be little holes in their schedules that can be filled in for last minute bookings. And if you have a wedding that’s not in the middle of the afternoon, an officiant may be able to do your wedding as well as another on the same day. But if you want to book the officiant of your choice for a Saturday wedding at 3 or 4 PM, you’re best off booking the officiant right after you book the venue.

Here’s another reason why it’s wise to book the officiant early, right after the venue. Good officiants are people with a very particular complex of skills and character traits. And it’s that complex blend that you will give you the goosebumps, happy tears all around ceremony that you want. So, it makes sense to secure the officiant whose reviews demonstrate that skill set early in your planning process.

Back to the play production analogy, you and your fiance are the producers and the stars of your wedding. You’re also the casting directors. When you cast the officiant, you’re hiring the third main (though supporting) character for your production. The officiant is a **supporting** character and needs to understand this. It’s YOUR play and it’s about you. So the officiant should be a seasoned performer with plenty of public speaking and wedding experience… but also someone who will honor and celebrate your love and your values, and give you plenty of input rather than prioritizing their own religious or personal agenda. So, part of choosing an officiant is making a choice based on your sense of the person’s character.

In addition, you and your fiancé as producers of the event, are hiring the playwright. This is the person who’s going to write your ceremony as well as be a supporting performer in it. So, you want to hire an officiant who is a skillful writer. But again, who will not be about pushing a religious dogma or personal agenda. Someone who will take the time to get to know you in an interview and write the ceremony that celebrates and reflects YOU as a couple.

To sum it up, a good officiant is someone who brings to your “production” empathy, emotional intelligence, writing and performance experience, caring, diligence, attention to detail, good work ethic, integrity, professionalism, and service mentality. Someone who’s committed to create the ceremony YOU desire and is willing to put in the time and work to make that happen.

The ceremony is the heart of your wedding. If you want the ceremony of your dreams, please book your officiant early. And of course, I’d love to be your officiant. I’ll be delighted to talk with you about creating your wedding ceremony. You can reach me at (540) 577-8854


“Spiritual/Not Religious” Weddings

I am a non-denominational, interfaith minister, and I am happy to work with couples across a wide spectrum of spiritual perspectives.  Whether your Higher Power is God, Universal Love, Nature… whether your guiding principles are family, making the world a better place…or simply compassion, like the Dalai Lama, who said “My religion is kindness,” I would be honored and delighted to work with you.

Together, we can create a customized ceremony that reflects your values and celebrates your love. If you are less traditonally religious than your family, no worries. Most of my clients are “spiritual/not religious” couples whose families are more rooted in traditional religion, and I know how to create ceremonies that while they are authentically about the couple, also invite families in and make them feel very comfortable.

A typical couple, for example: both are spiritual/not religious. She does yoga and he finds his spiritual connection in hiking and fishing. Her family is Catholic and his is Baptist. My commitment is first, foremost, and always the couple. But it is possible to create a ceremony that will delight the couple AND their family? Yes, absolutely!

Daring to be Naïve… and Savvy

c Kanta Bosniak

There is a certain kind of naïveté that serves us well. That open, loving, part of us is important for life force, joy, creativity, and healthy connection. But it can shut down when it’s taken advantage of by controlling and malicious people. A function of the organism protecting itself. That’s a good thing, temporarily, But longterm, when you’ve cut yourself off from your energy supply to keep yourself armored in the presence of a negative individual, your energy becomes depleted.

The first thing to do is say bye, bye to Mr. Malicious, the person. The second is to excavate and heal that precious open and loving self, so that you don’t have to stay shut down, bitter, or cynical. But now, you guard it, you protect it, and you take good care of it. You have your own warrior installed, as if you walk with a big, strong cat. And you learn to distinguish who to let in and who not to. Kindness and strength. Daring to be simultaneously naïve and savvy. That’s balance.  

Bye, Bye, Mr. Malicious!: How to Get Your Happy Back and Be Done with Narcissists and Sociopaths

by Kanta Bosniak

Top left to right: “Bye Bye Mr. Malicious A line” dress in my Redbubble store.
Hallway flowers, detail of portrait of Bucky Fuller, one of a pair of fiber art wall pieces, in Kanta Bosniak Folk Art Gallery.
Bottom left to right: Image from “Bye, Bye, Mr. Malicious!”, postcard from one of my artist-in residencies and shows at Omega, “Ocean Vest” by moi, collection of Edwene Gaines.


c Kanta Bosniak

Balance is not a state of stagnation; it’s a dynamic yet harmonious relationship of parts. It’s a not immobility; it’s a dance. A couple who bring complementary elements to a partnership and share mutual respect. A parent who sets boundaries and gives plenty of love and praise. An individual who loves and accepts him or herself and yet does frequent moral inventory and contunues to grow. Anyone who lives in the chord of strength and compassion. <3

Image: from my book, “Bye, Bye, Mr. Malicious!: How to Get Your Happy Back and be Done with Narcissists and Sociopaths”

Intimate Ceremony

If you and your sweetheart are looking for an affordable, yet beautiful and well-organized wedding, good news! I’m happy and excited to announce that in addition to my independent work as a custom wedding officiant, I will also be working as Everlasting Memories Event Planning’s officiant for elopements and small weddings. I have enjoyed working with Everlasting Memories’ Brenda Taylor for years and can personally attest to her dedication and skill in planning and directing weddings. And just as I specialize in customized weddings in other contexts, please be assured that I am bringing the same quality of work to Intimate Ceremony Weddings as well. Here’s a link to Intimate Ceremony.

Variety, the Spice of Life and Weddings

Photo by Holly Cromer, Photographer

I love doing weddings throughout the Greater Roanoke area and the New River Valley of Southwestern Virginia. Each venue has its unique charm and beauty. Each offers a particular ambience. This includes, of course, my own small wedding chapel inside my gallery downtown Floyd, which caters to the couple who wants an intimate event in a boho chic setting.

Then, there are the mid-sized venues which can comfortably accommodate a nice sized crowd, such as the beautiful Kyle House in Fincastle, which I love, and where I officiate a good number of weddings.

I love the larger venues too, such as The Chateau Morrisette in Floyd County and Mountain Lake Lodge in Giles County. These offer the advantage of choices within choices. In other words, while you are choosing a venue in the larger sense, you also have the option of choosing from the many places weddings can occur in and outside of the buildings on the property.

This coming Sunday, September 10, I invite you to come explore the options at the Annual Bridal Open House at Mountain Lake Lodge. Have fun strolling the grounds and discover the options for where you’d like your ceremony to take place… the gazebo, the overlook, the veranda, the Ballroom, The Cascade Room, Mary’s Barn… Enjoy tastings, meet vendors, and talk with me about your wedding. I’d love to learn about you and help you bring your dream wedding ceremony to life. Looking forward to meeting you,


Annual Bridal Open House

Come see me at Mountain Lake Lodge’s Annual Bridal Open House Sunday, September 11:00 AM-3:00 PM. Looking forward to hearing about your dream wedding. Let’s make it happen!

Photo: A sampling of the weddings I’ve officiated at Mountain Lake.
Thanks to Holly Cromer, Photgrapher, Photographic Dreams, Skyryder Photography, Cari Lynn Photography,, Kendra Poston, Junebug Photography, Kimberly Manz Photography, Kemper Mills Fant Photography, and Lindsey Rickards Photography

Another New Book on the Way!

While I’m waiting for the “Bye, Bye, Mr. Malicious!” August 22 release, I’m working on a short-ish guidebook for engaged couples. It’s well under way, with cover, illustrations done, much of the text, ISBN, and book description. It’s going to be a Kindle book, so I can include lots of luscious color and still keep it very affordable! Sneak peek at the book description:

“The great news is that couples no longer have to choose between a church wedding replete with dogma they don’t resonate with and a dry, impersonal, no-guest justice of the peace wedding. There are now far more choices available for ceremonies centered on the couple’s wishes and preferences.To help you plan your special day, it’s important that you choose a client-centered officiant who will create and deliver a ceremony that matches your preferences, reflects you as a couple, celebrates your unique love story, and delights your guests. This book guides you through an easy step-by-step process to find and work with the officiant best suited to help you feel relaxed and supported and to bring the wedding of your dreams to life. Written and illustrated by veteran officiant and interfaith minister, Rev. Kanta Bosniak.”