Presented at universities, civic groups, women’s groups, churches, and art classes

:: Making Friends With Fear
Do we let fear paralyze us or do we meet fear face to face and use it as our compass? When do we walk into our fear and when do we walk (or run) away? What tools can we use to replace our fears with faith, love, and confidence?
Presentation followed by interactive discussion/writing workshop.

:: A Sea of Sound -- The Art of Listening
Why is it important in our workplace, school, home and spiritual life to listen? What is the payoff of an engaged life of "listening?" How can we use "listening" as a spiritual and creative tool?
Presentation followed by interactive workshop in which participants create collages after "listening" for color, emotion, and imagery in a range of musical pieces and distinctive sounds.

:: Willing To Do the Work
We’re called to a dream, but are we "willing to do the work?" First, how do we define our dream? Then, how do we extract the process and find the steps it’ll take to achieve our dream? What conversation do we have with ourselves about sacrifice? How do we maneuver the joys and pitfalls of saying "Yes" to our dreams?
Presentation followed by interactive discussion/writing workshop.

:: What Brings Us Luck? How To Be an Agent in Your Own Luck
Are we slaves to our destinies, our fate, the movement of the moon and the stars, and our genetic and cultural encoding? Or are there things we can do to get ready to be "lucky?"
Presentation outlines twelve tips to be an agent in your own luck.

:: What Turns Compassions Into Action?
In my post WWII upbringing, compassionate response was extended as a hot casserole and a plate of chocolate chip cookies. It was usually delivered within the borderlines of my small town. How can the essence of that same generous gesture extend farther and more boldly?
Presentation -- with slides of artwork and photography, followed by discussion.

:: Faces of a Plague -- An Artist's Journey Into the Heart of a Deadly Epidemic
In a very personal presentation, I relate my experiences of travel to Malawi, Mozambique, and Ethiopia as a member of the HIV/AIDS Advisory Committee of Save the Children. I share the stories of African women and children affected by the AIDS crises, and show location photographs, as well as artwork inspired by the people I met. Participants learn about the lives of people on the other side of the earth, who are dealing with issues that are both familiar and completely foreign to us.
Presentation -- with slides of artwork and photography, musical recordings, followed by discussion.

:: An Artist’s Life. Detours, Surprises, Attitude, and Responsibility
The fulfillment of a dream is a long, ongoing, challenging journey. While showing slides of my work, beginning with examples from student days and up to current work, I talk about the sometimes raucous, sometimes sorrowful, sometimes exultant life of an artist.
Presentation -- with slides of artwork, followed by questions/answers and discussion.

:: Where Are You Now? Where Do You Want To Go? A Workshop In Vision
This workshop can be held independantly or as a companion to "Willing to do the Work." By using images from magazines, photographs, and found objects, participants are asked to create two small 3-D constructions. The first illustrates where they currently see themselves, and the second envisions where they’d like to go. Group discussion follows.
Presentation and demonstration, followed by hands on workshop and group discussion.

:: Portraiture and 3D Collage - How To Make Something From Nothing
In an exercise to "free our minds," partricipants are asked to bring with them a sack full of stuff -- papers, old magazines, found junk from the streets, old buttons, etc. The rule is that they can’t spend any money. They are also asked to pick out a photo of a celebrity from the world of sports, music, movies, or politics. Then they are given a list of adjectives, such as goofy, bloated, angry, silly, sexy etc., and asked to apply that adjective to their chosen celebrity and create a portrait. A 3-D constructed portrait is undertaken. Participants are often surprised by and proud of the result of "making something from nothing." This is a lesson in resourcefulness and freedom.
Presentation and demonstration, followed by hands on workshop and group discussion.

Samples of work and further information available upon request.

Please call Karen Blessen at 214-827-3257 to discuss scheduling and fees, or e-mail kblessen@sbcglobal.net.