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School of Fine Arts

Bogdan's Portraits

Bogdan's Old Masters

Bogdan's Sacral Paintings

Bogdan's Mural Paintings

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Unsung Heroines



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Izabella's Portraits

Izabella & Bogdan Portraits

Iza & Bogdan-Landscape

Izabella & Bogdan Collaboration

Unsung Heroines - the BOOK

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Ever since she was a small child, Izabella Orzelski has made the human form the principal subject of her sketches.  Her mother still treasures her childhood drawings that captured family members, neighbors, fairy tale character, etc.  Growing up didnt change her keen interest in art and love for figure drawing.  In 1998, Izas dream of becoming a professional figure painter came closer to reality when she earned her MFA Degree from the Graduate School of Figurative Art at the New York Academy of Art.  Significant recognition of her status as a professional figure painter came that same year when she received the First Annual Award for Fine Art from the Dahesh Museum in New York.

Iza later left New York and returned to her hometown, Edmonton, Canada, where she diligently pursued her artistic career and eventually met her soul mate and husband, Bogdan Konikowski a fellow artist.


Among her most notable creations to-date are her life-size portraits of prominent Edmontonians such as  Harriet Winspear (Old Arts Building, University of Alberta),  Lieutenant Governour Lois Hole (Stanley A. Milner Branch of the Edmonton Public Library) and more recently Dr. Grant MacEwan (MacEwan University).


Although she teaches many art classes at the ARTIZA School of Fine Art and the University of Albertas Faculty of Extension, Izabella still finds time to turn out her own portrait and figure paintings.  She is currently working on a series of paintings for her next solo exhibition.



 Bogdan Koral- Konikowski knew he was destined to be an artist from the age of 15.  During his youth in Poland, he would skip his academic classes to stay at home and paint.  He later followed private instruction by a classical fine artist of the European tradition, Tadeusz  Mokrzycki of Bydgoszcz Poland.


Because of difficult circumstances, Bogdan was forced to drop his art for a long period of time.  However, a time came when he realized that living without art, his greatest passion, was simply unbearable.  Bogdan re-committed himself to his art on a full-time basis and never looked back.  He soon made up for lost time, becoming a very prolific artistin eight months he created close to 200 aquarelle paintings!


Although aquarelles had served him well, Bogdan felt that in order to effectively bring his ideas to life, he needed to use a different medium oil paints.  A great admirer of Rembrandt, Bogdan studied this master’s techniques and reproduced several of his works in the process.  These studies helped his personal style emerge.  Many of his paintings have a strong tonal contrast and an internal glow a light from within.  


Bogdan is very versatile in terms of the subjects he undertakes from large-scale floral images to the human figure.  Deeply spiritual and religious, Bogdan enthusiastically created two life-size paintings for Edmonton’s Holy Rosary Church.  One is a depiction of the Crucifixion of Jesus and another is a portrait of Pope John Paul II.  Using chiaroscuro and glazing techniques, Bogdan has come to specialize in painting murals and reproducing the works of the Great Masters such as Rembrandt, Vermeer or Velazquez.  For one commission, Bogdan created a series of murals for the Barcelona Restaurant and Holiday Inn Hotel in Grand Prairie. 


Another of Bogdan’s passions is broadcasting and hosting the Catholic Radio show “Aniol Panski” (CKER 101FM) and the Polskie Radio” show (CJSR 88FM) that are transmitted to Edmonton’s large Polish community every Sunday.


Life as a Couple of Artists


Since Izabella’s and Bogdan’s styles, personalities and temperaments complement each other so well, they agreed to collaborate on the portrait of the Lieutenant Governour of Alberta.  In the art world, such collaboration is almost unheard of.  Nevertheless, in October of 2003, their completed life-size portrait of Honourable Lois E. Hole was unveiled at the Stanley A. Milner Library to an enthusiastic crowd.  Evidently a new fan and friend of these artists, Honourable Hole later graced Bogdan’s September 2003 show.


Bogdans latest show at the Front Gallery (Edmonton, Canada) was honoured with the presence of Lt. Governour Lois Hole as an honorary guest (excerpt from the Edmonton Journal).


Pleased with the success of the Lois E. Hole commission, both artists agreed to continue working together on other projects.  Two current projects are the creation of two series of portraits honouring Canadian women entitled:  “Alberta’s Unsung Heroines” and “Twelve Contemporary Canadian Women of Distinction”.


Proud to be a part of a small group of artists carrying on the tradition of classical figure and portrait painting, Bogdan and Izabella’s preference is evidently oils above all other mediums.  In their opinion, no other paint allows so many possibilities in variation of color and tone, and no other medium allows such realistic depictions of nature and the human body.  Despite some people’s attempt to capture the human figure using photography techniques, these two artists believe that an oil painting retains a charm and soul as unique as the individual artist.  And unlike a photograph, a fine art oil painting is treasured for many generations.


The School, the Family and the Future


In 1999, Izabella and Bogdan founded the ARTIZA School of Fine Arts and opened their doors to students of all ages and backgrounds.  Its two ateliers are abounded with plants, books, sounds of trickling water, laughter and music.  In this setting, they create their own paintings and readily share their knowledge and artistic experience with students and friends.


Summertime transforms the house into a green oasis, with grapevines and hopes climbing the balcony and sliding up to the roof.  The garden bursts with a multitude of bright sunflowers and fragrant flowers.  Keeping life and art inseparable, this type of environment also helps bring out the creativity and talent in people, especially in children.  Nourishing the souls and the minds of little creatures with art, nature and knowledge of many kinds is a very crucial part of their mandate as artists, teachers and parents.  Indeed, their creations are not limited to canvas – Bogdan and Izabella are the proud parents of a daughter, Kasia, and sons Bohun and Azja..   


Bogdan and Izabella are proof that a mélange of love, passion, talent, and skill can surmount almost any obstacle.  To these two, the SKY TRULY IS the limit!


For a personal tour of the ARTIZA School of Art, or for a consultation, please call (780) 468-5150 for an appointment.