I can feel the planet churning…

And into the forest I go, to lose my mind and find my soul. – John Muir When I am in the forest in Stanley Park, and sit down on the forest floor, I am acutely aware that I am on a sphere.  In fact, I swear that I can feel the planet churning.  I place…

Journal exercise: find a message in your words

Journal exercise: 1. Identify something that is blocking you from living fully and loving yourself.   I chose my goddamn fucking ugly mug. 2. Write for several minutes on the subject or whatever comes to mind.  Just let it unfold. “What is really perseverating in my mind is my ugly face.  I keep saying it…

Frida Kahlo, Muere el 13 de Julio de 1954

I hope the exit is joyful and I hope never to return. – Frida Kahlo Nothing is absolute. Everything changes, everything moves, everything revolves, everything flies and goes away. – Frida Kahlo

Ghosts in the wall… #streetart

I think about the wall often. Many ask me about it. It no longer exists.  But lives on in my heart. My new friend, Chrissy Davey (aka @craftyfatalist) recently connected with me on Instagram about my embroidered drawings.  Serendipitously, she had taken pictures of a street art wall (in the lane behind 119 East Cordova…

Spirit Guide.

I was going to write tonight. Instead I fell down a nap hole and dreamt of a fox. I was going to write tonight about how much I hate my face, but instead looked up foxes and symbolism.  And put on a pot of coffee. I was going to write tonight about how I (could)…

Die into life.

I haven’t posted for awhile.  That’s not to say I haven’t been writing, drawing, planning, thinking, working. A new job started January 15 and somehow 5 months have sped by.  Work has given me a place to land.  During that time there have been some exciting new developments… Ah, blah blah blah.  Fuck that.  I…

Grateful for the once upon a time…

Photo evidence that once upon a time my feet could do this. Grateful for the once upon a time. Grateful to still be here with creaky bones, spreading body, soreness, slowness. I am still here. Grateful. Especially for the discipline that dance taught me.

Operation Sock Monkey Western Division: Craftivism and Healing using Sock Monkeys and Sock Owls

I am delighted to still be part of Operation Sock Monkey Western Division—the relationship is going on 10 years now!  Time for an update as to what we have been up to lately! About OSM: Since 2005, Operation Sock Monkey has raised nearly $10,000 in support of the humanitarian work of Clowns Without Borders. Partnerships…

Every stitch a thought- problem solving embroidering drawings.

I’ve got a lot to think about these days.  (Not really any different from other days, I guess, but seriously, there is some amazing stuff brewing). To stay on track with massive projects, to dos and ideas racing around in the head, I have found great solace in pulling out embroidered drawings. As I stitch,…

What if memories are allies?

Researching a seemingly unrelated subject tonight, I was thrown down into a pit of dark memory of betrayal and attack to my heart.  How strange to be reminded of that time, of that sickening anger. How strange to have to grab my own hand and pull myself out of the pit– real quick– for it…

Chakra monkey… “I am safe…”

Chakra sock monkey I am safe I am creative I am strong I am loved I am expressive I am connected I am divine

Charming portraits of cats by my father 5 years after his stroke…

Going through my blog and archiving some imagery, I came across these charming drawings by my father– done in 2010, 5 years after a debilitating stroke.

UPDATE ON: Burning it down…

UPDATE: May 8, 2018 8PM: I received an extension and all is good in blog land!  Thank you WORDPRESS   Tonight at midnight, this blog’s business plan will expire.  Not able to renew it, I am letting it go and allowing it to do what it will.  Information will likely be lost, but that is OK….

Sock Robin- bird sculpting with upcycled materials

When Spring returns, the earth becomes a child who recites poetry. – Rainier Maria Rilke Walking home from a workshop yesterday, I was delighted at all the bird activity close to my home.  A robin crossed my path, a wriggling worm in its beak, the rain gentle.  The moment pulled me out of my head…

Books are life rafts.  I climb into them to keep moving forward…

Books are life rafts.  I climb into them to keep moving forward when life seems in limbo and my energy is fully depleted.  Here is a sampling of those I return to repeatedly. I return to this quote to address my subject of research and remind myself why: A cheap Saturday night took you down….

I promised myself a library…

When I turned 10, my parents gave me this book– Hans Christian Anderson Fairy Tales illustrated by Jiří Trnka (published by Hamlyn Publishing Group Ltd, ©1959, 1972).  My father had purchased it at the Vancouver Airport.  I remember so clearly being woken up, with breakfast on a tray and receiving the book.  The $4.95 in pencil…

Journal entry April 16, 2018 San Jose Airport

Journal entry April 16, 2018 San Jose Airport [unedited] It is so odd to take time out from the trajectory of every day in these journeys… to get off the tracks so to speak.  The experience both relaxes the brain, and creates unease.  You feel like you spend too much money and you are wondering about…

Staying in process…

Just when I think– Oh shit, I put myself out there, and now I am all vulnerable and shit and feeling old pangs of, oh shit, what am I doing, where is this going, how will I get there, will it go anywhere, what is this creative career bullshit, shit – a flood of creative process infuses…

When public goes private, do I lose you?

When public goes private, do I lose you? I am so used to sharing my creative process openly– and now I find myself in a new state of being, where in order to discuss and develop the project further, I have to stop sharing it. This is all exciting and unreal– so why do I…

Molly- a new phase

Molly- a true crime analysis Currently in a new development phase and therefore the online graphic novel is now set to private. Thanks for your support!  ♥️ Stay tuned. Love, Katarina  … a crime analysis to determine the general characteristics of the most likely suspect for the crime. – Henry Lee, Crime Scene Investigation (1994)

Homework- writer’s group: close your eyes…

Journal entry: If I close my eyes, what age do I go back to? Usually I go back to age six. But today as I close my eyes, I am 22, alone, crying, New Year’s Eve, 1984.  Though— not quite alone.  I am pregnant with Anna.  I am scared, crying, in a fetal position on the…

The third letter home. November 18, 1968

Letters are among the most significant memorial a person can leave behind them. – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe — Previous posts: Package of letters to Sweden A letter home. November 1, 1968 Dream. Letters. Thought and Memory. Writing exercise. The Second Letter. As these translations focus on the letters from my mother to her best…

The second letter. November 5, 1968.

Why when I close my eyes and think about myself at a young age do I find myself immediately at the age of 6?  What makes me go back to that little girl?  That time? These days I feel tears well up easily.  Not of sadness, but of fullness.  Today I walked home from the bus…

Writing exercise.

1. Put the timer on for 10 minutes. 2. Write stream of consciousness about whatever- whatever comes out of the pen onto paper.  Keep the pen moving. 3. Review your writing- read it out loud. 4. Circle the main words- the words that stand out for you- try for about ten.  Ten key words.  Trust…

New comic: Come Into Me, Issue 1

Creative process for me is not about the end product.  It is about the entire process.  But that doesn’t mean I don’t celebrate end products! And today I celebrate this comic: Come Into Me.  Thanks to my colleague/friend, I was elated to hold the final product in my hand the other day– that gorgeous smell of paper…

Sometimes an actual voice breaks through.

Shhh… shhh… can you hear it?  That beautiful alone time?  Shhh… shhh.   Can you hear them?  The quiet comrades?   Shhh… shhh. Would you just stop for a bit and just listen? I can hear them sometimes.  It is different from the inner conversations I have in my head.  Or thoughts that churn in…

Dream. Letters. Thought and Memory.

I had a terrible dream last night. In the dream, I haven’t been home to visit my parents for four years.  In the dream, they are still living at the house on Braemar (the one we moved into in 1977, the one before they downsized in 2004).  In the dream, they are both as sick…

Guilty of intent.

One word… come on, Thorsen— just one word… If I am to continue to commit to this artist life, answer to my gift, I must at least scratch out one word a day… just one word. Maybe it is this long winter, or old age, or plain old fatigue from getting up at 5 every…

Friday night check in: effortless action.

Checking in with the Power Path at mid-month: My form of meditation is to mind map it out: My notes from reading the February Power Path show some amazing tidbits that reinforce my newfound practice of neutrality. Relationship with time and fear of not being enough. Ease, clarity, right timing, patience, alignment –> effortless action. Unfold…

Being ace, full of peACE

In October 2016, I wrote:  On October 3, 2016 I wrote: Opening up to defining myself as ace and what that means to me feels relieving right now. • I have found my identity that really explains to me who I am now. • Life is fluid and so am I. • Every stage of my life has…

My narrative.

Something new is brewing.   This new thing will require that I dig deeper, reveal more and share some things previously unshared.   But in order to do that– I need to prepare… Wait.   Hold on… [—–] I just deleted a massive amount of verbosity and ramblings. I don’t need to PREPARE.  I am…

Ear to the ground… Another recurring theme…

There are repeated themes in my work and obsessions that satisfy my creative process and my explorations into grief.  Like human faces, birds, dead birds… I hadn’t noticed one theme recurring- ear to the ground. Ear to the ground: to devote attention to watching or listening for clues as to what is going to happen… In…

Secrets and mysteries

Great, invisible stories are being written all around us, every day.  The language of the world is full of ineffable secrets and mysteries. – Brian Brett, Tuco- the Parrot, the Others and a Scattershot World Reminding myself to take it all step by step by small step.  Be well and be curious as you enter…

Practicing neutrality.

I know anxiety. I know depression. And now it seems these days like I am practicing neutrality. Allowing things to be.  Just be.  Letting fear crumble through my fingers.  Sighing it out.  Letting the little bird free. … keep some middle ground of neutrality amidst the chaos to stay out of other people’s drama.– Lena Stevens…

Why do I keep the journals?  Is there any value in the pain contained within?

Why have I kept all my journals/sketchbooks? Yes- they are filled with sprinklings of magical memories about raising children- that is definitely the best part.  But they are also filled with extraordinary pain, confusion, stupidity… I pull out an old journal from 1991, and sit and smile and laugh as I find little scrawls about…

Thank you Salmagundi West and Anne Banner <3

On January 31, 2018, a beloved landmark and one of my most favorite places on the planet, Salmagundi West, will close its doors at its current location. No words suffice for my gratitude for this shop and for Anne Banner. The objects I have collected from the shop and have been gifted from Anne and…

The New Year’s Drawing Marathon

On January 15, 2017, I launched the first chapter of the third draft of my experimental graphic novel: Molly- a true crime analysis.  Birds have been a recurring theme throughout the work.  It is difficult to explain their symbolism fully, but to me they carry messages across space and time.   I spent Dec 31,…

WORKSHOP: YOUR VISION for 2018 through creative process

WORKSHOP: YOUR VISION for 2018 through creative process     LOCATION: West End Vancouver BC FACILITATOR: KATARINA THORSEN katthorsen.com SPECIAL LOW PRICE TO CELEBRATE THE NEW YEAR! ONLY $40 per person until January 31, 2018!  Contact me at britakatarina@gmail.com for CUSTOMIZED CLASSES  Start this new year on a creative note by creating your own evolving…

My Big Vision and Mission 2018

My 2018 Big Vision: BE MY OWN EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR My 2018 Mission Statement:  Recommended: Stay tuned for workshops:

The Trout Lake Youth Council owls! @HELPPBP outreach project #education

Last night, I had the pleasure of facilitating an introductory session to the Trout Lake Youth Council as part of the HELP YOUTH CANADA Outreach Project.  I am using creative engagement in order to dialogue on EDUCATION with youth and program leaders at a variety of organizations in the Lower Mainland- to learn from the…

Perhaps I am simply an explorer.  Not seeking answers…

I sit on the 23, heading home… leaning my head against the window.  The bus is full.  It’s damp outside and damp inside.  I have a seat, a warm seat on the left side- I always get a seat as I always get on at the first stop.  No need to anticipate and worry about…

Until we meet again… dropping off Asterix 

Letting go In order to hold on I gradually understand How poems are made… – Alice Walker   Recall September 24, 2017: Well, I did it.   Finally.  It was time for Asterix’s cremation. I pulled my parrot out of the freezer this morning and placed his wrapped body (decorated with a drawing by my…

Reclaiming the act of creating…

I could sit and wait.  Ask myself: how I will get back to that beautiful, exhilarating buzz of creative process and my soul’s work?  But why wait?   I MUST simply work.  Reclaim the act. How?  I mind map.  I attempt to draw and throw out the results.  I return to my crafts.  I allow the…

The crown ripped away. Journal musings.

My head hurts.  Not the inside of my head.  The outside.  The muscles on top of my skull.  The ligaments. I sat under a young tree yesterday and leaned my head back and my head was and is tender, so tender. I swear my skull has changed shape in the past few years- at the…

Automatic writing to tap into the creative process.

Automatic writing, automatic drawing and mark-making all help me stay in or (re)enter the creative process. Automatic writing is generally defined as the process, or product, of writing material that does not come from the conscious thoughts of the writer. The writer’s hand forms the message, and the person is unaware of what will be written….

Good night, Asterix.

I have been very aware of late that my parrot is aging.  The lifespan for domestic African Greys is about 28-32 years, whereas in the wild they live to about 60. I have always thought Asterix was born May 19, 1989.  That has always been my story, but it may have been earlier?  My memory…

Sock owls and creative engagement

These crazy little sock owls are wonderful for creating dialogue around the craft table! Our intergenerational sock owls will be on display next week at Mulberry PARC’s Ignite Your Passion event (September 28, 2017 2-4 PM) as part of ACTIVE AGING WEEK! See also:

Remembering Claudia Camille.

In honor of Claudia Camille September 14, 1964- February 26, 2007 It is my dance partner’s birthday today. We were science students and dancers together at the University of British Columbia.  I met Claudia Camille in dance class in 1983 and we formed a duo dance troupe, Principia, choreographing and performing around Vancouver.  We revelled in all things…

My @TwinPeaks fan art helps me hold on to the dream

We are like the dreamer who dreams and then lives inside the dream. I process my obsessions through creativity.  And there is a lot to process as we have reached “the end” of Twin Peaks: The Return. A Lynch fan since Eraserhead, deeply deeply influenced and inspired by The Elephant Man and Blue Velvet, I…

SOLD: STUDIO CLEARANCE SALE: Painting entitled “The House,” 1998

Raising FUNDS, clearing SPACE and LETTING GO. STUDIO CLEARANCE SALE (Vancouver BC) FOR SALE: A favorite piece from my 1998 solo exhibit: Asta Sollilja of Summerhouses SOLD e-transfer or paypal: britakatarina@gmail.com CONTACT: EMAIL You pick up in West End, Vancouver The House, 1998, Katarina Thorsen It was a house and a stable in one.  All that was…

Burr, Washington, Jefferson, King George sock monkeys. Hamilton in my heart.

I had planned to be in New York City on July 28th this summer, sitting at the Rogers Theatre with my daughter celebrating, watching Hamilton, the Musical.  We would have just completed two days of sock monkey workshops at Graham Windham with children and families (Eliza Hamilton’s orphanage).  I was going to bring my sock…

Heron Panel donated to “Hear Me Now” youth film fest

As part of the 100 Herons Art Project that has been supporting arts programming for refugee and immigrant youth, this panel will be donated to the HEAR ME NOW film festival for their silent auction! “Muslim Food Bank’s HOPE for Youth Program (Healing Opportunities through Prevention and Education) is hosting The Hear Me Now Film…

The Mulberry @ParcLiving Fox Panels

Without art we do not die.  But without art we do not live.  – Intersections Media Opportunities for Youth Society participant, 2012 I have the pleasure of working with an extraordinary group of individuals at Mulberry PARC doing art projects that range from drawing, interactive art, sock animals and group painting/quilt! Our latest session involved drawing…

SOLD: Studio Clearance Sale: Tattoo Kit and Supplies

Raising funds, clearing space and letting go. Studio Clearance Sale (Vancouver BC) ON HOLD FOR SALE: Excellent condition tattoo kit includes 3 tattoo machines (one unused) and power source and foot pedals (one unused), and all related supplies with lots of needles as well as books!  See content photos below. SOLD CONTACT: EMAIL  

Eclipse therapy.

Checking in to the August Power Path: I have been struggling of late with depression, been pulling out the tools and re-evaluating life, making strides, dipping down, climbing up etc. and I have a post I plan to write– as part of that toolbox– that I will share, but that will wait! There is an…

30 strange chapters completed.

I am workshopping my true crime graphic novel online. 30 strange chapters completed. I am working on the 31st today. Then 15 to go. I am sure it is all as confusing as a Twin Peaks episode! The online workshopping method helps me get perspective.  Laying out ALL the information for editing it down and re-drawing…

The Mulberry Panels: art project with older adults

I have the pleasure of working with an extraordinary group of individuals at Mulberry PARC doing art projects that range from drawing, interactive art, sock animals and group painting/quilt!  We have had 5 sessions so far and, at this point, confirmed 10 more that will take us into November! My goal with the art sessions is…

Drawn to Pets

Introducing Drawn to Pets drawntopets.ca  The specific website for ordering my custom pet portraits!

Joyful Living: Relaxation and Creativity with Michele Lilyanna

UPDATE AUGUST 7, 2017 Unfortunately due to personal issues, I am unable to facilitate at the Aug 22/23 workshops.  Sincerest apologies.  But I am happy to write that Michele will be facilitating!  Love, Kat — JOYFUL LIVING THROUGH RELAXATION PRACTICES AND ARTISTIC CREATIVITY SUMMER 2017 WORKSHOPS ON THE SUNSHINE COAST! with Michele Lilyanna NOURISHING SUMMER WORKSHOPS…