A sock snapping turtle eating David Sedaris’ tumour. A handmade gift.

Does anyone else (well, I know my daughter does) feel like David Sedaris (and his sister Amy) is a family member? I am that kind of fan. Sorry. Reading his books, alone or in public, inevitably leads to me rocking back and forth in tears or in laughter or both. I have always fought against…

“This Look That Was Only Yours,” a short film of my creative process

A short film by Anna Thorsen What I love about this film by my daughter is that she has been able to visualize the peace I find in the creative process.  In my own home, on a cozy weekend, in pjs and cozy sweater…  It also illustrates a core value I hold dear to my heart-…

Father, daughter, Fenrir, Gleipnir and “Drawn Together”- the book: 6 years later.

Wow.  October 25, 2018 will mark the sixth year since my father passed away.  I am so aware of all the dates in October… so aware that he was winding down. Interestingly, more October connections: on October 12, 2005 (13 years ago), my father drew for the first time after his life threatening stroke (September 21,…

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

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.

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…

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…

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…

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…

Happy birthday, Frida.

I am celebrating Frida Kahlo‘s birthday! Although her birth certificate says she was born on July 6, 1907, Frida Kahlo told people her date of birth was July 7, 1910. She allegedly did so not to seem younger but simply because she loved her home country, according to The Life and Times of Frida Kahlo filmmaker…

#SKiP 2017 was amazing!

Recall: I had the pleasure of presenting and facilitating at the SKETCHING IN PRACTICE 2017 SYMPOSIUM on June 23 and 24! It felt so great to be around such like-minded, like-spirited, enthusiastic, inquisitive, creative people!  I was invigorated! And being able to participate in three fabulous workshops as well was such a treat! June 23:…

Boundary by Emily Cowan

Wow.  Emily Cowan, comic book artist, has just completed an extraordinary book: What a beautiful journey it has been to dive into Paige’s teenage life.  My cheeks prickle with familiarity– those hot-nosed, overly self-conscious struggles of a 15 year old. The book is deceptively gentle, masterfully rendered. DO YOURSELF A FAVOUR AND READ THIS GORGEOUS BOOK! LINK:…

Traditional craft: handwoven treasure by “Domestic Intervention Co.”

Being Swedish, I was raised surrounded by beautiful handwoven cloths.  When I think about Sweden, I see looms. Textile art is in my DNA.  My mother loved to tell me stories about my great grandmother– my name sake, Brita.  Brita raised so many children with little money.  She’d walk to town and check out the…

Woot! @BigDrawVan at @strathcentre turned out beautifully!

Recall: BIG DRAW VANCOUVER IN THE MIDST OF COMMUNITY CENTRE ACTIVITY, WITH KIDS PLAYING BASKETBALL AND COMMUNITY MEMBERS OF ALL AGES WALKING THROUGH, DRAWN TOGETHER WORKED OUT BEAUTIFULLY.  WE HAD THREE TABLES SET UP IN THE HALLWAY(!) AND THERE WAS A  GREAT TURNOUT!  THE BUSYNESS WAS INVIGORATING AND PARTICIPANTS WERE AMAZING! HUGE THANK YOU TO ALISON…

Big Draw Vancouver Oct 1! Join me at Strathcona Community Centre for DRAWN TOGETHER

I LOVE teaching drawing!   Join me on for BIG DRAW VANCOUVER on October 1 2016 10:30 AM-12:30 PM PT at Strathcona Community Centre in Vancouver BC (601 Keefer) as I host a two hour drawing session!   My fabulous artist friend, Alison Donnelly, will be co-hosting! Try out chinamarkers on newsprint, add to a community art project using…

A visit to Artrageous Pictures and Framing!

It was wonderful to finally have a visit with Bill Pomeroy at Artrageous Pictures and Framing on Commercial Drive today!   LOCATIONS: FRIDA!!! Check out Artrageous on: FACEBOOK: TWITTER: INSTAGRAM: I LOVE that Artrageous supports artists and has several extraordinary pieces for sale at the shop: LINK I’m looking forward to seeing how the shop frames…

Catacomb of Veils- Burning Man 2016 Reflections

Recall: Part 1: The Project Part 2: The Inspiration Part 3: The Team Part 4: The Scope Catacomb of Veils Burning Man 2016: Reflections Anna Thorsen (my daughter): “I’ve back been home in San Francisco from Burning Man for 24 hours and I’ve been trying to figure out how to summarize my first trip to the…

We are made of star-stuff…

To get myself realigned and prepared for diving into writing/drawing/reflection, I check in with my Church that is Frida Kahlo and let the stream of consciousness flow. Head to heart to hand. To prepare for output, there must be some quiet me time, input.  Some meditation.  And for me that is the private act of…

Williams Lake/ Punky Lake Summer 2016 Art Camp Diary- Part 6: the photographer

Recall: Preview Part 1: Preparation Part 2: Travel Part 3: Art Camp Day 1  Part 4: Art Camp Day 2 Part 5: Art Camp Day 3 — Part 6: Punky Lake Wilderness Camp Society Summer 2016 Art Camp- the photographer What a treat it was to be joined by photographer Rick Magnell of Magnell Photography on Days…

Williams Lake/ Punky Lake Summer 2016 Diary- Part 4: Day 2 The Wall

Recall: Part 3- Day 1 Today: Williams Lake/ Punky Lake Summer 2016 Diary- Part 4: Day 2 The Wall It doesn’t take long to make connections and on the morning of Day 2 it was evident we were all a connected and creative group building new bonds and friendships! (Portrait of youth participant from photo…

Catacomb of Veils- Burning Man 2016, Part 4 of 4: The Scope

Part 4 of 4: THE SCOPE Catacomb of Veils will be the largest art piece at Burning Man 2016 and one of the largest burned sculptures in the history of the event. Everyone participating in the creation of Catacomb is all-volunteer with a commitment to the transformative power of temporary art. – [SOURCE] Recall:  Part…

Catacomb of Veils- Burning Man 2016, Part 3 of 4: The Team

Catacomb of Veils will be the largest art piece at Burning Man 2016 and one of the largest burned sculptures in the history of the event. Everyone participating in the creation of Catacomb is all-volunteer with a commitment to the transformative power of temporary art. – [SOURCE] Recall:  Part 1: The Project Part 2: The…

Catacomb of Veils- Burning Man 2016, Part 2 of 4: The Inspiration

Recall Part 1: The Project Catacomb of Veils will be the largest art piece at Burning Man 2016 and one of the largest burned sculptures in the history of the event. Everyone participating in the creation of Catacomb is all-volunteer with a commitment to the transformative power of temporary art. – SOURCE Part 2 of…

Catacomb of Veils – Burning Man 2016, Part 1 of 4: The Project

Something extraordinary is underway in San Francisco:  Catacombs of Veils.   Catacomb of Veils will be the largest art piece at Burning Man 2016 and one of the largest burned sculptures in the history of the event. Everyone participating in the creation of Catacomb is all-volunteer with a commitment to the transformative power of temporary…

For me, art has no end- there is no end product… A drawing by my father.

I was staying over at my brother and sister-in-law’s place the other day, spending delicious time with my niece and nephew. I went to the downstairs washroom to wash my hands after Halloween costume mayhem… … and came across a drawing my father, Roar Thorsen, had  done in 2011: Oh, how I adore this piece.  It…

Portrait of the artist as a sugar skull: @julianlawrence

     Julian Lawrence TO ORDER YOUR CUSTOM PORTRAIT VISIT MY ETSY SHOP: YOUR PURCHASE HELPS ME PROVIDE SOCK MONKEY THERAPY FOR AT RISK YOUTH ON THE LOWER MAINLAND, BC, CANADA! Original art by Katarina Thorsen 18×24″ on newsprint in china marker Once you have placed your order, EMAIL YOUR PHOTOS TO britakatarina@gmail.com or on ETSY…

INSIDE OUT PROJECT- breaking the cycle of violence through creativity: Activities Report Summer 2015

Inside Out Project Summer 2015 was made possible by a generous grant from the Province of British Columbia – Ministry of Justice: Victim Services and Crime Prevention  Division — INSIDE OUT PROJECT- OWN YOUR JOURNEY: breaking the cycle of violence through creativity Activities Report Location: Mountainside Secondary School, North Vancouver, BC, Canada Instructors: Ian Powell: photography, digital media Kat Thorsen: therapeutic art Erin Ross: animation The Inside Out Project Summer 2015 was a…

10 Tuesdays. 10 Fridas. Frida No.10: Moomin Frida.

I’ve been celebrating my blog with an art event. The event honors the woman who inspires me to keep it going as an artist: Frida Kahlo. — For 10 Tuesdays, I have been creating/posting 10 different portraits of Frida Kahlo (plus some additional posts here and there) in some form/medium or another. It may be a…

10 Tuesdays. 10 Fridas. Frida No. 9: Frida and the magpie portrait

I’ve been celebrating my blog with an art event. The event honors the woman who inspires me to keep it going as an artist: Frida Kahlo. — For 10 Tuesdays, I have been creating/posting 10 different portraits of Frida Kahlo (plus some additional posts here and there) in some form/medium or another. It may be a…

10 Tuesdays. 10 Fridas: Frida No. 8: Dia de los Muertos Sock Monkey (made to order)

I’m celebrating my blog with an art event. The event honors the woman who inspires me to keep it going as an artist: Frida Kahlo. — For 10 Tuesdays, I have been creating/posting 10 different portraits of Frida Kahlo in some form/medium or another. It may be a drawing, an object, a doll, whatever… A surprise….

Frida Kahlo, muere el 13 de Julio de 1954

Frida Kahlo July 6, 1907- July 13, 1954

Day 4 and 5 Inside Out Project Summer 2015: Digging Deeper

INSIDE OUT PROJECT: OWN YOUR JOURNEY- Breaking the cycle of violence through creativity Inside Out Project – Own Your Journey SUMMER 2015 is a three week intensive arts-based program running out of Mountainside Secondary School (July 6-24, 2015) for youth ages 13-20 that uses the vehicles of therapeutic art, photography and stop motion animation to teach life and…

Day 2: Inside Out Project Summer 2015 #ownyourjourney- a visit to @VPDHorses

INSIDE OUT PROJECT: OWN YOUR JOURNEY- Breaking the cycle of violence through creativity Inside Out Project – Own Your Journey SUMMER 2015 is a three week intensive arts-based program running out of Mountainside Secondary School (July 6-24, 2015) for youth ages 13-20 that uses the vehicles of therapeutic art, photography and stop motion animation to teach life and…

Update- SOLD: Art sale to celebrate Frida’s birthday! One of a kind package. 

FRIDA KAHLO BORN JULY 6, 1907 To celebrate the woman who inspires me everyday- I want to spread the love, so I am releasing these 4 original interpretive portraits of Frida as a package deal for only $135 CAD ($106 USD) includes shipping. First come first serve. Email me to purchase. UPDATE July 7, 2015: SOLD…

10 Tuesdays. 10 Fridas. Frida No. 6: Sock doll in Tehuana headdress

 I’m celebrating my blog with an art event. The event honors the woman who inspires me to keep it going as an artist: Frida Kahlo. — For 10 Tuesdays, I am creating/posting 10 different portraits of Frida Kahlo in some form/medium or another. It may be a drawing, an object, a doll, whatever… A surprise. I…

Conversation about art, artists, creativity w. Tharp, Miller, Walker, Petit

I love that I can have a sit down with my heroes on a warm Saturday night and just shoot the shit.  Tonight we contemplated creativity, the artist and the why. Here are some highlights: I believe that we all have strands of creative code hard-wired into our imaginations.  These strands are as solidly imprinted in us as…

LIFE AS A FREELANCE CREATIVE. #rentcheque

LIFE AS A FREELANCE CREATIVE Holy shit- let’s be honest- being a freelance creative is tough.  It’s a bare cupboard lifestyle and yet there it is- that inexplicable drive to keep creating– knowing that you somehow do not have the option to stop. WTF is up with that? You need to create.  It’s so fucking…

IXQUEL: interpretation through drawing and embroidery. Deeper portraits.

 Certain people in your life– even though you may not have met them in person- only through the ether- get right into your heart. Ixquel is one such person. What a pleasure to dig a little deeper and to interpret her exquisite beauty and spirit through drawing, embroidery and symbolism. To let the process unfold…

VanCaf Reflections Part 6 of 6: Moen, Boumeries and take aways

  Fabulous afternoon at VanCaf Day 1- the Vancouver Comic Arts Festival on May 23, 2015! I have broken down some highlights from my visit into 6 blog posts: 1. Julian Lawrence, Drippy the Newsboy, Conundrum Press: BLOG LINK 2. Kat Verhoeven, Towerkind, Conundrum Press BLOG LINK 3. Emily Cowan, Boundary Comic BLOG LINK 4. Jasmine Schuett, Spaceclub Comic BLOG LINK 5. Inspector Pancakes BLOG…

VanCaf Reflections Part 5 of 6: Inspector Pancakes- lessons on marketing

  Fabulous afternoon at VanCaf Day 1- the Vancouver Comic Arts Festival on May 23, 2015! I have broken down some highlights from my visit into 6 blog posts: 1. Julian Lawrence, Drippy the Newsboy, Conundrum Press: BLOG LINK 2. Kat Verhoeven, Towerkind, Conundrum Press BLOG LINK 3. Emily Cowan, Boundary Comic BLOG LINK 4. Jasmine Schuett, Spaceclub Comic BLOG LINK 5. Inspector Pancakes…

10 Tuesdays. 10 Fridas. Art Blog Event. Frida No. 3: The Chakras

I’m celebrating my blog with an art event. The event honors the woman who inspires me to keep it going as an artist: Frida Kahlo. — For 10 Tuesdays, I am creating/posting 10 different portraits of Frida Kahlo in some form/medium or another. It may be a drawing, an object, a doll, whatever… A surprise. I…

3 part Frida Kahlo interpretation.

At the end of the day, we can endure much more than we think we can. – Frida Kahlo —         — Nothing is absolute. Everything changes, everything moves, everything revolves, everything flies and goes away. – Frida Kahlo —   

VanCaf Reflections Part 4 of 6: Jasmine Schuett, Queer Artist, Cartoonist, Space Club

  Fabulous afternoon at VanCaf Day 1- the Vancouver Comic Arts Festival last Saturday! I have broken down some highlights from my visit into 6 blog posts: 1. Julian Lawrence, Drippy the Newsboy, Conundrum Press: BLOG LINK 2. Kat Verhoeven, Towerkind, Conundrum Press BLOG LINK 3. Emily Cowan, Boundary Comic BLOG LINK 4. Jasmine Schuett, Spaceclub Comic 5. Inspector Pancakes 6. Erica Moen,…

VanCaf reflections Part 3 of 6: Emily Cowan, comic artist

  Fabulous afternoon at VanCaf Day 1- the Vancouver Comic Arts Festival last Saturday! I have broken down some highlights from my visit into 6 blog posts: 1. Julian Lawrence, Drippy the Newsboy, Conundrum Press: BLOG LINK 2. Kat Verhoeven, Towerkind, Conundrum Press BLOG LINK 3. Emily Cowan, Boundary Comic 4. Jasmine Schuett, Spaceclub Comic 5. Inspector Pancakes 6. Erica Moen, Boumeries…

VANCAF reflections Part 2 of 6: @VERWHO and Towerkind on @ConundrumCanada

  Fabulous afternoon at VanCaf Day 1- the Vancouver Comic Arts Festival last Saturday! I have broken down some highlights from my visit into 6 blog posts: 1. Julian Lawrence, Drippy the Newsboy, Conundrum Press: BLOG LINK Update: Julian’s book is a FABULOUS READ and VISUAL FEAST!  Truly the kind of comic you read lying in the grass under a…

VanCaf reflections Part 1 of 6: Julian Lawrence and Drippy the Newsboy

  Fabulous afternoon at VanCaf Day 1- the Vancouver Comic Arts Festival! Such an incredible treat to take it all in- immersed in the work of great artists. I was struck by their insatiable drive to create and share and the realization that I have finally found “my people.”   And today really lit fire under my ass…

I won Space Club stickers!!! #spaceclubcomic by @nightmareofhair

Recall my post back in October about SPACE CLUB COMIC by Jasmine Schuett: SPACE CLUB is about ALICE, a human girl traveling through space with her new friends: some rando aliens she met while clubbing one night! Over time she comes to realize this wasn’t the best idea, for several reasons. Space Club is also about exploring how relationships…

Inside Out Project Mountainside Secondary: own your journey

On September 30, 2014, I began my collaboration with Ian Powell at Mountainside Secondary on the INSIDE OUT PROJECT- OWN YOUR JOURNEY, inspired by my hero JR: MOUNTAINSIDE SECONDARY: Inside Out Project: Own Your Journey Youth-run initiative using the vehicle of portrait photography and street art to learn life and transferable skills while developing self-empowerment, peer…

Delightful local Vancouver artist: Amy Tom

I am delighted to introduce an extraordinary Vancouver artist, Amy Tom.  I was introduced to her through my friend Anne Banner, owner/curator of Vancouver curiosity shop and paradise: Salmagundi West.  Amy’s whimsical and magical style inspires me to no end! Check out her ETSY shop! I create postcards, magnets and art prints reproduced from my…

Inside Out Project: Own Your Journey, Mountainside Pilot Project Week 5 of 5

Recall: LINK: MOUNTAINSIDE SECONDARY: Inside Out Project: Own Your Journey Youth-run initiative using the vehicle of portrait photography and street art to learn life and transferable skills while developing self-empowerment, peer to peer interaction and community connections. THEMES: Connection and Empowerment CO-FACILITATORS: IAN POWELL, KAT THORSEN Pilot Project: September 30, 2014- October 30, 2014 INSPIRED BY OUR…

Inside Out: youth empowerment, peer to peer interaction and community connections.

I am so excited to be part of this incredible project inspired by my hero JR: MOUNTAINSIDE SECONDARY: Inside Out Project: Own Your Journey Youth-run initiative using the vehicle of portrait photography and street art to learn life and transferable skills while developing self-empowerment, peer to peer interaction and community connections. THEMES: Connection and Empowerment CO-FACILITATORS:…

Space Club- a new comic by Jasmine Schuett

The other day, I let you know about Boundary, the new delicious comic by Emily Cowan.  Emily’s living quarters can hardly contain the creative genius it houses within.  Jeeeeezus.  It is BURSTING at the seams, for indeed, Emily’s roommate, Jasmine Schuett, has also released a GLORIOUS new comic: Space Club.  CHECK IT OUT! I am so…

Boundary- a new comic by Emily Cowan

I am so excited that Vancouver artist, Emily Cowan, has now launched her extraordinary comic BOUNDARY online! BOUNDARY is a long-form comic about being stuck, difficult families, changing friendships and the different kinds of boundaries in our lives.  Mostly though, it’s about adolescent frustration and the unbearable tragedy that is being fifteen.   The worst part of…

Why the need to draw what draws us? #journal #rambling

Why are we drawn to the human face? What draws us in? Why the need to draw what draws us? Why do we fixate on the stare of an eye meeting an eye? Is the draw of the portrait the silence in the glance, the fastidiousness of the stare? The reflection in a mirror- a…

Michele’s Happiness and Joy Lessons for Parents and Teachers

I first met Michele Lilyanna in 1996 at Roberts Creek Community Elementary School.   Through luck and serendipity, Michele taught both my kids.   She and I quickly bonded over a mutual and voracious love of the creative process.   We eventually taught art classes together to all ages.  I learned so much from co-facilitating with Michele- how…

My parrot spends hours in his art studio every day.

Asterix is such a smart creature, so I always make sure he has plenty of free reign, loads of supplies and undisturbed work! His medium is found materials and his school of thought: deconstructivism.

#KeithHaring inspired canvas in progress at @MediaForYouth

At Intersections Media we love Art Mondays!  Besides filmmaking, a significant part of Intersections is dipping our hands into the visual art/creative process and into art history by creating art work that interprets the masters and that creates community dialogue.  On Mondays we cover the art component and attack the canvas.  We are in the process of creating…

Recalling the creation of the mural “Destiny Manifesting.” #youthart

My students and I started this mural in the art therapy room at Keith Lynn Alternative Secondary in North Vancouver in 2009… and on July 5, 2011, I dragged it to Kirkstone Park, North Vancouver… The mural was inspired by Doze Green‘s Galeria de la Raza, 1999, as found in the book Street Art San Francisco- Mission Muralismo: Here’s a photo journey…

Flour, water, sugar. China markers and newsprint. Plus some youth. Perfect combo!

Latest gallery of wheatpaste sessions with Intersections Media Opportunities for Youth Society and Byrne Creek Secondary! All my street art projects are inspired by JR and the Inside Out Project.  Make sure to check out the Inside Out Project Victoria!!!

The most beautiful card in the world.

Today was my last session of the Cultural Identity Project with Laura Mathers Grade 8 class. I am so honoured to have worked with such an incredible group of youth. And what a beautiful surprise to receive this hand done card from the students (24 x 43.5 inches):