A quick creative project on last day of 2019: The Death and Burial of Cock Robin

Rainy stay-inside sick day today. I have stayed in PJs and creative process. I spent the last few hours interpreting The Death and Burial of Cock Robin with ink, watercolour and salt. [Source: Gutenberg Press. Original text by anonymous circa 14th-17th century] Chanticleer, what want you here, So early in the morning? “Cock-a-doodle-doo,” says he, pray don’t you…

William March’s Company K (1933) studies- ink, watercolour, coffee, salt

I have never ceased to wonder at the thing we call human nature, with its time of beauty and its time of filthiness, or at the level of calm stupidity that lies in between the two. – William March, Company K (1933)

Inktober Oct 1-12, “Morfar’s Klass.” Old family photo studies.

I am obsessed with this photo of my grandfather’s school class (Hudiksvall, Sweden).  He is in the top left.  I have drawn it over and over and painted it.  But something never allows me to finish.  I get as far as some of the girls, then the rest refuse a portrait.   I tried again…

Turn the page- visualizing fading memory

My latest favourite daily practice is to quickly sketch and then saturate the drawing with watercolour crayon and coffee.  I love the feel of the wrinkled page. How the coffee ages the image.  The way a drenched drawing has a life of its own – beyond my control. I am most in love with the…

Drawing process- trefoil knot found in the wolf

RIP Freddie Jones

Frederick Charles Jones September 12, 1927 – July 9, 2019

The Sparrow’s Nest

Behold, within the leavy shade, Those bright blue eggs together laid ! On me the chance-discovered sight Gleamed like a vision of delight. – William Wordsworth, The Sparrow’s Nest, 1807

I keep the broken bits. They illustrate the subtext.

I keep the broken bits. I honour the cracks. They illustrate the subtext. There in I seek the true story. Subtext or undertone is any content of a creative work which is not announced explicitly by the characters or author, but is implicit or becomes something understood by the observer of the work as the…

Ut Pictura Poesis- the narrative potential of the drawing

I draw pictures. I imagine storylines. I imagine a narrative, a comic, a screenplay… There is nothing quite as on target as the prose I write in my mind when on the bus- whilst staring out the window to deal with motion sickness, taking in the landscape. But alas, those musings instantly disappear as soon…

One must not be too romantic about madness…

Feeling burned out today from my bread and butter work, I decided to ignore my entire to-do list this evening, decided to not to catch up on things, to ignore prepping for the rest of the week. Instead– I got my hands dirty, dove back into my research into mental health treatment 1940’s to 60’s…

Visual notes: Patient No. 6, Psychiatric Diagnosis, 1959

As part of my research for a current project into mental health treatment in BC 1940’s to 60’s, I came across vintage psychiatric videos recently. One particular interviewee has completely captured my heart. Psychiatric interview series. Patient no. 6 : evaluation for treatment Publisher: Los Angeles : University of California at Los Angeles, 1959. Edition/Format:…

The sparrow is mightier than the machine

This morning, at the 23 bus stop in the West End, I heard the overwhelming LOUDNESS of humanity– cars, buses, construction, garbage container being dumped into a truck, a plane overhead, motorcycles. Cutting through all that noise was the song of one little sparrow. One little sparrow with a song so much mightier and awe-inspiring…

SOLD: “I saw the angel in the marble.” (Drawing on marbled paper)

ART SALE: I received some gorgeous Italian paper from Terry and Kevin Cowan recently.  I let the marbled sheet guide my mark-making. No planning. Just unfolding. It’s my form of meditation. I saw the angel in the marble. (Katarina Thorsen, 2019) 20″ x 27″ China marker, acrylic, water colour on Italian marbled paper ART SALE: $85.00 CAD (including shipping)…

Give yourself the opportunity to discover your own imagery

Dreams of my art being attached to some kind of imaginary romantic self-sustaining monetary outcome no longer serve me.  If my creative process is to continue to be my sacred practice, continue to develop, if my creative process is where I let go of attachment, let go of comparing myself to others, let go of…

“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-…

Nature moves through carcasses…

Illustrating decomposition by allowing the newsprint to deteriorate over several years and for the dead bird to slowly be encompassed by embroidered roots and the dark. The process continues. Check out:

Bird spotting with a yellow legal pad and a walk in the park.

I walked around Lost Lagoon this afternoon. In order to see birds it is necessary to become a part of the silence. ― Robert Lynd I found a heron nest on the ground after a windstorm broke a large tree branch. I saw signs of early Spring. And hope springs eternal.  What else did I…

The importance of being specific. Collage for 2019.

Recall Vision for 2019: Courage Last night I mind mapped around the heart image- and one of the key “to-do’s” for 2019 is PAUSE AND REFLECT, BEFORE SAYING YES. Tonight I spent time around the kitchen table, cutting and pasting stream of consciousness collages with my soul-sister Patti Henderson, as we chatted about life and about our…

Tuesday November 6, 1947

TUESDAY NOVEMBER 6, 1947 MOLLY, A GRAPHIC NOVEL– my now 15+ years passion project– continues at the drawing board and at the writing desk and in my heart, with new developments, insights and directions behind the scenes.  Some announcements in the new year. NOTE: this is a work of creative non-fiction inspired by true facts, evidence and…

Inktober 2018: 31 studies of Truman Capote’s IN COLD BLOOD

  Imagination, of course, can open any door– turn the key and let the terror walk right in. – Truman Capote No. 1 Richard Hickock: “It was early, not yet nine…” No. 2: “Nancy Clutter is always in a hurry, but she always has time.” No. 3 Truman Capote: “In Cold Blood- a true account of…

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…

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,…

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….

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…

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…

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…

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…

Drawn to Pets

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

Surprising the inner critic with group art projects

Regarding my creative process, I welcome the conversations my inner critic instigates. [This is not the same voice that picks at my skull with negative self-judgment.  That’s another thing all together]. I have learned how to dance with the inner critic in my art process, welcoming its critique versus criticism, allowing mistakes, experimenting, allowing editing,…

The 100 Herons Art Project: Session 1! And pre-sale!

I am deep in the process of a very personal art project– the 100 Herons Art Project– to answer the call to create art born out of my deep desire to capture the magic of the herons in my neighborhood… “The answer must be, I think, that beauty and grace are performed whether or not…

#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:…

Drawing Herons and Hummingbirds with Grades 1 and 2’s!

I had the pleasure of visiting with my dear friend Teri’s grade 1 and 2 class today in a Vancouver school!  (Teri is a SUPERSTAR teacher and her classroom is a creative paradise).  These incredible young artists created a beautiful heron mural as well as hummingbird studies.   I am so grateful for their generous…

The Heron Feathers: 100 Herons Art Project

THE PROJECT:  I am creating of twelve 20″ x 30″ panels depicting a total 100 Herons [between June 14 to July 31, 2017].   For every $25 raised I will draw a heron! THE SPONSORED ART will allow me to develop and provide much-needed FREE ART LESSONS for REFUGEE YOUTH from war-torn countries at a Lower Mainland program in July…

From the heart- a 15-day journal exercise: Part 2

I am re-reading Stephen Levine‘s A Year to Live- how to live this year as if it were your last as a personal exercise schedule to take time to slow down and truly listen to my heart. Recall: Part 1: Catching Up with Your Life Part 2: Practice Dying 1. Color an anatomical heart: Here is a PDF of one of…

My Stanley Park observations find their way into “Molly” at unexpected times

Our usual spring awakening is late this year. I recall a walk around Beaver Lake a year ago…  I was infused by the profound beauty of nature.  Warm sun.  Blossoms.  Skunk cabbage.  Herons were dancing in the wind above the lake, ducks were courting and playing, chipmunks and squirrels scurrying.  Chestnut-backed chickadees and red-breasted nuthatches landed on my…

Teachable moment during drawing session! 

I have been incorporating How to Draw an OWL in my creative engagement for years. My must-bring tools always include: The china marker is the essential drawing tool.  It is not only my favorite medium, but a great teaching tool as you can’t erase it.  This encourages participants to let go and quiet down the inner critic….

The best things in life are free…

Sitting here, surrounded by drawings and notes and cold coffee in multiple cups… butterflies in the stomach… I want to honor Molly, who reached out through space and time and chose me to tell her story and my muse, Jocelyn Louise, who has so generously lent herself to represent my vision of Molly— and to celebrate…

Slithering pancreatic serpent. #griefprocess

In November 2007, Dr. Ebrahim sat knee to knee with my mother.  I was on the other side of the little examination room.  I recall it was a sunny day.  I think it was.  Grouse Mountain shone in the background.  I think it did.  The room seemed turquoise.  Friendly.   We found a mass in…

Last minute gift idea: pet portrait gift certificate!

Special holiday price: $45.00 CAD includes shipping TO ORDER FOR YOUR FRIENDS AND FAMILY: Email transfer to britakatarina@gmail.com or PAYPAL Recipient of gift certificate can email their photos of choice along with their mailing address to me at their leisure. GIFT CERTIFICATE PDF: gift-certificate-compressed

Art Sale: Frida and the Wounded Bird #fridakahlo

ART SALE: A special panel from my DRAWING ON PAIN Frida Kahlo is an icon and muse that I return to again and again.  I am infused by Frida and I consider myself a Kahloist.  She epitomizes the artist and woman in pain.  As I was going through my divorce, I was driven to draw Frida…

‘Asta Sollilja of Summerhouses’ exhibit

My 1998 solo exhibit: Asta Sollilja of Summerhouses ONE OF THE PIECES FROM THE SHOW: The House, 1998, Katarina Thorsen It was a house and a stable in one.  All that was visible of the inner, wooden shell was the door and its frame, the door so small, the threshold so high that one had to…

My Frida hung there…

I love the evolution of the street art creative process- the pasting of original art and letting it go into the world… Like the journey of my Frida angel pasted on Valencia Street, San Francisco, three plus years ago: August 24, 2013 (photo by Anna Thorsen) November 28, 2016 (photo by Anna Thorsen) What motivates someone to…

Special BLOG Portrait Sale! Only $35 CAD until Dec 15!

SALE ENDS DECEMBER 15, 2016 MIDNIGHT! Your fave subject interpreted in my signature style. How to: Make payment (see below) Email photo plus mailing address I mail you original! (turnaround is usually one week from placing order to me mailing it regular post- if you need express post, we can discuss) Sale until December 15,…

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…

The 48 hr 12″ X 12″ portrait sale! Only $48 CAD!!!

IT’S BEEN AWHILE!  TIME FOR A PORTRAIT SALE! 48 hours only! September 1, 2016 12 noon to September 3, 2016 12 noon Only $48 CAD (approx. $37 USD) per portrait!!! China marker with acrylic highlights on newsprint NOTE: DIMENSION OF PORTRAITS 12″ x 12″ ONCE YOU PLACE YOUR ORDER, SEND PHOTOS OF YOUR SUBJECT CHOICE TO…

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…

Caress the detail, the divine detail. Language play.

I don’t consider myself a writer by any means.  I am a visual artist inspired by the written word.  I love gathering sources, collecting, researching, gathering.  I love reading and feeling the creative process of the writer.  I enjoy contemplating interpretation- how small changes in presentation and how collaging and mish-mashing can alter meaning and…

MOLLY TERESA O’DWYER APRIL 25, 1924

Molly Teresa O’Dwyer (April 25, 1924 Costel, Ireland- November 6, 1947; suicide, age 23 in Vancouver, BC, Canada (Mountainview Cemetery, Vancouver) — My passion project, Molly- a true crime analysis, continues.  Stay tuned. On January 15, 1953, the skeletal remains of two children were found in the forest of Stanley Park in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada….

In harmony with the currents of life… #jellyfish

I was contemplating the word acceptance this evening and decided to look up symbolism. I came across a charming reference to the jellyfish: Jellyfish’s medicine includes – sensitivity to water energy (emotions), understanding of the value of floating rather than swimming through trying emotional times, proper use of softness (not being rigid), ability to become untangled from…