Stanley Park. Birds. Angel whispers. And Pledge Drive.

I walked around Beaver Lake today.  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 hands.  I describe the feeling as angel whispers. I took…

The Sparrow’s Feet.

I was gifted some delicate Sparrow feet from my friend, Hannah. — They immediately inspired a portrait of my main character, Molly: “How does one respond to a nurturant monster? What archetype do we possess for that?” – Patricia Pearson — Why the obsession?  Why bird feet?  Why dead birds?  Why the sparrow?  Why does…

Visual facilitation is #visualstorytelling w. felts and paper

Many of you know, I love mind mapping. If you say, can I talk to you? …you know that I will first pull out felt pens and paper before saying- talk to me. I usually work either one-on-one or with small groups, in order to facilitate deeper dialogue and connection, as well as help with personal and…

Creative mind mapping example: developing characters

A Mind Map is a powerful graphic technique which provides a universal key to unlock the potential of the brain. It harnesses the full range of cortical skills – word, image, number, logic, rhythm, colour and spatial awareness – in a single, uniquely powerful manner. In so doing, it gives you the freedom to roam…

Custom Hand-Drawn Pet Portraits.

If having a soul means being able to feel love and loyalty and gratitude, then animals are better off than a lot of humans. James Herriot To honour pets and to celebrate the joy we receive from them, I am offering 18″ x24″ pet portraits for only $57.00 CAD ($40 USD) Chinamarker and acrylic highlights…

72-hour pledge drive to revive the 119 East Cordova Street Art Wall!

I need to raise some funds quickly and what better way than to dive right into my 2016 commitment to reviving the joy of street art in my personal community of students, colleagues and friends! Announcing: My 72-hour pledge drive to revive the 119 East Cordova Street Art Wall! 2 PM December 30, 2015- 2…

What can I learn from the little mouse in the house… 

  T’was the night before Christmas, when all through the house, not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse. – Clement Clarke Moore Well, maybe a few mice were.  Since my beautiful cat, Violet, passed away, the mice have been showing up here and there. It makes sense in this 1929 building, a block from…

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…

Owl wisdom

Taking a somewhat silent retreat today to regroup and prepare for transitions.  Picked up an old sweater (80% merino wool, 20% cashmere) and created these little one inch plus tall baby owls. Perfect for holding in the palm while figuring stuff out. I have always found that sewing and drawing owls is a powerful experience. Stay…

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…

Autopsy and the somewhat autobiographical nature of my graphic novel

I have been on a bit of blog-haitus of late.  Just experienced an amazing pull back into the past as a dear friend spent 9 days here visiting from Sweden.  We dove deep.  Real deep.  Drenched in Swedish.  Endless necessary exhilarating conversation. Fully open and torn open- finding old wounds long hidden- releasing them. Reflecting…

Limited edition hand-embroidered print sale #graphicnovel

— I am making available 10 hand-embroidered prints entitled Who is it that can tell me who I am? featuring an original image from my graphic novel, Molly. —  — The print captures the moment a crow, the magician of the forest, adorned by a child’s skull as a crown, looks, with intense curiosity, into Lost Lagoon…

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…

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…

10 Tuesdays. 10 Fridas. Frida No. 5: “I have wings to fly…” coloring page

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…

10 Tuesdays. 10 Fridas. Frida No. 4: Frida and her Magic Cone of Truth

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…

“Crime Scene” creative process #graphicnovel

   — “CRIME SCENE” Testing chapter heading visuals for: Molly, my graphic novel. Creating on nickels and dimes. ‪ “… even if I had to paint my pictures with my wet tongue on the dusty floor of my cell.” – Pablo ‪Picasso‬ I can’t stop despite money worries and fatigue-inducing insecurities… Can I pull this off?…

SHOP: Custom hand-drawn portraits

COST: $85.00 CAD (plus $5.00 shipping) How to purchase: 1. Email transfer to britakatarina@gmail.com 2. PAYPAL Email me at britakatarina@gmail.com with your photos of choice and your shipping address.

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…

Personalized One-of-a-kind Paper Dresses

Personalized paper dresses in MY signature style and YOUR chosen theme! HAND DRAWN HAND SEWN ORIGINAL ART WITH EMBROIDERY DETAILS UPCYCLED/RECYCLED — CONTACT ME at britakatarina@gmail.com TO CUSTOM ORDER Expect 6 weeks until delivery Many of you have seen my paper dresses come and go on the blog here. SAMPLE LINKS: THE BYPOSTSTREET LAUNCH PAPER DRESSES THE BYPOSTSTREET PUNK…

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 —   

10 Tuesdays. 10 Fridas. Art Blog Event. Frida No. 2: “The Dream”

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 will be posting…

ART SALE: Graphic Novel Paper Dress and Update

So the theme of the month of May was, according to the Power Path, NEW ALIGNMENT. We have been shaken, rattled, taken apart, and sideswiped by the unexpected. We have had to accept change and embrace the unknown. The eclipses of March and April affected us on a very deep level, with core issues needing…

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…

10 Tuesdays. 10 Fridas. Art blog event. Frida No. 1: sock doll. #recycledcraft

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. (How many of you that know me are right now rolling your eyes and saying, “duh”…!?!?  I realize I am a tad obsessed.) For the next 10 Tuesdays, I will be…

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…

STARVING ARTIST LONG WEEKEND PORTRAIT SALE! ENDS May 18, 2015 MIDNIGHT PT

STARVING ARTIST LONG WEEKEND PORTRAIT SALE! ENDS May 18, 2015 MIDNIGHT PT HAND-DRAWN PORTRAITS IN MY SIGNATURE STYLE  $40.00 CAD EACH 12 X18 CHINAMARKER ON NEWSPRINT     All portraits [unless otherwise specified] will be shared on my instagram.   The portrait will be completed about 2-4 weeks after payment. HOW TO PURCHASE: OPTION 1. $40 SAVE…

Pay attention to the signs. Badger. #alignment

    The image of the badger has been playing in my mind the past few weeks.  I really have no idea why.   But in the spirit of trusting the signs, I play along. Badger symbolism:  (SOURCE) The badger symbolizes aggressiveness, reliance, self-expression, holding ones own, link to the underworld and the magic and…

My Dress Hangs There. One of a kind Frida Kahlo portrait paper dress.

UPDATE: May 2, 2015 1:48 PM- DRESS IS SOLD!   It will be worn at the Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo in Detroit exhibit! THANK YOU for your patronage- Laura Mack! — ***SOLD!*** It’s truly one of a kind double sided wearable street art/ wall hanging. These are my own interpretations of Frida Kahlo with…

Introducing Frida Kat-lo. My @kidrobot #Trikky as Frida Kahlo. #munnyworld

         China marker, marker, acrylic on white 6.5″ Munnyworld Trikky

What happens when you open yourself up? #journal #truth

April 28, 2015 What happens when you open yourself up and share some painful truths?  Say that you are with a (safe) person and the door opens to have the conversation. What happens first? The heart beats a little faster. And your breath gets more rapid and shallow. Perhaps the bile rises a bit in…

The Alpha Secondary School heART Project Sessions 1-4 of 6

The Alpha Secondary School heART Project Youth-run initiative using the vehicle of street art to address social and emotional intelligence and life- and transferable skills, while developing self-empowerment, peer to peer interaction and community connections I am delighted to be working with Yasmin Tayob and Michele Lopez and extraordinary students and volunteers on a wall…

Molly Teresa O’Dwyer April 25, 1924 #familytree

I know that my heart will be forever in this suspended animation, as I live entwined in their circumstance. Molly, a graphic novel —

Allá cuelga mi vestido. The Frida Kahlo paperdress in progress

I love drawing.  I love crafting.  I love street art.  And I LOVE making paper dresses. Perhaps because it combines all my art forms- I am so blissed out when I make these things! Here is the latest one the compiles my collection of Frida doodles. Stay tuned for photo shoot of finished piece next…

Pay attention to the birds: Part 5- Sparrow

— Bliss- walking my old dog slowly, oh so slowly, in our West End neighborhood listening to the sweet song of the white-throated sparrow.  Miraculous. I walk with a smile on my face.  I am filled with self-love for truly the first time in my life.  I know my own worth and I can sing…

Contemplating death, loss, hope, acceptance…

Release Leap of faith Acceptance Peace Honorary Karin Roar Life rough on the seas Sacrifice Mother father daughter love Death Release Hope Promise Defence Loss Rose Thorn Thorsen Memorial Cycle Allowance Honor New beginnings Immortal Bud Blossom Farewell Dedicated to my mother Karin September 17, 1936 – November 8, 2008 and my father Roar August…

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…

My retreat journal Part 5 of 6: The Dance

I experienced a life-changing weekend as I co-facilitated Creativity and Connection Retreat October 17-19, 2014 on Bowen Island with Laura Mack at Xenia Retreat.  Here are some journal excerpts so you can get a small glimpse as to how powerful the experience was for me. Recall: PART 1 October 17, 2014 FRIDAY INTO SILENCE PART 2 October…

My retreat journal Part 3 of 6: The Cyclops Goddess

I experienced a life-changing weekend as I co-facilitated Creativity and Connection Retreat October 17-19, 2014 on Bowen Island with Laura Mack at Xenia Retreat.  Here are some journal excerpts so you can get a small glimpse as to how powerful the experience was for me. Recall: PART 1 October 17, 2014 FRIDAY INTO SILENCE PART 2 October…

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…

Join the ‘100 Faces’ Street Art Project for instalment 1 of my graphic novel.

Molly, my graphic novel, is not just an illustrated work of creative non-fiction, nor is it simply about one cold case- it is a Vancouver story.  It belongs to the people of Vancouver.   I am presenting my work in 5 instalments as a broadsheets in newspaper form. You can read more at: PREVIEW and GRAPHIC NOVEL POSTS…

Sacred Contracts Journal Exercise Part 5 of 8: Throat Chakra

  SACRED CONTRACTS JOURNALING EXERCISE SERIES PART 5 OF 8 THROAT CHAKRA We are tapping into our calling, our purpose, our joy in this SACRED CONTRACTS journal series.  It is inspired by Caroline Myss.  The journal series is  an experiment on my part, and I welcome you to join along. Recall Part 1: Future and Present where we took…

#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…

Art is not about the finished product but about the creative process.

INTERACTIVE ART Art is a powerful tool to facilitate connection and healing.  For me, art is not about the finished product but about the creative process.  Allowing the community to take ownership of the art creates dialogue- an ongoing dynamic that enriches all involved.  On Saturday June 14, 2014, senior residents at Rideau Manor and audience…

Sacred Contracts Journaling Exercise Part 4a of 8: what is your true nature?

SACRED CONTRACTS JOURNALING EXERCISE SERIES PART 4a OF 8 WHAT IS YOUR TRUE NATURE? We are tapping into our calling, our purpose, our joy in this SACRED CONTRACTS journal series.  It is inspired by Caroline Myss.  The journal series is  an experiment on my part, and I welcome you to join along. Recall Part 1: Future and Present where we…

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!!!

Sale ends June 30 Midnight! Portraits in my signature style only $60 CAD!

Portrait Sale! ENDS JUNE 30, 2014 MIDNIGHT 18×24 on newsprint From May 17-June 30, 2014, I have been offering handdrawn portraits in my signature style for only $60.00 CAD each (free shipping within Canada and US) Regular price ranges from $100-$300 Proceeds go towards  Sock Monkey Lifeskills Entrepreneurship Curriculum Development       All portraits [unless otherwise specified] will…

SALE! Today only! Ending 12AM PT: order a handdrawn portrait in my signature style for only $30!

Many of you have asked, pleaded, begged… so today I’m doing a special SALE! Today only ending 12AM PT: order your handdrawn portrait in my signature style for only $30! 18″ x 24′ on newsprint in china marker         Regular price ranges from $100-$300 But until midnight tonight, for $30 per portrait, I will…

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):

Cultural identity project at Byrne Creek Secondary- Gallery #wheatpaste #chinamarker #paint

CULTURAL IDENTITY PORTRAIT PROJECT SESSION 6 OF 7, BYRNE CREEK SCHOOL GR. 8 Recall previous posts about this project: Does wheatpaste work on a ceiling tile? Session 2 of 7 Today we added final touches.  30 Grade 8 students did an extraordinary job on this project.  The result illustrates that their true identity lies in connection,…

Cultural Identity Portrait Project Session 2 of 7, Byrne Creek School Gr. 8

No matter what the end goal, it’s witnessing, sharing and experiencing the creative process that drives me.

It has been a beautiful fight. Still is. – Bukowski

“Lighting new cigarettes, pouring more drinks. It has been a beautiful fight. Still is.” – Charles Bukowski

Does wheatpasting work on a ceiling tile? Hmmm…

I will be facilitating a really exciting Cultural Portrait pilot project at a local high school in a couple of weeks. The plan is for the 30 students to create a street art type ceiling as they explore self and cultural identity. The work is to go on those classic porous school ceiling tiles- you…

Circumstantial. Putting the research together.

Circumstantial evidence is evidence that relies on an inference to connect it to a conclusion of fact—like a fingerprint at the scene of a crime. By contrast, direct evidence supports the truth of an assertion directly—i.e., without need for any additional evidence or inference. On its own, it is the nature of circumstantial evidence for more than one explanation to still be…

China marker therapy

A china marker. Newsprint. The act of drawing. That is when my mind is at rest. That is where I channel my racing mind. Drop the baggage, for good. Leave no imprint, not even a trace… – Rebelle Society

Evolution of a #wheatpaste. Portrait of @ThaneKoi, one year later

What is the point of a piece that is meant to be temporary?  Work that is impermanent reminds us that nothing in life is permanent, that every state is temporary and transitory.  Contemplating this concept teaches us to embrace change in our life, instead of working against it.  When others notice a piece that is…