Unnecessary Violence- random archiving of my Shadow Work Journals 1986 to present. Sample 1: Oct 21, 1992

My Journals: I was born in 1962 and have kept some form of diary/sketchbook since age 6, but experienced a transformative relationship to my journaling in 1986 when I took Kitty Mykka‘s Creative Process class at Emily Carr College of Art and Design. She called our journals Image/Idea Files – that made sense to me. I now have a…

“She drank alone…” Journal entry

She walks– arms crossed, cold hands tucked into armpits, chin tucked into chest. The familiar dark ink pool spreads around her feet. She bends down this time. Curious? Her reflection- just fragmented spirals. She slips! lurching upward and backward, around. The black ink fills her mouth. Hog-tied, she lets out a fluid-filled silent scream. A…

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

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…

Drawing 3-D eyes and the human face.

Last Wednesday, I was invited by Susan Clements-Vivian to be guest speaker at SFU for the course IAT 208 Introduction to Drawing in SIAT.  The course is “an overview of the various forms and languages of drawing as both a critical and creative research tool.” I did two follow-me exercises: 3-D eyes (using charcoal), human…

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:

It’s not that I don’t know what to do.

Regarding my passion project Molly- a true crime analysis: 2003-2016 was all about researching, drawing, accumulating, writing, collecting.  2017 was all about creating an online weekly draft, telling the story with images, words and music in whatever way it unfolded, sharing it openly, publicly.  2018 has been all about allowing others in, and letting go of control,…

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…

Potato Nose Diaries (1977): Instalment 7- Grad and the Party

Previously on PND: Instalment 1: Introduction Instalment 2: The First Entries Instalment 3: Do Tendu Jetés en Balance Instalment 4: Sex Education Instalment 5: They Don’t Know What It Is Potato Nose Diaries (1977) Short: I am 15 now Potato Nose Diaries (1977) Short: The Audition Instalment 6: The Trip to Paris Potato Nose Diaries (1977)…

A Potato Nose Diaries (1977) Short: Steven

Previously on PND: Instalment 1: Introduction Instalment 2: The First Entries Instalment 3: Do Tendu Jetés en Balance Instalment 4: Sex Education Instalment 5: They Don’t Know What It Is Potato Nose Diaries (1977) Short: I am 15 now Potato Nose Diaries (1977) Short: The Audition Instalment 6: The Trip to Paris Today’s short: © Katarina…

Come back to me.

Come back to me, Molly.  It’s been a strange time- hiding you from the world in order to explore new ways of telling your story.   I’m not sure I like this anymore. You chose me.  Remember?  At the library?  15 years ago.  As your spirit wandered restlessly on the  viaduct, you passed through me with…

Mamma- a portrait.

“If You Forget Me” I want you to know one thing. You know how this is: if I look at the crystal moon, at the red branch of the slow autumn at my window, if I touch near the fire the impalpable ash or the wrinkled body of the log, everything carries me to you,…

A Potato Nose Diaries (1977) Short- The Audition

Previously on PND: Instalment 1: Introduction Instalment 2: The First Entries Instalment 3: Do Tendu Jetés en Balance Instalment 4: Sex Education Instalment 5: They Don’t Know What It Is Potato Nose Diaries (1977) Short: I am 15 now Today’s short:  This instalment is enhanced when accompanied by: © Katarina Thorsen 2018

A Potato Nose Diaries (1977) Short- I am 15 now.

Previously on PND: Instalment 1: Introduction Instalment 2: The First Entries Instalment 3: Do Tendu Jetés en Balance Instalment 4: Sex Education Instalment 5: They Don’t Know What It Is Today’s short: © Katarina Thorsen 2018

Potato Nose Diaries (1977): Instalment 5- They don’t know what it is.

    Previously on PND: Instalment 1: Introduction Instalment 2: The First Entries Instalment 3: Do Tendu Jetés en Balance Instalment 4: Sex Education Today’s instalment:     © Katarina Thorsen 2018

Mind mapping this month’s Power Path as personal therapy.

When I read something that really needs to sink in- I mind map it out.  My whole brain is engaged and I can then look at the mind map throughout the month and be instantly reminded of the lessons. This morning was all about the Power Path- taking some quiet personal time for a coffee,…

Potato Nose Diaries (1977)- Instalment 3: Do Tendu Jetés en Balance

Previously on PND: Instalment 1: Introduction Instalment 2: The First Entries Today’s instalment: © Katarina Thorsen 2018 — Potato Nose Gallery:

Potato Nose Diaries (1977)- Instalment 2: The First Entries

Previously on PND: Instalment 1: Introduction Today’s instalment: — © Katarina Thorsen 2018

Potato Nose Diaries (1977) Instalment 1: Introduction

  Subject to change Instalment 2 August 12, 2018 © Katarina Thorsen 2018

“Potato Nose Diaries- 1977” illustrated weekly instalments start Sunday!

©2018 Katarina Thorsen

Bird School: The first rule

I am obsessed with birds.  I have this strange belief that I will not uncover truths that I seek in my art without first understanding birds fully.  So I am taking myself through my own Bird School– developing my own rudimentary curriculum and drawing out the answers and stitching together the truths. Recall: Parts of…

Bird School- Head feather groups

I am obsessed with birds.  I have this strange belief that I will not uncover truths that I seek in my art without first understanding birds fully.  So I am taking myself through my own Bird School– developing my own rudimentary curriculum and drawing out the answers and stitching together the truths. Recall: Part- Parts…

Bird School- Parts of a Songbird

I am obsessed with birds.  I have this strange belief that I will not uncover truths that I seek in my art without first understanding birds fully.  So I am taking myself through my own Bird School– developing my own rudimentary curriculum and drawing out the answers and stitching together the truths. Today’s lesson: Parts…

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…

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,…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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,…

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….

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…

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…

Drawn to Pets

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

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…

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…

“The Dead Heron.” #100Herons Art Project

I am between contracts– creatively hustling while applying for new contracts to survive and to be able to provide specially requested arts programming for refugee youth (at no cost to their program).  That is what my 100 Herons Art Project is all about.   HERON’S MOST SIGNIFICANT ESSENCE: aggressive self-determination and self-reliance Check out: I am focusing…

#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…

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 FREE ART LESSONS for REFUGEE YOUTH from war-torn countries at a Lower Mainland program.   DONATION…

See you at #SKiP 2017 June 23-24! @sketchapractice

I’m so excited and honored to be hosting two sessions at SKETCHING IN PRACTICE (SKiP) 2017 June 23-24, 2017 at SFU’s Goldcorp Centre! SKETCHING IN PRACTICE (SKiP) is a two-day symposium that explores the construction of meanings through sketching. In 2016 we brought in scholars and practitioners from diverse backgrounds to explore the question, What…

From the heart- a 15 day journal exercise Part 12: the moment of death

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 Part 3: Preparing to Die Part 4: Dying from the Common…

From the Heart- a 15 day journal exercise: Part 10 Fear of Dying

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 Part 3: Preparing to Die Part 4: Dying from the Common…

From the heart- a 15 day journal exercise Part 7: Fear of Fear

It’s been a while.  It’s been a lot lately.  But let’s see how this chapter unfolds.  What it reveals. 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…