Unnecessary Violence and Ramblings- archiving of my Shadow Work Journals 1986 to present. Sample 44: June 22, 2012

This daily archiving series is about organizing and dating my journal collection, as well as acknowledging the self-directed violence as important therapeutic shadow work. Today’s journal spans poignant time. My father, Roar Thorsen, was unwinding and had just a few months left to live. We shared a deep friendship. We were working hard on our book…

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,…

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.

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:

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…

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,…

#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:…

From the heart- a 15 day journal exercise Part 14: Dying Contemplation

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 13: The Act 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…

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 6

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…

Journal exercise: I Found My Way Home

I have been ruminating on the concept of home. The ache for home lives in all of us. The safe place where we can go as we are and not be questioned. ― Maya Angelou, All God’s Children Need Traveling Shoes Journal exercise: If you were to write an autobiography entitled I Found My Way Home, what…

“Always, remember, you are the best.” No, you were, Pappa. #toliveuntilwesaygoodbye

My greatest cheerleader was my Dad. 4 years ago today, his heart stopped beating, but his spirit lives on. His pep talks were the best. “Always, remember, you are the best.” No, you were, Pappa.   Our gift to you: Free PDF version of DRAWN TOGETHER, THE BOOK by Roar and Kat Thorsen! LINK

On Autumnal endings and beginnings in October

This is such a beautiful tender time of the year for me.  The autumn is both a time of loss and renewal.  My parents passed in the autumn, yet autumn is a time of new possibilities and fresh starts. Life/ death.  The extremes? Or two sides of the same coin or exactly the same?  For…

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…

‘Be willing to be a beginner every single morning.’ Journaling exercise

Today you are a newborn and you are starting fresh! Draw a baby. Draw brainstorm bubbles above “your “head. Write about what it may be like to start fresh.  Releasing anxiety and hesitancy. Brainstorm central themes in your life.  Just let it happen. Be willing to be a beginner every single morning. – Meister Eckhart…

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…

Same tools, same instructions, all equal, all different. O.W.L.

The OWL is a POWERFUL image and I use it all the time in my work. The form of the OWL itself is very conducive to teaching the principles of drawing. The direction quickly create an engaging and intense gaze, drawing both the student and the observer in. By Aug 24, I’ll have led approx 225 people…

SOME PORTRAITS OF GRIEF.

For me, it is impossible to quantify grief.  To qualify it.  To define it.  It comes as a surprise. It comes as a wave.  It comes suddenly.  Or it comes on slow.  It can feel like nostalgia, anger, sadness, gratitude, drowning.  It can be triggered.  It can be low grade.  It can be reassuring.  It can…

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…

DRAWN TOGETHER. Survey re: my private art sessions!

You are invited to take a survey so I can get a sense of your needs and preferences regarding private sessions! Click on the following link: SURVEY   Stay tuned for DRAWN TOGETHER art lessons!  

A letter to my father, 3 years later, at our favorite table.

Dear Pappa, Sitting at our table at Lions Gate Hospital Cafeteria. — Three years later now… you died on October 25.  How can this be real?  You and Mamma seemingly immortal.  Yet- — I would love to break down- my heart feels too big for my chest cavity.  I want to curl inward. There was…

When grief is like a wave crashing on shore…

I attended an event last night at the Vancouver Public Library. I am so glad I went alone, for not only could I soak in the event itself (as I am passionate about this case), but I could really sit in my personal grief. This was the room I sat in with my Mom as…

Home Funeral Practicum July 18, 2015.

Have you ever had a friend or relative die, and wished you could have kept them at home for a day or two, to take care of the body yourself and say your farewells without pressure?   In fact, you can. – source I am absolutely delighted to be participating in the following Home Funeral Practicum on…

I know in my heart though, this is healthy grieving. I am processing.

I dreamt of my parents last night. On awakening, I was drenched in that deep sweat of walking through symbolic dream time. My mother passed away November 8, 2008 and my father October 25, 2012, but in this dream my mother was still alive as Dad was nearing death. I was in my parents’ home…

World Health Day #authorsfestival with @InfluencePub and @chaptersindigo Apr 4-7!

  The Books and Authors featured in the World Heath Day Authors Festival: Cracking the Dementia Code – Karen Tyrell An Unexpected Miracle – Jennifer De Pippo What Patients Don’t Say if Doctors Don’t Ask – Dr. Manon Bolliger Drawn Together – Katarina Thorsen Relentless –Josh Wood Hello Susan, It’s Me, Cancer!– Susan D’Agostino Event…

Drawn Together Therapeutic Art Workshops

For more info or to host a workshop, contact me! DRAWN TOGETHER WORKSHOP SERIES with Katarina Thorsen: FULL DAY (6.5 hours) or 3 PARTS (2.5 hours each) In this therapeutic art workshop series, artist/author and art facilitator, Katarina Thorsen takes you through personal explorations of your Past, Present and Future through creative expression tools.  Katarina creates…

Tools for anxiety- esteem hearts at ArtQuake 2014

I was honored and elated to be part of ArtQuake 2014 at SFU Harbor Centre yesterday! ArtQuake envisions a transformed world where every youth is a vehicle for change, fueled by their own creative expression. The theme of yesterday’s event was Madness Matters: Re-creating Mental Health Through Art and Community. I provided two workshops on…

What I learned in 2013: honor your gift.

– Yesterday I posted what I learned about myself in 2013.  I was going to write a long list of words and concepts I embraced in 2013. – – But I stripped it down.  Stripped it down to the bare essence: – So what I truly learned in 2013 is that I have the right,…

The power of art to heal and to build connections: Drawn Together

Drawn Together- Maintaining Connections and Navigating Life’s Challenges With Art Roar’s art provided him with a much needed connection to the world. I miss my father so much.  Last night I spent some quiet time watching Swedish films and allowing the feeling of intense loneliness flow through me as I embraced the fact that I…

I miss his pep talks. Roar Thorsen Aug 8, 1930- Oct 25, 2012

A year ago, Dad passed away.  It feels shorter.  It feels longer.  It feels at times overwhelming.  But I am at peace.  Dad left me with is a profound sense of empowerment.  I miss his pep talks though.  He, like nobody else, “got me.”  I am blessed to have inherited his gift of art and…

“Drawing on Pain” at Espana Gallery closing early due to protests from tenants.

UPDATE! It as an interesting experiment to have “Drawing on Pain” exhibited in a lobby gallery. Experiment has to end early as some tenants are expressing concern over the subject matter and have asked that the show be taken down. Understood. Thank you, The Espana Gallery, for the opportunity while it lasted! The show will end…

Unfold your wings as you fall. Drawing on Pain at Espana Gallery Aug 29-Oct 13

Jump, and you will find out how to unfold your wings as you fall. – Ray Bradbury  DRAWING ON PAIN Aug 29- Oct 13, 2013 ESPANA GALLERY 689 Abbott Street, Vancouver BC Curator, sales manager: Angie Heintz 778 773 2861 infor@angieheintz.com ARTIST’S STATEMENT: “My painting carries with it the message of pain.” – Frida Kahlo…

Week 1 of Young Mothers Group: Esteem Heart

I am so honored to be journaling/ drawing/ sharing/ dialoguing with and witnessing the strength of young moms at a local support group. Week 1 was about intros, covenant, journaling and drawing and starting our esteem heart as part of a large art piece.  

The Waves- Matt Roy’s addition to our COMMUNITY JOURNAL PROJECT! #drawntogether #recycledart

My father and I kept mutual journals and one of our original journals was pulled apart and offered to the community. — I am so excited to be witnessing my Father’s dream project of community journals unfolding.  The latest addition is by Matt Roy: He added a page from Virginia Woolf’s The Waves to create…

Drawing on Pain at Espana Gallery Aug 29-Oct 13: exhibit list

A huge thank you to Angie Heintz and The Espana Gallery and to everyone who attended the August 29, 2013 opening. What a fabulous crowd! Thanks for listening so intently and for your support. Thank you as well to those who provided interviews for the documentary FEAR NO ART w. Patti Henderson. You have all empowered me and I am so…

DRAWING ON PAIN: Aug 29 – Oct 13, 2013 at Espana Gallery, Vancouver BC

DRAWING ON PAIN Aug 29- Oct 13, 2013 Opening August 29, 2013 7-9 PM Espana Gallery 689 Abbott Street Vancouver BC Includes Artist Talk DRAWING ON PAIN exhibits my personal therapeutic process as I utilize art to help me process the difficult challenges I have encountered (and continue to encounter) in my life– such as…

Mind maps integrate both right-brain and left-brain thinking. And you know me- I LOVE them!

Impromptu session mind-mapping with my dear friends, Evelyn and Reem today.  So healing.  I just love starting in the centre and working our way out.  We don’t necessarily know what we are focusing on, but letting it evolve. Mind maps integrate both right-brain and left-brain thinking by capturing your stream of consciousness in a structured…

JOURNAL SERIES Part 5: REFLECTION: ANTICIPATION, PROCESS and AFTERMATH.

I am working on a new journal series to connect with my book  Drawn Together- Maintaining Connections and Navigating Life’s Challenges With Art. I am a great believer in sharing my creative process!  That is how Drawn Together was created in the first place- through journals and blogposts. As I build the journal series, I…

JOURNAL SERIES Part 4: REFLECTION: esteem heart

I am working on a new journal series to connect with my book  Drawn Together- Maintaining Connections and Navigating Life’s Challenges With Art. I am a great believer in sharing my creative process!  That is how Drawn Together was created in the first place- through journals and blogposts. As I build the journal series, I…

JOURNAL SERIES ROUGH SKETCHES Part 3: INSPECTION/HISTORY connections

I am working on a new journal series to connect with my book  Drawn Together- Maintaining Connections and Navigating Life’s Challenges With Art. I am a great believer in sharing my creative process!  That is how Drawn Together was created in the first place- through journals and blogposts. As I build the journal series, I…

Journal Series Part 2b: INSPECTION/HISTORY #roots #photos

I am working on a new journal series to connect with my book Drawn Together- Maintaining Connections and Navigating Life’s Challenges With Art. I am a great believer in sharing my creative process!  That is how Drawn Together was created in the first place- through journals and blogposts. As I build the journal series, I will…

Journal Series Part 2a: INSPECTION/HISTORY #roots

I am working on a new journal series to connect with my book Drawn Together- Maintaining Connections and Navigating Life’s Challenges With Art. I am a great believer in sharing my creative process!  That is how Drawn Together was created in the first place- through journals and blogposts. As I build the journal series, I will…

Journal Series Part 1: INSPECTION/PRESENT DAY #mindmap

I am working on a new journal series to connect with my book Drawn Together- Maintaining Connections and Navigating Life’s Challenges With Art. I am a great believer in sharing my creative process!  That is how Drawn Together was created in the first place- through journals and blogposts. I am inspired by Austin Kleon‘s call to…

“Never forget you are Daddy’s girl.” Drawn Together excerpt series Part 4

 Drawn Together excerpt series Part 4: My father always ended his letters to me with: Truth. Drawn Together- Maintaining Connections and Navigating Life’s Challenges With Art Roar’s art provided him with a much needed connection to the world after a devastating stroke. YOU CAN BUY THE BOOK HERE: – NEXT STEP: Workbook/workshop series under development to…

Helena, the film. A script idea by my father. Drawn Together excerpt series Part 3

Drawn Together- Maintaining Connections and Navigating Life’s Challenges With Art Roar’s art provided him with a much needed connection to the world after a devastating stroke. My father drew inspiration from many sources.  His newspapers, his readings, his scrapbooks.  Films like Hemsöborna. He not only drew, but wrote and wrote and wrote.  Drawn Together excerpt…

Change comes upon us, not slowly, but suddenly, abruptly. Drawn Together excerpt series Part 2

Drawn Together- Maintaining Connections and Navigating Life’s Challenges With Art Roar’s art provided him with a much needed connection to the world after a devastating stroke.  Drawn Together excerpt series Part 2:  Roar’s journal entry: YOU CAN BUY THE BOOK HERE: – NEXT STEP: Workbook/workshop series under development to accompany the book. MISSION STATEMENT To…

“… just two people, riding the waves of life.” Drawn Together excerpt series Part 1

Drawn Together- Maintaining Connections and Navigating Life’s Challenges With Art Roar’s art provided him with a much needed connection to the world after a devastating stroke.  Drawn Together excerpt series Part 1: She could not tear herself away from the old man.  She clung to him and wiped her eyes on her apron, her manner…

“Do you ever stop? I mean truly just stop?” How the #RightBrainBusinessPlan is helping me quiet my mind.

Kat, do you ever stop?  I mean truly just stop? Just taking a day and doing nothing, just drinking tea in pjs and doing nothing? – Maryellen to me I have to say the answer is no.  Or more accurately, yes- sometimes– but when I do, I feel my body reacting.  I feel the migraines…

“Leaving behind in autumn’s advent…” My father’s last tax filings.

I filed my father’s taxes and submitted his will.  All is done.  All is wrapped up regarding both my mother and father’s paperwork.  How very strange. There was no probate as my father died with no savings, no life insurance, no assets… but I am left massively rich, with a full heart and peaceful soul.  Their…

Anna and the @bypoststreet paper dress as caught by the inimitable @viranlly

The by post street paper dress photographed by Viranlly Aix Liemena: The Social Life team: Viranlly, Anna and Josh! The by post street online store is now open:

Check out what attendees did to the portraits at DRAWN TOGETHER @bypoststreet LAUNCH EVENT @1181Lounge

Check out what attendees did to the portraits I created as we celebrated the launch of ‘by post street‘ and the pre-release of Collaboration 1 [KAR] today at 1181!  Thank you everyone for a wonderful day! ‘by post street’ is a limited edition t-shirt and deejay company started by Anna & Kat Thorsen. at 1181…

The white t-shirt and the evolution of the @bypoststreet tee

— BY POST STREET Video by Julian Bowers  

DRAWN TOGETHER INTERACTIVE ART and LAUNCH EVENT @1181Lounge April 14!

CELEBRATE the launch of ‘by post street‘ and the pre-release of Collaboration 1 [KAR] at 1181! ‘by post street’ is a limited edition t-shirt and deejay company started by Anna & Kat Thorsen. at 1181 Lounge, 1181 Davie Street, Vancouver BC ‘by post street’ t-shirts are designed by Anna and feature fashion icons and international…

Jennifer of @SketchChange’s genius addition to our COMMUNITY JOURNAL PROJECT! #drawntogether #recycledart

Our original journal was pulled apart to offer to the community. — I am so excited to be witnessing my Father’s dream project of community journals unfolding.  Take a look at what my dear friend Jennifer did!!! — Jennifer Lyons pulling apart the journal and choosing her pages! Take note of the spiral binding from the…