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)

“All you have to do now is allow…” Sabbatical reflections.

I am on sabbatical/working remotely/dog and kitten sitting in San Francisco… life changing, soul searching, peaceful… no words suffice.  The real lesson will show itself soon. It is finally here! What you’ve longed for is finally here! Know that all you have to do  now is allow and be receptive when the opportunity presents itself….

Here were valleys filled with tiny trees and minuscule, tangled vines…

I am a collector.  I love the details of seemingly mundane little objects.  I collect discarded plants and nurse them back to life. I collect bits and pieces underneath the heron nests. I collect chestnuts.  They remind me of my mom, who would often tell me she collected chestnuts in shoeboxes as a child. I…

There are times of no ideas… – Lynda Barry (but there is always process)

Daily disciplined connection with my journal maintains my creative process and even though the entries are seemingly unrelated to my writing project… … they cleanse my brain and I am more driven to write as I stay in flow…

Connecting with the journal everyday. Even if just to copy…

RIP Freddie Jones

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

I am happy among my books – I am not happy without them. – Anne Lister

“Anne’s reliance on her books for mental well-being and personal happiness was clear – ‘What is there like gaining knowledge?’ she once said. ‘All else here below is indeed but vanity and vexation of spirit – I am happy among my books – I am not happy without them’ (2nd May, 1829). Words on a…

Man klarar sig i många år på ett ögonblick…

Just a few moments from this past week. I was gifted 3 very special, very moving, very private days in Stockholm. It was about family, about grieving, about celebrating, about the city. Man klarar sig i många år på ett ögonblick… – Kalle Moraeus, Sommar Pratarna, SVT24 [You can survive many years on a moment]…

There is one moment in Pippi Longstocking that nailed it for me…

As a child, I desperately searched for characters in books that aligned with my anxious outward ways and my happy reclusive interior.  Charlie Brown came close, but he was always seeking connection.  I was seeking alone time.  Like Charlie, school terrified and exhausted me.  Home, my room, my books were my calming tools.  I found…

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…

Silent interiors…

Fort Langley National Historic Site, Easter, April 21, 2019 I spent a wonderful afternoon with my family in Fort Langley today. While the egg scramble mayhem and sugar highs rang out outside, I was drawn to the silent interiors. Form follows function—that has been misunderstood. Form and function should be one, joined in a spiritual…

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…

Vision 2019: COURAGE

Recall My Big Vision and Mission for 2018: Your vision will become clear only when you can look into your own heart. Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes. – Carl Jung This vision board has stayed on my bathroom shelf all year as a daily check in.  And as I reflect on a year…

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,…

Potato Nose Diaries (1977): Instalment 9- Torpet

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)…

60 years ago my mother became a mother. (Karin Kristina Orwald 1936 – 2008)

Decades are significant. 60 years ago my mother became a mother. 50 years ago we moved to Canada from Sweden. 50 years ago, my mother started to write letters home to Sweden.     30 years ago, my mother’s second grandchild was born. 10 years ago, I had my ear to my mother’s chest and listened as…

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…

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,…

On this one year anniversary since Asterix passed, something poignant happened.

In the early morning of September 24, 2018, it will be one year since I lost my beloved parrot, Asterix. Recall: Losing him was deeply painful.  I lost my companion.  I lost our family history keeper.  I lost my parents’ voices.  Taking care of his little body, saying our goodbyes, wrapping him in a little…

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,…

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,…

Saudade waves.

Saudade describes a deep emotional state of nostalgic longing for an absent something or someone that one loves.  It often carries a repressed knowledge that the object of longing will never return.  It’s related to the feelings of longing, yearning.   I have written about Saudade before.  For example: November 3, 2012 SAUDADE: THE EMOTION OF MISSING. #GRIEF…

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…

I can feel the planet churning…

And into the forest I go, to lose my mind and find my soul. – John Muir When I am in the forest in Stanley Park, and sit down on the forest floor, I am acutely aware that I am on a sphere.  In fact, I swear that I can feel the planet churning.  I place…

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…

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,…

Sock Robin- bird sculpting with upcycled materials

When Spring returns, the earth becomes a child who recites poetry. – Rainier Maria Rilke Walking home from a workshop yesterday, I was delighted at all the bird activity close to my home.  A robin crossed my path, a wriggling worm in its beak, the rain gentle.  The moment pulled me out of my head…

Books are life rafts.  I climb into them to keep moving forward…

Books are life rafts.  I climb into them to keep moving forward when life seems in limbo and my energy is fully depleted.  Here is a sampling of those I return to repeatedly. I return to this quote to address my subject of research and remind myself why: A cheap Saturday night took you down….

I promised myself a library…

When I turned 10, my parents gave me this book– Hans Christian Anderson Fairy Tales illustrated by Jiří Trnka (published by Hamlyn Publishing Group Ltd, ©1959, 1972).  My father had purchased it at the Vancouver Airport.  I remember so clearly being woken up, with breakfast on a tray and receiving the book.  The $4.95 in pencil…

The third letter home. November 18, 1968

Letters are among the most significant memorial a person can leave behind them. – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe — Previous posts: Package of letters to Sweden A letter home. November 1, 1968 Dream. Letters. Thought and Memory. Writing exercise. The Second Letter. As these translations focus on the letters from my mother to her best…

Friday night check in: effortless action.

Checking in with the Power Path at mid-month: My form of meditation is to mind map it out: My notes from reading the February Power Path show some amazing tidbits that reinforce my newfound practice of neutrality. Relationship with time and fear of not being enough. Ease, clarity, right timing, patience, alignment –> effortless action. Unfold…

Being ace, full of peACE

In October 2016, I wrote:  On October 3, 2016 I wrote: Opening up to defining myself as ace and what that means to me feels relieving right now. • I have found my identity that really explains to me who I am now. • Life is fluid and so am I. • Every stage of my life has…

Ear to the ground… Another recurring theme…

There are repeated themes in my work and obsessions that satisfy my creative process and my explorations into grief.  Like human faces, birds, dead birds… I hadn’t noticed one theme recurring- ear to the ground. Ear to the ground: to devote attention to watching or listening for clues as to what is going to happen… In…

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…

Thank you Salmagundi West and Anne Banner <3

On January 31, 2018, a beloved landmark and one of my most favorite places on the planet, Salmagundi West, will close its doors at its current location. No words suffice for my gratitude for this shop and for Anne Banner. The objects I have collected from the shop and have been gifted from Anne and…

WORKSHOP: YOUR VISION for 2018 through creative process

WORKSHOP: YOUR VISION for 2018 through creative process     LOCATION: West End Vancouver BC FACILITATOR: KATARINA THORSEN katthorsen.com SPECIAL LOW PRICE TO CELEBRATE THE NEW YEAR! ONLY $40 per person until January 31, 2018!  Contact me at britakatarina@gmail.com for CUSTOMIZED CLASSES  Start this new year on a creative note by creating your own evolving…

Perhaps I am simply an explorer.  Not seeking answers…

I sit on the 23, heading home… leaning my head against the window.  The bus is full.  It’s damp outside and damp inside.  I have a seat, a warm seat on the left side- I always get a seat as I always get on at the first stop.  No need to anticipate and worry about…

Until we meet again… dropping off Asterix 

Letting go In order to hold on I gradually understand How poems are made… – Alice Walker   Recall September 24, 2017: Well, I did it.   Finally.  It was time for Asterix’s cremation. I pulled my parrot out of the freezer this morning and placed his wrapped body (decorated with a drawing by my…

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…

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….

Good night, Asterix.

I have been very aware of late that my parrot is aging.  The lifespan for domestic African Greys is about 28-32 years, whereas in the wild they live to about 60. I have always thought Asterix was born May 19, 1989.  That has always been my story, but it may have been earlier?  My memory…

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…

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…

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…

Eclipse therapy.

Checking in to the August Power Path: I have been struggling of late with depression, been pulling out the tools and re-evaluating life, making strides, dipping down, climbing up etc. and I have a post I plan to write– as part of that toolbox– that I will share, but that will wait! There is an…

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…

Joyful Living: Relaxation and Creativity with Michele Lilyanna

UPDATE AUGUST 7, 2017 Unfortunately due to personal issues, I am unable to facilitate at the Aug 22/23 workshops.  Sincerest apologies.  But I am happy to write that Michele will be facilitating!  Love, Kat — JOYFUL LIVING THROUGH RELAXATION PRACTICES AND ARTISTIC CREATIVITY SUMMER 2017 WORKSHOPS ON THE SUNSHINE COAST! with Michele Lilyanna NOURISHING SUMMER WORKSHOPS…

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,…

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:…

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 11: 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 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 9: A Commitment to Life

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 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…