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….

When Doors Close: A Retreat to Unlock New Possibilities May 20-22

7 brilliant, heart-full and talented colleagues are collaborating to create When Doors Close – a retreat to unlock new possibilities. I’ve been witnessing heartaching frustration in friends, loved ones, even strangers, and hearing the refrain “all the doors seem to be closing” – over and over. I know these words well. I’ve said these words, and…

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…

Group mind mapping: RJ as a pedagogical tool @SFU

  — On March 30, 2016, I took the  Criminology 315 (CRIM 315) students at the Simon Fraser University Burnaby Campus (teacher: Associate Professor and director of the Center for Restorative Justice, Brenda Morrison) through an in depths mind mapping process as they reflected on their understanding and learning during the course. CRIM 315 is…

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…

Inspiring program: Work2Give via @PunkyLake

It was such a delight to meet the extraordinary Sarah Jackman of Punky Lake Wilderness Camp Society http://punkylake.com/ on March 15, 2016 as we presented together our experiences in restorative practices in CRIM 442 at SFU. My name is Sarah Jackman and I am the Executive Director of the Punky Lake Wilderness Camp Society. I was…

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…

The healing power of journaling and “making sense.”

To me, the journal is an essential vomitorium, a depository, a giant worry doll that contains it, holds it- allows for LETTING GO.  It allows me to make sense.  I find that journaling is different from keeping a diary. The difference between diary keeping and journaling (to me): A diary is a record of events, happenings,…

Daisy’s dilemma. 1947 and dark Disney imagery.

My current book project, Molly, is a creative non-fiction tragedy that centres around a suicide in 1947. Suicides were well publicized back then, often featured on the front pages of newspapers. Searching online images “suicide, 1947,” the image that inevitably comes up is the photo titled “the most beautiful suicide“- a haunting and iconic image. But as…

I would encourage you to meditate upon the squirrel…

I’ve been obsessing about squirrels of late, knowing that my encounters with them hold a deep meaning- one I haven’t really understood yet. In time. Meanwhile, I am head-over-heels in love with @this_girl_is_a_squirrel . I can’t stop looking at her IG feed. MUST DRAW. So I did. I would encourage you to meditate upon the…

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…

Ponderings on the “idea.”

As a creative, I find it as important to make time for input as well as make time for creative output. And allow myself some stupor time- doing nothing— doesn’t happen often.  Tried today.  To just stop for a bit, but instead I was distracted by my thoughts- thoughts that have been swirling in my head…

My personal #Chakra #SelfCare #CheckIn #Toolkit

I can’t help but love the magical thinking that happens when considering the chakras! The 7 Chakras are the energy centers in our body in which energy flows through. Blocked energy in our 7 Chakras can often lead to illness so it’s important to understand what each Chakra represents and what we can do to…

Sisterhood collages with youth who have a passion to lead

  I was delighted to facilitate a collaging workshop with a group of young women last night who have been participating in Passion to Lead’s Leadership Program since November.  We focused on the theme of sisterhood.  The resulting collection of collages are simply beautiful and will be grouped together into one piece.  It was a…

Opened TextEdit to find a surprise note to self…

  Prepping for a session tonight with young women, around the theme of sisterhood using collage techniques, I opened TextEdit to collect pertinent quotes that may inspire dialogue tonight. An untitled document opened with a note I wrote to myself from my future self last year. Dear me, You now stand fully naked, fully present,…

Now her ghost wheels her barrow…

In Dublin’s fair city, where the girls are so pretty I first laid my eyes on sweet Molly Malone As she wheeled her wheelbarrow through the streets broad and narrow Crying cockles and mussels alive a-live O! A-live a-live O! A-live a-live O! Crying cockles and mussels alive a-live O! She was a fishmonger and…

Ok, Molly, I’ll eat a shit sandwich for you.

I had a very anxious week last week.  It was a crawl to the finish line.  It was a mix of grief, self-doubt, money stuff, fearing I don’t have what it takes to succeed in this life, blah blah blah.  It’s familiar, having suffered from anxiety all my life.  But last week was particularly hard….

Soul work… my 2016 Toolkit

You may recall, I set my intention for 2016- to simply meet it all with love.  Yet I knew it was important to take the time to do soul work.  But it’s been hard, so very hard to get “started” on it. Yet- that’s not really correct…  Actually, I have started. I have been collecting soul…

I felt a Funeral, in my Brain… Birds, metaphors, graphic novel, experiments

— Central to my graphic novel is the intensity of anxiety and severe depression while drowning in circumstance, highlighted through the metaphor of birds. — — Here are some experiments from the past weekend:      I felt a Funeral, in my Brain,  And Mourners to and fro… – Emily Dickinson

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…

Lessons from Pippi- strength, generosity and gentleness…

Being Swedish,Pippi Longstocking has been an icon to me all my life.  Yes, there are troubling racist elements in the books and, my God, as a child I would lay awake at night worrying about Pippi living alone, but Pippi’s character is glorious and hopeful.  She’s ahead of her time- a give-no-fucks attitude combined with curiosity…

“I can’t wait to see you and meet you at the top.”

It’s early Sunday morning, December 13, 2015,  and I have just said bon voyage to my daughter as she heads to New York City for a test run month, paving the way to her big move. A few months ago, she wrote on her mindmap: Spend 1 month test living in New York City. Oh Anna,…

I write of what I cannot speak- the truth.

I write it over and over wherever we find shelter. I write of what I cannot speak- the truth. I write all I know of it and then I throw the pages to the wind. Maybe the birds can read it. – Moira Buffini Ah, Molly is speaking.  Sitting here with me. What an incredible time…

I robbed your grave. I revealed you.

Sometimes you find that one right quote that makes you throw the book across the room because the words are that damn good.  You wish you wrote it.  It seems written for you.  The author just fucking gets you. I robbed your grave.  I revealed you.  I showed you in shameful moments.  I learned things about…

A marker for Molly

I do not take my work on Molly lightly.  I respect that her story is a tragic one.  I respect that Molly somehow chose me to tell her story.  Eve Lazarus refers to it as a tap on the shoulder– and Molly tapped me on the shoulder on Level 5 at the Vancouver Public Library…

it should be a nightmare, but somehow, it isn’t. Instead, I am filled with curiosity…

I am a bit lost these days.  Spinning in place the last few weeks.   I know the spinning comes from diving into the past for a certain personal project.  The triggers pull the rug out from under me. And so I freeze, bite my nails, feel exhausted. Yet at peace… strangely.  For I am ready. I…

Reminder: the purpose of the design is to unsettle the bee…

I am about to embark on a very personal journey revisiting a time in my past I need to process in depths in order to fully move forward into the next chapter in my life.  I’ll share more about that later.  Until then, I will revisit an old post on the bee and its relationship…

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…

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…

A certain preface this way comes. 

Writing for me often happens in stolen moments.  It is easy for me to plan time for and execute illustrations.  It is easy for me to plan for and to execute mind-maps as well as write down structural and technical details.  It is TOO easy for me to plan and execute and get lost in RESEARCH….

Stick to the facts in the text, avoid assumptions, yet draw conclusions.

In my current project, Molly, I use mainly primary sources and secondary sources such as news articles, as well as well-vetted research in order to build the story around the cold case. The drawings are then freely inspired from the research, i.e. they are an artistic interpretation. I can combine my research to build portraits….

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…

1940’s kitchen. The importance of historical context cont.)

Recall the importance of historical context for my graphic novel research in my post yesterday: LINK. As the story is mainly set in the 1940’s, I find myself fascinated by the 1940’s kitchen. — — — Afterwards, they always had tea in the kitchen, much the nicest room in the house. – Flora Thompson — Make sure…

Be A Star workshop with @PeterBreeze. #selfempowerment

Recall I participated in an amazing taste test workshop this past summer facilitated by the one and only Peter Breeze. I am still feeling the positive effects of Peter’s teachings!  I am in full process creating my book.  When I feel the old anxiety, fear and self-doubt boil up, I take time to breathe and…

The importance of historical context in an investigative story

  What happens when a case is very old, when much of its physical evidence is deteriorated or destroyed, and its main players long deceased?  How do we investigate? For me it is all about the historical context. I interviewed Dr. David Sweet, forensic odontologist, on the importance of historical context in solving the 1953 Stanley Park cold…

Turning point: reflections on triggers. Part 2- (re)discovery

This week I have been exploring triggers in my life– their roles as fodder for creative work, their potential to help in self-development and their ability to create turning points. Recall: Part 1- archives Part 2 (RE)DISCOVERY As I mentioned in Part 1, a random journal entry may bring me to my knees. I was organizing my studio the other…

Turning point- reflections on triggers. Part 1: archives

Last New Year, my brother and I brought home all my journals and artwork from storage.  We recently brought home all the family photo albums and objects.  I love being the family archivist.  I love seeing the heirlooms showcased in my kids’ collections and in the extended family’s homes.  I love that the next generation…

Shaking the Movers- a safe space for youth to have a voice.

   — I was so honored to participate (as art facilitator) in the 9th instalment of Shaking the Movers yesterday!   Shaking the Movers, founded by The Honorable Landon Pearson, is a profound process that supports youth in making powerful recommendations around children’s rights using their own voices. Shaking the Movers: The Shaking the Movers conferences are two-day workshops that…

The maternal eyelids that buried will again open toward the heights…

  Karin Thorsen September 17, 1936 – November 8, 2008 Because you are only a seed, chestnut tree, autumn, earth, water, heights, silence prepared the germ, the floury density, the maternal eyelids that buried will again open toward the heights the simple majesty of foliage, the dark damp plan of new roots, the ancient but…

“Write the f*!king book.” The importance of mentors in creative projects.

I am all about creative process.  I am not worried about that.  I have creative process down to a science.  No worries.  It’s a habit embedded so deep that it literally is part of my every breath and heartbeat.  I got this.  Yep.  And if you want help to do the same- believe me… I…

Art journaling e-workshop 12-part course

I have created an in-depths arts journaling program and am offering it to you as an email course! I have been developing a little project for awhile now, inspired by my desires to combine my learned lessons from years of facilitating art sessions.  You will receive instructions and imagery to print out and color.  Fun, easy, in-depths!   The…

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…

Mindmap Tutorial Week Part 7 of 7: Reviewing

I have been diving into a much-needed new mindmap this week, so I thought I’d create a tutorial during my process! Tutorial so far: Introductory blog post- mindmap tutorial week Part 1: What is a mindmap? Part 2: the Big Vision Part 3: Stream of consciousness mapping Part 4: Prioritizing/consolidating/connecting Part 5: Enhancing Part 6: Addressing…

Mindmap tutorial week Part 5 of 7: Enhancing

I am diving into a much-needed new mindmap this week, so I thought I’d create a tutorial during my process! Tutorial so far: Introductory blog post- mindmap tutorial week Part 1: What is a mindmap? Part 2: the Big Vision Part 3: Stream of consciousness mapping Part 4: Prioritizing/consolidating/connecting TODAY: PART 5 OF 7: Enhancing Last…

Mindmap Tutorial Week Part 4: Prioritizing, consolidating, connecting

I am diving into a much-needed new mindmap this week, so I thought I’d create a tutorial during my process! Tutorial so far: Introductory blog post- mindmap tutorial week Part 1: What is a mindmap? Part 2: the Big Vision Part 3: Stream of consciousness mapping TODAY: PART 4 OF 7: Prioritizing/consolidating/connecting So once you have…

Mindmap Tutorial Week Part 3: Stream of consciousness mapping

I am diving into a much-needed new mindmap this week, so I thought I’d create a tutorial during my process! Tutorial so far: Introductory blog post- mindmap tutorial week Part 1: What is a mindmap? Part 2: the Big Vision TODAY: PART 3 OF 7: Stream of consciousness mapping In your journal start writing out…

Mindmap Tutorial Week Part 2 of 7: the Big Vision

I am diving into a much-needed new mindmap this week, so I thought I’d create a tutorial during my process! Tutorial so far: Introductory blog post- mindmap tutorial week Part 1: What is a mindmap? TODAY: PART 2 OF 7: The Big Vision You may recall my journey with mindmaps using:   Right-brain entrepreneur Jennifer Lee…

Mindmap Tutorial Week Part 1 of 7: What is a mindmap?

I am diving into a much-needed new mindmap this week, so I thought I’d create a tutorial during my process! Recall: Introductory blog post- mindmap tutorial week Today: Part 1 of 7: What is a mindmap? Mindmaps (or mind maps– but I prefer the one word version) are essentially visual diagrams. Wikipedia definition: A mind…

Mindmap tutorial week on the blog!

Getting ready to dive into a much-needed new mindmap this week, so I thought I’d create a tutorial during my process! What to expect: Part 1: What is a mindmap? Part 2: The big vision Part 3: Stream of consciousness mapping Part 4: Prioritizing/consolidating/connecting Part 5: Enhancing Part 6: Addressing Part 7: Reviewing What you…

Making a Comeback: rebranding mental health

I first met Allanah Mooney, Lionheart Productions, when she was a guest film professional at Frames Film Project when I was the program coordinator there.  I love Allanah’s passion for authentic storytelling and for creating social change through the medium of film. It also turns out we are neighbors!  I often run into Allanah walking…

ART-INTERPRETED PERSONALIZED EMBROIDERED PORTRAITS- now available to order

   Portrait illustrated here of Ixquel Delaluna — ORDER YOUR ART-INTERPRETED PERSONALIZED EMBROIDERED PORTRAIT: ONLY $175 FOR 12″X17″ PORTRAIT (plus $20 shipping when using PayPal) HOW TO PAY: 1. Email transfer to britakatarina@gmail.com (save on shipping costs) 2. PAYPAL EMAIL ME FOR MORE INFO   

Recycled sock craft: dead crow. #Graphicnovel fundraiser. 

The crow guides my healing journey. It gives me the courage to enter the darkness of the unknown and to let go of fear. The crow reminds me to laugh, live and love fiercely as I embrace my life’s mission.  According to folk lore, finding a dead crow implies good fortune awaits.  I feel they…

Lilla My #fanart custom made composition books. 

I love customizing composition books.  Prepping a new one for today. I am particularly in love with this one so I’m making this version available to you!  Lilla My fan art custom made composition books: Ready to contain your hopes, wishes, dreams, ramblings, musings, to-do’s, purges, goals etc. A safe place to vent as you…

10 Tuesdays. 10 Fridas. Frida No.10: Moomin Frida.

I’ve been 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 have been creating/posting 10 different portraits of Frida Kahlo (plus some additional posts here and there) in some form/medium or another. It may be a…

Dear future me… Empowering exercise designed by @peterbreeze

I was so honored to take part in a taste-test workshop last Saturday designed and facilitated by Peter Breeze (co-facilitated by Odin in Germany. Participants included Kany, Annalise and Mariel). Very special day! I’ve been developing a workshop for over a year and today I finally shared my ideas and exercises with these special people….

10 Tuesdays. 10 Fridas. Frida No. 9: Frida and the magpie portrait

I’ve been 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 have been creating/posting 10 different portraits of Frida Kahlo (plus some additional posts here and there) in some form/medium or another. It may be a…

Home funeral practicum moments.

I spent a deep and profound 24 hours in Squamish this weekend co-facilitating a home funeral practicum with Don Morris and Wendy Rée. I was honored to take part in this extraordinary event and relished in the authentic and heartfelt dialogue that occurred around  the kitchen table. Here are some moments captured on Saturday:     …

10 Tuesdays. 10 Fridas: Frida No. 8: Dia de los Muertos Sock Monkey (made to order)

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 have been 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….

Frida Kahlo, muere el 13 de Julio de 1954

Frida Kahlo July 6, 1907- July 13, 1954

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…