Art Sale: Frida and the Wounded Bird #fridakahlo

ART SALE: A special panel from my DRAWING ON PAIN Frida Kahlo is an icon and muse that I return to again and again.  I am infused by Frida and I consider myself a Kahloist.  She epitomizes the artist and woman in pain.  As I was going through my divorce, I was driven to draw Frida…

‘Asta Sollilja of Summerhouses’ exhibit

My 1998 solo exhibit: Asta Sollilja of Summerhouses ONE OF THE PIECES FROM THE SHOW: The House, 1998, Katarina Thorsen It was a house and a stable in one.  All that was visible of the inner, wooden shell was the door and its frame, the door so small, the threshold so high that one had to…

I’m back in a stall- some kind of school washroom… #dream #innercritic

I used to have a recurring dream— it started in my adolescence and continued into my early 40’s- I would dream that I was getting ready for dance class and changing in a public bathroom stall– it would be at a university pool, or at a community centre, or at a school- but it would always…

You are motherhood. You are the greatest mystery. Karin 17/09/36-08/11/08

Only do not forget, if I wake up crying it’s only because in my dream I’m a lost child hunting through the leaves of the night for your hands… – Pablo Neruda 8 years ago today, my little brother held my mother’s face and spoke sweetly, guiding my mother.  I laid my right ear on her chest and…

I’ve given myself space-time.

This week started with some bristling uneasiness.  But instead of falling into fear and trying to figure out next steps, I decided to give myself this week to take time– to NOT FIGURE THINGS OUT.  To give myself some space and time.  Some space-time. Be in the questions, yes- but allow whatever comes- to come. I asked myself- what…

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…

Delicious book! ‘Awakening Joy- for kids’ by Michele Lilyanna and James Baraz

I reconnected with a sweet friend/soul-sister/colleague last Friday, sharing sacred hours at my kitchen table. When I lived on the Sunshine Coast 1996-2003, I was lucky enough to befriend and work with Michele Lilyanna.  (Happy 20th anniversary, Michele!) Incredibly, both my kids were lucky to have her as a teacher, and her friendship got me…

Digging deeper, the secrets become aviatic.

  Working on Molly, and I remain fascinated that I find it easier to dig deeper into the story by using the image of birds.   Somehow, the layers that obscure the truth are scraped away a little easier.   Are the birds metaphors?  My guides? I robbed your grave.  I revealed you.  I showed you in shameful moments….

Ode to the carnation- “nature’s bastards”

A flower is a miracle.  A carnation certainly so.  Did you know carnations are “banned” as decor in certain facilities?  They are supposedly cheap, low class, ugly, unacceptable. I adore carnations and I have to speak up.  How can this beautiful flower, known to be GOOD FOR HUMMINGBIRDS, BEES AND BUTTERFLIES, be so vilified? Sir, the year growing…

Love letter to Toronto 

6 AM Despite living in Canada most of my life, I had never been to Toronto before this year and now I am on my third visit in just a few months!  Sitting at the table in my suite in Etobicoke [early morning preparing to co-facilitate with Beverley Pomeroy 3 days of engagement work with…

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…

What being ace means to me. #asexual musings

Being age 54 and “single” I am often asked (by people my own age), Are you dating anyone now?   When my response is one of raised eyebrows and a cynical laugh, and an adamant, I have no interest, I often get the NEVER SAY NEVER statement. Oh my God.  I know I know— who knows what lies…

‘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…

The inverted detective story approach.

Huge thank you to Patti Henderson who encouraged me to consider the inverted detective story approach on Molly- a true crime analysis.  I thought I needed to restructure my rough draft fully when she suggested this Columbo style, but as I review my manuscript, I realize only minor tweaks are needed structurally- especially the opening sequence.  All…

I am obsessing about Molly’s wandering soul.

I am obsessing about Molly‘s wandering soul. I have written before 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 in late 2003 as I was searching through microfiches….

My mother’s tapestry…

Today would have been my mother’s 80th birthday.  It was joyous to celebrate her by celebrating my nephew’s 5th birthday (his official birthday is on the 19th) in my brother’s household filled with kids and mayhem, food and laughter. Our growing family certainly is my mother’s tapestry- her woven threads. We are the weavers of our…

First line… let’s go.

Recall:  I sit now surrounded by my manuscripts, references, inspiration and pressing fingertips to keys and (re)typing.  (Re)COMMITMENT!  This version will be from the pelvis.  First chakra shit. Yesterday, I posted: Start again. Put China markers and socks and threaded needles down. Write, bitch, write. There is no beginning.  I’ve tried to invent one but it…

A visit to Artrageous Pictures and Framing!

It was wonderful to finally have a visit with Bill Pomeroy at Artrageous Pictures and Framing on Commercial Drive today!   LOCATIONS: FRIDA!!! Check out Artrageous on: FACEBOOK: TWITTER: INSTAGRAM: I LOVE that Artrageous supports artists and has several extraordinary pieces for sale at the shop: LINK I’m looking forward to seeing how the shop frames…

Stitched together with good intentions- a grumble of [sock] pugs!

On September 1, 2016, Fall weather and autumn vibe seemed to come on full force here in Vancouver BC.  Along with the autumn atmosphere comes the rejuvenated desire to craft, to create product and re-open the ETSY shop and the reminder to focus on the Winter craft fair to do list. So I put away my other work…

President’s Dream Colloquium on Returning to the Teachings: Justice, Identity and Belonging sfu.ca

Photos by Rick Magnell: Punky Lake Wilderness Camp Society Art Camp, Riske Creek/ Williams Lake Summer 2016. See: LINK From President’s Dream Colloquium on Returning to the Teachings: Justice, Identity and Belonging: “Justice, identity and belonging are central indicators of health and well-being. Founded on the ideal of a pluralistic society, Canada faces significant equity challenges in upholding…

The importance of @Lin_Manuel’s creative process

— Show attendees, reporters, politicians, historians, authors, social media, voices in the street, voices in the theatre, dancers, actors, musicians, artists, the fans lining up for 100 hours, our hearts are screaming that Hamilton “the most astonishing thing I have ever seen.”  Including my household!  WE ARE OBSESSED!!! “It’s fair to say that “Hamilton” is quickly…

More than kisses, letters mingle souls… and I am not your fault.

This past weekend, my sweet friend from university days gave me a bunch of letters I had written to her around 1984-86. Fascinating look into my “reality” then.  I put reality in quotation marks.  It is so painful and funny (and relieving that I survived) as I see “through the sunny cellophane of which not very appetizing frustrations…

That is a step on which… #creativeprocess

I was working on my Molly project today— contemplating a slightly new format, to reconstruct the prologue.  The idea came out of the first weekly mini writer’s retreat that I started last Monday with my soul-sister, Patti Henderson: Patti encouraged me to attack the material in a new way. I love how collaborative dialogue can push, pull, inspire.  Afterwards, perseverating…

We are made of star-stuff…

To get myself realigned and prepared for diving into writing/drawing/reflection, I check in with my Church that is Frida Kahlo and let the stream of consciousness flow. Head to heart to hand. To prepare for output, there must be some quiet me time, input.  Some meditation.  And for me that is the private act of…

Ingesting information using mind mapping.

I use mind mapping when I plan a project. E.g. as in Molly, a true crime analysis: I also use mind mapping when I ingest information.  It is a way to take non-linear notes, engage the whole brain and create one easy visual that allows me to remember what I read with a single glance at the…

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…

You had the opportunity last month to end up not recognizing yourself.

This past weekend I have had a bit of that existential-post-trip-out-of-body-kind-of-weirdness-needing-to-contract feeling. [Thanks to my soul sister, Patti Henderson], I check in with the Power Path regularly (especially when I feel like this) as a tool/guide.  I am reminded of the July 2016 forecast: “Radical personal transformation is possible. Start with taking care of yourself, loving…

It takes no compromise to give people their rights… – Harvey Milk

“It takes no compromise to give people their rights… it takes no money to respect the individual. It takes no political deal to give people freedom. It takes no survey to remove repression.”  ― Harvey Milk —

Williams Lake/ Punky Lake Summer 2016 Art Camp Diary- Part 6: the photographer

Recall: Preview Part 1: Preparation Part 2: Travel Part 3: Art Camp Day 1  Part 4: Art Camp Day 2 Part 5: Art Camp Day 3 — Part 6: Punky Lake Wilderness Camp Society Summer 2016 Art Camp- the photographer What a treat it was to be joined by photographer Rick Magnell of Magnell Photography on Days…

Williams Lake/ Punky Lake Summer 2016 Diary- Part 1: Preparation

Recall Williams Lake/ Punky Lake Summer 2016 Diary- Preview: I’m keeping a diary and will try to post at the end of each day. Today in Part 1, it is about preparation: 3-DAY INTENSIVE THERAPEUTIC ART CAMP AND MURAL PROJECT, OLD TRAINING AND RECREATION COMPLEX  As much as art and connection are part of the…

Of being age 21 at age 54. Being a menopausal millennial. Journal musings.

Have you ever sat so fully in the moment, teetering on a sharp blade, fully aware of being so profoundly present- wondering if you are living a parallel storyline or path not predicted, not destined, but accidentally claimed? The world is chaotic and painful, glorious and terrifying, and large- yet each of us spin around…

It is important now for me to honor this call for retreat. #creativeprocess

I sense it is time to really retreat in between work schedules and ensure cave time to focus on my passion project: Molly, a true crime analysis.  Seek solitude, writes Delacroix.  I hear you.  I am in a fantastic place regarding the project- she feels ripe, ready, eager.  Through a tear in the fabric of time…

Catacomb of Veils- Burning Man 2016, Part 4 of 4: The Scope

Part 4 of 4: THE SCOPE Catacomb of Veils will be the largest art piece at Burning Man 2016 and one of the largest burned sculptures in the history of the event. Everyone participating in the creation of Catacomb is all-volunteer with a commitment to the transformative power of temporary art. – [SOURCE] Recall:  Part…

Catacomb of Veils- Burning Man 2016, Part 3 of 4: The Team

Catacomb of Veils will be the largest art piece at Burning Man 2016 and one of the largest burned sculptures in the history of the event. Everyone participating in the creation of Catacomb is all-volunteer with a commitment to the transformative power of temporary art. – [SOURCE] Recall:  Part 1: The Project Part 2: The…

Catacomb of Veils- Burning Man 2016, Part 2 of 4: The Inspiration

Recall Part 1: The Project Catacomb of Veils will be the largest art piece at Burning Man 2016 and one of the largest burned sculptures in the history of the event. Everyone participating in the creation of Catacomb is all-volunteer with a commitment to the transformative power of temporary art. – SOURCE Part 2 of…

Journal exercise: self-care and self-compassion

Journal exercise: What does self-care and self-compassion mean to you?  How are they different?  How are they the same? — Inspired by conversations of late, I am intrigued by the differences between SELF-CARE and SELF-COMPASSION. — — In health care, self care is any necessary human regulatory function which is under individual control, deliberate and self-initiated. [source]…

Caress the detail, the divine detail. Language play.

I don’t consider myself a writer by any means.  I am a visual artist inspired by the written word.  I love gathering sources, collecting, researching, gathering.  I love reading and feeling the creative process of the writer.  I enjoy contemplating interpretation- how small changes in presentation and how collaging and mish-mashing can alter meaning and…

The objects are the context from which I draw clues.

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. When I work on Molly, I step into the 1940’s through books, research, primary sources.  And I do it…

In place of death there was light.

I am preparing myself to draw my mother’s “death mask” from the photo my son took after she passed on November 8, 2008. I have been preparing for awhile. I know the process will be an important and necessary one for me personally.  I think about it often.  It’s not about needing to work on something…

The permanent analogy of things by images which participate in the life of truth.

  “I took a deep breath and listened to the old brag of my heart. I am, I am, I am.” ― Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar What am I trying to convey in my work?  Is it of value?  Does it matter? I remind myself that it doesn’t, that it CANNOT MATTER how I “fit…

Special sale: Dead Bird Collection- embroidered drawings

I am a BIG BIG fan of symbology, imagery and metaphor.  I feed on it like some kind of voracious vampire.   As I was collecting a few books from my personal library to donate to our local community mini library, I pulled out an old book I had forgotten about.   Oh, how I love…

The importance of the vintage photograph as creative resource.

  There is no end to the inspiration I get from looking at vintage photographs- through immersion comes awakened imagination. The central characters in my graphic novel are real people but as I am doing an artistic interpretation of real events, I revel in the freedom to flesh out the central characters using old photos as a…

The psychopomp and the crow- made from @Socksmith socks! 

I received these beautiful skeleton socks from Socksmith in the mail on Monday!  Oh I love them! Socksmith has been a long time favorite sock company for me ever since my first visit to Sockshop on Haight back in October 2010!  Here is the blog post about that visit: LINK I remained a long time fan:…

The boarding pass lies within the double helix…

I had a bit of a silly dream last night. I write, silly because, unlike the dream, I usually get to the airport three hours ahead of time for a domestic flight.  I am already fretting about the upcoming 6:30 AM flight on June 19 when I head back to Toronto for more creative community…

The timeless/spaceless mid zone of creative process and chatting with the dead…

There is a beautiful part of my creative process that I cherish- the part that allows me to dialogue with my parents as if they are here in my kitchen, sharing coffee and offering advice and dialoguing on the cold case.  I had some magical moments the other day as I pulled out old binders…

Embroidered drawings and forensic taphonomy

My passion project, Molly- a true crime analysis, centres around a 63 year old Vancouver cold case. On January 15, 1953, the skeletal remains of two children were found in the forest of Stanley Park in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.  The victims became known as the Babes in the Wood.  The physical evidence indicated that the children were killed…

Dear my body… a love letter.

  Dear my body, We shy away from the camera; we always have. We are like the Sasquatch– rare sightings on FB. I am not interested in what you look like.  I don’t want to see.  I don’t need to see. I prefer the role of the observer, not the observed. I love REALITY and…

Creative engagement to energize and foster growth

— Why do I  love utilizing creative engagement so much?  Well, let’s be honest, I don’t think I really know any other way to engage participants!  But seriously, what I truly love about it is that it creates an “active workspace dedicated to real-time creative activity to energize observers and encourage a different take on…

I asked them to draw themselves as a superhero…

I was doing graphic recording and co-facilitating a workshop for frontline staff at a residential living facility in Toronto last week. The focus of the workshop was Interdependence of Community Engagement in Residential Living, with key facilitator Beverley Pomeroy. We mind mapped so much with this group that we had to double/triple layer the large wall mind map!…

Mamma.

  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…

… it goes deep, deep down into its burrow…

I was organizing my notebooks and loose papers and to-do lists at a coffee shop this morning.  I love to organize, but I am strangely disorganized.  Creative chaos is my middle name, but so are organizational skills. My mind runs a 1000 miles per hour, and so I write bits of quotes, make lists, tiny…

“I am not young enough to know everything.”

54 today.  At times through crawling, at times through running, stumbling, skipping, dancing, rolling, falling, shaking, tripping, jumping, sliding, swinging, flying but mainly through one step at a time- I am still here. It is a beautiful day indeed. “I am not young enough to know everything.” – Oscar Wilde  

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…

Getting out of my own way.

I was down and dark in January- been down and dark before- but this time I was dipping down a little too low.  I am blessed that I was able to communicate that to my nearest and dearest and have the difficult conversations and be met with love and support. I want to be here.  To…

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…

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…

Mom’s laugh- visual sound.

I originally posted this six years ago.  I just came across it again and my heart aches.  This year (on November 8) it will be 8 years since my mom passed away.  It can’t be possible.  I feel her with me always.  And I love that I feel safe to process our loving, deep, difficult…

The heart of it.

Practicing being heart-fully present and health-fully detached.  And checking in regularly with my own heart journey. Getting up a bit earlier.  Gentle time before facing each day.  Then practicing stepping into the day with OPEN boundless bountiful boundary-full HEART. And always reminding myself to nurture the heart of my passions and gifts. “I’m filled with burning passion to experience life…