Drawing process- trefoil knot found in the wolf

RIP Freddie Jones

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

I am allowed to think freely. Stream of consciousness journaling

The importance of doodling…

Spontaneous drawings may relieve psychological distress, making it easier to attend to things. We like to make sense of our lives by making up coherent stories, but sometimes there are gaps that cannot be filled, no matter how hard we try. Doodles fill these gaps, possibly by activating the brain’s “time travel machine,” allowing it to find lost puzzle…

Hi-a-tus from Facebook and Instagram to rejuvenate my creative process

“Set your boundaries and protection but at the same time, look to your own inner friction and allow it to ignite something that will have a positive outcome. This can be an exceptionally creative month especially if you focus on what is ahead instead of what is behind you. Keep your eyes on the door…

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 that one thing I must do before I die.

My life feels very complete. My children grown and following their hearts fully. My creative process keeps my heart beating and my soul happy. And at the end of each day I remind myself it’s all about process and all my endless projects need to just unfold as they will. As does my life. No…

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…

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

I am not depressed today.

  May 18, 2019 Saturdays I tend to have– a type of Saturday Migraine– what I call- spiritual migraines- as the time to myself hits after sleeping in an extra hour after a full week of so much output– I can either be in euphoric creative mode, or despair/exhaustion.  Of course, I enjoy the euphoria.  I…

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…

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…

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…

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:…

Sunday pause. Sunday paws.

Sunday pause. ☕️📰📚 Sunday paws. 🐾 Couldn’t sleep well last night- overthinking- work, responsibilities.  But this morning I pause, knowing I’ve worked dang hard to get here.  To get to this moment.  To get to a place where I can sit at a kitchen table alone on a Sunday morning with the New York Times and…

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…

“Poke the spot hard till the sore bleeds on your finger”… journaling out the crap.

I’m in the dark here! Those words (from Scent of a Woman) are playing in my mind over and over.  I’m in a slump, a funk, a bottom-ing out.  And I can’t “see.” I have lost “the point” of my art.  My writing, my research.  I have lost “the it.”  The edge of it. I…

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…

Did the song of the sparrows trigger a genetic memory?

Last Monday morning I am walking to the bus stop heading to work.  I walk south through the little park on Chilco between Nelson and Comox.   It is a sunny cold morning, so I am bundled up.  My extra long black and grey scarf hangs down the front underneath coat and covers my knees….

“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:

“Retreat mode”

Heading into “retreat mode” for awhile.  Creativity, family, bread and butter work, boundary reset.  See you on the other side. Not known, because not looked for But heard, half heard, in the stillness Between two waves of the sea. Quick now, here, now, always— A condition of complete simplicity (Costing not less than everything)… -TS Eliot

Relaunch and new look: my online graphic novel “Molly, a True Crime Analysis, the third draft”

Molly- a true crime analysis is my experimental graphic novel, originally workshopped online in weekly instalments between January 15, 2017 and January 13, 2018.   I call the current online version the third draft.   mollygraphicnovel.com UPDATE: THE GRAPHIC NOVEL IS BEING RE-WORKED AND THEREFORE SET TO “PRIVATE” WITH RESTRICTED ACCESS My work is based on extensive research, interviews and…

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…

I get this ways sometimes.

Ever get this way? Staring at your to do list, and not moving? Feels like a slow bleed, but the blood is flowing backwards causing a brain sting. I get this ways sometimes. Trying to figure out too many things and struggling with feeling useless and unproductive, even strangely irresponsible, yet knowing I deserve just…

The importance of being specific. Collage for 2019.

Recall Vision for 2019: Courage Last night I mind mapped around the heart image- and one of the key “to-do’s” for 2019 is PAUSE AND REFLECT, BEFORE SAYING YES. Tonight I spent time around the kitchen table, cutting and pasting stream of consciousness collages with my soul-sister Patti Henderson, as we chatted about life and about our…

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)…

The birthday card, 1942.

A family treasure:   Birthday card sent to my father in Sarpsborg, Norway, from my grandfather, Gunnar Thorsen, and fellow Norwegian soldiers (in German concentration camp) for my father’s 12th birthday Aug 8, 1942. GUNNAR THORSEN 1897-1970   After graduation from school my Dad decided to join the army.  Thereafter he ended up in the…

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…

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 8- The Letter

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)…

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…

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)…

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,…

Admit it- you crave simplicity.

September 30, 2018 Dear Me, I am writing you this as I sense you need a reminder. I am writing to remind you that it is OK embrace what you are realizing right now: that the older you get, the more you will recoil from complexity. It appears that when you face complex chaos,  the…

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…

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,…

Potato Nose Diaries (1977): Instalment 6- The Trip to Paris

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 Today’s instalment: This instalment is enhanced when accompanied by: ©…

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 4- Sex Education

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

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…

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…