Portraits move us, connect us, pull out stories #streetart

In my street art portraits, I draw people I know, people in my social media circle, people who draw me in (pardon the pun), people who inspire me.

I have been inspired by “Rochelle” (my local barista) for quite a while now.  She was so gracious to accept my invitation to be photographed for reference shots.  The first time I saw her, I knew I needed to draw her!

We did not anticipate the power of the shoot, though.  As I explained to Rochelle what the photos are being used for, a dialogue opened up between us- a dialogue that can only be called powerful.  The honesty and transparency of the moment moved everyone in the room and I am truly grateful for Rochelle’s fearlessness in allowing us to hear her incredible story of overcoming obstacles and to document her beauty.  Her future is indeed bright.

What my streetart portraits are showing me time and again is the power of the portrait itself in opening dialogue and trust.  The reaction people have to being drawn is what intrigues me the most.

In Rochelle, I am exploring the emotions that are exuded in the moment of transparency.

Each of us has an inner child of the past living within us.  Those who needed to build no walls have access to that child’s creativity and spontaneity.  Those who had to leave this crucial core behind can tear down the walls, see what the child needed but didn’t have, and begin to provide it now.  The more we do this, the more we know that we are worth it. – Gloria Steinem

The following are samples of photos taken by my brother, Fred Thorsen.  Glorious.

I cannot put words down for what was happening to me spiritually, emotionally, or mentally…..one of the most moving moments of my life. – Rochelle

I cannot wait to continue drawing Rochelle.

I will be presenting her portraits as part of an interactive art corner at INSPIRE: An evening of bring body, mind and spirit together at the Vancouver Art Gallery on September 14, 2012.  I will start the portraits and attendees will finish them!

See more about our wheatpaste art:

China Marker Bowie and other portraits

Portrait: Jacqueline

Latest updates

This is how we do it

Once it’s up, let it go

Something this fun has got to be illegal!

Beauty in the deterioration…

Joe Average

Wide-eyed with a twist of the lips

Mia More in the morning

While I stand on the roadway…

Walking the streets of dreams

Evolution of a wheatpaste: Justine

Beauty in the deterioration Part 2

Do you know what it takes…?

We’ve gone national!

The Social Life hits the streets!

Walking the streets of dreams wall is growing

Fierce beauty: Cassandra and Shokra

A morning with Joe

Beauty in the deterioration Part 3

I am impelled, not to squeak like a grateful and apologetic mouse, but to roar like a lion. – Steinbeck. #mydad

My Dad, Roar, truly has the heart of a lion.  He wants the world to know he is ready to tackle the next phase of his cancer battle.  He passed his physical exams yesterday clearing the way for surgery.

Dad also wanted you to see his perfect BP!

I am impelled, not to squeak like a grateful and apologetic mouse, but to roar like a lion out of pride in my profession. – John Steinbeck

ART HEALS: my father-daughter exhibit at The Rubble Gallery, Vancouver BC Jan 21-Feb 7


Featuring dual art show/fundraiser of therapeutic works by father and daughter: Roar and Katarina Thorsen

January 21- Feb 7, 2012 at the Rubble Gallery!

Closing event (with an interactive art corner) date TBA!!!!!!

Cash bar, snacks, music, art.

As life-long artists, my father and I use art to dialogue, support each other and to process and grieve difficult life events such as divorce, illness, loss of independence, death.
The show is a collection of our individual and mutual work:
1. Two diaries:
Roar’s “Paris on  250 BMW 1952” journal and my 1977 diary will be on display.
Examples from my series on grief and divorce (china marker on masonite board). [will be on sale]
3. Portraits: 
Roar’s current series of therapeutic post-stroke drawings, created in his long term care facility (pencil and felt pen on small foam boards).  [will be on sale].
4. Molly: 
Preview of my illustrations for my graphic novel in progress (china marker on newsprint). [NFS]
preview of Roar’s post-stroke illustrations and quotes to his book of drawings and wisdoms (pencil crayon on paper).
6. Raffle:
My painting “Morfar’s Klass” (28″ x 40″) (acrylic on canvas) will be raffled.

Tickets and donations to go towards self-publishing costs of Molly and The Old Apple Tree.

1 ticket $20

3 tickets $40

10 tickets $100

Raffle draw extended to closing event.  You can purchase a ticket at the gallery by giving them your name and address and they will forward that to me.

7. Interactive Art Piece:
Art was started by me and is added to by participants and gallery visitors.  The piece can be added to by gallery visitors for the remainder of the exhibit and will be donated to the Rubble Gallery.
See examples of my interactive art at: http://bit.ly/ofOWDe
To arrange a visit to the gallery, make an appointment through the gallery!

Poetry Readings + Life Drawing + Concerts + Intimate Gatherings + Dance + Theatre + Drag + Burlesque + Make-up + Pop-up Retail + Art + Music + Book Launch

The Rubble Gallery is a community flex space intent on breaking down the barriers between the arts and increasing circulation and accessibility in the local arts scene in Vancouver. Bringing together artists, entertainers, patrons and audiences, their goal is to highlight high quality projects and bodies of work from local and international sources. Together with more affordable spaces, fund-raising events, and upcoming grants and scholarships, their aim is to make an impact in artist’s lives at a critical stage in their career and have a memorable time in the process. In order to expand ideas of space and function Rubble is using a flex concept to morph to the will of its inhabitants, incorporating production, exhibition, retail, entertainment, and other dynamic uses.

They encourage you to consider them for your fund-raising event space, exhibitions, launch parties, production space, and special events in the lower east side of Vancouver.

Check out their BLOG and Facebook site!

Contact info:

1879 Powell Street, Vancouver BC V5L 1H8

ART CURATOR: ARI rubblegallery@gmail.com


See also:


PARIS 1952



Check out some photos from the opening art event Jan 21:

Jocelyn Louise, my model for Molly, at Jan 21 art event at the Rubble Gallery.