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.

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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)

To purchase:

PayPal or e-transfer to britakatarina@gmail.com

(include mailing address)

 

SOLD: STUDIO CLEARANCE SALE: Painting entitled “The House,” 1998

Raising FUNDS, clearing SPACE and LETTING GO.

STUDIO CLEARANCE SALE

(Vancouver BC)

FOR SALE:

A favorite piece from my 1998 solo exhibit: Asta Sollilja of Summerhouses

SOLD

e-transfer or paypal: britakatarina@gmail.com

CONTACT: EMAIL

You pick up in West End, Vancouver

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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 stoop on entering.  Down in the stable it was cold and dark, the air sour with the smell of earth, the toadstools flabby, but when the trapdoor was lifted a faint gleam shone down from the loft.  There were mangers along the sides, and in the farther wall a gap just wide enough to allow access to a hay barn that Bjartur proposed building behind the house… – Halldor Laxness

Acrylic on Canvas

36″ x 48″

(Note the piece is made of two canvases, 24″ x 36″ each.  It is currently framed, with a beautiful handmade cedar frame by Ralph Bowers- in frame measures 37″ x 49″)

THE EXHBIT WAS INSPIRED BY INDEPENDENT PEOPLE

There is no more important novel to me than INDEPENDENT PEOPLE by Halldor Laxness (1902 – 1998), Icelandic novelist, awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1955.  I own several copies of the book.  Here is the dust jacket from my hardcover English edition (1946, Alfred A. Knopf, New York):

The exhibit:

The novel inspired a large exhibit in 1998 of multiple paintings, drawings and quilts.  These were exhibited at the beautiful Nordic Heritage Museum in Seattle, ironically just a month after Laxness’s passing.

Exhibit Synopsis:

In 1983, through my Scandinavian Literature class at the University of British Columbia (taught by my mentor Peter Stenberg), I was introduced to an extraordinary novel which forever embedded itself into my heart. I honestly didn’t know at the time how much it affected me, for my mind was cluttered with other university courses and accompanying distractions, but I did know that the book was very important, and indeed it was the one I have returned to again and again.

The novel is Independent People by Nobel prize winner Halldor Laxness, beautifully translated from Icelandic by J. A. Thompson, 1946, Borzoi Books, Alfred A. Knopf, New York. The novel was reissued in paperback by Vintage international, January 1997.

It is an epic tale of a farm family in rural Iceland around the time of World War I. The central character is a rough and self-proclaimed independent sheep farmer called Bjartur, who early on establishes his croft in which the epic and isolated events of his family are played out. Bjartur is the centre of the story, but the most striking character is his daughter Asta Sollilja. This lonely pubescent girl is the heart of the novel, embodying beauty, pity, tragedy; she is the face of Iceland. Her relationship with her father is awkward, heavy, yet extremely endearing.

At once inspired by the words of Halldor Laxness and my Scandinavian heritage, I chose to do a visual essay on Asta, an essay that should allow the viewer to understand the character without having read the book first, but to inspire them to read it. The paintings and the quilts in the exhibit are strictly my personal interpretation of Asta, focusing on emotion and relationships with other characters rather than specific themes. The quilts are an important feature of the exhibit, providing a visual and tactile commentary- on women’s hand work, the bed covering as protection, the bed where birth, dreams, rape, death occur.

Central quote to the exhibit: page 351

He did not know what to say in the face of such sorrow. He sat in silence by his sister’s side in the spring vendure, which was too young; and the hidden strings in his breast began to quiver, and to sound. This was the first time that he had ever looked into the labyrinth of the human soul. He was very far from understanding what he saw. But what was of more value, he felt and suffered with her. In years that were to come he relived this memory in song, in the most beautiful song the world has ever known. For the understanding in the soul’s defencelessness, of the conflict between two poles, is not the source of the greatest song. The source of the greatest song is sympathy. Sympathy with Asta Sollilja on earth.

Asta Sollilja, 1998 (donated to the Missing Women’s Legacy Society, 2002) 
Detail from Bjartur Quilt, 1998

Feedback:

I was honored to receive amazing feedback from the show.  I treasure this comment in particular:

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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 as a child.  The medium I chose (or it chose me) was china marker on masonite board.  Child-Frida was a light to help me process through and to lift me out of the hole of depression.

I LOVED making this series even though they were done at 3 AM with my heart pounding and anxiety choking me.  They allowed me to release the pain in the moment.  They allowed me to process the pain in my personal therapy sessions.

The 12 piece-series (only a few remain in my personal collection) illustrate the power of art to process life changes.  Heavily, honestly.  I never tend to go light.

And the pieces have been protested: LINK

I am releasing Frida and the Wounded Bird for a special holiday art sale.

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Frida and the Wounded Bird, Katarina Thorsen ©2004 (china marker on masonite board, 18″ x 24″)

$450 CAD (free shipping)

Email transfer to britakatarina@gmail.com

or PayPal

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“My painting carries with it the message of pain.”
― Frida Kahlo

 

‘Asta Sollilja of Summerhouses’ exhibit

My 1998 solo exhibit: Asta Sollilja of Summerhouses

2016-11-08-13-55-16

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 stoop on entering.  Down in the stable it was cold and dark, the air sour with the smell of earth, the toadstools flabby, but when the trapdoor was lifted a faint gleam shone down from the loft.  There were mangers along the sides, and in the farther wall a gap just wide enough to allow access to a hay barn that Bjartur proposed building behind the house… – Halldor Laxness

Acrylic on Canvas

36″ x 48″

(Note the piece is made of two canvases, 24″ x 36″ each.  It is currently framed, with handmade cedar frame by Ralph Bowers- in frame measures 37″ x 49″)

In my private collection, Vancouver BC

The Book:

There is no more important novel to me than INDEPENDENT PEOPLE by Halldor Laxness (1902 – 1998), Icelandic novelist, awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1955.  I own several copies of the book.  Here is the dust jacket from my hardcover English edition (1946, Alfred A. Knopf, New York):

The exhibit:

The novel inspired a large exhibit in 1998 of multiple paintings, drawings and quilts.  These were exhibited at the beautiful Nordic Heritage Museum in Seattle, ironically just a month after Laxness’s passing.

Exhibit Synopsis:

In 1983, through my Scandinavian Literature class at the University of British Columbia (taught by my mentor Peter Stenberg), I was introduced to an extraordinary novel which forever embedded itself into my heart. I honestly didn’t know at the time how much it affected me, for my mind was cluttered with other university courses and accompanying distractions, but I did know that the book was very important, and indeed it was the one I have returned to again and again.

The novel is Independent People by Nobel prize winner Halldor Laxness, beautifully translated from Icelandic by J. A. Thompson, 1946, Borzoi Books, Alfred A. Knopf, New York. The novel was reissued in paperback by Vintage international, January 1997.

It is an epic tale of a farm family in rural Iceland around the time of World War I. The central character is a rough and self-proclaimed independent sheep farmer called Bjartur, who early on establishes his croft in which the epic and isolated events of his family are played out. Bjartur is the centre of the story, but the most striking character is his daughter Asta Sollilja. This lonely pubescent girl is the heart of the novel, embodying beauty, pity, tragedy; she is the face of Iceland. Her relationship with her father is awkward, heavy, yet extremely endearing.

At once inspired by the words of Halldor Laxness and my Scandinavian heritage, I chose to do a visual essay on Asta, an essay that should allow the viewer to understand the character without having read the book first, but to inspire them to read it. The paintings and the quilts in the exhibit are strictly my personal interpretation of Asta, focusing on emotion and relationships with other characters rather than specific themes. The quilts are an important feature of the exhibit, providing a visual and tactile commentary- on women’s hand work, the bed covering as protection, the bed where birth, dreams, rape, death occur.

Central quote to the exhibit: page 351

He did not know what to say in the face of such sorrow. He sat in silence by his sister’s side in the spring vendure, which was too young; and the hidden strings in his breast began to quiver, and to sound. This was the first time that he had ever looked into the labyrinth of the human soul. He was very far from understanding what he saw. But what was of more value, he felt and suffered with her. In years that were to come he relived this memory in song, in the most beautiful song the world has ever known. For the understanding in the soul’s defencelessness, of the conflict between two poles, is not the source of the greatest song. The source of the greatest song is sympathy. Sympathy with Asta Sollilja on earth.

Asta Sollilja, 1998 (donated to the Missing Women’s Legacy Society, 2002) 
Detail from Bjartur Quilt, 1998

Feedback:

I was honored to receive amazing feedback from the show.  I treasure this comment in particular:

 

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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 finding what I need in my personal library!  I guess the whole exercise in finding books to donate was actually Universe letting me know I was supposed to find this book today.  Sorry!  I am not donating this one!  It goes straight into my tote bag for coffee shop reading.

The imagery Shakespeare instinctively uses is thus a revelation, largely unconscious, given at a moment of heightened feeling, of the furniture of his mind, the channels of his thoughts, the qualities of things, the objects and incidents he observes and remembers, and perhaps most significant of all, those which he does not observe or remember. -Caroline Spurgeon

Symbols and metaphors play a huge part in my creative process.   For example,  in my current project, Molly- a true crime analysis, birds (dead birds, bird skulls and live birds as well as forest animals and insects) act as messengers and symbols of the main character’s quest for liberation and redemption.

crow-skull-molly-test

In dreams, dead birds can symbolize a loss of freedom. Various cultures view birds either as a way the soul is carried to heaven, or, in the case of vultures, ravens and crows, as a symbol of death. [source]

And of late, those of you that know me, know I have been obsessively embroidering my drawings.


Why embroidered drawings?

I have mentioned this in previous posts that certain drawings in Molly (in particular chapter headings) are embroidered as a means to reflect the act of connecting the dots and weaving together timelines, evidence and research.  The stitches are footsteps on a map.  It reflects deep thought and the passage of time.  It is historical.  Traditional.  Sacred.  It is about strengthening the fragile.  It fascinates me that a medium so cheap and easily torn such as newsprint becomes strong and hardy when layered and sewn together.  It can be manipulated and folded, handled, and only gains a lovelier patina.   There is something magical in that.

Update- SOLD: Art sale to celebrate Frida’s birthday! One of a kind package. 

FRIDA KAHLO BORN JULY 6, 1907

To celebrate the woman who inspires me everyday- I want to spread the love, so I am releasing these 4 original interpretive portraits of Frida as a package deal for only $135 CAD ($106 USD) includes shipping. First come first serve. Email me to purchase.

UPDATE July 7, 2015: SOLD

Package includes:

Frida doll in Tehuana headdress with pocket for prayer, worry and wish. Handsewn, my design. (see other details at LINK)

Fetal Frida doll. Handsewn, my design. (Yes, that is a sock umbilical cord) (see other details at LINK)

Frida portrait– chinamarker on newsprint. (see other details at LINK)

Frida chakra chart– chinamarker on newsprint. (see other details at LINK)

CONTACT KATARINA: EMAIL

  
    

Check out:

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10 Tuesdays. 10 Fridas. Art Blog Event. Frida No. 2: “The Dream”

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.

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For 10 Tuesdays, I am 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.  I will be posting one a week.

Recall Item Frida No. 1: Sock Doll

FRIDA NO. 2: THE DREAM

This chinamarker panel on masonite board is one of my most personal pieces and measures 18″ x 24″ by 1/4″

It is part of a personal art therapy series of panels.

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 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 as a child.  The medium I chose (or it chose me) was china marker on masonite board.  Child-Frida was a light to help me process through and to lift me out of the hole of depression.

I LOVED making this series even though they were done at 3 AM with my heart pounding and anxiety choking me.  They allowed me to release the pain in the moment.  They allowed me to process the pain in my therapy sessions.

The 12 pieces (only a few remain in my personal collection) illustrate the power of art to process life changes.  Heavily, honestly.  I never tend to go light.

And the pieces have been protested: LINK

 

Email me for purchasing options (and details about the dream).

CONTACT KATARINA: Email

  

10 Tuesdays. 10 Fridas. Art blog event. Frida No. 1: sock doll. #recycledcraft

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.

(How many of you that know me are right now rolling your eyes and saying, “duh”…!?!?  I realize I am a tad obsessed.)

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For the next 10 Tuesdays, I will be creating 10 different portraits of Frida Kahlo in some form/medium or another.  It may be a drawing, an object, a doll, whatever…  A surprise.  I will be posting one a week.

These new and unique Frida arts and crafts are my own designs and will be for sale here on the blog for a special presale price before I put the item onto my online store.  The sale price for each product will last for one week, then it gets listed if not sold here.

Frida No. 1: the sock doll

This Frida is made out of 100% recycled, gently used product.  Her body is made from a work sock and her hair is made from a black sock.  Her skull face has a white sock as ground color.  The dia de los muertos/sugar skull face is embroidered.  All the thread is from my mom’s old sewing basket.  Her tattooed arms feature Frida portraits from discontinued socks from Haight and Ashbury, San Francisco.  Her dress is made from vintage materials and her flowers are made from an antique hand-crocheted doily.  The little lamb is made from an old blanket.   The doll is about 24 inches tall with skirt (body about 18 inches).

PRICE: $175.00 CAD (Shipping free in Canada).  Email me for purchasing details.

CONTACT KATARINA: Email

UPDATE May 27, 2015 : ITEM IS SOLD

     

   —

There is nothing more precious than laughter.

Frida Kahlo