Unnecessary Violence- random archiving of my Shadow Work Journals 1986 to present. Sample 9: September 1, 2004

This daily archiving series is about organizing and dating my journal collection, as well as acknowledging the self-directed violence as important therapeutic shadow work. Processing my projections and darkness. There is much joy in the pages. There is also a lot of pain. I try not to judge my younger self. Who I was then,…

Turn the page- visualizing fading memory

My latest favourite daily practice is to quickly sketch and then saturate the drawing with watercolour crayon and coffee.  I love the feel of the wrinkled page. How the coffee ages the image.  The way a drenched drawing has a life of its own – beyond my control. I am most in love with the…

There are times of no ideas… – Lynda Barry (but there is always process)

Daily disciplined connection with my journal maintains my creative process and even though the entries are seemingly unrelated to my writing project… … they cleanse my brain and I am more driven to write as I stay in flow…

I am allowed to think freely. Stream of consciousness journaling

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,…

From the heart- a 15 day journal exercise Part 14: Dying Contemplation

I am re-reading Stephen Levine‘s A Year to Live- how to live this year as if it were your last as a personal exercise schedule to take time to slow down and truly listen to my heart. Recall: Part 1: Catching Up with Your Life Part 2: Practice Dying Part 3: Preparing to Die Part 4: Dying from the Common…

From the heart- a 15 day journal exercise Part 11: Fear of Dying

I am re-reading Stephen Levine‘s A Year to Live- how to live this year as if it were your last as a personal exercise schedule to take time to slow down and truly listen to my heart. Recall: Part 1: Catching Up with Your Life Part 2: Practice Dying Part 3: Preparing to Die Part 4: Dying from the Common…

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…

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…

Day 4 and 5 Inside Out Project Summer 2015: Digging Deeper

INSIDE OUT PROJECT: OWN YOUR JOURNEY- Breaking the cycle of violence through creativity Inside Out Project – Own Your Journey SUMMER 2015 is a three week intensive arts-based program running out of Mountainside Secondary School (July 6-24, 2015) for youth ages 13-20 that uses the vehicles of therapeutic art, photography and stop motion animation to teach life and…

10 Tuesdays. 10 Fridas. Frida No. 5: “I have wings to fly…” coloring page

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 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…

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. 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…

Self-imposed exile- let it go, let it go.o

Curled up in my chair in self-imposed exile.  Wrapped in old knits. Loving less interaction. Loving not working on my to-do’s. Happy to be doing less. Should I worry and fret?  Feel guilty? No.  Nah. Let it go. Let it all go. So fatigued- let it go. Heavy grief dreams these days- let them go. Dreamt about…

Touch me life, not softly. #journalentry

How will you take on this week? Last week was truly full of too muchness, too fullness, too many extremes, but at the same time, I was grateful for the intensity. It helped me clarify what was truly important. There was output and connection, there was trauma and fear, there was despair and elation, and…

One year ago, he said “never give up.” I won’t. #drawntogether

Excerpt from DRAWN TOGETHER: — Available at Salmagundi West:

DRAWING ON PAIN: Aug 29 – Oct 13, 2013 at Espana Gallery, Vancouver BC

DRAWING ON PAIN Aug 29- Oct 13, 2013 Opening August 29, 2013 7-9 PM Espana Gallery 689 Abbott Street Vancouver BC Includes Artist Talk DRAWING ON PAIN exhibits my personal therapeutic process as I utilize art to help me process the difficult challenges I have encountered (and continue to encounter) in my life– such as…

DOCUMENTARY: Drawn Together- Roar Thorsen’s Recovery through Art

Thanks to my backers on our Indiegogo campaign, Drawn Together, I was able to fund the making of the documentary short, Drawn Together: Roar Thorsen’s Recovery through Art, directed, edited and filmed by Julian Bowers.  And I am honored to have original music created by J. Lastoria and Julian Bowers, members of the band, Sleuth….

Personal #arttherapy with @reggiewatts tonight

My mind is racing, so I race to what makes perfect sense right now- Reggie Watts and a china marker! — DRAW IT OUT! —  

The darkening cathedral: processing the emotion of missing. #grief #saudade #journalexercise

I feel myself intertwined in the confusion of grief again.  It’s caught up to me and it wants to attach itself to my muddled brain as I try to sift and mindmap my next steps and make necessary changes to achieve emotional and financial balance in my life.  So as I am prone to do,…

My Dad’s #journal recounts the daily trials and tribulations in Rm 207. #residentialcare. PART 4

Found journal.  Roar Thorsen recounts the daily trials and tribulations in Room 207 and the halls of a residential care facility. 2007-2008 Roar had a debilitating stroke on September 2005. On February 14, 2007, he moved into room 207. See  PART 1 PART 2 PART 3 — PART 4: [My father loved driving.  LOVED it….

My Dad’s #journal recounts the daily trials and tribulations in Rm 207. #residentialcare. PART 3

Found journal.  Roar Thorsen recounts the daily trials and tribulations in Room 207 and the halls of a residential care facility. 2007-2008 Roar had a debilitating stroke on September 2005. On February 14, 2007, he moved into room 207. See  PART 1 PART 2 — PART 3: My life has changed completely since it took…

My Dad’s #journal recounts the daily trials and tribulations in Rm 207. #residentialcare. PART 2

Found journal.  Roar Thorsen recounts the daily trials and tribulations in Room 207 and the halls of a residential care facility. 2007-2008 Roar had a debilitating stroke on September 2005. On February 14, 2007, he moved into room 207. See PART 1 — PART 2: Next candidate for room.  He is wearing the green scrub uniform…

My Dad’s #journal recounts the daily trials and tribulations in Rm 207. #residentialcare. PART 1

Found journal.  Roar Thorsen recounts the daily trials and tribulations in Room 207 and the halls of a residential care facility. 2007-2008 My father passed away in Room 207 on October 25, 2012 at approximately 9 PM. To share this journal is incredibly healing for me, for as I type it, I feel I am…

These days when I dream of Dad, he is walking. #drawntogether #fatherdaughter

These days when I dream of Dad, he is walking. I also feel peaceful and protected.  It feels very much like: I find myself mesmerized when I drive by sites of beauty and sentimentality.  Yesterday afternoon, the trees glistened in the sun as I drove west on Hastings in Burnaby.  Wet with raindrops, they were…

I miss the mundane to-do lists from my Dad. I miss the supply run. The putter of routine.

From Drawn Together: My every-second-day visits are full and busy.  Fold the laundry, pack the clean cutlery and Tupperware into the cart, add the clean laundry to the pile, shove in the old envelopes, check if Roar needs any printouts, pack up the car with the dog and computer and journal and purse and sock…

Naked Ladies Naked Ladies Naked Ladies, by Lynda Barry (Real Comet Press, 1984)

Recall my obsession with my superhero, Lynda Barry.  Well, the obsession rages on, fueled by the newest addition to my collection: OMG.  It’s spectacular.  Each page is a full-page playing card  illustration of Lynda’s exploration of female body images. Along the bottom of each page runs a classic Lynda Barry storyline.  Charming, funny, tragic.  It starts…

Saudade: the emotion of missing. #grief

Saudade is a unique Portuguese word that has no immediate translation in English.  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.   Saudade is the…

Change. What does it mean to you? #journalexercise

Change.  What does it mean to you? Write it out.  Collect images that reflect your thoughts. Journal: Sometimes I long for stability and sameness.  Change is the constant though.  I have learned to not fight it, learned to embrace it, and go in the direction that feels right in the heart and in the mind….

A pencil box. Regarded with reverence.

UPDATE!  OUR BOOK IS READY! Go to: DRAWN TOGETHER — My father’s last pencil box.  It will remain untouched.  It contains his favorite drawing tools like the black pencil crayon and his instant coffee spoon and his rolled up hand towel that he used to brush eraser bits away. I went into Staples today and…

Dad’s last day. #livinguntilwesaygoodbye

In keeping with Dad’s wishes, I documented our last day together. I came up early in the morning yesterday and spent some hours by myself with Dad before the rest of the family arrived for our daily vigil. I set up the space  I had an intense need to offer some kind of guidance for…

Dad’s inner work… leaving one’s ‘self’ to enter nakedly with no agenda. #livinguntilwesaygoodbye

Dad is working.  I can tell.  Deep internal work.  Letting go of his physical body.   I haven’t seen his eyes today. They remain closed as he concentrates.  His color good.  He’s a strong motherfucker. We, the family, continue to putter around. Simply being a loving presence near the person, holding their hand, sending loving…

We’ve become a band of gypsies. #livinguntilwesaygoodbye

VIGIL: a purposeful watch maintained, esp at night, to guard, observe, pray, etc. Recall: Document it.  All of it. We remain at Dad’s bedside.  Today was a peaceful day for him.  His medication was increased so he is not in as much pain as yesterday.  Only when he is moved.  Other than that, he sleeps soundly…

“Document it. All of it.” – Roar Thorsen #livinguntilwesaygoodbye

My Dad is a consummate documentarian.  This has always been part of his artistic expression.  His photo albums, since his teenage years, are detailed accounts of his life and adventures. I promised him to keep taking photos during this final chapter.  Dad is winding down now.  Dad’s breathing continues, slow, deep, intermittent.  He is surrounded…

Inner dialogue in 5 panels. New #journalexercise. #arttherapy

I’m loving the dialogue bubble post-its that I found at… I can’t remember where.  You can cut out dialogue bubbles if need be as well.  Narrow down those racing thoughts and write out your inner dialogue on the bubbles.  Paste them onto found images, in old journals or on new drawings.        

Art is a biological function. #LyndaBarry @ideaprogram

Two artists are my greatest influences: Frida Kahlo and Lynda Barry.  Both are tatooed on me.  It’s serious business. Recall my post the other day: Lo and behold, my greatest hero, Lynda Barry, is in town. Being able to attend Lynda’s lecture at IDEA, Capilano University Friday evening was a dream come true. And Lynda delivered….

#LyndaBarry is in town! @ideaprogram

Lo and behold, my greatest hero, Lynda Barry, is in town. I am a tad overwhelmed to say the least.  She is always my inspiration.  My idol.  My number one.  The greatest- PERIOD. One of the most successful alternative American cartoonists, Lynda Barry has blazed many trails over her 30 year career. Best known for her Ernie Pook’s Comeek about…

Gratitude and other scenes from the ER. #DrawnTogether

Thanks to our backers and all our supporters for helping our Indiegogo campaign, Drawn Together!   WE REACHED OUR GOAL! On Sunday, Dad got a chance to watch the documentary his grandson, Julian, made.  He was very moved. — Unfortunately, Dad’s health has taken a turn for the worse as he battles bladder cancer.  We…

A legacy for the next generation. #DrawnTogether #strokerecovery #artheals

Our book is about art and a father/daughter story, but it is also a legacy that we are creating for Dad’s grandchildren- Anna (27), Julian (24) and little Henrik, who turns 1 next week and whose middle name is “Roar.” WE NEED HELP TO BRING THE BOOK TO THE NEXT STAGE! Please consider supporting our project.  Much love,…

Desperately seeking Karin… #journal #grief #arttherapy

As I work on the book with Dad, I am drenched in memories and find myself obsessively looking at photos of my mother.  She’s around 20 in the photos and just starting her adult life. I am loving it, but it’s also overwhelming.  Knowing the path that lies ahead of her… Last night I walked…

Scenes from Level 2 #DrawnTogether #strokerecovery #artheals

My father draws inspiration from books, television, newspapers, his life… including residential care. Excerpt from Drawn Together: Dad, how do you stay connected? ART.  A shot of whiskey.  A cup of black coffee.  My pens and my paper.  TV on in the background.  A view of Grouse Mountain.  That’s all I need.   I have…

My father makes an impact. #connections #DrawnTogether #strokerecovery #artheals

Some comments we’ve received regarding DRAWN TOGETHER: “My grandma is suffering from early Alzheimers. I write her letters and she writes back. Her letters end up being so poetic because she repeats herself a lot. I’ve been transcribing them as poetry. Might send them to some Lit mags. I think we forget the huge cache…

With new technology, #DrawnTogether will be a full-color paperback! #strokerecovery #artheals

In our original planning stages with Influence Publishing we were considering the idea of producing a. an affordable black and white version and b. a full color expensive coffee table book. This seemed the only option but I worried about not being able to present the art in full color to a wider audience. Influence…

Legacy. What does that mean to you? #journal #arttherapy

I put out the following question the other day: Q: What does the word “legacy” mean to you?  The responses were thoughtful and beautiful: Creating something that will outlive you. A permanent mark. A lasting impression. – Peter B. Creating something that can definitely withstand the test of time. – Evelyn W. Epic love. – Lindsey…

Sometimes you just have to laugh!. #drawntogether #artheals

As you know by now, Dad and I have been working on our book for several years and it looks like it will be released in November!  I had a great meeting with Influence Publishing on Monday night and excitedly ran to Dad on Tuesday to let him know the latest news! Dad, I have…

Facing the wall of fear… #journal exercise. #arttherapy

Waking up with the cannonball weight of anxiety and fear in your chest?  Racing thoughts about all the usual?  Worried that you won’t be able to deliver all you have promised?  That you don’t have enough resources?  Financially, physically, spiritually?  Forgetting to live in the moment and over-thinking the future?  Scattered and feeling disorganized?  You…

Dad, discovery, drawing and Disney. #drawntogether #artheals

My father, Roar Thorsen, on starting to draw: I have drawn all my life.   As a small boy in Kindergarten, in Sarpsborg, Norway, many stories were read to me.  As far as I remember, I entered Kindergarten at age 6.  Quite often the teacher was reading from typical kids’ books.   I started with pencil…

Creating, and collaborating… and other great C-words #artheals #drawntogether

Creating, collaborating, commenting, contributing, conversing, communicating, caregiving, community-building, committing, crowdfunding, crowdsourcing, campaigning… some of the great C words. As many of you know, I have been working with my father, Roar Thorsen, on our book for several years now.   Joyously, we have shared a corner of the cafeteria at Lions Gate Hospital, building a collection of his work and…

ANTICIPATION. #Journaling exercise PART 4: draw out the poetry. #arttherapy

I’m developing a journal exercise around anticipation. Recall in Part 1, I encouraged you to write about the words: ANTICIPATION, PROCESS and AFTERMATH. In part 2, we wrote freely, deconstructed and wove the words together. In part 3 we drew out the fear. Today, let’s write about what we leave behind after anticipation and process.  Then draw…

ANTICIPATION. #Journaling exercise PART 3: draw out the fear. #arttherapy

I’m developing a journal exercise around anticipation.  Recall in Part 1, I encouraged you to write about the words: ANTICIPATION, PROCESS and AFTERMATH. In part 2, we wrote freely, deconstructed and wove the words together: Today write about how anticipation can cause fear.  Is it self-sabotage or is it part of the process? Draw how it feels….

ANTICIPATION. #Journaling exercise PART 2 woven collage. #arttherapy

I’m developing a journal exercise around anticipation.  Recall in Part 1, I encouraged you to write about the words: ANTICIPATION, PROCESS and AFTERMATH. In this entry write freely about ANTICIPATION: Using dry pastel- color each line. Rub it down. Spray it with hairspray. Now cut strips. Weave them together. We anticipate events.  As we process them,…

Beauty in the struggle. Part 2. Dad keeping thoughts straight.

As I mentioned in Part 1, I notice Dad is struggling with keeping focused.  He finds it hard to keep his thoughts straight when he writes.  Today he struggled to make sense of and read from his notes he had written regarding his creative process.  He wanted me to share this with you in order to…

ANTICIPATION. #Journaling exercise PART 1 #arttherapy

I’m developing a journal exercise around anticipation.  I was moved to do it a. as I was struck this week by my father’s aging and b. as I was watching my students courageously tackle exercises thrown at them during a voiceover studio field trip. For Part 1, I’d like you to write about the words:…

Beauty in the struggle. My Dad’s “chaos” gives insight.

Lately, I notice Dad is struggling with keeping focused.  He finds it hard to keep his thoughts straight when he writes.  And his current project illustrates the “chaos” he describes.  The drawings give me clues to his internal struggles and reminds me to keep things simple and routine for him. But he continues to LIVE FIERCELY…

Feeling stuck? Try my Sunday night #journal exercise: twenty words. #arttherapy

Feeling a bit scattered, stuck, like you’re treading water?  Trying to focus on the next step? Try this exercise I came up with for myself tonight: Write 20 words that simply pop into your mind when you think about your “stuckiness”… Don’t hesitate. Draw out a lined sheet of paper. Rewrite the words and mark…

Dad’s latest drawing: ART IS A SPECTATOR SPORT!

Dad keeps a piece of paper beside him to test his felt pens.  Instead of throwing out the paper, he was inspired to create a piece called “Roar Thorsen Art Studio.” He also uses his sticker technique to correct, what he calls- mistakes. Dad’s words: When you make a drawing, you check colors and pens on…

Kat’s DAILY JOURNAL WORKSHOP SERIES. Parts 1-35 #arttherapy

DAILY JOURNAL WORKSHOP SERIES: Part 1 JUST WRITE Part 2 DRAW OUT THE WORDS Part 3 HEART Part 4 SPILL OUT COLLAGE Part 5 NAKED SCREAM Part 6 INVITE ALTER STRETCH EXTEND Part 7 ARISE AROSE IN 3′S Part 8 SELF-PORTRAIT. HUMAN Part 9 WORD CRAZY QUILT Part 10 VINTAGE WORKOUT Part 11 GESTURE DRAWING…

“Creative activity could be described as…” An afternoon of art. #wherewecreate

Creative activity could be described as a type of learning process where teacher and pupil are located in the same individual. – Arthur Koestler

Taming the Inner Critic Part 3. Without thought. #arttherapy

Recall: Taming the Inner Critic Part 1 Taming the Inner Critic Part 2 Just sit in front of your journal and breathe.  Now start drawing (or writing) without thought.  Where does the journey take you if you release the obstacles the inner critic tries to place in your way?

The Goat and I. Taming the Inner Critic Part 2. #arttherapy

Recall: Taming the Inner Critic Part 1 It’s been an interesting few days, dancing between taming the inner critic and it taming me.  Allowing it to guide me and shutting it up.  Controlling it  and letting go.  Being a bitch with it and befriending it.  I realize the critic has a life of its own,…

Friday night journal exercise: taming the inner critic. #arttherapy

With your dominant hand write all those nasty things your inner critic hacks away at you. With your non-dominant hand, tell the inner critic off, tame it, write positive things about yourself.  This exercise allows those racing thoughts to purge out on paper with the hand you usually write with.  Forcing yourself to write positive…