“The Dead Heron.” #100Herons Art Project

I am between contracts– creatively hustling while applying for new contracts to survive and to be able to provide specially requested arts programming for refugee youth (at no cost to their program).  That is what my 100 Herons Art Project is all about.  

HERON’S MOST SIGNIFICANT ESSENCE: aggressive self-determination and self-reliance

Check out:

Screen Shot 2017-07-01 at 2.25.06 PM

I am focusing on the Pacific Blue Herons who are nesting just down the block from me in Stanley Park, Vancouver:

Screen Shot 2017-07-01 at 3.11.29 PM


Recall that on June 15, 2017, I took a walk to the heron nests to look for some feathers in the grass for collaging… and I came across a LARGE pile of scattered heron feathers– obviously from a heron who fell or was pushed out of the nest and who likely lost its life to a predator.  A teen heron perhaps?  I gathered as many feathers as I could– thanking and honoring the heron’s life by incorporating the feathers into the art.

A feather from a heron symbolizes patience, grace and confidence…

Recall as well that I took the feathers home, soaked them in gentle detergent to clean and disinfect, and laid them out on newsprint to dry them.  I then categorized them and collected them into mason jars.

Photo 2017-06-14, 6 23 06 PM

Photo 2017-06-14, 5 44 34 PM

Photo 2017-06-29, 11 07 18 AM

I have been incorporating the feathers into the 100 Herons Panels.  For example:


A week ago, I came across what was likely the body of that heron whose feathers I collected.  I felt so moved.  Compelled to examine.  (Yes, those are maggots and blow flies doing their work).

Photo 2017-06-26, 7 14 59 PM

In fact, I have been a bit obsessed.  I kept walking back to the spot witnessing the taphonomy process: the transition of animal remains from the biosphere into the lithosphere.

Biosphere: the regions of the surface, atmosphere, and hydrosphere of the earth occupied by living organisms.

Lithosphere: the rigid outer part of the earth, consisting of the crust and upper mantle.

Photo 2017-06-30, 3 12 20 PM

Yesterday, I decided to sit down beside the decaying remains and draw the little thing- thanking it and honoring it.  I was, in all honesty, tempted to take the skull, but sitting there under the nests– the atmosphere strangely silent– I knew I was simply there to be a witness.  And to leave the heron to its process.

Photo 2017-06-30, 4 14 42 PM

I left a little flower and went home to incorporate the moment into, what is now, the 5th panel.


$375.00 of the $2500 goal raised so far.  My goal by the end of this long weekend is to reach $750.00.  My first session with the refugee youth group is booked for July 13, 2017, and I hope to be able to bring not only drawing supplies for the session but art kits for the 26+ youth on that day that they can take with them.

Thank you to my donors so far and for all of you spreading the word.


I am creating of twelve (OR MORE 20″ x 30″ panels depicting a total 100 Herons between June 14 to July 31, 2017.  The panels will be exhibited and sold.

For every $25 raised I will draw a heron!

THE SPONSORED ART will allow me to develop and provide FREE ART LESSONS for REFUGEE YOUTH from war-torn countries at a Lower Mainland program. Funds go to program development and facilitation fee, art supplies, art kits for participants, travel costs.



I will be drawing a heron for every $25 raised!

Any amount welcome!  Donors of $10.00 CAD or more can choose to have their name and/or a special message woven into Heron nest imagery in the panels.

You can donate via PayPal or email transfer britakatarina@gmail.com.  I can provide receipts.

Check the panels at:

Screen Shot 2017-07-01 at 2.25.06 PM

I currently have several 20″ x 30″ panels in progress.  They are being embroidered and embellished.  They will be exhibited at various community events in August!


The panels are being made available for pre-purchase on my ETSY site:

Screen Shot 2017-07-25 at 10.01.22 AM


Partnering to Create a Culture of Care.


I am happy to announce a new site: my collaboration with Beverley Pomeroy!



Earlier this year, Bev and I were invited to facilitate a pilot project with the upper management of a national independent living brand and operator.  

Little did we know, that we would become deeply involved in developing and advocating for a culture of care in community and community living sectors for aging adults.

A culture of care, in our definition, is the quality in a person or society that is providing what is necessary for the health and well being of ‘someone’, in this case, ‘someone’ being an older adult or senior, through developing communication, building respect, mitigating risk and fostering growth.



We know our communities of care are being effected by a rapid and changing environment.  

We understand that developing a culture of care with front line staff is a high leverage point for communities and commodities in order to attract, retain and grow the brand as well as address the transitional needs.  

We provide front line staff, supervisors and managers with deep, rich learning experiences that translate into immediate benefits and build capacity.  


Read more: SOLUTIONS

Workshop Examples:

Inter-Dependence of Community Engagement (Care, Concern and Belonging)
• O.W.L. – Observe, Wait, Listen (Team Training)
• Core Values, Esteem Heart (Team Training)
• Reflective Listening, Effective Management
• Living Grief: 5 Phases of Family Caregivers Profound Journey of Ongoing Loss
• Older Adults’ Behavioural Management (Aging in Community)
• Older Adults’ Creative Engagement Workshop: Living Grief and Sock Monkey Therapy (Residents, Caregivers, Staff, Train the Trainer)
• Mind Mapping Techniques: Project Planning and Communication Techniques (Train the Trainer)
What to know more?!  
For more information on our services: CONTACT

The heart of communication is to observe, wait and listen…

A major part of my role in any workshop that I facilitate is CREATIVE ENGAGEMENT.  I am currently sitting at gate B25 at the airport in Toronto prepping to head home after an incredible experience co-delivering workshops that address challenges and provide staff team training in a particular residential living community. 

To engage the participants in whole brain thinking and to fully bring them into the room, I like to start by taking them through a fundamentals of drawing exercise. 

A current team training workshop (that I have co-developed and now deliver with community engagement strategist Beverley Pomeroy) centres around COMMUNICATION.  We include the strategy of OBSERVE WAIT AND LISTEN, i.e. O.W.L.  Naturally, the drawing exercise in this workshop centres around the OWL image. 

The resulting 60(!) owls from this week are absolutely amazing! Though each participant was given exactly the same instructions, guidance and tools- the results are all so magically different- yet the goal was the same.  What a great metaphor for understanding what we each bring into our workplace. 

We also explored our core values to better understand our differences and similarities. The participants added their core values to a drawing of an anatomical heart, which they then decorated and brought into circle for an in depth dialogue.  The owl drawings will be incorporated into a Living  Wall Street Art piece in the staff room and the hearts will be collages into a framed art piece!

The owl theme continued in the talking pieces I created for the circle. 

So somehow I’ve been able to bring my skills, my lived experience and my passion into a new environment- enhancing the profound delivery by Bev, the key facilitator, while facilitating participants in drawing and street art and sock crafts! Amazing! 

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 Livingwith key facilitator Beverley Pomeroy.

We mind mapped so much with this group that we had to double/triple layer the large wall mind map!  I love and live for this!  Capturing the staff dialogue through visual recording.  The room was HEART-FULL.

To lighten the mood and to celebrate the incredible work that the frontline staff do, I asked them to draw themselves as superheroes.

This exercise is inspired by the pedagogy of Lynda Barry and her book: Syllabus.


Initially the staff was nervous and unsure.  Celebrate self?  What superhero?  Draw?  Eyes darted back and forth.  Fear, hesitation, confusion.

But a little encouragement to just go with it really helped…and the results are magical!

And remember that, in a world of ordinary mortals, you are a Wonder Woman. – Hippolyta