Ghosts in the wall… #streetart

I think about the wall often.

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Many ask me about it.

It no longer exists.  But lives on in my heart.

My new friend, Chrissy Davey (aka @craftyfatalist) recently connected with me on Instagram about my embroidered drawings.  Serendipitously, she had taken pictures of a street art wall (in the lane behind 119 East Cordova in Vancouver) a few years back- which amazingly turns out to be the wall I worked on with my youth program.  She sent me some photos that take my breath away.  The wall may be gone.  But the ghosts live on.

Photos by Chrissy Davey:

 

That is why I love the creative process- especially street art.  You create, you share, you let go.  It deteriorates but leaves a mark in the heart.

Photos of the wall from my archives:

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With fondness, I look back through some of my blog posts about the wall.  What I love so much about that is the connections made with the artists and with the community…

 

The power of paper and glue. – JR

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The Mulberry @ParcLiving Fox Panels

Without art we do not die.  But without art we do not live. 

Intersections Media Opportunities for Youth Society participant, 2012

I have the pleasure of working with an extraordinary group of individuals at Mulberry PARC doing art projects that range from drawing, interactive art, sock animals and group painting/quilt!

Our latest session involved drawing the fox and creating two panels for tomorrow’s art show!

Fox animal symbolism takes a turn of intelligence in the Celtic realm, as the Celts believed the fox to be a guide, and was honored for its wisdom. The Celts understood the fox knows the woods intimately, and they would rely upon the fox as their guide in the spirit world.

At tomorrow’s art show ART IN THE PARC we will be showing our Fox panels… 

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… our owls/bunnies/hummingbird/ladybugs embellished panels…

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… and our sock owls!

See also:

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Surprising the inner critic with group art projects

Regarding my creative process, I welcome the conversations my inner critic instigates. [This is not the same voice that picks at my skull with negative self-judgment.  That’s another thing all together].

I have learned how to dance with the inner critic in my art process, welcoming its critique versus criticism, allowing mistakes, experimenting, allowing editing, willing the throwing away of crap.  It’s not about silencing the inner critic and pretending EVERYTHING I MAKE IS GREAT.  It’s about allowing its presence as a natural part of being a creative human.

The participants in my art sessions have ranged in age from 2 to 105.  And depending on the age group, the specific program, the vulnerabilities, the style of the students- the inner critics become vocal in varying ways.

Some inner critics are happy and healthy.  There is nothing quite like working on your own art beside a 5 year old who so naturally dances with their inner critic as they work– joyously creating while making decisions on color, shape, style.  Happily sharing techniques, insights, asking questions.

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My nephew Henrik’s latest book cover

But some inner critics are negative, detrimentally vocal and hurting.   When do some of us lose this joyous ability to dance with the inner critic?  When does it become an inhibiting monster as opposed to an ally?  How do we tame it?

Adults in particular struggle with perfectionism during my drawing classes.  That is why I don’t hand out erasers (the eraser can become a crutch, and the participant may spend too much time “fixing” as opposed to diving in to the process).  That is why I do a follow me technique so that we are all literally on the same page.

I have found an easy and magical way to create joy and surprise in my art classes that in turn surprises our inner critics– collecting and collaging the class’s drawing.

For example, last Monday, I facilitated my third session with older adults in Burnaby.  The group bravely dove in to the session.  My students quickly realize my exclamations of delight at what they draw are authentic- I get SO EXCITED about the way people make marks on paper.

There is a lot of laughter, a lot of concentration and dialogue, a lot of self-judgment and some express disgust at their drawings.  So how do we tame that inner critic so as to not wallow in self-judgment and crumple up our work and throw it into the recycling bin?!  How do I lift my students?

The real magic happens with we let go of our work, cut them out and create collages.  TOGETHER- the drawings become MAGICAL.  The class expresses surprise and delight and take ownership in the most delightful way.  One participant expressed her delight- “I thought my drawing was so bad compared to yours and everybody else’s.  But when I see it up there now in the midst of the rest of them, it looks so wonderful.”  On Monday, we created 4 panels (which will be embellished with feathers and embroidery and exhibited at the residence).

Session 1: OWLS

Session 2: Bunnies

Session 3: Hummingbirds, Ladybugs

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It has become a theme in my art teachings- collaging work as a group- be it on the streets or onto boards.  I just love it.

 

Our inner critic is surprised.  Our work as a group looks amazing.  And we are building CONNECTION.  By letting go of our work, by sharing it, combining it, we become a COMMUNITY.

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“To prepare a face to meet the faces…” the Williams Lake portraits

There will be time, there will be time
To prepare a face to meet the faces that you meet
– TS Eliot

On my way to Williams Lake to co-facilitate forums with youth and program leaders for the viaSPORT YOUTH INCLUSION PROJECT!  So excited to spend the week with this extraordinary community!

Bringing along the last batch of portraits I drew from last year’s art camp (based on photos by Rick Magnell)!

Recall:

Preview

Part 1: Preparation

Part 2: Travel

Part 3: Art Camp Day 1 

Part 4: Art Camp Day 2

Part 5: Art Camp Day 3

Part 6: The Photographer

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Operation Sock Monkey Project Sophia 

SOCK MONKEY THERAPY AND CRAFTIVISM

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PROJECT SOPHIA

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Sophia, age 16, was born with a life limiting condition and she has been part of the Canuck Place Children’s Hospice community for 14 years.

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Sophia loves to spread joy around and this includes handing out countless sock monkeys (made by her and our Operation Sock Monkey communtiy members) to patients and staff at Canuck Place.

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Sophia with a GIANT batch of sock monkey ready to handout at Canuck Place! (August 2016)

Project Sophia celebrates the joy that Sophia brings to the world, as well as the incredible work Canuck Place does to support children and their families.

We had a wonderful and successful day at Strathcona Winter Craft Fair on November 28, 2016!

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And it is always so wonderful to see how people pick and choose!

We raised well over $500 for Canuck Place and sock monkey therapy!

Huge thank you to my Operation Sock Monkey team!  I love each and every one of you!

The Waves- Matt Roy’s addition to our COMMUNITY JOURNAL PROJECT! #drawntogether #recycledart

My father and I kept mutual journals and one of our original journals was pulled apart and offered to the community.
My father pointing at a favorite journal page.
My father pointing to a favorite journal page.
I am so excited to be witnessing my Father’s dream project of community journals unfolding. 
The latest addition is by Matt Roy:
He added a page from Virginia Woolf’s The Waves to create a 3-D visual on top of our journal page.  Very gentle, beautiful, healing…
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Now begins to rise in me the familiar rhythm; words that have lain dormant now lift, now toss their crests, and fall and rise, and falls again. I am a poet, yes. Surely I am a great poet.
― Virginia Woolf, The Waves
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Recall: 

ADD TO THE JOURNAL PAGES AND BE PART OF OUR COMMUNITY JOURNAL PROJECT! 

Join now on ETSY:

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Sign up for $30!

YOUR PURCHASE INCLUDES TWO ORIGINAL HAND-MADE DOUBLE-SIDED THERAPEUTIC JOURNAL PAGES CREATED BY MY FATHER AND I FOR YOU TO ALTER AND ADD TO.

YOU ALSO RECEIVE OUR BOOK, “DRAWN TOGETHER: MAINTAINING CONNECTIONS AND NAVIGATING LIFE’S CHALLENGES WITH ART.”

Click on image to sign up:

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My father suffered a massive stroke in 2005 that left him paralyzed on one side at the age of 75. Then on November 8, 2008, Roar’s beloved wife (my mother Karin) lost her battle to pancreatic cancer. Despite all these major life changes, my father’s tenacity, stubbornness, strength, creativity and most importantly his humor- allowed him to forge a life that was both fulfilling and rewarding.

Though he resided in a long term care facility and required assistance in the most basic life necessities like toiletry and dressing, Dad always said, “I love my life.” He would wake each day excited about his next drawing. Creativity has truly saved his mental health and gave him sense of purpose and empowerment.

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My father passed away October 25, 2012. I am blessed because he died knowing we realized our dream of creating a book about his post-stroke art; we pressed send to the publisher on October 15, 2012.

The book, DRAWN TOGETHER: MAINTAINING CONNECTIONS AND NAVIGATING LIFE’S CHALLENGES WITH ART, is now in my hands and ready to be shared with the world!

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READ MORE AT: DRAWN TOGETHER

But I want to share it with you in a unique way by adding YOU to the journey.

Dad’s art provided him with a much needed connection to the world. We made journals together for many years as we processed life’s challenges.

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Dad’s dream was to include the community in these journals. So I am making available pages from our special journals we created around 2002-2005. They are your journal pages to keep, but my hope is that you add to these pages- IN ANY WAY YOU LIKE- and send them back to me to create a COMMUNITY JOURNAL PROJECT that will be exhibited at a DRAWN TOGETHER art event.

BE PART OF OUR COMMUNITY JOURNAL PROJECT!

CHECK OUT GRETCHEN MILLER‘s GLORIOUS PAGES:

"[Added to] December 2002 Page from Kat & Roar’s Journal"
“[Added to] December 2002 Page from Kat & Roar’s Journal”
"[Added to detail] Another December 2002 Journal Page"
“[Added to detail] Another December 2002 Journal Page”

And Jennifer Lyons‘ addition.  She transformed the binding of the journal into a glorious caterpillar:

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Jennifer of @SketchChange’s genius addition to our COMMUNITY JOURNAL PROJECT! #drawntogether #recycledart

Our original journal was pulled apart to offer to the community.
My father pointing at a favorite journal page.
My father pointing at a favorite journal page.
I am so excited to be witnessing my Father’s dream project of community journals unfolding.  Take a look at what my dear friend Jennifer did!!!
Jennifer Lyons pulling apart the journal
Jennifer Lyons pulling apart the journal and choosing her pages!

Take note of the spiral binding from the journal.

She transformed the spiral binding into a magical caterpillar filled using recycled materials.  It’s GENIUS.  Filled with empowering sayings, endless visual candy.

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He even has a pair of glasses and his own little copy of Drawn Together!

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She created beautiful cards out of the pages.

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Kat Thorsen always brings tears to my eyes and a smile to my heart. I love her raw enthusiasm and character. I jumped with excitement when I found out that the journal pages that inspired drawn together were being shared to re-make. As an avid recycler and re-purposer I thought it was brilliant and courageous to let the pages that held her and her father go to be re-born through others creativity. Thank you for sharing Kat and ecstatic to keep re-making with the pages! For me the process of creating art from recycled materials is like a metaphor for my life. what was once old can now be new through the process of transformation, much like the caterpillar. – Jennifer

THANK YOU JENNIFER!  Check her out:

CREATIVE LIFE EXPRESSION ON FACEBOOK

JENNIFER ON TWITTER@sketchchange

JENNIFER is an INSPIRED AUTHOR at INFLUENCE PUBLISHING:

The Sketchpad that Changed the World
Making world peace your personal mission through the use of imagination in the change process.

If you have ever wanted to change the world be inspired to make your own difference. This story presents how a sketchpad changed the life of a people pleaser trapped in a box. It is an inspirational message that shares the tools Jennifer used to release her past and embrace her gifts while following the joy of her hearts desires.

Biography

Author Photo: Bopomo Pictures

Author Photo: Bopomo Pictures

ADD TO THE JOURNAL PAGES AND BE PART OF OUR COMMUNITY JOURNAL PROJECT! 

Join now on ETSY:

Screen shot 2013-02-19 at 8.39.02 AM

Sign up for $30!

YOUR PURCHASE INCLUDES TWO ORIGINAL HAND-MADE DOUBLE-SIDED THERAPEUTIC JOURNAL PAGES CREATED BY MY FATHER AND I FOR YOU TO ALTER AND ADD TO.

YOU ALSO RECEIVE OUR BOOK, “DRAWN TOGETHER: MAINTAINING CONNECTIONS AND NAVIGATING LIFE’S CHALLENGES WITH ART.”

Click on image to sign up:

Screen shot 2013-02-19 at 8.38.00 AM

My father suffered a massive stroke in 2005 that left him paralyzed on one side at the age of 75. Then on November 8, 2008, Roar’s beloved wife (my mother Karin) lost her battle to pancreatic cancer. Despite all these major life changes, my father’s tenacity, stubbornness, strength, creativity and most importantly his humor- allowed him to forge a life that was both fulfilling and rewarding.

Though he resided in a long term care facility and required assistance in the most basic life necessities like toiletry and dressing, Dad always said, “I love my life.” He would wake each day excited about his next drawing. Creativity has truly saved his mental health and gave him sense of purpose and empowerment.

2-back-cover-photo-of-roar-and-katarina

My father passed away October 25, 2012. I am blessed because he died knowing we realized our dream of creating a book about his post-stroke art; we pressed send to the publisher on October 15, 2012.

The book, DRAWN TOGETHER: MAINTAINING CONNECTIONS AND NAVIGATING LIFE’S CHALLENGES WITH ART, is now in my hands and ready to be shared with the world!

IMG_9644

READ MORE AT: DRAWN TOGETHER

But I want to share it with you in a unique way by adding YOU to the journey.

Dad’s art provided him with a much needed connection to the world. We made journals together for many years as we processed life’s challenges.

Screen shot 2013-02-18 at 12.18.04 PM

Screen shot 2013-02-18 at 12.17.53 PM

Screen shot 2013-02-17 at 9.48.05 AM

Dad’s dream was to include the community in these journals. So I am making available pages from our special journals we created around 2002-2005. They are your journal pages to keep, but my hope is that you add to these pages- IN ANY WAY YOU LIKE- and send them back to me to create a COMMUNITY JOURNAL PROJECT that will be exhibited at a DRAWN TOGETHER art event.

BE PART OF OUR COMMUNITY JOURNAL PROJECT!

AND CHECK OUT GRETCHEN MILLER‘s GLORIOUS PAGES:

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"[Added to] December 2002 Page from Kat & Roar’s Journal"
“[Added to] December 2002 Page from Kat & Roar’s Journal”
"[Added to detail] Another December 2002 Journal Page"
“[Added to detail] Another December 2002 Journal Page”

GORGEOUS!!!

Edwyn Collins Home Again: reawakening empowerment after a stroke with #art #music

Edwyn Collin’s journey after his stroke reminds of my father‘s.

Check out Edwyn’s post-stroke drawings:

url

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DRAWN TOGETHER: MAINTAINING CONNECTIONS AND NAVIGATING LIFE’S CHALLENGES WITH ART

ADD TO THE JOURNAL PAGES AND BE PART OF OUR COMMUNITY JOURNAL PROJECT! 

Join now on ETSY:

Screen shot 2013-02-19 at 8.39.02 AM

Sign up for $30!

YOUR PURCHASE INCLUDES TWO ORIGINAL HAND-MADE DOUBLE-SIDED THERAPEUTIC JOURNAL PAGES CREATED BY MY FATHER AND I.

YOU ALSO RECEIVE OUR BOOK, “DRAWN TOGETHER: MAINTAINING CONNECTIONS AND NAVIGATING LIFE’S CHALLENGES WITH ART.”

Click on image to sign up:

Screen shot 2013-02-19 at 8.38.00 AM

My father suffered a massive stroke in 2005 that left him paralyzed on one side at the age of 75. Then on November 8, 2008, Roar’s beloved wife (my mother Karin) lost her battle to pancreatic cancer. Despite all these major life changes, my father’s tenacity, stubbornness, strength, creativity and most importantly his humor- allowed him to forge a life that was both fulfilling and rewarding.

Though he resided in a long term care facility and required assistance in the most basic life necessities like toiletry and dressing, Dad always said, “I love my life.” He would wake each day excited about his next drawing. Creativity has truly saved his mental health and gave him sense of purpose and empowerment.

2-back-cover-photo-of-roar-and-katarina

My father passed away October 25, 2012. I am blessed because he died knowing we realized our dream of creating a book about his post-stroke art; we pressed send to the publisher on October 15, 2012.

The book, DRAWN TOGETHER: MAINTAINING CONNECTIONS AND NAVIGATING LIFE’S CHALLENGES WITH ART, is now in my hands and ready to be shared with the world!

IMG_9644

READ MORE AT: DRAWN TOGETHER

But I want to share it with you in a unique way by adding YOU to the journey.

Dad’s art provided him with a much needed connection to the world. We made journals together for many years as we processed life’s challenges.

Screen shot 2013-02-18 at 12.18.04 PM

Screen shot 2013-02-18 at 12.17.53 PM

Screen shot 2013-02-17 at 9.48.05 AM

Dad’s dream was to include the community in these journals. So I am making available pages from our special journals we created around 2002-2005. They are you journal pages to keep, but my hope is that you add to these pages- IN ANY WAY YOU LIKE- and send them back to me to create a COMMUNITY JOURNAL PROJECT that will be exhibited at a DRAWN TOGETHER art event.

Jennifer Lyons pulling apart the journal
Jennifer Lyons pulling apart the journal and choosing her pages!

BE PART OF OUR COMMUNITY JOURNAL PROJECT!

Paperback: 100 pages
Publisher: Influence Publishing (January 1, 2013)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1771410043
ISBN-13: 978-1771410045
Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 8.5 x 0.2 inches

DRAWN TOGETHER, THE DOCUMENTARY

BY JULIAN BOWERS (my son/Roar’s grandson):

ADD TO THE JOURNAL PAGES AND BE PART OF OUR COMMUNITY JOURNAL PROJECT! #drawntogether

ADD TO THE JOURNAL PAGES AND BE PART OF OUR COMMUNITY JOURNAL PROJECT! 

Join now on ETSY:

Screen shot 2013-02-19 at 8.39.02 AM

Sign up for $30!

YOUR PURCHASE INCLUDES TWO ORIGINAL HAND-MADE DOUBLE-SIDED THERAPEUTIC JOURNAL PAGES CREATED BY MY FATHER AND I.

YOU ALSO RECEIVE OUR BOOK, “DRAWN TOGETHER: MAINTAINING CONNECTIONS AND NAVIGATING LIFE’S CHALLENGES WITH ART.”

Click on image to sign up:

Screen shot 2013-02-19 at 8.38.00 AM

My father suffered a massive stroke in 2005 that left him paralyzed on one side at the age of 75. Then on November 8, 2008, Roar’s beloved wife (my mother Karin) lost her battle to pancreatic cancer. Despite all these major life changes, my father’s tenacity, stubbornness, strength, creativity and most importantly his humor- allowed him to forge a life that was both fulfilling and rewarding.

Though he resided in a long term care facility and required assistance in the most basic life necessities like toiletry and dressing, Dad always said, “I love my life.” He would wake each day excited about his next drawing. Creativity has truly saved his mental health and gave him sense of purpose and empowerment.

2-back-cover-photo-of-roar-and-katarina

My father passed away October 25, 2012. I am blessed because he died knowing we realized our dream of creating a book about his post-stroke art; we pressed send to the publisher on October 15, 2012.

The book, DRAWN TOGETHER: MAINTAINING CONNECTIONS AND NAVIGATING LIFE’S CHALLENGES WITH ART, is now in my hands and ready to be shared with the world!

IMG_9644

READ MORE AT: DRAWN TOGETHER

But I want to share it with you in a unique way by adding YOU to the journey.

Dad’s art provided him with a much needed connection to the world. We made journals together for many years as we processed life’s challenges.

Screen shot 2013-02-18 at 12.18.04 PM

Screen shot 2013-02-18 at 12.17.53 PM

Screen shot 2013-02-17 at 9.48.05 AM

Dad’s dream was to include the community in these journals. So I am making available pages from our special journals we created around 2002-2005. They are you journal pages to keep, but my hope is that you add to these pages- IN ANY WAY YOU LIKE- and send them back to me to create a COMMUNITY JOURNAL PROJECT that will be exhibited at a DRAWN TOGETHER art event.

Jennifer Lyons pulling apart the journal
Jennifer Lyons pulling apart the journal and choosing her pages!

BE PART OF OUR COMMUNITY JOURNAL PROJECT!

Paperback: 100 pages
Publisher: Influence Publishing (January 1, 2013)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1771410043
ISBN-13: 978-1771410045
Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 8.5 x 0.2 inches

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 now been in my room for five plus years.  Roommates have come and gone.  Most of them have died.  And the last one will be shot.  

I’m supposed to be nice, but I can’t!  I have no patience!  And I’m sorry to say, I cannot look forward to being “one of them.”

WE NEED HELP TO BRING THE BOOK TO THE NEXT STAGE!

Please consider supporting our project.  Much love, Katarina and Roar

THANK YOU to all our supporters!

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

My father inspired a friend to accept help by showing how his life is rich in a residential care facility.
Roar inspires youth-at-risk with his art and with his youthful humor!
The staff are KEY to making Dad’s life as happy as it is. I could not be more grateful. He gives back by lending an ear, providing snacks, and being his feisty inspiring self.
“Stay connected.” by Roar Thorsen

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 of knowledge and experience the old folks have, and it gets trapped inside their aged and deteriorating bodies. It’s important to keep them talking as long as possible.”

“In honour of my Dad who is also an elderly stroke victim and artist and is slowly drifting away from me too. Though he fades he never stops laughing and smiling, a constant inspiration.”

“Fantastic project and inspirational. Makes me wanna start an art project with my dad .. just because!”

WE NEED HELP TO BRING THE BOOK TO THE NEXT STAGE!

Please consider supporting our project.  Much love, Katarina and Roar