“She drank alone…” Journal entry

She walks– arms crossed, cold hands tucked into armpits, chin tucked into chest. The familiar dark ink pool spreads around her feet. She bends down this time. Curious? Her reflection- just fragmented spirals. She slips! lurching upward and backward, around. The black ink fills her mouth. Hog-tied, she lets out a fluid-filled silent scream. A…

A quick creative project on last day of 2019: The Death and Burial of Cock Robin

Rainy stay-inside sick day today. I have stayed in PJs and creative process. I spent the last few hours interpreting The Death and Burial of Cock Robin with ink, watercolour and salt. [Source: Gutenberg Press. Original text by anonymous circa 14th-17th century] Chanticleer, what want you here, So early in the morning? “Cock-a-doodle-doo,” says he, pray don’t you…

I don’t bleed anymore. Finding solace in journal pages.

“These are the days of tweeting, blogging, posting, instagraming, snapchatting, you name it. Everyone seems to be doing it. Some people seem very comfortable expressing every morsel of their living and breathing and eating into the world. Not that this isn’t totally fascinating to the one sharing, but most people (including me) don’t care about…

“All you have to do now is allow…” Sabbatical reflections.

I am on sabbatical/working remotely/dog and kitten sitting in San Francisco… life changing, soul searching, peaceful… no words suffice.  The real lesson will show itself soon. It is finally here! What you’ve longed for is finally here! Know that all you have to do  now is allow and be receptive when the opportunity presents itself….

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…

Connecting with the journal everyday. Even if just to copy…

Drawing process- trefoil knot found in the wolf

RIP Freddie Jones

Frederick Charles Jones September 12, 1927 – July 9, 2019

I am allowed to think freely. Stream of consciousness journaling

The importance of doodling…

Spontaneous drawings may relieve psychological distress, making it easier to attend to things. We like to make sense of our lives by making up coherent stories, but sometimes there are gaps that cannot be filled, no matter how hard we try. Doodles fill these gaps, possibly by activating the brain’s “time travel machine,” allowing it to find lost puzzle…

Hi-a-tus from Facebook and Instagram to rejuvenate my creative process

“Set your boundaries and protection but at the same time, look to your own inner friction and allow it to ignite something that will have a positive outcome. This can be an exceptionally creative month especially if you focus on what is ahead instead of what is behind you. Keep your eyes on the door…

Ut Pictura Poesis- the narrative potential of the drawing

I draw pictures. I imagine storylines. I imagine a narrative, a comic, a screenplay… There is nothing quite as on target as the prose I write in my mind when on the bus- whilst staring out the window to deal with motion sickness, taking in the landscape. But alas, those musings instantly disappear as soon…

Give yourself the opportunity to discover your own imagery

Dreams of my art being attached to some kind of imaginary romantic self-sustaining monetary outcome no longer serve me.  If my creative process is to continue to be my sacred practice, continue to develop, if my creative process is where I let go of attachment, let go of comparing myself to others, let go of…

“This Look That Was Only Yours,” a short film of my creative process

A short film by Anna Thorsen What I love about this film by my daughter is that she has been able to visualize the peace I find in the creative process.  In my own home, on a cozy weekend, in pjs and cozy sweater…  It also illustrates a core value I hold dear to my heart-…

Nature moves through carcasses…

Illustrating decomposition by allowing the newsprint to deteriorate over several years and for the dead bird to slowly be encompassed by embroidered roots and the dark. The process continues. Check out:

It’s not that I don’t know what to do.

Regarding my passion project Molly- a true crime analysis: 2003-2016 was all about researching, drawing, accumulating, writing, collecting.  2017 was all about creating an online weekly draft, telling the story with images, words and music in whatever way it unfolded, sharing it openly, publicly.  2018 has been all about allowing others in, and letting go of control,…

Tuesday November 6, 1947

TUESDAY NOVEMBER 6, 1947 MOLLY, A GRAPHIC NOVEL– my now 15+ years passion project– continues at the drawing board and at the writing desk and in my heart, with new developments, insights and directions behind the scenes.  Some announcements in the new year. NOTE: this is a work of creative non-fiction inspired by true facts, evidence and…

Inktober 2018: 31 studies of Truman Capote’s IN COLD BLOOD

  Imagination, of course, can open any door– turn the key and let the terror walk right in. – Truman Capote No. 1 Richard Hickock: “It was early, not yet nine…” No. 2: “Nancy Clutter is always in a hurry, but she always has time.” No. 3 Truman Capote: “In Cold Blood- a true account of…

Ghosts in the wall… #streetart

I think about the wall often. 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…

Grateful for the once upon a time…

Photo evidence that once upon a time my feet could do this. Grateful for the once upon a time. Grateful to still be here with creaky bones, spreading body, soreness, slowness. I am still here. Grateful. Especially for the discipline that dance taught me.

UPDATE ON: Burning it down…

UPDATE: May 8, 2018 8PM: I received an extension and all is good in blog land!  Thank you WORDPRESS   Tonight at midnight, this blog’s business plan will expire.  Not able to renew it, I am letting it go and allowing it to do what it will.  Information will likely be lost, but that is OK….

Books are life rafts.  I climb into them to keep moving forward…

Books are life rafts.  I climb into them to keep moving forward when life seems in limbo and my energy is fully depleted.  Here is a sampling of those I return to repeatedly. I return to this quote to address my subject of research and remind myself why: A cheap Saturday night took you down….

Staying in process…

Just when I think– Oh shit, I put myself out there, and now I am all vulnerable and shit and feeling old pangs of, oh shit, what am I doing, where is this going, how will I get there, will it go anywhere, what is this creative career bullshit, shit – a flood of creative process infuses…

When public goes private, do I lose you?

When public goes private, do I lose you? I am so used to sharing my creative process openly– and now I find myself in a new state of being, where in order to discuss and develop the project further, I have to stop sharing it. This is all exciting and unreal– so why do I…

Molly- a new phase

Molly- a true crime analysis Currently in a new development phase and therefore the online graphic novel is now set to private. Thanks for your support!  ♥️ Stay tuned. Love, Katarina  … a crime analysis to determine the general characteristics of the most likely suspect for the crime. – Henry Lee, Crime Scene Investigation (1994)

Ear to the ground… Another recurring theme…

There are repeated themes in my work and obsessions that satisfy my creative process and my explorations into grief.  Like human faces, birds, dead birds… I hadn’t noticed one theme recurring- ear to the ground. Ear to the ground: to devote attention to watching or listening for clues as to what is going to happen… In…

Why do I keep the journals?  Is there any value in the pain contained within?

Why have I kept all my journals/sketchbooks? Yes- they are filled with sprinklings of magical memories about raising children- that is definitely the best part.  But they are also filled with extraordinary pain, confusion, stupidity… I pull out an old journal from 1991, and sit and smile and laugh as I find little scrawls about…

Thank you Salmagundi West and Anne Banner <3

On January 31, 2018, a beloved landmark and one of my most favorite places on the planet, Salmagundi West, will close its doors at its current location. No words suffice for my gratitude for this shop and for Anne Banner. The objects I have collected from the shop and have been gifted from Anne and…

WORKSHOP: YOUR VISION for 2018 through creative process

WORKSHOP: YOUR VISION for 2018 through creative process     LOCATION: West End Vancouver BC FACILITATOR: KATARINA THORSEN katthorsen.com SPECIAL LOW PRICE TO CELEBRATE THE NEW YEAR! ONLY $40 per person until January 31, 2018!  Contact me at britakatarina@gmail.com for CUSTOMIZED CLASSES  Start this new year on a creative note by creating your own evolving…

Perhaps I am simply an explorer.  Not seeking answers…

I sit on the 23, heading home… leaning my head against the window.  The bus is full.  It’s damp outside and damp inside.  I have a seat, a warm seat on the left side- I always get a seat as I always get on at the first stop.  No need to anticipate and worry about…

Reclaiming the act of creating…

I could sit and wait.  Ask myself: how I will get back to that beautiful, exhilarating buzz of creative process and my soul’s work?  But why wait?   I MUST simply work.  Reclaim the act. How?  I mind map.  I attempt to draw and throw out the results.  I return to my crafts.  I allow the…

The crown ripped away. Journal musings.

My head hurts.  Not the inside of my head.  The outside.  The muscles on top of my skull.  The ligaments. I sat under a young tree yesterday and leaned my head back and my head was and is tender, so tender. I swear my skull has changed shape in the past few years- at the…

Automatic writing to tap into the creative process.

Automatic writing, automatic drawing and mark-making all help me stay in or (re)enter the creative process. Automatic writing is generally defined as the process, or product, of writing material that does not come from the conscious thoughts of the writer. The writer’s hand forms the message, and the person is unaware of what will be written….

30 strange chapters completed.

I am workshopping my true crime graphic novel online. 30 strange chapters completed. I am working on the 31st today. Then 15 to go. I am sure it is all as confusing as a Twin Peaks episode! The online workshopping method helps me get perspective.  Laying out ALL the information for editing it down and re-drawing…

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,…

From the Heart- a 15 day journal exercise: Part 10 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…

Anticipation: revisiting a journal exercise

Standing on the edge of the unknown, we anticipate.  We over-think.  And create anxiety that has no place to land. There is no terror in the bang, only in the anticipation of it. – Alfred Hitchcock I created this journal exercise about 5 years ago to meditate on: releasing the anxiety around the unknown when…

My ugliness, my solitude, my experiences have built a protective wall

Diary entry April 17, 2017 Once I have reached my energy limit- my body/mind/spirit experiences a type of fatigue migraine– it comes on when I finally relax and have a day to stop- and seemingly ALL threatens to stop.  My eyes can’t stay open in the tub, my heart feels tender, my to-do list seems…

Teachable moment during drawing session! 

I have been incorporating How to Draw an OWL in my creative engagement for years. My must-bring tools always include: The china marker is the essential drawing tool.  It is not only my favorite medium, but a great teaching tool as you can’t erase it.  This encourages participants to let go and quiet down the inner critic….

Release attachment to the outcome…

To feel the anguish of waiting for the next moment and of taking part in the complex current (of affairs) not knowing that we are headed toward ourselves, through millions of stone beings – of bird beings – of star beings – of microbe beings – of fountain beings toward ourselves. – Frida Kahlo I…

Celebrating 95 pages with a vulnerability hangover…

I am workshopping my graphic novel through a weekly online serial. So far… we have been witnessed a crime: Looked at the original headlines: I’ve introduced my involvement (more to come): And travelled to Ireland to get our first glimpse at the main character: Molly’s and The Babes in the Wood timeline are now starting…

The best things in life are free…

Sitting here, surrounded by drawings and notes and cold coffee in multiple cups… butterflies in the stomach… I want to honor Molly, who reached out through space and time and chose me to tell her story and my muse, Jocelyn Louise, who has so generously lent herself to represent my vision of Molly— and to celebrate…

MOLLY, my true crime online graphic novel serial, launches in 1 month!

Look for Part 1A on January 15, 2017 MOLLY- A TRUE CRIME ANALYSIS at mollygraphicnovel.com An analysis in 5-acts. … to dissolve the very boundaries between fact and fiction, life and art, memory and imagining.  The result would be a five-act narrative tragedy comprised of materials gathered from everything from journal, diary, memoir, novel, poem,…

My Frida hung there…

I love the evolution of the street art creative process- the pasting of original art and letting it go into the world… Like the journey of my Frida angel pasted on Valencia Street, San Francisco, three plus years ago: August 24, 2013 (photo by Anna Thorsen) November 28, 2016 (photo by Anna Thorsen) What motivates someone to…

Big Draw Vancouver Oct 1! Join me at Strathcona Community Centre for DRAWN TOGETHER

I LOVE teaching drawing!   Join me on for BIG DRAW VANCOUVER on October 1 2016 10:30 AM-12:30 PM PT at Strathcona Community Centre in Vancouver BC (601 Keefer) as I host a two hour drawing session!   My fabulous artist friend, Alison Donnelly, will be co-hosting! Try out chinamarkers on newsprint, add to a community art project using…

“I recall a childhood dream…” with visual storytelling.

  Toying with creative process. Thumbnail sketches and experimenting with storyboarding the PREFACE (preamble) portion of Molly, a true crime analysis: RECALL:     

The inverted detective story approach.

Huge thank you to Patti Henderson who encouraged me to consider the inverted detective story approach on Molly- a true crime analysis.  I thought I needed to restructure my rough draft fully when she suggested this Columbo style, but as I review my manuscript, I realize only minor tweaks are needed structurally- especially the opening sequence.  All…

“I put myself back in the narrative…” and ugh- LOG JAM. #innercritic #onwriting

On the gross creative process, the ugliness, the inner critic, the log jams, the writing… Log jam.  Log jam.  After feedback FEEDBACK from multiple sources that I should be in the story and I try and try but log jam log jam— Why does the creative process halt when I do that?   I place…

First line… let’s go.

Recall:  I sit now surrounded by my manuscripts, references, inspiration and pressing fingertips to keys and (re)typing.  (Re)COMMITMENT!  This version will be from the pelvis.  First chakra shit. Yesterday, I posted: Start again. Put China markers and socks and threaded needles down. Write, bitch, write. There is no beginning.  I’ve tried to invent one but it…

Catacomb of Veils- Burning Man 2016 Reflections

Recall: Part 1: The Project Part 2: The Inspiration Part 3: The Team Part 4: The Scope Catacomb of Veils Burning Man 2016: Reflections Anna Thorsen (my daughter): “I’ve back been home in San Francisco from Burning Man for 24 hours and I’ve been trying to figure out how to summarize my first trip to the…

Rejection letter from publisher? Despair? No- liberation.

I have been awaiting word from a significant publisher who has been considering my passion project- Molly, a true crime analysis. The book is not finished.  I am re-writing the manuscript, and still drawing- but thanks to my agent, Peter Breeze, we have been creating a buzz and were quite elated to be contacted earlier this…

The importance of @Lin_Manuel’s creative process

— Show attendees, reporters, politicians, historians, authors, social media, voices in the street, voices in the theatre, dancers, actors, musicians, artists, the fans lining up for 100 hours, our hearts are screaming that Hamilton “the most astonishing thing I have ever seen.”  Including my household!  WE ARE OBSESSED!!! “It’s fair to say that “Hamilton” is quickly…

That is a step on which… #creativeprocess

I was working on my Molly project today— contemplating a slightly new format, to reconstruct the prologue.  The idea came out of the first weekly mini writer’s retreat that I started last Monday with my soul-sister, Patti Henderson: Patti encouraged me to attack the material in a new way. I love how collaborative dialogue can push, pull, inspire.  Afterwards, perseverating…

We are made of star-stuff…

To get myself realigned and prepared for diving into writing/drawing/reflection, I check in with my Church that is Frida Kahlo and let the stream of consciousness flow. Head to heart to hand. To prepare for output, there must be some quiet me time, input.  Some meditation.  And for me that is the private act of…

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…

Williams Lake/ Punky Lake Summer 2016 Diary- Part 1: Preparation

Recall Williams Lake/ Punky Lake Summer 2016 Diary- Preview: I’m keeping a diary and will try to post at the end of each day. Today in Part 1, it is about preparation: 3-DAY INTENSIVE THERAPEUTIC ART CAMP AND MURAL PROJECT, OLD TRAINING AND RECREATION COMPLEX  As much as art and connection are part of the…

It is important now for me to honor this call for retreat. #creativeprocess

I sense it is time to really retreat in between work schedules and ensure cave time to focus on my passion project: Molly, a true crime analysis.  Seek solitude, writes Delacroix.  I hear you.  I am in a fantastic place regarding the project- she feels ripe, ready, eager.  Through a tear in the fabric of time…

Catacomb of Veils- Burning Man 2016, Part 4 of 4: The Scope

Part 4 of 4: THE SCOPE Catacomb of Veils will be the largest art piece at Burning Man 2016 and one of the largest burned sculptures in the history of the event. Everyone participating in the creation of Catacomb is all-volunteer with a commitment to the transformative power of temporary art. – [SOURCE] Recall:  Part…