Unnecessary Violence and Ramblings- archiving of my Shadow Work Journals 1986 to present. Sample 44: June 22, 2012

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. Today’s journal spans poignant time. My father, Roar Thorsen, was unwinding and had just a few months left to live. We shared a deep friendship. We were working hard on our book…

Father, daughter, Fenrir, Gleipnir and “Drawn Together”- the book: 6 years later.

Wow.  October 25, 2018 will mark the sixth year since my father passed away.  I am so aware of all the dates in October… so aware that he was winding down. Interestingly, more October connections: on October 12, 2005 (13 years ago), my father drew for the first time after his life threatening stroke (September 21,…

Charming portraits of cats by my father 5 years after his stroke…

Going through my blog and archiving some imagery, I came across these charming drawings by my father– done in 2010, 5 years after a debilitating stroke.

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 6

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…

We were drawn together on Saturday- and now I know why…

I love family.  And we have shared so much- all the life markers, the ups and downs of life and through it all there is that special glue that connects us. We had an impromptu get together at my place on Saturday- somehow ALL of us (niece, nephew, brothers, sister in laws, daughter, son, daughter…

“Always, remember, you are the best.” No, you were, Pappa. #toliveuntilwesaygoodbye

My greatest cheerleader was my Dad. 4 years ago today, his heart stopped beating, but his spirit lives on. His pep talks were the best. “Always, remember, you are the best.” No, you were, Pappa.   Our gift to you: Free PDF version of DRAWN TOGETHER, THE BOOK by Roar and Kat Thorsen! LINK

On Autumnal endings and beginnings in October

This is such a beautiful tender time of the year for me.  The autumn is both a time of loss and renewal.  My parents passed in the autumn, yet autumn is a time of new possibilities and fresh starts. Life/ death.  The extremes? Or two sides of the same coin or exactly the same?  For…

Woot! @BigDrawVan at @strathcentre turned out beautifully!

Recall: BIG DRAW VANCOUVER IN THE MIDST OF COMMUNITY CENTRE ACTIVITY, WITH KIDS PLAYING BASKETBALL AND COMMUNITY MEMBERS OF ALL AGES WALKING THROUGH, DRAWN TOGETHER WORKED OUT BEAUTIFULLY.  WE HAD THREE TABLES SET UP IN THE HALLWAY(!) AND THERE WAS A  GREAT TURNOUT!  THE BUSYNESS WAS INVIGORATING AND PARTICIPANTS WERE AMAZING! HUGE THANK YOU TO ALISON…

‘Be willing to be a beginner every single morning.’ Journaling exercise

Today you are a newborn and you are starting fresh! Draw a baby. Draw brainstorm bubbles above “your “head. Write about what it may be like to start fresh.  Releasing anxiety and hesitancy. Brainstorm central themes in your life.  Just let it happen. Be willing to be a beginner every single morning. – Meister Eckhart…

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…

Same tools, same instructions, all equal, all different. O.W.L.

The OWL is a POWERFUL image and I use it all the time in my work. The form of the OWL itself is very conducive to teaching the principles of drawing. The direction quickly create an engaging and intense gaze, drawing both the student and the observer in. By Aug 24, I’ll have led approx 225 people…

Stanley Park. Birds. Angel whispers. And Pledge Drive.

I walked around Beaver Lake today.  I was infused by the profound beauty of nature.  Warm sun.  Blossoms.  Skunk cabbage.  Herons were dancing in the wind above the lake, ducks were courting and playing, chipmunks and squirrels scurrying.  Chestnut-backed chickadees and red-breasted nuthatches landed on my hands.  I describe the feeling as angel whispers. I took…

World Health Day #authorsfestival with @InfluencePub and @chaptersindigo Apr 4-7!

  The Books and Authors featured in the World Heath Day Authors Festival: Cracking the Dementia Code – Karen Tyrell An Unexpected Miracle – Jennifer De Pippo What Patients Don’t Say if Doctors Don’t Ask – Dr. Manon Bolliger Drawn Together – Katarina Thorsen Relentless –Josh Wood Hello Susan, It’s Me, Cancer!– Susan D’Agostino Event…

Drawn Together Therapeutic Art Workshops

For more info or to host a workshop, contact me! DRAWN TOGETHER WORKSHOP SERIES with Katarina Thorsen: FULL DAY (6.5 hours) or 3 PARTS (2.5 hours each) In this therapeutic art workshop series, artist/author and art facilitator, Katarina Thorsen takes you through personal explorations of your Past, Present and Future through creative expression tools.  Katarina creates…

The power of art to heal and to build connections: Drawn Together

Drawn Together- Maintaining Connections and Navigating Life’s Challenges With Art Roar’s art provided him with a much needed connection to the world. I miss my father so much.  Last night I spent some quiet time watching Swedish films and allowing the feeling of intense loneliness flow through me as I embraced the fact that I…

I miss his pep talks. Roar Thorsen Aug 8, 1930- Oct 25, 2012

A year ago, Dad passed away.  It feels shorter.  It feels longer.  It feels at times overwhelming.  But I am at peace.  Dad left me with is a profound sense of empowerment.  I miss his pep talks though.  He, like nobody else, “got me.”  I am blessed to have inherited his gift of art and…

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

Excerpt from DRAWN TOGETHER: — Available at Salmagundi West:

Week 1 of Young Mothers Group: Esteem Heart

I am so honored to be journaling/ drawing/ sharing/ dialoguing with and witnessing the strength of young moms at a local support group. Week 1 was about intros, covenant, journaling and drawing and starting our esteem heart as part of a large art piece.  

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. — 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…

JOURNAL SERIES Part 5: REFLECTION: ANTICIPATION, PROCESS and AFTERMATH.

I am working on a new journal series to connect with my book  Drawn Together- Maintaining Connections and Navigating Life’s Challenges With Art. I am a great believer in sharing my creative process!  That is how Drawn Together was created in the first place- through journals and blogposts. As I build the journal series, I…

JOURNAL SERIES Part 4: REFLECTION: esteem heart

I am working on a new journal series to connect with my book  Drawn Together- Maintaining Connections and Navigating Life’s Challenges With Art. I am a great believer in sharing my creative process!  That is how Drawn Together was created in the first place- through journals and blogposts. As I build the journal series, I…

JOURNAL SERIES ROUGH SKETCHES Part 3: INSPECTION/HISTORY connections

I am working on a new journal series to connect with my book  Drawn Together- Maintaining Connections and Navigating Life’s Challenges With Art. I am a great believer in sharing my creative process!  That is how Drawn Together was created in the first place- through journals and blogposts. As I build the journal series, I…

Journal Series Part 2b: INSPECTION/HISTORY #roots #photos

I am working on a new journal series to connect with my book Drawn Together- Maintaining Connections and Navigating Life’s Challenges With Art. I am a great believer in sharing my creative process!  That is how Drawn Together was created in the first place- through journals and blogposts. As I build the journal series, I will…

Journal Series Part 2a: INSPECTION/HISTORY #roots

I am working on a new journal series to connect with my book Drawn Together- Maintaining Connections and Navigating Life’s Challenges With Art. I am a great believer in sharing my creative process!  That is how Drawn Together was created in the first place- through journals and blogposts. As I build the journal series, I will…

Journal Series Part 1: INSPECTION/PRESENT DAY #mindmap

I am working on a new journal series to connect with my book Drawn Together- Maintaining Connections and Navigating Life’s Challenges With Art. I am a great believer in sharing my creative process!  That is how Drawn Together was created in the first place- through journals and blogposts. I am inspired by Austin Kleon‘s call to…

“Never forget you are Daddy’s girl.” Drawn Together excerpt series Part 4

 Drawn Together excerpt series Part 4: My father always ended his letters to me with: Truth. Drawn Together- Maintaining Connections and Navigating Life’s Challenges With Art Roar’s art provided him with a much needed connection to the world after a devastating stroke. YOU CAN BUY THE BOOK HERE: – NEXT STEP: Workbook/workshop series under development to…

Helena, the film. A script idea by my father. Drawn Together excerpt series Part 3

Drawn Together- Maintaining Connections and Navigating Life’s Challenges With Art Roar’s art provided him with a much needed connection to the world after a devastating stroke. My father drew inspiration from many sources.  His newspapers, his readings, his scrapbooks.  Films like Hemsöborna. He not only drew, but wrote and wrote and wrote.  Drawn Together excerpt…

Change comes upon us, not slowly, but suddenly, abruptly. Drawn Together excerpt series Part 2

Drawn Together- Maintaining Connections and Navigating Life’s Challenges With Art Roar’s art provided him with a much needed connection to the world after a devastating stroke.  Drawn Together excerpt series Part 2:  Roar’s journal entry: YOU CAN BUY THE BOOK HERE: – NEXT STEP: Workbook/workshop series under development to accompany the book. MISSION STATEMENT To…

“… just two people, riding the waves of life.” Drawn Together excerpt series Part 1

Drawn Together- Maintaining Connections and Navigating Life’s Challenges With Art Roar’s art provided him with a much needed connection to the world after a devastating stroke.  Drawn Together excerpt series Part 1: She could not tear herself away from the old man.  She clung to him and wiped her eyes on her apron, her manner…

“Leaving behind in autumn’s advent…” My father’s last tax filings.

I filed my father’s taxes and submitted his will.  All is done.  All is wrapped up regarding both my mother and father’s paperwork.  How very strange. There was no probate as my father died with no savings, no life insurance, no assets… but I am left massively rich, with a full heart and peaceful soul.  Their…

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….

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

Our original journal was pulled apart to offer to the community. — 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 and choosing her pages! Take note of the spiral binding from the…

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: — 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: Sign up for $30! YOUR PURCHASE INCLUDES TWO ORIGINAL HAND-MADE DOUBLE-SIDED THERAPEUTIC…

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: 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…

And the next chapter starts: releasing our book to the world! We did it, Dad!

Wow. HERE IT IS.  OUR BOOK.  OUR BOOK.  Can you believe it?  After all the coffee meetups and work sessions with my father, all the joy and camaraderie, and pain and tears, and laughter and art making- we are finally here. Released through INFLUENCE PUBLISHING: Soon, you’ll be able to order the book directly through…

The umbilical cord. Mother-daughter journal series. PART 1: Accepting the task.

AS I MOVE FORWARD INTO NEW CHAPTERS IN MY LIFE, I HAVE DECIDED THAT IT IS TIME TO FOCUS FULLY ON ME. (Hello, me!)  IT IS FINALLY TIME TO PROCESS MY RELATIONSHIP WITH MY MOTHER AND ALL THE DELICIOUS, SCARY, INTERESTING, HEART-WARMING, DEEEEEEEEP EMOTIONAL ATTACHMENTS, BLOCKAGES, PATTERNS ETC. THAT COME UP. FULLY READY.  EXCITED. My…

With love and gratitude in my heart and soul, I say thank you to my parents…

With love and gratitude in my heart and soul, I say thank you to my parents and hello to our mutual dreams. Missing them feels similar to claustrophobia sometimes.  But the missing is infused with deep gratitude for the childhood and camaraderie they gave me. In 2012, my father knew, before he died, that we…

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…

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…

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…

Father and daughter journals. #artheals

I am delighted to be collaborating with Julie and Greg Salisbury of Influence Publishing in bringing Drawn Together to fruition! — I went to the storage room and pulled out some of the journals Dad and I shared from 2002-2005.  They are quite magical and they carried us through those tough years as I was…

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,…

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…

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…

Dealing with bullies, 1937 Norwegian style. My father recounts. #vintage #photography

Recall that I’m writing a book with Dad, about how he uses art to find purpose and meaning after his stroke. I’ve pulled out old photographs and albums for him to peruse and the stories coming out are remarkable. I found Dad’s baby album.  Wow. One recurring story that Dad has to tell me every…