SOLD: STUDIO CLEARANCE SALE: Painting entitled “The House,” 1998

Raising FUNDS, clearing SPACE and LETTING GO.

STUDIO CLEARANCE SALE

(Vancouver BC)

FOR SALE:

A favorite piece from my 1998 solo exhibit: Asta Sollilja of Summerhouses

SOLD

e-transfer or paypal: britakatarina@gmail.com

CONTACT: EMAIL

You pick up in West End, Vancouver

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The House, 1998, Katarina Thorsen

It was a house and a stable in one.  All that was visible of the inner, wooden shell was the door and its frame, the door so small, the threshold so high that one had to stoop on entering.  Down in the stable it was cold and dark, the air sour with the smell of earth, the toadstools flabby, but when the trapdoor was lifted a faint gleam shone down from the loft.  There were mangers along the sides, and in the farther wall a gap just wide enough to allow access to a hay barn that Bjartur proposed building behind the house… – Halldor Laxness

Acrylic on Canvas

36″ x 48″

(Note the piece is made of two canvases, 24″ x 36″ each.  It is currently framed, with a beautiful handmade cedar frame by Ralph Bowers- in frame measures 37″ x 49″)

THE EXHBIT WAS INSPIRED BY INDEPENDENT PEOPLE

There is no more important novel to me than INDEPENDENT PEOPLE by Halldor Laxness (1902 – 1998), Icelandic novelist, awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1955.  I own several copies of the book.  Here is the dust jacket from my hardcover English edition (1946, Alfred A. Knopf, New York):

The exhibit:

The novel inspired a large exhibit in 1998 of multiple paintings, drawings and quilts.  These were exhibited at the beautiful Nordic Heritage Museum in Seattle, ironically just a month after Laxness’s passing.

Exhibit Synopsis:

In 1983, through my Scandinavian Literature class at the University of British Columbia (taught by my mentor Peter Stenberg), I was introduced to an extraordinary novel which forever embedded itself into my heart. I honestly didn’t know at the time how much it affected me, for my mind was cluttered with other university courses and accompanying distractions, but I did know that the book was very important, and indeed it was the one I have returned to again and again.

The novel is Independent People by Nobel prize winner Halldor Laxness, beautifully translated from Icelandic by J. A. Thompson, 1946, Borzoi Books, Alfred A. Knopf, New York. The novel was reissued in paperback by Vintage international, January 1997.

It is an epic tale of a farm family in rural Iceland around the time of World War I. The central character is a rough and self-proclaimed independent sheep farmer called Bjartur, who early on establishes his croft in which the epic and isolated events of his family are played out. Bjartur is the centre of the story, but the most striking character is his daughter Asta Sollilja. This lonely pubescent girl is the heart of the novel, embodying beauty, pity, tragedy; she is the face of Iceland. Her relationship with her father is awkward, heavy, yet extremely endearing.

At once inspired by the words of Halldor Laxness and my Scandinavian heritage, I chose to do a visual essay on Asta, an essay that should allow the viewer to understand the character without having read the book first, but to inspire them to read it. The paintings and the quilts in the exhibit are strictly my personal interpretation of Asta, focusing on emotion and relationships with other characters rather than specific themes. The quilts are an important feature of the exhibit, providing a visual and tactile commentary- on women’s hand work, the bed covering as protection, the bed where birth, dreams, rape, death occur.

Central quote to the exhibit: page 351

He did not know what to say in the face of such sorrow. He sat in silence by his sister’s side in the spring vendure, which was too young; and the hidden strings in his breast began to quiver, and to sound. This was the first time that he had ever looked into the labyrinth of the human soul. He was very far from understanding what he saw. But what was of more value, he felt and suffered with her. In years that were to come he relived this memory in song, in the most beautiful song the world has ever known. For the understanding in the soul’s defencelessness, of the conflict between two poles, is not the source of the greatest song. The source of the greatest song is sympathy. Sympathy with Asta Sollilja on earth.

Asta Sollilja, 1998 (donated to the Missing Women’s Legacy Society, 2002) 
Detail from Bjartur Quilt, 1998

Feedback:

I was honored to receive amazing feedback from the show.  I treasure this comment in particular:

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‘Asta Sollilja of Summerhouses’ exhibit

My 1998 solo exhibit: Asta Sollilja of Summerhouses

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ONE OF THE PIECES FROM THE SHOW:

The House, 1998, Katarina Thorsen

It was a house and a stable in one.  All that was visible of the inner, wooden shell was the door and its frame, the door so small, the threshold so high that one had to stoop on entering.  Down in the stable it was cold and dark, the air sour with the smell of earth, the toadstools flabby, but when the trapdoor was lifted a faint gleam shone down from the loft.  There were mangers along the sides, and in the farther wall a gap just wide enough to allow access to a hay barn that Bjartur proposed building behind the house… – Halldor Laxness

Acrylic on Canvas

36″ x 48″

(Note the piece is made of two canvases, 24″ x 36″ each.  It is currently framed, with handmade cedar frame by Ralph Bowers- in frame measures 37″ x 49″)

In my private collection, Vancouver BC

The Book:

There is no more important novel to me than INDEPENDENT PEOPLE by Halldor Laxness (1902 – 1998), Icelandic novelist, awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1955.  I own several copies of the book.  Here is the dust jacket from my hardcover English edition (1946, Alfred A. Knopf, New York):

The exhibit:

The novel inspired a large exhibit in 1998 of multiple paintings, drawings and quilts.  These were exhibited at the beautiful Nordic Heritage Museum in Seattle, ironically just a month after Laxness’s passing.

Exhibit Synopsis:

In 1983, through my Scandinavian Literature class at the University of British Columbia (taught by my mentor Peter Stenberg), I was introduced to an extraordinary novel which forever embedded itself into my heart. I honestly didn’t know at the time how much it affected me, for my mind was cluttered with other university courses and accompanying distractions, but I did know that the book was very important, and indeed it was the one I have returned to again and again.

The novel is Independent People by Nobel prize winner Halldor Laxness, beautifully translated from Icelandic by J. A. Thompson, 1946, Borzoi Books, Alfred A. Knopf, New York. The novel was reissued in paperback by Vintage international, January 1997.

It is an epic tale of a farm family in rural Iceland around the time of World War I. The central character is a rough and self-proclaimed independent sheep farmer called Bjartur, who early on establishes his croft in which the epic and isolated events of his family are played out. Bjartur is the centre of the story, but the most striking character is his daughter Asta Sollilja. This lonely pubescent girl is the heart of the novel, embodying beauty, pity, tragedy; she is the face of Iceland. Her relationship with her father is awkward, heavy, yet extremely endearing.

At once inspired by the words of Halldor Laxness and my Scandinavian heritage, I chose to do a visual essay on Asta, an essay that should allow the viewer to understand the character without having read the book first, but to inspire them to read it. The paintings and the quilts in the exhibit are strictly my personal interpretation of Asta, focusing on emotion and relationships with other characters rather than specific themes. The quilts are an important feature of the exhibit, providing a visual and tactile commentary- on women’s hand work, the bed covering as protection, the bed where birth, dreams, rape, death occur.

Central quote to the exhibit: page 351

He did not know what to say in the face of such sorrow. He sat in silence by his sister’s side in the spring vendure, which was too young; and the hidden strings in his breast began to quiver, and to sound. This was the first time that he had ever looked into the labyrinth of the human soul. He was very far from understanding what he saw. But what was of more value, he felt and suffered with her. In years that were to come he relived this memory in song, in the most beautiful song the world has ever known. For the understanding in the soul’s defencelessness, of the conflict between two poles, is not the source of the greatest song. The source of the greatest song is sympathy. Sympathy with Asta Sollilja on earth.

Asta Sollilja, 1998 (donated to the Missing Women’s Legacy Society, 2002) 
Detail from Bjartur Quilt, 1998

Feedback:

I was honored to receive amazing feedback from the show.  I treasure this comment in particular:

 

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#KeithHaring inspired canvas in progress at @MediaForYouth

At Intersections Media we love Art Mondays!  Besides filmmaking, a significant part of Intersections is dipping our hands into the visual art/creative process and into art history by creating art work that interprets the masters and that creates community dialogue.  On Mondays we cover the art component and attack the canvas.  We are in the process of creating a new piece of art with the current intake inspired by Keith Haring:

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Source: The Brooklyn Museum

Keith Allen Haring (May 4, 1958 – February 16, 1990) was an American artist and social activist whose work responded to the New York City street culture of the 1980s by expressing concepts of birth, death, sexuality, and war.  Haring’s work was often heavily political and his imagery has become a widely recognized visual language of the 20th century. (source)

The current canvas was covered in gesso last week and last Monday we started the painting process!  Stay tuned for the finished piece next week.

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Photo by Alison Donnelly
Photo by Alison Donnelly

I don’t think art is propaganda; it should be something that liberates the soul, provokes the imagination and encourages people to go further. It celebrates humanity instead of manipulating it. – Keith Haring

Check out our Indiegogo campaign!

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We need art supplies for Intersections so that we can create more art!  NOW THAT WE HAVE REACHED OUR GOAL, LET’S QUADRUPLE IT!  This will help us facilitate further and expand this important work!

Wounded angel. Haavoittunut Enkeli. #custodyart

IMG_4126WOUNDED ANGEL, 2008 [by “Steph” and “Vincent”]

This unframed painting on raw canvas (65″ x 76″) was made during my therapeutic art classes at a youth custody centre. Read below to find out its creation.

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Many of the youth I currently work with are involved with the juvenile justice system in one way or another. I LOVED my time volunteering at Burnaby Youth Custody Centre in 2006-2008. It started with the “Friday Art Class,” then it turned into the “Friday Art Classes,” then “Monday, Wednesday, Friday” etc. etc.!  The  residents taught me so much of the healing power of art and that there are no bad kids, just bad decisions.

I had only one rule: NO CENSORSHIP while in my art class, and it really is a powerful rule. Allowing free expression fosters camaraderie. Art is also a tool to educate the youth on conflict resolution and to act as a way to practice restorative justice.

Restorative justice fosters dialogue between victim and offender shows the highest rates of victim satisfaction and offender accountability. – Wikipedia

A particular incident led to an unusual relationship between two residents. A young woman and young man (in their mid teens) had had an altercation over the issue “snitching.” The staff had requested they not be allowed to participate in my art classes as a form of “punishment.” I asked that instead of feeding the tension by denying them art sessions, I work with them together. The staff graciously accepted my request. “Steph” and “Vincent” went on to form a deep bond as they created together. They produced a number of astounding large paintings.

It was an EXTRAORDINARY experience for all of us.

This painting was created after “Steph” returned to custody broken and worn-down by an unsuccessful release. “Vincent” was very interested in art history and inspired by the original painting “Haavoittunut Enkeli” by Finnish artist Hugo Simberg, he suggested that he and “Steph” work on a new large piece together to represent helping “Steph” recover and embracing her without judgment.

For more custody art, go to: http://klasssockmonkey.wordpress.com/2011/01/15/custody-art-and-art-therapy-healingpowerofart-corrections/

Now for sale on ESTY:

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PROCEEDS SUPPORTS SOCK MONKEY THERAPY WITH AT-RISK YOUTH, VANCOUVER BC

Martin Place’s Annual Art Sale! #vancouver

My dear friend, Martin Place, is my mentor and always offers the most wonderful advice and guidance.  It’s that time of year again for his annual art sale!  Can’t wait!

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Martin is passionate about the importance of maintaining a connection with the creative process.  He insists that if we take a break from creating for an extended period and then pick it up again, we don’t start where we left off but we lose momentum and must relearn in order to gain what was lost.  I agree fully and that is why I stay in touch with the creative process daily.

Martin has three main art mediums (and multiple others!):

POTTERY:

JEWELRY:

PAINTING:

I worked with Martin’s daughter, Sara Place, at Keith Lynn Alternative Secondary School and I was lucky enough to accompany students, support staff and Sara to Martin’s art retreat on Savary Island three years in a row.  Glorious memories!

Sara and Martin

LOVE YOU, SARA AND MARTIN!

Some self reflection in my #DIY collage project!

Step 1. Get a square IKEA MALMA mirror.

Step 2. Print out (actual size) 4 panels of my piece “Mirror.” (Click on the images for full size.  Drag onto desktop, fiddle around with it!)

Step 3. They are designed to be pieced together (overlapped) and mod-podged on the square IKEA MALMA mirrors.

Step 4. Add your own glitter, paint, words, feathers, beads whatever!

Step 5. Voila!   Meditate on the beautiful person staring back at you!


Martin Place. Artist. Mentor.

My dear friend, Martin Place, is my mentor and always offers the most wonderful advice and guidance.  I met up with him today at his annual art sale!

 

Martin is passionate about the importance of maintaining a connection with the creative process.  He insists that if we take a break from creating for an extended period and then pick it up again, we don’t start where we left off but we lose momentum and must relearn in order to gain what was lost.  I agree fully and that is why I stay in touch with the creative process daily.

Martin has three main art mediums (and multiple others!):

POTTERY:

JEWELRY:

PAINTING:

Catch Day 2 of Martin’s annual Xmas sale tomorrow!

 

 

I worked with Martin’s daughter, Sara Place, at Keith Lynn Alternative Secondary School and I was lucky enough to accompany students, support staff and Sara to Martin’s art retreat on Savary Island three years in a row.  Glorious memories!

Sara and Martin

 

My nephew’s first painting!

It’s my baby brother’s birthday today!

Katarina, Fredrik, Anders, 1967

Fredrik is now a Dad to beautiful Henrik:

Here’s Henrik with his mom, aka Fredrik’s partner and my incredible sister-in-law, Cher:

I wanted to help Henrik make the ultimate present for his Dad.  What could be better than his first painting!  I was in heaven watching Henrik work on the canvas!  The photos are shaky because I needed to ensure Henrik didn’t pour the paint all over himself!

I started it off with two red lines so that Henrik could get the concept of applying paint to canvas.

 

I glued the brush Henrik used onto the frame!  DELIGHTFUL.

The frame was handmade by my friend, Darcy!

Jasmine Schuett’s glorious painting ‘Pack: Not All Wolves Run On Four Legs’ (2012)

Pack: Not All Wolves Run On Four Legs, 2012

As featured in the AHVA Library Gallery during

  TOO DEEP FOR YOU | UBC 2012 BFA/BA Visual Art Graduating Exhibition

This year, UBC’s annual BFA/BA Visual Art graduating exhibition is TOO DEEP FOR YOU. The exhibition showcases the ambitious final projects of graduating Visual Art students. Materially and methodologically diverse, artworks in the exhibition are representative of  students’ heterogeneous areas of inquiry and of their on-going negotiation of critical thinking and material artistic practice.  

Come see the work of emerging young talent in Vancouver! 

Opening Reception: April 19 2012, 6-9 PM. 

Exhibition runs April 19 – May 5th
Monday to Saturday, 12-4 PM.

Artist, Jasmine Schuett. I am endlessly inspired by Jasmine's work and I adore her!

 More Jasmine treats:

Jasmine at my art event March 10, 2011, creating her usual magic!

Team Stomp (Jasmine, Sam, Hannah, Ashleigh) by Jasmine Schuett
My hand-painted ceramic collection by Jasmine Schuett!
Jasmine Schuett’s “Fred”! Too die for!
My portrait (china marker) of Jasmine

Introducing the beautiful work of young artist, Alicia Love

I originally introduced Alicia Love on my art therapy site.  Go to: THE MAGNIFICENT EYE-BIRDS OF ALICIA.  Alicia is one of my pilot project students for my YOUTH ARTISANS site on ETSY.

Alicia stands out amongst all the talented young artists that I have worked with. She has a unique and natural approach to her painting that needs to be left undisturbed, yet Alicia will rise to a challenge to adapt and problem solve in any art medium. Her fragile beauty and strong spirit shine through in her work.

I am so honored to introduce and to exhibit her work at my next art event in June (details to come)!

Here are some previews:

      

You can support Alicia by purchasing her work on my ETSY site.  These 4 small pieces are currently for sale:

   

My grandfather’s school photo- it haunts me…

I am obsessed with this photo of my grandfather’s school class (Hudiksvall, Sweden).  He is in the top left.  I have drawn it over and over and painted it.  But something never allows me to finish.  I get as far as some of the girls, then the rest refuse a portrait.  I will try again sometime.  See what happens.  What are the students trying to tell me?

Recalling my exhibit 1998 @thenordicmuseum- Ode to #Laxness #IcelandicLiterature

There is no more important novel to me than INDEPENDENT PEOPLE by Halldor Laxness (1902 – 1998), Icelandic novelist, awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1955.  I own several copies of the book.  Here is the dust jacket from my hardcover English edition (1946, Alfred A. Knopf, New York):

The novel inspired a large exhibit of multiple paintings, drawings and quilts.  These were exhibited at the beautiful Nordic Heritage Museum in Seattle, ironically just a month after Laxness’s passing.

My synopsis from the 1998 exhibit:

In 1983, through my Scandinavian Literature class at the University of British Columbia (taught by Peter Stenberg, now head of the Department of Germanic Studies), I was introduced to an extraordinary novel which forever embedded itself into my heart. I honestly didn’t know at the time how much it affected me, for my mind was cluttered with other university courses and accompanying distractions, but I did know that the book was very important, and indeed it was the one I have returned to again and again over the last 14 years.

The novel is Independent People by Nobel prize winner Halldor Laxness, beautifully translated from Icelandic by J. A. Thompson, 1946, Borzoi Books, Alfred A. Knopf, New York. The novel was reissued in paperback by Vintage international, January 1997.

It is an epic tale of a farm family in rural Iceland around the time of World War I. The central character is a rough and self-proclaimed independent sheep farmer called Bjartur, who early on establishes his croft in which the epic and isolated events of his family are played out. Bjartur is the central antagonist of the story, but the most striking character is his daughter Asta Sollilja. This lonely pubescent girl is the heart of the novel, embodying beauty, pity, tragedy; she is the face of Iceland. Her relationship with her father is awkward, heavy, yet extremely endearing.

At once inspired by the words of Halldor Laxness and my Scandinavian heritage, I chose to do a visual essay on Asta, an essay that should allow the viewer to understand the character without having read the book first, but to inspire them to read it. The paintings and the quilts in the exhibit are strictly my personal interpretation of Asta, focusing on emotion and relationships with other characters rather than specific themes. The quilts are an important feature of the exhibit, providing a visual and tactile commentary- on women’s hand work, the bed covering as protection, the bed where birth, dreams, rape, death occur.

Central quote to the exhibit: page 351 “He did not know what to say in the face of such sorrow. He sat in silence by his sister’s side in the spring vendure, which was too young; and the hidden strings in his breast began to quiver, and to sound. This was the first time that he had ever looked into the labyrinth of the human soul. He was very far from understanding what he saw. But what was of more value, he felt and suffered with her. In years that were to come he relived this memory in song, in the most beautiful song the world has ever known. For the understanding in the soul’s defencelessness, of the conflict between two poles, is not the source of the greatest song. The source of the greatest song is sympathy. Sympathy with Asta Sollilja on earth.”


I was honored to receive amazing feedback from the show.  This comment is one I treasure:

Some of the original pieces from my 1998 exhibit will be on sale at my March 1oth Art Event!

When art comes back to say hello, only to be released again. #honoring #missingwomen #artevent

I was honored to work with families and friends of the victims of Robert Pickton and of the missing women back in 2002/3.   I just reconnected with one family member who will be providing some of the pieces I originally donated to decorate a rehab centre in her sister’s honor.  The project has changed since then, and she asked if she could auction them off, but asked where.  So, serendipity strikes and the pieces will be in my silent-auction on March 10 with proceeds from these pieces going towards an ongoing quilting project in honor of the women (currently 300 quilts have been made).

 

“Sarah, I think of you” (in memory of Sarah deVries). Print of the original donated to Coquitlam RCMP Detachmen

Print and quilt a legacy to missing women-2002

 

This piece was originally exhibited at The Nordic Heritage Museum in my large solo show dedicated to the novel "Independent People" by Halldor Laxness. Post about this 1998 exhibit coming soon. This piece was to go into the rehab centre, but as the project has changed, it will be in my silent auction on March 10.
I was very moved by the story of Sarah deVries who not only looked like my daughter when she was a child but her energy, intelligence and spirit also reminded me of Anna.

Please visit Wayne Leng’s websites: MISSINGPEOPLE.NET and MISSINGWOMEN

Laundry day. Art from the vault.

You sometimes see a woman who would have made a Joan of Arc in another century and climate, threshing herself to pieces over all the mean worry of housekeeping. ~Rudyard Kipling

Acrylic on canvas (unframed)

Dedicated to my mother and all the women who came before me.

Pearl Hart, Wild West Woman. Portrait will be up for auction at my June 23 art event!

Years ago, I picked up the book The Old West- The Women, Time-Life, at a thrift store for 50¢.

What a gem.  I bought it during my Immigrant phase.  I kept coming back to the photos of Pearl Hart and did the following portrait– one of the paintings I actually haven’t given away, trashed, or let kids graffiti over.  So much of my stuff is dispersed in Canada, USA and Sweden, or painted over, or thrown out or burnt!  I am pretty ruthless and moody when it comes to my own art.

But this one will be up for auction at my June 23 art event.  It’s acrylic and charcoal on canvas and it’s approx 3′ x 5′ (canvas on frame).

Peral Hart was serving a five-year stretch in Arizona when these pictures… were taken of her…  In 1899 she held up the stage to Globe, netting $431 and a place in history as the last stagecoach bandit.