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.

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No words suffice for my gratitude for this shop and for Anne Banner.

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The objects I have collected from the shop and have been gifted from Anne and the times I have spent there continue to inspire my creative process on a daily basis.

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The shop, the objects, the ghosts, Anne- all embody MAGIC.

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Here are just some posts I have shared in the past based on my visits there:

[Click on image to go to links.  They are each filled with photos and wonderful memories from my times there]

Post 1:

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Post 2:

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Post 6:

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Post 7:

On March 7, 2013, I was humbled at the generosity of Salmagundi West owner Anna Banner who allowed us to use her store as a back drop for a photoshoot for Molly- a true crime analysis!

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I was joined by Jocelyn Louise (who portrays Molly) and stylist Jay Fisher…

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Jay, Jocelyn, Anne

… and my daughter Anna Thorsen who took the main shots (to be shared in the book).

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Anna, Jocelyn

Here are some moments I captured.  The focus for me was to emulate Molly’s restless travels.

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Where dips the rocky highland
Of Sleuth Wood in the lake,
There lies a leafy island
Where flapping herons wake
The drowsy water-rats;
There we’ve hid our faery vats,
Full of berries
And of reddest stolen cherries.
Come away, O human child!
To the waters and the wild
With a faery, hand in hand,
For the world’s morefull of weeping than you
can understand.

The Stolen Child, WB Yeats

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MOLLY- A TRUE CRIME ANALYSIS

WEEKLY SERIAL

AT MOLLYGRAPHICNOVEL.COM

He brushed the leaves aside and uncovered the most baffling double murder Vancouver has ever had.

– The Vancouver Province April 15, 1953

Jocelyn Louise as Molly. Styled by Jay Fisher.

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The objects are the context from which I draw clues.

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What happens when a case is very old, when much of its physical evidence is deteriorated or destroyed, and its main players long deceased?  How do we investigate?

For me it is all about the historical context.

When I work on Molly, I step into the 1940’s through books, research, primary sources.  And I do it through collecting vintage items.

The objects are the context from which I draw clues.

Now how I find these objects is a magical process.  Yes, I visit my favorite places like Salmagundi West in Gastown or Village Antique Mall in Fort Langley, but the objects themselves seem to choose me.

Can that be?

Do they hold clues?

Are they trying to tell me something?

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Photos by Julian Bowers

The distinction between life and lifeless is a human construct. Every atom in this body existed before organic life emerged 4000 million years ago. Remember our childhood as minerals, as lava, as rocks? Rocks contain the potentiality to weave themselves into such stuff as this. We are the rocks dancing. Why do we look down on them with such a condescending air? It is they that are an immortal part of us.

JOHN SEED, Thinking Like a Mountain

The importance of the vintage photograph as creative resource.

 

There is no end to the inspiration I get from looking at vintage photographs- through immersion comes awakened imagination.

The central characters in my graphic novel are real people but as I am doing an artistic interpretation of real events, I revel in the freedom to flesh out the central characters using old photos as a starting point.

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There is no harm in imposing appearance and character on the brothers and sisters, so long as we regard this as a mere device for solidifying Will’s physical background.  We are entitled to visualize him as a boy eating, singing and sleeping in the house on Henley Street, and its convenient to have him surrounded by something thicker than swathes of ectoplasm with name-tags.

– Anthony Burgess, Shakespeare

A great source for vintage photos in Vancouver BC is Salmagundi West

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Molly- A Graphic Novel Trailer

Editor, cinematography: Julian Bowers

Writer, researcher, illustrator: Katarina Thorsen

    

NOTE: All photographs in my graphic novel research collection were purchased at a variety of places such as on ETSY, at Salmagundi West, Fort Langley Antique Mall, etc. They are all dated 1947 or earlier.

What is public domain?

Photographs taken in Canada in 1949 and earlier by a photographer or a corporation, as these lapsed into the public domain prior to Canadian copyright changes in 1998.

Corporate records and photographs created in Canada more than 50 years old.

SOURCE

Also check out: Canadian Public Domain Flowchart

“Porcus in vas unum.” Experimenting for Salmagundi West.

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I received a preserved piglet from Salmagundi West to test out tattooing on it.  An experiment.  Anne Banner, the owner of Salmagundi, had sourced it, letting me know it had died of natural causes.  It had been preserved in formalin and was now in a bath of 70% rubbing alcohol.  I kept it on my mantle for a week.

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I thanked the sweet little piglet.

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Set up shop.

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I noticed the skin dried out quickly and became fragile.

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Unfortunately, the tattoo needle ripped the flesh and the ink stained the skin.

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I tested out paint, surgical pen, sharpie etc.

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Re-immersing it in the bath dissolved the ink and surgical paint.  So I painted it in black ink to cover the experimental marks and reimmersed it alcohol.  I think I need to source an ethically obtained “fresh” piglet and then preserve it.

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Delightful local Vancouver artist: Amy Tom

I am delighted to introduce an extraordinary Vancouver artist, Amy Tom.  I was introduced to her through my friend Anne Banner, owner/curator of Vancouver curiosity shop and paradise: Salmagundi West.  Amy’s whimsical and magical style inspires me to no end!

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Check out her ETSY shop!

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I create postcards, magnets and art prints reproduced from my oil paintings and hand drawings. I am inspired by pop culture, literary characters and anthropomorphic animals, drawing and painting these themes in the Pop Surrealism style, with my own twist and wherever my imagination takes me. Everything in this shop is hand made by me in Vancouver and printed at a print shop in Vancouver. – Amy Tom

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"Ice Owl,"  November 2014, by Amy Tom
“Ice Owl,” November 2014, by Amy Tom
Amy Tom as Frida Kahlo with Anne Banner of Salmagundi West
Amy Tom as Frida Kahlo with Anne Banner of Salmagundi West

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 a safe and fun-filled haven for participants to learn journaling, drawing and anxiety tools.

NO PREVIOUS ART EXPERIENCE NECESSARY!

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Past

Birth/Roots exercise [History- where have you been?]

Connections exercise [How did you get here?]

Present

Letting Go exercise [Reflecting on challenging events]

Self-Portrait exercise [Reflecting on the need for normalcy]

Future

Mindmap exercise [Where do you want to go from here, planning]

Act As If exercise [Paradigm shift]

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This workshop series is derived from Katarina’s book: DRAWN TOGETHER

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ABOUT KATARINA:

KATARINA THORSEN

• ARTIST

• AUTHOR

• CRAFTIVIST

• ART DIRECTOR, IN HOUSE ARTIST by post street

Photo by Zöe Harvey

 

Born in Sweden, Kat Thorsen was mainly raised in British Columbia, Canada.  After receiving a Bachelor of Science in 1984, Kat pursued studies in fine arts, psychology, special education, behavioral evidence analysis and restorative justice.  She raised two children while pursuing her visual art career and her professional development.

Since 2005, Kat has worked as therapeutic art facilitator and support worker for Circles of Support and Accountability (community support for high risk sex offenders), at Burnaby Youth Custody Centre and Keith Lynn Alternative Secondary School, in the North Vancouver and Burnaby School Districts, at a variety of residential care facilities in the Lower Mainland, in private and public workshops as well as at Intersections Media Opportunities for Youth Society on Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside.

 Kat’s own artwork (drawing, painting, street art, journaling and crafting) can be found in private collections and on the streets of North America and Europe.  Her popular interactive art encourages participants to become part of the creative process. Kat published her first book, Drawn Together- Maintaining Connections and Navigating Life’s Challenges with Art in 2013.  Her next book is a true crime analysis and graphic novel based on her research into a historical Vancouver murder mystery.  Passionate about the therapeutic power of art and its ability to build connections, Kat is now pursuing this passion fulltime in her new position as art director and in-house artist of @bypoststreet.  She continues to provide therapeutic art workshops throughout the Lower Mainland.

Get ready to dig deep and to create!

 

“These messages are real answers…” My first ever tarot card reading with Madam Patricia. #skepticonvacation

Madam Patricia (Scorpion Sun]
Madam Patricia (Scorpio Sun]

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I was delighted to be invited for my first ever tarot card reading by ScorpioSun aka Madam Patricia this afternoon at my favorite place on earth: Salmagundi West.

Journal notes this morning:

Purposely slower morning.  Woke up at 7 AM, pressed snooze till 7:45.  Coffee.  Made bed.  Uncovered the parrot.  Tidied up in case the realtor needed to show the condo.  Took bath reading “Sacred Contracts,” anticipating the day and that the tarot card reading will be a “mystery school,” allowing for some intense self-examination.  

I am fully tapped out and perhaps this is the perfect time to be open to the experience.  Having my sketchbook with me is both comfortable and crucial.  Will this be about archetypal energy?

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On the seabus now.  The scientist in me is fighting with the little girl in me that believes in fairies and trolls.  I want to take 24 hours to put the scientist on vacation.  I’ve been wanting to kick the little girl in the face, as I’m tired of her scaredy-“KAT” ways.  I’ve wanted to yell at her to “shut the fuck up with your whimpering,”  and yell, “stop wringing your hands!”  

But maybe the little girl needs my time.  

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Time to play and to soak in the magic of Salmagundi West and allow for playful guidance.

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… simply as a break from all the problem solving and coordinating that the scientist is needing to do.  Instead of wearing the skeptic hat, I’ll wear the explorer hat today.  Instead of being cynical- complicated by all the financial issues that have worn me to a nub- I will go in naked and excited with china marker in hand and draw not only her portrait but draw from mine.  

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Instead of approaching it out of desperation and a bankrupt-feeling soul, I’ll go in joyously and treat it simply as time for me.  A present.

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It was a very special hour.  Patricia is open and vibrant and welcoming.  The space is MAGICAL and charming.

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It feels soothing to be focused on.  It feels wonderful having her speak about my father and to hear her advice to trust and surrender.  It was delightful to simply receive a gentle coaching session.  She forecasted wonderful and positive things and I felt light and on track, coached and encouraged.  

Patricia encouraged me to dig deeper, share more, let go, allow, accept that I am safe and that great things await.  Who wouldn’t be lifted by that?

The following card was of particular interest:

THE HIEROPHANT

  • EDUCATION
  • BELIEF SYSTEMS
  • CONFORMITY
  • GROUP IDENTIFICATION

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…the Hierophant is a trusted guide, one who will take us by the hand and lead us to our spiritual goal.

And she encouraged me to google the Swan Medicine card. 

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And left me with the lesson of the ear chakra:

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I loved the time for myself.  I loved tapping into the guides and allowing magical thinking.  Indeed, some magic realism is exactly what the doctor ordered!

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To book an appointment with Madam Patricia, contact SALMAGUNDI WEST

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Special thank you to Anne Banner!

I have coveted her for years. My doll from Salmagundi West

I have coveted her for years.  That first time I stepped into Salmagundi West with the my mom and saw her tucked in the cupboard (to your left as you walk in the door, on the north wall):

Every time I have passed the shop or entered the shop and now more often spend time in the shop, I have thought of her.  Taken a peek at her.

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And now I have her.  She is my Molly dolly.

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from Annie Besant:

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Huge thank you to Anne Banner, owner, for her hospitality and enthusiasm for all things curious!  Love you!

Check out Salmagundi West on Facebook:

Photo courtesy of Salmagundi West
Photo courtesy of Salmagundi West

Why use seemingly unrelated vintage photographs as sources for a true crime story?

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There is no end to the inspiration I get from looking at vintage photographs- through immersion comes awakened imagination.

The central characters in my graphic novel are real people but as I am doing an artistic interpretation of real events, I revel in the freedom to flesh out the central characters using old photos as a starting point.

IMG_2910

There is no harm in imposing appearance and character on the brothers and sisters, so long as we regard this as a mere device for solidifying Will’s physical background.  We are entitled to visualize him as a boy eating, singing and sleeping in the house on Henley Street, and its convenient to have him surrounded by something thicker than swathes of ectoplasm with name-tags.

– Anthony Burgess, Shakespeare

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Inspiration taken from the photographs of Vivian Maier

A great source for vintage photos in Vancouver BC is Salmagundi West

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Molly- A Graphic Novel Trailer

Editor, cinematography: Julian Bowers

Writer, researcher, illustrator: Katarina Thorsen

It doesn’t stop him. My death stops him. #graphicnovel study

Recall March 7, 2013, photoshoot at Salmagundi West for my graphic novel.

I am struck by the ability of my model, Jocelyn Louise, to convey, in a simple glance, the pain of my main character as she tries to escape the memories of childhood trauma.

Sins of the father
Sins of the father.

Asexual.

Living in church,

reading about God all the time,

getting callouses on my knees.

It doesn’t stop him. 

My death stops him.

– Maire MacLachlan

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China marker on newsprint.

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Jocelyn Louise as Molly.  Styled by Jay Fisher. Photo by Anna Thorsen.
Styled by Jay Fisher. Photo by Anna Thorsen.

COVER TEST

GRABLINE:

He brushed the leaves aside and uncovered the most baffling double murder Vancouver has ever had.

– The Vancouver Province April 15, 1953

Jocelyn Louise as Molly. Styled by Jay Fisher.

MOLLY- the graphic novel

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With a faery, hand in hand… photo shoot for the #graphicnovel at Salmagundi West!

On March 7, 2013, I was humbled at the generosity of Salmagundi West owner Anna Banner who allowed us to use her store as a back drop for our latest photoshoot!

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I was joined by Jocelyn Louise (who portrays Molly) and stylist Jay Fisher…

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Jay, Jocelyn, Anne

… and my daughter Anna Thorsen who took the main shots (to be shared in the book).

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Anna, Jocelyn

Here are some moments I captured.  The focus for me was to emulate Molly’s restless travels.

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Where dips the rocky highland
Of Sleuth Wood in the lake,
There lies a leafy island
Where flapping herons wake
The drowsy water-rats;
There we’ve hid our faery vats,
Full of berries
And of reddest stolen cherries.
Come away, O human child!
To the waters and the wild
With a faery, hand in hand,
For the world’s morefull of weeping than you
can understand.

The Stolen Child, WB Yeats

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MOLLY- A TRUE CRIME ANALYSIS

WEEKLY SERIAL

AT MOLLYGRAPHICNOVEL.COM

He brushed the leaves aside and uncovered the most baffling double murder Vancouver has ever had.

– The Vancouver Province April 15, 1953

Jocelyn Louise as Molly. Styled by Jay Fisher.

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MOLLY- the graphic novel

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“Where white is black and black is white, I won.” #graphicnovel study #crowskull

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When Crow was white he decided the sun was too white.

He decided it glared much too whitely.

He decided to attack it and defeat it.

He got his strength up flush and in full glitter.

He clawed and fluffed his rage up.

He aimed his beak direct at the sun’s centre.

He laughed himself to the centre of himself

And attacked.

At his battle cry trees grew suddenly old,

Shadows flattened.

But the sun brightened—

It brightened, and Crow returned charred black.

He opened his mouth but what came out was charred black.

“Up there,” he managed,

“Where white is black and black is white, I won.”

– Charles Bukowski

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Crow’s skull purchased at Salmagundi West:

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Photo by Nancy Kirkpatrick
Photo by Nancy Kirkpatrick
Jocelyn Louise as Molly. Styled by Jay Fisher.

MOLLY- the graphic novel

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Visual therapy in Gastown: Salmagundi West- a collection of interesting things.

Recall I bought a glorious old doll at Salmagundi West in February 2011: Broken vintage doll as blank canvas.

I painted Frida Kahlo on it (big surprise): Broken vintage doll as blank canvas part 2!

Salmagundi West is one of my favorite shops in Vancouver.  It reminds me of Mystery Mister and Loved to Death in San Francisco and I am REJUVENATED every time I visit it, which happened today when my student, Amanda-Lynn, and I dropped in.

Amanda-Lynn posing in front of my portrait of her (pasted yesterday) on our way to Gastown.

Huge thank you to Anne Banner for her hospitality and enthusiasm for all things curious!

My glorious purchases today:

Check out Salmagundi West on Facebook:

Photo courtesy of Salmagundi West
Photo courtesy of Salmagundi West