Walking Owl Studio -- Cat Fink, Visual Artist
drawings in pastel and mixed media


(posted on 21 Nov 2022)

In case you've been searching, the link for my writing site (catfinkknowtrustchoosecreate.com) is closed.  I hadn't written a post since April 2021.  Clearly it was time to retire the blog, so I did.  I'm working on creating a new writing site but no forecast on when it will become active.  I'll drop a note here in the art site blog when it's up and running.  Thanks for stopping by! 

(posted on 4 Aug 2022)

Yes, I'm still around.  No, I haven't abandoned my drawing, but yes, these days I am mostly writing. 

The writing started in Spring 2014.  It turned into a blog https://catfinkknowtrustchoosecreate.com/ in December of the same year, and I kept up the blog until April 2021. 

By then the posts were few.  The COVID situation plus six deaths in my extended family (not related to the pandemic), including my parents and a cousin who was more like a sister became too much hurt and too much chaos.

I let myself wander and play and sometimes do nothing at all.

What I was really doing, without realizing, was giving myself space to heal and find a way back into who I was after all this change.

The writing.  I'm up to draft four on a memoir that may only ever live on my studio table.  I have the completed first draft of a hopepunk scifi novel that I love.  I'm in the midst of creating the backdraft (aka back story) for it.

I'm still an artist, drawing, playing, creating for myself.  And now for anyone who asks, I'm an Artist Who Writes.

(posted on 9 Aug 2021)

I've been playing around with watercolours, not at all seriously or with intent, since I created my Joy Diary sketchbook for the Brooklyn Art Library in 2018.  To my surprise, this summer a new body of work showed up, "I AM", and watercolour is the ground of every piece.  These are (so far) small mixed media pieces on Arches watercolour paper.  To my eyes, they are little treasures, something precious made to hold in the hands rather than admire from a distance.  I begin each with watercolour and ink, then dot the paper surface with metal brads, and collage tiny hearts and stars cut from the leftover trimmings of the large watercolour paper sheet.  Creating these are pure enjoyment.  No fuss, no intensity.  Truly, all play.  The I AM gallery is here https://www.walkingowlstudio.ca/gallery/i_am/ 

(posted on 7 Oct 2020)

Once again I am pleased to announce the Multifaith Calendar is using one of my images in their 2021 edition.  You'll find the drawing as an inset on the page for August.  The image is a detail from 'Holy Water'; see the entire drawing in the gallery 'Fix Something Broken'  https://walkingowlstudio.ca/image/fix_something_broken/holy_water

The calendar can be ordered from http://www.multifaithcalendar.org/

My second sketchbook is making its way to the Brooklyn Art Library.  This one is a pocket mural, a long drawing, accordion-folded, with images on both sides.  It expands to the width of your open arms.  How fun would it be to carry a garden in your pocket, one you could unfold and jump into.  A place that is all play and joy, a garden of the heart where lives all you love.  Click on 'Gallery' above, and then on 'The Sketchbook Project - The Secret Garden'.  I'll meet you there! 




(posted on 20 Apr 2018)

My little sketchbook, ‘The Joy Diary’, is complete.  Today I mailed it back to the Brooklyn Art Library, where it will become a permanent part of The Sketchbook Project collection for 2018.

As an unexpected result of doing this project, I learned something new about my creative identity.

When I started the sketchbook, I thought of it the way I think of a body of work for an art show.  In an art show, I choose a theme that becomes a starting point, and each drawing becomes a singular point of view related to that theme.

As I worked on the third drawing in the sketchbook, I realized my concept and understanding was shifting.  This was not an art show with 21 themed-but-separate drawings.  Instead, this was one long drawing that moved from page to page.  I was seeing the drawings as sequential, telling a story.

I was seeing my sketchbook as a book.

In a single realization, I shifted from an artist using words in her drawings, to a writer using images and words on an equal footing.  I shifted myself and my creative process from ‘either/or’ to ‘and/also’.

For years I said I was both artist and writer, but I saw these identities as separate and distinct, two hats that I exchanged and wore one at a time.  In the process of creating this sketchbook, artist and writer merged.  I shifted into one identity wearing one hat.

I have been heading this direction for most of my art career.  There are words on my drawings as far back as 2003.  Funny how I did not consciously see this coming, yet when I look back, the progression is obvious.

So what am I now?  How do I call myself both artist and writer, giving my images and words equal footing, without having to use a phrase four words long?

I’m not a graphic novelist, although I can see this one coming next, in the way the third draft of my book is currently forming itself.  This next shift will not be a surprise.

For now I continue to call myself both artist and writer.  The word ‘both’ is important, making image and word an equal part of who I am and what I create.  I am okay with that.  More than okay.  This shift in seeing myself and my work gives me both clarity and joy.

The Sketchbook Project, Brooklyn Art Library, is at https://www.sketchbookproject.com/

(posted on 22 Jan 2018)

YAHOO! COME AND PLAY! Workshop on March 10th, 10 am to 4pm, at the Central Cariboo Arts Centre in Williams Lake! A one-day expo of creativity for adults, with entry level workshops in seven artistic practices. These are 'tasting' workshops, one and a quarter hour each, your choice of four from the seven offered. Try out pottery, creative writing, pen and ink drawing, fibre art, charcoal drawing, improv, or music. All materials provided and no experience needed. I'm teaching creative writing. Come and be inspired. More details and registration here www.centralcaribooarts.com/springintoart

(posted on 28 Jun 2017)

The Station House Gallery in Williams Lake, BC, has a new summer show. 'Expectations of Character: Dorothy, Alice, and Anne' opens the beginning of July and continues through August. It features work by artist and costumer Korene Kidd, and is accompanied by the work of guest artists. Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz, Alice from Alice in Wonderland, and Anne from (of course) Green Gables have inspired this selection of artists. And, oh yes, I happen to be one of the guest artists! Anne of Green Gables inspired me and led me into ideas and actions since I first met her. I longed for hair the colour of Anne's. Ironically, she longed for raven hair like mine. My Anne-inspired narrative drawing is titled 'What Gives Me Joy (Anne)'. Station House Gallery is at 1 Mackenzie Avenue, Williams Lake, BC. Check them out on their Facebook page for up to date info, photos and more. https://www.facebook.com/stationhousegallery/wall

(posted on 22 Nov 2016)

I have compressed my creative process into a month-long, fully-completed-drawing-a-day challenge. No, challenge is not the word, although this is challenging in every way. No, the word is assignment, because I expect and know I will complete each daily drawing.

'Make it so!' I say to myself each morning, Captain Cat Fink on the bridge of her studio sighting the creative horizon. Warp 10. (Yes, Star Trek fan, total creative fun.)

I'm drawing at warp speed. There is something that begins to happen when I work with this intensity and compression.

Instead of feeling more emotional stress, I feel less. I am moving at such speed that I pass through these emotions into full creation mind much sooner than usual. I know I have experienced this quickening before, but I had forgotten. Such pleasure to reacquaint myself with this phenomenon.

Part of this change is knowing I want this drawing complete by the end of the day. I have no time to be a drama queen. No wasting my time and energy on emotional upset. My time and energy and emotions are here to be used for drawing, not for whining about drawing.

There is more to this. I have set an intention. I am focused on this alone--be here in the gallery's studio in my creative process and nowhere else. The intention sets a boundary for me, even though my drawing itself has no boundaries. It tells me where to put my attention and energy and emotions, all on the sheet of paper in front of me. It makes the choice of what to do with all my creative energy very very easy. Draw.

Part of this change is daily movement through my complete creative process. Trust shows up, based on the tangible proof of the drawing I completed yesterday. My mind says, I did this yesterday, I can do it again today. And I do.

I am reminded here I do better as a daily creator than a stop-and-start creator.

Could I sustain this warp speed creativity for longer than this month?

Possibly not. I have a life outside of my studio that feeds my creative life, and it is lacking some attention right now. This intense activity would eventually drain my creative well, as I am pouring creative energy out onto the page faster than I am replenishing it. I know that my long term creative process requires periods of rest and quiet, letting inspiration arrive and develop a richness that eventually says create me now. Seeds in the ground awaiting the right season to move above the surface and be seen. My warp speed creativity, while fun and crazily productive, lacks true balance.

That said, I am realizing that a month of warp speed creativity, set amidst my more sedate daily creativity, is a very good thing. I am thinking I want this as a new creative habit.

Warp 10. Carry on, Captain.


The image on today's post is 'What Gives Me Joy Nov 8 2016 (colour)'. The Joy Diary interactive art show is happening at the Station House Gallery, #1 Mackenzie Avenue North, Williams Lake, BC. The show runs to November 26th. Gallery hours are Monday to Saturday, 10am to 5pm. I am drawing in the gallery studio through to November 24th. Come and join me! https://www.facebook.com/stationhousegallery/


There are eight new drawings on the gallery walls as of this past Saturday. Big drawings. Thirty inches high and twenty-two inches wide each. My favourite size.

I don't do well with small drawings. I love seeing other people's small drawings or paintings or sculptures or prints. They are lovely, perfect jewels. I covet them.

I know, however, that small does not work for me. When I try to work small, I end up feeling frustrated. I can't get enough of my idea onto that small piece of paper. My marks and colours feel cramped, like I had to bend and break them so they fit.

I was this way all through art school. When the assignment called for small format, I would do many, then butt them together so they could be big. Small felt like whispering to me. I was thirty-eight years old. I had waited twenty years to go to art school and become Artist. There was no way I was going to whisper. And I didn't. My colours and marks and ideas yelled 'I am here. Notice me.'

Mostly what happened is that I noticed myself. Noticed what I loved and did not love in my artwork and creating. Noticed who I was and was not as Cat the Artist. Noticed how what was not authentically me fell away and was left behind for someone else to play with.

I learned I liked to create sideways. I would look an art assignment in the face. But then I'd begin turning it around and upside down and inside out. I would find an interesting side door into the work, and that's where I would begin. My own point of view. My sideways creation.

I still create this way. It is how I see the world.

This past week and a half, I have discovered I am another kind of creator as well. I am an everything-and-the-kitchen-sink creator. I am using everything in the body of work I am creating this month. The Joy Diary is pulling things out of me I did not know I could do. I have discovered a way of marrying word and image that works for me. I have discovered how to mix chaos and order. I am matching up opposites and I like what is happening. This is double FUN, this chaotic order, this ordered chaos!

I am realizing here is the reason I have always loved comic books and graphic novels, have always loved Dr. Seuss books. They tell stories on several levels and in several ways, all at once. They are imagination and creation gone wild, pushed to the point of delight for both the creator and the reader. They are sideways creations that allow in everything and the kitchen sink.

I am so glad I am a sideways-creating, everything-and-the-kitchen-sink Artist and Writer. This, absolutely and perfectly, gives me joy.


The drawing in today's post is 'What Gives Me Joy Nov 7 2016 (games)'. The Joy Diary interactive art show is happening at the Station House Gallery, #1 Mackenzie Avenue North, Williams Lake, BC. The show runs to November 26th. Gallery hours are Monday to Saturday, 10am to 5pm. I am drawing in the gallery studio through to November 24th. Come and join me! https://www.facebook.com/stationhousegallery/


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