Soulful Art Exhibit & Cocktail Party, Oct 1st, 2016


Casting Off: an Opening and a Closing. 7-10 pm 1065 Paiute Way, Suite 120, Bend, OR 97702.

Come celebrate this opening and closing of a body of work by ME! This work chronicles the year long journey of healing from breast cancer. Everyone is faced with unfathomably painful events during their lifetime and this body of work looks at how I moved through the fear, the pain and the grief of having cancer to find the gift on the other side.

My narrative paintings tell the story of different moments where instead of collapsing into myself I opened up to what needed to be expressed and got busy with my canvas, paint and brushes. This body of work has never been viewed in its entirety in one space so this evening represents both an opening and a closing of this journey and this work.

There will be an Opening Ceremony by local artist, Julia Junkins to set the soulful intention for the evening at 7pm followed by music, cocktails, food and interactive surprises.

I believe my work is especially poignant when you consider that I am a retired Marine Corps Captain who served a tour in Fallujah Iraq in 2006. Military women are 20 – 40% more likely to get breast cancer than their civilian counterparts. Just saying.



Saturn Rising by Katariina Agnes Fagering          30×30 on canvas 

Artist Statement from Katariina:

Katariina Agnes Fagering is a midwife of possibilities, collector of sacred stories, and a motorcycle-riding warrior for truth, beauty and above all things- love. Her paintings explore that ethereal world that is often experienced on a subconscious level, reaching into your memories and pulling out something that can’t always be articulated right away. Mystical animals, women and ancient symbols appear on the canvas often even surprising Katariina. She believes firmly that every painting she paints is painted for another and just needs to find its match, because this happens over and over again.

She lives here in Bend with her family.

Event Page:


Exhausted by Katariina Agnes Fagering     30×30 on Canvas



Let it Be Easy


Rabbit symbolizes prosperity & is associated with the moon

Let it be easy! – is my daily inner mantra.

With this mantra & my new found love for my crooked, perfectly-imperfect self, I’ve found my creations are moving their way out of my studio & into the world!

With the serendipitous assistance from playful, creative friends, several of my paintings & prints are now hanging on the walls of a gorgeous boutique in Bend, OR. The Feather’s Edge Finery. And it was so easy. I just asked & BAM they are there on the walls looking beautiful & ready to be purchased by people who adore them.

With ease & love the energy has shifted – so much is happening – the sales, the shows & the commissioned paintings! I’ll share more in another post.

Let it be easy! – is my daily inner mantra. Besides I truly believe we’re making this up so make it easy.

These paintings & prints of them are all on sale at Feather’s Edge Finery in downtown Bend.


Feather’s Edge Finery

If you live outside of Bend and want a print they are available here:   and I’ll keep adding new images so keep checking back.

Wise Ass Owls

These latest paintings of mine are showing up with a new energy about them. Ease and playfulness. I’m loving staying in my pleasure of creating and not worrying so much about creating something profound; which can feel so arduous at times.

There is deep wisdom in pleasure and playfulness – we were built for it!

Owl lives within the darkness, which includes magic, mystery, and ancient knowledge. The moon is related to the owl which becomes a symbol of the feminine and fertility. Mythology often refers to their wisdom and femininity.

These paintings will be available as prints soon so if you’re interested send me a note and I’ll keep you on my list.

Finally 50!


Fabulous Trucker Hat by Jennette Nielson at Smashing Rubbish

I’ve longed for 50 most of my adult life. I’ve always known myself to be a late bloomer and 50 always seemed like the time I would blossom creatively and finally fully occupy my body. This is the age I imagined I would finally settle into my skin, my face  and truly see what this body is capable of. At 50, I knew I would no longer linger on false values of wanting to please others while betraying myself. Once I crossed that threshold, I would finally know that my true gift comes out of listening for my full-bodied-yes and easily saying no to anything that isn’t screaming yes!  This is what I’ve known most of my life and now here I am 50 years old today. This is exciting!

My absence on this blog during my journey with breast cancer stemmed from a desire to be present with the process and not turning the journey and all the surgeries into a performance piece. I was honoring the sacredness of that journey and now as I turn 50 and I’m looking at the next half (give or take a few) of my life I want to be more outwardly focused. It feels like the season to be expressing my creativity here once again.


For this extraordinary birthday I am giving myself permission to just be me, follow my pleasure AND the disciplined structure to write daily. Instead of going about my day willy nilly, I’m shaking things up by giving myself the space to write for two hours each day. I set it in my schedule and sit my butt in my chair and start writing. My hope is that the two hours will grow to more but two feels like a significant time to begin with.

I started four days ago and so far it’s been really fun and exciting to see what comes up. My focus is just to get it all out, that may take awhile and then I’ll start putting it together into books or projects of all sorts. Of course there is no telling what will emerge – it’s a mystery!


Trucker Hat by the Fabulous Jennette Nielson of Smashing Rubbish

Stick around to hear more about this new journey with writing and being 50!

Big Luscious Love,


Life is Beautiful

Bella LIB

Let me jump right in after a long hiatus and share with you my newest passion – film making. I’m just a beginner but I am having so much fun with it. I know I’m onto something because, like painting, I can loose time editing a film that I shot. It’s so fun and so rewarding.

Here is my latest film that I created for a fundraiser event for my son’s school, The Waldorf School of Bend.

I have three other films on Vimeo that you can check out if you like. All of them are short, sweet and to the point. Click here to see the other films!

Sebastian LIB

This film making dream of mine, gurgled under my skin for a few years before I was able to actually make my first film, Heart Bomb. Although I owned all the equipment and editing software and even took an editing class, I still felt stuck and overwhelmed not knowing where to begin. This went on for a few years and then everything turned around when I found a mentor in town. She is an experienced documentary film maker who was able to take my hand, give me some advice, some technical pointers and most of all, encouragement. Everything opened up for me and my dream after our first session.

aaron LIB

It’s amazing what one can accomplish with the right tools and support – especially the right kind of support.

Big Luscious Love,


ps. I hope to hear from you!

All of Me

death and rebirth by Katariina Fagering

Newest painting finished this morning

This journey with cancer has called forth every emotion and question I could muster. I have spent many days walking the river’s edge asking what wants to be heard and what needs to be seen? My approach has been to open, rather than collapse around my diagnosis and the fear that wells up around such an event.

What came up for me is the need to embrace all of me, the light and dark. The depths of sorrow and despair alongside the joy and gratitude. I’m done with compartmentalize-ing all the pieces and parts of me that make up the wholeness of ME! Just like Inanna and Persephone who were able to bridge both the world of the sun and the underworld with grace and eloquence, I don’t want to leave any part of myself behind.

Being congruent and integration have been my mantras during this season of reconciliating this idea of cancer within me. I had to first, soften and open to the idea of the cancer within  and then soften and open some more to the idea that a bilateral mastectomy is the right choice for me.

I am feeling buoyed and supported by all those around me and also my higher self who can see that I’m a rock star for even showing up in this world. I will still mourn the loss of my breasts and will feel the sorrow that goes along with it but I know very well that, “this too will pass.”

death and rebirth by Katariina Fagering

I wrote this poem while walking along the river’s edge. I came to a tree that had shattered and fell head first into the river.

Shattered to be Reborn

Was I always

broken and submerged

in the stillness

of a fast-moving


Did I fall head first

shattered, splintered, broken

overwhelmed by the deluge

of water filling

my lungs?

Or did I drown in the

pure healing waters

of the raging river?

And was I washed clean of my sins

baptized by the great Mother?

Did my dark, wet hair tangle

flowing down stream

under the calm surface

where the water rages

in the deep shadow?

Did my rotting flesh and white bones

feed and nourish

the river banshees

who greedily devoured

the silvery skin of my old beliefs?

I must have

shattered to fall a part.

I drowned to be cleaned.

I decayed to let go of the old.

I’m writing this to be reborn.

A Doorway to Deeper Understanding

deschutes river bank by Katariina Fagering

Since being diagnosed with breast cancer, I’ve heard several women share that they viewed breast cancer as an inconvenience and chose to not give it any power. It’s like someone backing into a car door and having to take the car in for extensive work. It’s a pain; it costs money, time and energy but its just life so it has to be taken care of. I’m sure there are more layers to their journey and this is merely one nugget they wanted to share in an effort to ease my mind but I must say it did not resonate with me.

I’m choosing to view my cancer as a doorway, an opening to deeper understand and healing. My friend Laura quoted Rumi the other day, “the door is wide open, don’t go back to sleep.” That resonates.

I will take care of the cancer by removing my breasts but then I still have to do the work. I find when I don’t do the work my basket gets full and the ideas become toxic and start sloshing around between my ears. Then I become crabby and angry, so I have to drive myself up to sit by the river so I can fill up a journal of thoughts and creativity. Then all feels right within me again.

feet in river deschutes river bank by Katariina Fagering

This is what I wrote today at the river.

I know this cancer came to me for a reason so I can’t ignore it by going to surgery and coming home and continuing on in the same manner I have been living. I believe this cancer developed from the deluge of toxic thinking that I’ve been swirling in for the past several years that wasn’t allowed to flow. I held it in and its energy has to go somewhere. Lucky for me it tucked itself into a few tiny ducts in my breast so that I could easily remove the toxic hairball of energy and go on living my life.

This is what is calling my attention right now and anything that catches my attention becomes a doorway to my deeper self. It’s really no different than a pinecone floating down the river or the dart of cerulean blue outside my window as a Stellar Jay flies by. Those are all doorways as well. Perhaps because of the gravity of cancer though this feels like a much deeper, broader doorway.

It feels as if it carries more weight than a fast floating pinecone buoyed by the flow of the river. But wait, another pinecone floats by. Perhaps there is something here trying to capture my attention.

pinecone deschutes river bank by Katariina Fagering

Pinecones are seedpods, capsules of new life, yet these have already spread their seeds and moved into crone-hood. They have fallen from the branches onto the soil and somehow found their way into the river. Their outstretched wings have already released the seedlings into the air with the hope that their floating offspring would find their way to soft embracing soil and grow to be as large as the tree in which their mother grew and fell from.

Oh the places that crone of a cone will travel. The things she will see as she makes her way over mossy rocks and by tall riverbank grasses. She is finally free and her next adventure is just beginning.

Hmm I’ve fed my babies with these breasts. Is it now time to shed them for a newer sportier version that will allow me to jump into the river of life and begin a new adventure. Perhaps its necessary to shed these toxic hairball filled breasts in order for me to step into the fullest expression of myself.

Oh the wisdom of a pinecone.

river log in deschutes river bank by Katariina Fagering

Mourning Dove

mourning dove painting by Katariina Fagering

“be wise as a snake and gentle as a dove” Matt 10:16

Mourning Dove

After all this time 
She still finds me
No matter where I wander
or land
She wakes me with 
Her melancholic coo
Singing to her lover
Calling him home, 
“This is your home” she sings
“Beside me.”
After all is sung
She builds a nest 
in the cavity of my breast
Calling me home
My home – within me.

Sometimes when I’m in the midst of an intense experience, I can’t really write about it just yet. I usually need to give it some room and space.

I wrote this poem back in April while sitting out in my front yard listening to the mourning doves coo. I have a few more poems and paintings I will be sharing over these next few days leading up to my bilateral mastectomy, June 12th.

I feel so held and safe on this journey. I’ve come to the understanding that this cancer is just another experience I’m having – not much different from Officer Candidate School (twice), childbirth (twice), going to war (twice) – all of these involved pain and suffering but amazing gifts as well.

Since my diagnosis I’ve received an outpouring of love and support. More importantly, I’ve gained a deeper sense of belonging in this life that I struggled with before. My PTSD and my depression got in the way of me seeing all the joy and gifts surrounding me. My belonging in this life and in this world alluded me for so many years. Today, it’s as if the veil has lifted and I see my place, my value and my love (all of my loves).

I will write more about this tomorrow.

Much Love,





Ducts Are for Milk Not Cancer

Saturn Returns by Katariina Fagering

It’s a crazy thing to become one of the 10 percent that actually get breast cancer. The one friend in ten who is diagnosed. When I got the call from the radiology office to come back in for further pictures of my right breast, I didn’t give it a lot of energy or thought.

Whale Story by Katariina Fagering

Today three weeks later after three biopsies all testing positive for cancer, I am pondering what life will be like without my breasts. Of course, there will be new ones where mine once were and it will be my skin but they won’t be mine. They won’t have the feel of natural tissue; there will be scars and my nipples won’t respond to different temperatures or sensations. My nipples will be stuck in whatever permanent position I decide to reconstruct them into. That’s hard for me to wrap my head around.

Creature Within  by Katariina Fagering

Loosing my breasts sounds so extreme but I’m actually getting off pretty easy as far as cancer goes. Mine is noninvasive and I caught it early enough that it’s treatable without chemo or radiation. It’s called Ductal Carcinoma In Situ (DCIS). There are these tiny calcifications within my milk ducts that haven’t found their way out. I could hold off and see what the calcifications do; but once the cancer finds its way to my lymph nodes then it’s not so simple as just removing my breasts.

breast cancer by Katariina Fagering

Some days I wake up enlivened with lists of actions I can take to get healthier, stay grounded and find healing. Other days I feel the pull to dive deeper by asking the questions, “What is wanting to be loved? What is wanting to be heard? What is wanting to be seen?” These queries take me below the surface into a place that cracks me open to parts of myself I haven’t visited or explored ever!!

Emerging from the Womb  by Katariina Fagering


My creativity has opened up in a way I can’t explain. I am not sure where these paintings came from, I’m just listening and asking over and over again, “What wants to be heard? What wants to be seen?”

Woman within offering by Katariina FageringThese paintings and who shows up within them comforts me. I truly know that this diagnosis and this journey is an opportunity to widen and awaken my awareness of who I am and to ground my entire being into truly seeing my authentic purpose for showing up for this life.

Discovering I have cancer has proven to be a wild ride and I wonder why it is that it takes death to bring us closer to truly living our life?


Mr. M Responds Eloquently (Part 2)

Mr. M responded to my blog yesterday as I had hoped. Tears of relief and gratitude fell down my cheeks as I read his email. He not only got my message but was able to hear my heart and respond so graciously and eloquently.

Some of you suggested that he was “evil” but I knew better and it was never my intention to lash out at him, I just wanted to get his attention and share my heart. Turns out he is actually a gentlemen. You can see for yourself.

Thank you for your post and I congratulate you on the way you express and write.  I have decided that after all this I don’t intent to unsubscribe and would like for you to post that this “cyber bully” and clone of Kevin Spacey’s character in House of Cards has seen the light.
We republican lobbyists can also make mistakes and let our emotions take the best of us.  I offer my deepest apologies for the unacceptable way I expressed my feelings and frustration and for the way I affected your writing and creative flow.
Finally, this last post from you made me realize how people’s words can impact the soul and essence of others.  I hope you forgive me and share this post.
Let me know your thoughts!
Your “cyber bully”

I am grateful for this opportunity to dispel my fears and reluctance to write from my heart. This past year has been a doozy and continues along that track, I have so much to write about and now the veil has been lifted and there is no need for fear or trepidation on my side.

As I write this a Stellar’s Jay just landed on our hot tub looking all regal with a charcoal head and blue body. Stellar’s Jays are so wise they carry the truth of the heart and clarity of thought. Sometimes because of their wit, intellect and spiritual knowing. They have strong communication abilities but often with a sharp jab. They would do well to exercise judgement, care and diplomacy. In other words not succumb to being a bully. Have you ever seen a Blue Jay squawk at other birds around a bird feeder and watch them all fly away? They ask us to be honest, forthright and take action. I can think of more than a few times I’ve been accused of being a bully; perhaps my Mr. M is merely the outward personification of my own inner bully – rather than the other way around.

Thank you Mr. M for your generous response and heart felt honesty. You totally made my year!

Much Love,