Marja-Leena Rathje
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Marshall McLuhan Centennial

Marshall McLuhan (1911-1980) was already a famous Canadian name for my husband and me in our student days at the University of Manitoba where he too received his first degrees. You may have heard the phrases "the medium is... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 04/02/2011 | 5 comments
themes: Books, Concepts, Culture


the art instinct

I heard a fascinating podcast quite some time ago on CBC Radio's IDEAS Podcasts and had saved the link, meaning to share it on my blog. Forgotten though it was, I found it again today as I was going through... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 27/11/2010 | be the first to comment
themes: Books, Concepts, Rock Art & Archaeology


'original' copies

Art factories in China aren't news to me, but this really blew my mind: There are no sticky ethical problems involved in the booming trade. As long as the Dafen copy artist does not forge a signature or try to... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 22/07/2010 | 7 comments
themes: Being an Artist, Concepts


'ecological footprint' author

I've been poking about the net looking for information on Bowen Island, just off the coast of Vancouver. In all these years that we've lived in the Vancouver area, we've never visited it. Now I'm eager to find out... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 20/08/2009 | 5 comments
themes: Canada and BC, Concepts, Environment


an artist's brain

I have a messy habit of bookmarking anything and everything that interests and excites me. Soon I have so much on my computer that it all gets rather lost, like piles of papers. Once in a while I sift... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 09/01/2008 | 10 comments
themes: Being an Artist, Concepts


creative license vs. copyright law

Vancouver artist collides with Olympic and Paralympics copyright act

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Marja-Leena | 17/08/2007 | be the first to comment
themes: Being an Artist, Concepts, Other artists


The Colour Museum

With some pleasurable lazy time after the Christmas festivities, I've had a chance to browse through some of my long list of bookmarks. Artist Anna Conti posted a while ago about the The Virtual Colour Museum, which is taking... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 28/12/2006 | 2 comments
themes: Being an Artist, Concepts


to think about

"Mediocrity is criminal. Boring is just ridiculous. Goosebumps are what we strive for." -Leila Getz, Artistic Director of the Vancouver Recital Society, on a mailer that came a couple of days ago. It has been bouncing around in my... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 26/05/2006 | 15 comments
themes: Being an Artist, Concepts



Thanks again to everyone for the wonderful comments and emails these past days, I love hearing from you all! You have told me that you are eagerly awaiting photos of the opening, and I promise they are coming very soon.... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 20/11/2005 | be the first to comment
themes: Being an Artist, Concepts


words that inspire

"It's akin to style, what I'm talking about, but it isn't style alone. It is the writer's particular and unmistakable signature on everything he writes. It is his world and no other. This is one of the things that distinguishes... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 04/10/2005 | be the first to comment
themes: Being an Artist, Concepts


green prints and more

I've been browsing through Cedric Green's website. Green is an artist/printmaker who has carried out research into safer methods of making prints and eliminating the toxic acids and solvents traditionally used. He has revived some 19th century electrolytic methods for... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 23/07/2005 | 2 comments
themes: Concepts, Printmaking


why do we like art?

Recently (Jan.17th) Arts Journal had a post with a question, "We like art, anyone know why? .... why do we care about art? And, given that we obviously do (and that this is worldwide phenomenon that has stretched throughout... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 27/01/2005 | be the first to comment
themes: Being an Artist, Books, Concepts


Blogging and Art

A few days ago I made a short reference to the PEW study about artists and the internet. Ivan Pope has also linked to it, and continued to blog about how the web is creating a generation of Pro-Am... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 10/01/2005 | 1 comment
themes: Being an Artist, Blogging, Concepts


"Massive Change" exhibition

Image Gallery - Actual photograph of installation in the Vancouver Art Gallery Photo: Robert Keziere/Vancouver Art Gallery I finally made it last week to the Vancouver Art Gallery's blockbuster exhibition Massive Change. (I'm embarrassed to admit that I left... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 01/01/2005 | be the first to comment
themes: Art Exhibitions, Concepts, Tools and technology



"Sensations are the items of consciousness, a color, a weight, a texture that we tend to think of as simple and single. Perceptions are complex affairs that embrace sensation together with other, associated or revived contents of the mind,... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 14/12/2004 | 2 comments
themes: Being an Artist, Concepts


experiencing art

Lenny writes an interesting art blog at Washington, DC Art News. Today he writes about how he came to chosen to be the curator for the upcoming "Homage to Frida Kahlo" exhibition. (The call for artists will be announced... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 05/09/2004 | 1 comment
themes: Being an Artist, Concepts, Other artists


artmaking & myth

"Poetry happens when short-circuits of sense occur between words, a sudden regeneration of the primeval myths. . . . Not one scrap of an idea of ours does not originate in myth, isn't transformed, mutilated, denatured mythology. The most... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 18/08/2004 | be the first to comment
themes: Concepts


the artist in a gift economy

I am really going to have to get my hands on this book: The Gift - Imagination and the Erotic Life of Property by Lewis Hyde**. I am very intrigued and find the quotes really resonate with me as... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 13/08/2004 | 3 comments
themes: Being an Artist, Blogging, Books, Concepts


the art of seeing

Artist Anna Conti has been posting a great series this week on "Seeing" on her Working Artist's Journal. Do go read it, it will help you understand art in a new way! I look forward to reading the rest... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 20/07/2004 | 1 comment
themes: Being an Artist, Concepts


Art Criticism

I have been following some interesting discussions on art criticism recently. First at Iconoduel, in the entryJames Elkins on Our Moribund Critical Discourse Dan writes an excellent critique of James Elkins' book What Happened to Art Criticism? Then at... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 15/07/2004 | be the first to comment
themes: Concepts


Statement: Meta-morphosis series

The Meta-morphosis series (1994 - 1998) was made using the etching process as one that can imitate weathering and aging processes. The prefix "meta", a chemistry term, refers to the use of acids and salts, or the organic derivative... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 13/06/2004 | be the first to comment
themes: Concepts, Meta-morphosis, Printworks


Brian Eno on culture

(a deep-etched copperplate of mine) Scribblingwoman recommended having a look at a post over at wood s lot about Brian Eno and A Big Theory of Culture. This is essentially an interview of Brian Eno about his book, A... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 16/05/2004 | 1 comment
themes: Being an Artist, Concepts, Culture


Thoughts on PATHS

Notes from my sketchbook, January 27th, 2000: -- the places one walks, the surface under one's feet -- the journeys one makes, physically and mentally and artistically -- the explorations into unknown territory... as in walking on new ground,... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 12/05/2004 | be the first to comment
themes: Concepts, Digital printmaking, Paths, Printworks


Science picks our brains about art

I've been enjoying reading North Coast Cafe for a few weeks, but only recently did I dig deeper into the Visual Arts category, and found this fascinating January 26th entry: Emotions in Art and the Brain. This was the... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 30/04/2004 | be the first to comment
themes: Being an Artist, Concepts


Why Make Art?

Anna Conti in her Working Artist's Journal ( April 7/04 entry) brings up this perennial question that we artists are always asking of ourselves: "Why make art? What is it good for?" She writes: "I don't think we'll ever... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 07/04/2004 | 3 comments
themes: Being an Artist, Concepts, Other artists


Miksang and the art of perception

As a newcomer to blogging, my recent explorations have been through the immense jungle of blogs on the internet. Chandrasutra's blog is one of the interesting finds in this online journey. Particularly fascinating is an item about Miksang photography... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 16/02/2004 | 1 comment
themes: Being an Artist, Concepts, Photography


Human Marks

For the past decade now, my work has largely been concerned with the marks left by humans and their art upon their environment. It is also about nature's marks on humankind's traces and upon nature itself. My ideas come... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 09/01/2004 | be the first to comment
themes: Being an Artist, Concepts, Nexus