Michiko Suzuki: Hope Chests

Above image from the Burnaby Art Gallery website

A few days ago we visited an exciting exhibition of mixed media work at the Burnaby Art Gallery, by artist and friend Michiko Suzuki. I really recommend art critic Robin Laurence’s excellent review in The Straight, much better said than I could. We enjoyed the tent-like displays which invited one to step inside to look at the “hope chests”, the framed prints of the girls, and the video. I could not resist purchasing the attractive little catalogue printed by the BAG. Below is one of the better installation shots that I was able to capture with my modest little pocket camera.


We were very sad to have been unable to attend the opening because we had rarely seen old friends from Ontario visiting just on that day! I’m sure many of our mutual artist friends were there, whom I have missed and would have loved to meet. Michiko and I were part of the long-running Art Institute, Printmaking group at Capilano University, which some readers may recall was shut down along with all art programs in 2013. I recall she was working on some of the first pieces in this series back then and told me recently the whole series took her five years. She is one of the hardest working artists I have ever known personally, and one who has exhibited widely. If interested, you may find some of my postings about them here. (Please ignore the other famous Suzuki that comes up in that search.)

water stains


more play with another water-stained digital print
awakening memories of J.M.W. Turner’s paintings seen in London in 2009

gallery update

Head-Study-III (web)

Head Study III (1989) – monotype on Arches Cover paper, 34 x 28 cm. (13″ x 11″)

I am thrilled to announce that my gallery aka website is at last updated and online!

Longtime readers may recall that this blog was transferred from the Movable Type platform to WordPress back in the fall of 2013. Meanwhile my Gallery sat dormant as I did not wish to continue adding more images of my work as it too would be switched. At last my super designer daughter Erika found some time from her own business to custom design my site within WordPress. Still based on the previous ‘look’ which I liked so much, this is easier for me to use. Also, it is now viewable on today’s popular smaller devices. Thanks, Erika!

More printworks, especially some of my older pieces, will continue to appear on the site as I slowly go through my files, so please do visit from time to time by going to the Gallery link on the left top of this page. Of course many of you readers may have seen most of my work on the blog under Printworks, though the images are very small compared to my now larger images. The blog has notes about processes and the ideas behind certain works which may still be of interest.

Hand with Magnolia Leaf


Hand with Magnolia Leaf
archival inkjet print
20.3 x 15.25 cm. (8″ x 6″)

I have forgotten to post this image of a print edition I did some time ago. Some readers may recognize this as a smaller black and white variant of this larger full colour one.

If you are new to my work, you may see more of the Hands series at the Hands link on the left side under Printworks, or visit the Gallery (still a work in progress that has stalled while awaiting a new site in WordPress).



Another found image, not a photo this time but a small inkjet print. It was tucked amidst some Christmas card tests from my early digital printing days. I don’t remember what this is about, probably just some playing around while learning. I now find it rather intriguing to look at some fifteen years or so years after making it. Sort of like looking at one’s old drawings from art school days.

all ‘Hands’ up


I recently completed editioning the last piece in the Hands series, in this format anyway. Today I put it up on the studio wall with the earlier ones. You may have seen the first six on the wall earlier. As always I like to be able to stand back and study a body of work as a whole. Ideally I would display them in a single row with more space in between so that each piece stands on its own instead of competing with its neighbours, while also being part of the large group. This image is really too small on this screen to do them justice, I know.

In a day or two, I will post the last one (top right). Please check out the Hands link to see the others individually.

‘Hands’ on the wall


These are the first six of my ongoing Hands series of prints all together, completed at the end of last year. I’ve already posted these individually, to be found under Hands. While preparing several more to print the next few weeks, I put these up on the wall of the printmaking studio to have a long look and think. This is merely a snapshot, not a good photo, for the lighting was poor and I did not use a tripod. However, it shows for me the series as a work in progress, like this other photo. I like to pause like this, to revisit what I’ve done so far, how they look together, which are the strongest ones, which the weakest. I try to imagine ten or twelve in the series all in a single row, as I’d like them to be were they to be in an exhibition. I also enjoy the feedback from my artist colleagues in the studio, just as I do from you, dear readers.

Now to carry on with some more ‘Hands’ with objects. Hope to print one more tomorrow…

Hand with Pine Cone


Hand with Pine Cone
archival inkjet print
45.5 x 38.5 cm (18″ x 15.25″)

Another in my new series of prints of hands with objects

Hand with Leaf


Hand with Leaf
archival inkjet print
45.5 x 38.5 cm (18″ x 15.25″)

This fall I have been working on a series of prints of hands with objects. So far six pieces in the still ongoing series are editioned. I’m now pleased to begin to show them here. This one is probably my favourite so far, I love the skeleton of a large magnolia leaf.

Added Feb.24th, 2013: While searching for something else deep in the archives, I found some of my earlier scans of magnolia leaves here and here. It feels like finding old sketches.

prints, prints, prints


The annual Print Sale is coming up fast at the Studio Art printmaking department at Capilano University. As always it will feature intaglio, relief, silk screen and digital prints created by students, Art Institute members and faculty in the Studio Art program. If you live in the Vancouver area, please come and support the students and get some reasonably priced original artworks for some lucky people on your gift list, including yourself!

Here are directions to Capilano University in North Vancouver. Note also the campus and parking maps.

So the studio is buzzing with everyone doing last printing, wrapping and labelling for this event!

I too have had had a couple of very full days of printing. Yesterday at home I printed more than half of my Christmas cards plus made a start on a small gift print. Today, at the studio, I put in a full day of printing several editions which I’ve been working on this fall. I’m exhausted yet happy to have completed these after a few months of work. Next week I’ll be trimming, signing and documenting these editions. I hope to show them here soon, so watch this space!