Big Print Project


Peter Braune of New Leaf Editions, here in Vancouver, was one of the brains behind the idea of several artists making very large prints using 4×8 foot woodblocks which were inked and steamrolled right on the street across from his shop on Granville Island last summer. Now there is a great video of the event – do watch it and enjoy!

I had heard about this fun project developing last summer but did not make it out to watch it happen. Great to see a few familiar faces as well as others I have heard of but not met personally. Wonderful work by all of them.

As a side note, New Leaf Editions is well known in the printmaking community for running the popular BIMPE biennial of mini-prints. I participated in BIMPE VI in 2010. You may be interested in looking through some of the exhibition catalogues featured on the site.

back pats


1. Congratulations to Mark Woods on Wood s Lot’s 10th anniversary of blogging marvelous excerpts and links to interesting and eclectic writings and art. I also enjoy his lovely photographs of areas in eastern Canada that have been gracing his pages in more recent years. A remarkable achievement in this day of waning blogs as many move to the more fast-paced life of Facebook and Twitter. (Can you tell I’m a proponent of the ‘slow life’?)

2. Congratulations to the award winners of BIMPE VI in Vancouver. After its opening exhibition at the Federation Gallery, a selection is now showing at Dundarave Print Shop. I recently saw a friend’s copy of the exhibition catalogue and it is beautiful. I was very pleased to see in it that all of my three submitted pieces were accepted. I can hardly wait for my own copy which will come with the return of the prints after they’ve been in Edmonton.

3. This is late: a print of mine was posted at Qarrstiluni. The current theme of The Crowd was impossible for me to resist as I’d done several prints by that title some years ago. Watch for another one to come later. I must say Qarrstiluni keeps on getting better and better thanks to the superb efforts of its editors Beth Adams and Dave Bonta and the many guest editors. I see that it just recently and quietly passed its fifth anniversary – another congratulations!

art & garden busy-ness

I wish you could smell the heavenly scent of these first lily-of-the-valley flowers from my garden. The next virtual sense to come one day via the web?
I’m still busy in the printmaking studio finishing up work, then about to clear out my space for the summer break beginning in a week’s time. My small home studio is in chaos as I try to find storage room for the new pieces I’m bringing home. Anyone selling second hand flat files that would fit under my work table? Maybe I should have a ‘fire sale’ to sell off old work to make room for new?
I was also busy getting a submission package of miniprints ready and delivered to the BIMPE VI International Print Biennial right here in Vancouver. It is the first time I’ve submitted because I so very rarely do small enough prints! I’m happy to support them and hope the jury accepts some or all of my work. If you are a printmaker reading this and interested in taking part – and I know this is late notice – the deadline is May 1st.
At home it is the busy spring gardening season especially with transplanting the tomato, pepper, cucumber and flower seedlings and cuttings into larger pots whenever the weather allows, like today. Still a few more seeds to start. It seems the nicest days occur when I’m in the print studio, why is that? Ah well, soon I’ll be complaining of too much gardening and not enough art!
And I must see some exhibitions this week before they come down, especially this Leonard da Vinci one for he is one of my very favourite artists. Entry was free during the Olympics but I didn’t want to deal with the long lineups. So why do I leave it ’til almost the last minute?
Too busy to blog, read and comment much lately, but I found this timely Letter from Reykjavik to be very much worth a visit!
EDIT April 22nd, 2010: In some correspondence yesterday, a friend wrote:
Believe it or not, people have been trying to digitize smell for a number of years, apparently with some success. You can read about their efforts here.
Thanks, Michael!

Edmonton Print International 2008

Here is a very exciting opportunity for artists who work in print:
The Society of Northern Alberta Print-Artists (SNAP) is presenting an open juried print competition, the Edmonton Print International – EPI 2008, to be exhibited September 26th to October 17th, 2008 in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.
The Society of Northern Alberta Print-Artists (SNAP) is a non-profit artist run production and exhibition centre located in the city of Edmonton, the continent’s most northerly metropolis.
SNAP has provided workshop facilities and exhibition space for Canadian and international artists for over twenty-five years. SNAP has also organized a number of international exhibitions including: International Print Cooperatives, presented as part of Sightlines: an International Symposium on Printmaking and Image Culture; held in Edmonton in 1997.
In 2002 SNAP presented the True North International Print Competition which drew hundreds of entries from around the world. In 2007 the city of Edmonton was designated Cultural Capital of Canada. EPI 2008 will build on these achievements by exhibiting the best and most innovative prints and print-based work being produced in the world today.

If you are interested in submitting some work, read the Call for Submissions and the Entry Form for important information. The deadline for Stage One of the jurying is April 22, 2008.

Miniprint Finland 2007

Lahti Art Brewery

Another print triennial is coming up in Europe, just across the water from the Tallinn Triennial in Estonia that I wrote about a few weeks ago.

The Graphic Artist Association of Lahti and the Lahti Art Museum are pleased to invite the artists to participate in the 6th International Miniprint Finland 2007 miniature graphics triennial.

The Miniprint Finland miniature graphics triennial collects the best representatives in the field all around the world to the exhibition in the Lahti Art Museum from November 16th 2007 to February 3th 2008. President of Republic of Finland Tarja Halonen is patronizing the Miniprint exhibition. The Graphic Artist Association of Lahti has been responsible for arrangements from the start of the exhibition in 1992. The Lahti Art Museum has taken part in organizing since 1998.

The deadline for the competition is May 15th, 2007. For more information and application forms, please visit the Miniprint Finland 2007 website.

Tallinn’s Print Triennial & Conference


Many printmakers may be aware that there is a call for entries to The 14th Tallinn Print Triennial in Estonia. The exhibition will be held 17 October – 27 November 2007.
The deadline for the first stage of jurying is April 2, 2007. Please check out the regulations and the theme:

The organisers of the 14th Tallinn Print Triennial invite artists to address two themes: Political and Poetical, that may at first seem mutually antagonistic, but which are important (or essential) aspects of the graphic arts. Throughout their history the graphic arts have been employed in both the social/political and the personal/poetic spheres. They have offered the mechanism for the mass promotion of political ideas and created conditions in which personal and liberal self-expression can flourish.

This year’s print triennial is a particularly exciting one because it’s being held in conjunction with The Impact 5 International Printmaking Conference:

Impact 5 will take place simultaneously with the 14th Tallinn Print Triennial (on the exhibition ground of Kumu), that has its own history reaching back to 1968. Today it is an international event in the world of printmaking, with participants from all over the world. The Impact conference is an international forum for printmakers, curators, critics, collectors and suppliers of art printing materials and presses.

The conference is held every second year in the autumn. The first Impact Conference was held at the Centre for Fine Print Research at the University of West England in Bristol, England in September 1999. The 2001 Conference (Impact 2) was held in Helsinki, Finland. The 2003 Conference (Impact 3) took place in Cape Town, South Africa and the 2005 Conference (Impact 4) in Berlin, Germany and Poznan, Poland.

The main building of the Art Museum of Estonia – Kumu Art Museum.
Architect: Pekka Vapaavuori. Photo: Kaido Haagen

Very interesting for me was to learn that the Kumu Art Museum (photo above), which includes a conference centre, was designed by the Finnish architect Pekka Vapaavuori and opened just over a year ago.

Tallinn has a special place in my heart. Newer readers may not know that in 2002 I had an exhibition in Finland with two other Canadian artists and friends. We travelled to and around Finland and also Tallinn on the other side of the Gulf of Finland. We fell in love with Tallinn where we met and became friends with artists Loit and Virge Joekalda (whom I’ve mentioned a few times elsewhere on this blog). The Estonians are close cousins to Finns, as part of the Finno-Ugrian group of peoples, so it was thrilling for me to see Loit’s exhibition of frottages and photos from his expeditions to sites of rock art by Finno-Ugrians in Karelia. And now Loit is one of the organizers of this conference! Small world! How I wish I could go to this triennial and conference.



November is here. You can tell by the weather, the heavy heavy rainfalls, the wind, the dark and gloomy days. Indoors never felt so good.

Turning inward means that my art work is continuing to develop in an interesting way, so I’m happy about that. But in other art related news, I’m disappointed with some news, as are many of my fellow printmakers who submitted work last spring for jurying to the Krakow Print Triennial. I found out second-hand from an artist who was was in Krakow for her solo exhibition there (she was the Grand Prix winner in 2003) that about 350 artists were selected from over 2500 applicants. Only three Canadians, unknown to us, were accepted and none from the US, a rather unusual result.

Rejection is par for the course but our biggest complaint is that there has been no communication from the triennial organizers about whose work has been accepted, which is unusual for an organization with an excellent reputation in the past. Funding issues, perhaps? Anyway, I had another look at the Triennial website and their list of winners, noting that one of the prize winners is a Canadian, one Cécile Boucher.

The dark, cool and damp evenings make us non-TV watchers a little more inclined to cuddle up on the sofa and watch a good movie. We’d been to the library a few days ago and scoured through their collection for some good selections so last night we watched one choice, The Constant Gardener. We enjoyed the love story, the exciting drama of attempts to expose the corrruption of the pharmaceutical companies in Africa, and most of all the film’s beautiful and horrible scenes of northern Kenya and its very colourful and musical people. Here’s a Quicktime trailer.

Now I’m awaiting the family’s arrival any minute for a visit and dinner, another pleasant diversion away from the miserable weather beyond the rain-washed windows.

Bharat Bhavan Biennial

Detail from Silent Messengers: Hoodoos I

Yesterday, while my thoughts were still freshly on international print shows after writing the post about the Krakow Print Triennial 2006, I heard the thud of letters and magazines dropping in through the mail slot. I was most excited to find among the bills and junk mail a letter from India – is it good news or bad?

It is good! I have had my printworks accepted into the SEVENTH BHARAT BHAVAN INTERNATIONAL BIENNIAL OF PRINT – ART 2006 INDIA! I am particularly pleased because this is the first time I’ve entered a competition in India, and because the jury fee was very steep and the mailing not cheap.

The exhibition has already opened on February 13th at the Roopankar Museum of Fine Arts in Bharat Bhavan, Bhopal, India. I think all three pieces that I submitted will be on exhibition there: Silent Messengers: Hoodoos I, Nexus/Blue I and Nexus/Blue II. I am looking forward to receiving the catalogue!

This place sounds interesting. Because they do not have a website, here are a few words from the submission brochure:

Inaugurated by the former prime minister of India Smt. Indira Gandhi on Feb.13, 1982, Bharat Bhavan is a multi-art complex, providing interactive proximity to the verbal, the visual and the performing arts. […] Roopankar is the only museum of fine arts in India which houses both contemporary urban and folk – tribal art. Attached to the museum is a fully equipped printmaking workshop, ceramic workshop, design unit, archival section and facilities for stone carving and bronze casting.

International Print Biennials have been held there since 1989 with distinguished jury invited from around the world.

Krakow Print Triennial 2006

International Print Triennial Krakow Poland is celebrating the 40th Anniversary of its founding this year. I’ve mentioned this international print triennial several times before as one of the top ones in the world. It is notable for the numerous additional exhibitions that continue in other countries and venues long after the Krakow shows end.

I’ve been fortunate that I’ve been allowed to participate in several of these triennials – in 1994, 2000 and 2003. I’m eager to participate again this year so I have just sent in my contact information and two images of my work to them so that they will send me the application form and submission information. If you are a printmaker, I highly recommend that you do too!

In case you didn’t know, most international print competitions are juried from either slides, CDs or actual works that the artist has to submit, along with usually a jury fee. A catalogue of the selected works is usually printed and given to all the participants. Various monetary prizes are awarded for the best works and customarily the grand prize winner of the last triennial is given a solo show in the next triennial. Vancouverite Davida Kidd was this last grand prix winner in Krakow, and will be there this year – an exciting and great honour!

The Krakow Triennial website is an exciting resource for printmakers and anyone interested in the leading edge in contemporary printmaking around the world – particularly with the very thought provoking discussions in the FORUMs in 2003 and one that is now underway in advance of the coming triennial.

Keep on top of dates and submission information for other international print competitions. Finally, view the works of many printmakers around the world at ICONDATA.

Graphica Creativa

Graphica Creativa is the second oldest international printmaking exhibition in the Nordic countries. It is arranged in Jyväskylä, Finland every third year. Thanks to Graphica Creativa, Jyväskylä has become a centre of printmaking. A few days ago its 30 Years Anniversary Exhibition opened and will continue ’til October 2nd. It consists of four different shows in four locations in Jyväskylä:

1. Finnish Open: an open print competition for Finnish printmakers in which 39 artists were selected from 192 entries, with three prizewinners, view their works. I notice that Vappu Johansson was on the jury – we met several years ago in Vancouver, then Helsinki.

2. After All These Years – International Invitational Exhibition: “The exhibition brings together nine international artists whose participation in the past triennials were memorable. Thus sentiments of nostalgia and joy of reunion can be expected. Many of the featured artists are today quite elderly, but active in their artistic work.” View these works.

Ikeda Ryoji of Japan is the most famous of these, I think, and I’ve been fortunate to see his very admirable work. Also I’ve seen Jiri Anderle’s fantastic work in a monograph that a friend showed me. I almost bought a copy in Prague a few years ago, but it weighed a ton, was expensive and available only in Czech! A part of me still regrets that decision.

3. “A View from the North consists of the works by seven Nordic female printmakers. Johanna Boga and Valgerdur Hauksdottir from Iceland, Outi Heiskanen and Ulla Virta from Finland, Helmtrud Nyström and Ulla Fries from Sweden and Sonja Krohn from Norway are all internationally well-known and recognized artists”.

I’ve seen Outi Heiskanen’s work in an exhibition in Finland and absolutely love it. I dearly wish she had a web presence for she was awarded the top printmaker in Finland many years ago. (See an image of an older work below). Presently she has a retrospective exhibition (PDF) in Tampere Finland. And Valgerdur Hauksdottir’s work, which I found on the net some years ago has also been an inspiration to me.

4. The Young Ones: “Galleria Harmonia presents the works of Graphica Creativa´s young ones. These Finnish art students come from Imatra, Joensuu, Lahti, Turku and Uusikaarlepyy. During the exhibition the students will also take part in a week-long printmaking course with printmaker Sandra Ramos as their teacher.”

Outi Heiskanen, The Hermit of the Monastery, Etching, 1988
from Europe of Tales

Update July 13th: If you can read Finnish, go read about the lively opening party, written by two Finnish artist-bloggers who were there, Kapasia and Carborondum.