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!

exchange exhibition opening


left to right: Ritsuko Takeda, Haruko Cho, Sachiko Kawamura, Prof. Hiroshi Maruyama, Haruki Sakuraba

by Hiroshi Maruyama

by Yusaku Fujiwara

by Isao Kobayashi

Here are a few photos from last week’s opening of the exchange exhibition of works by Japanese printmakers in the Studio Art Gallery at Capilano University. Five of the 17 artists came to Vancouver for this event. It was very well attended, with a gracious welcoming speech from Capilano University President Dr. Kris Bulcroft, who highlighted the benefits of this kind of international art exchange. I was not able to capture all of the artists’ works but I hope these few give some idea of how exciting the exhibition is, well worth a visit while it is up until October 20th.

The works that had been exhibited by the Art Insitute members at the B-Gallery in Japan are displayed downstairs in the studio space. Interestingly, Haruko Cho, one of the artists from Japan, is also the director of the B-Gallery. Ritsuko Takeda, another of the artists, compiled the catalogue for this exchange exhibition.

B-Gallery exhibition photos










As I wrote in the spring along with a poster image, our Art Insitute printmakers group had an exciting exhibition at the B-Gallery in Tokyo. I was lucky during the show to capture one photo from the gallery’s site before it was gone so I’ve been eagerly looking forward to seeing more, as have all the artists who were not there. Today Michiko Suzuki, one of the artists who was there in person, wrote that the exhibition was successful, well attended and well received. She kindly sent many opening and installation photos to share here. Enjoy!

I want to add the artist’s names under their images, and though I know many of them, I’m not sure of all, so shall add that information sometime later when I get to see the catalogue.

a test piece


torn etchings, mylar and cotton string
14.5cm x 24.5 cm. (5.5″ x 10″) plus string

I recently found this in an old sketchbook. It was a little test I once made to experiment with a way of mounting art work on paper. The prints are tucked inside a fold of mylar (plastic) with holes punched all through and held up by string. This made me remember a series of pressed paper pieces that I had made and had mounted in this way. I must look for them and see if I have any slides of them. Another inspiring revisit of past works! I rather like this piece and am toying with the idea of doing this with some new pieces sometime.

Amazing how this connects with my jute and twine, torn drawings and paper tears.

print show videos

A while ago, I posted about a printmaking exhibition by several friends at the Canadian Embassy in Tokyo, Japan. Michiko Suzuki, one of the artists, has kindly emailed me that she has put up two videos on YouTube. One is of their exhibition opening. The second shows the installation process and one can see more of their amazing work. The gallery space is fantastic. Congratulations to the artists!

Added later: Michiko has also created a video of her exhibition ‘Flicker of Life’, shown in the Penticton Art Gallery in 2009. I wrote about it back then with a link to a slide show she had created. Wonderful work!

100 yr old printshop


The printmaker in me was fascinated by an article in our paper about Canada’s first Chinese print shop still in operation here in Vancouver after a century, run by the third generation of the Lam family and the matriarch. The amazing printing presses, the antique stamps, the lead type are all rich in history, function and beauty, so do visit the video at the link. This is far different from current printing technology. All this heritage, including the building is fast disappearing as the family is selling off its contents and closing. Sad.

The image of engraving tools, burins, above is not related to the article, but as I did not have any images of those lovely stamps or types to place here, I thought of these. Not normally used in the type printing such as in this shop, they are the tools of an artist creating engravings on metal plates such as copper. I have had these since art school days, which was not quite as long ago as when this print shop opened up.

photo: Japan exhibition


Perhaps you remember my earlier post about our Art Institute group’s print exhibition in Japan? Here is a screen shot of the installation at the B-Gallery in Tokyo. My piece Fragments IV is second from the left. I can hardly wait to hear reports and see more photos from the artists who were present at the exhibition opening!

Added later: Here are more photos of our exhibition.

Lea, an etching

an early trial proof

a later colour trial proof, almost there

Lea – etching, 1983
image: 22.2 x 22.5 cm. (8.75″ x 8.8″)
Paper: 38 x 38 cm. (15″ x15″)

Here is one of my very early etchings from the time when I returned to printmaking. As I’ve mentioned in the past, I fell in love with printmaking in my last year at art school, too late to major in it, but left with the feeling that I wanted to return to it some day. The opportunity came much much later and of course, I had to spend time relearning the processes.

After deep etching this plate, I worked on numerous proofs, trying out different colours and various ways of inking it. I wrote many notes on the proofs about those processes. The top one is getting close to what I wanted, to my eye at the time, with the technique of intaglio wiping (the blues), then with a relief roll (red) over it. More colour trials were made, with the second image above getting very close. The final editioned version is shown last.

I’m not overly fond of how I designed the image and I now rather prefer the colours in the first one shown, but it’s an example of the process of learning technique before mastering the image along with it.

Printmaking, eh?


Printmaking, eh?: Four Artists Expanding the Boundaries
May 25 – July 20, 2012
Embassy of Canada Prince Takamado Gallery, Tokyo

Four of the artists in the previously announced exhibition are also showing concurrently and for a longer period at the Embassy of Canada Prince Takamado Gallery in Tokyo.

The Exhibition Announcement states in part:

The Embassy of Canada is pleased to present an exhibition in its Prince Takamado Gallery entitled Printmaking, eh?: Four Artists Expanding the Boundaries featuring works by Western Canada based artists who take experimental approaches to printmaking.
Steven Dixon of Alberta together with Wayne Eastcott, Davida Kidd and Michiko Suzuki of British Columbia share the common thread of consideration of the human condition in the 21st century. Dixon explores the consequences of human endeavour via the artefact/archival landscape while Eastcott pursues the interconnection of contemporary technology, humankind and nature. Kidd dwells on the internal – the dreams, guilt and passion of the inhabitants of our culture and Suzuki is concerned with the fragility and future of young women.

All of these artists are or have been associated with the Art Institute, Printmaking at Capilano University, three of them in a teaching capacity. All have been mentioned on this blog in the past regarding some of their exhibitions so if interested in learning more about them, please do a search, located at the bottom of the left bar.

(The above image is not in the exhibition, just a crop from a proof of my own to provide a decoration here.)

Updated Aug.3rd, 2012: Please see the videos.

exhibition in Japan


Just received this beautiful poster about our Art Institute Printmaking group’s exhibition coming up for May 29th to June 14th at the B-Gallery in Tokyo, Japan.

Huge thanks go to one of the artists, Michiko Suzuki originally from Tokyo, for her generous efforts in acquiring the gallery for our exhibition and for carrying all our work with her on her flight to Japan. (She has frequented these pages often, please search if interested.)

I’m hoping we shall see some images of our show on the gallery’s site once it is up for the benefit of those (most) of us who will not be there, and for readers. As more information comes in, I will add it here or in another post.

As an exchange, works by several Japanese printmakers will be exhibited in the Studio Art Gallery at Capilano University in North Vancouver during the month of October this year. Exciting times!

More, August 28th: Exhibition photos at last!