Easter 2014


a sunny Good Friday today, a sweet break between rainstorms

the garden is full of spring blooms including magnolias and camellias


Happy Easter to all! Hauskaa Pääsiäistä! Frohe Ostern!

a heart


Happy Friendship Day! Happy Valentine’s Day!

No, there is no snow here. All is green – green moss on rocks and lawns, evergreen trees, spikes of green spring flowering bulbs poking through the soil, some with white blossoms (snowdrops). No signs of heart’s red in the garden yet.

This image is from the archives, previously posted here.

a Christmas memory


Mother & Child – etching – image size: 11 x 7 cm. (4.25″ x 3″)

I handprinted this etching in an edition of 65 for Christmas cards sometime in the mid 1980’s, I think. (The date is obscured behind the mat.) It was during a special time when I had found a wonderful print studio where I was able to take up my longed for desire to focus on printmaking. When I came across this particular framed piece in my storage recently, I recalled that it had been hanging in my late parents’ home. With those happy memories, I became inspired to use this as my online Christmas card for this year.

So my dearest friends and readers, with this I wish you a warm and love-filled holiday season, one with happy new memories to hold close. Hyvää Joulua!

two candles


Two candles placed in the window of each home for Finland’s 96th Independence Day, is a long tradition on this day rooted in a time to remember and bring home safely the soldiers who freed Finland from Russia in 1917. The president of Finland even remembers Finnish expatriates in his speech on this day. Happy Independence Day to Finland and my Finnish readers!

On a deeply sad note these candles are also to honour the life and death of Nelson Mandela who died yesterday. So many tributes pouring in for this great man – here is one of many that I like: The Lincoln of Africa

Two candles for a birth of a nation freed from another power.
Two candles for honouring a man who fought for the rebirth of his nation and its people.

last print sale


Capilano University’s Studio Art printmaking department is presenting The Last Ever Print Sale!

Monday, December 2nd, 10 am to 4 pm.

Studio Art Building, Room 104

Capilano University

2055 Purcell Way, North Vancouver, BC

Directions and maps

Why is it the ‘last ever’ sale? The Print Sale has been a longtime (25 years?) annual event which we are all very sad to see coming to an end. As some readers know, Capilano University has cut numerous programs including Studio Art and the Art Institute. The second-year Studio Art program is running just this school year to allow the current students to complete their diploma requirements.

So, it is wonderful that they are hosting this event and also including the Ceramics class this time (they used to have their own sale). The Art Institute Printmaking alumni, such as yours truly, have been invited to participate as part of that long tradition.

If you live in the Vancouver area, please come and support the students and get some original artworks for some lucky people on your gift list, including yourself. We hope to see many friends there that special day!

More background:
– About the Art Institute Printmaking program, written in 2004
– About the protest against the program cuts

Poster image: etching by Liam Johnstone

Save Studio Art


Just when the school year is finishing and many students in Studio Arts have put up their graduation exhibition, the administration at Capilano University in North Vancouver has announced that they would have to make cuts to many programs because of a shortfall of $1.3 million in funding from the BC government. Studio and Textile Arts are particularly targeted along with other courses. Studio Arts is and has been a very well-respected program for 40 years.

Students and Faculty and Friends of the Arts are fighting this very hard. A Facebook page and a petition have been set up which are receiving lots of support but we need much more. I have personally been part of the excellent studio arts program at Capilano and want to help by asking friends and readers to please sign this petition in support of arts education, ALL education, and to pass it on to others.

Here is one very special and supportive comment at that petition:

I would not be writing this letter of support for Capilano University’s Studio and Textile Arts Program as an Associate Professor at Emily Carr were it not for the incredible education I received there. Having subsequently toured many art and design schools over the years in the United States and Canada, and having been an external reviewer last year of Capilano’s program, I can testify that the program ranks among the best. Simply put it offers a first rate blend of intellectual, material, and technical development delivered by extraordinary faculty in a beautifully equipped, community-friendly studio setting. The program is a major contributor to the high profile for culture and excellence the University enjoys, and its reputation far outdistances its relatively small size. It would be a false economy to eliminate this program as the University’s profile would be greatly diminished on the cultural scene, locally and nationally. – Alexandra Phillips of Vancouver

There is a provincial election campaign going on and we are questioning all candidates on this issue. Why are some universities getting way more funding than others, while others are experiencing cuts? Why any cuts to any kind of education? Coincidentally or not, the University is having their decision-making budget meeting on May 14th which is the very day of the election!

Here are a few of the many reports in the news media:
THE TYEE by Crawford Kilian
Alliance for Arts and Culture
Thank you for reading and for your support!

ADDED May 3rd: In the Straight: Capilano University needs to hit the pause button on its budget plans, by Reg Johanson. Excellent comments too.

UPDATE May 20th: After weeks of petitions, protests and meetings, the University board has agreed to delay the cuts for another month to research and possibly propose a new plan.

too many goodbyes

Sunday was spent traveling to the Victoria area on Vancouver Island for my late aunt’s ‘remembering’… a sweet event, lovingly and artistically arranged by her daughter, my cousin, at her charming lakeside cottage home. Heartwarming stories and memories shared with hugs, laughter and tears. Another wrenching goodbye was to this house which my cousin has to leave soon.

Our own family stayed at my late mother-in-law’s house where one sister-in-law has lived for many years after her passing. With her daughter and husband joining us, we had a celebration of their coming first child over a traditional family breakfast on Monday morning. Seated around Omi’s teak table with her German china we remembered the many years she used to serve us a similar breakfast. A walk around her lovely garden had me misty-eyed remembering her as she worked in it, as we had to say another goodbye to another home, for this has now been sold, so many years since she left it. (Please see daughter Erika’s lovely post about it.)

The ferry ride home is always so very beautiful – the blue skies, white puffy clouds, sparkling waters, lovely islands sprinkled with cottages….

It’s taken me a long time to write this and I apologize for the wistful nostalgia. I must be getting old.



I know I’ve been quiet here lately. We’ve had a full and wonderful week, first with friends visiting from Alberta whom we had not seen in something like a decade. Then yesterday friends from Victoria came for lunch. The weather was glorious all week as was the garden, most impressive for the Albertans! We are back to rain today.

Tomorrow we will attend the memorial and potluck for my late and dear aunt (as mentioned here), so I’ve been busy printing a card, gathering old photos of her to scan and print, and writing a few little ‘memories’ to share and reminisce over with her daughter, grandsons and several cousins.

I thought this image captures some of those deep heartwarming feelings of this week. I’ve actually used it before in another variation here. (However it is not part of the HANDS series of prints.)

Life should be back to normal next week when I’ll catch up with visits and comments at your blogs, dear friends!

February’s end


a happy accident of a photo captured by our waitress
another birthday lunch in another seaside place, this time for my love


a break in the rain, a look over Deep Cove
mountains with snowy peaks shrouded in clouds
a Pineapple Express is here
March is coming in like a lion

February flowers






Our typical westcoast warming blanket of cloud cleared overnight bringing us some pretty though short-lived frost. Today’s too rare sunshine was a gift though the vision of bright white snow on the mountain tops reminded us that it still is winter higher up and we are not immune to a late snowfall lower down. It’s been relatively mild, maybe average at sea level this season. The first harbingers of spring, the snowdrops, have been out for a while, now joined by the hellebore and potted primulas, admittedly protected next to the house. A few early yellow crocus flowers appeared a few days ago which often don’t come until about the end of the month.

Meanwhile, we’ve been following the news of terrific blizzards in eastern Canada and northeast USA. Such lovely photos of snow yet such difficulties when there’s too much at once. I hope you are all safe and warm! I grew up in cold snowy places the first 27 years of my life and have not forgotten what it is like. May these images of flowers give you hope that spring is around the corner. I know we are lucky to have ended up living here.

Tonight is the start of the Asian New Year celebrations including in Vancouver’s Chinatown. Tomorrow is British Columbia’s first Family Day holiday, a much-needed one to break that long period between Christmas and Easter. In Finland schools have a ski week holiday this month. Valentine’s or Friendship Day is coming too. Tomorrow is also another birthday for yours truly, and my husband’s is at the end of the month. A good month, in my books!