Winter Story 2012


Granddaughter Lael’s annual Winter Story is now up! Daddy does the difficult part of animating her drawings, as he has done since 2003. Lael’s family sends this unique greeting out to all their friends and family for Christmas – a unique card, I think. You can see past Winter Stories at the site, if you haven’t seen them before. Enjoy!


Meanwhile, we are enjoying having the whole family here, ten around the table when all are present. Son-in-law J arrived from the UK on Friday 21st; eldest daughter and husband arrived on Sunday 23rd from east of Kamloops (5 hours by car from Vancouver). We’ve been feasting since, first with R’s fabulous butter chicken, then ham for Christmas Eve. Tonight is R’s deboned turkey. All the family pitches in with many delicious vegetable dishes, baking, eggnog and more so this grandmother isn’t too worn out. And Santa was very good to us last night. Oh, and he made a second visit early this morning as he forgot to leave some things for the grandchildren.

As you know, we celebrate Christmas Eve in the Finnish and German tradition with a feast followed by caroling while waiting for Santa. I goofed with the top photo of Lael playing her violin but loved the effect.

Hope you are all having a wonderful Jule however you celebrate it!

Oh, and this is most timely: the Anthropology and Archaeology of Feasts


With low energy and needing to catch up with other things, I want to just quickly share several exciting-to-me links I’ve been enjoying this week, on the subjects of archaeology, art and story writing:

1. Lascaux’s Picassos – What prehistoric art tells us about the evolution of the human brain. A gorgeous slide show and many great links on a favourite subject of mine, and something I’ve written about a few times before.

2. Cuts that heal: Barbara Hepworth’s hospital drawings. I love her sculpture. Now seeing her fantastic drawings in the provided slide show puts her in the class of the Renaissance artists in my book! The second work Concentration of Hands II is my favourite. I had many of the same thoughts as Jonathan Jones mentions in his review (link on the side). How I wish I could go see this exhibition.

3. Margaret Atwood joins the zombie craze:

Just in time for Halloween, Canada’s most decorated literary doyenne – Margaret Atwood – has co-written a serialized zombie novel with a promising British author that will be posted chapter by chapter at the Canadian-based story-sharing website Wattpad.

I’m not into zombies but curiousity sent me to check out Wattpad and The Happy Zombie Sunrise Home where the first three parts are up. I read, I laughed, I will be back.

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.

Japanese exchange exhibition


You may recall that our Art Institute printmakers had a wonderful exhibition in Tokyo, Japan in May/June of this year. As an exchange, we are hosting an exhibition of works by Japanese printmakers in the Studio Art Gallery at Capilano University, North Vancouver. Several artists are traveling here and will be at the opening on Thursday, October 4th, 2012, 7 to 9 pm. Everyone is welcome. The exhibition continues to October 20th, open Monday to Friday 8:30 am – 4:00 pm.

Also, one of the artists, Professor Hiroshi Maruyama of Tama Art University, Japan will give a lecture on Friday, October 5th at 12 noon in the gallery. I understand he will be giving a demonstration of traditional Japanese woodblock printing with watercolours. It will be an exciting week!

If you need directions to the campus and the Studio Art building, please check out these maps.

artists in conversation

Yesterday afternoon we went to see an exhibition at the Seymour Art Gallery called Odd Occurrences: Narrative in the Art of Kristin Bjornerud, Tamara Bond, Tomoyo Ihaya, and Carrie Walker.

Here is the exhibition statement:
The artists in Odd Occurrences build on centuries-old traditions of oral and visual storytelling to create images that are wildly imaginative and intriguingly strange, mysteriously disturbing or oddly funny. In days gone by people were familiar with stories told through the spoken and written word and pictures because they usually depicted events from religious life, history, and traditions or communicated prevailing myths and legends. Today, however, in our pluralistic, postmodern society, we cannot simply assume commonalities of experience-there is no single narrative. Instead, the artists in Odd Occurrences offer a rich mixture of fabricated narratives derived from personal experience, cultural origins, current events, dreams, myths, and folk-tales. Telling their tales with human figures, animals, and objects, the four artists use formats that range from symbolic descriptions of occurrences to odd juxtapositions of found and newly invented imagery. These open-ended, nonlinear narratives, often stories suggested but not fully realized, allow for multiple levels of viewer interpretation.

Beautiful, exquisitely created work by all, using various drawing and painting media.

We timed it to also take in the Conversation with Guest Curator Rachel Rosenfield Lafo and three of the artists and the audience. It centered and elaborated on the above themes and was very accessible and enjoyable for the audience and added to the appreciation of the work. I found it most interesting to learn that the curator had seen these artists’ works in separate exhibitions and had noted certain similarities between them. And as curators sometimes do, she came up with an exhibition theme and proposal, invited the artists to take part, and arranged this exhibition venue.

On a more personal note, I want to mention that Tomoyo Ihaya is a long time friend whose work I’ve written about here many times (search here if you like). I was sorry to miss the opening night when she gave a talk, for she was unable to join the others at this later date because by then she had already returned to northern India where she spends much of each year. In addition I have met Tamara, a friend and fellow art school graduate of our daughter Elisa.

The exhibition continues to October 14th, so if you are in the Vancouver area, I highly recommend a visit to see this wonderful art, in this lovely location in Deep Cove.

Regarding the images below, these are quick photos of some of the work in the gallery taken just as the chairs were being set up for the talk, and with permission and a promise not to take closeups. I hope these give a slight idea of each artist’s work and that you may be intrigued enough to visit their websites or other links.

by Kristin Bjornerud

by Tamara Bond

by Tomoyo Ihaya

by Carrie Walker

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.

postcard art fundraiser


I first wrote about this fundraiser, Wish You Were Here, a few weeks ago. It is an inaugural event put on by CARFAC BC for artists. Everyone is welcome to attend the event on Friday, June 22nd at W2 Community Media Arts Society, #250-111 W. Hastings (the Woodwards Atrium) in downtown Vancouver between 10 am to 7 pm.

An attractive website has been created, so please check out all the work by BC artists. You will find my pieces under ‘printmaking’. Four of them are etchings, one called “Astuvansalmi” is an inkjet print (also shown above). If you can’t make it to the event in person, online purchases are welcomed. All works are $50, with half going to the artist. Payment will be accepted on-line beginning June 22 accompanied with an email to outlining the title of the piece you want and the name of the respective fine artist. We all hope you will find something of interest to add to your collection or to give as gifts, in support of “the creative economy of Fine Artists from your very own ‘hood. Your support can ensure that BC fine artists will not be another industry replaced by technology and disappearing into history.”

UPDATE July 2nd, 2012. Due to popular demand, this fundraiser is extended until July 30th, 2012 to encourage more on-line sales. The website has been updated to reflect artworks that have been sold. I am sorry to note that this is open to Canadian and US residents only, I suppose because of mailing costs.



Needing a break from all the ‘spring projects’ and while waiting for the fumes of varnish to dissipate, I felt the call of my studio. Impulsively I delved into the bottom drawer of my old wooden flat files where I keep a variety of work from other artists, part of my collection, and some small older works of my own. I found these two batiks that I had made in the early 80’s. I have few left from those days when I was really ‘into it’ for a few years. Many were given as gifts or sold. It is kind of interesting, if even a wee bit embarrassing, for me to look back on these pieces, and to show them here. It has me remembering that time in my life when I was an at-home mother before I returned to printmaking. I still have those supplies stored somewhere but have not done any more batiking since then.


UPDATE, 11:00 am May 29th, 2012: Suddenly remembering some posts I had written on batiking back in 2006, I searched and found three about Annabel Carey’s beautifully made and researched batik art based on the stone circles around the UK. As you know, ancient stones are a favourite subject of mine. (My examples here do not compare!) It is an interesting story if you would like to visit/revisit these links in their order of appearance:
a batik exhibition
update on batik show
more on Annabel Carey’s Spirit of the Stones

Wish You Were Here

This is for artists in British Columbia….

I have just put together my little package of prints to mail to CARFAC BC’s inaugural postcard fundraiser called Wish You Were Here. If you are a member, or wish to join if you are an artist in BC, you are invited to send in up to 5 works in your choice of suitable media on a 5″ x 7″ surface. Deadline is June 8th, 2012. This event is taking place on Friday, June 22 at Woodward’s Atrium, 111 West Hastings Street, Vancouver from 10 AM – 6 PM. Please read more about it at the link, join in and tell your friends to come and purchase small art works.

If you are an artist in Canada, you are likely already familiar with CARFAC, the Canadian Artist’s Representation, with each province having their own provincial chapter. I have long been a member as this is a most worthwhile organization working on artists’ behalf on many issues. Check it out.

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!