Finnish rock art exhibition


I am delighted to have received an invitation to Ismo Luukkonen’s exhibition Marked on Rock – Photographs of Prehistoric Rock Paintings at the National Museum of Finland in Helsinki. The exhibition is open June 16th to September 18th, 2011. More information and a few photos here.

I know Ismo has photographed rock art in many countries so I queried about it and he confirmed to me that all the photos in this exhibit are of prehistoric rock paintings located around different areas of Finland. Do check out Ismo Luukkonen’s extensive website, especially the Finnish pictographs.

This is a subject close to my heart on many levels so I’m sad that I will not be able to be there for the opening and meet the photographer, nor is it likely that I’ll see the exhibition during its long run (unless the goddess of rock art waves a magic wand and a plane ticket in my direction).

My congratulations and best wishes to Ismo Luukkonen on this exhibition. I hope some of my Finnish readers and anyone else who may be in Helsinki will visit the exhibition and share impressions and photos!

Related: Previous posts about Ismo Luukkonen and his work in July 2004, February 2005, and most recently February 2011.

Marijke Nap: Life Works


detail: Marijke Nap: Untitled, 1999
collagraph and silkscreen
image 21 x 32 cm on 40.5 x 50.5 cm paper

While on vacation recently I received a group email about a printmaking exhibition of works by Marijke Nap. How very shocked I was to read “late artist”. I had not seen Marijke in a few years but knew from mutual friends that she had been ill but had not been told of its seriousness or of her passing earlier this spring.

I first met and became friends with Marijke at the Art Institute at Capilano College (now University) many years ago before she moved on to work at other places, lastly at University of British Columbia’s art department. So, this is a fitting memorial to a vibrant and beautiful artist and printmaker who was very involved in the larger printmaking community in Vancouver. She will be sorely missed.

Unable to find a suitable image of Marijke’s vibrant work online to feature here, I chose the above from my collection, the First Folio, a portfolio of prints by several artists (including myself) created in 1999 at the Art Institute at Capilano. Each artist received one portfolio plus there were a few for exhibitions and sales to collectors.

Unfortunately I missed the opening but plan to see the exhibition before it closes May 28th. Please read about Marijke’s life and work and the exhibition, and if in the area visit the show:

Marijke Nap: Life Works
AHVA Library Gallery, Room 112 Koerner Library,
1958 Main Mall, UBC Vancouver
Exhibition runs from May 11 – 28th, 2011, Wednesday to Saturday 12-4pm.

Added much later: a lovely note by Katie Dey at the BIMPE site.

Roger Fidler exhibition


It is my pleasure to introduce friend and fellow printmaker and photographer Roger Fidler. Roger has an exhibition of his photographs, photo-etchings and photoworks opening next Sunday at the Havana Gallery. Everyone is welcome to the opening, details below:

Opening Sunday May 1st, 4 pm – 7 pm
Havana Gallery at the Havana Restaurant
1212 Commercial Drive, Vancouver, BC
The exhibition continues to May 14th
Hours: Sun 10am -11pm, Mon – Thurs 11am – 11pm, Fri 11am – midnight, Sat 10 am – midnight


Here are some of Roger’s words about his work:

Most of my work is photographic in some way. My real interest in photography began some 40 years ago when I lived in the Peace River region of British Columbia. The landscape inspired me to buy my first SLR camera, and I have been taking pictures ever since.

My preference has always been for black and white photography. The graphic image, a step further away from reality has always appealed to me. I often experiment with alternative techniques, and over the last year I have been learning to become a printmaker. I specialise in photo-etching.

The subject matter has changed over the years. My current portfolio falls roughly into three groups: still life, classical sculptural detail, and larger more experimental works.


Natalie’s serial novel

illustration by Natalie d’Arbeloff, from chapter 4, La Vie en Rosé, used with her permission

I love the way a story builds up in a serial novel or sequel format à la Dickens. It is a clever format for building up anticipation, yet definitely tries my patience as I eagerly await each new episode. I particularly recall in my silly teenage years reading serials in some monthly magazines, waiting weeks between issues – a clever way also for publishers to keep up sales and deplete my meager allowance. One summer vacation at the cottage, I found a stack of very old yellowed Finnish newspapers with a romantic serial novel in it and that was heaven without the wait!

I’m sure most of my readers need no introduction to my friend, the artist, writer, long-time blogger, Natalie d’Arbeloff of Blaugustine fame. If you don’t know her, I suggest you visit her now and read one of her latest creative ventures, the serial story La Vie en Rosé (and it’s free). There are already sixteen chapters to savour. Like many good tales, it has an intriguing true story within the story, interesting characters and a bit of French. The illustrations are very much “Natalie” yet unlike the graphic novels that she is well-known for.

Here are two excerpts, the first her introduction to how it all began:

The first installment of this story, posted on June 15, 2009 on Blaugustine, was my 250 word contribution to an online game of Consequences (each successive entry in the game began with the closing lines of its predecessor). But because some readers encouraged me to continue where I left off, somehow it just grew and became this illustrated story, which will finish whenever it finishes. New installments are added in consecutive order whenever I write a new one. Your patience is appreciated.

Then a passage from Chapter 13 which particularly had me smiling:
Susan closed her notebook and took a deep breath. The words tumbled out like marbles scattering haphazardly all over the table. She spoke too loud, too fast and too intensely. The important thing was to get through.

“After I saw your garden you know Père Lafitte I went home and looked up the postman Cheval and something changed something happened I don’t know I started walking every day the roads around here have you seen the rubbish at the side of the roads all the plastic bottles and everything I counted them I made notes you know when I was a child an only child we went to the beach and I’d take my little spade and I’d be building sand things all day long not castles just small houses with big windows and gardens once I won a prize for my sand house you know if that postman was alive today maybe he’d be picking up rubbish instead of stones along the country roads to build his Palais Idéal that’s what I was thinking and Père Lafitte listen it’s not impossible in Los Angeles a man called Rodia built amazing towers out of broken glass all by himself like Cheval and I was thinking maybe I mean why not I could collect the stuff in my car the plastic bottles especially it wouldn’t take that long and I’d bring them to your garden and then we could I mean you could and I’d help you build something you know maybe some kind of chapel and it would always be there I can see it in my mind I’ve been dreaming about it remember when you told me about doing something extraordinary comme ça for no reason Père Lafitte something just clicked then like I’ve always known it but never heard it expressed before so what do you say ?”

Do leave a note for Natalie, she loves to hear from readers. (And tell her from me to hurry up with the next episodes.)

art and healing


detail of a tie-dyed table runner I created a long time ago – not related to subject below

Many question the purpose of art. Here’s one answer in this wonderful story about art and healing*.

(*link expired, sorry)

Chang-Soo Kim: photos

As I wrote recently, Korean artist Chang-Soo Kim has an exhibition of his large digital printworks at Capilano University’s Studio Art Gallery. It continues until Thursday, October 28th. A few days ago I had the opportunity to take a few installation photos including one of the artist.





The exhibition includes the artist’s work from the past ten years, I believe. He uses thousands of digital images of tiny faces to make the larger portraits. Over time, these smaller images seem to become more abstract, as seen in the bottom photo of a detail of one of his prints. Later, I note a move to the use of multiple vertical lines as we see in television images, and even later marks and ‘scratches’ that make me think of computer code as well as a suggestion of DNA marking, the details merging, as before, into larger images such as the hands and foot. To me, the artist investigates relationships of contemporary humanity and technology together in a most powerful, compelling and astounding way.

little sketchbook


As some of you know, we visited Montreal last June and met in person long-time online friend Beth and her husband. I’ve been wanting to show this special and beautiful gift Beth gave me, a little sketchbook about 10 x 12 cm. (4″ x 4.75″) that she skillfully crafted. I treasure it and think of Beth every time I look at it. Today, better late than never, I did my first little sketch into it.


Inspired by an image I saw somewhere a few years ago of a prehistoric rock carving in Roughting Linn in Northumberland, UK, I’d done a quick pen doodle on scrap paper and later taped it into my larger working sketchbook/notebook. As I contemplated doing a series of rock art images in Beth’s book, I remembered that image. I used graphite aquarelle pencils, a black aquarelle stick and a damp little paintbrush – what fun!

Exhibition: Chang-Soo Kim


Chang-Soo Kim is an award winning photographer and printmaker and a professor at the college of art at Kyungwon University, Seoul, South Korea. He is visiting Vancouver and Edmonton with the following events, organized by University of British Columbia (UBC) and Capilano University.

Exhibition: Studio Art Gallery, Studio Art Building at Capilano U
Oct. 4 – Oct. 28, Opening: Oct 7th, 4:30 – 7 pm
Public Lecture: UBC, Lasserre rm. 107, Oct. 12: 12:45 – 1:45 pm
Public Lecture: University of Alberta, Edmonton, Fine Arts Building, Nov. 4, 5:15 pm

Everyone is invited to all events. For directions to Capilano University in North Vancouver, check out Google maps. And here is the campus map, pdf.

We at Cap are looking forward to meeting Chang-Soo Kim and getting to know his work and we hope to see you at the opening if you are in the Vancouver area.

I could not find a website for the artist, but if you are interested you may view the artist’s CV and a Description of Works (both are pdfs).

Added Oct.6th: Here is a page of great photos of Chang-Soo Kim’s artist talk with a class at UBC.

Added Oct.23rd: See some installation photos here.

a new appleturnover

my warm woolly wrist warmers knit by Elisa

Motherly pride is showing when I write how I’ve long enjoyed our daughter Elisa’s blog appleturnover since she started in the spring of 2006. As demands of family and an art practice grew, the blog waned at times, was revived and waned again.

This summer while visiting us at home here in Vancouver, away from their present home in London, UK, Elisa redesigned her blog and started it afresh, focusing even more on the natural, can we say old-fashioned, side of homemaking much like her grandmothers practiced and which skipped some of my generation. I never took to knitting myself and did not do much canning, preferring freezing. I used to do a lot of sewing and was challenged this summer to teach a bit of those now rusty skills such as hand-made buttonholes.

Do visit the new and beautiful appleturnover and say ‘hello’. Don’t miss reading her wonderful ‘about’ page. Enjoy!

P.S. In case you are a newer reader and have not made the acquaintance of the blogs of our other two daughters, here is Anita’s and here is Erika’s. Yes, I’m proud of all of them.

Added October 16th, 2010: If you are a knitter, you may be interested in a pattern for a similar pair of fingerless gloves that Elisa has made and posted on her blog.

BIMPE VI exhibition


Design: Cloe Aigner, Print: “Bite your Tongue” by Jen McGowan, intaglio

Everyone is invited to the opening for The Sixth Biennial International Miniature Print Exhibition (BIMPE) on Saturday, September 11th, 2010 from 6 to 9 pm. at the Federation Gallery on Granville Island, 1241 Cartwright Street, Vancouver, BC.
As the BIMPE site explains:

The Biennial International Miniature Print Exhibition (BIMPE) is held every two years in Vancouver, British Columbia. This exhibition is a showcase for small scale works measuring no more than 15cm × 10cm, and is open to images made using all printmaking techniques from traditional line etching to contemporary digital processes.

I’m very pleased to have my work chosen along with that by numerous (about 200?!) other artists from around the world. Many of the names are known to me, a few I know personally such as the artist whose delightful print was chosen for the invitation above. As I’ve mentioned before, I rarely do small works so this year it was a timely opportunity for me to support this local biennial of prints.

This exhibition will be at the Federation Gallery until the end of September, then moves for the month of October to Dundarave Print Workshop, also located on Granville Island. In November, it travels to Edmonton’s SNAP Gallery.

UPDATE October 30th, 2013: While cleaning up dead links on old posts, I have discovered BIMPE now has its own site with pages for each biennal. Check out the fantastic PDF version of the catalogue!